As time wore on, Vivian grew increasingly agitated. Noting Vivian’s near-constant frown, Finnick asked again, “What’s wrong?”
It was as he had predicted. Vivian refused to tell him.
His only reply was from the wind whistling past them outside and Vivian’s pointed silence.
Out of genuine concern, Finnick resolved to break Vivian’s silence. Keeping it bottled up within her would only be detrimental to her health.
“Vivian, you can tell me anything. I’ll help you in any way I can,” Finnick said gently. His kindly tone seemed to move Vivian slightly.
She turned to look at him.
However, Vivian considered that telling Finnick anything wouldn’t have an impact on the situation whatsoever. There was no point, then, in introducing this distraction to their mission.
“Vivian, I was wrong for what I did five years ago. Don’t keep things from me, OK?” Finnick pleaded, seizing upon the one matter he knew was the stumbling block in their relationship.
Back then, he had neither trusted nor defended Vivian, and in that, Finnick knew he had failed.
He also knew that his apology was five years too late. However, Finnick was anguished at the thought that Vivian saw him as an outsider and treated him as such.
“Five years ago…” Vivian’s mind seemed preoccupied with these words. She looked at Finnick thoughtfully.
“Yes. It was five years ago,” she intoned. Finnick felt rather peculiar. What about five years ago?
Finnick searched his mind but remained clueless. What does this affair have anything to do with what happened five years ago?
“Finnick, you’re an absolute jinx. Why do you have to keep turning up in our lives?” Vivian wailed, hammering her fists at Finnick madly.
The tears that had gathered in the corners of her eyes slid down her cheeks and landed on her tongue.
She swallowed down a deep breath, together with her salty tears.
“If you’d never appeared, I wouldn’t be in this state right now! Things wouldn’t be so dreadful. You didn’t trust me five years ago and treated me so horribly. Why are you back to haunt me now?” Vivian continued, blubbering. “Do you want to hurt me all over again? Or are you back to gloat over the pitiful state I’m in?”
All at once, Vivian unleashed the torrent of bitterness that she had harbored inside her onto the hapless Finnick. When she finished, she fainted dead away.
Finnick bit his lip with a grave expression on his face.
Go on and sleep, Vivian. It’s time you take a rest from all your worrying. You’ll need strength to face what lies ahead.
Finnick reached to the backseat and covered Vivian with a blanket. He then continued speeding on.
As he drove, Vivian’s words clamored in Finnick’s head as he puzzled over what she had said.
‘OUR lives?’ Who else could there be other than Vivian? Was she referring to the person who had gotten into trouble?
Finnick furrowed his brow. He decided not to devote any more energy to worrying and wondering.
Finnick glanced down at his suit, wrinkled from Vivian’s vehement clutches, and smiled to himself. As he directed another backward glance to Vivian’s teary face, Finnick’s heart ached for her.
Who could possibly have gotten into trouble? Who was it that Vivian was so prepared to risk life and limb for?
Turning this over in his mind, Finnick increased slammed down on the accelerator. His curiosity was now the relentless slave master that drove him on.
They were nearly there.
According to the GPS navigator, they were approximately one mile away.
Half a mile in, Vivian regained consciousness. She immediately spied from the GPS navigator screen that they had almost arrived at their destination.
Vivian watched the gap between them and Coast Haven narrow, her heart in her throat.
The nearer they drew to Coast Haven, the more jittery Vivian grew. She could barely wait to rescue Larry and to hold him safe in her arms once more.
This present sense of loss was unendurable.
She had experienced it once, five years ago. That one time had already been more than enough for her.
Just as Vivian had been occupied with thoughts of Larry, Finnick had already parked the car and walked across to the passenger seat. He held the door open for her.
Vivian immediately got out. She scanned her surroundings could not even spot a trace of anyone else, much less that of her Little Pumpkin.
Vivian looked around apprehensively.
“Why isn’t anyone here?” Vivian cursed. This isn’t what I was expecting!
She’d anticipated Coast Haven to be a rural, isolated area full of weeds and tall grass. Far from the desert in her mind’s eye, Coast Haven was a venerable paradise.