1544 Words
“When you are hurt, I am your sanctuary, your doctor and your medication. I've been where you are. I see your struggles. I can help you to master yourself all the faster, and that is the healing you seek.” 2021-DECEMBER-FLORIDA “What is going on?” Adeline quickly stepped out of the way as Chloe marched into the kitchen, closely followed by Karin. “Ace, what happened?” Chloe demanded from Ace, bending down beside him. “I don’t know,” Ace said, his black eyes wide. “She is having a flashback, maybe something must have set her off, but I can’t think of what could have been.” “Is she still taking her medication?” Karin asked, her palm rubbing her head. “I…uh..” and Ace’s voice trailed off. Of course, how would he know? He was not here for years. “No,” before Ace had made himself a fool, Adeline answered. “She told me, her doctor figured that she would be fine without it. And, for the last five years, I haven’t seen her in this state ever.” “Come on,” Marc sighed. “We need to get her upstairs.” Ace slid out of the way while Marc scooped Talia up into his arms and stood, making his way for the stairs that lead up to the apartment upstairs. Chloe and Karin immediately followed after him, and a moment later, they all disappeared out of sight. Looking towards Ace, Adeline knew how Ace felt more than helpless, hoping that he would have been here for her mother at least or someone to say something that would stop him from freaking out. Stepping forward, Adeline held his forearm- making him look at her and this was the second time she had seen vulnerability in his eyes after that evening they spent in the cemetery. “Go, she needs you,” Adeline finally said after a moment of tense silence. “Adeline Mar- Adeline, I can-” Squeezing his hand, “Yes you can. I’ll stay here with the kids. Go.” There was something in her voice that Ace did not know how to describe. Whereas, he sounded unsure, flustered and just a little scared altogether. He gave a nod, and Adeline turned and left the kitchen before either of them had the chance to say anything else. Adeline was not so sure if that would complicate things even more if she saw a look like that on his face again. Adeline did not think she had ever had that much pain before in someone’s eyes… except hers. . . . Three hours later, it was nearing nine and Adeline had not seen any elderly beings after the kitchen episode. The group of smaller kids did not seem to think anything was wrong again, and the older kids- Mason, Valerie- had enough tact to distract them elsewhere over by the fireplace. Adeline’s nerves had not settled any, she was still prone to bursting into tears at any second, and she was beyond exhausted. She could only imagine how everyone else was taking this. Most of the little kids had already started dropping off to sleep in random corners of the coffee house. Katerina and Carolina were passed out on Adeline's lap on the couch, Rosaline and her siblings were curled up by the fireplace, Steve was curled up in Valerie’s lap. Mason, for some odd reason, was passed out on a table. Karin, Chloe, Marc and Victor had long since left for the apartment upstairs, and Adeline had no idea when they were going to be back. She had no idea what was going to happen now. But she doubted she would be leaving anytime soon. “You think everything’s okay?” Valerie asked after a while, looking over at me. Sighing, Adeline slouched back against the couch even more. “We can only hope so, Valerie.” . . . “Adeline. Adeline, wake up.” She jerked awake with a start and stared around looking for who had woken her up. Chloe was leaning over her with an apologetic smile on her face. “Hey,” Adeline yawned, struggling to sit upright. “What is going on?” Looking around for all of the young kids, but the coffee house was surprisingly bare of anyone but Chloe and her. How she managed to sleep through everyone moving about the place without her noticing was truly a miracle. “We are leaving,” Chloe said, looking sheepish. “I’m sorry everything turned out this way.” “No- no don’t be,” Adeline said quickly, shaking her head. “It’s alright. I had a lot of fun at dinner tonight.” Chloe smiled again. “You know how much you look like Rose.” Saying that Chloe pulled Adeline into an embrace, “I’m glad we met. We’ll all have to meet up together for dinner again, I hope.” “Of course,” Adeline agreed with a smile, pulling away from her. “I’m glad to meet you too… Aunt Chloe.” Chloe smiled, nodding. “Well, I should be going now. And, Marc took Katerina and Carolina upstairs, they are in bed right now.” “Oh, okay.” Said Adeline. She had no idea how she managed to stay asleep with everyone waking up and moving around her. “It was lovely meeting you.” “You too.” Adeline followed Chloe out to the back through the kitchen, where all of the family cars were lined up at the curb. From what she could tell in the dark lighting, all of the kids were buckled up in their respective seats, and most of them looked fast asleep. But, she still could not resist leaning over and giving them all waves, of which she got a few in return. Marc and Victor waved goodbye from the front seats of their cars, calling out “Nice to meet you!” Surprisingly, Adeline also hoped that she would see them all again. They really were nice people and she was thankful she had the chance to meet her extended family. “Take care of them, Adeline,” Chloe said suddenly, turning back to her, gripping her shoulder. “Rose was indeed our sister, but she was Talia’s best friend and they were very close. After Rose and Kevin’s loss,” singing out a breath, “Talia is a very strong woman. They need you.” Adeline stared at Chloe in surprise, not having expected her to tell her something like that. “Okay,” Adeline replied, taking a deep breath. “I will.” Chloe gave her another hug and smiled before she clambered into one of the vans idling at the curb. Even though it was too cold, Adeline stood on the sidewalk and waved until the three cars disappeared down the cramped alleyway that led out into the street. Sighing she headed into the kitchen after shutting the back door behind her. In all honesty, she wanted to hang out here until she saw Ace again, at least knowing that he and Talia were alright. “Adeline?” She let out a shriek before spinning around on her heel. Ace was standing behind her, leaning up against the counter with his arms crossed over his chest. Adeline could not be sure if he had actually been crying, or if his eyes were just naturally bloodshot like that. If it was possible, she thought her heart actually started to hurt all the more. “Are you okay?” She asked. Ace let out a small noise of amusement, ignoring the question he asked, “You could have just gone home, you know.” Stepping forward, “This is my home too. And I wanted to make sure you and Talia were okay.” He opened his mouth to say something but words fell short to explain what and how he was feeling right now. If he was not sure before, tonight's experience gave him proof that Adeline was very much capable of handling tough situations. A situation in which she convinced him to be at his mother’s side in the difficult time, a situation where she set her problems aside and stood for him. Looking at his face Adeline knew, he was lost in his own world. Taking the opportunity at hand, she closed the distance between him and encircled her hands around his body, which obviously took him by surprise. For the first few seconds, he was stiff but then he relaxed and let his hanging hands curl around her. Taking a deep breath, “Thank you.” He said. “Don’t be. We are family.” Adeline answered, surprisingly at ease. “Just don’t think, I’ll be this lenient every time you try to hug me.” Ace sighed, moving away as he rolled his eyes at her. Adeline scoffed, resisting the urge to whap him upside the head. But a thought crossed her mind, asking, what's next? And exactly, what was next to come? What do you think the beast was up to all this time? Was he keeping an eye on her?
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