Chapter 33: A Ray of Sunshine; Persephone Jeremiah (Part 1)
I barely slept last night. I couldn’t help myself as I stared at her while she slept trying to savour the feeling of having her so close to me again. My mind couldn’t stop wondering what she was dreaming of. If she still had nightmares and what those nightmares were. I missed the little whistle sounds she made with her mouth. They were soothing; almost like a lullaby. Just as I would close my eyes and pull her close to me, my own nightmares would haunt me.
I hadn’t been able to escape the fact that one of my top five biggest regrets now lived across the street from me. I wanted to talk to her, but I didn’t feel like I had a right to nor did I want to cause problems. Still, I couldn’t get her off of my mind. I had some amazing days with her too, that I couldn’t replicate if I tried. It was because of her that I hadn’t fully succumbed to the monster inside.
By the time the day had ended, I was completely over it; my entire being completely drained both mentally and emotionally. Being at this school after everything was overwhelming, adding the competitiveness to prove themselves better than me. It was clear that everyone here wanted to squash me like I meant nothing. Like I was merely just a waste of space. It was also clear that everyone here hates me and wished that I was the one gone instead of her; they had no idea how much I wished for that same thing.
Everywhere I turned reminded me of her. Every corner had another memory that I’d never again be able to live. Every memory crushed my soul just a little bit more. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes from the crushing reminder that she’ll never be waiting for me at my locker again. That I’ll never again hear her laugh from down the hall. Her voice still rang loud in my ears and the little whispers of our inside jokes were becoming deafening. It made the weight on my shoulders that much worse, breaking me down until I could no longer walk.
Was this it? Was this the big moment everyone had been waiting for? Was I finally going to get what I deserved? Was I about to have a complete mental breakdown in front of everyone? Would they lock me up for it? Would I be considered a danger? I could feel my chest tightening. My lungs were constricting making it hard to get air out, and even harder to breathe in. my head was spinning and I couldn’t get my vision to focus; everything was blurring.
“Pumpkin?” came her voice from behind me bringing me back to reality. As of lately she was the only reason I was able to keep my feet planted firmly; she kept me grounded. “Is everything alright? Are you okay?” Taking a second to really focus on the surroundings, I noticed that I was literally the one here. All the sounds I’d heard and people I’d seen were merely a hallucination. No one else was in this hallway apart from us…
...and it was what used to be her locker that I was leaning against.
“I’m fine.” I lied partly scared, but mostly confused. My mouth had gone dry. “Let’s get out of here.”
Not only was she there to pull me out of my very first panic attack, but she helped me feel better also.
“I can’t believe you wanted to go bowling.” I teased, weighing each ball to find a decent one. After finding one I could deal with, I got into position and threw it before watching it glide down the aisle to a perfect strike.
I’m lying it was a complete gutter ball and she laughed at me.
“You suck at this.” she guffawed as I stuck my tongue out at her. “I thought you were an athlete.”
“My dear Sunshine, you can’t expect me to be amazingly awesome at everything.” I grinned, flexing my muscles proudly.
“Well it’s a good thing I don’t.” she laughed again as I playfully pouted. I wanted her as she picked up the ball and made a strike. Her confidence and courage radiated off of her as she walked with pride. I knew she was doing this for me, because of what happened earlier. Usually I hated being pitied, but this once I was happy about it. I didn’t understand what happened and I was in no rush to relive it.
“So, you brought me here to prove you can kick my ass in something?”
“I mean that wasn’t my intention,” she shrugged innocently as I cocked my brow at her “but it’s definitely a plus.” I rolled my eyes laughing as she sat on my lap and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Seriously though, you looked like you needed a night away from it all. What’s better than a night bowling when no one else is around?” she had a point that I couldn’t deny.
“You really are my own ray of sunshine in this world of darkness.” I breathed as she blushed before bringing her lips to mine. She had no idea how much this meant to me, but I was going to make it my mission to try to be who she thought I was.
… … … … … … …
I don’t know how or when I fell asleep, but by the time I’d awakened my body was telling me to lay there with her. As much as I wanted to give in I knew I couldn’t. Instead I took a shower trying to release the pressure from my joints and found myself thinking about a time where Maria didn’t even know how much I needed her, and was just there at the right time.
The fog was getting heavier making it harder to see through the window. It has been a few days since we last hung out and that was completely due to me. It was all my fault. When I shut down, I shut her out and she doesn’t deserve it, but I don’t know how to explain it to her either. I don’t want her to think that I’m weak, but I want her to know as much about me as possible also. First, I needed to apologize.
It didn’t take long before I was standing on my back porch admiring her from a distance. In this moment she reminded me so much of the first time that I saw her, the main reason why I had to get to know her. She looked so free. So happy. So attuned with herself. Meeting her gave me an understanding that I wasn’t aware I even needed. With her I didn’t care what anyone thought, I only cared that she smiled. That she was forever as freeing as she seemed that first time I saw her.
So I stood back and watched as the fog began to kiss the grass and she spun on the tips of her toes. She twirled and laughed and sang to herself quietly. The wind blew her strawberry scent towards me, mixing it with the smell of rain and my knees wobbled. How was it fair, or even possible for someone to be so perfectly themselves? To be so imperfectly perfect for someone like me? We were too different to work, and saw things from two different spectrums, but that was precisely why we were perfect for each other.
“Hey Minnie.” I breathed, to impatient to keep my presence unknown. As usual we were dressed alike in simple grey joggers and black shirts to match. “Want some company since the dogs are at the groomers?” I waited until she nodded before letting myself into her yard and walking over to her. I just went with the flow. I wanted to dance with her. Pulling her into my arms, I led us into what I believed was a waltz. I may or may not have stumbled over a few steps, but I was glad that she didn’t point them out. She continued to follow me blindly with her eyes closed.
“This make me want to go to a ball.” she spoke after a while giggling. I took a second to stare into the stars of her eyes glad that I could see their beauty up close for once.
“Then we’ll throw a ball and invite every lady and lord in thy land.” I grinned at my horrible accent, but I didn’t care because the smile on her face was blinding. All I wanted was to see her smile and make her happy.
“Will you write the invites using old time English?” she teased playing along.
“Why of course mi lady? For what is a ball without thy proper language we speak.”
“Will we wear a matching tux and dress?”
“Even if we have to do it on purpose.” I winked. “To complete the look we can wear the matching his and her sets that we brought. It will be a perfect evening and I promise to make sure that smile stays on your face.”
“Looks like we’re already off to a good start then.” she whispered before I spun and dipped her.
“Good.” was all I could get out before the rain started to fall and we continued to dance.
It still amazes me how something so simple can fill me with enough joy to last a lifetime. By the time my shower was done the memory was still clear in my head. I still didn’t want to just leave, so I wrote her a letter and made it as cheesy as I could.
My sweet dear Minnie,
I’m so sorry to have had to abruptly leave my darling, but I shall only think of you during this long journey until I am back home. I will only dream of you my fair lady; for you are the only one who holds my heart. My soul is intertwined with yours. Something I have been told only a witch is capable of. Be careful my dear, they’re on the hunt to find the witch. Until it be ’morrow, I bid thee farewell.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I had practice and had to go. Wish I could’ve stayed so that we could simply just hangout, but coach is being a pain in the ass. Maybe when I get home we can go for a late night swim. Text me your response when you wake.
See you later Minnie,
With that done,and resting on her pillow, I did the last thing I thought I would do after climbing out her window and down the ladder. Pulling out my phone I sent a text. One lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way was that now would always be better than later.
Dave: Hey Sunshine, can we talk? I’ll send you an address and time and you can let me know if it works for you.
I’d barely gotten in my car by the time she responded.
Persephone: I’ll be there. Can’t wait to see you.
… … … … … …
I was trying to make myself focus on the task at hand. I needed to get some breakfast, go to practice so that my coach wouldn’t kick me off the team and get in the state of mind needed for my talk with Persephone. It was to the point where I was chanting it to myself to keep me on track, but it wasn’t working. Not even a little bit. I couldn’t stop thinking about Maria and how her skin felt against mine. How her lips felt against mine. How she sounded to my ears.
She wasn’t making it any easier on me with her texts. I never knew she could be so lewdly candid. It shocked me initially at first, but instantly turned me on. Before I knew it I was headed back to her house and thinking with the wrong head.