Chapter Nine: Forgot Me?
I don’t know how, but somehow we manage to arrive at the orphanage as soon sundown came.
“Slowly,” Zara said in a gentle tone, while she helps me sit on my bed, I groaned, while I took my arm away from her shoulders. She rushes out, while I look down at the floor.
‘Damn it, did he had to mention it in front of her? I didn’t want her to know, not like that. Now she will think I really murder someone.’ somewhere in me is mad at the fact. I felt the side of my bed sink down.
“Let me see,” her voice is tender. I lifted my gaze and turn to face her. Her eyes are bloodshot red, but no tears. She opens a glass of rubbing alcohol.
“Doubt you have any real alcohol round? Hopefully, Mrs. Moriss is hiding one around.” I joked while she shook her head.
“Um. Not really. We have been trying to not have anything of the sorts. You know, for the children’s. Um, next time when we go to town, we can buy one if you want.” I raised a brow, surprised by her words.
“You drink?” I asked. She moves closer to me.
“No, but I think you do? I have seen Pops drink time to time.” she shrugs, while she stretches her arm out, her fingers brush my hair to the side.
‘Here I thought she’ll be neglecting me,’
“This is going to sting,” She whispers, while she places the wet towel on my wound. I hissed through my teeth, but didn’t say anything. After she finished wiping, she looks at me.
“Sorry, here,” she lifts herself up and gets very close to me. She starts to blow gently. My body acted weird, as her warm breath brush against my skin. I turn my head, noticing how close we got. I can feel my heart feeling uncomfortable once again. Her lips are purge up, as I licked my own. She lowers her gaze at me.
“Better?” she asks. I nodded, as her eyes landed on my lip, which is split.
“I’m not sure if I should put anything on the lip. It would sting even more. I need to give you an award. You’re the first person that I attended and not cry over it.” she smiles, while she moves her hand, and brush my hair behind my ear. I felt a lump in my throat, so I swallow hard.
“I’m not a child, plus I’m used to it,” I admit. She stops her gentle strokes and lowers her hand. Then I heard a whimper. I look at her closely to see tears landing on the mattress.
“Are. Are you crying?” I asked surprised. She shook her head,
“No..” she lies as her voice broke.
“You can’t lie,” I simply told her. She lifts her eyes, to see tears running down at her cheeks. My heart breaks at the sight.
“Oi, why are you crying?” I asked, now panicking. She hiccups.
“I thought he was going out to kill you. If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have even asked you.” she kept on crying harder.
“You’re like your kids, you all cry so easily. Is okay. I forgot about that detail to tell you the truth, plus I’m used to this already.” I whispered, moving my hand aching to wipe her tears.
‘Why is she crying for me? I don’t deserve her tears,’ I stop midway, while she shakes her head.
“I don’t like it. He hurt you. I don’t like violence, my poor Ciel, is hard to believe that this use to be your daily life? Is horrible.” she wraps her arms around me. I went still as she buries her face in the crook of my neck, I felt her hand on the back of my head. I don’t know what to do, should I hug her back or not? This is new. I don’t normally let anyone hug me. I hate human contact. She moves her small body away, noticing a strange look in her eyes. Not sure what. Her cheeks turn once again to that lovely pink.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to hug you.” she shyly said. I cleared my throat and move away, only to wince in pain, wrapping my arm around my stomach.
“I have so many questions for you, but I don’t want to pry either. When you’re ready, you’ll tell me if you want to,” she tells me, as she stood up. I look up.
“Thank you.” I simply told her. She smiled at me gently, while wiping her eyes.
“No, thank you for trying to help me. I don’t know how to repay you. I’m not sure if I should take the money from your uncle. He told me that he was the one that took you to that place.” she seems to worry about my opinion. I sigh.
“Did he now. Just sell it to him. I shouldn’t let my personal feelings get in the way. You need the money and he’s the guy that can help.” I told her. Zara didn’t look convinced, but nods.
“I’ll just get five hundred then. I won’t accept the ten.” She simply said. I stare at her.
‘You must hurt so much giving something of value since it belongs to your parents.’ I once again felt her fingers in my hair, brushing it softly. I kept staring at her.
“Accept whatever you think is right.” I simply told her. She frowns, but nods.
“Thank you for your honesty. I was hesitating. Also dark wolf, I don’t know why that’s your nickname, but it makes sense why you said you’re not a monster, but a wolf the first time we met.” she said. I blinked, as the memory rushed into my mind.
‘Oh, right. Forgot about that.’ I mentally chuckle at the memory. Zara bends on her knees and looks straight at my eyes. Her eyes turn tender. I went still again.
‘Why does she keep touching me?’ I didn’t say anything this time, She looks down shyly and says.
“Please Ciel, if you want.. Can... Can I start taking care of you?”
“Ciel? What happen to you?” Lilly asks worriedly rushing to my side, as I sat on the dining room chair eating my breakfast. I sip on my water, lifting my gaze.
“Life happened,” I said with a slight smirk. Lilly’s eyes widen, while Issac entered as well.
“Ciel, you’re hurt,” Issac said, sitting next to me. Lilly sat across me.
“Ah, I didn’t know that, nice eye kid.” I raise my glass up. Issac just rolled his eyes at me.
“Funny,” he smirks dryly, while I chuckle at him.
“Aren’t I? I just into a fight, is all.” I replied. Lilly’s eyes widen, while Issac rose a brow.
“Oh? Are you okay? Do you need to go to the doctors?” Lilly asks concerned. I shook my head.
“Fine. Your mom already took care of me,” I mumbled. Lilly’s eyes spark oddly, but hide her smile at the mention using her hand.
“Really? Must have been an h. A heck of a fight.” Issac said, I darkly chuckle.
“You have no idea kid, what type of fights I have been into. This is nothing,” I mumbled. Issac’s eyes spark up with curiosity, but don’t say anything else.
“Ceil...” the rest of the children said in union, happy to see me. Zara entered with the rest of the children. I couldn’t help feeling my heart jump a little with happiness to hear them. This is our morning routine by now.
“Morning,” I wave, turning around. Oscar and Isabella’s eyes widen, as Evanly rushes to me. Sophy which was in her mother’s arms stares at me.
“Ciel, you’re hurt. Mama, please help him.” Isabella rushes to her mother and takes a hold of her hand and pulls her to me.
“I’m fine, your mother already took good care of me. Don’t worry.” I felt bad about having them worried about me. Armando rushes to me and pats my leg, while his eye waters.
“Oi, kid don’t cry. I’m fine,” I stretched my arms and picked up the little guy, and place him on top of my lap, even though my ribs protested in agony.
“Ciel, be careful,” Zara said worriedly, while she places Sophy on the big chair. Armando looks up at me, while Evanly started to cry. I turned.
“Why are you crying?”
“Ciel is hurt..” she cries.
‘Okay, wasn’t expecting this.’ I felt in panic. Not sure what to do. Normally, no one cries over me when I get this hurt. Not even Paul cared about me. He just tells me to suck it up. So this is strange to see.
‘Just like last night, Zara was the first person to ever cry for me. Now this? How am I suppose to handle this?’
“I’m fine Evanly.” I pat her head gently. She shakes her head, while the whole room, the children cries echoed. My eyes widen to look at Zara for help. Of course, Lilly and Issac didn’t cry, they just look concerned. Daniel which stood next to Issac cried as well.
“My little ones, don’t cry. You know, Ciel is hurt because err, he was protecting me so is my fault. I help him heal, the same way I help you all when you get hurt.” Zara tries to calm them down.
‘Lady, don’t’ say that,′ I mentally groaned. Oscar wipes his eyes and hiccups.
“He protected you?” Issac asks surprised. Zara gave him a nod with regret in her eyes. Then shakes her head.
“Yes,” I heard her whisper to him.
“It was nothing,” I felt awkward about this. I lower my head.
‘How did I protect her? She shouldn’t lie to her children.’ somehow her words made the children calm down.
“Ciel is the best, but he got hurt. Did mama kiss you? That makes the boo-boo feel better.” Oscar said with hope in his eyes. There was a thick awkwardness between Zara and me as I look at her. I cleared my throat.
“I’m a little too old for that, it only works for children like you,” I told him. Daniel and Isabella look up at me.
“Mama is the greatest healer. She makes all hurt go away with just one kiss or a lot. I don’t like um, you hurt. You have blue all over your face.” Isabella points out. I can feel Issac eyes burning on my back. Zara moves closer to me. I wrap my arm around Armando, as she takes a hold of my chin, her face becomes closer to me, and I look anywhere but her.
“Your left eye is so swollen.” she whispers, while the children look closer to us.
“Kiss him, mama,” Evanly said. Isabella nods in agreement. A hint of happiness filled Lilly’s face. I look at Zara’s eyes, somehow getting trap in her gaze.
‘That hug, if you hug me once again, I think I’ll get used to it.’ somewhere in me ached for that hug again. When was the last time anyone hugged me?
“Is okay,” I told them. Zara’s cheeks turn red.
“I gave him one of my special hugs to make him feel better,” she said, moving her hand away slowly. I cleared my throat.
‘Kissing me? Why? There’s no meaning to that.’ I felt Armando wiggling on my lap.
“Awe really? Ciel, you’ll see, mama kisses are the best. Her hugs are just so warm. Did you like it?” Evanly asks with a smile on her face. I didn’t know what to say to her.
“Um, like you said, is warm,” I agree, not noticing Zara eyes widening, but then turns soft, as I lower my head to look at Armando eyeing my food.
“Want to eat?” I asked, changing the subject.
Armando nods, while Daniel tugs on my shirt.
“Yes, Daniel?” I asked looking down at me. Daniel lifted his arms up to ask to get picked up. I sighed.
‘I won’t heal like this. I just can’t say no to him, though.’ I wrap my arm around him and lift him.
“There,” I couldn’t help but smile at his happy face both four-year-old gave me.
“Boys, don’t do that, Ciel needs to heal and..” Zara started to nag, but I shook my head, as I slide the plate closer to the edge of the table and look up at their mother.
“Is okay. I don’t mind.” I told her the truth, while the children started to eat my food. I mentally sigh and look out the window.
‘Great, now I have to make breakfast again. Oh well.’ I smiled gently, as I heard the boys giggle on my lap. Not noticing the tender look Zara gave me.
‘This reminds me when my father used to do the same when I wanted to eat.’
Four days have passed since I last saw my uncle. Also, I have been healing slowly. I have to admit, I have been blessed that the children and Zara have been taking good care of me. It felt foreign, though. I’m not used to being taken care of. Especially Zara. She has been very attentive towards me. Doing small things, that I would normally do, but she’ll do them. Every night she would make sure the bed will be comfortable enough for me to sleep in. Also checked on my ribs and lip. Everything she does for me is weird. Like I said before, I am not used to this attention.
I watch as Zara and Lilly fix the living room, while I leaned against the wall, near the window.
“There?” Lilly asks, moving the pillows to the side of the couch.
“Yes, thank you, Lilly,” Zara said.
“Yeah.” Sophy, which I held on my arms bounce, making me wince a little. I look at her.
“Aren’t you happy?” I asked. Sophy looks up at me and smiles even more.
“Ciel,” she said, laying her small head on my shoulder. I rub her small back.
“Are you sure he’s coming today?” Lilly asks her mom. Zara dusted her hands and nods.
“Yes, he is. Ciel told me that when his uncle makes a promise, he will keep it,” she told her. I turned my head to look outside. There I saw a small white car parking outside. Next to it, is Mrs. Morris as well.
“My uncle came but apparently Mrs. Morris as well,” I simply said, turning to see Zara is giving me a horror-struck face.
“What? Really? She said she won’t be coming to the end of the week.” She gasps in horror.
“She brought her friend too.” I pointed with my eyes, to see Mr. Don comes out of the passenger seat. I watch as my uncle stays inside of his car, and both of them check out the car with curiosity. Zara rushes to my side covering her mouth.
“Oh no, what do I do Ciel? Your secret can be exposed.” Panic reaches her eyes. I shrugged.
“Don’t know. I doubt my uncle will say anything. He doesn’t like to speak much unless someone asks him.” I told her. She lowers her head and I heard her start to pray.
Lilly pats her back and gave me a worried look. Suddenly Sophy coughs a little. I look down at her. She lays her head on my shoulder once again, noticing her face turning a bit red.
‘Is she okay?’ now getting worried.
“You okay?” I asked her. Zara lifted her gaze and moves closer to me to put her hand on Sophy forehead.
“She’s been coughing since last night. I’m actually very worried. The doctor won’t come until tomorrow afternoon, but if this continues, I have to take her to town by tonight. I can’t afford her to get worse.” Zara said in a worried tone. I frowned, looking down at the baby.
‘Hope is nothing serious,’
“I think you should go and greet them, mom. I’ll take care of these two.” Lilly said. I shook my head and handed over Sophy to Lilly. She blinks rapidly, while she takes her.
“Ciel?” She asks.
“Go take the child upstairs. I’ll stay here. I’m good at hiding.” I assure her. She nods, giving her mother one last look. Zara nods, giving a kiss to her girl’s cheeks. Then both girls leave. Zara shook her head.
“I’m worried for Sophy, and Lilly is hiding something from me. I’m praying to God, but this is very nerve wracking.” She said, getting closer to me. I licked my lips and place my hand on her shoulder. She looks up at me.
“She’ll tell you when is the time, and for Sophy, I can’t say anything because I’m not sure myself. I’m not sure if this helps or not, but I won’t leave you alone. If she doesn’t get better by tonight, I’ll go with you.” I assure her. She looks up at me.
“Thank you, it means a lot to me, but someone has to stay and watch the kids. I can’t leave them alone.” she takes a hold of my hand and held it tight. I cleared my throat and look down. She seems to get it and let’s go.
“Then we take them with us. It will be good for the children to go out once in a while.” I assured her. She looks at me and nods.
“You have no idea how much that means to me,” she says with hope in her eyes. I nodded.
“Go on, don’t worry, I keep an eye on them,” I assured her once again. She nods and turns to leave. I turned my head and hide behind the curtain noticing the Mr. Don was looking up in this direction.
“Damn bastard,” I frowned, not liking this.
The room suddenly starts to get very cold, when I breathed out, I saw my own breath. I shivered and turned my head.
A dark figure standing in the middle of the room, tall as I am. My heart launches hard as the coldness gave me goosebumps. The shadow thing opens its eyes, to show me blank white eyes. I felt frozen on my spot.
‘Just like Oscar mentioned last time.’
“Are you the unwanted guest?” I finally spoke to it, trying to push my fear down. The phantom thing rapidly moves, face to face. It tilts its head to the side. Then it moves its mouth rapidly and dark voice echoes around me. The next lines sent shivers down my spine, and the not the good ones.
“Have you forgotten me, Ciel?” it darkly laughs, as it flew up and went through my body, making me gasp loudly and it laugh darkly.
“Because I haven’t.”