CHAPTER 30: DARK & DANGEROUS
“Henry, he-he is-“, she stuttered, not being able to form words as she put her face in her hands, shaking her head.
“Calm down mom, please.” I pleaded with her, scared of her present state. “Why don’t you get up and sit somewhere...more pleasant?”
She nodded her head, using my support to hoist herself to her feet and get a grip on herself. I rushed to the nightstand, grabbing the box of tissues and handed one to her.
My head flooded with all the horrible possibilities of what could have happened between her and Henry as I stepped out of the room, well aware that she numbly followed me behind, her silent sobbing a reminder.
I sat her down on the couch, before sitting down next to her, grabbing her cold hand in my considerably warmer one. Reid followed us close behind and stood opposite to us after handing me a glass full of water.
“What happened mom?” I asked her, once she had finished half of the glass.
She visibly swallowed, clearing her throat as she looked from me to Reid, her gaze constantly shifting between the both of us.
“He...he is sleeping with another woman...I think.” I gasped loudly, covering my mouth.
“You think?” Reid asked, making me sneer at him.
“I mean...I got so many hints- he was always coming home late or not even coming home almost every night for the past two weeks. He had-he had lipstick stains all over his neck when he came back yesterday drunk. I think that was a clear enough sign...”
“God, mom...” I squeezed her hand, trying to reassure her that whatever happens, I will be with her, “Did you confront him?”
“I did, but he got really angry and... Kind of thrashed the room and...” She gulped and wiped her face with her spare hand. “-what did he do mom?” My nostrils flared and my chest filled with anger as I anticipated her answer.
When she did not answer and dragged her eyes away from mine, I knew something else had happened as well. My gaze followed her eyes and landed on the fading red marks on her arms, tracing over the sharp outline of a hand print. “I am going to kill that son of a bitch! Where is he?” I snapped, not recognizing my own voice as I got up and moved past Reid. “No, Elizabeth!” My mother exclaimed, trying to stop me.
He grabbed my hand and pulled me back, making me growl at him. “Listen to what happened first.” He tried to reason with me as I snatched my hand away from his.
“I know enough already. He hurt my mom in ways more than one...and now I’m going to make sure he burns in hell...Why the hell should I listen to you?” I spat out in anger. My moody pregnant self was not really helping with my temper.
“Because I am going to help you make him fall.”
I was taken aback by what he had just said.
“You...your own father?” I muttered out. What Henry did was wrong, so very wrong but I wasn’t expecting Reid to step in.
“I have my reasons.”
I nodded my head at his statement, not asking him to elaborate just then when I all of a sudden remembered the day when he had warned me about Henry and asked me to force my other to call off the wedding. The pieces suddenly connected in my head and I realized that Henry must have done something horrible earlier as well, that...Reid might have to have faced or seen when he was just a child.
He nodded at me reassuringly, silently telling me that he will make him suffer and before I could stop myself, I clutched his hand in mine squeezing it and standing on my tippy toes to kiss his cheek and to mutter a ‘thank you’, well aware of my sobbing mother’s gaze on us.
My eyes followed his retreating back till he had left the mansion. I sighed silently, realizing that the task we had come to do here was unsuccessful and our relationship was going to be kept as a secret for a little longer than I had thought.
I sat down next to my mother once again, comforting and consoling her that everything will be alright once again and within no time, I found her dozing off in my warm embrace.
“I should have never sold that house.” She sighed, regret lacing her voice, “Now, we have nowhere to go to...” She put her face in her hands, shaking her head
I agreed with her as I remembered my childhood home but I chose not to point that out,“That’s not going to be a problem. With my salary and our savings, I think we can afford to rent an apartment.”
“You would do that for me? Are you sure? You can always put me in an old age ho-”
“No mom, that is out of question. I would never even think of doing that...and anyways, you are not even that old yet.” I would rather have her breathing up my neck rather than not being next to me.
She smiled at me, obviously in a much better mood now, as I placed the hot cup of coffee in front of her that she greedily accepted. With my own mug in hand, I stood in front of her, taking a sip when she again started speaking.
“You are pregnant, aren’t you?” She asked with a tiny little smile, making me spit out the contents in my mouth.
“Mom!” I gasped, grabbing a paper towel to wipe the front of my shirt and the floor. When I finished throwing the towel in the dustbin and stood in front of her again, she excitedly raised her eyebrows in question.
I will have to tell her sooner or later anyway.
I sighed as the thought crossed my mind. I nodded my head, biting my lip as I played with the frayed ends of my centuries old favourite sweater. “Uh-Fine, yes...I am pregnant.”
“Oh my goodness! I knew it.” She opened her arms wide as hugged me across the counter.
“I am going to be a grandma!” She squealed in excitement before pushing me away slightly only to tightly clutch my shoulders.
“Are you happy with...having a baby or-?” The smile dropped off her face and concern filled it instead.
“I am going to keep it- I mean him or her...” I awkwardly replied, shifting on my feet.
“We should leave now, Reid must be waiting for us. He was kind enough to let us stay with him, we shouldn’t keep him waiting.” I quickly added, drowning the rest of my coffee before she could question me about the father of my child.
“You wanted to see me, Karen?” I asked, stepping into her office when she told me to come in.
“Yes, of course Elizabeth. So now that you are a permanent employee here at PR, I have a new client for you. I know it is way too early to get a client just after graduation but from what we have heard, you were the best from your University and we have a position open just for you.”
A smile threatened to escape my lips but I only nodded at her. “Sounds wonderful. I am interested.”
“Well, this client of our company is fairly new and quite powerful and will be beneficial for our company... and has requested to work with you, saying something about knowing you from college.” I frowned, racking my brain for who it could be since I no longer had much contacts from my university.
“You will be payed thrice what you are paid now and you will have your own office. Consider the offer and let me now whether you want it or not. I personally don’t see a reason why you won’t.”
“Thank you, I’ll let you know by tomorrow.”
“And Elizabeth...your client wants to start working with you from tomorrow, so don’t keep her waiting up.”
“Of course...Can I just ask who this special client is?”
“Sorry, I can’t disclose that information just now. It’s against our company’s policy.” Sure, and hiring a mere graduate without any training just so the company can benefit is definitely not under your company’s policy, I thought to myself as I nodded my head at her and left the office, wanting to go back home as soon as I could and spend some time pondering under the sheets alone.
I hurriedly walked through the street, not wanting to be alone in the slightly eerie dark alley. I cursed myself for choosing the short but a little dangerous route over the almost safe crowded street but before I could think much about it, a hand wrapped around my waist, roughly pushing me into a hard chest while another slapped itself on to my mouth, muffling my screams as I was carelessly pushed into a wall repeatedly till all I could see was complete darkness and a little smiling face at the back of my mind.