A Million Times

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7.0 | F A N A A

Let it hurt. Let it bleed. Let it heal. And let it go.


U N E X P E C T E D. You never know what is going to happen to you the same day or the next day. I wished if my moment comes sooner than I thought I would at least be happy that I died a good person. Theodore Collins could never say that because the man had nothing to his name except the son of a powerful man who still couldn’t find the killer.

I sat in front of the photo of the man I just saw one day ago. He was repulsive but I wouldn’t wish such callous death on him. The killer slashed his hands and face so many times that his body was unrecognizable. The source is the people of this town which are all gathered here for the wake.

The mourning shifted from the mayor’s house to the stadium after the funeral where a big portrait of Theo is smiling at me while his father is making promises to make this city safe again. There is a table filled with all types of cuisine and drinks for the crowd gathered. Once the mayor indicates the end of the function.

I saw my mother lending her shoulder to Mrs. Collins who I haven’t seen shed a tear today. Is she dead inside or numb from her loss? I couldn’t tell. My stepfather was sucking up to the mayor every chance he got while I stood far away from them both.

Theodore had an older brother, Lion, he came as soon as he could. Lion Collins has a name of his own, the man left town after refusing to bend around his father’s will. I saw him around the place a few times but not quite well.

All these people here are making up theories about the murder. My mind couldn’t come up with anything and I refused to delve on these people gossips.

I couldn’t attend the funeral. My mind was not ready to attend that place where the dead lies awake. There was just something wrong about this all. Who could kill him like that and why? The police couldn’t any evidence of the killer. This case is a mystery.

My mind shifted to the brief meetup in the alley with Xavier. He vanished after leaving me feeling all sorts of odds. The guy is dangerous, so damn complicated and yet there is something so vulnerable about him I just couldn’t let go of.

I moved towards the end of the table when a shadow fell over me. I turned around and saw Xavier staring back at me with his intense eyes. I looked around and when I saw some eyes at us I turned back around. He took a plate and started moving along with me while putting some food on it.

“Where were you?”

I whispered so only his ears could hear me.

“Around”

His cavernous voice reminding of a haunting house. I felt chills on my skin. He moved his arm against mine and leaned in close to me.

“Meet me behind the church in a few minutes.”

My hair flew out my bun as he swept away from me like a storm. I pretended that my cheeks were not turning red and not all eyes were on me.

But how long can you pretend until reality knocks you right over?

“Ah. If I am not mistaken, are you Natasha?”

The man stood proud at six feet tall, eyes a light shade of brown, a melancholy smile and a mop of soft brown curls. Theodore Collins had nothing over his brother Lion Collins. I could see the resemblance but that was all.

“Yes. This day must be overwhelming for you.”

I don’t know what to say to him. Should I tell him how sorry I am but am I really that remorseful? I cannot comfort him if I’m still disturbed by it.

“You can say that. My brother used to talk about how he was going to marry you one day.”

I almost threw up and the disgust must have shown on my face that Lion gave me one of that grimace.

“He was always so caught up in himself that he never really saw anything else. Anyways, I came to make my introductions and also I saw Xavier lurking near you.”

My brows raised in reservation because I couldn’t get why he needs to check up on me.

“Why would you say that?”

I asked trying to know more about the boy I was falling so hard for.

“The last time I saw him, he was in rehab for all kinds of drugs and violence. I saw the night the police took him away. The man was covered in blood from head to toe. His face was dripping blood as if he has torn someone apart with his mouth. He is dangerous and has issues no one can understand. I guess you don’t know about Rose. That poor, sweet little girl. May her soul rest in peace. May my brother rest in peace. I’ll see you around, girl.”

In a few minutes, Lion Collins struck me with lightning because I couldn’t move. What the hell is he talking about? How come no one told me this before? How come Xavier never said a word about rehab? Is it even true? Why was he arrested? Who the hell is Rose? How did she die? My mind was bursting with questions I don’t have answers for. But one question was burning through my heart.

Who is the real Xavier Knoxx?


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