Sydney was back to square one.
She was back in her room, on her bed, crying her eyes out. All of the hopes she had, all the promises she thought she would make to him, and all the courage she felt this morning, shattered with the words he spat at her. It shattered with Anderson’s cold hard rejection. This morning when he had turned his back on her, she felt her world collapse around her. She felt something break deep within her, something that was not her heart because she knew that was long broken. She tried to think how she would piece her life together after this. Yes, it was true she had only been thinking about going back to acting yesterday, but that was before, when she thought Anderson might forgive her. However, after learning that he despised her, she did not think she could do everything she had planned before, at least, not now. Not when she was damaged, not when she felt guilty for taking the sweetest man in the world and turning him bitter.
“Sydney,” Adeline’s voice came from behind the locked door. “Please open up, let me in.” The poor woman’s voice was thick with emotion. Sydney knew her mother was worried about her, but she did not want to see anyone. She wanted to be alone. “Sydney, please.”
She opened her mouth to tell her mother to go away, but no words were forming. What formed instead, were tears. They pooled her eyes and overflowed, slipping down her cheeks, soaking the pillow under her head. She closed her eyes, shutting out all noises in the background and focused on the memories playing in her mind. Memories of the handsome black god called Anderson. She would never find anyone who loves black as much as he does. She would never find any man as handsome as him. In fact, he was more than the word handsome. His golden brown hair, his captivating blue eyes, his luscious full lips and his love for black, all made him the special man he was. Sydney knew that even if she found a man with all these features and characteristics, he would never be Anderson and she would never love anyone as much as she loved him. Bitterness rose in her mouth as his words played in her mind.
“You had your chance and you threw it away.”
She hated to admit it, but indeed, he was right. She had her chance with him. She had the chance to be happy with him, but she threw it away. She threw away her chance at happiness and now she was regretting it bitterly. Now she wished she had not learned the truth. She wished she could turn back time and undo that moment Adeline told her everything. She wished she had not so stupidly concluded that he would leave her. She wished everything would go back to what it was before… when she was happy with her fiancé.
There was a sudden humming sound coming from outside. There was no doubt that a car has just stopped right in front of their house, but who was it? Was it Hansen, who has come to tell them how Mr. Niles was doing? Or, was it the lawyer they hired to look at Caleb’s case who has arrived? Sydney was still trying to figure out whom it was when a voice called out her name.
“Sydney!” She shot up to a sitting position, surprised that she was hearing that voice. Her heart started banging in her chest and fresh tears rushed to her eyes. Was it he? Has he come back for her?
“Sydney!” The voice called her name again, and she quickly scrambled out of bed. Rushing to the window, she parted the curtains. Standing outside the house, by his car was Anderson. Her heart fluttered at the sight of him as her tears fell on her cheeks. Questions run through her mind. What was he doing here? What did he want with her now? Did he not tell her he would never forgive her? Then what was he doing standing outside her house right now?
“Sydney, please come out!” He screamed, rushing his fingers through his hair.
At that same moment, there was a knock on her door before Adeline’s voice came through. “Sydney, Anderson is outside.”
Sydney squeezed the curtains in her hands and shut her eyes. She did not want to go out there. No, she would not go out- not after he said all those hurtful things, not after he blatantly rejected her. She was afraid, afraid that he was here to yell more hurtful things to her, afraid that he was here to make her feel even worse than she already was, afraid that her heart would not be able to handle whatever hurtful words he has come to spit at her.
“Sydney, please come out. I need to talk to you.” His voice sounded desperate. He sounded broken and hurt. Her chest constricted and she gasped, throwing a hand on it. She could not do this anymore. She had to meet him even if this was going to be their last meeting.
She quickly went to unlock the door and walked out of her room. Adeline followed her into the living room, saying. “You don’t have to meet him if you don’t want to.”
Sydney stopped at the front door. Her hands curled around the doorknob and she hesitated before opening it. Anderson, who was pacing outside, stopped moving when the door opened. Sydney’s breath caught in her throat when she saw him. He looked as miserable as she did. His clothes were wrinkly, hair, messy and eyes, red. There was no doubt that he was suffering. Of course, why would he not? He had discovered a lot of thing about himself him today and they were not pretty. Sydney wanted to run to him. She wanted to throw her arms around him and hold him tightly. She wanted to beg him to forgive her, but she closed her eyes and stopped herself.
“Sydney, I am sorry for everything I said this morning.” His words made her opened her eyes in utter surprised. “I should not have said those things.” He took a step towards her. “I understand you now. I understand why you would think I would be upset. I understand everything, so now please forgive me for everything I said. I don’t want to lose you.” Now he was right in front of her, looking deep into her eyes, past her heart, right into her soul. “I love you.”
This time, Sydney did not hesitate to throw herself against him. Her arms went around his neck as she brought him into her embrace. His hands snaked around her, and they held onto one another ever so tightly. Sydney sniffed as a fresh set of tears rushed into her eyes. She could not believe how much she has missed him. She missed being in his arms. She missed the exhilarating smell of his cologne and everything about him.
They pulled back, only for their lips to find each other. The kiss was slow, just as it was their first time. A tingle ran down her spine while his soft lips brushed against her. Anderson placed his hand at her nape and brought her face closer, deepening the kiss. Sydney could not believe that she was back in his arms and she wished for them to stay like that forever.
“SYDNEY!” A loud scream reached her ears, startling her out of Anderson’s arms. She opened her eyes and to her surprise, she found herself in a dark place. Not knowing what was going on, she called.
“Anderson,” reaching her hand out, she tried to hold him. However, she caught nothing. Closing her eyes, she tried to go back to where she was. She tried to go back to Anderson. She tried to go back to his kiss and feel his lips against hers. As she opened her eyes again, she found herself still in the dark place. Her eyes started adjusting to the environment and she made out the chair, the dressing table, the lamp, the window, the bed and then she realized that she in her room. Getting up from bed, she moved to the switch and turned on the lights. As soon as the room became clearer to her, tears formed in her eyes. She crouched at the door, sobbing to the fact that everything had been a dream. Anderson did not come looking for her and they did not get back together.
“ARGH!” A screech reached her ears and she froze. It was that voice, which drew her out of her sleep. It was not just any voice, though, but her mother’s. Before she could begin to ask herself what the ruckus was about, a smashing sound echoed into her room, followed by a loud scream.
“Mother?” Sydney rose to her feet and quickly unlocked her door. The corridor was dark when she stepped into it. “Mother, what is happening?” She asked while moving to the switch and turning on the light. Seeing straight into the living room, she saw the whole room destroyed. “What?” She hurried there and quickly spotted her mother lying on the floor, face down. Her eyes flared in shock. “Mother, what happened to you?” She fell to her knees and touched Adeline’s shoulder. The woman lifted her head and looked at her daughter. Sydney gasped when she saw her mother’s bleeding nose and cracked lips.
“Behind… you,” the words bad barely rolled out of Adeline’s tongue when a hard blow landed on Sydney’s head. Gasping, she fell to the floor beside her mother. A sharp pain stung the back of her head, vibrating to her brain and moving to other parts of her body. Tears gathered in her eyes as she looked at her mother. A pained expression was on Adeline’s face, while tears pooled her eyes.
Footsteps echoed behind Sydney, as the person who struck her came to stand in front of her, revealing her blood-red shoes. “How nice of you to join us, Sydney.” The voice that spoke was familiar, but she could not identify the person immediately as her head throbbed painfully. Dark spots suddenly clouded her vision and then she lost touch with reality.
* * * * *
It felt like ages had passed before the dark spot started to clear. Her eyelids felt lighter and her body no longer felt like a heavy load weighing her down. Sydney snapped open her eyes to find herself in a dark place. She blinked and tried to move, but could not. Her hands were bound behind her as she lay on her back. She tried to move her feet and realized that they were also tied together. She tried to identify where she was, but could not see a damn thing. It was just too dark. Her chest started to rise and fall, as she found it difficult to breathe. Tears stung her eyes and she screamed.
“Mother!” There was no reply and she wondered where Adeline was. “Mother!”
She felt a bump and then her head hit a metal. The pain at the back of her head returned and she moaned. There was another bump, then another and a sicken realization hit her. She was in the booth of a moving car! Almost instantly, a voice echoed through her mind.
“How nice of you to join us, Sydney.” Now, she recognized the voice. It was Mary!
Oh no, she gasped. “Mother!” She screamed, while turning her wrists. The ropes burned her and she whined. It was useless. They were too tight and she would hurt herself if she continued, so she stopped. Many questions raced through her mind as she wondered why Mary would do this. Why did she kidnap her? What did she want with her? More importantly, what was she going to do to her?
“Mother, where are you?” Sydney screamed.
“Sydney,” Adeline called. Her voice was distant, but it was audible. “Sydney, are you alright?” It was coming from within the car. Perhaps did Mary kidnap them both?
“Yes. Yes, mother. I am fine.” Relief swept over her after hearing her mother’s voice. “How about you?”
“I am fine.” Adeline’s voice broke. “Hang in there my love.”
Hearing her mother’s voice calmed her in a way, but she was still nervous and scared. “Mother, why did Mary do this?” She asked.
“It’s all my fault. I am sorry Sydney.”
“Oh, what a sweet reunion.” A voice interrupted them. Sydney did not need to be told that it was Mary. She recognized the voice immediately. Although, it sounded distant and almost inaudible, she knew who it was.
“Jenny, you better let my daughter go!” Adeline warned.
“Not in a million years.” She replied with a chuckle.
“She did nothing. Why include her in our problem?”
“Nothing?” Mary huffed. “She turned my son against me. She told him the truth and made him hate me. Hansen does not want to look at me and even if he does, his eyes are filled with hatred towards me.” Her voice ended in a whisper.
Sydney shook her head. No, she did not tell Hansen a thing. It was not her fault either, that he hates her. As if reading Sydney’s mind, Adeline said. “My daughter did not turn your son against you. You turned him against yourself by doing what you did to him. You are a bad parent.”
“Oh, shut up. And you were a perfect mother.” Mary sneered. “We both let down our children, so don’t you dare lecture me.” She warned.
“Jenny, stop the car and let Sydney go.” Adeline said.
“No!” Mary yelled. “You are both to blame for everything. You brought out the truth. You made my son hate me and now, I lost my husband.”
Sydney gasped. Mr. Niles was dead! Her heart quickly went out to the brothers. She wondered how they were feeling now, especially Anderson. Oh, poor Anderson. He would be hurting badly now. She could not begin to think how he was feeling. He was already in pain and now more pain has just been added to it. She wished she were with him now. She wished she could be by his side and support him at this difficult time.
“Jenny, I am sorry for your lost.” Adeline said.
“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! I don’t want to hear it!” Mary raged.
Sydney felt the car swerved and she pressed to her side. Fear gripped her as she screamed.
“Jenny, watch where you are going.” Adeline warned, but Mary did not seem to be heeding to her warnings.
The car swayed from left to right. Sydney bumped and hit her head against the metal until her eyes filled with tears. Her heart was in her throat as she tried to understand what was going on. Why were they swaying? Why was Mary not stopping?
“Jenny, watch where you are going. You going to get us killed.”
As soon as the words left Adeline’s lips, Sydney heard a loud honk. Almost instantly, something slammed into the car. There was not a doubt in Sydney’s mind that it was another car. She heard her mother’s piercing scream and she let out her own. The car screeched to a stop and then everything fell silent. A warm liquid slipped from her forehead and dripped on her chest. Sydney lay still, trembling with fear. She wanted to call her mother. She wanted to ask what happened. She wanted to know if her mother was fine, but the words were not forming. Smoke started to fill into the booth, suffocating her.
Before she lost consciousness, she managed to speak out one name.