Always Together

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Chapter 25

The knob jiggles in protest when I unlock it and turn around forcefully. Finally, after a few attempts, the door opens and I am surrounded by a familiar woody smell of the cabin. Closing the door behind me, I walk inside the cabin. I don’t feel like drinking the milkshake, so I keep it inside the fridge for later.

I am not an angry eater, however, I am an angry worker.

So after scrubbing every corner, and chopping the firewoods, I feel a bit better.

After realizing there is no work left for me to do, I walk inside the spare room right across my parents’ bedroom, which I have claimed as mine. Taking a shower I change into the spare pair of clothes, in the meantime, I hear my phone rings quite a few times.

Walking inside the kitchen, I fill up a glass of water then leaning against the counter I drink it slowly. I am not feeling hungry, I don’t bother making anything to eat.

The moment I pick up my phone to check the time, it rings in my hand. Thankfully, Pops’ name flashes across the screen.

“Hello.”

“I just came back home, you aren’t here,” he speaks, “Are you at Kristan’s place?” He asks.

“No, I am at the cabin.” I sigh, “Maybe I will stay here for a while, I need some time...” I trail off.

“To cool off,” he answers expectantly, “I knew when you will learn about Jeff’s bail, it will set you off.”

He knows when I am angry or sad or something bothers me, this is the only place I want to be. I find peace here.

“Yeah.” I nod. I didn’t tell him Jeff is not the only one who is the reason behind my anger.

“Okay, maybe tomorrow after work I will come by,” he speaks after a moment, “We can do barbecue, or whatever you like.”

“Sounds good.” I smile, my mood slightly uplifts.

As soon as I hang up, my phone rings again and my mood goes down the hill.

I want to smash my phone on the opposite wall when I see Alec’s name. The only thing which stops me from doing so is that I am too broke to afford another phone. All my savings, from my part-time job during my school, are almost finished and I will not ask Pops for money.

Maybe I should do something about this money issue.

Leaving the phone in the living room, I go back to my room. Turning off the light I get inside the bed to get my much-deserved sleep. Because I was not able to get proper sleep as I was worried about certain someone. Someone who doesn’t even care to leave a single message before disappearing. I think I was taking our friendship too seriously when, maybe, our friendship is just for fun for him.

Two days later, I am back to the person I am, my face held the uncaring smile for the world. The vulnerable Avery will always stay locked behind the walls of this cabin.

Getting inside the car, I drive back to my home.

I smile widely when I see Pops reading the newspaper, sitting on the wicker chair, on the front porch.

“Hey, whats’s up, Pops?” I grin, my tone mimicking Bugs Bunny.

“Just trying to find my crazy granddaughter’s picture with a wanted notice,” he answers, without looking up from his newspaper, “For murdering a person named Jeff.”

“Don’t try to insult my intelligence.” I scoff and sit on the porch swing, “I am not someone to leave traces behind. My act will be clean, that even the victim will not be able to find who killed them, if by some miracle they are brought back to life.” I take a few steps back then raise my legs allowing the swing to move forward.

“You will make me so proud one day.” He lightly chuckles and shakes his head.

“I am thinking to take some part-time job,” I tell him, “I feel bored sitting at home, there is nothing much to do.”

“Okay, start working for me,” he speaks after thinking for a moment, “I need someone to handle the accounts, and I think you will be perfect for that.”

“But I will be your boss, not your Pops.” He raises his finger to stop me from speaking, “And you will be treated like all the other workers, so don’t expect any special treatment.”

“Fair enough.” I nod.

“So, from next Monday, you will start working.” He gives me a small smile, “But today let’s do something fun, like sparring.” His smiles widen watching my enthusiastic expression.

If you thought an accident has stopped him from enjoying my misery then you are wrong.

“Yay!” I say in a bored tone.


“How could you do this to me?” Kristan yells making me pull my phone away from my ear.

“Do what?” I answer in a calm tone because I don’t know what she is talking about.

“You went to have fun without me,” She whines.

“Huh?”

“Do you know Jeff Jackass got bailed,” she says through clenched teeth.

“Yes.”

“Do you know he is in the hospital?” She exhales, “Because someone beat him unconscious.”

“What?” I frown, then my frown deepens, “Wait for a second, you think that someone is me?”

“Kris, I swear I have nothing do to with it,” I say when she doesn’t respond showing her annoyance.

“I was at the cabin Kris,” I quietly tell her, she knows when I am bothered I usually spend time there.

“So, it was not you...” she says now believing I am telling her the truth.

“Yeah, I wish I was... but no, he being in the hospital got nothing to do with me.” I huff feeling a little annoyed because it wasn’t me who put him there.

“That son of a bitch must have poked another sleeping bear like you,” she sighs, “Well, at least we got our revenge, even though we haven’t raised a finger.”

“Yeah, you are right.” I run a hand through my hair, “We wanted him to suffer, now he is suffering.”

“But how do you about all this?”

“I took Ryan to the hospital, he got a stomach bug,” she replies, “There I saw him being carried on the stretcher and with a little eavesdropping I got the full information,” she says in a proud tone.

“Avery is proud of you.” I chuckle. Then after talking for some minutes, we hang up as she has to take care of her thirteen-year-old brother Ryan.

Quietly, I step outside the house for my mid-night adventure. Tonight my mid-night adventure only involves buying some ice-cream from a twenty-four convenience store.

Putting my hands inside my hoodie pocket, I enjoy the silence of the night as I walk towards my destination. Pops say I often look for troubles, and in my defense, I don’t look for the trouble I look for the thrill.

I wave my hand at the biker guys standing at the corner of the street while they greet me with a smirk and nod. With their giant built and tattoos to others, they might look scary but in reality, they are completely opposite. I have met them a couple of times and they are quite cool.

The convenience store is almost empty, apart from some sleep-deprived workers and one or two night owls like me. After paying for my vanilla and chocolate bar ice-cream, I stroll to a nearby park while eating my ice-cream.

Sitting on one of the benches, my eyes roam around the vacant park which looks so peaceful. Rubbing my hands on my jean-clad thighs, I stand up and walk to the monkey bars. With a slight jump, I hang on one of the bars. After adjusting my grip on the cold metal bar, I move towards the other side of the bar. Releasing the bar I land on the ground with a thud sound.

While I am surveying the swings in front of me trying to decide which one I should go next, I feel a light tap on my shoulder. Just out of reflex, curling my hand into a tight fist, I swing at the person behind me as I turn. A loud smack slices the silence as I hand stops my fist before it connects to their face.

Schooling my face into a neutral expression, I watch Alec gripping my fist in his hand. For a fraction of second, his gaze holds shock and astonishment, then becomes impassive as he stares me.

Pulling my hand back from his hold, I slip my hands into my hoodie pocket. There is a tingling sensation running through my arm because of the impact. While he took the impact unflinchingly, which is not surprising as he is quite strong.

“What are you doing here, at this time?” His eyes scan the park, then land back on me.

“Nothing, simply enjoying myself.” I shrug nonchalantly.

“I have been trying to contact you for the last two days, but you didn’t respond to any of the calls or messages.”

“I was busy,” I reply curtly.

“Busy with what?” He lightly frowns, making me more agitated.

“It is none of your concern,” I reply impassively, “I have things to do, other than talking to you or being your source of entertainment.” He looks taken aback from my words.

“Now I understand, you were not answering just my calls,” he says more to himself.

I didn’t bother asking how he knows, because he must have found my phone busy when I used to talk to Kristan or Pops.

“You are ignoring me.” He looks at me, “Because you are mad at me.” He slowly nods his head.

I hate him, that even when my face doesn’t betray any emotion, he catches it.

“No, I am not mad at you.” I roll my eyes and walk past him.

I don’t want to show anyone that they can have any effect on me.

“Yes, you are.” He quickly stands in front of me.

“No, I am not.” I clench my jaws.

“Yes, you are.” He nods as I feel he is enjoying my annoyance.

“No.” I bite inside of my cheek trying to stop myself from snapping.

“Yes.”

Ignoring him I again walk around him and start walking in the direction from where I came.

“Hey, at least talk to me.” He quickly falls into my steps, “Tell me, what did I do?”

“Stop bothering me you, jerk.” I glare at him.

So much for not reacting.

“Okay, you are really angry at me.” He raises his eyebrows, “How are you going to forgive me for whatever I did? Should I buy a mid-night snack for you?” He asks jokingly and all my restraint on my anger loses.

“Shut the fuck up!” I half-yell at him as I stop walking.

“Listen-” He suddenly turns serious.

“I said shut up,” I say through a clenched jaw.

“Yes, I am mad.” I glare, “But not at you, but at myself.”

“For caring for someone, who doesn’t even bother to inform me before disappearing.” I take a deep breath to calm myself, but its no use, “Do you have any idea, how much worried I was when you were not answering my calls?”

“Fifteen days, Alec.” I swallow, “I was worried sick about you, that something has happened to you. Hell, I was having nightmares that you died.”

“I am sorry, I didn’t think you would be worried.” He genuinely looks confused.

Exactly, because he doesn’t care about my feelings.

“If you haven’t figured it yet, then let me tell you.” I run a hand through my hair messing my ponytail, “I just have a handful of people in my life...If two people can be counted as a handful.” I scoff.

“Then you added in the little group of those two people.” I purse my lips, “The people I care about. And that was my mistake, to actually consider you a part of them.”

“Avery, I am sorry.” He shakes his head and takes a step towards me.

“No.” I take a step back, “You don’t have to apologize, as I have said it is my fault.”

“I am sorry, for reacting this way when I should not have.” I glance at the ground, “I was taking our friendship too seriously when it should be just limited to fun and timepass.”

Slowly all my emotions are back in my control, just the way I like.

“I don’t have any right to be angry at you, because you are not answerable to me in any way.” I raise my eyes to him, while he is already looking at me intensely which forces me to break the eye contact.

“I should get going as it is already quite late.” I sigh, “Also our talking time for tonight is up.” I lightly laugh and shrug.

“Feel free to talk to me if you are bored and need to talk to someone to pass your time.” Smiling at him sarcastically, I start walking in the direction of my home.



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