“Mother!” She gasped, throwing her hand over her mouth.
“Sydney, please help me.” Adeline’s voice trembled with emotion.
“I will, mother.” She swore. “I will get into the car right now and I will come to you.” She got out and closed the door of Kathleen’s Porsche.
“What car?” Adeline asked.
“Mary’s car, I… I mean Jenny’s car. She kidnapped you, right? I am coming to get you.” She explained, while heading towards the gate.
“No, no, no.” Adeline said. “I am not with Jenny. I… I escaped from the hospital. Please come and get me. I do not know where I am, but I just passed a placed called Dominos. It is dark around here and I am afraid. Please hurry. I do not have much time.” The call ended.
Sydney stopped in her tracks. Did she just hear right? Mary does not have her mother? But she called and said… That was when she realized it. Mary tricked her!
Sydney’s hands folded into fists, as she felt deceived. Oh how she would have knocked that devil’s face in if she were to be in front of her right now. Mary was a cunning person. She heard about Adeline’s escape and used the fact that she was missing, to want to trick her. How dare her!
Sighing, relief suddenly swept over Sydney, before a smile formed on her lips. Her mother was not with Mary. It was a good thing Adeline called in time to stop her from doing what she would have later on regretted bitterly.
Turning on her heels, she went back to Kathleen’s car. She got behind the wheel and thankfully, the keys were in the ignition. Without hesitating, she shut the door, buckled up and then turned the key. The engine roared to life and she took three deep breaths to settle her nerves.
“I can do this.” She told herself and then put the car in reverse. After drawing out of the parking space, she drove out of the gate in full speed, swooshing past Mary’s car. She stepped hard on the gas pedal and gripped the steering wheel. The wind blew her hair and hit her face, but she focused on the road before her and the task at hand. And that was, getting to her mother before anyone else did.
“Mother, I am coming.” She mumbled and drove into the night.
Sydney was on the road for an hour. When she finally, got to Dominos, which was a few miles out of the city, she was breathless. Turning off the engine, she stepped out of the car and glanced around the place. There was only a motorbike standing outside the small grocery store and a telephone booth. Mother might have made the call from there. She thought while heading to the entrance.
She entered the store and after looking around, asked the old man behind the counter if he saw a woman. The man confirmed seeing one crazy looking woman walking along the streets. After he showed her the direction that woman went, she thanked him and left.
Sydney drove along the road for fifteen more minutes, before spotting a figure in the headlights. She knew, right away, who it was. Pulling up a few meters away from her, she stepped out of the car and rushed to her.
When Adeline spun around, Sydney did not hesitate to pull her into a tight embrace. At that moment she was excited to see her mother, thrilled to have her arms around her and thankful that nothing bad has happened to her. At that moment, tears filled her eyes and rolled down her cheeks, as she knew her mother was safe.
However, that moment soon shattered when she remembered about Hansen. Quickly and harshly, she pushed her mother away from her, a frown creasing her forehead.
“Sydney…” Adeline began, but her daughter cut in, shutting her up.
“Why did you escape from the hospital?” Sydney asked, avoiding her mother’s gaze. “Don’t you know it is good for you? Why did you have to attack those nurses and the security guard?”
“I didn’t want to be there any longer.” Adeline replied while wrapping her arms around herself.
“Well, I am afraid that’s not your choice to make. I am taking you back.” Sydney reached for Adeline’s hand, but she stepped back.
“No, I am not going back!” Adeline raised her voice.
“Yes, you are!” Sydney raised her voice to match hers.
“No, I am not! I am never going back to that horrible place. They hurt me.” Adeline’s voice broke, as her head hang low. “Ever since the first day I went there, I have been beaten, starved and mistreated! Jenny made sure of it!”
Sydney gasped, eyes flaring in surprise. “No.” She refused to believe it. Her mother could be lying so as not to go back to rehab. “I don’t care mother. I am still taking you back.” She grabbed her arm and was bringing her to the car. Adeline, however, wiggled out of her daughter’s grip.
“I am not going back, didn’t you hear me?” She yelled, locking gazes with Sydney. When she realized that her daughter was not going to believe in her words, she decided to show her what she had been hiding from her for the past weeks.
Adeline removed the long coat -she probably stole from somewhere- leaving her in a nurse uniform. Sydney was about to ask where she got a nurse uniform, but then recalled the doctor saying her mother attacked a nurse. Her attention was quickly averted from the uniform when she saw the state her mother was in.
Adeline’s hair was tousled, falling around her head in messy curls. She looked more pale and thinner than the last time Sydney saw her. She did not have any footwear and she looked like an extra from a zombie movie. However, that was not what made her pupils dilate in horror.
On Adeline’s arms, were long ugly red marks. “M… mother, what are those?” She asked, afraid of the answer.
“I was whipped every day.” Was the reply Adeline gave, which made Sydney break down in tears.
“Mother,” she cried, touching her arm. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“Because I was threatened. She said she would hurt you if I say anything.” Adeline threw the coat over her shoulders. “I had to stay quiet, for you.”
Everything was coming back to her now. That one time she saw the marks on her mother’s hand, and those other times, she was always covered in blankets. She had her suspicions, but brushed it off, as she really trusted that the doctor was taking care of her mother. Oh, she should have known that Mary never does anything without having ulterior motives.
Taking her daughter’s hand inside hers, she spoke. “I should have told you this earlier, but I couldn’t. Sydney, please do not marry him. Let’s go away from here and never come back.”
Sydney quickly pulled her arm away, yelling. “You can’t tell me that!”
“Yes, I am. I am your mother and I love you. I know what’s best for you and he isn’t.” Adeline screamed, grabbing Sydney’s arms and pulling her towards the car.
“Let go of me!” She screamed, her voice echoing into the cold night. Adeline halted in her steps. Turning about, she watched as tears rushed into her daughter’s eyes once again. “You cannot ask that of me.” Sydney said.
“Sydney please don’t be stubborn. Jenny will make your life miserable.”
“I don’t care!” Sydney yelled, her tears falling from her eyes. “My life is already miserable anyway. But, I don’t see it that way whenever I am with him.”
“Sydney…” Adeline sighed.
“No, mother. You are not going to come into my life and take decisions for me! You stopped doing that a long time ago, so I do not expect you to start now. I am marrying him in a few hours and not you, or Mary or Jenny, or whatever the hell that witch’s name is, is not going to stop me!” With those words, she moved past her mother to the car and got straight behind the wheel.
Sydney placed her head to the steering wheel and allowed her tears to run out of her eyes. She needed this. She had to let out all the pain and anguish that was in her chest. She had to free everything or else she fears that she would give up and do what everyone else is asking her to do
“Sydney,” Adeline, who was now standing at Sydney’s door called her name.
“No,” Sydney’s head came up. “Don’t ask me not to marry him_ please.” Her voice shook and lips trembled.
“Sydney,” Adeline shook her head. “I can ask you not to marry him because I did something really terrible to him. And I know that if he finds out, he would hate me so much that he would not want you again.”
“Then tell me, what other bad thing you did, besides stealing a baby!” Sydney yelled.
Adeline shook her head. “I… I can’t.”
“Why can’t you?”
“I made an oath with someone not to. I can’t break it.”
Shaking her head in disbelief, Sydney rolled up the glasses and turned the key in the ignition. Adeline quickly rushed around the car and got into the passenger seat. Her fingers had barely grazed the seat-belt when Sydney moved the car. She made a turn, so sharp that it threw Adeline back into her seat with force.
“Sydney, slow down. You will get us killed.” She did not listen. “Sydney!” Adeline yelled while holding onto her seat for dear life.
Sydney drove back on the same road she took a while ago, with the same speed as before. However, unlike the first time when she was going fast to get to her mother, this time she was going fast to get to her love. Glancing at her watch, she saw that it a few minutes past three AM. Knowing very well that, time was not on her side, she stepped hard on the gas pedal.
The first streaks of daybreak was just appearing in the dark sky when she reached Lance’ place. It was a good thing her good friend was in town to attend her wedding, because she would not have known where to keep her mother if he was not here.
“What are you doing here?” Were the first words he uttered when he opened his door and saw them.
“Lance, I am sorry for disturbing you but can my mother stay here for some time while I…”
“Yes, no problem.” He cut in. They were now in his living room. “I asked what you are doing here? It’s your wedding in a few hours and you are… oh my God, don’t tell me you are running away.”
“No, no, no. Oh God no, I am not.” Sydney reassured him. “But I have to get going now.” She was heading to the front door again. Lance was right behind her. “I have a lot of things to do.” She was now stepping out of the door.
“Yes, I know. I will see you at the alter?” He asked to which she smiled in return.
“Thanks Lance,” she hugged him.
“You are welcome.” He said, breaking the embrace. “I can’t believe your fiancé let you out. If my future wife was out of my sight even for a second, I would be worried about her.”
“I am sure he is worried about me.” Sydney thought as she hurried to the car. As soon as she got behind the wheel, she took her phone to check for missed calls, because she had put it on silent earlier on.
A gasp escaped her lips when she saw over a hundred missed called, most of which came from Anderson. Although she felt sorry for making him worry, she also felt extremely happy that he was worried about her.
She pulled out of Lance’s compound and sped away. The sky turned completely white when she reached the gates of the Alistair Mansion. To her surprise, she saw Anderson’s black Ferrari packed in the compound. The gates opened and she entered.
Sydney had just turned off the engine when the front door burst open. An upset looking Anderson strode out of the house. Right behind him was Hansen and Kathleen. Afraid that she might have angered her husband-to-be, she stayed in the car as she feared that she would not be able to face him if she stepped out.
Anderson was standing at the driver’s door within seconds. She could not to look at him. She would not. He opened the door and her heart leaped into her throat. “Sydney,” the voice that spoke her name both surprised and frightened her.
Before she could react, he put his hands around her and brought her out of the car, into his arms. His musky scent suddenly enveloped her, weakening her senses. All at once, the stress of the last few hours hit her and she melted against him.
Anderson carried her straight to her room. He locked the door behind him and then went to place her on the bed. Without speaking a word, he turned and went to close the shutters, blocking sunlight from entering the room.
When he turned to face her, he sighed her name heavily. “Sydney.”
“I am sorry.” She quickly apologized, head hanging low. She was feeling like the worst fiancée of all time, for making him worry. “I should not have run away with Kathleen’s car.” Realizing what she just said, she threw a hand over her mouth and met his gaze suddenly. His eyes were as wide as saucers. “I… I was not running away from the wedding. I swear.”
Anderson stepped around the bed to sit with her. Now close up, she saw how disorganized he looked. His hair was a mess, probably from running his fingers through them a hundred times, his eyes were red from staying up all night and his clothes were not his usual fashion.
“Anderson, I am sorry.”
After those words were said, he did not give her the chance to speak further, as he claimed her lips. One of his hands moved to her nape and the other went around her waist. With a little push, the back of her head was hitting the soft pillows, with him lying on top of her.
He soon detached his lips from hers and then placed his forehead against hers. “You don’t have to be sorry or give explanations of where you were.” He said, while moving a lock of hair away from her forehead. “However, please answer the phone next time. I was so worried sick about you. I thought something bad happened and…” he shut his eyes.
“I am sorry.”
“Please, don’t be.” He said, gaze locking with hers.
As Sydney stared into his beautiful blue orbs, her mother’s words played in her mind.
“I can ask you not to marry him because I did something really terrible to him. And I know that if he finds out, he would hate me so much that he would not want you again.”
Her heart skipped a beat as her mind filled so many questions. She wanted to know what bad thing her mother did to him. How bad was it that he would not want her anymore if he found out?
“Sydney, are you with me?” She snapped out of her daze and focused on his eyes.
Nodding, she replied. “Yes.” She yawned right after.
“You did not get any sleep did you?” He asked, to which she shook her head. Smiling he rolled to off her, onto the soft mattress. He brought her into his arms. “Neither did I. So let’s get some sleep.”
“No, we do not have the time. Our wedding is this morning!” She broke out of his arms and rose to a sitting position.
“I know.” He said, while reaching for her. He brought her back to her previous position before adding. “The wedding has been moved. We are now getting married tonight. I moved it so we could rest before then.” He said.
After hearing those words, Sydney finally relaxed against him. Placing her head on his chest and moving closer to him, she smiled. “You did that for me? Why?”
“Because, I love you.” His voice was barely audible but she heard it. She raised her head and saw that his eyes were closed.
“I love you to.” She whispered before going back to her previous position. As Sydney drifted off to sleep in Anderson’s arms, she knew that nothing would ruin this wedding, not Mary and definitely not that horrible thing her mother did to him.