I'm Running into Fire

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Seth

Submitted: November 11, 2013

Reads: 139

Comments: 6

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Submitted: November 11, 2013

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"Even if pain comes over time, the promise I made for the rest of my life, I won’t ever forget that moment until the end. I Remember."(Bang Yongguk- Remember)
 

I opened my bedroom door ajar, and peered through the tiny crack, out into the long hallway that stretched out in the direction of the rest of the house. A quick glance into the hallway revealed that it was empty, motivating me to ease the door open a little wider and stick my entire head through the widened gap between my bedroom door and the hallway.

I scanned the hallway again, confirming that it was empty, and then I inched out of my bed room while quietly closing the door behind me. The door made a tiny noise as I closed it shut, probably silent to everyone else in the house, but in my mind it was extremely loud. Noises were always echoed louder than their original tone when the person who had caused the noise was doing something sneaky.

I juggled my purse over my shoulder while taking a second to recompose myself.  I then began to gingerly creep down the hallway.  It was hard to believe that barely five minutes ago, I was in my room thinking about how I was going to get even with Conner Bangtan, and now here I was, like a cat burglar, trying to sneak out of the house without being detected.

Jessica had texted me, pleading with me to meet her and Tiffany at the town’s local ice cream parlor. It wasn’t that I was unable to hang out with Tiffany or Jessica, and it wasn’t like I was not allowed at the ice cream shop, that was causing me to act this sneaky. I knew my Mom and she would be the least bit thrilled about me ditching her Dan to go hang out with my friends when we still had a lot of packing to do. Instead of asking her and risking the development of a possible argument, I decided that the best option would be to sneak out of the house undetected and if they became curious of my whereabouts, well they could always call my cell phone.

Besides, I had spent the entire morning unpacking furnisher, then organizing my new room. I not only deserved a break, but I needed one, especially to find some space from Dan and his annoying son, Conner.

As I gingerly moved down the hallway, I froze when I spotted Conner’s room. The second floor of the house consisted of a single hallway that was shaped like a horse shoe, lacking the curvy part that made the shape complete. A wooden banister served as a border, lining the exterior of the second floor. Conner’s room was on the opposite side of the hallway, a great distance from my room.

I knew that it was his room because he had mentioned to me earlier that there had been reconstruction done on the house and the door to that particular room looked different from the other rooms upstairs, almost appearing to be decades younger when compared to the other’s on the second floor.

I flashed a threatening glare in the direction of his room, acting as though he were standing in front of me and pretending to act annoyed with him. Based on our first encounter, I already knew that I didn’t like Conner, but as I thought about it, I realized that I was going to have to get along with him if we were going to be living together in the same house. Maybe we could be like those step-brothers and step-sisters that never spoke to each other and instead, when they encountered one another, nodded at each other, acknowledging the other’s presence, without having to form any type of relationship with each other.

I shook my head trying to free him from my thoughts as I reminded myself what I was trying to do. If I was going to sneak out of the house without Dan or my mother spotting me, I was going to have to focus and pay close attention.

I pressed my back against the wall as I moved slowly down the long stairwell that was designed with blood stain color red carpet. I felt like an agent from one of those spy movies as I moved slowly down the stairwell, pausing at the end, and slightly peering around the corner to confirm that the coast was clear. 

From what I knew, this house had three doors: the front door, the garage door, and the patio door. The front door was closer, but the patio door seemed to be a safe escape route since Dan and Mom were using the front door to unload the boxes from Dan’s truck.  At the bottom of the stairwell, the main foyer branched off into two long hallways that led to the other rooms on the first floor. On my right was the hall that led to kitchen where the patio door was located and on my left was a small hallway leading to the front door. 

I silenced my thoughts for a moment to listen. In order to sneak out, I needed to first figure out where Mom and Dan were at. I heard movement somewhere nearby, but I was unable to pin point which room that it came from. I quietly listened to the sounds of rumbling paper, probably my mother unwrapping more of the furnisher we had brought with us, when the silence was disturbed by Dan’s voice.

“Hey Rachel,” he called from somewhere in the house. “Look at this,”

I froze for a moment, and then became active when my heart rate slightly inclined with the sound of my mother’s gym shoes as they squeaked across the magnolium tile. 

“Where are you at?” I heard my mother call.

Her footsteps quickly became longer as she closed the distance between us. I nearly jumped out of my skin when she walked right passed me, apparently not noticing her teenage daughter standing stiff against the wall like a solider preparing for combat. With her back to me as she headed down the small hallway that led towards the front door, I raced in the opposite direction, down the other hallway, moving swiftly and quietly until I reached the patio door in the kitchen.

“Dan,” I heard my mother’s voice echoing on the opposite side of the house. “Did you call me?”

 Fear caused my fingers to jumble with the lock on the door, but after a few failed attempts, I managed to unlock the door, slide it open, and I sneak outside onto the back porch. The backyard was bare, lacking the essential patio equipment that was required to make it appear as a backyard should. 

I took in the scenery for a moment and then quickly ushered myself off the back porch and around to the side of the house. I had done it, I had escaped, and the only thing I needed to do was to make it to the street. I creped along the side of the house, still on guard since I was aware that my mother still had to unload boxes from Dan’s truck.

Once I peered around the corner of the house and realized that Dan and my mother were still inside, I audaciously jogged onto the street and began to walk in the direction of the ice cream parlor where my two friends were waiting for me.

As I walked, I made the mistake of looking back at the house and the first thing my eyes landed on was my bedroom window. The curtains covering my window were swinging in motion as though a moment ago, someone had been staring outside of my window.

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The ice cream parlor was a good eight blocks away. Ever since I had received my driver’s license a year ago, I had given up walking the streets to reach my destinations, but when I was sneaking out of the house, it wasn’t like I could grab my mother’s car without her noticing.

Before my Mom had remarried, she always had one car and when I had earned my license it didn’t change anything regarding her car because we would take turns sharing her car equally. Whenever she wasn’t using it, I was allowed to drive it wherever I needed to go.

Dan had promised to buy me a new car, but even if he did I wouldn’t accept it. I think it was his way of trying to start a relationship with me, since I had been so cold to him while he had dated my mother, but the thing is, I wasn’t one of those people whose respect could be obtained through money or bribes.

As I walked my thoughts began to swift towards my mother, even when I tried to think of something else they somehow found their way back on to her. Before she had married Dan, she had dated a lot of men; so many that I couldn’t even count all of them out on my hands or toes. Out of all the men she had dated, the one that always made me shiver when I thought about him was that creepy guy named Seth.

At that moment, I was no longer a seventeen year old girl walking down a street, and instead I was taken back into the past, placed inside my fourteen year old self. 

I was wearing a light pink dress that was forced upon me to wear by my mother for the occasion. The dress was a simple dress, it had thin spaghetti straps that covered the shoulders to keep the dress in place, and revealed a small portion of my back and a little skin below my collar bone. 

I was only fourteen, but at my age I was developing fast and already had a full bosom that most girls my age lacked and envied me for it.  I remembered my long black hair was particularly curly for the occasion and I was the least bit thrilled about having to meet another one of my mother’s boyfriends.

 My mother and I were back in our old apartment and I remember the  aroma of the night’s chicken dinner floating through our apartment. My mother had spent most of the afternoon cooking and I had assisted her whenever she needed me. I had been setting the table when the door bell had rang.

“That’s him,” said my mother. “I’ll get the door. Come with me Ailee.”

“Alright,” I muttered as I placed the last utensil onto the table.

 I followed my mother to the front door, lagging ten paces behind her. When she reached the front door, she paused in front of it for a moment, fixing her hair and dress, taking a deep breath to prepare herself, and then she opened the door.  

A random guy, who I was meeting for the first time entered the apartment, embracing my mother and kissed her gently on her lips. In his hands, he was holding a bouquet of flowers, which went behind my mother’s back as he hugged her. After a moment, he released her from his embrace and handed her the flowers.

“Here you go, baby,” he said with a warm smile on his face.

“Oh, these are beautiful, Seth,” my mother beamed. “Thank you so much,”

“They’re not as beautiful as you,”

Seth didn’t appear to notice me right away, therefore as he and my mother exchanged pleasantries, I seized the opportunity to study him. Seth had to be at least a decade younger than my mother, but he wasn’t that young, maybe he was in his late twenties or early thirties. He resembled a rooster with his rectangular shaped head and blonde hair, forming a widow’s peak in the center of his scalp.  He was a thin, lean guy who had a light complexion that placed him on the average side when it came to appearance.

My mother giggled, a reaction that I rarely saw from her, and then slowly turned in my direction.

“Seth, this is my daughter, Ailee,”

Seth lifted his gaze off my mother and dropped his eyes onto me. The moment his eyes dropped onto me, I quickly noticed his expression changing from a joking one someone who had become possessed by lustful emotions. He appeared star struck, as though he had just seen something amazing that was too shocking to be real. He extended his hand out immediately, waiting for me to shake his hand.

I was slightly uncomfortable, but with my mother watching, I didn’t have a choice. I reached forward, quickly shaking his moist hand, then when I went to release it, for a fraction of a second, it felt as though he didn’t want to let my hand go.

“Nice to meet you,” I said while forcing a smile.

“Nice to meet you too.” He said, locking his eyes on me, transfixed by my face. Without taking his eyes off of me, Seth asked. “How old are you again?”

“Ailee’s fourteen,” said my mother.

“Amazing,” said Seth as he repetitively looked me up and down from head to toe. “She looks just like you.”

My mother began to talk about me, but neither Seth or I were listening to her, as her voice became a muffled noise in the background that wasn’t entering our consciousness. I was uncomfortably squirming beneath Seth’s gaze as he refused to take his eyes off me,  studying me in a way that seemed unnatural for a man to do to someone who was barely a teenager. I felt my legs get numb and my body go weak, as I became uncomfortable under his gaze.

Even though I had the body of a woman, I still had the mind of a child and I was the least bit comfortable by the way Seth studied me.

“Well, the food is done, come on, let’s eat.” said my mother.

I was reluctant to have dinner with Seth and my mother, but I was relieved that I was temporarily removed from his gaze as my mother led us into the dining room where we would be eating.

A majority of the food had already been set up and my mother simply added a few other items to the table as she prepared our dinner. Once seated next to my mother, with Seth sitting across from us on the opposite side of the table, we began to eat and my mother and Seth spoke to one another while I quietly picked at my food. I didn’t dare make eye contact with Seth, yet even from the corner of my eyes I could feel his gaze on me.

I simply wanted the dinner to be over. There was a feeling registering in the pit of my stomach that made me feel that uneasy about Seth, like there something wrong about him. My mom had dated dozens of losers in the past, but there was something particular about this guy that I just knew was wrong. I was grateful that my mother dominated most of the conversation for the night, only having me speak every now and then when she asked me a question.

A majority of the time, my eyes were locked on my plate as I quietly nibbled on my food. Half way through dinner, my mother rose from the table and headed into the kitchen to prepare desert, leaving Seth and myself alone. She was probably twenty feet away from us, and yet  when I was alone in the presence of her strange, new boyfriend, I felt as though she was miles away and I desperately wanted her to return to protect me from him. I half expected Seth to remain quiet only to be caught off guard when he decided to speak to me.

“So, Ailee…what do you like to do for fun?” asked Seth.

He was holding a glass of wine that my mother had poured for them. They had both been drinking small glasses of wine, not to get drunk, but to balance out the meal that they were eating with it. Seth delicately balanced the tiny glass in his clenched fist, swiveling the half filled wine in the glass as an attempt to mix the ingredients.

For the first time that night, I forced myself to look up at him and make eye contact with him. He stared at me curiously, hiding the same lustful look he wore earlier, within the depths of his eyes.

“Anything,” I muttered.

“Anything?” he laughed as though I had told him a funny joke. “Then you’re up for just about anything that’s new.”

I stared at him quietly, unsure what to say or where this conversation would lead us. 

“Might I say, you are very pretty.” Seth stared at me, waiting for some kind of a “thank you”, but when he received silence he quickly added. “You know, if this works out with me and your mom…I might just be your new step dad.”

The thought sent a shiver down my spin, evidence that I did not want Seth to be a part of my mother’s life. I silently watched him, locking my eyes on his, unsure what to say to him or how to figure out what his intentions were.

“We might be spending a lot more time together.”

Seth allowed his eyes to drop down from mine, down onto what I suspected to be my chest. It had only lasted for a second, until his eyes shot back up on to my own eyes, but it was long enough for me to detect it. In a matter of seconds, I could feel my blood rushing to my face as I felt violated and unsafe, suddenly realizing that Seth was viewing me as a potential mate to accompany him in bed. It was a scary thought because he was far too old for me and someone that shouldn’t look at girls my age.

“Where are you looking?!” I asked outraged, trying extremely hard not to raise my voice. 

I covered my chest with my hands as if my hands were a blanket that could conceal my womanhood and make me invisible in the eyes of a man. I flashed Seth a cold, disgusted look that I was certain would frighten off any predator when they saw how audacious I was and how unlikely  I was to be turned into a victim without a fight.

Seth smirked and laughed it off as though I was exaggerating the incident.

“Where am I looking?” he laughed again, taking a sip of his wine, then placing the empty glass onto the table as he spoke. “Your eyes, of course.”

“My eyes are not down here,” I said placing one of my hands on my chest and then slowly raising it as though it were an elevator, to point to my eyes. “They’re up here,”  

Seth laughed it off and before he could speak the kitchen door swiveled open and my oblivious mother made her way from the kitchen, wearing mittens while tightly clothing a hot tray of cookies.

“They’re hot,” she said.

“Wow,” beamed Seth, as he took the cookies from the tray one at a time, despite being warned that they were hot. “They look good. You sure know how to cook, Rachel.”

“Aw, thank you,” said my mother, taking her seat next to me.

Seth had casually changed the subject acting as though there was nothing wrong. My mother glanced in my direction, forcing me to take my hands from my body and placed them neutrally on top of  the table, providing Seth the pervert with a full view of my womanhood and leaving me feeling exposed. My heart rate was inclined as I thought about how much I knew that it was rare that my mother was happy, and that I couldn’t tell her what had happened because it might ruin our dinner.

“Ailee,” my mother asked curiously. “Are you okay? You look worried. Is everything okay?”

I refused to make eye contact with her and my voice was silenced by the mixture of fear and shock that was forming in the pit of my stomach. I anxiously glanced at my mother, unable to speak to her or reveal what was wrong. Seth seized the opportunity to say something, as an attempt to conceal the incident between us.

“She’s fine and she’s got a heck of a brain on her,” Seth laughed. “You really are raising a fine young lady.”

“That’s really sweet of you Seth.”

Before my mother could press me further on the issue, Seth abruptly changed the subject and I remained silent for the rest of the night, trying to figure out how to address this situation. The guy my mother was dating was a freak, but if I told her the truth it would break her heart and risk the possibility of her accusing me of ruining another one of her relationships.

As I revisited that flashback in my mind, I suddenly began to wish that I had spoken up sooner to my mother about Seth the pervert, before he had a chance to be alone with me.  


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