When I saw him my heart skipped a beat. I dropped my hotdog, slammed my twenty dollar bill on the counter and ran. Leaving the vender in the dust. I swerved around the taxis and managed to slide over the dashboard of a few that nearly ran me over. I ran out of the road and into the swarm of people crowding the pavement with their high heels and briefcases. I kept sprinting, following that little speck of raven black fringe.
"Phil!" I yelled as loudly as I could when I lost sight of him. It felt as though they were pushing me backward "Wait Phil!"
I finally saw him again after shoving an 8 year old to the side, and seeing her mother cross her arms defensively around him. I felt a pang of guilt for a second, but the thought of Phil got me running ruthlessly again. I finally got close enough that I could make out his outline, waiting for the voice that had called his name from behind, "Lester!" I called.
His head swiveled in my direction, his eyes widening, I reached out of the crowd to him, still being choked by the swarming bodies. I wasn't used to London yet. I felt hands reach out, grabbing my waist and pulling me out of the crowd. The next thing I knew I was buried in arms, a black t-shirt and the smell of new car with a hint of some girly scent I couldn't put my finger on. My fingers curled around the fabric of his shirt in little fists, hanging on as tightly to him as I could. He pulled me away from the crowd and with a swift, graceful motion, had us through the doors of his apartment building, which he had been about to enter before he had seen me. He half carried, half dragged me, swiftly through the lobby with a protective force, making the busy lobby men in suits behind their desks and the jet-lagged traveler look up in surprise. I felt a wave of fear but quickly swallowed it and shoved my face back into Phil's dark shirt. My surroundings grew darker and I heard a cheery ding before the warm, dark world of Phil's shirt and arms disappeared. I blinked away the harsh light to see that we were in an elevator. I stumbled from the upward motion and fell to my knees. Shakily, I looked up at Phil to see the red hot fury in his face. He looked like a monster. His face was distorted, twisted into a look of rage. He looked as though, if he had a gun at the moment, he would have shot me without a second thought. I couldn't look at those vicious blue eyes so I decided to focus on the two marks on his shirt that I had involuntarily stretched with my fists.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?!". Phil howled at me, bending down to shove a hand into my shoulder and squeezing it hard as if to punish me. I quickly squeezed my eyes shut to fight the tears pricking in my eyes. I had forgotten the monster Phil could become.
"Dan." I choked out. Phil released is hand and clenched it tightly into a fist. Standing up straight, he stared at me in fury.
"Well you better leave now. I finally have Dan now and you aren't going to come back in here and steal him from me. I got rid of you once, don't make me do it again." He spoke through clenched teeth. His voice a harsh growl. The elevator had long since stopped, but Phil must have pressed the button that kept the doors shut. There was silence under the glaring light reflecting in the mirrors surrounding us. Cold, harsh white light.
"He was never yours to begin with, Phillip."
"I love him Rose, I love him so much."
"And Dan loved me and I loved him until you did it! How could you Phillip?" I shook my head, shuddering at the memory of the happiest day of my life going dark. Of the lace white dresses before my eyes turning into harsh, cold, darkness.
Phil paused, angered that I brought up that heinous night.
"I had to-"
"No you didn't Phil! You were selfish!"
Finally the elevator door refused to stay closed any longer and opened its doors to the cream walls of the 9th floor. Phil took a deep breath and gently lifted me up by the waist, guiding me forward with his hand lightly on the small of my back, ready to catch me if I fell. He led me down the series of monotonous halls, taking strange twist and turns until we reached room 93. He gently set me to a stop and pulled out the green spotted key to his room, moving slowly as though I was a wounded animal. The door opened with a creek and he led me into it before him, stepping through the door and closing it behind him. He flipped a switch, flooding the apartment with light.
The flat was as slick and opulent as I had always seen in his videos. The ones where I had gazed at Dan, praying to the man on the screen to know the truth. I shook my head to remove the flood of memories, dark nights, and pain. Mostly pain, and heartbreak. Phil led me forward, past the slick desktops and cameras to a small bar counter in his kitchen, where I great fully slumped into the chair. Silently he rummaged through the cabinets, pulling out two bags of tea and putting them on the kettle. He grabbed his small tin can of pocky and sat next to me. He pulled one out and broke it in half, giving me the larger half, like he always did when we were kids. I took a small bite of the little tube of childhood and tasted the delicious chocolate. Chocolate, oh how I missed the taste. I continued nibbling on the pocky stick, savoring every bite.
"How did you get out Rose?" Phil finally said, choosing his words carefully.
"Chris and PJ aren't as responsible as you give them credit for." I smirked, which Phil mimicked in the same intonation. The tea kettle whistled and Phil went to pour me a steaming mug of it. He handed it gently to me and I curled my frozen fingers around the scalding mug. Taking the remaining bit of my pocky stick, I dunked it in the hot tea and placed it in my mouth, sucking the tea off of it and chewing the mush of pocky stick left behind. Just like Phil and I use to do as kids. Phil sat back down next to me and gently sipped his tea. After a moment of silence he spoke again.
"You know he still loves you, right?" he spoke softly, his voice squeaking a little.
"I know." I whispered, words only meant for us to hear.
"I'm not going to hurt you, Rose." Phil said, his voice shaking.
I obviously knew this. No matter what he had done to hurt me in the past, I knew he would never truly harm me. I knew he would still jump in the way of a bullet for me. It was only Dan, the man who had so much power in the ways he commanded our love, that turned Phil into the heinous creature deep down inside of him. Though this monster was dark and ruthless, he would never hurt me. It wasn't just that he couldn't harm a person Dan loved so much...
He could never harm his sister...
"I know," I whispered.