“Time to get up, Thomas.”
I immediately pull the covers off myself and make a grab for a t-shirt. The Nurse smiles as I yank it on. “You’re alert this morning, anyway.”
I nod as she proceeds into the room across the hall from mine. I pull on my slacks and rush out onto the corridor. I dash into the reception and make a grab for the phone. I anxiously punch in Mum’s number and put a call through.
“Hello,” Mum says.
“Mum, you’re okay. How’s everyone?”
“Thomas, we’re okay. Your dad, Belle and I are fine. I’m glad that you’re so concerned, but don’t worry. How are you?”
“Are Lucy and Andrew okay?”
“Thomas, I’m sorry. I don’t know, it’s only early. I’ll be a little late to your visiting hour today. It’ll probably be half four, I’m sorry Thomas.”
My heart is thumping really hard. “Okay, Mum, see you then.” I slam the phone down to terminate the call and go about dialing Lucy’s number.
“Ahem.” I turn around to see the receptionist eyeing me. She gestures to the phone. “Oh, yeah, I forgot, one call a day only, but this is an emergency. Can I please just call--”
“You’ve had your call for today, Mr Burton. Your breakfast is being cooked for you. Head to the cafeteria.”
“Okay, fine.” I slam the phone down and stomp back towards the canteen. I hate this place. I can’t even call the few people I care about in Eventide. I just want to know if Lucy and Andrew are okay.
As I take my seat beside Cole, Lenny and Matt, they eye me suspiciously. “What’s up with you, Thomas?”
I lean closer to Cole. “I need to borrow your phone again, now.”
Cole glances around the room to make sure Marc’s not watching us. He reaches down under his hoodie and draws it out. I presume he had it lodged in his shirt pocket. Under the table, he discreetly passes it to me and I slip it into my pocket. I stand up and slowly approach the door.
Locking myself in the bathroom, I dial Lucy’s number and press the call icon. I press the phone to my ear and wait for her to answer. Come on, Luc, pick up. Please. It’s rang five times.
“Come on,” I gulp. “Pick up.”
My heartbeats are becoming increasingly unsteady. Lucy always answers her phone. And I pray to God that the reason she hasn’t, is because it’s in a different room to her. I hope that this is the case. Because the latter possibility swirling through my mind is gut wrenching. I need to know if she’s okay. I redial her number and wait. It’s still ringing. I’m blinking back tears. I know I’m not certain of anything, but I can’t help but imagine the worst.
As Lucy’s voicemail recording rings through my ears for the second time, I place the phone down on my lap. If she was hurt last night, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The phone buzzes and I dart my eyes to the screen. A flood of relief is washing over me. I grab the phone and answer it.
“Luc, are you okay?”
“Thomas, I’m fine.”
“Why didn’t you answer?”
“I was in the shower, jeez Tommy, calm down. I told you I’d be fine, didn’t I?”
“Yeah,” I smile. “You did. Do you know if Andrew’s okay?”
“He’s just fine,” she says. “He sent me a streak this morning, so I think that means he’s alive, Thomas.”
“Okay,” I say. I’m so relieved right now. My heart is gradually starting to slow down. My friends. family and people closest to me are okay. I’ve never been more consolidated in my life.
“Look,” I say. “I’ve got to go, but will I see you later?”
“Of course,” she says. I can just imagine her smiling at the other end of the phone right now, running her fingers through her hair. “I’ll be there at four.”
Lucy approaches me with outstretched arms. Her usually glowing smile is faint this morning. “Hey, Tommy.”
I feel that there’s something off about her whole demeanor today. She seems on edge, uncomfortable, unnerved by something. I lean in and kiss her tenderly and she pulls away. She bows her head and swallows. “Hey, what’s the matter?”
She blinks back tears. “Tommy, we need to talk.”
I frown at her. “What’s going on, Luc?” I ask.
She swallows and looks down. She can’t even look at me. She’s not looking at me the same. She doesn’t want to be with me anymore. She thinks I’m insane.
“Are you breaking up with me?”
“What makes you say that?” she weeps.
I shake my head. “I don’t know, Luc. Generally, if your girlfriend says ‘we need to talk’, she’s planning on breaking up with you. And I know you agree with my parents, and that you think I’ve gone mad, and honestly I think it too now, but Luc--”
She places her hand over mine. “Tommy, I’m not breaking up with you,” she affirms. “And I don’t think you’ve gone mad. Quite the opposite.”
I look her in the eye. “Look, when you came into my bedroom and started talking about the Reaper and the whole ritual, and then you blacked out and had that vision, I’ll admit, I was freaked out, and I thought you were having delusions. But, that’s all changed now, Thomas. I completely, wholeheartedly believe you.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “What are you talking about?”
“Thomas, what you told me about in the vision, it’s come true.”
My heart skips a beat. My eyes widen. “Do you mean that--”
I gasp in terror as she nods. She swallows to suppress her tears. “The Reaper killed Mr Blanchard last night. It was announced this afternoon in school. After he didn’t come into work and one of the staff members stopped by his house, they found him lying on his kitchen floor,” she trembles. “He had fallen from one of the kitchen chairs after the Reaper slit his throat. He killed him, just like you said he would. And I’m sorry that I didn’t entirely believe you then. But, I believe you now.”
I bite my lip and look down. “The Reaper slit his throat?”
“I’m so sorry, Thomas.” She nods painfully and cups a hand over her mouth. He died just like in my vision when I was outside with Cole and Matt. And in the exact same place as in the vision. That can’t just be a coincidence.