(Love in circles)
BY BLESSING SILVER
I watched as Nicholas skin turned red with dark green veins running up his hand, his breathing was audible in deep grunts and his body trembled..
I was speechless..
“Nicholas is a monster” Jason’s words rang in my head and I took myself back to reality and with a thumping heart, I ran to him and squat beside him. “N-Nick.. It’s Jacqueline. Can you hear me” I asked and a deep grunt responded.
“Nicholas.. Please answer me” I said and suddenly he looked at me. I shuddered. His face was bony and blood like, his eyes were sunken and his lips bloodshot. “N-nick.. W-what happening? What can I do? Should I call the paramedics”
With so much dexterity I reached for my bag and was about taking my phone when his palm held it.. My body shuddered as I felt the hotness of his hand.. “N-n-n-no” he stuttered.
“D-d-draw… er” he stuttered.. “S-sy-rin.. ge” he said and with his hand stretched out, he stretched his index and middle finger to me, indicating two.. like a bolt I hurried to the nightstand.
“Here?” I asked and he slowly shook his head.. I reached for the drawer and drew it open, it was packed with so many syringes with injected light red liquid.. I kicked my curiosity aside and quickly grabbed two from it and ran to him.. With a slight inner prayer I drove the first syringe to his back and the second, to his palm.
And slowly he fell off and landed on the floor with his back, I backed away as his body changed to normal and the rate of his ragged breathing decreased.. Slowly the transformation finished and Nick eyes was shut.
I took a step to him.
“Nick, are you okay?” I asked but only his snores answered me. I sighed and helped him to the bed, his once hot palm became cold, so I covered him up to his neck with the blanket, turned off the air conditioner, confirmed his pulse was normal and walked out of the room. I made him some coffee and left it in the warmer.
I walked out of the house, reaching the porch, I drove the endless questions in my mind off and walked out of the gate. I did the rest of my jobs with freeless mind.. I had so many questions that only Nick could answer. Maybe I shouldn’t have left him by himself.. I’m pretty sure I’ll be so uncomfortable if I had spent more time there.. I hope he’s okay.
I had my lunch of hamburger and walked to the station with Noel, glad he didn’t notice anything about my sorta null mood.
Noel took the bus while I walked home alone, thinking about Nicholas.. I could still feel the shivers his hot hand sent to my skin.. I couldn’t help but think of the possible things that could be wrong with him..
Is Jason right? Is Nick really.. Is Nick really a monster??
I sighed as I passed an alley to my house.
I got home and slowly climbed the stairs, suddenly feeling heavy.. I reached the door and got home, I had an apple for dinner and changed to my pajamas.. I could’ve read but I was positive I won’t be able to concentrate; not with the horrible sight I saw today..
I stood up to lock my door, I laid on my bed and drew my duvet up, I set my alarm and turned off my lamp.. I slept off after that.
The next morning after brushing my teeth, I walked to the kitchen and worked on fixing Allan’s breakfast.. I was getting the casseroles ready when he walked into the kitchen, still on his night wears.
“Good morning” I greeted and got no response.
He walked the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of water.. He drank directly from the bottle, sealed it back and left it in the fridge.
“What are you making?”
“Casseroles” I replied, trying to ignore his presence and focus..
I suddenly felt his warm breath on my neck and when I saw him behind me, I nearly fell off but surprisingly he caught me and his arms spread to my wa-ist… My eyes popped in alarm as I stared into his face, he slowly helped me to my feet and rubbed his hair..
“Be careful” he said or maybe I heard wrong.. Allan just told me to be careful. I faced back to look at him but he looked away and walked out.. My brows furrowed.. What just happened?
“Earth to Jackie!” A finger snapped to my face and I jilted from my thoughts.. I turned to see Martha giving me a questioning look.
“What’s up with you? You seem far and you’ve been kinda moody since morning” she said and I sighed before holding the rail..
“I’m just thinking about something.. Can I ask you a question?” I asked and she held the rail and stood beside me..
“Yes.. What’s it?”
“I don’t know how to put this but have you seen something that seem like a human but doesn’t look like one?” I asked and she first gave me a blank stare.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know Martha but what would you call someone with popping green veins and a skin that looks like blood, a bony and hard face and with a breathing that sounds like a growl.. What would you call someone like that?”
“Uh.. A monster, I guess but I don’t understand, why are you asking me this?”
“You really think that description is for monsters?.. Okay what if they inject red substance into them to become normal.. Can they still be called monsters?”
“Red substance.. Like blood? Oh my God Jackie did you see a vampire!?” Martha asked, fully alarmed.
“No! Stop it Martha.. Vampires don’t come out in the day and they can’t stand light, right?”
“Right. Tell me Jackie, what exactly are you talking about? What did you see?”
I moistened my lower lip.. And slowly turned to Martha.
“Who’s Nick? Wait the guy you work for because you owe him?” She asked and I nodded. “Seriously, I had no idea you still work for him. Anyways, what’s wrong with him?”
“He.. I mean yesterday I went to his house to work and.. And I don’t know Martha but I heard growling sound when I walked in and then I traced it to Nicholas room I.. I saw him.. Different” I said.
“He had this really deep green veins popping from his skin that was deep red and his face was bony.. You know that look when you’re trying to suppress pain.. That’s it. His eyes were sunken and when he touched me his.. his hand felt very.. Hot–
“Hold on.. Are you trying to freak me out Jackie?”
“I’m damn serious.. I had to inject some red liquid into him on his instructions before he got calmed.. I’ve been lost in that thoughts since yesterday” I said “what do you think Martha?” I asked.
“I-I don’t know Jackie but I’ll advise you stay faraway from this guy who knows he could be dangerous so you have to be very distant from him”
“But I’m not done paying my debt yet–
“He’s a monster Jackie don’t you understand!.. You can’t keep on working for him”
“But monsters appear in monstrous form, I mean they have furs on their skin and they change to beasts with huge teeth and those stuffs.. I think Nick is different, I don’t think he’s a monster” I said.
“So what do you think?”
“I don’t know but I feel like Nick needs help.. Earlier today, Jason told me about Nicholas being a monster and I didn’t believe it until I saw it”
“So you think Nicholas is suffering from a disease?”
I sighed “I think so.. Nick look normal in so many ways and I’ve worked with him for weeks and honestly I’ve seen no inhuman sign until yesterday but the way he felt, the way he looked at me, seems like he needs help.. I don’t know how I felt it but I did” I said..
“Maybe you’re right.. I’ve heard of illnesses where one only gets normal when he takes some certain injected medication.. It might be an allergy” Martha said and I took out my phone.. “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to call Nick” I scrolled through the contacts and clicked on his name..I heard it ring without a response, I called a second time but it still wasn’t connected.
“He’s not answering” I said.
“He’s probably still brooding over the fact that his supposed to be secret got discovered” she said.
I gave her an approving look.
My phone buzzed and when I checked it was a text message from.. Nick.
“He sent a text” I tell her and clicked on the message..
“You can take some days off.. I know you need it” the message read and I looked over at Martha, she twitched her face..
“It’s obvious he’s still fighting your discovery” she said.
I’m positive I’ll stop schooling here if my secret about Allan get discovered by anyone.. It’ll be a shock and even though Nick’s problem is much stronger, I can still feel his worries.
“I have to find him”
“Yeah.. You should. Tell me how it goes when you’re done” she said, I pocketed my phone and walked away.
I used the stairs to the top floor, I walked to Nicholas class and saw some of his classmates already moving down for recess.. I stood aside and watched the faces that passed, scanning throughout for Nick.. Jason passed and luckily, he didn’t notice me.. I tiptoed but Nicholas wasn’t among the students going down.
I walked to his class and scanned the faces of the few students that was in but Nicholas wasn’t among..
“Excuse me” I said to a blondie about to walk out of the door and she stopped.. “Sorry but have you perhaps seen Nicholas in school today?”
“And why are you asking me that?”
“I saw him during first period, we had a class together” she cut me off and without waiting for me to say another word; she walked away.
I moved out of the class..
Nick’s probably staying away to think.. I know how it feels like to be burdened.. You’ll want think in an isolated place, somewhere that could be less filled with people, he could probably– wait.. An isolated place?
The rooftop room.. He once said he normally sleeps there so it’s possible that he visit there often and knowing that the place is isolated because students have actually been prohibited from going there, he must be there.
I ran to the hall and to the class at the end.. I watched to see if anyone was watching or walking, seeing nothing suspicious, I quickly unlocked the metallic door and walked into the room that smells mostly of wet wood and dust.. I walked to the small door, used it and got to the stairs, I climbed it and I reached the roof. I looked over at the bench and as expected, I saw Nick.. His head was pointing to my direction, same with his eyes but his attention wasn’t on me.. He looked too deep in thought to even notice a bomb blast.. I took a step forward..
“Nicholas?” I called in a stern yet soft voice and slowly his head turned to me then his gaze met mine and his expression changed.
“She saw everything dad! She saw every damn thing! She was the one who gave me the syringe! I could swear I wasn’t myself!” I said into the phone in a rush and my tone was flushed.
“Calm down Nick–
“What? Calm down? How can I? I’m at risk now dad! Jason already knows and letting another person know too is super dangerous, as it is I still fear over what Jason’s planning for me.. And now someone else knows about me? It’s disaster dad.. I’m just really confused right now”
I could hear my dad sigh from the phone “How did she get to know? I thought she works part time for you”
“Then what went wrong? I never knew you to be this careless Nicholas that’s why I confidently left you in NY to come here”
“I don’t know dad.. I had this really serious cold yesterday, I felt so sick.. I took it as one of the symptoms that comes with the disease but slowly I realized I was changing.. I felt it from inside and when I wanted to walk to my room I suddenly felt too weak and I collapsed in the living room, I had to crawl on my belly to my room but I couldn’t reach the syringe, I was too weak dad, I couldn’t do anything.. I felt like I was dying.. Then She came in, probably hearing my cry for help and she saw everything! She even injected me!” I explained to him.
“How was her reaction?”
“I don’t know dad, I was too weak to check but what do you think? She must be frightened to her bones, I don’t know why she still helped but I woke up to meet her gone”
“This weakness.. When did you start noticing it?”
“Few days ago but it wasn’t as serious as yesterday’s… I felt like I was dying, there was nothing triggering me.. Normally I would’ve felt it but yesterday felt.. So different. It just happened”
“I’ll have to find out about it but first, what do we do about–
“I plan on moving permanently to Korea with you dad until the goddamn cure get discovered.. I can’t take it anymore dad. I was able to carry Jason’s trouble and stay here even more than I expected but having another burden on my shoulder is what I can’t carry.. I have to move away from all this” I said and for a while he was quiet..
“I’ve been thinking about that too.. I only wanted you to complete your semesters for high school before I suggest we move permanently.. There are many things over there that aren’t good, especially for you” he said. “I’ll have to shorten my trip then start working on your flight ticket, I’m sure I’ll be able to finalize it before I return and before that I’ll also find out about the cause of this new symptoms you’re getting” he said. “Where are you?”
“I’m in school, I should’ve told you yesterday but I overslept and when I got up I had so many things to reminisce and contemplate on”
“I understand” dad sighed again.. I knew the wh0le thing was affecting him the same way it is for me.. He had always been the only one that cared. “I have to go now Nick. I’ll give you a call later.. Take care and don’t forget to always be close to your medication, with this new symptom you won’t know when you need it”
“Yes dad. Bye” I said and hung up.. I looked at my reflection from my phone screen.. Troubled, confused and worries was what I could read. I ran a hand through my hair and left my phone beside me on the bench..
She knows about me now.. She’s actually the last person I could say would actually discover about me.. I’ve had series of nannies while I was in Korea and somehow None of them ever found out about me, even though I get careless once in a blue moon, my secret was still safe and Jason wouldn’t have known if his mom or should I say my ex-mom didn’t reveal it to him.
I’ve been all moody during my first class for the day, too moody that I couldn’t attend anyone else, I just stayed in that class and listen to lectures that I didn’t even have. This f-cking stuff’s all over me and it’s eating me up. For the first time yesterday, I actually had a seven hours sleep without dreams nor interruptions.. Everything’s beginning to get complicated but one thing I know is that there’s no way I’m spending another week here, I’ll have to move, permanently. Dad’s right, there are truly many bad things that I have to move away from; mom, Jason, this stupid school, my house and now.. Her.
My phone started ringing and when I looked at it, it was from her.. I ignored it and let it ring, after it stopped, it started ringing again.. I left it to ring then send her a text. She might as well stop working permanently for me, she has everything to use against me.
I let my mind drift to my problem and I could say I was lost in my thoughts for minutes.. Lots of it..
It’s all just too much on me, I’m not even a monster, I wasn’t born like one neither did I grow up to be one.. But I have to live like one..
“Nicholas” I flinched a little and for a while I almost thought I had exaggerated the voice only for me to bounce to reality and see her, right in front of me.. I was gobsmacked.
T. B. C
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