Loving While in the Darkness
"What would you be ordering today?"
"Can I please have a tall vanilla latté and a tall creme Brulé latte."
I check my phone and see a text from Evelyn asking where I am. I quickly explain that I was on my way and was grabbing beverages first. After Mia hands me my drinks,I head out the door and walk as quickly as possible to meet Evelyn. The moment I arrive I feel arms grasps me from behind and I hear squealing along with a "Guess who?"
Evelyn.I had no doubt. I turn around and then glance to the side of her to notice a young tall man with platinum blonde hair staring at me. Evelyn must've took notice of the twisted look on my face and begins to explain who this mysterious man is.
"Ivy,this is Joshua....my boyfriend.I would have told you about him sooner but I wanted to make sure that you know....we were really serious,"she directs her head to the side and looks up and a smile forms on her face,"And it's been the best 5 months of my life since."He then pecked her cheek causing her face to turn a shade of red.
The three of us continued to stick together until finally I could no longer tolerate third wheeling. Joshua seemed like he was a nice guy, which I guess is all that really matters. Evelyn Green is my best friend for whom I've been living with since I was 14. She's practically my sister,so I don't care who she is with as long as they make her happy. I decided I needed to get away from people so I wandered off onto a hiking trail through the woods all by myself.
The crickets,frogs,cicadas and occasionally the whistle of the trees was the only noise I could hear along my walk. I sat down on a bench and slowly went through all the events that happened throughout the day in my head only to be interrupted by a thundering scream. Startled I stood up and listened to the noise once again. At a slow pace I started walking towards the sound. I heard the sound of a branch snapping and spotted a dark figure running through the woods, shortly disappearing out of my sight. I fasten my pace and suddenly I hear a faint cry. The moonlight lit the forest enough that I could see there was someone on the ground. As I start to get closer I notice red splatters all over the dead leaves and dirt. And then a shadowy figure on the ground. I notice it's a young boy, perhaps nine or ten years old. He had a pained expression on his face and it was then that I had come to the realization that this boy was injured severely. I take out my phone and turn the flashlight on only to discover a large wound on his upper left chest. He mumbled something and I nod my head trying to give him some reassurance that he would be okay. I lowered myself down to the boy and I had to except the truth of the situation. He was dying. This little boy was dying. And even if I left to get help now, there was no way he would survive by the time I got help.So I grabbed the little boy's hand and I sat there until his very last breath. I did this so that when the police would tell his mother of her son's death, she would at least know he didn't die alone.
As I walked back to the festival to go get the police I couldn't help but stop in my tracks and let tears fall down my cheeks. I suddenly felt a stabbing pain in my chest. Did I really just witness this boy die? I did my best to get a hold of myself before returning.Once I finally get back I spot a police officer surveying the crowd near a food stand.I start to get a lump in my throat as I explain what just happened. I gave him the description of the boy and he gives a look of fear as if he might know information I don't. Later that night it is discovered that a woman had lost her son during the festivities and had notified the police of his disappearance. It was then confirmed the boy,Harvey Kane,was the missing child. When I met Harvey's mother at the police station to give my statement to the police,it broke my heart seeing her so hysterical. She invited me to come have dinner with her family since she had been so grateful that I stayed with him until he died since it was understood hard it must have been for me.
A few days after the incident Evelyn's family and I head over to the Kane's for dinner. I walk up their front porch steps and lightly knock on the door. A man, with dark black hair, a single piercing ,and black eyes swings door door open. After a few seconds of silence he leaves the door open and just walks away without saying a word.
Strange, I thought. Perhaps he just doesn't like to socialize. We all gather at the dining table and than Harvey's mom says a few words and then a prayer before we eat. The adults all talk among themselves and Evelyn leaves the room to go answer a phone call from her boyfriend. I can't help but stare at the boy who had answered the door earlier. He just sat there in silence as if he was in an intense thought. I thought perhaps that this boy was Harvey's older brother, but I was later informed by Evelyn that he was just Harvey's math tutor. He was handsome. I'm not talking just a little bit but a lot. He had a sharp jawline and flawless skin that glowed. He was definitely older than me. His skin was perfectly tanned and his body perfectly proportioned and toned. I couldn't help but feel very intrigued by him. I wanted to know more. I figured I could at least ask him what his name was.
So after dinner, the adults begin to clean the kitchen leaving me alone with him. So I decided I'll just go for it and talk to him.
"Hi, I am Ivy, and you are?"
He looks at me with a confused expression almost as if it was odd that anyone would attempt to talk to him. He then looks at his phone and continues on as if I was never there. In disbelief I gasps because how dare he have audacity to ignore me.I clear my throat and begin to speak again.
"Um hello,I'm talking to you,don't you think it's rude to ignore someone?!"
He looks up at me as if he's scanning me and opens his mouth to speak and the words that came out left me flabbergasted.
"If you want to remain alive I suggest you shut that pretty little mouth of yours dear otherwise I'll slit your throat slowly and ever so painfully."
My eyes widen and the color drained from my face trying to decipher wether or not he was serious or not. But before I could respond Evelyn and her family walk in to inform me we are departing. I get up but my eyes never leave his as I walk out the door. I couldn't believe this random man could say such a thing.
As soon as Evelyn and I are alone I start pounding Evelyn with questions about the boy.
"Who was that boy?And why was he so stand off-ish? Was he their son?or was he there alone?" I proceeded to ask.
"His name is Devon. Devon Anderson. And he was Harvey's math tutor. I thought it was kind of strange that he was there since he normally never goes out; but I figured that Harvey's mother probably didn't stop bothering him so he probably excepted the invitation to dinner to get her to stop,"Evelyn answered.
"What do you mean he never goes out?"
Evelyn looks around to make sure no one is listening,"He's....strange He suddenly moved here a a few months ago.He was supposedly in prison but no one knows what for. He's also hella rich. He acts like he's too good for this town but people can't figure out why he stays. And the only days he's seen in public is on Sundays and Wednesdays. In such a small town it's pretty easy to figure out what people are up to but no one knows where he came from,why he's here,and what he does in his spare time. I would just be careful...He seems like he could be a troublesome man," she tells me.
I nod my head and decided that she was right. It was probably best to choose to forget about this boy. Besides,if he never leaves his home I have a low chance of ever seeing him again anyway.
I felt sweat trickling down my forehead. I grab my phone off the bed stand table to check the time. 3:07 AM . I sighed in relief knowing my awful dream was only a dream and nothing more. I laid back down and I couldn't help but drift my thoughts back to hours before with Devon. I don't know why but for some reason the words Devon spoke to me I couldn't get out of my head. As odd as it was I couldn't help but feel like Devon meant the words that he spoke. But how? After all, I only just met him so what could he possibly have against me. And sure the town knew him to be a strange boy but I couldn't imagine this boy being violent. I decided to shake off the thought and let my eyes close once again.
When I woke up the next day I decided I would spend the day by myself since Evelyn and her parents were going to carry out errands. I could hear the rain trickling down the windows. It was humid and warm, but I couldn't help but feel little a bit refreshed since the fall air had been so cold lately. The day passed by quickly and next thing you know it was dark outside. I heard the sound of a latch and could only assume that Evelyn and her parents arrived home. I walked down the stairs to see that my assumption was correct. Evelyn joined me in the living room to watch a movie, unfortunately halfway through the power suddenly went out. Her parents went to look for some candles to light but could only find a few so I offered to go out to the store and buy some more.
I grabbed my raincoat and put on my rain boots, grabbed an umbrella and headed out the door. As I was walking I couldn't help but jump into every puddle like a little kid. Even though I was getting soaked in the rain I couldn't help but feel a little bit of joy as I soaked up every last bit of my youth. When I got into the store, I quickly found some candles, which happened to be scented like pine trees, and quickly checked out. Despite the fact that I had only been in the store for a little bit, when I came out, I noticed everything has become extremely foggy. I begin walking back to the Green's home. I took a left turn and after about a couple minutes of walking I started to realize that I was lost. The rain has stopped but the fog hadn't cleared. I turned around and began walking but suddenly I hear a loud cry coming from around the corner. I take a second to stand and think whether or not I should run or go investigate the sound. I decided that someone could be in danger so I better go find the source of the sound. I walk around the corner and my eyes widened and my breathing stopped as I witnessed the most horrific sight before me. In front of me, was a man wearing dark clothing and in front of that man was a girl. She was sobbing in pain, as the man dug a knife into her abdomen. He begin twisting it deeper and deeper causing more and more blood to spur out. She yelled and in response he stabbed her again, only this time directly into her heart. She made eye contact with me just before her body went limp and I immediately recognized the face of the young girl.
I gasped in horror. The sound caused the man to turn his head directly towards me.I couldn't see his face due to the shadow cast off the street light. I wanted to run, but my body wouldn't move. I was paralyzed like a deer in headlights. He began to walk towards me. My heartbeat started increasing so fast I thought that if I got any faster I would faint. And as if on cue,my body collapsed,and the last thing I remember was my head hitting the concrete and blood streaming from my head onto the pavement.
My eyes fluttered open. I squinted due to sunlight shining into my eyes. I sat up and look Ed around the room. I scrunched my brows in confusion as to where I was. I tried to think hard on how I got here but couldn't remember anything after I left the store. A second later the doorknob turned and entered someone. It was a middle aged women who came in carrying a tray of assorted fruit, eggs and a cup of orange juice. I gratefully accepted the tray still confused, but decided that if I was dead, then I must have at least arrived in Heaven. After about 15 minutes I hear the door open again,expecting to see the women, but when I look up the person I see is rather someone else. It was Devon. And suddenly all the memories of the night before flashed into my head. But I couldn't figure out how I ended up with Devon.
He was leaned up against the doorframe in a nonchalant
manner. He then walked forward and sat across from me on the bed.
"Well hello love.How was your breakfast?"
Did he just call me love?I wasn't sure how to respond. So I just gave him a thumbs up. I instantly regretted my choice of response as he gave me a weird look. He then just stared at me as though he was studying all my features trying to memorize each and every one of them.
I cleared my throat,"Um....how did I end up here?" I asked as I patted the bandage I felt around my head.
"You tell me. I was taking a stroll when I found your body passed out on the pavement bleeding."
I don't know why,but for some reason I found myself struggling to come up with sentences around him. I guess it was his sudden change of personality from the last time we met that was throwing me off. I was finally able to gather myself together enough to ask about the body next to me.
"What are you talking about,"Devon asked,"when I found you,you were the only person around."
"That's not right. I-... I was there. There was a man and a girl.And blood,it was everywhere. She was dead I saw her. She.......EVELYN ,it was Evelyn!Oh my gosh her family,what am I gonna do!They're probably freaking out.Oh my god what if they think I'm dead too.Oh god."
I started to get up and as soon as I did I crashed to the floor.
"Woah woah calm down there.Your body is weak and in need of rest.And relax,I figured Evelyn's parents would be concerned so I gave them a call and told them you were here.And as far as Evelyn I'm sure she's fine."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was sure she was dead. I don't know where her body went but I know what I saw. The murderer must've come back and taken her body before Devon arrived. I decided I would keep my mouth shut, figuring it would be easier to protect him if he didn't know anything. I crawled back into the warm bed and Devon left the room leaving me alone so that I could get more rest. I closed my eyes and let myself slip into a dream.
I was running through the woods and could feel every branch crumble beneath my feet. Suddenly my vision began to blur and I was running blind. Each step I took felt as though it was shorter. My breath grew heavier and body felt weak. I knew if I stopped he would catch up to me. I felt myself slowing and had no choice but to halt. Not even a second later I felt something cold placed against my neck. There was a warm breath placed upon my neck. I froze unable to move. I looked down and saw a crimson color trickling down my chest. I tried to scream but mouth felt as though it was glued shut.But before I could turn around my vision went black.
I shot up in my bed tears flowing out of my eyes. I started to relax seeing the walls and windows of Devon Anderson's house. I jumped out of my bed and with the little strength I had I managed to walk myself out of the room in attempt to find the kitchen. The halls were dimly lit by candles and upon the walls were paintings of what looked like what was possibly Devon's family. I continue creeping down the halls until I find the kitchen. I rummage around the cabinets until I find a cup. I placed my cup beneath the spout of the fridge and watched my cup gradually fill. Abruptly I a figure stood in front of me with a smirk on their face.
"So....making yourself at home I see?"
I looked down at the floor feeling embarrassed.When I finally raised my head I noticed Devon had stepped closer to me.
"You know," he took a step even closer so that our his face was only inches away from mine,"all you had to do was ask."
I wasn't sure if he had been aware of how close he was to me after he took that step. I turned away from him.
"I didn't want to disturb you so I figured I would just help myself. I felt dehydrated after I woke up. Sorry." I explained.
"Oh no need to apologize darling. No harm was done. Although I'm sure my maid,Esmerelda, would take appreciation if you wash your cup."
I bop my head up and down in agreement. He leaned forward and I could hear the beating of his heart with his body so close to mine. And he whispered into my ear,"I'm gonna head to bed now darling,feel free to join me." He smirked as he walked away knowing he successfully made me blush. I felt the heat spread throughout my body from his comment. I hurriedly washed my cup and raced back to my bed. I stared at the walls of the room until the dawn came.
I was lost in thought when Esmeralda walked in and neatly placed clothing beside me.
"Here you go dear, Mr. Anderson picked these clothes out for you. Hurry now. Devon has a busy schedule and figured you should probably head back to the Green's home."
She left the room leaving me alone once again. I inspected the clothing to find Devon had picked out an army green sweater and black high waisted jeans. I must say it matched my style perfectly. I put the clothing on and was surprised by how perfectly the clothing fit almost as if the clothing was tailored to fit me. I escorted myself outside where I met Devon along with his driver, Henrik.
Henrik opened the door to the car and gestured to get in. "Good morning madam."
"Morning," I responded gleefully.
I ducked my head as I got into the vehicle and on the other side of the seats sat Devon. He was reading a book called Psychology of the Unconscious by Carl Jung. He seemed heavily engulfed into his read. The whole ride back to Evelyn's we rode in silence, the only sounds coming from the strong winds outside.
We pulled up to the familiar gray house consisting of a few flowers and a porch swing. The door swung open violently and out rushed Evelyn's parents with panicked faces. The instant I stepped out of the car I was firmly gripped by both Mr. and Mrs. Greene. I glanced up at Mrs. Greene and noticed she had bag under her eyes as if she hadn't slept since I left. Mr. Greene eventually pulled away and so did Mrs. Green reluctantly.
Mrs.Green started bawling and I couldn't help but get teary myself seeing them so distraught. I realized that I wasn't supposed to know that Evelyn died yet so I did my best to contain my tears. And with my best acting ability I spoke,
"What's going on? I... I thought you knew I was okay? I just fell and then Dev-...."
Evelyn's dad sighed,"It's not that.......it's about Evelyn." I choked back my tears because I knew what he was about to say.
"She's dead.The same night you disappeared she told us she was gonna take a bath. But in the morning we found her body. She slit her wrists, and then proceeded to lie down in a bath tub full of blades. She.....," his eyes grew melancholy,"she killed herself. And we have no idea why."
I felt my body grow stiff as I was trying to process his words. Unsure of how to respond without upsetting them more. Unexpectedly I felt a hand grip around my waist.
It was Devon.
He had a look of curiosity on his face rather than sympathy. Almost as if he was questioning the reasoning himself. My muscles relaxed the longer he stood there. I think he noticed because I suddenly felt his grip tighten.
I wanted to cry. But I knew I needed to be strong. I felt Devon withdraw himself from my arms. He then proceeded to walk over to the Green's and tell them something, they nodded and as he walked back towards me, Mrs. Green tucked her head into her husband's shoulder.
Devon gently entwined his hand with mine and without a word dragged me back into the car and slammed the door shut. I looked out the window confused and then back at Devon as he entered the vehicle. I gave him a questioning look.
“Drive,” he instructed Henrik.
“What are you doing?!” I asked with an angry tone. Rather than answer me Devon reached over my body to strap the seatbelt over me.
“Safety first. Then talking,”he told me. ”And I told them that you were probably in shock and would be able to handle your emotions better if you got away from the house for while.”
I wasn’t sure whether or not I should be angry. A part of me was angered that he made that decision without my consent. But another part of me knew he was right. I supposed it was too late to turn around and so I slumped down in my seat.
“But what about your busy schedule? You can’t just stop everything to take care of me,” I watched him lean towards me causing my cheeks to go red. “I can take care of myself. I did before I met you and I will proceed to do so after meeting you.”
He looked at me with a blank expression. And that’s when he asked Henrik to hand him something that looked like a black binder. He proceeded to open it and pointed at the text located at the top of the page inside.
12:15 p.m.-Veterinary volunteering
“Relax Darling, I’m not bringing you along to take care of you. I was saving you if anything. Can you imagine the amount of crying you’d have to listen to? Don’t get me wrong,it’s tragic,but if you don’t want your mental health to go down with yours it’s better to have some space and just continue on like normal,” he says as he closes the binder and hands it back to the driver.
We pull up to a small building with broken down shutters and half chipped yellow paint on the outside. There was a fenced area wrapped around 3/4 of the building. Outside I saw movement,as we got closer I realized they were dogs. I watched as a small Pomeranian playfully jumped off the top of a structure and it started digging near a water spout.
I opened my side door before Henrik could. I thinking he deserved a little break. After all it my fault he's had to do extra work. To be honest I didn't like where other people did things I was fully capable of doing but I knew it was their job so I didn't stop them. To say the least though, I found myself adjusting to Devon's lifestyle quite easily.
I followed Devon inside the building and at the reception desk was a young lady with dark skin who had tints of red mixed into her dark brown hair. She looked up and smiled at us and gestured to us to go down the hallway. Devon and I walked down the hallway and entered a room. I saw dogs all along cages similar to what looked like a prison,only for dogs.
I watched as Devon opened a cage with a little Yorkshire Terrier,and slid a harness onto the dog.
He then opened the cage next to it and did the same and a dark chocolate lab.
He handed me the leash to the lab and led me through a door leading outside to the fenced area.
Devon and I walked,played,and fed each dog. A little after 1 Henrik came back to pick us.
“So…,”Devon started to speak,” What would you like for lunch?”
“Oh I don’t care,to be honest I’m not really picky about my food,” I said.
He nodded and told the driver to take us to a nearby restaurant.
I pulled out my phone while Devon read his book. As we were driving we passed a car accident that happened at an intersection. I suddenly had flashbacks of when I was younger and our car rolled down a hill killing my parents. I shifted in my seat at the uncomfortable thought. Devon looked at me with eyes of concern but I just turned my face away towards the window.
We arrived at a Mexican restaurant decorated with colorful lights all around. When we got inside I started to shiver from the temperature drop. Devon noticed and handed me his jacket. I tried to refuse but he insisted anyway.
I ordered a steak quesadilla and a side of fries. When we were waiting for our food Devon told me he needed to step outside a moment to make a phone call. While I waited I decided to look up the book Devon was reading out of curiosity. Eventually Devon came back but the strange thing was that he seemed angry and out of breath. As if in the short time he was gone something triggered him. I thought about asking what’s wrong but decided I better not.
We ate quietly and quickly. For some reason Devon had seemed to be in a hurry to leave.
“Are you okay? I can go somewhere else while you finish the rest of your schedule if you would like?” I expressed.
He sat there for a moment thinking. And then he hesitantly answered,” I think that would be best. I will have Henrik pick you up at the town square at 8. Until then feel free to do your own thing. I’m afraid something has come up.”
And with that, he paid the check, and walked out the door leaving me by myself. I took one last sip of my raspberry tea and I got up to leave the restaurant. Right before I reached the exit I saw a lady scream as she pointed frantically towards an area and then she blacked out. People crowded to see what she had been pointing at as well as to help the poor lady. When I looked I instantly felt sick to my stomach. There was a man,perhaps early 20’s,propped up in the driver's seat of a car. And right through the middle of his forehead was a round wound,with blood seeping out of it. It was evident that this man had been shot. I felt myself feeling unsure of how to react. People around me look scared and sad. But I felt nothing. Almost as if witnessing Evelyn be murdered was the little taste of death I needed to know how much I felt like death didn’t affect me. I don’t know who this man is. And that man didn’t know who I was. But what I did want to know was what the hell was going on in this town
It was revealed the next day the man’s name was Calum Maguire. He was a professor at a college in Italy;however he had been on a business trip here in Jasper. The police had ruled the death a suicide despite the little investigation they completed.
The previous day I had felt a little out of it after seeing the man’s body. I decided I should go clear my head for a bit while waiting to meet back up with Devon. I walked at a leisurely pace all the way to this building marked Cisco’s Tattoo and Piercings. I don’t really know how I ended up there but I did. I decided to design my own tattoo. I created a design that said Eve and intertwined around the letters was Ivy leaves. It was supposed to represent how even in death Evelyn and I were bonded.
The tattoo didn’t hurt much,or it at least didn’t cause enough pain for me to find myself irritated. After my tattoo I realized it was almost 8 and so I traveled to Devon and I’s meeting spot.
I got there a few minutes early so was surprised when I saw Devon and Henrik waiting there.
“I thought we were meeting at 8 o’clock? I’m sorry I kept you waiting,” I said apologetically.
“Oh no need for that. I finished up a little earlier than expected so I figured I would arrive here and wait. It wasn’t a bother really.,”he explained. He then grabbed my hand and led me to the car. Once we buckled ourselves in I felt him tuck my hair behind my ear and lean in to whisper,”You know….you should really stop apologizing, it doesn’t look good on you.”
I shivered from his words. I suddenly remembered the events of Calum’s death and described all of it to Devon who listened very carefully. When we got back to his house he told me he had one more thing to take care of at home so he told me to go wash up. I’m not really sure why I listened but something about defying Devon felt like a bad idea.
He was odd. It felt like sometimes he was in a good mood. But not good,almost as if his good mood just meant he wasn’t angry or upset. And when it came to me he had this control over me. As if he knew I was easy to submit to orders by him. If there was one thing I hated it was lack of control. The thought of anyone controlling me flustered me but for some reason with Devon I couldn’t help myself but to just go along with whatever he says.
The bathroom was just as beautiful as the rest of the house. The walls were a charcoal gray and the ceiling had a glass chandelier. There were glass shower walls that had a fogged look to them so that someone could see through but not completely transparently. I turned the knob of the shower handle and within seconds the water turned a decent temperature. I felt the heat run down my skin soothing it. Although I was careful to avoid the area for which I got my tattoo. My thoughts were filled with Evelyn,Calum,Devon. It was a dark mixture of thoughts but I felt myself starting to obsess over these three people and events.
This happens often. My mind chooses a subject and doesn’t stop thinking about that subject until I get distracted by something like work or friends. But now my only friend died. These thoughts have driven me to a dark point on several occasions. They started happening after my parents' murders when I was 14.I shook my head trying to forget about the memories of my past. I was taking the razor Esmerelda had given me and slid it against my leg. I accidentally cut an area near my ankle and watched as the blood oozed out of my leg. It was satisfying to watch the water turn a shade of pink. I rinsed out my hair and finished up and grabbed a blue towel. The bleeding from my cut still hasn’t stopped so I had to be careful not to get any on the towel. I got changed into Silky red pajamas. After I got myself all set I left the room in search of Esmerelda hoping to get a first aid kit. I turned into a dark hallway where the only light came from underneath the door at the end. I started to go towards the light when a hand grabbed my wrist.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“This hallway is off limits to visitors,”Devon said with a stern face. His eyes looked as if darkness had taken over me and his grip on me tightened when I didn’t respond.
He led me down a corridor into another room. It was a library. Books filled the shelves and there was a single desk with a light placed in the middle. The shelves were a beautiful stained wood and a humongous chandelier lit the room. It was the most grand library I’d ever seen. I felt my mouth open in awe. I felt Devon’s hand leave my wrist so I turned my head to look at him.
“I’m sorry,” I said as I continued to stare in awe of the room,”I was trying to find Esmerelda. I accidentally cut myself shaving and needed to clean it up so I thought she could help me.”
He looked at me with a piercing glare. ”I thought I told you to stop apologizing.” He slid the stack of books off the desk violently. “Why the fuck does no listen me! I swear it’s not that hard. I swear to god if you apologize one more time I will murder you god damnit.”
My heart rate began to increase. But not from fear but rather excitement. I couldn’t quite process as to why he was so upset but seeing him so angry made my stomach flutter. The veins in his arm had become more defined. Sweat had flowed from his forehead causing his dark locks to stick. I should have said something but the only words I could think of was ‘I’m sorry’ and I knew that was obviously not the best choice of word in this moment.
Esmerelda rushed into the room upon hearing the noise.
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Rebekah FortenberryWrite a Review