Chapter 5 night out
I opened my eyes, to the sound of a car stopping before me. It was the same car I've seen in the morning, just it looked a darker shade now. I didn't realise the sun had already gone down. It was a good thing, aunt Sophie had gone to Tokyo, for some meeting and uncle John would be home very late or he may arrive at the morning as well, they were very hard working, you see.
The sound of the horn brought me out of my train of thoughts. It was my quo to get inside. Elliott was enough to make him angry, I better not add to his temper. So I opened the passenger side door and entered inside. It was warmer inside.
"What took you so long? Certainly not the waiter I guess. "He asked after a moment. I turned my face to look at him, his eyes were fixed on the road but I could say his attention was elsewhere.
"No, I was thinking actually ",I replied, my eyes never for once leaving his face, eying his every expression.
"Yeah, about what? Or whom, more precisely for that matter? "He asked and I could almost see him clenching his jaw.
"I was thinking about having a night out, since nobody's going to be home anytime soon. Care to join me ",I asked him, emitting the way he did it when he first asked me to join him for launch.
"I'll gladly be your patner in crime. I know a nice place, you'll like it.",he said, with a sigh. His eyes were still fixed on the road but his tone was lighter. It seemed like a huge load has been lifted of his shoulder. I just wish he wasn't planning on murdering Elliott, anytime soon.
"Did you know Elliott from before? ",I finally asked, my curiosity getting the better of me. I couldn't suppress the urge to confirm my suspicions. "No, I have never met him before. But I didn't like the creepy vibes, he was giving you. "He said, clenching his jaw.
"Oh I see ",I didn't know what else to say. After that we let silence envelope us. But the silence was suffocating me. There were just too many things, which were left unsaid between us. I wanted to ask him so much, but it might be rude to interfere in his personal life. He may be lying or hiding something from me-which was clearly evident in his tone - but I Couldn't ask him everything about his life, especially if he didn't want to tell me.
"can I turn on the music? ",I asked. I couldn't take the silence anymore. "Of course, you can. You don't have to ask for permission ",he said with a soft smile. so I went on shuffling through them until I found something I liked, it generally always depended on my mood. And now I was actually feeling very tired, so let the song 'faded' play in the background, while I rolled down the windows and let the soft, cool breeze blow through my face .
I closed my eyes, giving in to my tiredness, I don't know when I drifted off to sleep, with the soft toy, baby panda, still hugged close to my chest. God knows how I could be that calm, sleeping beside a killer!
As I let sleep consume me, familiar faces began to appear before me. I saw a boy and girl, running hand in hand, through the woods. They seemed lost. The girl held on to the boy like her whole life depended on it. And he indeed was, her only source of hope right then.
They were finally making their way out of the woods, they could see the faint light coming from their living room windows, which was still left on.
At last, they ultimately stood before the windows. The boy helped the girl get in first and then climbed on next. They creeped through the empty rooms and the silent stairways, they had absolutely no intention of waking anyone up and making them aware of their midnight excursion.
They slowly opened the door to the girl's room and went inside. They just layed beside each other and chatted the night on. I could see them smiling and laughing and even arguing at times. "Thank you for coming to my rescue ",the girl said in a soft whisper and closed her eyes. "I'll always be there for you, no matter what. ",the boy whispered back and then closed his eyes as well.
The smile was never leaving the girl's face, even long after she was asleep. She was dreaming about the boy, how he managed to save her when she slipped her leg and would've fallen off the cliff , if it wasn't for the boy. She never thought he would follow her but he did. He always came whenever she cried. She layed beside him, fully contended and feeling safe . That's what he always did, made her feel safe.
I opened my eyes, but my vision was blurred due to the amount of tears that had accumulated there. My heart craved for that safety once again, it craved for that boy who once made me believe that nothing could go wrong, as long as we were together. As everything started to clear up, I found the similar blue eyes starring back at me. I had never really noticed the similarity between them before. They seemed like the clear Blue water of the same ocean.
It took me a while to realise the situation I was currently in. I was no longer in the car. He held me in his arms. One hand supporting my upper body and the other under my legs, supporting the rest of my weight. As realisation hit, I couldn't help but feel the blush creep up my cheeks.
"Where are you taking me? Put me down! ",I almost yelled and would've fell down if it wasn't for his tight grip on me.
"I'm kidnapping you. ",he simply stated while rolling his eyes. He must have seen the dumbfounded expression on my face for he said again, "do you trust me ?","maybe ",I said while placing the side of my face on his chest. Trying to calm myself down with the sound of his heart beat. I wanted time to stop and that moment to last forever.
He placed me down after some time, I looked around, the place was unknown to me. It was some kind of a park, and a really beautiful one at that. There was a clear blue lake before me, resembling much with the lake I remember from my childhood. The serenity of that place made it feel secluded from the rest of world.
The place had white flowers around in abundance and the trees were thick and dense. The white petals were scattered all over the ground and it's fragrance was everywhere. I could hear a symphony of birds chirping. I felt like I was in paradise. Tyler saw the content look on my face and said, "isn't it beautiful? I named it 'The happy valley ' ",he said.
"You can say, this is my secret hideout from my troubles and problems. I have never brought anybody here before.", he said breaking the silence. "Then, what's so special about me? "I asked. "I don't really know, this has been my place for years. I have never told anyone about it. I have no idea why I wanted to share it with you. " I tried to search for any lies in his eyes, but all I found was sincerity, it was the truth.
We sat down beside each other on the green grass, beside the lake, appreciating each other's company. "How did you find this place? ",I asked, I never thought I would ever find this peace of mind in New York. But I guess the thing is, it doesn't matter where I'm. As long as I'm with a certain bad boy, everything seemed to fall in place.
"I don't remember. The first time I killed someone, I felt completely lost. I needed some help to gain back my sanity. That's when I found this place, I needed some time away from everything and this place did its magic. "he looked at me for a second, as if looking for some answers in my eyes.
"You have a lovely and unusual name",he said suddenly. "My parents were lovely and unusual persons",I said.
He inquired about my family and I told him all about my parents who had died in a car accident and how having no one else I came to live with aunt Sophie and uncle John. I also told him about where I got my name from. He was really interested in the story.
"My mom was a singer and I guess I get my love for singing from her",I spoke my heart out and soon realised that I have completely monopolised the conversation.
"I'm so sorry for boring you with my tales", I apologised. "Not at all. on the contrary , talking with you has helped me forget all about my problems. I think you and I are quite the same. Just two people who are alone in this big world",he said absendmindedly.
"Well now we have each other ",I said with a smile. "Yes, we do. ",he said returning the smile. I leaned my head on his shoulde, taking in the scenic beauty with excitement. He was quiet, expressionless and in a far away world of his own.
I turned my head to look at the clear blue water of the lake. It was really beautiful, reflecting the full moon above our heads. The weather was nice too, there was absolutely no clouds in the sky and soft breeze was blowing through our hairs. His dark hair fell on his face, taking me back to the incidence seven years ago. It was so similar, we were sitting side by side, with the wind blowing through our faces, making Tyler's hair fall on his face. When I think about it, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were together and now we are worlds apart.
"Hey, look at that! Did you see it?", he said, suddenly breaking the silence. "see what? ", I asked, having absolutely no idea what he was talking about. "that",he said, standing up and pointing his finger at something I couldn't quite pinpoint. I stood up as well, trying to follow the direction of his finger. He took a step closer towards the lake and so did I .
"There, see that? ",he asked, letting me stand before him. And while I was busy finding the source of his amusement -that idiot! -he pushed me, making me fall into the lake.
And there he stood, laughing. So he thinks only he can play prank. My master mind is no less in devicing pranks as well. He has yet to know me. He messed with the wrong person. When I was small, me and Tyler were known as the daredevils, we made everyone's life a living hell, with our silly pranks.
"Help",I said in a chocking voice. "I....I can't swim, help Tyler. ",I almost pleaded like I would die if he didn't save me. I very well knew how to swim, but I still faked drowning, just to make sure that he actually cared for me. But what the hell was taking him so long! How come he just stood there, wide eyed like he didn't know what to do! He seemed to be having an inner battle within himself, perhaps thinking whether I was worth it or not.
Thanks to my stars, I thought he won't bother saving me, but then again I was proved wrong, he did jump after me, after what felt like a millennium. But, maybe my stars were not that lucky after all. Even before he could reach me, the water kept pulling him down. One second I was busy pleading for my life, and the next when I looked up, it felt like my life was actually being snatched away from me, Tyler was no where to be seen.
My heart skipped a pace, as a sense of guilt washed over me. Did he drown himself, far from me being saved! And what the heck was I doing, starring at the blank space before me! The least I could do is try to save him and here I was, lamenting for the loss. I followed him down the lake, luckily he didn't manage to get far below.
I pulled him back to the ground, I checked his pulse rate and heartbeat, they were almost okay but his breath came out ragged. I applied some pressure on his abdomen, he coughed out water. My eyes were moist with tears, "oh, please don't die. I didn't know you can't swim, or else I would've never done that. I'm so sorry, please open your eyes. I can't live thinking that I've killed you."
He slowly opened his eyes and blinked a few times. "Ari? ", he called out in a low voice. "I'm right here ",I assured him, taking his right hand in mine and rubbing smooth circles on the back of it. A let out the breath, I didn't realise I was holding.
Everybody back home called me 'Ell' for short, only a certain person was allowed to call me Ari. But I don't know why, but coming from him, it actually felt nice.
I helped him sit up, still holding one of his hand in mine and using the other to support him. His grip on my hand tightened, as he was trying to regain his composure. He looked at me, with an unreadable expression on his face. Unable to hold back any longer, I let the tears slip from my eyes.
"Why did you jump, if you didn't know how to swim ?" I yelled, more to myself than him, for my stupidity, tears still rolling down my cheeks. "I don't know what got into me, but I felt it was all my fault and I had to make it right. "
I threw my hands around his neck, "I'm so sorry, I thought I had lost you. "I could feel him wrapping his hands around my waist. "I started it, it was my fault ", he whispered near my ear. We stayed in that position for a few seconds, none of us trying to move. There was an unknown comfort in that embrace, a peace I was unaware of for ages. A happiness, I have been searching my whole life, and here it was, in his arms.
It triggered some old memories. When I was nine years old, I had accompanied Tyler and his mom Stephanie to their beach house, since Tyler was reluctant to leave me.
It was late afternoon, we were tired from running around the beach the whole day, chasing each other, racing. He even invented a strange, yet interesting game, we had to go into the water, touch the tide and come back to the shore before it could.
We were seated on a couch in their living room. Steph had gone to buy some groceries, when we came in the house there was nothing We had to dine in a restaurant, and then Steph directly went to buy something to cook dinner.
I was still in the same clothes as before, I got up and decided to get changed. I went upstairs, but as I opened my suitcase, it was empty! That duffer! He pranked me again! It was too much this time, he emptied my suitcase and now I've got nothing to wear.
I stomped down the stairs, feeling highly irritated and angry. I was ready to stab a wooden stake right through his heart if I had to. But when I came down I couldn't find him anywhere. He must have anticipated the outcome of his little prank but where could he have gone. I searched the whole freeking house but there was not a sign of him anywhere.
After wreaking almost everything that I could find on my way, I went out of the house, calling out his name, as if he would answer me. It was of no use, screaming at the top of my lungs. I had to calm myself down, and in order to do so I had to go away from him. Even though I couldn't find him, I knew he was near. There was this kind of a censor in me which could detect signals, that Tyler was near.
My eyes fell on the island a little far away from here. I very well knew how to swim, so it wasn't much of a problem to reach there. I didn't have any shoes on my feet, so I emerged them into the sand. Mom said you would never need any pedicure if you did that.
I didn't realise how late it was, the sun had already gone down. I was watching the seagulls, spreading their wings and flying up high in the sky. But I was soon brought back to the real world by a familiar voice calling for me.
My eyes scanned the beach, I found someone taking off his shirt and jumping into the water. Due to the ascending darkness, it was difficult to make out who it was, but I knew it was Tyler. He must have seen me, but I wonder how. Maybe he had a kind of sensor as well, which gave him directions to me.
But before he could cross even half the distance, he started drowning. There was no time to think, I immediately jumped into the water. I knew just a little delay in reaching him and what could him. I somehow managed to get him back to the shore-alive -before he could have drowned.
"Are you alright? why did you jump if you didn't know how to swim?",I said, holding him close. It felt like if I loosened my grip on him, he would just vanish from my sight.
"I don't know what got into me, but I felt it was my fault and I had to make it right ",he said. I was almost on the verge of tears. And somehow, it turned out to be me and not him who kept on saying sorry and he was the who had to comfort me by saying it's okay.
I broke the embrace, moving back a little. I had a small smile on his face. "you know this is the first time, someone actually saved my life"