Chapter 26: Answers
This time, I walked the streets with a purpose; a destination in mind. I was going to see Mrs. Jones, perhaps she could offer me some answers.
I feel lost… I have forgotten who I am… who I used to be. Perhaps the voices are right… those voices in my head… those arguments between my superego and the id, although annoying, do make a point. Perhaps somewhere along the way I've been so busy chasing after a memory… a shadow… a past… that I, myself have forgotten to live. I have neglected my present, forgotten my future… and went chasing after Kai; a person who was supposedly dead. So what was I really chasing after? A shadow? A dream? A memory? …No, I was looking for… craving for… answers.
I hope Mrs. Jones holds the answers to my questions. At least, I hope she could answer enough so that I could move on. I need to escape from my past… to let it go. I can't keep destroying myself.
Mrs. Jones' choice of residence surprised me. I had expected her to live somewhere surrounded by forests or high in the mountains… like the sages in fairy tales. After all, if I think about it, my life has been like those drama shows. Where everything always goes wrong for the main character… because her suffering bring about entertainment.
I had definitely not expected her to live in an… apartment. It was so… normal…
Although I don't know how she did it, she could influence my dreams… Is it magic? I'm not sure. It would explain a lot but at the same time, too unreal. I suppose it depends on what you believe in.
Right now, all I want are answers.
Rapping on the door that read 901, I patiently waited. This was the place Mrs. Jones lived, or at least it was according to the newspaper. I hope the newspaper was right because I don't think I can stand any more disappointments. I might have a nervous breakdown.
The door slowly crept open, revealing an old lady. Or at least it appeared to be an old lady at first glance but upon closer inspection I realized that she was not as old as I thought her to be. She looked very tired and her weariness made her appear older. But there was no doubt about it she was Mrs. Jones. She was the one I was looking for.
"Meeka." She said my name confidently as if she knew for sure I was Meeka. I suppose normally I wouldn't been very surprised and perhaps a little terrified but right now, I was too jaded to care.
She stepped to the side and gestured for me to come in.
Mrs. Jones' apartment was not very large but it was sufficiently large enough to accommodate for one person. Simple; but it appeared to be a very comfy place to live.
We sat and she handed me a cup of tea.
"I know you have many questions for me," She had a soothing voice and spoke softly. Her voice was barely above a whisper. "But before you ask them, please first listen to my story. After I have recounted my tale, you're free to ask me anything and I will respond to the best of my abilities."
I nodded and she continued speaking.
"There once was a boy and his best friend. They were orphans that ran away from the orphanage together. They were proud and independent boys that only trusted in each other. As you can imagine, they had a very strong bond." Here, she paused and sipped her tea.
"In order to survive, they did odd jobs. Tiring jobs that were both time consuming and underpaid. They quickly discovered alternative jobs that were dangerous… but well paid. Their desperation for money led them astray and in order to make money, to have what others have, they did illegal dealings."
"As the years went on, the boy became a very well respected man in the mob. His best friend was the sidekick; his most loyal and trusted man. The boy met a girl and fell in love with that girl. They got married and had a beautiful baby girl. For many years, the boy lived happily, he thought it would last forever… but he was wrong." Here she paused and gave a bitter laugh.
"One day, he accidentally stumbled upon a shocking secret and his whole world crumbled. He found out that the two people he trusted more than anyone in the world betrayed him. He didn't know what to do… he wanted to hate them, but he couldn't. He wanted to not hate them, but he couldn't do that either. He both loved them and hated them at the same time. The man that he viewed as his brother and the woman that he loved… they had committed adultery."
"Once the two found out that he knew, they fled. The boy let them go…" Here she paused and a single tear slid down her face.
"He had lost everything – his best friend, his brother; his wife, his love. He was a laugh stock… he had lost any respect that he had ever gained. There's only so much ridicule and humiliation a human can take. The boy's heart grew cold and he became a bitter, bitter man. He was determined to make everyone suffer… to pay for what they did to him… he would return it to them – tenfold."
"He tracked down his ex-best friend and his wife and asked for his wife to return to him. He did not do this out of love but rather, out of hate. He wanted to break up the loving family that they had managed to establish in that short year. He wanted them to suffer… to suffer like he did…"
"The wife did return in the end… she returned after making him promise her that he would never harm his best-friend and their love child. She returned in order to make sure that the man she loves and their child would be safe. But the boy had changed. He was no longer the sweet boy he had used to be. He was now, a cold and cruel man. Perhaps they had made the boy into what he was… maybe it really was their fault… but love works in mysterious ways. You don't love someone because you choose to but rather you just do."
"After the wife returned, the boy discovered that she was pregnant again… another love child. He was enraged and sought out to kill his best friend. His best friend fled… but left behind their daughter. The wife tried very hard to protect her daughter and her child that was not yet born. She successfully gave birth to a baby boy but the best friend had still not yet come back…"
"As the days went on, the boy worsened and the wife had no choice but to flee with her children, in order to protect them. The boy found out and she was only able to flee with her daughter, leaving her son behind. Her daughter grew up with her in poverty. She had to take on many jobs in order to support her daughter. Her son, the boy had kept alive as bait. Although her son grew up in a seemingly rich family, he suffered… the boy hated him and it showed. There was nothing the wife could do… she could only watch helplessly because she was a coward… and so was her lover. Her lover never returned… nobody knew where he went. Perhaps he had never really loved her…"
"She watched her son grew; watched his hatred grow and watched helplessly as he walked the wrong path. She was not a good mother; she couldn't help her son but at the same time, she spent too much time worrying about her son that she neglected her daughter. Her son chose to work with dangerous people, aiming to bring about the destruction of her husband. She wanted to save him, to keep him safe… so she used her daughter as an informant. In the end, she couldn't help her son… but she also caused her daughter to die in vain."
"My daughter was so young. She had her whole life ahead of her… and I destroyed it… I destroyed it all… I destroyed all our lives… I'm really sorry, Sara… Kai… Shelly… my children."
And Mrs. Jones broke down crying and I watched her… watched her as she cried her heart out…