After about an hour, Mr. Peter reached the hospital with his wife, Carla. I stood up as I saw them coming. Mr. Peter seemed to be very familiar with what Teresa had told me about him. Both of them sat beside me after that they had properly acknowledged my identity.
Mr. Peter said ‘What happened to Teresa!’ I narrated the whole scenario and both of them were entirely dismayed.
Mr. Peter answered ‘I think Teresa shouldn’t live here anymore. We’re going to take her with us as soon as she recovers.’
I replied ‘You can do anything with her or take her anywhere where you like. But, I’ll leave for Ohio today. Please keep texting me about Teresa’s condition.’
Mr. and Mrs. Peter didn’t say a word and I left immediately. As I came out from the hospital, I took a deep breath. I walked to my apartments and closely inspected them.
A petrifying feeling was coming from the glassy windows. It felt like someone was watching me from my room’s window. I didn’t want to go inside my apartment to even grab my important things.
Just then, I saw Connor going in a car. He saw me and asked ‘Cloe, you okay?’ I replied ‘Yeah, Connor can you please do me a favour?’ He asked ‘Sure. What is it?’ I told him ‘I’m leaving for Ohio tomorrow. I need to grab some things from my apartment. Mind if you drop me to the mechanic so I can get my car?’ Connor said ‘No problem!’
I immediately went inside and the smell of dark and horrible blood filled the whole room. I quickly opened my suitcase, filled it with clothes and other accessories, some documents, cheque books and some other valuable papers. As I was coming out, I watered the whole kitchen floor and slightly mopped it then I sprayed the whole house with fragrance. And closed all the windows then locked the door and informed no one about my departure.
Connor was still waiting for me outside. I sat in his car and a little conversation started. Connor said ‘You look breathless. Is everything okay?’
‘Why though?’ asked Connor.
‘The girl who works at my house ( rather not call her a maid ) got shot by two bullets. I don’t know who did that and how he/she could enter the house without any trace. I was sleeping at that moment and as I woke up, This happened. I’m going to my parents in Ohio' I narrated.
‘Oh, what about all the work at the company?’ asked Connor.
‘It would be a great pleasure if you take over my place and go through all the important documents. I’m sure you’ll do it because you’re already on your way for a new promotion. I’ll inform the main manager tomorrow.’
‘I’ll surely do that. But, for how much time are you going?’
‘I can’t say anything right now but I’ll inform you before coming back’
Saying this, I got out of the car as the mechanic shop had arrived. I said ‘Mr. Benjie, I want to have my car back. Hopefully, it should’ve been repaired,’
Mr. Benjie said ‘Sure, ma’am.’
He took me to the garage and there, my car looked like a brand new piece. I came out in it, took the suitcase out of Connor’s car and thanked him for his big favour. Then, I drove to the airport and had been waiting there for my ticket and other important things to settle with and informed mom that I was coming to her.
It took me some hours to reach Ohio but it felt safer than where I lived before. I drove to my parents’ house as soon as possible. Via GPS, it was pretty easy to reach as mom and dad had shifted to a new place.
Mom opened the door and she had a big grin on her face. Dad was standing behind her and he said ‘We knew you’d come.’
I smiled and mom welcomed me in. She hugged me and said ‘Tell me everything. What happened to Teresa? Are you okay?’ I took off my bag and sat on the chair beside mom
I said ‘I had gone to work in the morning. When I came back, I took a nap for a while. Teresa was in the kitchen and that’s where I last saw her. When I woke up, the kitchen tap was on full speed. I went to check out and Teresa was ….. She was lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. Blood covered her body and I called for an emergency. There were two bullets in her body. One in the arm and other, at her back. I don’t know who had done that but whoever did, knew me or Teresa very well.’
Mom sighed and said ‘I never visualized the incident to be too dangerous. Thank god, you’re here Cloe. Have you eaten something?’
I answered ‘No, But I’m hungry.’ Mom went to the kitchen and got me a bunch of doughnuts, a burger and some water. That was more than enough for me but I enjoyed it. Dad was going to his work, he said Goodbye and left. Now, it was only me and mom.
Two hours had elapsed and I was still in my bed, with a blanket. The phone was in my hands but not in front of my eyes. What I perceived was meaningless.
Many thoughts were in my mind. My self being in the office - Bruce Anderson’s interview - Connor’s departure from the office - The security Guard closing entrances - The text message..
The Text Message!
It could be the text message. I was constantly recalling every single moment when I was in my office. I opened my phone and stared at the text message for some time.
There was something different in it. It felt as if it was calling me towards it. As if…… ‘Cloe! There’s someone for you outside.’ I thought twice after mom said this statement.
Who would want to see me!? I tied my hair and went downstairs. When I went downstairs, I was surprised to see Jennifer. She smiled and said ‘Hi, Cloe’ I was speechless. But, my mouth was slightly opened. Mom saw Jennifer from the back and recognized her. She told her to come in. When she sat down, I said ‘Hi. What are you doing here?’ Jennifer replied ‘Can we please talk for a while? I’m surprised you forgot that I live in Ohio.’ I said ‘Ummm.. Yeah. We can talk in my room.’ So, it was me and her now. I already mentioned how me and Jennifer broke apart from each other but I guess a little TALK won’t hurt.
Jennifer sat down in the corner of my bed and said ‘When did you come here?’
‘Just some hours ago. How did you know I was here?’ I answered.
‘No way! You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m sorry for interrupting your resting time. By the way, I saw you coming out of the car just a few minutes ago as I was departing from the library,’ said Jennifer.
‘I wasn’t resting. Is there something you wanted to talk about?’ I said.
‘No, Just wanted to meet you. I mean, you know… there was nothing between us. It just messed up so instantly.. We didn’t even get the time to talk.’
‘Well, Jennifer. We talked a lot about this. I think we were meant to be separate. And we can’t turn our back towards natural decisions, can we?’ I exclaimed.
Jennifer got furious and said ‘Come on! You said the same thing last time. I’m sorry if I broke your heart but I didn’t intend to… Well.’
I answered ‘Didn’t break my heart? You almost embarrassed me in front of everyone.’
‘No, I didn’t. It was just a joke.’
‘Whatever it was, we finished this talk years ago.’
‘Wanna hang out for a while? Coffee?’
‘Yeah okay sure. Let’s go.’ I said.
I put on my jacket and went downstairs with Jennifer. There’s nothing appalling about having a cup of coffee with her. Well, she’s not a COMPLETE stranger for me. I thought.
The coffee shop was just a few miles away from my house. My mom had been texting me persistently. Some of them were just too far.
Mom : Cloe, please don’t be panicky over Jennifer and yourself. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy the day.
Mom : Sweetie, don’t let Jennifer pay the bill for you. Do it yourself if you want to make an impression on her.
Mom : Don’t forget to ask her for a hangout. She can be a good companion afterwards.
I was reading my mom’s texts over and over while I was waiting for the coffee to be served at my table. Jennifer started the talk. ‘Oh Cloe! I totally forgot about New York. Remember how we went for a one-month vacation there? It was one of the best moments in my life.’
‘Yeah’ I replied. The coffee was served at our table and we both took a sip together. While drinking, Jennifer and I didn’t speak a word until I broke the ice. ‘Jennifer, I need to go now. My mom’s getting worried. Let’s meet some other time.’ I explained. Jennifer stood up and said ‘Fine. You can go’ I was just taking out my purse to pay the bill when Jennifer took out her Credit Card and she already gave it to the waiter. I kept staring at her glowing white face and there was nothing I could do about “MAKING MY IMPRESSION”
I reached my home where dad was drinking coffee and mom was in her bedroom. I sat next to dad, panting. ‘So, where have you been?’ dad asked. ‘Nowhere. Jennifer took me out for a cup of coffee.’ I answered. ‘Good. I’ll be off to Mr. Harrison.’ told Dad.
‘He’s alive!! I thought he died months ago. Well, he’s too old for his age though.’ I was partially stunned by Mr. Harrison. He has been dad’s friend for over 20 years and is still alive although he’s older than dad. His son, Hugo, was my friend when we were in preschool. Our friendship lasted till the end when I was off to another state. He was a good friend, better than Jennifer though. Dad asked me if I wanted to go with him since Hugo was my friend and we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and sure enough, I was BORED.