I can feel my brain being split into two. It feels like someone with a chain saw is severing me apart, right down the middle.
My demon and I are being detached, but her desperate claws latch onto my soul. The pain is excruciating. I let out an agonized cry and can feel Evan's warm hands grasping me around my shoulders.
The concern in his voice is palpable but his words are blurred and slow, as if he's talking through a mouthful of tar. I pry my eyes open and the room around me swirls into a hazy mess. Evan's face is somewhere nearby, his voice my only semblance of peace in amongst the chaos.
My demon slashes at my mind, at my soul, and at my body. It feels like sharp knives cutting away at my flesh. I must be spurting blood all over the place and cringe when I think of my warm blood all over Evan's beautiful hands.
An aching moan leaves my lips as my demon severs from my body completely. Her sneers and screams fade into silence. My soul feels empty, so weak without my demon part to sustain her.
It's over. It's all over.
My body quivers uncontrollably, petrified of what will come next. My descent into Hell.
Silence radiates around me and my senses are lost to the game of time. I cannot feel or hear anything. My eyes remain open but all I can see around me is a world of total blackness. My body becomes stiff and rigid as I travel through this state of nothingness.
Am I traveling to Hell?
Or am I already in Hell?
But no, that can't be right. I've been to Hell before. And this is nothing like Hell.
So am I dead?
I think the same questions over and over again in my mind. But none are answered. I continue to travel in this hole of darkness not knowing what is to become of me. The only thing I can see is blackness. And the only thing I can feel is loneliness. The feeling of it is so strong, so deep, that my soul cries out in anguish.
But there's nothing I can do to stop it. It has taken up the empty space in my mind and in my soul. The feeling of loneliness is everywhere.
I am nothing. And I have no one. I am fixated in time.
It feels like years have passed as I continue down my path to nowhere.
But as I travel on my path to nowhere, my eyes see something new. There, in the distance, a faint blue light hums to life. My body has long since given up on moving. Or trying. So when I see the light, I think it must be a figment of my imagination.
As my body draws closer, however, the light becomes brighter and brighter. I try to open my mouth to ask what is out there but my lips remained clamped shut. I try to move my limbs to cover my eyes from the blinding light, but my arms remain immovable at my sides.
And when I'm close enough to this radiant shade of blue, my anxiety peaks as I realize it's not a light at all.
It's an eye - a beautiful blue eye gazing back at me with wonder.
I know that eye.
A second eye emerges, a matching color blue to the first. The pair of them stares back at me and a rush of warmth radiates through every inch of my being. The ever familiar feeling of loneliness inside me is washed away and I bask in the foreign feelings of love, happiness, and security as they trickle into my mind and soul.
My body stops moving when I am mere inches away from the pair of eyes and I can feel my soul smiling. And for some reason I can't quite explain, I know now that I am safe.
And then I remember.
The eyes seem to smile as if hearing my mental thoughts. And then the eyes engulf the entirety of my being. My body is scorched with sizzling heat as all my senses return to me. It's too overwhelming. And then a burst of energy explodes within me as I am pulled back down to a place I know well.
A place I call home.
"Did you get her in time?"
"Yes I think so."
"God, I'm so sorry man. I had no idea…"
The voices around me slowly come into focus. They're both male, I recognize, and both full of concern.
I feel fingers move to the side of my neck. The touch is so warm, so tender.
"Her heart beat is back. But it's weak."
"That's a good sign."
The touch against my neck vanishes. I hear a grunt of pain and then a rustling of movement.
"You okay, man?"
"Just stay with her. I can't be in here right now."
Footsteps pad down a carpeted floor and then a door opens and closes. The soft feeling of warm air treks over my face. My nose detects a masculine scent and I'm comforted by the familiarity of it.
"Stells? C'mon baby, please wake up for me."
The male's voice is just a whisper from my lips, his tone soft and soothing. The feeling of my arms and legs slowly returns. My eyes begin to open of their own accord and Evan's beautiful face adjusts into view.
He gives me a wide smile and leans forward, pressing a gentle kiss on to the tip of my nose. I feel myself grinning at his affection and blood rushes into my cheeks.
"God, Stells. I can't tell you how good it is to see you staring back at me. I was so damn worried about you."
Evan's brows furrow together and I try to lift my fingers up to straighten his brow, but my movement is stopped. I feel so….weak.
"I'm tired," I choke out. "And weak."
Evan nods his head and scrapes a hand down the side of his face. He positions himself next to me and grabs my hand without hesitation. He intertwines our fingers and the warmth of his hand radiates all the way up my arm.
Evan glances out the window and I follow his gaze. My bedroom window is ajar, an ocean breeze dancing through the room. The sound of the waves lapping against the shore purrs in my ears. The sun has just dipped below the horizon, giving way to a blanket of night. Bright stars poke their way through the hypnotizing dark sky and twinkle back at me in unison.
I shift my attention to Evan and do what I can to clear my dry throat.
"W-what happened?" I ask. "How long was I gone?"
"Seven days," Evan says slowly. "And they were the worst seven days of my life. Honest to God, Stella. I thought I'd lost you."
I give my head a wobbly nod and wait for him to tell me more. But he doesn't. Instead Evan just holds my hand, tenderly rubbing his thumb against the top of my hand. Tiny tears prick the corners of his eyes and I look away knowing he won't want me to see him cry.
As we sit here in silence, the memories of what happened come flooding back to me. I remember allowing myself to get into bed with Evan, enjoying his naked body against mine until he finally thrust himself inside me. And it had felt so good. But then my demon -
Where's my demon?
I call out to her inside my mind.
I try again, this time using a foreign tongue that she cannot help but obey.
I don't know why, but a handful of tears start to burn my throat at the realization of her absence. She's gone. And yet…I'm still here. On Earth and not in Hell.
How can that be?
"What happened?" I ask Evan. "Where is she?"
Evan scoots closer to me and loosens his hand from mine. He brings his arm up and drapes it around my shoulders, pulling my body closer to his.
"Where is who, Stells?"
Evan's face contorts as he tries to find the right answer until finally he sighs with defeat.
"Your demon is gone."
"Then how am I still here?"
"Because…..because you were given another chance at life. You're human, Stella."
The news is a shock to me and my body trembles with the truth. Evan speaks to me in gentle tones, breaking down all the facts, and explaining all that happened to make my situation possible. He explains the story again and again until I finally nod my head in understanding.
"So….so I have another chance at life? Another chance at Heaven?"
The news is almost too good to be true. Evan nods his head in confirmation and gives me a warm smile.
"You do, Stells. And with that life, you have a choice. A choice to what you want….and to be with whomever you want."
Evan says the last sentence under his breath. He looks away from me and his breathing starts to stagger. I cuddle in closer to him and am about to reassure him but am stopped when my bedroom door flings open.
My heart skids to a halt as I take in the gorgeous man before my eyes. His tousled blonde hair hangs around his face and his blue gaze burns into me. I refuse to blink in fear that he will fade away.
Tears start streaming down my face as the realization sinks in. He's here, in the flesh. And he came back. He came back for me.