Numb

What happens when you feel everything just go... numb? When you've passed the anger, the pain, and the suffering, and you just sort of sit there, staring blankly at a wall. You wonder what can bring you from this unbearable feeling. What makes it go away? When does it all stop? Ava Foster hasn't always had the best life. This is her life. This is her story.

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17. You WILL Pay

Charlie's P.O.V.

I know that I left on a bad foot and we don't have the best relationship. But you should know that I could never thank you enough for everything that you've done for me. I know how hard you worked to support us, and even though there were some dark moments, I forgive you for them. I will see you at Christmas. I know this is quite short, but at least it is a start. I don't want to lose you too. Even though I don't say much, you are the only family I have.

I love you dad. You're daughter,

-Ava

      I read out loud to myself. She has forgiven me for my mistakes and she wants to have a relationship with me.. as her dad. My little girl. She sounds like she is doing amazing. I am so proud of her. I look around this cold, tiny apartment and smile gleefully. I have worked so hard to pay the bills and keep her in school. I know that I wasn't the best father, but I kept her fed. I hear a knock at the door and set the letter and envelope down on the coffee table as I get up to answer it.

      Her hands; shaky. Her hair; brittle. Her smile; evil. Her eyes; lifeless. Dammit, this woman always shows up at the worst times. She smiles at me, expecting my arms to open wide for her, not this time. All of the work that I have done to keep her away from Ava has payed off. Even if i meant saying good bye to the woman that I am disgusted to say, I love.

"Katy." I say, standing in the doorway. She puts on her 'innocent look', attempting to get me to give into her. "What are you doing here?" My heart breaks as I look at her eyes. What were once a beautiful, emerald green are now dull and mossy. Ava was born with beautiful green eyes and they hold onto the colour because there is still a fire lit within her. Katy, my wife, has been extinguished.

"You know what I want Charlie. She needs to see me. You know that she has been dying to see me for all of these years. Now, just tell me where just is." She smiles, or attempts to as the yellow bricks that she calls teeth show themselves, making me cringe.

"I'm not giving you anything. Money, or her location." I say, sternly to her. She ignores me and walks into the apartment. I drag a deep breath of frustration in and sigh. Why won't she listen to me. She knows that I can't say 'no' to her, that's why. She walks around the living room and smiles evilly at the envelope on the coffee table. I mental punch myself for my stupidity.

"Ahh, I see." She reads the envelope. My mind tells me to go grab it from her hands and kick her out, but my feet don't move. I just stand there as my psycho path of a addict wife get information on my daughters where a bouts. "Fine. If you won't tell me where she is, I will just have to find her myself." She takes the letter and takes it between her hands before violently ripping it to shreds. My heart aches for this woman that I am desperate to love, yet absolutley despise.

"Katy, I swear to God, if you lay a finger on her..." I start.

"Don't worry. I wouldn't hurt my own daughter." She clasps her hands over her chest. I can tell that she has something planned. "I'll be needing this." She takes the envelope off the table and shoves it into the back pocket of her ripped jeans before walking out of the apartment. I just stare at her like a lump on a log.

 

Katherine's P.O.V.

      I use the last of the money that I have to buy a train ticket to London. "The next train is in ten minutes, mame. Thank you for riding aboard--"

"Yea yea yea," I cut her off. I don't give a shit about what she has to say. I grab the ticket off the counter and walk over to the pay phone, taking out the second last quarter from my pocket and slip it into the slot.

"Mary," I say into the phone. She needs to be ready. "I am coming down for a bit. Need a place to stay. I'm visiting an old friend." I give her the info that I will.

"No, not this time, Katy." She says. God, she's pathetic. Hasn't she learned what I can do to her, even if I have nothing.

"You know what I can do to you, you little slut. So have seven grand ready when I get there, or I call the cops on your little 'operation'." I say snidely and hang up. My poor, innocent little daughter won't even know what's hit her.

 

Zayn's P.O.V.

      I kind of just lie here. In this bed, just running my fingers over my tingling lips. I just repeat this motion hundreds of times, as if I am either trying to get rid of the memory or hold it closer to my grasp; though I can't seem to decide which one it is. I know that a lot of people wouldn't understand why I keep turning her away; sometimes, even I don't myself, but I know that it is something that has to be done for two reasons.

      First, because I know that I will never love anyone as much as I loved... I mean, love Rachel. I gave my everything into that relationship with her, I devoted the 100 trillion cells that make up my body to her. And when the explosion happened, when she died, I knew that a very special part of me died with her. And I don't think that I will ever get that back. That sort of leads to the second reason as well. The man I am now; well, I have changed a lot. It's easiest to say that I don't know how to love, and it frustrates me. I have only used women for their bodies to drown out all of the feelings left in me. I have built such a strong wall around my heart that I don't let anyone see an emotional side of me; on purpose that is.

      When Ava saw me wake up from my nightmare, I know that I should've turned her away because I don't want anyone to know what happened that night. Because I am the only one who knows every detail. Because I don't think that anyone will understand it, nor will they want to listen to what I have to say. Because, I loved her, and hated her at the same time. I loved the how special she made me feel, but at the same time hated the control she had over me. I can think about nothing but the fact that Ava will probably do the same to me. How she will leave me the same way, and how I can't risk being shattered like that again. Dammit, I need a drink. I need to drown all of this away. To shun the tightening feeling that is creeping my in my chest. I grab my jacket and go to the bar.

"Hey Zayn." Mike waves to me. I nod to him and sit on one of the bar stool. The dimly lit, old bar house has housed my sorrows on too many occasions. I here Demons by Imagine Dragons starts playing and I smile at the song. "Your usual then?" He asks, I nod once again in response and turn my head as the sound of the door bell catches my attention. An old, sickly woman walks in and sits on a stool two down from me.

"Hi." She croaks to Mike. He awkward smiles at her and asks if he can get her anything. "Rum and coke." She responds. "And, is Mary here?" She asks. I raise my eyes brown a bit, but keep my eyes on the gin and tonic that is placed in front of me. I can feel her lifeless gaze on me, but I don't even flinch. Instead, I pick up my glass, and gulp some of the burning liquid down my throat. It warms my chest and I breathe out as I feel some of the weight lift off my shoulders.

"Katy." I here Mary call from behind me. She comes and nods at me before sitting down beside the woman. "What can I do for you?" She asks in a low voice. I don't think she knows that I can here her, but for my own satisfaction, listen in.

"See, I have just come from seeing my pathetic husband. Though, he hasn't been all so useless to me this time. I have gotten some information on my daughter's where-a-bouts." She crackles a laugh, but then coughs. You know that disgusting smokers couch? Yea, that one. I hear Mary gasp a bit.

"Really? What's her name again? Do you know where exactly she is?" Mary asks.

"Yea. Avaliegh. and I have an address. Knowing the slut, she is in University right now studying..."

"Photography." Mary cuts her off. I look at Mike, the same time he looks at me, and I can tell that he is thinking the same thing as I am.

"What? How did..."

"She works here." Mary cuts her off again, and the woman laughs. I cringe at the thought. That's Ava's mom? Well, I guess I can see the resemblance, but Ava is just so much more... alive. "Yea." Mary starts to whisper. "The boy sitting behind me..." Katy, I presume, looks over Mary's shoulder to look at me. I keep my eyes on my glass as my rage starts to build. This is the woman that causes her so much pain. She left Ava. I clench my fists and continue listening. "Well, Ava and him have a bit of a fling going on."

"No we don't." I say out loud. Shit, I didn't mean to speak. I look over to them and see both of them staring at me.

"Ahem." Katy says. "Well, since you know my darling daughter so well, why don't you tell me where she is. No way. No fucking way will I put her in that kind of danger.

"Over my dead body." I say. I look over to Mike who is just standing there like a deer in the fucking headlights. "You don't deserve to see her. Especially after all of the terrible things that you've done to her." I clench my teeth and glare at her, only to have her smirk at me. She is deadly skinny, and the dark age lines that contour her face make her dull, green eyes pop out to me. Ava has green eyes too, except hers have something different in them.

"Really?" She gets up and walks over to me. I cringe as her strong scent enters my nose. "You don't even know a fraction of the things I've done to her. Do you? I bet she hasn't told you the things that her pathetic father has done to her, or what have have either. Just let me ask her this; how much skin have you seen of my daughter?" She smiles... because she already knows my answer.

      Just from the look on my face, she knows that I haven't gotten that close to her... or not that I remember anyways. Dammit, why is it so hard for me to keep a straight face with her. Her smirk burns through me, and there is no way that I can lie to her.

"Just as I thought." She chuckles, or tries to and sits down next to me. "You see, Avaleigh doesn't like to draw attention to her self. Because if too much of her is seen, then her scars come into the spot light. All of the scars that I left her with." I grab her nearing wrist and squeeze it firmly.

"You are a cowardly woman." I spit through gritted teeth. "And you are an idiot if you think that I believe you." I say truthfully. I know that she would've never lay a hand on Ava. Ava is too strong. Ava wouldn't let her hurt her.

"Really? Wanna bet?" She smiles at me. I think about this for a second. If she is right, and Ava has scars from her, then this woman is dead to me. But if she is wrong, then I just got involved with Ava, for a bet. I expand on this a bit more.

     I would be able to get close to her, but I would still be playing by the rules of my game because I wouldn't technically be with her, I would just be pretending to be with her. And it's not like she would find out. I rub my temple and look back to the woman.

"How much?" I ask. She smiles.

"500 pounds." She offers. "Come on, it's a good amount. You obviously know that I need the money and I get a nice game for myself."

"I will only agree with it on one condition."

"You're a bastard." Mike cuts me off. I glare at him, Katy nods.

"You stay out of contact with her. At all costs. I don't even want you in the same room as her. And you" I point to Mary. "You start paying her double from now on." I see her sigh and nod before I turn to Mike. "And you." I point to him. "You will not say one word to her about any of this or I will beat you face in." I say harshly.

"Why shouldn't I? She deserves to know." He says.

"Because I refuse to hurt her." I say in a low voice.

"Zayn, if you care about her, you won't do this."

"Just don't tell her." I beg and he nods. I look to this woman and shake her hand, sealing the deal with her. I just think about that line from the song. Look into my eyes, that's where my demons hide, and I know that there are at least one thousand demons that haunt the sould of the monster that stands before me.

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