You can see how dedicated I am to Nanowrimo >.>
Day 11, discharge day
I was just slipping on my shirt, when the door swung open and a purple-grey haired woman stormed in. I didn’t need my sixth sense to figure out she was pretty angry.
Yeah, I’m starting to control it now…at first I would just get completely random impressions, but all the time I spent alone in this room let me practice turning it on and off, or even directing at specific objects. Though I get a lot more from a person on high emotions than from a table.
“YOU GOT YOURSELF SHOT!?” The woman hissed angrily, letting the little boy she’d brought along sit on the floor.
“Pretty sure I didn’t ask to be shot.” I immediately retaliated. Couldn’t quite help myself from responding with the same tone.
“There are several wrong things that happened here Xavier! First off, you totally went to investigate the docks didn’t you? You weren’t smart enough to stay home huh? And second off, how come I have to learn from Xenia and your parents that you got shot and you’re in the hospital!? Is a phone call that complicated when you’re sitting on your bum all day!?” She scolded.
“Woah! You do realize I don’t understand half of this right? And that I don’t know who you are?” I asked, really hoping she’d rein her anger in soon. Last person who got this agitated physically hurt me. Sure I don’t get the feeling she’d do the same, but…
“Yeah, I know you were stupid enough to get hit with amnesia! Doesn’t change the fact that you’ve gone ahead and done a dumb thing! I even heard you released a freaky amount of magic?? Sounds like those days you couldn’t keep it in. Got us banned from the bar!” She started rambling. “You have a lot of explaining to do.”
“Who are you again?” I asked glancing at the kid on the ground. I was surprised to find a name popped into my mind: Maxwell.
Oh god…it’s not my kid is it? No, no, I doubt it. I really doubt it.
“Your very special and important childhood best friend. You should know this.”
“Hmm, then I have a question. If you’re so special and important why did it take you 11 days to come visit me? Before everyone else?” I said with a small eye roll.
“See? If you could hold on to a couple of memories you’d know the answer to that!”
“Ah don’t make such a sour face!” She said a grin spreading on her face. “I’m just teasing you. May not be evident, but I’m genuinely glad you seem to be fine. Now I’ll catch you up on everything you don’t know on the way home okay?”
I eyed her suspiciously.
“Come on mister, you probably don’t even know where you live anyway.” She said, picking up the toddler and motioning for me to open the door for her.
I decided to trust her. It helped that I didn’t get the impression she was actually the shooter who wanted to finish the job.
Turns out the main reason she’d taken so long, was that she’d been busy setting everything up to move in my apartment. At that point she’d needed to show me some solid proof of us actually being close friends.
And she did, and she told me lots of stories of what we’d done as kids, and the more she talked the more I started to remember things. Even a few things she hadn’t even said yet.
“Okay, you feeling good now?” She said after counting a time where she broke ONE bottle of alcohol while I annihilated the bar’s tv. A story I highly suspected she wasn’t entirely truthful about…
“….yeah?” I asked, wondering why she looked so serious.
“Okay, because I have a very important question.”
“Who shot you?” She said the question with a very simple smile and a calm face…yet an unnerving feeling settled in my gut. I had the impression the answer to that question was going to bring about a lot of unneeded trouble.
“I don’t know yet. But someone did come by and tell me it was some sniper.” I replied, carefully gouging her reaction.
“Hmm, we’re going to try something okay? Think you could do a spell?” She asked with the same nice smile. It feels like she’s the second person who’s trying to take advantage of my loss of memories right now. So then…how would normal me react? What does normal me know that I don’t?
“Another one?” I’d dropped the spell Kyxa had asked me to cast when I’d left the hospital, and after having the feeling my energy being slowly drained constantly, I wasn’t that eager to cast another spell.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’ll need to tell me later, but this is a simple spell. Or well, you told me it was when you cast it to find my keys. I would’ve never found it in the damn couch anyway.”
“A kind of searching spell? What am I supposed to search for?” I asked.
“The shooter obviously! Who else?”
“Um…is that a good idea?”
“Aren’t you curious? Well I am, so come on cast it.”
I was curious, but…is running after trouble really the right thing to do? Erin’s intense gaze broke me.
“Well I don’t know. I’m not the witch here am I?” She said with a smirk.
“That’s a lot of help.”
“Come on, you probably just need to think about your shooter and let your magic out. Or something like that.” Erin said with a shrug. I sighed, but did as she suggested.
After a few moments I managed to conjure up the illusion of a crystal in which we could see a building.
Erin stared at it until it dissolved, before straightening up. “I know where that is.”
Seconds later someone knocked at the door, and the memory of Kyxa and James visiting me almost two weeks ago appeared in my mind.
It must’ve been my sixth sense, my impression, acting up because I had the definite feeling it was my first visitor, Lilith, before Erin had even opened the door.
This sixth sense of mine was a little unpredictable. If I sat down and really concentrated I could make some sense out of it, but most of the time I get random impressions without any warning whatsoever.
“And you are…?” Erin asked as Lilith walked in.
“Ah, the internet friend! Think you could do us a favor? Me and Xavier have to go somewhere, just for half an hour, think you could take care of my boy? You really just need to be here, he can play by himself.” Erin said.
A little surprised Lilith looked past us at Maxwell playing in his playpen before looking at me. I shrugged.
“I wouldn’t mind at all. Half an hour is fine.” She finally replied.
“Great thanks.” Erin said, giving her a friendly pat before grabbing my arm and dragging me out of my apartment.
“Are you sure it’s okay?” I asked as Erin pressed the elevator button.
“Yeah, yeah, you told me all about her. She’s trustworthy and it’s only for half an hour.” Erin said.
“You actually want us to go see my shooter right now? You do realize how very far from wise this is?” I said.
“You can stay here.” She said, but there was no way I was going to do that now.
Apparently my spell had led us to small hang out/mini shop place near a subway station.
It seemed pretty empty and dull.
Not somewhere you’d expect to find a sniper. Not that underground super secret hideouts were very realistic.
I should’ve reacted faster.
I noticed the knife just before she pulled it out. I would’ve had the time to reach out and grab it, or stop her from pulling it out at least!
But I didn’t, and the moment Erin spotted the man in the middle of room, listening to the tv, she pulled out her knife and charged him.
I had barely registered the man as the one who’d shot me when Erin grabbed his shirt and pushed him towards the wall, bringing her the tip of her knife to his throat.
He backed up reflexively to avoid getting stabbed in the throat, but in the end the man barely flinched, his face as impassive as ever. As if getting threatened was an everyday occurrence.
“You the bastard that shot Xavier?” She hissed through gritted teeth.
All the man did was tilt his head slightly, looking almost amused.
“You think I’m bluffing? You think I wouldn’t stab you right here, right now? I killed my parents with a knife like this, don’t go assuming I’d have a problem doing you in.” She warned, her words thickly laced with anger. The way she was acting…the words she was saying…unpleasant memories were starting to surface.
“Oh, I don’t think you’re bluffing.” The man replied in a russian accent.
“You look a little too cocky for my taste. My hand might slip.” Erin warned, pressing her knife against his throat a little harder. I wanted to interfere, but I was busy trying to fight the blood stained memory.
“You’re new at this aren’t you?” He asked, his amused smirk still plastered on his face.
Erin finally noticed what he was hinting at.
From the moment she’d pulled out her knife, he’d had his gun out and loaded.
The cold barrel of the gun touched her exposed stomach, as if he was making sure she had noticed he could as much shoot her as she could stab him.
His grin only seemed to grow as Erin realized she needed to back away.
Seems I gave her the excuse she needed, because I inhaled sharply dropping to the floor as the memory took me over filling me with an intense feeling of fear and disgust.
Talk about horrible timing.
The memory was of two people on the ground, the blood draining out of them, undoubtedly Erin’s parents. She was standing over them looking younger and bloody from head to toe, a knife on the ground.
I remembered walking in with Edmund and someone named Oliver…I remembered seeing the corpses and, unable to keep it in, I had run outside and emptied my stomach in the snow. I remember coming back and still being unable to look at the bodies, clinging to Edmund for support. Knowing I needed to gather myself if I wanted to be able to help Erin.
Some of these memories…I would decidedly be better without.
It seems the sniper was really just a hired gun, he had nothing against us. If anything, Erin threatening his life had put him in a cheery mood.
Once I recovered from the memory, he had no qualms about us leaving, even adding that with luck he and I wouldn’t meet on a battleground again.
He was unexpectedly not evil.
Toss and turn. Toss and turn. That’s all I was doing.
I’d slept fine in the hospital. Hell I’d slept fine the last two days, even with that horrible memory, something I had yet to talk to Erin about. It might actually seem a little surprising that I’m not grabbing a pot as protection every time I cross Erin in my apartment now…but I can’t sense anything bad. I still want to trust her. I think she might just be as damaged as I’m learning I am.
So, as nicely as I’ve slept, here I am, lying in my bed, unable to fall asleep. I was tired. God, at 2 am I just wanted to sleep, but I’d woken up two hours ago and hadn’t been able to fall asleep. My mind was entirely against it. Every time I felt myself drift off, a horrible gut feeling would jerk me awake.
It’s only two hours after being awake, hovering between sleep and consciousness, that the idea that my sixth sense had something to do with this came to mind.
I’d already eliminated all other possibilities at that point.
But what did keeping me up even do? Was this a warning? Was something going to happen? What was I supposed to do?
My gut clenched, someone is after me.
That certitude suddenly filled me. I was in danger. Right now, someone was going to abuse me.
What had only been a vague feeling earlier, only amplified as time passed.
I sat up, tilting my head as if I was expecting to hear a noise, someone entering my apartment. But I was only met with silence.
Still I couldn’t calm down now, I was wide awake deciphering what my sixth sense was trying its best to tell me.
I needed to get out of here as soon as I could.
But I was too late. I had taken too much time before listening to my gut.
Whoever it was had gotten into range and infiltrated my mind.
My body had become someone else’s puppet.
“-you missed on the paperwork and have been avoiding Mr.Brody’s calls? They tell me you don’t come to work as often and you even skipped a meeting today? And apparently you’ve been neglecting Charlotte?” My father droned on unhappily. Why is he always, always on my case? It’s 2 am for god’s sake, couldn’t this wait till morning? “For the last two weeks your attitude has been absolutely despicable. Do you need time off again? Well you aren’t getting it! You’ve done enough wallowing about like a heart broken teenager. Get a hold of yourself boy! Or things aren’t going to go well. Our bank accounts are linked, I can close yours off temporarily if it means getting you back on track. Do I make myself clear?”
“You’re being unfair-” I tried to say, annoyed that he went as far as to threaten me.
“Unfair!? I’m being unfair? You’re the one ruining my reputation right now. Your depressed stunt was already hard to come back from.” My father snapped, shaking his head in disgust. Couldn’t he lay off? Didn’t I have the right to think?
“Yeah, I can admit I could’ve handled myself better,” I said, remembering clearly the state I’d been when I managed to convince myself Xavier had died. I’d even gone as far as to think it might have been my fault. “but you don’t need to be on my case, threatening to cut off my money! So this is the real reason why you refused to let me get my own independent bank account!? Spouting something about the benefits-”
“Don’t you dare question my motives! It’s always been for the best of this family.” He said. Maybe it was just the fact that it was 2am, but the more words spilled out of my father’s mouth, the more I began to despise him. I mean, I’ve never particularly liked him, always disliked him as a father…but now I was starting to be disgusted with the man he was.
“No it’s always been the best for you.” I said.
“Shut your mouth Edmund! Go to bed. Maybe tomorrow you’ll be talking with reason again.” My father said in a final tone. It was clear he was refusing to further the conversation tonight.
But I still had unresolved anger just starting to boil on the surface. I wasn’t done. And for once, that was the important part here. “Maybe I’m not the one being unreasonable, did you ever think of that!?”
But Leopold had enough, he ignored me, climbing up the stairs to his own bed.
He climbed the stairs, one step at a time, already seeming calm, like nothing had happened.
I hadn’t felt this pissed in a very long time. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to hold to my father like I did just then.
But I was just so done with his bullsh*t. I did everything he asked. Every little thing he wanted me to do, I did.
But it’s just so damn hard to fill the perfect child shoes these days. And it’s not all because Xavier suddenly came back and I had the most fun I’ve had in a while just playing card games with him on his hospital bed.
Though it was without a doubt a big factor. Spending time with Xavier, before I ruined it all again, made coming back to my daily routine straining. I had trouble slipping back into my disguise, and I grew bored with it easily.
I zoned out when my co-workers talked to me, when Charlotte asked for my attention, when I met up with other businesses…and where did I zone out to? To things I actually did enjoy doing. Writing, reading, taking long walks, spending time with Xavier…
I couldn’t go back to…well being a zombie. I thought I could live like that, but I don’t think I can anymore.
Charlotte and I…I love her as a friend. I really do, she’s a great gal. But more than that? I think she already suspects that I’m not all that into it romantically. We haven’t done it either, I managed to put it off on the excuse that I’m an after marriage kind of guy, but our marriage is in a few months. How long can I play the part?
I don’t want to marry her.
I don’t want to work for my father.
I don’t want to wear this stupid suit and smile politely and convince people my dad’s company isn’t trying to f*ck them over.
And for the longest time it didn’t matter what I wanted, but…I don’t like depending on my dad. And I’m starting to see more and more how easily he could destroy me if I wasn’t exactly what he needed me to be. This wasn’t about pleasing my father anymore…
But did I really want to go down this dangerous thought process? Maybe I should just head to bed.
“Dad sure is annoyingly loud! Don’t be sad Eddie, dad wouldn’t take your money away.” Alistair said, sneaking out of the kitchen.
Ha. How am I not surprised? I looked back at my brother, noticing the cookie crumbs on his cheeks.
The kid is always sneaking out for a midnight snack.
“I’m not sad buddy, I just need to think.” I said. “You should get back to bed before dad notices you’re up.”
Instead of being the obedient boy he isn’t, Alistair came over and slumped on the couch beside me.
“Dad is yelling at you and it’s really annoying. I mean, he gets angry when I put on Hello Kitty music and forget to put on underwear, but it’s nothing compared to all the mean things he says to you.” Alistair grumbled into the couch.
I was a little envious of Alistair. Our father actually yelled at him more than he let on. Alistair had horrible grades in school and he always came home really late because he prefers hanging out at the park with his firends. And even though Leopold scolds him every time, Alistair just retaliates by cutting holes in his pants or dropping buckets of water in his bed. It’s really amusing to watch him go, and I wish I’d been as daring as he is at times.
“I mean, it’s not like you even do anything wrong.” Alistair said. “Maybe it’s because you never look happy. Maybe dad just wants you to be happy around him?”
I laughed humorlessly.
“Really kiddo, get back to bed.” I said ruffling his hair.
He grumbled again.
“Or maybe it’s because you do everything he says.” Alistair said, looking up at me with his huge blue eyes.
“Why are you even up at 2am? It’s late even for you!” I said.
His eyes were starting to drift closed. “I wanted to wait for you, to say good night.” He mumbled as he started to fall asleep.
I scooped my little brother up and brought him to his bed, making sure my father’s door wasn’t opened.
I tucked him in, kissing his forehead.
“You were really happy last week Eddie…are you going to be happier now?” Alistair asked, half-asleep. I ignored his question, closed the light and then the door as gently as I could.
I need a breath of fresh air.
So I went outside to take a walk.
Oh god…I’ve spent so much time avoiding thinking about it…always focusing on what was important: pleasing my dad.
But now I felt like a prisoner. I still lived in his house for god’s sake! He had control over my money, and everything I did had to go through him first. To think that when I was a teen I used to think I’d get a break when I started work. I wouldn’t need to study anymore, I’d have more freedom, because after all…I would’ve done everything my dad asked no?
What a joke it all was.
And right now, walking under the moonlight, cold air against the uncomfortable fabric of my suit, the faraway sound of a police car, the ominous darkness of the buildings…I just wanted to keep walking. To walk and never stop until I was far away from everything I’d done here.
I’d done so many mistakes with the excuse that I had to be what my dad wanted me to.
“But…you like working for your father right?”
No. I really don’t.
I’m so far in now though…can I really make my dad understand? Can I make him realize I don’t want this? Can I find some sort of compromise? To make my life a little better? As selfish as that sounds?
I was so lost in my thoughts, I almost didn’t recognize Xavier when our paths crossed at the corner.
I couldn’t believe the coincidence…once again. Him taking a walk at 2am just like me?
Maybe it was a sign, maybe it was a sign telling me if I really wanted to try and turn things around, that I needed to fix what I’d done to Xavier. I needed to apologize, I needed to make right by him.
But, his shoulder barely grazing mine, he walked by like I hadn’t said a thing.
I looked away a little deflated. Guess I deserve that. After everything I’d done to him, there wasn’t much of anything he’d do to me that wasn’t deserved.
I almost kept walking, but I clenched my fists. I need to apologize. I need to tell him that I didn’t want to leave…that I felt obligated to, even if that’s not a good reason. I feel horrible, and I needed him to know I was sorry. I was sorry for leaving, sorry for lying, sorry for everything. I was always sorry.
“Xavier, please! Hear me out.” I pleaded, catching up to his side.
He didn’t show a sign of having acknowledged me.
“You have every right to be angry at me, I get it, but can you give me a chance? To apologize?” I tried again.
But once again, I received no response.
Something was wrong.
He seemed…weird. It didn’t feel like he was ignoring me…more that he didn’t even know I was there. His expression was too still and his movements too coordinated.
He seemed like a walking puppet.
Something was seriously wrong.
I jumped in front of Xavier and gripped his shoulders, willing for him to be faking all of this.
I was afraid of what else it could mean. I had no idea how Xavier had even ended up on the docks, or why he even got shot. I didn’t know what supernatural things Xavier could’ve gotten involved in.
But as I stared intensely at his eyes, hoping to find some sign of annoyance or irritation at being tossed around so harshly, I only received the same impartial expression.
“Xavier?” I asked, in a last ditch effort. Because if he wasn’t faking it…what was I supposed to do? How could I help him?
After a few moments Xavier did react, and I thought I’d over reacted.
He pried himself from my grip and pressed his thumb against my forehead.
“Sleep.” He said the word with the same expression and suddenly a huge wave of fatigue drew my lids down.
Usually I hate moonlight in sims…this time, I actually kind of liked it.