Chapter 14:

Terror of the Past

The Rise of Outcasts

Everyone was waiting outside the emergency room. Apparently, Angelo's back pain increased so much that it became unbearable. Everyone was mildly injured as well. They had to rush to a hospital in the nearby district. A couple of nurses were treating their wounds as both of them were hurt pretty badly. Bookmark here

Orlando’s stomach was still hurting but he was more worried about Angelo. Bookmark here

Fina rested her head on Marsia’s shoulder, still shaking a bit. Marsia put her hand on Fina’s head and rubbed it gently to calm her.Bookmark here

“I am sorry, Marsia.” Fina said in a very light voice. “If only I could move back then, things wouldn't have turned out to be this bad. If only I…"Bookmark here

“Stop it. No one is blaming you for that. It was our mistake to not fully investigate things beforehand." Marsia said after a small pause. "I am sorry as well…for not knowing anything about you. It's such a shame. We call ourselves friends but we barely know what each of us has gone through."Bookmark here

"I am at fault here. I refused to talk about it even when Nicolo forced me to, but this whole 'fake father' thing was also new to me. I don't know how to process this. I always thought my father went crazy after my mother's death but now… I don't know what to think."Bookmark here

“You don’t need to think.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Just rest and forget everything that man said to you. Try to relax your mind, don’t forget we are by your side. You don’t need to burden yourself; we will figure out something when we get back so for now, just relax.”Bookmark here

“Thanks, Marsia.” Bookmark here

“Don’t mention it.”Bookmark here

Fina closed her eyes as her head was still on the shoulders of Marsia.Bookmark here

After half an hour, the doctor came out from the emergency ward.Bookmark here

“No need to worry, he is fine now.”Bookmark here

Everyone released a sigh of relief.Bookmark here

“Can we meet him?”Bookmark here

The doctor nodded and everyone rushed in.Bookmark here

“Yo!” Angelo was lying on the bed smiling.Bookmark here

They had to spend a couple of more days there for Angelo to recover enough to get back to IV-99 Alibi. Their current residence was in that district.Bookmark here

Everyone was surprised to see them in such a state because they didn't inform their situation to prevent any more tension.Bookmark here

“What the hell happened?” Risa couldn’t hold back.Bookmark here

"Alessandra turned out to be a really dangerous person, we barely escaped from him." Valentino explained the situation to them.Bookmark here

"WHAT? Alessandra is Fina's Father?" I was shocked to hear that. "But, your father introduced himself as Alan, if I remember correctly." Bookmark here

“That’s what he goes by in High End. His actual name is Alessandra de Capo.” Fina said. She was missing the energy she used to have.Bookmark here

Crap, I should have been more vigilant. It was my carelessness that I didn't even discuss the name with them. Bookmark here

“Are you feeling ok, Fina?”Bookmark here

“Yea, don’t worry about me. I am fine.”Bookmark here

“Alright everyone, rest for now. Dinner will be ready soon.”Bookmark here

"Miss Aida's cooking? It's been a while since we have had that."Bookmark here

“Angelo really loves Aida’s cooking, doesn’t he?”Bookmark here

“I will make a perfect meal for you that will heal you in no time.”Bookmark here

“HAHAHAHAHA.”Bookmark here

“Shut up.”Bookmark here

The laugher didn't stop. None of them followed Aida's instructions and remained seated in the lounge, talking… except for Fina. She went to her room. I followed her a moment later. None of the people in the lounge said a thing as they were busy in their own world.Bookmark here

I knocked at the door.Bookmark here

“It’s open.”Bookmark here

I entered the room.Bookmark here

“I knew you would follow me.” Fina gave a dead smile.Bookmark here

“Should I leave?”Bookmark here

"Of course not, I wouldn't have left the door unlocked if I wanted that. Here, take a seat." Bookmark here

I sat down.Bookmark here

No one said a thing. Bookmark here

“Do you wish to know my hellish life?”Bookmark here

"If you feel comfortable with it."Bookmark here

"I don't particularly feel comfortable discussing this, but you are an exception. We have spent more than 3 years under the same roof, I feel like it won't be an issue if it's you."Bookmark here

That made me happy to hear that.Bookmark here

"If my memory serves right, this all started a few months after he brought me home."Bookmark here

Fina started her tale.Bookmark here

“Are you the one who broke this?”Bookmark here

“I am sorry.”Bookmark here

*Slap*Bookmark here

This was the first time my father hit me. I accidentally broke a vase and he got angry over that. But now that I think about it, it was just an excuse to start the chain of physical abuse.Bookmark here

"Didn't I tell you to clean the entire room by tomorrow?"Bookmark here

“I am sorry, I am sorry.”Bookmark here

My mother grabbed me by my hair as she said that. She spanked me till she was fully satisfied.Bookmark here

The room was way too big for a kid like me to clean in such a short amount of time. But I didn’t complain. I was more than happy to have a family. Bookmark here

Then, it became a routine. Either father or mother beat me for no reason. I endured that as well, thinking it's somehow still my fault. Bookmark here

Fast forward to 4 years and I was, basically, a slave. My father got married to 2 more women and they all lived in that giant mansion. They all treated me the same way. Abusing and beating me for no reason. I had to do all the chores. I was still convincing myself that this was all for the sake of ‘FAMILY’Bookmark here

My brother was 4 years old by this time. Like father, like son, he started abusing me as well. After seeing me getting beaten up almost every day for four years, he assumed that was the thing he needed to do as well. And so, he did that but took it few steps further. Bookmark here

“Hey sister, you still haven’t cleaned up my room?”Bookmark here

“I was…….busy doing the work ma'am ordered me to do.”Bookmark here

“So, you are saying my words are not important.”Bookmark here

“No, I didn’t say th__Ahhh.”Bookmark here

He started hitting me with the belt until I was bleeding. Bookmark here

“Make sure you don’t hit her on the face, Matteo. A girl’s face is her only saving grace and we need that, so make sure you don’t damage that.”Bookmark here

“Father?”Bookmark here

He ignored my plea for help.Bookmark here

That was the moment when I lost every single hope. He was encouraging him to beat his older sister. He was trying to turn his kid just like him. Bookmark here

I didn't resist as Matteo kept hitting me. I didn't even shed a tear because there was no need to. I came to the realization that it wouldn't work so why should I waste my tears on them? I, quietly, endured all the pain, all the suffering, all alone.Bookmark here

But suffering just didn't cool down one bit. It increased as the years went by. Bookmark here

-3 years later-Bookmark here

“Look at her face.”Bookmark here

“Hahahahaha.”Bookmark here

“She looks so stupid.”Bookmark here

Some kids were pouring water on me as I was cleaning the floor. My father married three more women, out of which one was a widow with two kids. Now, three years later, and this place was filled with a bunch of kids.Bookmark here

“That’s not how you do it, Luca.” Bookmark here

Matteo came and kicked me in the butt.Bookmark here

That hurt. Things had gotten worse and he started sexually assaulting me. Both, he and Father, loved to see me with a terrified expression, although they didn't show their sadistic sides in the public, they acted as if I am a real family member. I was offered a beautiful dress for a party; nothing went wrong during the event. But afterwards, I found my dress, all torn up. It was Matteo who did this. Bookmark here

What truly terrified me were those moments when Father and Matteo beat the hell out of me. Bookmark here

One day, father came back in a foul mood. He was looking for something to release all his anger and he spotted me.Bookmark here

He took hold of a rod and started hitting me with brute force. Bookmark here

I was screaming in pain.Bookmark here

"WHAT DID I DO, FATHER?"Bookmark here

"Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time."Bookmark here

He grabbed me by my face and slammed me in the wall. He was applying every method to release his anger. Bookmark here

The pummelling was so bad that I was sent to a hospital for a couple of days but no one asked a thing about those injuries because of my father’s influence and money. Bookmark here

Another day, Matteo brought three of his friends to the house. Bookmark here

“What is this all about?” They all surrounded me.Bookmark here

The next thing I knew, I was on the ground, getting pounded by those psychopaths. Why? There was no answer to it. I just accepted it, as my fate. I accepted it as a part of my life that couldn't be changed, no matter how much I wished for, how much I struggled. In my mind, I was stuck there for the rest of my life. Bookmark here

Then, something happened four years later that truly made me want to commit suicide and end all this.Bookmark here

Matteo burst into my room and tried to rape me. He was completely out of his mind that day. I was screaming, begging for help but things were not looking good. Bookmark here

If it wasn't for one of those kids who helped me that day, I would have probably lost my sanity that day. I didn't know why he decided to stop Matteo. That night, I was all alone in my room, wanting to die. I was planning to go to the roof and jump from there. It would hurt but that would be the last time at least.Bookmark here

Just then, Father came in and told me that if everything went well, I would be someone's fiancée soon. I didn’t fully understand what he meant by that but my heart was saying not to jump just yet and wait for tomorrow. It was probably the best decision of my life. Bookmark here

“Tomorrow was the day I first met you, Nicolo.”Bookmark here

Fina had a huge smile on her face and I, unconsciously, blushed. This gave her a chance to laugh and tease me. Bookmark here

"You changed my life for good. When I first heard about living with you, I was sceptical. On one hand, I was happy that I get to leave that house. On the other hand, I was terrified to think about the possibilities. What were the chances that you won't treat me the same way? I am glad I was wrong."Bookmark here

I leaned towards Fina and hugged her.Bookmark here

"You are also the one who saved me. My life got a lot better thanks to you. Keep that in mind. Whenever you feel like you are alone or having an existential crisis, just remember that you saved someone from misery as well. Someone who is very close to you."Bookmark here

"Hehe, just keep mee holding like this a little longer. I don't want you to see my crying face."Bookmark here

"I bet it is cute."Bookmark here

“Stop teasing me like this.” Bookmark here

“Hahaha.”Bookmark here

"I was right, talking with you lightened my mood."Bookmark here

"Yea, you were all gloomy when you returned. I was worried about your mental state moving forward. Glad you are already feeling good."Bookmark here

“Thanks.”Bookmark here

After a small pause, Fina continued.Bookmark here

"Say, Nicolo, I want to overcome all the past traumas and bad memories."Bookmark here

“I am here to give you my full support on that. I am sure everyone will be glad to help you.”Bookmark here

“I feel a little guilty that I didn’t talk with you about this when you insisted multiple times.”Bookmark here

"Don't sweat it. I realize how hard it must have been for you to talk about it."Bookmark here

"You know, during my stay at the hospital, I was thinking of ways to overcome those wounds. What happened in that wasteland, will not happen again because those sudden turns of events completely caught me off guard. I nearly buried the memories before our first meeting in my subconscious mind. Hearing and seeing him in person triggered all of them at once. That was why I was unable to move. I will put an end to the main source. I will also try to live with my past instead of completely dismissing it so something like that won't occur again."Bookmark here

“That’s a really bold statement but I like it. And I think I know where you are going with this.”Bookmark here

“To kill my father during our attack at High End.”Bookmark here

I separated both of our faces and stared into her eyes. They were still red as she was crying just a moment ago.Bookmark here

“Didn’t I say to keep holding me a little longer?"Bookmark here

"Just as I expected, you are still beautiful with those red eyes and cheeks."Bookmark here

“Shut up.”Bookmark here

“You really have to deal with the kind of shit that I can't even comprehend. I don't know if it's fate that brought us together and strengthened us with each other's support, or something else. One thing is sure that I won't leave your side, ever. I will always be there for you in need.”Bookmark here

“Nicolo…”Bookmark here

At that moment, I went for a kiss. Fina was shocked by that sudden attack. Bookmark here

The sky was clear and the moonlight was falling on our faces through the window. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

It was a beautiful scene to witness.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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