Chapter Thirty: Over
It didn't take much for one to realize how reality was sickeningly contorted and while it was clear that her mother was shaken by her presence, it was even clearer who was really ashen by the whole situation.
Terra staggered back a little, blanching as a hideous, spiteful part of her spurned at the immediate concept of her mother and Scott's father together. She glared icicles at her mother who still had her arms around Mr. Monroe's neck, no doubt too shocked to even begin to move at Terra's appearance from out of nowhere.
Her eyes brimmed with tears but this time, the crystallized salts were not results of sadness but more of rage. With deliberate slowness, she shook her head as she snickered.
"No wonder you wouldn't bring me to London."
She knew her mother didn't miss the bitter edge her voice carried; she saw her wincing like she was in pain. As if her brain had just begun to process the little detail that her daughter was watching her, her mother released Mr. Monroe from her embrace and began to approach Terra. Even as she began to explain herself, Terra could sense the shakiness in her voice.
"Terra, baby, it's not like that."
Terra took a step back when her mother came too close to her and saw the hurt in her mother's eyes. A little part of her felt satisfied – that woman deserved it. But the hurt didn't stall her mother for long because she quickly recovered and continued to step forward while Terra continued to step backwards.
Suddenly, Terra felt her back hitting against someone and she turned around only to find Scott standing behind her, his face grave and his expression impassive. Her initial reaction at seeing such a solemn look on his face was to feel empathy for him. For them both to find out about their parents this way – it was an accosting sight. But somehow, something wasn't quite right as she gazed up at his face.
His eyes held some form of unfathomable sorrow.
For a second, she was lost in that deep river of sorrow that was seemingly endless in his eyes and she tried to refocus her attention back to her mother, on what was important at the moment, but she couldn't tear her gaze away from Scott's face. Something about his eyes bothered her – it was the way they glinted at her as if they were murmuring soft apologies. She pinched her brows together, scowling at him as she held a hand up between them, feeling wary as he tried to touch her.
"Terra, please just listen," he said with a strained voice.
And then, as if all the light switches just clicked in her brain, she remembered his exact words earlier in the bedroom – before all of this.
"Terra, I've lied."
Of course he did. No wonder he was trying to pull her back when she tried to get out of the bedroom – he fucking lied.
She inhaled sharply as her reflexes dictated her to push him away with force. He stumbled backwards, taken off-guard by her action but he didn't look astonished. In fact, he looked as if he'd expected something like that from her. She blanched and her head hurt as she took steps away from both him and her mother, away from all the travesty.
"You knew?" she hissed vehemently as she narrowed her eyes at Scott. "That's what you were talking about? You hid this from me, is that it?"
Scott looked crestfallen as he extended his arm and tried to reach for Terra but she evaded his touch purposefully causing him to look even more dejected than he already was. He gripped his hands into fists, and cast his stare onto the ground.
"I know everything."
"What?" she said, almost breathless. What the fuck did everything even mean?
Her mother took a step forward and temporarily gained Terra's attention as she took charge of the direction where their conversation was going. "Terra, baby," she crooned, "it's not so simple. Everything's complicated. I'll tell you – please just give me a chance to explain. I'll tell you everything."
Terra shook her head, her mind reeling with all the information they were trying to stuff into her head. Everything? Knew everything? Her mother? Scott? What were they all trying to say? What didn't she know? How could her mother be with Charles Monroe?
In her heart, she snickered. The irony of the fact that her father and Scott's father shared the same first name wasn't lost to her. She glanced up and glared at her mother in contempt. What? Did she think that Charles Monroe could ever replace Charles Seblanksy?
Her mother gasped as she stared back at Terra's hardened expression. "Oh, Terra. I didn't – I really didn't mean to. You have to listen to my explanation."
Terra fling her arm in an attempt to avoid being touched by her mother. Her teeth clenched as she said in a quiet but perilous tone, "It's too late."
And then, she just couldn't take it anymore – she didn't want to be in there any longer. Being in that fiasco, she felt suffocated, trapped, but she'd no place to go and nowhere to run to. She was cornered by her mother and Scott – both people she didn't want to face at the moment but both relentless hounding her to stay and she didn't have an opening between them to run.
"Terra, I'm sorry I didn't tell you the truth but please," Scott pleaded, trying once again but failing to grab her arm. "Just listen to us and you'll understand."
"Us?" she said as if the word was all things unsacred, and she fought the urge to snort as she closed her eyes. "No. Let me go."
Her mother looked as if she was just staked in her chest. "Baby, no! Terra, please stay and listen to what we have to say."
Terra's jaw tightened. "I said, let me go. I want to leave."
Scott shook his head. "Don't run again, Terra."
Her neck snapped and her eyes flew open. "DON'T," she said, her intonation speaking volumes of the threats underlying that one word but her mother and Scott were so intent on getting her to stay that they didn't seem to be perturbed at all by the danger her tone implied.
They'd both just opened their mouths, no doubt about to attempt once more to beg Terra to stay but then, before they could form anymore coherent words, a gentle but firm and authoritative voice boomed across the hallway.
"Let her go."
Everyone turned to look, even Terra, and found Mr. Monroe just standing in front of what seemed to be his room. He had his arms folded, and his eyes were hard as he looked at the commotion that was them. Terra glared at him, anger rushing through her veins as she contemplated his audacity.
How dare he speak up?
Then, as everyone stared at him, his eyes slowly began to soften and Terra knew that his eyes were directed straight at her when he continued to say, "She just needs a little time. Don't force her."
Somehow, as he said those words, a chill ran up her spine and she felt the tears prickling at her eyes but she fought it back, keeping her rage in check. He didn't have any rights to make that conclusion about her and those words weren't his to say. But God help her, no matter how much she wanted to snap at him, she just couldn't find her voice.
"Dad…" Scott started but Mr. Monroe's gaze quickly hardened again and that seemed to have stopped his son in his track.
Terra was appalled when she began to realize that neither Scott nor her mother had the guts to challenge Mr. Monroe's authority. Maybe it was normal for Scott to listen to his father but her mother? She shook her head inwardly – it didn't matter now as long as she got to leave this horrible place.
And then, as reluctant as she knew her mother and Scott were, they began to clear a path for her, letting her free to leave, much to her relief. Terra took her cue when they parted for her like the red sea and as she strutted past Mr. Monroe, she suddenly heard him talking.
She froze to a stop for a millisecond. Then, without another word, she bolted down the stairway even though she'd no idea where the exit was.
If she could, she wanted to sue whoever came up with Advil. She'd taken the stupid pill earlier today but by God, her headache had worsened rather than improved. She pressed the back of her palms on her temples, making careful steps as she walked unstably across the streets. She'd never been to Scott's place before and it'd taken her some time before she managed to get out of the house through the front gates but now, why was it that even after she got out, she still felt trapped?
She didn't know how long she'd been walking but Scott's neighborhood was really vast. She felt as if she'd been walking for quite some distance but she'd yet to see anything but a few houses occasionally. Rich people and their stupid isolated houses in their upscale neighborhoods – why couldn't they just stay in small residential areas like normal people do?
In whichever case, even as she walked, she just couldn't breathe properly and her head pounded as it reeled from information she'd just received. Her chest felt as if someone had crushed her lungs and she recognized all of these feelings, of course – it was the same way she'd felt when Ocean had first sold her out before all pain and sadness settled inside of her.
That was why she knew. She knew this fury she had within her mixed with all the rest of the supplementary emotions was not going to last long but by God, she just couldn't stop herself from being angry.
Lord, she was so tired – so dog-eared tired from all of this shit. She was tired of being mad, she was tired of being sad – but she couldn't help it. Her body couldn't help. Christ, when was it all going to stop? When was all the drama going to end?
At that point, she just felt like she couldn't take any more bullshit.
Abruptly, her feet came to a halt and right in the middle of nowhere, in front of the strange, unfamiliar neighborhood that she was in, her legs lost their strength, her knees buckled and she lifelessly dropped onto the ground.
Tears didn't even brim in her eyes. The fact was, she was so exhausted from all that'd happened that she didn't have the strength to cry again.
She lifted her head up and saw the sun glaring down at her. Her throat felt dry as she swallowed and shut her eyes. What was happening? Why was everything going this way? One minute things were fine and then, the next, she found everyone around her lying to her. Could this have been all her fault? Could she have done all of this?
If not, then why did it seem like it was all only happening to her?
She sat on the ground and hugged her knees to her chest. She just couldn't understand and because she couldn't, the pain in her grew bigger and bigger as if to fill up that emptiness in her heart that she couldn't quite get. She was confused, pained and sorrowed, and by God, she needed help.
She couldn't do it anymore. She really couldn't. How? How could she live with all the drama? When did this all start? When her father died? How long was that? Honestly, she couldn't remember.
She hugged her knees tighter and rested her head against her thighs, and that was it, she was shutting down. She didn't want to feel anymore. She wanted the pain, the confusion and everything else gone and when she lifted her head up, she saw a car coming from a distance.
Her eyelids began to drop and her heart began to feel heavy. She didn't want to cry anymore, she didn't want it. The pain was too much to bear – having her loved ones betray her one after another, everything.
There were all too much.
She closed her eyes, suddenly feeling ethereal and she focused on her hearing. As she listened to the screech of the tyres against the tar road, she knew this car was driving at a fast speed; it was what she needed and that was all the better.
Then, she got up.
She wanted this over with.
In a split second, before she knew it, she was standing in the middle of the road, eyes closed and body braced. All she could hear was the loud honking of the car and the desperate screeching of the tyres but she didn't care – she already wasn't there.
And then, everything was quiet.
For a long, long second, the silence dragged out.
Was it over?
She didn't want to open her eyes – she wasn't ready yet but she was slightly amazed at how it didn't hurt at all. Maybe it was because her emotional pain overtook whatever physical pain there was and as compared to it, being hit probably didn't even hurt at all.
Then, she heard a voice.
To be specific, she heard a loud, rough masculine voice shouting foul words all over at her direction.
"FUCKING HELL! YOU CRAZY SONS OF BITCHES! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU TWO THINKING OF!?"
If that was the voice of Satan, she was profoundly surprise. Why did Satan sound like a drunken redhead out of temper?
Her eyes flew open and she gasped.
The car that she'd seen from a distance earlier stopped in front her eyes and the driver was out of the car, jumping all over the place, his anger palpable.
But it wasn't her standing in front of the vehicle.
Standing in front of her, with his arms held wide open and his back facing the car which was merely centimeters away from his body, was Ocean.
"WHAT THE FUCK!? CHRIST! DID YOU KNOW I COULD'VE KILLED BOTH OF YOU!? WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING JUMPING IN FRONT OF MY CAR!? IF YOU WANTED TO DIE, DIE SOMEWHERE ELSE, YOU FUCKING SONS OF BITCHES!"
The driver continued to yell and yell, his expletives attracting quite a few eyes to stare from the safety of their houses. Thank goodness the Monroes resided at quite a distance away from them so amongst those eyes that were staring at them, there definitely was not Terra's mother or Scott's.
But Terra had a feeling that even if the entire neighborhood came out to watch as the driver cussed loudly at them, calling them sons of bitches in ways too many to be counted, she wouldn't have cared. Right then, her eyes were fixated on Ocean's face.
Ocean's deep blue eyes bore its weight onto her – his eyes carrying anger partially but mostly concern and pain. His brows were furrowed but she couldn't be sure if that was not because of the fact that the driver was yelling into his ears, positively deafening him. Even so, he didn't say a word, his lips were pressed into a hard line, and his arms were still wide open as he maintained his stance and position as if there was still a need to protect her from the vehicle that'd nearly hit her.
In that moment, all she could do was to stare – with wonderment or with bewilderment, she didn't know – at the man who stood in front of her who didn't betray even a single shred of fear in his hardened expression.
Then, after spats of profanities, the driver finally showed his middle finger at them before he jumped back into his car and sped off once more. Childish, yes but who could blame him?
The two of them stood in front of one another, both just gazing at each other with equally hardened expression. As the turn of events began to sink in, inside, Terra was having an apocalyptic fit about what just happened as she started to breathe hard and fast.
What was he thinking!? He could've gotten himself killed!
She was fuming with anger but he didn't seem to experience the changes she had. And then, gradually, his brows began to relax even though concern was still etched ever so subtly on his face. After a longer moment, his arms dropped and his shoulders drooped before he visibly showed relief. His eyes were soft and his voice was quiet when he spoke.
"Are you okay?"
And that – that was when she cried out loud.
"What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck!?" she half-screamed and half-cried. "You could've died, you idiot! DIED!"
She started hammering his chest with her fists, tears flowing from her eyes uncontrollably as every inch of her body started to tremble forcefully. She felt his hands on her arms as he pulled them to the side of the road where they were guaranteed to be out of danger but he didn't try to stop her even as she continually pummeled his chest and stepped on his foot.
No matter what she did, he just stared and didn't move.
"You stupid ass! YOU ARROGANT JERK! YOU COULD'VE DIED!" she yelled and then, wailed out in between her words. "Why did you run out onto the road!? Why in the world would you put yourself in danger like that!?"
She continued to hit him hard as he stood, almost too obediently. Then, as she yelled at him some more, she began to feel his grip on her tightening slowly and soon enough, he put a hand over her mouth, successfully stopping her from all her screams and her physical abuse.
He gazed at her, the color of his deep blue eyes contrasting greatly with intensity of the fire she sensed in them. His lips were still pressed into a hard line and he didn't say a single word. Her tears continued to flow and her heart continued to ache in pain as she watched him with her mouth gagged. But this pain was not the dull, aching pain that she'd felt from before. This was a new kind of pain – the kind of pain where one would never want to endure, the kind that one would feel after bearing the thoughts of almost losing someone loved.
And it was truly, beyond any words, the worst feeling she'd felt.
Then, he pulled her toward his chest before he inhaled the scent of her hair deeply and pressed his hand so hard against her back that she stopped breathing for a second as her tears came to an abrupt halt.
She heard him breathe out as if he was almost going to cry, his voice in so much pain when he spoke that it grabbed at her heart.
"You don't ever do that again."
She couldn't find her voice as her jaw slacked a little. She was pressed against him with an urgency so hard that she didn't know how to respond.
And when she didn't say anything, he pressed her against him even harder. "Do you understand me?" he said, his tone even though soft, terrified her.
Because she couldn't find her voice, she nodded frantically against him. She knew he must've felt her because slowly, he lightened his grip on her but didn't let her go. Instead he just dropped onto the ground as if he'd run out of strength, pulling her along with him as he sagged against a tree.
Just like that, she was lying against his chest, listening to his heart beating haphazardly. She felt his hand tugging at her hair and then, he began to stroke it as if it was something precious to him. He put his chin on her head before he proceeded to push his lips against her forehead.
"I thought I'd lose you."
She felt her breath hitching in the middle of her throat as she shook her head and somehow, that seemed to have un-paused her halted tears. She glanced up at Ocean who, in return, gazed back down at her.
"Do you realize how stupid it was what you did?" he said, his voice gentler.
It took her a few seconds as she stared up at him and when she was reminded of the painful thought as she conjectured the possibility of Ocean now lying in front of her, all bloody and barely alive, she closed her eyes, remorse filling up every part of her as ache convulsed through her entire body.
He didn't say another word as he kissed her forehead again and pulled her tight against him so that they were in an embrace. They didn't say another word after that. As they hugged each other in that position, there were only Terra's muffled cries against Ocean's shoulder that could be heard.
And they just stayed that way for a very, very long time.
By the time her tears stopped and her eyes began to dry up, she noticed that it was almost dark. So many hours have passed since she'd woken up that she honestly, just couldn't remember how long it'd taken for each incident to happen. She knew she'd most probably only woken up around noon today but afterwards, things happened so fast that it was all such a blur now.
Ocean was still hugging her, and there was still a guarded expression on his face as he held her protectively. Cars have passed by and people have stared at them weirdly, asked if they needed help when they saw her crying, but Ocean had either said no or glared at them. She didn't know when but halfway into crying, she remembered him carrying her in his arms and walking towards God knew where for God knew how long but she ended up with him then, in the backseat of the SUV he drove.
Perfect choice, she thought inwardly. It would've been difficult for him to cradle her this way in his Ferrari.
She sniffled, and tried to sit up but Ocean must've been so focused just on hugging her that when she moved, he jolted and exerted more force as if fearing that someone might just take her away from him.
It made her smile a little that he was so overbearingly protective then but it didn't alleviate the heaviness in her heart knowing that it was her latest, foolish stunt that made him this way.
"I'm okay," she said softly, peering at him as he eyed her bemusedly. "I just want to sit up."
He looked as if he didn't believe her but then, after a moment, he released his grip and she got up from him. After he watched as she stretched a little, he asked, "How're you feeling?"
How was she feeling?
God, she really didn't know anymore. Right then, she just wasn't sure how she felt at all. There were no words that could be used to explain it – how was one supposed to feel after a morning of betrayals, a moment of foolishness that almost killed two people and on top of that, the guilt and pain of being with a man that one loved but wanted to hate at the same time?
There wasn't an answer.
So, she opted for diversion. "Why did you do it?"
He looked immensely bemused but he cocked his head afterwards and in a way, he looked like his normal, arrogant self again as he folded his arms. "To answer you that question, you need to tell me what you're referring to."
"You could've gotten killed. Do you know what that'd do to me?"
A dark expression fell on his face as it hardened once more. "You stole my lines, Terra."
"If I'd died, I had a reason for it. You didn't."
She watched as both his eyes widen and he sat up, fisting his hands. He seemed to be composing himself as he shut his eyes and then, when he opened them, they looked like they were about to strangle her.
"If you'd died, I'd have a reason."
Rage became apparent again in Terra's face as she leaned towards him, seething. "You didn't have to do that," she hissed. "I don't want you to die."
"And you think I want you to? You think I could've lived with myself if I'd watched you die?" he snickered. "You honestly think I'm that cold, don't you? You think I don't fucking feel for you? You think I don't fucking love you?"
Suddenly, it was like his words slapped her hard. She took a deep breath as she blinked rapidly at him, unwilling to believe the words that'd just escaped his lips. He gazed at her, his eyes never leaving her face as he inched closer.
"You heard me – I love you," he said as if he'd heard the unspoken doubt in her head.
Her hands trembled as she brought one of them to her mouth but he immediately grabbed it before he cupped both her hands with his. He leaned closer to her until their noses were touching.
"Talk to me," he said.
She didn't know what to say. "Why did you do it?"
He shut his eyes and she knew he realized that she was now referring to his betrayal, how he'd hurt her. If he loved her, why? She recognized that he was wearing the same pained expression he did last night on the field – so much seemed to have happened since then. He pursed his lips and sighed out loud.
She drew back so suddenly that his head fell forward. "What?"
God, could all these surprises just stop already? Was she going to have to pull another stunt soon? No, she reminded herself as she frowned. One was enough.
Once he regained his balance, he sighed again but this time, he kept his eyes open as he stared at her. "I didn't do it, Terra. I didn't tell anyone anything."
"I – Then," she stammered, her heart racing at the revelation but with joy or with panic, she didn't know, "who did?"
He pressed his lips together again and stared at her for a very long time before he said, "When I got that call from Scott today, I thought you knew."
Somehow, she couldn't help but be angry at the mention of Scott.
"It was Rose," he said, looking reluctant to tell. "I thought you knew."
"Rose?" she said, eyes narrowing suspiciously. "By God, I knew it was her but how could she have found out if you hadn't told? She couldn't have known that my father–"
Terra gasped, stopping cold.
All of a sudden, she remembered.
The image was blurry but she remembered now. When she'd reached the hospital – when her father was dying, before this, all she could think about was how she'd stumbled towards her mother at the end of the hallway.
She recalled walking pass a family – a middle-aged man, a boy her age and a girl. The girl was crying hysterically, the man was trying to calm her down and the boy had glanced at her with a look so dead, it scared her. Before this, she didn't realize it. She was so focused and intent on her mother then that she'd completely erased the memory of this family she'd seen.
But now, she remembered.
She recognized the faces she'd seen then; the boy had looked at her and they'd locked gazes. She might not have realized it before but she knew it now, and she'd no doubt about it.
The boy was Scott.
Mr. Monroe, Scott and Rose; that was the other family who'd been there at the hospital during that time.
Air was knocked out of her as the realization dawned upon her. "They knew?" she said, her tone of disbelief reverberating in her voice. "But - but how? Why? Why were they there? Even if they were they, how could they have known?"
Ocean's brows knitted together. "Do you really want to hear this from me?"
She snapped her head over at him and glared. "I don't want to see her," she said, her enunciation on the word 'her' clearly referring to her mother.
He seemed to be having an internal battle for a moment as he scowled at her but then, he sighed resignedly and pulled her against him so fast that she couldn't retaliate.
"I didn't know too, Terra. That day, when I told Rose that I wanted to break up with her, she told me everything and she told me that if I broke up with her, she'd tell you everything. I didn't know how you were goin' to react to it so I fought her, I told her to back off but at that moment, I didn't know the damage was already done.
"By the time you came to me and you asked me why, it was all too late. I didn't want to tell you what happened because you – you weren't ready. I don't want to be the one to break the news to you, Terra. So I kept it, and you have no idea how much it killed me to see you suffer – for you to think that I'd betrayed you – God, it was the hardest thing I've had to endure."
Now, she was completely confused and she tried to push herself off him to demand that he give her a clearer explanation but he had his arm firmly against her back so that she'd have no chance of escaping his death grip.
He sighed again and pressed her head down on his chest as if he wanted to protect her from something.
"Your father didn't just die in a freak accident. He died while he was with another woman - a married woman."
Her heart stopped.
"That's how Rose knew. Her dad told the both of them everything before he left for London – about the same time your mom left too."
Her throat closed up as she gasped against him.
"Your dad had an affair, Terra," he whispered and after a long pause, he breathed. "With Rose's mom."
There was a few seconds of stillness in the air after Ocean finished, his words hanging between them.
Rose's mother? Scott's mother? Mr. Monroe's wife?
Was all this a prank? Was someone going to come into the SUV and start laughing because she fell for it? She gripped onto Ocean's shirt and squeezed it tightly as she breathed, and breathed.
"Pa – Papa–", she stuttered, "– had an affair? With Scott's mom?"
Ocean stilled for a while, she could feel his muscles tightening beneath her. But after two seconds, he nodded.
"How did – how? Why?"
"Terra, I don't think I'm the right person to be telling you this. You loved your dad dearly and you still do. That was one of the reasons why I shut up and endured the pain of losing you. I'm not about to inflict more pain on you after the shit you've been through. No way."
"But I need to know why."
"Then, you need to talk to your mom."
"Mama," she said.
As she called out for her, she recalled all the things she'd said to her. Everything from her mother leaving for London without her to the scene that accosted her this afternoon – God, what had she done?
Her father had an affair and her mother had never once told her. She – she protected Terra's image of her father, allowing her to believe that her father was perfect.
Here she was thinking that she'd been the biggest victim of everything that'd happened, accusing her mother of adultery when her mother herself was the one who'd endured the most biggest betrayal of all times.
From a man she'd been married to for twenty years, a man she'd loved for twenty-five years and a man she thought had loved her back.
Terra could feel again tears building in her eyes as she eased herself up from Ocean but she dashed away her tears. Now wasn't the time to be crying or the time to be weak. She'd to go. She'd to be there for her mother. Her lips quivered as she nodded at Ocean.
"I want to see her now."
A/N: The update! Pretty proud of myself at this speedy update. :) It's almost the end, guys!
isabelleflorendo/Guest/mylittlePRINCESS: Hope this update satisfies you! :)
charmedblush: You didn't leave! haha. I am glad. Your review always makes me happy. Hope you managed to finish off the rest of the story after charging!
iCY the Polar Kid: As you can see, you've got it close but the other way around haha. All secrets revealed next chapter!
believe1nbeauty: Actually, it does make my brain hurt a little. Haha, I believe when you said Courtney in your review, you're referring to Terra? haha. I emphasized on Mr. Monroe being Scott's father in this chapter so hope that does the trick! :D
leavemeialone: haha. Now you know how they met :) Partially, at least. All shall be revealed in the next chapter. Thank you for your compliment though. I do try to make the emotions palpable but I'm losing my touch lately. Hope you don't mind.
sappyromancelvr: Aw, hope it wasn't too much of a problem refreshing your memory! :(
Sparklingjewel12: Yes, sad isn't it? But this story has been dragged on too long. Their happy endings will come :) I'm not a fan of tragic, sad endings.
Cookie: Yes, she is MADLY, MADLY in love with Ocean. Kinda like how I am with a guy in my life now too. ;) Haha, thanks for your review!
Shadowkiller176: "TOO MANY TWIST!" - haha, I would expect you to say this. ;)