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Clairia: A World That is, Yet isn't Home
Author's note: Let's just say this is... unique! I really want to finish a book, but I've started a couple and would love to know which ones I should keep working on! Please comment on your imput.
“Clairia! Listen to me!” Charlie yelled at her friend.
“Why should I? You two know all along and didn’t tell me?!” I shot back.
Stephanie, apparently, couldn’t take it anymore, “Would both of you shut up? We’re fighting like little kids!”
And what was it that we, best friends since third grade, were getting so angry about? It was simple really; Charlie and Steph had known all along that I was getting taken out of my favorite class, Art, because my teachers thought I was spending too much time drawing, and not enough on my schoolwork. I knew in my heart that it wasn’t because of that. I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew I got straight A’s in all of my classes, so my schoolwork was definitely not the issue.
“Just tell me why you didn’t tell me. You guys know I would have wanted to hear it from friends, not the school’s guidance counselor.” Clairia whispered dejectedly.
“Mrs. Mayner told us that if we told you, she would have us put in detention for three weeks. That meant we wouldn’t see you at lunch for a month! I’m sorry Clair. I really am.” Charlie said while looking at her feet and slowly losing volume in her voice.
“I guess its ok; I just wish I had known.” I couldn’t believe that I was losing Art. Ms. Pona was my favorite teacher, and never seemed to be angry with me, like all the other teachers always were.
I was about to walk to my bus, when Stephanie grabbed my shoulder, turned me around and pulled me in for a tight hug, which Charlie soon joined. I loved my friends, they always knew what to do to make me feel better, but that was not the case this time. Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, was going to make this okay.
The ride home on the bus would have been livable, except for the fact that my ex was sitting next to me the whole time complaining about some teacher who had yelled at him for sleeping in class. I know Sky is still my best friend, even if he did dump me through an email, but something I just wish he’d learn when I was in a bad mood. Like now.
“Sky, will you please stop talking about your problems when I have plenty of my own?” I suddenly said, interrupting his rant.
“Um, sure C.” Sky said suddenly turning scarlet. He muttered, “Sorry, I didn’t know…” Throughout my friend group, I was called a few different things: C, Clair, Clairia, and of course, Lemon.
I sighed, exhausted from the day’s events. “It’s ok, I know you didn’t know?”
“Great! So what is it that I don’t know?” He replied, way too happily.
“I’m getting kicked out of art because I need to spend more time on school work.” I said using my best Mrs. Mayner impression. Mrs. Mayner has a very nasal sounding voice that makes me want to scrunch my nose like a chipmunk.
“Oh... I’m so sorry. Anything I can do to turn that frown upside down ya lemon?” He said with a lopsided smile.
“Nah Sky, I’m good staying in my own pool of lemony bitterness. School counselors suck ass,” I responded. Actually, the way I got the nickname Lemon is kind of an interesting story; I was making all of my friends laugh around the lunch table with a joke, while wearing one of my favorite T-shirts: a light purple T. with a bright yellow lemon on the center that is tied up the sides. Suddenly, the only other guy in my friend group, Euvin, spoke up for the first time since we sat down.
“Clair, you really are like a lemon, you know that? You’re as bitter as one, as sour as one, and definitely as zesty as one. You are one different girl.”
“Um, thanks? Wow, Daniel, you notice the most random things!” I remarked with a grin.
“Ugh! Stop calling me Daniel; I want to go by my middle name, Euvin. Daniel doesn’t fit me right...” Euvin ranted for a while.
Ever since that conversation, people have been calling me Lemon. Sigh, I wish it was that day again. Grr. I hate Mrs. Mayner!
I was brought back out of plotting to egg Mrs. Mayner’s car when Sky said, “Clairia? Helloooo? Are you even listening to me?”
“Umm, not really. What were you saying?” I asked.
“I was saying that all teachers and authority figures are stupid. I think that teenagers such as ourselves should run the world, we would make much better decisions.” He stated without hesitating.
“Oh yeah? What good would a bunch of 13 year olds do the world?” I asked bitterly, “We would probably set it on fire.”
As always, Sky looked absolutely flabbergasted with what I had just said. “You think we would set it on fire? Do you have no faith in your generation?”
“Sky, it is your bus stop, shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, standing up and leaving?” I asked with a smirk on my face. I loved to annoy Sky, but today I wasn’t really feeling it.
I waited the rest of the ride in silence listening to my iPod. At my stop I got up and walked down the street to my house. I felt tired and woozy for no apparent reason, and I couldn’t wait to get home.
As I put the key in my front door I felt another surge of fatigue. My vision was blurred and my stomach clenched. Was it just my imagination, or was the door changing colors? Probably just my imagination. The door opened with a hard, deep click. I walked inside, closed and locked the door, and immediately ran up two flights of stairs into the attic, a.k.a. my bedroom.
When I was five years old my parents put me in therapy because I was drawing a lot. The therapist said it was just a passing faze, but my parents were worried. Anyone creative in this messed up world it pretty much exiled, and they didn’t want their youngest of three neglected by the world. However, apparently my parents weren’t very smart, because they started acting like I didn’t exist soon after, stuffing me in this room, where I wouldn’t bother anyone. I think they were embarrassed by me, but you never know with my parents. They always do things they shouldn’t, like only acknowledge their youngest daughter when she throws a fit, which I haven’t done since I was 7, so who knows how long it’s been since they’ve given me any attention. They have never once come to one of my art shows or school plays.
When I finally got up to my room, I smiled. It might have been cut off from the rest of the house, but I loved my room. It had a circular window over half of the wall on one end, making it the only window in the room. Also, I had painted white waterlillies with purple veins on my white walls that gave a sense of fantasy to the room.
I jumped onto my bed, which was queen sized, had a dark grey comforter, countless purple pillows that match my waterlilles, and a fuzzy purple blanket to match. I had no homework, or anything else productive to do with my life, so I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.
Still trying to sleep.
Still trying to sleep.
Still trying to sleep.
Still trying to sleep.
Still trying to sleep!
Finally, after what seemed like hours, I fell asleep. While I slept, I dreamt, but soon that dream became a nightmare. In the nightmare, I was trapped, in my room, but it was different...
There was a band. A crash so loud my ears were ringing. I saw blood, and heard a man scream. What was with all of this noise? There was a sudden movement in the corner of my eye. When I turned around I saw something that scared me, and I don’t know why. It was a man, or should I say a boy. He was around my age, with jet black hair, and stunning green eyes. His face was as pale as snow, and he had a sprinkle of freckles on his nose. His eyes were warm, soft and kind, but he looked frightened. The boy began to speak.
”The time when you will be brought home is coming. You will no longer have to deal with these insufferable people you think are your family. Come. Come away with me Clairia, for we shall be together again.”
“There people you’re calling insufferable, I care about them!” I screamed, because the noise in the distance was getting louder, “What is with all of this blood?”
“In this dream you are remembering the day they found us, and took you away. One of our men got injured... The government came and found our rebel forces; they wanted us either captured, or dead. The man who got injured, Tommy, he almost did die. You really don’t remember?” He looked hurt, and worried, like something vital was taken away from him, “Please, come away with me. We were once so happy together; come away with me.” They boy’s eyes looked sad, like he would cry at any moment.
“Although I have no idea what you’re talking about, I have more questions. Who are you? What were we rebelling? Why did the government want to capture us? How is this a dream?” I rambled.
“Shush. Not all of your questions can be answered now. But, I can tell you one thing. My name is Jakoab, but when you were with us, you knew me as Jake. Clairia, I shall see you soon… hopefully next time, outside of your dreams. For now, it is time for you to wake up.” Jakoab said with such a soothing voice, I thought I would melt. Did I really know this guy?
All I could think of to say was, “I will try. See you soon Jake.” And so I did. I tried and tried and tried. I wasn’t sure how, so all I did was think over and over again, wake up. Wake up! WAKE UP! Soon, everything went blurry, and Jakoab was gone. My room disappeared from view as well, and in its place was…
A hospital room? Where am I? Did I wake up, or did I just go into another dream? Why did I have so many questions? Oh wait, someone is talking.
“She’s awake!!! What do we do? This has never happened before!” A lady wearing white, who I thought must be a nurse, shrieked. Something was familiar about this frantic nurse; I just can’t put my fingers on it…
“Wha... what's going on?” I asked exhaustedly. I could barely say that much.
“Ah!!!!! She’s talking!” the lady howled again. She looked like she thought I was ill with a highly deadly and highly contagious disease.
“Stop screaming, it hurts my… ugh… it hurts my head.” I was still feeling rather nauseous. Hmm, this is weird. Even though I do feel nauseous, my head is clear. More clear than it has been in a long time. I wonder why I’ve never felt this awake before… Just then I realized what was so familiar about the woman, she looked exactly like my guidance counselor, Mrs. Mayner! “Mrs. Mayner?”
“How do you know my name?!” She said and then quickly put a hand over her mouth, but I could still see her eyes popping out of her head. It was kind of creepy, but rather funny at the same time.
Without warning, a man in all black came in the room. He had what looked like a tazer, but much more deadly, it was literally sizzling with electricity! I hope he isn’t planning on poking me with that thing.
Again, without warning, wow these people really need to learn how to knock, a woman came in. She was wearing an identical outfit to the man’s but her weapon was flowing with purple energy. Somehow, and I don’t know how, it called to me. I wanted to hold it, to use it.
“Don’t shoot, Ricky, let’s see how we can play this.” The woman in black said with an edge in her voice that made my blood run cold.
“Fine, Maloney. What do you suggest we do?” The man in black asked sarcastically.
The woman remarked slyly, “Let’s ask her.”
“The fugitive?!” The man asked, obviously appalled, “Have you gone nuts?”
“Um, excuse me, but when I’m dreaming, I like to know what’s going on.” I said. I knew this wasn’t a dream; something about it was way too real. However, if they were going to use me, I was going to play them like a board game.
“She thinks this is a dream! Ha, idiot child!” The man whispered eagerly. Yea, I’m the idiot. Ha-ha!
“Yes child, what would you like to know?” The woman said sweetly, although I had heard her tone earlier, so I didn’t believe it. Not one bit, but again, got to play the part.
“Thank-you ma’am. I was wondering, why am I in a hospital? Is that supposed to mean I feel like I’m in need of help? Or is it not metaphorical for anything, but just part of the major plot.” I asked dumbly. I am rocking this role! I should be an actress!
“Well, I can’t tell you that, you have to figure it out for yourself. I’m sorry.” The woman replied with a small smile.
“Oh, ok… So what is in store for me next in this dream?” I asked trying to seem dumbfounded and disappointed.
“Well, why don’t you get dressed, and then we’ll find out?” she was so disturbingly nice. I hate her already.
I had her eating out of my hand, but I needed to make her believe I didn’t think I was in danger at all. And also, if I play my cards right I just might be able to escape, “Ok, um, odd question, but can I use the restroom first?”
“Of course Ms.…?”
“Ms. Lenner's ma’am. And you?” I said politely.
“Mrs. Seffy. This is my husband, Mr. Seffy, but you may call us Maloney and Ricky.” She is really trying to butter me up, “I will take you to the restroom now.”
“Ok, thank-you ma’am.” I tried to sound like I wasn’t freaking out. She’s taking me somewhere, and I don’t trust her at all. STRANGER DANGER.
She held out her hand, and, even though it made me want to cringe, I took it. Maloney helped me up, and walked me out of the room.
- - -
After I used the restroom and changed out of my hospital attire, Maloney and Ricky thought we should go on a “fun walk” outside. If they think they are making this like a dream, they must think dreams are really boring. When we got outside the scenery was not at all how I expected it to be. Everything looked just as it always does nothing strange or different about this seemingly weird world. Maloney must have realized my confusion because she said, “What? Does this seem unfamiliar to you?”
I was hesitant to answer but said, “No, it looks just like home. This is one odd dream…”
As I was looking around cautiously I noticed a large brick fence surrounding the perimeter. Was it meant to keep the dangers of the outside world out… or the mysterious patients in? Suddenly I saw a familiar looking person walk by. Oh wait! This isn’t a familiar looking person, this is Charlie! I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask.
“Charlie? What are you doing here?” I asked completely taken off guard.
“Clairia? Are we having the same dream?” She asked, obviously as confused as I was.
“Girls, do you know each other?” Maloney asked, looking worried.
I had to think of something to say quickly, so I said, “Um, yeah. This is Charlie, from my real world.”
“Please to meet you ma’am.” Charlie said with a little too much emphasis. Did she know what was going on?
Without warning, people who looked like they were wearing ninja costumes came flying out of the sky. If I wasn’t mistaken, I think I saw Jakoab’s bright green eyes flying past in all of this confusion. But that would be crazy; he was just part of a dream!
Screaming was coming from every direction. I felt as if my ears would explode. Suddenly, I was grabbed around the waist, and heaved upwards. I could no longer see Charlie, and even though someone was holding onto me from behind, I felt alone.
Where was I being taken? I am so tired of all these questions, when all I want is answers. Now as the figure who grabbed me began to speak, I had some hope that answers were just what I was going to get.
“Don’t worry Clairia, we’ll get you safe and sound at base soon enough!” The man shouted from behind me because wind was making things difficult to hear.
I was scared, yet exhilarated at the same time. I felt like a bird, flying through the air. All I did when we were flying was close my eyes and feel the wind hit my face.
After flying for what seemed like hours we landed on a patch of orange grass that went up to my thighs. It was odd, but yet felt real, familiar. We were in front of a small hut-like building that was painted a bright aquamarine. These people don’t like being subtle!
At least one hundred people were walking into that small little hut, so I couldn’t believe we’d all fit. I still felt something around my waist, so I looked down and saw a pair of hands wrapped tightly around me. It seemed as if they would never let go, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted them to.
“We’re here Clairia. Welcome base! Oh Clairia, it is so great to have you back! I have missed you so much for the past 8 years!” The oh-so familiar man said from behind me.
“Um, ok… Well, exactly why have I been gone 8 years?” I asked, confused. This made no sense!!!
I felt the hands tense up around my waist, “You mean, you truly don’t remember? How could that be? Well, we’ll figure it out when we get everyone gathered for a group meeting.”
I felt a surge of recognition, I knew that voice. “Hey! You are that Jakoab guy from my dream! But wait, you were just a dream, weren’t you?”
“No Clairia, I’m not. I was trying to convince you to doubt the world you thought you knew. I had to try to convince you to wake up! And luckily, you did!” He sounded proud of me, but I couldn’t remember a reason why he would be.
I turned around to see him again, looking just as gorgeous and vulnerable as the last time I saw him, and noticed what we had been flying in. It was like a mini helicopter that was on his back. It was black, so it matched their ninja suits, which is why I didn’t notice them earlier.
Although he never let go of me, we didn’t talk anymore until we got inside. When we did get inside, I saw how everyone was fitting in. There were stairs that led to a basement, a very large basement. There were couches, chairs and tables everywhere that people were sitting in conversing about the successful mission. Jake led me to a love seat and sat down. I sat down next to him, unsure about what to do. I am never good at being in a room full of people I don’t know. I feel so nervous that I have to cover around whoever I do know just to feel safe, and now, the only one I know is Jake. Suddenly, I realized everyone here looked like they were in their teen years, and that Jakoab seemed to be their leader, because he began a speech.
“Everyone here today was part of the successful mission that helped take back five of our rebels that had been taken from us,” He said, giving me a sad look, “However… What the government shape shifters have done to these people might be irreversible,” There was a gasp throughout the room, “Now hold on. HOLD ON! It might be. We still have to talk it over with our dream specialists. But, I know that not all of our friends have their old memories from before the dream zone.”
Someone in the crowd burst out, “Who!?”
“Everyone, I know this will be a setback and a shock for all of you, but, Clairia no longer remembers anything about this world. I have not gotten a chance to talk to anyone else about this yet, so it might not be true for all of the taken people.” Jake said while staring intently at the floor like something was very interesting about it.
A guy next to us said, “Jake, I am so sorry. We all know how much you care about Clairia, and how much it hurt you when she was taken. This must be like going through that all over again. If there is anything we can do to help ease your pain, just ask.”
“Um, I’m sorry, but am I understanding you right? I was taken away for 8 years, put in a dream, and now I’m back without any of my ‘real memories’ and might never get them again?” I asked, with a freaked out expression.
“Yes Clairia. That is the easy way to put it.” Jake said while looking sadly into my eyes.
I couldn’t believe this, but I had to ask, “And we… we were together?”
“Yes,” Jake said with a tinge of hope,” Do you remember? Please tell me you at least remember us!”
“Um not really. But I put two and two together…” I paused, and then burst out in a rush of words "I really can’t believe any of this. You’re all saying that my whole life was a lie. I went to hell and back in that dream, because I was “different” and “unique”. Now you’re saying that it was all for nothing. That my friendships and hardships were really nonexistent. I can’t, no I don’t want to believe that.” I stated, frustrated.
Jake wouldn’t take that for an answer, he looked stubborn and tired as he said, “But it is the truth, surely you see that? And if you can’t, we’ll help you see that. I would do anything for you. And I will.”
“Well, this is awkward,” I said, realizing how many people were watching us and listening to our private conversation, “How much do you know about what happened in the dream?”
“Actually, quite a lot. We could see everything that happened. We have a machine we call the dream seer. I’m sorry that’s a bit... How do Earth people put it? Stalkerish, that’s the word.” Jakoab responded, sounding embarrassed.
Well now it was my turn to be embarrassed, “So you know about me and…. Me and Sky?”
“Well,” Jake said with a frown, “Yes, I do. In fact, I’m going to have to talk about that with him later.”
“Well this is really awkward. Ummmmm. I kind of feel guilty about that, so maybe I have some of my old emotions. Who knows, maybe all of my memories will come back slowly.” I said hopefully. I probably shouldn’t believe any of this, but it feels so real, and makes so much sense. I never felt like I belonged before, and here, I do. Confusion finally settled in when I registered what he just said, “Wait! Sky is here?!”
Sky poked his head out of the crowd as he said, “Uhhhh, Jake? I feel really bad about that. But in my defense, in the dream, you don’t remember anything real. Trust me, I’m not about to do that again now that I remember you and Clairia.”
“Wait! You remember this world now that you are out of the dream?” Jake asked nervously.
“Yea…. Why are you looking so scared?” Sky said now also nervous, “Do you think that means something wrong happened to Clairia?!”
Jake nodded his head, “That might be so. Clairia, I promise you, we will figure this out!”
Later that evening I was in a room that looked strangely like my room in the “dream zone” as everyone seems to be calling it. Jake hadn’t spoken to me since the speech in front of all of the rebels. However, I have learned quite a bit about the situation. Charlie informed me that the rebels’ formal name was La vraie Forme de la Justice, or the True Form of Justice. Many people however simply call it Vraie Justice, or True Justice. Also, she told me that we were fighting against a new form of tyranny, the Shiftera Forme, or Shape Shifters. When I asked why they kept using French, she just explained
“French is the first known language of this planet. However, centuries ago, people started to use English, and French became a dead language. Now the rebels use it to show that we must honor the past, and sometimes, in order to reach the future, you must go backwards in time.”
I was so confused throughout this entire conversation that I kept asking questions that Charlie really thought were bizarre and pointless, but she kept her patience, like always. Some of my questions were:
“So the people who took over they’re… Shape Shifters?!?!? But that’s all fantasy shit! It’s not real!”
“That’s fantasy is the dream zone, but here its reality. No one here is what you consider normal; we all have exotic powers, even you. In fact, you are a part of an almost extinct species, the Donneur, or Givers. You are called this because your people are thought to bring all life to our planet, and without you, we would all perish and die. You can bring life to any creature, and settle peace in any dispute. There are even some rumors that if you channel your powers right, you can create new life, and make new creatures. That’s why the Shifters are so threatened by you, and why you are going extinct, although we aren’t sure that all of the Donneurs that went missing are dead. In the mind of the Shiftera Forme, you can make an indestructible army, and destroy them. However your people are extremely difficult to kill, because you bring life, not death.”
“Wait, wait, wait! I thought my kind was very peaceful, how would we destroy them?” I asked. This world makes no sense!
“The Donneur have only waged war a few times, but every time they have, they completely demolished the offending side. With you and Jakoab leading us, we will surely have victory.” Charlie answered with no sound of impatience in her voice.
Whoa, this is so unexpected. But I needed to make sure, so I asked, “Jake is a Donneur, too?!”
“Yes, Clairia. Besides you two, there are only 10 others we know where they are. You and Jake have been together for 14,678,529,982 years as of next month on the 3rd. He’s been counting.” Charlie said while moving uncomfortably in her chair.
“Oh my god… Wait, I’ve been alive that long? That’s impossible! Wow I’m old!” This is so weirdddddd!!!
“Yes, everyone here is practically immortal. We cannot die of old age, and cannot be weakened by disease. For each species there are certain ways to kill them, all of which are extremely difficult.”
“Then how do you deal with overpopulation?”
“Our planet expands to the need of our people. It is a creature as well.”
“Oh my god,” Clairia mutters in disbelief.” This world is so different…What are you guys then?”
“Well, Sky is a dreamer, like the people who put you to sleep. That’s why he missed school often, because it’s hard to keep a dreamer asleep. He however, is not on the side of the tyrant shiftera forme, he is on our side. Euvin is a chaleur, which means he can control heat. He can control fire, and make it by heating up molecules. Stephanie is a Fairy, so she can have wings, help plants, and converse with less sophisticated life forms. She has a few other powers as well. I am a shiftera forme, however, I am not with the ones who took over our government. When I saw what they were doing, I automatically went to the rebels to help. I know this makes me seem not trustworthy, but I have been on this side since the beginning of the war.” Charlie explained while staring at her shoes when she told me about her power. Or the creature she is? Oh this is all so confusing! I think Charlie is embarrassed about what her people have done, but there is no reason she should be. SHE didn’t want any part of it, and that’s what’s important to me.
“It’s ok, I would trust you no matter what.” I said, although I was very surprised by this, I would never doubt Charlie. She’s like a sister to me.
“I think I need to sleep now, Charlie. You’ve told me so much, and I just need some time to think. Thank-you so much for telling me all of this.” I said and then I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.
But how could I sleep now that I had all of this amazing new knowledge in my head? My thoughts were in an endless rollercoaster of impossible things. I was magical. Me! I’m the girl who gets picked last for kickball, is a total outcast at school, and wears clothing everyone thinks is bizarre and unnecessary. Well, that was me. Maybe now that I’m in this new, crazy, exciting world, things will finally change…
Or maybe they won’t.
Which would be worse?
- - -
It was the morning after Charlie informed me about our situation, and all I wanted to do was sleep again; never wake up again, and pretend this was all a dream, but when I heard the noise and commotion from down stairs, and saw the purple luminous lights floating above me, I knew it wasn’t. I struggled to stand up and walk to my closet, and picked out an outfit I had never seen before. It was a strapless dress that went right above my knees, was a pale purple with blue and orange polka dots, and had knuckle-showing gloves that matched. I put it on, and took my sloppy bun out of my hair. What I saw made me gasp…
My hair was orange! Not just orange, but orangey-red with black streaks! I think my tips are even purple! Yesterday my hair was brunet, and down to my shoulders. Now it’s at least to by butt! How the hell…?
“Are you awake yet?” Stephanie shouted from behind my door.
I could barely make out a faint, “Yes, come in.”
“Hey, hey, hey! Oh, I see your hair’s back to its natural self. Let’s just hope we can get back the rest of you!” Steph said while I looked at her with my eyes practically popping out of my head. Her eyes were impossibly blue! “Oh, I see you’re still not 100% caught up on the situation. Now, in the dream zone, the dreamer who put us to sleep had to change things so we would feel less connected to our real world. She or he changed your hair and eyes, but most of us had more subtle changes, like just eye color. When you get out of a dream, it takes a while for your mind to reconnect to how things really look, not how you think they look. Got it?”
“Uh huh. I think so. Wait, my eyes, too?” I knew my hair was different, but my brown eyes, too?
“Yea, they’re beautiful. Imagine if you tie dyed them purple and green. You’re eyes are definitely some of the most amazing I’ve ever seen. You ready to come downstairs?” Steph said with a laugh.
“Of course. Is there any breakfast down there? I’m starving!” I said while trying not to hold my breath and keep a smile of my face.
“Sure, come on. I think you’ll like what you taste!” By the tone of her voice, Steph was in a pretty good mood this morning, and she has reason to be. She remembers all of this stuff. I, on the other hand, lost about, I don’t know, 15 billion years of knowledge! I guess all I can do is hope that like everyone else I get my memory back.
When we got downstairs the first thing I noticed is that Jake was behind the frying pan making what looked like blue pancakes. Things got blurry, and then refocused, showing a scene that was strangely familiar to me…
I walked into a brown and blue kitchen filled with the aromas of pancakes and early Sunday mornings. I grabbed a bronze kettle off the counter top and put it on the stove, preparing to make my morning hot chocolate, like I do every morning.
“Hey Jako, Hun! Mmmm, breakfast smells delicious, dear. Is it berry or pollonne?” I asked with an authentic smile on my face. My husband, Jakoab, was busy mixing a thick bluish, creamish colored batter in a big dark blue bowl.
“Pollonne of course! It is your favorite.” Jake said while giving me a kiss on the cheek, “I picked the beautiful blue fruit out of our garden just this morning! They were exceptionally square and delicate. But… I think I stained my shirt.” Sure enough, his off-white button-up shirt had a light splatter of rich, dark blue on his left shoulder. How in Lord Lemmon’s Wrath could he go to work wearing that? He’s going to have to get changed; I just hope he has a clean shirt.
“You need to go change and I’ll put it in the wash before lunch, it’ll be fine…”
- - -
“Hey Jako!” I said actually cheerful for the first time this morning. Could that vision be real?
“Hi Clairi- Wait… You haven’t called me Jako since before you got taken. No one else ever calls me that. How did you know that name, Clairia?!” Jake asked astonished while holding my shoulders in an iron grip.
“Ok, first things first, please let go of my shoulders. Now, this is going to sound crazy, but I just had a weird… vision, or something like that. It was like a flashback. It was just me and you in a kitchen, similar to this one, but it was all brown and blue. You were making something like pancakes out of something called pollone. Apparently it’s my favorite, and it is like a blue fruit that’s in the shape of a cube. You stained your shirt, and I was going to put it in the wash before lunch…” I said, my eyes starting to tear up, “Did that actually happen?”
“Yes! Yes, it did! That’s amazing! Maybe your memories resurface when you’re around familiar situations that are like your memories.” Jake said while positively beaming with hope. “And, that is this kitchen. We remodeled about 10 years ago, and instead of using brown and blue, we upgraded to black and tannish-cream. You said you wanted a more modern kitchen.”
“Ha, I do love this kitchen and on the matter of regaining my memories, let’s hope so. Now if this food is so good, I want some!” I exclaimed.
“Well here ya go, sweetie. Just the way you like them, fluffy with extra syrup. Imagine a blueberry pancake but it is sourer, and the syrup makes it sweet. I know you don’t think you like blueberries, but remember, dreamers try to avoid anything that reminds you of the real world when you’re in a dream.” Jake said with the sweetest smile I had ever seen. It seems like the more time I spend with him, the more I love him. Which I have to remind myself is crazy, because I can’t even remember him, but maybe love isn’t about remembering when you first met, or moved in together. Maybe love is just a feeling you get around someone who cares.
“Well then, serve me up!” I said with a wink as Jakoab put a few on my plate. I usually hate trying new foods; the thought makes me want to barf. In fact, I thought I was the pickiest eater in the world, but then again, this isn’t the world I thought I knew. Today, this feels right. So with that final thought, I put some syrup on it, and took a large bite out of a huge blue pancake. Yummm! This is the best pancake I’ve ever had in my life!
“This is delicious! You are a god in the kitchen Jake! If I have ever eaten a better pancake, I was dreaming!” I said while rubbing my tummy.
Jake laughed, “I’m glad you like it Clairia. You’ve always had such a love for food that I could never understand… and you always manage to look like that!”
“And what is that supposed to mean?” I asked after taking another bite.
“Ha-ha! I mean even though you love food, you always stay skinny. I haven’t even seen a prettier woman in my dreams.” Jake whispered with a twinkle in his eyes.
I heard some people go “Awe!” behind me so I turned around and gave them a threatening look. When I did turn back around to face Jake I giggled and said, “That’s very sweet, Jako. Thank-you.” I’m pretty positive I’m blushing. God, he probably thinks I’m a dork!
“You are adorable, you know that?” Jake said in barely more than a whisper.
Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that. All I could say was the truth at this point, “Um, not really. People don’t really tell me that every day.”
“Well, I used to, but I couldn’t exactly when you were gone.” He said regretfully, “Now, I will never waste a chance to tell you how much I care about you. Je t'aime. That means I love you.“
Luckily, by this time everyone had left the room and went to do whatever rebels do in their free time. This was good because I could then say, without feeling awkward, “I don’t really know French, so how do I say I love you, too?”
Jake smiled and laughed, “Je t'aime, trop.”
“Well then, Je t'aime, trop.” I said while looking up at him with a smile. Honestly, I believe what I just said. In the dream world I have never been able to show my feelings that easily, but with Jake, I feel like I could say anything.
Jake smiled what is most likely the largest smile I have ever seen and said, “You do not know how glad I am to hear you say that Clairia. Yesterday, when you said you couldn’t remember anything, I was so worried. I was worried that if you couldn’t remember anything, you wouldn’t ever love me like you used to.”
“Well Jakoab, loving you right now goes against every instinct in my very body, but it feels right at the same time. I don’t remember all of the time we spent together, but I know I love you. Now I have faith that I will someday remember all we have been through.” I said grinning. I hope what I just said (the part about regaining my memories, not loving him) was true. How desperately I needed it to be true. To live without memories…. Well it’s like being reborn, and frankly, I do not want to go through life like a newborn baby!
“Well, then. How about we start with that memory of you helping me clean the kitchen after your favorite breakfast?” Jake said playfully.
I loved his energy and excitement at even the simplest things. I said while laughing, “OK! Let’s make this place shine.”
With that we started to clean up while laughing. I love this world. I love being different. I love Jakoab. Je t'aime, Jake.
“So, what do we do now? I mean, we have ourselves fed, we are somehow under the bad-guys radar, what now? What do rebels do in their free-time?” I asked actually curious.
“Well,” Jake said with a grin, “I’ll answer your unasked question first. The tyrants can’t find us because of two things. One, we have a distracter spell put on the place. That means that no one unauthorized to be here feels compelled to go away. The second part is how they are authorized. We have a large wall in the lowest basement. On it we have carved in stone the people aloud to be here. They are the people unaffected by the distracter spell, and can be here without feeling at full blast another spell we have here. It doesn’t have a name, but its purpose is that whenever someone whose name isn’t on the wall come into our boundaries, they turn to stone.”
I smiled, “Thank you for that explanation, but what about my real question?”
“At the moment we have successfully accomplished our mission, so now we have some down time. We play games and do other things that we did before the shiftera forme took charge. This way, we remember why we’re fighting, and get a chance to relax. Right now I am going to show you around base and reintroduce you to everyone you knew before, and believe me, you were very popular.”
“Oh, sounds fun!” I exclaimed.
As we walked down a long hallway filled with brightly colored doors I saw one that stood out among the rest. It was bright purple with a yellow sign that said: Constance Consuela Milnow Lenners. Lenners, that’s my last name! So who’s Constance?
“Wait! Jake, who’s Constance?” I asked curiously, though I could tell there was an edge to my voice. Something was not right about this room.
Jake stopped walking and tensed up, “I was hoping you wouldn’t see that.” He said sadly.
Now I was worried, what was he trying to keep from me? “Who is she Jake?!” I asked more forcefully this time.
“She was our daughter,” Jake began, “She died shortly after birth.”
“We had a kid?! How did she die!? We-were we married?!” I asked, tears swell up inside my eyes, and threatening to pour out. I had a daughter. A little girl, and she’s dead! I felt like an old wound had been ripped open.
Jakoab’s voice cracked as he said, “Yes Clairia, we had a child. She was stabbed by a shape shifter five days after birth. She was still at the hospital because she was having some breathing issues. This was a month after the war started. We were married, but after she died, we got divorced. It practically destroyed you, and you said you couldn’t look at me because I reminded you of her. You then moved to the other base and didn’t talk to me for a month. After that you came back here saying that you still loved me, and wanted to be with me, but couldn’t get remarried because with the war going on, you couldn’t make any more strong relationships. That was five years before you were taken.”
“Can I go in?” I asked as my throat swelled up and tears silently slipped out of my eyes.
Jake walked to the door and opened it, “Of course, Clairia. You spent a year designing it! You were so proud when you finished…”
The room was exactly how I would make a baby girl’s room. The walls were a toned down version or the door, so they looked like more of lavender than a bright purple. The crib was a light yellow and had purple and yellow blankets inside it. There was even a yellow teddy bear with a purple bow! However, that also had a third eye and wings like a fuzzy bird. The ground was a soft yellow carpet. There were pictures on the wall of strange animals, and one large framed picture of a beautiful baby girl that must have been Constance a day or so after birth. The room was perfect in every way except one, there was no baby to live in it. With that thought I crumbled to the floor and choked on my sobs; now the tears were pouring out of my eyes as if they were competing to get down my face first.
I had to scream, so I shouted from my spot on the floor, while looking at the ceiling, “Why?! You’ve already destroyed my life, isn’t that enough!? You had to annihilate my daughter’s as well!? I will find you, shiftera forme, and when I do, you better be ready, because I will have my revenge!”
At this point Jake was sitting next to me and put his arm around my shoulder as I sobbed into his. What if they took Jake away from me? I would never be able to live with that. I would probably kill myself. Yes, I would stab myself like they stabbed my daughter. Oh, but that wouldn’t work; it’s hard to kill a…
“Wait! Isn’t it really hard to kill a Donneur? So wouldn’t a simple stab not work?” I asked through my tears, with a small amount of hope that was soon crushed.
“That is true, but Donneurs as babies are very fragile and vulnerable until about three weeks old. Plus, the knife was covered in vampire venom, and vampire bites are fatal to Donneurs. So, the stab acted like a vampire bite. She died about three minutes after being stabbed; she sure was a tough one…”
I suddenly felt another pang of grief. To have hope and then have it ripped out of your hands is quite painful. My sadness traveled from my heart to my head as I felt a wave of exhaustion. I soon collapsed into Jakoab’s arms and fainted. The last thing I remember was a blur of purple and yellow, and Jake screaming, “Clairia!?!?!?!” as he clutched my body, which was slipping into unconsciousness.
- - -
The night was late as a stressed couple hurried through the rain to the nearest hospital for Donneurs. They were anxious as they jogged through the thundering rain. The woman was clutching her pregnant stomach while screaming at her husband to open the door.
“If we don’t get in there now this baby will be born right outside the hospital! Would that make you happy Jakoab!?” She yelled in anguish. Her red hair was sticking to her face and her eyes were barely visible through her long wet bangs.
Jakoab was happy to respond to his wife in labor, “Only a moment dear! I can’t believe our daughter is only moments away from arriving, Clairia!”
He opened the door and screamed for help, “Someone come here! My wife is about to have her baby!”
A man wearing all white rushed to their sides with a wheel chair and took them to the nearest room. The procedure went without a substantial issue and Clairia gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with freckles all over her nose, red and black hair and bright green eyes.
The next few days the baby, now named Constance, had some breathing issues, so she remained at the hospital. On the fifth day of her stay, two shape shifters pretending to be nurses came in and stabbed the Milnow’s darling baby mercilessly with a knife covered in vampire venom. The baby lost all traces of life in just a few minutes. However, something curious happened, only one shiftera forme left the hospital that night, and they were last seen with a backpack running through the night.
The following months were times of horror for the Milnow family. The death of their baby girl tore apart the couple, and Clairia called for a divorce. She then moved away from her ex-husband and friends to escape the constant reminder of her dead beloved daughter. After she had time to let the pain settle, she went back to Jakoab with some surprising news.
Clairia walked up to the cheery blue hut with a look of pure sorrow on her pale face. She opened the half circle wooden door and immediately saw the person she had come to see, her ex-husband. Jakoab was busy cleaning dishes from breakfast that morning.
“Hello Jako.” Clairia said with a nervous smile.
Jakoab had never been that surprised in his entire long life. Not only did his jaw drop in awe of the woman he thought he would never see again, but he also dropped the five dishes he had been putting away. He didn’t know why Clairia came back, but Jakoab didn’t care, all that mattered to him was that he could hold her
- - -
I opened my eyes to see a now familiar purple and yellow room. I could feel Jakoab’s warm arms holding me as if they would never let me go.
I barely managed to say “How long have I been out?”
“Clairia!” Jake exclaimed in surprise, “Only seconds darling. Are you ok?”
“Yea, but I had the weirdest dream… No! Not dream, memory! It was of the night Constance was born! And then the following days until she was killed… After that it was as if it went through the next few months in super speed. I have so many new memories, I feel nauseous! The last thing I saw was you looking at me when I returned to base. You were holding some dishes, and as soon as you saw me, you dropped them all, and your jaw dropped as well. You were so surprised, but so happy!” I remarked.
“Of course I was happy and surprised! I thought I would never see you again because of how upset you were when you left. Of course, you had reason to be upset. You were so excited to have a daughter, and from the moment you first saw her, you loved her with all your heart, I was surprised you had time to love me! You wouldn’t let her out of your sight, but of course when the doctors had to do a lung scan you felt you had no choice…” Jake said quickly, as if the whole paragraph he explained to me was really one long run on sentence.
I had to change the subject because I could tell this topic was hurting him just as much as it hurt me. So, I asked, “Hey, weren’t you going to introduce me to some of my old friends? We should do that now.”
Jake’s face instantly brightened up and he said, “Great! You already know Sky, Charlie, Stephanie, and Euvin, so at least I don’t have to introduce you to them! I think I’ll start by showing you Tabatha and Tommy. When I’m done introducing you to everyone on base, I have one thing specifically I want you to see, but I think we can save the rest of the tour until tomorrow.”
Although what I had just learned about my past made me feel as though a large part of my heart was ripped out long ago, then put back in, and then ripped out again, I was excited to meet people I had once known, and considered friends. I hope that they can understand what I am going through like Jake does.
“Well, let’s go find Tabatha!” Jake said enthusiastically.
“Why Tabatha? Aren’t we looking for Tommy, too?” I asked, confused.
Jake gave me a look that said ‘are you really asking me this?’ as he said, “Ha-ha! You have much to learn, young rebel. Wherever Tabatha is, Tommy will be. He barely lets her out of his sight. In fact, he’s probably clingier than I am with you.”
“Whoa, that’s possible?! I am shocked!” I teased.
Jake blinked his eyes dramatically and said, “That hurts Clair that really does. Don’t you have any mercy?” Jake then laughed and said, “Come on, let’s get going.”
We left Constance’s would have been bedroom, and went the way we came and went back to the kitchen.
After we had reached the ground floor we went outside where everyone seemed to be soaking up the sun, playing games, and simply talking. Jake expertly moved me through the crowd until we reached a girl hanging upside down from a tree branch. Sitting a small ways away was the boy who had comforted Jake when he told the rebels about my lost memory. Realization dawned on me, this must be Tommy, and that would make the girl Tabatha! Jake was right, Tommy was just watching her anxiously, and must have been worried for her safety because he soon warned, “Tabby! You’re going to fall and hurt yourself! Be careful!”
Tabatha said, “Oh chill out and have some fun, ya worrier! I’m not going to get hurt! Oh look, my brother in law has come to speak with us, and look again, he brought a friend! Clairia, it is so great to see you!!”
“Um, it’s good to see you, too, Tabatha?” I replied weakly.
“Oh don’t worry about not remembering me, you might have lost all of your old memories, but we can make some new ones!” She said.
“Hello Tabatha, energetic as always I see. You are making my dear brother’s eyes pop out of his head!” Jake joked as Tabatha jumped down from the branch she was hanging from.
“Wait, so Tommy is your brother, and Tabatha is your sister in law?” I asked surprised.
“I would still be your sister in law if you didn’t break things off with Jake.” Tabatha said with a frown.
I awkwardly looked at my shoes and tried to come up with a response. Sadly, all I could come up with was, “Um yea well, that was former Clairia; I’d like to think I’ve become a nicer person.”
“Great! So are you and Jake officially back together? Are you going to have another wedding? Oh that would be lovely!” Tabatha said jumping up and down energetically.
WHAT?! I definitely did not see that coming. All I could do was reply weakly, “Uh, I guess you could say we’re back together, but I don’t know about any weddings, I still feel like a 13 year old girl. I mean… I know I love Jake, it’s kind of like just the one fact I know has to be true out of all this chaos. But, I just… I just…”
“Clairia, calm down. No one is expecting us to get remarried, and I know you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that any time soon. Tabatha, stop scaring her! We all know you weren’t at all sad when we got divorced, the only thing you were sad about was that you weren’t an aunt!” Jake reassured me.
“Oh stop your blabbering, Clairia knows I was just joking, don’t you C? Besides, it would be lovely if you had a wedding. Any-who-ha, how are you doing today Clair? I heard about your memory this morning, it’s all that anyone’s talking about! How did it feel? Do you think you’ll get anymore?” Tabatha said in a way that made it seem like she said things like this every day.
“I’m fine I guess. Um well it was weird, I was myself, but I couldn’t control what I was saying or doing. And I’m pretty sure I’ll get more, because I already have.” I said warily.
“YOU DID?!?!? Tell me all about it!” Tabatha exclaimed.
“Well yes I did, Jake was giving me a tour and we went down a really long hall way filled with super bright colored doorways and I saw this purple one with a yellow sign on it.” I said while slowing my words until I was interrupted by Tabatha.
Tabatha gasped, “Constance’s room!!! I cross it every day when I leave my bedroom to go upstairs! Continue!”
“Well, I asked Jake about it and he told me about what happened, and let me go inside. I… I collapsed and had another vision of my past. It was sad, but it’s nice to have some more real memories.” I said even slower than my last few sentences.
“I bet it is! Boys, would you excuse me and Clairia, we have some catching up to do!” Tabatha said with a sly grin. She was up to something, I could tell.
“But!-“Tommy started to say anxiously.
But Jake was to the rescue. He said, “Come on Tommy, Clairia will look after her. Clairia, I’ll see you at lunch?”
“Of course Jako, I’ll see you then.” I said reassuringly.
Although Tommy still looked nervous about leaving, both of the brothers left. I was curious to why Tabatha wanted them gone, but I didn’t need to ask because she got right to the point.
“Sorry about acting so obnoxious about all of that, but I had to get them gone so we could talk. Oh, Clairia, I missed you so much! However, now is not time to reminisce about things you cannot remember. What I need to talk to you about is… Why you can’t remember anything, and why you are uncovering memories.”
“Do you have a theory!?” I asked hopefully.
“Yes. You see, I used to be a scientist before the war started. I worked with dreamers, although I am not one. I am an elemental controller like my brother Euvin, but instead of controlling heat and fire, I control emotion and can influence people’s thoughts and decisions. I know that doesn’t seem elemental, but truly here, elemental means a region of powers all associated with each other. Anyway, so I said I worked with dreamers. See, my work was trying to see how putting people into dreams affected them. We tested this on a number of different creatures, even a few Donneurs. But the catch is, we never had anyone in a dream as long as you had been, in one dream period. So my theory is that Sky didn’t lose his memories because he kept coming out of it, and that Stephanie, Charlie, and Euvin didn’t because they were put in a little later. You were in the dream zone for eight years without a break, longer than anyone in history, so I think that the dream zone became your world. You can’t access your real life memories because the dream zone became your life. Do you understand?”
“Yea… It makes sense! I can’t remember this world, because it doesn’t feel like it is my world anymore! Like my brain is exiling what it hasn’t been exposed to for so long! What about how and why I’m recovering my memories?”
“I have another theory about that. What I’m thinking is that whenever you experience something similar to your past, your mind is reminded that it happened, that its real, and it shows the memory to you.”
“So I’m going to have to go through similar events to everything that happened in my 15 billion years of life in order to remember it all?!?”
“Ah! No, I forgot to mention the second part of my second theory! I think that you will remember everything if you either one: remember enough events that your brain finally caves, and opens itself up to you with all of your memories. Or two: you remember such a major and important part of your life that you remember. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“Yes, that no matter which option is correct, I need to try to uncover my memories. But why couldn’t you tell me this in front of the guys?”
“I… I don’t think that if Tommy knew what I have planned he would let me go with you. Jake would do anything to have you get your memories back. However ever since you were taken, Tommy has become extra protective of me.”
“What do you have planned?” I asked cautiously.
“An adventure!” Tabatha exclaimed happily, “We would travel to all of the places in your past to try to find memories. Jake would need to come with of course, because he has been with you most of your life.”
“Tabatha, please. Look, I know it’s important to regain my memories, but is it really a necessity right now? How about we keep this little discovering between you and me for now? In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t think Jake is letting me go anywhere until things settle down. I just got all of this back; I don’t want to risk losing it again.”
“Fine,” Tabatha huffed, “You used to bring fun into everything! I’ve missed you so much, because when you were gone do you think anyone else would bake cream pies with me and throw them at shifter’s heads? And you know, at the heads of our fellow rebels...”
I laughed, “I doubt anyone did, but I promise you, we can get on that right away, as long as you teach me how to make cream pies because I have no idea!”
“You’re on! Hey I have an idea! How about instead of going to the outside world, we try to find as many memories as we can here! Then what I’m thinking is that if one of my theories is correct, you would at least uncover all of your memories about base!”
“Great idea Tabatha. Let’s start with the memories about pie; because hitting people on the head with them sounds fun, at least it isn’t cleaning up after breakfast!”
“Ha-ha! Well, I think first you should finish meeting everyone on base, that way you don’t feel awkward when talking to people.”
Throughout the day I re-met Stephanie, Charlie, Sky, Euvin, and found out some interesting things about them in this world. Stephanie and Euvin are “together” (Not many people get married here, because everyone lives so long, they don’t think it’s worth the risk that they eventually fall out of love. Mine and Jake’s wedding was a rare occurrence.) . They even have two kids named Bugg and Wyliam. Charlie and Sky are brother and sister. Sky is with a girl I don’t remember named, Shee, and Charlie is with my brother, Mattehew. That was a shocker. Also, I was surprised that not only do I have a brother; I have two sisters, Dustyn and Elayna. They work with my parents up in another base. There are 7 bases all together. Jake and I own the largest of all the bases. We’re what’s called “Base Leaders”. When I went away, after Constance died, I went to a base run by Stephanie and Euvin’s kid, Bugg. She was actually the one who convinced me it was time to go home.
I also met some people I still can’t remember. I met Willyum (Stephanie and Euvin’s son), Mattehew (My brother), Liania and Lialia Marriana (they’re twins), Shee, and so many more people. It’s hard to keep track, but I’m starting to get a hang of who’s who. Apparently there are 100 people in the whole base, and I have to learn ALL of their names.
At the end of the day I sunk into my pillow with a relieved sigh. This was still so strange to me, and the thought of doing this all over again tomorrow made me want to never leave my bed. However, I knew that wouldn’t work with Tabatha, or “Tabby” as some people called her. She and I are going to make cream pies and throw them at people’s heads from the roof tomorrow. I like Tabatha. Unlike everyone else here, she doesn’t see me losing my memories as something to look at with eye filled with pity. Instead, she acts like I never left, and that each day we can make more memories to replace the old ones.
As I’m about to fall asleep I hear something coming from the room next to mine. At first it was only a hum, but then suddenly…
“WE’RE DONE! WE’RE THROUGH! THERE’S NO MORE, ME AND YOU. OH NO! THAT’S RIGHT, GOOD NIGHTTTT!”
What the hell?!? I got out of bed opened my door and followed the music until I found the room it was coming from. The noise blasted through my ears so hard I instantly got a headache. Don’t these people have enough brain cells to know that it is common courtesy to NOT blast your music full volume when people are trying to sleep?
I knocked on the door as hard as I could until it opened. A boy who looked to be about 8 years old came out and with some big head phones on and said, or more of screamed, “WHAT DO YOU WANT, LADY?”
“TURN DOWN THE MUSIC OR YOUR GOING TO GET A FEW NEW BRUISES TO GO ALONG WITH MY HEADACHE!” I yelled back. The boy looked scared for a second, and then smiled and nodded.
He went back into his room and turned off the music, he came out and held out his hand, “Please to meet you ma’am. You must be Clairia, I’m Barty. My younger sister Beth is in the room right over there. Sorry I didn’t meet you today, Jake said he only wanted you to meet people you already knew, and even before you left, we had never met.”
I looked at him hesitantly and then said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Barty. May I ask why a little kid would be playing music so loud in the middle of the night?”
“Awwww. I’m not THAT little. I mean, I know your old compared to me, but I am 16! And I’ve always played my music this loud. I didn’t last night ‘cause Jake told me not to ‘cause you need rest. But nobody told me I couldn’t tonight, honest! Everyone just wears earplugs to sleep.”
“You’re 16?” I asked in disbelief. “Where can I get some earplugs?”
“Yes I’m 16! Don’t you know how people age here? And I have a pair. Wait here a sec.”
“Um o- and he’s gone,”
A few seconds later he came back with two clear ear plugs. “Now to give you a bit of a briefing on how age works, people age about….” Barty cocks his head to the side and looks at the ceiling, apparently thinking, “Twice as slow here as they did in that dream world of yours. So I might look 8, but I’ve lived two times that long. Now here ya go. Now good night Clairia, sweet dreams.”
“Oh how funny.” I said while rolling my eyes, “I bet I’m going to hear something like that every day for a long, long time. Thanks, night.”
Almost as soon as he closed his door, the loud music started back up and I hastily shoved the ear plugs into my ears. I went back to my room and fell asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow. But of course, I had to dream.
A woman cried as a boy paces. Wait, not a woman. Keep your head straight Clairia, that’s you. So that makes the boy Jake. We look so young. Oh my... Is this another vision? STOP THINKING! PAY ATTENTION!
“Clairia, we need to deal with this sometime. We both know General Lenners won’t like this, but it isn’t up to him. You’re almost a grown woman, and you can make choices by yourself.” Jake said while moving his arms around in emphasis.
“I know it’s silly to cry but Jake… I’m almost a grown woman, but I’m not there yet. I still live with my parents, and I still need to follow their rules. My father doesn’t even know you! What will he think of this… of us?”
“Listen to me, and I mean really listen. I will not let him take you away from me. Besides, do you think he’s not going to like me? Honestly Clair Bear, that hurts my feelings. Way to demolish my self-esteem!” Jake said with a wink. Well so much for the serious talk we were having.
“Of course he’ll like you! But that doesn’t mean he’s going to like the idea of us dating. We are only teenagers after all, and we have our whole lives to live, which let me remind you, will last forever. I just- well frankly he’s a general. I just don’t think he’s going to like the idea of his baby girl growing up and dating cute boys.”
“Don’t you dare try to change the subject by bringing up how cute you think I am! Because I am still mad at you! Girl up and tell your dad what’s what! Don’t you want us to be together? I don’t care if he is a general! I would do anything for you Clairia, and I will.”
“Ok… so maybe I haven’t told you everything about my dad….”
“Clairia…. What didn’t you tell me?!”
“He’s not just a general. He’s THE general. As in, the head general of country’s military force. And also… When my sister Dustyn brought home her first boyfriend, my dad kind of, well he kind of shaved his head, told him to sign up for the military and stop hitting on his daughter, and cut off his left hand.”
“HE WHAT?!? Ok that’s it, I am meeting your dad. And I am telling him straight that we are dating, and that nothing will persuade me otherwise. But um… he really cut off his hand?”
“Yeppers, he said that he cut off his left hand so that he couldn’t wear a wedding ring, and thus couldn’t marry his daughter. They were only dating for 3 days. But of course, Dustyn being a Donneur helped him grow back his hand, though he didn’t really want to date her after that.”
“I can see why. Well when can I meet him?”
“Err Tonight? He’s coming for dinner.”
“O… so soon. Well I better get ready.” And with that Jake kissed me on the cheek, turned to leave the room, turned back around, and marched over to me. He then proceeded to lift me off my feet, and make out with me. Have I ever realized what a good kisser he is? And how romantic he is? And how strong he is? Ahhhhhh Jake. I love him so much. Oh Lord of Lemon, save me, I’m turning into one of those boy-crazy drones! But I guess when it comes to Jake that isn’t really a bad thing…
I woke up panting and gasping for breath. I started muttering to myself about Jake and Generals. I could tell the volume in my voice was raising, but I sounded muffled, it was then I remembered the earplugs Barty gave me. I took them out, and couldn’t help but wondering how I had that vision. Nothing happened yesterday or last night that would have conjured it up… I know one thing though.
I need to tell Jake.
As I stood up to go downstairs I was mystified by the lack of noise. What time was it? There aren’t any windows in this underground room, so I couldn’t tell by light, I don’t see any clocks. Should I just go upstairs?
I just realized something. I have no idea where Jake stays. Or anyone else for that matter, besides Barty. I’m lost here. Will I always be so lost? Where ever I go something is wrong.
Well I’m tired of being stuck in the dark. I am going to find someone. NOW.
I left my room just in time to see Jake coming out of the room next to mine. He rubbed his eyes warily and said, “Clairia, what are you doing up? Its 5 a.m. I’m usually the only one who gets up this early. Besides you’re a really late sleeper. Ughhh I need coffee. You want to get some breakfast or something?”
“Well that would be lovely. I must say, I’m not really awake myself actually. I need to talk to you, though. But first, I really need some hot chocolate.”
“Ahhh, of course. You and your hot chocolate. Some things never change. What do we need to talk about?”
“No, no, no. Hot chocolate first, talking second.”
We went upstairs, me still in my pajamas, and Jake in an old graphic T. with a video game on it and a pair of jeans. Jake went to the coffee maker to start a pot up and I went to a cabinet to find things to make hot chocolate. Yumm. As soon as we were both sitting down at the kitchen counter Jake made sure to find out what had gotten me up so early.
“So what do we need to talk about? I bet it has something to do with why you’re awake 5 hours earlier than usual.”
“I had another vision last night, but I have no idea what triggered it.”
“What was it about?” Jake asked eagerly.
“It was me and you; we were talking about meeting my dad, the general. Apparently he cut off Dustyn’s first boyfriend’s left hand.”
“I remember that day!!! That conversation ended very nicely. Hahaha.”
“Oh yes very nicely, because I just love getting lifted into the air. What fun.” I said while rolling my eyes.
“Enough with the eye rolling! You know you loved it! I must say, it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like that. I’m more of a ‘make a romantic dinner’ kind of guy, not a ‘lift my girlfriend into my arms so I can kiss her’ kind of guy.” Jake said while laughing.
I put on my most innocent expression when I said, “But Jako, sweetheart, why can’t you be both?”
“Hahaha. I suppose I could. We never really talked about what happened that night so I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to be that guy. Plus I didn’t want to seem pushy.”
“You? Pushy? Never. But um, I don’t think I would mind if you did that kind of thing more often.”
“Oh really? What do you mean? Like this!” As he finished the sentence Jake stood up and picked me up from my chair. For a moment I just stared into his big, green eyes. Then, he kissed me so softly it felt like I was kissing a cloud. Nothing could make this moment better… but something could sure as hell make it worse.
“Awwww!!!! Isn’t that so romantic! Euvin, come look at Clairia and Jakoab! It’s so cute!” Stephanie said as she came into the kitchen.
Jake put me down slowly, telling me with his eyes that he didn’t want the moment to end, but that it wouldn’t be the same with viewers. I couldn’t agree more.
“Good morning Steph. Great to see you’re up.” I said bitterly.
“So, I see you and Jake are making up for lost time, if you know what I mean. Euvin, hurry up! It’s time for some breakfast!”
Euvin came into the room looking exhausted. “She wouldn’t let me sleep! Jake, take my advice now, run away from women, they will kill you.” Euvin said which promptly caused Stephanie to hit him on the arm with a towel.
“No way! I love my woman.” Jake said while hugging me from behind and giving me a kiss on my forehead.
“And your woman loves you.” I said while laughing.