Chapter tune: Dare – King of spades
Warning: Strong language and mentions of death. Also, this chapter is just a little longer compared to the previous ones. Thank you for reading! 🙂 ❤
The morning light crept through the room window, in the motel where Jared and Molly had spent the night. It was a fairly decent establishment, but what took place in there the night before made it feel cheaper than what it actually was.
Although Molly was sleeping right by his side, he suddenly felt more alone than ever. And after remembering every detail he was capable of from the last 24 and something hours – considering the amount of booze he had consumed – he became overwhelmed with distress.
He quickly got up and headed to the door. Molly saw him leaving and jumped out of bed and right after him. “Are you ok? What happened?” she asked. What happened, right. Question of the week. “Nothing Molly, I have to go. This was a mistake and it can – it will – never happen again” he said. Molly tried to stop him with zero results.
“How can you always leave like that? I’m not your whore you know” she said, blocking the door and ready to fight. That was the core of their relationship anyway. Fighting, then sleeping together, then fighting again, in a neverending circle.
Jared’s initial reaction to Molly’s tantrums was to get mad, but this time was different. “I know Molly. You didn’t deserve my behavior and I’m sorry for every time I was such a jerk to you. But I really must go now. I’m sorry for everything.”
That was a first. Molly knew something wasn’t right. It almost seemed like goodbye. Not the angry goodbyes they spat to each other countless times in the past, this time it felt real.
She looked at him once more before he left, hoping to hear him say something, anything. She got nothing.
Jared wanted to leave the motel as soon as possible, but when he did he realized he had nowhere to go. The air was chilly but he prefered to be cold than go back to his place. He found himself in a small park and decided to sit for a smoke.
He reminisced of his not so distant night with Rose. It was so perfect… she was perfect. Why did everything have to turn to shit again? His perfect night was ruined by the call from Xander. He was with Claire in his parents’ garage where he had been working since he left the other job. Apparently there were big news that Jared needed to hear; but not on the phone.
When Jared entered the garage, he saw his best friend and his ex-girlfriend waiting for him. Almost the whole former gang was there. Except for one.
“So, what’s going on? Are we waiting for Ayesha as well? Have I opened a door to the past?” Jared asked with a hint of sarcasm.
Claire looked at Xander and nodded him to speak. “Ayesha’s dead” he said. Apparently discretion was not his strong suit.
“What?! What the fuck man, what happened?” Jared asked taken aback.
“You know that she was the only one of us still in this job. I know what you’re gonna say, Claire doesn’t count cause she’s working alone now. I mean she was the only one left working for them. Well, the cops got her man. Nobody would have thought, she was one of the best. But she never made the night. They found her in her cell, the day after she was arrested. Someone clipped her, someone from the inside. I guess the big guys did not want to leave any loose ends” Xander spoke almost without breathing.
“Shit. That’s awful man” Jared said. “But you know Ayesha and I were never on good terms, so why did you have to drag me here in the middle of the night to tell me that? Ugh, no offence.”
Claire sighed and Xander continued talking “Because obviously that’s not all. I don’t know how to tell you this but, we heard that the cops are now looking for you too.”
“Me? What the fuck… why would they be looking for me of all people? I was the first one to get out of all this!”
“Shit, I don’t know dude. You said it yourself that you weren’t on good terms. Maybe she chose to rat you out in exchange for, I don’t know, less jail time?”
“But you know what this means…” Claire spoke “if they get you, that makes you a loose end too.”
“They have nothing on me” Jared said, not sure if he believed it or not.
“They found a bunch of dead bodies the other day, at a construction site. Maybe…”
“Well I never killed anybody” Jared protested. At least not intentionally, he thought as his father made a brief appearance through his mind.
“Did you move any of them? You know, before you started with our main stuff” Claire asked, obviously knowing the answer.
Jared didn’t speak. “I can’t believe this” he finally muttered.
Claire nodded at Xander to move a little further. “I’m sorry” she said, “I-”
“You should be sorry!” Jared suddenly attacked. “This is all your fault! You made me do this shitty stuff and now I’m gonna be dead soon because of you! You’re still a criminal and you’re gonna get away while I’ll be the one paying! Just like Emily. I quit this life and yet she gets to stay with you, the criminal!”
Claire, hearing about their daughter, became furious. “You don’t get it, do you?” she sneered “Was your father a criminal? Did you ever think you could do a better job? So let me tell you about Emily. Do you know that when we broke up and I didn’t know I was pregnant I almost killed her because I took sleeping pills almost every day because of you! And not because I still wanted you, don’t flatter yourself, but because you’re always so mean and hurtful! I don’t want her near you not because I’m bitter, but because you destroy everything you touch!”
Jared stopped yelling back when he heard this. In a way, what Claire said made sense. There was not one person in this world to get close to him and not get hurt in a way.
“Is anyone else in danger because of this?” he asked “Rose? …my brother?”
“I don’t know what to tell you” Claire replied. “Ayesha’s girlfriend and her family are safe and sound till now, but all this time they were kept in the dark anyway. Have you told anyone about your past?”
Jared gulped. “No. No, I haven’t” he lied. “I guess I’ll have to get away for a while.”
He walked towards the door silent, like he had been hypnotized. Xander and Claire did not try to stop him. Deep inside he knew he’d never get away. Someone would get him first, either the cops or the big guys alone. But just because his fate was almost sealed, that didn’t mean the people he cared about had to suffer too. He would cut all ties immediately, the decision was easily made.
While thinking about that night, he found himself near his house. A police car was parked outside. Suddenly his phone rang. It was Connor. His voice sounded very serious.
“Hey, are you ok? Look, some policemen are here and… well, I think you should come home”
“I can’t come right now” Jared said sharply and hung up. Fuck, I don’t have much time, he thought.
His steps led him to Claire’s house. He knocked on the door.
“Hi. Can I, uh, see her for a while?”
“Sure, come in” Claire said, obviously kind of sorry for the way she acted the other night.
Jared went inside. He picked Emily up and looked at her. We have the same eyes, he thought and a sense of peace calmed his anxious mind. At least I made one good thing in my life.
He spent almost the whole afternoon with her, trying to make up for all the lost time.
“I have to put her to bed, I’m sorry” Claire said when the time had passed.
“Can I do it?” Jared asked reluctantly and Claire nodded with a smile. “Ok duckling, time to put you to bed” he turned to Emily.
“Dada!!” Emily giggled as Jared was heading to her crib. Choked with emotion, he gave her a big hug.
“Take care duckling. Daddy will always love you” he said while putting her into the crib. “Dada dada!!” Emily shouted again with excitement.
“What will you do?” Claire asked when Jared was at the door. “I guess I’ll try and skip town, there’s a bus leaving for Bridgeport in three hours. After that, I’ll see… Thank you for today, it meant a lot you know and… I’m sorry for everything. Take care of yourself and Emily” he said.
Rose was sitting outside the bakery. The shop was about to close and the last customer had left a while ago. So she decided to get a breath of fresh air, although admittedly quite cold. She hadn’t told miss Myrtle anything yet about that dreadful morning at Jared’s place, although there were moments she thought she could not hold her tears back any longer.
Although Jared had finally managed to break her heart, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. No matter how much she pushed herself not to, no matter how broken or hopeless she felt.
Suddenly she heard a familiar voice. “Hey Rose. Long time no see.”
Standing near her was Christopher. “Christopher!” she said happily. “Long time indeed. How are you?”
“I’m good” he said with a smile. I came to ask you if you wanted to go for a walk after work, you know, to catch up”
“Of course” she said. “Let me go change and we can go for a walk. I’m so glad you stopped by, I’ve missed you!” she said, hoping that he would not take her words the wrong way.
That little weasel. He sure did not waste any time. Jared saw the whole thing as he was hiding near the bakery. Although he knew this was as close as he could let himself go, he wanted to take a look at her one last time. I’m sorry for everything babe. You deserve the world, he thought.
He dreamed about what would happen if things were different. If he had been just a tad different.
Why had he been so mean to her? To protect her, sure, but wasn’t being mean always his way of coping? What an idiot. Damn, I wanted to keep her from getting hurt and ended up hurting her anyway. Great job jerk, he thought to himself. I should have explained everything instead of that, now it’s too late.
Well. It’s done. I’m done, he thought trying to be strong – with minor success. Still, it was nice to at least dream about what could be, about ways to win her back. Maybe there could still be a chance. When, if, all of this was –
“Excuse me, are you Jared Frio?”