I blink dryly, and the first thing I saw was a bright blinding light. Initially, I thought that I had just died- which would be very inconvenient- until a woman in a little, white cap walked into my view. At first, she was just one big blob of blur, but that's simply because my eyes hasn't readjusted yet.
"Ms. Ryan? Are you alright?" She asked. I feel the nurse leans over my body to assure I wasn't about to puke or anything. That would be very inconvenient for the both of us as well.
"Thirsty," I croaked through my parched lips. I couldn't even do as little as speak coherently. Man, you'd think that after nearly drowning in a lake, you'd have enough water for the day. But here comes my little ol', peculiar me.
I watch as the woman rushes out to fetch me a drink. Meanwhile, I groan in frustration as I try to recall what happened. I could only remember as much as diving in to save that prick from drowning. Damn it, my sorry ass should've never jumped in the first place.
"Oh good, you're awake." A voice states coldly.
Whipping to my side, I see a women, elegantly dressed in a dark blouse, and a slimming pencil skirt with a silky shawl draped over her shoulders. Her hair was pulled a bun seemingly too tight for comfort. I know, because her eyes seem to pull back into her head. She looked a little less than fifty, but that could just be the Botox.
"Maya Ryan, is it?" She quizzed. Yeah, if I remember correctly, but I'm not so sure after that accident. I decided not to vocalize my wit, and simply nod. "And who are you?" I asked. And I regretted that choice immediately after. Maybe I shouldn't have asked after all.
She slowly approaches me, and with every click of her heel I grew a bit more intimidated. She was tall and beautiful...I couldn't seem any less more inferior As if she sensed my uneasiness, the woman smiled. Or what seemed like a smile. Man, that Botox did wonders.
"Mrs. Dana Lockehart. Or better known as, Dylan Lockehart's mother. I'm sure you've heard of me," She replied with a condescending smirk. Wow, I didn't know she came with a side of arrogance. My lips urged a frown. That reminds me of a little twit I know. "Oh, so you're mommy devil," I said flatly. It wasn't long before I realized that my non-filtered mouth was on the loose again.
I knew I shouldn't have been so impolite, but anything that reminds me of the prick, just gets my blood boiling. Damn it, he owes me his life! I felt the woman's eyes scrutinize every inch of my appearance. It could be the thin hospital gown, but my blood suddenly went cold.
Great. Now she's going to toss me in a pit. I had to brace myself for what might be coming next.
But to my pleasant surprise, the woman laughed instead. She laughed? She laughed! But then again, it wasn't any genuine laugh, it was a quiet "hee-hee," which wasn't very comforting either. In fact, I think I even heard a bit of malice along with it.
"It appears that you're not very fond of him," She brought a ridiculously long nail against her large lips. Crap. The woman could claw my eyes out with those enormous talons. I rapidly shook my head in fear. "No, not very much," I squeaked. But her eyes lit up in reply.
"You're very peculiar one, you know?" She beams, bringing a hand above my hair. Immediately, I stiffened at her touch. Don't get me wrong, I was not conscious about any part of me, just quite...taken a back. The woman was terrifying as hell. Who knew what type of spell she was placing on me at the moment.
"Yeah, I get that a lot," I laughed awkwardly. Oh, crap. What have I gotten myself into?
Fortunately, the woman lifts her hand off my head. And I release a huge breath of relief. I examine my body for any chance that I might've gained hooves instead of hands, but luckily, Lockehart hasn't performed any weird spells. Phew. Still got all ten fingers.
"Anyways, I came to thank you for saving my son. If you haven't already noticed, he's a load of...trouble," Mrs. Lockehart sighs. Oh, I've noticed. He's one hell of an idiot. I fussed inwardly, but I decided to bite my tongue. "Right, what actually happened?" I pressed on quizzically. If I recall correctly, we should've been long dead by now.
In response, the women stares at me with a slightly astonished look. That, or it could be the Botox again. "You don't remember?" She gasped. My lips pursed in thought.
"I remember as far as diving in after him, but nothing more than that," I reply sheepishly. However, her eyes softened.
"You must not forgot such heroic acts, young lady! There was a nearby log, you used as a flotation device. However, it could only withstand one person's weight. You selflessly gave your life for Dylan," The woman gushed. Well, she seemed very pleased. Meanwhile, I scratched my head in thought. I did that? What was I thinking? The water must have gotten into my brain. Maya, you idiot! Obviously, I wasn't buying her story, partly because I would never compromise my life for anyone irrelevant...especially an irrelevant brat.
"And how did you know this?" I drawled suspiciously. I assume she wasn't around during the act, and there's no way a woman of such class would leisurely step into our neighborhood. Or would she? Now that I think about it, my encounter with Dylan, famous for who-knows what, is all too surreal. I mean, yeah, he's a jackass, but what are the chances he'd associate himself with me!? Mrs. Lockehart was trying to assassinate me! It all made sense! She was part of the secret organization trying to annihilate all commoners in their wake! It's the only reason why that snob would even think about stepping into our jacked up town.
"Well, just as you were drowning, Dylan's body guards witnessed this in act. The boy's tracking system went ballistic after we've been alerted that he's gone missing," Mrs. Lockehart explains with a smile too nonchalantly. Oh...so there's no secret organization.
Crap. Why am I so disappointed? I sighed.
"Well, that makes sense...kind of. But a tracking device? Isn't that a bit too extreme?" I queried.
"Oh, it certainly is!" She beams with a large smile. I'm starting to see why the prick is such a...prick. "Dylan has all types of tracking devices. And because of that, he refuses to carry his phone with him. That is why, we installed one in his shoe! Ahem-shoes...to be exact." She explained. The woman seemed proud of her odd accomplishments. Meanwhile, I could only sit there, completely blown away. So it's gotten to the point where they've installed a pin just for his footwear? How rich can they get?!
"Maya!" A voice suddenly snapped my way. My train of thought was halted abruptly. Ugh. Who could it be this time?
Marian came bursting through the door, flying in like some crazed trapeze. Almost instantly, she attacked my shoulders. Ouch. I thought a hospital's purpose was to heal the sick, not send vicious maniacs our way.
"Maya, are you alright?!" Marian cried, with her grip still on my shoulder.
"i'm fine," I chuckled. The hospital staff must have she was bonkers. Fortunately, she loosens her grip on my shoulders. Marian sits there, pouting like an angry puppy.
"Why would you do something so reckless!? Jump into a lake?! You know you can't swim! You could have died, Maya," She croaked helplessly. But I simply gave her one of my reassuring smile. Although she was the older sibling, I felt obligated to make her feel at ease. It pains me to think that I've worried her so much. She's already got a load on her plate, and this little incident adds more.
Wait, the bill! How in the world are we going to pay for this after I discharge?
Damn it! I knew I should've just drowned!
"Marian! T-the bill! How are we going to-"
"Don't worry, I've got it taken care of," Mrs. Lockehart interjects as if she knew we were practically broke. Wow, that woman is really one step ahead of me. Immediately, Marian stands from the bed, and smoothens her sun dress.
"A-are you sure?" She asked.
"Of course! She saved my son's life without any backhanded motive. This is the least I could do," Mrs. Lockehart responded earnestly. In response, Marian shot me one of those, You, Maya Ryan, saved someone's life?
I shrugged, innocently. I did have a ulterior motive, initially. First, I wanted him to assist our financial crisis, then I asked for reward money, and finally I saved his ass just to avoid being sued. Now that I think about, I got a bit more desperate each time. Oh well, what can I say? My entire life revovled around cash. Marian averts her attention back to Mommy Devil.
"Well, thank you very much, Mrs..."
"Mrs. Dana Lockehart. Or better known as, Dylan Lockehart's mother. I'm sure you've heard of me," She extends a welcoming hand out. It took no time for my sister to rapidly shake it in complete appreciation. Man, my sis was such a dork. "Haven't heard of you, but I'm extremely grateful for your kindness." She remarked with a large smile. But Mrs. Lockehart frowned in response. Yup...a large dork.
"So, did anything interesting happen while I was away?" I asked, wondering how cold it actually was outside. I didn't exactly know because Marian layered clothing on me to ensure I didn't catch a cold. If I even dared to remove a single layer, she threatened to send me to my room without dinner. And I loved the two meals I get a day. It reminds me that we are not completely out of money.
"No." She muttered. Marian buried her face into the scarf hugging her neck. I found it all too suspicious. She never spoke under her breath unless she was in love, or telling a lie. And I'm sure as hell it isn't the former.
"Tell me," I pestered. In response, my sister glows bright red.
"W-What are you talking about? I already told you n-nothing happened..." Marian stammered nervously. Ah-hah! The woman never slurs her words unless she was telling a fib. She cannot escape sisterly instinct!
"I know when you're lying, Marian. I've lived with you for seventeen years of my life. And I only want to help. Now spill the beans, woman!" I demanded. However, this only aggravated her immensely. Defensiveness is another indicator of her crystal clear lies.
"It's absolutely, positively nothing...you need to be worried about!" She squealed. However, I could see right through her without batting an eye. Nothing I need to be worried about? So it is something! Better press on about it, until she squawks like a crow.
"It's about Mr. Carter, isn't it?!" I gasped in sheer horror. "Don't tell me you accepted his proposal!"
"No way!" She grimaced.
"That you'll elope and run away with him? You'll leave me with the debt and carry on with your new fortune!" I cried out.
"Maya!" She reprimands sternly.
"Then you'll have a dozen of kids and name of em' Tim Carter Jr, and have them shun poor, old, me?! Why would you do that to me, Marian! Why?!" I wailed, shaking her fervently. However, she grasped my arms in order to snap me back to composure.
"No! That'll never happen! Maya!" She shrieked painfully. "He threatened to repossess our property!"
I smirk in victory, as she threw her hands over her mouth. There was nothing but sheer silence afterwards. I I felt guilty for manipulating the innocent woman, but it was my only choice.
"Fine, you heard it. The big man's about to take everything we own. I...I just didn't want to tell you such troubling news," She whimpers. Marian's held her head low in dismay. I could almost hear her heart shatter into a thousand pieces. Oh crap. Here comes a pool of tears.
She stiffens as I placed a reassuring hand against her shoulder.
"Oh, don't listen to him. He's all bluff. You can't forget that he's crazy for you," I chuckled. I held her arm gently, before leading us up the stairs to our apartment. It was a number of steps, but both Marian and I gotten used to it by now. Besides, it's the best that we're offered at such a great bargain.
"That's the thing. I rudely rejected his proposal and I bet he's humiliated. I ought he's come to unleash his wrath on us! I'm sorry God!" She wailed helplessly. I watch as she wipes a tear daring to fall from her eyes. If that's her definition of rude, she really needs to update her dictionary. Or I need to take a page or two from hers. Huh. I push the key into the lock of the door.
Nevertheless, his threats made me grow apprehensive as well. Once Mr. Carter was fixated on something, he never goes back on his word. But then again, he was just a doofus, I shouldn't worry about his big talk for now. Or at least fake a front for my trouble, anxious sis. I forced an uneasy smile.
"That's never going to happen. Trust me," I said as I pushed the door open. However, as I did, the next sight unveiled before me. There was a repo man in our room, loading our furniture in a box. And predictably, Mr. Carter was also there. You've got to be kidding me.
My sister gasped loudly from behind.
"What's the meaning of this, Mr. Carter!?" She screeched in horror. Marian watches as the man dressed in overalls dragged our only "expensive," table out the door. "Ah! Be careful with that!" She shrieked. Oh dear, this isn't going to go well.
Mr. Carter reaches for my sisters hand.
"Darling, I had to," He insisted. But Marian wasn't so pleased. She shrunk to her knees, wailing uncontrollably. She no longer tried to subdue her aching feelings, and I couldn't stand and watch. I immediately stepped in front of her to face "the man," myself.
He glares at me. Oh. I guess he doesn't like that very much.
"-M-mr. Carter. Is this really all necessary?" I peeped quietly. I've never been so polite to the jerk considering we've never gotten along. But if kissing ass is what it takes, I'll swallow my pride.
"Maya," I growled through clenched teeth.
"Whatever. According to the creditor's code, we are bound to do this to our clients who haven't payed their debts off. I've been holding it off because I sympathize with your sister," He explains oh-so endearingly. I scoff in disbelief. Yeah, because you "sympathize" with her. Great.
"Anyways, you might as well hurry off. Your bed won't be here forever," Mr. Carter suggested. "Danny, into their rooms." He snapped.
Just as they were about to head inside, I quickly move in front of them.
"You can't terminate our apartment!" I hollered frantically. My arms were in complete outstretch to block their paths. I never thought I'd be begging someone for so much mercy. Ugh. This better be the last time.
"And why not?" He raised a brow.
"B-because...because...we'll pay our entire debt by next week!" I asserted. It suddenly went cold from where I was standing.
"What?!" "What?!" "Que?!"
They all shouted.
And by then, I just realized how stupid it sounded out loud. But it's in the open air, I might as well go along with it.
"Yeah, t-that's right! We're going to pay our debt off! And there's nothing you can do about it," I proclaimed undoubtedly. But the man merely scoffs, to which stung my ego quite a bit.
"And how do you expected to do that? If you didn't know, little girl, you'll need money to pay off a debt," He reminds a bit more amused. Oh, right. Damn. This guy was really killing my vibe. But I couldn't let him be aware of that.
"I have exclusive connections," I lied.
"Must be why you're apartment is getting repossessed," He retorted. Ouch. Okay. That burned.
"W-whatever! Point is, we are keeping our apartment, and I'm not leaving you dry of single penny," I asserted.I didn't know how I was getting the cash, but I needed to stall for time. If the debt was going to be paid, it was going to be paid right away.
"And if you don't?" He challenged. Yeah, exactly the part I hadn't thought of yet. I licked my lips in thought, searching my brain for any rational solution. And if I don't...and if I don't... Ugh, this is harder than I thought it would be.
I gulped, putting the last of my pride out there. I can't believe I'm actually going to do this...
"And if I don't," I begun. "You can have Marian's hand in marriage."