Mariam sat in her room, Her green and yellow sari draped around her skinny shoulders like a security blanket as she hugged herself forever closer.
"I don't believe you" Camden's words rang about in her skull making tears leak from her eyes. The shy man seemed so Docile and shy in his affairs so seeing his paper light lime eyes turn a shade of Muddy green as he spat those words at her, had stunned her to the core.
"Who was I to judge?" she thought sadly. She gathered from the talking to himself and that rage behind his delicate eyes that Camden had "problems" (to put it lightly) yet she couldn't object-ify Camden as a preaching madman. His words had stemmed from the heart, she looked back upon her decision to back up Oliver and Stephanie and sighed.
"Maybe I made the wrong call" she thought.
She looked over at her sleeping infant daughter Sandy, what if that was Sandy? Where Bradley was standing? And some monstrous middle aged woman starting screaming for the murder of her daughter.
She was that monstrous middle aged woman.
She sobbed as she stroked Sandy's flaky eyebrows, she had a similar shaped face and eyes to her father. Murad.
Mariam ran through the burning streets, screams coming in every direction, as she clenched her eyes shut. Her husband Murad held her tightly as his large arm, shielded her from the majority of sites on those city streets.
"Fuck... fuck... fuck..." he hushed cursing was something that strangely comforting to her, Sandy was crying in her arms as she remembered Murad's smell, his bushy black moustache. All the lines on his face as well as his deep voice, all of that before the hissing got closer... and closer...
Murad shielded her from the "thing"
"JUST KEEP RUNNING! JUST KEEP RUNNING..." Were his final words.
And she did. She felt him fall.
Mariam was aware she was sobbing heavily as she wiped away her tears, her longing for her dead husband now higher than ever. She could envision him on the bed with her, his arms open for an embrace the feel of his skin on hers...
She heard someone shuffle outside.
Wiping the tears away, and waiting for a few minutes until she inspected her reflection once again, so any traces that she could have been crying were dashed. She stepped outside to wonder who was lingering there.
Heather, that slut she couldn't stand was looking out of the window at the end of the corridor.
Heather turned, she saw Mariam. Mariam had no choice but to respond.
"What are you doing here!?" she snapped.
Heather's face crumpled like paper. "Just looking around, not aloud to do that any-more? Wanna chuck me out of the flat too?" she asked a sly grin on her face. "I did what I thought was right" Mariam said stiffly "I had to protect my child".
"So what? Camden was trying to protect that other kid!" Heather shouted back.
"Sandy and Bradley are different! My little girl is a baby, and that boy... is..." She was cut off by a harsh laugh from Heather.
"His what? Dangerous? I wouldn't be surprised if your little girl turned out like him, with a monster as a mother". Heather said. Mariam was nearly at breaking point, she seemed to breathe the next words rather than say them "You wouldn't understand, you're not a mother".
"You know I was once" she told Mariam.
Mariam blinked, disbelief spread across her ageing face.
"Of Course I didn't keep it, looking back in hindsight, it was probably for the best" She commented.
Mariam lost it at this, she was charging at Heather before the goth girl knew what had hit her, Screaming "YOU GODFORSAKEN SLUT! HAVING AN ABORTION! KILLING A DEFENCELESS CHILD IN YOUR WOMB! AND YOU CRITICISE ME FOR WANTING TO KILL A CHILD?! I HOPE YOU ROT!"
She swung at Heather using all her force, grabbing a fistful of thin black hair she chucked the girl across the corridor. The fat girl landed straight on her arm as it bent and cracked, she screamed in agony as Mariam went cold, the fight and rage gone as quickly as it come.
What had she done?
Heather could only whimper in pain, sprawled on the floor, inspecting her arm. Eventually Mariam could not take the guilt that ate at her, she ran over and crouched over Heather.
"Oh God... I didn't mean too..." She began panicking as she reached out to touch the arm she had broken. Heather jerked it away.
"Don't touch it! You broke it!"
"I know! Look, I can fix it!"
"Yeah right, you want to see me rot" Heather said sourly.
"I've done a lot a bad things, I know that let me at least put one thing right". Mariam begged.
"What? You're gonna fix the bones in my arm?" Heather asked sarcastically.
"I'll attend to it the best I can" Mariam said.
"I don't want your help" Heather snarled.
"Look, I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it too get this far just please, let me help".
Mariam's voice was full of pleading, maybe this is what persuaded Heather (after 5 mintues) to finally mutter "Fine, work your witch magic, kill me for all I care".
"That will not be that case" Mariam said helping Heather to her feet.
The two resented each other. Mariam was an older woman from a different culture, with rigid values whereas Heather was the polar opposite, a younger woman from a modern, western culture with little values or rules.
Mariam may have loathed the girl, but she was not going to be a complete monster.
It's not what Murad would have wanted.
It took until evening, (after a fragmented dinner) in which Oliver finally started handing out apologies.
First to Victoria, who accepted it lightly after Oliver explained himself and agreed he overreacted to the whole "Bradley" situation. Then Quincey and Rose, who were slightly more closed, he found Mariam tending to Heather's arm when he entered her room.
"What's going on here?" he asked puzzled.
The two woman shared a look.
"I tripped on the stairs, I think I broke my arm cause I landed on it, this old bat found me first, just to my luck" she snapped.
Mariam seemed to eye Heather strangely. Oliver picked up that Heather probably wasn't telling the truth, but he didn't enquire any further. He gave his apology in which both women accepted.
Ian was next. Oliver could only mutter "Ian..." a pause followed this as he looked into Ian's black eyes "Dude, I'm so sorry, I lost it completely back there and I shouldn't have argued to have your son killed, I..."
Ian paused him and smiled.
"It's okay Oliver, God is there for all of us, I am merely glad you have accepted the right path" he said. Something about those last three words bugged Oliver. It seemed to have an obvious meaning, than again it didn't.
Night fell. Oliver returned to his room throwing himself onto the large white bed, as Stephanie lay there waiting. She had also started handing out apologies for her actions.
"Well?" she asked.
"They were all okay with it" he said crawling under the blankets.
"Camden, was the worst, as expected" Stephanie began "I gave a real quick apology, I think we'll be on talking terms again but..." she sighed "I don't expect him to be too talkative, how about you?"
He didn't answer, Staring at the dust on the mattress as it came in and out of focus.
"You didn't even go to see him!? Did you!?" she concluded when he failed to answer.
"I couldn't Steph, I couldn't face him or the boy after what I did".
Stephanie made an almighty sigh.
"Jesus, Oliver how'd you expect them too talk to us!? We don't have to like them, but we both agreed that we need to at least be on speaking terms with them! I..."
"JUST SHUT UP!" Oliver roared.
Stephanie fell silent at Oliver's outburst, he hugged the blanket closer to himself as he tried clenching his eyes shut. Eventually he felt his wife place an arm around him when he didn't slip out of her grip, she spoke.
"I know it's hard, looking back we went overboard, maybe in the future we'll be right, but you shouldn't have got violent and I shouldn't have encouraged you"
He turned to her.
"We both fucked up, just because were the only one's that could step up and make the hard decisions" He said thinking back to innocent eyed Bradley and the rage that had built up inside of him making him the polar opposite to the man he was, his anger alone turned him into a devil that scared him.
She nodded at his words.
"If the whole group disagreed with me, then why does everyone call me the leader? What the hell do they see in me Steph? What am I too them? Just the big boss who everyone hates" Oliver thought aloud part of the reason his anger had built up as he knew everyone would look up to him as leader, he couldn't live with himself knowing he'd gone lackey and made a wrong choice that had cost a life.
Stephanie kissed him on the forehead.
"I'd rather be the big boss who everyone hates, rather than the coward that did nothing" she whispered too him. "People rely on you to make the tough choices sweetie, because I know they see what I do, a fully capable leader".
"Really?" Oliver groaned miserably.
"Yes, they may not like your choices, but you have to be there to voice them to voice them first, to have an opinion, whether it's right or wrong it leads a group" she lay on his chest, as they both grew more drowsy.
"I have to be the man the house" Oliver said sadly.
Stephanie murmured something in agreement.
Oliver decided that tomorrow he would face Camden and Bradley and apologise, he didn't like it. But if he didn't do it, than he'd be a hypocrite, Why did he punch Quincey yesterday? It was like Mariam had said.
"We don't do what we want, we do what we need"
And Oliver needed to be a leader.