To my friends who let me do pretty much whatever I want and always support me.
IT was very cold. She couldn't even feel her toes. The moon was shining very bright but that didn't stop the darkness from closing in. She suddenly felt the dirt under her feet slowly eating and digging through her toes even though she wasn't moving. The eerie look of the dead trees in every side and beyond made the setting more terrifying. Now she could make out with her blurry eyes a distorted and amorphous figure not so far from where she was standing eagerly. She took one step forward towards the dark shadow. She wanted to end this once and for all.
"Ysobelle, wake up!" thuds on the door followed.
Her eyelids fluttered open as her body automatically sat up on the bed. She was sweating profusely, as usual.
"Wake up or I'm gon' have to fight with your door and God knows I'm gonna win," her older brother, James, was teasing her with his unusual sense of humor.
"James, you don't have to threaten your sister. And don't brag about your gym-pampered body, the door's made of hard oak," she could also hear her gentle mother, Elizabeth, from the other side of the door and she could only imagine James flexing his biceps with boast.
He's been addicted with gym for almost three months since Amanda Jet and he got back together from their boring on-and-off relationship.
She circled the room with her eyes. Fortunately, nothing was out of the ordinary. She had that feeling of caution for herself since she had that damn repeating dream. It was no different from what she had dreamt the past week. The same setting, the same feeling. Only every time she dreamt about it, it kept getting detailed. Some other things add up and they were still surprisingly fresh from her memories not like the usual dreams when she would never remember a thing when she woke up. The newest detail that had been added up was the mysterious dark figure. She sure didn't know what that meant or who it was. This was certainly a cryptic dream of labyrinth meanings.
Ysobelle wiped her clammy face with her old towel. It was almost December and the cold weather was swiftly approaching yet she would sweat every time she dreamt about that cold and dark place. So weird. She thought maybe she needed to go to a shrink. But of course she couldn't do that-she couldn't find that-and it would be a very ludicrous thing to do. Going to a shrink to analyze her dreams was the last thing she would ever do.
Another bang came to the door which brought her back to her senses.
"Alright, James," she said as she met with her brother's large blue eyes right after she opened the door. "That's too much."
"It's called love, sis," he replied as he took a bite out of a wheat bread with sticky and gooey stuff inside it. "Don't want you to be missing some of your classes."
"I don't think it's called love. I think it's called puberty. Will you snap out of the immature antics? Because if you've got body problems or something, you gotta talk to Dad. Don't pour it all up on my freaking door," she retorted.
"See, Mom? That's why they say she looks a lot older than I am because she speaks like she's forty-five."
"That's enough, James," Elizabeth chastised while washing the dishes.
"Okay--" James grunted as she abruptly closed the door and hit his knee. "Mom, she did it this time."
She secretly grinned while going her way into the bathroom to take a shower.
Ysobelle liked the good things about her nineteen year-old blonde brother, James Dodder. He wasn't boring although sometimes he would make no sense at all. He wasn't hot-tempered and strict. In fact, he wouldn't get mad easily and though at nineteen, he still managed to have great fun and acted childish and boyish at times. And that's why she would tease him that he's still undergoing puberty but because of his wit, he would turn the whole thing around and state that she looks old because she acts old and he looks young because he acts young-only too young for his built.
When she was done with herself, she opened the door only to be greeted by James and Amanda kissing-or should she say eating-each other on the kitchen table no less. Well, at least they weren't actually laying there. Her brother was sitting on the low kitchen table while Amanda was slightly bent over to him and was caressing-or should she say pulling out-his hair.
"This is so awkward," she absent-mindedly said her thoughts out loud causing both to stumble apart and look at her.
"What are you doing?" he gormlessly asked and straightened his wrinkled shirt.
"Oh, well I happen to be perfectly ready for school. Not to mention you forced me to wake up. I took few minutes and swoosh…Mom and Dad's gone," she added a little hand gesture. "The appropriate question is, what are you doing on the kitchen table at eight o'clock in the morning in front of your innocent sister?"
"We were just going," Amanda answered.
She scoffed. "Uh-huh."
Ysobelle really didn't like Amanda since the first time they'd met and now she was facing the indecent reality that she's her brother's girlfriend. Actually, they were kind of super rich. The Jets were known for their wealth and their collection of luxury cars that would drive boys crazier than her. She dressed and looked rich, alright. With her flowing red hair, extremely large front and behind, every boy would stop and steal a look at her assets. It made her seriously annoyed that her stupid brother was just so in love with her. And vice versa, maybe. She hated the fact that when they would break up, James would end up looking sad and blue and pitiful. Not exactly the kind of moods she wanted implanted on her bubbly brother's handsome face.
"Well, then I'm going with you," she said while giving Amanda a hard look.
James looked like he was gonna clout her any minute now for her obvious stubborn behavior.
"You're not going to school without eating a proper breakfast," he said in a stern voice to sound serious.
"Nah, I'm still full from last night's spaghetti," she then gave out an overly-exaggerated belch and tapped her stomach.
"Come on, Ysobelle, don't be too stubborn," he said with a knotted forehead.
"No, it is fine, James," Amanda touched his shoulder in a gentle manner. "Ysobelle can come with us. We can wait till she finishes her breakfast."
"Hey, I was just kidding," she told James and then faced his girlfriend. "I know you don't like me as much as I don't like you for my brother so don't act kind and sweet because it's disgustingly unconvincing."
"Ysobelle," he grimaced.
"It's called love, bro," she used the line he said to her earlier. He was witty and so was she.
She stared at Amanda whose mouth was gaped open. What she said was true. Amanda also didn't like her.
It all started when she was still a freshman and she didn't mean it when one day she spilled soda all over Amanda's Monica Lhullier pants. She went hysterical and wanted Ysobelle to pay for the new pants. Luckily, James came to the rescue and talked her way out of the mess. Amanda flirted and agreed to free her of her so-called debt if James would have a date with her. James that time was so blinded by Amanda's Mercedes McLaren so he willingly agreed. She didn't want to tell the rest.
Amanda swallowed hard. Ysobelle knew she wanted to respond in an equally arrogant way but she couldn't because James was there. If it weren't for his presence, she would have been so obnoxious.
"I think we should go, babe," he finally spoke.
Amanda nodded, still not breaking eye contact.
"Bye, James," she smiled sarcastically bringing disgust in both their faces.
"Sh-she's just having morning sickness. W-well, not that she's pregnant. Let's just, you know, consider the fact that she hasn't eaten breakfast yet," those were the words spoken by James on their way outside that she overheard.
Ysobelle's really, really irritated. That's what she always saw in her brother every time he's with Amanda. He would always try to explain things thoroughly to prevent her from getting furious. It's like she's so sensitive and moody, one would think she's pregnant. James couldn't perfect. She couldn't be perfect. Everybody can say what they want to say so why bother to lie? James was just so dumb. So blind. She clearly wasn't having morning sickness and she would still say how she hated his girlfriend whether she ate breakfast or not.
Eventually, she went outside to go to school when she saw a familiar face. No, actually not just some familiar face. He was Franklin Wells, her boyfriend for almost three weeks.
Frank's signature sleek dark hair was a sight and his playful smile greeted her along with a torrid kiss. "Hey, baby."
"Hey," she smiled. "You know, you just saved me from being late today. Professor Artie doesn't like tardy students."
She hopped in inside his yellow Porsche. He was also very rich like Amanda Jet. A lot of girls liked him but he was picky and she still hadn't quite absorbed how she became his girlfriend without too much hullabaloos.
Actually, she didn't even vividly understand how they became lovers when she didn't even know the feeling of being in love. Of course she liked him. He was her bestfriend before all this. Frank just got the courage to speak up to her three weeks ago then kissed her and from then on, they were always together. Except though for the past few days when he needed to prepare for the football season. He really endeavored to be on the American Football Conference so he'd been very busy which was quite fine with her because she figured she didn't necessarily have to be around him all the time. So, from what she'd observe, her relationship with Frank wasn't as intense as James and Amanda's.