Chapter 25: .fight/or/flight.onila
I didn’t particularly want to tell him, but it was high time to do it. I had held it back long enough. Ten thousand people had seen these abominations. Ten thousand people. It was more than I could imagine. I needed a cigarette.
I lit one and slowly let the smoke seep out between my lips. Scott just sat there. Petrified with anger. I offered him a cigarette.
“I don’t do that shite,” he said. “Ten thousand people, Oni. I can’t wrap my head around it.” I couldn’t either.
“I’m looking for demographics, but since Ex-Fortify is an anonymity software, I can’t find anything,” Derrick said.
“Fuck anonymity,” Scott replied. “This is bollocks. These films are illegal. They are breaking every law of privacy in the known world!”
“We need to figure out who these people are.” That’s when I decided it was time to tell him.
“I know who Oxycotton is,” I admitted.
“Chrissie…” Scott let out a frustrated laugh.
“I don’t believe that. Why would you think it was Chrissie?”
“First off, she told me she wasn’t supposed to be in the outskirts of town that night. That sounded suspicious to me. She also reacted when I called her Oxy, and as Derrick said in the hospital, Oxycotton was supposed to be on her way. That’s probably why she was there that night. She never showed up because I distracted her.”
“I can’t believe that,” Scott said, shaking his head.
“You have to, it’s the only lead we got.”
“You must admit it all fits very well together,” Derrick commented.
“Exactly,” I muttered.558Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ3MNWNKn5Hr
“It’s almost eerie how well it all fits. That’s why I don’t believe it.” I sighed, explained the whole thing one more time, and looked as Scott’s face changed from oblivious to understanding.
“You’re right,” he said, quietly. “You have to be right. Thinking back, Chrissie was always a bully. She enjoyed inflicting pain on others. Maybe that wasn’t just simple childishness. Maybe there’s something wrong with her…” he trailed off, looking out of his window, with thoughts clouding his vision. He looked like some kind of ancient Nordic poet with his red hair and green eyes.
“It has to be it,” he whispered, still looking out the window as if he was gazing at something far away.
We heard the sirens of a cop car in the distance. I wondered what my safe little town had done to deserve this.
“We should go sleep. We can talk more about this tomorrow,” Derrick said, getting up from the settee.
“You can take the bedroom floor, Onila the bed, and I’ll take the settee. If anyone tries anything during the night, I’ll have my gun with me.”
Derrick nodded and started making his way to the bedroom. I sat there for a while longer, just looking at Scott as he trembled.
“I think I love you,” he finally said.
“You have only known me for a week.” I tried to protect myself from feelings, especially after Chris, but I knew what I felt for Scott wasn’t just pure affection. It was something more. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it was a strong feeling. And that frightened me.
I leaned in and pecked him on the lips. My eyes open as I did it. I wanted to see him, I wanted to hold him, and I wanted to be with him. For the last week, Scott had been my world. It was only natural that I felt what I felt, and when you took my feelings from the past into consideration it became even more inevitable.
“I think I love you too,” I admitted. He smiled. For the first time, I saw his smile for all it was worth. It was a rare dawn, or even better yet, the small hours of dusk. Gone before you even could fully register it, but definitely stuck to your retina.
“Good night, Scott Winchester,” I smiled before leaving to go to the bedroom.
“Good night, Onila Kathryn Jenkins.”
Derrick was curled up on the floor when I entered the room.
“You can take the bed if you want to,” I said, fully expecting him to jump at the offer.
“I don’t want to impose.” I thought about if for a while.
“It’s a queen, we’re tiny. There’s enough space for both of us.” Derrick looked a little apprehensive, but he climbed into the bed. I got changed into one of Scott’s shirts and found the left side of the bed. I was usually a right-side sleeper, but Derrick was already snoring, and I didn’t feel like waking him.
I lay there for some time. The sandman just didn’t want to come for me. Had he forgotten me in all this chaos?
Around twelve o’clock Derrick jolted awake. His breathing was heavy and he touched my shoulder, almost as if to check that I was still there.
“Oni… are you awake?”
“Yes,” was all I could muster. I realised sleepiness had started to catch up, and that Derrick’s awakening had jerked me out of a sleep like state.
“I dreamt they took you. I got frightened.”
“You shouldn’t be afraid. When I get scared I tell myself: I will not be afraid.”
“Does it help?” He asked, doubt clouding his voice.
… a lie…
“I believe fear is a powerful emotion that we should cherish,” he said.
“Why would you want to cherish something so foolish?” I asked.
“Fear isn’t foolish. It’s completely natural. Just as natural as hunger, happiness, lust, love…” He stopped and his eyes grew wide. “You’re afraid of fear,” he said, pointing at me.
“No I’m not. I don’t fear anything.”
“You are afraid,” he continued accusing me. “I can see it in your eyes. You are afraid of being afraid.”
“How is that even possible?” I asked angrily.
“I don’t know, but clearly it is.” Suddenly I started sobbing uncontrollably. Derrick came closer to me and held me close as I shook.
“I don’t want to be afraid,” I said between sobs.
“Sometimes we don’t have a choice.”
I fell asleep an hour later, after having sobbed for a good half an hour, soaking Derrick’s shirt. He held me as I fell asleep. His small arms felt like a safety blanket, protecting me from all the ugliness of the world.
I woke up again halfway through the night. I looked at the clock. It said half past three. I was so thirsty, which was weird, I didn’t usually get thirsty in the middle of the night. Looking back, it was probably my body telling me something was wrong. I got up and looked at Derrick. He was sleeping with a small smile on his face. I leaned in and kissed his forehead before exiting the room.
I could already feel something was wrong. The sensation got strengthened by the fact that the kitchen light was on. I swore, that light was off when I went to bed. Maybe Scott had been thirsty in the night as well. I walked straight to the living room, to see if I could find Scott.
The settee was empty. I held back a scream, and tried to collect my thoughts. The settee was still hot. He must’ve just been there. There was no pillow there though, which made me confused. Didn’t Scott sleep with a pillow?
Panic spread through my body. Had someone snatched him in the middle of the night? Maybe Chrissie had come? I almost ran to the kitchen to call the police.
There, on the kitchen chair, sat Scott. He had the pillow and the gun in front of him. The pillow had a big hole in the middle. This wasn’t what scared me the most. His white shirt had small red spatters. His face was dark and scared.
I dropped to my knees beside him.
“What has happened?” I choked out. He didn’t answer. Scott was still in shock. His blank expression, his trembling lips, it was all unreal.
“Call the police,” he mumbled.
“Look out the window and call the police.” I looked out the kitchen window. On the lawn was a black man. He was lying on the grass, not moving. The grass around him was red. It was Chad Moreno. He had been shot. I didn’t take me long to gather what had just happened. Horrified I called the police.ns 188.8.131.52da2