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(In the chamber (2)

But her confession was met with a bitter response from Jackson, who looked at her in anger and shouted,"I don't need your love, Sally. I have tried my best to treat you with utmost dignity. I have never hurt your feelings out of respect for the fact that we dated each other.

But that was the past, Sally. You know very well, how much I love Cherry and my son - they are the closest to me. You tried to kill my family and I have no use for a terrible person like you."

This wasn't an empty threat. Jackson knew he had to be extremely firm with Sally, lest she try something like this again He thought, 'If anything had happened to Cherry, I would have lost my mind. This time Jean saved her from being injured, but I don't know what Sally will do next time.' In his mind, Jackson was already thinking that he couldn't trust Sally. She was a wretched woman who could pose a serious threat to everyone he loved.

Sally's tears had dried up. She looked up at Jackson and laughed,"My life is yours to take Jackson. You think I fear death?

You saved my life so you can take my life too. I don't care for that too much. In fact, dying at your hands, entangled in your arms would feel like heaven."

Jackson stared at her, unable to believe that this was the same Sally that he knew and dated. She was a changed woman. He couldn't help but wonder what had happened to her.

Finally, he said,"You have changed, Sally." His voice echoed the disappointment that he was feeling.

But Sally turned sentimental. Her voice quivered as she held back her tears and sincerely asked him,"Who do you think is responsible for this, Jackson? Do you know who has changed me so much and turned me into this mean, wicked woman that I have become?"

Her sadness soon turned to anger,"Why did you do this to me Jackson, why?"

Her turbulent mind was choked with emotions and anger. She wondered why Jackson had fallen in love with Cherry like that. They had known each other much before Cherry's existence even mattered. Her love for Jackson was pure and true and everything that they looked at each other, she knew it was real. Then why did Cherry have to come in between and ruin everything?

Jackson did not respond.

It was as if the whole room was mourning the broken hearts. An eery silence fell over.

Suddenly, Sally said,"I'll go get us some water." She abruptly disappeared into the kitchen.

As she was getting the cups out to fill water in, she looked out at Jackson. He was staring out the window, looking wistful.

She made sure Jackson wasn't looking and quickly opened a drawer in the kitchen. She got out a packet of a medicinal powder and mixed it into one of the cups of water. It dissolved, leaving no trace behind. Both the cups looked exactly similar.

She walked out, both cups in hand, and handed one of them to Jackson.

Jackson looked at Sally, expressionlessly. He took the cup of water.

Sally sat down opposite Jackson. She took a small sip from her cup and looked at Jackson, observing him intently.

Without giving another thought, Jackson simply gulped the water down and placed the cup on the table, next to him.
He looked at Sally and said,"I'll give you two options, the final decision is yours. Do you want to leave or stay here?" As he put forth her choices, he thought of their childhood. They had some happy memories, which could not be erased from his mind. Even though he didn't love her, he couldn't ignore the friendship they had shared as children.

"What if I choose to stay here?" asked Sally. Sally was certain that today was the day, when Jackson would finally be hers.

"Then", said Jackson firmly,"you must never ever get close to my family. You must never cross paths with them or bring any harm to them." He thought to himself, 'I have no choice. Now that she has no intention of leaving, I won't force her to do so. But I will never let her approach my famiy again.'

"What are you going to do with me, Jackson? Are you going to send me to jail? Or do you want to imprison me in my own house, keep a watch over me so that I cannot get out?" Sally's eyes fixated on Jackson, as she menacingly asked him all these questions.

Jackson started feeling dizzy. He shook his head but the feeling didn't go away. He tried very hard to be sober and normal. He replied,"I will do everything to keep you from visiting my family or getting close to them. Even if it means taking the measures you mentioned. I will not think twice before killing you."

He tried very hard to be sober and normal. He replied,"I will do everything to keep you from visiting my family or getting close to them. Even if it means taking the measures you mentioned. I will not think twice before killing you."

Jackson was firm in his intention. Seeing his decisiveness, Sally did not respond.

"So what do you want to do? Do you still want to stay here?" Jackson asked. He frowned with impatience.

Slowly, Sally responded,"If I decide to leave this place, will you arrange everything for me like we had discussed before?" Sally returned.

"No Sally, this time I won't," Jackson replied with extreme surety. He shuddered at the thought of how he had almost lost Cherry, if Jean hadn't saved her. He had given Sally enough time and chances and now after this incident, he was sure he did not want to do anything for her anymore.

"Why not, Jackson?" Sally asked. She looked at him eagerly, confused and taken aback.

But Jackson was losing sight. He could see a faint outline of Sally but his mind was buzzing and he could not think clearly. He felt as if he was losing consciousness and no matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn't control it.

Despite of his discomfort, Jackson managed to respond,"Because this time, things are different."

Sally got up and sat next to Jackson, who was now almost unconscious. She shook him and almost instantly, he fell into her lap.

Sally looked at him, a wickedly endearing look cast on her face, as she caressed the unconscious man in her arms. "You are right, Jackson. Everything is different now. You will see how, when you wake up tomorrow."


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