“After the funeral would come the counselling, especially for the children, to reduce the effect of this most adverse of experiences. Death is tough and trauma effects on the young are so often overlooked, thus storing up issues that could be resolved by talk therapy.”
Adeline stood in front of the floor length mirror popped up against the wall in the room she was staying, tugging awkwardly at the black cotton dress she was wearing. Sure, the dress was nice enough, her long brown hair wasn't frizzy or anything, she looked presentable enough, although she didn't need to.
She had a few more minutes before her security would arrive downstairs and it felt like she was going to puke.
Sighing heavily, Adeline glanced at her dark circles under her bloodshot eyes. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed her coat off the desk chair, slipping into it. After making sure the wallet and phone were tucked carefully away in her coat pocket, she left the room, slamming the door shut behind her.
Walking down the hallway towards the living room of Michaela's home, she heard the sounds of somebody talking in a reassuring, business sort of way that belonged to the investigator of Martinez's case.
Michaela glanced up as Adeline walked through the living room, "Are you sure you will be fine going with the deputy?" She finally asked, her dark eyebrows pulled together in a concerned expression.
"Yes." Adeline said quickly.
She hadn't even needed to think about it before blurting out her reply. There was no doubt that she was completely unsure of everything that had been going on lately, but she was sure that she was going to go to her Grandpa's funeral….. without any support.
"Do you want me to accompany you?" Michaela continued in a slightly awkward voice that wasn't hers.
For some odd reason to Adeline, it seemed like actually acting like a concerned neighbour.
"No, Michaela, really," Adeline said quickly…."It's okay. I'm fine with going by myself."
"Okay, I'll be in the car behind you."
In all honesty, Adeline didn't want anyone else involved in her mess as she crumbled the threatening note that she got from an unknown person.
Giving Michaela a nod, "Sure." Said Adeline, gesturing a thumb towards the door. "See you there."
Michaela caught her arms around Adeline in a quick hug and gave her a nudge towards the door. "See you….and everything will be fine."
That was the thing, nothing will be fine from now, thought Adeline. And made her way towards the door.
An official helped her into the relatively nice car idling out on the cramped street. She breathed an unintentional sigh of relief as soon as the door swung shut. It was finally like things were becoming reality for her or something like that.
Opening the crumbled note, Adeline read the written lines for the hundredth time, which read:
“Leave or Die!”
Numerous thoughts swirled inside her head, like who wanted her dead? Why was she on someone's radar? What did she do wrong that it almost got her killed ? …...And most importantly, WHO KILLED HER GRANDPA?
Crumbling the note again, Adeline thought she threw it out of the car, but it landed on the opposite seat instead.
"Are you okay, Miss Martinez?" The guy in the front asked in a gruff English accent.
"I'm fine." Adeline answered as calmly as she could, massaging her temples
Her palms were starting to get sticky with sweat and her voice was a little shaky for some odd reason. Hopefully she wouldn't throw up or anything as soon as she got there.
Goosebumps rose on her face as she felt someone's watchful eyes on her, rubbing the side of her neck, Adeline glanced beside her and back. Of course there wasn't someone with her in the car except the driver and the official who opened the car door for her.
Moving up her head slowly, she saw bright sea greens looking at her intently through the back mirror, the look was so intense that Adeline had to revert her eyes from the creepy driver's eyes to the window.
The ride to the cathedral was quiet. She spent most of her time peering out the slightly grim car window at the glistening lights of the city, trying to distract herself from what she was about to do. In no time at all the creepy green-eyed guy pulled up to the curb outside the cathedral and had put the car in park.
Adeline quickly clambered out of the car, walking fast-paced to the front steps of the cathedral. A slight wind was whipping around her ankles, but it didn't affect her.
The narthex of the church was decorated in a traditional gothic style and smelt like different instances they used during mass.
Taking a deep breath, reassuring breath, she dipped her fingers into the bowl of holy water on her left, crossed herself, and opened the heavy wooden door leading into the church.
St. Patrick's cathedral was beautifully and ornately decorated, that was true, but what was more shocking than the place itself was the fact that all the pews of the church were occupied. All the professors from London University, along with her Dad's ex-business partners were also present.
Adeline started gnawing on her lip, her legs started to tremble from nerves. She had been expecting it, but that did not make it all the less painful to see. She had to take deep breaths as she started to walk down the main aisle, tears started to burn in her eyes.
How was she supposed to be feeling about this?
"Jesus, Adeline, I'm so sorry."
Adeline jerked a little in surprise and glanced over at the man who had just spoken. He looked vaguely familiar even though Adeline was positive, she had never seen him before. He was quite tall, thick black hair that was slightly tinged with gray at his temples. His face was drawn and pale.
Who was this man? Thought Adeline.
"I'm sorry, who are you?" She asked.
The man gave a sad smile, "I'm Archer Lewis. Your father was my friend, and business partner."
Who was Archer Lewis?
Why did he show up suddenly, after all the years of her father’s death ?