♡ Valerie ♡
I dragged my feet on the tiled floor as I walked across the room into my bathroom. My reflection stared back at me blankly as I glanced into the mirror. Blue eyes swollen from constant crying, and dark circles underneath my eyes from lack of sleep. My long brown hair was held in a messy bun. In short, I looked like the opposite of myself. I mean, I couldn't blame myself.
Ever since Mom died in the fire accident at her workplace, I have been the opposite of myself. How could I live well when the only family I had left was gone, leaving me alone in this cruel world?
The doorbell ringing pulled me out of my intense stare at the mirror as my eyes darted to the door.
Was the landlord here to send me out? Could my life get any worse than it already is?
I ran my fingers through my hair. Muttering a short, hopeful prayer that it wasn't the landlord at the door, I made my way out of the bathroom.
I wrapped my hands around the handle and yanked it open. A wide, surprised smile made its way to my face once I saw who was standing at the door—probably the first time in the last week I was wearing a smile.
"Red!" I exclaimed, letting go of the door handle to rush into his arms, but he took a step backward, causing me to stagger and almost trip.
I looked up at him, blinking in shock and confusion. That was when I noticed the cold look he had on. His electric blue eyes, which used to gaze down at me in nothing but love and affection, were now staring at me in something that seemed like hate and, was that, disgust?
"Red, is something wrong? Did I-" My words were halted when I felt a piece of paper hitting my face.
"That's a cheque, we are done. I never want to see you again."
I blinked again as I slowly picked up the paper that had fallen to the ground, reading the words hurriedly.
One thought crossed my mind: why was he giving me such money?
"What's all this for, Red?" I muttered, looking up at him, fear already creeping in even though I tried to hide it.
"F*cking stop calling me that, you traitor!" He yelled, and I flinched, my eyes glistening with tears.
"Alfred, I "
"We are done," he interrupted, and without another word, he turned to leave, but I immediately held his wrists, stopping his movement.
"Alfred, please, I love you, and you know that. Please tell me if I did anything wrong. We can't break up, please," I cried.
"Let go of me, Valerie." His voice was as cold as ice.
What did I do? We still talked three days ago before he left for his trip, and he never showed me this kind of attitude. What went wrong? What did I do wrong?
"Alfred, please let's talk, we can't just be over."
He roughly swatted my hands away from his, and I fell to the ground, scraping my elbow in the process. He slowly squatted to my level and raised my chin to look at him.
"Listen here, don't ever show your f*cking face to me, or I swear you'll regret meeting me," he whispered.
I didn't fail to notice the iciness in his voice and the hatred that flashed in his eyes before he got up, turned around, and got into his car, speeding off. Hot, uncontrollable tears ran down my cheeks as I watched the car disappear from my view.
Why were all these things happening to me? First I lost my mom in a mysterious fire accident, and now my two-year boyfriend comes handing me a cheque to leave his life. No! I wasn't going to accept this, maybe he was just joking. Maybe he didn't mean it. It had to be a joke.
'An expensive joke," my subconscious added.
I shook my head, tears still running down my cheeks, as I got on my feet and rushed into the house.
I was going to go to his office and return the cheque to him.
I couldn't leave him just like that; I've sacrificed everything for our relationship. I'd just have to pester him to say whatever it is that I might have done.
An hour later...
I paid the cab driver and got out of the car. Clutching my tote bag in my hand, I stared at the skyscraper one last time before making my way in.
"I need to see Alfred," I said to Jane, the lady at the receptionist's table.
"Valerie? Are you okay?" Jane asked, a crease on her forehead, as she handed me a yellow swipe card.
I just nodded, grabbed the card, and rushed to the elevator.
I inserted the pass in the reader, and the elevator opened. Stepping in, I pushed the sixth-floor button.
I crossed my fingers behind my back as I waited in the elevator.
The thought of breaking up with Alfred was scary, now that I think more about it. How was I supposed to live without him?
After what felt like an eternity, the door slid open, and I rushed out, heading toward his office. Suddenly, I bumped into someone and the hot coffee the person was holding spilled on my bare arms.
I hissed in pain and looked up to see who I bumped into. It was none other than Alfred's childhood friend, Catherine.
"Oh, look who it is, the sl*t," Catherine sneered, tilting her head to the side as she accessed me with a smirk.
I bit back a retort.
Catherine had always not liked me, and I, in turn, didn't care about her, and just like every other day, I wasn't in the mood for banters with her, the only person on my mind at that moment was Alfred.
I made to walk away, but Catherine gripped my arms tight, her fingernails digging into my skin, and I released a groan.
"Stop, let go."
"This is nothing compared to what Alfred is feeling right now, you messed up b*tch!" Catherine snapped.
"I wonder what he even saw in you in the first place. I knew you were always after his money!"
I suddenly heard footsteps, and I looked up to see Alfred heading toward us. Our eyes met, and his eyes darkened. That same look.
"I remember telling you to never show your face to me!"
I quickly swatted Catherine's hands off me and rushed to him.
"Alfred I beg you, please, tell me what I did wrong at least."
He lifted an eyebrow.
"Don't make me do this the hard way, Valerie."
As if as an afterthought, he added, "Even saying your name disgusts me."
I staggered backward, holding onto the wall for support, as my eyes widened in shock, his words registering in my brain and piercing through my heart like a sharp dagger.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think a day like this would come.
I fought to form words.
"In case it's not so clear, I never want to see you again, near my company, my house, or anything that has to do with me, got it?" He snapped and, without waiting for me to reply, started leaving.
Tears ran down my cheeks.
"Alfred, I love you so much, you can't do this to me."
He didn't even turn back. I felt Catherine grab a handful of my hair from behind.
"Love?! You dare say, love?"
Catherine snickered and forced my face up. I didn't even bother to free myself.
"You're not just a sl*t but a liar too? Wow"
My eyes flooded with tears as Catherine tugged harder at my hair. I cried not because of the pain Catherine was inflicting on me but because Alfred didn't even care about me. I cried because he was giving up on me so fast. I cried because I had the slightest idea what I had done. I cried because I felt betrayed, hurt, and broken. I cried because the last person I had was leaving me too.
"You heard what he said! Never show your forsaken face here again," Catherine added, and she kicked my legs.
I looked up at her, noticing the way the corners of her eyes crinkled in mischief.
Catherine smirked and kicked my stomach with her heels again before walking away.
The more I fought back my tears, the more they rushed down my cheeks. I felt the sting of the hot coffee on my arms and the pain from Catherine's heels, and I groaned painfully, but they were nothing compared to the pain I was feeling in my heart at that moment.
How could Alfred treat me this way? I didn't deserve it. I did nothing but love him, and this was how he was going to repay me.
I felt a whip connect with my body, and my eyes went wide open. The first thing I noticed was the dark sky and the ropes that held me down to a wooden chair.
Alarmed, I looked up to see two guys clad in black. Their facial features hid perfectly with the black mask they had on, leaving me with nothing but their dangerous black eyes. They each held a pistol in their hands.
"Who are you?! Why do you have me tied up?" I yelled, thrashing around as I tried to loosen the rope around me.
"And where am I?"
An unexpected lash landed on my exposed thigh, and a loud cry escaped my lips as I temporarily stopped trying to free myself.
"Please let me go. I've done nothing wrong to you," I pleaded, tears running freely down her cheeks.
I just had to deal with my mother's death, Alfred breaking up with me, and now unknown people bringing me to a deserted land and tying me up to a chair. What exactly did I do to deserve this?
"Uh, princess, you did nothing wrong," the first guy, who was holding a pistol with his other hand, cooed.
He took a step closer to me, and I shifted uncomfortably in the chair as if that could save me from the guy. He crouched in front of me and used the tip of the pistol to lift my chin.
"You're just paying for the sins of your mother," he added.
"My mother?" I gasped.
"You killed my mother?" I added bitterly.
The guy exhaled.
"She knew too much, kid," he said afterward, standing up and taking two steps backward.
"You're the only family she's got left, we just have to end you to avoid problems in the future," he added.
" Dude! Enough of the story, get to it!" The other guy exclaimed
I continued to cry, totally shocked, as I watched the guy with the pistol take out a phone from his pocket, press something on the screen, and place it in front of me.
"Who's this?" A familiar voice boomed from the receiver's end and my eyes widened.
"Al-f-fred?" I stuttered, my eyes widening.
The guy holding the phone chuckled.
"We have your Valerie and you have the option to save her or not"
"Do I look like I give a damn?"
"Any last words you'd love to say to her?"
"Thank you for ruining things for me"
My eyes widened and before I could open my mouth, he ended the call.
My heart broke into pieces, healed back up, and broke again. How could he do this to me? Breaking up with me at my lowest wasn't enough, he'd stoop so low to connive with these men to kill me.
He broke my heart in the cruelest way ever. I was never going to forgive him for this. What was I even saying? He already won this, my life was going to end in the next few seconds.
"Don't worry, we've decided to make your death different from your mother's," he said, withdrawing his phone.
The second guy came forward and pointed his pistol at my forehead.
"One move from you and you're dead meat," he warned.
"Please don't do this to me!" I pleaded frantically as the first proceeded to loosen the rope around me. They didn't reply, and when he finished loosening the rope, he harshly grabbed me from the chair and pushed me down, the cold metal of the gun still pressed against my forehead.
"Turn around," the first guy ordered, and I slowly turned. I almost fainted when I saw that I was sitting close to the edge of a cliff. I shook my head, another round of tears running down my cheeks.
"Please let me go. I promise I'll leave this country. I swear I will not try anything funny."
"Say hi to the devil." The second guy laughed and pushed me down the cliff before firing the bullets.
"Mom, Alfred" were the last words that escaped my lips as I slowly felt myself dropping into the vast ocean.