1763 Words
“Talk to me with your eyes and touch. Talk to me about the rate of your breathing. Talk to me in the subtle motions of your body language. Then speak with whatever words come from your heart, that is driven by your emotions. I promise it will always be enough.” 2021-DECEMBER-FLORIDA Adeline was a girl on the walk, starting to get a feel for who she really was at her core. These days of more hurricanes, now that she had mastered the art of having a clear brain, the serenity of feeling her own intelligence rather than tiring herself with unresolved thoughts, she could see far more clearly, yet rather through her senses than her eyes, a sort of thinking without words. And what came to her were new thoughts, a sort of poetry she never realised she was capable of. The avenue was breathing, living, through the trees and the people, as if they were in a strange conversation of sorts, one of the emotions. It was as if the colours and the sounds, the bustle and the quiet space, were a million weaved moments both transient and real. With each stride, her mind became more clear, more resolute, as if the growing physical distance between Adeline and the world had now become an emotional chasm. As the nascent sunlight caressed her skin, promising new dawn, a new beginning, she entombed her memories of him in thick-walled ice. Then, abruptly pausing to close her eyes and take in a deep breath of dewy air, she steeled herself to only think of her future from here on in. A future she would mould, build, direct. Then with each stride after that, she felt more in charge, in command of her own mind, body and soul. She was a girl walking into her own destiny, a destiny that lay squarely in her own hands. Adeline was going to have to get over her nerves and just start asking Ace questions, right? Meaning that she was already down to very little time in her hand, but well she did not know about it exactly. That was not that much time in the long run, was it? It would not do her any good if she kept stumbling over her feet and getting tongue-tied around Ace. “Uh….” Her words fell short as she watched Ace pull out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from his jacket pocket and light up. “You are smoking here…” Adeline demanded with a grotesque facial expression. Ace raised an eyebrow, giving her a flat look as he took a drag on his cigarette like always, “Yes, Adeline Martinez.” “Why?” She gave an affected shudder, “This is good here, refreshing, but this-” she pointed at the cigarette and said, “That is so gross.” “Doesn’t matter to me.” He replied with an eye roll. They rounded a bend in the trail and kept walking, heading towards what she remembered as one of the many ponds in the park. There were still tons of people out and about in the park, but for some reason, there was a calm, peaceful air about the place that made her feel relaxed for the first time in almost a week. Adeline kept after that and commented nothing, Ace too did not say anything. She thought he was about to go running off in the opposite direction or something, but a moment later, he chucked his cigarette on the ground and stamped it out with his sneaker. Okay, weird! “There,” he said in a falsely cheerful voice. “I put out the cigarette for you. Happy now, Adeline Martinez?” Wait, what? He did that for her, FOR HER! Whatever was happening today was confusing the hell out of Adeline and there was something about the nonchalant comment of his that rubbed her the wrong way, that made her very, very angry. She was not exactly a person who got mad all the time, so this was sort of a momentous occasion for her. Not now that she had so much anger boiling under the surface, she had no idea what to do with it. “What the hell is your problem, Ace?” She barked, lengthening her strides to keep up with him. Ace glanced down at her, still walking at a fast pace, and scowled. “Everything, Adeline Martinez. I thought by now you knew that.” “Stop! Just stop, okay?” A few people around them who were walking the trail through the park around them actually stopped walking to stare over at Ace and her. They had both stopped in their tracks and were staring at each other with furious looks on their faces. It would not have surprised her if they started yelling and shouting at each other in the next few seconds. “Choose your words wisely, Adeline Martinez, I’m not in the mood for any quarrel with you.” He said pleasantly. “I don’t know what you’re playing at, but you seriously got to stop it,” Adeline snapped, letting her anger fuel her words. “It is I who is supposed to find everything, do that risky thing, and where are you-” she put out a mocking hand in front of her pointing at him, saying, “Who knows everything and still can’t reveal anything f**k out of your system. But, still, I’m coping up with you. So, why can’t you just be real with me for at least five minutes? Is that so much to ask?” And, like always, Ace just kept looking at her as if he was reading something in her mind, in her eyes. Though it had been five years, she hadn’t changed a bit. “Just because I haven’t revealed anything doesn’t mean I can’t, Adeline Martinez.” He fired back in a normal pitch. “Then do it, tell me everything! It’s not good to bottle things up. People actually feel a lot better if they talk about things going on in their life, you know,” she pointed out, as the thoughts of Talia crossed her mind. She stared back up at him, trying to keep her nerves at bay, Adeline did not exactly know where she was going with this, but at this point, she figured she could not do any more damage by just going with it. “What are you pointing at Adeline Martinez, hmm?” He asked in a low voice. “You know what I’m pointing at Ace!” Adeline hollered at him. Ace looked just shocked as she was when she had leaned up and jabbed a finger into his chest, nearly knocking him back a step. Adeline quickly leaned away from Ace when she realised the proximity between them. And judging by the look Ace was sporting was not quite supporting. Oh, damn. Adeline was in for it now. She did not have a lot of expectations about how Ace was going to answer her questions she had just more or less thrown at him. Hell, anything could happen, right? But the last thing she was expecting was for Ace to suddenly reach out, grip her forearm, and start dragging her along down the sidewalk towards a bench a little ways away. “Hey!” She yelped, yanking her arm away. “Sit down.” Ace snapped, giving her a none too gentle shove toward the bench. Glaring at him, Adeline took a seat, still very embarrassed with himself. Taking a few moments, Ace took deep and calm breaths before he took a seat beside her on the bench, an indescribable look on his face. Her breath was caught in her throat, waiting for him to say something. “You’re a very loud girl, Adeline Martinez.” He finally said in a disgruntled voice. “I’m quite surprised after having everything under your nose, you still need answers. What have you been doing for the last five years?” Adeline stared at him with her raised eyebrows and pursed lips, “Well, I just have one diary from which a few pages are gone. And, I didn't quite understand what my father wanted to actually do by going back in time. Also, according to grandpa’s theory, portals ' opening time is in every five years, so, I guess, this December is the time. Rest, I’m unaware about everything.” Saying so, she held her face in her palms. Ace did not make some sort of sarcastic comment or snort out a laugh like she was expecting to confront her failures. There was a quiet, guarded look on his face as he stared at her that made her stomach drop. “What?” Adeline asked anxiously. He took a deep breath before blowing out a puff of air, asking, “When did you meet the one living in your apartment?” The question took her by surprise as it took her a few seconds to digest the question he just asked about the stranger living in her apartment, “Yesterday night, in the subway, when he saved my life, and of course, attacked Archer Lewis.” She answered, remembering last night. “And before that-” Adeline cut him off with a look. “Just tell me, Ace.” Squinting his eyes, he revealed, “That person had been hiding the documents. You would have known everything until now if you had the access.” The reevaluation angered her to the core, but again she remembered the pile of documents the stranger gave her this morning, “Wait, he gave me a huge pile of documents this morning, though I haven’t read it yet.” Nodding, Ace said, “That means, he read everything, also he knows that the time is running fast and we have left just a week to gather everything.” “Some three things that you have hinted at?” She asked. Looking at her, he said, “Yes. But we’ll talk about that later be-” Cutting him off again, “Why later?” His eyes narrowed in an even more annoying glare, “Because,” saying so he turned away from her, staring down at his shoes before he spoke again. “WIC company’s owners were Kevin Jonathan, Jack Martinez and Archer Lewis. Talia Jonathan is my mother, my father died when I was eleven.” WHAT! What the actual hell! What will be Adeline's reaction to Ace?
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