I know that I am not perfect,
I know that I have made mistakes.
Some that are costly,
Some that are too grave for me to want to look back on,
One of the biggest mistake I made was to allow you to get away with your crimes.
I have to live with the guilt,
Knowing that I had cost someone their life once again,
If I could relive that day... I would have chased after you, one who never gave up on finding the one person I sought to stop.
Forgive me ****
For being the coward that I was, one who missed an opportunity to end this once and for all
Cinder sighed as she left the building, she suppressed a yawn while heading towards the hospital instead of heading home since she had agreed to meet her father at her mother's room after work. Fatigue and worry still filled Cinder who in turn shook it off for sadness began to enter her body with every step that led her towards the destination, knowing that the chances of good news were slim.
Even as she entered the building dread filled her mind, knowing that her mother's body could fail at any time resulting in losing her mother. A fear that would often leave her wanting to stay at her mother's bedside, but alas she had to find out who did this and where they were located. That and she wanted to know why, why would someone commit such atrocities to begin with? What would he have had to gain from it besides making families miserable by tearing them apart by killing their loved ones.
Even as she entered the lift, time seemed to slow down which encouraged her to brood even more as her searching was almost at a dead end. However the only clue so far was the spring suit and the only surviving one was Spring Bonnie who possessed a man's soul. One who left her baffled.
"I should try to find his picture at least so I could identify him" Cinder murmured until she paused at her mother's door. Surprise filled her at seeing Mike standing while staring at her mother's sleeping form.
"Took a while to find you, no doubt that he moved you" Mike said in a calm voice, startled she slowly moved until she hid behind the wall but made sure the door was open.
"I..." Mike sighed heavily before the sound of a chair screeched signalling that he was sitting down, curious Cinder leaned slightly closer in order to hear.
"There are no words that I can say to show how sorry I am" his calm voice now dripped with guilt and sadness as he stared with his head leaning on his clenched hands while his elbows rested on the wooden arms of the chair, the sides of his mouth went down as frustration began to build up as memories of the past formed in his mind before anger started to enter due to the cause.
"If I had been there sooner, if I hadn't gotten reckless... why didn't you tell me?" he murmured wearily, bitterness and self loathing filled him as questions after questions continued to swarm the longer he stared at her sleeping form. Mike soon leaned back on the chair before resting his hands on his lap with a light thump. Purple hair soon covered his closed eyes as he remembered finding Hope's body after her attacker fled. No doubt he could have caught the attacker if he had been at the building that night but he hadn't, he had found her laying in a pool of her blood just before Freddy's Pizzeria was suppose to be open. Why hadn't he took the night shift like he should have done? He had thought of her willingness to work at night was a little suspicious… and when she had been attacked before. Claiming that she had shot the attacker only to be discredited, she soon went missing from work only to turn up almost a week later looking determined and dare he assume on edge. Like she was looking over her shoulder, almost as if she was looking for the attacker who could almost strike at anytime when her back was turned. Even at times she was did look normal but he saw through it, in fact he had caught her snooping in a particular area that was restricted, but had quickly she brushed him off while acting happy when he saw through the lie. She was looking for someone and even her husband had left the restaurant for long periods of time before he stopped coming altogether. At first he was worried and the worry only grew as Hope refused to talk about her husband and was more focused on what she was trying to do. However things had changed a day before the attack, that time he had confronted her about her behaviour and actions.
"No one is going to believe you" Hope said coldly after he had threatened to tell their boss about what she was doing, shocked from her response he had grabbed her arm stopping her from leaving. Spying an empty room he dragged her towards it and locked the door behind them.
"Now since there will be no one interrupting or listening in on our talk, care to explain why you are really here? What are you looking for?" Mike demanded as he stared at an anxious Hope who looked away while gripping the ends of her left sleeve, which in turn signalled she was more nervous than she was letting on.
"I have nothing to say to you. Besides I can't tell you and also how do I know that you have good intentions?" Hope asked sharply causing Mike to frown at the response.
"I assure you that if I was up to no good you wouldn't be here given how many times I've caught you snooping in private areas" Mike said bluntly as he watched her startled expression, surely she didn't think that she was that sly? He could see her when no one was paying attention but had kept it quiet in order to find out what she was up to. Biting her lip Hope looked away before her eyes narrowed.
"Why are you even working here anyways?" Mike asked as he folded his arms.
"Would you believe me if I told you?" Hope asked bluntly as she stared at him with a hard expression.
"Of course" Mike nodded not hesitating, after what he had gone through how could he not believe her? If he had told her about why he looked purple and looked as if he was decaying would she believe him? Mike saw her grow nervous as her mind seemed to be working hard, most likely from trying to find the right words or at worst case preparing to lie and cover up what she was truly up to.
"I am working undercover in order to find out what happened to the missing children" Hope said while pushing a lock of hair away from her face, Mike blinked in surprise; this was not what he had assumed she was up to. In truth his mind was somewhere else entirely, for all he knew she was some nosy reporter trying to get a scoop. "I am also trying to track down the killer who is responsible for their deaths" Hope explained softly as she tried to keep her composure while trying to make sure no one was near the door, the thought of being exposed and prevented from entering this place worried her deeply. She was too far in to back down or be banned from the establishment because they wanted to cover things up. After hearing her explanation, words could not express how shocked Mike was feeling even though he was trying to conceal the feelings. The one thing he was trying to do and she was here but for similar reasons.
"Do you... do you have any idea of how dangerous that is?" His voice above a whisper before looking at her dead in the eyes, restrained fury and horror at how close to death she had been at numerous times. "You almost got killed because of how reckless you are being" Mike snapped now losing his cool on how foolish she had been, there was a killer in the building and she was letting herself be vulnerable. The killer no doubt would end her if they wanted to, soon gaining his composure he exhaled heavily before looking at her. "So you work for the police I assume?" He asked only to his dismay she nodded mutely.
"How-what has your investigation led you to?" He asked now eyeing the door just in case there was someone outside. He had to know, does she know who the killer is? Or anything about the killer for that matter?
"I have a few leads, the bullet is missing still so I can assume he still has it. I am getting close, I just need to find Patrick" Hope replied calmly as her mind went to the boy she had seen, she could only hope that he was okay wherever he was in the building. Confusion filled Mike on who Patrick was?
"Who is Patrick?" He asked looking more baffled by her comment, he watched her eyes grow sombre before looking at the black and white square tiled floor.
"He is one of the missing children who tried to lead me to where the other missing children were before the killer attacked me, just when I had let my guard down" Hope explained feeling bitter about how she could have been jumped on like that, only Mike gave her an odd look from her reply.
"How can you see someone who is dead?" He asked, his mind however led him wondering if she was okay in the mind since no one could see dead people. It is impossible unless you were dead yourself.
Frowning Hope went silent before walking towards the door, knowing that the discussion was over due to how he was reacting. What was the point in telling him if he wasn't truly going to believe her, he most likely thought that she was crazy who had escaped her appointment in the loony bin.
"Just because you don't see them doesn't mean you can look down on others" Hope snapped as she grabbed the doorknob and was about to twist it, Mike blinked before narrowing his eyes but tried not to show the raw anger that filled him. Oh if only she knew…
"Look whatever you think you see is not truly there Hope, you probably got unlucky and found the killer-" Mike bit the inside of his cheek as worry for her safety grew, why was she putting herself at risk? No he didn't want that man to take another life just because she was getting close to the truth, even if he had to upset her enough to give up he would save her. Hope hearing this however turned to give him a sharp, hurt look that signalled he had hurt her feelings which in turn made him mentally wince. Guilt filled his body but repressed it, better her alive then dead where she would be unable to live her life.
"How can you say that?! I know what I can see and I sure as hell don't need to prove it to you, now I need to find Patrick so he can lead me to the missing children. I don't care if you don't believe me, I have a job to do and I am seeing it to the end" she spat as she sent her hand out of his grasp.
"You need help Hope, claiming to see dead people only belongs in a movie. But we're not in one, this is real life and you can die" Mike said sternly wanting nothing more than to get her out of this situations, in truth this was between him and the killer. She was not going to get herself killed over a stupid idea to find the missing children, not if he had any say in this. "Who will believe someone who is claiming things are there when we the average group cannot? To them you're just a crazy lunatic ranting and raving about the dead, so stop this Hope! Enough otherwise it will get you killed" Mike pleaded but to his dismay it was on deaf ears as fury filled her form once more at how harsh he was being towards her.
"I don't care if you believe me or not" Hope murmured calmly as she looked down which allowed her hair to cover her eyes, soon she moved her head so she could look him straight in the eye which left him stunned at how she refused to back down.
"Patrick is my only lead, he has told me one of the children Fitz had also been killed by the same man. Once I find out who he is I will stop him whether anyone helps me or not" she added while her voice grew stronger and determined to his dismay.
"Hope... please" Mike pleaded softly wanting her to get away from this place, he didn't want another casualty. Especially her, unlike her his life was already over and it was thanks to one person.
"No Mike, I won't give up trying to find the truth. I already have leads and evidence that are pointing to a few things that will help me shine light on to this madness that is taking place. Neither you nor my husband are going to stop me, sorry Mike but I am not turning back now when I am so close" and with that Hope left the room. Mike during that moment felt his stomach drop, this couldn't be happening. No it couldn't end like this.
"At least let me help-" he rushed out the room.
"I don't need your help!" She snapped angrily at how he was now deciding to help after tryinng to discourage her this whole time. Hearing her sharp words halting him from moving or speaking "you said it yourself that I am crazy. So who would want to help a crazy person?" Hope asked coldly causing him to wince at how he deserved that comment.
"I want to find who did this, please... let me help" Hope stared at him with hard eyes for a while before she looked away, she tucked a stray lock away from her face before a soft sigh left her lips.
"Tomorrow during my shift, I'll bring a copy of my research but if you don't turn up that's it" was all Hope said before she walked away.
Sadly fate had not been on his side and had delayed him from seeing her. Even now the guilt continues to haunt him the more he watched her sleeping form. If only he had seen her, he could have not only saved her but he could have probably found out more clues to where the one he was seeking was hiding. Alas though, he had been too late and as a result caused Hope's family to suffer.
"I... I will find him, I promise that I will end this Hope" Mike said before looking up at the ceiling wearily, his eyes tired but he stayed awake. Not that he could die of exhaustion. No... he had unfinished business to attend to.
Cinder frowned as she remained silent, seeing as it would seem like she was spying to any onlookers she steeled her resolve and entered the door.
Immediately Mike stood up once he recognised Cinder, as a result he relaxed while smiling softly at her cautious girl. Which in turn was to be expected since Hope no doubt had told Cinder anything about him, that and she had just met him. It was most likely odd for to see the man who she was working with now enter her mother's hospital room. In the end he was a stranger to him, knowing this he felt bad for causing more sadness to plague the family for his folly.
"Ah Cinder, it's good to see you" he smiled however Cinder spotted how worn and tired he was thanks to not only his eyes but his expression as well.
"Did you know mum?" Cinder asked as she remained calm despite what she had just heard. Mike sighed but didn't stop smiling as he turned his head to face Hope's sleeping form.
"I use to work with her, in truth I didn't know where to find her after the incident" Mike admitted solemnly before looking at Cinder who stared at him blankly but he had a feeling she was suspicious of him. "You both do look alike that I am surprised that I didn't see the similarities sooner" he added. Cinder blinked not knowing what to say.
"Mother never told me about you" she admitted causing him to crack a smile.
"Yeah, I said something that made her upset. Not that I blame her" he sighed softly "I just wished that she hadn't chosen to shoulder the burden of trying to find out the truth by herself" he admitted to her surprise.
"Then you know why she is here?" Cinder exclaimed softly before he nodded, his eyes staring solely at the floor. The shame of causing this made Mike unable to look at them in the face.
"The killer had caught up to her… I… I was delayed and only managed to caught up to her in the nick of time, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't regret preventing this" Mike added while Cinder took a seat on a spare chair, seeing her pointing to the other chair he sat down.
"I want to find out why this is happening, it's very convenient that the establishment is still standing even though it is a death trap" Cinder commented causing him to nod glumly.
"I'm trying to look for clues, there has to be something that I'm missing. Have you found anything in there that might be useful?" Mike asked causing her to blink, her mind went to dirty yellow Springtrap suit which was being possessed by a man. Cinder subconsciously bit the inside of her cheek. Should she tell him about the animatronic?
"Sadly no" Cinder said with a shake of her head which caused her hair to move side to side, hearing this Mike's shoulders drop while his eyes look down at his lap.
"I see…" a faint smile formed on his face at his rotten luck, no doubt the things he seeked lied with Hope and she was unlikely to tell him. "Whatever you do Cinder, if you do see anything tell me straight away, even after all these years the killer is still out there and if he finds someone is a threat to them… he kill come back to finish what he had started. So please promise me you'll be smart about this and tell me" Mike said while Cinder stared at him with mixed conflicted emotions.
A world without conflict, sadly for you that's unlikely for soon my plans will come to fruition. That foolish girl will lead me right to you.
And when I do find you
I'll kill you
You were both fools to stop me