I shot my eyes open and gasped, staring at the dim lit ceiling. The same tears from the different scene rolled down my cheeks, some settled upon the set of my full, rose lips and others landed on my white, feather pillow-which felt damp pressed up against my skin.
Warily, I glanced around me- still gasping- struggling to locate the chaos I had just witnessed, only a few moments ago. The walls which surrounded me were a pale lilac, scattered with posters of various sizes, the small, portable television which sat upon a small, wooden, pale desk was where it should be. My large, bulky oak desk was pressed up against a wall beside the radiator; it held an assortment of pencils, pens, notebooks, sketchbooks and a 700 paged book of mine. It all looked as it should be, normal, familiar.
Hadn’t I just been in hell?
I imagined it all? Was it just a dream, a nightmare? Yes, surely a nightmare, a disgusting, vile, repulsive nightmare that was now burned into the back of my eyelids.
Though I was aware of the imagination, made up scenario, I felt a hunger from deep within that persuaded me of the trueness of it.
I forced myself to accept that it could not be true, yet it was, was it?
It was just a dream after all. But it did seem real.
As I pondered the whirlpool of thoughts-which flooded my mind- my shallow, gasps of panic gradually returned back to their natural, even pattern. The same however, could not be said for the tears- which continued to flow.
I stared blankly at the shade of the skin that was exposed from the blanket I was wrapped in, I’d noticed that the pale grey which had once been present earlier, had turned into the colour olive.
‘The sun would make an appearance today then’, I thought.
I glanced up to the source of the light, the window, and saw a blinding beam of white in the form of a circle shine through the lilac curtains. Ugh. Bring on the rain and wind I’ve always said, have some adventure and unpredictability added to the mix of life.
“Jess!” a familiar voice echoed.
I wondered whether it was wise to respond.
“Do you want to be late?” it accused. “You’re always bothering me on how I’m getting up late!” “Looks like I’m not the only one around here that’s lazy, huh”, she giggled-I could imagine the way she’d roll her eyes as she said that.
I let out a deep huff of a sigh and loosened the hold of my stiff, tingling arms which were wrapped around my legs, breaking free of the loose ball I’d created.
“I’m coming in,” the voice said from behind the pale, wooden door of my room.
“No,” I protested. “I’ll meet you in the kitchen, downstairs,” I croaked.
My voice was somehow sounding strange, but I doubted that she could’ve noticed.
“Are you ok darling? You don’t sound too good,” mum stated.
A cool waft blew in as she opened the door-which creaked ever so slightly in the process. She gazed down at the heap under the blanket-me- and sighed as she tried to assess the situation I was in.
She slowly bent her knees and knelt down beside my bed; she reached out and gently pressed the back of her cold hand against my forehead. I shivered slightly at the touch-maybe the heat of the fire wasn’t just a product of my mind then.
“You’ve got a temperature”, she muttered. “I think, it would be best if-”
“No! No, I’m fine. I’ll go to school”, I interrupted in a moan.
Her lips curved down, concern creased her face, pulling her ash blonde, shaped thin eyebrows down.
“I’m keeping you here. No arguing! ,” she said sternly.
Usually I would take any opportunity given to me which would result in missing school-sometimes even faking illnesses-today however was completely different.
I needed to leave the horrifying dream behind me. I’d never quite had a dream like that, which was so, so vivid. I had once dreamt of something uninteresting, boring, but to have to see the dream to become a reality, raised goose bumps on my arms. Without a doubt, I knew there was only one thing I could possibly do. It meant burying the dream deep within my mind, to avoid any similarities which related to it in any form-I shared a house with my mother, so it was such an obvious statement to make that there wasn’t a possibility I could avoid her.
Only a few seconds had passed during the time I got lost within the depths of my own thoughts. I lifted my dizzy head up from my pillow and looked at her face. I shifted my gaze from her chin, to her button, emerald eyes-which were intently locked on my face, a hint of a smile was playing on her lips, pulling them up at the slightest degree-and bored my suddenly intense eyes into hers, holding them there.
“Please,” I pleaded.
I held our eyes locked on each other’s for a few brief moments and looked down at my hands that were clasped together- making the knuckles bone white, also noticing how poorly looking my nails were.
“O-okay?” she stuttered.
I could do that to any person, and would have the same effect as it did with my mum. I would look them in the eyes-which would stay secure, lost in mine, all the while a blank, mindless expression would play on their face-, and state roughly of what I wished. I couldn’t understand how and why it worked.
There were some flaws-for which I wasn’t surprised. It wasn’t of some great spooky power, it didn’t last long, perhaps 40 seconds if I were lucky, they would become aware of reality, breaking the hold my eyes had upon theirs; they became disorientated and confused as to what had passed. They needed to be in my line of sight, and able to see my eyes.
I rarely used my “ability”, as there was nothing I really needed as to go to such lengths to get it. I was content on pretty much everything I had. Family, safety, that’s what truly mattered to me-though, it was quite nice to have things out of money every once in a while. Surely if it was something I did regularly someone would notice, they’d notice how odd I was... I already knew I was a freak; I didn’t need some other person to clarify that.
Once again, lost in my thoughts, I was only vaguely aware of my mother’s mumbling questions which were directed at me.
“WH-what.” “ Wh. Why. What just happened? Everything just went...”
I just shrugged, unable to give an answer.
“Huh, well I guess I could’ve imagined it then. Huh. That was weird”, she muttered to herself in a whisper.
I won’t do it again, if it meant her being frightened.
“See you in the kitchen”, she mumbled as she got up and backed out of my room, fumbling for the door handle and closing it behind her.
I listened to my mother’s fading footsteps as she descended down the, creaky, carpeted stairs- it helped to calm myself, it prevented the inevitable panic attack. I closed my eyes- still under the blanket on top of my single bed- and took three long, calming deep breaths to steady myself.
As I reopened my eyes, I glanced at the large circular clock- that was pinned up against the wall opposite my bed-and registered the time-8:20am. I shot out of bed-noticing the uncomfortable sensation felt in my hands and feet...pins and needles- frantically searched around my tiny room to find my school satchel bag, which I’d packed the night previous.
“Oh great!” I mumbled sarcastically.
School was 8:30am and I had yet to have a shower and get dressed...
“No, there’s no time for a shower,” I told myself, glancing at the clock once more.
Not bothered about creating a mess, I flung the doors of my wardrobe open, pulled every draw out and searched for my white blouse, short green tie, black fitted jumper and black trousers-which resembled my school uniform.
Unable to find my trousers, I sprinted down the stairs, along the corridor-stumbling over a few times-and headed towards the living room. There I found a large, navy basket filled to the rim with folded, dark clothes.
I knelt down beside the basket, and as I threw the clothes out on the carpeted, green floor, mum came in the room, “Jess! Don’t make such a mess! I folded them yesterday! You’ll crease them!”
“I haven’t got time! I’m late! I’ll sort it out when I get home later.”
She shook her head and walked out.
Trousers in hand, I raced back through the corridor and up the stairs. Diving onto my bed, I yanked them on and picked up a pair of socks which lay on the floor beside the dismantled drawers of my wardrobe.
I pulled the drawer of my desk open, rummaged around and found the item I desired. I forced the hairbrush through my brittle, dark brown hair-cursing when encountering a particularly stubborn knot. I dropped the brush, not bothering to look where it landed.
Approaching the long, thin mirror- attached to the door of my wardrobe- I briefly glanced at my reflection, checking my eyes in particular. I sighed in relief when I noticed that my eyes had returned back to normal, well almost. The strange intensity from earlier had almost entirely disappeared, there was however an unmistakable, deep sadness locked within them.
I shook my head slowly-as if to shake the thoughts away- and shifted my eyes away from the mirror, shuffling-in my accident prone, untidy room-towards where my bag lay on the floor under some more clothes.