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Author's note: When I fall asleep I dream of this incredible club in which everyone is who they aren't. As confusing as it originally was, I learned to figure it out as I wrote. The only way to unlock imagination is to dream and live it.
Soft breezes brushed through the tree outside her bedroom window. Mountians of boxes piled high and threatened to topple over. Liz reached for the brown rubberband on her wrist and lazily slicked her wild blond hair back into a ponytail. Her father figured it would be the right time to move her and her mother to a city and away from the small town of Komen. Being 17 Liz was just delighted to be leaving a place so small that you couldn't even cough without everyone knowing.
"Darling make sure you finish saying your good-byes today, we leave at four!" Her mother shouted from downstairs.
"Okay mom!" She shouted back. Liz looked at the pictures on her corkboard, the last thing next to her mattress on the floor that was yet to be packed, and sighed. Mixed inbetween the photos of friends and family were cut-outs of models. Once she got to the city she could finally wear all those pretty clothes that hung limp and lifeless in her closet because they were "unacceptable" at her private school. She picked up her phone and one by one called her friends in one last farewell. Liz was hanging up her last call when the doorbell rang.
"Liz it's for you," Her mother called, "Hurry up!" Liz trudged down stairs to see Kasey talking to her mom. His dark brown hair was tangled as usual. He looked up with his electric green eyes and smiled sweetly.
"Go. I don't want him here mom, make him leave." Liz said turning back up stairs.
"Liz be polite."
"No, I don't want to talk to him. He treated me with no respect, then he finds out I'm leaving and suddenly wants me back. I don't think so. He's the reason I'm happy to be leaving!" With that she stomped up the stairs and slammed her door so hard a tower of boxes fell down.
Four o'clock came. Liz sat in a silent car that pulled up to the airport with such force it knocked her into the seat infront of her. She got her luggage and waited to board the plane. As she got on she looked behind her. "Bye forever Komen, and don't think about following me." Liz sat in her seat and fell asleep, only to be woken up a few hours later by her father who told her they had arrived. The city was gleaming with so many lights. It was only the early hours of the morning, yet everyone seemed to be awake.
"Now from what I've heard there's a nifty hangout for you older teenagers. It's a few blocks from our new appartment so you can go as often as you like. Go try to make some new friends there. Okay sweetpea?" Her father told her as they drove away from the airport.
"Yeah dad I'll go tonight after I get some rest." Liz said half-heartedly and rest her head on the window of the car. The encounter with Kasey before they left made her feel drained, and if any socializing was going to happen she was going to need a major power nap. Besides, she thought to herself, maybe I'll meet a new friend or maybe even find someone better for me.
The boy perched on the silvery steps of Morphnior was no stranger to the club. He was seen dancing every night on the glowing floor, occasionally stopping only to get a sip of the bright blue drinks he seemed so fond of. His hair was blond with flecks of gold that were sprinkled here and there. His eyes shown bright under the street lights as he gazed up at Liz.
"You know if you're going to stare, try not to make it so obvious." He laughed nonchalantly. He stood up and glided over to her, towering over her. At a closer view she saw he was pale skinned under his navy shirt that matched the midnight sky. "My name is Aaron."
"Liz," she smiled and held out a hand. He laughed again and tossed his golden hair back.
"Well Liz, welcome to Morphnior. My land." Aaron outstretched his hand and took hers. For someone with such thin arms he had a lot of force behind them. He pulled Liz past the star covered doors of the club and into a world she had never seen.
Dancers that were the captured beauty only glossy magazine pages could hold were flowing in and pouring onto the dance floor. Liz caught glimpses here and there of the teenage boys being drawn in my the swirling and twisting of hips. Aaron finally stopped before three grand fountains that flowed different colors and had small cups attached to the rims. "Want some?" he asked taking from the blue fountain, "Blueberry punch." It sparkled in the glass like the morning sky meeting the ocean horizon.
"No thanks I really just came to dance," she said sheepishly. He leaned against the wall and looked longingly out onto the dance floor. "What are you watching?"
"Her," he pointed to a tall, raven haired girl in six inch heels and short black dress. Her wrist and neck clad in bright blue feathers and her short hair bouncing around her face. "Crystal always comes to this club with someone new every night. Never me, but always says hello." Aaron let out a deep sigh. Sadness sank into his bright eyes like the Titanic when it hit ice.
"Just go and ask her to dance," Liz pushed his shoulder, "What could happen?"
"I guess," he said standing up. Aaron walked onto the floor and disappeared into the mist of dancers and wasn't seen for the rest of the night.
Bass pounded the room, dancing hips swung in hypnotic beat. The lyrics of the sound seemed slurred by the excitement whizzing through the air. It was hotter than the Mojave desert in mid summer, but no one seemed to mind. Liz pressed her back against his chest and laughed. He whispered something in her ear, his words slicing the air and sending minuscule chills down her neck. Liz was taken by the hand and dragged through the packed, sweaty crowd, trying to avoid being stepped on by the platformed heels of the skinny temptresses as they claimed their own prizes on the floor. He parted the sea of dancers until less and less were around, finally finding a spot by the door.
The darkness surrounded Liz and she tried to adjust her eyes to see around her. She caught a glimpse of herself in the near by window. Her blond hair was sweaty and plastered to her forehead, all but her eye make-up had been rubbed off, and her dress had a small rip at the bottom. She didn't care. Turning her attention back to James she noticed his face had gone grim. Fear gripped her heart and shook it, she could feel it matching the loudness and fast pace of the song raging back on the dance floor. "What's wrong?" she tried to laugh, "Too much dancing?" He took a deep breath and looked strait at her with his almond brown eyes.
"Look Liz, I like you. Alot." Liz looked down and saw his hands shaking slightly as he pulled one up to her face, "I just don't know if I'm ready for all this." She quickly pulled him down to her face and kissed him. James fought at first but melted into her. His hands shook as he tightened his hold on her waist. Liz pulled her face away from his, her mouth forming the perfect rose colored O. Even she shocked herself at her action. "What was that Liz?"
"I," she stuttered, "I don't know. I just thought that would fix everything." She looked away and waited for him to say something. Why couldn't she be like those vixens on the floor? So graceful, beautiful, carefree yet masters of a secret game. "Maybe we should just go back to dancing."
"Yeah, maybe we should." James held his arm out and she took it. This time feeling as if all eyes were glaring at her as she was lead through the crowd back to the center. Ke$ha's song Blow was blasting out of the speakers and the hips started swinging again. James wrapped his hands around Liz as they rocked to the rhythm. She twisted her body and put her head on his shoulder exposing her left cheek down to her shoulder.
They danced through most of the night with the same swaying, and pressing of their hips. "Hey I'm gonna go get something to drink. I'll be back." Liz said as she began walking off the floor towards the drink station at the club. She caught sight of Aaron her friend who had gone to the club with someone else in case Liz needed help.
"How's the dancing going?" He asked taking a sip of a bright blue liquid then spit it back into the cup, "That was disgusting. Don't drink the blueberry punch it tastes like, well maybe I better not say." Aaron laughed taking his sleeve and whipping his mouth off.
"Well if I could forget about him for a single second I'd tell you." Liz giggled and took the nearest glass of lemonade, her main power source of the evening, "He's absolutely incredible. I just wish he'd want me as badly as I want him. You know?" She caught him looking at the girl Aaron was with who was chatting it up with her friend.
"I know exactly what you mean." He sighed, "Shouldn't you be getting back to him?"
"Yeah, but I wanted to say hi for a millisecond. You're still my friend, and you're the reason I've been dancing with him."
"Then I'm going to make you go dance with him more. Now get to it the night is fleeting like fame." He pushed Liz back onto the dance floor. She searched practically blind until she spotted him in another crowd of dancers.
"Hey stranger, mind if we dance?" She said taking his hand and yanking him away to another spot deeper in the haze of the night. James followed with no hesitation. Next thing she knew everyone else on the floor evaporated and it was just the two of them. She closed her eyes and relaxed against him. Liz felt safe, that kind of safeness a night light brings a small child, she had never felt trust like this before. Then before she knew it his hands, his warmth, his body were all gone. Stolen from her by one of the dancers in glittery, short dresses. Just as quickly as he had vanished, she ran past the windows and out the club's doors into the night. The bass pounding behind her.
Her heart kept pounding in her chest, threatening to explode at any second. Questions raced through her head in competition to be answered first. Why was he stolen right from around her? Did he put up a fight? Should she go back? Why did she run out of Morphnior? She collapsed down on the silver steps encrusted with glitter and engravings of stars and cried.
"Bawling your eyes out and ruining your make-up won't do you any good," said a voice softly from behind her. She turned to see Aaron standing behind her.
"Who cares? It's mostly gone anyways," Liz said whipping her eyes on the bottom of her dress, "He's busy anyways." He bent down next to her and wrapped his arms around her. She pushed him off and hastily jumped up. "I'm going home. Don't worry about me, I won't be back here for a few days. I need to forget about all this."
"At least go back in and tell him how you feel."
"I can't. I made a fool of myself in there. If anything I'll be lucky enough to get a call from him." She said then walked away into the night.
Rain began to fall as she made her way down the curving city streets. Liz tilted her head back and let the drops hit her face and soak her hair. Cars and brightly colored taxis zoomed by her in a blur. She stopped at her apartment building and waited outside before going in. Her mom was already asleep when she entered. Liz went strait to her room and flopped onto her bed staring strait into her ceiling. Buzz, buzz, buzz. She pulled her phone from her small satan purse she had been carrying and looked at the screen. JAMES was printed in bold letters. She read the message out loud, "Thanks for the dancing, I had fun." Liz felt her entire body cave in on its self.
She had never been happier than she had been while dancing with him. The way their bodies moved in perfect timing together, the trust she felt when he held her, the heat that radiated from his skin that shocked her entire body. But then again she had never felt anything like the pain of having him taken away. One moment they were the center focus of the club, the main event. The next she was a lost child in the New York Macy's who had lost their parents. She needed him. But the only problem was did he need her? She knew it would be a long, sleepless night.
Liz's ego was bruised, tossed, then dented. James had told her she had no life. That she was lifeless because all she had done for the past two weeks was hide herself inside her appartment. Liz hadn't seen the wild nightlife of Morphnior since then, therefore according to James, she had no life. That was all about to change. Liz stomped up to the star covered doors of the club and headed strait towards James.
He was in the center of the dance floor. Energy buzzed heavily in the air and hung thick like smoke. As she got closer she saw a tall, thin brunette awkwardly grinding on him. Liz pushed the girl aside making her stumble onto a nearby coupple. "Sorry about that," Liz smirked. The girl stood up, brushed herself off, then disapeared into the crowd. James scanned Liz over in disbeleif.
"Look who decided to show up," He laughed, "Haven't seen you here in a while, thought you died or had a tragic incident." He began to walk away. Liz took hold of his arm with all the force she had and kissed him with the passion one would have if the world was ending. She instantly regretted her automatic response to him walking away and decided to find a new one later. Liz went to pull herself away, but to her surprise he wouldn't let her. He pressed his lips harder into her's and wrapped his arms around her, squeezing with more and more pressure until she let out a soft gasp. Her legs gave out from beneath her at the completely wrong time, she almost fell as James let her go and jumped back. "Oh god." He said and bolted away.
"Oh god," She heard herself repeat.
"Can't I just blame it on alcohol?" Liz asked sliding her hand across her forehead to remove the sweat that had collected, "I'll just say that I was so drunk I didn't know what I was doing."
"There's only two problems with that Liz," Aaron cracked taking a sip from his glass, "First, Morphnior doesn't serve alcohol. Second, everyone one knows you don't drink."
"Permission to runaway then?"
"No, you can't keep running from him. Go face James and tell him." He placed a hand on her shoulder, "Own up to it."
"And if I don't?"
"I'll joing him in finding you and forcing you to do it." Liz and Aaron turned to see Crystal standing by the blue fountian's edge taking a cup, "I don't mean to sound nosey, but honestly Liz you need to do what Aaron's saying. Speaking of which, Aaron are you going to ask me to dance or sit here talking to her all night?" She thrusted her head in Liz's direction then lifted her cup to her ruby painted lips and downed the contents in one gulp.
"Yeah, let's go dance," He took her hand and went off into the mosh pit of dancers just as Animal began to blaze from the speakers. 'Here we go again, I feel the chemicals kicking in'. I wish, she murmured sipping the rest of her own drink down. 'It's gettin heavier, I wanna run and hide'. Too late for that, she laughed and ventured back onto the floor.
Liz had searched for James for what seemed hours to no avail. Giving up she noticed a strange figure. He sat still, his black attire blending in with the corner wall. Liz had seen his face before, the electric seaweed eyes and narrow cheek bones. She glided up to him ready to tear him to shreds. He was about to fall prey to a dangerous firecracker. She was unstable and trying to control her shaking, confused as to if it was due to anger swelling with hate or if it was just nerves. The distance between them shortened with every step until very few feet stood as a barrier.
"Kasey," Liz sneered, "What the hell do you want now? I left you back in Komen for a reason."
"Now Liz, is that anyway to talk to me?" Kasey said tenderly putting his hand upon Liz's face, "You've always had such a way with words. Never spared the nice ones for me though, even when I loved you so much." He lightly patted her cheek. "Pity really. All the things you did for me, yet you seem to deny them all now. Why?"
"I don't want to be around you," she whispered, "Just leave me alone."
"That wasn't the question," he gripped her forearm, "I don't recall it being an option either."
"Let go of me!" Liz struggled and pulled, but Kasey was much stronger.
"Hey! Let her go now," Kasey cranked his neck to see Aaron walking up. He got louder, "I said let her go!" Aaron pushing him away from Liz. She stumbled into the wall and fell down onto the floor.
"I don't want to start anything with you," Kasey said sternly to him, "I'm just taking my girl back to her hometown where she belongs. With me."
"She isn't going any where outside these club doors with you. Liz doesn't belong in a crowd like you, hometown or not."
"You don't even know who she is. Tell him Liz, tell him who you really are and what you're really like."
"What do you mean?" Aaron asked. Liz looked up from her spot on the floor, her eyes began to swell with tears.
"You don't know anything about her," Kasey laughed, "I know her true colors. I fell in love with them."
"Love?" Liz said, "You used me, and you call that love?"
"Shut up, I didn't use you."
"Yes you did. Kasey you never loved me."
"I said shut up!" He picked Liz up by her hair and dragged her to her feet. His hand brushed swiftly accross her face. "I've always loved you and you left me! Don't tell me I never loved you." He dropped her back onto the floor and stormed out the doors of the club. Liz choked back tears and stood herself up.
"You can stay at my house tonight, my brother's out so you can use his room. We'll call your house and tell them about that guy." Aaron said wrapping his arm around her.
"Kasey." Liz said softly.
"His name is Kasey. He was my boyfriend back in Komen."
"Liz, I think you should tell me everything. From the begining to the end."
It was perfect at first. I still haven't figured out what made him the way he was. I thought I loved him, the way he'd hold me in his arms like I was a delicate piece of glass. He'd constantly whisper in my ear the sweet nothings and dreams that all lovers whisper. It always felt special for me though even though I knew they weren't true of heart. We never were appart from each other. Kasey joined me in ballroom classes, and I joined his singing group so that we'd always be together. We'd spend hours laughing and sitting poolside since there was nothing else to do in Komen.
One day, while we sat by the pool, he asked me to do something I wouldn't even think him capable of asking. He added that kissing him wasn't enough anymore, and was to tempting as it was. I said no and he became livid. Swearing at me and cursing. His eyes became infused with rage and I began to panic, he had never acted this way. I knew Kasey's parents were having problems, but he never talked about it nor did he seemed bothered. I told him that he shouldn't get mad about me not saying yes since it could ruin my life. He said if I loved him enough I'd do it. That was the first time he had ever hit me.
He continued to ask me the same thing, and everytime he'd strike me when I'd say no. I began to skip dance and music classes to avoid him. Kasey caught on and would sit outside my house. He'd stop at nothing. I never told anyone because I was scared. I'd seen how those movies turned out, the girls tells then winds up dead a few days later. It was far fetched thinking he would kill me, but I didn't know left from right anymore. Eventually he convinced my mother to let him in, saying he could get me to come outside again.
I remember him standing in my room and giving me that awful look. I'll give you one more chance, he said to me. I began to cry. He walked over and hit me once on the face and three times on my arms. I screamed trying to signal help. It continued with Kasey giving me more blows until my mother walked into my room. She told him to never take another step near me and to leave our house that very moment. He left reluctantly, swearing he'd come back to get his girl. The next day my mother told me we were moving here to the city. I was finally happy again, thinking I'd be safe and escape him. It was over and I was free of him. At least I thought I was until tonight at the club.
"Have you told James?" Aaron asked.
I think I've told him once about Kasey and I when we would sit by the pool, nothing more.
"You should. Just tell him the whole story."
I don't know.
"I'll invite him over right now, but you have to tell him the truth. From the begining to the end just like you told me."
"Do it," he pushed her towards the door.
"Liz do it now or you aren't allowed to talk to him again." Aaron pushed her up the stairs of Morphnior making her trip. She caught herself and straitend herself up.
"That doesn't seem very fair," she said twisting her body around.
"Life's not fair."
"Absolutely," he cracked a smile, "Now go." Liz had no time to argue, by the time she turned to face the direction she was being pushed she was nose to chin with James. He let out a soft laugh, light and airy as a cloud yet filled with life.
"Watch where your going Liz," He laughed again putting a hand on her shoulder, "Almost didn't see you there."
"Ha ha very funny. A short joke, how original." She stuck her tounge out at him and rose up on her toes, "Anything else? A blond joke perhaps?"
"Liz chill he's just joking," Aaron chimed in, "Live in the moment for once instead of thinking like you always do."
"Yeah I can't really do that. You see I'm horrible at the whole be spontaneous with your actions thing. Never really worked for me." Liz went back down and leaned against the club doors. She and Aaron exchanged several glaces and she began to walk away.
"Leaving so soon?" James asked moving swiftly to block her path, "I was hoping you and I could hang out for a bit before the club opens tonight."
"Go," Aaron whispered in her ear, "Liz go do something crazy with him. Have some fun for a change instead of thinking." He nudged her towards James who extended his arm.
"Shall we?" He said, a quick flash of light gleamed in his eyes.
"Sure," Liz said taking his hand in hers, "Where to?"
"You'll see," James laughed his airy laugh and they took off.
Liz stood blankly staring from accross Morphnior. Everything was supposed to be happy right now. Kasey was finally taken away for good, she and James seemed on a good note, even Aaron was glowing with joy. So why was her heart sunken and her stomache up in her throat? She felt limp and weak, bracing herself against the edge of a speaker to keep her standing she continued to hold her empty gaze. Liz's eyes began to sting, but nothing would come out. All she could do was look.
"Liz, what's with you and staring?" Aaron joked nudging her arm. Liz didn't move, she felt numb. "Are you okay?"
"Fine. I'm fine," she mumbled, "Just thinking."
"Who that girl is, and why he seems so into her." She said pointing her fingure in the direction she had been staring. The same brunette from a few nights ago was dancing with James again.
"Oh Scarlet?" Aaron asked following her hand, "She comes here all the time. James is pretty into her I've heard."
"What does she have that I don't?"
"She's rather quiet, very tall, and apparently him. Wait, Liz what are you doing?" She was slowly trudging onto the dance floor. Liz felt like she was watching hersef from above, it mixed in with the sense of being light-headed. She approached James and stood there with her stupid look inscribed on her face.
"You, Scarlet?" Liz said lifting her shakey hand up towards the girl who nodded to her name. "Come here," She beconned Scarlet with her outstretched hand.
"Can I help you sweetheart?" Scarlet asked in a voice dripping with the over coat of sugar.
"Yeah, you can actually."
"What can I do for you?"
"You can stay away from him."
"And if I don't?" Scarlet asked in a voice that turned from sweet to sour in a snap, "What if I don't want to stay away from him? You aren't the only one with a thing for him." Liz's hand flew into the air and curled into a fist just in time to strike Scarlet's pale rose colored cheek, an indent from Liz's ring was begining to show rapidly. James stood in utter shock.
"That's what will happen," Liz said rubbing her hand on her dress hem.
"Are you crazy?" Scarlet began to cry, holding her hand to her bruising cheek.
"Not entirely. But I swear if you want to put up a fight for him, you better be ready to see how crazy a girl from Komen can get." Liz brushed past James stopping to look back at him, "You know where to find me when you want me." She continued to strut back to Aaron. He was doubled over laughing. "So you saw?"
"I think everyone did," He was now trying to hold back a smile, "That was awesome."
"So back to my original question," Liz smirked, "What does she have that I don't?"
"A bruise the size of your home-town on her face!" Aaron cracked putting his arm around her.
Liz found herself in the wonderland of her beloved silent dreams. Everything was gray and rough, looking closer she saw it was all stone, like a darkened church. She was standing at the end of a never ending, lavishly decorated hallway. Gray pictures graced the walls showing the grim blurs of people she couldn't recognize. A banner was stretched out in the center of the hall reading "Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies. -Elizabeth Bowen". Liz let out a silent laugh and began to stroll further down the hall stopping at another banner. "Jealousy injures us with the dagger of self-doubt. -Terri Guillemets" this stopped Liz in her tracks. She was in no mood to be confronted in her dream. Trying to escape the signs she ran, the hallway kept stretching to no end. Stopping to catch her breath she notice a door with a gold curving handle engraved with birds, she opened it to be blinded by aquamarine lights.
She looked around and saw she was flying swiftly and high above the city. No one seemed to notice her despite the fact it was mid-afternoon. A light tapping motion found it's place on her shoulder, Liz glanced over. It was Aaron. He went to call out a hello, but nothing came out and he pointed to something on the ground below. Scarlet was sitting on a park bench blushing over her left shoulder. James was bounding forward with flowers the color of sunlight and clouds in hand. Scarlet lept up and bolted to him, embracing him such as Liz did her first night of meeting him at Morphnior. Liz lost her balance in the air, Aaron tried to reach for her hand to keep her steady but she was already falling. Crash landing to the hard earth without any padding or safety net. She wanted to scream but not a sound came out. James looked up to see her flailing wildly from the sky. Instead of hitting pavement she was suddenly curled up on a softer surface.
Liz stood herself up on the gassy feild and took a whiff of what she thought would be sweet air. The semi-bitter smell of burning embers and grass filled her nose. Glancing around her she saw tall walls of fire, blazing red hot giving away at small flicks of occasional wind. The fire surrounded her in a tight circle. A figure stood on the other side of the glowing barrier, maybe it was James. Hands flew to her shoulders yanking her around. Kasey stood before her in his worn-down leather jacket and ripped jeans. Liz tried to yell for help but the silence of her dream remained untouched. Wind kicked in and parted the flames revealing that the figure was actually Scarlet. Liz tried to move towards her but Kasey held on tightly to her. Scarlet pranced up and soundlessly giggled in Liz's face. Liz began to cry, she tried to tilt her head down so that she wouldn't be seen by them. As her tears spilled to the ground they formed together into a glassy, solid surface. She slid her foot forward onto it and was whisked away again.
Peering around she was back in the stone hallway, this time Liz wasn't alone. James stood at the end smiling at her. She had missed that smile more than she had missed anything in her life. Liz went run to him, but the end of the hall was getting no closer. Two doors opened and from them emerged Aaron and Crystal. They walked effortlessly to where James stood, all three waved at her beckoning her to go to them. Liz began once again to get to the end of the gray passage. Everything disapeared from around her leaving Liz in complete darkness.
Noises began to shatter her dream's sound-proof walls, she fought the urge to open her eyes and see what was disturbing her imagination. The sounds grew stonger changing a whisper to a roar. Jolting sensations shook her awake. Liz sat up and discovered herself on the steps outside Morphnior. Crowds of dancers flowed out from the doors. She looked up to see who was dragging her out of the way. Aaron looked down at her with a friendly smile.
"You can do it Liz," Aaron laughed, "I know you can."
"I'm scared though," she said trying to open the door to her house, "Stupid key." Liz threw her house key onto the doormat.
"Don't take your anger out on the poor key," he laughed bending over to pick it up, "I think you can do it by the way."
"Tell James what's been going on and how you feel," he slid the key into the lock and opened the door, "You sure your parents won't mind me staying over for the night?"
"No. They're out for the weekend anways," Liz said tossing her heels onto a lonely chair that sat in the corner, "Aaron, I'd tell him if I could but I'm just to scared."
"I know, little miss unafraid to be bold and different is scared."
"You can do it Liz, I beleive in you." Aaron gently hugged her, "The worst he can say is no, and the worst he can do is walk away without saying anything to you."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," She shrugged and headed towards her room, "Night Aaron."