I felt my heart beating rapidly as Mrs Tristan stood, shaking in front of me.
What’s she talking about? What does she mean Alex’s missing? And why’s Theo not in the building as well?
I felt conniption grip me as so many thoughts ran through my mind.
Immediately, the door opened and Hetty showed up.
She seemed kind of nervous but tried to dissemble it when she saw other people in the room.
“Um…Jeanne” she called after breathing out softly.
“C…Can I speak with you privately, please?” She asked and I flinched.
“Why? What’s going on?” Mum asked immediately.
“Um…Please, it’s nothing to worry about. I just need to show something to Jeanne. It’s between both of us” she said and came up to me and swiftly, she took my hand and ran out of the room with me.
I felt like screaming her name as she hurriedly took me through the passage.
I suddenly felt scared and twitchy.
What is going on?
She didn’t say a word until she took me to the restroom which was empty.
“Hetty!” I called as she finally let go of my hand.
“What’s going on?”
She sighed and looked around, probably trying to make sure there was no one around.
“I’m sorry if I frightened you. But someone called me – a strange number – and he had requested me to give the phone quietly without anyone getting to know about it. I had refused at first; but he told me it involved Alex and Theo and they’d be dead if I didn’t do as he said. So, that was why I had to give you the phone” she explained and all I could do was stare.
What’s she talking about?
She turned on her phone and dialled a number on the screen and it ringed for only a short time before being replied.
She handed it to me immediately, putting it on speaker.
I just placed the phone on my ear, not being able to say anything.
“Hello?” I heard a thick cold voice from the line.
I still couldn’t say a word
“Is this Jeanne?” He asked and Hetty prodded me to say something.
“Y…Yes” I replied with a nervous gulp.
“Jeanne” he called and paused.
“Good. Now, I want you to know I’m in possession of Theo and Alex and if you want to see them again, you’ll do exactly as I say.”
I looked at Hetty who also seemed curious.
“First, I want you to leave the hospital and come straight to PR lounge – alone.
I repeat, you must come alone else, you won’t like the turn out.
“You have 10 minutes to get there” he concluded and ended the call.
The phone almost fell from my hands, but Hetty was quick enough to grab it.
I felt my heart skip and feared I might pass out.
“Jeanne” Hetty called and held me.
It took me sometime to gain back my stamina.
“Wh…What do we do?” She asked.
I touched my head and closed my eyes.
Ten minutes…I had just ten minutes to get there?
“Give me your car keys, Hetty” I said frazzled and she scoffed.
“You…you’re not trying to go there, are you?” She asked.
“You heard him, Hetty! He’s in possession of Alex and Theo and he wants me there in ten minutes. So please, give me your car keys” I replied rather frustrated.
“But…you don’t even know how to drive. And…It might be risky.”
I sank my fingers into my hair. Its true; I don’t know how to drive. How do I get there?
“Hetty please, I need to get there” I pleaded.
“But it’s risky, Jeanne. Why don’t we inform someone or the police?”
“Didn’t you hear him? He wants me to . come alone. I can’t risk it”.
We both remained silent, lost in thoughts.
Then, I tried running away, but she held me back.
“I’ll drive you there” she said.
She had to stop far from the bar to avoid being seen and we had concluded if she didn’t hear anything from me in the next five minutes, she was to call the corps.
I left the car and walked the remaining distance to the lounge, feeling so scared. I had taken her phone along with me.
The lounge was shut down and no longer active and it dimmed on me that I was going to a deserted area that late at night.
Immediately I got to the lounge, Hetty’s phone with me started ringing and it was the strange number calling.
I gulped nervously before picking up.
“Come straight to the back of the lounge” he said and ended the call.
Hold on; could he see me?
My nervousity increased as I walked slowly to the back of the lounge which was a grassy area.
Immediately I got there, I sighted Theo and Alex being tied to a tree.
What the hell?
What’s going on?
The phone started ringing and this time around, I picked up without reluctancy.
“Take your eyes to the top of the building, Jeanne” he said and I lifted my eyes to see a sniper standing high at the top of the lounge with his gun being pointed down at the direction of Theo and Alex.
Oh, my God!
What’s going on?
“I want you to make a choice between Theo and Alex.” The caller further said.
“Whoever you chose will be set free, while the other dies” he added and a tear escaped my eyes.
I fell on my knees and wept. Who’s behind this? How can they ask me to do such a thing? How can they ask me to chose between Theo and Alex in such manner?
Uncontrollable tears rushed down my cheeks as I thought about it.
The sniper was still there at the top of the building with his gun aimed at Theo and Alex.
The call came up on my phone again and I felt so scared picking up.
My hands shivered as I received the call and put it out on speaker.
“You have 60 seconds to make a choice, else, I’ll kill both of them” he said in that cold voice of his and I wept even more.
I weakly stood on my feet and looked at Alex and Theo as they remained stranded to the stand where they were tied.
Who do I chose? How can I chose?
why’s this happening?
My mind reflected back to the fact I had just 60 seconds to chose. I can’t lose them both.
I started walking slowly towards them; more tears streaming down my cheeks.
Theo- he’s the first guy whoever loved me; whoever made me feel human, when everybody else hated me.
He was rich and popular, yet he loved me when I was nothing. He overlooked my ugliness and went for me.
Because I went missing, he turned into a monster and did crazy things because of me.
Alex – he’s the first guy I really got to experience love with. He risked his own life to save mine; done a lot for me.
He’s the father of my unborn child and with him, I’ve always been so happy and wished to spend the rest of my moments with him.
No doubt, I’m in love with him.
I finally got to where they were and stood in between them.
What do I do?
I guess the countdown should be less than 20 seconds now.
I Couldn’t even look at any of them.
Alex was right by my right and Theo by my left and I could tell they were both staring at me.
My heart was melting. I can’t do this; I don’t want to. They’re both important to me.
My phone started ringing again and it made me really nervous.
Slowly and fearfully, I turned to my right and my eyes ran into Alex’s which were glistening .
He stared at me as I started walking towards him. His lips shook.
I went to him and placed my hand on his cheek and a tear escaped his eye.
I couldn’t help it.
Did I really chose him?
I held his cheek and placed my forehead on his. I really did this. I chose Alex over Theo. It really happened!
“J…Jeanne” he whimpered my name but all I could do was shed more tears.
I turned to his direction and caught him staring at me, his eyes red and sore.
I felt a deep cut in my heart as those eyes of his bored into mine.
Oh, God! He’s really hurt.
I looked up to the sniper in fear, only to see him walking away.
What? He…He didn’t…
I thought he was going to kill Theo?
I looked back at Theo and he was now staring at the floor.
But Alex…He was still staring at me.
I untied his hands – Alex’s hands. But before I could get to Theo to untie his, he already fred himself and I was stunned. Wasn’t he tied properly?
I looked at him as he stood mute and stared at the floor. His lids were already wet.
“Theo” I called in a frail tone and he lifted his eyes to look at me.
I saw anger in them; sadness, pains.
I shouldn’t have done this to him. But I had no choice.
I tried touching him, but he withdrew himself. I suddenly felt so scared.
He stared at me for a long time and walked away.
I tried calling after him, but my tears wouldn’t let me.
I covered my mouth with my palm and wept and I felt Alex touching me.
I turned and looked at him and he hugged me immediately.
I buried my face in his chest and cried like a baby. I felt so bad for Theo.
But I had no choice. I was stuck in a difficult decision. What would I have done?
“Jeanne” he called and I suddenly pulled away from the hug.
The whole thing was hurting a lot.
I moved backwards and he tried following me but I stopped him.
“I’m sorry” I whimpered and ran off in tears.
I turned the last drink in the bottle into my mouth and sent it crashing to the floor.
One of the waiters ran upto me immediately.
“Sir?” He called, frightened, probably at the way I had broken the bottle on the floor.
I didn’t even look at him but just took a full bottle from the table and started gulping it down immediately. My head was muzzy already and all I felt were pains.
I kept rushing the whole thing down until the bottle became empty and that was when I realised there was no more left on the table.
I sank my fingers into my hair and tried standing up on my feet but only ended up staggering.
I almost fell but was able to hold onto the table for support.
One of the waiters tried holding me, but I signalled him not to touch me and he stood back.
Then gradually, I started tottering out of the empty bar – completely bombed.
The memories of everything that’s happened came flashing back to me and they blinded my eyes with tears.
Jeanne chose Alex over me – my Olivia.
She preferred saving his life and watching me die.
But why? Does she really love me that much? Far more than me?
I’ve always been scared of this. I’ve always felt she was going to chose Alex over me. I just never wanted to give a thought to it.
Oh, Jeanne; but I really love her. Why can’t I have a chance with her?
she was mine before – before everything got ruined. I really did love her.
Why does everything have to change this way?
I got to my car and tried opening the door, but couldn’t. Instead, I fell, leaning on it.
I felt so pained and heartbroken. This was more than an heartbreak to me.
“Theo?” I heard someone call behind me – someone familiar.
I tried turning to take a look, but couldn’t. My hands couldn’t even move.
I felt a hand touch me and that was when I passed out.
I returned home weak and frazzled.
Jeanne…why did she run away from me again?
The thought of her choosing me clouded my mind and gave me so much joy.
But why did she run away from me again? I really wanted to be with her.
I entered dazily into the sitting room and found the boys – Carl, Daniel and Malcolm all seated like they were waiting for me.
Gosh! I’m not in the mood for this.
“Please Alex, come over” Daniel called me back when I was about taking the stairs.
“Please, I just need to be alone” I replied and tried walking away again.
“it’s important, please. I need to speak to you all” he said and I sighed and touched my forehead.
Then reluctantly, I went closer and took a seat separate from theirs. What does he want to say anyway?
“So…now he’s here, Daniel. We’re all listening” Carl said and Daniel stood up and rubbed his palms together.
“Too bad I can’t reach Theo. I really wanted the five of us to be together while I say this” he paused and took in a deep breath and it kind of made me curious of what he wanted to say.
“I have a confession to make” he started.
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