Sometimes, you cannot let go of the past without facing it again.
~ Gail Tsukiyama
A little girl, hardly five years old, ran past a bungalow as her mother yelled at her.
“Hon, get back here!” She said in a tired voice.
The mother’s eyes were tired but her face looked flawless in the bright sun of autumn. She giggled as her daughter rolled on the grass, laughing like the little angel she was. The mother, now got up and walked to her bundle of joy, picking her up in her arms.
“Rolling in the grass, are we?” She cooed, brushing off the grass which had stuck on her daughter’s pink pyjamas.
“Mommy, I want Daddy!” The little girl wailed, frowning at her mother.
“Baby, he’s gonna be back by tonight, okay?” She told her for the hundredth time.
“But.. Where is Daddy?” She pouted.
“Daddy’s gone to meet Uncle Marcus and his family.” He mother told her.
“What?!” She screeched and her mother realised she shouldn’t have told her about it just now.
“Baby, Daddy really wanted to take you and I along but its-”
“Mommy, no! I want to meet them? Why can’t we meet them anymore?! I miss Mase and Rome!” She said in a low whisper, burying her head in her mother’s shoulders.
“Honey, you will meet them again some day, okay?”
“Okay.. Won’t you take me to them?”
“No, baby. I won’t. You will take yourself to them.” Her mother gave her a sad little smile which the girl never noticed. “Come along, now. I’ll make us lemonade, yea?”
“I LOVE LEMONADE!”
The incident long forgotten by the daughter, she jumped from her mother’s arms and raced to the house in front of them.
The mother could only stand there and look at her daughter, giggling and running inside the house, she had built along with her husband. The little rock structure of it never failed to amaze her daughter as she spent hours touching the outer walls of it.
The little pillars was where her daughter had spent her two years hugging and jumping around.
The little garden she had maintained well so that her daughter could play in the grass.
The little room she had made specially for her upstairs, just beside their own so that she could always be there for her.
All of this was temporary for now.
“I love you, Scarlet.”
“Scarlet.” Someone shook me gently, pulling me out of Dreamland. I groaned a bit and then shifted to make myself more comfortable on the… Muscular pillow?
Slowly opening my eyes, I saw... legs in front of me. Someone with jeans and a pair of vans was holding me to his chest? I suddenly jolted awake and blinked a few times. Two men were looking at me with amused and confused eyes. As my vision cleared, I realized I had slept on Roman and the taxi we had taken had stopped at our destination. The taxi driver now eyed both of us as I got of the car, standing on the concrete curb as Roman opened the boot of the car to take our bags.
I looked around the fairly, well maintained neighborhood that lay in front of me. The grass was green and maintained everywhere around; the houses built of stone outer walls and had a temporary boundary of a hedge around them. The street stretched ahead, with cars filling the driveway. A few people were having a late night walk right now, the little street lights guiding them the way. A few of them looked at us as they crossed and waved my way. I gave them a small smile and waved back at them, clutching my cardigan. It was getting a little cold now as the night descended as I thanked Rome for not making me pack it back into my bag.
“Let’s go.” Roman said and I realized the cab was long gone, leaving us on the curb with four big and two small bags to carry in. “I have the house keys, so getting in won’t be a problem.” He added.
“Why do we need to use a key?” I asked, turning around towards the house. A wave of memories hit me, even though the images remained faint, as I gazed at the house.
It was similar to all the other houses on this street, but an additional room had been added on the top, giving it a look of an extended attic.
That additional room was specially built for me.
The garden was well maintained and not overly kept. A simple bed of green grass spread along with stone steps which reached the house door with little lights glowing the path. I silently began to walk, dragging my two bags along with me, towards the main door. Two white pillars stood in between and I gently touched them, remembering how I had once played, running between them. The rest of the house, unlike what I had expected, had changed. The floor was more modern, the door was a darker shade of brown.
“Scarlet?” Roman gently shook me. “Are you okay? I can talk to Dad if you don’t want to-”
“No, I am fine.” I shook my head. “Now, Tell me, why do we need a key? Just press the doorbell. Aren’t the other three tenants already here?”
“Uhm, no. They aren’t. They have gone out tonight, and won’t be back until morning.” Roman replied, opening the door. He went around to find the switch, so I just stepped in.
“Damn, at least they know how to party.” I whispered into the dark, mentally scratching the possibility of having nerds as my housemates.
I had walked only a few steps ahead, when the light suddenly switched on.
The kitchen laid in front of me. I couldn’t help but remember how I had stood almost at the same place as I watched my mother breath her last breadth. The pain in her eyes as she screamed my name one last time before she couldn’t say anything. The blood that poured out of my father’s back as he lay lifeless on the counter.
Everything came back to me.
It’s been a very long time since I have cried, but I knew this was coming. This, little tear which dropped down my cheeks was meant to come out sooner or later. My mind thankfully prayed that the other three weren’t here to see me this vulnerable and that Roman was here to help me. I don’t know why I felt this little pain in my chest even after all these years. I thought I had made peace with the fact that my parents had left me and that it was okay. I thought I knew how much they had loved me once I saw the video, three years ago.
“I love you both.” I whispered, walking up to the kitchen and touching the counter where they had both died. A part of me was wailing loudly in my head, begging me to cry out in pain and take this anger out. But the other part had trained enough to know that this was pointless. That, crying wouldn’t get me anywhere and that I was only making myself more and more weak.
“Hey, it’s okay.” Roman’s arms hugged my little body as he pulled me to his chest. “Scar, they don’t want to see you cry, okay? You’re not that cry baby anymore, darling. You got to face this!” He whisper-yelled as he held my face in his hands.
I furiously nodded my head at him, hugging him back. His minty scent hit me, soothing me as I wiped my tears. “Can we please sleep now?” I asked him.
“Sure. I’ll take your bags to the room.” I nodded, picking up the small bag and carrying it along with me, upstairs. There was only one bathroom on the top most floors, meaning Roman and I would have to share, but thankfully, it had two doors, one from my room, and the other from his. Even after all these years, I knew exactly where to go in order to reach my room. I opened the wooden door, waiting to see what Cara had done.
What lay ahead didn’t make me cry like before. It made me smile brighter than ever before because what lay in front of me was the most beautiful thing I had ever got. The room looked exactly like how I had remembered it. Just with a little more cream in place of the baby pink I had loved as a child. The rocking chair was now replaced by soft, cream, cushiony sofas and the bed was now in a cream color with different colored pillows. A furry rug lay beside the bed, making me remove my boots and run to stand on it. What amused me were the fairy lights along the bed, which were similar to the ones I remembered having as a child. A little door opened to a huge closet which was carved out of the corridor basically, in order to connect me to the washroom of my parent’s room. I mentally thanked my parents for making a closet as good as the other rooms, as I closed both the doors and changed into my night wear after spending a good fifteen minutes in the shower.
I slipped into my black shorts and a black camisole, knowing that I won’t spend the night alone. As I came out, Roman entered the closet, already changed in his black pajamas, wearing nothing on top of them. To be honest, I blush every time, seeing him like this every morning.
It’s difficult to not be a girl, okay?!
His heavily muscled arms lifted my bags as if they weighted nothing, placing them in my closet. “Thanks.” I told him as he smiled in reply.
“Come on, Princess. Bed waits. It’s been a long day.” He said, hugging me once again. “Scar. No matter what happens, I’ll always be there okay?”
“No, I want you to seriously know this.” He said, burying his head in my shoulders. I hugged him back, my arms coming around his muscled back. His body was always the right amount of warm, making me comfortable as always.
“Rome, I know.” I said, patting his back.
“No, Scarlet. You have become something very important to me in all these years. I cannot afford to lose you.” He pulled back a little in order to face me. I stood there, in his arms, by the closet door, breathless as always. “I know we had been taught not to let our emotions get in the way but you’re my best friend, okay? Nobody knows me better than you. Hell, we can even complete each other’s sentences. I guess, I am just scared that this will go because I haven’t learned how to function without you in these three years.” I didn’t understand, for once, I didn’t understand the hidden emotions in his voice.
“Why would you think that?” I asked, confused, in a low whisper.
“Because this is a new beginning. You’ll find friends in University, maybe the three other housemates will become-” I placed my hand on his mouth.
“Honey, I am never ever leaving you, okay? I can’t function without you as well. You’re literally my rock. No one can take that away from you.” I kissed his cheek and later placed my head on his bare chest.
“Sometimes I doubt whether we are dating or not.” He said, making both of us let out a giggle.
“Oh we definitely aren’t, but you’re giving me boyfriend vibes!” I joked, even though my heart was thumping so loud that I could just poke my guts out at him. He’s everything I have learnt to trust in this world after everything that has
“Uh-huh? You called me honey, babe.” He shrugged as I hit his chest playfully.
“Uh-huh? Who got a little jealous back there?” I replied taking a step back and smirking at his flushed face.
“Well, what can I say, you’re mine, Ma’am.” He said with an evil smirk of his own.
I squealed, jumping away from him, as Roman chased me downstairs. We ran around the house and then ended up back in my room, jumping around the bed. “You deserve a tickle, you naughty little thing.” He shouted, as he pulled my ankle, making me fall of the bed. I don’t think he realized how close we were as he came on top of me, eyeing me with a deadly smirk, yet again. The bed was so soft; I realized that I could practically melt into it.
“I am tired.” I pouted with the best puppy eyes I could muster.
“Aww.” He sighed, slipping on the bed beside me. We lay there, looking above at the wooden roof. “Nice room, though. I can’t wait to let the guys know.”
“About my room?” I asked, turning to face him.
“No, about how the supposed badass girl of the house, who can beat their asses in training, loves a cream, fairy light filled, girly room...” He trailed, breaking into a laugh later as I scowled at him.
“Very funny.” I snapped, falling on his arms.
“Goodnight, Scar.” He said a while later, shifting to face me and snuggle me in his arms.
“Goodnight, Rome. Please stay.” I muttered in reply, making myself comfortable in his arms as sleep swept us away.
I woke up, coming face to face with a sleeping Roman. I realized that his beard was beginning to grow too much for my liking.
Hmm, time for making him visit a good salon.
“Rome, I am going to go and make us coffee, yea?”
“Hmm. Don’t put sugar in mine, babe.” He said in a hoarse voice.
I chuckled at the half asleep best friend of mine, jumping out of the bed and walking to my closet. I brushed swiftly and mended my short hair before taking a bath. I changed into a pair of black leggings and a white crop top which said, Not Your Property. Yes, it’s my favorite. Applying mascara and putting a few clothes up in the closet, I jumped down the staircase, running to the kitchen.
“Come on, Scarlet. It’s just a kitchen. It’s just a house. Urgh.” I mumbled to myself and shook my head.
I took out the coffee and started the coffee maker. I took out a few eggs to make breakfast for us. Thankfully, the kitchen was well stocked.
Thank god, at least these three-
“Oh god. Who’s making coffee?! I need some desperately!”
Before I knew, I was running to my room, the eggs and coffee long forgotten once I had heard the voice.
My body was on auto pilot as I heard another voice; I knew all too well, enter the kitchen below. No matter how much I had trained no matter how many dead bodies I had shot repeatedly, I knew this was bound to happen someday.
It’s just that I didn’t expect it to happen today!
“Oh my god, Scar. What are you doing on the floor-?”
“Roman.” I whispered, my voice coming out as a whisper as my mind blazed. “I know who those three are.” My hands were sweating by the time Roman helped me sit on the bed. His freshly washed hair were all over his forehead, as his eyes examined for any wounds on my body.
“Who is it, Scar?” He said in a low whisper, visibly dazed as my body shook in fear.
“Two of them are Adrian and Ryder, for sure.”