Chapter 11: The Forgotten Cheerleader
Damien and Miranda walked out of her apartment before catching Carly in the kitchen, looking at them with a shock look. She didn't believe it when Damien said he was taking her out of the apartment to get something to eat.
Carly looked at him like she didn't know who he was and what he was doing there. He didn't know what the big fuss was all about. Miranda has been out of the house without her in tow a bunch of times, so why was it different today of all days?
He contemplated this when they got into the car and he started the engine. He was getting these weird vibes from Miranda and she was awfully quiet. It was almost like she wasn't there. He glanced at her and saw the blank look in her gray eyes, cast towards the windshield.
She made no movement to grab her seatbelt so he leaned across her seat and pulled the buckle from the top, bringing it down the side of her body. She shuddered when it touched her and he clipped it in, looking at her hands intertwined on her lap. They were shaking.
"Are you ok?" He asked softly, raising his head up to look at her.
Miranda swallowed hard, shaking her head furiously.
"Do you want to tell me what's wrong?"
"I'm scared," she breathed out, her voice trembling.
Damien raised an eyebrow. "Of what?"
"Everything," she answered, meeting his gaze with a frightened one.
"Well, that really narrows it down." He mumbled under his breath.
She glared at him briefly before turning her head away and clutching the car door handle.
"Please, just drive. The faster this is over, the quicker I get home."
"Look, I don't want to do anything you don't want to do. It's your choice whether you want to stay or go."
"You were so persistent, earlier." She laughed humorlessly. "What happened to that?"
"Well, you're really freaking me out right now." He revealed, gazing at her trembling figure. "Your hands are shaking, you look really pale and in a daze. Are you feeling ok?"
"Damien, I'm fine. Let's just go, ok?" She said firmly, staring straight ahead. "Just drive."
He sighed and put his car in drive, doing what she said. His mind was completely preoccupied by her strange behavior. He thought of checking her into a doctor's office to get her checked up. He was that worried.
Damien constantly looked at her sideways, seeing if she was ok. Her hands were still trembling and without thinking, he placed his right hand on top of them. Her hands flinched from the sudden contact and she looked at him bewilderedly.
"I'm not going to hurt you ok? You're safe with me. There's nothing to worry about, Miranda." He consoled, sliding his hand to her left. "It's going to be alright."
Miranda stared at him gravely and nodded, surprising him when she squeezed his hand. He forgot that he held it and her hands no longer trembled anymore. He didn't bother taking it back because he thought his comfort was soothing her frazzled state.
It was awfully intimate for the both of them and he tried to keep it out of his mind. He kept driving in silence and once they reached to their destination, he cut the engine of the car and glanced at her.
"I kind of need my hand to get out." He said, smiling faintly.
"Oh," she said out of her daze, dropping his hand quickly. "Sorry, I forgot..."
"It's ok," he replied, opening the car and getting out.
He closed his door and was about to unlock it when he noticed that Miranda didn't even come out yet. He came around the other side of the car and opened the door, raising an eyebrow.
"Are you alright?"
Miranda's head snapped to his and got out of the car, ignoring his question. He shut the door and locked it, looking back at her.
"Where are we?" She asked in low tone, staring at the small restaurant with vines adorning the white walls and flowers blooming at the sides of the entrance.
"It's a little cafe that my friend works at." He answered, taking a step towards it. "Come on, this place can get pretty packed by lunch time and we need to find a good seat."
Damien walked to the restaurant with Miranda in tow, easing his pace so that she could catch up. She was moving at such a slow pace, it started to irritate him, but when he stole a glance at her, he saw despair written all over her face.