ALDUB, writing

Zanne (CH9-12)

9. Forgotten

Nicomaine knows where Richard lives but decided against taking him home. It will just make things complicated. His girlfriend might be there which means more complications.

She took him back to her home instead. She leaves in an old three-story building in Bulacan. She lives on the top floor. The building looks very old from the outside but Nicomaine’s place is very much modernized. She had it fortified. This house was her fortress.

The main door has digital lock, care of Yale. She also has all sorts of security features in her house.

This building was owned by her family back in the 30’s. Her parents were earning enough. Enough that she was able to go to Italy to fulfill her dreams. It’s just sad that she had to let them think that she died in Italy, when she was turned, to save them from her. She had to make them forget her.

After a year of them knowing that she died, they seemed to have forgotten her, like what she wanted. She visited them, to check on how they were doing. She still felt sad, they have forgotten her so fast.

She punched in, typing her 12 digit code in just 3 seconds –because she is that fast. She laid Richard down on her couch. She went to the kitchen open up a secret door to her blood stash.

Yes, she gets her blood from the blood bank. She either drinks it from a glass, from the blood bag or have it injected to her. She only takes blood directly from the source on emergency cases –the reason why he met her.

After gulping the bag of blood, she went back to Richard to tend to him. She took a basin, filled it with warm water, and a towel. She slowly moved her hand, holding the towel, over his face. Tracing his jawline. She used her other hand and poked his dimple. She smiled with her crazy antic. She moved her face closer to his thinking of her lips would feel on his, then suddenly his phone rang. She took it and saw that it was his girlfriend calling. She did not answer it and let it go to voicemail.

She decided to change his clothes. She was in the process of taking his shirt off when he woke up.

“What are you doing?” Richard asked, surprised.

“Ano sa tingin mo?”

“Pagsasamantalahan mo ko no?”

“WOW! Nahiya naman ako sa pagka-pogi mo Richard.” Nicomaine said and stood up with the basin on her hand.

Richard looked at her, then looked at the basin. “Thank you.”

“Really?” Nicomaine said with her eyebrow raised. “Kanina lang pinagbibintangan mo kong pagsasamantalahan ka eh.”

“Sorry Dei. Nagulat lang naman kase ko.” He said, apologetic.

“Ok fine.” She said and walked back to her kitchen. Threw the water in the sink and hid the basin. “How are you feeling though?”

“I feel fine.”

“What do you remember?”

“I don’t remember much after Julie Ann guided me to her car. I think I may have forgotten the following events as an effect of the drug I believe she had me drink.” He explained.

“I see…”

10. Babe

After their conversation, Richard dozed off again. He was asleep for another 24 hours, amazingly.

Nicomaine was able to make some phone calls to get things going in finding out Julie Ann’s motive of killing the student  and attempting to kill Richard, while he was sleeping. The report was just sent ot her through fax. It includes a background check about Julie Ann and the police report.

Nicomaine was just staring at him. He moved, upon hearing his heartbeat change, she knew he was about to wake up so she stood up.

“I think you should go home already.” Nicomaine said as soon as Richard opened his eyes and turn her back on him. “She called while you were sleeping.”

Richard immediately fixed himself and stood up. “Thanks Dei. Quits na tayo.” He said and walked out of the door.

“Hay Richard kung alam mo lang…” She said as soon as the door closed behind him.

Nicomaine decided to sleep it off. Yeah, she sleeps. And no, not in a coffin. She went upstairs, opened the door to her room and walked towards her bed. 

She opened the door to the freezer, her bed, and lay down on it.

Richard’s POV

He hailed a cab after walking a few minutes away from Nicomaine’s house, ordered the cab driver to drive him to his condo in Quezon city. He told the cab that he’ll pay a thousand pesos just to make sure he get to QC fast and safely. He can’t believe he was asleep for a whole day after the incident at the University.

His girlfriend is waiting for him in their condo.

He sent her a text message.

To AABabe:

Sorry. I will explain when I get there.

To AABabe:

Babe, I’m on my way to the condo na. Please wait for me ok? I love you.

While on his way home, he can’t help but ponder as to why Julie had to kill.

He accessed the researches done by his colleagues back at the NewsRoom using his phone. After reading a few background check reports, he opened the folder given to him by Nicomaine that has reports about Julie Ann as well. He was able to deduce that Julie is obsessed with Professor Louise. Anybody the professor has shown interest to, she dispatches. It seemed that this is something she has done in the past.

According to the investigation, Julie Ann has had too many heart breaks in her life. Her parents left her at an orphanage. His first boyfriend left her for a gay guy. Her last relationship was with a female, who left her as well. According to the report, “She met the man of her dreams.”

So her life’s fucked up. He thought to himself. He felt pity for her, but he believes that she should still be reprimanded for her wrongdoings.

After an hour and a half he finally reached his condo in QC. The taxi’s meter showed Php700, but as promised he gave 1000 pesos as the driver was nice enough.  He immediately went inside the building, pressed the up button once he was in front of the elevator and waited for it to open.

He went inside the elevator, pressed 24. He is currently thinking of what to tell his girlfriend. He doesn’t want to lie to her but he promised Nicomaine that he will keep her secret, a secret.

Ding The elevator announced his arrival at the 24th Floor.

He immediately alighted and walked, run, to their unit. He knocked once and used his key to enter.

“Babe…” He called out. “Where are you?”

“Babe?” He called out again, he already looked for her in their bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. He can’t find her.

Last place he went was the balcony, and she was there. Sleeping.

“Babe… Hey, bakit dito ka natulog?” He lightly tapped her cheeks. “Babe?”

11. Soulless

“Babe?” He called once again. “Babe!” She’s still not moving, not responding.

She tapped her lightly and her head moved to the side, she was now facing him. Her eyes were closed and she doesn’t seem to be breathing. She looks like she’s just sleeping but…

“Oh my God. Babe!” Richard is now shouting. He took his phone out and called Nicomaine.

“Dei, I need your help. Please…” He said and he ended the call. He knows, she knows where he is. She’ll be here.

Richard is not sure what’s going on. He held her arm and tried to feel if she had a pulse, he can’t seem to find any. He’s really starting to panic. He moved her ear closed to her girl’s mouth. He can still hear and feel a bit of air coming out of her mouth but it is very weak.

After about 3 minutes, Nicomaine came in. She was really following him, like she always does, to make sure he gets home safe. She was in front of his building when he called.

“Richard, what’s wrong?” She asked as soon as she opened the door. “Richard?” She called for him, she can hear his heartbeat though. “Here, in the balcony.” Richard answered. She strode to his side, in an inhumanly speed, and saw his girl head down on the table facing their direction.

Richard looked at her, probably wondering how she’s able to come in just a few minutes –but that’s something to discuss in the future, then looked at his girl. “Her heartbeat’s very slow.” Nicomaine said. “I can guess that her heart maybe slowing down, A heart Arrhythmia. We should call for an ambulance Richard, they may still be able to save her.” “No Dei, I want you to turn her. I already called for an ambulance but with the traffic here, I doubt that they’ll get here on time.”

Nicomaine took a step back.  “Richard…”

“Please Dei, save her for me. I cannot lose her. Please.” He hold her girl’s hand and kneeled, facing Nicomaine, he was begging her.

“I’m sorry Richard, but I won’t do it. If I was given a choice back then, I’d rather die than be soulless.” Nicomaine said and looked away. “I can’t take her humanity away from her. I’m sorry.”

“Dei, I can explain it to her. She will understand. Come on. Do it. For me. Please?” Richard is already crying, a lot.

Nicomaine heard the ambulance siren from afar,  “The ambulance will be here in two minutes. Let them save her.” She can see anguish on Richard’s angelic face but she will not do what he asks, she will not be the cause of her being soul-less. Her conscience cannot take that.

The paramedics arrived like Nicomaine said. They placed her girl’s body on the floor and did CPR.

He can hear them counting, “1… 2… 3… 4… Breathe” repeatedly. One of the paramedics was doing the CPR while the other placed a pulse oximeter on her finger. He can still hear her weak heart beat but a few minutes later “Beeeeeeepppppp…” was all Richard could here.

“No!” He shouted and tried to rush towards his girl. “No!” One of the paramedics came rushing in with a semi-automated AED (automated external defibrillator). “Please step aside Sir.”

Nicomaine tried to hold Richard “Get away from me. Get out of here!” He shouted at her. “You could have saved her. She can still be living right now, with me.”

Nicomaine walked away but stopped before going out the door and said “The life you want for her is not called living Richard. It’s a soulless existence.”

Richard turned his back on Nicomaine, still crying and begged the paramedics to do their best to revive her. In Richard mind, it was Nicomaine who killed her. She may not have been soulless, but she’s dead.

 

12. Changed

Nicomaine went to Valeen’s place after the incident in Richard’s condo.

“Here…” Valeen said, he was holding an almost naked guy in front of Nicomaine. “Drink…” As Val said that, the guy tilted his head to the side, offering his neck. The guy was almost naked, he’s just wearing cloth around his waist, just like cupid.

Nicomaine looked at Valeen and shook her head. “You know I don’t drink directly from the source.” She walked away, took a goblet from the shelf. She went back to where Val and her food is, took the guy’s arm and slit it using her nails. She placed the goblet under his arms to catch the dripping blood. After her goblet is half-full, she gestured the guy to leave them.

“Val, I did the right thing, right?” She asked Val, she told her about Richard’s girl dying and him requesting to change her. “Yes… and no…” Val answered, which made Nicomaine look at her. “Care to expound?” She asked.

“Well, I think you did the right thing with regards to not turning her against her will. The no was for what you did to begin with. Kung nung una pa lang di mo sinabi kay Richard yung totoo it will not end up like this. He would have no idea that his girl can live forever if given a chance, as least almost forever. He would never know that Vampires, like us, existed. So it was still partly your fault.” Valeen said, all knowingly, even nodding every now and then.

“But I had no choice. I was needing blood, I was dehydrated and he’s the only one with me. I had to either tell him the truth or kill him to survive. I chose the lesser evil.” She defended herself.

“That’s not the beginning I was talking about. It was when you saved him from your husband and still chose to stay close to him after doing so. You should have forgotten about him after you saved him as a child. Pero anong ginawa mo? You even sponsored his college education after his parent’s died. I can’t understand you.” Val stood up and paced. “You always say that you’re soulless, we are soulless, but what you’re showing, how you’re acting, is completely opposite.”

Nicomaine just looked down and stayed silent.

“You changed. You were not like this before. What made you change?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the way he looked at me when he was held captive by Drake. I saw something in his eyes. Di ko ma-explain eh.” Nicomaine said, confused.

“Is it possible that he may have given you your soul back? Maybe that’s what changed?” Val asked.

“He was just a kid then, Val. A kid.” Nicomaine argued.

“Eh ano naman? Maybe he was your twin flame? Maybe he woke up something in you? Di ba pwede yun?” Vals asked which made Nicomaine wonder.

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