The dream was playing in my head again and I couldn't stop it.
I was running and it seemed endless to continue to run, but I knew that I had to.
I had only a slip on and it was covered with dirt and was beginning to get tattered from the branches that continued to slash at me. The branches slashed my dress and my skin and the pain sizzled, but I knew that I had to continue to run to save my life.
Then I tripped. Everything went haywire.
I rolled at a fast pace on the ground against the dry grass. My body ached all over as my face rolled over the dry ground and my body as well. I threw my hands over my face to stop the pain from attacking it.
Then I stopped. I must have reached the ending of my destination. I slowly moved my hands and moaned at the pain that was shooting through my body and that's when I heard it, loudly and clearly. There was a growl, just one, but I knew that growl was just for me.
I tried standing up, but the pain was eminent in my body. My arms felt loose from their sockets and I couldn't feel my legs at all. There was no way I was moving.
I felt heat start from the soles of my feet and it continued to come up over my body. I closed my eyes just as it stopped over my face. I felt its hot breath over my cool face and his growling came close to my ears until it was unbearable.
"6:36," I muttered glancing at my wrist watch and then back at my baby sister as she took the advil and glass of water that I had provided her with. She peered over her glass and placed her color challenged eyes on me. Color challenged because her right one was light blue and her left one was a deep gray color. She had inherited that trait from our grandfather Joseph and I would lie if I said I wasn't jealous.
"Too bad you weren't on call," she muttered, sarcasm evident in her voice. I narrowed my eyes at her as she sat her glass on the nightstand. She sighed and ran a hand through her brown hair. It was bad.
"Tell me what you dreamt this time?"
"Won't help," she muttered as she closed her eyes and pushed air through her nose.
"You don't know that."
"Talking won't help Annabelle," she spit back. I bit my lip and wiped the sleep from my eyes. I felt a cool hand on my wrist and I looked at her. She had visible bags under her eyes. "I'm sorry. It's just.."
"I know how you are Briana." She gave me a half-smile and removed her hand from my wrist.
We sat in silence for a while. She was slowly drifting off into sleep and I couldn't help but be entranced in how peaceful she looked as she slept, but secretly knowing that there was nothing peaceful about her sleep and there never would be until she got it off her chest.
I studied her more and noticed the laboring of her breath; she was asleep after 7 minutes. I leaned over and pressed my lips to her forehead.
"It'll be okay," I muttered. I fixed her blanket over her body, kissed her cheek again and then stood. I turned her lamp off and walked towards the door.
I felt the vibration of my phone as soon as I laid back into bed and I couldn't help but want to scream my lungs out, but I couldn't. I was used to it. I was used to waking up hours before I was supposed to; I was used to my sister's dreams waking her up in the middle of the night; I was used to a lot of stuff that I shouldn't have been used to, but I was. It was routine.
I fished my phone out of my pocket and then answered it. "Detective Monroe?" I heard a few catcalls and yawned. "I'll be right there."
And that was how my day started. Everyday.
8:14 am and I was sitting in the kitchen drinking Anne's cold cup of coffee which she must have had right before she went to work. She left a note, which was sweet. Sorry about your bad dreams, now I have to go live out someone else's.
A murder. I wasn't surprised actually. It, of course, wasn't in the small town of Wilkens, but in the next town over. They always asked my sister on their cases since they were short detectives in Willowsburg and we were short homicides in Wilkens. It was a win... win.
The doorbell rang. Now that surprised me.
I sat the cup that was in my hand down and approached the door slowly. There were more knocks, louder and harder this time. I stopped midway there and took a few deep breaths in and out.
"Briana?" A female voice replied from the opposite side of the door. I raised an eyebrow. "Briana, it's me Lesley. Open the door, I know you don't have class until 10:30."
I walked to the door, unlocked it and pulled it open. She was standing outside, arms crossed and waiting for me to unlock the screen. "What are you doing here?" I hesitated some before I thought about opening the screen door.
"You're really gonna do this? We've been best friends since sophomore year and you're hesitating on opening the screen door?"
"You said open the door. You never specified which one," I said calmly.
Lesley narrowed her hazel eyes on me. Her black hair was different than I had seen it yesterday. She had cut it to her shoulders, and dip dyed the tips a vibrant red color. "I'm not playing this game with you today," she murmured.
I rolled my eyes and unlocked the screen door. She hastily opened it and pushed past me. "Finally. It's cold out there." I smiled and locked the door.
Lesley Hammonds had indeed been my best friend since sophomore year. She had stood up for me when a group of girls wanted to attack me because I had made a rude comment about one of the girls shoes. I didn't take it back and Lesley told me I never had to take things like that back. We had a good kinship; we were basically the same person.
"We do have blueberry muffins," I said as she made her way into my kitchen. She made her way to the stove, turned on a burner and then put her hands over it. She glanced back at me.
"What made you think that I would ask about muffins on this dreary Tuesday morning?" She asked and then clapped and rubbed her hands together.
"You ask every morning," I muttered sitting back in my position and picking my coffee cup up in my hands.
"What if I wanted to spice it up a bit? You would never know." She smirked.
"I would know. I could read you like a book if I tried." She turned and glared at me. I glared back. "How was your date with Chad last night?"
She sighed loud enough for the next door neighbors to hear and then turned the stove off. "Awful." She twisted her body around and faced me. She crossed her arms and leaned back some, alarming me that she was about to delve into a deep story that I would have to pick apart. "First off, he was an hour late. I was sitting in my apartment just shaking my head. My roommate, you know the one with the bucked teeth, she totally laughed at me and said that he would just be a flake and wouldn't show up."
"But he did," I muttered into my cold coffee.
"Of course, he did. Not coming is worse than being late."
"For you, it's not," I said sitting my cup of coffee in between my hands.
"I know!" She screamed as she dramatically threw her hands into the air. "He tried to make it up to me by buying me yellow carnations. I mean, yellow carnations. Are you fucking kidding me?"
"But you love yellow carnations."
"I know that I do, but do you think that I took those carnations and smiled at him because I was happy to see him?"
"No. You took them because you love him and even though he was late, it made up for that fact. Kind of cliche, but you love Chad so you forgave him for being late." She looked at me and crossed her arms. Her eyes narrowed some. She opened her mouth to say something and then she snapped it shut. I raised an eyebrow. "So tell me the part when it got awful?"
"That was the awful part, but as usual, you just ruin my stories with your harsh intellect." She turned and looked through the cupboards. "As usual."
"It's the only one with the silver handle and you have to kind of feel in the back for the box." She went to the cupboard and pulled it open. "Anne tried to hide them from you, but I knew that you would eventually find them."
"Well, thank you." She emerged from the cupboard with a smile and a box of muffins. "You always did know me best."
"I feel like I know everyone best."
She shrugged. "It's just one of your gifts." She popped a mini muffin into her mouth. "Do you mind if I shower here? My roommates kind of used the hot water."
"Yeah of course. You can borrow some clothes too."
"Cool thanks," she muttered. She sighed and ran a hand through her hair.
"The offer is still open that you can move in with us. Anne doesn't have a problem with it." I stood and walked to the sink with an empty coffee cup and rinsed it out.
She sighed. "I know it does and I am forever grateful that you guys would think of me." I looked at her and she smiled at me.
"You just don't have a good reason as to not move in with us?" I said. "It's okay. We won't stop asking until you give us a reason."
"Just.." She put the muffin box on the counter and gave me her undivided attention. "You're my best friend and forever will be. I just don't want to take advantage of your hospitality and I don't want to take your friendship for advantage or anything."
I nodded and she walked towards the downstairs, bathroom to take her shower.
This was routine for her.