5. New Silent

Chapter 5

The boy was hesitating, possibly believing his grandmother; highly vexing. The woman stood in his way, if she didn’t exist the boy would have probably agreed by now and if he took the boy with him regardless of everything, the woman would tell. Troublesome situation all in all, but he needed to have the boy, nothing else would do anymore.

Ricky had always gotten what he wanted and this would be no exception and his only obstacle had to be destroyed before it would cause further damage. There wasn’t much time and still he had to be patient enough not to raise questions, it had to look like an accident. Ricky had always been good with words and there were always foolish people to be found, greedy fools…

**^^**^^**^^

Isabella sighed looking at her daughter.

“Michael can stay with me for as long as he likes,” she said calmly, and the daughter glared at her, picking up the steaming cup of tea in front of her with both hands.

“I don’t like this situation,” Evelyn finally muttered. “It’s not normal.”

“Who says what is normal? He is your son, you can’t change that.”

“Of course he is my son!” the younger woman hissed and then carefully glanced around her, noticing the odd stares she got from nearby tables making her regret the raising of her voice and the choosing of this public place. The woman’s cheeks blushed red and she gazed down at her tea cup. “It’s a sin, I know I didn’t raise him this way…” she whispered not wanting to repeat her earlier mistake. ”I want him to return home,” she added.

“So you can try converting him?” the mother asked her daughter somewhat frustrated. ”Is it Henry who put these thoughts into your head?”

The daughters lips tightened into a thin line and she brought her gaze up for a moment.

“They are my own,” she defended. “The Church and God, The Bible says…”

“The Bible says all kinds of humbug!” The mother sighed. ”Michael is a good, decent boy who loves you and right now you are only driving him further away from you.”

“I love my son, of course I do!” Evelyn responded tightly. ”I am only thinking what is best for him and this isn’t it. He would always have to endure troubles, people would always look down on him. He is smart, he has so much potential and this…”

“Changes nothing,” Isabella interrupted.

“Of course it does! It already has, you should hear what people are saying…”

“Is that what you worry about?” Isabella shook her head. “Your son is suffering, can’t you understand? He hasn’t made this up because it’s fun… Love is important, can’t you see that? Only love matters and everything else…” The older woman sighed deeply. ”Well, plead to your fate, plead to the Bible if you think it’s the right path to happiness.”

She got up, the conversation wasn’t going anywhere and she felt so exhausted.

The daughter looked at her mother, trembling slightly, but she didn’t say a word; she couldn’t.

“Michael stays with me, he needs someone he can count on… Perhaps one day you realize, and I pray to God that it isn’t too late then.” Isabella looked at her sadly, almost told her daughter that she loved her despite of everything, but she believed Evelyn already knew. The woman turned and slowly walked out of the coffee house.

Neither of them could have foreseen that it would be the last time that they’d ever see each other.

**^^**^^**

Isabella got out of the bus, and walked along the payment to her home. It was a dark, wet and slightly foggy evening.

Michael was with the man and she felt comforted with the thought that on the previous day the boy had promised to stay with her, said that he would miss her too much if he left. Michael intended to keep in touch with Ricky, if the man wanted and would then calmly look at the situation from a safe distance. She hadn’t felt the need to tell her daughter, she assumed that Michael would be safe with her, but even Isabella couldn’t have expected what kind of evilness had walked into their lives.

The tires screeched against the asphalt, bright lights split the darkening road. Isabella looked back, she had already taken two steps to the crosswalk, soon her face distorted with terror as the spotlight caught her. The car was moving fast; twice the speed the law would have been allowed and straight towards her. Her senses slackened, petrifying her and when she finally realized she needed to move, it was already too late.

The hefty vehicle hit her with enormous force, flying her several meters to the asphalt and when her weak body lay there, hardly moving on the cold asphalt, warm blood trickling on the ground beneath her, the car continued its way.

Someone screamed, someone was running closer. Isabella blinked, tasted the blood in her mouth, but she couldn’t speak, her breath hitched. Her next to last thought was worry that she hadn’t told her daughter, her very last thought was for her grandson. Her breath wheezed, the air escaped her lungs; it was her last breath. Her eyelids closed slowly. Isabella Harris was dead before the ambulance got to the scene.

Michael was walking to his grandmother’s home from the meeting with Ricky when he heard the sirens, saw the bright flashing lights. He didn’t know to worry, the lights and sounds only caused a normal curiosity, nothing else.

He watched the people who had gathered to the scene, shook his head and continued on his way. Then he recognized the shoe, it was lying there near the accident scene in a pool of blood. The ambulance drivers were already lifting the sheet covered body onto a stretchers. Michael’s heart began to hammer, the cops were talking to a couple at the side of the street, the bloody shoe… crosswalk… Michael approached the cops, trembling slightly.

“W-who?” he asked and the man looked at him, frowning.

“Did you see the accident?” the man asked and Michael shook his head desperately, he didn’t want it to be true.

“Grandma?”

The man lowered his hand on his shoulder, saying something. Michael didn’t understand, his ears were humming.

“Grandma’s shoe…” He shook his head, it couldn’t be true.

The lights, the face, blue red lights gleam on the wet asphalt, the man led him forward and talked. Michael didn’t understand, he felt numb, in his heart he already knew and yet he didn’t want to understand. He hardly realized that he was walking as they led him to the body and someone lifted the blanket. Michael wailed, almost fell on his knees, his body shook, it had to be a dream! A nightmare!

The man tried to calm him, people looked at him worriedly, whispered; the driver had to be drunk, to have been driving so recklessly, speeding, fleeing the scenery, red car, no one remembered the license number, it had been so foggy, everything had happened so fast.

Michael didn’t remember how he had ended up with the cops, didn’t remember the suggestion. He only remembered his grandmothers pale face, the trail of blood from her lips. They arrived at his parent’s house and numbly he got out of the car, following the two men to the door.

His mother opened it, frowned, her first reaction was the thought that they had caught the boy doing something he shouldn’t and the look on her face was disappointed.

The cops stepped further in, right in the living room. “We are sorry to inform you that your mother is dead… Hit and run accident… The boy identified the victim… We haven’t caught the driver yet…”

The woman let out a raspy, broken wail, unlike anything that Michael had ever heard from his mother’s lips before.

Almost confusedly, he brought his hazy gaze to his parents; his mother was shaking her head, bemoaning, her hands shook as they lifted on her face, tears dropping on her cheeks and the cops regretted the situation, assuring her that they’d do everything in order to find the man responsible.

It wouldn’t bring grandmother back. Michael remembered the bloody shoe on the dark payment and closed his eyes tightly. That morning, grandma had been so happy, she had been humming to herself in the kitchen and Michael remembered how she had smiled and the pain inside him kept growing. She was dead, gone… What did it mean? Why? Why now? He felt the emptiness… the pain scraped his lungs and made breathing difficult. Why? He asked over and over, wanting to scream, wanting to wake up to a new morning and find that everything in the last hour or so had been just a bad dream. Grandma would be home and well, everything would be alright.

The cops were gone, the air hung heavy around him, he heard his mothers sobbing; his father stood next to her, rubbing her shoulders and whispering words of comfort to his wife. Michael felt like an outsider. Part of him wanted to comfort his mother, get up and hug her, share the pain and loss, but… it felt difficult. Perhaps mom didn’t want that? Not now, when their relationship was the way that it was.

”I’m going to my room,” Michael whispered finally and got up, and if he did get an answer, he didn’t hear it.

They didn’t know how to come closer. Grief was selfish, it wrapped them up in its cold embrace and made them close their eyes from the rest. Evelyn was blaming herself that she hadn’t said something better to her mother when they had last met, she felt afraid that her mother hadn’t known how much she loved her. Only later would Evelyn realize she should have turned to her son, to see what her mother had asked her to see, but she wouldn’t get that chance and Evelyn didn’t know yet how much stronger her pain would still grow.

**^^**^^**

Ricky was so tender, his arms felt so safe and his concern… Michael snuggled against the man’s chest, weeping quietly while the hand stroked his hair, and the man kept whispering comforting words in his ear. No one else cared anymore, but Ricky did.

“I know how you miss her. Your grandmother was a wonderful woman, I liked her…” Ricky whispered looking at the boy. They sat alone in the car that was parked on a distant road; it would have been easy to take him, the boy would have even agreed to it in his fragile state of mind, but it was too early, he would have to weave the web to complete and only then could he enjoy the result; he was already so close.

“I’m afraid to stay alone,” Michael whispered quietly, looking out into the rain. His head still resting against the man’s chest.

“You don’t have to stay alone Michael, come with me?” the man asked. “My offer still stands,” he added quietly.

Michael drew a deep breath. ”She didn’t want me to go,” he whispered. “I guess she was afraid.”

The man was quiet, considering his words before he spoke. “She loved you,” he said finally, smiling to himself. “And her fear was probably caused by my age… It’s your decision Michael, I can only promise to do everything I can for your happiness.”

The boy brought his gaze up, looking at him thoughtfully and the man brought his hand over his cheek, admiring his beauty quietly.

“I don’t think I have much reasons to stay anymore,” Michael whispered finally and as the man smiled he smiled back. “I’ll go with you.”

“You don’t know how happy you make me, little one,” the man sighed and leaned forward to kiss him softly. ”You’re doing the right thing,” he assured the youth and kissed his forehead now. ”We leave for Paris day after tomorrow.”

“Paris?” Michael asked, surprised and the straightened on his seat. Ricky nodded.

“I have few things to take care of there, we travel from Paris to U.S, we’ll stay only for a couple of nights there,” he explained still smiling. He reached out to touch the boy’s hair thinking to himself for a moment; that it would be good to dye it once at Paris. A couple of shades lighter, a new hair cut and a different style of clothes?

”Michael, I think it’s best that you don’t mention to your parents that you’re leaving, they might try and stop you.”

The boy nodded with serious mien. “I won’t tell them,” he promised and the man chuckled in his mind at how easily everything would eventually go.

In Paris they would have to get new ID for the boy and he knew where to get it; everything would work out. The police might be able to track Michael as far as Paris, but not beyond. He had been careful and would remain so, the price would wait at their destination.

**^^**^^**

Michael sat in the schools library and tried to look as if he were studying, but his thoughts were running wild, the last day he was at school, sitting in this place. It felt odd; everything was happening so fast, there was no time for hesitation, he rubbed his stomach which felt slightly unwell from stress.

How would he even get to the States? Wouldn’t they want his parents permission to travel? Ricky had promised to arrange everything, said that he wouldn’t need to worry just act as normal as he could, not talk to anyone about his plan. Grandma had been the only person who had known. Thinking about her made him sad, he missed her so.

Approaching steps made Michael look up; Tony stood next to his table, seeming to hesitate, Michael didn’t say anything, cocked his brow and waited for the other to speak.

”Lessons will be starting soon, aren’t you going to come?” the other boy started.

Michael brought his gaze back to the book in front of him, holding a pen tightly in his hold.

“Can’t be bothered,” he replied shortly, running his finger along the page, following a sentence in the middle of it.

“I heard about Isabella, I’m sorry….” Tony continued with a quiet voice. “How are you holding up?”

“Poorly,” Michael replied and still didn’t look at his friend. Former friend, he reminded himself bitterly.

“I cared for her too, you know,” Tony said and chewed on his lip. Michael again brought his gaze up to him.

“Not enough to show up at the funeral,” Michael stated.

“I wanted to, but… I just… I couldn’t…” Tony explained and hesitantly sat down next to Michael. “Did they catch the guy who did it?”

Michael frowned, feeling slightly vexed and he shook his head. ”You’ll be late for your classes Tony, and I don’t need your poor attempts to comfort me, if that is what this is.”

“Mikey… I’m trying… Can’t we talk?”

“Now? When no one is here to see? Yes, we wouldn’t want to spoil your reputation.” Michael snorted and got up collecting his books. “Forget it, I can’t understand what you could possibly have to say.”

Tony sighed with frustration and got up. ”Do you always have to be so bullheaded? Can’t you just listen for a moment? I heard a rumor that you’ve been seeing some older guy, is it true?”

Michael brought the books against his chest glaring at his friend angrily. ”What if I am? How does it concern you?”

“Who is he?”

“None of your business,” Michael responded rudely.

“Damn it, Michael, can’t you even give me a chance to make things right with you?” Tony was starting to lose his temper.

”Can’t you understand how you hurt me, Tony? You turned your back on me like everyone else the moment I revealed my feelings to you. Can’t you see how difficult it was for me? How afraid I was? I needed a friend and you weren’t there, now it’s too late.” Michael turned to leave, Tony followed quickly and grasped his arm.

“I’m sorry… I was afraid too, I still am… just listen…” he begged.

Michael pulled away from his hold looking at his friend sadly.

“I need time, later perhaps I’ll be able to forgive you, but now… Just leave me alone, I can’t deal with this.” He sighed and hurried out of the library before Tony had time to stop him.

Tony stood there, helpless and alone, he didn’t know what to do, he wanted to rush after Michael and… what? Tell him how he cared? How… No, his own feelings were still too confusing and he believed he would have time to talk to his friend later. Tony could have never foreseen just how much later it would end up being.

**^^**^^**^^**

Michael didn’t go to school the next day, he was packing his things while his parents were at work. Ricky had advised him to pack up lightly, so he only took his favorite clothes and some photographs; his parents, grandparents and Tony. He hid his bag under his bed and sighed. His gray white cat was stretching on his bed and yawning languidly. Michael sat next to her, stroking her fluffy fur.

”I wish I could take you with me,” he whispered, smiling, but with melancholy. ”Mom and dad will take good care of you, I know that.”

The cat tilted her head and meowed as if understanding what Michael was talking about.

“Don’t worry, I will visit, perhaps this summer, if my parents have calmed down by then,” the boy promised continuing to caress her.

He ate dinner with his parents. No one hardly said anything, mother and father were both staring at their plates, his father asked to pass the ketchup, mom only moved the food around on her plate, she had been depressed ever since losing her own mother. Michael observed them both, feeling sad that he wouldn’t see them for several months and still he felt like he was making the right decision. He would call them later and hope that with time his parents would learn to accept him and he could introduce them to Ricky. Sure they would be upset hearing their age difference, but perhaps time would work on that as well? Michael wanted to believe that.

After dinner, Michael retreated into his room to wait, the man would come and pick him up from the near by bus stop after his parents would have gone to bed. They would drive to London and catch a train to Paris.

The clock neared nine, Michael sighed, took a page from his note book and searched for a pen to write a goodbye note to his parents.

“Dear mom and dad…” Michael wrote and paused to think. “I’m sorry to leave like this, I just can’t see another way. I feel so alone now that grandma is gone and I know you miss her too. I met a man and I’m going with him, I can’t tell you where I’m going yet, but I’ll call you later, I promise. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. He is a good man, I care for him and he cares for me. I believe and hope that time will fix our relationship. Despite everything, I love both of you so very much! Forgive that I’m leaving. -Michael.”

He propped the note on the table where his parents would find it the next morning when they would start to wonder why he wasn’t coming down to breakfast.

When his parents had gone to bed at ten, Michael snuck downstairs as quietly as he could, his bag on his shoulder and he slipped out in the cool late autumn evening.

The man waited in his car as Michael hurried to the stop. He got into the car and smiled nervously. Ricky answered his smile and leaned closer to kiss the boy.

“Ready for an adventure?” he asked, cocking his brow to which the boy answered with excited nod.

“Good.” Ricky grinned and started the car.

TBC

         Published 5.2.2012

            My Secret Shore© KOLGRIM       Please review 🙂

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