Speak & Listen 2

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IN REAL LIFE

IN REAL LIFE

Flashback:

Right after the scene that took place at Crane Avenue, with Abel holding a bandanna drenched in blood while, with his other hand, driving the car back to Garden Heights, he finally arrived at the driveway, at Adrian’s apartment. Adrian, in his lame state of mind, only watched his boyfriend as he shoved the bandanna in the cabby hole.

“I’m so sorry baby. I understand what we did today was wrong, but I needed to do this. It was an accident.” Abel said these words and right after, he kissed his boyfriend’s forehead. “Now, I’m going inside. When I’ve shut the door, I want you to call Alejandro and tell him that you killed Mrs Wells and Mason’s and Craig’s siblings, okay? I promise, you won’t get into trouble!”

Adrian nodded lamely. He was out of it, just like how he was on that video caught by Jason at Crane Avenue.

Abel jumped out of the car, drenched in blood. Adrian watched his boyfriend jog to the house, and right after the door closed.

“Where’s Adrian?” Alejandro asked while on his laptop in the kitchen.

“Never mind that…for now. We need to talk.” Abel paced to Alejandro and unexpectedly, he threw a firm fist across his face.

Alejandro’s body fell from the kitchen high chair. Abel instantly kicked his stomach with extreme force. Then, again and again, he repeatedly punched his stomach. It wasn’t that Alejandro couldn’t fight. It’s just that everything happened so unexpectedly. He couldn’t even utter the word ‘why’. Alejandro was vomiting blood.

After Alejandro was equally drenched in his blood as well, Mason, who came from upstairs looking for a charger, yelled. “Yo, what the fuck are you doing!?”

Abel smiled, hiding his heavy breaths. “That’s for thinking you can fuck my boyfriend and get away with it.”

“So you beat him to a pulp!?” Mason gritted and with a single shove, he pushed him off Alejandro.

“What the…” Alejandro spat blood.

“I want you to go upstairs and take a shower. He’s right outside. Count your words!” Abel whispered on Alejandro’s face on the floor. “Same applies to you too, Mason! Adrian must not know what just happened!”

“Who the fuck are you to tell me that?” Mason walked up to him. “You might convince Adrian that you’re a bad spy gone good, but this is exactly the person I need to save him from.”

Abel nonchalantly stood up from the floor and walked fiercely at Mason. “I’m the type of person capable of murder if you don’t do as I say.”

Mason was so petrified, he could feel his soul leave his body. In fact, he didn’t think his speculations were true until that moment. He was convinced that Abel was the monster. He was then convinced that the trip to the asylum was necessary…or rather urgent!

In the middle of the argument, Alejandro received a call.

“Answer it!” Abel yelled while he took a cloth and wiped Alejandro’s mouth.

Alejandro slowly crawled to the phone and answered: “Adrian…where are you?…” He looked at Abel with terror. “You are not.” He answered precisely. His eyes widened, then noticed that Mason was in the room. “Okay. I’ll take care of it.”

He dropped the call.

“Was that Adrian? Why is he still outside?” Mason asked.

“The doors to his car are stuck. Abel, take care of it.” He gave Abel a terrified look.

“Y’all are insane, man.” Mason charged his phone in the kitchen and pretended to not see Alejandro, who was trying to pick himself up.

In real life, I was the hero. In real life, I was a poor boy with some severe mental condition that vultures took advantage of, including my father. My father would seemingly have not hesitated to sell me to the cops.

Was everything in my head? That I thought my friends would genuinely protect me? Why couldn’t Jeremiah or even Alejandro tell me the truth? Why would Alejandro show a genuine interest in my life, to the point where him and I almost had sex, if all he ever wanted to do, was destroy me? Why work side-by-side with my father to make sure I get sicker? By the way, even as a sadistic killer, what would he gain about killing me? He killed Benjamin in my living room, how was I supposed to believe he was the bad guy if he was trying to save me?

Was he coerced?

And Mia? Why would she come back during my coma if she didn’t care if I died? Why tell Dr Holland, and not me? Jeremiah? The kid I wrote songs with during fifth grade, now hiding the truth from me? In fact, he pushed the blame on me! I believed for a long time that if I hadn’t gone to that liquor store, if I had not allowed Gabriel to drive at Lake Smith…and if only I had stayed through that school event, none of the things that took place, such as the five victims dying, would have taken place.

And what about Abel? Was I supposed to forgive him for doing all the monstrous things he did? He scalped women because of his sick idea of wearing wigs to look perfect for me! He probably murdered innocents! All in the name of love? Does love ever kill? Did he have to be so perfect for an imperfect human being?

The drive from St. Magdeline’s Institution was filled with dread and uneasiness. I didn’t know how I was going to face a man who had a reputation of murder. Moreover, how was I going to explain to the cops that I sometimes get hypnotized and people used me as their pawn to cover up mass murder? I mean, the video at Crane Avenue Jason recorded, along with Dr Holland as a witness to my mental condition, I can still walk free from this.

“Why did you guys decide to tell me the truth? He could have killed you.” I looked at Mason, who was driving.

“My sister was the last straw, man. I was cool with watching you die if it meant that my sister got to live. Now I’m afraid for my life and yours. They’ve been mind-controlling you for too long and I’m sorry we never told you any sooner.”

“We have to tell Alan!” My eyes widened.

“Pfft! Telling you about everything was my idea to him. He couldn’t care less, trust me.” Elijah interjected.

My head turned to Elijah. “Alan said that?!”

“He said I have a death wish.”

I felt something leave me. Why Alan? Why would he claim to love me for so many years only to not care when it came to my sanity? Was he convinced that I had gone insane? Is that all I was to him now? Just residuals of what he ate? What would it have taken for him to just tell me the truth and get me help? That is exactly what I would do for a man I once loved.

I tried to sympathize too, on the other hand. After Sebastian’s death, he has been very distant. I don’t know why, because they weren’t friendly to the slightest bit. Alan thought Sebastian’s mannerisms were disgusting and had no idea why we dated. Sebastian felt the same, but admittedly, Alan had been the one person who visited Sebastian during my comas. I only visited twice. That must mean at some point, he cared. After all, Sebastian was an abandoned child. Alan must know the feeling.

“Where are we driving to now?” I asked.

“Craig. It was a stupid idea to leave our phones behind.” Mason smacked his head.

I wanted to apologize to Craig. I wanted us to re-amend what I had broken between us. After seeing Abel, or Channing, for who he actually is, I don’t ever want to associate my life with crime and violence anymore. And to be quite honest, I would have rather lived with Cynthia again.

When the car finally arrived at Crane Park at Craig’s apartment, there was a paramedic van with a lot of paramedic workers in the scene.

“Craig?” I whispered to myself in the car.

When the car halted, I ran out of the car like an insane man.

“Adrian!!” I could hear Elijah yelling from behind.

I passed the yellow tape and grew more anxious when I saw the coroner’s van outside their house. There were journalists who were taking an insane number of pictures and policemen who hedged the scene. But I managed to get to where the attention was.

There was a large amount of blood on the doorstep.

“Hey! You can’t be here!” One police man said.

“Craig Fernandez. He’s my friend. Where is h…” Before I could finish, I saw a body bag being lifted away from the scene.

Ms Fernandez’s body was still on the floor in a pool of blood.

I instantly screamed, realizing that Craig was in that body bag.

“Get him out of here.” The policeman said.

William and Elijah tried pulling me out of the scene.

Jason neared to him. “Sorry, what happened here?”

“Both were shot dead about an hour ago when one of the neighbours heard screams. It’s tragic, man. Especially after the tragic accident that took place this morning right here…” He pointed the nearby street, Crane Avenue. “Mrs Fernandez lost her 12 year old just this morning with some other kid and a woman who was shot dead at the scene…can you believe it?”

“I can…” Mason neared. “That other kid was my sister.”

“Woah!” The policeman’s eyes widened. “Are you okay, man?”

“Not until the killer is behind bars!”

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