Home > Never Never: Part Two (Never Never #2)(15)

Never Never: Part Two (Never Never #2)(15)
Author: Colleen Hoover

I feel like a prisoner rather than a patient.

“Why am I here?” I ask.

“You don’t remember?”

“Would I be asking if I remembered?” I snap. I wipe my mouth as her eyes narrow.

“Finish your food,” she says coldly.

I grow immediately angry at my situation—at the way she’s dictating every second of my life as if it’s hers to live.

I fling the plate across the room. It smashes against the wall by the television. Rice and sausage fly everywhere.

That felt good. That felt more than good. That felt like me.

I laugh then. Throw my head back and laugh. It’s a deep laugh, wicked. Oh my god! This is why I’m here. Craaaaazy.

I can see the muscles in her jaw clench. I’ve made her mad. Good. I stand up and run for a broken shard of plate. I don’t know what’s come over me, but this feels right. Defending myself feels right.

She tries to grab me, but I slip out of her grasp. I pick up a sharp piece of porcelain. What type of mental hospital gives you porcelain plates? It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I hold the shard toward her and take a step forward. “Tell me what’s going on.”

She doesn’t move. Looks quite calm, actually.

That’s when the door behind me must open, because the next thing I know there’s a sharp sting in my neck and I’m falling to the ground.

Chapter 11: Silas

I pull over on the side of the road. I grip the steering wheel, trying to calm myself down.

Everything is gone. I have no idea who took it. Someone is probably reading our letters right now. They’ll read everything we wrote to ourselves, and depending on who took it, I probably look certifiably insane.

I grab a sheet of blank paper I find in the back seat, and I begin to write things down. Anything I can remember. I’m pissed, because I can’t remember even a fraction of what was in the notes inside the backpack. Our addresses, our locker codes, our birthdays, all the names of our friends and family—I can’t remember any of it. What little I can recall, I write down. I can’t let this stop me from finding her.

I have no idea where to go next. I could visit the tarot shop again; see if she returned there. I could try and find the address to whatever property has the gate that’s in the picture in her bedroom. There has to be a connection with the tarot shop displaying that same picture.

I could drive to the prison and visit Charlie’s father, see what he knows.

Prison is probably the last place I should go right now, though.

I grab my phone and begin scrolling through it. I pass the pictures from just last night. A night I don’t recall a single second of. There are pictures of me and Charlie, pictures of our tattoos, pictures of a church, pictures of a street musician.

The last picture is of Charlie, standing next to a cab. It appears that I’m on the other side of the street, snapping a picture of her as she prepares to climb inside it.

This had to be the last time I saw her. In the letter it said she got into a cab on Bourbon Street.

I zoom in on the picture, my excitement getting caught in my throat. There’s a license plate on the front of the cab and a phone number on the side of the cab.

Why didn’t I think of this already?

I jot down the phone number and license plate, and dial the number.

I feel like I’m finally making progress.

The cab company almost refused to give me information. I finally convinced the operator that I was a detective and needed to question the driver regarding a missing person. That’s only half of a lie. The guy on the phone said he had to ask around and call me back. It took about thirty minutes before my phone rang again.

It was the actual driver of the cab I spoke to this time. He said a girl matching the description of Charlie hailed his cab last night, but before he could take her anywhere, she told him never mind and she shut the door and walked away.

She just…walked away?

Why would she do that? Why would she not catch up to me? She had to know I was probably just around the next corner if that’s where we parted ways.

She had to have an agenda. I don’t remember a thing about her, but based on what I’ve read, everything she does seems to have a purpose. But what could her purpose have been on Bourbon Street at that time of night?

The only things that come to mind are the tarot shop and the diner. But in the notes, it states that Charlie never showed back up to the diner, based on information from someone named Amy. Was she going to find Brian? I feel a prickle of jealousy at the thought, but I’m almost confident she wouldn’t have done that.

It has to be the tarot shop.

I search Google on my phone, unable to remember the exact name of the place written in our notes. I mark two of them in the French Quarter and set my GPS to take me there.

I can tell almost immediately upon entering that this is the shop we described in the notes. The one we visited just last night.

Last night. God. Why can’t I remember something that just happened one day ago?

I make my way up and down each aisle, taking in everything around me, not even sure what I’m in search of. When I reach the last aisle, I recognize the photo hanging on the wall. The picture of the gate.

It’s here for decoration. Not something for sale. I lift up on my toes until my fingers grab at the frame, and I pull it down to inspect it closer. The gate is tall, guarding a house in the background that I can barely make out in the picture. In the corner of one of the massive columns attached to the gate is the name of the house. Jamais Jamais.

“Can I help you?”

I look up to see a man towering over me, which is impressive. I’m six foot one, according to my driver’s license. He has to be six foot five.

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