Chapter 8:

The Future For Me and You

The Only Female

"What's an Axis?" Alice asks Karl. 

He sighs before taking a seat on the bedside, "It's basically a black book, Alice. It contains a lot of secrets and terrible things within the Ventaga community and its occupants. Grandpa said that it used to be written in a literal black book. Mandy, your governess, must've copied it somehow for the people that she works for." he explain.

Alice frowns her forehead, "And, now Mandy has it inside of this necklace." she said and withdraw the necklace inside of her purse. 

Karl nods, "That thing is a menace, Alice. We need to get rid of it before anyone finds out. Here, let me keep it..." Karl added before hand out his own hand.

 Alice hold the necklace on her fist and close to her heart.

"No. I can't give it to you, Karl. It's the last thing Mandy's hold on to before she died. Whatever inside must be important to her."

"Seriously? We're still having this talk? Even after all she had done to you - you still going to keep the thing that had killed her?"

"Her death makes this thing important, Karl. I told you that she's..."

"Your best friend? Yeah, I get it the first hundred times... My point is - it's too dangerous.  Look, I don't even wanna bring this up, but would keeping Mandy's necklace really bring her back?"

"No. I suppose not." Alice replied meekly.

He nods. "Exactly. Now, hand it over to me and let this topic over. We shall never bring it up again - no matter happens. Agreed?"

"Yes. I agree."

"Good." Karl said as he watches Mandy handed the necklace on his palms. He then withdraw an empty box from the drawer and store it there. Then, without a word - he walk towards the backyard and enter a garden shed. He placed the box inside of a large pot before pouring a black soil on the top of it.

"What are you doing, Karl?" Alice ask him. Karl begin to pour and patted the soil simultaneously before turning at her.

"What does it look like? I'm burying the evidence." 

"Aren't you afraid if somebody gonna find out?" 

"No. I do this all the time. From my experience, it's safer this way. You should try it sometimes."

"Try what?"

"Hiding stuff in a large pot."

"You're an odd guy, Karl." Alice commented. Karl continues to bury the box without saying a word. After he's done, he stand up, patted his hands together and turned back at Alice.

"Okay, I'm done here. Let's go."

"Aren't we going back inside?" 

"Nah. I already said goodbye to my grandparents earlier. Let's just go."

"You did. What about me?" Alice asked back. Karl frowns.

"Oh, you haven't? I thought you already did." 

"No, I didn't."

"You better go then. I'll be waiting for you in the car." he said and leaves Alice alone. She sighs and slowly begin to walk back inside. She said goodbye to Earl, Karl's grandpa and then to Marianne, his grandma. Before she left, Marianne gives Alice a long hug. She whispered something in her ears before looking back at her;

"Remember that, okay dear?" she said. Alice smiles.

"Of course. I won't forget... grandma."

"Alright. Now be gone you two. And tell Karl to drive safely out there. I still don't understand why he wanted to drive anywhere when we have a perfectly able driver at our disposal."

"I don't know what to tell you, grandma. Karl just love his new license, I guess." Alice added. She waves Marianne goodbye and closed the door. Soon after,  the sound of engine can be heard, followed by the sound of vehicle leaving. Marianne left out a sigh before climbing up to her husband room.


It's shortly before six p.m when Karl and Alice arrives at their home. After their marriage, Karl have opted stay in his family home rather than living with his grandparents  in their big old mansion. Karl have a couple of maids and one gardener in his home, but that's it. That is because Karl prefer solitary and idyllic life, and now that he started living with Alice - he likes it because no one would be interfering into his lives. 

Needless to say, Karl and Alice lives on the opposite side of the house. 

Karl had had it figure out from early on. He told Alice that he'll take the West wing and she can have the rest of the East wing. It's pretty isolating arrangement, to say the least. Most of days, they didn't even met. Karl is almost proud of himself that he figure it out all on his own, but it's a different case with Alice.

She hates their current living arrangement, but didn't dare to say it out loud.

It's not like Alice really wanted to be with Karl all the time, but she is so used being with Mandy that she couldn't help but feel a little lonely. Currently, Karl is pretty busy with his final year and finishing his A-Level. Soon enough - he'll be leaving for college. Alice couldn't help but wonder what is she going to do in that big house all by herself after he's gone.  

"You seem awfully quiet tonight... Is something bothering you?"  Karl asks over dinner. They're having a nice pasta that night, but Alice appetite seems to be gone elsewhere. Karl couldn't help but wonder if it has something to do with Mandy's necklace and the Axis. 

"Nothing." she replied solemnly. Karl catch her lie right away. He put down his fork, dapped his mouth with table napkin before clasping his fingers together. Then, he ask her;

"Is it about that stupid necklace again? I told you, it's safe now. You have nothing to worry about."

"No, it wasn't that... It's just - I been thinking about us."

"What do you mean?"

"Look, Karl. Don't take this the wrong way, but I know you're going to finish your A-Level next week. Soon enough, you'll be busy start prepping for to college. What will happen to me then? I mean, where's that left us?"

"I see... So, you're worried about the future, huh? Well, I'm not sure myself, Alice. I haven't thought about it that far. What about you? What do you want to do?"

"I... don't have the faintest idea. If you're gone, then should I go to school too?"

"Perhaps. If you do go - you're going to be sophomore next year, right?"

"I suppose. But, I'm scared to go, Karl."

"Then, what else do you have in mind? Got any hobby you like to turn into business venture? I'm sure the committee would love to hear about it."

"Nah, I don't think they be that thrilled of me being that independent."

"What do you mean? They'll be thrilled to have you." Karl chimes in. Alice left out a sigh.

"I'm pretty sure they have something else in their mind. Like us having a baby or something." Alice replied nonchalantly. Karl almost spit on his drink after hearing that. 

"Surely it hasn't come to that." Karl put down his glass carefully. He give her a serious look. Alice put down her fork and look at him.

"I don't know, Karl. But, no matter how I look at it - it just keep circling back to us having a child together like they always wanted. I am sure your family would love it too. Oh, I hate thinking about this too, but it feel like a right thing to do." she replied.

Karl left out a huge sigh. 

"Alice, we already talked about this. Like you said, I'll be way too busy prepping for college.  We're not going to have child on the top of that too. I'll be away for at least four years and couldn't help you with much. I mean are you seriously gonna be someone a single mother at only 16 years old? Are you???" he asks with a deep frown.

Alice grew silent upon hearing that. She then pick up the napkin on her lap before throwing it on her plate.

"I understand that. Please, forget about I said. It's immature of me asking you to fulfill your family obligation while you're busy thinking about your future. Just go to the college like you always had planned. I'll be out of your way." she said and quickly leaves the room. A few seconds later, Karl heard the upstairs door being slammed. Karl throw his own napkin on the plate.

Just like Alice, he too had lost his appetite. He have no idea what Alice wanted from him, but everything he's done - Karl had ensured to put Alice in his plan too. It wasn't as elaborate or concise, but he did thought of her. Still, that probably wasn't enough since she stormed out like that and never look back.

[End of Chapter 8]