I didn’t even give Cameron enough time to text me back before I jumped back into my car and began driving like a mad woman. I had only one thought running through my mind as I drove; I had to get this sorted today. I arrived back home a lot quicker than I had expected to, most probably because of how fast I had been driving on the way over here. I quickly switched the ignition off and jumped out of my car as quickly as I could manage without falling flat on my face. I began jogging up to my front door and for a second I almost forgot to lock my car. Clicking the button on my keys to lock my car, I pushed open my front door and stormed in.
It had only just gone one so I knew my dad would still be out at work but that was fine because he wasn’t the one I needed to talk to.
“Mother! Mother! Mother get down here now, I need to speak with you!” I shouted as I began to search the different room for her. She was nowhere downstairs so I automatically assumed that she was upstairs doing god knows what, probably snooping through my room or something just as incriminating.
“What is with all the noise Raven-Jay?” my mother appeared at the top of the staircase just as I was about to go up them. She had her normal smug look about her which probably wouldn’t have bothered me in a normal situation but given the circumstances it made me hate her more than I ever had before which made me feel terrible inside. Weren’t kids meant to love their parents, not hate them? Was I a terrible person for feeling the way I did?
“It was you, wasn’t it?” the words came out in no more than a whisper. I was almost afraid to ask them for fear of what my mother’s answer would be. What would I do if she admitted it? Could I really keep living with someone like that?
“Speak up! I have told you about that stupid mumbling before, I do not want to have to tell you again” her words were calm and concise on the surface but barely concealed underneath she was fuming. I must’ve really hit a nerve. Normally that would’ve made me stop and retreat to my room to avoid an argument with her but today I felt brave.
“You are the one responsible for the attacks on Mr Connors, aren’t you? Was I clear enough for you mother or did I mumble?” I found that I was seething too. All my earlier guilt had turned to anger which piled on top of the anger I already felt with my mother.
“I have no clue what you are talking about. I told you that that company, that family, would fill your head with ridiculous stories when you started there but you refused to listen to me” she sneered at me.
She walked down the stairs and stopped in front of where I stood, her eyes shooting daggers into me. How could someone her size make me feel so small? Seriously, I had been taller than her since I was about 14 and now she had to look up if she wanted to look me in the eyes but she still managed to make me feel tiny.
“Yes you do. You may not have actually been directly involved in the attacks but you were one of the people behind it!” It was just a gut feeling that drove me to this assumption but the sudden gleam in my mother’s eyes told me that if this wasn’t the exact case then I was close enough to the truth that it scared her.
“If that is what you choose to believe then so be it” my mother’s voice or facial expression didn’t change one bit during the entire conversation but her voice spoke legions. She was still angry with me but she was desperately trying to hide that fact from me. She didn’t give me any chance to reply (not that I could really think of anything to say anyway) before she turned and disappeared into her bedroom. I heard her go on her phone but I didn’t stick around to find out what she was going to say.
I went upstairs to my own room and stayed there for the rest of the night, not daring to come out in case I bumped into my mother. I had no idea what my reaction to her would be if I saw her again this soon. It was boring being alone in my bedroom but the only person I really wanted to call and speak with was off limits for the moment. I couldn’t call Cameron until I had definite answers for him which I hadn’t managed to get today. I ended up napping on and off for the rest of the night because there was really nothing else to do in my room.
I didn’t go into work the next morning. Instead I hung around the house hoping to bump into my mother so that I could finally get answers from her but apparently today was the one day that she decided to leave the house at the crack of dawn with my father. I waited around in boredom for several hours but when she didn’t turn up I just decided to go into work. I speed washed and dressed in my work clothes before I jumped in my car and headed for the office.
I’d texted Cameron before I left the house to let him know that I was coming in to work today so when I arrived it wasn’t really a surprise to find him waiting on me outside the building.
“Hey Blue, you feeling better?” was the first words to leave Cam’s mouth as soon as I came into hearing distance. A small smile crossed my lips more from my friend’s sake than my own.
“Um…not really but I’ll manage. I just couldn’t deal with being at home anymore” I briefly thought about telling him a white lie to cover up how I was really feeling but I decided that honesty was the best policy in this situation. The small smile I had been trying so hard to hold in place disappeared instantly the second the words left me.
“What’s wrong?” his words were cautious, as if he was trying not to upset me, but still had that same caring undertone that they had always had. I couldn’t help but shake my head a little at that. If only he knew that it could possibly be my parent’s (mainly my mother) that were at least partially involved with what was happening to his dad. He would never be able to look at me the same way again if he knew.
“Let’s just say my mother is the most horrendous person I have ever met in my life” I muttered cryptically. I probably shouldn’t have even given him this much information but I really couldn’t help myself. I needed someone to vent to or I would explode.
“Oh, your mom huh?” he seemed puzzled for a moment by what I had just said “She’s that small, bossy woman who was at that church protest against my father and his companies last year?” there was a gleam in Cameron’s eyes that I didn’t like. If he thought anymore surely he would put together all the pieces and come up with the same conclusion as I had. I took an audible gulp. If he put this puzzle together not only would I be fired but I would also lose my only friend. I didn’t really know if the woman he was talking about was my mom or not because I had been at school when that protest happened last year but it sure did sound like her from the description Cameron had given me.
“I don’t…I really don’t know” I whispered almost silently. My eyes were on the ground again. I couldn’t look up at him; if I did he would be able to spot the half-truth I had just told him. I could feel tears beginning to build up in my eyes as I continued staring at the ground. I really could do with the ground opening up to swallow me whole right now. Cameron must’ve seen the pooling tears because he quickly stepped forward and gently grabbed hold of my shoulders, angling my body so that I had to look up at him.
“Hey, hey, what’s wrong RJ?” he asked softly. His eyes were as soft and comforting as his voice. It was the expression in his eyes that finally broke me.
“I…I…it was the church” I finally spat out. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. I did however have the sense to not mention my parents directly but I think that was more for self-preservation than anything else.
“Can you run that by me again ‘cause I’m kind of confused here?” Cameron tried to make a joke out of what I just said, even going so far as to tack a half-hearted laugh on he end but both of us knew that it was much more serious than that which is probably what cut Cameron off mid-laugh.
“I…I have reason to b…believe it was the church that has been behind t…the attacks on your f…father” I whispered softly, trying desperately to divert my eyes anywhere but his face which didn’t really work because of how he currently held me.
“Oh RJ, why didn’t you tell me sooner. Is that why you left work early yesterday?” His voice didn’t change one bit to my relief as he spoke to me. He actually sounded somewhat relieved. I was so choked up with emotion that I couldn’t speak so instead I settled for glumly nodding my head in reply.
“I wish you’d told me sooner. If you ever need someone to talk to I’m always here. You can talk to me about anything” he whispered as he pulled me closer. His arms wrapped around me in a tight hug. This may have very well been my first hug ever; at least I couldn’t remember ever having received a hug before. It was kind of strange but nice and comforting at the same time. I thought I would have felt awkward but as was becoming the usual with Cameron; he made me feel less anxious and he made it seem as if hugging me was normal and natural.
After my first ever (maybe?) hug Cameron took me upstairs in his office but instead of staying out in the main office with Ronald and Corrin he let me sit in his own private office for the rest of the day. He brought some paperwork in for me to do but mostly we just talked about a bunch of random stuff that didn’t really matter but made us both feel better. Both Corrin and Ronald knocked on Cameron’s door during the afternoon to ask how I was. Out of the two of them I was mostly surprised by Corrin’s sudden interest, especially since I’d been thinking about her earlier. When I was waiting for my mother to turn up this morning before I came into work I couldn’t help but think about all the questions that had piled up in my mind about Corrin. I had this desperate need inside of me to find out the answers to my many questions about her. I didn’t understand why I felt that need, especially as I had literally run out of a room yesterday to avoid being in the same room as her.
“Hello Cameron” Corrin spoke, her voice still carrying that formal tone she’d had in the whole time I’d known her, after Cameron had shouted her into his office. She seemed uptight and very uncomfortable in Cameron’s presence which didn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. How anyone could be uncomfortable in Cam’s presence was beyond me. I guess that was just another question for my ever growing list about Corrin. Cam nodded his head at her before quickly returning his gaze to me.
“Is there something that you needed Miss Liem?” Cameron snapped at her when she did not speak for several seconds. It sounded like Cameron was deliberately being mean to her which was very unlike him. I wondered what was up with him but I was also sort of glad for his directness. I too wondered why Corrin was here. It wasn’t as if she had ever taken the time to visit Cameron in his office before so what was different now? The simple, most egotistical, answer was that she was here because of me but I did not really believe that.
“I…uh…I just wanted to see how Raven-Jay was and tell her that if I offended her in anyway during our conversation yesterday then I was sorry” Corrin’s voice got lower the longer she spoke until she was speaking so low that I could scarcely hear her. It was as if she had started out her sentence with all the confidence in the world but gradually as she spoke it had begun disappearing.
“Well tell her then” Cam snapped again before gesturing over to where I sat at his desk. I couldn’t believe how unbelievably rude he was being to her. Why? Why was it only Corrin that he was like this with? Had something gone on with them before that I was missing? Had they been a couple and then broken up? Had they both liked the same person once upon a time and that person had chosen one of them over the other? Yet more questions. Gah was this frustrating! Corrin took her time turning the couple inches to face me which struck me as odd but at this point what wasn’t odd about this woman?
“Well…um…uh…that” she stuttered like crazy before being able to get out some semblance of a sentence that was very un-her.
“Very eloquent” Cameron sneered to no one in particular. I chose to ignore him on that because it was all too confusing to deal with this right now.
“I’m…better I guess, but it wasn’t your fault about yesterday; I just had some problems that I had to deal with” I answered as honestly as I dared. Corrin seemed relieved to find out my skipping work wasn’t her fault. I gave her a small smile which, to my surprise, she returned. I turned back to my paperwork as something to keep me occupied after that. I wasn’t sure why but I felt weird when Corrin smiled at me.
“If that is all Corrin then I must ask you to get back to work” Cameron snapped rather menacingly. What the heck was with him in the past 10 minutes? It was like he wasn’t himself anymore.
“Yes sir” Corrin replied promptly before she made a sharp exit from his office. I heard Cameron sigh when she left but I didn’t ask why. I had a feeling that if I did it would open up a whole debate that I was wholly unprepared for so I chose to ignore it. Cameron returned back to his usual sunny self mere moments after Corrin’s departure. He tried several times the rest of the day to get me to talk to him as I had been before but a small part of me that was scared he’d snap at me like he had with Corrin held me back from making anything more than a few clipped comments.
I also didn’t wait around for him after work like usual but instead drove around town for the rest of the night. I drove around feeling lost inside; I couldn’t go home and face my parents because of how angry I was with my mother and I couldn’t go see Cameron because at this moment he was a massive confusion that I couldn’t quite understand. Instead I kept driving, feeling more lost the longer I drove.