Chapter Thirty One
He walks out of the ditch, covered in sweat, dirt and blood. Moving slowly, his joints aching and complaining, he is startled to find that he's mostly unscathed. Wiping sweat from his brow and rubbing his eyes, he stumbles down the road towards the scene of the accident. The alcohol inside him numbs the pain, yet cannot conceal from him the horror of what he's done.
"Ethan… Ethan, where you are you, man?" He sobs, lumbering closer to his truck, which is now a totaled, smoking mess. Inside the cab, his cousin is flattened against his steering wheel, staring through empty, glassy eyes. His neck is jutting out at an impossible angle, while blood oozes from lacerations covering his skin. Littering the wreck is glass from the smashed windows, and bottles of alcohol they were going to bring to a party in Camrose.
He will feel tremendous pain later, but for now, all he feels is nothing.
Limping towards another vehicle, this one a smaller car, he turns away in horror. The driver of the car, her hair splayed on her face and matted down with blood, is mangled inside the cab. Pieces of metal, plastic and leather make for an appalling coffin.
"No… no… Ethan… I want to go home now." His ankle is twisted, dragging behind him as he comes across the third corpse. Sobbing, he sees that this is another girl, pretty face, small hands are wrapped around a cell phone.
He turns around, staring up at the inky blackness of night, wondering why even the moon doesn't lend a hand and shine down on the situation. No stars twinkle tonight. Staring down at the beautiful, dead girl, he realizes that she is still breathing.
Sirens. He hears sirens.
He wasn't supposed to be out here, he was suppose to be in bed, sleeping in his room, dreaming of the day he could kiss Cerise again. Now, he was standing in the middle of an accident, his cousin dead in the cab, having hit a car and killed one girl, wounded severely another.
They needn't know he was here.
Limping away from the accident, his ankle burning, he makes no move to save the victims.
The sirens grow louder.
He can feel guilt growing in his heart, demanding that he go back and atone for his sins. It'd been his idea to go with his cousin to the party in Camrose, it'd been him who was demanding they go there and have a good time. He'd called Ethan a coward, a pussy, when he relented, they were already smashed, and in no condition to drive.
"I have to get back… no time…" He wasn't going to be caught up in this mess. If he could just sneak back to his cousin's home, no one would be the wiser. Only he would know, his guilty, witnessing eyes would be the only ones who could testify to the truth.
"I was only a passenger… not my fault," he mumbles to himself, limping down the dark, gravel road. Laughing, he wishes he could have some more liquor. He falls to his knees, puke dribbling through his closed lips, falling onto his shirt and onto the road. He wipes it away, glancing around to make sure the sirens aren't coming to get him.
"No… I was only a passenger… no…" He chuckles, limping down the dark road. "I won't be caught." Only, as he says this to himself, all he can see is one girl mangled in the passenger's seat, her friend lying on the pavement, bleeding and slowly dying.
He wonders if they screamed before they died.
They must be, since he can hear, moaning, heart wrenching cries.
Then he realizes those are his own.
Desmond sat on his bed, a bottle of whisky in his tight, compressed grip. Bringing it to his lips, he gulped down the alcohol, feeling the burn in his throat and chest. His mind began to numb as he got to his feet, swaying back and forth.
It was the third night he'd drank himself into dark, comforting oblivion.
Only, his thoughts were still consumed by desires and feelings for Cerise. Her soft, delicious skin, amazing, shimmering auburn hair, her eyes, supple lips. Her laugh, her kiss, her hug, and the way she'd cuddle with him, how they would make love on those late nights in his apartment.
He dropped the bottle of whiskey, letting it fall to the floor, its content pooling on the carpet. Kicking it away, he glanced behind him at his bed, remembering that there'd been a time that he didn't always sleep alone.
A tear rolled down his cheek, he wiped it away angrily.
The alcohol wasn't taking away the pain-tonight, he was glad for this.
"I have to get her back." He muttered, as he stooped down to grab his glass bottle. However, he stopped short, knowing that for him to get her back, he needed to be as clear-headed as possible.
Stumbling into the kitchen, he saw a sharp, serrated knife resting on the stained countertop. What if Drake was there also? She always spent time with him, "That bastard, ugly, shitless fuck." He took the knife off the counter, holding it tightly in his grip. "Let's see how nice you look with a blade in your heart," he chuckled mirthlessly, slid the knife under his belt and concealed it with his long, jersey.
"I know I threw you away, but I still love you, Cerise." He whispered to no one in particular, shuffling out of the grungy kitchen and towards the front door. As if she was behind him, laying on his bed, smiling at him, he turned around to face her. "I'm going to see you, bring you back here and hold you in my arms. I never gave you up, I just gave up on myself." His downcast eyes went back to the door, which he opened, stepped out and closed behind him.
His throat ached for more liquor.
Perhaps, when she was back with him, they would share a bottle together.
"I'm coming for you, my love. I'm coming for you." He got into his car, which was parked outside his apartment complex, drove for twenty minutes and quickly found her house. No sirens had been around to stop him this time.
Parking half on her driveway, and half on the street, he smiled. Then chuckled. Then laughed heartily, throwing his head back as he realized how Cerise would tease him for being such a bad driver. "I could never park this damn car," he chuckled, stepped out of the car and sauntered over to the front door.
The knife pricked his skin, drawing some blood.
He stumbled to the front door, fixed his short, dark hair and hoped he was presentable enough. He rapped his knuckles gently on the door, swaying slightly as he fought to keep his balance. Perhaps he'd had far too much alcohol before coming here.
What was one more bottle after three anyways?
When the door opened, Desmond was half expecting Cerise to throw her arms around him. She would apologize for how rude she'd been before, kiss him on the lips and he'd take her back with him for the night. In his alcohol fogged mind, it all made crystal clear sense.
That's why, when he opened the door and saw Drake with Cerise, he lost it.
He was suddenly very glad he'd brought his knife. Taking it out of his belt, he swung it forward, took a step forward and eyed Drake. Shouting, his voice hoarse, he knew that he would kill them both. "I want her back!"
Desmond swung his knife at Cerise, his eyes red and words slurred. He threw the door open, stepping inside as she retreated away. "You! You lying whore!" He pointed a finger at Drake, who was now coming towards them, his eyes fierce and hands up defensively.
"Desmond, get out of here! Go! Now!" She held her ground, seeing that he was drunk out of his mind. "Don't do something you'll regret, please, go home." She saw Drake inch slowly towards a bookshelf leaning against the wall away from the door. On it, a phone sat on its cradle.
Desmond saw that too, leaped forward and grabbed Cerise by the hair. In a swift, clumsy movement, he had her in his muscle-strapped arm, while he pointed a knife at her heart. Constricting her small, thin arms with one of his own, he laughed sardonically. "And you thought, Cerise loved you? You're disgusting, ugly, little piece of worthless shit! Do you really think she could love you?"
Cerise fought in his grip, but he stopped her by placing a knife against her neck. She started to cry, tears running down her face as she was filled with fear. This maniac, a man she had once loved so much, had turned into a monster. His embrace, once so comforting and warm, was now one she desperately wanted to flee from.
Drake retreated from the phone, his eyes also wide with terror. And with love. Taking a step forward, he gritted his teeth together. "Let her go."
"Answer my damn question! Do you think she loves you? Did you actually," he chuckled, his beer-laced breath causing Cerise to gag, "think she could love you?"
"I do." He could hear the television playing from upstairs in Cerise's parent's room. Unfortunately, both of them had wanted to give the two privacy, so they closed the door and made their room as sound-canceling as possible.
Desmond heard it to, his green eyes darting to the staircase. "You scream, and I'll slit her throat. Don't you dare make any noises, or I swear to God, she dies!" He pressed the blade against her skin, threatening to split it apart.
Drake only stood there, his jaw clenched in rage. "Let her go."
"She doesn't love you!" He said forcefully, but not loudly. His hold on Cerise relaxed, while the knife wavered from her neck. Cerise pretended that she didn't notice. She remained in his hold, hoping that his guard would come down just a little bit more.
"Fine." He folded his arms over his chest, staring at Cerise with watery, determined eyes. "She doesn't love me. Will you please let her go?"
"Why are you even doing this?" Drake said his eyes on the knife.
The knife moved a little closer from her neck, Cerise wanted to let out a relieved gasp, but kept her lips pursed. She wanted to move her arms, but knew that doing so would only ruin her chances of escaping. Just a little more space and she could free herself once and for all from this monster.
"Because I love her! I gave her up, because I hated myself! I loathed myself! I did something back in Alberta that I can never forgive myself of! But even with all of that, I still want her back! I was a fool to give her up, I love her!"
"You don't know a thing about love." Drake stated, taking another subtle step forward. His eyes shifted to Cerise, a knowing look passed between them, if but for a mere half-second. "This isn't love, Desmond, this is lust! You crave her, desire her, but you don't know a damn thing about what it means to love her!"
"I loved her for years, you little fuck", his arms began to tighten, the knife was moving back towards her throat. Cerise knew that if she didn't do something now, her chances were gone. He would kill her; she heard the darkness in his tone. "She's mine."
"Not anymore." Cerise whispered before throwing her head back, using all of her strength to bludgeon his nose. "Now!" She screamed, pushing out of his stunned, frozen grasp.
Drake rushed forward, his fist aimed for Desmond's jaw.
Cerise spun to the side, her heart pounding in her chest. Standing, she saw that they'd underestimated Desmond completely. The blow to his face had been enough to free her, but not enough to throw him completely off balance.
The knife in his hand, which had been at her throat, was now poised to enter Drake's heart.
Drake was tough, but Desmond was by far stronger. Although the punch that Drake had thrown at Desmond's nose had hurt him, her ex-boyfriend wasn't fazed enough. He was closing in the gap between them, his knife in hand.
Someday, I hope I can show you that same love in return,Drake she'd thought once, after he'd always been there for her. A smile came to her face as she knew this was her one, final time to show that love to him. She'd always been the selfish one, but that would change now.
She saw the pointed, shining blade coming at Drake, who hadn't yet noticed.
In the one second, which felt like a lifetime to her, she knew that she did love Drake. Even enough to die for him.
Leaping in-between them, she blocked the knife from stabbing Drake with her own body. Pain exploded in her chest as the blade, meant for her greatest friend, dug deep into her chest.
Desmond's face, paled, while he saw who it was he'd knifed.
Drake cried from behind her, wrapping her falling body in his strong, comforting arms. Blood began to soak the front of her shirt, while the knife stuck out of her chest, buried up to the handle.
Desmond stood in the doorway, his hand covered in the blood of the woman he loved. "No… no… no!" He retreated backwards, staring at Cerise with wide, horrified eyes. Shaking his head, he pointed at her, tears gushing down his face. "That wasn't meant for you." He turned around, stole one last glance and ambled out of the house.
On the stairs, Cerise could hear her parents running down them. Her mother saw her first, her anguished, horrified screams reaching her ears. It hurt more then the blade in her chest.
Drake was on the ground, her head resting on his lap. Staring down at her, his face a mask of sorrow and pain, he kept pressure on her chest. Only, it did very little to stop the blood from gushing out of the gaping, jagged wound.
"Call 911!" He shouted in a hoarse, desperate voice. "CALL THEM NOW!" His mouth opened into a moan, as he held the one girl who had ever truly loved him back.
Cerise, who was staring up at her friend with a smile, reached out to his face, stroking it gently. Her fingers traced his stubble-covered jaw, while their eyes met. For the first time, she could imagine staring at those eyes for the remainder of her life.
His mouth opened into another throaty roar, before he stared at her, blubbering away shamelessly. Her dad was on the phone, shouting at the 911 receiver that his only daughter was dying.
Her mother, staring at her with a love-filled gaze, held her other hand tightly. She had no words to say, only tears and cries of agony.
Cerise felt herself growing cold as she tried to voice her final words. "I know I've been a terrible friend…" she gasped out, the knife in her chest digging deeper with every word. She stared up at Drake, determined to finish her sentence as his moans quieted and he soaked in her every word with pleading, tear-filled eyes.
"But I want you to know that I really do love you. More then a family member, more then a lover, more then…" she faded out, coughing up blood, "more then myself. I love you Drake-my only regret is that you didn't know sooner."
Then, in the strangest of moments, there was nothing.
Drake stared down at her, stroking her frozen, smiling face.