Chapter Two (continued) Devin's POV
I regretted coming, this wasn't the view I wanted. They started to come down the bank to the boat, I had no way out without them seeing me, so I quickly rowed farther out into the river, letting my back face them.
I started to think of some kind of way to get her attention away from John and onto me. I could jump into the water and splash them from out of nowhere. But......I can't swim. And the sign says '20 feet deep CAUTION! I can't do that. Then the most crazy, dangerous idea hit me. I smiled and quickly rowed to the trees on the other end of the river, I hid under the shadows and saw John getting picked up with another boat. Once John reached the shore, he got off of the boat and into the bathroom. I laughed. This was my only chance to do this. I paddled out of the shadows and over to Victoria.
"Hi, Victoria!" She lifted her head to find the owner of the voice and her face turned miserable.
"Devin, what are you doing here?!"
"I came to see you!" She crossed her arms and stare at me. I planned to do this part extra good. I started to paddle a bit closer to her and acted like the paddle slipped out of my hand. "Crap!" I leaned over the boat and it tilted, dumping me in. I was laughing in my head, but began to turn to panic. I knew I couldn't swim and I worried she didn't know how either. I started to sink closer to the ground, slowly. But then I felt hands around my stomach, lift me up and out of the water. I coughed out water and she laid her head down on my chest, listening for my pulse. Her hands, then, were on my chest, pushing down hard. I opened my eyes because I couldn't bear the pain anymore. Dang, that girl's strong. I coughed out some more water, and she turned to see John getting into the boat to come over here. I took advantage of that moment and rubbed my chest. Thankfully, I still had my bones and everything. Her strength felt like a weight being dropped on me. John had arrived and examined me, all wet.
"Why are you all wet?"
"I fell in and almost drowned." He looked over at Victoria.
"Did you save him?" She nodded and smiled at him. Everything went awkwardly silent. I scanned John. He was muscular, too. I didn't feel like getting beat up today so I decided to leave. My boat was paddle-less and one was just drifting a bit near the boat I was in.
"I guess I'll go home now and get cleaned up." A quick flashback of my near-death experience overcame me. I suddenly remembered one of the reasons why I almost drowned myself, I wanted her to kiss me. CPR, mouth-to-mouth. But I guess I just couldn't bear the pain for long. "Hey, John?" His head turned towards me. "Do you mind if I use that boat," I nodded toward the boat behind him that he used to get her, "to get back to shore. I lost my paddle on that one." I turned towards the boat behind me.
"Yeah, sure. Go ahead." I carefully climbed over the seats and got into the boat John was once in.
Chapter Three Victoria's POV
Next thing I knew, John and I had our mouths attatched, and our bodies clung together. Thankfully, we were at his house and not the boat. I felt bad for Devin. He seemed sad. Yet, I don't really know why. My cell phone rung, I had to pull away from John and answer it. I left him with a sad face on and answered the phone,
"Victoria! Where are you? It's late. Get home now!" I looked at the clock. I was an hour late. My parents always told me to be home at a specific time because they didn't trust me alone with John.
"Sorry, Mom. I lost track of time. I was on the boat without a watch."
"And where are you now?"
"I'm on my way there," I lied. "John and I just passed the school. I'll be there in a bit." I couldn't tell my mother about this. She'd freak. I hung up on her after we sad our goodbyes.
"John, I'm so sorry. My mother wants me home. Can you drive me?"
"Yeah, sure." His voice held disappointment and sadness. It made me want to do something in return. My love was still glowing strong for him, growing by the minute. I leaned in and kissed him roughly, our lips joined and we lost track of time again. Time flew by, another half hour. My phone startled me, I cussed under my breath and opened it again.
My mom seemed more angry than ever, "If you're at his house making out I promise you will never see him again. WHERE ARE YOU!" I jumped back from the phone, shocked by her anger. Mom was never the one for a young pregnancy. But, neither am I. John and I know to not go so far. We never got carried away. But it seemed like he had the urge to go far. His kisses were more passionate.
"I'm stuck in traffic."
"Hurry home." That's all that she said and then the line went dead. She hung up on me!
"John, love, I need to go." He gave me a pout and I gave him a soothing smile. He gave in, but kissed me once more. It was short, yet it was better than nothing.
We hopped into the car and he drove me home. I saw police cars at the house. I quickly said goodbye to John and he drove away before anything happened. I ran to the house to see what was going on. An ambulance arrived. I felt confused, but more worried.
"Mom?!" No answer. The police walked up to me.
"Are you the daughter of Elise DiNardo?" I nodded and let my eyes fly around the room, searching for my mother. I had a bad feeling about this. Then I saw the ambulance people bending over something. I looked around the officer's body and saw my mother, laying on the ground, being put onto a bed for the ambulance. Tears immediately shed from my eyes. My knees fell limp and I knelt, crying in my hands.
"Victoria, is it?" The police continued to ask me questions, even in a state like this. I nodded and clear my face of the tears. I needed to find a door through this mess. Maybe she was still alive, but was playing a prank on me to teach me a lesson. I didn't know what was going on. So I asked the officer.
"Um. Well, really we don't know that yet. We think she's fainted." I looked at him confused. "She called us to go looking for you. She was worried that you were kidnapped or............something. So we came here and saw her laying on the ground. Her pulse was still heard but it was very slow. So the ambulance is going to rush her to the hospital."
I sat in the waiting room, impatiently waiting. The doctors didn't want me to see anything. I felt as though everything was my fault. My father probably left when I was born because he didn't want me. Mom was perfect. She couldn't have been the reason for his departure. I flipped on the t.v. and looked around me. Nobody else. I turned the channel to anything and it landed on the news. The television had some static to it so it made it harder to see. I could barely hear the person talking through the speakers. I heard the door open. A child walked in with two older people. I saw the man and woman holding hands, glued to eachother, and the child seemed happy. I assumed that they were a family and I wanted to cry. A happy family with a mom and dad. I finally decided it was all my fault. Dad could've comforted her. She wouldn't have been in here. I wouldn't be here. Or even exist. A tear slipped down my face causing worry to hit me. I quickly wiped it before anyone witnessed. The kid flipped the channel to cartoons, no static, clear sound. I rolled my eyes in my mind and looked around, examining the room. Then my eyes stuck to the couple, her head rested just beneath his neck. Then their faces leaned towards eachother. I got up abruptly and left the room.
My paced quickened as I neared my mom's hospital room. I looked in the window beside the wooden door. My eyes widened. I looked at the heart rate chart. There was a paper laying on the table. I searched it for some results. It held the information of her recent heart rate and breathing rate. Her heart rate was extremely slow, it looked as if it wasn't possible. Then the line went straight. My breath caught and I looked at the breathing chart. It went from normal, to slow, then it, too, died down into a straight line.
"NO!" I fell to my knees, hanging on to the window frame. Tears puddled in front of me as I leaned over my knees.
Chapter Four Victoria's POV
I sat down, my back against the wall beneath the window. I was still freaking out. She can't be dead. No. No, this isn't happening! I heard the door beside be open. My head ,reflexively, turned to see who it was.
"Victoria. I'm so sorry." His words pulled more tears out of my eyes. "We couldn't save her." Gasping sobs escaped my mouth. I'll come back for her body later. I'm gonna gather the whole family for her funeral. I held up my finger to the doctor, telling him to silence. I ran off, down the hall. I couldn't take the elevator, I had no patience. I ran down the stairs and out the door. I got into my car and slammed the door shut. I tried to get the key in to start it, but I was too frustrated. The key refused to want to be injected into the slot. I let out a yell and punched the door. It left a little dent but it was a good way to vent my frustration. I flipped open my cell and dialed John's number.
"Hello?" His voice brought more tears. Nothing could be worse than this. My mother just died, I wasn't even there by her. I wasn't there to help her. She probably had a heart attack or something because I didn't show. I killed her.
"J-John? Can you pick me up? I'm at the hospital." Silent gasps were let out between each word.
His voice seemed a bit concerned, "You okay?! What happened? Which hospital?"
"I'll tell you when I'm done crying. I'm at the hospital a block away from the school."
"I'll be right there. Love you."
"Love you, too." We hung up and within 5 minutes his car pulled into the parking lot. I'm sure I looked like a mess. I need to get away from here. I can't stay in a place my own mother died. His car stopped beside me, slowly. I got into the passenger seat and pulled down the mirror. My eyes were red, and swollen. I wiped my eyes and cleared the tears. I needed something to rid myself of these memories. I put the mirror away and looked over at John.
"I'm sorry. Thank you for picking me up." He nodded.
"You're welcome. Are you okay now? Care to explain?"
"Yeah. I'm okay." I inhaled, forcing back the tears that were ready to escape. "My mother died. His eyes widened in shock. He left go of the car wheel and engulfed me in a hug.
"I'm sorry." Another tear escaped my left eye. I couldn't hold that one. I wiped it and let go of John's embrace. I stared out the window as he drove out of the parking lot.
continuing Chapter Four Victoria's POV
School was starting out as another burden. Every person I passed by, always ended up asking me what happened. I sat at lunch, alone. John called in sick. I looked up from my tear-drenched palms and saw Devin walking my way. I put my head back down and started to wipe the tears.
"Hey. I'm sorry for what happened." A sob escaped my throat. I wiped the last of the tears.
"You knew?" Not one person came up to me knowing what I was going through. But it seemed like Devin already found out.
He nodded, with a sympathetic face on. I needed a friend. One that I could hug without having an awkward feeling. Emotions overpowered me and I hugged him. I felt his arms hug me back, wrapping around my body. I wiped my face once more once I let go of our embrace. I smiled a friendly smile at him. He understood.
We talked about our days annd sat with eachother at lunch.
"So.....are you having funeral for her?" I nodded.
"Oh that reminds me, I have to set it up. Invitations and everything." I thought aloud.
"Mind if I help?" I looked a him suprised, giving him a questioning look.
"Thanks." We smiled at eachother for a while and went back to eating. The whole day flew by, every class I was either thinking of funeral plans or talking with Devin. He had a welcoming atmosphere. I enjoyed his company.
I had to ride the bus home since John couldn't make it. Devin came over to my house to keep me company longer, and to set up the funeral plans.
I picked out a bunch of old pictures from our family album. I wouldn't really call it a family album, it was just us two. No father. I winced at the word father and became curious. Where's he living now? Is he even alive? Maybe I can track him down. Then I remembered my theories at the hospital. He won't want to see me. He'll just turn his back to me and tell me to go away.
"What do you think about this?" Devin's voice cutoff my burning thoughts. He held up a blue bouquet and smiled.
His smile made my day, forcing me to smile back happily. "It's perfect." I started to feel some feelings for him. He's not such a bad guy after all. I could learn to live with having him as a boyfriend. I smiled at the thought of us being a couple.
"What?" He asked me with a hint of curiousity in his tone. I shook my head, the smile still glued to my face,
"Nothing." He rolled his eyes and it made me laugh. John never made me laugh. He just seemed like a football player showing off his cheerleader. It wouldn't matter who his cheerleader was, just as long as she makes him look good. I smirked at the imaginary picture of John in my head.
I put together a collage of pictures. Each one was a memory my mother treasured. I wiped the tear that crawled out of my eye as I spotted a picture. One that she showed me on every day of my birthdays. I looked at it and started to cry. Devin was at my side instantly.
"What happened?" I shook my head.
"She showed me. This picture every day. Of my birthday." His sympathetic face reappeared. Everything in this house even reminded me of her. She took sacrifices for me, gave me everything even though we couldn't afford it, and she loved me. I looked at the picture once more, studying its print.
It was a picture of her, holding me a minute after my birth. Her hair was messed up and let down. She never let her hair down unless it hurt her head. I let out a stiffled laugh. I was there, cradled in her arms, reaching out for her face. I was wrapped in a blanket, eyes slightly open. But my eyes focused on nothing but her. My dad was out of the picture, thankfully. He deserved no part in my life for what he did to us. I looked back down at the album and saw a picture of mom, and my dad.
They looked so happy together. Now she's dead. My eyes widened, I forgot all about Devin next to me and walked over to the phonebook.
"What are you doing?" I jumped at the sound of his voice. I heard him let out a low chuckle. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. " I flashed him a quick smile and turned vack to the phonebook, explaining to Devin.
I dragged my index finger down the pages, searching for a certain word. "I'm looking for my father. Maybe he'll want me back in his life."
I looked at Devin to see his reaction. It was troubled. "What?" I asked.
"Um. Well..." I motioned for him to continue. "I don't really trust him."
"Why? You don't even know him."
"I know. But people leave the ones they love for reasons. What if he turns out mean and abusive? Or he found another family? It would be awkard for him to see a part of his past with his present. You know what I mean?" I tilted my head to the right and just looked back at the phonebook, as if he never said anything. "Aha! Found it." I heard him let out a low sigh. "I actually would rather see him than talk over a distance." Devin scoffed. I scoffed back at him, annoyed. I scrolled down a little bit more and saw his address. 5611 Roadland Drive I wrote it down and printed directions from the computer. I sped out of the room, leaving Devin behind.
"Victoria-" His voice was fading and I knew I couldn't turn back. He would change my mind about it. I'm sure about wanting to go see him. I felt through my emotions and did find a bit of fear in it...
I drove through the state, following each step of directions on the paper I printed. As I arrived, I found an ordinary house. I walked up the driveway, and up the steps. As I rang the doorbell, I felt my hope disappear as a stranger opened the door. He looked nothing at all like the picture I saw.
"Don?" I used my fathers first name and the man looked at me puzzled.
"No? I'm Rick."
"Oh, sorry. I must have the wrong house then." He nodded and I turned around, walking toward my car. But then something caught my eye. I saw a frisbee headed my way.
"Whoa!" I caught it as a reflex and carefully threw it back in the direction it came from. As I looked at the child who caught it, I looked for the parents. My eyes buldged as I saw my father, his arms wrapped around another woman.
"What are you doing here? Where's your mother?" My smile disappeared. He didn't return the hi. Instead he brought back dredful memories that stabbed my heart.
"She's.........dead." I turned my head to the right, letting my mind wander, but I saw something shine in the corner of my eye. I lookedat it and saw his teeth uncovered by a big smile. It disappeared half a second after I looked at it. I ignored hisrudeness and examined the lady on his lap. She had bruises on her arms.
"What happened to your arms?"
"Oh......um......." She looked at Dad real quick, worried. "I'm a klutz. I run into a lot of stuff." I tilted my head, confused. Then I saw my Dad glide his lips across the surface of her neck.
His wife spoke up,"Hey." She caught my attention. "Since your mother died, I'd be more than happy to invite you into our household." I saw Dad shoot her an angry look, but then it softened, turning to me. I squinted, really confused this time.
His wife's POV
I could tell he was mad. But I needed someone to save me. Someone that would understand what kind of help I needed. I scanned my bruises from him. They were a deep purple, turning a blueish black color. I winced from the pain as I touched them lightly. I thought back to the memories of how I got the bruises.
It was the night we argued, a week ago actually. And they're still here. I figured out, that night, that he was abusive. I've wanted to take my kids and flee but every time I tried, he was right before me, ready to beat me again. I cried every time he touched me uncomfortably, thinking he'd hurt me.