On Thursday I was handed another letter after I got home from work, my fingers running along the front of the envelope with the handwriting that I recognised. Swallowing harshly and taking it up to my room before opening it, making sure that I was alone.
The letter stunk the same like tequila and stale smoke, as I unfold the piece of paper I begin to read the words. My eyes scanning over as I attempt to read what was in front of me. Rushing to find the other letter that I had received from my pocket I had kept it in this whole time.
Comparing the letters together, they said the same thing as before. Clearly from the same sender but why would they send it twice?
Lowering both of the letters to my desk and staring ahead at the wall in front of me. This didn’t seem like some kind of prank now, this felt like they were sending the letter again because they had forgotten they even sent the first one. What other logical explanation could there be apart from harassment?
When it hit three o’clock I made my way downstairs knowing that Zara, Aria and Jake were at the hospital with Felix. Caleb and Evan were making something in the kitchen, Evan had been baking all sorts for comfort food.
“Hey,” Caleb smiles at me as he watches me approach the kitchen island.
“Hey my love!” Evan smiles brightly towards me as I rest my elbows down onto the counter in front of them.
“Hi,” I breathe out as I clutch the letters in my hands. “Urm, there’s something that I need to tell you guys.”
Evan stops decorating whatever he was making and turns to me, taking a stand next to Caleb. Their eyes trained on me as I speak. “What’s going on?” Caleb asks.
My hands hesitantly give over the letters and Caleb reaches out to take them. “I received one of these almost a month ago and the second one today.”
Caleb glances up at Evan who looks down to him confused. His finger flicking over the letter and watching as both their eyes run over the words, Evan’s face reacting in shock almost instantly.
“Myla,” he breathes out as his hand moves to cover his lips. “A month ago? Why didn’t you say anything?”
My eyes focus on Caleb as he reads each word carefully, his brows pulled down into a deep frown. Crumpling the letter in his hands slightly as his fist tightens.
“Because there was so much going on at the time,” I shake my head as my heart rate increases.
“Are you serious?” Caleb cranks his head towards me.
“The day I opened the letter was the day Felix told everyone about his illness and it didn’t seem right to tell everyone at the time,” I say as my eyes flick between them both. “At first I was convinced it was a prank but now I don’t think so.”
“Myla,” Caleb sighs harshly, his head beginning to shake. “You shouldn’t have kept this from us at all.”
My teeth chews down on my bottom lip, my fingers picking at the skin around my nails. “There just was never a right time, I didn’t want to seem insensitive when Felix just told us he was dying.”
“We need to call the police,” Caleb declares and Evan retreats to grab his phone.
“The police?” I repeat. “Do we need to involve them?”
“Yes Myla,” he nods firmly towards me. “We were told that if we ever received any threatening letters or if they tried to contact you in anyway that we inform them, we need to have this on their records.”
“Okay,” I say instead of protesting.
Evan speaks on the phone to the police and they take down our details, asking for us to go to the police station later today so we can show the letters. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell us,” Evan sighs as he pulls me into his side.
“I just felt like a burden,” I admit as I rest my head down onto his shoulder. “I felt bad for making it about me.”
“No matter what’s going on, whatever happens to you will always be important. I’m just upset that you kept this to yourself for ages and felt like you couldn’t speak to us.” Evan’s lips fall slightly as he talks.
Caleb rests against the kitchen island in front of us. “Your father is right,” he starts. “Please don’t keep anything like this from us again. You matter, even if other things are going on in the world.”
My lips stretch out a half smile as I nod towards them. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly.
“Don’t apologise,” Evan says as he squeezes my side. “It’s understandable considering the circumstances, but me and your dad will always be here.”
“Do you think that she would actually come?” I chew on my lip as I peek over to Caleb.
He shakes his head before I even have the chance of finishing my sentence. “She wouldn’t stand a chance before I beheaded her,” Caleb says directly causing Evan to flinch at his choice of words. “Maybe rip her eyeballs out whilst I’m at it.”
“Caleb,” he begins to shake his head at his bluntness.
I can’t help but laugh, I’ve always known that I’m protected here and if Caleb was my father then he wouldn’t hesitate to guard me from harms way.
“I wouldn’t let her hurt you again Myla,” Caleb tells me as he lowers his chin to his chest. “I hope you know that.”
“I know,” I nod towards him with a small smile. “I’m just not sure if she would actually carry out her threat. I knew she came out of prison a few years ago but I didn’t think she still would be so obsessed with me.”
“She isn’t going to lay a finger on you dear,” Evan mumbles as he kisses the edge of my head. “Not when your dad is around.”
Caleb breaks out into a grin and stands from the edge of the island. “Well I’m glad that’s sorted, Myla you have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
“I know, you’ll rip her eyes out. You just said.” I say playfully. “Maybe I could help?”
He steps towards to ruffle the top of my head and pulls me into him. “I’ll let you do it all,” he tells me with a small laugh.
Evan stands there with a smile on his face as he shakes his head in disbelief. “You guys say you’re not alike but trust me, you are.” He exhales as he watches us.
My eyes look up to Caleb who was looking down to me with an authentic smile, maybe Evan was right. We did have things to bond over, even if that meant violence in ethical ways.
. . .
It was Friday night and I had told Jake I wanted to take him out for dinner to get out of the house, he seemed grateful that I was trying to get his mind off everything and I was happy he cooperated with me.
So I took him to his favourite restaurant in town that he has mentioned a couple times but we hadn’t been to together, knowing that he had spent the whole day at the hospital, I wanted to do something nice for him.
Jake eats his dinner in silence as I try to keep the conversation going between us but there was only so much I could say before I got sick of hearing my own voice. Seeing him like this was painful but I understood, he didn’t have the energy to be back and forth in a full on conversation.
“So,” I say catching his attention. “I wanted to tell you something actually.”
His dark eyes glance over at me as he chews before swallowing. Nothing coming out of his mouth so I decide to carry on. “I received a letter from my birth mom a few weeks ago,” I trail off, taking a sip of my lemonade.
Jake’s eyes narrow at me. “What?” He breathes out.
“Yeah she sent me a letter trying to threaten me that she’d come for me and stuff but my dads called the police and everything’s sorted. I just wanted to tell you.” My throat attempts to clear itself.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He grumbles out, his tone alarming me slightly.
My eyes flick between his. “Because of what was happening with your dad, I didn’t want to bombard you with it. I knew you had a lot going on.”
He leans back in his chair and scowls at me across the table, his expression unsettling me slightly. “What did you think I couldn’t hack it?” He says angrily, his nostrils slightly flaring.
Blinking back at him in shock, this wasn’t how I wanted it to go. “No,” I state instantly as I shake my head. “There just wasn’t a good time to mention it.”
“And that meant I didn’t have the right to know?” He breathes out harshly, pushing his chair away from the table. “I’m your boyfriend Myla, I had the right to know.”
“I’m sorry,” my voice shakes at his distress. “I just didn’t want to seem selfish.”
Jake snorts to himself like this was some sick joke. “Assuming that I couldn’t understand is selfish.” He says harshly.
My throat begins to clench tightly, losing control of this situation. “I’m sorry Jake,” I say as my heart beats against my ribcage loudly. “I wasn’t sure what to do, I didn’t want to make things worse.”
His eyes stare back at me like I had betrayed him, the look that made my heart sink into my stomach. “You must think I’m weak or something,” he spits as he stands from the chair and throws his napkin down onto the table.
“It’s not like that,” I plead for him to stop in his tracks. “Jake!”
My eyes watch as he walks through the restaurant and through the main doors, cursing under my breath as I instantly follow his lead. His back to me as he rests his hands on the railing in front of him, eyes looking down to the floor as he shakes his head over and over.
“Jake,” I say softly attempting to catch his attention. He turns to me slightly, his eyes glistening with tears, stepping forward instantly to hold his arm. “I’m sorry.”
“No,” he sniffs slightly. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get angry like that.”
“It’s okay.” I say even though my heart was still aching.
His feet shuffle around to me as he hangs his head in shame. “I just feel so out of control, fuck.” Raising his hands to rub his wet eyes. “He’s not even dead yet and I’m feeling like this, lashing out at everyone for no fucking reason. I just can’t do it anymore.”
My lips begin to tremble at his words, shaking my head towards him. “Don’t say that,” my hand finds his and I hold onto him tightly. “You’re just upset and struggling to cope with your emotions.”
“That’s why I’m lashing out!” He shouts, his eyes burning. “Because I don’t feel any fucking emotions apart from pain, I don’t even feel sad or angry or depressed. All I feel is pain and I just want it to go away.”
“Jake let’s talk about this at home,” I say as I look around noticing people had now stopped to stare at us. The last thing I wanted was for Jake to have a meltdown on the street and become unable to get him home.
My hands moving to grip onto his. “I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment Myla,” a single tear drips from his eye and down his cheek.
“You’re not,” I say quietly, reaching up to wipe away his damp skin.
“You just told me you received a letter from your mom and I didn’t even fucking ask you how you felt,” he closes his eyes as more tears fall from them. “I made it about me. Again.”
For a moment I didn’t know what to say, this situation felt out of my depth and I hated it. I just wished I could make it all better for him, somehow turn this all around so we live happily ever after. But now I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s never going to happen, this is life.
“Let’s go home,” I tell him as my finger rubs against his jacket on his arm. “Talk about it there.”
Jake’s sad eyes find mine and I wanted to cry along with him but I refrain, one of us needed to be strong. “I’m sorry,” he whispers again.
“You have nothing to be sorry for,” I shake my head up to him.
He doesn’t respond and I take his hand leading us away from the restaurant and back towards our house, only to remember half way home that we forgot to pay the bill.