My eyes scanned through the list trying to recall if I had left anything. I was making a list of the things I needed and made up making a list. I am yet to let Caleb know that I was going to Paris in less than two weeks. I had no idea how he would react but he needed to know. Somehow, he made it in my life and I felt guilty for not letting him know about the decision. But I would tell him as soon as possible. In fact, I would let him know the next time he comes to my apartment.
Jenny didn't leave and is still in my apartment cooking me food even though I was perfectly fine now. I was more worried for Caleb since Jenny was with me. I told him that it was okay for Jenny to go back to his service but he straight forward refused and I was tired of arguing with him.
I had to buy a big luggage bag for packing. I was going to leave the USA and I had no idea even after completing my diploma, I would ever come back. Perhaps, I would get a job there or somewhere else and think of settling there. I had no one in the US except for my head nun who took care of me back in the orphanage. If I would ever come back to the US then I would definitely to meet.
I had to meet her before I left but that means, I had to travel twelve hours by bus to reach the orphanage. I had so many work to do. So, I got ready, picking up the list as I made my way to the door.
"Are you going somewhere? What about lunch?" Jenny asked as she walked to me from the kitchen.
"I am going out for shopping. You can have the lunch," I smiled at her and turned to leave.
"But you can't eat outside. The doctor has clearly told you to not eat anything from outside. You are still on medications and Mr. Theller would be mad at me," Jenny told me as I sighed.
"I am fine now, Jenny. And I can eat once in a while. I have been at home for a long time and I am tired. I want to go outside. I can't just sit at home just for a small incident like that," I told her and she shook her head.
"It was not small. You were poisoned," she argued and I looked at the ceiling. Clearly Caleb had worked on her and taught her how to speak to me.
"Ok. You know what? Let's go outside together," I told her and she tilted her head to the side.
"Yes! Together. You need a break as well. You do my house chores, cook for me and you only watch Netflix the whole day. You must be bored as well. Let's go out! If you will be with me then Caleb won't get mad at you, right? And you can help me with my shopping and keep an eye on me, right?" I told her while she stared at me for some minute but then nodded reluctantly as I beamed with excitement and waited till she got ready.
"What do you think about this bag? Oh, look! It's on sale," I said as I dragged the large bag out from under the rack and Jenny nodded. She looked gorgeous for her age. She wore a white shirt and black jeans and braided her brown hair to her side.
"But why do you need such a large bag, Ms. Carter?" she asked as she helped me handling the bag.
"You need a large bag because you pack the whole damn thing you own when you travel," I laughed and she furrowed her eyebrows.
"Are you going to travel somewhere Ms. Carter?" she asked and I nodded.
"Stop calling me Ms. Carter will you? I am not your boss. Caleb is. Call him whatever you want but please stop calling me that!" I told her as I recalled telling her to call me Sang.
"Alright," she chuckled and I looked down at the large purple-colored bag, inspecting its weight and space inside it. Finally. I chose to take and we made our way to the billing counter when Jenny got a call. She excused herself and went to the side to pick up the call.
It was unusually a long queue in the billing counter as I stood there in the queue and looked at Jenny who seemed in distress. The color drained from her face as she talked timidly and that made me wondered what happened with her. She looked back at me for a mere second and then made her way to me handing me the phone.
"Mr. Theller is really angry," she mouthed as I sighed and took the phone from her.
"What is this Sang? Do you seriously not understand both your and my situation?" he yelled as soon as I took the phone from Jenny. I clicked my tongue in annoyance and signaled Jenny to stand on my position in the queue and handed her my card as I walked a little away from the crowd to talk to Caleb.
"Caleb, can you please calm down?" I asked and this seemed to infuriate him even more.
"Calm down? You two snuck out tricking the bodyguard. I don't mind you to go out but I placed the bodyguard for your protection. Do you not get the situation? And you snuck out!" he yelled at me as I curled up my palm into a fist.
"Yes! I snuck out. What protection are you talking about? I don't want any and I don't want a bodyguard around me twenty-four, seven. Who do you think you are telling me how to live my life? I refuse to take the bodyguard. I brought Jenny with me and that was enough," I argued and heard him taking deep breaths.
"Look, Sang! I don't want to argue with you when you are not well. I know you are mad with me but this is just not the way. There is someone out there wanting you dead. This is a serious situation do you understand? I don't give a damn to what you think. So stop being childish now! Jenny already told me where you two are and I have informed your bodyguard. He will be there in five minutes. Cooperate with him until you want me to go there on my own," he challenged and as much as I wanted to retort back I decided against it and shut my mouth and just gave him a hum in response.
"I can't bear to lose you again. It is okay with me if you are angry on me and want to stay away from me. As long as I know that you are safe and sound, I'm okay with it. Please don't do this to me because you are mad at me. Let me take care of this matter and I promise I won't bug you once the case is cleared. Please?" he lowered down his voice and the anger in me seemed to subside as a small smile appeared n my face thinking about it.
"Alright," I told him.
"He will be there in five minutes. Stick closer to Jenny and return home as soon as possible. And enjoy," he told me and before I could argue with him about me enjoying with the bodyguard sticking to me, he hung up. I stared at the phone and huffed.
Look at this jerk! One second he is all sweet and the next minute such a jerk!
Nevertheless, I walked back in to find Jenny already in the front paying for my bag as I smiled when she looked at me raising her eyebrows wanting to know what happened.
"Don't worry he is not angry anymore," I said and she took a sigh of relief putting her hand on her chest dramatically.
"What a drama queen," I joked and that made her chuckle.
Surely, as Caleb had told us the bodyguard arrived and I had thought he would have a foul expression because we put his job in danger by sneaking out without his knowledge but thankfully the guy was as chill one. He arrived while we were having food from the food court of the mall and stood right next to me.
He was pretty tall, even taller than Caleb and bald. Thankfully he was in his civil uniform and didn't bother us. People were definitely giving me a strange look as they saw him standing there looking here and there in an alert position.
"I am so tired of this and this is embarrassing," I whispered at Jenny who sipped her coffee and gave me a smile knowing my condition.
"It's for your betterment," she told me and I rolled my eyes.
We spent the next few hours shopping for clothes and Jenny bought some as well. The winter was near and she bought some coats on sale but I didn't bother to buy any because I would be long gone and instead of carrying the coats, it will be better if I bought them there in Paris.
"Are you going somewhere? You bought so many clothes," she asked as she looked at my shopping bags and then at me.
"Yes, I am going to Paris soon," I told her and she nodded smiling.
"Then for how many days are two going? I think I should also take a leave," she said and I looked up at her in confusion.
"Two? I am going alone," I told her.
"Oh so Mr. Theller is not going?" she asked and that made me frown.
Why would he?
"No, I am going alone," I told her and she nodded and thankfully she didn't ask any further questions as we made our way out of the mall and waited for the cab.
"I am really happy to get these coats on sale. I will give one to my daughter," she told me and that made me smile.
It's good to have someone who thinks about you even you are not there. It's even better to have a mother.
My face fell instantly as I thought about my mother. I could barely remember the time I spent with her. Thanks to the picture, I remembered how she looked but still I couldn't remember anything else. My memories were void of my parents and I couldn't do anything about it.
How would it be if my parents were alive?
I'm sure my mother would have bought me coats and my father would have protected me from guys.
"Are you alright?"I heard a faint voice and saw Jenny staring at me with a worried expression.
"You are crying," she whispered and I didn't even realize when tears drops from my eyes. I wiped them away and smiled at her when the cab arrived before us. The bodyguard whose name, I came to know as Nile helped us put our things in the trunk of the car and as I was about to open the door a loud sound prevailed through my ears and immediately people around me screamed and ran away.
It was so fast, that I didn't even get the chance to understand what happened. And then I saw it. My bodyguard was on the ground writhing in pain as he clutched the side of his stomach from where blood was oozing out.
"He has been shot!" I heard a frantic voice of Jenny and saw her crouching down holding her ears crying.
"Nile!" I cried as I tried to reach him when all of a sudden more gunshots were heard and then I felt it. The ripping of muscles and the stinging sensation, on my arm. I was shot on my arm and immediately my purple blouse was stained with blood oozing out profusely. I couldn't bear the pain as I held the area which was hit and cried loudly crouching to the ground.
Jenny was sobbing as she crawled to me in shock and tried to put her hand on my arm but there was another gunshot and I saw Jenny's body being lifeless as she tumbled to my side and I fell on the ground watching her close her eyes.
What's going on?
Why is this happening to us?
Something cold hit my face and immediately I gasped and tried to open my eyes but couldn't I felt as if I was blinded. My hands struggled to be free and I got to my senses to know that my hands were tied in my back while my mouth was gagged and eyes were blinded. My lower body was tied to something that felt like a pillar and I struggled wriggling in my place.
What's going on?
Where am I?
Why can't I move?
A yelp escaped my mouth as I felt a sharp pain on my arm and that was when the memories came flooding in. I was at the mall, we were hailing a cab when I heard gunshots and saw Nile on the ground writhing in pain. I was shot in my arm and even Jenny was shot and after that, I lost my consciousness.
Wait! I was shot.
Jenny was shot.
What's going on?
Someone really wants me dead.
Where is Jenny? Is she alright? Where is Nile?
And where in the world am I?
"The woman has finally regained her consciousness," I heard someone and immediately started yelling even though my voice came muffled because my mouth was gaged still it didn't stop me from shouting. I tried to thrash against the pillar wanting to have my hands free when all of a sudden there was a hard hit on my stomach causing me to whimper in pain. The hit was so hard, it made me lose air and I was barely able to breathe but tears rolled down my eyes as I recognized someone just kicked me on my stomach.
"What are you waiting for?" I heard a woman's annoyed voice.
"Kill her! Immediately!" I heard her voice and shook my head when the blind in my eyes slipped a little and I peeped to find five men around me. The area looked as if I were in an abandoned warehouse. One of the man stood before me and there was a tab on the table and then I saw the woman's face.
They were having a video conference.
"It was not in our deal. If you want her dead then pay me more," the man said and I saw the woman getting angry. She looked as if she was in the late forties with short hair. Her eyes filled with venom as she spoke: "Don't fuck with me. I can kill you all. Kill the woman right now!" she yelled and the man chuckled.
"You? You think you can kill me? Don't fucking forget your position. I have the woman with me and it is up to me if I will kill her or not. So do as I tell you to or you will have to face the consequence," the man warned her and I saw as the woman in the video seemed agitated.
"Fine. I will pay you to double. Kill her first!" she ordered and I shifted in my position scared to death thinking why she wanted to kill me. I had never seen her before nor do I know her but why does she want me dead so badly?
"Pay me the advance and I will do it!" the man said and before the woman could speak he cut off the call and walked to me. I put my head down not wanting him to see that the blind has slipped from my eyes.
"Just what is this woman? That wench even agreed to pay double just to kill this thin woman," the man spoke and I felt him crouching down as he touched my face and I whipped my head to the other direction not liking his touch.
"Should I kill her?" one of the men spoke and the one before me chuckled and got away.
"Let the wench pay me first and then only I will kill her," the man said and next I heard the footsteps fading away as if they were going away.
"Keep an eye on her," I heard him again and knew someone was right next to me keeping an eye on me. I tried to peep and saw only two men in the warehouse as they went away and sat on the chair looking at their phones.
"What a drag! Why not just kill her? Not we got do babysitting," I heard one of them sneering at me.
"Don't fucking complain. If boss hears you then you will be the one in her place to die," the other guy warned him and he huffed at him in response.
My arm was hurting badly and my legs were cramping for the way I was sitting. Even though whatever condition I was in, I still couldn't forget Jenny and Nile.
Gosh! I should've remained in the house.
This all happened because of me.
Jenny and Nile were shot because of me.
I am the one to be blamed.
If only I had heard what Caleb told me.
But I was too childish and fickle to agree that someone was indeed trying to kill me.
All the evidences, the cops, and even Caleb told me that someone is after me but I didn't listen.
How can a person be so stupid like me?
If anything happens to Jenny and Nile, I won't be able to forgive myself my whole life.
God! Please save them.
I could hear water dripping somewhere and the loneliness was eating me. I had been kidnapped and tied up for god only knew how many days because I rarely got a chance to see anything. Nor was I fed anything and they didn't even give me a drop of water. I felt as if this was the way they wanted to end my life.
I wanted to yell at them and tell them that even though I would be dying they should at least be a man and let me know what is the reason for which I was being punished. That was my right to know.
I never harmed anyone nor had I ever thought ill for someone then why? Why does she want me dead? What did I do to her?
And to top of that, being tied up to the same spot made my legs numb. I couldn't feel my legs anymore. The blood oozing out from my arms stopped some hours ago but the pain I felt made me weep every now and then.
My mind drifted back to Caleb. What he must be doing and if he thought about me. Did he know about me disappearing?
Tears streamed down my face as I thought of him.
I really loved him and I cursed myself for not cherishing the moment I spent with him. He begged me to forgive him but I couldn't. And now I can't even tell him that I forgave him. I wanted to see his face one more time and tell him that I loved him. I wanted to feel his warm hug and tell him that I forgave him. I wanted to be with him.
Is this how you feel when you are in a death lap?
Well, then it serves me right.
Every time I pushed him away, his face flashed before my eyes. How sad and depressed he looked by my rejection but he still made an attempt to make me forgive him. He would smile even after rejection and let me know that he would come back for me.
Caleb, I don't regret it at all.
I don't regret meeting you or being in love with you.
You were the best thing that ever happened to me. I have never been so loved, cared, and looked by anyone but you and I was stupid enough to let you away from me.
Perhaps, I should have handled the fight between us more like a mature woman.
I knew I was at fault.
I should have approached you first and tell you about everything that happened between me and Eden. You continued to tell me how much you loved me but I could never tell you back. Perhaps, it was why you were so angry and hurt. I am really the one to be blamed.
I heard the opening of the door and then footsteps.
"I have received the money. Heads! Kill her!"
Now I can't even tell you how much as I had loved you.
"Say bye-bye to the world," I heard one of the men mocking me. But there was no tears left in me to let it flow. I was scared, but not a coward. If I were to die like this then I won't let my killer see my tears. Ever.
To say, it was the most beautiful day of my life, when you told me you loved me.
Three gunshots was what I heard as a small yelp escaped my mouth when I felt pain in three different areas of my body. I could feel my soul wanting to get free from the body that had nothing left.
To say, it was the most beautiful day when you told me that you wanted to be with me.
I could no longer feel the pain as the senses in me started to fade away. My body felt light and I was finally free of pain. The rope that bound me to the pillar prevented my body from going lifeless as I felt being restrained to the wall and grew lifeless, my eyes closing for all.
To say, it would have been the most beautiful day of my life, if in my death, I could have seen your face for the last time.
Caleb, don't be sad for me. I forgave you and I had always love-
"Oh no! Please don't do this to me. Please!"
The blind on my eyes was pulled off as someone patted my cheeks and I felt someone holding me closer. It was so nice and warm, it made me feel happy.
"Somebody save her!"
"Somebody please save her!"
"Sang please open your eyes. Please, I promise I won't ever get mad on you. Please, you can't leave me. I am here. I am here. Please don't leave me. Stay with me,"
"Why did this happen to you? Why! I should be the one who should be in your place. Why you!"
"Sang don't do this to me. Please, I'm begging you,"
It was Caleb. I recognized that voice. If it was really Caleb then I wanted to tell him that I could hear him but why could I not open my eyes? Why could I not tell him that I was fine and he didn't need to worry for me?
I could feel his body near to me, I felt him rubbing my hands, then why can't I open my eyes.
Did God really hear my last wish?
"Open your eyes, Sang! You are making me go crazy. I will die! I will die! Please love, please open your eyes. I can't let this happen to you. I love you. I'm sorry a hundred times, no! millions of times for being so rude to you and I promise I will accept all your punishment but for my sake open your eyes."
It was the last thing my heart could register as I finally slipped to darkness.