Shifted

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Chapter 8

The first thing I thought when I opened my eyes was that I wasn’t in my room.

I didn’t have beige walls, and I most definitely didn’t appreciate this boho style everyone was so keen on these days. Yet, here I was - in the kingdom of white crocheted dreamcatchers, light pink cushions, baboo-framed sayings, and an unreasonable amount of green plants, which were simply everywhere: on the floor, windowsills, and light brown honeycomb-shaped shelves.

“Oh, good, you’re awake...” A voice I didn’t recognise pulled my attention from the excess of stimuli.

“Um, yes...” I said, still a bit dumbfounded, as I looked at the beautiful woman who was standing at the doorstep with a tray of food. She had brown curls that fell loosely on her shoulders, a heart-shaped face, and the same cyan blue eyes I had seen on a certain boy from my school.

“It’s too much, isn’t it?” The woman laughed, seeing my face. She closed the door with a bearly audible click. “This bedroom belonged to my daughter before she moved out. She still drops by from time to time, so I decided to keep it that way for her...” Bennett’s mum explained as she set the tray on the light-brown bedside table. “I’m Zachary’s mum, by the way.”

“I know,” I said before I thought better of it.

“Oh my, what gave me away?” She joked with a twinkle in her eyes, the same one I saw in Bennett’s the other day...

“Your eyes... I have only seen such blue in Be... I mean, Zachary’s eyes.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I blushed. I had literally confessed that I had been spying on her son. Just kill me now... “Anyway, if you’re Zachary’s mum, that means I am at your house... And, I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I don’t really remember...”

“How did you get here?” Mrs. Bennett finished for me with a small smile.

“Well, yeah...”

“Emmie coerced Zach to bring you home after she found you passed out at the party...”

“Oh my God...” I moaned embarrassed, hiding my face in my hands.

The woman laughed and put her hand on my shoulder in a calming matter.

“Don’t worry, we all have been there and done that at some point in our lives. It’s a good thing that you have earned Emmie’s loyalty. It’s not as easy as it may seem. She took good care of you and even forced Zachary to do the same. I gather that you don’t remember anything that happened the other night?”

“Nah, not really...” I admitted. “I remember that I went looking for Emmie, but all is blank after that...”

And then - because suddenly I had this horrible feeling - I flung back the light pink duvet and looked at my leg with irrational fear. I franticly groped it with both hands and started to fervently touch my right calf.

It was intact. Everything was okay...

It must have been a bad dream - an extremely realistic bad dream...

I breathed a sigh of relief, forgetting for a second that I had an audience.

“What? Is everything alright, honey?” Asked Mrs. Bennett, frowning.

“Y-yeah... I’m sorry. I had this weird idea... Gosh, you must think I’m not all there...” I laughed awkwardly, wiping a drop of sweat that gathered at my forehead.

“No, not at all. I think that you are simply tired. That’s why I’ll leave you to eat your breakfast. Feel free to rest as long as you need. I have prepared some spare clothes for you that you can find in the bathroom. I’m afraid yours haven’t survived a bath in the Azure Lake,” Mrs. Bennett explained with a wink.

Did I take a swim in my clothes? Jeez, what kind of rave was I part of?

I blushed again.

“Thank you for everything, ma’am, but I think that I’ve already overstayed my welcome. Besides, my parents must be worried.”

“Nonsense. You didn’t overstay anything, and your parents think you have a sleepover at Emmie’s. Anyway, Zachary will drive you home, as Emmie had been grounded some more from sneaking out to the party like that. So, just catch him when you’re ready...”

“Thank you...”

She waved her hand as if dismissing me and made her way to the door. As she grabbed the handle, she stopped in her tracks and, without turning around, she said:

“One more thing, Gemma. Although it is not really my place to say it, please watch how much you drink next time.” And just like that, Mrs. Bennett finally left the room.

I sighed again.

In only a very few words that woman made me feel like a spoiled brat who couldn’t even hold her booze.

Sheesh... I didn’t know why that bugged me, but it did - a lot. If I were completely honest, I would admit I wanted to make a good impression on her, but I wasn’t going to walk on that mine - it wasn’t like I even fancied Bennett...

I groaned loudly and fell back on the pillows with a plunk.

I most definitely needed to get a brain transplant - the sooner, the better.

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