Between Two Worlds

3.5 Side of the same coin (Part I)

Athena couldn’t believe what she heard. “You’re making fun of me again. You can’t know what happened to him. You didn’t even inspect the body.” Their scenic walk converged to an isolated path. A park sign indicated the direction and distance towards the main gate.

“I’m not teasing you. He died from drugs – opioid and alcohol poisoning. Watch the news tonight,” he said.

Athena rolled her eyes. “Wow, you actually sound so convinced. As if you’ve seen him with your own eyes.”

For a moment, Curtis was quiet. He appear to be thinking to himself, contemplating his next answer. “I have,” he said plainly.

His jokes are getting weirder by the minute. “Right. Next you’re going to tell me that you killed the guy.” she attempted to brush off his words.

Again, he took a moment to brood before he shrugged his shoulders. “I’m not entirely blameless.”

He answered so naturally, so simply that Athena stopped in her tracks and just looked at him. A soft breeze rustled the trees, attempting to fill the void between them. She waited for him to break into a cheeky grin and laugh at her gullibility. It never came.

“If this is a joke, it’s not funny,” she finally said.

“I’m dead serious.”

“What do you mean by you’re not entirely blameless? You sound like you were involved in his death!”

“Not directly. Not enough to amount to anything substantial to tie me to the case, if that’s what you’re asking.”

The playful atmosphere between them had all but disappeared. They stood staring at each other — his eyes boring into hers. She must have mistaken the warm eyes from earlier; they were now two bottomless pits of darkness.

Athena’s thoughts were firing all over the place. For one, she wanted desperately to believe he was making fun of her, otherwise the alternative was that her new friend – at least it seemed they were going to be, was a murderer or an accomplice. Also, how could a person who saved her from harm one day, take away someone else’s life next? That doesn’t making sense at all! Yet, if he was speaking the truth, then…

How eerily empty and secluded the area was. Was this all planned? Was she lured to this neglected area with tall overgrown grass and untrimmed hedges to have Curtis ‘tie loose ends’? His expression bore no emotion, no hint to what he planned to do to her. The cluster of food stalls weren’t too far away, but she was unsure if she could outrun him. He’s so close – can she make out a scream in time before he stifled her as he did before?

And then he spoke, in a deep, solemn tone. “You need to leave. Now. Magnolia Promenade will be swarming with cops so that district’s fine; but I don’t ever want to see you in Mirage Park or Canton. Stay away and keep to the crowds. If you ever see me again, don’t talk to me, don’t come near me. Today never happened. You got me?”

“… identified as 38-year-old Hubert Bohr was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in Magnolia Promenade. Police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination to determine whether the death should be treated as suspicious. Detective Jules Ellis said authorities were notified by an unknown caller who claims to have seen the man act strangely and enter the alley. At present, the caller’s identity and whereabouts are unknown-”

She switched off the television. The news report confirmed that Curtis was telling the truth, but something still doesn’t add up.

If he was the murderer or accomplice, setting Athena free would mean leaving evidence behind. She was an eyewitness who could testify that he was at the crime scene and had known the cause of death even before it was reported.

When he threatened her to leave, he had cared for her safety. Keep to crowds? Don’t set foot in Canton? Why would he do that? Was it a trap? Or was he caring for her?

Ugh, she was spinning in circles without getting any closer to an answer.

She didn’t know if she should turn him in. She wasn’t entirely convinced that he’s guilty. Maybe the right thing to do was give herself time to think it through. But each time, her mind would wander first to the pleasant afternoon they had, followed by his final words to her. A lump would form in her throat as she felt the familiar sting of rejection that had plagued her all her life, and her mind would spiral out of control into her darkest memories.


24 thoughts on “3.5 Side of the same coin (Part I)

  1. Or it could just be that Curtis is just a plain (ex-?)drug dealer and is involved in unhealthy crowd, that’s why he told her to stay away.

    1. Ooh I really like your deductions! You’re so close! 🙂 I actually had a 3.6 Chapter hinting this side of life but did not publish it thinking it might be too controversial. It got featured eventually.

      1. controversial is what makes stories interesting 😉
        I’ll have to catch up hehe

  2. That was a weird shift in his behaviour. I have so many thoughts. I’m wondering if he has some magic powers too. It would be super interesting if he was somehow related to Grim. He could have powers and cause someone’s death by accident.

  3. Hmmm. It sounds like dear Curtis might be a drug dealer, or be involved with one. I wonder if it’s as simple as accidentally selling him a bad stash, or allowing him to overdose because of money… or if it’s deeper than that. Maybe someone wanted to get rid of him, and drugs were the way to do it. In which case, the area around the murder is definitely dangerous, and he’s right in trying to keep Athena as far away from all that as possible.
    Hmm. Hmm hmm hmm.

    1. Oof I love your analysis! You’re spot on in the direction this story is heading. As for the man in the alley, he actually has his own backstory in a special chapter dedicated to him, but I thought perhaps it was too controversial so I never uploaded it. You’ll find I managed to counter this inhibition ch 8 onwards. So I’m afraid the mystery of this man is never explained since the chapter is still sitting in my drafts.

      I really enjoy reading your comments. Thank you for commenting!

  4. Hmm, well unlike Athena I wouldn’t go straight to “he’s probably a murderer” – a drug dealer, maybe?

    And sorry Curtis, none of that don’t talk to me if you see me nonsense! I ship him with Athena too much, so he better talk to her 😆

    Poor Athena can’t seem to get a break, looks like Grim just got bumped up on the list of potential friends lol

  5. So is Curtis a drug dealer? I highly doubt he literally killed this person, but it seems logical that he set up the circumstances for that person to die…. which, still, yikes. 😐

  6. Ah, there we go. Now he’s being forthcoming. At least by his standards? I’m going to jump on the drug dealer train; sounds right. I’m also going to abstain from placing a Good or Bad value judgement on either person. They’re both neither! What whaat.

    Love the note about troubled spaces at the end. Awww.

    (‘Not enough to amount to anything substantial to tie me to the case’ is grammatically fine, but consider removing ‘to amount to anything substantial’ to get rid of the phrase with four ‘to’s in it; ‘friend – at least it seemed they were going to be, was ‘ -> ‘friend – at least it seemed they were going to be—was’ but instead of the triple-dash I like because it disambiguates em dashes from both en dashes and hyphens in the markup language I use, substitute your own favorite em dash equivalent; ‘day, take’ -> ‘day take’; ‘life next’ -> ‘life the next’; ‘making sense’ -> ‘make sense’; ‘still doesn’t add up’ -> ‘still didn’t add up’. I think WordPress ate an earlier comment of mine b/c it had a tumblr link.)

    1. Neither good or bad is a good call. Depending on what attributes you want to focus on they can be either or neither :> I remember replying to your comments so WordPress ate all my comments I guess. Or I was having one of those internet fail days.

  7. News stories must be running dry for their area. That kind of thing would be too droll to make the news here. It’d have to have some kind of sensational-ness to it in order for it to be “interesting enough” instead of just being a drug overdose. That’s pretty terrible for my area, huh? Well, I guess if Athena’s mom and stuff makes the news frequently, they must be pretty rabid about getting any story. And that’s not saying it was ‘top of the hour’ too. Bah, ignore me. I’m rambling.

    I’m worried why Curtis would suddenly switch gears like that. Did he forget the entire time he was with her that she might be in danger? When is he going to get it through his head that she’s always in danger, with or without him. Hmmmmmm.

    1. I’ve lived in huge metropolis where only the most dramatic news get featured. Now I live in an area where a bumper scratch makes headlines. I say my sim universe is an in between. 😉

  8. Oh wow, how sweet that you left that link at the end! That’s a really cool aspect to a story like this.

    And geez, did he have to be so vague about his role in that death? I wonder if he didn’t realize how much his words would affect her, or if he just didn’t care if it did.

    And I also wonder if the dead guy was one of ….. dang, I can’t remember that evil guy’s name. The one from his childhood. Either way, I’m fairly certain that the guy deserved it. And as far as I remember, Curtis didn’t kill anyone until the later incident when he had to save her again. But maybe I’m remembering wrong?

    Poor Athena. I wish he hadn’t left her worrying like that. Especially with the cryptic message at the end. Stay away from him at all costs. Hmmmm, we all know that didn’t happen 😅

    1. Oof yeah i think you got the reason why he was so vague about his participation since you’ve read the whole arc. 😆

      Lol nah he’s one of the people Curtis deals with on a day to day basis. Nothing deep about hubert.

      At least she tried. And well we need it to happen otherwise this wouldnt be a story 😆

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