“Are you sure that you want to move out?” I heard Scarlet say from the other side of the phone and I rolled my eyes.
“Scarlet, this is like the millionth time you’re asking this!” I said, annoyed.
“Yeah...But-“she started again but I cut her off.
“Scarlet...please try to understand! I can’t be a burden to Grecia and Logan anymore. I feel like I’m starting to use them for my advantage.” I sighed heavily.
“So are you going to help me find an apartment or not?” I asked.
“Okay fine.” She said, sighing.
“Okay. So I’ll be there in ten.” I said hanging up.
(Few hours later)
“Karrie...I don’t think this will work out.” Scarlet whined. We’ve been looking through a few apartments by now and nothing seemed to work out.
The first apartment was some old building in need of renovation, a bit far from the city. It felt like the building was going to break down anytime soon and seriously, I’m just hardly 19. I want to live a little longer. The second one was even worse. The room was so damn dusty and full of spider webs. I felt like I would die of asthma if I stayed there any longer. We have been looking for a decent apartment for so long, and Scarlet doesn’t seem to enjoy it.
“Alright. This is our last hope.” I said walking through the main door of the apartment we are currently in.
“Really?!” Scarlet’s face lit up bright. “So if this doesn’t work out, you won’t move out right?!” Why is she so happy about it?
“Umm…. No. I meant this is the last one for today. If this isn’t the one, then guess we’ll have to continue tomorrow.” I said as her face fell.
“And by the way, I heard that this apartment’s owner is quite hot! Aren’t you curious?” She asked, wiggling her eyebrows as I rolled my eyes.
“Sometimes you tend to forget that you have a boyfriend.” I said.
“It’s much better than not realizing that you have one.” I heard her whisper under her breath, but didn’t mind much.
“Karrie? Scarlet?” we heard a familiar voice. Scarlet and I turned around to see Tyler, standing inside the apartment room. We walked up to him and hugged each other.
“What are you doing here?”Tyler asked, shocked.
“Actually, I must ask you that” I said.
“Oh. I own this place.” He said, casually. Our jaws dropped.
“So you are that hot house owner, huh?!” Scarlet asked as Tyler nodded, chuckling.
“Yes, that’s me” he said.
“So why do you want an apartment now? Did Logan threw you out from his house? He asked teasingly and I glared at him.
“No. I thought it’s time to move out. To be independent.” I said.
We then looked through the apartment, and to be honest, I really loved it. Its way far better than all the other apartments we have seen earlier today. Guess this is the one then!!
At the evening
I smiled widely, proud at my own work. In front of me was chocolate cream puffs – my two hours of hard work.
I came home soon after completing half of the paper works which were needed for me to shift to my new apartment. I had some money left in the bank, so I was able afford it. And since it was me, Tyler reduced the rent.
I decided to tell Grecia about this but she was asleep in her room when I reached home. I’m going to move from here…. Am I really ready for this? Why am I having a second thought on this?
“Gosh, what smells so good in here?” I heard Grecia’s voice from the hallway, coming closer to the kitchen with every single word. I turn around and smile warmly at her as she walks towards me, her eyes fixed on the item behind me.
“Chocolate puffs, huh?” she said and picks one up. I stare at her tapping her fingers on the counter nervously as she takes a bit from it.
“Hmmm….” She closes her eyes, enjoying the taste.
“Is it good?” I asked.
“It tastes like heaven. So creamy and crunchy.” She says and takes another bite. I let out a sigh of relief.
“Thank you.” I smile at her.
“Who taught you to make this delicious dish?” She asked as she plops down on the kitchen table. I take a seat opposite to her.
“My mom taught me. She loved to prepare sweets.” I said, staring at my hands on my lap, fiddling with my dress. A warm hand stops me from doing it and I look up to see her staring at me with sympathy. I looked at the chocolate puff and smiled.
“This is the last recipe she taught me before she died.” I smiled at the memory. “Well actually the day before her death.”
“You miss her, right?”
“So much.” I said softly feeling the warm tears accumulated at the corner of my eyes.
“But do you know what’s worse, Grecia? They died the day before my birthday. They took my parents away from me before I could celebrate my 18th birthday with them.” I said as a tear slipped down my cheeks.
“They?” She asked and my breathe hitched in my throat.
“I-I mean God took t-them away.” I stuttered as I looked down, not making eye contact with her. Grecia’s fingers move beneath my chin, forcing my eyes at her.
“You’re hiding something from me, Karolia.” She said as I widen my eyes slightly.
“N-No. I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“How do you know?” I asked, I couldn’t help but let the tears roll down my cheeks.
“A mother will always know when their child lies to them.” She said.
I quickly jumped from my seat and hugged her tightly as sobs erupted from my mouth. She ran her fingers through my hair and it comforted me slightly. She sees me as her daughter and here I am, hiding my secret from her. It’s time to tell her.
I finally opened up to her, telling my darkest secret which I’ve been hiding from everyone. But I didn’t tell her one part which was the real reason for my nightmares. Hell, even Scarlet doesn’t know about it. All she thinks was they left me alone after killing my parents. She didn’t know that I was trapped, or that someone was following me the entire time I was in Worcester, or worse that my life was in danger when I was living there.
I guess it would have been around 12 in the midnight when I finished telling everything to Grecia. We were sitting on the couch in the living room. I stopped crying an hour before because there were no more tears to spill, I was completely drained. The pastry I made was long forgotten and I hope cat didn’t take those away.
“Everything will be fine.” She reassured me for the millionth time and I nodded. A small headache was starting to form because of all the crying.
“It’s late. I think we should ge-“I stopped in mid sentence when we heard the sound of the front door open. I knew it was Logan as he always come home late nowadays but what I didn’t expect was to see him like this.
I gasp loudly and cover my mouth with my hands, my eyes wide.
“Logan.” Grecia immediately stood up from the couch, rushing to his side.
I also stood up from the couch but I couldn’t move any further. It felt like some invisible force was pulling me backwards. Grecia took his face in her hands, examining him. She had to stand on her toes to see his face clearly. Of course, he is 6ft tall and Grecia only needs to stand on her toes to see his face, I guess I’ll need a stool for that.
“I’m fine mom.” Logan said and removed her hands off his face. His lips had been cut and blood was slowly dripping from it. His face already seemed to start to bruise a little, along with a trail of blood that had made its way down his nose. His hands were swollen and red.
“What happened my boy? Where were you?” She asked, her voice shaking slightly. He just shrugged and wiped the blood off his lips with his hand.
“It’s nothing. I’m fin-“
“Don’t you dare say that word again when you clearly aren’t.” Grecia said raising her voice slightly.
“You’ve been fighting, right?” She asked and he looked down, clenching his jaw.
“ANSWER ME.” She yelled at him. I flinched slightly at her voice, but Logan remained calm.
“Yes.” He admitted guiltily.
“So you broke your promise, huh? I should’ve seen this coming.” Grecia laughed humorlessly.
“Mom, I-“ She raised her hand up, stopping him from continuing further.
“You need to get cleaned, Logan. Just Go” She said and turned around, walking towards the kitchen.
He stared at the ground for a moment before he looked up, his gaze connecting with mine. He immediately broke the gaze and walked out of the room and I felt a pain in my heart and closed my eyes tightly.
I then walked towards the kitchen. Grecia was sitting on a chair, her head buried in her hands. I walked towards her and slowly placed my hand on her shoulder. She lifted her head up and looked at me. For the first time, I saw hurt and pain in her eyes and I was taken aback slightly.
“He didn’t keep his word, Karolia.” She croaked out. I couldn’t help but be angry at Logan for hurting Grecia. She’s like my mom to me and I hate seeing her like this.
“He promised me he’ll stop fighting. But he didn’t.”
“What happened?” I asked
“When he turned 17, he took up the responsibility of Watson Enterprises on his own. Until then it was taken care by my brother-in-law. Logan is the one who made this company powerful and one of the top companies in New York. And I’m proud of him. Two years back, the company was in a huge debt crises.”
“He worked hard day and night for it, but I never knew he began doing illegal fights until one day. That day I got a call from the hospital telling that Logan was admitted there. I rushed to the hospital and never in my life will I ever forget his brutally beaten up state. His face was swollen and he had a black eye. He had few broken ribs and three fractures. It took two months for him to heal. And that’s when I made him promise me to never do fighting again. But now, he broke his promise. What am I going to do with him, Karolia?” She said with pain and I hugged her tightly not really knowing how to console her.
“Karolia, can you please check on him? I can’t bring myself to look at him in this condition. Please.” She asked me hopefully and I nodded.
“Thank you.” She smiled gratefully at me as I returned back the smile.
I walked towards his room, my heart beating loudly in my chest. I knocked the door before turning the knob. The room was empty and I could hear Logan’s grunts and hisses of pain come from the bathroom. I stopped in front of it before knocking the door.
“It’s me, Karolia. Can I come in?” I asked softly. I didn’t get a response for a minute and I took a step back, ready to leave the room.
“Yes.” He said and I smiled slightly.
I pushed the door open and stepped inside. Logan was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, shirtless. He looked so hot and this only made my heart beat wildly. How could someone look so sexy when they are injured?
“What do you want?” he asked, staring at the floor, not even making an eye contact with me.
“I came to help.”
“I don’t need any help.” He said coldly and I huffed in annoyance.
“Grecia asked me to help you. So stop being stubborn.” I said and walked towards the cupboard. I opened it and took out the first aid kit, placing it near him on the edge of the bathtub. I took a white cloth from the kit and wetted it with warm water.
I began to wipe the blood off carefully, making sure I wasn’t hurting him. The entire time, his gaze was fixed on me and I tried my best to ignore it.
“You need to stop fighting, Logan.” I said my voice barely above a whisper and took a step back. He didn’t say anything and stood up, running a hand through his hair. He walked towards the shower and I watched him, making no effort to leave. He turned slowly and raised a brow.
“Leave, I need to take a shower.” He said and I nodded before turning around and walking out of the bathroom, my cheeks blushing a bright red.
I opened my bedroom door and walked inside before locking it. I got so lost with my past memories that I forgot to tell Grecia about me moving from this house. Guess I need to tell her tomorrow. I wonder how she will react. She became so close to me now after what happened and I don’t like the idea of being away from her. Nonetheless, I have to. I can’t be a third person in Grecia’s and Logan’s lives anymore.
I glanced at the frame on my bedside table. It was a photograph of my parents, taken on my 2nd birthday. I was sitting on my dad’s shoulder, holding tightly on to his hair, smiling brightly. Mom was standing next to him, hugging us both.
I walked towards my bed, sitting down on the edge of it. I lifted the picture up to my lips and placed a gentle kiss over the glass. I closed my eyes taking slow and deep breaths, allowing the oxygen to fill my lungs and calm my thoughts.
“Good night, mommy and daddy.” I whispered, clutching the picture frame tightly to my chest.
I ran a hand through my wet hair and walked to the kitchen. Yesterday, I don’t know what happened to me. I couldn’t concentrate in the fight and ended up getting hurt. And I didn’t expect mom to be awake at that time.
Mom was sitting in the kitchen table drinking her coffee as she reads the newspaper. She looked up at me for a brief second before turning her gaze back to the newspaper. Yes! She’s still angry with me.
“Mom.” I said and walked towards her, standing beside her. She ignored me and continued reading.
“Mom, I’m talking to you.” I said rolling my eyes.
“I’m listening.” She said, still staring at the paper.
“I’m sorry.” I said looking down.
“You’re not forgiven.” She said and I huffed. I took the paper from her and placed it on the counter.
“Look at me, mom.” I said. She turned around, crossing her arms across her chest. Sometimes she can be as stubborn as me. I sat on my knees infront of her and took her hands in mine, looking up at her.
“I’m so sorry mom.” I said softly and for a second her eyes softened.
“I know I broke my promise. And I’m so sorry for that.”
“Look at me now, I’m strong. No one can beat me up.” I said.
“If no one can hurt you, then what about yesterday, huh?” She said and I looked away not wanting to face her.
“I don’t know what happened. Yesterday, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. It was a mess.” I said. She placed a finger under my chin, lifting my head up to meet her gaze.
“Is it about Karolia?” she asked and I widened my eyes slightly.
“How did you know?”
“I can understand that from your face. You look hurt when you look at her. What’s the matter, son?” she asked.
“I don’t know what to say.” I said.
“Okay, you don’t need to say to me. But talk with her. Tell her whatever it is that is disturbing you?”
“No mom, I can’t do that.” I said.
“You have to. Until then don’t talk to me.” She said. I stood up and pressed a kiss on her forehead.
“You are so stubborn, you know that? Okay, I will talk to her.” I said and she smiled.
“Good, now go.” She ordered.
I walked out of the kitchen and stopped in my tracks. Karolia was sitting on the couch in the living room, staring at the TV. And let me say, she is becoming more beautiful day by day. And this makes it hard for me to concentrate.
“Karolia?” I called and she turned her head to the left, staring at me.
“You heard. Didn’t you?” I asked her and she nodded
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but you guys were talking pretty loud.” she said guiltily and I smiled in my head.
“We need to talk.” I said and she nodded. I noticed that her eyes were bloodshot and there were bags under it. She got up to follow me.
“Not here. Let’s go for a drive.” I said. She looked confused but nodded before turning to go upstairs without asking any questions.
I guess it’s time to open up to her.