Hi! Here's the next chapter, finally!! things get heated up... Enjooooooy <3
After Laura had left and I had convinced her not to get Josh involved again (which I hoped she wouldn’t), I went inside my house. But something was wrong. Incredibly wrong. The door was open to start with; I noticed by pushing on it lightly with my key in the keyhole. Lamps were on though there seemed to be no one home and that’s just it, no one was home. I looked around but there didn’t seem to be anything missing. Things were neatly on their places so we hadn’t suffered a break-in at least.
After taking off my converse, I went up the stairs, aiming for my room and that was when I heard sounds. Quick, swishing sounds and I immediately froze. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I wasn’t alone after all. Maybe I had just interrupted the break-in. It sounded like it was coming from my room as well, which made me even more tensed. What the hell was this? There couldn’t be a more convenient timing for a break-in, I annoyingly thought. I was surprised that fear for the possible burglars weren’t washing over me as much as irritation did. So I headed for my room. If we had burglars, I sure as hell wasn’t going to hide and let them steal whatever they were going to.
The door to my room was completely open, so I knew that as soon as I stood in front of it, they’d see me. I walked up carefully. Okay, so maybe I was a bit scared. But I still wanted to rat these bastards out, so I took a step in and I nearly fell for what my eyes caught instead. Turns out, I was completely wrong. 1, I wasn’t home alone. 2, I wasn’t interrupting any burglars because 3, we didn’t have a break-in at all. Or, depended on how you saw it. And right now, I saw John, grandma Lily and Linda searching through my room. Linda was by my desk, lifting papers while Lily was going through my closet and John was crouched by the bed. I was surprised they were all so focused that they didn’t even notice me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I asked angrily, stepping inside.
I saw relief hit Linda’s face, while Lily didn’t even have seemed to have heard me and John was still crouched by the bed, whether he heard me or not. I impatiently waited for an answer.
“Oh, Hayley, you’re here. Thank God.” Linda said and that seemed to wake Lily up.
“Hayley!” Lily said, coming towards me. Our fight still remained fresh to me and I wasn’t quite willing to hug her yet. She saw the look on my face and seemed to take the hint.
“Will someone answer the question of why you are all going through my stuff?!” I asked, looking at them all. Linda shot a glance towards Lily.
“Well, as soon as Lily told us that you were gone, we thought that you might have escaped..and so we all arrived at home the same time and then, accidently, without locking the door, we went towards your room to search if there were any hints that you were planning to leave.” Linda explained with a bit uncertainty. She then smiled at me.
As I thought then…
“So? That still doesn’t give you permission to search through my personal things. Obviously, I haven’t escaped.” I stated, with a tone of irritation and tiredness, while taking a garnet out of Lily’s hand and putting it back in the closet.
Then John came in out of nowhere, looking at me for the first time.
“Well, not yet at least.” He said suspiciously, pulling out my packed-and-ready suitcase.
Crap. Shit. Double-crap-shit. I had almost forgotten that I had that suitcase under the bed. It reminded of the night at the office, since that was when I found out about the secret and started packing the suitcase. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on leaving now, not until I knew more about Cynthia. I rolled my eyes at him. I couldn’t play defeated by him now.
“I packed that suitcase a loooong time ago. You can’t really blame me for wanting to leave.” I asked, looking straight at him.
“Hayley! Don’t talk to your father like that!” Lily suddenly said.
I looked away, pissed. I wondered if Lily had told John about the fight we had had and what the fight had been about. Either way, she couldn’t be putting at it for too long. Linda started to put back the papers she had touched on my desk, trying to behave occupied. John sighed, letting go of the suitcase.
“We’ll talk about this downstairs. Now.”
The overall kitchen light was dimmed, making the room quite dark. The sun outside had been taken over by clouds and if you weren’t outside before, you wouldn’t actually have thought that the sun had been out today at all. John and I sat on either side of the kitchen table, while Lily and Linda stood by the sink behind him. He had made it clear to them, obviously, that this was between us. Whatever. Like they would just stand there and be quiet.
But this was it, kinda. This was the moment I had been waiting for, wasn’t it? Confrontation. To tell him I knew everything, well, not everything, but the start of it at least and that there was no way he could hide it from me anymore. The fact that he or he and Lily had been hiding it from me all along, that they had been keeping it up this long.. I felt betrayed. Hurt. But most of all furious. Both at them and myself. How could I have let it go on for so long as well? Why didn’t I just tell them straight away? Sometimes I wasn’t really quite sure how I managed it all without exploding.
But none of that mattered now anyways, because here we were, sitting quietly by the table. John had never been good at starting a conversation but I wasn’t going to help him. He was the one who had put us here in the first place, so now he could have the pleasure of dealing with it. I looked at him; his brown hair, tired but focused blue-grey eyes and his grey suit covering his white shirt. He lifted his head, meeting my eyes.
“So, will you tell me where you went while you and Lily separated ways?” He asked, in a more gently tone than I imagined would come out of his mouth. I knew that would all change soon though.
“Does it matter?”
“Yes, it does! You are living in my house where my rules apply and I want to know where you go and what you do.” He said, pointing towards the table while speaking and the gentle tone was now long gone. I rolled my eyes and lifted my head towards the ceiling.
“Why? So you can make sure I don’t overdose again? That I don’t try to ki-“
“That’s enough. That was not my intention when putting you in the mental hospital. I did that to protect you.”
“Oh really? I just thought you wanted to lock me up and make my life a misery.”
“Just stop, okay. Stop the sarcasm.” He said, putting a hand on his forehead while looking down.
“Fine. Then you stop the lying.” I said, meeting his eyes and bending forward.
“What are you talking about?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows.
I squinted my eyes. How long did he think he could put up with it? The anger built inside of me like bricks being stapled on one another and I found it even hard to sit still on this kitchen chair.
“Do you really think I’m that stupid, John? What, Lily hasn’t already told you? I confronted her before about Cynthia! I know you two have been lying to me this whole time, keeping secrets about her. How you could do that?” I raged, feeling myself almost breaking apart.
I held it together though. I lifted my eyes and saw Linda sending a confused glance at Lily who stood beside her. I guess she was just as clueless as I was, but quite frankly, I couldn’t really care about John’s relationship with her right now. I focused back on John. He took a deep breath while pressing his hands together simultaneously.
“Hayley, it’s not what you think. It’s..it’s complicated, okay.”
“John, what is going on? Do you know where Cynthia is?” Linda asked, looking at the back of his head with a confused look. Lily stiffened beside her, drawing her head back.
“Linda, not now. Please. Lily,” John said. Lily took Linda by the arm, trying to lead her out of the room.
“Maybe it’s best we let Hayley and John talk about this.”
But Linda struggled out of her grip, looking at her with a more furious look.
“No. You know where she is too. What is this? No. I am not leaving until someone tells me what’s going on. I have just as much right to be here as all of you. What’s going on?!” She asked, more loudly, coming closer towards me and John. I sharpened my eyes on John, sitting in front of me, looking worried.
“Yeah, John. What’s going on?” I asked.
“H-how did you even come across this, Hayley?” He began.
I pushed myself out from the table, standing up on my feet.
“You’re seriously asking me that, right now?” This was it. I had had it.
“No, John. You listen. All this time I’ve kept it all inside. But you know what? I’m done with it. I am going to find mom. Hell, I almost died because of mom and you still don’t get that. You either tell me where she is or I will find out myself. You can’t stop me from looking for her. None of you can.” I said sharply, looking over at Lily, who looked devastated, still holding a hand on Linda’s arm.
“She left us two years ago. She’s no good, Hayley. She made her decision and so we move on. We have to. There’s no point in bringing this back up again.” John said, looking at me pleadingly. Lily nodded.
“No, I know you want to tell me! I heard it! In your office, you said I had a right to know so don’t sit there and talk bullshit. Tell me!!” I shot back.
Lily covered her mouth. Maybe she remembered the night as well.
“It’s not that simple, Hayley, please try and understand that all I have ever done is only for your own protection.”
I sighed and shook my head.
“Fine, John. Have it your way.” I said and left the kitchen.
I ran quickly up the stairs, then into my room and grabbed the suitcase John had pulled out. I opened it and started shoving the content of my closet into it. Quickly scanning my desk I took what I thought would be necessary, and threw it in a small handbag. Phone, notebook, pen. Then at last, I looked towards my red wall, where the picture of Cynthia hung. I walked up to it, looking at her. Noise from the stairs came quickly and I heard John standing by the door.
“Hayley, what are you doing?!” He asked in an inpatient manner.
I grabbed the picture and took it down from the wall, shoving it into my bag.
“I’m leaving. I’m going to find mom.”
“Like hell you are. Put that suitcase down right now.” He said.
I ignored him. He refused to tell me where she was, so, I refused to put up with it anymore. I went past him with my suitcase, bag and leather jacket. He went after me down the stairs.
“Where are you even going to stay? You live here, this is your home, Hayley!!” He kept yelling.
“Not anymore.” I said.
Linda and Lily still stood by the table, eyeing my every move. Linda looked devastated, but not because of me leaving, but because the secrets John had been keeping came up to the surface to her now as well. Lily stopped my steps towards the door, grabbing my bag.
“Hayley, you can’t do this. You don’t know how dangerous it can be. Please, Hayley, listen to us!!”
“Let go of me. I’m going and you can’t stop me.” I took the bag back from her, then shoving my feet into my converse.
“Let her go.” Someone suddenly said.
We all froze. I looked and saw Linda, all teary eyed. Out of all people, I wouldn’t think she’d be the one to actually understand, due to our previous history of her ratting on me and all, but maybe she did. Either way, it made us all stop what we were doing. John looked at her.
“What, are you crazy?” He said.
Linda met my eyes, she wasn’t smiling at me, but she wasn’t mad at me either. Then she looked at John, walking towards him.
“After the way you’ve been treating her, I don’t really blame her for wanting to leave. I- I need a break, John. I can’t deal with this now.” She said, walking past him to their bedroom.
“A break? What..Linda, wait.” But she held up her hand, making him keep his distance. John looked like he was about to cry and that was the first time I’ve seen that look on him. There was nothing I could do about that now though. I couldn’t really prevent Linda from finding out about this, even if I wanted to. So, I gathered my things again, blinked and opened the door.
“Hayley, you can’t leave. You can’t leave because Cynthia is-“
But I kept on walking, hearing Lily’s voice becoming more and more distant. Nothing or no one could stop me now.
“-dead.” She said, her voice suddenly loud and clear in my ear.
“She’s dead..” She repeated, standing behind me.
Now that made me stop. With one hand twitch, I dropped my suitcase, paralyzed by the words.
as always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next chapter!! :)