RTN 23

My mother’s nails dug into my neck as she gripped me tighter and tighter. I tried to shove her off of me but she was surprisingly strong. As I continued struggling to pry her fingers away one by one, I became lightheaded and my eyesight grew dim. It was how all of my previous blackouts began…but this time it felt a bit different. “Not now!” I wheezed pleadingly. Suddenly, like an answered prayer, I was back in control. Then I noticed a form had materialized next to Mom. “Jennie!” I choked out while staring at her. Mom jumped and released me from her grasp. Her face twisted in fury when she assumed she’d been duped. “I can’t believe I fell for that!”

20

“She can’t see me.” Jennie wiggled her fingers in front of our mother’s face. “She doesn’t want to. You should ask her about Aj, Cass.” She crossed her arms and glared at Mom while she leaned against the railing. “He said he’d watch over you while you slept and when you woke up he was missing, right? He never would’ve just left you alone at that camp, Cass. Not on his own.”

21

“What happened to Aj, Mom?” She appeared to be taken aback by my question. “Who?” She muttered with a raised brow. Jennie rolled her eyes and snorted. “Really? She’s going to play stupid? I saw her do it! She killed him!” Her eyes flashed in anger. “Jennie’s boyfriend. What did you do to him? For once in your life, just tell the truth!” I shouted at her. “That loser should’ve kept his mouth shut.” She finally admitted. “He’s the one that lead you back to Eddie and me. I just wanted to know what he told you. But he wouldn’t talk. Not even when I threatened him.” She smirked. “She’s evil.” Jennie whispered into my ear. “The sad thing is that I want to hate her…so badly. But she’s still our mother.”

“Mom…” I took a step closer to her. “Jennie has a message for you.” My mother’s eyes widened in disbelief. “She wants you to know that she forgives you.”

“But I don’t.” With one hard shove, my mother went over the balcony and screamed all the way down to the cemented street below.

22

“It’s okay, Cass. You did nothing wrong. She didn’t deserve to live…not after all she’s done.” Jennie put her ghostly pale arms around me. I could barely feel her but still, it was a comforting gesture. “It’s finally over. She can’t hurt anyone ever again.”

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