Chapter 206: Catcall
As I watched Enzo storm off into the party, I felt my heart sink. The screen door slammed shut behind him and wobbled a bit on its frame, leaving me alone and shaking in the cold. Up until five seconds earlier, I was certain that our plan was going to work.
But maybe I was too confident in that assumption, because it turned out that Enzo didn’t remember me after all. In fact, my attempts to make him remember not only proved to be futile, but also made him angry with me and probably closed him off even more. Now, I was just the strange girl who cornered him at a party. For all he knew, I could have been trying to drug him or something.
I couldn’t explain it; somehow, after everything, he didn’t remember me at all. Even as I looked at him that night, begging him to reach into his mind and remember my face, my voice, my touch … He simply looked at me like I was a complete stranger.
What had happened? How did it come to this? The last time we spoke, he had seemed as though he knew who I was, or was at least beginning to know who I was. He even said himself that he knew I was familiar. And yet, at the party, he looked at me like he had never spoken to me in his life.
As I stumbled down the dark street, I couldn’t contain the sobs that escaped my lips. I felt my face twist and contort into an excruciating grimace, and I clutched my stomach as I felt nausea wash over me from a combination of the alcohol and my heartache.
I knew my friends were probably looking for me, but I was too drunk and heartbroken to care. Up until now, I thought for sure that I would have Enzo back on my side, and now here I was staggering down the street with an
aching pain in my chest.
Part of me wondered if Selena put another spell on him. Maybe she strengthened the one she already had on him; I couldn’t know for sure. All I knew was that somehow, after Enzo had seemed to be coming close to a breakthrough the last time I saw him, he was now back at square one. Surely she did something to make him forget again. But would he ever be able to remember now? Or was this just another hopeless endeavor?
Suddenly, I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. I pulled it out and struggled to focus my eyes on the screen in my drunken state.
It was Jessica.
“Hey,” I answered. My tongue felt heavy and thick in my mouth from the alcohol. “Where did you go? We’ve been looking all over for you,” she replied, sounding agitated.
I swallowed. “He didn’t remember,” I whispered. “I needed to get out. Don’t worry; I’m just going home.”
“Nina…” Jessica sounded even more agitated at this point. I knew that I did the wrong thing by taking off like that, and I had worried all of my friends. ” Stay where you are. You’re drunk. We’re coming to get you.”
“I’m fine,” I insisted, but Jessica didn’t
“Just tell us where you are, Nina.”
“Okay.” I swallowed again as I looked around. I was on a dark street full of closed businesses businesses that used to be open at this time of night, before the Crescents attacked. “I’m… Um… I’m on the corner of First and Washington.” “Alright,” Jessica replied hastily. I could hear now what sounded like Lori and Matt in the background. They sounded like they were outside, already on their way. “Stay there. We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
With that, my friends hung up. I was alone again with my thoughts now, which only meant that I would quickly spiral once more as I thought about Enzo. No matter how hard I tried not to think about it, I simply couldn’t help myself. I felt as though I lost him all over again, and this time it was for good. Surely he told Selena by now about what I did and she would take him away, never to return.
If only I had just talked to him more when we had time alone. Maybe I could have made him remember his old life before it was too late, but instead I was an indecisive coward and blew it. As I leaned against the corner of a building and wiped the tears off of my face, I couldn’t help but notice a car driving down the street. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid any mind, but it was one o’clock in the morning already and they were driving incredibly slowly – not only that, but they were coming straight for me.
I pushed myself off the wall of the building and squinted, straining to see if my friends had found a ride to bring them to me, but I couldn’t see into the car through the tinted windows.
For some reason, seeing this car head toward me at this time of night made me uneasy. I decided, even in my drunken state, that this wasn’t safe and that I should walk away. But as I turned and picked up my pace, the car only sped up to meet me, and soon they were driving alongside me.
I kept walking and staring straightahead, but the driver rolled his window
“Hey, baby,” he said in a low, gravelly voice. “What’s a pretty thing like you doing out here all alone in the middle of the night?”
I gritted my teeth and picked up my
pace. “Go away,” I growled.
The man in the car laughed. I didn’t look at him, but I heard what sounded like two other voices laughing, which made me even more uneasy. I was outnumbered.
I decided then to take a chance and peek over at the car, and I was right; there were three men in the car, including the driver. I didn’t recognize any of them, but they all looked rather scary. My first impression was that they were Crescents.
“Come on, sweetheart!” the man in the passenger seat said, leaning forward to ogle at me through the window. “We’re just playing with you. Why don’t you chill out a little bit?”
Chill out? I thought to myself, stifling a scoff. How was I supposed to be “chill” when I was being followed by three strange men in a black car in the middle of the night?
“Hey,” the driver said again, his car rolling alongside me as I continued to walk. “Come on. Just talk to us! We’re nice guys… Besides, it looks cold out here. I’ll let you ride in my car if you want.”
Instead of answering, I just kept walking – only now, I took my phone out to call Jessica again.
The men, however, didn’t seem to like that. Suddenly, the car came to a screeching halt.
I didn’t look back. Without wasting a moment, I picked up my pace and began to run again, my heart pounding in my chest. Behind me, all I could hear was the unmistakable sound of car doors slamming and feet pounding on the sidewalk.