The Really Secret World of Alex Mack (Chapter 3)
Note from the author: This chapter is very long (I've divided it in two parts) as it covers the entire "secret". I edited it and cut it down as much as I could. Yet it's still a big chapter. I pray and hope you're in the mood for reading:) Now, about the "secret"... you must know that the secret is NOT the main thing of this fanfic. It's actually just a plot device to move the story further. Move it to where most of the "action" takes place. Something will happen, as a direct result of the unveiling of the secret. Just needed to make that clear before you read this chapter. So that you don't try to race to where the secret is revealed. You'll eventually find that it isn't something "extreme" or out of the ordinary. The extreme part comes later in the other chapters to come... at least I hope it does! I will give you enough time to read before the next chapter shows up (no, not 3 years... but maybe in a few months, it all depends if I have time to write anything). Thanks and please read on...
Chapter III: A Secret Revealed... (Part One)
Annie adjusted the temperature of their bedroom and yet the forehead of her younger sister was still noticeably permeated with perspiration. She then concluded that the heat wasn't really a factor. It was what was going on inside Alex's head that was causing the heavy sweating.
She sat beside her sister on the bed and proceeded to kindly remove the hat that was probably only worsening Alex's condition. She then grabbed one of Alex's hands and became aware that it was very cold and damp with sweat.
"Alex... if you don't feel like talking about this..."
Those very words suddenly made Annie realize that she was becoming afraid of the whole situation. Her sister was in apparent mental pain and the secret that she was holding was causing it. Annie felt that she could end that pain if she only resisted her desperate need to find out the truth. Her scientific approach to everything in life was making her take that path. The road towards uncovering Alex's terrible secret. It was a conduct difficult to repress. And yet there was fear slowly creeping up on her, making her have second thoughts.
Somehow, Alex sensed Annie's internal conflict and turned her head to look directly into her eyes and she tried to reassure her by forcing a smile.
"No, I'm okay... Really! It's just that..."
"It's just that... thinking about it... is like turning over a huge stone inside my mind... and discovering many ugly-creepy things underneath...SIGH... it's very scary".
"Maybe if you talk about it, you'll feel much better" Annie's advice sounded sincere. There was no question that there was real affection between the two. As well of the hard fact that Annie had chosen to abolish her fear of the secret and not to repress her customary scientific approach to every single situation.
However, there was just enough fear in Annie's face that made Alex consider taking quite a different approach to revealing her secret.
In fact, she quickly concluded that she was going to do it in the most casual way possible. Even cheerfully if need be. Anything but do it in a grievous manner that would only cause Annie to become even more somber. Yes, she cared about her THAT much.
Alex felt that siting down holding Annie's hand was only going to bring out the weepy girl in her. So she quickly got up and started to pace back and forth around the room. Trying to find the right moment to unload her secret.
"Ummm...okay... listen, I don't remember absolutely everything of what my double did. Heck, I hardly remember what I did yesterday! And, uh..."
"Well, at first my double was mostly inclined in doing silly and stupid things to people. And she did it just to amuse herself. I think about what she did and some of it seems almost funny to me. Like what she did to Kelly Phillips."
"What did she do?"
"Nothing really. Nothing that a bath and a quick wardrobe change could not fix. She had it coming to her, if you asked me."
"I'm sure she did. But that's not what you wanted to tell me... is it?"
"N-no... okay, d-do you remember Nathan?"
Annie shook her head. "Nathan? No, who is he?"
"Her mother used to give us clarinet and piano lessons when we were little"
"Oh, he's the son of Mrs. Dean? I barely remember him. He never came out of his room when I went for lessons. What about him?"
"Well, Nathan joined our video class last semester and everybody started making fun of him. Calling him "Creeper" and whatnot. Louis was especially inclined in humiliating him. And I came to feel sorry for him".
"I know, you can be so sentimental sometimes"
Walking around so much made Alex a bit tired, so she sat on the opposite bed that was facing Annie.
"Anyway, Nathan made a video where I was the subject. I guess he wanted to make a homage about me but it totally came out all wrong. I was very angry, and yelled at him. That was before I understood what his real intentions were. So to make it up to him, I later made Louis help me produce a video about Nathan. A video highlighting his talents and strong points".
At this point of the conversation, Alex walked over to Annie and got on her knees and grabbed Annie's hands to emphasize what she was going to say next.
"Annie, the video was so good that all those in class who saw it, including Mr. Carrington, applauded and cheered. Nathan was so happy. And so was I. A classmate even asked Nathan to give her piano lessons!"
"Humm, great. And all this has to do with your secret...how again?" Annie was growing inpatient.
Alex's face grew somber.
"I-I... I never actually forgave Nathan for what he did to me. I didn't consciously knew that until that day...when my double was wreaking havoc on Paradise Valley".
Alex got up from the floor and retreated to a dark corner of the room. The sun had already set behind the hills and darkness had set in.
Suddenly and through the window, a blinding ray of light hit the ceiling for a brief second. It came from the headlights of a car moving outside on the street. It distracted Alex a little, but only for a moment.
Annie made a quick move to peek down through the window. Just as quick, she returned to her original position on the bed. It wasn't their parents but only a neighbour's car. Alex continued speaking:
"My twin, she was walking by his house... and Nathan was on his front lawn. He was dressed-up as some... as some science fiction character or something. Apparently he likes to dress up in costume for some reason. And... and as soon as my double saw him, she became angry. Very angry"
There was a short pause. Alex had smiled a little when she mentioned the part of Nathan wearing costumes. But she had trouble keeping that smile when she commented on her evil-twin's reaction upon seeing him.
"Why was she angry?... Alex?... Are you listening to me?"
Alex's thoughts had frozen her for a few seconds. Her sister's voice was quite audible, but Alex's mind had not decoded their meaning at all. So she turned to Annie and asked:
"Why was she angry?... your double."
"Oh... she was angry because...because Nathan..."
Alex stopped speaking and instead she came walking out of the corner that had almost enveloped her completely in shadow. She presently sat down on the bed facing Annie and tried to polish her answer in advance, so that her sister could understand the truth just as well as she did.
"Annie, you know how they say that when someone embarrasses you...it's your ego that get's hurt?"
"Well, I believe my double was my ego".
"Yeah... I guess she was. An alter-ego. I agree."
"So when she saw Nathan, she was looking at someone who had caused her.. that is, my ego... great pain and grief. All those negative feelings of resentment that I felt toward Nathan and that I had successfully pushed aside, were present again at that moment, on that day. Like if they were never gone at all".
Annie was following Alex's logic on that scenario. "Uh-huh. And how could they. Since your double basically was filled with all your extremely negative emotions. And apparently those negative feelings toward Nathan were still alive within her".
Alex replied with a soft monotone voice. Her lips moved as she spoke, but her eyes were totally lost in her inner thoughts. Trying to capture all of those images running fast inside her head.
"Yes, they were still there. That was a discovery that still bothers me to this day. I guess it is awfully hard to forgive... for real, anyway."
There was a pause in the dialogue.
Alex decided to use it as an opportunity to excuse herself to fetch a glass of water. Her throat was dry and her voice was becoming raspy. Plus she had lost a lot of the precious liquid through her perspiration. She felt famished and a little queasy.
So off she headed to the kitchen, turning a few corridor lamps as she went. The darkness in the house was creeping her out.
Meanwhile, Annie was left there trying to figure things out based on the information she was just given, but it only made her more confused. However, her sister's brief absence was just enough to allow her to formulate an extensive prosecution. And so it was that once Alex returned, Annie went on the attack:
"Alright Alex. Let us do a recount of what we have discussed here. You mentioned that at first she was pretty much content in simply annoying people. But that was after the fact that she nearly killed you in the construction site".
"You just mentioned that she was directing her anger at Nathan" Annie continued. "Since she had no moral barriers, it would be a no brainer that lashing out at him would be logical at that point. Yet, I know that Nathan has to be still in one piece or else her mother would've informed mom and dad about it. And you would possibly be in some sort of trouble by now if that wasn't the case".
"Now, are you telling me that what happened between Nathan and your double is still a lot more disturbing than what we both already know she did on that day? Like for example, trying to kill us all by day's end?"
"Yes, Annie. It was. But let's get some facts straight" Alex took a deep breath as she prepared to give her reply. "My double only intended to trap me inside the construction site, not kill me. The explosion was not something she planned and when she became aware of it, she knew that blowing me to bits in my liquid form would not kill me. But as you know, fire can cause me pain even as a puddle so I tried to escape. She expected me to eventually return to the house at some point. That is why she had messed with the pluming to make sure that she could trap me again if I ever decided to use them".
"Ah! But she did wanted to kill you when that precise thing happened. Don't deny it"
"No! Not perhaps! She wanted to do away with you. If Ray had not intervened when he did, you wouldn't be here talking to me now!"
Annie was presently looking at Alex with amazement.
"Look at you. You sound so... defensive. Like if you're trying to make excuses for her."
"I am certainly not! I just don't believe that she was capable of killing anybody. Because she was part of me, ok? I'm not a murderer. It's not in me to do something like that"
"Well don't be so sure, Alex. Every human being is capable of murder. Research among apes and mammals has determined that..."
"Aw, c'mon Annie! Are you an expert on that too? I hate it when you turn into Miss Academic on me like that!"
Annie gave out a very nasal sigh. She placed her fingers on her temples and noticed that she was also sweating. Things were moving toward a heated argument. She needed to cool things down and get with the program.
"Alright then...let's go back to Nathan. Your double obviously didn't killed him, so what happened to him?"
Alex muffled a laugh as she crossed her arms looking at the ceiling. In her mind she questioned if Annie really cared about Nathan.
"Well?" Annie waited for a reply.
"And by the way Annie, I though that what you really wanted to know is how she used my powers. "
"At first yeah, but then you stonewalled on me and my attention was diverted to this secret of yours."
"Yes... my secret"
Alex sat on the bed facing Annie. Her moist eyes were closed and she was biting her lower lip. After a few moments, she managed to relax a bit before speaking once more.
"My double... she considered the situation on that day...and, uh..."
Annie looked up her hesitation and tried to probed her onward with a nod of her head.
Alex continued after briefly clearing her throat
"...and she came to the conclusion that revenge would be a good option to take."
"Revenge, Annie! My double took revenge on Nathan."
The way Alex spoke those words gave Annie goosebumps. The tone of voice was not Alex's... yet it was very familiar to her. It was a cold voice that had stripped itself of any emotions.
"Alright..." Annie gulped. "Did she caused Nathan physical any harm?"
Alex's response was barely audible. "No... well, not really... okay, she did used her powers on him and...s-she did abused him in a way."
"Alex, you better tell me what she did to Nathan. You're driving me nuts!"
The younger sibling stared directly at the older one.
"This isn't easy for me, Annie"
"Well I apologize, but if you..."
"If only you could understand..." Alex interrupted "...how frightened I've been. Frightened of the shadows that have lurked in my mind since that day!"
Annie was silent. Now she sensed intense emotions behind her sister's words. Alex was holding her head with her hands. Her long hair covering her hands and face.
"T-those horrible memories tormenting me in my dreams... in vain I tried to... purge myself of them! "
She lifted her head, with tears in her eyes, and added:
"Annie, now I know that these memories cannot be pushed back again into a corner of my mind. I know it for sure. And that's why I'm scared!"
"Scared? But why? It is good that you're speaking about all this. It will only help you to vent it out. Let it all out!"
"No Annie!" Alex's muscles were very tense. "You don't know what this is doing to me!"
"Yes I do! This is very difficult for you now, but the way you feel is quite normal. You should be feeling all stressed out and crummy. It's all right!".
Alex was looking down at the floor. Her eyes could not be seen but it was obvious that she was in tears. A few of them started to fall down on the rug.
Annie sat next to her sister and placed an arm around her.
"Alex. You must tell me the rest of the story. It's obvious that you cannot hold on to this secret by yourself".
Alex was still looking at the floor.
"I-I never did anything meaningful in my life... never won awards or stood out in anything"
"Why are you saying that?"
"Because it's the truth!" Alex clenched her trembling hands. They then slowly transformed into fists as she started to speak again "And... because it has a lot to do with my pain!"
Annie was holding her breath at that point of the conversation.
"I was so proud of Nathan... when he gained so much respect and admiration by way of the video we made of him. I was also... very, very proud of myself".
Alex stood up holding her arms and keeping her head down. She then walked over to the window and tried to find something to rest her hazel eyes on. But there was nothing but darkness. A moon-less night.
"After overcoming my resentment toward Nathan and creating something positive out of the situation, I felt that my existence was worth something. Not having done anything really special or meaningful in my entire life... helping him the way Louis and I did..."
Alex was having a hard time overcoming her emotions. Annie sensed it, she got up from the bed and placed a comforting hand on her back.
"...it was an accomplishment that meant the whole world to me!"
Annie could almost see where everything was going. Her mind was working it all out. But she decided to keep quiet about it.
"But on that day, my double managed to destroy that very accomplishment. For the sake of her revenge. There was so much resentment in her... so much... hate!"
Annie, not really knowing if it was because she was cold or just scared, embraced her sister with her arms, from the back. She tried to speak a word of comfort to Alex, but her jaw was trembling and no audible words came out.
"She studied Nathan" Alex went on. Her mind had totally warped to the past. It was like she was hypnotised and she spoke like a hypnotised person. Like if she was possessed.
"My double was trying to find some weakness that could demolish him completely. Attacking him with her powers wouldn't be enough. She knew that he was an emotional person. That was why he was so introverted. Nathan was in fact, a bundle of nerves. A sensitive soul... once she figured that out, she went on the attack".
"She then walked toward him slowly... in her eyes, Nathan looked very foolish pretending to be some big-wheel superhero. Prancing on his lawn...battling an invisible enemy".
"But just then, she stopped walking. She realised something just at that very moment. How could she hurt him emotionally? He obviously wasn't ashamed to make a total fool of himself in public...he had made himself practically invulnerable. He was living in a different world from ours. That world he created was protecting him from harm."
"It was then that fate had a hand in deciding what she would do... The invisible enemy Nathan was fighting, was actually a real living thing. His dog. And it was wearing a costume specially made for him. Nathan obviously considered the dog his best friend...that gave my double an idea... SIGH... a horrible idea!".
Next chapter: A Secret Revealed (part 2)! I'm sorry that I had to make this chapter a two part chapter, but it just got too long and I still need to work on some details of the second part of this chapter... so c'ya real soon!