TRIGGER WARNING :
PANIC ATTACK !
Minho immediately knocks the father off his knees and stumbles onto the bed, hugging the blonde boy into his arms. Teresa and Thomas instantly on their feet and form a human barrier between the man and the bed, their eyes darken while their arms spread wide. Newt’s back turns to the man, his small forms twitching in Minho’s arms, his scream still echoing in the their head. Minho holds the boy as close to to his chest as possible, his dark eyes glares at the man with a dangerous look. Newt grabs chis chest in pain, his breathing sallow and short. His surrounding is a surreal and confusing. He cannot feel anything , not Minho’s arms around his chest tightly or Teresa’s outburst at the man called himself his father. Minho tighten his hug around Newt’s form, breathing deeply and whisper into the boy ear.
- Hey hey… Little one … Breath. Count with me. One , two , three…Breathe in and out …
- Fo… Four… Five… Six… Seven.. Eight…Nine…Te…Ten…
- Good job Newt.. I’m here okay? Tommy and Teresa are also here. We are here with you.
Minho whispers into the British boy’s ear, trying to calm him down .After a while, Newt’s panic died out but his breaths are heavy and his head hurt, his arms grips tightly around the Asian boy’s back to seek for a control and his legs wraps around Minho’s hip. and. Minho strokes his back steadily, pulls the cover nearer and throw it over the boy’s shaking form.
Teresa, otherwise, is glaring at the man with pure hatred in her eyes. She turns her head to look at Thomas and Minho’s unexplained expression. Minho gently puts his hands outside of the sheet over Newt’s ears, his eyes twitches to look at his best friends. Thomas gets the signal and turns his head to look at William, pulls his phone out of his pocket.
- You are not welcome at this house Mister Newton. Please get out before I call the police.
- You can’t… He is my son !
- Please. This will be the only time.
The man stares at the quartet with pure angriness before kicks the wooden door open and storms off down the staircase, knocking off some flowers pots on his way out. Thomas immediately jumps onto the bed the moment William is out of his sight, wrapping his arms over Minho and Newt, tears bickering at the corner of his eyes. Teresa joins in, wrapping her arms over the boys, but not before cover all of them in one of the spare bed sheet, snuggling in for warmth.
- Oh my Lord… I am so sorry Newt… So so sorry …
Thomas sobs into the cover over Newt’s head, wrapping his arms tightly around Minho’s shoulder. Teresa feels the tears in her eyes, but she has to be strong, for them right now at least. She breaths in a deep breathe and signs out loudly, trying to hold back her tears. Left the boys behind with some private , she goes down to the kitchen to put on a kettle of water and prepare some linden tea. Her thought goes back to Newt’s scream and she cannot holds back the feeling of horror she felt. It was all of a big bubble of terror and confusion. She has a lot of questions, but she knows it’s not a right time to seek for answers. Not right now.
By the time the water boils, Teresa hears Thomas’s footsteps echo across the hall on top of the kitchen, follow by Minho’s heavy ones. For a moment, Teresa thought that Newt will not come down with them but then she saw the little boy tiredly smiles at her from the inside of his blankets on Minho’s arms. She replies him with a kindly smile and pours the boiling water into a white porcelain teapot.
- Do you want milk or sugar Newt ?
- I …
Thomas pats him gently on his arm with a blank face and the boy immediately gets the message. He looks at her with a spark of happiness in his brown eyes and replies.
- Milk, please. And thank you.
- You’re welcome.
- You never ask us Teresa.
Thomas starts complaining about how unfair she is to them and ends up with a whack on the head from his best girl friend, which cause Minho to chokes a little bit on his tea and Newt’s smile. Teresa brings the cup to her lips and let the hot liquid takes away all the stressful feeling in her system. She smiles at Thomas softly.
- I never ask because I know what do you idiots want your tea to be. Now stop complaining, finish that tea and make me some of your awesome scramble eggs please. Oh gosh I’m starving.
She hops up to the stall, smiling brightly at Thomas. Newt holds the hot cup between his hands, breathes in the wonderful aroma , all warmth and safe in his friends’ protection, he finally found peace.
For the next couple of weeks, the trio stays at home and cleaning around the garden. There are a lot of stuffs that got left behind from the previous owners. They found some kind of children’s scooters and skateboards outside in the warehouse, Thomas even found some antique teapots and a set of silverwares in the basement . Minho planed on open a garage sale when they got enough stuffs. . In the afternoon, Thomas will be their chef and cooks their dinner while Newt jumping up and down around the house, excited about everything , with Minho glares at him over his books. There are time when Thomas and Minho had to went out to bought some stationery for their new Fall Semester starting in early September, so Teresa will come over to keep the little boy’s company.
Chuck learnt about Newt a week later. It was a late windy evening, the kid came over to talked to Thomas about his new game on Wii and Newt just happened to walking around in their garden in his white hoodie. Needless to say, the kid was terrified and scared the blonde boy a little bit about his bawling and screaming but after a while, they seemed to kinda like each other. Chuck told Newt about some science trivias while Newt’s eyes widen with excitement and the British kid asked for Chuck to have slumber party with him. That request cause Minho to talked to the mother of Darwin’s family and asked for her permission to ” kidnap” her son. But she said yes and Chuck just generally too excited about being free of his mom’s control. Teresa moved in a couple of days later, saying at her roommate, Brenda , left her alone to visit her relatives in New Mexico . She will stay with them until her Fall Semester at Technology Institute starts in October.
The house suddenly becomes too crowded with three boys and a girl , fighting over 2 bathroom every morning. Chuck always complains about how long Teresa takes to finish her daily morning routine and Minho starts to grumbles about everyone are too noisy for him to read. Thomas and Teresa cleans around the place and put all the stuffs they found in the basement, putting names of those things on a list for their garage sale. Newt just following Chuck around the place while the two of them make as much noise as they can until Minho screams and drags Newt into his bedroom to shut the kid up with a brand new encyclopedia.
All was well until one early morning, Teresa woke up from her slumber in their blanket fort in the living room because of banging noise on their front door. She turns her head sleepily to check on all her friends and finds out that everyone is still sleeping. Minho and Thomas makes a Newt sandwich in front of the TV, her stolen magenta blanket keeps them warm while Chuck snoring loudly next to their bowl of popcorn, clutching his teddy bear in his hand. Putting on her sweater, she first thought it was some advertisment people or social workers but then she realise it is a Sunday. All her sense suddenly go tense, a unsafe feeling crispe into her spine and makes her blood run cold. Suddenly, she does not feel sleepy anymore. Turns her head to look at the fort in the living room, Teresa walks slowly to the front door. She carefully looks at the peep-hole to see a tiny lady in a black dress waiting on the porch. Her hair is put up to be an loose up -do and her hands are in black gloves, she is cover in a layer of black clothing from top to toes. She knocks on the door once more time and takes a step back, patiently waiting.
- Who is that ?
Minho’s sudden voice makes Teresa jumps. Her heart beats loudly in her chest. Minho sleepily look at her, his hands in his hoodie pocket. She shakes her head, gestures him to look at the peephole . He takes a look then suddenly grabs her shoulder, hissing through his teeth while his face turns into a shade of grey.
- Call Thomas. Bring Newt down to the basement. That’s Veronica. Quick !
Teresa’s blood runs cold. She runs into the fort, shakes Thomas awake, panicky hits him on the arm while screaming his name. Thomas groans while pulls Newt closer into his embrace for warmth, no sight of waking up.
- Thomas ! Tom ! Veronica Newton is here ! Veronica is here ! Thomas ! Wake the shuck up !
The moment the word ” Veronica” escapes her lips, Thomas jerks awake with his eyes open wide. Chuck already awake and runs to the front door with Minho a few second ago, his teddy bear abbadon on the floor. Thomas turns to look at her with his eyes full of panic.
- Quick ! Minho told you to bring Newt to the basement. Come on !
Thomas tries to shakes the other boy awake but finally decides just picks him up and rush down to the basement, carrying the sleeping kid in his arms. Teresa quickly turns on the coffee maker and hop two slices of bread into the toaster, trying to put up a normal morning scene. At the front door, Minho breathes in a deep breathe and opens the door with a smile on his lips.
- Good morning madame. How may I help you?
Two years of business major charms Minho learnt from college does not seem to affect the lady. Veronica is tiny and elegant, her blue eyes sweeps over his face, her lips presses tight. Her gloved fingers steppling together , her shoulders rises high. Minho suddenly feels scare of the tiny woman in front of him. Chuck glances out from behind him , turns his head to see Teresa nervously standing at the entrance of the kitchen. Veronica puts her small hand in front of Minho.
- Oh hello. My name is Veronica Newton. May I come in?
- Sure madame. Your family built this place after all .Please come in. I just moved in a couple of week ago with my friends, but one of them still sleeping. My name is Minho and Teresa is in the kitchen. The kid, Chuck is our little friend.
Minho shakes her little hand and she smiles at him sweetly and Minho suddenly realise Newt has his charms from his mother. Chuck guides her into their kitchen slash dining room where Teresa pretends to prepare breakfast. She smiles sweetly at Veronica while her hands moving smoothly with the butter knife to spread peanut butter on a slice of bread. The coffee maker brewing softly on the counter. The lady sits down onto their dining table, looking around with a lost expression on her beautiful face. Minho sits down in front of her, smiling from across the table. His eyes secretly asks Teresa about Newt and she nods quietly. Chuck moves to stand next to Teresa, pretending that he is helping her with the jelly.
- Madame. May I ask what brings you here?
- Oh nothing in particular actually. I wonder if the company told you about the blue bedroom upstair? I just want to take a look at it.
Minho shots Teresa an asking look, waiting for her decision. Teresa looks back at him with a blank face and nods quietly. Chuck runs quickly to the staircase, acting as a kid butler to distract the lady from Minho and Teresa’s nervousness. They follow the lady to the blue bedroom, where she asks for a moment of privacy. Minho glances at Teresa and she continue to nods quietly.
- Sure madame. We will wait for you downstair. Just call if you need anything please.
- Thank you.
Veronica smiles once more time before gently close the door behind her. The trio does not miss a second and all rushes down to the basement where Thomas is sitting on one of the old couches they found someday earlier, hugging Newt closes to his chest. The blonde kid is awake, but still does not understand what is happening and seems to be scared a little bit. Minho quickly gives both of them a hug and hops onto an armchair with Teresa while Chucks keep them an eye at the end of the stair leads to the first floor. Thomas covers Newt’s ears with his hands, whispers softly.
- What does she want ?
- She wants to takes a look at the blue bedroom. No idea why .
Newt turns his head to looks at Minho, his arms spread wide, asking for a hug. Minho’s heart melt under his dreamy gaze, he walks over to gives the blonde kid a hug but then Newt crawls onto Minho’s lap and curls himself up. He smiles and exhales softly.
- You’re warmer than Tommy. But Tommy is softer.
His statement makes Teresa gags a little bit and Chuck burst out laughing. Thomas ‘s face turns to the shade of a tomato while Minho chuckles, petting Newt’s hair. Suddenly there are banging and screaming noises from outside of the front door, Minho and Thomas quickly exchange a look before Minho puts his little boy into Thomas’s lap and cover the blonde head with his blanket, whispers.
- Cover his ears. Please stay safe for me, both of you.
Then he runs to the first floor, following Teresa and Chuck. As they predict, Newt’s father is standing in front of the door, banging and screaming about” you bloody twats” . Minho exhales sharply, calming himself down before swings the door open. His friends by his side.
- You are not welcome her sir. Please leave.
- My wife is in there. I have all the rights !
William Newton is a mess, his breathes smells of alcohol and he seems to haven’t sleep for days. There are purple bags under his eyes and his skin are a shade of angry red. His clothes are dirty and he does not seem to be anywhere near sober. Minho stands in front of the threshold, blocking him from enter the house.
- Not in this state sir. Please leave. You are making me very uncomfortable. And you are in my personal property sir.
- Look. I understand you don’t want me to see the kid, alright? I just want to take my wife home. She is sick, very sick. Please.
William suddenly lowers his voice, making himself vulnerable and small. He is miserable and somehow, despite all things, Minho feels bad for him. Veronica, tiny and elegant Veronica, who went out of the bedroom when she heard her husband’s voice, is standing on the middle of the staircase, her pupils dialect., her voice breaking.
- Who are you talking about Will? Which kid?
- Oh sweet Veronica. I’m so sorry…
William pushes Minho to the side, leaves him speechless, holding his wife in his arms. Veronica looks at the trio, her eyes are a sea of betrayal, Teresa’s heart suddenly beats fast in her chest, she feels dangerous, she feels unsafe. The black clothing lady looks at Teresa deeps in the eyes, her lips moving.
- Where is Newt? Where is my son?
Veronica stands up, pushes her husband to side, moving closer to the brunette. Teresa takes a step back in defense, Minho and Chucks move to the front of her, they both pray nothing can really go out of their control. Teresa feels the sweats damp her neck, she feels tiny in front of the women in front of her, and she knows, both of the boys feel the same. Veronica is a dangerous threat, she is not as simple as she appear to be. They are confuse, they don’t know who to believe but themselves. Everything is too risky, too confusing.
- Newt is dead madame. He died years ago. On his 16th birthday.
- Oh yes. I know he is. But his soul is here. He got taken away from me. But he is here. I PUT HIM HERE.
Minho’s blood runs cold. He hears Chuck glups next to him. He suddenly feel something odds Something just happened, something just slips out of his control. And when he finally realise, it was all too late.
Thomas’s screams fills the house with terror as Minho’s heart misses a beat. He rushes down the hallway and to the basement, where Newt is covering his ears and pressing his eyelids together, make himself into a ball, sobbing violently in a corner of the couch, his blanket felt on the ground. William’s eyes are wild of madness, his right hand is holding tight onto something. His laughs insanely echo in the dark basement. Thomas still form lays on the carpeted floor boils the blood in Minho’s veins. Teresa and Chucks rush next to their friends. Teresa holds onto Newt and covers his ears with her hands while Chuck hold Thomas’s head in his lap, checking if he was any frackle skull.
- This is enough. Put that thing down and leave. NOW.
Minho hissed between his teeth, pointing at the thing in William’s hand. Teresa looks at it in confusion. The father of the Newton’s family is holding on an antique locket attached to a long metal chain. Newt’s sobs become less violent, but he still keeps his eyes shut and Thomas has not show any sign of regain consciousness. Minho stands still, his dark eyes burns with hatress. Veronica stands behind him, the look in her eyes are horror, then she sees Newt’s shaking form in Teresa’s arms. Her legs rushes on the carpeted floor but William stops her with his muscular arm.
- Oh my sweet Veronica. No you can’t.
- Give it back to me William.
Veronica’s eyes sparkle with madness. She hissed under her breathe, holding her palm up in front of her. She is tiny next to her husband, but the aura she has is dangerous. Teresa worriedly looks down on the boy in her lap, whispers into his ear.
- Hey.. Newt.. Everything is alright… Just shut your eyes tight for me okay. We are here for you.
Chuck, who is standing no more than a meter away from the parents, feels some consciousness in his friend, looking fancily at the locket. Not being able to hold himself back, he suddenly asks.
- What is that?
William glares at the kid with madness in his eyes, like a predator ready to eat its prey alive. Swinging the chain in his hand, his voice mockingly at his wife.
- Oh sweet Veronica. Tell them. Tell them what is this toy of yours?
The black clothing lady looks at him angrily, but no words escape her lips. Minho moves closers to them, but also blocking the only way out of the basement. He looks over the space to look at Newt and Teresa , sitting at the furthest corner. Signing Chuck to moves a half-conscious Thomas farther from the parents anything sinister happens, Minho inhales sharply, waiting for the answer.
William looks at his wife mockingly, his voice fills with pure disgust.
- Oh so I will tell them then. So 10 years ago, when our poor sweet Isaac died, my lovely wife here decided to make a bloody rituals to keep his soul living . In this locket is a lock of hair used to be on his blonde little head. This sinful thing is the only thing that connect my little Isaac with the living world. Such tragic heh little one ?
” – We found it.. A few weeks ago… In Newt’s room, under the bed… .”Minho gulps , finishing his line.
- YOU ARE THE REASON WHY HE IS DEAD ! YOU KILL HIM ! YOU MONSTER !
Veronica screams and suddenly launches her tiny form onto his muscular one, grabs the locket out of his hand and throw it away before he kicks her in the stomach and she falls. She holds herself into a ball, hugging her stomach hurtfully.
- HE SHOULD BE DEAD THE MOMENT HE WAS BORN YOU EVIL WITCH ! HE WAS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE BORN !
Minho launches himself at William, finding his disadvantages in their height difference. He turns to face the man, jerks his knee up, hitting the brown haired man in the face and kicks him in the balls, lock him down onto the floor, arms behind his back. Minho kicks him one more time on his side to stop the twitching, hissing angrily from above the man’s back.
- Don’t you dare to move you klunk.
Thomas groans, crawling over to Teresa while Chuck runs to check up on lady seems fine even though she still holding her stomach. She grabs onto Chuck’s leg, whisper.
- Let me see him. Please. Let me look at him.
Chuck nods, his face twitching. Helping the woman onto her feet, they both move closer to Teresa, who is hugging Newt and Thomas looks at her weirdly. She gets down on her knees, holding her hand in front of Newt, who is hiding his face away from his mother. Teresa looks at her sadly while Thomas pulling himself into sitting position, asking Teresa to hand the boy over to him. Newt, who is pinning himself onto Thomas’s body the moment Teresa let him goes, wrapping his arms over brunet ‘s neck, looking into thin air panicky.
Thomas runs his fingers through Newt’s golden locks, patting his back gently. He whispers soothingly into the boy’s ear, Thomas’s blue eyes meet Minho’s dark ones.
- Please, little one, it’s alright. She loves you. We are here, nothing can harm you. I promise.
Teresa touches Veronica’s hand, smiling softly at her, asking her to be patient. The lady nods quietly, her make up smuggled with tears, her arms hold out in front of her. Chuck dials 911 on his phone, informs them that the police will come in 10 minutes. Minho puts his weight onto the struggling man, keeping him flat on the floor. He looks at Newt and Thomas, trying to calm the blonde boy.
- Please little one ? Just let her look at you , nothing can harm loves you as much as we love you. We promise, okay?
Newt turns his head to look at Minho, then glances over to look at Thomas , his brown eyes meet Thomas’s blue ones. Teresa also looks at him fondly, waiting for his decision. Then slowly, he turns his head, facing his mother and slowly open his eyes. Veronica cover her mouth to hold back a sob, big droplets of tears drooling on her face. She puts her lean arms over Newt’s shoulders, pulling him closer to her chest, her right hand petting his blonde hair.
- Oh Newt, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry sweetheart…
Newt awkwardly leans into her hug, wrapping his arms around her back , patting it gently. His head leans into her shoulder, his voice is small.
- Please don’t cry…
- Oh sweetie, I should not do that to you… I should not …
Veronica cries into Newt’s shoulders, her tears makes everyone’s hearts aches and the air is suddenly hard to breathe in . Until after the police came took Williams away, she is still sobbing quietly, her hand clutching to the silver locket. Newt disappeared when the police came, but now, he is standing in the corner of the kitchen, his head rests on Minho’s shoulder while he looks unintentionally into the thin air. His brown eyes blinking sadly. Thomas holds Newt’s right hand, caressing it gently while Minho holds onto Newt;s thin frame. The three boys remains quiet, just themselves are enough for the whole world.
Teresa smiles at the scene, she puts a hand on Veronica’s shoulder, gives it a small squeeze and smiles. She looks at the trio in the corner of the kitchen, her heart finally feels at peace. Veronica stands up, sweeping the tears out of her eyes, she moves closer to the boys.
- Newt. Have you decide yet? It is no rush, you can have more time if you want.
Newt’s golden brown eyes look at his mother with a spark of sadness. And he nods. Teresa holds onto Chuck, patting his back gently and the kid is almost in tears. Newt smiles at his mother, step one step up and spread his arms wide, giving his mother a hug. Patting her back softly, he whispers into her ear.
-I’m sorry Mom…
He smiles at her sadly then takes a step back into Minho’s waiting embrace. Teresa smiles and Chuck burst into tears, she pats his chubby back emathyly. Thomas smiles at the lady, tips toe gives her another tight hug.
-We will take good care of him madame. Please don’t worry.
And Veronica smiles, patting Thomas’s head gently. She sweeps the tears out of her eyes, she pulls Thomas’s hand out in front of her, then puts the silver locket into his hand, pulling Minho’s other hand to cover over it. She gives them a couple of pats on the connection and smiles at the boys. Newt looks at her sorrowfully.
- Please take good care of him. And thank you, all of you, thank you.
She turns to walk down the hallway leading to the front door, into the darkness. Newt’s brown eyes follow her tiny form until she gets out of his sight. His lips open and close but he remains speechless. Instead, he turns to hugs Minho tightly in his arms while Thomas holds onto the both of them and sink slowly to the kitchen wooden floor. Teresa sweeps the tears out of her eyes, patting Chuck the crying baby a couple of time on his back, a smile on her lips.
They never asked Newt why he died and he never mention it. He forgot it long time ago, he told them once. They know he is lying but they leave it as how it is. Veronica still keeps in touch with Teresa, sometimes she send the lady some photos from their trips to Europe and Canada. Veronica is happy, knowing her son is in good care. She usually comes over for tea once in a while. Newt is happy whenever is mother’s car comes into their driveway although he never really says so.
Minho and Thomas finally learn what really happened on Newt’s 16th birthday night through a police officer. They never tell another single soul that William supposes to checked on his son , but he was drunk that night and Veronica was sick, she was too weak to get out off bed that faithful night. Newt died from a heart failure because his father was too drunk to check on him and his mother is too helpless. Their parents never have a happy marriage as many people though so. William never be home for Newt’s birthday, he would be out in bars , drinking away the sorrowfulness of his life, the sorrowfulness of having a kid, as he said in the police reports. He found out about Veronica’s rituals one day and he hid the locket away from her, putting up a story about her sickness and moved away, leaving the locket behind. Thomas and Minho never tells a single soul about it. They live happily with their little one, as if the incident in the basement never happen. Newt is happy and so are they. And that’s enough for a life time.