The woods were filled with silence and I looked around for any signs of the slayer. As I heard the leaves on the ground rustling, I turned around and there he appeared from the treetops of a nearby tree and he gave me a sly smile which sent shivers down my spine before slowly approaching me and my heart was pounding inside my chest. I was vulnerable as there wasn’t anyone to protect me and I knew that I was going to die here, alone. Please let this be over fast, I thought to myself.
Every step that he took towards me was another step closer to death. His long, black hair was flowing as the cold and bitter wind blew and I found myself shivering because of the coldness and the fear that I felt.
Would anyone find me here after I died? Or would I be lost forever in this horrid place?
These questions filled my head and I knew that he was still watching me as my breathing became heavier. I never expected this day to come but ever since Luke and his family’s arrival, I should have seen this coming soon and this was one of risk that I took for being with him but I would gladly pay the price. As I looked directly into his dark, black eyes, I saw the hatred and anger that had consumed the slayer’s mind.
I knew that this was the end of me now.
CHAPTER 1 A NEW START
“So, how are you fitting in your new school? Is everyone being nice to you?”
“They are really… friendly, mum. I’m fitting in and the weather is cold but I’m doing fine. Is everything alright, mum? You seem awfully quiet,” my tone became worried and I was curious about the silence that filled the end of the other line.
“I’m fine. I’m engaged, sweetheart. I’m just so excited about the wedding and you should see the ring. It’s simply beautiful. You’ll be my bridesmaid, right?”
The thought of me in any dress was simply horrible as I would never be seen wearing a dress even if it was my wedding but it was going to be my mum’s special day and I wanted her to be happy. She had been seeing David for two years now and he seemed like a wonderful guy for my mother.
“Absolutely, mum. I can’t wait till then,” I quickly lied and tried my best to sound enthusiastic about it. “Um… I’ve to go now and cook dinner before dad comes back. I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Okay then, Ashley. Send my regards to your father for me. I love you.”
“I too, mum. Bye!”
I ended the call and stared at my handphone for a few moments, thinking about my mother. She seemed really different but still like her old, care-free way and I wondered if David, her new fiancé was taking care of her as I’d did when I’d been staying with her. I stormed downstairs to the kitchen and started taking out the cooking utensils out from the cabinets. I decided to cook my favourite dish, spaghetti with creamy mushroom sauce and as I was busy in the kitchen, I heard the front door opening and closing and my father appeared in the kitchen a few moments later.
“I thought I smelled something good. You shouldn’t be doing all the cooking, Ashley. We could always eat at the diner and save you the time of cooking and cleaning up.” He took off his coat and stood at the doorway with his hands folded.
“I like cooking, dad. It helps me to relax and I don’t mind cleaning up. It’s better than eating at the diner every night,” I kept my eyes on the bubbling pot of the sauce and slowly stirred it. “Dinner’s almost ready, dad.”
“Alright then. I’ll get cleaned up then I’ll help you set the dinner table. It’s the least I can do to help as you have been doing all the hard work of cooking for me.”
“I’m fine, dad. You should get cleaned up and I’ll set the table,” I gave him a weak smile before he walked out the room and went upstairs to freshen himself up.
After a few minutes, he returned to the kitchen and I’d already set the table and our dinner smelled delicious. We ate in silence for a few moments until my dad spoke.
“So… how was school today?” he took another bite of the spaghetti and looked at me, waiting for my answer.
“It was fine. I got some new friends and everyone is really friendly to me. How about you, dad?”
“The hospital was a little crowded today but I managed to treat all the patients. Luckily, the new doctor and his family are arriving tomorrow. Everyone in this town seems to be
getting ill and we are short of hands to help,” he sounded relived as he spoke and he seemed exhausted these few days.
“That’s good. You seemed tired since everyone started falling sick. So, where’s this new doctor from?”
“I’m not sure. Noone seems to know much of him and his family but I do know that he’s really attractive. So are his children. I’m pretty sure that the whole town will be gossiping about them when they’ve arrived.”
“Well, maybe the whole school will stop paying attention to me once the doctor’s children are attending my high school. I talked to mum just before you came back.”
“How’s she? I haven’t heard much about her,” he looked down as he spoke and I knew that my dad’s feelings towards mum were still the same and I sighed softly. It was going to be difficult to tell him about mum’s engagement.
“She’s… great. She’s getting married to David,” I looked at my father’s face and tried my hardest to study his facial expression but he remained calm after hearing the news.
“That’s… great news. So… when is the wedding?”
“I’m not sure but mum wants me to be her bridesmaid and she’s really excited about it.”
“I see. Well, I’m going to watch the game before I tuck in early. Do you mind doing the dishes tonight? I’ll do the dishes tomorrow if you want me to,” he got up from the table and walked out to the sitting room.
I heard the television turned on and I started to clean up the kitchen. After the kitchen was spotless enough to my satisfaction, I ran upstairs to my bedroom and shut my room door. I tried to start doing my homework but I was distracted by my thoughts. The only reason that I’d decided to stay with my dad was because I’d felt guilty about leaving him all alone and since my mum had David, I decided that it was time to spend some time with my father. I figured that he would be delighted as I hadn’t visited him for a few years now. I went into my bathroom and took a glance at the mirror. I combed my tangled hair and tied it into a ponytail. I tried my best to convince myself that this was the right choice but a part of me knew that I couldn’t agree and that I would regret this decision. I have to be strong for my father. I can’t show my dislike and my unhappiness in front of him or he would be disappointed. I took a long, warm bath and changed into my favourite loss fitting shirt and a grey shorts.
As I was tried to figure out a calculus question that Mr. Richards had given, there was a knock on my door and my father stood at the doorway. His expression on his face was emotionless and I tried my best to read his face. He looked tired but not depressed over the news that I had given him earlier.
“Hey dad, I’m just finishing some homework.”
“That’s good. You should probably get some sleep after you’re done with your work.” There was an awkward silence as I kept doing my homework and I knew that he wanted to say something else but he was having some difficulties in bringing the subject up.
“Um… dad, is there something that you want to talk about? I’m kind of busy and…”
“Yes, of course. I was just wondering if you were planning to go anywhere with you new friends during the weekend,” he looked down as he spoke and I knew that he felt guilty bringing the subject up as it was a really touchy subject to me.
“This weekend? I-I’m not… sure. But maybe I was wondering if you don’t mind, could I catch a movie with Lisa, Melissa and a couple of other people next week?”
He looked relieved as I spoke. “Sure. Next weekend I’m working at the hospital anyway so you’ll be alone at home the whole day if you don’t go anywhere. I’ll be a little late for dinners tomorrow so don’t wait for me.”
“Meeting with the hospital department again? I thought the monthly meeting was last week?”
“It’s for the new doctor. He’s starting tomorrow and everyone’s anxious to meet him. We’re having a small party for him tomorrow. Anyway, I’m going to bed now. Goodnight, Ashley!”
That's all for now!!!