ENDS

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17- Okay

Iris's p.o.v.

After my conversation with Hunter's mom, her mood was severely dulled and soon enough our little hangout became awkward and we were already packing up to get home.

On our silent walk back, Hunters mom's phone began buzzing and the moment she pulled it out of her purse, a smile fell on her lips.

" Been a really long time hun" she spoke into the receiver as we kept on going.

I for one held my unfinished coffee in my hand and was slowly sipping on it.

Her conversation was simply going on with a lot of 'oh' 'yeah' 'uhun' I think I heard some other sentences in between but I wasn't really paying attention.

" She's here with me" she said and I had no doubt that she was referring to me, so her conversation suddenly piqued my interest.

" Here, it's Phoebe " she turns to me and hands me her phone, meanwhile the name of the caller managed to put a smile on my lips also.

" Hello " I said into the phone

" Iris, how are you?" Mrs Phoebe's soft voice replied.

" I'm okay. Good morning."

" Bless you sweetheart. Did Hunter deliver my message earlier?"

Now that she asked, was when I recalled she said she was supposed to fly in to New York.

" Yes he did. I'm sorry I haven't been able to call you, I lost my p-"

" oh please stop it. It's fine okay?" She cut me short and another smile crossed my lips.

" okay. When is your flight leaving?"

" It's already left, I'm currently in New York. Surprisingly I met Meredith on my flight " and at the mention of Merediths name I heard her shout in the background 'Yo Iris !'

I couldn't help the chuckle that escaped. " I'd soon be there, just give me a while "

" You sure you wanna come? I can get Dylan to come get us"

Dylan

" it's fine.. I'd be there"

" okay, we're waiting for you hun. Take care. Love you "

" love you too"

" I love you most!" Meredith's voice came through again and I couldn't help the second chuckle that escaped.

At the sound of the dial tone, I retracted the phone from my ear and handed it back to hunters mom while mouthing her a thank you.

She only nodded briefly with a smile before we resumed our silent short trek. Though the silence didn't last long as she asked a question.

" I never knew you were acquainted with Phoebe "

" oh, we've known for a really long time now"

" You guys met through Dylan?"

" yeah"

" hmm" she started but gave a brief pause before continuing " She knows about Louisa?"

Her question officially caught me off guard but I didn't want to assume too much.

" Yeah.. I think she saw it on the news "

" I'm talking about Louisa as my granddaughter. Does she know?"

" uhmm.." I began and took a second to clear my throat " yeah she did"

" Funny she didn't tell me " She said with a slight tone of disbelief in her voice.

" wasn't really her fault, she would have told you but I didn't want people knowing "

" Not even your child's paternal family? Aside from Phoebe that is"

" Yeah.. Hunter didn't actually want the babies at first " my mind slowly casting back to the day he told me to get rid of the pregnancy.

" babies?"

" Yeah.. Louisa was a twin. Lost her brother a month after birth "

Mrs McConnell came to a screeching halt and her breathing became shallow.

Shorty after, she took a deep breath and sighed " Can I ask why you never reported him?"

" I did" it was a whisper.

I didn't like where this conversation was going one bit, it was bringing back memories that I personally wished weren't existing.

" huh?"

" I did. They either didn't believe me or told me to keep quiet about it "

Her facial expression was livid, like she couldn't believe what she was hearing.

" who on earth would tell you keep shut about this kind of a thing? I wouldn't really blame those who didn't believe because I can't still believe it myself, but to know the truth and tell you to keep quiet about it?"

A painful laughter escaped my lips as I replied her question " You people were like the main holders of our school. No matter how many times I had reported to the authorities, they'd claim I was lying. Sometimes I'd show them the scars or bruises and all they'd do is call Hunter into the office and asked if he's responsible. Once he denies it, I'm officially a liar. I stopped reporting and hoping that something would be done at some point "

Her looks were painted with guilt and by the way she was looking flushed, I'd say she was having a rise in temperature too.

" I swear no one ever brought this to me" she defended

" it's okay "

It's not.. the more I think of things I had been through the more I just want to find Louisa and flee.

" Your parents used to work for us, you could have complained to them so they'd convey the message to us"

Yeah, I could have. And I did.

" I know " it came out soft. Too soft for my liking. And that was because the memories were causing tears to brim in my eyes.

" You... you did complain. They were the ones who told you to.... to be quiet "

" They never really said it"

" But that was what you felt from their reaction "
I didn't reply because it was completely true. Sure they never said it but I felt it. I felt it so hard.

" How in the world would my child come home from school with bruises and I'd tell her to keep shut about it!?" Now she sounded actually angry.

" When I used to tell them what was going on, it was just scratches and broken arms that was caused by falls. I had stopped telling them before it had gotten serious, rather I began hiding from them"

" Stop defending them! An ordinary tear drop should be enough reason to pick the case up"

" They were working for you. Before you guys employed them into different sectors we had nothing. You gave us a house and I attended school for free because of their services. I understand where they were coming from and that's why I don't blame them "

" Are you hearing yourself? They were risking your life to make you happy? It doesn't make sense"

" They were trying to make life easy for me"

" And how did that turn out"

" It wasn't their fault that Hunter was bullying me"

" but it was their fault that it continued "

" I stopped telling them"

" So you mean they never saw the injuries "

" I don't know "

" They let him hurt you because they wanted to provide for you "

" I know "

" They pretended like everything was okay just because they wanted to feed you "

" I know but-"

" They were among those who silenced you, all-"

" I know and they've apologized, they quit their job, they've changed! They're trying to make things right! Please stop making me remember these things..... please "

A tear drop escaped from my eye and I hurriedly used my arm to wipe it off.

" All these because of my own son" she ended the argument and the area became too quiet as we had stopped walking along the lines.

The silence between us was thick but when I looked to Mrs McConnell, I saw she was crying too.

" you've suffered too much for your age. I'm so sorry "she said softly as she walked closer to me to pull me into a hug.

I couldn't help the tears that managed to escape then.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

After Hunters mom and I had gotten home from our long walk, she had given me the keys to her car so I could go get Meredith and Mrs Phoebe.

So it was a hot afternoon and I was silently feeling bad that I had kept them out for quite some time.

After I had arrived at the airport, I didn't even need to place a phone call ( not that I even had a phone) as they were the first people I had seen at the checkpoint.

As soon as they spotted me, Meredith ran towards me and engulfed me in a bear hug whilst screaming.

Mrs Phoebe on the other hand, took it upon herself to drag both hers and Meredith's boxes along.

As soon as Meredith had released me, I ran into Mrs Phoebes arms and embraced her. I honestly needed a mother figure to hold tight right now.

" hey hun"

" I'm not fine, at all" I mumbled into her chest as tears began rolling down my eyes again with bits of my conversation with Hunters mom coming into my mind.

" I know, but you're gonna be fine hun. Okay?"

" okay "

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