Chapter 45: Forgotten
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Jurrivh- Falling to Pieces)
I gripped the duvet tighter in my fingers and pressed my head deeper into the pillow.
One wanted to protect me, the other wanted to tell me.
Should I feel happy that they were fighting over what’s best for me?
Should I feel happy that they only cared?
I guess Jonas was wrong about a couple things.
They did care, if they didn’t they wouldn’t have found me, they wouldn’t have risked everything to get me back.
Still, as comforting as that was, I didn’t feel... anything.
Because my savings, my funding’s, money I won whilst fighting in the ring...
My own mother stole from me with the help of Jonas, my supposed ally when really he’d always been the enemy.
Its so funny.
I can never catch a break.
And I shouldn’t be surprised. I shouldn’t be shocked, hell she’s done it before, over and over again so why should now be any different?
I mean I stabbed her in the eye right? I almost killed her right?
She deserved a bit of insurance, she deserved to take all my money after what I put her through.
What I put her through.
What about what she put me through?
What about all the backstabbing, all the lies, all the bullshit?
What about hurting me?
What about ruining my life?
What about that?
Holding my breath, I sat up and reached for the home phone hooked up to the night stand.
It only took me seconds to type out a number I memorized by heart.
For some reason, despite all the horrible things she’s done and all the people she’s wronged, she never changed her phone number.
It was probably stupid of her because people could still track out her cell if they wanted to, but only I knew the reason behind it.
If she threw it away how was she ever going to find out what happened to her daughter?
As sick as everything is, I knew she held me someplace in her heart. I knew she couldn’t ignore what I was to her, her own flesh and blood.
The dial tone rang noisily for a few seconds before the line picked up.
And then it was silence.
The only sounds shared were soft breathing and shaky exhales.
It was odd, but I could almost imagine her mirroring my actions.
Was she perhaps in a motel room too? Out of harms away? A bag of money full of my cash at her side?
Maybe she was waiting for me, maybe she didn’t want to throw her phone away until I called, maybe I was wrong.
“Are you out?” I ask first, not knowing what else to say.
She didn’t respond at first. I could almost feel her anxiety through the phone. “Yes.”
Clipped answers, clipped words.
Nothing can be said between us, not unless it was filled with hurt and pain.
But I didn’t want to fight, I didn’t want to do anything.
I just wanted to call her, hear her voice, understand that it was the last time I was ever going to talk to her.
“Keep running,” I instructed, swallowing when my throat felt too dry. “If you think you’ve run enough, it’s not. Keep running until I can’t find you, I don’t want to find you.”
I knew I would make her suffer if I ever got my hands on her again so she needed to disappear. She needed to, before I finished what I started.
“You won’t see me again.” She comforts, voice incredibly soft. “I promise.”
I didn’t take her promise to heart this time. I let the words dangle in the air in front of me before I wave it off and locked it away forever.
I held the phone loosely in my fingers, awaiting her words, unclear if it would be a heavy burden or a great relief.
“Do you ever wonder how our lives would be if he hadn’t jumped?”
The memory doesn’t pain me as it usually does.
My father jumping.
The blood and rain.
Instead, it felt like a dull throb, an echo of something that’s come to pass.
“I don’t even remember how our lives were before he jumped.” I told her honestly as a slow descend of tears gathered in my eyes. “I’ve forgotten so much.”
My body started to twitch.
Little tremors at first, not noticeable.
But then it was trembles, then it was shaking, then it was full blown muffled sounds of both agony and anger.
I only kept it in because I’ve pressed the back of my hand to my mouth, my teeth clamping down hard on my skin.
“It’s why I asked.” She inhales unsteadily. “I’ve forgotten too.”
The line went dead.
My fingers curled around the duvet, tighter and tighter as I set the phone back down as thought it was the only thing that anchored my whole being whilst willing the pain to go away.
This time I knew, if I called, she’d never picked up. She’d had thrown the phone away.
Thomas is standing hesitantly over the doorway, Mason beside him, both sporting worried expressions.
I’ve been so consumed in my thoughts that I hadn’t realized they must’ve heard most of the conversation.
Still, I shrugged, resting my head against the board. “The walls are thin,”
“Dammit.” Mason groaned.
“You were pretty loud.” I said in response, waving a finger around and attempted a small smile. “It’s okay, you don’t have to protect me.”
Thomas walks forward until he is right in front of me, his hands twitching as though he can’t decide if he needed to hug me or hold me. “But I want to.” He finally decided.
“I know,” Slipping my hand into his, I interlock our fingers, understanding his hesitance for my affection. “I know...”
“I’m sorry.” Mason sits on the other side of the bed, his tone gentle and warm. “We’re not usually this incompetent.”
Both boys looked like they had no idea what to do. I admired their honestly and simply shake my head.
“I can’t lie to you about the fact that I’d rather be in the Underground right now, beating the shit out of someone. It’s almost easier if Jonas still had control over me.”
When both men went rigid, I realized what I said truly haunted them. I didn’t take it back however because it was the truth.
“We’ll find her, both of them. Jonas and Veronica won’t get far.”
“He’ll come to me, Thomas.” I sighed, feeling the pressure increase ten fold. “He had me only to lose me again, he won’t just let that go.”
“Then I’ll make sure he’s dead, this time.” Thomas says, his tone lacing with simplicity and hidden rage.
“I didn’t fight for you only to have you go back to his arms.”
Mason lets out a scoff at that, his eyes rolling heaven forth. “It could’ve gone so much worse.”
“Ginger’s not her. Stop comparing them, it’s time to leave the past behind.”
The heir of BourneFell almost looked hurt at Thomas words. I see the guilt in his eyes wash away with forlorn pain. Thomas may have gotten over Rose but Mason hadn’t.
It made me want to reach for him, tell him it wasn’t his fault, emotions are unreal and they can control a person, make them do terrible things.
“No,” Thomas tugs my hand to gain back my attention, almost childishly. “Look at me,”
“I care for him too.” I sighed in annoyance.
“But you love me, that differs.”
“Urgh.” Mason stands up and glares at Thomas before reaching for his coat. “I’m outta here before my lunch meets the floor.”
“Jealous?” The heir of Graymoore asks, shooting a questioning smirk.
This seems to make Mason mad because he stepped forward again to plant a pliant kiss on my forehead.
“See you later, Nessa.”
I barely caught his sly smile before he was out the door, leaving Thomas to fume.
Allowing myself to smile, I burst out laughing, unable to believe I was here, with them, safe, protected, loved.
When Thomas thumbs my cheek, I realize my tears have started again and promptly stopped, feeling nothing but a mix of confusion and old pain.
“She won’t hurt you anymore,” He vows to me and I do absolutely nothing but nod, unable to say anymore, because what I really wanted to say was this;
I don’t care about that, it’s Ethan’s money. It’s the last thing I have of him. I don’t have anything else left of him.
I stared blankly at the lame piece of bun he offers me and withheld a grimace.
My stomach had gone down and I stopped vomiting a day back but I hadn’t the appetite.
I could still taste the imaginary bile at the back of my throat despite brushing my teeth ten times over.
It was nauseating.
“I’m not hungry.”
“Ginger, you need to eat,” He takes my clasp hand in his and sets the piece of bun down on my palm. “Please.”
Swallowing dryly, I brought the piece of substance to my mouth and gently chewed, ignoring how all I could taste was the staleness.
Maybe it was because my sense of taste has yet to return, either way I was more then happy to appease Thomas. At least for a bit.
He deserved it after all the shit I put him through.
“Come here,” Thomas places the back of his hand on my forehead and checked my temperature.
“You feel better, but I won’t be surprise if it shoots up again. That bastard really doped you good.”
I nod at the comment, feigning indifference.
“Give it a few days, you’ll be fine.”
I nodded again.
"Fuck, this is driving me nuts, say something already,” He huffs, irritated at my lack of response. “I can’t-I’m not, good at this type of thing Ginger, you have to tell me what you want-”
“I want to die.”
“I want to disappear, I want to hide, I want to forget, I want to go to sleep and never wake up.” Inhaling shakily, I gaze at his blue green eyes and smiled softly.
“Can you give me that?”
No, he can’t. He won’t let me, even if he could.
But when his features remain unchanging and only the twitch of his lips tells me he is going over my words multiple times over do I finally shake my head.
“I’m kidding, don’t look so solemn.” Continuing my routine of staring blankly across the room, Thomas sits in front of me, blocking my view.
I could barely stomach his intentions right now, much less his expression so I quickly looked down to my lap.
“That was a terrible joke.” He says softly and I nod, agreeing with him.
“I’m sorry, it was mean.”
“Don’t.” He stops me, immediately gripping my hand, halting my wayward thoughts at once. “You’ve never apologized before, don’t start now.”
“It’s a good habit to get into you know? I mean I might as well start something-”
Thomas inches closer and grips my chin in between his thumb and forefinger, allowing our legs to brush and my mouth to clamp up.
I knew it was coming.
I knew all the crazy, terrible things I’ve done will have to be talked about one day.
I knew, but I didn’t look forward to it.
I was ashamed to.
But looking into his eyes now, seeing that compassion, that urge for me to quit hiding, well... it broke everything.
“I trusted her you know? She’s wronged me so many times and I just wanted to believe her for once.”
Picking away at my fingers, I let them fall and looked up to the dimly cracked ceiling.
“She used me, she sex trafficked girls with the intention of building an empire thinking I’d be okay with that, how would I have been okay with that?”
“But you wanted to be.” He says, echoing what I really felt and what I didn’t want to say.
That I wanted to be okay with it.
That I wanted to not care about what she’s done to those helpless girls so as long as I still had my mother.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen and now here we were, back to square one.
“She switched out my pills, Thomas. She did it with the intention that we’ll fuck around and I’ll get pregnant.”
My confession, silences him.
I could see something swirl in his blue green eyes.
Fear, worry, tiredness.
“I know,” He answers slowly. “She told me, right after we found out her connection with Aitenev.”
The idea of being a mother now, made me want to throw up.
Its too soon, too early, too much.
I knew Thomas shared the same fear as me and despite knowing we were safe, we didn’t do anything, I wasn’t pregnant, he can’t help but ask;
“No.” Running my hands through my hair, I release a humorless chuckle. “If I was, I wouldn’t throw myself in the Ring like that.”
He exhales at my words and shifts his grip, so I’m resting between his legs with my back to his chest and we’re laying there, still, against one another.
I trace a pattern on his forearm as his breath fawns above my head, tickling my cheek.
“I would’ve forgiven her for betraying me, I would’ve forgiven her for taking my money, but I cannot, forgive her for using Ethan.”
And there it was, the set up before the fall.
My guilt and regret.
Ethan MooreFell Lane.
“I should have been here.”
Five words. It was only five, but never did any other words that came out of my mouth sounded so lost, so broken, so damaged.
I looked at Thomas and expected my tears to fall but they didn’t and that’s what made it so much worse.
Because if you can no longer cry, doesn’t that mean you’ve gotten used to the pain?
The blame, the doubt, the horror for what I’ve done and committed were on the tip of my tongue, mixing in the colluded air that was my safety and danger.
“He was there for me. He was there, every time, every hour, every moment when I needed him. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t, here.”
I swallowed hard and buried the choke that worked its way up my throat.
“He was the only one... the only one that knew... Now he’s gone, and it’s all my fault. He died alone. I promised him, he would never, be alone, not after his sons, not after-”
I couldn’t handle it.
The blame was too much.
I’m rambling at this point but isn’t it true that the ramblings of a mad person are the true sober thoughts of an individual?
“He didn’t tell me, anything-I’m so... angry. I’m so, so angry, at myself, at him, at the fucking disease that took him, so you tell me what to do, because I don’t know, what to do.”
He asked me what I wanted from him when I don’t.
I don’t want anything.
For once, I wanted him to tell me what to do. I wanted him to hold the reigns, I wanted him to do something, anything.
But instead of doing this, instead of telling me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed.
“I can’t comfort you.” He begins, splaying his fingers across my cheek. “I can’t tell you everything’s going to be okay because it’s not. Everything is not going to be okay, not for a long time.”
When I’ve shut my eyes and tried to quell the pain in my chest, he increases his grip and kisses me softly.
It was only a peck, but it held more tenderness that anything I’ve ever experience.
And when he releases me, allowing me to gaze at his eyes as they glowed with both warmth and familiarity, I can’t help but wonder if something bad was going to happen in the horizon, something that would pull me away from this moment, this instance.
“He didn’t tell you, not because he was afraid, he didn’t tell you because he was trying to protect you.” He tells me, urging me to see that this is what Ethan wanted.
This is what he prepared for.
“Because guess what, that’s what people who love each other do, that’s what they are meant to.”
Maybe I needed that reassurance, maybe I needed that clarity.
Ethan took care of me, raised me, loved me, watch me grow up with pride and joy.
Is it so hard for me to let that go?
“He loves you, Vanessa, he always will... I, always will.”
Hitching sharply, I clenched my fists together and felt the burn spread out from my collarbones to the back of my neck.
I’m suddenly awfully small and timid.
“How many times will you give me that face, until you believe I’m telling the truth?” He sighs exasperatedly.
“I can’t help it!” I snap, feeling my cheeks burn. I hated feeling so helpless. “Stop, making me flustered-”
“Shut up.” This time when he wretches me into him until I fall on his lap, I don’t stop the kisses even as they leave me begging for air.
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I hope everyone is doing fine, this quarantine. My country is on lockdown right now and plans to go to college is ultimately put on hold.
I hope ya’ll are doing fine, stay safe and healthy guys, we’ll get through this.