Categories > Original > Romance > Breathe0 Reviews
What do you want from me? (Just a fair warning: there is some mild profanity in this chapter but nothing major.)
I sprinted into the bathroom. I went into one of the separate rooms that held a large bathtub. I turned on the water and poured soap into it. Once it was full I removed my tattered clothes and submerged my whole body from the neck down into the bubble covered water. I went under once to wet my hair and face. I laid back and relaxed. Knots in my back smoothed out underneath the hot water. I don't remember doing a lot yesterday, in fact I don't remember even going to bed last night.....I remember Inkwell attacking me which caused me to tense up for a while but not forever and then there is that dreaded nightmare....which I don't remember.....NO! I DON'T WANT TO! I THOUGHT I ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT?!?!?!?! This fight with myself had caused me to tense up again so now I had to try and relax again. The warm soapy water did help though. It unknotted my shoulders and calmed my nervous, churning stomach. I laid back and let my mind empty of all thoughts. I couldn't afford to think about the nightmare again because if I did there was a good chance that I would throw up. I laid in the bath for a good 20 minutes until the door swung open without so much as a knock.
"Elijah James! What are you doing here?!?!?!?!" I shouted and pulled the bubbles up around me.
"Sorry," he apologised and turned away and held his arms out as a shield. "I needed to talk to you privately," he continued, "without Chris knowing, and when you weren't in your room I thought the best guess was that you were in the facilities. And since no one was around to go in and fetch you I decided to come in myself."
"Did it ever occur to you to knock?!?!?" I demanded.
"Well, no, no it didn't," he said with surprise.
"Ugh!" I said, exasperated.
"So, can I talk to you?" he asked innocently.
"Get out!!!!!" I screamed at him, "Wait for me outside." I climbed out of the tub once he was gone and dried off. I thought about just wrapping myself in a towel and walking out to see the look on his face, but then I concluded that that was utterly indecent so I put on my fresh uniform and yanked my brush through my long tresses quickly. I walked out the door and into the main lavatory.
James was waiting for me in the center of the long room lined with cubicles. "Now what is it?" I asked and crossed my arms. I didn't meet his eyes.
"I....ummmm....well....." James struggled.
"Yes?" I said, still annoyed.
"Are you alright, Penny? I mean, I just didn't expect you to be this way after...." he trailed off.
"After what?" I asked.
"You don't remember?" he asked me. I finally looked at him. He was looking at me like he was wondering if I were mentally sane.
"Remember what?" I asked, confused.
He hesitated a second before replying, "You know, Hardwicke, Inkwell, your boyfriend....any of this ring a bell?" His words brought back memories I didn't want to see or hear. A replay of last night flooded my mind. It all came back to me. My roommate standing up and throwing the knife, the door breaking down, Inkwell falling on top of me, the knife flying into Rob's back, the sound of Robert's tortured screams, and then the fire burning in his eyes as he lunged at me. I gasped and stumbled backwards a little bit. "Oh!" I exclaimed in horror. "But that didn't actually happen!" I continued desperately, "It was all a nightmare!!! Did I tell you about it?"
"No, it....it actually happened, Penny," he said cautiously.
"But it didn't!!!!! It couldn't!!!" my eyes started to water. "I wouldn't let it happen," I whimpered and a single tear spilled over as I realised that it did happen, all of it. James wiped the tear from my cheek. "Shh...don't cry, it's going to be fine..." he said and put his hands on both sides of my face. I started sobbing. James wrapped his arms around me and pulled me against him. These aren't the arms I want! When I thought that it made me cry harder. "Get away!" I shouted at him. I struggled to push him away. "I thought you hated me!!! You've made that clear on many occasions!!!" I screamed at him. He would not let go of me. I tried to struggle for a little bit but I soon gave up. He still held me. "I don't hate you," James whispered, "I couldn't." I stood silently. I had nothing to say to that.
"So, did he survive?" I asked warily.
"Who? Robert?" he asked and held me at arm's length.
"Yes," I said with much difficulty.
"We can't be certain....the body can only take so much acerbus without being overwhelmed and his injuries were very severe but before he fell it looked as if the wounds were healing correctly so there is a fair chance he survived....there is also the fall to consider but he should be fine on that account," Elijah James said.
"If he's alive, where is he?" I asked.
"Most likely they've already taken him in and are keeping him out of sight.....or...." he hesitated.
"Or what?!" I demanded.
"I'm not sure how you will take it....."
"I can handle it," I lied. I was in no state to hear bad news but I had to know or it was going to eat up my insides.
"They might have decided not to keep him..." he said hesitantly.
"Ok, so what does that mean?" I asked.
"It means....that they might have killed him, Penny," James said slowly.
"Well, that's not for sure what happened right? I mean they could have kept him, right?" I blubbered, "I mean they really wouldn't....I mean they couldn't just..." I held back the tears.
James looked away for a few seconds and then looked back. His eyes were filled with restrained excitement. "We could check on him..." he hinted.
"The basement," he answered.
"But, it's off-limits," I objected.
"If he's alive that's where he'll be."
"So, let's go. What are we waiting for?" I said and started to walk past him. He caught my arm.
"There's a reason it's off-limits..." he said, "All of the horrible things that happen at this school go on down there. We could die, Penny."
I looked at him sternly. "I don't care," I said, "I will do anything to help him."
He eyed me for a little bit suspiciously and then said, "Well, that's good enough for me!" he said, "Let's go!" He started to walk away.
"Right now?" I asked.
"Why not," he answered, "Now get anything ready that you think you might need but travel light."
"How long is saving him going to take?"
"Longer than you think," he said, bemused. I raised an eyebrow but shrugged and went to my room as he waited outside the door. I took my school bag and packed a torch and basic necessities, seeing as how I had no idea how long we would be in the basement. It can't be that big, I thought, but I guess you can’t make any assumptions about this school…
I heard a knock outside my door. “What does he want now?” I wondered aloud. I walked to the door and opened it expecting to see James standing outside with some stupid remark on his lips. The hallway was empty. I looked up and down the corridor but nobody was there. Where did he go?...
I closed the door and turned back to my room and came face to face with Mr. Inkwell. I gasped and he just smiled at me. How is this possible?! I saw the knife! He’s supposed to be dead!!! This isn’t possible!!!!
“Penelope, it’s so great to see you,” he said with false sincerity. I couldn’t bring myself to speak. Maybe I’m imagining all this, I thought doubtfully. Oh, I wasn’t imagining it. I saw him very plainly. Exactly the way he was when I saw him last night. The black eyes, the white teeth bared in a genteel smile, the grayish, pale skin, the jet-black hair. Everything was in perfect detail. He was really there. Mr. Inkwell, back from the dead…
“What’s the matter, Miss Miller? Cat got your tongue?” he asked and chuckled slightly.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and said the first thing that popped into my mind, “How are you here?”
“Well, I teach here, Miss Miller. I always thought you were dense but I didn’t know you were this thick,” he said with an undercurrent of cruelty.
“No, I mean you’re dead…Rob killed you!” I shouted at him. “You son of a bitch! What have you done to him?!” (I was never much for cussing but this situation called for it.) I beat my fists against his chest in a futile attempt to harm him. He grabbed my wrists viciously and shook me.
“When will you understand? You stupid girl!! This isn’t your place! This is OUR school! You have no right to ask questions!” he spat at me and jerked me closer to him. His hands were gripping my arms so tightly I could feel the bruises forming. “You really want to know what’s happened to your precious boy?! He’s gone! No longer here!! So just stay out of our business, you little whore!!” He threw me down and I hit the floor hard. Mr. Inkwell bent down, grabbed the collar of my shirt and lifted my head up. “One more smart word from you and you will regret ever being born,” he growled in my ear. He pulled back and looked at me, his face contorted with rage and then slammed my head back onto the floor and everything disappeared.