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Chapter 2 : Dreaming
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Beautiful chapter image by emmapotter @tda :D
I woke up the next morning in a panic, frantically assessing my surroundings and trying to figure out when exactly I had been kidnapped from my normal inhabitance at school. Survival instincts kicking in, my eyes immediately darted to my nearest escape routes: the window and the door. In an instant I decided that the window would be my best bet, as the door would most likely attract the attention of my abductor and put me in the position to have to battle it out with him. However in that case, my badass, mega, ninja-skills as a yellow-belt in karate would finally come into good use after all these years! The fact that I found that exciting was kind of unsettling.
What was even worse was the disappointment that swept over me once I realized that I was, in actuality, in the comfort of my father’s flat. What kind of sick human being am I?
As the effects of my adrenal-induced mood quickly dissipated, I, rather sluggishly, rolled out of my bed and flopped onto the floor with a loud bang. Good one Spence, that really hurt. After that fiasco was over and done with, I stared at the ceiling for a good fifteen minutes, trying to find the will to stand. My Jedi powers were inconveniently not cooperating and out of commission; I was unable to levitate myself as planned so I had to do it the old-fashioned way: get off my lazy arse. Dejectedly, I picked myself off the floor and got ready for the day ahead of me. And when I was finally presentable, I made my way into the kitchen.
“Morning,” I mumbled as I poked my head into the pantry. My eyes evaluated the array of unhealthy, sugary, cereals my father kept in the flat-much to my mother’s distaste-and thought long and hard on which I was in the mood for. Sad isn’t it when your biggest decision of the day is what you’ll be eating for breakfast? After long deliberation, today’s lucky winner was Cocoa Pebbles.
My dad grunted in response to my greeting, too consumed in a Batman comic book (no, not the newspaper, yes, a comic book) to form actual, coherent words. After retrieving a bowl from the cabinet, I hunted through the draws for a spoon (which was much more difficult than it should have been being that my dad is deficient in organization skills and insists on dispersing silverware throughout the kitchen). When I finally had the correct tools, I settled into a comfy chair at the table and ate my cereal in silence, not wanting to disturb my dad from the enduring mayhem in Gotham City.
After a few minutes, I couldn’t stand the stillness any longer so I brought my attention to the back of the Cocoa Pebbles box. There was a collection of word games and puzzles that the designers cleverly put there for people like me who get bored easily. But being that I’m seventeen rather than seven, I completed them at a rate much too fast to occupy me long enough while I ate. So I counted how many corners the ceiling had. But it wasn’t very satisfying because there were only five; it didn’t give me much to do. Then I began counting the number of tiles on the table but stopped; there were too many. This was getting out of hand. Curse me and my A.D.D.! (I don’t really have A.D.D. but it’s times like these when I think that when I was little my pediatrician accidentally mixed up my test results with some kid that actually possessed an attention span).
Hoping that I had made at least some progress, I glanced down at my bowl and to my dismay saw that I had only made a small dent in my cereal. That can’t be right, I thought. I’ve been eating for, like, five minutes straight! I always knew I was a slow eater by the comments I received from others but I never realized the severity of my condition before now. Maybe that’s something I should get checked out…
Nonexistent A.D.D. kicking in, my thoughts abruptly drifted from my inability to eat at proper speed to the conversation I had with my dad in the car on the way home from King’s Cross. How he had looked, what he had said to me:
“So did you hear?” he asked impatiently, interrupting my long-ass monologue on how my school year had gone (even I was getting tired of it so I wasn’t offended or anything). I could tell by his sudden outburst that something was on his mind; he had been fidgeting throughout the entire car ride and he always got antsy like that when he needed to get something off his chest.
“No, what?” I asked nervously. Butterflies began to populate my stomach and create a commotion. God, they’re spastic little things considering that they don’t even exist. But I had every right to be anxious; whatever it was was obviously bothering him. And my dad’s a pretty easy going guy so it had to be something big if it worried him so much.
“You’re mum has a new bloke,” he spat bitterly. Oh, this was bad. It wasn’t exactly a secret that my dad still had feelings for my mum after all these years, though he would never admit it; no matter how obvious it was. And he and I, we never talked about it. But I knew. Every time she met someone I could see how it resurfaced all of the hurt he had tried to bury from the divorce. It just killed him to see her happy with another man. But at the same time, it’s not like he hadn’t had his fair share of girlfriends over the years; it just always upset him how she was so clearly fine without him while he was visibly wilting in her absence.
“Really? Are you sure?” I tried to act surprised but I really wasn’t. She usually went through an assortment of men pretty quickly but regardless I hoped I sounded convincing for his sake. Although I was shocked that he had heard before I did. Yeah had been at school and all, but she normally told me these kinds of things before my dad got wind of them.
“Yep. It’s Facebook official,” He gripped the steering wheel tighter, turning knuckles white.
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it being on Facebook was a pretty big deal. Only her serious relationships made it there while the brief flings were left unmentioned (I know that sounds pretty bad but my mum’s not a slut, I swear!). I didn’t have a Facebook; only old people who were born in the twentieth century had them these days. The craze kind of died out after 2011. That would explain why my dad knew and I didn’t (he should make a career out of his Facebook stalking; he’s a pro) but you would think that my mum would have the decency to at least mention it to me. I mean, why wouldn’t she? *Gasp* Maybe they were getting married and she wanted to tell me in person. But what would be the rush? They couldn’t have been going out very long…Oh God, what if she got pregnant and because he’s chivalrous he agreed to marry her for the sake of their unborn spawn! Oh my God, that better not be the case because I’ve gone seventeen years not having to share my shit with anyone and I am not starting now.
As I was inwardly panicking I saw my dad looking at me from the corner of his eye. Crap, he’s waiting for me to say something. Pull yourself together, act normal. “That, uh, really sucks. I’m sorry, dad.” I wasn’t really sure what else to say. I was originally considering the whole therapist approach with “And how does that make you feel?” but thought against it.
My dad’s expression contorted into something really odd that probably only clinically insane people get caught wearing. “Sorry? Why are you sorry? Don’t be sorry, there’s no reason for you to be sorry. It’s not like I’m upset or anything.” Uh-huh. Clearly. “Me upset about her finding someone that apparently meets her needs more than I ever did. Ha! That’s a laugh! You ever thought about taking up a career in comedy, Spence? That’s some good material you’ve got there.” His laugh that followed was unnecessarily loud as if to emphasize how funny and absurd he thought it was.
Oh, how awkward, I’m witnessing my dad have a mental breakdown. Anyone see any turtles? “Um thank you…I think.” I didn’t want to dig any deeper in fear of my dad’s sanity taking another fatal plunge but I needed to know. “Do you have any idea who this guy is?”
“Well, why not?” I demanded. I thought this guy was supposed to be good at finding information he had no right knowing. What kind of online stalker is he anyway? Evidently, not a very good one…
“Your mother didn’t tag the stupid git,” he snapped, clearly not pleased with my implication that he’s inept in the creeper department.
She didn’t what? “In English, dad.” He was constantly forgetting that I don’t speak a word of Facebook lingo.
“She didn’t include his name in her relationship status update.” he clarified impatiently. He always got frustrated when I didn’t get what he was talking about in regard to Facebook.
“Dad, do you honestly blame me for not knowing what you’re bloody talking about? I mean Facebook has been on the outs for, like, ten years.”
“IT’LL MAKE A COMEBACK!”
And so that was that. We didn’t discuss the subject of my mum’s new beau again and as far has I could tell it was long forgotten, for the moment at least. We spent the rest of the ride debating whether or not Facebook or any of the other social networks that were once “hip” would be revived anytime soon. Although he begs to differ, I honestly doubt that a comeback is in the realm of possibilities. (And in case you didn’t know, they had a lot of these social network sites: Facebook, Twitter, Formspring, Tumblr. Seriously, did they ever go outside back then?)
After what felt like forever but was only a few minutes, I finished eating my cereal and I put my bowl and spoon away in the dishwasher. I looked over at my dad whose eyes were still glued to his comic book. I just don’t get him sometimes; he has probably read that issue a hundred times and yet he still hangs on every word, caught up the in the suspense. But whatever, he’s weird; in his mind people can virtually poke one another.
I collapsed on the couch in the living room and stared at the wall wondering if I should call my mum. Why, you ask? First off I wanted to see if she would tell me about her new boyfriend (I keep saying “new” but for all I know they could have secretly been going steady since I last saw her during Christmas). And secondly, if she decided to be a prat and not confess right away, I wanted to drop hints to let her know that I’m already aware of her mysterious relationship. But I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the wrong way to go about it. I was going to see her in a few days anyway as I was scheduled to stay at her place for a week only to be shipped back here and then return again (the rewarding lifestyle of a divorced couple’s offspring). She’ll probably tell me then; I might even get to meet him which, in case you’re wondering, doesn’t bother me the slightest. Never had I ever had a problem before with the blokes my mum dated because they were extremely polite and very classy. Mum has considerably good taste in men. Only my dad doesn’t think so; in his mind every single one of her past boyfriends is phony and the scum of the earth. But my mum doesn’t say any better about the women he comes home with. According to her, they’re all scarlet women he paid to be his girlfriends to make her jealous. But I’m not so sure about that (the scarlet women part, that is, he’s totally trying to make her jealous) because he once dated someone for a year and a half and I don’t think he has enough money to compensate someone for that long…
My dad poked his head into the living room, interrupting my thoughts. “I’m heading out to work in a minute or two. I should get back at around six so we’ll skip dinner and go have that ice cream I promised you instead. Sound good, pumpkin?”
Did I mention how awesome my dad is? “Leaving the flat to myself so I can have all of the sex and drug deals I want in peace and get to have the oh-so-nutritious meal of ice cream when you return? I like your style, old man.”
“Just as long as you don’t burn the house down.” He smiled, knowing that I was joking. Well, half joking really; I was particularly thrilled about the ice cream bit.
“See you later, love.”
I don’t know how long I was sitting on the couch when I fell asleep. I had been thinking about my mum and dad and their complicated relationship when my eyes suddenly felt heavy. The sensation came out of nowhere; I wasn’t even aware that I was so tired. I couldn’t even fight it. With absolutely no energy left in my body, I soon felt myself drift far away…
Once again, I found myself in Wonderland. Only this time something was wrong. Very wrong.
The crowd of people was in a panic, rushing past me frantically in the same direction as if something or someone was after them. Some were even disappearing on the spot. I looked around to see the source of the alarm but couldn’t see over the heads of those around me. Hands pushed at my back and I was launched forward into the person in front of me. Before I could even register what had happened I was caught in the chaos, forced in between the others around me. I tried to separate myself from the mayhem but was too small and frail to push myself through the bodies that surrounded me and into safety.
“Spencer?!” a voice called. His voice. My heart pounded fiercely at the sound. “Spencer where are you?”
“I’m here!” I called back in return, not able to see him. My voice was shaking; I was just so scared. I needed him with me, holding me in his arms, and telling me that everything would be alright. My heart ached for him and it hurt knowing how close he was but not being able to see him. “I’m right here, James!”
“I’m coming, Spencer! I’ll be right there!” He sounded so worried, so broken. I knew exactly how he felt; I was crumbling from within.
I faced the direction that his voice came from, trying to spot him amongst the crowd. I held my breath as the seconds passed with still no sign of him. What if he had gotten attacked; trampled? I wouldn’t be able to cope if anything were to harm him. “James?” I silently prayed for his safety and that he would find me as I screamed his name over and over again, my throat becoming raw from attempting to get myself heard over the noise the mass havoc created. And to my absolute horror he didn’t respond.
I had never felt so lost, so powerless. I was almost like a rag doll the way I was being thrown around so easily. People were too close for comfort and the only one I really wanted to be near me was too far away. I was lost in the shuffle, never to be found. He wasn’t coming; something bad had happened to him. I didn’t want it to be true but the notion kept running through my mind, taunting me. I almost believed it.
But then I saw him-his hair to be more accurate. It was sticking all over the place as usual and just the sight of its untidiness comforted me. I could breathe again. Just by watching I could tell he was using all of the strength his muscled body could muster to weave through the crowd; it was a difficult task but he was making steady progress. I called his name again so that he would realize that he was getting closer to me; that he had almost made it. I counted the seconds until his face finally came into view, shoving through the sea of bodies and I saw the relief that swept over his features when our eyes looked; an expression that undeniably mirrored mine.
I felt like I was going to cry. I didn’t realize it was possible to feel so much emotion, so much love, for one individual person. All I had ever known was the strange and complicated relationship between my parents: the failed marriage, years of endless pining, other relationships created purely out of spite. That wasn’t love. I don’t know what that was but it wasn’t love. But this, what I had with James, was. I could feel it within me as my heart accelerated when his extended hand got closer to mine. We were reaching for one another, getting closer, our hands nearly touching-
There was a knock on the door.
My eyes flew open releasing me from my dream. Well that was weird. Why did I keep dreaming about that boy? James Potter. That was the second time in two days time and I wasn’t positive why. I was certain we had never encountered one another in real life before so why would I dream of him? I wasn’t even sure where we even were in these dreams but I knew it was somewhere secret, somewhere magical as crazy as that sounds. It was very odd. But man, did I have a bloody fantastic imagination or what? I should publish a fucking book; become a best-selling author! Become rich and famous and-
There was another knock on the door. Oh, right…I guess I should go get that…
I lifted myself off of the couch and yelled “Coming!” as I ran over to the door. Of course me being well, me, I stumbled on various objects along the way, nearly causing myself injury. I should really get myself checked out; it simply can’t be normal for one to be such a safety hazard.
I opened the door and standing on the other side was Danny Greco. He was about nineteen years old, lived a few doors down from me and made it his life mission to annoy the shit out of me.
I tried to be as polite as possible when I sighed "What do you want, Danny?"
He raised his arm and leaned his elbow against the door frame. I don't know if he was trying to be sexy or something, but it wasn't working. "Same thing as always, beautiful." He wiggled his eyes suggestively at me. This is sexual harassment, right? "Your rack, by the way, looks glorious this fine morning-"
"Pig," I muttered as I shut the door in his face.
Rolling my eyes, I made my way back to the couch and just when I sat down, there was another knock on the door. I exhaled loudly and began making my way to the door.
"No, Danny," I called as I walked, "for the umpteenth time: I will not go out with you, I will not sleep with you, and I will not show you my boobs so why don't you just fuck off-"
When I finally reached the door, I threw it open; only to be floored by what was on the other side: tall, untidy black hair, brown eyes, and an enchanting smile. Standing before me was not Danny Greco, but the boy who, for the past two days, had been haunting my dreams: James Potter.
Please review! Sorry that James didn't come in until towards the end; I hope that wasn't disappointing. I just wanted you all to get acquainted with Spencer and her life since she's the main character and all. I hoped you liked it :D
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