BLACK

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Black Chapter 11

BLACK CHAPTER 11

AMELIAs’ Thoughts:

He’s looking at me now, his eyes are soft and his mouth is parted just enough that I can see the darkness that clouds his tongue. His eyes roam my face with the same expression as when I first came in. But then there’s that weird glint in them again. I’ve only encountered this moment once since I’ve met him in the study room. But I didn’t know a way to react to it. I can’t tell what he’s thinking. He’s not letting me in, instead he just stares down at me like a hawk. I probably shouldn’t have touched him in that way, he’s probably thinking I’m some kind of hormonal teenager.

I don’t even know what got over me, my mind shut down and my body took over, moving towards him like a magnet. I stare down at my hands in shock, I can still feel the heat of his skin rushing through my veins. He was taken back that’s for sure; I wasn’t facing him which gives me the disadvantage of not being able to see the reaction across his face.

He’s standing a couple inches away from me half clothed, with his chest exposed out in the open like it is. I notice a few dark spots on his chest; I can’t tell what they are but they look like tiny little scars. There’s two more just bellow his collarbones. And then I see another four lining above of his belly button. He notices the frown on my face when my eyes drop to the faded burn marks, he mimics my expression but doesn’t question it further-he knows what I’m looking at. They sort of resemble candle burns, I can’t tell if it was hot wax or a needle object that was dropped on him. But I still don’t bother asking-knowing him, he most definitely won’t tell me where he got those and why.

His mouth parts to say something, but the words don’t find there way out. I feel a speech coming on, but it doesn’t happen. He gets closer-taking the only distance between us away. I can feel heart beat faster in my ribcage, my pulse has quickened since I’ve touched him. I can hear my subconscious screaming at me to move away, it’s pulling me towards the door but I don’t have the strength to listen. Not a single sound is heard through these four walls, It’s just me and him. The synching of our breathing is the only thing indicating I’m still alive and not dreaming of this very moment. I’m being a bit dramatic, what’s the worse that cold happen? He seems proper enough to not place his hands on me..But then here I am opposite of where he stands.

The way he’s slowly leaning towards me makes me regret thinking of those words. He can probably read everything I’m thinking of him just by looking at my face. By instinct I move away from him, my back collides with a wall I didn’t know was there and I’ve never been more desperate to leave like I am in this very moment.. His eyebrows form a straight line across his forehead but there’s still no words spoken, he stares darkly at me as a child who should be punished. Should I be punished?

I’m honestly surprised when he softly brushes the back of his fingers across my cheek and down to the base of my neck. I can feel his silver rings run up the side of my collarbone-he stays there for a split second, around the front of my face but then carefully slides towards the opening of my shirt. And finally to the back of my neck. He brings himself closer to my body, although the space is minimum; He’s still able to walk forward, forcing his weight on me. His right palm collides with the wall besides my head, I can see his long fingers pressing firmly into the hard wall from the corner of my eye.

That green is staring at me like no other has before. That intoxicating green that makes my head pound is moving towards me again, but this time I feel his head dip below my ear-his hot breath is sweet against my skin as he exhales calmly. My body shivers under his touch, his fingers slide up my tank-top; the single silver ring decorating his knuckle is pressed into the side of my hipbone. The pressure from his thumb as it declares war on my flesh gives me an uneasy feeling but I try to push it aside.

I can smell the fragrance of his hair, the long strands hide my vision but I sweep the away from sight; I’m unaware of where to place my hands as there hanging at my sides awkwardly. He might have another panic attack if I touch a certain part of his body he doesn’t wan’t to be touched.

So instead of angering him about his phobia; I just sweep my fingers into his loose waves. He sighs slowly into my neck when I do so, his mouth runs along the side of my skin but he doesn’t do anymore than just those simple movement. I’m expecting him to at least a place a small kiss where his lips find the back of my ear but he doesn’t.. Oddly enough, I’m not surprised with his actions. Just because I was expecting a certain movement doesn’t mean I was going to get it.

He buries his face into the gap of my collarbone just before the tank-top meets my chest. His warm breath glides across my goosebumps as I hear him sigh deeply, he seems to do that a lot. I move my face slightly closer to his-still letting my fingers roam his hair, I watch him flutter his eyes open when he senses me watching. When brown meets green, the corners of his lips come into a small curve, he’s smiling for once. The smirk for earlier has disappeared from his face and in return there’s a sincere smile. “What are you doing to me?” He questions. I look down at him for once, his skin is soft on mine as it rest on my bare shoulder-our contact seems to progress every time theres a closed door behind us.

He lifts his head from my shoulder and presses his forehead directly on mine, wrapping both his arms around me, into a hug. I don’t follow his movement; my hands are still tangled around his hair, which he doesn’t seem to mind. I let one hand roam his hair while the other slowly makes it towards his neck. He stiffens from my touch but doesn’t push me away. I feel the tip of his nose harshly slide against down my ear. I don’t mind the way he’s reacting, actually it’s much better than having him scream at me for touching his untouchable areas.

He slides his arms away from around me to squeeze my hips just while my fingertips brush around his collarbone. “I can touch you there right?” I ask in a whisper, he nods in response but doesn’t speak. “How about here?” I ask again moving towards his chest. His fingers pin me towards the wall as soon as I feel his heartbeat under my palm, the back of my shoulders clash against the hard material but I don’t let his strength show my weakness on him.

His eyes are blank at the moment, his mind is blank. He’s very unreadable at times, the darkness that hides the green from me is enough to tell me that I wasn’t suppose to touch him there. His breathing is quick as he directs his attention down my chest. His hand slides up from where it was placed on my hip and to the small space between us. He loops the thin material of my white tank-top around his index finger and lifts it up, covering my exposed skin. “What did I say about these tight clothes?” The sound of his voice is rough, but his tone isn’t.

I bite my lip knowing it will probably play with his thoughts and I stand corrected. His eyebrows have clenched together, the way he’s looking down at me is something I haven’t seen him do. His eyes full of light, his lips are parting slowly before me-I can feel his breath as he exhales warmly on the tip of my nose. he brushes his lips against the side of my face making there way where I want them most.

I place my hands on his shoulder blades, urging him forward but my movements don’t urge him closer. He stays completely still, his eyelashes slide against my own as he opens his eyes. I can see them clearly now, that green that I love is as close as I’ve ever seen it.

His pupils dilate in response and I want to feel his lips already; he’s taunting me like he did earlier. But it’s not going to work this time. I’m not going to let his high-handed demeanor get to me, not when where this close at least. I stay as close as he wants me to, I squeeze the top of his arm feeling every muscle underneath his perfectly molded skin-which causes him to suddenly jerk his face forward. His forehead gently taps mine as the back of my head lifts to meet his eyes again. “Stop moving.” I watch his mouth, the words leave slowly across his tongue. I keep my gaze placed on his lips but he still doesn’t get the hint.

Before he could blink further, there was a sound. Not the sound of our breathing but the sound of a voice. He must of heard it as well because the light that was once surrounding his eyes is now as dark as the painted walls. He moves quickly to collect the shirt from the floor and folds it on his body, the material slides down his torso and it’s gone from sight. I glance at myself from the mirror on his dresser-across his bed; the side of my hair is a tangled mess, I try to run my finger throughly but it’s no use.

I turn my head in the direction where he now stands, his fingers turn on the knob of his bedroom door and the barrier opens. There’s a small kitten at the foot of the door. It purrs twice and licks the back of it’s palm. I’m admired by him when he picks up the little furry creature. He brings the kitten to the side of his arm and cradles it like you would to an infant. I smile to myself when I see him caring for it. I’m still standing where I am when he brings it over to this side of the room. He watches but doesn’t say anything while I run my fingers on it’s grey fur.

“You have a cat.” I state the obvious and he laughs. “It’s my nieces’, she calls it mouse.” He raises his eyebrows in amusement at the child’s decided name.

“Wait you have a niece?”

He tilts his head at me and smirks. “You’re just full of questions aren’t you?”

“I just want to know more about you.” I say honestly, I’m still admiring the cat when he pushes past me. He sets the grey kitten down near his bed and walks over to the closet where I found him first.

It’s silent for a few minutes but he breaks it in seconds when the air thickens. “And why do you want that Miss Arch-Wood?”

I roll my eyes and walk over to where he stands. “You’ve never called me by my last name until today Mr. Bronwell ” I mimic his exact tone of voice and he chuckles lightly filling the vacant room around us. I watch him lift two of his fingers and place them on the side of my face before slowly moving the towards my mouth. When he’s finally at the curve of my top lip-he gently swipes the pads of his fingers downward against my mouth, parting them from each other.

He looks down at both my hands now as his skin comes in contact with mine, I follow his gaze to where his thumb slips around my wrists. His left hand catches my own in his until it’s between our bodies, he loops his index finger inside the black band folded around my skin. He doesn’t ask to peel it off instead he folds it throughout the outer bridge of his fingers and to the knuckles on his hands like he’s going to tie something. He lifts both arms above his head and collects the strands of his brown hair between his palm-wrapping the hair tie around the waves until it’s placed into a small bun on his head.

He looks quite odd doing so, why won’t he just cut his hair off instead of making a bun of it? It looks unusual for a male to have such long feminine features.

When he’s finally pleased with his look, his fingers comb over the sides of his ears and pulls any loose strands behind them. I’ve never seen him with his hair tied like that before-It’s sort of weird actually. He looks better than most girls who try it.

“Why are you so annoying?” He asks when I’m done observing his new hair style.

“Me?” I point towards myself. “Annoying?” I ask in disbelieve, he can’t be serious. I’ve done nothing but be patient with this man.

He smirks that obnoxious smirk I hate so much, and I watch as it takes force on his lips; he defiantly gains the pleasure of ridiculing me. He crosses his arms on his chest, but the space between us still remains. I let the hand he used fall to my side when I see his intention of not returning my hair tie back. “I wasn’t being annoying a couple of minutes ago when you had me pinned to that wall.” I nod over to the other side.

“May I remind you Amelia, that you came in here.” He points out harshly. ”My bedroom.”

I shift on my feet, uncomfortably, his mood has changed but I’m fast to correct his false assumptions. “I came looking for the bathro-”

“You came looking for me!” he cuts me off raising his voice. “Lying isn’t pretty on you.” He squints his eyes, moving past me and into the hallway out of his bedroom.

He makes a sharp left as he steps out, I don’t follow along for once. Instead I stand in his doorway and say. “Either come closer or stay away, having you in between is very exhausting.”

He stops walking and turns around to stare from across the hallway. His face is filled with rage. I can feel the urge building in him from here, he looks like he’s going to run in and slam me against the wall again but he doesn’t. Even though those green eyes may look empty, with no emotion cradled in them at this moment; he still manages to walk back in one piece without exploding. I know he’s not making a scene for the other students downstairs, his house may be huge but they’re only a staircase away from hearing us. If it weren’t for them I’d be ′punished′ again.

“I don’t want to come closer nor do I want to stay away Amelia.” He speaks when he makes it back to the room, he stands just outside his doorway as I stand opposite of him, inside.

“What the hell does that even mean?” I whisper to our distance.

“Don’t ask me that.” He looks away, but I grab his face between my palm. His shoulder muscles stiffen at my touch but I still manage to bring his face closer.

“Well I am,” He never seems to want to discuss anything, which is the reason why he always seems so distant.

“You wouldn’t understand.” Is all he says.

I sigh. “I’m trying to,” The way we’re standing right now is opposite one another. He’s outside the doorway in the gray hall while I’m still at the foot of his dark bedroom. There’s a thin line separating us from one another. The barriers are thin but what lays opposite side of each is much different.

The walls behind him are gray, the tilted floors beneath his bare feet share the same soft glare in his eyes. I can’t tell if his intentions are good or not. But I know that from the little time I’ve know him he may actually have a decent soul. I know he’s distant from the world but he doesn’t have to be that way with me. But who am I the one to talk? I’m standing on the opposite side, the darker side of his house-asking him to open his world to me. Why would he? He doesn’t even know who I am, why would he be willing to freely give himself up to someone standing on the opposite side of him. I should be standing next to him, showing him my gray side, the side that’s not so hidden. It may not be as white but it’s not black either. But it’s somewhere in the middle, the gray side.

If we’re on the same ground he’ll maybe understand I want to be as he stands right now. I don’t want to be this hidden and mysterious person that he makes others see in him. His bedroom is a replica of who he thinks he is. But once he steps out of this door he’s so much more that. If only he can see that in himself. If only he can look away past his shoulder to the other side of the room he can see how much his eyes are lighter than he thinks they are. How much more fuller his lips looks when they smile, how much blood rushes to his cheeks when he laughs.

I step away from the door and walk until I’m besides him. He looks strangely at me as I close his bedroom door. “What are you doing?” He asks.

I don’t respond, I just place my hand in his larger one and continue to walk to where he was going. His grip tightens around my fingers when he notices the staircase leading downstairs. “You go, I need to grab something from my study.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“No Amelia go downstairs, you’ve waisted enough time. Time that isn’t gained.” He works around those words carefully.

“And plus I need you to keep an eye on everyone.” He rolls his eyes. “don’t let them touch anything.”

......

When I enter the living room Zayn is working on his part of the case, he’s very concentrated in his piece but when he noticed me walk past him he grips my elbow. “Where did you go? You totally disappeared Ace.” He frowns.

“The bathroom was harder to find than I expected.” I say and smile at him.

He rakes his fingers towards his chin hair and nods. “Right.” His eyes follow my own but soon gaze down towards the laptop on the coach. “Hannah and Finn found some pretty useful research on th-”

“What time is it?” I ask cutting his words off, suddenly remembering my mothers transfer. Zayn looks up at me rather strangely, but instead of questioning me-he looks down on his wrists, bringing the collar around his arm forwards and reads me the moving time printed on it.

“It’s six o’five.” He states in a rushed tone.

Remembering my fathers words, he made it very clear to me I had to be there at least fifteen minutes prior to her arrival. I’ll never make it in town by the time they get there. I reach for my cellphone in my purse but It’s not there.

I flip my purse upside down and dump everything inside on the coach searching for the device but it’s still not here. How can it disappear? I groan in frustration, I have no way to connect my father now. I rummage through the leather coach but the seats are sewn directly on the leaver. “Have any of you guys seen my cellph-”

Zayn taps me on my shoulder, breaking my question and attention from finding whats really important to me at the moment. “It’s right here.” He says and I turn around to face him. He’s holding my small phone in between his fingers. He smiles apologetically at me-which I don’t question him for and hands me the device back, placing it in my hands. He returns his attention back to the screen on the desk. I don’t make much of why he had my cellphone in his possession. I don’t have time for it right now. The last train leaves at seven from the dorms and I need to catch it. I quickly gather my things from around the living room and head towards the door.

Zayn doesn’t say anything to me as I leave, he looks at me from the corner of his eye but that’s all I notice as I walk around the corridor and out of his sight. I make it past the kitchen but the doors swing open just when I walk by them. I stop moving when I notice him at the doorway, he has a slice of toast in his hand with a few bites taken out from the top. He notices my fidgetiness and locks his brows together. “Where are you going?” He asks once he’s done chewing the last mouthful.

“I have to go.” I say quickly, urging him to let me go.

“Off to your mothers already?” I’m taken back when he asks. How did he even know.

“I confiscated your cellphone today remember. I read the message from someone named Mark Arch-Wood?” He reads my questioned mind and answers them for me.

He rubs both his hands together, removing the crumbs from his skin. “Alex is already waiting for you downstairs to take you there.” He adds calmly. I’m not sure whether to thank him or yell at him for looking through my personal messages. He’s smiling at me, that stupid bun on top of his head makes me decide against ruining the kind gesture he’s done for me. It sort of suits him though, in a very weird way, it looks good on him-at least now I know he has ears behind all that hair.

I smile back for once, instead of being a prune that constantly asks questions like I probably always am. “I don’t know what to say.”

“You could say thank you Amelia.” He rolls his eyes playfully and moves closer, looking down at me. His eyes roam my face before I feel the pads of his fingers swipe a few of my side hairs away from the middle of my face. He moves his hand to the back of my neck as he leans in, brushing his lips on the bare skin of my forehead before placing a small kiss just above my left eyebrow. I shudder at his sudden use of touch. He’s never expressed emotion in that form, it’s either pinned against the wall or his fingers digging into the side my skin, but never this. His forehead his warm as I feel it against mine, his lips are pink from the blood rushing to them but he still looks good as he always does. “Thank you.” I finally say when I catch his gaze.

He back away and places both his hands inside the pockets of his suit. “You are very welcome Miss Arch-Wood.” He emphasizes with a wink.

I shake my head at his choice of words and acknowledgement. “See you later Mr. Bronwell ” He blinks slowly and smirks down at me as I exit his apartment.

.......

His driver, which I just learned the name of, Alex, awaits for me by the lobby entrance. His ams are extended in front of him on his cellphone which is similar to H’s. What is it with this cellular company everyone is so found of. It just looks like a thinner model of my phone, but with more network frequency.

“Evening Miss Amelia.” He smiles at me and leads me towards the car parked outside. It’s not the silver one that escorted me to the dorms a few days ago it’s the same black SUV from earlier. He seems to have a lot of transportation for one person.

When we reach the expressway, I read Alex the address my father has sent me. He questions me about where exactly were going as he enters them on the gps scanner. The address doesn’t show up after he’s entered it he third time, he tries again but still nothing. “Are you sure this is a hospital Miss Amelia? My septic frequency is telling me otherwise.”

Septic frequency? What the hell is he talking about? He’s very old fashioned for someone who seems young in age. I don’t want to be rude towards him but I try to fight the laughter that’s emerging from me but I can’t seem to “I’m sorry did you say something?” He asks me from the side view mirror as a hiccup leaves my lips. I nod my head in sideways, reading him the address one more time then lock my phone. “Make sure you put the city as well.” I inform him again. “-it’s located in, Williamsport.” As the word leaves my mouth I feel a knot turn the inside of my chest, there’s something oddly strange and familiar about this place. I’ve encountered this city before, I’m not sure where or how but I remember having searched something to do with it.

“Got it!” He exclaims proudly. “I think something was jamming the signal, it seems to be shut down now.”

The ride is long and quiet the whole trip there, only classical music is played through this large car and the sound of Alexs’ phone every half an hour as he takes the same call over and over again.

We arrive a little after seven o’clock, I don’t blame him for the delay on the road the traffic was postponed although out the interstate. The car holts in front of a twelve story glass building with a large metal gate barricading the inside from the main road. This place is a ghost town, there isn’t anything within a mile reach from the hospital, the only living thing within four feet are the tall trees that surround it, I think I saw a small gas station a couple of blocks away.

Alex rolls down his side of the window when a guard approaches the car. “What is your business here?” He speaks in a harsh tone but Alex returns his response with much force. I notice his eyes are covered with a a pair of shades, it’s quite odd to be blocking out the sun in the evening time. I don’t let my sarcastic remark be spoken out loud, he looks pretty serious at the moment, but those shades are ridiculous to his appearance.

Alex opens the back door for me, and I thank him as I leave him on the main road of the building, the guard made it clear that he wasn’t to step foot any further if he had no possession in being inside. “Thank you for driving me.”

“I’m not leaving Amelia,” He reassures me. “I will be waiting for you until you are ready to leave.”

“I won’t be long I promise,” I say mostly to myself, hoping I don’t actually take as long as the fifteen minutes I was only hoping to spend in there. I honestly feel bad he has to wait for me, he must get pretty darn bored just waiting around all the time. I know it’s his job to drive people around but I still guilty he isn’t my driver; I shouldn’t be taking advantage of him like this. I smile at him and walk up the space to the gate, when the guard opens the metal barrier I rush up the large hill to the building, it doesn’t really look like a hospital from the outside but I’m wrong when I enter the main entrance.

The woman at the front desk gestures me over to where she’s seated. “Good evening Miss, how may I help you?” Her tone is soft as she smiles my way.

“Evening, I’m looking for Mrs. Arabell Henri’s room?” I ask her polity, she eyes me before typing on the screen in front of her.

“What’s your relationship to the patient?” She questions coldly, changing her tone. I roll my eyes at her sudden change of heart. This place doesn’t seem friendly, they’re only making it seem this way. “She’s my mother,” I answer, returning her gaze.

She types something on the keypad for quite a while as I stand before her across from the desk, she only speaks to me when she asks to take a look at my ID other that I stand awkwardly shifting on my feet waiting for her to say something else. “Very well. I’ll have a guard escort you to her room.”

“I can escort myself, just tell me her room number and I’ll find my own way.” I roll my eyes at her suggestion, I don’t need any guard or anyone for that matter to show me where my mother is located.

The woman rises to her feet and crossed her desk to stand directly in front of me, her tall figure dominates over my body. Her eyebrows form aline across her forehead and she shakes her head. “That’s not a option young lady, these are the rules of this physicality.” She gestures one of the guards over to us. “Please take the elevator with Miss Arch-Wood here to ward four on the seven floor.” She instructs him briefly I walk behind him while he brings the elevator to the ground.

His uniform isn’t similar to the one who was standing outside at the gate, this one is different. He’s wearing black camouflage pants and a green shirt. There’s something around the side of his leg, I’m not sure what it is from this angle but I have a feeling what it’s used for.

When the elevator arrives I push past him and enter first, he glares at me and raises his arm to the side of his hip. I catch his gaze as he wraps his palm over the pistol around his belt. He warns me not to try anything with him which I ignore.

The seventh floor is quite when we step foot on it, the walls of the hallway are plain in color, there’s this dull feeling about this place but I can’t quite figure it out--starting off why are there guards instead of someone who can just show you around. There doesn’t seem to be a single poster or an image hanging at any corner, the only symbol indicating this is actually a hospital are the numbers with arrows drawn on each side of the wall directing us around.

The guard halts before me in front of two sealed doors, he turns his head to the side of the wall and scans his ID card. When he’s done securing his fingerprints he turns around to face me. “This way.” His voice is rushed, but stern as he speaks.

I finally arrive at my mothers door, the guard has gone down the hall-I see him from the corner of my eye; he’s watching me closely hesitate to turning the knob. I breath a few times before doing so, it’s been so long since I’ve seen my mother. Even though I know she can’t see me it’s still feels awkward staring at a lifeless soul.

I push the door inwards with my arm setting inside. My father is first to greet me as I enter. “You’re late.” He stands to his feet and walks over as I shut the door.

I bite my tongue for my sake, “Traffic.” I say through my teeth.

“What traffic, did you take a bike here?” He rolls his dark eyes and shift on his left foot letting me pass through the curtain.

“Your brothers getting something to drink from the cafeteria.” He tells me. I remove my purse from my shoulder and lay it across the end of her bed. The room is cold so I don’t take my leather jacket off; I don’t plan on staying more than I want too so I don’t make a bother of removing items I might forget.

My mind goes blank as I take notice of her, laying in the sheets with five different monitors pressed to the head of the bed. She has a breathing tube around her nose and some kind of sterilizer needle in her left arm. My attention averts away from my mother as I hear my father sigh to himself as he sits back down across the room, staring out the window. “I’m so tired Mia.” He sounds exhausted.

“I can watch her while you sle-”

I offer but he cuts me off. “No matter what treatment we try, it’s like she’s brain dead,” He chuckles sadly, parting his lips in disbelief.

I follow his expression as a frown takes over my lips, “Dad?” He hums in response when I call for him telling me he’s listening. “She is brain dead, there’s no cure, don’t pretend like you don’t know that.”

I look over to him once again, he’s staring at me with a scowl on his face but his eyes aren’t angry. “Where the hell is your brother!” He stomps angry on the tiled floors, rattling the equipment hanging from the side of the bed.

I sit besides my mother, not to close but as close as she would want me too. The skin around her round eyelids are pale of color, her lips are dry from moisture and the blonde curls that use to surround her face are no longer there. Looking at her makes me regret not visiting when I should have, or moving out when I did. Learning she can’t be cured is probably one of the worst things I’ve heard, I told her to wear here seatbelt. Why didn’t she listen to me? Knowing that this is the way she will spent the rest of her life pains me, all I can do is just sit here and watch her die.

I remember the last conversation we had with each other before she left that day, she was wearing a long blue dress and her hair was pinned away from her face, her red lips smiled down at me before she pushed away the hair falling to the front of my face. I remember the way her hands would always feel against my skin as she did so. “When are you going to cut these curls young lady?” Her soft voice echoes inside my ears. Her body temperature was always so warm even in the deepest of winters.

She was the kind of mother who spoiled the both of us, there was never a time where I didn’t open her purse to find the small chocolate candies she loved so much. She’d always sneak me a few right before dinner warning me not to tell anyone where I got them. “Give one to Hunter too, Amelia.” I smile at the memory of our torn childhood and the sound of her faded voice. She would always make sure Hunter was appreciated even when my father wouldn’t.

“Never let a boy tell you you’re not pretty enough my child, because you are the most wonderful flower of them all.” The back of her hand slid across the coach to my small face. She gazed down at me with warm eyes. “Okay.” I remember a five year old me nodding up to her as she took the yellow flower from besides the coffee table. She tore off the long stem, placing it down and cradled the yellow bud into her fingers before brushing my hair behind my ear and settling the plant above my hair line.

“I can’t believe you are going to prom.” she whispered locking her eyes with mine, I watched as my father wiped a tear from the side of her cheek. “Well where else would I be going at nine o’clock in heals mother?” I laughed at her simple comment.

“The girl is grown Arabell.” My father chuckled before he snapped the lens of the camera. “Don’t be such a prune woman.” I rolled my eyes at the both of them.

The memories fade as I try to recall each one, I don’t have many I can hold on too but I know the ones with Hunter are stronger than my own; she was always working while my father decided on staying home. She had the most amazing job anyone could ask for, I remember walking into her office the day she finally decided to take me along.

“Now remember Mia, you are not allowed to touch any of the paintings.” My mother spoke to me when we arrived at the gallery. I nodded in response, she looked down at me, adjusting the top of my hair. “That’s my girl.”

I haven’t noticed the small tear slipping down my neck until it hits the back of my hand. I hadn’t noticed anything at all actually, I look around the room and there’s still no sign of my dad or Hunter. I look towards my mother; she’s in the same position as she’ll ever be. She looks so peaceful and out of pain, I can’t assume if she’s feeling any but the huge machine at the top of her bed probably releases it.

There’s only one more memory left I have of us together, it’s from the day she got into her accident. My father was waiting in her car while my mother was collecting her coat from besides the door. “Be good for your brother.” I remember her repeating it constantly until I got sick of listening to her speak those words.

“When will you come back?” I asked her as she stood besides the door, she glanced around the room for a second before she took a moment to study my face.

“Around four Mia, now what do you say to mommy before she leaves?” She bent town to my height, resting on the front of her foot. I remember her bright smile as the red lipstick took over the corners of her lips, she looked so beautiful that day, her blonde hair was perfectly tight back into a small bun. I remember counting on my small fingers, listing the things we’d always say to one another before leaving. “A kiss for goodbye,” I placed a small kiss on her cheek as she did to me, “Seat belt,” number two, “And a wave for good luck.” I waved her off the road as her and my father drove away.

The door opens gently and my father and Hunter enter moments in with small carts of food. I notice Hunter gazing at me from a distance, he looks stunned; surprised the least to see me sitting in here. I haven’t seen him in over a couple of months when I decided to move up here for college. He winks from across the room still holding plates in his hand and walks over to the side of the bed.

“Hey kiddo, fancy seeing you here.” He sets down the plates and brings me in for a hug, I feel his lips place a kiss at the side of my head.

“Stop with the posh accent, It’s not fooling anyone,” I roll my eyes, nudging his shoulder.

“I’m surprised they haven’t fallen out yet.” Hunter teases back.

It’s quiet for a while, but it’s not awkward between the three of us. My dad sits at the edge of my mothers bed, I watch him eat his food slowly. Hunter offers me a sandwich but I refuge, hospital food isn’t really my thing, and I’m not very hungry at the moment. “I’m starved.” He says, stacking the plate with a handful of fries, he layers it with a mountain of ketchup which I cringe too.

“I’ve missed you kid.” Hunter says breaking the silence that has swept in again. I smile at him, he’s only seated two feet away.

“Quiet you two, your mothers sleeping.” My fathers voice harshly whispers, ending our conversation short.

I look over at Hunter who’s now shaking his head in disapproval, he sweeps his hair from around the side of his face and to the back of his ears before looking at me. ”Sleeping." He mocks, raising his eyebrows. He ignores my father and continues to eat the greasy food.

I shrug in agreement. I’m not sure what to say so I stay silent. “He does this everyday.”

I raise one eyebrow, questioning him. “Seriously?”

“Mia, you left. Remember? You don’t know what it’s lik-”

“I said your mothers sleeping!” My father get sup from the side of the bed, and walks over to us, annoyed. “I don’t want to hear another sound come from either of you.”

“Alright dad,” Hunter scoffs and looks away.

My father rolls his eyes at the both of us before walking back. “I don’t think mom would mind, so chill out.” I say, the words leave my mouth rushed. I just want to anger him I’m not sure why but his presence irritates me. He’s acting like everything is okay. Like mom is actually sleeping, and we’re the ones distributing her.

My father turns to look at me, his eyes squint together as he shakes his head. “You know what I don’t understand Amelia, why you’re so stubborn all the damn time!” He slams his plate on the coffee table, small bits of rice fall to the ground as he does so but he’s to angered to collect them back.

“I’m the one who’s stubborn?” I raise my voice just as loud. “You can’t even admit the only thing keeping her alive is that damn box above your head.” I say with force.

“Amelia stop.” Hunter jerks my arm, until he’s the one standing in front of me. He turns around, glaring down at me. He mouths something but I don’t catch what he’s trying to say. I’m too angry at the man who pretends nothing is happening.

“No, I’m not going to stop,” I start to ramble. “-he’s blind to the whole thing! Don’t you dare tell me to stop, his asś should be the one in that damn bed not h-”

My words cut short when I see something small outside the window, it’s coming with force against the glass until I notice what it is. It’s a brick.

The large windows crash loudly, breaking the glass to it’s point until they hit the tilted floors around us. The noise echoes through the room and into the insides of my ears, I shut the noise coming from the alarm system as it blares throughout the room, the red light blinks rapidly on the ceiling but the noise alone is painfully loud from the impact.

The brick lands a few feet away from me, I glance towards the hazardous object. There’s a yellow note attached to it, but it’s not directed to anyone. My father and Hunter are too busy panicking over what just happened. I have my hands around my head, zoning out the noise coming from the alarm, but I walk over to the note and pick it up anyways.

I grab the brick, it’s heavier than expected; when I tear the note from it, it’s written in blank ink. The handwriting is messy but I can still manage to form the words smudged.

We told you to stay away, this is only the beginning of it

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