tw: murder/violence. yes, you read that right. someone's dying.

i'll put a warning before it starts don't worry.

first person - Calla Shining

I ran up towards the gray building, shielding my eyes from the blazing sun. Panting, I pushed open the doors, waving hurriedly at the receptionist, who, over the years, I have learned was called Cathy. Rapidly pushing on the buttons to open the elevator, I pressed the '15' button and punched the 'close' button.

Shit, I'm going to be late and Martha was going to kill me.

Pacing back and forth in the tiny glass elevator, my breathing became harsher and harsher. Forcing myself to calm down, I listened to the small bell sound the elevator made each time it went up a floor, synchronising my breaths to the sound.

I breathed a sigh when the doors opened and Martha wasn't standing in front of the mahogany doors waiting for me.

But that also meant that Violet was still inside.

Even after almost four years, Violet's appointment was still the one before mine, showing just how controlling Martha is.

I hated my appointment time, because it's right after my acting lessons, and I had to rush to get an Uber to get to the other side of the city, battling the traffic, in less than ten minutes in order to get to Martha's in time. Once, I asked Martha if I could get a later time, and she replied with a slap on my face, and a 'no, your mother has chosen this time for your lesson, and the time shall be yours until I deem you mentally strong enough to stop having lessons'.

The thing is, her lessons don't even help me anymore. They haven't helped since I was nine, just a year after I started the lessons. After that year, all these lessons have been was one hour of torture in which Martha yells and mentally abuses me for being off tune.

Excuse me for not having perfect pitch like you.

I should thank Violet for extending the length of her own appointment so I wasn't late, but most of the time, it wasn't in her control. She's probably getting yelled at Martha for not staying in tempo.

Violet was an aspiring singer who started these fine tune singing lessons with Martha at the age of five, in hopes of hitting it big.

I, on the other hand, got dragged into this mess because Mommy thought that my acting career was dying and needed a backup plan.

Jokes on her, because I just finished filming what is considered the next big blockbuster by the film critics.

I desperately wanted to stop the sessions with Martha, but Mommy said that it was doing good to me, not just with my singing, but apparently with my acting too.

She just liked the sessions because she could get her spa days in.

Scrolling on my phone, I clicked on a notification from Violet's instagram story.

"Just got signed with Universal Music with the help of my mentor, the lovely Miss Martha!" Violet could be heard saying in the story.

And at that moment, Violet was pushed out of Martha's office, bruised and scratched, crying, and Martha was behind her, motioning her hand in a 'come here' motion, raising her eyebrows when I didn't immediately come to her.

I quickly stuffed my phone into my shoulder bag, which I left outside in the hallway, in my little cubby, shooting a sorrowful look to Violet, and entered the office.

Just three thousand and six hundred seconds left with the devil.

Forty five minutes, or two thousand seven hundred seconds, into my one hour long session with Martha, there was a knock on the door.

"Who is it?" Martha irritably shouted out, clearly annoyed that she had to stop listening to my off tune singing. Actually, no. She's just annoyed that she had to stop shouting at me for singing off tune.

At this point, I was immune to her insults and jabs, words didn't hurt me anymore, but every once in a while she would slap me like my ex-manager, Mr. Patrick Johnson, would do, and that's when it really hurt.

Not just because of the physical abuse, but because it would stir up memories I had of the bastard.

Mommy had fired that bitch about a month after he slapped me, because I didn't realize that the slap would bruise that much and didn't put as much concealer on it as I should have.

"Calla, what's that thing on your cheek? Didn't I tell you to stop playing with your makeup?"

"What thing on my cheek?"

"The big gray blob, you see?" Mommy reached out to touch it, making me flinch. "Calla, why do you have a bruise on your cheek? Who did this to you, baby?"

"He- he said not to tell anyone," I started to sob. "He said that no one would believe me."

"Who? Calla, don't be scared to tell me. Mommy believes in you. Always."

"Mr. John," I whispered.

And after that, I switched back to Miss Lynn, who actually didn't give me a cavity. It was just coincidentally Halloween a few days after her interview where she gave me a small Hershy's kiss, and I had fallen asleep after eating a bucketful of candy without brushing my teeth, which resulted in the cavity.


Shit. Patrick as in my ex-manager?

"Calla, go to the bathroom. You can have a second bathroom break today," Martha said to me.

Nodding, I ran to the bathroom and hid behind the sink. I was way too tall to fit in the cabinets under the sink, but small enough to still hide behind the vanity.

The walls between the office and the bathroom were pretty thin, so I could hear everything that was going on. "Why the hell are you here, Patrick?" I could hear Martha say to him.

"We have to stop what we're doing," He replied.

"What are we doing, exactly? Is it illegal to recommend the people you manage to my office now?" I could practically hear the glare she was giving him, arms on her hips.

"I'm not talking about that," He growled. "Our affair. My wife is suspicious of why I had to be at your house discussing your students all the time. I want out."

She laughed menacingly. "Out? There is no out. How do you expect that time to just disappear, all our memories together?"

I vomited a little, the sour and acidic taste at the back of my throat.

Knowing they were caught up with fighting with each other, I opened the door just a crack, to see if I could escape from there. They were standing next to the couches, and couldn't see me if I snuck out of the office. Seizing the moment, I slipped out from the bathroom and out of the office, collecting my shoulder bag from my cubby.

Even in the hallway, where the walls were thicker and offered more privacy to the offices on the floor, their shouting could be heard.

Pulling out my phone, I opened the camera app and slid the large door open, recording what was happening inside.

Peering at my phone screen, I saw Martha grab the huge glass sculpture she had on the coffee table, holding it above her head.

warning: violence starts now

"What the hell are you doing-" Patrick started to say, but before he could even finish his sentence, Martha whispered, barely audible, "I'm sorry," and threw the sculpture at him.

My breath quickened. What I thought was just a screaming match has turned into a physical fight. Was this even PG?

What shocked me even more was when Martha pulled a gun out of nowhere, and pointed the gun at his head, then his chest, then finally his leg.

"I- I can't do this," she stuttered.

"Then don't do it," he forced out, shielding his face with his arms. There was glass everywhere.

"How am I supposed to explain all of this?!" She shrieked, waving her hands around at the mess she created in her office.

"People definitely heard the ruckus we were making, so we can call the police before they do, they'll understand," he reassured her. "C'mon, put the gun down, onto the coffee table, and we can explain to the police together that what happened here is just a misunderstanding."

"Yes, yes, I'll go do that," Martha breathed shakily, walking over to her desk and picked up her phone and dialed 911, the three loud beeps ringing in the office, but before she could press call, she threw her phone across the room. Patrick stood up cautiously. "Martha, what the hell are you doing?"

My breathing quickened. It's becoming harder and harder to conceal my hiding place.

Martha strode to where Patrick was, pulling the gun out once again, and shot him mercilessly on the leg.

He fell back onto the glass-covered ground, withering in pain. "Fucking hell! Why did you do that?"

Martha took another deep breath and pointed the gun at his abdomen. "Consider this your gift," she whispered, before shooting him there.

Blood started spilling out everywhere from his abdomen. "So, that's it? You're leaving me here to bleed out, while you run away? This was an easy problem with an easy solution, we could have just stopped our affair and lived our own separate lives, never to speak about it ever again, and instead now you're killing me?" He laughed, blood starting to come out of his mouth too.

"I can't let any fucking word of our affair going out, so the easiest way is obviously to get rid of you," she replied.

"Why the fuck would I speak of our affair? It's not only a deathly blow to your reputation, but mine too."

"Mine is obviously more important, Either way, when you're dead both our reputations will be squeaky clean too, as long as I clean up my tracks well enough for this to never be traced back to me."

"How are you going to do that if you had a witness?"

"What witness?"

"The bathroom walls are thin, your appointment would have heard everything."

"Well, it's Calla, she'll be an easy kill."

I gasped, falling back in shock. Kill?

okay there's no killing now.

Martha turned to look in the direction where the door was. I scrambled to close the door discreetly, and punched the down button in the elevator. Thankfully, the doors slid open immediately, and I pressed the ground floor button, then the close door button.

"Calanthia Shining! Get back in here instantly!" Martha shrieked. Shit, she definitely checked the empty bathroom and saw that I wasn't there and knew that I was outside and saw what happened.

Punching the close door button even harder, I breathed a sigh of relief when the doors closed just in time for me to see Martha storm out of her office and towards the elevator, too late to stop it.

Opening messages, I shakily texted Violet, 'hey, you free? have some big news, come 2 sb next 2 martha's?'

She replied in seconds, 'yes! c u there!'

"So you have proof that Martha is having an affair with John?"

Even after years of realizing that 'Mr. John' was actually 'Mr. Patrick' or 'Mr. Johnson', I still preferred to call him John, mostly because I didn't want his current clients to hear what I had to say about him. He had a good reputation, and if anyone had anything bad to say about him, they were silenced.

"Yeah," I shakily replied. "The video's kinda PG-13 though so you probably don't wanna watch it."

"Ew," Violet wrinkled her nose, "Is there kissing?"

"Something like that," I muttered, taking a sip out of my hot chocolate. "I think there's more crude words being thrown at each other when they started yelling at each other then kissing, don't think that it's appropriate to play in a store full of people."

"I'll come over soon and we can watch it?" She asked hopefully.

I forced a grin out of my mouth. "Actually, with all this excitement surrounding the video I forgot to tell you that I'm staying for the weekend cause my mom's out of town doing something and she told me to stay with you."

Violet nodded happily, bouncing up and down on her chair, causing some people to look at her. She started the blush, but nevertheless her excitement did not dim. "Oh my gosh, I'm so excited! This weekend is going to be so fun!" I smiled back at her. No matter the events I have just witnessed, quality time spent with my best friend would not be affected.

"Wait, how did you even see that?" She whispered loudly at me. "Wasn't the full hour yours? It seems so out of character for Martha to interrupt a lesson."

"I told her I wasn't feeling well and threatened to vomit all over her precious carpet so she let me go to get some fresh air on the roof," the lie smoothly escaped my mouth.

Dumbass, that's not what happened, I chided myself.

"And then when I came back she was talking to someone so I got my phone out and recorded what was happening inside, and then I accidentally gasped out loud and ran out the building. It wasn't like she could do anything about it since it was four anyways," I giggled.

"Wanna go? It's five and mom'll kill me if I'm not home in thirty minutes," Violet rolled her eyes. I nodded, and we walked out of Starbucks, ready to part ways.

"Actually VIolet?" I spoke up as she started to wave goodbye at me. "I'm coming over anyways, right? Why don't you stay with me while I pack at my house and we can just go to your house together?"

"Oh you dumbo," She giggled. "Of course! Lemme text my mom real quick before she calls the police."

I gasped, drenched in cold sweat from my nightmare.

Mom came barreling down the hallway and into my room. "Oh honey, are the nightmares back again?"

I tearfully nodded, hugging her when her outreached hands surrounded me.

"I'm so so sorry that you had to go through that," She whispered in my hair, rubbing soothing circles onto my shoulders. "I honestly think that a visit from Violet is long overdue, I'm actually going to call her mother tomorrow morning and ask her to fly her out, okay?"

"If you think that's what's best for me," I murmured, happy that I would see my best friend again, but at the same time worried. It's been almost five years since we've seen each other, and I changed so much since moving to New York. Would she even remember me?

word count: 2,448

i'm aware that this book is on haitus but it's break and i'm kinda bored lol

so uh yea this book isn't written in chronological order, so if you're confused by how old Calla is, she was 8 in the previous chapter where she makes an appearance [chapter eight - where present day Calla gets a flashback of the day where she met Martha and also when Martha started to 'turn bad'] and in this chapter she's almost 12 ['Even after almost four years, Violet's appointment...']

yes, i just made an 11yo curse. honestly tho i think that's when i started to learn how to use curse words in a sentence because that's when my classmates started cursing.

reviews are always appreciated :)