Chapter 29 Ci-Ci: Moving On

 It probably isn’t the smartest idea to be visiting Justin’s grave right now. Jonah is out there looking for us, and I know he’s probably been here a few times. I just didn’t know where else to go. My home doesn’t feel like his home anymore, it’s been years since he lived there with me. It’s more my home than his now. Most of his possessions have long been boxed up and moved out back to the shed. A few trinkets and a lot of photographs are all that remain of him.

Sitting here on the cold and damp grass, wiping the moss away from his headstone, is the closest I’ve felt to him in a long time. I’ve had dreams, but even then he seems so far away from where I am now. Here, his physical form rests right beneath me. I know he’s here, still real in a way. Almost as if I can touch him. So often it seems like I’m just chasing a ghost of what used to be. My brain tricks me thinking I hear his voice, or smell his favorite cologne. The truth is, most days I can’t even remember what he sounded like. I find myself watching old videos of us, just to remember who he really was.

I’ve been chasing after all these crazy things as a way to bring him back, and I don’t even know who I’m trying to bring back anymore. I’ve been after the goal so long, that I lost sight of it. If I had listened to my friends, or Jonah, or Tituba I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t be questioning everything I’ve done since Justin’s death. I don’t know any more. I’ve come to far with Jonah now, one of us is just going to have to kill the other. But I don’t think I can do it. The old me, sure, but the new me is questionable.

I don’t even know the new me. Who is the new me? Just someone who exaggerates how good my relationship was with my dead husband. Was it the amazing life I recite to myself? I can’t even remember. New me doesn’t know who she is any more. Somehow, I’ve become more tied to Justin in death, than I as when he was alive. I lost myself. Everything Tituba said about me, I hated to hear it, but it was right. Was it always right or have I changed?

Rythe is probably waking up by now, he’s probably pissed off. I shouldn’t have done it, but it’ll be better for him. Tituba was right again, I don’t consider other people. Is that why I’ve lost so many people? I’ve been a bad person, and treated them wrong. I was too greedy, maybe I need to try to do be different. But, that’s how I’ve survived. Being greedy, protecting myself. There was no other way to do it.

My phone rings, an unknown number, “Hello,” I answer anyway.

“It’s Tituba, I borrowed Rythe’s phone,” I don’t even know Rythe’s number. “He’s awake, and he isn’t happy.”

“Is he alive?”

“He’s going through withdrawals, but he’s alive.”

“Good.”

“That’s all? You don’t want to speak with him?”

A feather pierces the ground just a few inches from where I’m sitting. “We’ll speak eventually,” I hang up.

That was Jonah, no one else. I hop to my feet, survey the are and prepare for a fight. He’s not here, he could have killed me, but he didn’t. A small letter is attached to the feather. I grab it and begin to walk. Hopefully he won’t attack, daylight attacks are a big risk. Heavy fees or maybe even jail time in a magical prison. But Jonah isn’t who I thought he was. I’ve been under estimating him. I rip open the letter before thinking. It’s entirely possible that he could have rigged this letter to trap me in another illusion. I turn into a corner, and pull my car keys from my purse. I dig deep into the flesh of my arm, enough to draw blood and a peel some of the flesh. I just needed the pain to make sure it wasn’t a trick. I’ll heal eventually, pretty quick if I have some leftover blood at Rythe’s apartment.

The letter is neatly handwritten, almost like a serial killer who put more into the presentation, than the actual content of the letter. Then again, he is a serial killer.

Hey Big Sis, 

I’m really sorry about how things turned out between us. I didn’t want it to be this way. That’s why I kept telling you to let Justin go. Now we’re trapped in a feud that has spilled blood on both sides. You and your allies have escaped me more than once, but you fell into my trap each time as well. Now the conclusion will have to end with one of our deaths.

I chose not to kill you this morning. It would not be fair for a surprise attack to end you. I’ll see you soon at the place we first met, on the anniversary of the day we met. Bring the elf, he’s gotten himself involved and it is only right that he be there for the conclusion.

Yours truly,

Jonah

The two of us met on Halloween, and I remember where. We went there every year afterwards. Justin’s way of trying to force us to bond. I guess we’re going on a road trip. 

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