The Last Time

Olivia Santos moves to a small town to live with her father after her mother was murdered. He has a new family now, and Olivia hates him for getting to start again. After a while she needs to escape, and this is how she finds herself at the tree.
The beautiful tree, with the beautiful river, and after a while the beautiful boy.
But when Olivia's father starts acting weird, and his new wife starts sharing her secrets, and then Olivia is kidnapped, things go a little loopy.
Who is Olivia's dad, really?
What does he want from Olivia?




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6. Bewilderment

“So you come here often?” Alex asks, whilst snapping a stick to carve his name in the dirt. “Yeah,” I smile, “Every day.”

“How old are you?”

“16” I shrug.

“same”

We have been sitting under the tree for half an hour now. Just talking. He looks at me.

“You like it here, don’t you?” He whispers.

I nod and look away. “Yes. So where do you live?” I ask him.

He shuts one eye and points in a northerly direction. “Through there. Its only me and my dad.”

“Oh! But I thought it was only bush through there?”

He laughs.“yeah. There is. But hidden away in the bush is the only place this stupid town allows caravans.”

I giggle. “I know. I hate this place to. Why do you always travel?”

“My dad is a wildlife helper. He gets hurt animals and takes them to zoos so they can get healthy again.”

“Wow.”

He brushes the dirt off his legs and stands up. He holds and hand out for me, too. I take it and he lifts me up.

“I want to show you something.” He says.

We walk down the hill toward the river. But he doesn’t stop. He takes his shoes off and holds my hand. I take my shoes off as well. Unsure, I ask him what the heck is going on.

“What are we doing, Alex?” I tried hard to hide my nervousness in my voice but it doesn’t fool him.

He laughs. “Hey, don’t be scared. The water is only 2 feet deep. It might not look like it, but it is. You can hold my hand if you want.”

As we waddle into the water, I get more comfortable. We get to the other side a minute later and I am barely wet.

I laugh with relief. “That wasn’t so hard.”

“Yes, Olivia. You just had to believe in yourself.” He says, trying to mimic a very old British accent.

I smile at his attempt. “That was crap!” I Laugh.

“I know,” He agrees.

We walk for another 5 minutes until we reach a clearing.

“This is where my mum and dad used to live when they were young,” Alex said, “They were 21. I was soon to be born.”

“Wow.” I looked around. It was fascinating. The trees were so tall here that I could barely see the sky. Butterflies flew towards Alex and I and did circles around us. A gush of wind blew my hair back and I turned to see Alex looking at me.

“Your hair is amazing like that, Liv.” We look into each other’s eyes for ages. We just stand there, staring. His eyes are green, I notice. They are beautiful.

“We better go.” He breaks the silence.

I nod, embarrassed. “Will you come tomorrow?” I ask.

“Only if you do.” He grins.

“Deal.”

***

I get back to dad’s house later than I should. Dinners already set. Grace, Dad and Lucy are already eating the Spaghetti Grace prepared. I say “hello” and sit down. Dad smiles and nods at me.

“So where were you today Olivia?”

“You already know. Down at the river.” I reply.

“Yeah, but you were later. Why?"

“dunno.” I say, reaching for the parmesan cheese.

“Olivia, you are going to have to tell me this stuff. I am your father and I deserve to know.”

“I am 16! I can handle this stuff on my own dad!” I yell.

“I am sure you can. I am just a little curious.”

“Right.” I say, picking up my bowl of spaghetti.

“I am eating in my room.” I am out of there before they say anything else.

***

I grabbed my phone off my dresser. I want to talk to Kelly. I press in the numbers for her phone. It rings 4 times before I finally hear her voice.

‘hello?’ she answers.

‘Kelly! Oh my Gosh! Hey!’

‘Olivia? Oh..’

‘how are you girl?’

‘uhm… sorry Liv. I gotta go. I am busy.’

‘Kelly!’ I yell, ‘Kel, Wait!’

‘Look Liv, I don’t wanna talk right now.’

I hear the beep that clarifies the call is finished. What the heck was that all about? I throw my phone on my bed and Pick up my dinner. Why can’t I trust anyone anymore? I stared into space for 5 minutes when I hear a knock.

“Hello?” I yell out.

“Liv, Its Grace.”

Oh. Well, that’s okay. At least its not dad. He is the least wanted person I want to see right now.

“Come in, Grace”

She comes in and plonks herself next to me on the bed. Then looks at me.

“Olivia. Please help me.” She pleads. I see a tear fall onto her cheeks. “I can’t do it anymore. I am having more and more trouble hiding it, Liv.”

By now she is full on crying. Multiple tears fall onto her belly. I stand and get a tissue from my bedside table.

“Grace, I need some explanations.”

She nods. “I understand, Liv. I can’t expect you to help me if you don’t know what’s going on.” She moves her butt a bit so she faces me better.

“I went on a business trip a few months ago. It was for a product the company I work for produced. On the second night we had a product launch party. And I.. you know.”

I nod. She found some random guy and because of him this poor lady’s life is ruined.

“why are you so scared of dad?”

She wipes her tears and stares at me.

“There are lots of things you don’t know about your father, Love.”

I know this. It’s not new to me. “I know, Grace.”

“No, you don’t. He is a monster, Liv.”

“What do you mean?” I question, with a puzzled expression on my face. She licks her lips and sighs. Then, she lifts up her tee-shirt and shows me a very round belly. I blink twice before asking, “What is it Grace?”

She lifts her top further and points at a spot to the left of her stomach. Right there, along her ribs, is a very red long gash that looks like it has been there for a while.

I gasp. “Did dad do that?” I whisper.

She looks at me one last time before I hear a footstep on the stairs. She quickly pushes her top down.

“I gotta go.” She says, before leaving. She shuts the door and leaves me there.

Bewildered.

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