At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

By Alma Azura Celia All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Drama

Two: Dead Hallways and Horror Movies

I step into my car and turn the engine on. I drive my car to the driveway and go past other cars swiftly, receiving honk from other. After all, it’s their own fault driving as slow as a turtle. Why are they even mad at me?

I keep my foot on the pedal, eyes focused on the road, until the car in front of me turn into a halt. Frowning, I brake my car and sigh.

Great, weekend traffic. Typical L.A.

I pull on the hand brake and take my foot off the pedal. I fish my phone out of my jeans’ pocket and type a text for Chloe quickly.

M: ‘Stuck in the traffic. I’ll be there ASAP’

I send the message and put my phone down on my lap. As I wait for her answer, I look at the car around me impatiently and suddenly my phone rings and vibrates on my lap.

C: ‘Okay’

I put my phone on the passenger’s seat and sigh. I rest my back on the seat and feeling stuck in a boredom. I reach for the audio switch lazily and turn the radio on.


My heart stop beating for a second as my eyes pop out of their sockets in an utter shock. I quickly turn the volume down and change the radio station. I let out a relieved sigh as I put my hand over my rapidly beating heart.

Thank goodness my car is soundproof. If it’s not, then people would already looking towards my car with that weird stares and keep gazing for a long time and then just just go back at their doings.

I just sit there, behind the steering wheel, still feeling a tad bit shocked, as I wonder why would someone requested to play Baby by Justin Bieber that is so effing outdated at these days? Not that I hate the song or him.

And another shitty thing is, I’m stuck in a hard traffic, with no one to talk with. And no food.

After sitting and waiting for more than half an hour, the traffic finally dissolves. I grip on the steering wheel and drive my car straight to the hospital. After I park my car, I walk immediately to the receptionist.

“Hello, I’m here to see Cody Ashburn.” I smile only to be greeted with a I-don’t-want-to-be-here-but-I-should look of hers. Or it could be shorten as the infamous bitch face.

Shouldn’t someone like her act all nice and kind to people? Maybe she’s just having a bad day. Or it’s probably just... her.

She keeps her gaze on the computer screen, her eyes moving back and forth lazily as she clicks on the mouse a few times. She looks up from the monitor and says, “He’s in the 7th floor. Room 711.” with the bitch face still plastered onto her face.

Very well then.

“Thank you.” I smile, though her expression is so freaking annoying I want to punch it.

I turn around and the smile quickly fades off of my face. I walk into the empty elevator, pressing on 7 and the elevator begin to move upwards. Seconds later, the elevator stop as it lets out a ‘ding’ and it opens automatically. I walk out of it and look around the vacant floor. As I walk, I keep my gaze at the numbers to every door in my way.


My mind, that so freaking stupid, suddenly decided to think about horror movies. The thought send shivers down my spine and make me shudder as I look around in fright of something might jump out of nowhere in a sudden.

I walk faster after I get the stupid thought and hurriedly search for Cody’s room, panicking a little. 708, 709, 710, 711. Gotcha!

I step closer to the door and take a peek through the little window. Claire, Cameron, and Cody’s mother standing beside Cody’s bed, blocking Cody from my view as they laugh loudly, and the thoughts of horror movie just vanishes from my mind.

I hold onto the handle, an idiotic grin on my face, and I push the door open as I cocked my head at the gap between the door. When the door wide enough for me to walk through, I step into the room and greet them. “Hi.”

They spin their head around, looking at me with smiles already on their faces. I close the door behind me carefully and walk towards them.

Cody’s mother, who’s standing in front of me, wraps her arms around my body and loosen her embrace after few seconds. “Hello, Sophie.” She smiles at me softly at me and I return it instantly.

I walk to Cody’s bedside, frowning at the sight of him, though he looks like nothing just happened to him.

Still the same dumbass. But, with a bandage wrapped around his forehead and an IV needle pierced into the back of his hand.

I wonder how it feels when the nurse pierces that goddamn needle into the back of my hand. And nope, I never want that to really happen to me.

I quickly look away from his hand and look at his face. “Cody, what the hell have you done?” I stare into his eyes, still frowning sadly at him. A playful smirk forms on his face as he stares back at me.

“I got slipped. That’s it.” He shrugged. “Worry ’bout me too much?” I rolled my eyes at his cockiness, but a smile creeps onto my face anyway.

“Of course I am. I’m your best friend.” I smack his shoulder lightly, receiving a pained look and shock from Cody. “Ouch, what was that for?” He puts a hand on his shoulder, rubbing it a little. He stares at me with his eyes pop.

“For making me worried. For making all of us worried.”

As we keep talking and listening to a worth stomach-aching jokes, I didn’t realize hours already pass by.

I turn around and look at Cody’s mom and say, “Uh, Mrs. Ashburn, I have to go now. I have something important to do.” I give her a little smile, which is returned by her quickly.

“Oh, sure honey.” She hugs me for a second and step back. She lets go of me and I begin to walk towards the door. I look at Claire and Cameron, grinning at them and they grin back at me.

I walk towards the door and grab on the handle. I pull the door open, but only halfway. I turn my body back to them.

“Goodbye, all. Goodbye dimwit.” I salute, mostly at Cody, and he salutes back with a smirk already showing on his face.

I walk out of the room, and close the door. I begin to walk but stop when loud laughter fills the room behind me. I shake my head and laugh quietly to myself, amused, and begin to walk.

“Ready for your first lesson?” Dad asks with a grin of excitement stretches on his face after he turns the TV volume down.

“Ready than ever.” I grin back at him, feeling his excitement radiates over to me.

First lesson, what would that going to be? Who knows what that is going to be. Dad knows, of course. But the only way for me to find out is just by doing that.

“Okay, let’s begin from the easiest one.” He takes in a deep breath as he clasps his hands, rubbing it together, and smile. “Reading people’s expression.”

Ooh, that’s an easy one. Besides, I was in an acting class when I was an 8 grader, maybe it would be helpful. But, as I stare at his face I know something going to go bad for me.

“So, where do we start?” I shift in my seat, attempting to make myself more comfortable.

“How about you telling me something? One sentence.” He smiles.

“Okay.” I tap my finger below my chin as I look up at the ceiling, searching for a good sentence to be told.

“I got an A+ in chemistry.” Dad stares at me solemnly with his brow furrow and chin propped on his fists, like he’s staring at a math calculation and trying to solve it.

“You’re telling the truth, am I right?” His eyebrows raise as a grin appears on his face. I smile at his answer and nod my head once. “Yeah, you’re right.”

I guess that was way too easy for him. I should have chosen a harder one. Like ‘I ate your cola drops’ and I’m sure he would already mad at me right now though it was one of a big lie.

Maybe you’re asking yourself why, but it’s just only because he doesn’t want anyone to eat it. He even put it at secret places (but I already know where), so weird right?

But yeah, that’s him. A dad of mine that likes to eat cola drops but doesn’t like to share it with anyone. Wonder how would he react if I really said that.

“Congratulations on your chemistry quiz.” He pats my shoulder gently.

“Thanks, dad.” My cheek burns a little as I smile sheepishly. And now I’m feeling weird for saying that in the first place.

“Okay. Now, it’s my turn. I tell you a sentence, and you have to guess if it’s true or not.”


“I have my wallet in my jeans pocket.” I look at him in focus, almost narrowing my eyes at him.

From what I see, his face telling me that he’s saying the truth but his voice telling me the other thing. And make me even me more confused as I think about it over and over again.

“Uh, you’re lying?” I state, but it comes out sounding more like a question rather than a statement. I’m not even sure about my own answer.

“You’re right.” I cheer, bouncing on my seat happily as a light chuckle comes past his lips.

“How can you know it? I mean, how did you know I’m not saying the truth?” Amusement washes all over his face as his eyes gleaming with kind of wonder.

“Uh, you didn’t sounds too convincing.” I shrug.

“Wow, I thought I already sounds convincing.” He chuckles.

“I don’t know. You waver.” I smile a little. His stares falls to the ground as he nods, seems like in deep thought and putting a note in his mind on making himself sounds more convincing next.

“You past your first test.” He smiles, returned by me with a toothy grin.

“Now,” An evil grin appears on his face as his eyes trained on mine mischievously, making me get frightened of what’s coming next. “Let’s begin the actual lesson.”

“Come on, last question and you’re done.”

This lesson is, fucking horrible! Reading people’s expression is fucking hard. You have to focus, like really focus.

My head, is throbbing very awfully and my stomach doesn’t feel really good right now. And I need an aspirin, or anything! My head is hurting, argh!

“Okay.” I breathe in deeply and sigh, calming myself down from all of these weird feeling I have in my body.

“What did you like to do as a kid?” I focus myself and stare at him, though the pain and throbbing inside my head is really killing me.

His eyes avert for a second and back at me, and I almost, almost showing him my victory grin. I’m sure what he’s going to say is going to be a huge lie.

“I walk a mile to the town to buy some ice cream.” He states, keeping a neutral look plastered onto his face.

Really? But, his voice somehow telling me otherwise.

“You aren’t telling the truth.” An explosion of happiness can be felt inside my body as a grin stretches wider on my face. I keep my gaze on him, ready to do a victory dance anytime soon.

“You’re wrong. I’m telling the truth.” And my mouth falls, gaping in shock. And then, it’s his turn to show a victory grin.

Ugh, this is suck, monkey ass.

“But, why are you even walk a mile for just an ice cream?”

“Your grandpa wants me do something beside just playing with my neighbors. So, we walked a mile once in a week, it was kind of like a family trip, and the reward was the best ice cream in the town.” He smiles, mentally replaying the event in his head.

“Oh.” I smile.

“Go get some rest, your head must throbbing like crazy right now.” I nod, that only make the throbbing worsening.

I put my hand on my head and shut my eyes close. I begin to stand, too fast, and the world around me feel like spinning fast.

I steady myself and begin to walk upstairs and feeling my head so light. So light I could fly to the sky right now like an air balloon.

Haha no.

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