The Boy at the End of the Tunnel (Part 11)

Freesia

There is a very peculiar thing about freesias, their petals are extremely delicate, and they are very difficult to grow in domestic gardens, therefore it always amazed me that the freesias at the foster house were so healthy and took so long to wither.  Juliana always took care of them as if they were her little babies, it was almost as if she had a supernatural power over them.  Even now, a flower field still remains even though that place has been empty for years.

Juliana used to say they meant friendship, trust and innocence.  She would often compare me to one, she said, I was delicate like the freesia’s petals, and although I was broken, I still preserved my innocence and thoughtfulness.  For some reason she believed I was unable to trust others, but my glow, made others trust me and offer their friendship.  I could never understand her reasoning, she was a bit mystical and philosophical and I was too young and dumb to comprehend all the symbolism.

It seems she trusted me till the end, even after death, since she’s still bullshitting me about saving the world or whatever.  Really what part of me made her think I was a nice person and not a complete asshole.  Perhaps she was too nice, which could’ve been the reason she died so young.  She trusted others too much.

After Lucas left me in my apartment he drove off like a lunatic, I was surprisingly still alive.  My mind suddenly wandered to the meaning of these flowers.  I locked myself in my apartment to gather my thoughts and organize these weird events.  By looking for the symbolism of each vision, maybe I can be able to decipher her intentions.  It’s always like that, I wish spirits and ghosts, or whatever these things are, would just tell you straight what it is they want.  Why go around each topic and construct riddles to confuse someone even more?  I mean can’t they just appear in your dream and be like: “brah’, that motherflower killed me and I want revenge, here is all the proof” Then I go to the police station with the evidence, the dirty ass scum gets arrested and we all live happily ever after.  I mean, I know she was always a little poetic, but I need a little more help here! Or maybe she’s giving me a lesson…

So far these are my clues.  These specific things have been mentioned and appeared in my…dreams? Several times, so I have gathered 7 sins I have brought upon myself:

  1. The Tunnel
  2. The Freesias
  3. The Scapular
  4. The Fosters
  5. The Sack Man
  6. The Brothers
  7. The Boy

I began with the flowers, since Juliana had talked about it many times.  The fact that the flowers were still in mint conditions, meant either she was keeping them alive for me to follow or someone else was… or they are just flowers and I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I decided to go with the first two options.

The freesias in my dreams and visions were all pink, which I found particularly strange, since there were never any pink freesias in the foster house, or the flower field by the tunnel. After I searched the meaning of the pink flower in the internet, it made sense as to why the flowers showed up, every time the boy cried for help.  Pink Freesias meant motherly love, I was almost certain that Juliana was concerned for her child and wanted me to go to him.

The fact the hallucinations always appeared by the tunnel and near the foster house, meant the boy had to be somewhere near that place, however the house was empty. I went inside once and there was nothing or no one there.  The flowers at the field were all white, which probably meant someone other than her was taking good care of them.  Although a white freesia symbolizes innocence and purity, that could also be a clue leading to the boy, as he is an innocent child.  Other than Juliana, that leaves us with one of the brothers Grimm or a third party that knows about the location and cared for the place…the foster mother.

All this analyzing is making me dizzy; I didn’t even know my brain could function that way…damn I’m impressive.

After I left the foster home, I didn’t know anything else about the people there.  By the time I met Ren in high school I had forgotten about those people’s faces and names.  As my memories slowly came back, I remembered Ren talking about her younger years and how she’d moved to different places, but always came back to the one that care the most for her.  Now that I think about it, she could’ve been talking about our foster mother.  I keep wondering why she never told me who she really was.  Maybe she didn’t want to bring me back those dreadful memories, but then why insist on getting close to me? And why did she contact me after all these years? What was I to her? The only way for me to find out what happened after I left was by contacting her, the only one she could call mother.

In high school Ren used to talk about how her mother lived by the suburbs and owned a flower shop near the school.  She always loved flowers, and she inculcated that love towards flowers to Juliana.  It makes sense she would own a flower shop now.  I wonder if Ren kept in touch with her, seeing as she didn’t even assist to Ren’s wedding.  She was the closest person to Juliana after her mother died, she definitely had some answers and she could be the first clue to figure out what is happening.

I don’t know much about Juliana’s past other than what Lucas told me, and that story could’ve been extremely biased and fabricated.  The only way for me to find out how things got to this point was to learn the entire story.

I grabbed my phone and texted Mara:

Me: Hey!

Mara: Hey! Girly everything ok? I know you told me not to ask what you were up to, but you txted me first, so I cant help but wonder if youre doing ok.  I mean if u goin’ all Sherlock Holmes here, I think u should stop…I mean these are dangerous people, what if they find out youre diggin’ for the truth? If u keep diggin’ u might end up getting burned

Mara: ***buried…although you could end up burned too 0o0

Even by text she can’t stop talking.

Me: Mara, I’m fine.  I’ll stop, I promise…do you know where I can find Ren’s mother?

Mara: Good girly, nothing good will come out of this

Mara: Ren’s mom stays most of her time in the flower shop.  I saw her at Ren’s funeral, and she told me she still had it.  I visited her once, is super close to the school.  Just head straight past the school then take a right, then another right and it’s the fourth building to the left.  I don’t know what color it is now, but back then It was a pastel pink, with a flower bed of that flower from Ren’s bouquet.

Mara: She looked super afflicted, I mean it’s to expect, but it was strange that someone that cared so much didn’t attend her wedding.

Mara: …. Wait why do you want to visit her? This is not part of your little infestation is it?

Mara: ****investigation

Me: Of course not, I just want to visit her, give her my condolences since I couldn’t attend the funeral…and please stop making assumptions on your own, it’s a nasty habit.

Mara: Hmmmm…Ok, chill… take care girly, love ya!

Ren’s bouquet…freesias.  It was definitely her.

I got dressed, always flashy never trashy, hopped in the car and drove to the lady’s shop.  On the way there I couldn’t help but feel uneasy, I had no idea what to expect at this point.  I finally made it to the shop.  As I approached the front to find a place to park my car, a peculiar person caught my eye.  Tiago was coming out of the shop with a fresh freesia bouquet in hand, maybe that is where he got the flowers, he had in that vase back at his house. But why was he there, have they been contacting each other the entire time?

After he left, I got off the car and walked towards the shop.  I carefully opened the door and timidly snuck a glance inside the store.  The place had a sweet aroma, from the Roses to the Gardenias, the Lavender and the Jasmine, along with the other variety of plants and flowers.  Of course, one could not miss the Freesias and its enthralling scent.  Maybe my head was all messed up due to the craziness, but that specific aroma was stronger than the rest.  What’s so special about that plant anyway?

The little bell hanging by the door ringed as I opened it, and the lady came out from the back. She stared at me for a couple of seconds, motionless and perplexed.  Obviously, I looked familiar, but it had been many years, it’s not like she would recognize me instantly.  She approached me and asked if I was looking for something specific.

“Hello…umm, are your Ren’s mother?” I warily asked, although I knew exactly who she was, she looked the same as she did when I last saw her, minus a few more wrinkles and a strand of white hair.  I could remember that much.

“Yes, are you one of her friends?” she sweetly answered.

“Yeah…” I walked towards the freesias and smelled them.  “You’re still obsessed with these flowers, are you?”

“I’m sorry?…” she asked with a baffled expression.

“Don’t you remember me?…Well probably not since we were together so little. It’s me Lai, the little street orphan.”

She covered her mouth trying to hide her expression.  She looked happy, yet happy to see me.

“I came because I wanted to ask you a few things about Juliana and Ren.  To be honest, Ren and I went to high school together, but I didn’t remember her till now.  Also, I heard about Juliana’s death and her history with the da Silva brothers, and something tells me I’m more involved in this than I know.  So, I thought the only person who might be able to help me understand is you.”

“I’m so happy you’ve grown up to be such a beautiful woman.  We should sit first” she gestured to a little garden with a cute patio furniture set. “Would you like anything to drink?”

“No, I’m good, thanks”

“Ok…”she nervously sat in the chair across me “Juliana, was a wonderful girl, but she was too naïve.  Her fixation on that da Silva kid drove her to make the wrong decisions over and over.  That family was never a good influence on her.  They would do anything to maintain the perfect image in front of others.  Such a mistake like getting someone pregnant out of wedlock was unacceptable, specially the youngest son whom was still a teenager”

I opened my eyes and choked on my saliva as I swallowed.

“The younger son?” I asked in disbelief, “wasn’t she married to the eldest?”

“Tiago? Yes, that is correct, but the one she actually loved was Lucas.  Juliana was older than Lucas, so the family married her to Tiago to cover it up, since she refused to abort the baby, and Tiago was in love with her.  He promised he would take care of the both of them.  After that Lucas was sent to study abroad and Tiago moved back to Brazil with Juliana”

“So, the real kid’s father is Lucas… Do you still keep in contact with any of them? How did Ren end up with Tiago?”

“There were…circumstances that led Ren to Tiago…she was always a bit jealous of Juliana, but I don’t know the entire details, I cut all ties with that family.”

Lies…She lied; Tiago was definitely here earlier, then why did she say she didn’t talk to them?  If Lucas was the real father, it means he has been lying the whole time.  Why is everyone lying, none of the stories seem to match up? I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to speak.

“What would happen if the boy was still alive and someone knew his whereabouts?”

Her body trembled and her eyes widened, then she finally spoke.

“You shouldn’t get involved any longer, or you’ll end up like the rest…Stay away Lai, I’m begging you”

She grabbed my hands tightly.  She was still shaking, and her face was crying.  Something tells me the da Silva wasn’t the kind of family you would want to mess with.  Do they all know where the kid is, but they’re pretending not to.  More than the boy, are they all involved in the death of the fosters? I’m sorry Juliana, but I don’t think I’ll be able to continue.  I just realized I valued my life too much.

I walked out the store, she grabbed my hands again and then she gave me a big warm hug and then whispered “for your own good, stop searching and stop asking about Ren as well, she was in deeper than you think”

I walked towards my car, sat down for a couple of minutes.  I don’t even know if I blinked or what I was doing, I was under a lot of stress and shock.  What was I doing I was a jobless, penniless ghost seeking orphan with a shitty personality on the look for a truth that will drive me to my end.  I sighed once again and started the engine.  I looked at the rear-view mirror and saw a man standing in the distance on the dark sidewalk. SHIT…

To be continued…

By Jess

Part 1

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