Written by Princess Juliet
Their complicated fate
Never, in all her years, had Atarah been so confused. She sat up in bed and tried not to panic as she watched Jayden change into his clothes and put on his shoes, quickly and absentmindedly.
�What could be wrong?� She wondered in silence, her heart thumping loudly in her chest.
She was so certain that his sudden weird behaviour had something to do with that call, the call from the station house, �but how exactly?�
Letting out a deep breath, she finally mustered up the courage and asked him. �Is everything alright?�
�Yes,� Jayden grunted his response as he picked up his car keys and his phone. �I�ll see you later, Princess.� He forced a smile on his face and started toward the door.
�Wait.� Atarah’s voice stopped him and he slowly turned around.
�Promise me, Jay,� She climbed out of the bed almost naked and walked up to him, �…promise me that you will be fine.�
For a moment Jayden merely stared at her, his expression unreadable and then a smile slowly worked its way across his face and into his eyes. �I will.� He muttered softly.
Atarah reached out and touched his cheek, �And promise me that you�ll return to me.� She didn’t know why she said this, but something inside of her ate at her gut and tore at her heart, leaving her deeply troubled and completely nervous.
Jayden wasn�t dumb, he could sense her fear. Before another word could leave her lips, he kissed her, a commanding, intense kiss and whispered his promise in her ear before walking out of the house and outside to his car. Atarah silently followed behind him, feeling gloomy and doomy and sad.
Wrenching the door open, Jayden climbed into the driver’s seat. Without sparing her a second glance, he stepped his foot on the accelerator and sped off to the station house, his heart sinking in his chest.
By the time he arrived there, his forehead was beaded with sweat and he looked pretty sickly and tired but that did not deter him.
He stepped out of the car, slammed the door shut and walked straight to the reception where he met his dad and Greg. They were sitting down on one of the two sofas in the room and were waiting impatiently for the police chief to return from his office.
�Dad! Greg!� He called out, surprised and only then did they notice him.
�Oh, Jayden,� Trent jumped to his feet and raced over to him, �Thank the heavens you are here.� He patted him on the shoulder firmly, as if telling him to be strong and Jayden was beginning to get rather confused.
�What is going on here?� He looked at his father intensely without blinking and Trent slowly let out a deep breath.
�I don’t know, I am as confused as you are.� He turned his face away from his son and stared down at the floor so he wouldn’t see the pain in his eyes. �I also got the call, the same one about the woman claiming to know what happened to your mother and was told to come along with your nanny.�
�Nanny Evie?� Jayden gasped in aghast, but before he could say anything else, Nanny Evie rushed into the reception room, sweating profusely and panting hard.
�What is happening here?� She looked from Trent to Jayden and an unwelcome feeling of fear and panic clutched at her heart. � What exactly is going on, Trent?�The way he�d sounded over the phone, without giving any reason and explanation whatsoever had given her the impression that something bad had happened.
Trent glanced at her and scoffed. �Finally, she is here.�He drawled sarcastically as he was in a bad mood. When he looked towards the police officer seated at the front desk, he was red-cheeked with rage. �Jeez! How dare they keep me waiting.�
�Where is Emerald?� He demanded
�I�m right here, Trent.� The police chief, Emerald answered as he led a scared-looking Maria into the room.
Jayden�s eyes widened slightly in shock at seeing her. �Ma,� His breath caught in his throat and Trent looked at him with curiosity. �Do you know her?�He asked in a whisper.
Jayden ignored his question and slowly walked up to Maria, his eyes fixed on the handcuff snapped around her wrist. �But why?� He looked up at Emerald and blinked blankly. �Why is she being cuffed like a criminal?� Try as he might, he couldn’t understand the reason.
Emerald gave a husky laugh at his words. �You should hear her out first, Kid.� He patted him on the shoulder in an attempt to assure him but Jayden shrugged off his hand and glared at him.
�Not with the handcuff, old man.� His voice was no longer light and airy, but deep and filled with venom and Emerald had no other option but to listen to him.
In one swift move, he uncuffed her and Maria mumbled something inaudible under her breath, afraid to meet the gaze of the people in the room, especially Jayden�s. �Sit down.� Emerald hooked a foot around the leg of a chair and jerked it beneath her. She sat down without making a fuss. �So….can we start all over again?� He pinned her a stare, silently daring her to disobey. �I want you to repeat everything you told me in the office, word for word, line by line, without leaving a single detail out.�
At first, Maria was hesitant and then, finally, she braced herself for the worst and looked at the faces in front of her one after the other. She frowned slightly when her gaze fell on Greg. Noticing the remarkable resemblance between him and Mary, she wanted to ask him to leave but on second thoughts, changed her mind, �It will be good to expose the witch before the very eyes of her son, or so she thought.�
�Start talking, will you?� Trent yelled impatiently and she flinched at the cutting acidity in his voice.
�Erm….I…..did it, erm…..I killed…her.� Her voice trembled with emotion as she spoke and the room fell silent for thirty seconds, or maybe it was three minutes. There was a deep tension in the air.
�I mean, I didn’t…erm…ki*ll her.� She stuttered slightly, trying to take back her words but it was already late, the deed has been done.
Jayden blinked, not understanding for the briefest of moments, until it clicked and his eyes widened in shock. �Y-you killed my mother? No way.�He shook his head in disbelief and Maria let out an inaudible sigh before saying the most disturbing confession, ever. �It was an order from madam Mary.�
�What?� Greg sprang to his feet and stared at her as if he couldn’t believe his ears. �Which of the Mary?� He spoke in such hushed tones he was barely audible.
�Your mum.� Maria�s calm response made him gasp out loud and he staggered on trembling legs, unable to control the sharp pain he felt within him.
A satisfied smile stretched Maria’s lips and she turned her eyes to Nanny Evie. �Do you remember me?� She asked calmly.
Nanny Evie gazed at her with no sign of recognition. �No.� She answered truthfully and Maria nodded her head slowly, smiling a bitter smile.
�I know you wouldn�t, but we have met before.�
�Me? How? Where?� Nanny Evie was confused. She moved her gaze directly into Jayden�s eyes and her heart skipped a beat when she saw the empty look in his eyes. He was stunned, angry, mournful and brokenhearted.
�Twelve years ago……�Maria went on and everyone in the room was keenly active, listening to her with undivided attention. �I was that desperate mother who would do anything to save her child�s life. I was in debt and needed a lot of money to settle her hospital bills, so when Mary came to me and offered me a deal to take care of someone in exchange for the money, I gladly accepted.
Believe me, I never knew taking care of someone meant to murder the person. And when it finally dawned on me, it was too late. The witch threatened to destroy me, she threatened to ki*ll my sick daughter………�
�That is enough,� Greg screamed piercingly, cutting her off abruptly and they all turned in his direction to see he was smouldering with resentment. �I will not be here and watch you call my mother names, gosh.� His hands dropped to his side and he gave Jayden a sidelong glance before screaming out his frustration and storming out of the station house in a huff.
�Wait……Greg.� Trent wanted to run after him but then the anger in his younger son�s voice stopped him.
�Don�t you dare, dad!� And he collapsed on the sofa with a quiet sigh and nodded towards Maria. �Continue.�
Maria swallowed down a lump in her throat and tore her gaze from his as she resumed talking. �I was scared of her threat but at the same time, knew I was trapped. So I visited the mansion under the disguise of a voluntary health worker and that was when I met you���She shifted her gaze to Nanny Evie who just stared back at her blankly. �Do you remember me now?�
Nanny Evie scoffed at her question, �how many times will she ask me this.� �No, I don�t remember���� Her voice trailed off into silence as an image flashed in her head, that of a woman in a white coat asking her personal questions about Matilda and how she�d foolishly answered them. �Oh no!� She gasped and put her hands over her mouth to stop herself from screaming.
�I got to know how much she loves pizza from you, I mean you told me yourself that she couldn�t do a day without it, right?� Maria was indifferent to her tears, she was a victim too, they were all victims. �So after putting a warning letter in the mailbox, I returned to the mansion that evening, rang the bell and placed a box of poisoned pizza outside the gate��
Jayden�s face turned pale on hearing this. �A poisoned pizza, at the gate? Good lord!� His whole body trembled with fear as he could vividly remember seeing a box of pizza outside the mansion gate and taking it to his mother.
�I didn�t give her the pizza directly.�Maria grimaced and swore softly. �Someone else must have picked it up from outside the gate and taken it to her.�
�Shut up, woman.�Jayden yelled at her, �Shut up your d**n annoying mouth, Argh!� He squeezed his eyes shut tightly, feeling the sting of tears behind his eyelids and Trent gazed at him with an alarmed and inquiring look.
�Hey, son, are you alright?� He attempted to hold him but Jayden staggered backwards and held his head in his hands. �Don�t touch me.�He shouted angrily, much to the dismay of everyone and they stared at him, their expression a mixture of concern and confusion.
�Jeez!� He was so mad that he punched the wall angrily. He couldn�t bring himself to believe that he was partly responsible for his mother�s death and that his carelessness and stupidity had led her to her grave. � D*n you, Jayden, d*n you!�
With his pulse racing in his ear and his heart in his throat, he stormed out of the station house, cursing himself and climbed into his car slamming the door shut.
When he stepped on the gas, he sped aggressively down the road and without any destination in mind, turned off the main route and suddenly did a u-turn, failing to see a deep ditch laying right ahead.
He controlled the steering wheel in an attempt to avoid it, but it was too late. His car swerved off the road into a 6ft high brick wall and the windows came crashing down injuring him in the process.
Mary was oblivious to everything that was happening around her. She sat there on her bed, crossing and uncrossing her legs as she listened to cool music from her iPod when the door suddenly flew open and Greg barged into the room, breathing raggedly and panting hard.
�We need to leave now, mum.� He half shouted and Mary looked at him rather too strangely, wondering what exactly he meant by that.
�The police,� He muttered softly and her ears pricked up on hearing that.
�Joanna�s mum confessed your crime to the police, she told everyone how you�d forced her to murder Jayden�s mum.�
�Oh no!� Mary jumped to her feet and began to panic and whimper like a child. �What will happen to me now? Tell me what should I do, Greg?� She forced innocence into her voice, trying to look as pitiful and pathetic as she could but Greg didn’t fall for it one bit, he knew how manipulative his mother could be and maintained a straight face.
�I�m going to drive you down to the countryside.�He simply said and started toward the door.
�And where will I go from there?� His mother�s voice stopped him and he exhaled deeply in an attempt to control his anger before turning around.
�Into Connor�s arm.�He smirked at her and Mary almost choked on her saliva.
�Or wait!� Greg gazed down at her, a wry smile on his lips, his eyes mocking her. �Do you think I don�t know you have a younger lover?� And without waiting for a response, he marched out of the room and down the stairs, silently cursing the day she�d given birth to him.
Feeling just a bit guilty, Mary quickly changed into jeans and a black hoodie, then she slipped her feet into low sandals and threw all her credit cards into a black handbag. Satisfied, she picked up her phone, slung the handbag over her shoulder and rushed out of the room and outside the house to Greg�s car.
Greg watched his mother climb into the seat beside him and the only emotions he felt towards her were anger and disgust. Without a word, he started the car and sped down the tarred road heading to the city�s outskirts.
He wasted no time in getting there as he broke the speed limit, driving as fast as he could and when he pulled off the road, Mary stepped out of the car and closed the door behind her.
�Thank you so much.� She smiled lightly at her son but Greg completely ignored her and made a quick u-turn driving back home. His mind was elsewhere, his thoughts fugitive and he felt so bad for betraying his family but he couldn�t just let his mother rot in jail for the rest of her life, never! �I�m sorry Jayden, so sorry for hurting you.�He banged the steering wheel with his fists and wept softly, cursing his bad luck.
Mary watched his car until it disappear around a corner bend and then she took a taxi to Maria�s home. She wanted to teach her a lesson for ratting on her and for turning her into a fugitive.
Feeling lonely and bored, Atarah decided to take a walk around the house and yard as she waited for her mother’s arrival. She put on flip-flop slippers and wrapped a white scarf around her neck before stepping out of the house and into the warm afternoon sunlight.
Her face glowed with health and she shivered slightly as the breeze stirred beneath her, cooling her skin. Just as she was about to bolt the door shut, she heard approaching footsteps from the opposite direction and turned around to see Mary rushing towards her. Her face was contorted with rage and her eyes were blackened with pure hatred.
Atarah was scared. She inched backwards and up against the door. �What are you doing���Before she could complete her statement, Mary lunged forward, pinned her still against the wall with one arm and began to strangle her neck. �Die b**ch, die.� She whispered through teeth that did not move.
Atarah struggled to free herself but it was all in vain as she was no match for the older woman. �Please�let�go�of�me, ma.�She desperately begged for her life but Mary was too pained to listen. She banged her head thrice against the wall and punched her as hard as she could in the nose before letting go of her and stepping aside.
Atarah collapsed to the ground, blacking out before even hitting the sands.