Chapter 17

Pick and choose


Later that day, Damien is thinking about the man he saw rushing out of Sophie’s house. Diana asks, “Hey you! what are you thinking about?” Damien sees his sister, “nothing, I was just thinking…[Pause], actually, you know what, I was wondering why shouldn’t we break into our aunt’s house and just get our book back?” Diana looks confused, “Damien, if we do that, the witch is gonna bury us alive, you hear me,” she says. 

Damien is still in his thoughts. “Mmm, I want to know what she meant by Sophie being related to us,” he says. Diana tries her best to convince him not to go. “Damien, please do not do this. Do any of those things matter as long as Sophie is safe? I understand that you want to know the truth, I mean we all do. But not like this,” she says. Damien grabs his coat and walks towards the door. Diana runs and stands in front of him, “No, I am not letting you do this, not like that.” Damien looks at her with anger and sadness at the same time, “Diana, I need to do this, I need to know the connection with Sophie’s family.”

“Why?” Diana asks, “why are you in such a hurry?” 

Damien looks away and then back to Diana, “because I am falling in love with Sophie. I am in love with her and would like to know what or who links us… [pause] and how ASAP.” 

Diana is shocked but happy. “WoHoo! Wonderful Damien, I am so happy for you guys. For once, you did something good in your life [Laughter]. But, you are not planning to do this,” says Diana. Damien takes a deep breath, “please, D…” before he could say any further, Diana cuts him off, “Alone.” 

Damien asks, “Wait, what do you mean?” Diana smirks at him and quickly grabs her jacket, “let’s break into that haunted palace.” Damien smiles back at her, and they both drive away.

Sophie is working on her blogs. Every moment, she checked her phone for a message from Damien.

She hears her mother calling for her. Since her mother sounded tense, Sophie hurried downstairs. “Mom, what happened? Are you alright?” asks Sophie. Her mother is looking around the trunk in the living room. “Mom, what is it?” Sophie’s mother glances at her. “The trunk, it’s open, I mean somebody broke it open and the things inside, it’s scattered,” she tells Sophie. Sophie runs towards her and looks at the trunk that has all the old items that belong to her family. It is everywhere. “Is something missing?” Sophie asks. 

“No, I don’t think so. The one who did this was looking for something but I guess he could not find it,” her mother says. Her mother gets worried and confused. She looks at her daughter, “did you do this?” 

Sophie exchanged the same look. “If I wanted to look for these old records, I would have asked you to open this thing, which is sitting in the living room instead of your bedroom or somewhere safe,” Sophie replies. Her mother quickly reaches for the phone, “I am gonna call the police, somebody broke into our house at night. Oh, dear! Thank god you are safe. First, that attack on you and now someone is breaking into our house.” 

Sophie thinks that Damien was with hers last night and snuck out of the house without any information. “Hey mom, let’s not rush it, please. I mean nothing is missing from the trunk,” Sophie says while trying to convince her mother not to call the cops. Her mother did not understand, “Are you serious right now? Someone was in the house right after two days of attack.” 

Sophie did not know what to say to her mother. However, her mind is telling her that maybe Damien has something to do with this because she did not do this, nor did her mother. The only person left after them in the house last night was Damien. 

She says, “Mom I gotta leave, but please do not make that call. I will find out who did this and why.” Her mother denies what she just said, “No, I forbid it, you are not going anywhere, you are calling trouble for yourself.” 

Sophie looks at her mother, “Ouch! Forbid.. really mom. Why use such a heavy word? Mom, please promise me you will not call the police.”

Her mother replies in a soft tone, “I said you are not going anywhere, you do not have to be a detective or some kind of a hero.” What her mother does next is, she calls the police.

Sophie gets very anxious and runs out. Her mother runs behind her calling her out to stop, “Sophie stop right there or else you are in trouble.” 

Sophie keeps running to the door and while approaching the door, she looks back at her mother. “Mom, I am off to Diana’s and I will be back soon,” she shouts. 

Her mother still tries to stop her, but Sophie takes off. 

Sophie is banging at Damien’s door, “Open the goddamn door, Damien. Diana, are you inside?” She tries to peek inside the window to look for someone to answer her. She sees the lights are off. She takes out her phone and dials Damien… “You have reached Damien, leave a message.” The calls were directed straight to the voice mail. She then tries Diana but receives the same response. Now, Sophie is scared and just wants to see Damien. Her eyes are in tears and Damien is on her mind. She hears police approaching her house. She clears her mind, wipes her eyes, and walks towards her home. 

Damien and Diana are able to sneak into that unknown house which looks like a massive hotel building. They jump through the railing in the backyard and into the kitchen. It is very dark; they can hardly see anything or someone in there. Damien turns the lights on through his eyes, Diana squeezes his hand and whispers, “Stop being crazy. What are you doing? “What if someone is in here?” 

Damien powers down and whispers back, “then he or she might be able to listen to us.” He does not care and opens his eyes wide. The bright white flashlight comes out through his eyes like some car’s headlights. Diana looks around, “No one’s here, thank god.” she looks back at Damien and smacks his arms, “Being brave too much…. idiot,” and walks into the living room. They both quietly make their way around. Diana says, “Hey, they will not keep that book lying on the table like some magazine for us. It is definitely hidden somewhere safer… like my aunt’s bedroom maybe.” 

Damien agrees with her and they both start walking upstairs. They are taking cautious steps, slowly making their way towards the stairs. “Ugh!!! you blink too much just keep your eyes open, it’s distracting me,” whispers Daina.

“That’s the human eyes attached to the powers, remember,” replies Damien annoyingly.

They both reach up into the hall. Diana whispers very slowly into his ears, “Which one is her room?”

“I don’t know when was the last time I was here. I think it was when I was a cry baby,” says Damien.

“Why did you cry so much?” Diana asks. Damien looks at her while getting irritated by her sarcastic and lame questions. Diana hides her face, “Ouch you are making me blind.”

“I am sorry, Diana, concentrate now,” says Damien. 

Before they could move any further, someone switched on the lights on them.

The lady asks, “Where are my children?” 

They both were facing their backs towards the voice. They stand still and slowly look back. Both saw the same woman, the one who came into their house and took the book, sitting on the chair holding the book tightly in her hands. 

The woman stands up. That graceful position of hers, full of attitude, made Diana appear complex. Diana walks forward and Damien holds her hand to stop her. 

The lady looks at them, “and then they say Damien is very impatient. Look, you stopped your impatient sister Damien, good boy.” 

Damien gets irritated, “look we are here for that book.”

“And why?” the lady asks.

Diana says, “because it belongs to us.” 

Damien continues, “the book should be in its place.” 

The lady smiles, “exactly Damien, you are right. The book is exactly where it belongs.”

Damien gets closer, “It does not belong to you. I get it that you are part of us but this book is not yours, my great-grandmother gave it to us.” 

The lady steps closer to him, “well she was mistaken. She did not realize that you guys would be stupid enough to let humans have access to this book.” 

Damien smirks a bit, “Humans, are you any different… Miss Chamber?” Damien gives her an angry look, “even this book says, we are the same when we are flesh.” 

“I am very well aware of all that this book states.” She walks towards Diana, holds her hand, and brings her close to Damien. She continues, “Here is the deal.”

“What deal?” asks Diana. 

“Mmm, the deal is for Damien. If he accepts and does what I ask, the book is yours.”

Damien says annoyingly, “Listen, Mrs. Chamber.” Mrs. Chamber cuts him off, “Aunt… I am not one of your friends. Aunt to you young man.”

“I will never call you my aunt, so either you got to suck it up or give me any other name to call you,” says Damien, and he was very certain of what he said. Damen continues, “now what’s the deal?”

Mrs. Chamber gives them a wry smile with an arrogant look, “Damien… pick and choose.” 

Damien is confused, “what does that mean?”

Mrs. Chamber says, “I am asking you to choose between your little sister and a cute girlfriend… Can you?”

These words shook both Diana and Damien. 

Daina shouts at her, “You crazy lady…

Mrs. Chamber stares back at her, it makes Diana fall behind.

Damien holds Daina and looks fiercely at the lady, “You know what, keep your book. You are making me choose between two very dear people in my life, over what… this book,” he stands up holding Diana, “you keep this book and attitude of yours, and never show up or interfere in our lives ever again.” 

Damien and Diana start to walk down the stairs. 

 “We are family, Damien, we are connected whether you like it or not,” shouts Mrs. Chambers from behind.

Damien looks back at her and smiles, “Hmm! Is that right? Well, so is Sophie, remember. You said so yourself, do you mind clearing that out? If not, you don’t deserve to say that we are a family.” 

The lines made Mrs. Chamber’s face turn irate.

She holds the book and smacks at the wall with anger. The book falls to the floor wide open. As she walks toward the book, she sits down and looks at the page. There was a picture of a lady with the words in bold letters, “LOVING MEMORY OF MRS. SOPHIE.”