Here We Go Again
His eyes open but slowly, closing over once then twice before they finally stayed open to keep him alert. Visually, because his body still feels weak and numb. It seems this is becoming a frequenting pattern of his: a headache, pass out, wake up confused with a bunch of people around him sporting worried looks.
‘But where are the worried people? Screw that- where the fuck am I?’ Sitting up, he looks around the foreign bedroom.
Absently his hand lifts the collar of his shirt up to his mouth, and he nibbles on it thoughtfully. He only resorted to this when he was very distressed about something. So it’s rare, but he knows only one thing about himself as a child, and that’s that this involuntary action was done a lot.
Getting up from the comfortable bed, he walks over to a window. ‘It’s dark? When did that happen?’ Thinking a moment, he recalls the events of the day. ’Hn. Should I call for help? That wouldn’t work. And what happened to Mrs. Ashford? Did she leave me here- ha, worse, did she bring me here?′
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, Mrs. Ashford.” An accented voice spoke; the voice is all too familiar to him too.
“Mom.” His dried out voice whispered. Heading for the bedroom door, he pulls it open eavesdropping before making his move out.
“Its Ms. Ashford, I’m divorced.”
“My apologies,” Quinn replied. “Where is Yakusoku now?”
“Up in the guest room sleeping. He hit his head pretty hard when I stopped the car.” Ms. Ashford commented. “Do these blackouts happen a lot?”
Looking around the room at what little he could make out, he noted. ‘I’m at Maria’s house.’
“When he was younger he used to have them, but they’ve stopped. He’s been complaining about migraines lately.”
Opening the bedroom door, Yakusoku walks out into the hall. Passing Maria’s bedroom door, he’s momentarily startled when the crack in the door thumped shut. ‘Guess she’s home now. I wonder if mom would let me stay a minute and talk to her?’
Having heard the thumping of his footsteps, Quinn Land calls up the stairs. “Is that you honey?”
“It’s me,” he replied going quickly down the stairs to his mother’s waiting arms.
Although he’s completely embarrassed when the woman began to rain kisses over his forehead. “Mom, please. Not now.” He complained.
“Oh hush up, and let me fuss over you.” She squeezes the boy tightly. “Your father and I were worried when you didn’t come back. He and Ai went out looking for you. If Ms. Ashford hadn’t called, I’d be climbing the walls a wreck with worry.” She kissed him atop his head.
“I’m sorry, mom,” He muttered into her shoulder.
“Ha!” she scoffed feeling her nerves melt away. “He’s sorry, he says. We’re just relieved that you’re all right.” Looking over her son’s shoulder to Ms. Ashford, she says. “Kids, right?”
Smiling, the woman nodded. She knew all too well about kids.
“Let’s go home.”
“Yeah. Removing himself from the hug, he nodded in a curt little bow to the woman. “Thank you, Ms. Ashford.”
“You’re welcome. Take it easy.”
The two leave the home after a kindly exchange between Marissa and Quinn over getting a free dress or blouse from his mother’s shop. She could come in at any time to pick one out. Marissa said she might cash in on that, and saw them to the door.
When the two got home, Yakusoku was chewed out once again, and this time, he was sent to bed without dinner. But he didn’t mind. It just felt damned good to be home.
But he didn’t have a restful night, he instead spent it awake and wondering in circles over the new information he’s gotten. So far he knows now that Maria lied about living with her aunt, lied about her last name- even to the school no less! Unless of course Ashford is her mother’s maiden name and Maria is sticking with her father’s. That makes sense. He’s seen it before. But Maria’s being a mute is a major hole in the clues. How can she be mute? It just doesn’t add up. One thing was for sure, the Kevin thing was dodged, and the diary was a complete fraud. Knowing this, he had to wonder if Kevin were real or fake.
‘Maria is a psychic, I have to believe that, it’s the only reason her talking to me makes sense. But for myself... its the only thing I can think of to why she keeps comparing myself to her. But I’m not some freak, which makes it hard to understand. I think I would know... wouldn’t I?’
And the circle went on and on like that, as he wondered up and down about how they’re alike. Is it that their similarity came from being lonely? Even when he was surrounded by his five friends, he still felt a bit detached from them. He’s been in alone for so long, he wouldn’t recognize it if it had left him or not. His eyes tell everything. He’s empty inside. And strange as it sounds, he feels this weird tug towards Maria, as if she could change that.
He could even change that look in her, maybe that’s why she’s so desperate to have him. She knows what she wants, and knows that Yakusoku can give it. And he will. It’s not just his complex acting up again. Maria is far worse than any lost animal he’s ever encountered, far worse than any quiet spell that’s fallen over some kid at the park. She’s empty as well.
‘Once I’m done with being grounded, I’ll tell her that everything will be all right.’ Taking a deep sleepy breath in through his nose, he rolls over onto his side and falls deeply asleep.
His dream left him sweaty and drained when he woke up that morning. It wasn’t like the other ones with burning women, or the one where he was dragged through the forest. This time, he was watching himself at 5 maybe 6 years old playing at the park. He has a small pile of rocks piled up beside him, and next to that a Donatello Ninja Turtle; even through the haze of a dream he could tell he felt very fondly of the toy. The young him was talking to airspace, and then, just by looking at the pile of rocks did one lift up from the ground and go flying off straight ahead of him. He laughed and cheered his accomplishment.
He raised the Donatello from the ground talking rapidly to it in dream-muted sound. He did his tossing trick again, only, this time, he was spotted by another kid. The boy seemed to be screaming over what he’d seen. It left Yakusoku feeling ashamed that he was seen and ashamed more so that he had done it.
His mother came over right then, so close that she was a pair of knees before his straight gaze, and nothing but a silhouette can be made of her face since the sun is directly behind her. He’d shot up in bed when she reached a hand down to him to lift him up and walk him home.
Yakusoku wasn’t sure what to make of the dream. There was a good chance that he’s only having these weird dreams because they’re brought on by his inner turmoil over everyday events. Today will be different. Time for restful sleep, and get back to being normal. Nothing weird will stop that plan of action.