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I Dreamt I Could Fly; Chapter 2
Sucking in a breath, I sat up in bed, my camisole clinging to my sweaty body. Another night filled with haunting dreams. I could still smell the stagnant alcohol on my breath and I sighed. Reluctantly I turned to my digital clock on my bedside table. The bright red numbers gleamed, 10:57 a.m. My dark green eyes scanned the disaster I call my room and paused on the white board hanging over my desk. In bold black letters, the reminder for my family reunion glared at me. My eyes widened and I jumped out of bed.
Moving very quickly, I stuffed my clothes in my closet and threw other crap in one of the many drawers of my room. I threw on sweatpants and a t-shirt before running downstairs to confront my mom.
She was sitting in the dining room; her posture was stiff and robotic. She looked up at me and I could see disapproval in her eyes.
“Sit,” she said and gestured to the chair across from her. Behind my mom, I could see my sister sitting at the bar with a granola bar, watching my every movement.
I did as she asked and grabbed an apple from the bowl in the center as I sat down. Warily, I watched her take in a breath. I cringed inwardly ready for the scolding I was going to get.
“Grace, I am very disappointed in you,” she began. “You left without telling me where you were going and I still needed to talk to you. Then, Sara said you weren’t back until four in the morning.”
I glared at my sister who turned around swiftly and began to devour her snack.
“Well I’m here now. So tell me what you needed to,” I shot back. I took a bite of my apple and watched her.
“I just wanted to talk to you about the family reunion this afternoon.” I winced. “Which you have already seemed to forget; people are supposed to be arriving at one and you’re not even ready. The next time I see you, you better look nice and presentable. With that being said, I have to find out where the caterers are. They were supposed to be here an hour ago.”
As if on cue, the low rumbling of a van was heard in the driveway. My mom’s expression brightened and I rolled my eyes. I watched her go outside and I could hear her yelling at the catering crew for being so late. I turned my glare on my little sister as she tried to hide behind the chair.
“I’m sorry Grace,” she whimpered; I rolled my eyes once more.
“’Sorry’ doesn’t get me out of trouble,” I said before running upstairs to my room. I shut the door, hoping to cut the sound of my mom’s shrill yelling.
In thirty minutes, I was showered and primped to perfection. I rifled through my closet for something to wear that would exceed my mother’s expectations. Every once and a while, I would hold up a top or dress, looking in a mirror. Turning around exasperated, I glanced at a white piece of fabric hanging on my bedpost. I snatched it off and gasped at the gorgeous dress I held in front of me.
The white fabric had a thin sheen that gave it a glittery effect; it was short—unlike most dresses my mom bought for me—and strapless. I released a breath I hadn’t known I was holding and slid in over my body. It held every curve delicately and gleamed against my Californian tan. To please my mom, I put on brown tights and light brown cowboy boots so I didn’t show so much skin.
When I finally eased down the stairs, people were starting to arrive in clumps. Positioning myself by the door, I got ready to greet the cousins, aunts, and uncles that walked through the door.
“Omigosh, Grace.” A squeal echoed throughout the foyer and I turned only to watch my cousin Ashley throw herself in front of me.
“Oh, hi,” I said quietly looking down at my shoes.
“I just love your dress. Where did you get it?” Ashley rambled on, completely ignoring my greeting. I sighed and placed a freshly manicured hand on one hip and glared at her. Slowly, but surely she clamped her mouth shut and looked at me strangely. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Look, I am only here ‘cause my mom made me. I would so much rather be hanging out with people my age than middle school kids.” I paused as my eyes swept the room looking at every girl and boy under the age of thirteen. “So don’t come running over here expecting everything to be like four years ago, or whenever we saw each other last. So, please just go away.”
Ashley stuck out her quivering bottom lip and tears started to form in her eyes. I raised my eyebrows and looked away.
“Well, Grace, you are just one…” she trailed off as an ear-splitting scream came from the living room. I glanced from around the corner and muffled the laughter wanting to burst out of my lips. A young brunette stood in the middle of the room with red liquid staining her white and black outfit. Broken wine glasses were scattered around the white rug and the same substance that was on the girl was all over the floor. Reluctantly, I took a peek at my mom who was trying not to blow it in front of the family. She took in a deep breath and looked straight at me.
“Grace, please take her and get her some new clothes from your room.” Her expression dared me to say no. I nodded once and she turned towards the doors of the kitchen. “Can I get someone to help clean this up please?”
The girl looked up at me with an apologetic smile and walked towards me. Sighing gruffly, I led her up the stairs and into my room. She stood carefully in the center as if she didn’t want to ruin anything else.
“What size are you?” I asked. She glanced up at me suddenly, surprised that I spoke to her.
“A-a two,” she stammered. I nodded once more and tried to find something for her to wear. I finally found a black skirt and a white blouse. I thrust them into her hands and pointed her towards the bathroom. She eased inside and I jumped onto my bed, tapping my foot against the bed frame impatiently.
Fifteen minutes later, the bathroom door slowly opened and the girl came out. I quickly checked her over, noticing that she did have a slender frame. My skirt fit her perfectly, even though she kept tugging it down because it was too short. She had bright green eyes that popped even against the boring outfit she had on. She smiled shyly and stuck out a hand.
“I’m Miranda. Thanks for helping me out. My family would kill me if I came back down there in stained clothes,” she murmured. I scrutinized the hand before looking back up.
“Grace,” I replied. “You’re welcome.”
I looked back over at her and took in a ragged breath. Miranda’s long brown curly hair reminded me of the girl at the club last night. Silently, memories of rejection and jealousy surged into my mind. As Miranda started to walk towards my bedroom door and leave, I caught her wrist.
“Were you by any chance at the White Wolf last night?” Miranda gave me a strange look then cast her eyes downwards. I released my grip on her and sighed. It wasn’t her. I was about to turn around when she spoke up.
“Yeah, I was,” she answered looking back up at me. I widened my eyes in surprise.
“Were you with this guy? He was tall, dark, and handsome,” I kept probing. Miranda nodded and I grimaced. “Who is he?”
“Him? That’s Jacob; he’s my brother.” I let out a sigh of relief as Miranda once again stared at me with a peculiar expression. “I needed to go and talk to someone, so he came with me. Wait a minute.”
I watched her mull over different possibilities until her face lit up.
“Are you her?” She leered at me with a gleam in her eyes.
“Her?” I repeated.
“Yeah; that girl he was talking to. My brother said he talked to this beautiful girl as he waited for me. He said that she had long black hair, intense green eyes, and was super tall unlike most girls.” She swept her eyes over me once again. “You are her.”
“He said that about me?” I touched my cheek and caught a warm tear sliding down my face. Then I laughed cynically and turned away. “Well most guys do say that about me.”
But they never mean it, I thought. I heard her let out an exasperated sigh.
“Well, thanks anyways for the clothes. How will I get them back to you?”
“Keep them,” I said without looking at her. She stopped herself and looked at me quizzically.
“I can keep them?” she repeated. I looked at her through the corners of my eyes and nodded slightly.
“Yeah, you can keep them. I don’t ever wear them anymore anyways.”
Miranda stood her ground and wondered if she should leave me here by myself.
“Just go,” I whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut as the door clicked shut and sat back down on my bed. Suddenly, Jacob’s face slid into my mind and I sighed sadly. Then, my head popped up and I looked curiously out the window.
“If Jacob is Miranda’s brother and Miranda is working here, then Jacob must be here,” I murmured to myself. Moving swiftly, I hurried out the door and down the stairs.
I peeked into the living room and saw all of my family reuniting and talking in little groups. A few little kids ran past me and I smiled to myself. Oh to be young and so carefree, I thought to myself.
I walked along the wall, hoping to get to the kitchen unnoticed. I was just a few inches from the sliding door when someone wrapped their long fingers around my arm.
Oh God, I am dead, I thought cursing my noisy movements. I closed my eyes briefly and turned to the person behind me.