04 | broken man

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N E V A E H


"Whoa. That was brilliant." Bailey, my ex-classmate, munches her potato chip while we're watching her favorite thriller movie in her living room. "That girl has the guts to call 911 while her kidnapper is in the same room. Does she not think that he can hear her anytime?"

"I'm having goosebumps," her twin, Brea, shudders in her blanket as she hugs her knees on the couch. Her eyes are glued to the TV. "But, really, she's a genius for faking that call. Right, Nevaeh?"

I snap my head toward them. I haven't been able to focus on the movie because my mind is somewhere else.

"Yeah," I answer shortly and return my gaze to the TV.

I can feel Brea squinting at me. She probably realizes my lack of attention. Even though I'd been dying to have a sleepover at their house during my vacation in New York, the way I've been acting for the past few hours shows the opposite.

Bailey and Brea are my good friends who moved from Texas to New York a year ago. They'd picked me up in Aunt Melanie's house today to have a sleepover at their house, just as we'd planned a few weeks ago.

And right now, we're having a midnight Netflix time.

Earlier today, it was quiet in Aunt Melanie's house. Everybody still couldn't get over what happened yesterday, especially Max, who came home at lunchtime with a weary look.

Of course, he's still upset. He thinks of Aiden as his own brother. 

My heart is still restless from thinking about Aiden. The pain in his expression is still very much visible in my eyes, and every time I want to get that vision out of my mind, I keep telling myself that I deserve this horrible feeling. This guilt.

His girlfriend of five years, the woman he loves, the one he believed he would spend the rest of his life with, just left him in front of the world in a blink of an eye. Without any word.

Again, my heart clenches. I can't concentrate on anything. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I can't stop thinking about Aiden Klein.

"Now she just has to wait for the cops to arrive. Gosh, it's so gripping." Bailey bites her nail in anticipation, still talking about the movie we're watching.

"I hate the waiting, especially in this critical time." Brea lets out a small scream when the kidnapper suddenly appears beside the girl. "Shit. That was unnecessary."

Bailey laughs and throws a pillow at her twin sister. "That's the best thing about this movie."

Waiting.

That one word makes my stomach churn again. I have a bad feeling. A really bad feeling.

Is it possible...

My pulse suddenly quickens. My heart is racing inside my chest. I don't know why, but I suddenly have the urge to leave this place.

I glance at my wristwatch. It has just passed midnight. I know that he can't be possibly waiting for two consecutive nights, but...

I shoot to my feet, startling the twins as I rush into their bedroom. After ordering an uber, and while waiting for the driver to arrive, I toss my phone onto the bed and quickly change my pajamas into a pair of jeans and a sweater.

Bailey and Brea watch me with mouth agape. "What's happening?" they ask in unison.

Luckily, the car I've ordered is nearby and will arrive in a minute.

"I'm sorry," I say with guilt. "There's an emergency in my cousin's house. I have to go back now," I lie, slinging my backpack across my shoulder.

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