Mark has been drinking non-stop since the day, Beth went missing. She ran away after hitting Savannah, Mark said. But I could feel that something was off. She loved him. I saw that. Yes, she blindly loved him.
“Mark... Stop.” I tried to pull away the bottle of Bourbon, but he ignored me and finished it before giving it to me.
I was disappointed knowing that I couldn't do anything about him. This is the first time I am seeing him crying over a girl. He didn't show any emotion even when I announced that I was leaving. He was ok. We had a civilized conversation. He even managed to handle Savannah and never asked me to come back to him. Never.
I have known him all of my life. I was three when his mother died due to pneumonia. His mother, Alice used to work for the orphanage. He was 1 at that time. We played together. We were not best friends, but we were civilized with each other.
“Elizabeth?” He called. “Ginger.....”
He called Elizabeth, ginger. I have heard this before. It's like remembering my whole life.
He struggled to stand. Obviously, he failed and laid down on the floor to let out a laugh. A humourless, loud laugh, that echoed in the hallway.
“Mark, you need to bathe. Sylvia is calling for her mama.” I tried to blackmail him, but he ignored me and turn 360°, to lay down on stomach. Then, I heard him snoring.
How he could sleep at this condition?
How does Beth handled him?
I kicked him but nothing happened.
He looks like a homeless person. He even stinks. Messy hair, puffy eyes. He doesn't even look like a businessman.
I need to be at hospital for Savannah but before that I chose to help him first so that he could meet his daughters as soon as he's sober. I dragged him to his bed and pulled out his t-shirt to change the outfit.
I saw blood.
His abdomen had blood. Dried blood.
“What were you doing Mark?” I yelled.
“Ginger, you are mine.” He mumbled.
I didn't say anything and decided to leave once I am done settling him down. Savannah and Sylvia both are hospital. They both need their parents. But one is missing and the other is drunk. Even Eli is scared.
I feel like an outsider when Sylvia called mama and I tried to hug her. But that little girl shoved me away and cried out. She wants her mama and I am not her mama. She wants Beth, her mama. Even Savannah called for Beth before sleeping into coma. Eli is looking for Beth. Now, Mark is calling for Beth.
I tried cleaned his body as much as possible and went to his closet to pull out a comfortable outfit, but his t-shirt got stuck.
He needs to change the furniture. His clothes always get stuck and it is a normal phenomenon.
I used my power to pull out t-shirt but instead I heard it, getting tearing. So I decided to let it go. He owns another t-shirt as well.
I pulled a random t-shirt and was about to leave but one shiny thing caught my attention.
His closet has a locker inside it. A secret vault?
I need to close it.
What is that shiny thing inside?
Despite every ongoing conflict in my mind, I pulled it out to see what was that shiny thing. I couldn't help but feel nostalgic. It's an album. Our orphanage pictures. Our childhood.
I still remember when we decided to ran away. Sister Ruth was going to give up our unborn Savannah for adoption. Mark wanted his daughter, so I agreed to his plan. I always wanted to escape as, Arnold, our driver was a druggie and forced us to sell drugs for him. so that he could earn more. That was not a good place for kids. Sisters were good but their helping staff were more or less, criminals. Ultimately, we ran away with the help of a detective.
That detective used to come to meet us every month with his wife. Mark was very fond of that woman. She used to bring her daughters and her handmade cookies. They were a lovely family.
The couple was furious when Mark asked for help, but still they helped us. They even gave us money to survive for a few days. Then my education was forgotten but Mark knew, he needs to study for Savannah. We saved to Mark's education. We were good for a while but Then I had to leave.
By that time, I was in love with Mark but he didn't love me. He was with me because of Savannah. He is a good father.
Every memory was alive as I turned the pages of the album. That woman must have given this to him. I guess, he is still in touch with her.
I sat comfortably on the floor and decided to live my happy days, until I saw the last page, that contains his secret.
Mark is a bastard.
How could he?????
Now I realized why he is so obsessed with Beth. He was manipulating every one of us. He was using Antonio's vulnerability to have Beth. And surely, he is not looking for Ava.
I need to do something.
I went to Mark and slapped him to bring him to reality, but he kept whispering nonchalantly.
“How could you?” I slapped him. “We were kids.” Slap. “You are an asshole.” Slap. “Get up. Bastard.”
“I am a bastard.” He laughed.
“Where is Beth?” Slap. “She wouldn't leave her kids behind.”
“I am sorry.” He cried.
He is severely drunk. Shattered. Maybe guilty of his crimes. Lies.
“Where is Beth?” I begged.
“I didn't want to force you.” He held my hand gently. “We will restart.”
“What you did Mark?” I know he's imagining me as Beth. “You forced her?”
“I will never let HIM take you....”
“Did you raped her?”
“I was drunk..... I will... Will never drink again...” He said.
He has kept Beth captative and even raped her. Although, he's not in his right mind to speak but I have seen blood. It's her blood. He abused her until she bled. This Mark is a monster.
Now, everything makes sense, what he was trying to do. Bringing snow, gifts for Eli. He was trying to win Eli. He was slowly manipulating that little girl.
He is sick.
He is using innocent people for his bloody obsession.
I need to save Beth.
At least, this time.
I ran to my car to reach Leo. He can help her. He must help her. His sons played an equal role in destroying her life. I am not sure if Mark intentionally framed Beth or not but he is playing sick games with everyone.
I drove as fast as I can. I need to reach Leo before it's too late.
“Sarah!!!!” I called to get their attention. Sarah and Kate were having their mother-daughter time with kids. They have this amazing relationship with each other. Sometimes, I envy everybody. They have at least someone but I am alone. I have nobody. Even my own children hate me.
“Is everything ok?” Synn asked. He looked genuine concern. But I ignored my son and ran to Kate. I know, I am overreacting but I really don't know where is Beth or what is happening to her.
All I know is that she's innocent. And I feel if we didn't do anything this time she would die.
“Where is Leo?” I asked Sarah.
“Berlin. Business.” Sarah offered me water but I denied.
“Antonio? Valerio?” Sarah shook her head as an answer. Why all the Rossi men have to leave together?
“Do you love Beth?” I asked Kate.
“Of course, she's the sister I never had,” Kate replied.
“then save her.....”