Something warm touched my arm and as I opened my eyes the phone was shoved right into my face as Juliette spoke in an irritated voice “How many times have I told you to mute your phone in the night? Even the vibration mode disturbs your sleep,” she murmured as she kept the phone right next to me and turned over to sleep. As I picked up the continuously vibrating phone, I frowned seeing the name displayed in the caller Id as ‘Ms. Cristina Dimir.’
Now, what does she want?
“Ms. Dimir, whatever the matter is...do you even care to check the time before calling?” I spoke through a hoarse sound of sleep.
“Mr. Sullivan! Oh Thank God you picked up!” she cried from the other end that got my attention and suddenly the sleep went away as I grew alarmed hearing her distressed voice.
“Ms. Dimir? Is everything alright?” I asked as I sat up straight on the bed and threw the cover away. Juliette turned around and frowned at the my action before sitting up on the bed and looking at me while I spoke on the phone.
“Mr. Sullivan, I think I’m in trouble. Some people have followed me home from the time we left Mr. Lascar’s house after making the house deal that you wanted to buy. It seemed Mr. Lascar didn’t really bother about the wrecked house but I guess some people from his home or I don’t know just doesn’t want him to sell that property to us. They have been knocking on my door and yelling at me to go away and drop the plan on buying the house or the consequences won’t be good,” she said out of breath sounding frightened to death.
“Are they still there?” I asked but judging from the sound of her squealing and some people yelling in the background it seemed they were still there.
“Did you inform the cops?” I asked and she screamed a yes from the other end.
“Alright! Don’t worry. Keep or move something before the door stopping them from barging in and lock yourself in your closet or in your bathroom. But before that make sure to lock every window and door to your balcony. I will be there in a moment,” I said as I got up from the bed and threw on a white polo shirt and jeans before running to get the keys when Juliette handed it to me and I sprinted to the door.
“Lock the door. My guards are out here,” I said hastily as I opened the door and was just about to close it when she stopped it using her hand.
“Take one of the guards with you,” she said and not wanting to waste any time on argument I nodded a yes and close the door before running to the parking calling Seth, one of my guard to prepare the car.
It seemed they were some hired bullies sent to scare Cristina in hopes of indirectly warning me not to buy the house from Alex’s father. The cops reached before us and by the time we arrived we saw them handcuffed and being escorted towards the police car. Cristina Dimir was perfectly fine but she continued sobbing and kept on mumbling how scared she was to death. As I talked to the officers about the bullies wanting to know who exactly sent them over they told me that the group of bullies won’t open their mouths and then they would inform me as soon as they confess everything for the purpose and who sent them over.
One of them crossed me handcuffed and a cop followed him to the car but then the bald strong built guy stopped in his tracks to look back at me. A smirk remained plastered in his face as he spoke in his deep drunk accent “Oi! Are you already scared by all this?” he asked and I tilted my head to the side squinting my eyes as I heard just what he wanted to say.
“Don’t worry. If you want to save your sorry ass then just stop thinking about buying that house and move back from wherever you have come from. You stupid businessman just don’t have any idea with whom exactly you are dealing with. So, before you sit there crying for your sorry ass, get your ass safe,” he laughed hysterically mocking me and Seth took a step forward intimidatingly wanting to hit him but stopped as soon as I signalled him to stop.
The cop pushed him towards the car and he got in all the while showing his tongue out at me.
“Interesting...” I muttered.
“Is everything alright?” she asked as soon as I entered the house, locking the door from behind.
“Why are you still up? You should be sleeping,” I said as I held her by her shoulders and turned her around pushing her towards the bedroom. “Zac. Zac!” she had an irritated look as she turned around to face me. “Can’t you simply answer my question?” she complained and that made me heave a sigh before telling her everything that happened.
“So, you are saying that you went to Mr. Lascar this morning to finalise the house agreement?” she asked and I nodded before lounging on the couch.
“But I don’t get it. Why are you so keen on buying that wrecked house?” she asked as she sat on the coffee table to look at me. My eyes fell on the scar on her knee and involuntarily my hands reached out to touch it. It was probably from the accident few months ago and that boiled my blood.
“Juliette...” I spoke up for the first time thinking of spilling everything out.
The thing that I have hidden so many things from her had always nagged me to the extent that I felt suffocated. I felt as if I was betraying her and a part of me was responsible for everything that had happened to her. From the part where I marry her for the sake of saving her from Nicholas to the part where she gets into an accident, I felt responsible. If only I had stopped everything that happened that year, then probably Juliette wouldn’t have to go through so much.
If only had I....
“Hmm?” she whispered holding the hand that was touching her scar.
“I have kept so many secrets from you,” I told her and sat back from my lying position as I looked at her straight into her eyes. Finally determined to spill everything out that I have been keeping inside from a long period of time.
A gut feeling in me told me to wait and let her know some other day but then I wanted to feel free from the burden of hiding things from her and it was why I chose to be truthful and let her know.
“I know,” she whispered smiling at me as she reached for my face and touched my cheek with her warm ones.
“I knew that you were full of secrets but I believed that you would eventually come out one day and tell me everything.”
Her words were filled with sincerity and that made me smile as I leaned more onto her touch and kissed her hand before taking in a deep breath getting ready to tell her about my past.
“I want to tell you everything today. So please be patience with me and hear me out okay?” I asked and she nodded signalling me to continue.
“So, back when I was doing my degree, a girl named Gina used to stalk me everywhere I went. She was really pretty and bubbly but very childish. Even though I was her senior, she continued to follow me everywhere I went and would sent me those you know um-” my voice stuttered thinking about the correct word.
“Love letters?” Juliette finished and awkwardly I found myself nodding at her as I cleared my throat before speaking “So...she would declare her love for me every single time she met me and would always scare away the other girls that followed me.”
“I used to decline her advances because I never really felt anything for her but then I felt I should at least date her and see if it works. The day when I told her that we should date, she was extremely happy and like a kid jumped up and down but I made a condition that if it didn’t work then she would stop pursuing me and stop following me,”
“She seemed hesitant but when I turned to leave, she agreed almost immediately and it was the beginning of our dating relation,” as I finished I looked up to see Juliette’s expression but found her neutral and attentive as she signalled me to carry on.
“Then we dated each other, going out on dates, movies that I hated, amusement parks and did everything to have fun but every time as I walked her back to her hostel I knew it wasn’t working for me. I never really felt that excitement and spark that I had wished to feel but on the contrary she was ecstatic and happy with whatever we were doing and clutched onto me even more. As we continued, she grew more possessive and acted like my girlfriend boasting around and being mean to a girl who was my lab partner. She didn’t stop on that, she started disturbing me while I was in my class and joined me on lunch every time I was with my friends.”
I inhaled deeply as I remembered the day when I last saw her. She was sad and broke and looked as if she would die.
“So finally I told her that it wasn’t working and I wanted to end it. She was heart broken and she cried for hours and days following me everywhere even more to the point where I had to take a short leave from the university frustrated by her behavior of barging into boy’s hostel. But then I never knew that the day when I last saw her running behind my car to stop me from leaving would be the last day I would ever see her.”
“W-What happened?” Juliette asked slowly holding my hand tightly sitting at the edge of the table.
“When I returned back, I heard that she commited suicide by jumping off a cliff near our university.”
“What?” Juliette said with widened eyes.
“Everyone blamed me for it and told me that just because I was stupid not able to handle her love, she ended up committing suicide only because of me. The situation was a chaos back then and I was filled with guilty. I couldn’t sleep nor eat when everyone kept on looking at me accusingly. So, it was when Gale stepped in wanting to help me and he spread a false story of her being pregnant with some other guy. She felt guilty for cheating on me and it was why she commited suicide.” Juliette gasped when she heard that and reluctantly I continued “It didn’t even take him too long to even get a fake pregnancy report and he hired some guy who even agreed to whatever he said and took the blame on himself for money. Even though people stopped hating and accusing me for her death but the fact that she cheated on me didn’t go well with them and they turned her into the evil one much to my dismay and it made me even more frustrated and angry upon Gale for doing this.”
“G-Gale did this all for you?” she asked shocked and I nodded.
“We were always in good terms but after this incident I hated him for the guilt that I was feeling and for turning Gina, who was dead as the evil one.”
“Zachary,” Juliette whispered as she stood up and pulled me into a hug rubbing her hands all over my arm soothingly and comforting me.
“But the past that I thought I had left behind has came back hunting my present and it is why I chose to tell you everything today,” I said and Juliette looked down at me with a questioning look.
“What do you mean?” she questioned.
“Gina- Gina’s full name was Gina Lascar and she is Alexandru's younger sister."