The Ends of in Between
The Ends of in Between
Author: dainna

1. Leonore

The musty-sweet smell of decaying leaves lingered in her nose, luring her with its unnatural and bewitching fragrance.

Leonore was half awake and half asleep, yet her eyes were closed still. She could hear the smooth rustling of the leaves, however, even with eyes closed, she could distinguish the fresh fallen leaves from the withered and rotten ones.

It was the way they were released into the air; the way they were propelled in a dreamy and lackadaisical manner heightened the main difference. The fresh fallen leaves go freely with the air, but the withered leaves were stubborn.

Some of them remained tenacious on the ground, adapting already with their decomposing spirit. Some fly a little along with the air trying to make the most of their remaining time before they become part of the soil once again. Yet some create their own motion with the air, refusing to dance following the choreography of the wind, withdrawing themselves into complete harmony with the green leaves, resenting them with the life embedded deep in their petiole, and then look at themselves and realized theirs were all brown and dry, scarce and brittle, lifeless.

These withered leaves were obstinate on purpose of denial, that they couldn't accept their final fate which is to decay, rot, and decompose.

Thus, there had always been a discernible difference because they move in such a sharp and overt manner, and if hearkened closely, one will be able to hear the splintering of their dearth and drought veins, yet they fought to denial in a manner that the cracking had always been accompied with an obsolete yet beautiful melody. So the rustling were music to one's ears.

And Leonore was aware of this, because she was and always been fond of the beauty of denial, which was reflected as to the decayed leaves.

She listened closely, opened quite her mouth together with a savory intimate breath, and curved her lips into a smile.

She could feel the rays of the sun peeking through the sparse arrangement of leaves resting subtly on the thick array of the dark burnt sienna pigment of the branches and twigs.

'It feels just right.'

Leonore mentally complimented as she relished the illumination bestowed by the sweet morning sunshine. She felt bouyant and that her face had brightened with the little natural sparks flushing her uneven skin.

The gentle mountain breeze seemed to have shifted with its cradling sensation and rather nettled her drowsy state.

Leonore fought to keep her trance despite the disturbing allies of nature wanting her awake.


After closing her eyes hard at the same time drowning herself into unconsciousness, she felt being transported into some place sorted away and absent and from all of nature's beauty.

In the dim lighted narrow street, Leonore sees a woman being chased by a man. The man was all in black and wearing a hood, and in his right hand is a hammer. Leonore tried to reach out for the woman, but she couldn't let out a single word like her throat had been parched up. It was difficult, and she was withheld by an invisible force, which only required her to just watch as the woman stumbles upon a gutter, and hence the killer reached her out pushing her deeper into the filthy and foul water in the gutter. Leonore couldn't bear it, she screamed at the top of her lungs.

But there was no voice coming out.

Her eyes were all in tears and she could feel the veins in the surrounding area of her eyeballs now stretching and nearly torn as she widened her eyes even more in horrifying disbelief.

The killer holds the hammer, raises his arm, and with full strength swung the hammer onto the woman's back. Leonore arched with pain as if she felt the exact pain of the victim. Another hit on the back of the neck and Leonore felt very helpless as she did feel the cracks of her ribs and her spine, the bruised muscles and discolorated flesh. She sobbed, not with the physical pain, but just merely watching the woman die tortured her the most. As much as she wanted to help, even risked her own life, she couldn't do anything.

Until the final blow was on the head. 

The man swung the hammer with all his might and gruesome satisfaction, but then time suddenly went in slow motion.

Everything was slowly getting the grip of the time; like every tick of the clock has loosened its tight screws and missing its usual rhythm, like a pianist suddenly been bitten by a bug underneath his pants, losing the tempo of the symphony he was playing.

But Leonore wasn't.

Her tears weren't holding back. Rather they flooded continuously down her cheeks. And what surprised her was that she now managed to speak.

She called after the woman, who was now lying with her pool of blood and heads down on the gutter. Leonore called her again, hoping she's still conscious.

Until the woman raised her head and looked in the direction of Leonore. The woman, though covered in filthy gutter mud and her own blood, struck Leonore.

There was a deafening silence.

Leonore was shaking. Her heart was beating faster than the seconds of that time.

"Help... me..." 

With difficulty, the woman relayed those words to Leonore. After that, time snapped back to its normal beat.

Leonore witnessed the heavy hit on the woman's head as the hard metal penetrated the poor cranium.

Blood spurted. Skull was cracked open.

Leonore let out a scream and woke up finally from a dream. 

Yes, it was all just a dream. But she never felt relieved after all. 

She closed her eyes and pushed her tears from falling even more. She was confused as to why all of this is happening. The dream wasn't new to her. She had been convincing herself that it was just another nightmare and not some bad premonition. 

Leonore laughed at the thought. She didn't have any prowess of clairvoyance, nor to predict any remote instances that are yet to come.

But in her dream, she saw herself get killed.

It is like watching some Scream movie on a Friday night, and the victim is no other than herself. She could scream while watching, but she is helpless to do a thing to help herself while getting killed in front of the television screen.

Leonore shook that thought away. The simile she used was very stupid and silly. But it did somehow helped her to ease the dark and disturbing feeling that had been lurking in her mind.

The woman, being murdered was Leonore. Not just some resemblance, but it is she who uttered the last words 'help me'. It is she who gets to be hammered like a nail. It is her who gruesomely died.

Leonore was scared and very bewildered. She tried to connect the pieces that seemed to intrigue her. The recurrent dreams, she was certain of that. That dream wasn't new to her. Every time she wakes up, moments later she finds herself feeling the same disturbing feeling. Like it already occurred to her before. Those that did dwell in her subconscious. Sensations that remind someone of the presence of something not here or there, yet can only be sought down the subconscious. The borderline of being aware and being assumed dead.

Second, she was indeed the victim of an atrocious murder. It pains her to think that she's like watching a teaser of how she'll die. 

So what are the chances that the dreams she had would happen to her soon enough? As she recalled, her age in the dream was more like her age now.

Leonore couldn't help it. Her mind is now in full circus ride. She feels nauseous and dizzy. She closed her eyes, firmly, avoiding any sunlight to pass through her hazelnut eyes. She was under a tree. This was her favorite spot to write her journals.

She was the editor-in-chief of Lilith Tabloid in Cebu. Their paper specifies in catering some sensitive and critical issues amongst elite families and popular local celebrities.

Leonore was currently in the middle of finishing her featured work on Sally de Vega, who she claimed to be a battered wife of Jose Manuel, the town mayor. Leonore knew that this work would touch danger, but she also knew that if this will be published soon enough, their paper would be known. On top of that, she could save Sally de Vega from her tormented situation.

She admitted to having sparked the inspiration of writing and exposing the truths about the de Vega's, specifically Hon. Jose Manuel, because of gossips among the residents.

Leonore was a mass person. She liked talking and mingling with people. And it is through this that she knew about the issue of Sally de Vega being beaten by her own husband.

Since then, the mass people were her medium of getting the freshest and most crucial gossips, from which she works on it first as a theory and later finds shreds of evidence to support her claims. Leonore regarded this technique as very handy and strategic.

Her strongest evidence would be a firsthand statement from Sally de Vega.

She met Sally in a feeding program hosted by Sally herself. Leonore sneaked her way into the program and played as one of the volunteer cooks.

She isn't very good for a cook but it wasn't her purpose.

"Come what may."

As she would always say whenever she is in losing ends of her tight-roped purpose.

"Miss Sally, hi."

Leonore uttered those words in such a foreign-speaking voice she could hardly believe she had that youthful and disenchanted voice.

Sally turned to Leonore now dressed in simple jeans and a shirt in white apron and hairnet.

Sally de Vega was looking very sophisticated and gorgeous in her peach-colored sleeveless dress with a length not extending her knees, and dreamy hair in a bun, not truly well kept but very stunning. Her well-composed face was priceless to be the focus of the lenses on her spectacle.

She had that round and quite enlarged pair of pale brown eyes rooted with long, bushy and curly eyelashes which are really enchanting to lock up one's gaze at.

Leonore was at first stunned by such a good looking lady as the town Mayor's wife.


Sally smiled at her. Leonore felt warmth with those curves perfectly shaped on her lips. With a closer look, she had a mole on the corner of her left eye. But there was something more noticeable than the mole.

There was a hardly concealed purplish discoloration of the surrounding area of her left eye.

Leonore was certain of it. The blemish was becoming more vivid to her.

Yet, she snapped back to her real purpose, and that is to get Sally de Vega along with a talk till she could covertly insert questions related to her work.

She knew she had to do this without branding herself as a writer of the media. Because if she does so, she won't touch even the slightest information of Miss Sally for she will be sent out of the program and never to get near the Lady again. The de Vega's had everything concealed and protected, for the good of their name. So whether she likes it or not, she had to go undercover.

"I am Leonore Batungbakal. I am a big supporter of your works of charity. I'm a volunteer cook, ma'am."

Sally de Vega's eyes glittered with delight. 

"Really? You flatter me, Leonore. Thank you."

The Lady smiled and Leonore did as well.

Leonore opened up something about herself which Sally grew interested in. This is how she kept the conversation going. Opening up a fraction of her life that she considered relatively fraudulent and fictitious. Not that those weren't true, those were rather facts about her that she considered true, however Leonore had this hollow truth about herself which points out as to why she felt that every word coming from her mouth is forged.

Yet, for Sally de Vega, Leonore was someone peculiarly special. The reason for it is vague now for the Lady to justify, but she liked talking to this new found friend.

"Really? I am sorry to hear that Leonore. But it makes me proud that even though you grew up in exile you still managed to become what you are now. Don't get me wrong. I meant the idea that you were so young and you were far away from home yet here you are, firm and glowing, and even doing some volunteering. I'm overwhelmed that you've picked up pieces of yourself despite life had made a devastating impact on you."

Sally looked at her straight in the eyes. Leonore looked away. She made her uneasy. Her remark was so sincere, yet Leonore wasn't sure if what she had told Sally was true. It occurred to her that she was either bluffing or really did went transparent with her words, and with herself most especially. Who is she by the way? Leonore baffled by the thought.

They headed towards the kitchen where a few other volunteers are setting up several styrofoam lunch boxes on the table that will be used to pack the food which will be given free to the street children.

Leonore motioned herself an inch closer to the mayor's wife. She will now pave the way to her real agenda.

She inhaled deeply the still and steamed air of the kitchen and smiled with the aromatic scent that hugged her nostrils. Nothing beats the enticing and succulent Filipino food. She suddenly felt the soft rumble of her stomach.

"Miss Sally, I don't know how I should tell you this, but there is some discoloration just below your left eye."

Leonore anxiously pointed out the area she was referring to.

Sally felt agitated with what Leonore told her. She took a handy mirror in her pouch and directly checked her left eye.

"What is that ma'am? It appeared to me as some kind of bruise mark from being punched in the face."

Sally turned her head to Leonore with frightened and glaring eyes.

"Leonore... It's not going that far. I... I just happen to accidentally fell from the bed and object poked straight to my eye. Yes. Yes. There's no such thing as what you said as being punched."

Leonore looked at the Lady with sympathizing eyes. She felt sorry that she needs to lie about the truth.

She wanted to console Sally. But for now, Leonore wanted the Lady to tell her the truth for her to be able to help her.

"You can tell me anything, ma'am. Sometimes, it's easier to tell a stranger of a naked truth because you'll never know when and where you'll cross paths again."

'Realization strikes when we are already on the brink of remorse. It will appear first as tiny spatters of rain, it will lure you to enjoy and whisper monophonic beat to dance your frustrations out, but then it will come after you as a giant flood and will eventually drown you.'

Leonore had these thoughts inundated her mind. She felt a turmoil building up inside her, yet she can't fathom where and what to point it out with.

"Maybe you are right."

Miss Sally snapped her back to reality.

Leonore looked at her with covert growing interest. This is finally the moment Sally will spill out the truth.

"Jose Manuel. He was a good man and a husband. But...yes, this bruise...he did this to me. Every time he beats the hell out of me it was like he was drugged, it was like he is happy inflicting pain on me."

Sally looked down and silently sobbed. Leonore looked at her. Pity was enveloping her. She looked so gorgeous and perfect, the ideal portrait of a woman. But now, Leonore witnessed just how fragile and poignant Sally de Vega really is.

Leonore still had the audio record of that incident.

Before she approached Sally, Leonore tapped herself with a micro bugging device that she hid under her sleeves. She had the copy in her book safe, which she made herself out of carving the leaves of James Joyce's book Ulysses in between and carefully sliding in the micro bug containing Sally de Vega's confession. 

Leonore had it already. She had the evidence in her but she cannot proceed any further. She is always stopped by the thought of Sally.


Every time the picture of her crosses Leonore's mind, she felt conscientious. It is mainly because she bugged their conversation. And that was a crucial part for Sally.

She doesn't want the Lady to think that she is taking advantage of her vulnerability. But ain't she?

She felt bad for having to lie. But she made a choice; and that is to finish working on her paper.

Maybe... that danger lies in her unfinished paper. But she wasn't certain. She shook her head in her own disagreement. She had never felt so confused and distorted. Like she had been missing some very important pieces of her life. She couldn't remember her past, and she had no idea how she would always wake up in the same spot.

Maybe it's anterograde amnesia. A condition wherein a person lives in the eternal present. 


She shook her head again, and this time wailed from childish disagreement. 

"You aren't role-playing are you?" 

Suddenly a voice subdued in the still air. It was from a man’s. 

Leonore looks up to where the voice was coming from. She turned her head at the back and there she saw a guy standing tall, beaming. 

"Who are you?" said Leonore. 

The guy smiled, and Leonore felt a throb in her heart. Who could be this man? I think I know him or have seen him before. 

"My name is Theo. You must be Leonore." 

The guy was now a meter away from her. Leonore stood up, eyebrows colliding. 

"Excuse me how do you know me?" 

"Actually, that's not important. But, you are. I'm here to give answers to all questions storming in your mind." 

Leonore lightly dropped her jaw. This day was really of something than the usual. This day was what she had been waiting for. But then she was still confused. How can this man just show up now? And how does he know that she is troubled to finding answers? 

Leonore kept his gaze from the man. She was locked up in his eyes. Those eyes, she has met those before. She had known those same pair of pale brown eyes.

But of whom? 

" I know you are confused, but trust me, Leonore. I know everything, I have with me the missing pieces of your identity. If you happen to remember Sally de Vega, I am his son." 

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status