Chapter 1 : Nightmares
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"What?" he asked after a minute of me looking around.
"Just thinking." I answered.
I took a hesitant moment before I answered.
"This has been one of the best nights of my life." My voice shook slightly as I looked into his eyes. We looked at each other for a minute, eyes locked, before he said softly, "Happy birthday, Lacey" and leaned in and kissed me.
I woke up gasping for breath as tears rolled down my face and heavy sobs choked me on their way out of my chest. I reached over and grabbed a tissue from the box on my nightstand. I leaned back against the bed's headboard and looked at the empty place next to me he had occupied so many nights before. But looking and remembering only caused more pain and I quickly closed my eyes. As I tried to quiet myself I couldn't help but wonder how long this would go on for. Every night waking up with different memories of us together; they always brought pain and sorrow with them.
Every time I woke up all the hurt and damage that he had done to me would come flooding back to my mind.
And I had to live with it every second of every minute of every day.
Some memories would have been good if not for the pain of remembring the events that had taken place after. Why had all these memories needed to happen if they were only going to be proven pointless at the end? They weren't useful; they only brought me pain and sorrow whenever they resurfaced. And resurface they did...a lot. Practically all the time now, and it was even worse that I couldn't escape them in sleep.
I shook my head, trying to clear my mind. I was nothing close to pathetic and it's not like I was looking to wallow in sadness for the rest of my life. I wanted to forget him. I wanted to get over the constant thoughts of him and forget every memory he ever gave me. But the post-break up stage is hard for everyone who was in a wonderful relationship and mine had surpassed them all.
After several minutes of sitting propped up against the headboard, I decided that sitting and thinking was not going to be helpful. So I threw off the covers, slid my feet into some slippers, and crept down the hall, down the stairs and into the kitchen. It was slightly chilly in the dead of this winter night and I grabbed one of my dad's jackets off the coat rack by the doorway as I walked in.
One of our house elves came up to me and asked what I'd like. I told him that some hot chocolate would be great and when he asked about whipped cream and marshmallows, I told him both.
I walked over and took a seat on one of the bar stools at the island. The granite countertop was freezing and I buried my hands in my lap. As I exhaled I could have sworn I saw my breath.
Why the hell is it so cold in this freakin' house? I thought bitterly, still trying to release my dream from my thoughts.
Our house elf, Woody, soon brought me a warm cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows and a dash of cinnamon sprinkled on top. I took a deep breath in through my nose as I bent over my cup.
"Mmmmm," I sighed and took a sip. It was still a little too hot to drink so I gently blew on it.
Crap. Left alone with my thoughts again. I lifted a hand from around the mug and rubbed the side of my neck as I looked down at the fluffy white cream atop the chocolate liquid. After a moment of silence I looked up through the large window over the sink. The sky was slightly lighter as it was now four thirty in the morning.
As I looked out the window my eyes glazed a bit and a faint silvery ghost appeared and walked towards the cupboards on my right. A second ghost was suddenly sitting on the countertop smiling broadly at the first, a boy, as he sauntered towards her. My head cocked slightly to the side and my hand slipped from my neck back onto the granite. The boy apparition stood in front of the girl as he wrapped his arms around her torso. She giggled and clasped her hands behind his neck as he kissed her.
I couldn't take it anymore. I blinked a couple times as I fanned the air in front of my face. The silvery figures blew away in the wind of my imagination as my thoughts cleared. I picked up my cup and downed it all in one gulp. As I removed it from my lips I held it in front of my face for a few seconds and then, in a sudden fit of rage, I slammed it down onto the countertop, shattering the frail ceramic cup.
My chest was quivering with each hateful breath I took. I looked down and saw that my hand was cut across my palm.
I cursed to myself as both house elves came rushing in, along with my parents. "Lacey, what the hell is going on in here?" my mom asked me frantically. Her hair was in disarray and she had hastily thrown on a robe over her pajamas.
"My god it's cold down here," my dad commented, and then they saw the smashed cup and my bleeding hand.
"What the hell Lace?" my dad said as he came over and gently took my hand in his. My mom ordered Woody to grab a broom and dust pan.
"It's nothing, I'm fine....I...accidentally hit the cup against the side of the counter and it broke." The lie quickly came to me.
"Geez," my mom said. "Briny", she addressed our second elf, "remind me to order new dishware. Something more solid..."
My dad pulled me by the wrist over to the sink as he turned on the faucet and ran water over my hand. It stung, but once the blood was washed off he grabbed some medical tape and cotton from Briny - she'd left moments before and brought some back with her - and taped up my hand.
"Thanks" I gave them a winning, fake smile. "I'll be more careful next time."
My dad put his arm around my back as we walked toward the doorway, my mom slipping her arm around my other side. We walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs where we said our "goodnights", even though it was morning, and went back to our rooms.
As I walked down my wing of our country villa, I remembered I was wearing my dad's jacket so I turned around, walked back downstairs and hung it up again. I stood for a moment, the faint traces of the silvery figures by the cupboard starting to reappear, and then sharply turned away and ran back up the stairs, two at a time. When I finally reached my bedroom I closed the door behind me and lay down, knowing I wouldn't get back to sleep even with my stomach warm and full from the hot chocolate. I closed my eyes and sighed deeply, happy that, for now, my thoughts were clear.