The City of Lost Souls

Arcanum Corvus is an author. He has a book on the New York Times Bestseller list called, Amissus animarum. There's a catch, nobody know's what he looks like. Matter of fact, nobody knows who he is; well there are a few. Arcanum has a past, and he cautiously exposes it through his characters. There's more to Arcanum than meets the eye. So who is the mysterious author, nobody truly knows.


20. Chapter Twenty

        “Allan Arcanum Presley what the hell is wrong with you.” my sisters voice boomed through the phone.
I had no idea what she was talking about, “Um, nothing that I know of. I’ve had a few drinks, and had some dinner. Why?”
        She shrilled, “Well Abby called me. She ran into Ornella. What the hell is wrong with you I repeat. Obviously she’s not pressed charges so far. Cassiel can’t help you if she decides to move forward with charges.” 
        I was beyond baffled, “What the hell are you talking about? Are you mad woman? Jesus, I thought I’d been the one drinking.”
        My sister snapped at me, “You hit Ornella? She has a black eye, and is in an air cast. You’ve never hit anyone, except Cassiel.” 
        I quickly interjected, “I didn’t touch her. I may have called her a few names, nothing out of my vernacular. Possibly above her capabilities of understanding, but nothing terrible. Why what’s going on?” Before I knew it, my door flung open.
        “Listen, what the hell possessed you to hit her. Shit she’s a bitch, but never in a million years.” Abby was throwing her bag down.
        “Oh for God sakes.” I pulled the phone away from my ear. Abby stormed over to me, and started poking me in the chest. 
        “I didn’t touch the bloody nut job. She came here, trying to stir shit up. I tweeted a song. Ok, so that could be construed as to be meant for her. However I was working on writing, and well a new character. I wouldn’t allow her in my house, and she became flustered. Yes I made a reference towards the devil; but NEVER would I touch someone.”
        Abby looked up at me. She was tired, and I’d ruined, well Ornella had ruined whatever good night Abby was having. She gently held my hand, and removed the Scotch glass from my other. Carefully she set it down on the table that sat in my front foyer. She walked me upstairs to my room. My heart started to swell. Maybe she’d dumped the guy she was dating. Maybe I was lucky enough to have Abby back. Had she reconsidered us? I could only hope. I still had my phone, and Abby took it, “Emily we’ll talk later. Bye sweetie.” Abby hung up, and looked at me. 
        “Go shower Arc. Shave ok, and then get into some pajama’s.” She offered her caring smile. It must be the one she offered her patients while she was at work. So I did as she had instructed. I shut the door behind me, and my soul ached. She cared, but not in that way. She didn’t look at me the same way anymore. Within days, her look towards me had changed. Shit it was so similar to my mothers. That concerned, and hurt look just all balled up into one. My mother carried that look after my father had been drinking. They’d fight, and she’d look at us kids, and offer that smile. She cared about us, but was so consumed by guilt, and heartache. I stripped out of my clothing, and dumped it into my hamper, and turned on the water. I could hear muffled talking outside.
        “Hey, I’m ok. I’m going to be late. What?” She’d paused, and was listening. “No, I called Emily, and I wanted to find out what happened.” She was quiet again. I stood inside the shower trying to listen. 
        “No he didn’t touch her. I never thought he would. She either isn’t really hurt, or someone else got to her. We’ll never know the truth. I came over here ready to ream him out. Emily yelled at him as well. I feel really bad.”
        She was quiet. I couldn’t bare to listen to anymore. She was talking to him. He was at her pad, and waiting for her. Meanwhile she was here, and checking on me. I washed up quietly, and thought about the great times I’d had with Abby. Now though, she was making memories with someone who loved her, as much as I did. The difference was, he could be with her, and I couldn’t. Ornella was making it a point to ruin any future I may have with anyone. It wasn’t as though I’d allowed it. Tonight for example, she made up this horrendous lie. I finished showering, and started shaving, and leaving my goatee. I flipped on the radio and Adele’s cover of, I can’t make you love me came on. I pulled on my pajama pants, and a t-shirt that had the Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s logo on it.  I heard Abby’s sharp intake of breath upon hearing the song. A soft knock on the door, and her appearance startled me. She walked over and wrapped her arms around my waist, and rested her cheek on my back.
        “Listen, even if we’re not together. We’re always going to be best friends.” She kissed my bicep, and looked at me in the mirror. 
        I clenched my jaw, trying to hold back the emotions that so desperately wanted to break through.         “Arcanum it’s ok. I’m sorry I ever thought you’d lay a hand on her. I know you have a temper. With everything that’s gone on recently.”
        I closed my eyes, and sighed, “Abby I watched my father beat my mother. Beat her to unconsciousness. She was pregnant with Emily. I was seven, Cassiel was eleven. He attended to my mother. I attacked my father. It was the only time I can remember feeling powerless. I hit him repeatedly, and he threw me off. He passed out on the living room floor. Once my mother had regained consciousness, she went to the hospital. She told them she’d passed out, and didn’t know what happened. I would never hit anyone, no matter how angry I’ve become. To be accused of such horrible things,” 
        Abby moved to stand in front of me, and took the razor from my hand. She quietly started shaving my face for me. I closed my eyes trying to withstand my pain. The horrible images flooded my head. It was not just that one time my mother was struck. I grabbed her wrist stopping her, and took the razor and set it down. My eyes snapped open and, I looked at her.
        “Arcanum what is it.” She was trying to slow her breathing down. I’d frightened her. 
        I smashed my lips into hers. I pulled her close against me. Her warmth, and curves fit into me perfectly. I could feel my heart soaring, and hers racing. She kissed me back, but something wasn’t there. Reluctantly I pulled back, and she looked at me. 
        “Arc I love you, but I’m in love with him. I waited, and I couldn’t wait any longer. You were my first love, and my first,” She looked at me. I know she couldn’t say it. She’d felt hurt because she’d been with me her first time. Then Ornella, and I started dating. Abby felt betrayed. I always made it a point to reassure her, I’d never used her. Now I felt like the one who’d been used. She picked the razor up again, and finished shaving my face for me. We didn’t speak while while she cleaned up. I rinsed the remaining shaving cream off, and walked out of the bathroom. 
        “Arc, are you going to speak to me?” She asked standing in the doorway of my bathroom.
        I walked over to the window, and leaned against my arm looking down, “I’m not, not speaking to you. There’s just a lot to process Abby.”
        She walked over, and kissed my cheek, “Get some sleep. I will talk to you soon. Bye Arcanum.” She quietly slipped out of my bedroom, and made her way downstairs. I waited until I heard the front door shut, before I’d move. One I heard the latch catch, I watched the window. She walked quietly down the sidewalk. I headed downstairs to lock up. 
        I stopped outside of the room that I’d given Walter, and wondered how he was managing. I’d prayed for him, and his safe journey. I thought about what he had told me. “Our first love, is something we never forget.” I was Abigail’s first love, and she’d never forget that. I sighed, and walked down the stairs. I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, I didn’t have it in me to write tonight. I shut down my computer, and closed it. I looked around the empty house, and shivered slightly. I shut off the kitchen light, and walked back upstairs to my room. 
        I laid in bed just thinking, and listening to music. I was supposed to get up in the morning for a meeting. Patty had some papers she wanted me to go over. There were also some interviews that were lined up. Truth be told, I didn’t care anymore. I hadn’t been depressed in a long time. Tonight was the night it seemed to rear it’s ugly head. I sent an email to Patty on my phone apologizing, but I’d needed to cancel the interviews, and the signing of papers. She could have a courier drop them by, and I’d have them returned immediately. My phone buzzed. 


        You never cancel, and this is extremely unlike you. I do hope you feel better soon. Courier could work. If I have the interviews transcribed, and sent over; would you reply to them that way. I will make sure they’re forwarded to the interviewers. Best wishes.


        I read the reply, and decided to reply to her.


        Hello love. Yes I’m well aware this is unlike me. I appreciate the well wishes. If you could have them transcribed, I will write my responses. You’ll have them by the end of the week. I’m sorry I’m a bit behind. It just started this evening. Take care. 


        I hit send, and set my phone on the nightstand. I laid there, and really started to worry. Would Ornella go to the police, and claim I hit her. I was in between a rock, and a hard place. Do I call the person who’s made my life a living hell, or wait and see. I looked at my phone, and dialed Ornella. 

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