Chapter One- Alyse Russell
The sirens wailed. Red and blue lights lit up the area as people frantically ran around the scene. I stood there gasping. The water stared back at me, haunting me with every ripple. I was frozen. Every memory pierced through me, sending me deeper into my spiral. He isn’t gone. He isn’t gone.
I woke up in a cold sweat for the fifth time this week. Memories kept spiraling back. My head pounded as if I had bashed it into a wall. Tears trickled down my face. I wiped my tears onto my gray sweater and got off the bed. I walked over to my mirror. Black mascara streaked down my cheeks. Lipstick and Eyeshadow were smeared all over my face. I grabbed a makeup wipe and roughly scrubbed in against my pale skin.
“Fell asleep with makeup again, Huh?” My sister, Emma, questioned as she leaned against the door frame.
“Leave me alone,” I muttered, trying to hold back the tears.
“I know it’s hard, Alyse, but your need to move on. You can’t spend your whole like sulking on something that’s gone. The world doesn’t stop because you lose someone. We’ve already learned that," Emma sighed and wrapped her arm around me.
I thought back to the day we lost dad. I watched as his facial features slowly were replaced with age as the months continued to pass by. One day we were walking down the hall to go visit him again. Emma and I skipped down the fluorescent-lit hallways, looking only forward to only one thing, seeing our dad. Mom knocked lightly on the door before letting us in. We looked over to the bed and saw him lying motionless. My mom slammed her hand on the nurse’s button and tears trickled down her face. We had no clue what was going that day. It wasn’t till later that Emma and I realized that we were never going to see our father again.
“Come on, let’s go eat. Mom made some eggs and bacon for us before she left for work”
I quickly wiped the last few speckles of makeup off my face then followed Emma out the door. I trailed behind her through the narrow hallway until we reached the kitchen. I plopped down onto the chair and messed with my hoodie strings. Wrapping and unwrapping them around my finger.
“Any plans for today?” Emma grabbed two plates of food then walked them over to the table, putting one in front of me.
“No. Just sleeping, but that clearly isn’t working.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “You need to get out of the house. Go to the mall or something. You need to do something to get your mind off of Dylan.”
Hearing his name was enough to put a lump in my throat. I felt my eyes puddle with tears once again. I rapidly blinked them away.
“I’m sorry,” she frowned and shoved her eggs around her plate. She looked back up at me, her blue eyes soft. “Please think about it. I’ll drive you if you need me to.”
“Thanks, Em, but I think I’ll-” I sighed. “Okay, fine.”
“Good, because I already told Kassie we’d meet her at the Coffee shop” Emma smirked.
I rolled my eyes and smiled.
I glanced around at all of the cars. Traffic was extremely heavy but not something rare for a Saturday in late July. Emma was busy blasting the radio as loud as humanly possible and singing the lyrics off-key. Emma danced when we came to a stop.
“Come on! Join me!” She smirked and nudged my arm with her elbow. “Get into it,” She rolled her shoulders and laughed. She fixed her sunglasses then looked around.
“I’m not in the mood.”
“Come on! Stop being boring. I can put on that station you like if you want.”
Emma started scrolling through the stations as the car behind us honked. She sat straight up and threw her hands onto the wheel.
“Whoopsie...” She mumbled, her face bright red. She used the steering wheel switch to go through the channels. She stopped when she reached 98 FM. “There you go.”
“Thanks, Em.” I looked out the window again then saw a black pickup truck. Tears formed in my eyes as the memories flooded back again. I quickly looked away, my eyes landing on my phone.
Where are you? Also, Connor said he could get us some free food. That is if I do his chores for the next month but don’t worry about that...
LOL. I’m down the street. See you in a min.
I clicked the send button then shoved my phone back into my purse. I didn’t realize how much I missed Kassie till now. It felt nice to get to see her again. I climbed out of the car and threw my bag over my shoulder.
“Thanks Emma!” I was about to shut the door when she shouted my name.
“Not so fast, Alyse! I’ll be in the outlet mall down the street. Call me when you’re ready to leave, ’kay” Emma questioned.
“Okay. Bye Emma!"
I shut the door then headed toward the building. I opened the restaurant door and smiled as I was greeted by cold air. Our air conditioning has been on and off lately and the company hasn’t had any time to come and fix it. I looked around the room then spotted Kassie. I grinned then walked over and joined her at the table.
“Hey!” Kassie smiled brightly. Her wavy brown hair was tied into a braid and she was wearing her favorite maroon t-shirt. It was a really cute outfit on her. “I ordered you a raspberry tea.”
“Thank you,” I grinned softly and placed my purse next to me. “What’s with the laptop?”
“I was just doing a little research and checking my inbox,” She sighed. “Did you get the email?”