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CHAPTER 4: CAN WE WORK?
I’m sitting beside Damien as he takes his time in explaining to everyone what had happened.
“Stewart took another route because an accident had occurred…. according to him….there was no way we could have gotten out of the traffic jam.We had a flat tyre… I tried to call someone but there was no signal so I got down from the car and walked a bit far from it thinking I could get some reception of a sort.He walked up to me saying the tyre was fixed.And as we both turned around,I saw my car explode before my very own eyes”
He must have been terrified.
“Oh God!”Juanita exclaimed.
“You’re one lucky man,Damien…just few minutes you were in that damn car”James commented.
I stared at him…he was just trying to look nonchalant but I know he’s beyond shocked.
It still feels so unreal that he was back…that he was here with me.
And I found myself crying again.
He turned to face me.
“Hey… stop with the crying….have you even had a bath today?you look like a zombie and you don’t smell nice”He whispered.
I didn’t see the need to get all dolled up when I’m going to get kicked out of his house.
And I know he was just acting this way because he can’t stop caring about me.
Oh,Damien… please give me another chance.
“After recovering from the shock of the explosion.There wasn’t any car approaching so we had to start walking. I don’t think I’ve ever walked that much in my entire life”
“We know”James teased and the others laughed.
He is the only one who have the guts to say anything about him to his face.
Even I’m now uneasy around him.
I didn’t want to say anything that would piss him off.
“By the time we got to the expressway,it was really late and my phone was down,Stewart’s cellphone had been in the car.We had to board a taxi… I told Stewart to go home… It was an unusually stressful day for us both.And when I got to my house.The numbers of reporters outside scared the shvt out of me. I had to wait till they leave”
“You made the news tonight,man”James said.
“Obviously.Max, tell the media that I’m okay and back home so they can take down the news of me being missing”
Max nodded and brought out his cellphone.
“Any idea about whom might have done it?Did any business rival threaten you lately?”James asked.
“Yes.Lucas,keep me updated with the police’s investigation”
“Well, it’s good to have you back in one piece”Pedro breathed.”And this is our cue to leave now…Our dear Sophia needs some petting tonight”
James gave me a knowing look then glanced at Damien who smiled, forcefully.
If only they knew that right now….we were like strangers.
“Have some rest,Damien”James said and the men started leaving.
“There are some dishes in the freezer but if you want something else,I can get it prepared now”Juanita offered.
Damien stood up.
“I’ll make do with what is in the freezer…you should get some sleep”
Juanita flashed him a sad bittersweet smile then she walked away with Ana.
He stood before me, watching me with an unreadable expression on his face.
We’re finally alone and we gazed at each other.
“Come”He finally said and walked away.
I followed him, nostalgically.
He opened the door of a bathroom.
“Take a bath, Sophia and try not to cry anymore…your eyes are getting too reddish and swollen.Meet me downstairs in the dining room when you’re done”
I gave a jerky nod.
He stared at the bathroom probably recalling the times we had our bath together.
He turned around and walked off.
After taking my bath,I stared at myself in the mirror, I could barely recognize myself.
I really look like a zombie.
I put on clean clothes and headed to the dining room.
I found Damien already dressed casually.
He had taken his bath too and he was currently heating up the meals through the microwave.
Turning it off.
He brought down the dishes and served the both of us.
“Sit down and eat”He ordered.
I slowly sat down and picked up the spoon.
I didn’t have the appetite to eat anything.
He sat down too, picking up his cutlery….he had a taste and dropped it.
I’m not the only one who didn’t want to eat then.
“Eat, Sophia”He urged.
“I’m not hungry”
“I know you haven’t had anything tangible to eat all day…you don’t look so good…so eat”He stressed.
I tried to eat but it tasted like sawdust in my mouth.
“Eat!”He pressed on, angrily.
I ended up forcing the food down my throat.
“I was scared….when my car erupted… I was scared”Damien admitted.
He didn’t admit this to anyone else and it meant a lot that he was telling me how he really felt.
“The battery on my phone didn’t die down….my phone broke when I fell from the shock….and the first thing I thought about was you….if I had been in that car…. I would never had seen you again.”
“When…when I lost my parents…. nothing made sense to me.On the day of their funeral, I wailed…they had put their bodies inside coffins and I saw the men putting them inside the ground… I had screamed as if they could hear me….I didn’t want to say goodbye… I didn’t want to be all alone without them….day by day,I wish it was a nightmare…. Going to school was worse, Seeing other parents dropping their kids off and bidding them goodbye was so suffocating.A lot of times,I asked myself why me…why did that had to happen to me? I had to homeschool….coupled with the fact that I couldn’t get touched…. I picked on children who had parents and beat the shvt out of them as if they were the cause of my problem…. I was too traumatized… I couldn’t bring myself to talk…every little sound terrified me.Even if I was too small to be left alone in the main house, Juanita and Pedro had to move to the second building for my peace of mind.One night…I heard a sound…. I was scared but I decided to face it,I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and located the sound,it was a cat… something in me wanted to hurt it….I chased it around the lawn and I killed it… seeing the blood felt so good….and I touched it…It felt nice against my fingers….I felt like killing something else”
He stared at me then looked away.
“For some messed up reasons,it gave me a sense of satisfaction… I was happy that I could take life out of something too.That was two years after their death and I spoke because of the blood I saw…it gave me a boost of confidence.And at night,when I heard any sound,I don’t start shrieking,I grabbed the knife and search the house for something I can kill….when I was fifteen… Juanita’s two dogs ran into the mansion. I was angry because they were making a mess out of the whole place and I suddenly wondered how seeing their blood would feel like. I killed her dogs and I was glad when the blood littered the floor….it was always an amazing sight.I didn’t take care of the mess,Juanita and Pedro walked in on it and they were horrified.She had cried…the dogs had been with her for years but back then,I wasn’t sorry. I was too consumed in my bloodlust to give a shvt about anything.
It was then they realized that all the dead animals they had been seeing around the house was a result of my handiwork.
Pedro took me to see James then.
Back then,when I had those attacks,it would take hours to finally calm down and I’ll get sick after that but the injections he gave me made me sane after a few minutes.James couldn’t help me more than that though.But I love going to see him… I love talking to him…he doesn’t judge…he just listens and gives advise.Pedro started monitoring my every movement…he wanted to make sure I stopped killing so it wouldn’t result to anything more than that…. I had to stop… I had wanted to stop…. I was 20 and I had wanted to take over my father’s business but the manager didn’t want to step down.He attacked me on my way to the mall,we fought…he had a gun…..it was bloody fight…but I knocked the gun off him and claimed it…. I killed him….the Court ruled it as self defense.But I couldn’t stop thinking of how his blood felt against my palm…my bloodlust was back and this time,I wanted to see humans’ blood. I had my men monitor the city and I took out anyone who was a murderer…it made me a muderer too…I wasn’t supposed to do that but breaking the law was fun…. seeing blood was amazing.That night,at that alley,I had just killed someone before I saved you…. ironic, isn’t it?”
I’m totally at a lost of words.
“And then you kept talking so loud and you hugged me…you had touched my neck and I was shocked that I didn’t break down in front of you…you called me a good person…you said a lot of shvt to me and it affected me a lot…it was mysteriously unsettling but I couldn’t think of killing anyone ever again… Sophia won’t like that I always thought… I have given up on getting better then, I thought there was no hope for me…but then suddenly there was someone who could touch me…not just physically…but mentally and emotionally.I wanted to get better…to feel normal again… I thought I could be the man of your dreams when I saw you with Raul but I thought wrong.I am not worthy of anyone’s love”
He held his palms together and for minutes…we were both silent.
“Say something”He urged.
I didn’t know what to say.
This was quite a lot to absorbed.
“Say something, Sophia”
“I…you..uhh…so for three years now,you haven’t killed anyone, right?”
“I haven’t”He replied.
I went back to thinking again.
Could I really be with a killer?
Well, he’s not anymore.
“All the more reason why I think the both of us can’t work.There isn’t any trust anymore…and I know you want to get your things now and run away from me…. I’m no longer who you think I am”
“You’ve changed.I’m not saying what you did was right. But I know that you didn’t end people’s lives for minor reasons.”
“How do you know that?”
“That night,when you saved me,you didn’t kill those men”
“That doesn’t mean you won’t stare at me and think about all the dirty things I’ve done”
“We…we can make this work… I want to be with you… I want your good and your bad side…all of you”
He stood up, agitated.
“Sophia,I thought when I would tell you this,you will finally have the urge to leave me…. I want you to leave…do you actually want me to believe that you can be okay with a man you can’t touch?”
I stood up and I was already crying.
I haven’t cried this much my whole life.
“We can work things out…We could start with baby steps…all your fears are in your head…you just need to have more confidence in yourself that you can endure anything… I won’t give up on you”
He looked away.” I have given up on myself.Sophia, I’m doing what is right….why can’t you just leave me?At some point you wanted to run away, right?”
“I’m sorry…. I… I..ruined everything between us by lying… Please give me one more chance,let me show you how much I’ve come to love you.Damien,I don’t know what I’ll do if I leave you…. I can’t imagine spending every day alone because I don’t think I would ever want anyone else…. you mean so much to me, please don’t make me leave… I love you too much…. please…. please… forgive me…give me one more chance…even if it’s this once… I made a mistake because I didn’t want to lose you…I should have told you then instead of being scared of how you’ll react to it… please don’t punish me for life because of that mistake…I don’t want to be alone…. I want to be with you, please”
I wiped my nose with the back of my hand in a most unladylike way.
My breathing was erratic and my tears dripping all over my face.
He looked torn…as if he wanted to come closer to me but then he walked away.
I sank back on the chair closing my mouth, muffling my screams.
What should I do to make him open up his heart to me again.
The person who had tried to kill me had to be a very powerful man.
One who had people skillfully place a bomb in my car without anyone noticing.
Raul had popped into my mind but he’s just a peasant…he doesn’t have any resources to pull a stunt like that.
It might be one of my business rivals.
I sat on the floor in my study.
Sophia’s face tormented me.
I’ve never seen her look so lifeless before.
All she does is cry.
Maybe I’m just being too hard on her.
What if she’s being sincere?
A sound came from my door.
I stood up and sat on the chair.
Ana walked in.
“It’s fvcking late.What are you doing here?”I asked, coldly.
“I couldn’t sleep.What I had done to Sophia made me feel tortured?”
“What are you saying?”
“I know you’re going to ban me from entering your house after this but that would be bearable than this guilt I feel.When Sophia arrived,I hated her because she didn’t seem to like you and I thought Marcella was the one for you. I made plans with her to separate the two of you…that is why I always monitored her,when I saw you trusted her more than anything, I had to become nice to her so that you’ll believe everything I say.That poison…she was mortified and angry when Raul sent it…she never thought of using it…she told him that she would never do anything to hurt you….after that,I noticed she stopped talking to him on the phone.Sophia haven’t met up with him since you two got married until yesterday. I don’t know what they had talked about but I know she…she loves you.You have to trust her again”
“Do you realize that you’ve ruined a lot of things between the two of us already?”I asked, furiously.
“I’m so sorry… Sophia is a lively, jovial person… I’m sad that I ruined the friendship between me and her too.Today,she seem so out of it…she wouldn’t stop crying and once I stood by her door and heard her crying and rehearsing how to apologise to you over and over again.And when we heard that you were missing and your car exploded…. I thought she might pass out…she just sat alone staring into space and at times sobbing…I feel so terrible that I had partly put her through this…. please forgive her,Damien… I’m so sorry for making you hate her…I know she might have lied but she truly loves you… I’ve seen it,when you’re not around,you’re all she talks about…and her art room, it’s filled with random paintings of you.Please give her another chance… I don’t think I’ll ever be at peace if Sophia leaves”
“Leave me alone,Ana, you’ve said enough already”
She sniffed and nodded then she walked away.
I ran my hand through my hair and leaned against my seat.
I thought about her wrist…the force of pulling that bracelet off really did a number on it.
I had hurt her badly.
Things have changed between us greatly.
Can we really work?
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