Careful what you wish for
NOTE: Hey there! As we are nearing the last chapters, I started editing the story a bit and decided to do a little change further down the story which means I had to change a little something!
So if you were up to date, please go back to the last chapter and re-read the end as I’ve changed Tane’s POV!
THANKS SO MUCH AND SORRY FOR THE INCONVINIENCE!
20TH OF JULY
As the alarm goes off, I reach over and grab my phone. I slide the little icon on the screen to turn it off, and I get up, stretch my arms over my head, and rub my eyes, feeling a little confused.
I look around, and find Em sprawled on the bed in front of me, the blanket’s a tangled mess around her body. I drop to the floor and do ten sit ups as quickly as I can, waking my brain up. Then I stand back up, and I’m about to shake Em awake, but I stop myself... something seems odd.
I run over to the window in the room, and pull the curtains open.
“Aggg, shut it,” Em groans as the light hits her right in the eyes.
“Where…” I say, but then it hits me. We’re in Turangi. “Oh, wow,” I say as I sit back on my bed, feeling a little dizzy.
“You okay?” Em asks as she pulls herself to a sitting position and wraps the blanket around her body. “You look a bit pale.”
“Oh, I had the weirdest dream!” I say as I shake my head, the memories already starting to go away.
“Uh, oh, tell quickly before you forget!” Em says excitedly, and I’m automatically reminded of the pajama parties from when we were kids, and we’d share our dreams as soon as we woke up. Em would always fill in the blanks from my memory by making up cool details for the story.
“Oh, it’s silly,” I say as I wave a hand in front of me.
“Come on, for the good ol’ times!” She says, and I can see the huge smile spreading on her face.
“Okay, okay.” I try to put the images and little pieces back together.
“I dreamed that we were back in the Redwoods, and when we got caught up in that storm, it was ten times worse than it actually was. There was lightning and thunder, and trees were falling over.”
“It was a nightmare,” Em quips.
“Not really, well... kind of… It was at the start, when we got separated in the storm, and I fell over in a ditch or something. There was water everywhere, and I was bruised and couldn’t walk.”
“Definitely a nightmare.”
“But then a guy saved me.” I blush as soon as soon as the words are out of my mouth.
“Wooo, was he super hot and strong?” She asks excitedly.
“He was, actually,” I admit, a little ashamed.
“Obviously!” Em chirps. “Guys in dreams are always to die for, what was he like?”
I try to picture his image in my mind, and I feel like the details are vague. But the more I think about it, the more clear I can see him. The strong jawline, the broad shoulders and strong chest muscles, the solid arms cradling me like a damsel in distress. The dark hair and green eyes…
“He was… He was a God,” I say, confused. “The one from the story you told me the other day, Tane. He saved me and then…” I trail off as I remember Tane’s arms wrapped around my body, his lips on mine. Tane. The scent of pine that filled up my nostrils and the smooth feel of his skin against mine.
I look down at my palms, half expecting to find cuts and bruises on them from the fall. But obviously, there’s nothing there.
“It doesn’t matter,” I say after a moment, “We need to get going, there’s a long drive ahead.”
“Right-o!” Em says as she stands up. “Wellington, here we go!”
Sam’s been pretty quiet since we left the hostel this morning, and I wonder what’s wrong this time. I know she’s been worried about the inheritance and the whole family drama, and I wish she would talk about it more with me. I know our itinerary hasn’t gone exactly to plan either, and I wonder if she’s still bothered by it. I don’t like it when we don’t talk about our things.
“It sucked that we missed out on doing the Tongariro yesterday,” I say as I turn the volume down on the radio, trying to spark up some conversation. There’s something I’ve actually been meaning to tell her. And maybe if I open up about this, she’ll open up about what’s bothering her.
“Yeah,” Sam says, nonchalant.
There was a storm the day we were in Redwoods, and apparently it got all the way down to the Tongariro area, because when we arrived in Turangi at night, we were told the walk wasn’t safe to do due to bad weather and too much snow. Or something like that… I think.
“I enjoyed spending the day with you playing board games, though,” I add as I smile at her.
She looks confused for a second, but then she nods.
“Yeah, it was.”
“So, there’s something I’ve been meaning to mention…” At this, I finally get her attention.
“What happened?” She asks curiously.
“There’s this guy I’ve been chatting with…”
Sam turns around fully in the passenger seat and looks at me as she turns the volume of the radio down even more.
“I knew it!” She yelps. “Is he the one you were texting in Rotorua?” I can’t help but laugh at her reaction.
“Yes,” I say. “Do you remember that night we went to Constellations?” I ask as casually as I can.
“How could I not?” She says with a chuckle as she rolls her eyes.
“Well, do you remember the cute bartender that served us?” I glance at Sam and see that her eyes are wide open, and there’s a little concern on her face.
“Well, I found him on a dating app.”
“Emma Alexandra Moon!” She squeals as she punches me in the shoulder. “How long ago?!”
“Oh, we’ve been talking for a couple of days,” I say as if it’s nothing. “He’s actually pretty cute.”
“Why didn’t you tell me before?!”
“You were so worried about everything that was going on with the inheritance and all that, I didn’t want to sound unsensible.”
“Em, please! That’s silly.”
I tell her a little about my chats with Miguel, but I keep most of it to myself. He’s so caring, and adorable, and I’m not used to guys like him, so I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, and I don’t want to jinx it... It probably won’t work out anyways, it never does.
The drive takes about 4 hours, and by the time we get to Wellington, it’s way past midday. We grab some late lunch at a cute Mexican restaurant in Cuba street, and then we go for a walk around town. We have the whole day to explore, and accommodation already sorted for the night, so we don’t have to really worry about a thing until tomorrow. Then we’ll catch the ferry early in the morning and leave for the South Island, where we will finally head over to the city where my parents met.
After discussing it a bit during our drive, we decided to skip the stop in Nelson to have more time in Christchurch. There’s plenty of places I want to see there, and there’s also a meeting with a lawyer I have to attend to. I received the email yesterday and opened it up this morning, it said I need to sign some papers and then everything would be sorted.
To be honest, I just want all of it to be over. It’s not like I’m coming back to New Zealand anytime soon, so I will have a chat with the lawyer, sign whatever papers I need to sign, and appoint him as my legal advisor so he can do the paperwork for me once I’m back home.
After a walk around the waterfront, we end up by the Te Papa museum, and it’s so cold outside, that we decide to head in and have a look at the exhibitions. The place is huge, with really tall ceilings and various levels to explore.
We look at the art as Em makes funny comments about it all. There’s a room with white walls and a few white stools in the middle, and once we enter, the lightning in the room changes colour. First it’s red, then blue, then green, and the whole room seems to change colour as the lights turn on and off. It’s simple, yet lovely.
After that, we find a huge kaleidoscope, and Em pops her head inside, pulling silly faces as a lot of Ems look at me from different angles and I can’t help but laugh.
“You’re such a dork,” I say as I cackle.
“I know, and that’s why you love me! Let’s go over there!” She says as she takes off running and I follow along.
We watch a virtual reality video, we walk among huge statues with bobble heads, and we go through a fashion exhibit full of weird dresses and garments that Em is enamoured by. She stays there forever, taking photos and writing down ideas on her phone.
“I’ll move along if you don’t mind,” I say after what feels like an eternity. “I’ll go check the exhibits next door.”
“Sure thing!” She doesn’t even look at me as she snaps another photo and writes more notes on her phone.
The next room is a big one, and it has a few long tables in the middle with stacks of paper and pens. I look around, and see that there’s notes plastered all over the walls. I go over to the wall closest to me, and I run a finger through the pieces of paper hanging there.
There’s love letters, littles kid’s drawings with stick figures, a beautiful pencil portrait of a girl, and lots of notes from people directed to loved ones or family members.
There’s one particular piece of paper that really catches my eye. Someone’s drawn a pounamu of a Koru in the middle of the paper with bright green paint, and as I get closer, I notice that there’s words written along the spiral. It immediately reminds me of the book I was reading a few days ago, and how our thoughts can feel like spirals sometimes. I know what that feels like, I’ve been living with anxiety my whole life.
I get close enough to run my finger through the spiral, and I read the words on it.
‘Truth’s deepest layer must be reached, for you have died, but you live. The world might collapse if you don’t remember, find him again and let it all be mended.’
I get goosebumps in my arms as a chill runs down my body, and before I know what I’m doing, I take the image off the wall and sit down at the table with it.
I read the words again, trying to make sense of what it says, wondering why it feels so foreign but yet so familiar. I think it might be a quote from a book I’ve read, so I do a search online on my phone.
To my surprise, nothing comes up.
I trace my finger down the spiral again, wondering why this feels important somehow.
“There you are!” I hear Em chirp from behind me.
Without even thinking about it, I fold the drawing and pop it in the back pocket of my jeans as I stand up and turn to face her.
“Are you all done with the fashion show?” I ask in a teasing tone.
“Yup, we’re good to go! I think it’s time we get some early dinner, I’m starving!”
“So am I, let’s go back to Cuba street and find a nice pub,” I say with a smile. The day’s gone by so quickly, I can’t believe we’ll finally be in the South Island tomorrow.
Just forget about me.
Don’t come looking.
The room is dark around me and the sound of Emma lightly snoring is the only sound filling the air. The place seems eerily quiet, and I rub my eyes as I look at the time on my phone. It’s barely 11:45pm, so I wonder why I’ve woken up. My body feels cold and clammy, and I notice sweat on my forehead as I rub my face with the sleeve of my pajama.
I remember water dripping from my hair, my vision being blurred. I remember screaming, and strong arms holding me tight.
I think I was dreaming again.
I reach over to my nightstand and grab the bottle of water sitting there. I have a sip, and then another as my lips feel dry and my throat itches. As I put the bottle back down in the dark, I hear the sound of rustling paper. I grab my phone, turn on the torch and illuminate the little table.
Did I leave that there?
I unfold the piece of paper and look at the Koru drawn in it, reading the words written on the spiral again. Instinctively, I reach my free hand towards my chest and hold my pounamu. I wonder what truth that person was talking about.
Truth’s deepest layer.
For you have died, but you live.
It doesn’t make any sense, but I feel like it should.
I leave the paper back on the table and turn around to sleep, pulling the blankets up to my chin and curling up into a little ball to keep warm.
As soon as my eyelids drop, I dream of green eyes.