From Farm to Fame- Chapter 29

It was difficut getting used to how different everything was. How there were actually days when Gaige and I fought, and over the stupidest things. He hadn't totally forgiven me, and he never would. We were always going to have those days, though they became fewer and farther between as time went on. Having to deal with the soical workers and trying to get the children back, it was difficult not knowing where they were or if I'd ever see them again. Gaige had told me about how it seemed as if they were picking on him, accussing him of things that weren't true and constantly changing the conditions he had to follow to get them back. I couldn't believe that they would do anything like that, until I ended up involved in all of it as well. It had all started because of my leaving, and everybody found it suspicous. Everybody thought I was guilty, and that Gaige was just trying to help me hide... nobody believed I'd ever leave him. Since they couldn't find any evidence to support their theory, it seemed they found other reasons... true or not... I wondered where they got their information from. I wondered if it was really them picking on us, or somebody feeding them false information.

Everything we did went through the social worker. Our lives monitored all the time. I had to hide how I really felt from them, how I still kind of wanted to jump off the bridge... how I felt like I was in pieces everywhere that could never be put back together. Some days I felt like they could probably see all the pieces lying about, but I put on a smile anyway. I found a new job in journalism, it was one of their conditions that I got a job so we'd be able to support the children... though Gaige made more than enough at the hospital.  When Gaige got transfered to the Twinbrook hospital, that had to be approved by the social worker too. Though I'd kind of hoped they say no, I knew it was a big deal to Gaige and I wasn't going to be the one to say no to him... I owed him some happiness, but they agreed to it. It did lead to the condition that we'd need to find a bigger house. Until then we'd have to stay in my ugly little house there that wasn't even worth as much as Gaige's car... which only reminded me of how horrible Twinbrook was.

I managed to arrange for a transfer at my job as well, and once we were actually in Twinbrook, it seemed far less depressing than it had before. Everyday got better and easier, and life was settling down nicely again. Or it was until I was walking home from work one day, and noticed somebody following behind me. They ducked out of sight when I looked back, but not fast enough for me to avoid seeing them. It was Carlos, somehow alive, just as I had feared.

I ran the rest of the way home, terrified by his sudden re-appearance, but also confused... he'd managed to convince everybody he was dead for more than 3 years... why would he so suddenly show up? Or had been following me the whole time? I realized that the guy at the diner must have been him after all, so he'd likely been following me at least since then, and it had been a few months. How had nobody noticed him though? His story was not unknown anywhere, he'd caused trouble everywhere... surely it would have been known if somebody had noticed his reappearance. I was lost in thought trying to figure it out when I heard the door open behind me, and I jumped. "Gaige?!"

I shuddered when Carlos' sinister tone replied "Try again love."

"Carlos..." I turned around terrified of what would happen, knowing he was probably finally seeking his revenge. "What do you want?"

"Awww come on love, don't act so bothered by my being here. You've missed me, I know it and you know it."

"I miss you being dead... but obviously you never were. Why aren't you dead anyway?"

"Your friend let her emotions get in the way... decided she couldn't go through with her plan after all. You shouldn't have trusted her, now your family gets to pay the price. That was a dumb move too, by the way. I was beginning to wonder, but I knew you'd go back eventually. You're pathetic and desperate for attention... that idiot husband of yours is so desperate to fill the emptiness in his life that it doesn't matter what you do. It was only a matter of time."

"You better not do anything to him, I swear... whatever you do to him... I will make you suffer twice as much."

"So I assume this means you'd rather I go after your children."

It took a moment for it to sink in, and I imagine I looked pretty stupid standing there as I worked out what he had said. "You know where they are?"

His typical creepy grin grew... I wondered if it ever vanished from his face at all... or if his face had stuck that way. "Of course I do..."

I realized that social services had been getting all their info from him, he was behind it, trying to get my children in his control and out of Gaiges, he would die for them... Carlos would kill them for his own gain. "You're the reason.... You... I'll kill you." I stepped closer not really sure what my move would be, but ready to strike with whatever came to mind at the time.

My hand was raised by the time I got close enough to him that I would be able to smack him... it wouldn't kill him but it was a start. He grabbed my hand mid-smack, grinning even more. "Well, if you don't kill me, I might be able to be persuaded  into sparing your husband and children. If you kill me they'll all die."
I stepped back, I already knew the answer but I had to ask anyway. "How?"

"I think you know..."

"and you call Gaige an idiot... you're more desperate than he is, and it's all to pleasure your sick twisted mind. I'm not giving you what you want. You're disgusting."

"Well, you know what will happen otherwise..."

"You're bluffing."

"I'm not... the breaks on your husbands won't work when he has to stop at too high of a speed.... they are so unfortunately close to breaking. He does tend to be a bit of a speed demon too doesn't he, odd for somebody who sees the mutilated bodies of crash victims... I'm sure you've heard those stories though.  "

I screamed, "Stop..... just stop. You win." I couldn't listen to it anymore, it was killing me to hear what would happen to Gaige and visualize it... I didn't want to know what he would do to my children.

He laughed, his laugh even more sinister than his voice and creepier than his grin. "I knew I would."
He tried to grab me, but I stepped back. "Not so fast. I need to know my family is safe first. How do I know that you aren't going to hurt them anyway? How is my husband supposed to be safe when he has to get home in his car?"

"Don't worry, I'll finish with you in time to get him safely... for now anyway."

I wasn't convinced, it wasn't long before Gaige finished work, unless there was an emergency and he had to stay late."No. I need to know he's safe first."

"Fine you can call him, but make it quick... and don't think I won't notice if you call anybody else... like the cops."

"And my children... I need to know they're safe too."

"Fine, but nothing else. You're lucky I'm being this nice."

I paused for a moment before dailing, trying to figure out exactly what I would say. Everything had to go just right, or I'd have nothing.