Chapter 7



The next morning, Sophie is sitting in her room, writing a blog. She sees a boy from next door through her window. He is doing some stretching. It looks like he just returned from running. She is amazed by his splendid physique. She comes back to her bed and fantasizes about him. It was a pin drop silence. Her mother interrupts the silence and her dream by calling her, “Sophie, your friend is here, if you can make your way downstairs please.” She jumps out of her bed and steps down. It is Daina standing at the door. “I am calling her inside, but she doesn’t come; she is asking if you can go out for a walk with her,” mother says. “Sure, I will join you in a bit,” Sophie says and gets back to her room to change.

After a few minutes, both walk along the road for a while. Diana is not feeling so comfortable. She is thinking about Sophie’s father. “Are you okay? You look unwell,” Sophie asks. Diana did not answer her. They are standing on some hillock; it is a magnificent sight. From the mountain, they can see the whole town with its lush greenery, and the road between the trees looks like a snake curling up. “Diana what is this place? I am in love with this view. It is like a drawing in a book or a painting exhibited on the wall,” Sophie says.

Sophie does not hear back from Diana so she looks back at her. Diana is staring at the road and breathing rapidly covered in sweat. Sophie gets afraid. So many thoughts were running through Sophie’s mind like, Diana might be acrophobic, or she might have seen something scary. Sophie comes closer and touches her arm to comfort her. 

As soon as Sophie touches her, she gets struck with some kind of electric current that passes out from Diana. It makes Sophie fall backwards. 

Next, Sophie finds herself on someone’s warm lap. As she opens her eyes, she finds Diana’s brother looking tense and holding her hand, waiting for Sophie to open her eyes. She feels butterflies dancing in her belly. Sophie tries to get up, the man helps her to settle down as she is still not in a condition to hold herself together. “Are you feeling better now?” he asks. Sophie asks him what has happened and where Diana was. He stares at her sensationally. Damien says, “I am Damien. You, on the other hand, are supposed to stay away from my sister.” [pause] They both keep staring at each other, “and me,” Sophie says looking so demented. “The last I remember Diana looking scared, and when I tried to comfort her, there was some electric shock.” Damien refuses to listen to her and tries to control his emotions. “You are a very nosy girl who cannot stay away from other people’s matters. You wanted to know what happened to Diana, no problem! She has a fear of heights, so she panicked when she saw you standing on the edge of the mountain. When you touched her, she got scared and that made you fall back. You got hit on your head against the rock on which you are sitting right now and passed out,” he says. 

Sophie stands up, “I am not buying this. I knew Diana was scared of something; perhaps it was a fear of heights, but I am certain that, upon touching her,” Sophie is not finished yet and Damien interrupts. Then, firmly grabbing her from her arms, he tells her, “cut this crap and never come near my sister again.” What electric shock would be out here, and why would you take Diana to the hillock in the first place?” he says. Sophie replies in the same tone, “I am sure there is some sort of scientific explanation behind that electric shock, first. Second, Diana took me up there because she is a friend and knows that I like the beauty of nature, so why don’t you leave me and move back because the next question this nosy girl here has is for you.” 

Damien’s expression turned from a fit of anger to a low and tense look. Sophie continues, “I fell, passed out, but the person beside me should have been Diana. I opened my eyes and found you. Diana has called you but where is she? She can’t go away, leaving me here with you.” 

“I asked her to leave because she was afraid and worried,” Damien says. 

Damien offers to walk Sophie home if he can. Sophie is nervous but happy at the same time as she is strolling beside the guy she fantasized about that morning. Now that she knows his name she wants to know more about him. Both of them are walking, but there is no exchange of words. It is noon, and all they can hear are birds chirping and a cool breeze.

Damien breaks the silence by asking, “so, you got admitted to school?” 

“Yes, I got admitted to Buford college; it will be my first year.” “What about you?” Sophie inquires. “Same, I am also at Buford college; it will be my final year now. What are you majoring in?” Damien asks. “I am taking business studies. What about you?” asks Sophie. “I have taken science, fundamental physics, and chemistry,” Damien replies.

Damien and Sophie do not get along, but the walk and the talk that day seem like the start of something fresh. They were now well acquainted with one another. Damien walks Sophie to her door and says, “Sophie, you are a nice girl, and whatever differences we had or have, I do not want to continue with it. I do not want any unnecessary tensions between us. But we cannot be friends with you. Diana, she is all I have, and I can’t lose her.” For the first time Damien was speaking to her so kindly. He seems like a completely different person to Sophie. 

Sophie is ambiguous. She cannot think that she is causing any trouble for Diana. She thinks that Damien might have some trust issues. “Am I a monster, why or how can I be a threat to your sister?” she asks and continues, “Moreover, I am a stranger to this place, and I do not know anybody and nobody knows me.” 

Damien gives her an intense look, “See, that is what you are not catching, apparently your father used to come here a lot. I heard it from Diana. So, you may or may not know people but people here might know you. Also, I have a trust issue.” says Damien. Sophie smiles, “trust issue, huh! You need to open yourself and learn to trust people, at least give it a try. Not everyone is the same. There are people who care about you genuinely and who want to be your friends. This way, you will be left alone on this beautiful planet. You do not want that, trust me,” she says. 

Damien is astonished by her. He is left with no words. Sophie walks inside, saying goodbye.

Damien walks back to his house, thinking about what Sophie said. He enters inside and finds Diana waiting for him in the hall. “Damien, how is Sophie?” Diana asks. 

“You tell me, how can she be,” Damien replies in an angry voice. Damien continues, “why would you take her to such a place, and if you did, then why would you freak out. What if she came to know our truth?” Diana is sorry, “Damien, I found a friend for the first time in life, I guess. I wanted her to enjoy her time with me. I don’t know what stressed me to the point where I lost control. I tried to calm down, but I freaked out,” she says. [Pause] Diana is thinking something and Damien is looking at her, feeling something was not right. Diana continues, “Maybe if something like this happens again, I would not be able to control myself, unless [pause]. “Unless what,” Damien asks. “Unless Sophie knows everything,” she says. Damien, listening to her, could not hold his anger. “You need to stop Daina, and stay away from that girl. It is better for you and us,” Damien shouts out loud. The lights of the whole house start to blink, turning on and off. Sophie notices how the lights in the bungalow are flickering like crazy. Sophie calls for her mom, “look outside mom, what is happening next door?” Sophie shouts from her room. 

“Oh! yes, it looks like some electrical problem,” her mother says. Sophie thinks about what happened in the mountains when she passed out after touching Diana. “Mom, there is something off about this family,” says Sophie. “Don’t think too much about it my love, go to sleep,” her mother says. 

She couldn’t sleep the entire night thinking about what happened at the hillock and about the lights flickering in and out of their house. Damien could not sleep thinking about what Sophie said earlier about trust.

What happened at the hill with Sophie? How did Sophie fall? Did Sophie get electrified? What truth were Damien and Diana talking about? What are they hiding?

Let’s find out.