Chapter 22 – Eliza
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"Hello!" Eliza said, waving her hands in front of my eyes "Earth to Omari and Linzi!"

I was too frozen to even respond to Eliza's beckoning, and Linzi naturally didn't care about anyone if I was around.

Eliza waved her hands in front of my eyes a couple times more before I was able to reign-in my rapidly beating heart.

I took a deep breath and turned my gaze upwards to stare at the blonde-haired woman in front of me.

I rose up from the floor, careful to not bother Linzi's position.

Eliza was quite a looker – 1.80 meters tall, twenty-six years old, blonde-hair rolled into a bun, and near-perfect white skin.

I had no doubt that several men had probably offered to buy her from the Brothel, but Karl's funding kept them at bay.

Sadly, that would be the case no more, and I was not sure how to break the news to Eliza.

Death was not uncommon in the slums. If someone came to tell me that Rocky died today, I wouldn't grieve for a long time.

That's just how things were, but I was not sure of Eliza's reaction. After all, she had lived a fairly protected life thanks to Karl's status as an 'Adults' member.

It was not an exaggeration to say that come tomorrow, Eliza would be taken from Heaven to Hell… considering the slum was already Hell on Earth, you could guess how bad she would have it.

"How are you?" I asked Eliza, mustering my childish voice I knew she liked.

Eliza's eyes widened and she squealed happily as she pulled me into her well-sized buns. I enjoyed the sensation of her soft breasts.

How could I not? My mind was far more mature than my body… such was the case with all kids in the slums.

"Call me 'big-sister' with that cute voice," Eliza said excitedly while flinging me from side to side without a care in the world.

I could feel pain ripple throughout my body at having my injuries exacerbated once more.

Anyone else might have been fooled by Eliza's cheerful personality, but I knew she was far from the naïve woman she seemed.

Despite the payment, Karl would make to the brothel on a daily, I knew that Eliza had to fight tooth and nail every day to keep her purity.

I once saw her beating two men to death outside the brothel.

It was the slums so nobody was an angel.

After a couple of swings, Eliza seemed out of breath and released me onto the floor. Linzi took the time of our playful banter to steal the numerous snacks from my back pocket.

I didn't really mind because I couldn't take those treats into the sewers anyway. It would be like dangling a slab of beef in front of a lion, only the beasts would be Rat-Olfs instead.

"How are things?" I asked Eliza after she calmed down.

Eliza frowned and stared into my eyes.

"You had a hard day huh?" Eliza asked.

I was instantly startled but managed to stop myself from unsheathing my dagger. I didn't think that Eliza was so observant, but as if reading my thoughts, she just giggled.

"Karl was fifteen the first time he killed. He was in more of a mess than you… You don't wear your expressions on your face, but anyone can tell from just looking at you.

The look in your eyes … they're red and puffy… the way you walk looks like your soul is exhausted. I have seen it many times in the men that come to the brothel…" Eliza explained, looking me directly in the eyes.

I opened my mouth several times but said nothing in the end. I trusted Eliza but I wasn't sure about what to say.

"It's okay," She said "You don't have to say anything… sometimes just knowing that someone else knows and doesn't mind is enough,"

I slumped back into a sitting position after hearing Eliza's confusing wisdom. I felt like it was a great pardon of sorts, but I may have been slightly delusional after all the spinning.

"How are you really?" Eliza asked.

I sighed and answered "Rough night but I have a plan coming up in a few days that could change things. The 'Adults' have torn all faces with me, I can't stay in this slum anymore,"

Eliza nodded since she was aware of the inner workings of the 'Adults'. She knew they liked talented people and would spare no shady means to acquire such individuals.

"I wish I could run away with you," Eliza said, laughing at the thought.

But my reply caught her unprepared.

"Why not?" I asked.

"What?" She replied a bit mechanically, obviously surprised at my readiness.

"It's either die here or run away and probably still die… but one death is stagnant and the other has a small chance at life," I stated.

"How would we do it?" Eliza asked curiously.

I told her the basics of my plans, which was not much since I only just had the thought yesterday. All my plan consisted of was finding out what The Receptionist had planned and using it too.

Still, Eliza thought it was somewhat reliable at least.

We talked for almost an hour, Linzi had already crawled onto my lap and fallen asleep.

After the talk, I gestured for Eliza to take Linzi off my lap and she did. Linzi had a separate area at the back where she slept. It was a relatively well-hidden area, so I was convinced of her immediate safety.

Nobody would find Linzi unless they came specifically looking for her like Betty would.

Eliza walked to the front of the window, the windows were as wide as a person and lacked any coverings. The ground was a three-story fall away, but Eliza didn't seem bothered in the least.

I noticed that she loved lingering on the edge of the windows whenever she had the chance.

Common sense would say that Eliza was finding the courage to jump, but I knew that she did it to acknowledge that she was still alive.

I turned around to leave, but before I did, I wanted to lessen the guilt in my heart.

"By the way," I said, garnering Eliza's attention from near the window "Karl gave me this to give you,"

I then tossed the silver necklace over, and Eliza unconsciously reached out and caught it. The moment she laid eyes on the necklace, I knew that she connected the dots immediately.

As her eyes stared blankly at the necklace, I pulled the dagger from my back pocket and prepared for any outcome.

I saw Eliza's eyes turn sharp for a moment before resuming their dull appearance.

I had already re-affirmed my resolve before tossing the necklace over. I had to make it home to Aurora, and if that made me a monster, then a monster I would become.

However, Eliza only shed a couple tears and continued hanging by the window. This time she hanged more loosely, closer to the edge, as she clung to the borders to keep herself from falling to her death.

I walked behind her with the dagger clutched in my right hand. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but I had the feeling that she was beckoning me to come closer… beckoning me to kill her.

Eliza heard my steps, but she didn't turn around even once.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" She asked, staring over the polluted streets of the slums "It's beauty lies in the fact that we can actually see the ugliness in human hearts reflected in the slums, while the cities hide the ugliness within their homes,"

My breathing stagnated and I suddenly had difficulty breathing, another panic attack had struck. However, before my paranoia could set-in, the feeling disappeared as rapidly as it came.

Sometimes the panic attacks were precognition, but sometimes it was just a regular panic attack.

"Just a little push," Eliza murmured as I now stood behind her.

This time she was no longer pretending to be okay. Tears fell like raindrops from the window.

"Just a little push Omari, and I'd be free… I don't have the strength to do it myself," She pleaded, but my heart was too heavy as it already was.

My mind was filled with the cracking sound of Kim's neck; I didn't need to add Eliza's falling screams to my already unstable mind.

"You know I won't survive there anymore. I barely survived there when Karl was alive, but now I will be violated for a week and be in the gutter the following week when I'm used up…

Do you know how many men came to the Brothel for me? Do you think they won't each 'try me' before discarding me!!!" Eliza asked, yelling at the top of her lungs.

My mind thumped with a sudden migraine as one word was repeated 'Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!'

I wasn't sure what happened, but the next moment, my knife was behind her neck, ready to slit her throat.

It was as if I was a different person for a brief moment, and 'Omari' was forced into a passive state for someone else to do what needed to be done.

My hands trembled at the last moment, and I felt disgusted at what I was about to do. I dropped the dagger and pulled Eliza from the window into an embrace causing us both to fall backward.

We fell onto the floor and remained there for what felt like forever.

"There are two types of people in this world: Happy Now-Sad Later, and Sad Now-Happy Later… we are sad right now but our time will come," I murmured trying to convince myself as much as I was trying to convince Eliza.

Eliza cried in my arms for a while then rose to her feet and left in the direction of Linzi's room. I guessed her plan was to hide out here for a week while I worked out the kinks in my plan.

I was glad that she chose to fight instead of yielding to the whims of Fate. With a piece of mind, I stumbled down the stairs and went home using an entirely new complex route.

∞∞∞

After Omari left, Eliza once again came and hung by the window, but this time her tearful frown was replaced by a cold look.

Eliza withdrew a communication device from her pocket and Raz's voice came from the next end.

"Karl and the others failed," She stated.

"I know," Raz replied nonchalantly.

"Did you get Plan B to work?" he asked.

"Yes," Eliza replied bluntly "He is just a kid after all, he didn't even doubt me,"

"That's why I used you," Raz replied before asking "How much time do we have?"

"He said he'd try something in a week, so that would be the perfect time to strike," Eliza replied, and then Raz hung up.

There were no more words to be said, everything would now be determined by Fate.

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