It was a chilly day in November as I drove home from Zacky's house, where we'd spent a quiet afternoon watching movies. As I drove from the one side of the city to the other, I passed the Prynne County Mental Institution, and couldn't help but slow down as I did. Mentally, I shook myself before speeding up and passing by the building. Sure, she was in there, but there was nothing I could do about it. It'd been almost a year . . .
Back at home, I tossed my keys into their little dish on the table and then threw myself onto the couch, staring at the ceiling blankly, remembering Sade's laugh. Regan. Her name was Regan now. I sighed and looked around me. Not three feet away from me sat a small black leather book with the words "My Diary" embossed in silver on the front. I reached for it, but then hesitated. Even though she'd given me permission, I just didn't feel right about reading her diary. I shook my head, sighed, and opened it to where I'd left off, the part where I'd entered her life.
November 27, previous year
I raised the remote and stopped the movie, watching as Kate Beckinsdale's face froze in place on the screen. I was watching Underworld again. I had a serious problem with that movie. Or perhaps it was just that I had a serious lack of freedom, and a seriously small dvd collection.
I sighed and heaved myself up from the couch, thinking that something to eat was in order. And there, you have my life story. Eating food and watching Underworld. I needed to get out more often.
My life wouldn’t be near so boring if it weren't for my older brother. Don't get me wrong, I loved Caleb [he was, after all, all I had], but I didn't love the restrictions he placed on me. I hadn't been outside of the house in ages. Well, I'd been in the backyard, and maybe once in a while I'd actually ventured across the street to the mailbox. But that was a rarity. Caleb said that it was for my own protection.
"I've got dangerous enemies. Surely you can realize that, Sadie. I love you dearly, and don't even want to think of what some of those assholes would do to you if they got their hands on you. No, it's much safer for you to remain inside," he would say. It was such a frequent conversation that I practically could've recited it from memory, without Caleb's help.
I quietly fixed myself a lunch; grilled chicken sandwich with mayo and mustard, sliced up apple with some hard slices of cheese on top, leftover salad from last night's dinner, and a tall glass of diet Pepsi. I had what was considered a "healthy" diet, but this was only because I wasn't allowed out often enough to gorge myself on fast food.
I had just sat down to start my movie from where I'd left off ["Why are you helping me?!" "I'm not. I'm helping me."] when the doorbell rang. I got to my feet and slowly made my way toward the door, but stopped dead in my tracks as Caleb came hurtling down the stairs, a streak of dark clothing topped with a shock of white-blond hair.
"I've got it, Sadie," he assured me before opening the door. "Go back to your movie."
I rolled my eyes and slowly did just that. I was a very lethargic person, wasting my life away here in Caleb's house.
There was a reason I lived with Caleb and Caleb alone; three years ago, our parents and other family members had been brutally massacred by an angered survivor of one of Caleb's "jobs". Caleb and I had been out visiting a relative at the time, and luckily escaped the brutality. We returned to find our home in flames and our parents dead.
Or so Caleb tells me. I can't remember any of it; something inside me snapped upon seeing my parents slaughtered and hit a nerve in my brain--I can't remember anything before the past year and a half, which has been spent in Caleb's darkened house, watching movies and reading all the time. I wasn't even allowed to go online anymore!
I guess Caleb did have reasons for wanting to protect me. His job put him at high risk almost endlessly—he was a top-notch CIA assassin. About two weeks out of every month he'd spend away, hunting someone down and bumping someone off. It was unpleasant, but it was his life. And there were always angry survivors who could use me against him.
I heard voices coming from the entry way, Caleb's and a voice that was completely unfamiliar to me. Of course I obviously wasn't very sociable, but every so often Mr. Gregg would drop by, usually hailing another business trip for Caleb. Mr. Gregg was your typical short, angry, icy businessman, with your just-as-typical hulking and none-to-intelligent bodyguard, known to me only as Dice. Dice was about 6'8", African-American, and silent. Mr. Gregg was about 5'3", loud, pompous, and paler than a glass of milk.
However, the stranger in our entryway was neither Dice nor Mr. Gregg. He was dressed in grungy tattered jeans [reminiscent of my own, only much, much baggier], a tan Guns'n'Roses shirt under a black jacket with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, cutoff black goves, and eyeliner. I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as he followed Caleb up to the office; he wasn't bad looking at all. I sighed and returned to Selene and Michael.
About half an hour later, I was taking a break from the movie in favor of some 'alone time' with To Kill a Mockingbird, and I heard a door slam. I stood up and poked my head out of my bedroom door, where I was ensconced with Scout, Jem, Atticus, and Boo Radley. The door to Caleb's study was closed, and his visitor was going down the stairs quickly. I went over to my window and pushed the black curtain back in time to see the stranger climb into a black '67 Mustang and peel off down the street.
"Sade," said Caleb's voice seriously from my doorway. I dropped the curtain and turned to face him.
"Yes?" I asked pleasantly, sitting back down on my bed and reaching for my book once more. Caleb cleared his throat before answering.
"I have another business trip, and I need to leave early tomorrow morning. I'm going to be flying to Anaheim, and I'll probably be there for just under a week. Behave yourself, okay?"
I rolled my eyes as I returned to Maycomb County. "Sure thing, Caleb." It was always the same with him.
"I really mean it, okay, Sadie?" hearing a strange note in Caleb's voice, I peered over the top of my book to see that he had an unfamiliar, pleading look in his eyes. I nodded, biting my lower lip as I did.
"Okay. Yeah. I'll behave, I promise. I'll just stay inside and watch some more movies or something." I tried not to let my intense hatred for watching the same movies over and over again show through. Caleb nodded curtly and turned to go back into his study. I sighed and picked up where I'd left off with my story, thinking that this business trip couldn't be any different from all the others.
How terribly wrong I was.
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