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The Secrets We Keep Chapter 5: His blood is on your hands



by Briyahna Rice, staff reporter


My newfound courage thrives

but it is trapped inside

my cautious mind,

I’ve got to test my luck and overcome this

and maybe if I try

I may succeed to fail

But if I don’t try,

I will always fail to succeed and prevail

  No truer words could ever describe the predicament that Lena now faced. She had just exited the shop, with her headphones blaring music into her eardrums. Unsure of what to do, she approached Marie and asked for her wisdom on the matter of Levine’s soon to be murder. Their conversation went something like this:

“I’ve been fighting her as best as I can, but it’s not getting any easier, especially with Levine closing in like a wall trap,” said Lena. Marie was in the middle of making vegetable soup, but looked away from the pot long enough to listen to her employers plea. Her eyes showed nothing but focus and wisdom.

“ Vile people breed vile thoughts, and vile thoughts breed vile actions. If this man continues his pursuit, it will most definitely be harder to keep a hold on your true intentions, even if you fight tooth and nail,” she said.

Lena grew desperate and raised the octave of her voice. “But I can’t take a man’s life. No matter how much of a bastard is, I can’t have have his blood on my hands,” Marie looked at her with  skepticism before continuing.

“Perhaps Lizabeth would  disagree with that notion. With all the planning that’s she’s done, it amazing you haven’t taken his life in this very moment. Instead here you are, trying to prevent the inevitable,” With every word that Marie spoke, Lena’s desperation only increased.

“I wouldn’t feel the need to resort to something like this, if only people like him weren’t within such a close proximity! Lizabeth is the one who carries the hate that  I feel,” she cried out. Marie could only shake her head and continue with her lecture.

“So long as you are alive, there will always be people like Levine. Whether or not they’re within a close proximity of you doesn’t matter. Like you and Lizabeth, they all contain some kind of inherent force that compels them to do wrong and expect everything to be right.” Every word Marie said, wasn’t bringing any kind of reassurance to Lena, just more confusion. Rather than continue to argue with her, Lena took a seat on the nearby foot stool, closed her eyes, and let out an exasperated sigh.

“So what am I supposed to do? Just let her coil around me like a snake, and swallow me?” Marie shook her head  at Lena’s pessimism, but didn’t falter.

“No, not necessarily. I know your will, Lena. It’s strong. Lizabeth knows this too. She knows that without Levine advancing on you, you yourself can control the actions that best solve the situations you find yourself in,” said Marie.  A look of realization crossed Lena’s face at hearing this.

“So unless I do something right, Lizabeth will do something terrible.” Marie took on the tone of mother reassuring her child at hearing this from her employer.

“Yes, something right to where Lizabeth cannot influence your decisions unless you wish it.”  For the first time throughout the entire conversation Lena could feel relief about her situation instead of anticipatory dread, as Marie continued on.

“The first thing you have to do is get rid of Levine.” That was an immediate punch in the stomach for Lena, as her face fell and her eyes widened slightly.

“What? But you just said-” Marie interrupted her.

“So long as Levine continues his pursuits, Lizabeth will influence your next move. You need to remove him from your life, but be extremely careful how you go about it. Because once you’re in hell, only the devil can help you out.” That was it. On that disappointing note, Lena walked out of the shop, and descended down the street.

Marie’s words still range fresh in her ears, but not as fresh as the music blaring through her ear buds,causing her to slip into a void of oblivion. After 5 minutes of contemplating, Lena found that she had strayed away from her bus stop. Instead she found herself on the beginning of a new block. As it was nearly 6 in the afternoon, most of the shops were beginning to close, except one.

Upon closer inspection, Lena saw that it was an adult video store. The neon purple lights illuminated the white sign that  was in the window and read out in big red letter: “ All Triple X films available for ½ price”. Lena grimaced at this sight, and let out a breath that she didn’t know she was holding. Just as she was about to turn around and leave the block, a figure came out of the store, attempting to conceal a black plastic bag, obviously containing their purchases.  Her keen eyes could easily make out the figure, even in the approaching darkness of the coming night.  Mr. Levine had traded the cream colored suit that he wore for school this morning for a pair of denim jeans and a bulky black jacket. His left arm was tucked away inside the jacket, and it was painfully apparent to Lena what he was trying to conceal. At this moment her emotions ran cold.

“His blood is on your hands.” said Lizabeth quietly. Lena’s own response was not that different. “No, his blood is on our hands.” With that she swiftly but quietly approached Levine all while running through Lizabeth’s previous plan.

“Excuse me, sir”. said Lena in the most polite voice that she could muster. At the sound of her voice, Levine practically jumped three feet in the air and gave out a cry of fear. He turned around sharply and looked right at Lena.

“You girl. What are you doing here?!” he asked. His composure was as frantic as a frightened cat, while Lena’s was cool and content despite her malevolent intentions. “I’m here with my mother. We’re having dinner and she just sent me to get her cellphone out of the car. May I ask what you’re doing here, Mr. Levine?”

Noticing that this person was one of his students, Levine immediately straightened up his posture and softened his voice. “Well I just happened to be in the neighborhood and just when I was crossing the street to go to my favorite restaurant, I could have swore that I saw two boy students from the high school going into this very store.” He said it so quickly and flawlessly that if Lena were of a lesser caliber, she would have believed him. But she wasn’t. A ghost of a smile slowly graced her lips and her eyes were glittering with hidden intention.

“Oh I see. It does me a world of good to see a teacher so dedicated to his work,” she said. At hearing this, Levine flashed her a grin and took it to heart. “Thank you  my dear. Now if I may ask, what exactly are you doing out on these streets by yourself? There’s a lot of dangerous people wandering about at this hour.”

Lena grimaced at hearing this, utterly sickened by his hypocrisy.

“People like you maybe?” she said. Levine was immediately taken  back by this, and feigned confusion.

“Come again?” he said.  She was all to happy to reiterate what she had said, completely forgetting what she had told Marie.

“I said, where do you get off being such a hypocrite? You may be able to  spout your lies and pull the wool over everyone else’s eyes, but not mine, because my eyes don’t know how to lie. They only show what’s right there in front of me.” Every word she said, didn’t even seem to penetrate Levine’s skull, so now it was time to play her trump card.

“I know, Levine. I know about the girls you’ve been lusting over, and what you’d like to do to them once you get them alone. It’s a disgrace that this has gone unnoticed for as long as it has, until I came along. Now I’m going to tell you what I’d like to do to you,”  said Lizabeth.

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