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CHAPTER 5 (IATB)

CHAPTER 5 (IATB)

Jan 17, 2023

CHAPTER 5 — LOOKING FOR YOU

[DANESH]

I should go home; I think for the nth time. But still, I make no effort to stand up and lie unmoving on the floor. I am back at the Lost House; I have been here ever since I ran off after my epic loss of control this morning. It has been quite some time since I lost my anger like that, and to let that one particular empowering emotion take control over me once again, it is nothing more than shockingly scary.

I sigh in disappointment. I honestly thought that I am getting the hang of it, that soon I'd be able to control my emotions well and don't need to worry about hurting anyone ever again. But apparently not.

I remember what Dr Franco, my therapist, has told me and try to analyse my outburst, the underlying reason for it. She always says that even though it might seem like I have lost control for no reason, there would always be a reason for it, no matter how small. I just have to find the reason, and then assess it, and think about how I could've handled the situation better. So that the next time a similar situation arises, instead of losing control once again, I can deal with it in a more rational manner.

It actually isn't as easy as it sounded. It means that you have to revisit your failure once more, relive it, and accept the fact that you're nothing but an utter shitbag of disappointment. It's just a therapist's politer way of saying 'you fucked up, so the least you can do is own your own shit and try not to fuck up again'. But hey, it works. Mostly.

The thing that is bothering me now though is the reason of my outburst. I am actually not all that dumb, it is absolutely clear that the cause of my rage is none other than the idiot, Zach. What I don't get is the why. I am not angry at him, or because of him, I am angry for him and I don't know why. No, I knew why, I just–

Never mind, let's just stick with, I don't know why I am angry for him.

Well, I guess I am more empathetic than I thought — in some bizarre ways, at least, since I did just break half of the things in my sister's room, yelled at her, and then just ran away.

This is mostly what is on my mind when I hear a mild creaking outside. I dismiss it at first because it is an old house, and it is in the middle of a forest, it can be anything, but when I hear another creak, this time a bit closer, I sit up, alert.

And then I hear footsteps, tentative and slow ones, but they are becoming closer. I look around for something that I can arm myself with, but come up with nothing. And so, I remain as still as I can, holding my breath, looking at the doorway, wondering who can it be.

Not once when I'd hung out here, another being (human being, to be precise) has stepped into this house. Well except for the previous night, I had brought–

Idiot? I take a guess mentally. But what can he be doing here?

I can't hear any footsteps anymore, but the floorboards creak once in a while, so someone is there.

Oh, fuck this.

"Zacharrine?" I call out, and wait for a reply.

It takes a moment, but in comes his squeaky reply, "Dani?"

I roll my eyes at his high-pitched voice. You don't have to see him to know how terrified he is.

"I told you to not call me that," I say, referring to that obnoxious nickname. 

My parents used to call me that when I was little, but I have outgrown it since then. Val sometimes used it to piss me off, and that's how this idiot came to learn off my distaste of the particular nickname and stuck to it annoyingly.

"You're here?" he asks.

"Yes," I roll my eyes again, although he won't be able to see me, since he hasn't stepped inside. "What are you doing here?"

"I am looking for you?"

He sounds very much unsure himself. I wait for him to continue, but only silence followed. I keep looking at the doorway, waiting for him to step in, but it seems like he is frozen in place or something.

"Zacharrine?" I call out again.

"Yes?"

I want to invite him inside the room I am in, wondering what he is doing out there alone, but somehow, I can't get the words out. I suddenly lose the ability to string words together to form a proper sentence. It only pisses me off, how hard can it be for me to ask him to get his fearful ass inside this room. Seemingly, it would be an impossible feat for me to accomplish since my brain has gone blank and I don't know how to put words together anymore.

Sighing, I stand up and go out the room to look for him. It isn't all that hard to find the towering idiot since he is stood not a few steps away from the house door. He has his hands tightly pinned at his sides, as he looks around the house warily, eyes darting around all the corners of the house as if he is some kind of prey being hunted.

"What are you doing here?" I ask again, and he yelps in shock.

"Fucking hell, Dani," he brings a hand to his chest, "You almost gave me a heart attack,"

"Too bad I didn't," I just shrug as I cross my arms and stare at him — I don't bother correcting him this time, "What are you doing here?" I repeat the question again, and think to myself that if I had to ask the question again, I would punch him before I do so.

As soon as the idea pops into my head, I squash it; I should be working on my anger issues, not feeding them, I remind myself.

"I already told you; I was looking for you," he sounds a little bit surer this time.

"What for?"

"To return Val's bike?" and he is back to his questioning self.

"You could've just left it at my house,"

"I did go there first, but Val told me that you weren't there?"

"And?"

"And I thought I should return the bike to you since you are the one who lent it to me?"

I roll my eyes, "Okay, done. You're welcome. You can go back now," I say as I start to walk back to the room.

"No, wait," he squeaks and is, within seconds, in front of me, blocking my way.

As if him standing in front of me isn't enough to stop me, he places a hand on my chest. Since he is taller than me by at least a head, I have to look up to glare at him. It takes a few moments for his slow brain to catch up, and he quickly removes his hands although I can still feel the warmth from where his hand was.

"Um, where is your shirt?"

"It is hot," I look away, taking a step back, suddenly conscious about the fact that I am shirtless.

I took it off a few hours ago, it is hot and I had started to sweat and felt a bit clammy. I didn't know I was going to have any company. Wait, why do I care again? Right, I don't.

I glare at him again, "What do you want?"

"Can I, um–" he clears his throat, and when he speaks again, his voice is much clearer, not mouse-like anymore, "Can I hang out here for a bit?"

That question definitely does take me by surprise. This place spooks the hell out of him. The way his eyes still keep wandering around the place unsurely only proves it more. And there is no one around. Why would he want to be here?

As I don't offer any immediate reply, he goes into full rambling mode, "I mean just for a bit, if you don't mind, obviously. I'd keep out of your way. You wouldn't even know I'm here. I'd be like a wallflower. Totally and utterly silent. I won't even move. You won't even hear me breathe. If I–"

"Ok, ok, fine," as amusing as it is to watch him ramble, it freaks me out how he is able to speak continuously without taking a breath. What the fuck am I supposed to do if he passed out like that? That's why I cut in; also, my eardrums are starting to hurt hearing his whiny voice, "Just shut up. Yes, you can hang out," I say although I know very much that I am going to regret the decision in a while.

What I didn't know though is how I am going to regret the decision in less than ten seconds.

़़़

 

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