Then You Look At Me

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I'll Never Forget It

~Lost and insecure, you found me. Lying on the floor, surrounded.~ The Fray.

Chapter Theme Song: ‘You Found Me’ by The Fray.

••

Third-person Pov

“Fuck…why won’t Jeff pick his damn phone up?” Greg hisses, fiercely pressing the disconnect button to avoid listening to the voicemail menu. He is standing outside the gym, the cold evening air a vast contrast to his current mood. Jeff was supposed to be here already since today was their scheduled work-out day, but nightfall is nearing, and he is yet to see a sign of his best friend. Concluding that Jeff probably changed his mind, he quickly moves over to his brown jeep and gets in, deciding to head home and call it a day.

“Probably at home fucking Miranda…” He grumbles, shaking his head as he steers out of the parking lot. Greg is oblivious to the black Honda trailing him home as he turns his radio up, idly drumming his fingers against the leather-covered steering wheel.

His three-story house is not far away from the gym. When he first came to Crossview after his long visit abroad, he fell in love with the scheme for a few reasons, one being loathingly impure. Rainey.

He wanted to be nearby, hopefully getting an opportunity to swing by at perfect timing when Jeff and her mom is absent and perhaps, he would get the chance to do what he wants. What he had not been able to do in six years.

He parks his jeep in the wide spacious yard of his mansion and hops out, humming a song to himself while he grabs his gym bag. Ansel and Alex who are watching him a few blocks down are appalled that he lives in the same scheme as Rainey and this repels them to carry on with their acts of revenge. If they were to have even a speck of sympathy prior, his mere choice of residence would debilitate the mercy.

Greg steps onto his porch and his Beagle hops down from his beanbag, waggling his tail as he scuttles over to his owner. Greg smiles as he reaches down to fluff the dog’s head.

“Hey, miss me?” He chuckles, straightening his spine to retrieve his key from his sweatpants.

As soon as he turns the key in the door and grips the knob, a cold metal presses into his side. He stiffens and slowly turns his face to see a smirking boy.

“Open the door and be quiet,” Alex orders devilishly, pressing his finger against his lips for comical effect.

Greg’s eyes drop to the weapon and the color drains from his face. “What the fuck is this? A robbery?”

“You should just do as you’re told.”

Greg looks in the opposite direction where he heard the second voice, discovering an unsmiling Ansel leaning against the wall of his patio. He raises his chin with clenched teeth. “You.”

“Yeah, me. Surprise.” Ansel’s expression is hard as he jerks his head in the direction of the door. “Open it, or we’ll blow your brains out right here where your dog can lick up your remains.”

The Beagle is waggling his tail, strangely not unnerved by the two strangers standing on the porch.

Greg swallows hard, his hands shaking as he gently opens the door. The screeching noise it makes as it swings open adds to the suspense of the situation and he slowly walks inside as if he is walking into his death.

The boys follow in behind him, both having their guns in close reach as Greg raises his quivering palms, glancing sideways in fear.

“L-look you guys can take everything, everything. Do you guys want money? I can give you that. How much do you want?”

“Do we look like beggars?” Alex hisses, grabbing Greg’s collar and throwing him onto the ground. He groans from the hard fall but immediately reclines onto his palms, gazing up at the boys with anxious eyes. “T-then why are you here?”

Alex instinctively goes over to him and begins to take his cellphone and wallet from him, stepping back as soon as he has retrieved them.

“If it’s money, I have more in my private safe. I have a ton load of it. The combination is 081MU—”

Ansel stoops down in front of him, one hand holding his gun and the other pushing his hair back in exhaustion. “I don’t need your money; I am quite ambitious to work for my own. The only thing I want is to see your blood on my hands and these floors…that’s all. I hope you can co-operate and not speak unless you are asked a question, failure to do so will result in you getting hurt prematurely. Are we clear?”

Greg blanches, his eyes clouded with a wave of dread.

“So now, let us get started. I just want to ensure that we are all on the same page. Do you know why you’re in this position, Greg Taylor?”

He looks between the two boys despondently. “No, I have never done anything to offend you, boys. Is it because of that time I saw you in front of Jeff’s house?” He laughs nervously. “Look, the past is the past. I won’t cross your paths again.”

Ansel shakes his head while Alex tsks in feign pity.

“You see Greg, I don’t care for what you want to say or do to me, yeah? But when you touch someone I love, then that is where the problem lies. As I just told your best friend…I am very protective of the people I love. It’d be great if you could let that sink in for a moment.”

Realization dawns on Greg’s features and his eyes slightly widen as he looks between the two brothers. “You-you two did something to Jeff? Is that why I am unable to reach him?” His brows pull together and anger overthrows his prior fearful countenance. “And I am next, is that it?”

Ansel smirks. “We are getting somewhere.”

“You both will not get away with this!”

“Just as how you will not get away with what you did.” Ansel counteracts. “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.”

“I swear, I did nothing to offend you boys, this is just madness, insanity, are you two fucking delusional or something? Leave my house or I’m calling—”

“Ha. Look at this, An.”

Ansel looks back to see Alex stretching a small photo to him. Retrieving it, he narrows his eyes while he studies the image.

Rainey. A tiny photograph of her when she was about ten years old. Her tight-lipped, innocent smile stretches her small lips. Her hair is made into two pigtails and she is wearing a yellow summer dress with baby kittens randomly issued on the fabric. Ansel feels his eyes welling with the proof of his sympathy for the little girl in the photo.

“I found it in the pervert’s wallet,” Alex informs. “Fucking creep.”

Ansel shuts his eyes and presses the hand holding his gun against his forehead.

She looked so innocent, so pure. He is unable to tell if the picture was taken before or after these men abused her, but all he knows is that this will be haunting his mental space for as long as he lives.

“Is this about Rainey?” Greg desperately babbles on. “What did she tell you? I swear it was a lie, whatever she told you it is a lie. I didn’t touch her, I didn’t.”

Alex scoffs and Ansel raises his head, passing the photo back to his brother. He uses a palm to wipe his glossy eyes then blows his cheeks out.

“You know Greg, none of us said that you touched her, none of us mentioned that. You just admitted that all on your own.” He stands to his feet with darkness overshadowing his face. Greg senses the danger in his eyes and immediately begins to regress on his palm quickly.

Ansel firmly steps into his chest, and he grunts, his heavy body flumping against the hard floor.

“She was ten, you sick son of a bitch. Ten!”

He kicks him in the face, blood oozing from his nostrils as he blinks his eyes, already threatening to become unconscious. He reaches a hand to hold his face, but Ansel’s sneakers make it there before him, kicking his face again and drawing more spurts of blood from his nose.

“You remember you said a boy is no match for a man?” Ansel sits over him, pulling him up by the collar. “But look how easy it is to fuck you up.”

Alex titters, shaking his head.

“Do you know why it is so easy?” Ansel smirks while Greg’s eyes become unfocused, whirling around in his head. “Because you’re not a man. You’re a molester. A weak molester who only has strength for little girls. You disgust me.”

He fists Greg in the face and his head bobbles back, blood now spuming from both his mouth and his nostrils. He is unable to recover from the hard blow as Ansel fists him yet again, followed by another, then another.

Soon he is beating Greg to a messy pulp on the floor while Alex stands by, ensuring his brother’s back is covered. Greg’s grunts and groans bounce off the walls as Ansel releases his anger on the thirty-five-year-old man.

Each punch is fueled by the vivid imagery of a crying Rainey, curled up against the corner of her room, hugging her knees while she sobs helplessly. Five years of being touched and violated unwantedly by two men could damage even the strongest of persons. Ansel might not have been there, but his mind can create accurate depictions of situations. Though that talent aids toward his commendable GPA, in times like these he desperately wishes he could switch it off.

He keeps seeing her, her crying face, her trembling body. He keeps seeing it.

He hates that he wasn’t there to help her, to save her. She had to bear this weight all on her own and it breaks his heart.

He stops beating Greg when he gets exhausted, only to find that the weak man is already knocked out cold with a bloody face. He flops down onto the ground, burying his head into his red-stained palms.

His eyes are burning and even though Greg is lying on the floor half-dead, his soul is not at ease.

Alex walks over to his brother’s agonized figure and rests a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, An…It’ll be okay.”

It will never be. As long he lives, he will not forget what they did to her. And it surely does not aid his case that his mind stores every goddamn thing like a recycle bin. Nothing that enters his mind, leaves it.

••

Night has fallen, a bright glow of streetlights lighting the street as they drive home. Ansel’s head is perched against the headrest as he stares at the passing houses; he has been extremely quiet since they entered the car. Alex glances over at him, sighing heavily as he tightens his grip on the steering wheel.

“It’s fucked up what they did to her.”

Ansel’s response delays as if his mind is not present. “Yeah.”

He keeps it short and Alex has no idea what else to say. He can see that his brother is not in the best of moods and it bothers him; he hates when he is detached. Alex has a special attachment to Ansel. Not only because they share the same room but when Alex was born, his mother told them that he clung to Ansel more than the others. To add to it, they are just one year apart in age.

“If it makes you feel better, we can just finish them off. You know, ensure they’re dead.” Alex tries, but Ansel shakes his head, resting a palm on his face.

“Leave it.”

Alex sighs. “Alright.”

The silence returns for a while, the car engine filling the void in the atmosphere. Ansel finally releases a breath and takes his palm from his face, revealing a tight frown. He drops his gaze to his hands, a sad gleam in his eyes. “It’s just fucking with my head, you know?”

Alex nods. “Yeah. I know. I’m sorry.”

“I knew something happened…I had an assumption of it…but the confirmation still messes with me. And now I can’t get it out of my head.” He sighs, laying his head back against the seat. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”

He won’t. No matter what, he won’t. It’ll be something his mind will always log back to, it’ll be a vivid memory he’ll have to live with.

~


~Just a little late, you found me.~ The Fray💔


✨Thank you so much for your support and for sticking with me from Chapter One (Locker Guy) until now🧡It means a lot and I really appreciate it!! Stay tuned for more and if you like my story, don’t forget to hit that heart/like at the bottom and follow me (if you want to lol) so you can get instant notifications of when I post updates and everything concerning Ansel and Rainey💙

Alsooooo, if you want you can check out my short dialogue story: ‘Friendzoned’. It is a quick and light read, nothing too serious.

✨Much luv and stay tuned for more!💛

-Tiffanyluvss❤️

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