Memories (Completed)
Author: Jewel Heart

Chapter 3
3

Have you ever been there?” Jenna asked.

We were in Jenna’s car all dressed up. I hadn't noticed until I had to change that James and his sisters were all in formal clothing. Jenna was in a purple dress with white flower designs. Giselle was wearing a peach and pink dress with pink high heels. Harmony was wearing a simple white dress with a black rose choker. And James looked dazzling in a black tuxedo.

I had gone back in the mansion and changed into a blue-green dress. I wore black flats and had added the necklace with the pendant of a lumex my father had given me for my fifth birthday. I was carrying a little handbag that Celeste had just handed me. My hair had been tamed and now fell down my back. I had it out of my face like James said.

I was sitting in the back seat between James and Harmony.

“Once,” I responded. “My mother, Molly, had a business meeting there when I was six. She had invited me to come with her.”

“Did you like it?” Giselle asked.

“Isn't the food great?” Harmony added.

“Yeah,” I said, trying to distinguish the usual taste of sand I had when eating, from the actual flavor of the food. “But I don’t really remember much of it.”

“Oh.”

“I still don’t get it,” James said. “Why did you bring that bag of clothes?”

“I’m not a big fan of dresses,” I shrugged.

He frowned. “That still doesn’t make sense.”

“I'm going to change later. Besides, I have to give you back the dress,” I said, as we arrived.

Jenna parked the car and we unbuckled our seatbelts. Harmony got out from her side and James from his. Then, James held out his hand for me.

He’s helping me out?

I took his hand and the same thing that happened at the airport repeated. I got out of the car, feeling lightheaded. My heart was skipping beats again and I didn’t know if I could walk. But James seemed at perfect ease, as if he’d felt like that a million times. He slammed the door closed.

I waited for him and then we joined his sisters. We walked in and were seated immediately.

When we had ordered our food and the waiter had left, Giselle said, “Seriously, James, I can’t believe you found her at the airport! I mean, it’s been years and now, here she is!”

James was watching her, annoyed. Then, Giselle yelped and he whispered to me, “Giselle is a dreamer. She thinks that everyone has a prince charming or a princess and that it’s only a matter of time before they find each other.”

I tried to keep my heart under control as I attempted to figure out what they were talking about. Just then, my phone began ringing. I grabbed my bag and rummaged through it. The first thing I found was a piece of paper that had something written on it. I ignored it and kept searching.

“I’ll be right back,” I excused myself, getting up and walking to the front doors. I clicked on the talk button and said, “Hello?”

“Hello, I’m looking for Lumex Amara Cockcrow,” a female voice said. I didn’t recognize it.

“This is her.”

“Hello, Lumex, I'm a nurse here at Tampa General Hospital, and we have a girl here by the name of Brooke Smith, who says that you’re her friend, or relative,” the female voice continued. “She’s just been in a car accident. And we need for you to—”

I ran.

Brooke couldn’t have been in a car accident, she just couldn’t. She was so delicate. She was also the best driver I knew.

Tears were streaming down my face. Brooke can’t be hurt. Brooke can’t even have a scratch.

In this world I only have two people. And Brooke is one of them. That’s why I can’t let anything happen to her. I don’t want to lose someone else. I don’t want to be left alone. I don’t want to feel like there's a hole in my heart again.

Why did this have to happen? Why did it have to happen to Brooke, in particular? She suffers enough as it is.

I had run two block and my legs were beginning to hurt. My legs feel like jelly. I can’t run anymore. But I have to. Brooke needs me. I forced my legs to move. Though, it wasn’t easy to run in these shoes. These shoes! I have to take them off. But I can’t stop running. I have to reach Brooke.

I crashed and fell.

I had hit someone. Someone who’s chest was as hard as a rock. That was going to leave a mark. I scrambled to my feet and took a breath before beginning to run again. There was no time to apologize.

“Lumex?” a familiar voice asked.                                                 

I looked down at the person I had crashed into. He was getting up. His dark hair was flowing in the breeze. And his green eyes were surprised.

“Demetrius, I don’t have time for this,” I said and got in position to continue running.

Demetrius grabbed my arm to stop me. That’s really starting to get on my nerves. “Lumex, what’s wrong? You seem to be in a hurry,” he said. “Let me at least drive you there,” he offered, pointing at a blue car. It seemed to be a new model. I’d never seen it. “It’s a new mark. It just came out this year. It’ll get you were you need to go.”

“Demetrius, I really need to go. If you can drive me, thank you,” I said, as tears streamed down my face like a waterfall.

He seemed to just now notice that I was crying. He nodded. “Get in.”

He got in the driver’s seat and I stumbled to the passenger seat. I was breathing hard as I opened the door and got in.

“Where were you headed to?” Demetrius asked.

“Tampa General Hospital,” I choked. “Please, hurry.”

Demetrius didn’t ask any questions. He drove and my heart stopped. I was looking at the side view mirror.

James. I forgot about James. He was standing there, a block away, watching as I got into a car with a guy and sped off. His sad eyes were worse than ever. They were filled with hate and abandonment. They were cold and furious. He hates me. I couldn’t even explain why I had to leave. He hates me and I can’t do anything about it.

I'm so sorry, James. I'm sorry. You don’t know how it hurts me to do this to you.

I burst into tears again. Demetrius watched me, helplessly. He couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me or how to make me feel better. I could see that he wanted to help.

He lifted his hand as if to comfort me but then dropped it. Instead, he said, “Do you want to tell me what happened?” He said it in one of the softest, most soothing, and most concerned voice I had ever heard.

I sniffed and shook my head. I didn’t want to talk to anyone other than a doctor right now. Even if that meant, tearing out my heart on the way.

Demetrius kept silent the rest of the way. When we reached the hospital, I jumped out of the car before Demetrius had even parked.

“Lumex!” he called after me. Demetrius parked the car, locked it, and ran after me, catching up quickly. “Why are we here?”

I ignored him and walked up to the front desk. “What room is Brooke Smith in?” I asked.

A lady in her mid-forties looked up at me from her magazine. She sighed and typed in her computer. “Room 111.”

I ran and looked for it. When I finally found it, I burst through the door. It was a nice room. There was a little couch next to the door for the parents, and two white beds with a curtain separating them. In one of those beds was a girl with a mess of dark hair. She was looking over at the door with wide eyes as she noticed who her two visitors were.

“Oh, God,” she whispered. “Lumex, I didn’t want you to know about this.”

I ran to hug her with tears streaming down my face. “Brookie,” I exclaimed as I reached her. “How could you say that? I'm not going to let my sister suffer in silence.”

“Lumex, you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

“Shut up! You’re no adult. You don’t have any right to be saying that,” I said, as I cried on her shoulder. She patted my back and made a space for me to lie down. I ignored it.

“And you aren’t an adult either. Even if you’ve brought yourself to believe that,” she said. “Now come here.” I looked up at her. Her face was all scratched up and she was wearing a brace on her neck. “You’re a mess.”

She sat up. She shouldn’t be doing that, but I couldn’t tell her that. I was crying too hard. Brooke put my head on her lap and rubbed my back as I wept. This was one of the sister-like things she did. Everything was quiet as I cried. Demetrius was on the couch, watching me and Brooke was attempting to calm me.

I finally stopped crying and breathed for a little while.

“Look at you,” Brooke laughed. “You’re all dressed up and I bet you looked really pretty.”

I forgot. I looked at the dress that James’s sisters had so kindly lent me. It wasn’t ruined. It was just a little dirty. I would have Celeste wash it when I got home.

“You’re even carrying a purse,” Brooke continued. “Was it for a certain someone?” she asked, looking at Demetrius.

He realized what she was thinking. “It wasn’t me,” he said. “I can barely get her to talk to me. You can’t really think that she did that for me,” he snorted. Even though most people would have said that in a tone that would have offended me at the moment, he said it sweetly. Not as if he was trying to upset me more. “I found her that way.”

Brooke raised an eyebrow.

Before she could say anything, I said, “Brookie, neither of us is in any position to be joking around.”

She ignored me. “I don’t know. He said that he’d see you around,” she said, mockingly.

“Brooke, don’t.” I pleaded. I knew what would happen if she were to even say his name.

“Were you all dressed up for that hottie, James?”

I felt the tears start to roll down my cheeks. Brooke looked alarmed as I hid my face in my hands and sobbed.

“What did I do?” she asked, startled. She shook my shoulder. “Lumex? Lumex, what did I say? Was it really him? Was it really James?” she asked.

I began crying harder.

“Brooke,” Demetrius said. “I think you should stop,” he warned her in a cold voice.

“Lumex, come here,” she said. “Lie down next to me.”

As if that would help, I thought coldly. The last memories I have of him are those cold, hate filled eyes. They were going to haunt me forever. Though, my legs were falling asleep. I crawled onto her bed.

“There, now sleep,” Brooke said. “You need it more than I do.”

She was right. It was hard to stay awake. Before I knew it, I had fallen into unconsciousness.

I couldn’t wake up. And I wanted to wake up badly. James’s face kept appearing. First his kind face appeared and then his hurt face. My imagination went wild. I began dreaming of what he would say the next time I saw him, of what his sisters would say. How he would show me that he hated me. How he would start killing me bit by bit from the inside.

I don’t know how this boy—this strange boy—was getting me so emotional. This had never happened to me before. I had never even wanted for this to happen. That was why I had kept myself isolated from the rest of the world. I didn’t want to feel any more pain. I didn’t want to have to feel anything at all.

My alarm clock began beeping. I opened my eyes. They stung. I lifted my right hand and searched for the snooze button. I found something unexpected. I looked over at my side table. The purse from yesterday was there. I ignored it and pressed the snooze button on my simple alarm clock. I sat up and looked around.

Somehow I had ended up in my room. I didn’t know how I had slept from one o’clock in the afternoon to six o’ clock in the morning.

 There was a dim light coming from the window behind me. Oh, great, I thought dully. Today is the first day of school. School has never been such a close resemblance to hell for me. But I’ve met James and he hates me. I don’t know what I’ll say if I see him today—I don’t know what I’ll do if I see him.

I stood up and headed towards my bathroom. I looked in the mirror. I was still wearing the dress. I hurried and took it off. Then, I grabbed some random shorts and a shirt. I put it on and it surprisingly matched.

I was wearing black shorts—really short shorts—and a crimson spaghetti strap. I grabbed my converse and put them on. Then I grabbed my hairbrush and messed up my hair like I had on the airplane. Finally, I grabbed hold of my secret weapon. James had like this outfit when we were on the plane. But, he’d never seen me—and he probably won’t ever see me again—with this on. I grabbed a bag, which I’d hidden for a long time, from my closet.

I opened the pale pink box. I'm going to kill myself, I swore as I took something out. Gently I applied mascara on my eyelashes. Then, I grabbed red lipstick. My lips got fuller as I put more on. I put the lid on the lipstick and then really looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like nothing I could have ever imagined. I looked as beautiful and as old as Jenna. I looked like one of Molly’s supermodels. Though, my eyes had taken on the same sadness that was present in James’s and Demetrius’s eyes.

If I looked this pretty with that make-up on, then, I would be dazzling when I put on the final touch. I grabbed a brush and a box of black eye shadow. I used a little to border the end of my eyelids. Then, I added grey to the untouched skin.

I would get James’s attention and explain to him what really happened if it was the last thing I did. He might still hate me for running away, but he’ll know why I left. He won’t hate me for years without knowing the truth. But, if this outfit didn’t get his attention, then I didn’t know what would.

I grabbed my backpack and stuffed a make-up kit in a pocket. I know I’ll need it later. I walked over to my bed and grabbed the purse. I found my cell phone and car keys in there.

Ow.

I lifted my hand from the purse. Paper cut. A drop of blood oozed out. I felt sick. I ignored my stomach and sucked on my finger as I searched for what I had cut myself with.

Then, I found something that I knew I hadn't put in there. I pulled out a piece of folded paper.

Lumex, was elegantly scribbled on one side.

I unfolded the piece of paper. A letter had been placed in my purse.

Dear Lumex,

I’m glad you decided to call. I need to talk to you desperately. I’ve been waiting so long for you to reappear. I have many things to explain to you. But I can’t explain anything to you in this letter. It is just a warning. Though, I will tell you one thing. You shouldn’t be alarmed that you feel strange whenever our skins touch. That is something you will get used to in time. It is something that happens to everyone eventually. There is another thing I can tell you now. Though, you will have to trust me. Soon enough, as your seventeenth birthday nears by, you will begin to feel strange. Strange thoughts will start coming to your mind. You might even begin hearing voices. You can’t trust those voices. Don’t ever do what they say. Don’t let them trick you into doing the things they want. I promise you that if everything goes as planned, that will never happen again. I'm sorry that I can’t explain everything to you right at this instant. I know that what you are reading is strange. I will tell you everything soon. We must meet in private for that, unfortunately. I really wish that you knew what is coming your way. But, I promise you that soon everything will become clear.

Love,

James.

James, what the hell are you talking about? I wondered.

I read over the letter again, trying to make sense of one part. Then, I remembered I had to eat breakfast or Molly would go berserk. She would start with the two hour lectures on eating right and exercising daily. I ran downstairs, two steps at a time, with my bag in one hand and the dress in the other. I found Celeste in the T.V room, fluffing pillows as she prepared the house for my birthday party next week.

I used to beg Molly to cancel my birthday parties. That started when I was a few days away from my sixth birthday and I realized what happened the day of my birth. Molly hadn't given in. She had said that it wasn’t supposed to be a sad day. After two years of pleading and getting the same response, I gave up. I let her throw me a party. I wanted to show her that I was happy with only one parent. That she wasn’t doing anything wrong, because she wasn’t.

“Celeste, could you have this washed before I get home?” I asked, throwing the dress on top of a couch.

“Not a problem,” she said without looking up. “Now, your mother is looking for you.” She pointed at the kitchen door.

I nodded and walked to the white door.

Our kitchen was decorated very traditionally. It was colored milky butterscotch. There were a few pictures of bowls of fruit hanging on the walls and a few bowls of fake food were set on the granite counters. The floor was tiled to match the walls and there were curtains on every window. Every appliance was the newest mark and stainless metal. There was a small table set to a side for breakfast. The tired Molly was in one of the chairs with her newspaper.

“You needed me?” I asked.

“Yeah, Lume—” She froze when she looked up at me. She was so stunned that she almost dropped her cup of ginger tea. “You’re wearing the make-up I gave you,” she said.

“Yeah,” I shrugged. “You have to make an impression on the first day, or you’ll get a bad reputation.”

“Oh.”

“Is it that bad?” I asked, suddenly feeling self-conscious about the fashionable—and gruesome—outfit.

“No, you look gorgeous,” she said. “I might have to fire my supermodels and put you on the cover of my magazine instead.” She grinned.

I rolled my eyes. “Thanks.”

I sat down and grabbed a piece of toast. I spread some grape jelly on it and took a bite.

“So, when is Arnold coming back?” I asked, trying to keep the conversation going.

“He should be back by Saturday,” she said, sipping her tea. “Why? Do you need anything?”

“No. I was just wondering. I mean, it’s been so long since he’s visited his family. How long has it been? Ten, maybe eleven years.” I dropped my toast and rubbed my lips together. I was nearing dangerous waters for both Molly and me. “I'm not hungry. I think I’ll just go and make sure I have everything I need.” I stood up, and walked to the door.

“Wait, Lumex,” Molly called after me. I turned to look at her. “Uh, we need to go shopping for your present soon.”

“Mom, my birthday isn’t until the beginning of next month,” I said.

“Yes, but I need you to remind me so that I won’t schedule something that day,” she said. “Or, you know what? Never mind, I’ll just have Emily remind me.” She returned to her reading.

I left without saying anything. I knew that in the end, Emily would have bought it. I walked down to the lobby where I had left my bag and grabbed my cell phone. I pressed on redial, taking a seat as I waited for them to answer.

“Tampa General Hospital, how may I help you?” a male voice answered. The lady must not be working at this time.

“I want to know if your patient, Brooke Smith, has checked out yet,” I said.

I waited as he typed in his computer. “Brooke Smith won’t be leaving this hospital until later today. She’s probably still sleeping. Would you like for me to give her a message?”

“Um, no,” I said. “Thank you.”

I hung up.

Her parents work in the morning and they fight in the afternoon. I doubt that they know Brooke is in the hospital. I don’t even think that they know their daughter is missing. I'm going to have to go pick her up later.

I looked at the grandfather clock on the other side of the room. It’s time to go. I rummaged through my bag once to make sure the letter was there. I found it in the front pocket. I stood up and grabbed my bag, flinging it over my shoulder and walking towards the door.

I felt queasy. When I reached school, I’d be near James. If I actually saw him, he would hate me. He would look at me with those sad eyes that now were filled with hatred.

I sucked it up and opened the door. I walked through the emerald green grass to my Camaro. I got in and picked up a little compact mirror I had in my bag. I didn’t wear make-up but I kept this with me to check for zits and pimples. Somehow I never seemed to get any, but Brooke still did, and she freaked out.

I was good for now, but I’d have to add more lip stick when I got to school. I put the mirror in my bag and started the engine. I waited for Anthony to open the gate. Then, I sped off to school.

I arrived with spare time. I got out of my car after putting on lipstick and was apparently in the lime light. Everybody stared like they did every year. Only, this year, the guys were drooling so much that they could have drowned in their own saliva.

I locked my car and started walking. I had my new schedule in my hand and was looking for my locker. I had gotten locker 202, a top locker. I took out the letter I’d gotten from James, my cell phone, my car keys, and my textbook and slammed the locker shut. Then, I walked towards the court yard.

I needed to find James, and if there was something I’d learned in all my years of keeping it low and watching, it was that if you were popular, hot, or new and hot, then the Barbies were after you. And if I was a good observer, which I was, I knew that James was the kind of hot that Claire Jones, the leader, wanted. It was the same with Demetrius. That was how all this war had started between us. Demetrius liked me, just like every other guy in the school who saw me did. But I didn’t like him back and that was why the Barbies cut me some slack. But with James, it might be different. I think I might actually have an affinity for him. And I think he returns those feelings. I mean, he felt the same as I did when I bare flesh touched. Didn’t he? Why would there be so much hate in his eyes if he didn’t?

I searched for Claire aimlessly.

Someone from behind me said, “If it isn’t little Miss I'm-all-that-with-my-free-one-of-a-kind-clothes.”

I turned around, knowing what was coming. Today really wasn’t my best day. I was hoping to find her before she found me.

I met a pair of ice cold blue eyes. Claire wasn’t as pretty as she thought she was. She had tan skin, a truckload of make-up, long blond hair, and tight clothes on. Her face still had the child roundness. She was getting close to being as thin as I was, only because she was actually anorexic, but it was making her look deformed. Her hips were way too wide for her body and her feet were even bigger. Yet somehow, she was still Miss Popular. Then again, she was a walking Barbie doll. And her “friends” were getting close to looking like some too.

“Claire, don’t you look as bitchy as always,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest and putting all of my weight on my right foot.

She rolled her eyes. “So you’ve finally decided to try and look pretty,” she said. “The make-up isn’t helping, honey. It doesn’t cover your face. Why don’t you try putting a paper bag over your head?”

“I don’t know. I'm getting kind of popular. I’ve gotten asked out ten times more than you have and that’s without the make-up. Maybe you should try letting people see your inner lizard—oops, I meant inner self.”

“Well, at least I have a boyfriend,” she said.

Is that the best she has? I snorted mentally.

“Aw, that’s too bad, because, you know there’s a new guy around here somewhere and I heard he’s just like a second Demetrius,” I said. I had gotten her interested. “And you know, I think I’m going to ask him out.”

Claire’s eyes widened as she realized what a problem that could cause her.

She straightened her face and said, “Well, obviously if you want him, he’s got to be a loser.” I had predicted that. “But I think that I’ll go and play around with him.” She fell into my trap.

They walked past me. Just to make sure they wouldn’t change their minds, I said, “Good luck, whore.”

They split up and started looking. I took a seat on a bench a few feet away from me. It wasn’t easy letting Claire leave, knowing that she was looking for James to try and seduce him. I just hope he doesn’t fall for it. I hope he doesn’t hate me so much that he’d date my worst enemy.

I sat there for five minutes, watching freshmen walk in for the first time and look around the school, fascinated. I watched them look at the papers displayed to advertize the school clubs.

Five minutes was enough time. They had probably found him by now. I stood up and headed inside to look for them.

I found Claire next to the chemistry lab. She was talking to him. She’d found him. James was just as dazzling as I remembered. He was wearing a t-shirt and baggy jeans. He looked bored as he talked to Claire. Though, his sad eyes were full of hate.

Claire was too busy flirting to notice.

I took a step towards them and he looked up. His eyes burned with hate and betrayal. It broke my heart. Somehow I managed to move my legs. Each step I took made my heart skip a beat. I tried to walk towards him with a straight face, but I couldn’t. I was on the edge of shedding tears again. I stopped in front of him.

He ignored me and talked to Claire.

“James,” I whispered.

Both Claire and James looked at me. Claire had a mischievous smile playing on her lips and James’s face was emotionless. But his eyes spoke to me. They said, “Go away.”

He looked down at Claire again and said, “I'm leaving.” He turned around and walked away.

I wanted to chase after him, but I couldn’t get my legs to respond.

He was gone and then, Claire turned around, her face red with anger. “You scared him away with your butt face! I totally had him wrapped around my finger!”

I was still staring at the spot where James had disappeared. Claire continued hollering, uninterrupted. Then, in the middle of a sentence, I looked at her with danger in my eyes and said, “Go jump off a bridge, Claire.” I turned around and walked to first period.

She was still yelling. The last thing I heard her say was, “I’ll destroy you!”

I zoned out the rest. My heart was racing again and I was on the edge of ruining my make-up. My stomach was tied in knots and I could hardly breathe. I was clutching my history binder so hard that it was amazing that it hadn't split in two. I had always been a strong girl with a strong arm.

There was more bad news for me. History wasn’t my favorite subject. It was annoying, really. It always felt as if there were more to the story that was written in the books. It was as if an important piece of information had been left out. And every time I ask the teacher what happened if there was a hole in the story, they’d say, I don’t know. But it’s always felt like the missing piece of information was hidden right under our noses and we’d just been too focused on writing down what happened to notice. Like it was right in front of our eyes, but we were too ignorant to see it.

I entered my class and fell into a arbitrary seat. I didn’t look to see who I was next to. I just knew that I was being watched. I had my hand covering my eyes as I breathed slowly. When I finally opened my eyes and put my hand down, I knew that I was both in trouble and in luck. To my right, James was sitting, watching me with hostile eyes. To my left, with surprised and adoring eyes, Demetrius.


 

 

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