Chapter 30: He left us?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr
“Where are Megan and Raymond?“, I ask, to no one in particular.
“Raymond suffered a lot of injuries and his face is damaged. He died on impact,” Alex explains, “And Megan is soon gonna be taken to military school. She was discharged from the hospital yesterday” He added.
“How long was I out for?“, I ask bewildered.
“Two days,” Jayden replies.
“I wanna meet Megan,” I say firmly.
“I’ll take you,” Jayden says.
“No, I’ll go with Alex,” I reply, irritated.
Ok, remind me why I’m angry with Jayden. Oh yeah, because he was with Raymond and Megan all this while, but I’m not sure to what extent.
“Kelly... Just go with him. I have to stay here,” Alex says with a sigh, clearly tired.
I am not in the mode to argue so I shoot Jayden a glare and walk out as he follows close behind me. When we reach the car, I get in and turn away from him. We both are silent with not a single word. I can see him stealing glances at me from the corner of my eye but decide to ignore it.
“Ok, are you gonna tell me what’s wrong?“, Jayden asks with a sigh, “Why are you ignoring me?“, He looks at me, then turns back to the road, “What have I done? Is it because I asked you out?“, He asks, “Look, I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to up-” He starts.
“It’s not that Jayden,” I reply with a sigh, “Jayden... Have you been involved in this whole thing?“, I ask waving my hand about.
The car suddenly jerked forward, making a loud sound and I almost fall off the seat.
“What the hell was that for?“, I ask, scowling at him.
“You think I have something to do with all that happened?“, He asks, shock etched across his face.
“No, I didn’t say that... Maybe I did, so what about it? You were the one who took away the pictured of you and I kissing and somehow it ended up in Megan’s hand, you were the one who texted me and told me to meet you at that place and somehow Raymond and Megan showed up. I mean It was a perfect setup,” I reply, raising my hands in frustration.
“That’s because one of them stole my phone and I didn’t even know that Megan had the pictures. I know that I lost them but I thought Alex took them cause only he knew that I kept it in this car... I can swear to you right now that I don’t have my phone on me. They stole it,” He says, starting the car.
“Then swear?“, I cross my hands across my chest. I know it’s childish but what other choice do I have?
“I swear, I didn’t have my phone. You can ask Jay if you don’t believe me,” He says in an exasperated tone.
Maybe I should just throw my stupid suspicions away “Fine! I guess I was just overreacting,” I reply with a sigh and he nods. There is another long silence before he finally speaks up.
“We should probably go before we’re too late,” He says and I just nod along.
The rest of the ride is just an awkward silence of torture.
Jayden pulls the car in front of Megan’s house. I look down the street and see my house standing abandoned.
“Please don’t go,” I hear a little boy’s voice say as we get out of the car. As we reach closer, I see Megan crouching in front of Archer.
“Hey, hey, look, I love you, alright?“, She says cupping his cheeks and he nods, “I want you to stay strong, be nice and never bully anyone while I’m gone, okay?“, Ahh, so now she realizes not to bully, “I will be back soon so I want you to take care of yourself and dad. I will try and call you every month if I can. Promise me to be good?“, Megan asks her brother.
Watching them makes me feel bad. She’s the only mother figure he has. It feels like I’m taking that one thing he has away from him. But It’s also just like how she took Julian away from his family, Lydia and I. It hurt like a million knives being stabbed into my heart.
“Promise me Arch,” Megan says.
“I promise,” He replies with tears in his eyes, I can see that she is crying too, “I’m gonna miss you Megan.”
“I will miss you too,” Megan replies and pulled him into a tight hug when their dad comes and wraps his arms around the both of them and they stay like that for a while, until their father looks up.
“Jayden, Kelly?“, He asks in surprise, walking towards us to stand in front of me, “Kelly, I’m so sorry, I just found out about what my daughter did to you all these years. I apologize for everything. If I had come to know of it earlier, I would have stopped it,” Her dad apologizes, creases of worry forming on his face “I thought you guys were friends but I only found out yesterday when she confessed. I’m sorry” He pulled me into a fatherly hug.
“Robby, you’re elder to me. You shouldn’t blame yourself for someone else’s mistake. You shouldn’t apologize to me,” I reply and look behind him to see Megan facing the floor, “If you don’t mind, can I talk to Megan before she leaves?“, I ask. He hesitates a bit but nods at the end with a small reassuring smile on his face.
I walk straight to the both of them, still in my hospital shirt and pants, and bend down to Archer’s level noticing his red eyes. I see Megan tighten her grip around him, probably thinking that I’m gonna hurt him.
I swear her face... Karma hit her hard. She has scars on almost her entire face. Its like she has all my scars at one place. There is a burn on her cheek that is covered with bandages but the edges are visible burns.
“Archer, can I talk to your sister?“, I ask, and he nods with a pout, “Megan?“, I turn to her.
She releases Archer and plants a kiss on his forehead, then starts walking into the house while Jayden and I follow her.
She walks past the main living room and enters into another one.
I’ve been here before, quite a few times with Mom. We’d be here in this same room while the adults were in the living room. Being here reminds me of the times she had tortured me here.
“I know, you probably wanna get revenge for all the things I have done to you. Do whatever you want to me,” Megan says, looking away.
Jayden glances at me then at her and walks out, shaking his head at Megan but I fix my gaze on her.
“Sit,” I say sternly and she just looks up at me like what? “Sit,” I say, a little bit louder this time. She shuts the door and sits at one end the couch.
This is the moment of truth. I have to find everything out.
“Why did you bully me in the first place?“, I ask and she stays quiet “Why? Megan? Why did you do it? I never did anything to you, you hated me on my first da-” I start screaming but she cut me off.
“Because you stole everything from me, my friends, my mom, my life, everything,” She cries.
“What?“, I ask, my voice, barely a whisper.
“Yes Kelly, on your first day, everyone liked you. My friends all went to you. Jayden paid more attention to you than to me. My mom left me and Archer, for your dad, because of that, Archer never got the love of a mother. At least you had your mom, I love my dad and all but we both know that every child needs their mom. My mom left for your dad, it was always you”
What? It was Megan’s mom? I didn’t know the woman all these years and my Mom made it stay that way. Why did fate have to wind up like this?
“So, you decided to vent all your anger on me,” I complete, “Tell me one thing, was the whole, my mom’s medication getting canceled thing true?“, I ask.
“No,” She says smiling apologetically, “I heard your mom and my dad talk about diabetes and medication, so I decided to use it against you,” She replied, “I just taught that by torturing you, I was getting revenge for Archer. That was all. I would never think of killing you, I swear,” She says, nearly in tears. I just nod, not able to comprehend the situation.
Tears start falling from my eyes onto my hands, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulder “Why would you hurt me so badly?“, I ask again.
“Trust me, doing that hurt me more than it hurt you. I had to keep up the mean girl facade for as long as high school went on because If I had stopped, everyone would have considered me weak and I was not ready to lose my power to you. On top of that, I wanted everything to be perfect in the future for my Archer...” She says.
“Well what do you think huh? Now everyone at school is going to find out about this. At the end of the day, all the years of torture was for nothing, treating Lydia badly was for nothing, los-” I stared and choaked “l-losing J-Julian… for nothing” The last part came out as a whisper, tears blurring my vision.
“I’m sorry about Julian, really. I didn’t even know that he was kidnapped. Ray told me that he sent him abroad and I stupidly believed”
“Sorry isn’t going to bring him back” I broke into a fit of cries and covered my face with my hands. I didn’t realize when she got up until she wrapped her hands around me. She was also crying and that was the first time that I’ve ever seen Megan cry. I wish Julian was here.
The mention of his name hurts. It hurts me to hear his name when I know that I won’t be able to hear his voice or see his face anymore.
“Megan... We have to leave,” Her father calls from outside.
She jerked away from me and wiped her eyes, then sniffed “Well…Again, I’m very sorry. Though I have one thing I would like you to do for me... If you don’t mind,” She says as she wipes her face and fixes her hair, trying to make it look like she never cried, but her eyes says it all “I want you to continue taking care of Archer for me. Please, he’s only five and still doesn’t know what’s happening,” She says, eyes pleading.
What I’m thinking right now is... Is this what I want? For Megan to be sent away and separated from her brother and father?Would Julian want this? Would he want Megan going away like this? He does want her to stop bullying me but is this the answer?
Julian’s words ring in my head again. He said this a long time ago.
“Separating a kid from his/her family is the worst thing anyone could ever do. Kids are gifts from God.”
Am I supposed to do this? This is killing me. I know reason as to why this is happening. But as far as I can remember, Megan was not the one who set the fire... In fact, she was in the fire. It was all Raymond, she tried to stop him.
“Why are you going to Military school?“, I ask.
“You really are clueless,” She says, “For the bullying and for kidnapping you.”
“How long are you going for?” I ask.
“3 years” She sadly smiled, walking towards the door.
“Can anyone stop it?”
“Well except for the victim, which is you. Olivia already told the cops everything and I admitted to the crime,” She replies with a shrug.
Should I take down the charges? Should I let her go? I think Julian would do and want that.
He said he wanted her to stop bullying me and she finally admitted to it. Also, I don’t think Archer should suffer for her mistakes.
“I’ll be right back,” I say and walk out of the house, past everyone, with Jayden behind me. I feel like I’m treating him like a pet, “Take me to the police station,” I tell him, getting into the car.
“Police Station? Why?“, He asks and starts driving but I choose to ignore him.
The station is downtown, so it takes us some time to reach, using the GPS.
I get out of the car and Jayden follows, and we go inside. It’s nighttime by now, the station has barely any people. We waited outside for about 10 minutes before we were called in.
“Hello, sir... I’m Kelly Johnson,” I say.
“How may I help you?“, He asks.
“I want to withdraw my complaint against Megan, Megan Leaky,” I answer. He nodded with a frown, then searched for something on his computer and looked at me.
“Wasn’t she the one who bullied you?“, He asks and I nod, “Then why? If she’s threatening you then just tell us. She can’t do that anymore since she’s being sent to military school, as she’s young to be in jail,” He explains.
“No, I want to withdraw. Let her stay, her family needs her,” I plead.
“Listen to me, kidnapping is a crime and I think she needs to learn a lesson for that, for her future” He said.
“She didn’t kidnap me, Raymond did, In fact he set her up too and threw her in the fire with me and anyways, 3 years of her life is going to be wasted at military school” I replied.
“You’re too nice but if that’s what you want...” He replies with a shrug “I will put a hold to the process, you need to come back with your lawyer and a withdrawal document for you to sign so that the process will be completed” He said, then makes a phone call to Megan’s dad I’m guessing.
I leave him to do his job and walk out to Jayden. He puts his arms around my shoulder and pulls me into a hug.
“It’s gonna be okay... I’m sure Julian will be proud of you right now,” He says. I nestled into his hug, wanting to stay in that position for the rest of my life but he pulls out of the hug and opens the door for me.
“Take me home,” I say and he nods.
It’s time I tell Lydia. I hope she doesn’t freak out badly.
“You know you weren’t even discharged from the hospital right” He said, driving.
“I don’t care”
We finally reach home. As we pass through the main door to the house, my eyes meet Veronica’s.
“Kelly! God you woke up,” She said and hugs me while just nod with a smile.
“Where’s Lydia?” I ask.
“She’s in her room. She’s been waiting for you for so long,” Veronica says, urging me upstairs.
What if I just tell her that Julian has went on a journey and will never come back? That could save me all the trouble. But Julian wants me to tell her, also she is going to know it someday.
I open the door and spot Lydia lying on the bed. I think she heard me because her eyes are wide open now.
“Ly...” I start.
She looks up, and her eyes light up, brighter than the Christmas lights.
“Kewy !” She jumps into my arms and hugs me, “Kewy, where did you go without me? I missed you so much.” She says opening her arms wide.
“I’m so sorry baby... I didn’t mean to,” I say, trying to smile.
“It’s OK... Kewy, do you wanna see my new toys? Owie said that Juwie brought them for me for my birthday but he wanted to give it to me today,” She says excitedly as she ran to a corner and brings a bag.
I watch as she places it on the bed and spreads them out for me to see. I don’t know what to do, she looks so happy and excited, this will break her.
“Ly- Lydia...” I place my hand on her shoulder and sit beside her.
“Yes,” She grins.
“I have to tell you something,” I say and she nods, “Ly, you see Julie is now our guardian,” I say.
“How?” She tilts her head in confusion.
“Ly, we will never be able to see Julie again, only in our dreams,” I add and she pouts.
“Why? He left us?“, She asks, her attention fully on me.
“No Ly, Julie will never leave us. You see, God knew that he’s such a good person, so he took Julie up to be with him. Julie is always gonna be watching and protecting us, from the monsters, from up there, but he will always be here with us,” I explain, pointing at her heart and trying as hard as I can to not let the tears fall but she pouts making my resolve break.
“But I don’t want Jewie to be just in my heart, I want him to be with me so I can see him and hug him,” She pouts, tears filling her eyes and I hug her to my chest.
“I know Ly, me too. I’m gonna miss Julie,” I say.
I turn my head and see Jayden, Jay and Livia standing by the door.
Jay walks towards us and nods at me, I take that as my cue to leave and let him persuade her.
“I’ll go get you something to eat,” Jayden says and walks away.
Livia places her hand on the small of my back and steers me to my room and gets us seated. I can’t take it anymore. I hug her and cry my heart out. She just holds me, rubbing my back.
“I’m sorry,” I apologize when I pull away and notice the tear stains on her shirt.
“It’s ok Kel,” She says and I see her blinking back tears, “You know... The exact same thing happened to me while I was your age. His name was Luke,” Livia says.
“He died?“, I ask.
“He- He was killed by someone I thought was my friend, Bryce. Bryce was an online friend of mine but turns out he was obsessed with me and at that time I was dating Ace. He hated Ace and planned to murder him but Luke was there. Luke got killed instead of Ace. I will always be grateful to Luke...” She says, “He was my best friend, just like Bianca. He was always there for me just like Julian was to you. He was the best... But God took him too.”
Just as she finishes, Jayden comes into the room. He got up and walked up to her son then patted his cheek before walking out.
“Here... Eat,” He says and hands me the plate.
“Did you?“, I ask, looking at him because he’s still wearing the shirt he wore at the party, it’s been 3 days.
“You really think mom will let me spend a day without eating?“, He asks with a chuckle, “Come here,” He pulls me closer, then takes the plate from my hand and starts feeding me.
Julian used to do that when Megan hurt me. He would cook for me and feed me. I was babied a lot but Raymond didn’t even give me a chance to be with him in his last days, he made me hate him.
“Hey! Don’t cry,” He says, which just makes me cry harder. I cry into his shoulders and drift into sleep.