Keep Your Promises by Sabitha Kiritharan

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Chapter Seven

“Madeline,” the guy repeated intensely staring into my eyes, before grabbing hold of my shoulders and then hugged me tightly.

“Brandon. Her name is Scarlett. She’s my brother Ryan’s friend,” Aiden tells the guy who hugged me.

Brandon. I was wondering where I had heard his name before when I suddenly remembered reading his name in the article. Brandon Winter. He was the older brother of Madeline Winter and that meant he was my brother. Oh no! This couldn’t be happening to me, and not now of all days. The day that I finally realised the truth about whom I was now and now I had to stumble upon my brother. After then years of not knowing who I was, and now I was face to face with the brother who I never knew existed.

This guy in front of me was my brother and I didn’t know why but I was suddenly regretted seeing him. I had always longed to have a family, growing up I was brought to think that I was an orphan who was depended on her sister Emma or should I say was depended on her kidnapper. Even now I couldn’t believe that Emma wasn’t my sister and more importantly she was the person who had taken me away from my family. As I stared into his piercing blue eyes I wondered if I was truly the sister he had been looking for.

This was my brother. I should be happy, but I couldn’t help but be frightened it wasn’t as if I would still be the same girl that family had lost. I shouldn’t be saying that, but instead my, since it was my family. Would my family even want me? I wouldn’t even fit in their privileged luxurious lifestyle; perhaps they wouldn’t even believe I was part of their family. Even now I couldn’t completely believe I was Madeline, so even know my family may have doubts if I was actually their long lost daughter Madeline.

“I’m sorry; you’ve got the wrong person. My name is Scarlett,” I lie, breaking out of Brandon’s embrace before taking a few steps back to keep the distance between us.

I’m sorry, I wanted to say. I hated lying to Brandon, or should I say my brother. I wasn’t someone who usually lied, but perhaps lying to my brother would keep his safe. I wanted Brandon to be safe, and for him to be safe he had to be away from me. It seemed as if everyone around me either got hurt or lied to me.

Over the last few weeks so much had happened to me; from finding out I had a niece called Darcy who was kidnapped, Emma as much as I hated her was still in hospital, finding out I was kidnapped, seeing a guy get hit before disappearing, having the weird nightmares, seeing the new boy Damon who seemed familiar and then finding out I was kidnapped as a child. It was so strange discovering that I was really Madeline Winter. Seeing Brandon was now the final straw.

So much had happened to me in the last few weeks. It felt as if my life was a novel or could even become a blockbuster film. I placed my hand on the wall to steady myself, as I tried to stay calm even though there were so many crazy things in my life. I was lying and I knew Brandon knew. It felt as if he could see right inside me.

“Brandon. I know that you and your family are still looking for your sister Madeline. But, it’s been ten years and perhaps you are starting to see everybody as Madeline. Maybe you need to take some relax and take a break from your search of finding your sister,” Aiden suggested, crossing the distance to my brother and then patting his shoulder in reassurance.

“Aiden. I’m telling you, this is Madeline. I have finally found my sister and I’m not going to lose her again. This is my sister. Trust me!” Brandon begged Aiden, turning to face him; desperation could be heard in his voice.

I felt so guilty and bad. It hurt me seeing my brother like this. He was begging because of me and it tore me from the inside. I was giving him more pain; I should have never met him. Though he would have continued searching to find me for a few more years, eventually he would have given up or would at least move on with his life. He should be happy and live his life instead of trying to locate me.

“I’m sorry. I have to go now,” I stated turning to leave.

I knew I had to desperately get out of here. If I didn’t go now, and then I knew I would break down and would just want to hug my brother tightly. Please Brandon, I wanted to say just let me go. But, I knew that I couldn’t tell my brother this, he had been trying so hard for the last ten years to find me and now he had finally located me. I just wanted to let him know that I was safe and that it was okay for him to let me go.

I didn’t blame anybody for my disappearance least of all my brother or my family, they had done nothing wrong and had lost their beloved daughter. If anybody was to be blamed and then it would be my kidnappers, I would always love my real family and they would always be in my heart. If it hurt this much seeing my brother, than it would be worst if I saw the rest of my family.

“Please Madeline, don’t go. Please don’t leave me,” my brother begged, tears trickling from his eyes as he stretched out his arms towards me.

I hesitated, my heart breaking knowing that my brother was in so much pain because of me. That hesitation was my entire brother needed to hug me tightly, his head nestling on my shoulder. I turned around to face my brother, and then held his face in my hand. Brandon’s silver pendant was getting dangled in my hair, so I gently pulled his pendant from my long brown hair, a few strands of my hair getting pulled out in the process.

I looked at my older brother, memorising his face in every detail just in case I would never be able to see him again. This was my big brother, my family. I wanted nothing more than to reunite with my family, but right now I had to find Darcy, find out what the weird nightmares meant and realise who the guy I had seen or not seen. It was as if I was seeing ghosts and this wasn’t the first time.

But, that couldn’t be possible and this wasn’t the first time I had seen these spirits as they liked to be called. I remembered how tough high school had been for me, especially with me making fun of my nightmares and my conversations with the ghosts. Maybe that was why I was labelled a “freak”.

“I have to go now Brandon. But, one day I will come back to our family. I love you brother. Thank you for finding me. You’re a wonderful big brother.” I tell Brandon, before kissing his forehead and then leaving, with the envelope in my hand as I knew these results in my hand would bring me to the truth.

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