"Okay stop! I said I'm sorry, okay?" Ashton groaned as I packed another punch to his face.
"Shut the fuck up asshole! You saying sorry is not going to wake her up now. I knew it was a bad idea. I shouldn't have listened to you." I shouted on his face.
I stopped for a moment and looked at Jasmine lying on the couch, unconscious. Anger seared through me and I punched Ashton again.
"Seriously man! Stop it now! I get it! I'm not going to touch your girl again." Ashton said, backing away from me.
I flipped him off and sat beside Jas. Her face was tear stricken and she looked worn out. I groaned out of frustration. This is all my fault.
"I'm so sorry Princess. I'm so so sorry. I shouldn't have let this asshole pick you up. I'm so sorry. Please wake up." I pleaded.
I heard Ashton scoff from behind me. "Come on man. She will wake up. Aren't you impressed by my kidnapping skills?" He asked smugly.
"No I'm not! She's fucking scared to death because of you. Wasn't there any other way to prank her than this?!" I snapped.
Ashton scratched his neck and looked a bit embarrassed. Good.
"I don't know man. I was excited to meet her after so many years. I seriously thought she was going to kick my ass like all those years ago. But she didn't." He said in a serious tone.
"You caged her man! How was she supposed to kick your ass if you cage her in your arms?!" I snapped out of frustration.
He was about to say something but I ignored him and focussed my attention on my Princess's unconscious face.
When Ashton proposed to surprise her with a prank, I didn't know it was going to be this bad. When he dropped her inside the car, one look at her and I felt like someone ripped my heart apart. She looked so broken and shaken I would've killed Ashton by now if he wasn't my bestfriend.
"Hey man, don't you think she has changed?" Ashton spoke up after sometime.
"What do you mean?" I asked him, confused.
He took a long good look at Jasmine and then sighed.
Now what the fuck is that supposed to mean?
"Speak up man!" I snapped impatiently.
"You remember that one time years ago when she came back home with a bloodied fist? And everyone asked her how she got hurt?" He asked and memories resurfaced my mind.
"And she said that she wasn't hurt. She punched a guy." I said and chuckled.
"Exactly man. She was always this feisty little girl with so much power. But today when I saw her, I didn't see that girl. I didn't see that fire in her eyes anymore."
For some reason, Ashton's words shook me to the core. He was probably right. She seemed different. How come I didn't notice this before?
"Are you sure Ashton?" I asked hesitantly. "Maybe we're thinking too much."
"I don't know man. I just feel like something's not right." He said. Ashton rarely gets serious. And this was one of those moments.
I pondered over his words. Something did seem off about her since the day I met her again. She doesn't look like the girl who's going to give you shit if you mess with her anymore. She looks worn out.
I suddenly remembered something and said, "I saw her outside the hospital yesterday."
Ashton's eyes grew as big as a saucer. "And you're telling me this now?"
"What do you mean 'now'? What difference was it going to make if I told you earlier?" I asked sceptically.
"What if she's suffering from a terminal disease?" He said with seriousness.
I smacked his head upside down. This guy can never be serious.
I was about to tell him off when I heard a groan from the couch. Turning towards it, I saw Jasmine's eyes fluttering and a groan escaped her mouth. I rushed to her side.
"Princess? Are you fine?"
She slowly opened her eyes and looked around. She looked confused but suddenly her eyes widened and she looked around frantically. Her eyes landed on me and tears filled in them.
"Chris! T-they t-t-took me. Someone t-took me! I-I was s-so s-s-scared. T-they c-c-carried me into a c-car and pushed me i-inside. I was s-so scared." She cried hysterically and flung her arms around me. I felt so bad and guilty. I sneaked a glance at Ashton. His head was ducked with shame. I glared at his head.
I wove my arms around her and hugged her closer to me. "Sshh Princess. It's fine. You're fine. I'm here. I won't let anything happen to you I promise." I whispered into her ears, trying to calm her down.
After much assurances and sweet nothings spoken into her ears, she slowly untangled herself from me. I felt the coldness at her absence and wanted to pull her to me again.
Stop it Chris. She's already shaken. Don't scare her more.
"How did you find me?" She asked quietly.
I looked at Ashton. No way in hell was I going to be the one to tell her this.
Ashton cleared his throat. Jasmine jumped suddenly and I frowned. Did she seriously got scared of a throat clearing?
"Hey Jasmine! Remember me?" Ashton gave her his signature smirk. Idiot.
Jasmine stared at him and then sheepishly shook her head.
"Hey I'm Ashton! The love of your life! How could you forget me?! I'm hurt." Ashton whined.
Jasmine's eyes suddenly widened with recognition and she turned to me. "Your bestfriend Ashton?" She asked. I nodded.
"Hey Ashton! Sorry I kind of forgot you." She smiled sheepishly. She looked so cute I wanted to pull her closer and bury her in my arms.
Ashton grinned like a fool and pulled her into a hug. She gasped but then giggled, hugging him back.
"But how did you guys find me?" She asked again.
I gave Ashton a look. He sighed and turned his eyes away from her.
"It was me." He said it so quite I would've probably not heard him if I wasn't paying close attention.
"What? I didn't get you." Jasmine frowned and asked.
"It was me. I was the one to play that prank on you. I'm sorry Jas."
There was a pin drop silence after that. I could literally hear the clock ticking from the next room.
"You WHAT?" She raised her voice and I flinched. That was the first time I ever heard her raise her voice.
Ashton was about to say something but Jasmine turned to me. Please no. God no.
"Did you know about it?" She asked, glaring heatedly at me.
I slowly nodded my head. Even if I wasn't directly involved in the prank, I could've stopped him. But I didn't. And I feel guilty for that.
Jasmine suddenly started laughing. Surprised I looked at her. Her eyes were emotionless and her laughter was hollow. The look in her eyes scared the shit out of me. I've never seen her so empty.
She looked me dead in the eyes and said, "I thought you were different. I thought I could trust you. I thought you wouldn't do that to me. But you did. You're all the same."
Saying this, she got up from the couch and stormed out of the room. I heard the front door slam shut.
I didn't try to stop her. I couldn't. More than her words, the look in her eyes stopped me. I've never seen that look in her eyes before. So broken. So empty. Did the prank really take such a toll on her?
But one thing kept running in my head -
Who the hell was she talking about?
YOU ARE READING
From Cradle to the GraveRomance
For 8 year old Jasmine, 18 year old Chris was her superman. There was nothing more than she liked than spending time with her babysitter. But the day Chris left for college, she felt a part of her going away with him. With time, she forgot all about...