Chapter Twenty One: A Century of Misunderstandings
Although Derek can't completely recall his memories of Erin, he knew one thing - He deeply loved her.
This fact stirred Derek's efforts to get her back despite the many times she tried to stay away. When his effort bore fruit, the two headed to London in order to help end things once and for all. However, their first night in England fell apart when Erin learned the secret that had haunted her all these years.
Derek was in fact, the missing son of James Dean.
Long before he married Gary's mother, he was expecting a child with his former lover, Elena Watson, whom Erin's mother was closely friends with. However, the feeling of betrayal that Michael Dean felt when James disobeyed his order to break up with her pushed him to fix the pregnant Elena's death, in a form of a car crash.
Michael thought everything was over until he learned years later that the child survived, and had been in the care of the Grey's. He assumed that the child was still with them, when in fact, the Matthews had already adopted Derek.
Harold Grey died protecting his daughter, while Irina devised a plan that soon changed the life of her seventeen-year-old daughter.
Now that Michael is aware of who his grandchild really is, his attention had shifted.
Derek will now choose whether to join Irina and fight back, while Erin is left alone to pick up the pieces of the life she was forced to give up in order to become bait for her mother's plans.
It had been two whole days since Erin had last seen Derek. Ever since her mother whisked him away, she hadn't seen even a strand of his hair. No phone calls or text messages either.
"Are you lonely?" Aris asked, her lips pulled up into a long grin as she laid herself down onto their king-sized bed.
Erin shook her head.
"Of course you'd be lonely," Aris repeated, "Your first night in London and your mother shows up and takes him away."
"I'm not lonely," she snapped. "More than anything," she pauses, "I'm relieved that they're not here right now."
Her mother was smart to bring Aris along with her. If Erin were left alone, she would surely go after them right away.
For two days, Erin didn't leave the hotel room. She didn't move at all.
She didn't laugh, nor did she cry. It wasn't that she was mad at Derek, nor was she angry.
Erin was disillusioned. Her heart stopped when she realized that her mother had lied to her all this time.
She finally realized why her mother decided to rose from the dead - She needed Erin to be the bait.
"A lure, a puzzle piece," she repeated in her head, "all to get everything she wanted for her revenge."
"-Erin!" Aris snapped her finger.
"What is it?" She looked around.
"I said I'm going to grab us some dinner. Don't go anywhere, okay?"
When she had gone out, Erin immediately grabbed a pen and started scribbling down on the sticky note that was on top of the table.
"I'll be gone for just a bit," she whispered, and then she quickly took her coat before closing the door.
Erin looked at her phone one more time.
"Still no message," she thought as she walked out of the building.
She started to walk at no particular direction. Her legs merely moved where it found room to do so, and the rest of her body merely followed.
She wanted some breathing space. Away from Aris, away from Derek, and away from her deceitful mother, she strode quickly as if she was trying to run away from her problems; to try to clear her head, but her mind was so obviously elsewhere that she didn't hear someone calling out to her.
Erin snapped back to reality.
She looked around to see who had called her out, only to find an old musician sitting quietly on a corner of the sidewalk. The man was in his early fifties, yet his long dreadlocks and Rasta hat proved his love for reggae was young and alive. He held a bright yellow guitar in his had, but the color had already turned a musty brown.
"Yes?" She said, tilting her head.
"Why the long face, darling?" He said, his voice cracked from the early exposure of vodka in the morning. "The day is beautiful, it is not?"
"Ah, yes it is," she nodded. "I guess I just haven't really looked yet."
The man's lips curled, as if he was thinking about something else. "I see you aren't in good mood yet," he said as he started to strum his instrument. " Khalif not usually do this but let Khalif play a Hawaiian song for you, ya?"
Erin started to wave her hands, but the man had already started to hum.
"A long, long time ago, there was a volcano
Living all alone in the middle of the sea
He sat high above his bay, watching all the couples play
And wishing that he had someone too
And from his lava came this song of hope that he sang
Out loud everyday for years and years..."
Erin immediately recognized the song. It was from Kuana Torres, one of Ada's favorite singers. The song was beautiful in its own, but the old musician had put emphasis on every word, catching the attention of everyone else behind them. People stopped walking, while other started to put coins on his old tin can.
"I have a dream, I hope will come true
That you're here with me, and I'm here with you
I wish that the earth, sea the sky up above-a
Will send someone to lava
Years of singing all alone turned his lava into stone
Until he was on the brink of extinction
But little did he know that living in the sea below
Another volcano was listening to his song
Everyday she heard his tune her lava grew and grew
Because she believed his song was meant for her
Now she was so ready to meet him above the sea
As he sang his song of hope for the last time.
I have a dream, I hope will come true
That you're here with me, and I'm here with you
I wish the earth, sea the sky up above-a
Will send someone to lava.
Rising from the sea below stood a lovely volcano
Looking all around but she could not see him
He tried to sing to let her know that she was not there alone
But with no lava his song was all gone
He filled the sea with tears and watched his dreams disappear
As she remembered what his song meant to her.
I have a dream I hope will come true
That you're here with me and I'm here with you
I wish that the earth, sea, the sky up above-a
Will send me someone to lava
Oh they were so happy to finally meet above the sea
All together now their lava grew and grew
No longer are they all alone with their aloha as their new home
And when you visit them this is what they sing
I have a dream, I hope will come true
That you'll grow with me and I'll grow with you
We thank the earth, sea, the sky above we thank too
I lava you
I lava you
I lava you."
As the old man finished his last verse, Erin found herself in a big crowd of people who stopped to listen to his performance. Everybody started to clap as he was done, and his old jar of can, was already filled with coins and single dollar bills.
"Do you feel better now?" The old man grinned at her.
"Yes," she showed him a smile, "Thank you for playing that. It was great, it really was."
He stood up from his wooden chair and gave her a pat on the shoulder.
"Darling, the world is not over yet. Keep fighting, ya?"
Erin was lost.
No matter where she went, she can't seem to recall the walk back to the hotel. The sun, too, had started to set.
"I said I would be back before nightfall," Erin thought as she looked at her phone, "I have to get back before she worries."
Erin turned her head to look for someone to ask, but she couldn't find anyone. Then she realized that she had been walking in the older part of the lavish city. The numerous gallant shops that graced the street at one point had ceased to function, as she found them all empty and full of dust. The block walls too have been battered both by old age and graffiti, yet it remained whole despite the small cracks on the side.
Tough wall, she thought.
As she walked, Erin thought she was reaching the end of the alley, but instead found another road connecting the city to a lush plantation. It was a few meters ahead, but Erin was sure it was the wrong way.
Time to try the other one, she thought.
"What are you doing here?"
Her heart jumped momentarily as she heard the voice.
"You scared me!" She admitted as she looked up. She wasn't sure who was she expecting, but the owner of the voice turned out to be a rather handsome man. He easily towered over her in height, and his broad shoulders covered her shadow as he moved closer.
"I'm lost," she admitted.
"I can see that," he breathed, and he moved one step closer to her, his two hands placed idly on his coat pocket. Then he leaned over, his lips just inches away from her face.
"This must be why they found you easily," he whispered.
Her eyes widened. "Who are you?" She asked, unmoving.
He didn't step away, but instead leaned back and looked straight ahead. "You attracted six friends during your little stroll, Erin Grey."
"...You know me?"
The tall stranger tilted his head, a smirk plastered on his face. "Everyone knows who you are, but our problem now is that you don't know everyone."
Erin wanted to run away then, but something was telling her to stay. She could tell he was a dangerous man merely by his confident way of talking, but he did just said that someone else was following her.
Then whose side is he in?
As Erin tried to think of what to do next, the man had already pushed her behind him.
"When I tell you to run," he said to her, "run without looking back. There should be a stable a few meters away behind the trees. Hide there."
"-Who?" She tried, but he interrupted her.
"They're coming closer," he hissed. Then Erin watched as he reached in his pocket, taking out a small, semi-automatic handgun, which he put in her hand. "Take it. Use it when you need it."
Without saying anything, she took the weapon and hid it behind her clothes.
The tall stranger took another weapon from his coat. This time it was a strange looking rifle, the sort of gun they use mainly for hunting deer and other wildlife.
Aris mainly used small handguns where she could easily attach a muffler for easy operation, but this tall stranger was eager for a blood bath. His growing smile as their enemies came closer was her sign that he wasn't just a random man.
Erin was so engrossed with her newly found companion that she hadn't realized that they've already been surrounded.
All of them were big and incredibly buff, their suits unable to contain their outrageously large arms. They didn't show any emotion as they came closer, but the tall stranger was obviously very happy.
"Three," the tall stranger started to count down.
"Two," he continued, and Erin stopped thinking.
At his signal, she immediately ran to the opposite direction. She heard as their guns came back to life, bullets showering in every direction, but none of it had gotten to her. The tall stranger had made sure they were all close enough for him to reach, and further away from her.
"Is he okay?" She thought as she ran, her heart pounding at every step. She had never dealt with men in such close range before, and never at that size. If that man didn't save her, what would have been left of her?
She could feel her eyes starting to water, but it was until a few seconds later that she noticed raindrops coming down from the darkened sky.
She ignored as the droplets started to get stronger, and pushed her way until she found shelter inside an abandoned outhouse in the middle of the forest.
Erin was terrified, but she found relief as she spotted a small room, where she locked herself in.
She hid herself under the hay, and she waited.
A strike of lightning hit the roof, then thunder.
"I dropped my phone," she thought, horrified. It was her only hope of getting in contact with anyone, her only way to get help. Her hand reached for the small handgun, and she readied herself for the next person to open that door.
"Help me," she whispered to the air, "I don't want to die yet," she swallowed in fear, "I don't want to leave Derek alone."
She grabbed the handgun tightly this time. "I'm going to fight."
And then the door suddenly moved.
Someone was trying to open it from the outside. She could see the drip marks from under the door, as the shadow hovered over.
"I'm going to fight," she told herself, and then she pointed the gun straight across the room.
She heard the strong kicks from other side, and she knew it wouldn't take much longer before they could finally open it.
And so it did.
But Erin didn't shoot.
Because what the other door revealed wasn't one of the darkened goons that followed her, nor is it the mysterious tall stranger.
It was someone more familiar.
He stood in front of her, breathless, wet, and with eyes that could kill a person in sight.
"Derek..." she breathed in relief. "I'm glad," she started to choke from the tears, "I'm glad it's you."
Derek didn't move right away. He merely stood there, dumbfounded, as she stood up.
"Derek?" She said again, "Are you-"
She couldn't stay anything else, as he quickly galloped towards her. With a quick swift, he pushed her into his arms.
"I thought they've hurt you," he gritted his teeth, and she hugged him tightly. "I was ready to hurt the next guy I see," he paused, " Are you alright?"
He examined her closely. Her coat was torn quite a bit from the branches, and she received a small cut on the cheek, but she wasn't hurt.
"I'm fine," she assured him, "and you?"
He held the side of her face.
Please comment below and tell me what you think! Did anyone
try to listen to the Lava song?