Red

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Chapter 2: Mother

Chester's POV

"You piece of shit!" A thug shouted and punched me in the face. "Where's my money? Pay up!"

If you're asking how I got caught up in this mess, this bozo over here pushed me into an alleyway and thought it was a great idea to gang up on me with his other two followers.

I spat the blood on the ground and looked at him fiercely. "I told you I can't. The money's for something important, not for some impotent bastard like you."

He grimaced and punched me again, this time harder. I staggered to my feet but his mangy dogs held me from both arms. Making me stand back.

"So, what about it? Do you think I care about you and your little problems? No, I don't." He grabbed me by the collar, coercing me to tilt towards him. "Oh, I think I know what's coaxing you do not submit."

He chuckled before answering. "Is it because of that pathetic old hag?"

I stared at him fiercely but didn't answer.

"Look at that. Chestie's going desperate." He teased. Letting go of my collar. "Why don't don't you just let the poor, useless woman di--"

Letting go of the thugs holding my arm, I pounced the guy and punched him in the face. I can feel my knuckles shaking as I gave it all my might.

The other two thugs tugged me by the back, forcing me to tumble back. The thug who spoke a while ago hurriedly stood and kicked my body. The other two also did the same. I had left no other choice but to cover and shield myself from their assault.

After that, they left me. It took me a while before I stood. I can feel the bruise on my face because of the punch that bastard gave me a while ago.

My body felt exhausted and agonizing as I felt the pain from their kicks. Grabbing my backpack from below, I left the alleyway and sauntered in the opposite direction.

Right now, I feel empty. I can't help but curse at how the words of that hooligan affected me. Whenever times like this happen, there's always a place I'd like to go for comfort.

----
As I entered the hospital, I silently prayed that the girl in front of the reception desk won't notice me. As I passed the desk, the woman tilted her head upwards and was shaken as she saw my face.

"Oh my gosh, Chester! What the hell happened to you?"

I forced a smile and a cough as she must have seen the visible bruise and cuts on my face. "Well, about that," I stammered before answering. I did not want to hear her complain right now. "Some hooligans ganged up on me and gave me all of this," I stated. Pointing to my face.

She sighed before answering, "At least look presentable before coming here. This is a hospital you know."

"Well, about that, those thugs may or may not be waiting for me at the house." I lied. That's not the actual reason.

This is Vera Jenkins. My cousin from my father's side. She has blonde hair and green eyes. She also has a natural skin tone. A typical trait from my father's side. I, on the other hand, got the color of my hair, black, and skin, honey, from my mother. I got my eyes, on the other hand, from my father. Like my cousin, I have green eyes but they're in a lighter shade.

"Well, before you go home, make sure to buy an ice pack. You should also add this," she said, grabbing cotton, rubbing alcohol, and bandages in her bag and gave it to me. "Are you here to visit?"

I nodded in response and took the things from her hand.

"Well, before you go, I have to tell you something."

----
I was greeted by the cold temperature of the room and the beeping sound of the machine near the hospital bed. I glance at the woman who is still motionless as she lays.

I closed the door behind me and sat down on a chair. I stared at my mom's thinning face.

This is the place I go whenever I feel empty or down. The only place where I can find company, even though that person remains still.

She's been like this for two years already. The doctor said that only a miracle could save her. But I insisted that she will wake up. Right...?

Vera talked to me a while ago. She told me that if I don't pay up the fees, the doctors are gonna unplug her. I don't want that to happen. I don't know what I'd do, knowing nobody's gonna be here with me anymore.

I looked at my mom and wished. Wished that this was some sort of prank. But it isn't, I've already mean slapped by that truth for years now.

"Mom, I...I miss you so much," I stuttered. Exhaustion and sadness were evident on my face. "Please wake up."

Stroking her hair, I continued. "Didn't you tell me that after my 18th birthday, we're gonna go to the beach?"

"I don't even like the beach. But, as I saw the way your face light up and your eyes shined, I changed my mind without double thinking."

"Mom, please...I just, really, really miss your presence."

A knock on the door interrupted my monologue. Vera entered as I gave her permission to do so. Closing the door from behind, she looked at me and to my mom before sighing. "Couz, it's not too much but I'm gonna help you."

My eyes widened at that. "You will?"

She nodded before answering. "I can only give you so little though. My mom, er, your auntie isn't pleased to support you." She walked towards me and stopped until she was already in front of me. "She thinks that you're responsible for her brother's, aka your father's death."

That surprised me. I knew my relatives didn't like me, I didn't think that it would be because of that.

"It may not be a lot but this is my way of penance. To be honest, it's not even your fault."

"No, it is. I...I think it is. If only I listened, if only I--"

"It's not your fault okay," she spoke, stopping me. You're not the one who drove the wheel, Chester, remember that."

She patted my shoulder before walking towards the door. She stopped her tracks and turned to me. "Almost forgot, a letter was sent to you a while ago." She told me, grabbing a small envelope in her pocket.

I picked the envelope from her grasp and examined it. She bade her goodbye and left.

The envelope has the color black and has a diamond stamp. Smelling the envelope, I noticed that it had the smell of daisies. Mom's favorite flower. The sender didn't have an address and it appears its name is, "Paradis Island".

What bothers me is how the hell they got my name and the location of where I am right now. I've made a lot of enemies in the past, maybe this is them pulling a prank.

Opening the envelope, I saw a card. Again, my name and a serial number were on it. Opening the letter, I was greeted by an intricately written handkerchief.

Nevermind. I don't think they're the ones who gave me the letter. Those hooligans are too brazen and...dirty to do something like this.

Reading the text found in the letter, I was both skeptical and shook. Skeptic because the people who could have sent this may be connected to the mafia(I know a gang who has those connections) and want to kill me or they are still from the mafia but they were giving away their money for whatever reason.

Should I go or should I not? Is this a risk I'm willing to take?

I looked to my left and found myself staring at my mom.

I'll do anything for my mom, especially knowing I was the reason for...

I didn't bother finishing my sentence.

All I know is that tomorrow, at 10:30 PM, I'm gonna go there and risk it.





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