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Finding My Life; Searching for the Light (Chapter 1)
Vivian- The Beginning:
And my scream caught in my throat as he descended for the kill.
I wasn’t even frightened. A little startled, I admit, but not scared. I welcomed death. For once, it was comforting. No more pain, or disappointment. No more feeling of loss. I couldn’t handle it while living, maybe I could in death. I just hoped he doesn’t have to find out. If he ever did anything to himself…
But in the middle of that thought, I flew. I was in the air, crashing to the ground. When I hit the surface of the tiled floor, I didn’t feel any pain. Only regret. Regretting that my time wasn’t over, and that I would still have to live this torturous life. I was experiencing so many emotions at once, that I almost forgot what was happening. When things finally became clear, and I could see the scene unraveling before my eyes, I was too late. He was on the floor, limp. Julian.
“No!…” I cried.
All I saw was the blood seeping from his body. It stained his clothes in a deep crimson, exposing a hole in his chest. My Julian. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
Then I woke up.
I jumped and sat up in my bed. I was damp all over, and my teeth were chattering. Another morning of waking up in a cold sweat. I was accustomed to how the dream went, but this time it was different. I found out the name of the beautiful being that lay dead on the floor. The man who sacrificed his life in order to save my own. I don’t actually know a Julian. I know a Juliana, but she’s a cousin of mine in California.
“So… ,” I mused. “Julian’s his name.”
While my eyes were adjusting to the darkness of my bedroom, I pondered on last nights premonition.
Okay, to get things straight, I have ‘visions’ sort of speak. No, I’m not psychic; I just seem to experience events of the future before they happen. But only about me. It happened once before. I had a dream that I was going to end up living with my mother, since my father died of cancer. I had that same horrifying dream over and over again for a year. Then, he was diagnosed, and a few months later, was dead. I never told anymore before about my condition, thinking they would think of me as being crazy, and ship me off to get my straight jacket tailored. But, no. Back then, when daddy... my father died in my dreams, they felt… foggy. As if I was seeing it from out of lines. A scene in a movie. I wasn’t there, but I watched as the events unfolded. Now, this dream was clear, as in crystal, and I’m scared.
What if it happened again?
I couldn’t bear to know someone is about to die, and I cannot do anything to save them. Like the last time. Obviously somebody wants to kill me. I don’t know why, but they do. I could just feel it in the dream. Nor do I know who, because the face was no one I’ve came across before. It wasn’t even a face. It was a shadow; a shadow of a shadow, unrecognizable. And no, I repeat, I don’t know a Julian either. But in the dream, it was as if I did know him. As if I was in love with him.
I got up and grabbed my towel off my butterfly chair, heading to the downstairs bathroom, trying to sort out the déjà vu feeling that I know will soon happen to me in a matter of time. I walked into the bathroom on the first floor, and took a hot shower. When the water was washing off the soap from in between my shoulder blades, I felt like I was being watched. I turned to the left, and peeked out the mini 8 by 8” window in the shower with me. It had a shade on it, but the shade was open.
I peered outside, cupping my hands up to the screen to block out the bathroom light. My breath was fogging up the glass, making it more difficult to see out in the dark landscape of my backyard. While trying to adjust my eyes, I saw a figure. A dark shadow, one of a man, most definitely. A lean, muscular man. He was shirtless, and built, wearing a pair of dingy jeans and construction boots. But I couldn’t see his face. Mind you, it was six o’clock in the morning, so it was barely light outside. But, I still couldn’t see his face, because it was blocked out by another shadow, one that wasn’t covering his chiseled body. I stumbled back, gasping when I realized I was being spied on while cleansing, and I quickly shut the shade; and when I turned off the water, about to call my mother, I peeked out the window, and saw that he was gone.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him. The nice bronze, golden tone of his skin was hypnotizing. I knew I should’ve screamed at the time, but I was too occupied with staring at his body and breathing. Obviously, he was very strong, tall, and, in a strange way, sexy. I know he had long, black hair up to his shoulders. It was stringy, yet straight. It glistened, like it was already wet from something else. The only other thing I could describe on him was a small tattoo on his lower pelvis (because he wore his jeans that low). It looked like a saying; better yet, a verse. The more I pondered on his body markings, the more I realized it was familiar to me. It was my favorite bible verse from when I was a kid. Psalm 23. It was printed in the middle of his abdomen, in thick, italicized cursive.
“You okay, honey?”, my mom asked, eyeing me skeptically.
She must have known something was wrong by the look on my face. I now noticed where I was. I was sitting at the kitchen table. I had a bowl of cereal in front of me, with the spoon halfway up to my lips when I looked at her. She gazed at me suspiciously, and for the first time since my father died, I noticed bags under her eyes. They were really puffy, and had a purplish tint to them. Realizing that I hadn’t answered her question, I shook my head, and said, “I’m fine mom.”
“Do you want me to go to your high school and help you? It is your first day back to school, since…you know.” Silence. “I would be glad to take off of work for a day and be there.”
I knew she meant it, but I could see she was reluctant. She was just worried about my well being, of course, but being in a new high school is hard enough. Your mom helping you is even worse.
“No mom, I’m fine. Just go to work, and I’ll be back later.” I could tell she didn’t buy it, but she took it just because she didn’t want to go all the way to my school and actually help.
At this point, I was thinking, “Even though you say you will help, you probably would make me ask all the questions while you nod your head up and down and later, when your guzzling down your wine, you will complain how hard it was being at the school and ‘helping’. Then I would have to once again fish your head out of the toilet and bathe and dress you for the night. Then, in the morning, tell you how grateful I am that you helped, and how I would be a mess without you. Dad was right for taking me. Too bad he didn’t stick around until college so that I wouldn’t be stuck with you. Even though it was his fault he wouldn’t stop smoking, and developed lung cancer, he was still a way better parent than you.” But I didn’t say any of that. I would feel too bad. She works really hard. She just has drinking problems.
When she left, I brushed my teeth and hair, leaving it loose on my shoulders, so that it can air dry and become wavy. I put on a grey tank top, and black basketball shorts that went a little under a inch above my knees. I slipped on my flip flops (same color as my shirt), and grabbed my bag while heading out the door. I was pleased to see my car was still in tack, shiny as ever. I was glad that my mom bought me a 1968 silver Cadillac, just to convince me that life with her in this stupid town wouldn’t be so bad. I was always attracted to the old fashioned cars. I feel the new ones are only good for showing off. The older ones are built sturdier, look so much cooler, and have personality.
He looked like he was smiling up at me when I came forward. I think of my car as a he, I don’t know why. I got inside, turned him on, tuned the knob for the air conditioner, and made my way to the worst day of my life…
Wow. When I thought it would be bad, that was an understatement. It was terrible. There was barely any kids at the school, so I got a good parking spot. That was the only highlight of my day. I put it besides some other really nice cars like mine, so that we both know we’ll be careful when pulling out of the spot, making sure neither of us hits each others, or our own cars. I then made my way to the school after looking at my reflection in every car I passed to make sure I look decent. When I got to the actual school, I followed directions in the hallways that lead me to the main office. I finally found it, after getting lost a dozen times, and went inside.
See, this is not that big of a school. Maybe five hundred kids are here, the most, since this town is so freaking small. I’m guessing, that since I didn’t look like I belonged to this school, because I wore summer clothes in the autumn, and I was the only brunette here, that it was a bit of a shock. A group of boys who were standing in front of the office almost tripped over themselves when I walked by. They were wide-eyed, and I felt my self blush under their stares. I mean, I’m not that impressive looking. I’m slim, with thick thighs, and a tiny tummy; full breasts, and long, creamy, black hair must be rare to find in a town like this. Whenever I passed by a girl, I saw blonde hair, with brown roots, artificial boobs, and too little clothing for a school. Everybody here was tanned, but I was the only type of tan here that came with genetics, not a trip to the beach. I have green eyes, and everyone I passed have blue. I felt a little left out, but when I passed girls who slinked away from me in the hallway, I felt intimidating. My ego boosted when I realized this, so I would then occasionally smile at a few cute boys I passed. But, back to where I was. I made my way to the main office, got my schedule, and headed off to my first class of the day.
My first period was Advanced Algebra. I found the room, but when I opened the door, I realized all of the seats were vacant. I checked my schedule again, to make sure I found the right room, and I did. Maybe I got the class wrong, and I didn’t have algebra first? But, after studying my schedule for what seemed like an hour, I knew that there was something off. I then found a note on the door saying that all late students should report to the field by the track course for today’s session. I found where my class was taking place, and as I drew nearer to the thirty or so kids sitting on the floor, I felt shy. When one person noticed I was coming, and turned to stare, another followed their example. And another, and another, until finally, all thirty or so kids locked their eyes on my arrival.
The teacher turned, and averted his eyes on me too. But not just looking at me and acknowledging my presence, but also averting his eyes to my chest, and then my legs, and back up again. I felt like he could see right through me.
“Greetings”, Mr. Johnson purred. “You must be Vivian Alan. It’s a pleasure for you to come today”. He told me to sit down, and so I went to the back, sat Indian style on the grass, took out my notebook, and jotted down notes while he lectured on; occasionally glancing my way, and smiling. That’s when I noticed him.
He was wearing just a white, short sleeved cotton shirt. It clung to his muscles, like a child to its mother. I saw every curve, every indent. I could picture myself running my fingers over him. His long, silky hair was up to his shoulders, just how I’ve seen it from this morning. Only, it wasn’t wet, like I thought, just glistening; and no longer stringy. It was now pin straight. His eyes were an emerald green, so deep that I could’ve mistaken it for black if I didn’t know better. He was sprawled out on the grass, gazing up at the sky. The sun hit his face, reflected off, and sky- rocketed back up to the clouds. He smiled to himself, enjoying his own personal joke, I assumed. If it was obvious, or if he just felt my eyes staring at his body, I don’t know, but he suddenly turned his head, and looked at me. At first, panic was portrayed on his face, and in his eyes, then embarrassed, and finally he just looked relieved. All these emotions came and went in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t look away. I probably seemed like some freak or something, gawking at him the way I was, but I was in utter shock. He was the same man from this morning. Boy, actually. He was also the one from the dream. The one who died. Julian.
He smirked at me, then turned his eyes back upward, and gazed dazedly at the sky again. He wore the same pants and shoes as this morning. I forgot where I was, and for the rest of the class period, which was short since I was late, I stared at him. He would occasionally look back at me, and I would turn away, embarrassed. When I would look back, I could see he was smiling wide, and seemed to enjoy the attention I was giving him. When Mr. Johnson dismissed the class, he told me to stay behind. I did so obediently.
“So, Ms. Alan, I just wanted to let you know that if you had any questions or need anything at all…” he emphasized anything, as if for my benefit, “then you can come to me. I will be perfectly fine to spare a few minutes to assist you.”
He gazed dreamily at my chest again, then stopped. He looked behind me, and took a step back. I didn’t even notice he was standing so close.
“Mr. Walmer. May I help you with anything?” he asked, obviously irritated. I didn’t bother to look behind me, because I didn’t really care.
“Not at all, Mr. Johnson. I just came to help Vivi to her next class. Being knew and all, I think she would like the help.”
Hearing my name was a shock, since nobody here knew me yet. Hearing my nickname, however, was even more puzzling. But what confused me most was the voice that spoke. How soft and delicate it was, yet intimidating, and strong. I turned around, aware that my heart had quickened, but it stopped dead when I realized it was Julian who was speaking.
He was one of the tallest guys I have ever seen. I had to look up just to meet his eyes, since he was almost a whole two heads taller than I. I immediately took a quick step back, realizing that he was so close, my breast grazed his chest, while turning an embarrassing shade of red from head to toe. I collided into Mr. Johnson, who put his hands firmly on my waist in order to stop my fall. I already loath this school.
“So, Mr. Walmer”, he murmured when reluctantly taking his hands off of my sides. “Yes. That is a good idea to show Ms. Alan around.”
With that, he walked off, in a state off loss, even though my attention wasn’t worth that much of emotional grief.
“Hello”, breathed Julian, as though he knew his voice sent shivers up and down my body. But, remembering this morning, in my shower, I knew I couldn’t trust him. So I huffed off in disgust. He must have seen something was wrong, for he immediately followed me; quickening his pace in order to catch up.
“I’m sorry if I startled you just now. I thought you might have needed assistance getting away from Mr. Rodriguez, because he’s known to flirt with some of the juniors.” He laughed, thinking I found that to be funny.
“Get away from me”, I barked. I kept my attention straight ahead, not knowing where my next class was, or which class I even had next.
“What’s your problem? I just helped you, and your mad at me? You don’t even know me,” he huffed back.
“Well, I try not to get to know people who stare at me in the shower, thank you very much!” I bellowed. This must have hit a nerve, because he stopped in mid- step. I stopped too, turned around, and gave him the dirtiest look I could possible have made.
“What are you talking about?”, he asked, but I could hear the whine in his voice that made me know that he was lying.
So, he really was the same man/boy from this morning? I was a little bit skeptical at first, but now I knew. He was also the same one from the dream. I bit down on my lip to keep the ache inside of me from showing. In the dream, I felt, literally felt my heart rip out of my chest when I saw him on the floor in the pool of blood. But no. It could have just been a stupid dream, and he could’ve just coincidentally looked like the man/boy who lay on the floor. The one who sacrificed himself to save me.
“Why don’t you just admit it? Huh?” I urged. I wanted to know why he was in my backyard at six in the morning. Why he was shirtless, staring at me from the shadows.
“I…I…” he stuttered.
He was having a difficult time trying to come up with a quick enough excuse. I liked seeing him struggle. It made me feel powerful, but yet, I was saddened. I did not want to make this beautiful boy scared. He was far too large to have to be afraid of anything, especially me. When I had enough of watching him think, and was about to leave, he answered.
“I had to”, he whispered. He gazed up at me with apologetic eyes.
You had to? I questioned. Seeing him waiting for my response, and me forgetting I didn’t give one, I said, “That’s the biggest BS I’ve ever heard. What do you like to do? Spy on little girls when their in the showers. What if that wasn’t the only time it happened? Have you been following me!?”, I shrieked the last question at him, realizing it might be true. My sword to his butter knife. I was winning this, well, whatever this was. But, the look on his face said it all. He has been following me.
“For how long?,” I breathed, a little scared of his reply.
He put his hands in his pocket, and was shifting his weight from each foot.
“Not that long now. I only follow you in order to keep you safe. I don’t do it for pleasure, only duty. I don’t have the sickening mind some of these sleazebags,” he said low, looking back at where Mr. Rodriguez was laughing with another young, female student, “portray in their everyday behavior. I only follow you under strict orders to watch you. To keep you safe. I will not let your vision come true,” he whispered that last sentence, even though the rest of his reply was angry, and defensive.
He knows about my visions?
“But how…?” I scrambled to find the words. But before I could think of anything, I felt my feet crumble out from under me.
“Vivian!” I heard a boy scream from somewhere far away. Next thing I knew, I was up in the air, in the warm arms of my protector.