James finally shook his head and snapped out of whatever had him thinking so hard. "Never mind."
By the time Alexandra and James made their way back to the mansion, there was no sign of the sun anymore.
"How did you know about this place, anyway?" Alexandra asked James, referring to the beautiful lake.
"Jacob told be where it was and I was planning on checking it out. So when I saw you, I thought that maybe we could go there together."
"I see." She smiled, but it faded as yet another question made its way through her mind. "Was Jacob born deaf and mute?"
"Jacob's not deaf. He's just mute. And he wasn't born like that." James explained, a frown shaping on his face.
"How did it happen?"
"You just have a lot of questions, haven't you?" James smirked teasingly and Alexandra shrugged, smirking back.
"Sorry. Can't help it."
James thought a bit before muttering, "I'm not sure if I'm the right person to tell you."
"I understand... I'm sorry."
James smiled warmly. "Don't worry 'bout it."
Even though the conversation stopped right there, that didn't stop the memories of that horrible day to float back through James's head.
15 of February, 2016
~One Year Ago~
It was three a.m. The clock ticked harmonically with the breaths of a girl and a boy who were sleeping together on the bed they shared.
Her head was resting gently on his chest as it raised and fell every time he inhaled and exhaled.
But the silence was bound to be broken.
The boy's phone started ringing, waking the girl up.
She groaned to herself as she raised her head a bit, opening her eyes slightly.
"James." She whispered, calling him. "Damnit James, wake up and answer your bloody phone."
"Urgh." He grunted and sat up straight, taking his phone from under his pillow and answering it.
But that was when his expression changed completely after the person started talking immediately, not giving him time to even open his mouth to respond.
Afterward, when he ended the call, he's eyes were glued on nowhere, due to his shock.
"What's wrong?" The girl asked.
James finally looked at her. "It's Jacob."
"Jacob!?" Her eyes widened and she became alarmed. "What about him?"
But James didn't answer.
"I said what happened? Who was on the phone?"
"It was Mr. Pierce."
"Wh- what did he say? For goodness sake! Tell me already!"
"Jacob has been shot."
"Oh, my." Her voice trembled and her hand made its way over her mouth. "Did he... Is he..."
"Alive? Yes." She sighed in relief, but that didn't stop her from worrying as James continued. "He's been shot near his throat. His doctor said that it's a miracle that he's alive,"
"–but there is a big chance that he wouldn't be able to talk anymore."
James nodded, knowing already what she was about to say.
Her vision became blurred as her tears covered her brown eyes.
"But why!? By whom!? God!" She buried her face in her palms and let her tears out.
"No one knows."
"We... We need to go... See him..." She sobbed quietly, fighting against the falling tears, but that didn't work. "Which hospital did they take him?"
"Do you remember the hospital that they took Lily's mother to?" James asked and she nodded slowly.
"We have to go, James. Now."
"I know. We should get going right now." He hugged her suddenly, taking her off guard, and kissed her hair. "I love you, Rea."
"I love you, too."
There was only darkness and the black clouds which had covered up the starry sky.
Alexandra and James entered the house quietly. Silence couldn't be heard anymore as they started strolling the halls, their footsteps making an eco through the place.
"Aww! I missed you, Jey!" They heard someone cry out as they neared the hall.
They sighted Peter with his hands cooly in his suit's pocket, Mrs. Hess who looked like passing out any moment from happiness, and Jenna who was giving Jacob a bear hug.
"We missed you, body." Peter smiled warmly.
"Oh, I cooked your favorite meal for tonight!" Makayla Hess cried out loud. "I'll go and prepare the table."
"I'll come and help." Jenna announced in a dreamy voice before following Mrs. Hess toward the kitchen and out of the main hall.
The main hall, was the largest hall of the house. It's ceiling was a dark shade of brown, nearly black, like everywhere else.
The room was split into two, separated by a short stair that gave a higher level to one part from the other. There were three enormous windows in the hall and the largest belonged to the higher part. Next to that window, two big shelves of dusty old books were placed.
The hall was magnificent with all its three chandeliers and three doors out of it. Not to mention the ancient piano that was placed in there, looking completely untouched.
While Alexandra was completely lost in the details of the hall, Peter had gazed over at James, and interrupted her daze when he started to speak.
"I know you." He interjected, pointing at him with a confused look.
"Yes." James nodded politely. "I'm James. Jacob's college friend."
"Hang on." Peter said and turned to Jacob. "James as in James Anderson? The guy you used to talk about?"
Jacob grinned and nodded.
But how could he talk on the phone if he was mute? Alexandra thought. But then she found out the answer herself. Probably his muteness had became the problem not too long ago.
After all, Jacob could talk on a the phone before it happened.
"Shall we go for dinner, then?" Peter suggested and so we all made out way put of the main hall and into the dining room.
"So how can you talk if you have no memories?" Jenna asked while they were all eating around the table and broke the silence with twinkling eyes.
Alexandra didn't properly know the answer because she never listened to Paul when he explained.
Although, she opened her mouth to at least say something so she wouldn't have been left speechless. But before she could even utter a single word, someone else answered instead of her.
"It's the memories that get forgotten; not the knowledge. Talking is a part of the knowledge you gain since your childhood."
They all turned around toward the door and sighted Paul Henderson standing there, now starting to enter the room.
Alexandra shifted on her seat uneasily. What if Paul found out that she had stolen the letter?
"And who are you?" Paul asked as he neared the table, eyeing James.
"I'm Jacob's friend. You can call me Jame-"
"What are you doing here?" Paul interposed, probably not caring about his name at all. He sat down behind the table, pouring himself some wine.
"Um... I'm renting a room here."
"I know. I meant what are you doing in England? Abberley Village?" He started taking long sips from his glass.
"I came to see my girlfriend. Andrea Brooke."
By that, Paul spat all the wine back in his glass, his eyes widening in shock.
Or was it fear?
What was going on?