The Nightmare World

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Chapter 7

My heart feels so heavy.

(That's right I was abandoned. I was unwanted.........and unloved.)

My eyes starts burning as I try to hold back the tears.

???:Jessica.

I slowly open my eyes when I hear someone call my name.

When I open my eyes,I find myself in a room. I glance down at myself and noticed I have transformed into my childhood self.

(I see,these are my memories.)

???:Jessica.

A man bends down and places a hand on my shoulder.

???:welcome to bluebells.

Young Jessica:bluebells...?

???:this will be your new home,Jessica

Young Jessica:home...?Papa....?

(I wanna go home. Where's Papa? )

???:yes that's right. From now on you will call me father.

(Father?)

The man gently ruffles my hair.

Father : we're your family now.

(New family?)

My heart starts to ache.

(I don't want a new family. I want my real family.)

(I was abandoned. I will never get my family back now.)

(I will never be the same girl again...)

(I want to cry,but tears won't come. I feel so broken.)

Noticing me staring at my new surrounding in am expressionless daze,father smiles nervously.

Father:I am sure you children will get along just fine.

(There are other children too...?)

The door creaks open to reveal nothing but a hollow space beyond.

???:father?

A boy peeks his little head from behind the father.

Father:Licht,what took you so long?

Young licht:I am sorry,I was playing with other kids.

The man hums a low tune.

Young Licht:who's this father?

Licht gazes at me intently,like I am from another planet.

(To be honest,I don't feel comfortable here..)

Father:now son,don't be rude.

The man puts his arms on my shoulders again.

Father:this is Jessica, she will be living with us from now on.

Young Licht :hello Jessica, I am Licht. Wanna be friends?

He offers me his hand.

Young Jessica :.........

Father:say hello, Jessica.

At father's urging I take his hand.

Young Jessica :.......okay!

Licht lightly squeezes my hand and smiles warmly.

At that moment, my heart is filled with overwhelming warmth.

Without saying a word,Licht takes me into a hug. Once I have settled down ,Licht takes me to a different room.

Young Licht :guys!we got a new friend, come on, Jessica.

I timidly peek from behind Licht. The other kids walks up to me . I feel nervous with everyone staring at me.

Young Licht :Subaru! Come here!

A boy named Subaru leisurely walks toward us.

His long hairs conceals his face. But for some reason ,the empty feeling that also emanates from him catches my interest.

Young Subaru :ummm.

A red bright eye peers from behind his bangs.

Young Jessica: so pretty....

I say out loud without thinking. His breathtakingly beautiful eye suddenly puts me at ease. It feels like the weight in my heart has been lifted.

Young Ray :I am Ray, what's your name?

Young Jessica :......

Young Ray :are you mute...?

Young Subaru:that's not nice,Ray.

Young Ray :father said it's rude to not answer the question .

Subaru ignores Ray remark and takes my hand.

Young Subaru :I am Subaru,what's your name?

Young Jessica :Jessica....

Young Monica:oh,you can talk. Finally there's another girl around here.

Monica hugs me tightens. Not knowing what to do, I decide to hug her back.

Her warmth is so comforting.

(This is my new home, my new family.)

Miraculously,the dark,heavy feeling that once clouded my heart clear away. The sun begins to shine again.

....

My mind begins to drift as if in a trance.

(That's right ,I am not alone, I am not forsaken. I have a loving family....)

While in my trance like state from the corner of my eye,I catch a glimpse of Thoma looking down all alone.

Licht:hnnn

Me:Licht!

When I came back to myself. I realize that I'm in the nightmare world,holding a bloody Licht in my arms.

Me:what the-

I feel my heart beat like a drum.

Monster :graaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

The monster looms over us,as if to attack again.

That's right, Licht......Licht protected me.

(It's all my fault....!)

From the look of things, I was only unconscious for a few seconds.

Ray,Thoma and Subaru are standing on the opposite side of the monster.

I glare right back,my eyes narrowing in anger,feeling a new found strength flowing into my blood.

The monster lets out a threatening guttural growl.

Me:I won't let you do this. I won't give Licht to the likes of you.

The monster groans in agony.

(Huh?what's happening? )

At the same time, the monster starts writhing in pain,my heart starts burning.

Me:I won't lose to you! I won't back down! I won't let you take anything or anyone else from me.

The hideous monster starts to retreat . I embrace Licht even tighter.

As the monster seems to be backing off,Licht stirs in my arms.

Me:Licht, you're okay,aren't you?

He nods lightly, face slightly twisted in pain.

The fabric from his clothes is torn near his shoulder, and there's a bit of bleeding.

(Luckily, he does not seem to be hurt anywhere else. )

Licht :Jessica......we have to get out of here before it's too late.

We both watch the monster turn into a restless blob, spiking its body in all directions.

Me :it looks like it's in pain. but why?

Licht :we better go before it starts chasing us again.

I nod in response and stand, propping Licht up.

Me :Ray,Licht and I are going this way for now.

Ray :got it! We will regroup later.

Just like that, we head off. Licht stops for a while.

Licht :you. ....you can let go of me now, Jessica.

Me:Why would I do that? damsel.

I Pant, dragging Licht's limping body, determined to get away from the scene even if we have to crawl.

Licht :I am too heavy for you. I will try to walk by myself, please!

I look back in the direction of the park, hoping that the coast is clear.

Me:I can't.

I hold onto him even tighter.

Me :what if the monster shows up again?

Licht:I can handle it. please!

Me:don't push yourself, okay!

Licht :I am stronger than I look. more importantly, I am glad that you're okay.

Licht chuckles gently, then winces in pain.

Me:see? I told you to be careful.

Licht :it just stings a little, that's all.

Now that I have my memories back, walking with Licht feels especially strange.

(So I have met Licht before after all. )

By giving me that hug back then, he healed my heart without even saying a word.

(I am so glad I remember it now. but......why does Licht only exist in the nightmare world?)

I start to feel uneasy and squeeze his hand. I feel his faint warmth against my skin.

(This warmth is the proof that he is with me right now. It takes away all my worries, knowing that he is alive. )

Licht and I walk along the city.

As we walk, I tell Licht about my memories.

Licht :I had no idea that your past was so painful. You're truly amazing, being able to overcome your past like that and to think that we knew each other this whole time......now I really want to get my memories back.

Licht says cheerfully. his genuine smile makes me to feel happy too. The streets feel familiar now that I seem to regain my memories.

Me:I have never seen people here before.

Licht :they are always here but they never talked to me.

We pass by the crowd, and the people seem to just be aimlessly wandering.

Licht :Jessica, I am fine . I just-

Me:that's it! Don't worry. You will be able to rest in a jiffy. Follow me!

Licht blinks,and I pull him gently. I apply pressure on Licht's wound until we reach an old cottage at the end of the street.

Me:we're here.

I stand looking at the house in front of me,feeling a slight ache in my heart.

Licht :where are we?

Me:I used to live here.

(Before my father abandoned me.)

I pull Licht's hand to bring him inside.

But just as I am about to step inside,I stop in my tracks.

(I wonder what Licht thinks.....he considers this his home, after all. He's all alone in this world. I wonder if he's ever felt uneasy about it or found it strange?)

I look at him, curious.

Me:didn't you think it was weird that the people are wandering around aimlessly and never talks to you.

Licht :I did at first , but I can't really do anything about it.

I lower my head.

Licht :still, this is what I know to be my reality. You don't have to feel sorry for me.

I don't say anything more,I just squeeze his hand.

Circling around, Licht and I find ourselves in an awfully familiar neighbourhood. I set my sights on the row of houses.

Licht :aah!

Me:are you okay?

I notice Licht wincing,trying his best to lift his injured shoulder.

(He was okay earlier, now he look so pale.was he putting up with all his pain for my sake.)

Licht swing his hand and the ground is stained with the droplets of crimson.

Me:oh no,you're bleeding again.

I immediately turn pale at the sight of deep red drops.

(Oh no,what should I do? What should I do?

I have to take him somewhere he can rest.No,first I need to stop the bleeding.)

Suddenly,I think of a place where we can get medical tools and place to rest.

(I am scared. )

Licht:Jessica?

Licht calls out to me worriedly.

(This is the place where I was born. The place where my mother and father raised me. But they abandoned me. Even though they so loving took care of me....)

I'm absolutely terrified to go in there. To set foot in a place where I was showered with fake love..... Licht squeeze my hand reassuringly.

Licht:Jessica, you don't have to do this,there's something about this place that makes you feel uncomfortable,right?

Licht warmly smiles at me. He obviously understands how I am feeling. I hold my breadth. My feet freeze,refusing to budge an inch.

Licht: its alright Jessica we don't have to go in.

Me:but....

Licht :don't force yourself. I am sure you still have lot to process. I am really fine,see. The bleeding has also stopped.

Licht moves his arm a little to convince me.

(Licht is trying so hard to look out for me,but I am ........I am such a coward. I've gotta pull myself together. )

I take Licht hand and start moving apprehensively .

Licht :Jessica?

Me:I'm fine! I'm fine.

I keep telling myself. As soon as I open the door to the living room,my vision becomes blurry. I hear the distant sounds of the bells.

(No don't! )

My eyelids feel heavy and I know its time to wake up.

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