Tick tock. Tick tock. The sound of the clock echoed in Gemma's bedroom as if counting the time left to me. I lay still on a small mattress set on the floor, staring at the ceiling without blinking. I was unable to sleep even though exhaustion had overrun me.
Tick tock. Tick tock. I sighed and put the blanket over my head not wanting to hear that annoying sound anymore. But it didn't work. Although weaker, I could still hear it. But if I really thought about it, that sound wasn't too bad to hear beside the one I'd hear before I die. Annoying but harmless. Not like a gunshot.
Tick tock. Tick tock. I pushed the blanket away, grabbed my pillow and threw it across the room where the sound was coming from. I didn't see where it landed but I clearly heard a loud bang on the floor. Tick tock. Tick tock. Shit! I missed it!
"I was about to do the same," a whisper came from the bed.
"How can you sleep with that thing in your room?" I heard Gemma chuckle.
"I don't know... maybe I'm used to it." A short silence followed before she spoke again, "have you slept?"
"No, I don't think so..."
"I told you to sleep in my bed and I should have slept on that mattress!"
"No, I'm fine here. Don't worry. I'll end up sleeping sooner or later..." I muttered before turning my back to her.
"Spill it out, Scarlett." Slowly, I looked over my shoulder at her even though I could barely distinguish her figure in the dark.
"Spill out what?"
"What's on your mind; what's on your heart! You are exhausted; your body has been weakened by what you've been through. You should be sleeping deeply right now but no, you're still awake. So you have something that disturbs you."
She couldn't see me but I nodded.
"If you weren't, I would have thought you were mad."
"I'm not scared for me. I'm scared of what we will find. Because I know I'll pass away soon but I have not to think about it too much. If I do, I won't be strong enough to go there."
I made a pause, expecting her to speak but she didn't and I was thankful to her for listening to me.
"I'm more scared for what happened to them than what will happen to me. I don't say that to show I'm brave because that ain't true. I'm sure I'll pee in my pants when we'll be there."
"As long as you don't pee on that mattress, I don't mind!" she teased me and I giggled. But I became serious again quickly.
"What if there's no one left when we'll be there? What if they already are all dead? I think that's my biggest fear..."
"We won't know if we don't go, Scarlett. If you start thinking so now, then there's no need to go there. We have to make everything we can while praying there still is hope for them to be alive."
"Yes, you're right. Thanks Gemma." I smiled.
"Scarlett, can I ask you something?"
"Yes, of course."
She breathed before speaking, "Why do you care for them? Why does it seem so important to you even though you don't know them?"
"They're humans. And no human deserves to be murdered for any reasons. It doesn't matter who they are. What's happening to them shouldn't happen to anyone."
"And who are you the most scared for?" Just by the tone of her voice, I could swear she was smirking.
"For all of them equally, I guess," I stutter and she laughed slightly.
"Come on, Scarlett! You're lying!" She chuckled.
"Yeah...maybe..." I replied in her whisper.
"Admit you like him a little!" She teased me.
"Like who?" But it was obvious who she was talking about.
"As if you didn't know who it is..." she mocked, making me giggle.
"Well... yeah, okay, I like him a little!" I admitted and right now I was glad it was dark otherwise I'm sure I'd have turned all red.
"Yeah, just a little," she said with sarcasm but I didn't reply anything. It might be true that I liked him more than just a little. I truly wished we could all be alive at the end. But the chances were too weak... And after what I did to him, there were only less chances he liked me back...
"You know what?" Gemma's voice got me out of my thoughts, "let's go there now! It's still dark outside! And the sooner, the better. They won't expect us to come that early in the morning!"
She got up suddenly and walked toward her closet, turning on the light on her way.
"Aaah! You should have warned! I'm blind now!" I shouted and all I heard was her giggling.
"Here you go!" She walked back toward me and threw clothes on my head.
"Put them on quickly!" And she walked out of the room, making her way downstairs.
I stood up slowly, my eyes getting used to the sudden light. I pulled the clothes on and rushed downstairs after her, finding her in the kitchen.
She moved closer toward me and handed me Harry’s necklace. “Put that on. He will want to have it back once everything will be over!” She winked at me. I smiled and put it around my necklace, smiling wider as I felt it on my skin.
"You should have slept. You look like a zombie!" she yelled suddenly. I shrugged my shoulders and she handed me something to eat. Then, we quickly drank a cup of coffee and rushed into the garage.
We sat down in her car but she didn't start off.
"Ready?" she murmured.
"Ready." And then, she started driving away.
"We'll be there in less than five minutes," I told Gemma while closing the passenger door. We started to walk toward the house, looking almost invisible in the night as we wore black from head to toe.
"What if everything is closed? We won't be able to get inside!" I shrugged my shoulders.
"We'll get in through the chimney!"
"But that was a joke!" she exclaimed.
"I know!" I giggled and she rolled her eyes.
"And let me remind that we have nothing to defend ourselves," I added, getting anxious at the mere thought of it. Now that we were about to go there, I realized that it would be more dangerous than it seemed. We just had nothing but our fists and feet.
"Sorry for not keeping a gun at home!" she replied with irony.
I was about to say something but we reached the side of the house. We stopped dead and it seemed we both were paralyzed for a short while.
"There's no guard or dog so let's just stride over the portal!" I muttered and I saw her doing a high five beside me.
We checked no one was watching through a window even though the whole house seemed to be in the dark, and quickly overstep the main portal.
"The garage is open!" Gemma gasped with shock as we now were in the garden.
That seemed easy. Too easy. But that was the only way so we ran toward it as fast as we could.
Once in the garage, I pointed out at a black door.
"The hall is right behind that door. Once we're there, there is a narrow staircase on the left. The guys are at the bottom of it in a small room."
"We both go downstairs then?" she asked.
I nodded before walking quietly toward the door.
Once I reached it, I lowered the handle very slowly, hoping it wouldn't creak. To my relief, it didn't.
"Let's go in!" Gemma exclaimed in a low whisper. I opened the door widely and rushed in, ready to turn left as fast as possible.
But what I saw in front of me paralyzed me. Gemma bumped into me, swearing quietly.
"What are you waiting for, Scarlett?"
But I didn't answer. I couldn't. I felt her stare on the back of my head but then, I heard her gasp with horror.
"Did you really think you would succeed so easily?" Louis' cold voice spoke sharply as he stood in front of me.
I clenched my fist, feeling angry and scared at the same time.
In front of us, in the darkness, were standing Louis, Liam and Paul, each of them holding one of the young men, whose hands were tied in their backs. But their states were worse than ever.
Zayn, who was held by Paul, had a bandage around his wrist, a black eye and one of his eyebrow was bleeding.
Liam was holding Niall, who still had his bandage around his shoulder. The latter already was in a bad state and didn't seem to have been beaten up too much.
But Harry was the worst by far. A large bruise on his cheek and a cut on his lips had been added to his black eyes. But that wasn't all. He wasn't wearing a shirt anymore. His right arm was covered by a large bandage and I could see a large cut under what seemed to be a butterfly on his abs.
"Louis? Li..." Gemma's voice shouted in the room but she was unable to say all their names, surely too shocked.
The three of them ignored her. Louis looked me straight in the eyes and if look could kill, I'd be dead right now.
"You have been lucky. Too lucky. But the tide has turned and you know what will happen next."
His cold laughter echoed in the room along Liam's and Paul's.
"Say goodbye to that life of yours," Liam spoke in a low voice.