"a problem? what do you mean?" asked Alex. his curiosity rising up by the minute.
"do you remember," said Albert, pausing midway trying to collect his thoughts.
he took a deep breath and continued on, "remember when Nicole’s mother came to visit us?" said Albert in a worried tone as he attempted to refresh his friend’s memory.
"Yeah, but that was like two months ago, right?" said Alex, not knowing where the conversation was headed.
"right. that day, her mother wasn’t exactly acting normally," said Albert, lowering his voice so Nicole wouldn’t hear him, "I’m surprised mom and dad never seem to notice," he added.
he grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge, as He seemed to be incredibly thirsty from all of the events. Maybe it was the anxiety. He's wasn’t used to solve problems on his own.
Especially when it came to his friends. sure he’d give a friend a pat on the back, but other than that he wouldn't do much.
He avoided whatever danger that passed by him, and by doing so he always hoped that nothing would come and bite him later on.
He liked to leave things as they were so that he wouldn’t get involved in anything dramatic or even life-threatening.
"what do you mean?" said Alex, his eyebrows squinted. Alex knew that Nicole’s mother was unstable, but he was still lost and unable to connect the dots.
"well, I was going upstairs to get some paper towels for dinner, once I got upstairs I noticed her mother pacing out of my room and going straight to the bathroom,
" said Albert with extreme awareness caution. he didn‘t want Nicole to hear a single word. He felt incredibly guilty. It almost felt as if he was backstabbing her.
There was a bitter truth lying around, and some beans needed to be spilled for everybody's sake.
why would she go upstairs to the bathroom if you guys already have one down here? And why the hell would she get into your room?" said Alex, anger, and frustration were building up inside him.
Something is clearly not right about Debra. No wonder her husband left her. He always thought of her as some sort of a freak, but the town's people are just too nice to her.
They take quite the pity on her because of what she's been through. Maybe she's going mad and her mental state is all broken and loose.
Maybe that's why Nicole is very disheartened and started to give up on her as days have gone by. Alex's thoughts were interrupted by his friend.
"Alex! Alex! Are you with me dude? You're spacing out like crazy," said Albert, muddling his friend's thoughts as if they were a fine thread and were cut up with really sharp scissors.
That was the first time Albert has ever seen Alex so serious. Usually, he was carefree and he was quite the comedian during serious situations. Only when he's in the mood though, sadly.
His jokes are quite funny.
"Yeah, I'm just worried about Nicole. You think she'll be ok?" said Alex, his eyes had a sad look on them, and his voice dropped down to a tone that could only express grief.
"I really don't know. After what she's been through, I doubt she'll have any will to even care anymore. Poor girl's been through so much." said Albert.
he looked at the hall's doors as if they were about to move. He didn't want to drag her into this any more than she already was.
She's had her full of exhaustion for the day, so she was totally out of the case. At least until she get's better, Albert would ask her a few questions so he would get some closure.
"I don't like her mother. I never did, to be quite honest with you. Somehow I always felt that she was up to no good." said Alex in a confessing and cold tone.
He was saying things like he was sure of it. Anger was starting to get the best of him.
"now, let's not start throwing accusations at people we know nothing of. We need some good information about all of this.
" Albert advised, sitting on the chair next to Alex who seemed to be somewhat tired of all of the stuff he had been listening to.
"Yeah, you're probably right," said Alex in response to his friend's beseeches to not act foolishly. Alex himself knew how stupid he can get.
He needed to be careful with who he was dealing with.
It was not just some normal life problem where he would just go ahead and make a solution for it, it was Nicole's mother, which was an extremely delicate matter. He needed to tread step by step.
"there's something else you should know. about her and that room," said Albert in confession. he leaned back in the chair and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"Well, spit it out!" said Alex, a little bit too loudly, making his friend widen his eyes in concern that Nicole might wake up and interrupt their ongoing chit-chat.
Alex should've known better than to get frustrated at his friend's storytelling style.
He knew how Albert liked to drag a story along the mud; right before everybody goes nuts about it, he finally would get to his point.
Albert flinched a little bit from his place, causing both of them to look at the hall's doors, trying to notice if there was any movement across the hall.
Albert looked a little angry at Alex, who seemed to be regretting his irrationality.
He stalked his way to the hall and slowly opened the door, popped his head out to check if she was still submerged in her sleep. Fortunately, she was snoring. He never knew she snored.
He tucked his head back into the kitchen and closed the door, ever so lightly. He turned around and looked at his friend as if he was about to demolish his face for being so stupid.
" Ok, first of all, calm down!" said Albert in a loud whisper, but he was not surprised. He was kind of amazed that Alex wasn't making a scene.
He took a deep breath and continued on, "second of all, after her mom took off, I went to check my room and sensed something quite off about it."
"How so?" said Alex.
"I don't know really, but it felt cold," said Albert, confessing scaringly.
" was it active?" said Alex in fear.
"No. That's what surprised me," said Albert in a defeated tone. Alex stared at his friend as if he had seen a ghost.
He deeply inhaled and looked down on the table and rubbed the back of his head slowly, feeling exhausted, confused and utterly at loss for words. Horror was drawn on his face.
He never backed down from helping a friend in need, but this was just something out of his understanding. It was out of everyone’s understanding really. Alex was amazed at his friend’s endurance.
"Are you ok?" said Albert. he feared that Alex might actually be afraid of venturing any further.
"I don't know...This is some serious stuff we're talking about," said Alex, his eyes expressed great fear. He didn’t want to leave his friends alone in this, but he was hesitant.
"Look, if you're unable to aid me in this, then that's fine. I managed myself throughout my whole life so far, carrying that rooms burden so it doesn't go out to the public.
I can manage on my own, but this is not just about me, it's also about Nicole. I'm not gonna leave her alone in this.
I'm gonna help her out with everything I've got," said Albert, announcing his decision in a tone that simply left no room for second thoughts or arguments. Alex either had to be in or out.
There was no in between. He looked at his friend and shook his head in agreement and confidence.
"ok. I'm with you. We're gonna crack this joint!" said Alex, giving himself a fake, but good enough optimism.
"Thank you!" said Albert, laughing in response to his friend's blind courage. That was the Alex he always knew.
He'd never hold himself back from giving a helping hand, not just to a friend, but to everyone.
"now, I just want to make su---" Albert was interrupted with a very loud thud that got everybody's attention.
It sounded like a huge metal was dropped to the floor, followed instantly by a scream that ran through the entire house and electrocuted every room with terror.
Both of them jumped from their positions, and a very petrified look had already formed on their face.
They panicked to the hall to check on Nicole to find that she was somehow, unbothered by the noise and was still asleep. one could only imagine how exhausted she must have been.
Another thud was heard and this time it was less aggressive. A sudden sound of a door shutting itself gave away the hiding place of the thud and the scream.
It wasn't like a real up close scream, it was more like a really far away, in a tunnel kind of scream.
Both of the boys looked at each other and nodded in agreement, signaling each other that the room was acting up again.
But why would it become active at a time like this? It was still early in the afternoon. Going up there wasn’t the best choice but one of them had to check on it.
Somehow Albert always felt like he couldn’t leave the room unattended. keeping an eye on it, so to speak.
Both of them slowly went to stand in front of the stairs so they could plan a little better, and away from a very sleepy and drowsy Nicole.
"I'm gonna go see what's up," said Albert. a hint of fear ran down his throat.
"You're going up there alone? Yeah right," said Alex, mocking his friend's calm suggestion; he knew that Albert can't even protect himself from even a fly.
"well, you stay here in case Nicole wakes up," said Albert in a pleading tone to convince his stubborn friend.
"Dude, stop being silly! She's deep in her sleep, that if you kick her she would just shrug it off and fall back to sleep again!
" said Alex, knowing that Albert was just being awfully overly protective of her. She wasn’t in need of protection.
And so what if she wakes up? She would get to see that room in action, Alex had thought to himself.
"fine! I Could never argue with you anyways," said Albert, surrendering himself to Alex's idea. He himself knew that, deep down, he couldn’t face that room alone.
He just hoped that they would find something that may lead them forward.
"time to see what the fuss is all about in that damned room!" said Albert in annoyance.