Morning came; neither Keith nor Alice had gotten a wink of sleep. Keith looked fine, but Alice’s face was pale white, her eyes looked bruised, and Jack’s eyes were opened so widely when he had set his eyes on her, he immediatley looked at Keith, as if he had something to do with it. “Alice, my dear, what happened? Keith?”
They got into Jack’s car, and Keith had related the story to him, but Alice hadn’t spoken one word, she was too shocked from the words the man had said last night, “too bad they won’t be seeing the sunshine again! Your next...” his words rang in her head like a siren, and wouldn’t leave her alone. What had he meant by “Your next”? Were her grandparent’s car accident planned and not an accident like her grandma had said... had her grandma lied to her to protect her and keep her from coming into the city? She didn’t know what to believe anymore, but she knew now that she was in the city and she couldn’t go home now, not after hearing what that man had said about her grandparents.
“We’re here,” Jack had turned and looked at Alice, “Alice would you like for me to come in with you, or will you be fine with Keith being with you? Keith, s'occuper d'Alice, elle a besoin de vous plus alors jamais maintenant.”
“Oui, je sais, je ferai, je peux vous promettre cela, et je serai sûr de trouver cet homme et si la loi n'entre pas, je le tuerai me pour menacer elle. Au revoir, Jack.”
“Au revoir, Keith et Alice.”
Alice walked silently to the front doors of the hospital, but she stopped and whispered, “what if... if they’re not okay Keith? What if something’s happened to them? What if...”
“Alice, don’t think such thoughts. We don’t know what we’ll find, but all we can do it hope for the best, am I right?”
“I guess you are,” she then lifted her head, and stiffened her voice to sound stronger, “you are right. Let’s go.”
The hospital was a fairly new building, built about 10 years ago; it was a rather huge building, with huge windows, and automatic doors. The building itself was white and blue, the inside of the building was multiple colors, but strictly, it was a serious place. People sat in the chairs by the secretary’s desk, awaiting their turn to be called up to the front desk for the grim news they were sure to receive. Every face she looked upon, looked sad, and depressed. How could the world be so cruel, and not care?
Alice approached the front desk and asked for her grandparents, “Hello, my name is Alice Greenbay and I’m here to see my grandparents, Joyce and Kevin Greenbay.”
The secretary looked to be in her late 50’s, her hair had been partly grey, but you could still see that her hair was once dark full brown in color. She stared at Alice, almost like she couldn’t understand her, “I’m very sorry, my English isn’t the best, I’m French.”
Keith suddenly said, “S'excuser me, qu'elle avait dit était, mon nom est Alice Greenbay, je suis ici de voir mon Joyce de grands-parents et Kevin Greenbay.”
The secretary smiled at Alice, then back at Keith, “Oh oui, Joyce et Kevin Greenbay vous dites ? Leur sur le quatrième plancher, la pièce 145, leur dans là ensemble, la femme ne nous permettait pas de la diviser de son mari. Aller à droite sur dans, je les permettent de sais que vous deux dirigent sur là. Avoir un bon jour.”
Keith smiled at me and related to me what she had said, and said that we were able to go up to the fourth floor.
“Keith,” Alice turned her head to him and waited until his gaze met hers, “did you mean what you said last night? Or had you just did it because you thought I needed it?”
“Alice, I meant every word that I had said, I knew you needed someone there for you more than ever, but that wasn’t the factor that made me admit it, I admitted it because I meant it.”
The elevator was large, large enough for a bed, Alice assumed this elevator was used for emergencies, when the patients were rolled into the hospital due to an emergency and the paramedics would roll the bed into this elevator and have them taken up to the fourth floor, the emergency floor where her grandparents were now.
“Ah,” Keith said as if it was a relief, “finally, the fourth floor, now to find room 145, where your grandparents are.”
“They’re in room 145? How do you know that?”
“The secretary had said so, anyhow, I’ll wait outside the room until you call me in, I know you’ll want some alone time with your grandparents, I just fear what you fear...”
“Keith,” Alice spoke softly, “let’s not think about those dark thoughts right now. Please, I beg of you, I can’t handle hearing anything dark right now, it makes me want to break down and cry until I can’t anymore.”
“Alice,” Keith’s voice was deep, almost like he was befalling into dark thoughts again, “I’ve been thinking.”
She turned and faced him, staring deep into his eyes, searching for an answer, “what about, Keith?”
“What if... if you’re grandparents car accident was actually... planned?”
“What exactly are you trying to say, Keith? Someone’s out to get my family and wipe them off the face of the earth?”
“It’s just Alice... this all happened so fast, then you get a random call from someone, and no one, except my brother, knew we were at that hotel in that room number... It’s just so strange how these strings of events have happened. These aren’t just coincidences... And you know it’s true.”
“Keith... I don’t know what’s true and what’s false anymore. Let’s just get through today, day by day, please and try to void the dark thoughts.”
“Okay, Alice. It may be best for now.”
After walking down the hallway for a few moments, the two finally found the room number 145, labelled, “Joyce Greenbay” and “Kevin Greenbay”. Alice took a deep breath and entered the room. Her grandpa lay in his bed, looking to be an inch away from death, his eyes were closed tightly, his arms lay beside him limp, and his whole body looked to be so weak.
Alice’s grandma lay in the bed beside him, her eyes closed softly, her face seemed saddened, and in short, in a complete haze of fear and uncertainty.
Alice approached her grandma’s bed, and sat down on the chair, she whispered softly, “grandma, I’m here.”
Her grandma’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of her voice, she stared at Alice like she was staring at a ghost from the past, almost unbelieving at who she was staring at, “Alice, my dear... what are... are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here! It’s too dangerous! Please, you must leave before... before he comes for you!”
“Grandma, calm down! Who is this man you speak of? Please, tell me!”
“Alice, get out of the city and don’t come back! He’s coming and I fear he’ll come for you next! Go!”
“Grandma! I’m not leaving you, not until you tell me who this man is!”
The terror in her grandma’s voice was almost sickening, she sounded so terrified, like a young child being put into a dark room, and being afraid of the dark. “Grandma, please... Tell me who this man is that you speak of, maybe I can-”
Her grandma wouldn’t hear it, she stopped Alice in mid-sentence, “Alice, did you not hear me? Get out of the city! He’s going to come for you and this time... I fear... fear he’ll get you this time.”
“What are you talking about!?”
Alice felt her grandma’s gaze shift away from her, for some mysterious reason, her grandma wouldn’t even look at her, and it had made Alice feel very uncomfortable. “Alice,” her grandma spoke in a hoarse, deep tone, “your father had sold you to the same men he sold your mother to... but he regretted it, and that is why he left you in your grandpa and I’s care, to get you out of the city and keep you out... but when you had told us you wished to further your schooling... I gave in and allowed you to. But... I made a mistake, please my dear, get out of the city before he comes for you...”
Alice felt a sudden pain of sorrow and disgust hit her heart, how could her own father do such a thing to her... It was bad enough he had done it to her mother, but to herself? Why she kept asking herself, how could he have been drawn so low to sell his own daughter for the drink?
“No,” Alice spoke in a low, frightened tone, “...it can’t be true! Please tell me this isn’t true! How could he... he do such a thing!?”
Her grandma suddenly cried out, “Alice, I’m begging you, leave before he comes! Go, I’m begging you, you shouldn’t have to pay for your father’s fuck-ups! You’re so much better than he was, and I don’t want to see you have to pay for it! Please... go...”
The way she had spoken, alarmed Alice, she knew her grandma was serious, and she only wanted Alice to leave the city before it was too late.
Alice stood up, and whispered softly, “I’m sorry my father put such pressure on both you and grandpa... you never deserved to have to deal with this all... and you know it. I... I love you grandma.” Her grandma hadn’t answered her, she closed her eyes and sighed deeply.
Alice walked over to her grandpa’s bed, she looked down on the face she learned to love and trust, tears strew down her face heavily, she leaned down to his face, and kissed his cold cheek. She then had taken one last glance at her grandma then left the room, knowing her grandma was begging for her to leave was enough to say to herself, “Hey, I have to get out of the city before he comes for me and she doesn’t want it to happen, and I know it’s true, I’m leaving now...”
Alice walked out of the room in such a hurry, she hadn’t heard Keith call her name, she walked down the hallway like she had just committed a crime, and she had to get out of the building and out of site before she got caught.
“Alice,” Keith called after her, “can you slow down. What’s wrong?” Alice kept walking though, she knew Keith was right behind her, and she was determined to have both Keith and her out of the city in a matter of hours. She knew her grandma was scared for Alice’s life, but for some reason, Alice knew her grandma knew more then she gave off, but she was too afraid to let Alice in on her father’s dark, and disgusting secrets.
“Alice,” Keith breathed heavily after chasing after her, “for goodness sakes, slow down already, what the hell happened in there?”
“Keith, I have... to get out of the city, now!”
“I just... have to go. Now!”
“Okay okay, hold on.”
Keith called his brother and explained to his brother about all he knew, and said that Alice was determined and terrorized for some reason to get out of the city immediatley. His brother said to be out of the hospital and waiting for him in five minutes, and sure enough, as soon they stood outside for five minutes, his brother pulled up.
Alice wasted not a moment and got into the car swiftly, not wanting to think about what her grandma had told her not too long ago, but the more she tried to stop thinking about it, it crept up and attacked her brutally.
“Alice,” Keith said in a concerned voice, “what are you so afraid about?”
“Keith... I-I can’t say... It’s too... too shameful. It’s to do with my parents... my father, mainly.”
“I thought... thought you don’t know anything about them?”
“My grandma told me everything about them two nights ago over the phone, my mother was an angel, but my father... he was... a horrible man.”
Tears welled up in her eyes from just thinking about all the disgusting details about him, how could he have been such a horrible man? Was he always so horrible, or somewhere deep beneath the drink, was there a good man just dying to break free from the shackles of the drink? She didn’t know, but she felt it in her gut, he was still alive, hiding out there like a hermit, not speaking to anyone. She would kill him if she ever saw him, he needed a good beat down, and she made a promise to herself that if she had met him in life some day, she would kill him herself.