By Your Side


Tablo reader up chevron



Fear, rage, irritation, anxiety, trauma.

I'm terrified. Extremely terrified.

My body is shaking all the time. I can't seem to make it stop from doing so. My hands are still trembling since two years ago, and it's still continuing now. Echoes keep bouncing on the walls of the room, and they fill my ears. My heart is beating with fear, and it doesn't cease to exist inside.

They won't stop. I want them to. I want them to fucking stop.

Please, help me. I need someone.

Mom keeps screaming as she keeps on hiding from my father. Dad keeps screaming as he's flipping up everything in his way. Michael keeps screaming as he's slowing him down from getting to her.

I'm screaming, screaming deep inside. 

I feel like I don't know anything anymore. Please help me.

I don't remember their birthdays anymore, heck, I don't even remember mine. I don't remember the last time we celebrated Christmas like a happy family, because all I remember in the last time we did was that Dad was in prison, and Mom didn't want a single grain of rice touch her mouth. I don't even remember the last time I fell in love, because my father killed my boyfriend. 

I have nothing left with me. Nothing. 

I feel like my life is of no use now. But I don't want to kill myself.

But my sanity. Yes, maybe my sanity. My sanity, my sanity...

All I have is my sanity, and I'm about to lose it. I can't bear to lose my mind after all this. I need them to stop.

I need help. Please...

Help me bring myself back. Help me stop my family from being like this for twenty-four months. Help me out here. Please...

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...

Chapter 1


"Where is she? Where is she?"

It's been hours now, and she's asked the same question for many times already. Celia sounds like she's really insane, even though she really is. Her eyes keep darting away from my face, and she keeps looking up, down, and on both sides. I held her tightly as she kept struggling to break free from my hands. 

"Where is she, my dear?" She cooed. "Please!"

"Calm down, Celia." I held her even tighter. "Please, just calm down."

She finally faced me in a sad and desperate manner. "Where? Where is she?!"

"I don't know, okay?" I snapped. "She could be anywhere, she could be gone, she could be missing, but I don't--"


I backed away in a split second as she grabbed an empty bottle of whiskey from behind her. Her eyes were glowing dangerously, and my back shivered as she held the bottle up high.

"Where is she?!" Celia roared. "Tell me!"

"I don't know!" I countered.

"Tell me now, or I'll kill everyone!"

Kill. That word always sounded like the end of the world for me. For years, I've been hearing that since I've worked in the asylum, and I never liked hearing that word, nor did I want to see it happen in front of my eyes.

 It always haunts me like a ghost.

But that word wasn't just heard every once in a blue moon. In an asylum, kill was the favorite word of every insane patient. All of the lost souls only belonged here, and they'd be free if they got their sanity back.

A long-time laughter echoed across the room and cut off my trance. As I looked to the right, the familiar hand holding the bottle of whiskey was in front of my face. It was Celia.

"C-Celia?!" I gasped, and a ear-shattering scream followed. I ran as fast as I could towards the door and shut it behind me, my ears still in pain after the scream. Nathan ran towards me, feeling concerned.

"What happened back there, Vince?" 

I shook my head in frustration. "Another fucking patient lost her mind again."

"Celia?" He asked and looked by the window on the door. The curly-haired woman's mouth was open for so long, it seemed like Celia's screams were still going on forever, and it was creeping the hell out of me. Did she even have time to breathe for a while?

"Well, she was insane after she killed her own daughter." Nathan said. "It's no surprise she's still like that."

"It really isn't. I mean, I used to like Joan, and I never believed that it was her time."

Nathan and I shared a glance at each other, and then at Celia.

"It's sad, bro." I whispered.


"Yo, Vince, got any shampoo back there?" Nathan called out from the bathroom. We were done with our duties for the morning, and we went home for lunch, when all of a sudden he was in the mood for taking a shower. 

It's a miracle; he never does that.

"Well, you get your own fucking shampoo, alright?" I yelled back.

"Hello to you, too," he replied. I breathed out, leaning back onto the couch. It was a mellow Thursday, and Nate and I still had an hour left before we start work again.

I left the TV on and threw the remote back to the chair as I ran towards my room, dressing up for work. 

"Oy, Vince, you dressed up already?" He yelled out again from his room, and I yelled back at him that I was. I really had no choice.

I had to be honest to myself, I didn't want to keep smelling the familiar scent of clinics and hospitals. Especially asylums, which were dark, gloomy, and depressed. All of those patients were extreme stress and a great pain in the ass, but I still had to do my job. At least, helping the insane was what kept my life going for this long, and I don't want to ruin it for the worst.

"Almost," I called back. My feet began moving as I tightened my belt and folded the sleeves of my uniform. The bright teal color calmed my eyes down, and I straightened my hair up before grabbing my backpack. At the doorway, Nathan was there.

"Let's do this, man."


We were back into our old selves. 

I was walking on my way to the employee's room, leaving my stuff inside my locker. Nathan was sitll with me, but I didn't mind that much. After all, we were partners in crime.

"Have you heard about the news, dude?" He began. "Mr. Reyes is on the loose again."

"Really?" I asked. "What happened?"

"It was this morning. 4:32 am," he explained. "They found a head outside the backyard, and it was cracked open. The brain had a note, saying 'I'm going to strike again.'"

A chill ran down my spine. Jonathan Reyes always loved to crack things open. Really, it seemed like the same discovery the police made whenever he'd kill someone. He'd always leave notes, with his golden signature written in the victim's blood, and stuffed inside a body part. I felt my blood boiling with anger and annoyance at the news of a new murder.

Why'd he have to kill innocent people?

"I really hate hearing those, man," I breathed out. "Can you even believe it? I mean--"

The door swung open before I could continue my sentence. It was Natasha.

"What is it, Nat?" I asked, feeling weird about her face. She made a blank look, but her voice felt surprised.

"There's a new patient."

"Who?" Nathan replied. "Where?"

She pointed outside the door, and Nathan and I ran outside, looking at a familiar girl

"What is she doing?" Nathan elbowed me, both of us frozen in place at a girl glaring at a boy, kneeling down and wrapping her arms around him. "Is that her boyfriend?"

"I don't know," I replied. 

"But he looks a little like you, man!"

We both watched the scene in front of us getting more stressful.

"Michael, don't leave me, please!" The girl was begging, pleading like her life depended on it, and the boy was in tears.

"Kirsten, I can't," he answered. "If I stay with you, Dad could hurt you too, and I wouldn't want that."

"But we'll be safe! Just don't leave me here!"

"No, sis. Dad will kill you, too. You know he can."

"Yeesh, looks like their dad is capable of killing his own children." Nathan noted, and I nodded.

"Yeah," I stated. "Almost like Jonathan."

"Mike," Kirsten begged, "please." Her face was wet with tears as she endlessly cried and cried. Michael, her brother, was breaking down as well, and the siblings looked like they didn't want to be apart.

"Kirsten, as your brother, I have to make sure of your safety and protection, even if it means I'll have to pay for it. Please, heal yourself. I love you, sis." 

He kissed her forehead, and she was left frozen as her brother ran outside the doors. Kirsten slowly pulled her hair, and she started to open her mouth and released another ear-shattering scream. 

"Nathan! Get down!" I yelled at him as I covered my ears from the horrifying sound. The entire building was shaking in response to her shrieks, and the fluorescent lights started to flicker. Natasha bursted out of the room, her scream blending in with Kirsten's.

"Vincent! What's happening to her?" She cried, and I looked at Kirsten still screaming nonstop as she stood up and gripped on her dress, wanting to rip it off.

"Stay low, Natasha!" I ordered. "I'm taking her."

Nathan handed me puffy headphones and I immediately wore it, Kirsten's screeches still going on forever. 

"Kirsten!" I called out to her, reaching for her hand. Her face instantly turned towards mine, and she stopped screaming. Her lower lip was trembling, her brown eyes were still as they looked down at mine, and she bent down, leveling me. 

I grabbed her hand before she could do anything.

"Kirsten, look at me," I told her, and she followed me as I guided her towards a room. Her body was shaking, still in fear, and I could feel her close to breaking down all over again. 

"Hey, you're going to be fine, alright? You need to calm down, it's all going to be well."

She kept on nodding as she listened to my words coming out of my mouth. Her long brown hair was touching my skin, and it felt weird for some reason. 

We finally arrived at a vacant room, and I let her sit down on the bed. My hands were uncontrollable as they touched her hair, and she kept looking at my fingers. Her breaths became more hitched, and I immediately let go. She kept looking down, her skin getting cold.

"Kirsten?" I asked. "Are you alright?"

She merely nodded and looked at me, her eyes softening at my gaze. I could sense the way she calmed down, as she held me gently, and it felt different.

Just as when I was about to leave, she wrapped her arms around me.

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...

Chapter 2


I feel exhausted. Really exhausted.

I'm feeling weak, and I'm slouching on the chair, watching myself twiddle my thumbs in an unusual speed. My fingers are sweaty, and so is the rest of my body, and I feel sleepy. I want to sleep, and I don't know why

I don't understand myself much today. I'm seriously blank, and I feel confused.

What made me do it? I ask myself that question.

Maybe so much just happened yesterday that I couldn't take in every detail of the stressful event that occured in front of my very eyes. Maybe so much happened yesterday that I didn't have time to sink it all in. Maybe so much happened yesterday that I had an unexpected feeling of confidence and bravery to help that girl, and that it's still bothering me at this very moment.


I remember the girl from yesterday, and I don't get it, really. Who was that girl? What made me want to help her out? 

And to think that what I got through eight hours ago would help me answer that question.

Eight hours ago, I was still at home with Nathan, making breakfast to fill up my roaring stomach. I endlessly flipped the pancakes until Nate snapped me out of my trance.

"Dude! The pancakes are burning," he said. I looked down, and panicked for a second.

"Shit!" I yelled out as I put the pancakes on the plates and gave one to him. We both sat by the table, facing each other, and Nathan started talking.

"So, about yesterday, what happened after you took that crazy girl to a room?" He asked in between noisy chews.

I didn't know why I felt like choking after he called her a "crazy girl". She didn't deserve that at all.

"First of all, she's not crazy. Second of all, nothing much had happened. I just took her to her room, just as usual, and then she suddenly became all silent. I actually got her to calm down."

I felt fine after finishing the sentence, but I felt like I had to include one last detail. No, I shouldn't say it.

I shut my mouth before I could say anything. We continued on eating the pancakes in silence when a door swung open. Turning around, I was glad to see that Natasha had finally arrived.

"Hey, pigs," she greeted as she dropped her bags on the floor upon entering. "How are you doing?"

"Good morning to you too, Nat," I grinned at her as I finished.

"So, any plans for this morning?" She asked us both.

"Plans?" I questioned her, confused.

"You know, before we start work." 

Nathan thought deep, and I could sense how awkward he felt right now. Minutes later, he finally responded.

"I'm in the mood for a sundae," he stated, and it earned him a squeal from Natasha.

"Yes! I'm in!" She started jumping up and down, clearly excited. I could notice Nathan staring at me, trying to tell me something. I wiggled my eyebrows in response to him. 

"How about you, Vincent?" She asked me in a happy manner. I ran around the house to grab some things, and I prepared my uniform just in time. Giving them both a glance, I replied.

"No, thank you. I'll pass for today."


I'm not sure if I really made the right choice.

Just 30 minutes after I came to work, Boss Burton's has been calling me to the office. It might have been something I have done wrong again, and I might have forgotten about it.

"Vincent Jacobs, report to the office immediately."

"Good luck with that, Vincent," Kyla, my co-worker, told me. I rolled my eyes at her and shut my locker, stomping my way towards the office.

As I opened the door, a chuckle welcomed me.

"Well, well, well." A clap followed. "I missed your face, Jacobs," Mrs. Burton said. I rolled my eyes again, feeling annoyed at her greeting. Her appearance hasn't changed, really. The same short curly hair, the same big black belt she loves so much, and the same white blazer she wears all the time. She has thousands of those blazers.

"What do you want, Burton?" I asked through my gritted teeth. She glanced at her nails for a second, and her icy stare came back to me.

"You know why I call my employees to come here at the office, right?"

"Yes, I do," I replied calmly. "Whenever you scold them, praise them, or reward them."

"And in your case, I usually scold you," her hands were pointing at me. I couldn't lie, it was true. But that was before, and I'm just hoping she'll know who I really am now.

"But right now, Vincent, it might be a little different," Mrs. Burton explained before grinning at me in a different way. 


"Different?" I asked, curious. "What's going to be so different about this?"

She leaned back on her chair, her whole body at rest. 

"Well, you know what happened recently, Vincent, right?"

I had no idea of what she was trying to say. "What did?"

This time, she rolled her eyes at me. "Don't play dumb, Jacobs, you know what happened yesterday. You were there."

Yesterday. Kirsten.

"Wait, wait, wait," I blurted out. "Who's taking care of Kirsten right now?"

"And why do you seem so interested all of a sudden?"

I calmed back down again. "Nothing."

"I see," she raised an eyebrow at me. "Anyway, about yesterday, Natasha and Nathan told me about what you did yesterday, and I must say..."

I swallowed.

"I am utterly impressed."

Impressed? It's the first time I've done that.

"Indeed, Vincent. It really is the first time you've done that here, and how long have you been working here?"

I responded. "Two years."

"Two years!" She laughed happily, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to smile at that response. "Well, since you did good yesterday, I have a reward for you."

A reward? Why is everything happening so differently today?

"Well, what is it?"

She removed her happy face and became serious all of a sudden.

"You, Vincent Jacobs, will be in charge of Kirsten Reyes from now on."

Comment Log in or Join Tablo to comment on this chapter...

You might like Trisha Victoria Cutas's other books...