Sitting beside Reagan in the black sedan, the only thing that keeps repeating itself in my mind is what she said before we left the school.
Better in a way I want her to be…
What did she mean by that!? Is Lily fine now!?
I doubt it…
Remembering the look on her face after seeing that video the other day, I find it really hard to believe that she can recover from such a thing in just a couple of days. But then again, I don’t think that Reagan was lying as well. She doesn’t seem like the type of person who would lie for no apparent reason.
There is something really strange about this… But what could it be?
I am never going to guess on my own and this bitch Reagan is not telling me. Of course, I have already asked her twice about this, but the only reply I got was “you will see” along with an unpleasant smile.
And I don’t fancy asking her a third time…
Sigh… I guess the only way left for me is to wait until we reach the base and see how Lily is doing myself.
“There is no need to overthink this…” Reagan mutters, her face still turned towards the tinted window next to her, lazily looking outside.
“What?” I ask with a frown.
“Don’t overthink about what I said. You might actually thank me later,” she says.
“Thank you!? Why would I thank you!?” I ask incredulously, still frowning heavily.
She doesn’t reply, though I can see a smile dangling on her face once again.
We reached Abigail’s base much faster than I anticipated. Or the journey probably just felt small to me because I was dreading to come here all along the way— scared of what I am going to see of Lily here.
“Now, listen, as you already know; Chloe is here. And I don’t want us to announce our arrival to her yet. So, we are going to keep our quiet and move silently, okay? Now, follow me,” she says in a low voice, continuing to move towards the back door of Abi’s Car Dealership, which is the entrance of Abigale’s hidden gang base.
“Fine…” I mutter.
Surprisingly, I cannot see any activity inside the base. No doubt that this place was a bit dark and quite the last time I visited as well, but now; I cannot even see a single living soul here in the hallway except us.
Completely unaffected by this oddness, Reagan keeps moving ahead into the base— taking a couple of turns, passing through the huge room filled with expensive cars, climbing down a set of stairs, before finally stopping in the middle of a corridor filled with an array of similar-looking doors.
But the thing is, even though I have never been here before, this corridor seems strangely familiar.
Oh, wait… This looks exactly the same as the large corridor in Zoe’s underground base— where the gang members have their personal rooms.
“Go on, Lily is inside,” Reagan says, stepping aside and gesturing me to get inside the door we are standing in front of.
“You are not coming with me?” I ask, confused.
“No, I should give the lovers some time to reunite, don’t you think? These two days must have been pretty hard…” she says with a sly smile.
Giving her a deeply hateful glare, I twist the knob of the door and enter inside the room. Having nothing extravagant, the room looks mostly empty with just a small television set attached on the wall, an air-conditioner, an attached bathroom, and a single bed— on top of which, Lily is sitting rather stiffly, wearing her casual shorts and T-shirt.
The moment she hears me enter the room, her head jerks up into my direction and a soft smile forms on her face.
“Hello! I was waiting for you,” She greets me, her face looking surprisingly calm and composed.
“H-Hey,” I say tentatively.
“Come here, sit down,” she says, lightly patting the bed.
“Lily…” I mutter.
“Are you fine?” I ask worriedly.
“Yes, I am fine. Come here,” she says, again patting the bed.
With a frown, I slowly start moving towards the bed while trying my best to observe Lily; her face, her voice, the way she moves— I am trying to find any fluctuations that might betray this calm and collected persona she’s showing me.
But there are none…
Slightly timid, I sit down right next to Lily, unable to think of what to say next.
“I heard that you went to school. Anything important happened in the class?” she asks simply.
“N-No, nothing important, you will cover up easily,” I quickly answer.
“Oh, that’s good. I will be coming to school from tomorrow anyway, so there is nothing much to worry about,” she says, giving me another smile.
“That’s great… Eh…”
I stop myself abruptly.
“… I-I mean, you should not force yourself, Lily. Take your time … You know, to recover… after what happened that day… you were clearly affected greatly…” I say a bit hesitantly, placing my hand on top of hers.
This is this… There is no way Lily won’t show her true emotions after remembering what happened that day. And more importantly, this topic needs to be approached as quickly as possible…
“Oh, I am alright now. You don’t have to worry about me,” Lily says, not even a flicker appears in her smile.
“You are alright?” I ask, sounding incredulous against my wish.
“Yes, I am. Can you see me crying?” she asks, shocking me tremendously with a small laugh.
“B-But you were… That day…”
“I know that you are really confused, Caiden. You saw me in a completely messed up state that day. I think you deserve to know what happened after that,” she says, turning on the bed to face me directly and grabbing my hand with both of hers.
Still thoroughly bewildered, I try to calm myself down and listen to her as intently as I could.
“You see, you were correct to think that I became really broken that day, Caiden. I just couldn’t believe what I saw, though there was no point in denying the truth as well. Seeing my fath— that… that man, whom I trusted more than anyone else, showing his true colors, it felt as if everything inside me was slowly getting torn apart,” Lily says, sounding extremely sad, but still composed.
“That day, after you left and that man went back to his work, Reagan called me. And even though I was in no state to even pick up my phone, let alone talk to anyone… I somehow did. She told me to meet her outside my house and come with her to the gang’s base.
“I remember being in such a dazed state that I didn’t even consider refusing her— I did what she told me. Once we reach the base, she ordered Emily, Abigale, and Nora to be with me as long as it takes to cheer me up. And following that, they tried to talk to me about various things that might pique my interest; my life at school, my friends… you.
“At first, I wasn’t even listening to them, even their voices seemed fuzzy and unrecognizable. But slowly, by the end of the day, I started talking back— not about the stuff they were asking me about— but about what I happened that day,” Lily continues, her expressions getting dark now.
“And as I kept talking about it, my emotions started bursting out again. Abigale supported me through most it, she held me when I cried and encourage me to speak my heart out, I am really thankful to her. And at last, I finally began to feel a little lighter. It felt as if something that got frozen inside me was thawing down once again…”
Lily pauses to take a few breaths, her eyes filling up with tears. Instinctively, I put my right hand around her and caress her back.
“After that, Reagan came to check on me and once assured that I am a little better, she sent me home— telling me not to talk to anyone at home or call anyone yet, not even you,” She says.
“Then the next morning, she picked me up from my home once again and dropped me in the care of the trio. But that day, instead of talking about anything serious, they took me outside to have some fun.
“We ate breakfast at a nice cafe, went to the amusement park, watched a movie… It was like a girl’s day-out. Throughout the day, my mood just got better and better. Before I realized, my pain slowly lessened and I actually started to enjoy my time there a little.”
“And just like that, the second day ended. Truthfully, I was not completely back to normal, but I was also not feeling hopelessly lost and broken like before. When I went home that day, I had a smile on my face,” she says.
“Then came the third day— yesterday. As usual, I got picked up by Reagan and was bought to the base here. But this time, there was no Abigale, Emily, or Nora waiting for me. Only Reagan wanting to speak to me about… about the person I had the misfortune to call my father,” Lily says hatefully.
“She revealed everything to me, Caiden. Everything about that man. What he has done, what he is doing. And there were not just the things my mother said in that— that video, but other, greater horrors as well. She also explained to me the reason why this gang is after him, why they are doing everything they can to hurt him and the reason why it’s proving to be so difficult.”
“And after hearing all that, I made up my mind, Caiden,” Lily says, a determined look flashes across her face.
“I am going to help them with everything I have got… And I hope that you help me with this…”