What did I expect? I told him to leave. In fact I told him I’d rather get beat by my abusive father than be with him. But he must’ve known they were lies. Either way, it was what was best. We both needed to stop living in that fantasy world before it got the better of us. This is what needed to happen.
I try to get a peaceful rest afterwards but I barely accomplish that, considering I felt a heaviness on my body and soul, the weight of all the pain I’ve endured these past 18 years. As I consider my depression I remember for a brief second the immediate relief Emmerson always brought me, just his presence was enough to calm any anxiety I had, to allow me to sing any song that my heart desired, he gave me hope.
Three days have passed now and Emerson and I have been fairly quiet around the household. I can tell that everyone notices the tension, and Justine seems to thrive in it. Though I’ve regretted my decision since I made it I’ve come to terms with the fact that it has caused irreparable damage and I could be in worse situations. Throughout our silent war I’ve gotten much closer to Charice, she was like the little sister I never had. In just a few days without the use of voice our friendship has truly flourished.
Despite this positive outlook, I’m still haunted by Emerson’s silence, it was as though each time I looked at him, he took a piece of my soul with his stare. It made my skin shiver and not in the good way.
But he couldn’t be mine, I wasn’t destined to be happy. In life some people were happy and fortunate others just weren’t. I wasn’t and after all these years I feel as though I’ve come to terms with this lifestyle. I agreed with it and accepted my fate. There was no point in getting my hopes up, just to have them stomped on.
I look at my clock to the right of me and it reads 7:02. Suddenly an urge to jump to my feet and start breakfast pulses through me but I remember where I am. Carefully I drag my sore body out of bed, taking in the stench of my over worn clothes. I head to the bathroom to freshen up when, as though my mind was read, I see a pile of clothes neatly folded next to the bathtub. There was a clean change of underwear a bra that seemed to be my size and some sweats and a long sleeve v-neck. There was a note on top.
I hope these fit. -Charice :)
I smile sliding out of my old dirty clothes and hopping into the shower. I allow the warm water to cascade down the contours of my body as I lather, closing my eyes to escape the reality of what my life was. I almost find myself humming or singing, seeing that’s all I’d normally do in the shower. I missed that, having a voice.
After washing myself spotless, I step out of the shower carefully to find Chester sitting patiently by the hamper, the way he always does. My little protector. I smile at him ruffling his head as I run the towel against mine. I wipe away the steam from the mirror and dropped my towel. As my body air dries for a minute I attempted to do something with my hair. I’d left all my hair products back at home, considering I wasn’t concerned with how I looked when I left on my suicide attempt.
After failed attempts, I allowed my maine to roam free as the curls formed around my shoulders. I moisturized finally before sliding into the undergarments and sweats then V-neck. They all fit perfectly and I was convinced that Charice went and bought these on her own considering she was much smaller than I was.
Nonetheless, I felt refreshed. I carefully opened the door, and Chester ran out before me, seemingly excited. I smile at him, as I limped out the room. It was still a bit early. Probably around 8:15, so I wasn’t shocked when I quietly stepped downstairs into darkness. I felt around the walls for switches and found couple, turning them all on.
As soon as I decide to settle in the couch I hear the scratch of Chester’s paws on the wooden floor before the touch of his fur runs across my sweats. I smile at him and decided to take a look around the house. I’d already become familiar with the living and dining rooms so ventured further down the beautiful corridor that lead past the miniature hospital room that I was in at first. Going further into the darkness I realize that I’m heading to a back door that must open to a backyard of some sort.
Though the cold seemed to cause my bones to shiver even through the door, I can’t escape my urge to step out to the white wonderland that these forests hold. I hug myself a bit before trying the handle for the door, I turn it a bit before glancing back for a moment. I take breath then push the door open. The cold slaps my skin with enough force to swing my body backwards but after another minute I became comforted by the shivering embrace of the snow. The backyard isn’t well kept. The snow isn’t cleaned much and by some of the soil I could see, there was only dirt underneath, not the grass I was expecting, despite the weather.
Ignoring these I look around more, there’s a giant trampoline and a swing set just underneath an aging tree. I smile imagining how amazing it must look in the spring or the summer, when you can take advantage of its purpose. I surely know I would. Carefully bending to a sitting position I settle on the wooden step, it croaked underneath my weight and I almost sighed. I found myself staring off into the snow that gathered around the backyard, untouched, perfect snow. My head began to lean against the wall. Frozen but mesmerized was the only way I could describe the state I began to drown in.
I wasn’t sure how long I stayed out there but my gaze seemed to swallow everything around. I heard the front door slam shut but my breath was already taken away as I stared deeper into the forest. I find myself standing to my feet and walking toward the fence, but I was looking far beyond. Were those eyes staring back at me?
No, that must be a trick from the sunshine on the frozen day. I must be hallucinating. But I kept walking, my bare feet sinking in the snow that was about 7 inches deep but I couldn’t focus on that. I reached the fence now and continued to gaze at those golden eyes. Those beautifully golden eyes, that mesmerized me. Maybe I should climb the fence and see who it is. What it is?
I smile delighted with my thought as I walk toward this danger, why was I walking toward it? It could be dangerous. Maybe not. I just needed to find out. Just a quick look right?
"Adira!" I hear someone call my name, but they must’ve been really far away. Maybe it was whoever’s eyes those were.
I don’t turn around and my foot reaches upward and through the wire of the fence, as I hoist myself to climb over. Those eyes, they’re beautiful aren’t they? They look warm like a fire.
"Adira." Gavin takes hold of my elbow. I look at him knowing who it was but not satisfied at the color of his eyes. Brown. Not Golden like those.
I look away from him and back to those eyes in the forest. Those were nicer. Much nicer, "Holy shit! You’re frozen solid. What are you doing out here?"
He pulled my body off the fence gently and led me back inside the house. Once inside the fogginess of my mind seemed to clear up. What happened? What was that?! It was as if I were out of my body. As though I was watching myself doing whatever it was… that I was trying to do.
Gavin still held me by the elbow and gently led me to the living room, "Found her!"
Suddenly Emerson appeared from down the stairs followed by Chelsea and Victor. Then Chance and Charice and lastly Anthony.
"Oh thank God!" Chelsea exclaims, "Where was she?"
I’m still confused at what happened to me just now. What was there? Was there something in the woods?
"She was in the backward."
"In that?!" Chelsea exclaims again, "Doing what?"
Gavin hesitates and for the first time since I entered the house I picked up on a hint, he wasn’t sure if he should mention me climbing the fence. It would seem as though I was doing it to escape, to get an early start.
I looked over at Chelsea wanting to sign something but nothing would make sense.
"Is that snow?!" Charice asks just as loudly as her mother.
"You were walking in the snow?!" Chelsea yells again.
"Can you both stop yelling?!" Chance adds.
As he and Charice fight it out I notice Victor looking at me intensely, he shushes Chance and Charice before walking over to me.
"What’s wrong Adira?" He asks this calmly leading me to take a seat, "You look terrified."
Dammit! I was trying to hide that. They didn’t need to know that I probably hallucinated. That would make me seem even more psychotic.
"Why were you in the snow? You had on no shoes, your toes must be frozen and.." his voice trailed off as I stared beyond him. Those eyes were so hypnotic. Maybe if I go back out tonight they’ll be there.
I hear three sharp sounds and a couple fingers in front of me. Snapping?
"Okay this is starting to get freaky," Gavin concluded.
I tried to shake off this unusual feeling, "Okay, Adira talk to me." Chance walks over with a whiteboard and some markers.
"Can we speak privately?" I write immediately. This question took him off guard and everyone else for that matter, "I need your medical opinion." I write again.
He nods and leads me to the mini-hospital, I sit in a chair in front of him, "So what’s up?"
"Is it possible for one of the side-effects of the meds I’m taking to be hallucinations?" I ask quickly.
Chance thinks about it for a moment before reaching behind me to take a folder. He checks over a couple things before closing the folder and placing on the desk behind me, "No. There aren’t any that would cause hallucinations. Why? Do you believe you had one?"
I nod, "What did you see?" He asks carefully.
"I went outside and saw a pair of golden eyes in the forest." I felt as though a weight had been removed from my chest by the confession. But as I looked up at Chance that weight was replaced by one of worry. He looked petrified.
"How did it feel while you were hallucinating?" He asks nonetheless
"Um, as if I knew my logic was absent but I couldn’t do much about it. Like I knew going out in the snow wouldn’t be a good idea but I did it anyway."
The look of terror on his face didn’t disappear, "How long did you see the eyes for?"
"I’m not sure, I was kind of mesmerized and it was almost as if they were calling me."
This got him whitefaced, "How gold were they?" He asks the unusual question.
I’m sort of baffled by it and I remain quiet looking at him confused. He senses this so elaborates, "Are they like Emerson’s eyes?"
For a moment of panic I forget the luscious gold that are enclosed in Emerson’s irises. But the eyes I saw weren’t as calm as his, they were fiery. Dangerous.
Chance nods for a minute before gesturing for me to follow him, we return to the living room, "Hey Emerson!"
"Yo!" is Emerson’s reply and as he walks over to us, I take time to realize that he was without a shirt. O Wow!
"Can Adira have a look at your eyes for a minute?" Chance asks.
Emerson’s voice smiles, "Sure, once she’s done looking everywhere else."
This snaps me out of my trance and I look up at his face, mine probably red from embarrassment, but I’m not greeted with the warm looks of understanding I’d first been greeted with. Instead his eyes were as cold as the weather, not that I blamed him. That’s how he’s been looking at me the past 3 days.
My smile disappears, he notices and stiffens a bit, "Okay, so not like those?"
I look in his eyes in the beauty of each stroke of gold, I then shake my head. Chance flicks his ear and he becomes a bit irritated, "What about that?" Chance asks.
I shake my head again, more dangerous.
Chance slaps Emerson upside the head and His eyes light up! There they were! I nodded intensely, staring at them and seemingly losing my self control. I wanted nothing more than to-
No! No no no no NOOOO! I plug my ears with the palms of my hands and squeeze my eyes shut not looking at him, breaking whatever connection we could have made.
"What’s going on Chance?" Victor asks looking warily at my reaction.
"I’m not allowed to say anything, legally." Chance says softly.
"Of course," Victor nods, "Is it anything we should be worried about?"
"Yes," Chance says without explanation.
"Why should we worry?" I write.
"Well based on what you mentioned, it’s possible that the scope of your injuries may have been more vast than I first assumed." This must’ve been because my hallucination wasn’t due to any side effects from the medication I was taking, "They could get worse, and if they motivated you enough to go out in the cold wearing only that, then…"
"Okay so what are we dealing with here?" Charice asks now.
"I can’t say." Chance sighs.
"Then how are we to help?" Charice asks.
It was quiet as eyes shifted from Chance to me.
Finally Chance speaks, "Just...keep an eye on her."
"That’s all we get?" Emerson finally speaks.
"That’s all I can give." There’s a shrug.
"Oh sweetie, sit you must be freezing," Chelsea walks over to me from a closet with a fuzzy blanket. I almost refuse it except that it looked as though it was made from the softest material on planet earth.
I sat in the couch and she carefully covered me with the blanket, tucking in every corner in a way that was never done for me before. I was taken aback by the small act, and that reaction alone spoke loudly of how horrible my upbringing was.
I cuddle into the covers but still feel myself shaking underneath.
"What did my eyes have to do with anything anyways?" Emerson asks.
"I can’t say anything," Chance sighs, "If you want to know anything ask her yourself."
I hear Emerson sound a groan and for the first time in days a wave of sadness coursed over my body. I felt my mouth open slightly and my eyes fell a bit. I tried to hide it but Charice was already looking my way, soaking up my anguish. The look of hurt that she reflected made me feel even worse.
She looked up behind me, glaring at whoever was there.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Emerson’s voice rolls.
I stiffen in my seat, still shaking like a leaf. He appeared in front of me, settling on the edge of the coffee table to look me in the eyes, "Are you gonna tell me what happened?"
"With that attitude she won’t," Charice says on my behalf.
"Yeah, what’s up with the tension?" Gavin asks him now, "A couple of days ago you were both lovestruck by one another and now she’s avoiding eye contact that you’re trying to enforce."
"Thanks Nancy Drew," Emerson stood to his feet to leave.
"Ou trouble in paradise?" Justine walks through the door smiling.
I’m immediately defensive of Emerson, I want nothing more than to prove to her that he is mine. But how would I do that? Why would I want to? I rejected him and don’t blame him for being upset about it.
"Shut up Justine," Charice rolls her eyes still glancing my way concerned.
"Oh whatever you litt-"
"Don’t go there," Anthony warns walking in behind her with Chris not far behind. They all took off their light sweaters and I wondered how they didn’t freeze entirely.
Anthony walks over to Charice kissing her cheek before doing the same to Chelsea and hugging Victor.
I then spot Chance heading over to me with some gloves, a syringe and medication all on a metal tray. I grab the whiteboard and marker and began writing, " A couple days ago you said you’d try something different, when are we going to use that method?"
I wasn’t excited at the thought of being stuck by another needle. The past couple days doing this without Emerson have been dreadful, it would take me on average a good 10 minutes to fully calm down after receiving the shot. Then I’d enter a semi-depressive state where my thoughts were darker with every shot I did solo, all this because Emerson’ wasn’t able to comfort and help me. It must’ve sounded pathetic, I know, but what was I supposed to do?
"I was but after looking over your charts I realized that this is the only way that I could do it effectively, otherwise your body might not get all the nutrients it needs." Chance explains.
"Chance I can’t do this again," I write this quickly.
"Of course you can," Charice tries to cheer me up settling next to me and holding onto my hand, "I’ll sit right here and you can squeeze whenever it hurts too much."
I looked at her more than grateful for her hospitality, "Don’t look so shocked, not because Emerson’s throwing a fit means that I don’t care about you."
The look on my face must’ve been enough to cause her to hug me close, she whispered something near my ear, but it was either another language or much too soft. Or maybe even both.
"Alrighty so just look me in the eyes and it’ll be over before you know it." Charice held on to my hand and gave it a soft squeeze. I smiled at her just as I felt the needle pierce my skin, soon I make the fatal mistake of producing a small cry.
My eyes watered almost immediately and I realized how tightly I was holding Charice’s hand. Looking up at her I noticed she was more concerned about me than herself. I felt as the pain spread like a wildfire through my chest and back region. I made another disgruntled choking noise and soon I feel something crawl up my throat and Chance realizes what is happening before I do. He rushes to the kitchen and back to me holding a small trashcan in front of me.
"Spit it here." He says softly. I was confused before the blood began filling up in my mouth. I spit a whole mouthful and a bit more before the pain finally stopped.
"Wash your mouth with this." Chance handed me a small paper cup containing water. I followed his instructions before I was given another cup with mouth wash.
"You okay?" Charice asks still holding firmly onto my hand. I nod softly and look up to Emerson just a little beyond Chance. Keeping his distance, because I pushed him away.
We make eye contact and I see the pain in his eyes as he watches me. He wants to help, but at this point I don’t deserve it.
"Are you okay?" He asks softly walking around Chance.
I nod slightly, still clutching on to Charice’s hand for dear life despite the fact that the pain had receded. Charice slides in the couch next to me as the tender aching in my chest seemed to amplify. I wasn’t sure if my heart was crying or my throat.
"It’s okay just breathe and relax," Charice hummed this looking at me intently.
I looked up at her and in her eyes saw genuine concern, genuine care and it made my heart hurt just a little less. I smile at her mouthing, "Thank you."
She nods and squeezes my hand again. "So Adira," Chelsea begins to speak, probably to change the course of discussion, "I see that the clothes fit you perfectly,"
I smile at her nodding as Chance handed me the whiteboard, "Thank you for them, I appreciate it." Though this was a response to Chelsea I also directed it to Charice.
"Oh don’t thank me, shopping is like half of my DNA," Charice smiles.
"The half she got from me," Chelsea adds making me smile.
"Adira what are your hobbies?" Victor asks gently.
"Playing piano, reading, painting, singing…"
"Ou artsy!" Charice exclaims excitedly.
"I have a couple old canvases and paint in the basement if you’d like to make use of them for me," Chelsea mentions.
I immediately get excited as I’m provided even more of a release. Much more than I had before. I always loved music and art. Whether it was the swift sway of paint on a canvas, or the melodies of a piano, I was in love with them both.
"And as I said before, the instrument room is always available to you." Victor adds.
I smile thanking them both.
"Charice she’s fine you can let go of her hand now," Emerson adds walking over to Anthony.
I had forgotten that we were still holding on to each other. I looked up at her and she made a mischievous face before winking, "Actually Adira and I are quite comfortable this way."
I smile at her and rest my head on her shoulder for emphasis. She giggles above me and Gavin laughs, "Hey bro you look a little jealous over there." he jokes.
Emerson rolls his eyes glaring at Chelsea and Gavin making the entire room laugh.
Chance returns in front of me, "I forgot to ask if you feel as though you got any injuries for being out in the cold." I shook my head. I don’t think I did at least, "Well either way I’m gonna have to run a check up just to be safe."
"How long were you out there?" Gavin asks me.
I shrug honestly not knowing, "I went down at about 8:15," I write now.
"What?!" Chelsea screams. I look at her confused, "Adira, sweetie it’s midday."
My eyes widened massively, "When I got you it was 11:40 ish." Gavin adds.
My head whips around to face him. What the hell! I was out in the cold for 2 hours with nothing but a long sleeve and sweats.
"What were you doing out there?" Anthony asks confused a bit.
"We’re definitely running a check up," Chance says before I could say anything in return, "Come on,"
I hold on to the blanket that was wrapped around me and followed him to the mini hospital area again. He ran a couple mandatory test, looking down my throat, in my ears, taking my temperature etc.
As he wrote something down in a pad now I wrote on a piece of paper, "What did Emerson’s eyes have to do with my hallucination?"
His body freezes for a moment and he looks up at me, "Well it could be that since you two are on bad terms your mind may have created a visionary illusion in order to cope. That along with the fact that you were out there in the cold for so long."
I didn’t believe much of what he said. That couldn’t be it. Those eyes though they looked very similar weren’t Emerson’s I know they weren’t. They were much bigger, brighter,more fiery. But I wouldn’t mention this, I’d find out for myself when I went to see them again. Tonight.
Butterfly: What are your thoughts?
Miha: I could always count on you for lengthy comments on what you think about each chapter. I hope I haven't let you down with this one. Thoughts? And don't even worry about the typos.
Not My Territory - Chapter 5Sorry guys!
By Salina Johnson