“You shouldn’t have run,” Clover said, hovering above me. Shouldn’t have run. He just brutally murdered someone in front of me! “You should have let me explain.” His seemed hard and full of anger. Not the soft, kind and caring person I knew. Well, half-knew.
“How could you possibly explain that?” I responded, in a whisper. My body was so cold and shook in fear. The grass this far into the forest, where the sun never reaches, was damp and the water slowly seeped through my clothes. In-between talking all I could hear was our loud heavy breathing.
“Will you give me the opportunity?”
I wanted my answer to that to be no there was nothing he could say to make that okay. But I also knew that saying no could mean that I would end up like that girl in the house. “Okay,” I agreed. Clover stretched out his hand and helped me up, and I reluctantly took it. As soon as I was up I took a step back.
“Let’s go back to the house. We can talk and get some rest.” I almost laughed. Did he really expect me still go with him? Was murdering that girl not bother him at all? My blood ran cold as I realised that he had probably done that before, that the reason he was hiding from the police was because he was a murderer. I was on the run with a killer.
Instead of replying I nodded my head and started to follow him back. My heart was crashing in my chest as I debated whether I should try running again. I needed to get away from him.
We entered the house again and I avoided looking at the blood on the floor. It wasn’t that easy to see in the dark hallway but I knew it was there, to me it was very, very visible. Clover led me upstairs and into the second room he looked in, the first one was occupied by a half-naked woman passed out on the floor.
I didn’t want to sit down but when he gestured to the bed I obliged. “Will you tell me everything, Clover? From the start?”
He nodded and looked at me. His dark eyes piercing into mine. “Yes. I’ll start from the beginning.” I started playing with my fingers to have something to do. “I told you about my parents, and a little of my childhood. Well, that was all true. However, something happened after. When I was five years old my father cheated on my mother with a disgusting prostitute.”
A disgusting prostitute. Was that what he thought of me, that I was disgusting? In a away, I was. What I did, I hated, but I had to survive.
“My mother naturally threw him out and filed for divorce. At first our lives continued as normal. But I soon noticed a change in her. She was angry a lot and would always be talking about how much she hated that woman and what she was. That woman ripped our family apart, was what she told me. She drank a lot and stopped caring about me.”
“That must have been awful.” I could relate to some of that. When someone your parent loves leaves it changes them. They’re no longer who they were, and neither is your relationship with them. That didn’t give you the right to murder though. A tough childhood wasn’t an excuse for that.
“It was. I was five and lost. My father had left and my mother had changed beyond recognition. I grew up scrubbing myself and the house to make sure everything was clean, that the germs from that woman weren’t still left behind. Of course they weren’t, but it felt like it. Mother made it seem like she was still there, contaminating our lives further.”
I shuffled on the bed, making sure I moved over a little bit more. “Don’t be scared of me, Chantelle,” he said, almost pleadingly. Hurt was clear in his eyes but how could he expect me not to be scared?