“So… Do you want to talk about it?”
The chair was too hard. Rock hard. Like being forced up against a brick wall. I didn’t like it.
“I know it’s difficult, Cally. You’ve been through a lot these past few days. But I need you to do me a favour: I need you to try. Can you do that for me?”
Her eyes had been so wide, so distraught and pleading, I’d never seen her like that before. Her usual calm composure shattered in seconds; more unnerving than any spilling of blood.
My heart beat wildly against my ribcage like a wild beast, roaring and fighting to escape, to attack its captor. The yellow of the artificial light stabbed at my eyes, making them water. I forced them shut, hoping it would block out more than just the light. It didn’t.
Father Morely let out a repressed sigh and shuffled in his seat. I wondered if his was just as uncomfortable as mine. The chair legs scraped against the polished floor and reverberated through the disinfectant filled air of the otherwise empty waiting room, making me grit my teeth.
“Do you want anything? A glass of water or cup of tea, perhaps?” he asked.
I swallowed hard and shook my head. I found myself shivering, but I didn’t think it had to do with my rain-soaked clothes. The bruises on my neck from Adam’s fingers still ached; I wondered if Father Morely could see them. I pulled the blanket tighter round me self-consciously. I thought of earlier, of her neck, stained crimson and exposed, revealing more than her words had done in all the time we'd shared. When had it gotten so difficult to breathe?
“I’ll stay with you for as long as it takes to get this all sorted out. The doctors have assured me that they’re doing all they can, but…” he trailed off. I could easily guess how that sentence would end. “We need to find this man, Cally, and find him we will. Your mother has been awfully worried about you. Peter, too. We’re all worried, to be quite frank.”
I bit down on the inside of my lip and tried to steady my breathing. So mum really does care.
“Your mother informed me yesterday that she found your medication: three months’ worth, unopened. Cally, I thought we’d sorted this?”
I bit down harder and tasted blood.
“You know you’re not alone through this, don’t you?”
“I’m never alone.” I said quietly, speaking up at last. I forced my eyes open and had to blink a few times before the room came into focus. I looked into his pale face; the overhead lights illuminated his bloodshot eyes as he stared back.
“What makes you say that?” he murmured, his brow furrowed in concern. I took a shuddery breath.
“He won’t let me be. He said we’re bonded by more than just words and actions-”
We’re bonded by blood, Cal. I’m not just in your head, I’m in your veins, your lungs, in your very heart. Til death do us part.
My throat became bone dry and tightened like a vice; my mouth hung open, unable to utter any more. Father Morely leant forward with urgency in his eyes.
“Who said this? Tell me his name.” he persisted. All I could hear was the rain hammering down through the darkness outside. My eyes darted behind him to where Adam was standing. I smiled.