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Chapter 2

“Good morning, Mrs. Scott.”

Samantha’s mom opened the door with a big smile. “Good morning to you too. Samantha and Lana are waiting for you in her room.”

I gave her a hug before dashing upstairs to Samantha’s room. The door was partially open, so I went inside without knocking. When Lana noticed me, she waved me over.

“Hey, guys,” I said when I sat down beside Samantha on her bed.

“Well, we can see it’s been a good morning so far. I caught Xavier going into your house,” Lana said before Samantha could reply. Lana wasn’t someone to beat around the bush. She also wasn’t at all timid.

With her beautiful blond locks, sweet smile and round face, she drew everyone in. We’d been friends since we were six years old and I’d kicked her in the shin because she’d sat on my bike. But after we found out that we shared the same passion for Totally Spies, we became instant friends. From enemies to best friends. Since then, we’d been very tight.

Samantha is the most timid in our little group. Lana and I met her in grade four when she first moved into town. Two kids were picking on her because she was so quiet. I still remember how scared she looked. Her light brown hair was poker-straight and pulled back into a low ponytail. She was on the ground where one of the girls had pushed her. Her green eyes were glassy and her face tear-streaked. Since the time Lana and I stood up for her, the three of us have been best friends.

“Aric invited him for breakfast,” I replied after I shook myself from past memories.

Lana and Samantha looked at me expectantly, and I laughed at their expressions. “Nothing happened. I panicked and became mute as soon as I saw him.”

“Are you serious? The guy is never gonna know that you like him if you keep doing this,” Lana said, exasperated.

“I just need time to get used to this. Anyway, there’s a high chance that I’m just going to embarrass myself.”

“It’s worth a chance. Make him like you,” Samantha piped in.

“OK, OK. So Aric and Xavier asked me to go to the movies with them tonight. I said yes.”

“That’s great!” Lana said excitedly. She gave me a big smile and nudged my knee. “This is your chance. Flirt with him.”

“Are you crazy? Not in front of my brother.”

Samantha and Lana laughed quietly at my horrified expression. Aric would most likely sucker punch Xavier if he ever found out.

“OK. This is your last chance though. Avoiding Xavier, I mean. Next time we’re putting a full flirting plan into action,” Samantha said through her giggling.

I nodded with a pout. “Ready for the movie?” I asked, changing the topic.

Samantha and Lana nodded simultaneously. “Let’s enjoy this spring break. I can’t believe I’m finally watching a movie after all these months,” Lana said while Samantha got the remote to search Netflix.

“We’ve been too busy with school. It’s our last year,” Samantha added, “and we totally deserve this break.” Lana and I nodded our agreement.

“Can we not watch chick flicks, please? I want a good action movie,” Lana said when she saw that Samantha paused on the movie The Lucky One.

“What do you want to watch?” I asked her.

She looked deep in thought for a moment before replying.

The Avengers. It’s already been two years since it came out. I think we should watch it.”

I looked at Samantha. She smiled and gave her nod of approval. “Avengers it is then,” I declared.

“Alexia, can you open the curtains please?” Samantha asked.

“Yup.” I got up and went over to the window. When I pushed the curtains apart, I was suddenly blinded by the sunlight. Looking away quickly, I tried to get my bearings again. When I looked out again, I came face to face with the forest. I had forgotten that Samantha’s house was on the edge of the woods.

Staring at the forest, I was brought back to my nightmares. The chase, the monster with fangs and red eyes, no escape and most of the time, death. I shuddered and turned quickly away from the window.

I went to sit beside Lana. “Have you guys ever had a nightmare that seemed really real?” I asked while we waited for the movie to start.

“All the time,” Lana replied with a chuckle. Samantha nodded without looking at me. “Nightmares are supposed to feel real. That’s why they’re called nightmares.”

“What if you have the same one over and over again? Every night?” I said quickly. I had to get it out before I lost the courage. Everything I was going to say probably sounded crazy, but I needed to talk about my never-ending nightmares.

“That’s weird,” Lana said while turning to face me. “I’ve never had the same nightmare twice.”

“Same. And my nightmares are not the scary kind either. I barely have nightmares,” Samantha added.

Lana stared at me, looking for any suspicious reaction. “Why are you asking?”

“I was just wondering.”

Samantha stared at me curiously but Lana looked unconvinced.

I sighed and continued. “I’ve been having the same nightmare for over a week now. Every night it’s longer and more vivid. But it always ends the same. It’s strange. Why do I keep getting the same nightmare over and over again?”

“That is strange,” Samantha agreed.

“What is it about?” Lana asked. She scooted closer to me and waved at Samantha to pause the movie that she had started to play

“I’m always being chased by this big guy. He has red eyes and big fangs. He keeps saying that he is coming for me and I have no place to escape. Sometimes we’re in a forest. Other times in an alley. Different locations but always the same thing.” I paused to see their reaction. They were just staring at me blankly.

“That’s not really strange,” Lana said.

Samantha slapped her on the arm and looked at me warmly. “Continue.”

I took a deep breath and spoke quickly, letting the words flow out of my mouth as I recalled the nightmare again. “And it’s always dark. I never see his face. Only his glowing red eyes. And it’s not just his pupils that are red. His whole eye is red. All I know is that he is huge and he has fangs because I’m always bitten at the end of the nightmare. And it’s not a small bite. He rips through my throat. And he always leaves me there, openly bleeding. That’s how it ends. All the time.”

Lana and Samantha looked at me with a shocked expression. “And you’ve been having this nightmare every night for over a week?” Lana asked.

I nodded because I couldn’t get any more words out.

“That is really weird. But you know what. Don’t think too much into it. It’s just a nightmare. It can’t harm you.” Lana said. There was a hint of sympathy in her voice.

“Lana is right. It’s not real, and it can’t do anything to you. Just a bad dream.” Samantha agreed.

“You’re right. A stupid bad dream,” I said. I agreed with them but deep inside, I was still scared. It wasn’t normal; it was terrible and I had to live through it every night.

“Let’s watch the movie,” I said. I tried to sound chirpy, but I was quivering on the inside. I couldn’t let my fears show.

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