Memories (Completed)
Author: Jewel Heart

Chapter 2
2

The next morning I woke up with a tray of food next to me and an empty seat in front of me.

James.

Where did he go? Did we land? Did he ditch me? Yesterday he looked like he would walk through fire for me and now he’s gone.

Why does it hurt? Why does it feel like I’ve just been stabbed in the back? Why do I feel so empty?

James you idiot! I thought, angrily. My eyes started stinging.

I opened my window before I could really start crying. We were still in the air.

I heard the curtain open. I looked over my shoulder to see James in a fresh shirt and his bag in his hand.

“Oh. Lumex,” he said. “I'm sorry, did I wake you?”

“No,” I blushed. I tried to stand up but I tripped over my blanket.

James caught me with one arm before I could fall.

I looked up at him and turned from pink to scarlet. Our faces were inches away.

“Are you okay?” James asked. His sad gray eyes were hypnotizing me.

I noticed that I was staring at his lips, which were red from blood flowing through them. I gulped and looked down at my feet. There were two blankets instead of one.

James followed my gaze and said, “You looked cold. It was no big deal.”

“Thanks,” I muttered, without meeting his gaze. “Uh, you can let me go now.”

“Oh,” James said, startled. He gently placed me back on my feet. The whole time it seemed as if he were being careful not to hurt me. As if I would break because of his touch.

I didn’t blame him, not because of how vulnerable I looked, but by how I felt. The ground had disappeared from under my feet once again.

“Well, you should go and get dressed, we’re almost there,” James said.

“Uh, yeah,” I said. “Excuse me.”

I walked past him and grabbed my bag.

I came out of the bathroom dressed in my black tube top, white shorts, and black converse. My hair was loose and stylishly messy. Boys stared after me even more often, each and every one drooling.

Instead of walking inside at that instant, I grabbed my gym bag so that I wouldn’t have to get it when people were pushing and shoving. Then, I opened the curtain and threw my bag on the floor.

I avoided looking at James.

I grabbed the tray left on my chair. Then, I sat down with the tray on my lap. I didn’t feel like opening the mini table.

“Don’t you want some?” I asked James.

“No thanks,” he assured me. “You need to eat.”

“But you haven't eaten either,” I argued as I bit into an apple.

“I ate before you woke up,” he shrugged.

I stared at him.

“What?”

 I got up, pushing the tray off of me, and walked towards him.

“What is it?” he gulped as I knelt down next to him.

I lifted my hand to touch his face. He stared at me puzzled.

“You’ve got,” I brushed the side of his mouth and looked at my finger. I didn’t need to sniff it to know what it was. I felt the barf in my throat. “You have blood on your face.”

His eyes widened.

“Oh, crap!” he exclaimed.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, calmly. “Why is there blood on your face?”

He began looking for something.

“James, let me see your face,” I said, grabbing his arm. “James, let me make sure you aren’t hurt.”

He apparently found what he was looking for. He was holding a small mirror and inspecting his face.

“James,” I grabbed his face. “Don’t move.”

“Lumex, I'm fine. Please let me go.”

“James, don’t scare me like that.” He wasn’t hurt. Thank goodness. I struggled to let go of him. There was a type of electricity in the air. It was pulling me closer to him.

He looked pained by what I said. “Don’t say that to me, you have no idea what being scared is,” he said. “If I have anything to do with it, you never will.”

I stared into his remote eyes, afraid. I could see my reflection in his eyes. I looked like a frightened child. I had big almond shaped eyes and my hair was over my face.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. My voice cracked for the first time since I was five years old.

James smiled sadly at me. “See? These are the kinds of details that you really should just ignore, Lumex.”

“James.” I shook my head.

Then, a little bell dinged and the seatbelt sign lit up.

James looked at the sign and walked past me to his seat. I stayed there frozen in place for a minute. Finally, I walked to my seat and buckled up. I looked away from James, fighting tears. My heart was heavy in my chest and my stomach was killing me. I bit my lower lip, trying to stop my tears. It wasn’t helping. I bit so hard that blood started flowing into my mouth.

I touched my lip, trying to stop the blood from flowing. I was feeling light headed. I had had so many bad experiences with blood. It wasn’t working. Ignoring the vomit coming up, I sucked on my lower lip.

That didn’t prevent the tears. One rolled down and landed on my leg. I ignored disregarded.

“Lumex, I'm sorry,” James said.

I didn’t answer.

“Here,” I said, throwing him my phone. “Put your number in.” I tried to keep my voice even.

He caught it reflexively. He threw it back and it landed on the gym bag by my feet. Then he threw his phone over.

I dialed my phone number and silently threw it back.

The plane finally landed. I hurried and got up.

No more James, no more problems. My life will be normal again.

I tried to hurry off the plane and lose James all at once, but he was right on my trail the whole time.

“Lumex, wait,” he said, grabbing my arm to stop me.

“Stop doing that!”

“Look, I really want to see you again. You don’t know how much I want to be able to see you. So, please, call me when you get home,” James said. “Please.”

His eyes were so sad and lonely that I couldn’t resist them. I couldn’t say no, or remain mad at him when I stared into those melancholic gray eyes.

“Oh, fine!” I exclaimed.

He sighed, happily.

“By the way, weren’t you supposed to call your mother?” he said.

“Oh, God, not again,” I breathed, grabbing my phone and dialing her number.

“Hey, baby, I'm glad you called,” said Molly.

“Yeah, I arrived,” I said. “Where are you?”

“Turn around.”

“What?” I asked puzzled. I turned around. “Mom, hi,” I greeted her. She had done the same appearing trick that James did.

“Lumex!” she exclaimed, running to hug me.

“Hey, Mom, relax, it’s only been two weeks. I haven't been gone for years,” I said, patting her back.

“Lume,” a musical voice with a slight country accent said from behind Molly.

“Brookie.” I hugged her.

“You’re such a jerk, Lumex,” she said. “You didn’t answer my calls.”

“Shut up,” I said. “You didn’t answer when I called either.”

“When was that? Once?” she rolled her eyes.

“Hey, at least I have an excuse. Uncle Damian and Aunt Loren wouldn’t leave me alone, and you know my cousins.”

Brooke Smith was from Dallas, Texas. She had big curly black hair and cat-like green eyes. Her face was covered in freckles and she was tan. She had long legs and a big smile. Her thin body made her looks like a model from a catwalk. She was one of the girliest girls I had ever met. She would easily get confused with one of the Barbies because of her stylish wardrobe. Right now, she was wearing high heels, a mini skirt, a pink spaghetti strap shirt, and holding a white leather purse. Her curly hair was untamed with a white pair of sunglasses on her head.

“True,” she agreed. Then she took a step back and scanned my outfit. “And how many times have I told you?” She put her hands on her hips. “That outfit needs boots, boots, and more boots!”

“But you said it looks good with this too, remember?” I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah, I did, didn’t I?”

“Let’s go, baby,” Molly said, putting an arm around my shoulder.

“Yeah, I brought your car over,” Brooke said.

“Uh, yeah,” I said, surprisingly sad. Then, I turned around before Molly and Brooke could take me away. “Um, James…” I looked at him.

He smiled. “I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah, bye.” I smiled back. Then I allowed Molly to drag me away.

We walked outside. I was kept busy by telling them about my trip. At last Molly went to her car and Brooke and I made our way to mine. All the time, Brooke looked as if she were holding something in. She looked as if she were about to explode.

As soon as Molly was out of earshot, Brooke began.

“Who was he? He’s gorgeous! How did you meet? He goes to our school? Are you a thing? Oh, finally! You’ve finally found someone! I can’t wait to meet him! He’s so gorgeous!”

“Brooke, shut up for a second!” I stopped her by covering her mouth. “I’m not dating him. I just met him at the airport and then we had seats next to each other and nothing happened.”

It was all a lie. Something did happen. Something I couldn’t explain. He had touched my heart and now I didn’t know which way up or down was. He had hypnotized me with his lonely eyes. He had made me really connect with someone new for once in over ten years.

I took a deep breath. The air here in Florida was so different from the cold air in Portland. I felt the warm sun beating on my transparent skin.

“I missed the sun,” I said dreamily.

Brooke threw her head back and laughed. “Okay, that tone tells me that I have to keep an eye on you, dream girl.”

I looked at her and blushed. “Shut up.”

“Oh, my God!” she exclaimed. “It’s a tomato head! I never thought I’d see the day that you would blush!”

“Brooke, shut up if you know what’s good for you,” I growled.

“Fine, moody,” she said. “Being away from, um—you called him James, right?—well, being away from James makes you so moody,” she said mockingly.

I looked at her with the dangerous flick I knew was in my eyes. “Do you want to have to walk home?” I challenged.

She opened her mouth as if to say something, closed it, then said, “I’ll shut up now.”

I beamed. “Smart move.” We reached my silver Camaro.

I opened the driver’s seat and stepped in. I took in the smell of my car. I turned it on, the familiar silent motor coming to life. I waited for Brooke to finish putting my gym bag in the trunk and take a seat. Once she got in, I leaned back, closing my mind and entering my own little world, and drove off.

It was a forty-five minute ride home. It gave me time to get my feelings under control. That last smile from James had melted my brain. My heart was in my throat again and skipping beats. I would get to see James. I know where he lives, he goes to my school, and I have his phone number. It shouldn’t, but it made me feel warm and happy inside.

I dropped Brooke off at her large townhouse house. The neighborhood was simple, with a few flowers planted along the perimeter of a wooden fence, and the houses white and ordinary. I headed off to mine. When I arrived, Molly’s red mustang was parked in its usual spot. The gate opened and as I drove by, I waved to Anthony, the daytime guard.

My house might not be a five star hotel, but it was nice. It was a large two story house with an enormous patio and many marble columns. The inside was like an aristocrat’s mansion. Not that it was very far away from that. Molly was an important fashion designer for a big company. She got paid in millions every week.

The first room you see when you go in is the large living room/ballroom which I refer to as the lobby. It was elegantly decorated in gold, white, and cream with various flowers of diverse soft colors, placed in elegant crystal glasses.

The thing about Molly was that she loved flowers. That’s where I got my name from: Lumex Amara Cockcrow. Lumex was Molly’s favorite flower and my middle name…well, I forgot.

There are two big staircases on both sides of the room. I walked up the right staircase to my room, with my gym bag in one hand and my cell phone in the other. I kept looking at James’s picture. I was trying to figure out why his eyes were so emotional. Why it hurt to see that much sadness on a complete stranger. Well, almost complete stranger. I feel as if I know him from somewhere. As if we’ve met before. This feels like déjà vu.

I reached the last door of the second floor. It was far away from everything else. It was perfect. It kept me isolated from the rest of the world just as I liked it. I opened the door.

My room was the exact same as I remembered. Not one thing was out of place. Everything was where I left it. I closed the door behind me as I entered the large room.

My bedroom looked more like an animation studio than anything else. There were millions of Japanese anime drawings, called mangas, hanging on the walls or thrown on the floor in a pile. Behind the drawings, the walls were painted a dark crimson. I didn’t know why I liked the color so much. Crimson was the color of blood and I hadn't ever been able to stand blood. Not since I was five.

The room was well illuminated with large windows. My bed was at the center of my room next to a small black couch. The bed was king sized and had a white bedspread and more pillows than I could count. On the right side of my room was a section for having tea with friends. There was a coffee table, a couple of couches and two arm chairs. Then, pressed next to the window to my left was my drawing desk and then my regular desk separated by a bookcase filled with my favorite novels from our home library. On the left side of the room was my personal bathroom and the walk-in closet filled with designer clothes that I doubted would see light for a million years.

After throwing my bags on a couch, I walked over to the double doors next to the mini living room. I opened the doors and let fresh air into the room. I walked into the balcony, and then looked down at the cell phone in my hand. I took a deep breath, exhaled, gulped, and pressed call.

Most people wouldn’t call a complete stranger to see if they were okay. Most people wouldn’t feel so close to a complete stranger. But it didn’t feel like he was a stranger. I felt as if I’d met him before.

“Hello?” the smooth deep voice that weakened my knees and made my heart race answered.

“Hey, James,” I said. “It’s Lumex.”

“Hey! What’s up? Did you get home all right?” he asked.

“Uh, yeah.” I caught myself on the door as my legs crumbled underneath me. “What about you? Or are you still driving home?”

“No, I'm in my room.”

“Well, you asked me to call and I kept my word,” I said. I couldn’t speak to him. I didn’t know what to say. “So, I guess I’ll see you around.”

“Wait!” he stopped me. “Lumex, don’t go. In fact, my sisters were about to take me out to eat at this sushi bar to celebrate my arrival,” he said. Then, he was gone.

Suddenly, a female voice said, “Would you like to come with us? James hasn’t stopped talking about you since we picked him up.”

I blushed. “Uh…” I took a step forward, trying to see if my legs were working again. I tripped and caught myself on the white rail.

“It would make James awfully happy,” the girl said. I'm assuming that’s one of his sisters. “And we’ll—”

The girl was cut off and then someone said, “I'm sorry about that. My sisters can be a tad weird.”

“No, it’s fine. Really, James,” I assured him.

“So, what do you say?” he asked. “Oh, and ignore everything they just told you. They like to stretch the truth.”

“Uh, sure,” I said, before I could stop myself. How was I going to sit quiet through a whole meal while having to stare into James’s sad, sad eyes? But his voice was so sweet. I couldn’t help myself. “But, you don’t know where I live. And you need to be familiar with the guard or be on a list to be let in,” I said. “But, you know what? I’ll take care of the guard. Just write down the address,” I said.

“Okay.”

I talked to James to make sure he got the right address and then walked out of my room, downstairs and stopped at the familiar dark oak wood double doors. I took a deep breath and then knocked on the door twice before walking in.

Molly was in the middle of a business meeting.

“Oh, Lumex,” Molly said, looking up at me. I glanced over at her guests. The editor of her magazine, Frank, and her assistant, Emily, were sitting in the chairs in front of Molly’s desk. “Come in. Frank, you remember my daughter, Lumex,” Molly said.

“Oh, yes, little Lumex. I haven't seen you in, what, five years?” he said, in a low raspy voice. Frank was an elderly man with hair as white as snow.

I grinned. “It’s been two weeks, Frank.”

“Oh, as charming as ever,” he said, shaking my hand. He turned to look at Molly and said, “You raised your little one well.”

“Oh, thank you,” Molly said smugly. “You remember Emily, Lumex.”

“Yeah,” I said, turning to look at Emily, the 21-year-old intern with long brown wavy hair that always seemed to be tied up in a side ponytail. “Hey, Em, it’s nice to see you again.”

She nodded.

“Did you need anything, baby?” Molly asked, taking a seat and reviewing the papers in front of her.

“Well, it’s okay if I go out right?” I said.

“Yeah, of course,” she said, writing something down. “You can do whatever you want, as long as you are back before midnight. Or call if you’re going to be late.”

“Okay. Thanks. I was just making sure,” I said, leaving the room.

I closed the doors and almost crashed into our maid, Celeste.

“Excuse me, Miss Lumex,” she apologized.

“No, it was my fault, Celeste,” I said.

She hurried down the hall and I stepped into the lobby. I sat down next to a phone and a binder with all the important phone numbers. I found the guard’s phone number just as the phone rang. I picked it up.

“Hello?” I answered.

“Hello, may I speak to Miss Lumex Cockcrow?” a voice said.

“This is she. May I ask who is calling?”

“Miss Lumex, this is Anthony, the gate’s guard. There is a young man that says he knows you. He says his name is James Eventide,” Anthony said. “Should I call the dogs or let him in?”

I’d forgotten about Coco and Missy. “No, let them in. And listen to me and make sure to tell Dexter. Never let James Eventide get attacked by anyone. He is always to be allowed in unless said otherwise by me.”

“Like Miss Brooke?” he asked.

“Exactly like Miss Brooke.”

“Yes, Miss.”

“Good-bye.”

“Good-bye.”

I hung up. I stood up and walked over to the end table with the picture of my mother and me at her last premiere in Paris.

“Arnold!” I called over the inner come.

“Baby, Arnold is visiting his family in London,” Molly replied.

“Thanks, Mom.”

I sighed. Arnold is our butler and I was hoping that he could tell Molly where I was if she were to ask for me. Oh, well. She’d just have to call me. I walked over to the mirror in front of the couch. My lips weren’t bleeding anymore; there wasn’t even a scar. I brushed my hand over my lower lip. I had always been a fast healer. Nothing had ever really hurt me, exactly like my dad. Well, that’s what I’d thought of before he was gone. But then—I stopped before I could start sobbing.

I had always had to be the adult in my family. I had always been the one that took care of Molly. I was never actually taken care of. My home wasn’t like a normal family’s. I didn’t have a mother and father to care for me. I didn’t have a mother that could cook delicious meals for the family or a father that was out on the weekdays working his butt off so that we would have food on the table. My life had always been spent taking care of Molly. Because, when I turned five, I was already twenty-one. I had my mother to care for and myself. I was the real adult in the family. And if I wasn’t taking care of Molly, then Arnold or Celeste were.

I checked myself in the mirror. The girl that stared back was beautiful. That wasn’t what I would think of when I looked at myself in a mirror. Usually I’d see an ordinary girl with sad and empty eyes. Now I was glowing. My pale complexion was pink at the cheeks and my chocolate brown eyes were sparkling. My dark brown hair was a stylish mess that only made me seem years older. My lips were cherry red from blood flowing through them.

The doorbell rang. Normally Arnold would be the one to answer the door, but I didn’t mind. I walked over and jogged up the three steps. I opened the snakewood door.

I was attacked. Three girls jumped and hugged me. I froze in place, my blood flowing with adrenaline.

“You’re Lumex, we know it!” one of them said.

“You look just how he described you!” another one said.

“We’re so happy to meet you!” the third one said.

My vision was blocked by a mess of golden hair. I felt that someone else was in front of me, but I couldn’t tell who it was.

“Don’t scare her,” the smooth voice said.

My heart raced.

The three girls pulled away and I could finally see their faces. One of them—the one at the right—had long legs, golden hair that hung down like a ruler, and the same gray eyes that James had. She looked to be only a few years older than me. The one in the middle seemed to be the eldest. She had high, defined cheekbones, curly blond hair that looked like springs, big lips, and eyes that looked to be a kind of silver and green mix. The last one on the left seemed to be the youngest. She looked to be around my age. She had pixie like features, a button nose, and rosy cheeks. Her bleached hair flowed gracefully around her and down to the center of her back. Her green eyes seemed to lock my gaze with hers.

“James, these are your sisters,” I stated.

“Uh, yeah.” He smiled, apologetically. “Giselle, Jenna, and Harmony,” he said. Each of them waved as their names were called. They were lined up in the exact order that James said their names.

“It’s nice to meet you,” I said.

“Oh, you have no idea,” said Harmony.

James walked towards me.

“You’re so pretty, Lumex,” he said. He lifted his hand and brushed a tress of hair out of my face. “Don’t hide.”

I turned deep red.

“James, let’s get going,” Jenna hurried.

“Uh, hold on, a second,” I said, as Celeste appeared with a mop and a bucket. “Celeste,” I said, turning around.

“Yes, Miss Lumex?” she asked, looking up.

“If Molly asks, could you tell her I went out and to call me if she needs me?”

“Of, course.” She nodded. “Have fun.” Celeste eyed James.

I flushed darker. “Good-bye,” I called, hurrying out the door. She’d gotten the wrong idea, just like Brooke had. “So, we’re going to a sushi bar, then?” I asked, as we walked to a red Italian sports car.

James stopped. “Yeah, Lumex, about that.”

“What?” I asked, warily.

“Slight change of plans,” he said as Giselle appeared with a bag in her hands.

“What’s that?” I asked, pointing at the bag.

“A dress,” Giselle said, excitedly.

Excuse me?”

“We’ll be going to the Casa Abol Bunna Ethiopian Restaurant,” James said, raising his hands apologetically and taking a step backwards.

“Abol Bunna Ethiopian Restaurant,” I repeated, taken aback.

 

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