Eating my cereal, I sighed, pushed the bowl away and studied the soggy loops quietly. I tapped my black fingernails on the table and began to let myself drift into my own world of thought. My thoughts were interrupted by a shriek upstairs. A million thoughts ran through my head as that shriek broke the silence. The shriek that would change my world. The one that must have come from my mother… my only living parent. I ran to the stairs, my socks slipping on the polished wooden floor. I conquered the steps two at a time and clawed my way towards my mother room. The door flew open, on its own, and all hell was revealed. I had arrived just in time to see her… running the jagged remains of her fingernails downward across her eyes, scraping away nerves and pulling away fragments of white eye residue. The blood flowed slowly at first and I watched in horror as the slow flow, turned into a red river streaming from what was left of her eyes. She was blinded by her own blood and began to thrash about wildly. She fell to her knees, throwing back her head and screamed insanely as the blood washed back into her brain. The carpet around her was soiled by her own red blood. As she thrashed, she hit her head on the ledge of her dresser, letting it take out a chunk of her skull, as well as the skin that was over it. Blood flows steadily out of her mouth now. Before long Mother would choke on her own blood. Only to end her life slowly and sorrowfully. This was two years ago. Mother had suffered from a “bizarre” mental illness called The Cotard Delusion. It usually went hand in hand with schizophrenia. It gave the person who had it, delusional thoughts of being “immortal” or that they were already dead. She cut. She stabbed. She abused herself to the point where I was on my own. It’s been this way ever since my father died on a dysfunctional amusement park ride four years ago. My sister, Amelia happened to be on the ride with him. My life has been a dark storm in the valley of death. That’s how I put it anyway. Doctors say I may turn out like my mother… insane. I hope I will be able to fight it, if it happens to me of course; I want to hold on to my sanity. Even though my life is dark and doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I might still have some purpose.
I’m 15 now. I have a decent education and live with my Aunt Beth and Uncle David in Durango, Colorado. It’s the first day of freshman year at the moment. “Alex!” I heard Beth yell. I ignored her. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. She called me repeatedly in her annoying squeaky voice. “Alexandra Rose Dover!” She yelled. I sighed, got up and slid down the banister of my Aunt and Uncle’s ancient farmhouse. “What do you want?” I shot at her with a hint of attitude in my voice. “The bus… it’s here…” She said cautiously. I grabbed my back pack and brushed past her, heading towards the door. I ran down the steps and let the screen door slam shut behind me. The gravel crunched under my feet as I ran down the driveway. I stepped on the bus and everything became silent… heads turned… but… when I walked… They avoided eye contact… Was I the freak now? The ticking time bomb..? No. No. Alex. Shut up. Don’t think that…. You aren’t a time bomb… or… are you? “YES”, hissed a voice... “Time is ticking darling… tick… tock…. Times almost up…. I heard a bell ring and I gasped. I snapped out it to find the bus driver tapping me on the shoulder. “Take a seat..?” ….”Uh, yes… uh… sorry..” I found a seat near the front and looked out the window. The day lagged on, the sky darkened and rain came. I took advantage of the cool day and walked home in the drizzle. After three school changes because of bullying… I wondered if I’d ever get a friend… The drizzle matted my blonde hair to my face… I splashed through a puddle and then turned around to see myself…. Looking down into that puddle… it made me think. I do look a lot like my mother. Long blonde hair… naturally pale skin… icy blue eyes….. we had always had the same eye color… it was very noticeable, the bright, colorful blue… then… to my suprize, tears came. Tears splashed one by one into the puddle. The tears made my eyes blur, so I closed them, I felt the small drops run down my face. I wiped them away with the back of my hand. I opened my eyes a bit and everything had a pink tint… “What… the…” I looked the back of my hand to see it covered in streaks of blood…. Blood… eyes… I covered my eyes in a panic and rushed in the direction I was supposed to be heading. I took two steps before crashing into something soft.. but sturdy… Startled, I opened my eyes.. nothing was blurred.. nothing was pink… there was no blood.. I was okay.. But what- “Hey.. you alright…? I looked up, obviously startled again. “Uh.. Yes.. no.. I mean… “ I couldn’t find words… this guy… he was breath taking.. ! He brushed his shaggy black hair from his face and smiled a bit.. you could see concern in his eyes.. They were soft… dark brown… gorgeous…”You sure… what’s your name…?” He said softly. “ It’s…. Alex.. er… Alexandra… “ “I’m Caleb…” He smiled and nodded toward his outstretched hand… I realized he was looking to shake hands… Smiling sheepishly, I took his hand softly and shook it…. He was… warm… but.. something about him.. it.. made me sad. “Where do you live, can I walk you home?’’ I told him where I lived and we walked to Aunt Beth’s house together. We talked about our interests and it turns out, we have a lot in common. We both are in love with the same bands and planned to meet up in the morning. I was about to go up the porch steps but he grabbed my hand, I turned back and looked at him… his eyes… his dark brown eyes… He smiled… he had the most perfect charming smile you could ever see. “I had fun… “ He whispered. He kissed me briefly on the cheek and then turned and left… he left so fast… it was like he was never there… I walked inside in a daze… this guy… wow. I let the porch door slam shut behind me and Aunt Beth was standing there, as if waiting for me. Confused, I looked at her and said, “What…? What are you doing standing there?”. She shook her head and walked away, refraining from starting an argument. “Kay?” I said softly. I climbed the steps to my room and let my back pack fall to the floor upon entering. I lay on my back on my bed and watch my ceiling swim with the dips and turns of the paint. Each stroke must have been unique… unique… just like Caleb. He was gorgeous.. there was no denying that… his hair as dark as the night. I could’ve looked into those brown eyes for hours. He was perfect. There’s no better way to put it. It seemed almost too good to be true. The last thing on my mind before I fell asleep was Caleb. I felt breath on my neck, warm even breathing. I turned over to see Caleb. How did he get here? A brief smirk played across his lips. I started at his smile. This wasn’t the sweet smile I’d seen before.. it seemed… different, scary. “Let me keep you.” He whispered. His warm breath tickled my face. That smile faded to a frown, he then leaned in and touched his lips to mine. It was a moment of pure bliss. My head was flooded with thoughts of love. My heart beat quickened. Then a sharp pain. A knife. A knife in Caleb’s hand. A knife in my stomach. He pulled his lips from mine. There was blood dripping from his lips that must’ve come from my mouth. I coughed. Blood spewed from the open wound. The room grew darker and I felt myself fall from the bed to the floor. I saw Caleb, his mouth twisted into a horrid grin. Everything went black.
I woke drenched in my own sweat. I was terrified… How could something that seemed so perfect end up like that. I tried to get myself to calm down. I sat up in bed and turned on the light on my bedside table and my eyes studied every corner of the room. My heart was pounding… I could feel its heavy beat in my chest. With every thud it seemed to grow faster. My heart beat got louder.. I could hear it in my ears. The clock that sat next to the lamp seemed to speed up. My head whirled, my vision blurred in and out. I struggled to get up. I needed my pills. My balance was terrible and I tripped my way to the bathroom. My hands searched for the cabinet and finally found it. I opened it and grabbed the fourth bottle of pills. My hands struggled getting the cap off. I dumped 4 pills into my hand, took one and dumped the rest back into the bottle. I used the counter to steady myself and I gazed into the mirror at my shaky reflection. My reflection was blurry at first but it improved. I turned my gaze from my reflection to the counter. I turned the water on and splashed some water on my face. I looked back up into the mirror and looked at myself. I looked frail. Delicate. Breakable. I had bags under my eyes, and I looked paler than usual. My vision blurred again and I felt a tear drop from my eye. Water works?... oh not again please… I wiped the tears and access water from my face and then looked back into the mirror. A black figure stood behind me… about 6, 1”… His eyes.. he didn’t have eyes, but yet I could still feel his gaze on me. Hatred filled the room. I was frozen, I couldn’t move, I was utterly terrified! I closed my eyes tight and opened them. It was gone. I turned to go for the door and there it was. I found myself looking straight into the black abyss of its face. The hatred in its non-existent eyes burned into mine. He brought his hands, which had ominous, long, pointy fingers, up to my neck and grabbed it. The points of his fingers dug into my neck as it squeezed harder. I couldn’t breathe. I reached up, trying to pull them off, but my hands slipped through them, as if there was nothing there. I squeezed my eyes shut in fear that they’d pop right out of my skull. I felt my body get numb and the commotion around me faded. I collapsed to the ground and everything went black. My mind swam with thoughts of Caleb… the monster… my mother… I did hear things… My heavy heart beat was still in my ears. Why was this happening to me. Am I dead? Am I something worse than dead? What’s worse than dead, Alex? “Lots of things..”, a voice whispered. I forced my eyes open, and to my surprise, I wasn’t on the floor… wasn’t gasping for breath.. I was staring in the mirror at my own reflection. The girl spoke again, “Lots, and lots of things my dear.” How the hell? My own reflection, talking to me? “Insanity.”, she whispered, with an edge in her voice. The light went out and I rushed out of the bathroom. I kept my gaze straight as I headed for my room. Without another backwards glance, I jumped into bed and pulled the silky comforter over my head, My breathing became even and my heartbeat slowed over time, I could no longer here the pounding in my ears as blood was pumped through my veins. The tick of the clock on my bedside table was my lullaby, as I drifted off to sleep. I dreamt of nothing that night, surprisingly. The next morning dragged on. The whole week as well… Caleb didn’t meet me like he was supposed to. He never showed up. There was no sign of him that whole week…. Or the whole month. Days grew colder and shorter. My life became dark again. It seemed as if the light at the end of the tunnel had burnt out. I didn’t have many friends or many conversations with anyone. I was alone. My aunt and uncle never said much to me either, just brief quiet conversations. I was in my room one night, writing. It was growing dark outside and the porchlight from below were the only means of luminance in my front yard. My eyes wandered, inspecting every detail of the yard… The bare trees blowing in the wind. A few white specs caught my eyes and I realized it was snowing. The first snow of winter. My writing continued through the night and the snow had stuck and outside was like a whole nother world…. A frost bit wonderland. I closed my notebook for the night and slipped on some cute pink pajama pants my mom had given me before she died.. They were too big then, now they seemed to fit perfectly. I was just drifting off into a slight sleep when I heard something hit my window. I ignored it, assuming it was the wind and tried to go back to sleep. Another loud noise against the window. Giving in, I pulled the covers back and made my way to the window. A black figure stood in front of my porch, the bright porch light casting a long black shadow behind the person. The figure lifted up its arms and pulled down its black hood. The pale face suddenly became familiar…. Caleb! He smiled at me and motioned for me to come outside. My hands closed around my hoodie and I slipped it on as I ran downstairs. I closed the screen door quietly behind me as I stepped outside in my black moccasins. I ran out to him and pulled me into a tight embrace. He explained to me that he had gone away for awhile because of problems with his family, he didn’t specify what exactly… and he seemed to avoid the subject. We sat on the porch, talking about everything… by everything I mean everything under the sun. I was growing colder and colder by every conversation.. But of course I didn’t mind, this guy had grown to be everything. Everything I’d ever wanted. My other half, or perfect match…. Or so it seemed. He got up and told me he had to leave. I rose from the porch and watched him walk away so abruptly. His random realization that he had to go, upset me. I frowned and balled up some snow and launched it right at the back of his head. The snow ball exploded into small snow fragments as it crashed into the back of Caleb’s head. He stopped walking, turned around and glared at me. I started to apologize, but a swift snowball to the thigh shut me up. Soon, the snow was flying. I packed the perfect snowball and whipped it at him just as he started charging me. Caleb dodged it with ease and then grabbed me, and pulled me into a tight embrace. We rocked back and forth as sort of a natural movement. I felt his hand move from my waist to my chin. He softly guided my chin up and pressed his lips to mine. My mind immediately flashed back to seeing him with my blood on his lips. I pushed that from my mind and held him tighter. That kiss seemed to last forever, and hell, I didn’t mind! Suddenly, I felt like we were falling. I pulled away just in time to watch our reflection in the window as we fell into a pile of snow. We both started laughing. I had fallen right beside him, my hand rested on his chest. He whispered to me, his warm breath tickling my face. Unheard whispers, that didn’t need to be heard. My gaze turned to the stars above and Caleb’s eyes followed. “They’ll never be as beautiful as you…” He whispered his sweet voice like music. I smiled and looked up at him. All the stars reflecting off of his gorgeous eyes. I mentioned to him about having to leave. He suddenly remembered and looked at a black watch, which was secured around his wrist. He immediately got up and pulled me up with him. Without another word, he walked off. My Aunt’s house was almost a mile back into a thick forest. I dusted the snow off my clothes and looked down. Caleb’s black watch rested in the snow. I picked it up and ran in the direction he had went. I slowed down as I ran out of breath and pushed my way through the thick brush. I began to pick up the pace. Once I caught my breath. He couldn’t have gone far! I dodged tree branches and ducked under fallen logs. One log was too low to go under, so I tried jumping it. My first foot cleared it but the second got caught and caused my top half to plummet towards the ground. The last thing I saw was a rock protruding from the snow.
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