Chapter 31: Addiction
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Memi- Bitter Heart) & (Evolving Sound- Abandon Souls)
“We’ll release the body.”
“Do you have any funeral processions ready?”
Dawn erupts somewhere by the horizon, casting an eerie shadow over what was once Lane’s Skating Rink.
I had expected it to be bulldozed to the ground at this point but it was exactly as I remembered when I left.
Broken, wrecked, destroyed.
The site was left forgotten.
A piece of yellow cautionary tape is sealed all around, not permitting anyone to enter.
Of course no one ever did.
This side of town was longed abandoned.
Even now as I sat on the bench, watching the wind billow a piece of flyer in the air, I can’t help but think back about the past.
The last time I was here, Veronica had stolen my money.
I truly believed she was incapable of change back then.
I had even left her behind.
But then she found me in New York.
She had begged for my forgiveness and told me things have gotten better.
I should’ve known that it was only a lie.
A lie to get close to me so she could use me.
The reminder of what she’s done makes my heart squeeze.
I can’t go through with this again.
Over and over, the cycle continues.
Why can’t it all stop? Why can’t the Universe give me a break? Why can’t I stay happy?
Just this once?
Just this once.
Sighing loudly, I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my hands around myself.
It’s been 24 hours since Ethan was declared dead.
Leukemia finally took him after suffering for two years.
I supposed I should be glad he survived against the disease for this long.
But I guess that wasn’t what hurt me.
It was that he never said anything.
Was he afraid of dying, I wondered?
Was he afraid of the after life?
Was he afraid of anything?
All these questions... I’ll never get them answered.
Because he was gone.
Just like that.
Cold wind hit my face and I crouched down, wanting nothing more but to not move as I clutch the piece of paper to my chest.
The legal form that said Ethan had now passed away.
It doesn’t feel real.
I hadn’t cried since I stepped out of the hospital.
I hadn’t even reacted.
I was just frozen.
But maybe that’s good.
I don’t want to feel ever again.
They told me to start preparing.
To not wait for too long.
His body is in the morgue, he deserved a proper burial.
I hate them.
I hate those doctors. I hate those nurses.
They couldn’t save my Dad when he jumped. They couldn’t even save Ethan.
So why should I listen to them?
Placing my hands into my coat, I walked further down the path, footsteps crushing the muddy asphalt.
In the distance, thick rolling clouds appear. A flash of lightning crashed against the skies followed by thunder.
The temperature around was warm, much too warm for someplace still going through the after affects of winter.
All around me, headstones and tombstones alike are strewn throughout the cemetery.
I’m heading to the one place I haven’t been to for years.
Even though it’s been so long, I still remembered where they buried him.
Of course, who could ever forget where they buried their family?
Just beyond the shady trees, a familiar headstone can be seen a couple meters away.
The name is clear.
Johnathan Harold Vail
I slowed to a stop just beyond his grave and stared down at it for a long moment.
A fresh layer of melted snow had settled against the soil, coating it in mud.
I gingerly rubbed the headstone, clearing parts of it where dirt and dust had long gathered.
“Hey Dad, did you miss me?”
Silence reverted throughout the cemetery. He doesn’t answer me. I’m simply talking to a stone.
But for some reason, it’s comforting.
“I never thought I’d be back here,” Shaking my head, I re-stand to my feet and glance down to his name, finding my voice wavering.
“But, as life would have it, the Universe never gives me a chance to breathe.”
It’s so painful.
Why, did it hurt so much?
“You know... you’re supposed to be there, for me. You’re supposed to hold my hand before I get married, you’re suppose to scold me for underage drinking-”
Cutting myself off, I bowed my head and shut my eyes. “This isn’t fair.”
It wasn’t fair.
It wasn’t fair that he died.
It wasn’t fair that the both of them died.
“This isn’t fair to me.” I whispered, my voice an echo.
I’m only one person against the world... how am I supposed to fight that?
Subtle patter of rain drew me out of my trance as I watched the grey skies open up, drenching the land head to toe.
I didn’t move.
I didn’t seek shelter.
I continued standing there, reading my father’s name over and over again.
It was unbearable.
Losing two of most important people in my life was more then enough for me to take.
I didn’t get to say goodbye.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to either of them.
It hurt. It hurt so, so much.
Falling to my knees, I buried my hands against the dirt and gritted my teeth, unable to stop the hole that has ripped my soul apart.
Ethan should be here.
He should be here.
But he’s not.
He’s not and it’s all his fault.
It’s all his fault for leaving me here, alone, by myself.
It’s all his fault for not telling me he was dying.
He doesn’t love me.
If he loved me he would’ve stayed.
Why do people keep leaving me?
Why do they make me love them, only to break my heart again?
It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair.
This... loneliness... this... pain.
I don’t want it.
Take it away.
Take it away from me.
Tears cascade out of my eyes, falling by my lap so they mixed with the rain and mud.
I feel it. The darkness. The darkness that wants me. The darkness, I want.
All this thinking, all this worrying, all this caring...
It’s worthless in the end.
Am I happy? No.
Am I satisfied? No.
I was good, I forgave, I gave people second chances and look what happened.
Veronica stabbed me in the back.
David lied to me.
My so called, guardian.
Taking out my phone, I dialed a familiar number and wait for it to go through.
It only rang for two seconds before the other end responded.
“He’s dead.” I said.
Thunder cracked and lightning streaked the skies.
“V-Vanessa?” David’s voice is hushed, the edge of his tone taking a new type of fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear that I found out what he hid from me.
I stood up on my feet and stared ahead of me, my eyes going unfocused.
No more secrets.
“Tell his sons the funeral preparations are set. They just need to come.”
In the background, I hear David release a shaky exhale followed by what sounded like a whimper almost.
“Where are you Vanessa?” He whispers in trepidation. “Tell me where you are.”
“You know where I am,”
Long and stretched.
My heart is beating and yet I can’t feel a thing. My limbs are numb and yet I can’t feel the cold.
I don’t feel anything.
“Did you know?” My grip over the phone tightens.
Did you know about Ethan?
Did you know where he was this entire time?
David doesn’t answer me. But I don’t have to wait for him to know the truth.
After all, the piece of paper with his signature on it is all the proof I needed. “48 hours, David. Ethan will be put to rest then.”
“Vanessa don’t hang up, please-” He cuts himself off and goes unearthly silent. “I couldn’t tell you, believe me, I wanted to, But I just couldn’t-”
“Don’t come after me.” A new type of emotion has overtaken all sense of morality. An emotion I can’t comprehend.
I pushed the strands of my red hair aside, feeling heat fill my chest. “Because I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever see you again.”
Dropping the phone, I left it behind, letting the rain destroy what’s left of the broken device.
They always, lie.
Whether it be a white lie or something else, it doesn’t change the fact that they still, lied.
I’m done being in the dark.
It’s time to come out.
Entering the familiar town, people went about their day, many of them blissfully unaware of the war inside my head.
The war that threatens to com bust with each step I take.
Looking sideways across the street, I entered an alley way, fully understanding the consequences of what would happen if things go south.
I have nothing left.
He’s gone and now...
Now, so am I.
Loud thumping bass music can be heard beneath my feet as I journeyed further onto the familiar dark alley way.
I know these walls. I know these gratified etchings.
A door comes in view and I paused, recognizing where I am.
There’s nothing left for you.
I twisted the knob and took one last look at the light before descending down the dark stairwell.
You know what to do.
I know what to do.
The stench of blood and sweat envelopes the room as the last of the stairwell disappears.
Fluorescent lights brightened the very atmosphere followed by electric music that I can’t help but listen in.
This was where I belonged.
In the far corner two fighters go against each other, with the crowd screaming their heads off.
Alcohol and junk are strewn all across the floors but nobody cares.
Not in this place.
In this place it was just you against the Ring.
Gliding through the crowd that surrounded me, I headed for the back wall just beneath the stairwell.
I knew where I was going.
It was like an instinct.
An instinct that I had longed ignored.
Another door led up to the upstairs floor and I went through, not caring if people stared as I past.
Many of them paused, thinking they saw a ghost.
“Why is she back?”
“Didn’t she moved?”
I made it to the upstairs landing and swiped the fog with my hand in an attempt to see where I was going.
Bodies of people are walking in and out, girls, boys, alike, it didn’t matter.
Everyone was here for a reason.
So am I.
A familiar group of people can be seen lounging on the couches, beneath the fluorescent lights.
Each of them are in the company of several skimpy wearing girls.
My eyes catch a pair of familiar green orbs.
He standing by the edge, elbows resting against the railing. On both his left and right, two girls draped themselves.
He doesn’t look interested in their attempts.
He’s lost in thought as he inhales a cigarette, the alluring smell making my heart pound.
“You haven’t changed,” I speak out.
For a half a moment, those green eyes narrowed into confusion before he turns, unsure if he heard it right.
It only takes him a millisecond to spot where I am.
We locked gazes.
A million messages past between us.
He stands straighter and pushes the girls hooked around him so they let go.
“Well... well...” He smiles.
I nod. “Jonas.”
His dark brown hair is messy and rest above his right eye. I catch his cologne and shivered.
Too many memories.
Jonas takes a deep drag from the cigarette before gently blowing it out to me. “What are you doing back here?”
“I have no where else to go.” I respond honestly as the scent drove all my walls down.
I have no one else.
Jonas, sensing my need, raised an innocent brow in my direction. “Want some?”
He holds out the cigarette and I reach for it, barely even giving him a chance to change his mind before it’s between my lips.
The hit is hard and fast.
Immediately my senses are enveloped with nicotine and tobacco and I let go, relishing the taste.
Oh... how I missed this.
Jonas chuckles silently before plucking the cigarette from my fingers. “Careful,”
He leans closer so I’m backed up against the railings and his lips are inches away from my ear. “Wouldn’t want you to get addicted.”
Addicted... that wasn’t such a bad idea.
Jonas reaches for my hand and gently traced his fingers onto my wrist in slow even patterns. “I heard what happened. I’m sorry about Ethan-”
Hearing Ethan’s name is like an ice cold bucket thrown on me.
I crossed my arms over my chest and turned so my back was to him and my gaze was to the fighters down below.
“You’re not sorry. You’re only sorry, it didn’t happen earlier.”
“I had hoped you’d be back sooner.” Jonas rested his hands on either side of the railings, keeping me caged in. “After all... don’t you care for him?”
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.” The danger of free falling into the void is right in front of me.
But I’m not afraid.
I want this.
I want this with every ounce of my being.
“You’re right.” He agrees, ghosting fingers up my waist. “But that doesn’t change that you’re here now. You’re here... and I don’t think you want to leave.”
Pressing myself against his front, I tipped my head backwards, and allowed him to run his nose up and down my neck, starting from my ear and lower down the crook of my shoulder.
The ache in my heart is slowly evaporating.
I feel a strange sense of ease envelope me whole as Jonas continued his assault on my body.
This is what I want. This is what I need.
Twisting around so my back rest against the railings, I watch as his gaze hovered along my body, scanning appreciatively at what was once his.
“So you’ve come to me? Why?” He tips my chin back using his thumb and forefinger.
“Because you want me,” I whisper, we’re only inches away. “You want me as much, as I need, you.”
Travis was right about one thing.
Jonas did worshiped at my feet.
They all did.
And now I’m back to claim that title.
“You’ve changed,” He concludes, watching me carefully like I was the last thing left on earth. “I can’t put my finger on it.”
Jonas released a laugh before he bents down and kisses the skin beneath my ear, making that spot burn.
“Playing with fire is only going to get you burnt.”
I remained unyielding. “You know what I want.”
“Never thought I’d see the day,” He nods, a sadistic smile slipping on his lips as he finally lets go.
“Welcome back Vanessa.”
“It’s not, Vanessa,” I stated, voice loud and clear.
We stared at each other, his green eyes flashing in recognition and delight.
“It’s, Red Devil.”