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I believe that dreams are sacred

A few hours later, when the sun’s warm December rays found their way into Annabelle’s room, she was awoken by Simone shaking her shoulders wildly.

“Oh, Annabelle, Miss, wake up!” She did not scream that loud, but her voice had a sharp tone that cut in Annabelle’s ears worse than a knife. She rubbed her eyes like a little child while Simone ran away towards Annabelle’s wardrobe, opening one of the doors so violently that it cracked ominously. Simone did not think much of it, as she was busy browsing through the colorful dresses. Annabelle, who was still quite tired, was not fully informed of what Simone had in thought.

“Simone, what are you doing?” she asked, as she with small steps went towards the closet.

“Did I not tell you, Miss?” Simone shook her head, confused, and smiled an absent smile. “What a fool I am,” she said, “I forgot to tell you! John and his father arrived this morning, before the dawn.” She smiled again, but now it was more of a childish, friendly smile. Annabelle’s eyes widened at Simone’s words, and she put her hands on the girl's shoulders.

“So they are home, you say?” She didn't know how to feel, or how to behave. Then she remembered how John had behaved the last time they met, and how angry she had been with him. But she didn't show any of her feelings, and instead just kept smiling. She refused to bare her soul’s darkest secrets to someone who was not herself.

After Annabelle got dressed in the golden brown gown Simone picked out for her, she followed her friend out to the estate’s large backyard. Even though it was in December, the sun shone like a warm day in August. The ground they walked on was covered with silver colored frost, which crunched delightfully under their thin shoes. It was cold for being in Virginia, and Annabelle could feel water penetrating her shoes from below. She hoped for a winter without snow.

“Simone,“ she complained with a tired voice, “where are we?” When her friend didn't answer, Annabelle sighed deeply and shook her head. “I can't walk much longer,” she said, but when the words came out from her mouth, she realized how childish they sounded. “My shoes are wet and I'm freezing. Could you at least tell me where we are going?” She took a few quick, crunching steps to catch up with Simone, and then, when she reached her, she put a cool hand on her warm shoulder. Simone flinched when the cold from Annabelle’s frozen hand touched her skin, and stopped walking.

“But Miss,” Simone began, when Annabelle’s gaze met hers. “I thought you understood. John came home, and I thought...” She moved her body anxiously, so that the lavender colored cotton dress danced around her frozen legs. Before she could finish the sentence, Annabelle frowned disapprovingly. Her cheeks adopted a cherry-red hue and her eyelids opened up to the fullest. It took a while until Annabelle was able to speak, since she did not know what to say. She was still angry with John, that was certain. And she did not want to see him again, because it would only bring back memories; unpleasant memories. She had only been worried for his sake, nothing else. Had Simone not understood that?

“What you're trying to say is,” she breathed deeply through her nose and tried to get her fiery heart to beat normally, “that we are on our way to the O’Malley’s?” Before Simone could answer, Annabelle gestured miserably with her arms in front of herself, but Simone did not know if it was out of anger or joy. When Annabelle then gave away a loud cry, and fell down on the lifeless grass with her head hidden behind the white silk gloves, Simone understood that it at least was not out of joy. Annabelle wasn't crying, she knew that; this was probably just one of her childish whims.

Simone fiddled nervously with the pale yellow laces that adorned the dress she wore, as she thought of what she should say. When she didn't come up with a single word that could describe what she wanted to explain, she decided to wait for the girl to rise from the grass, brush off the frost and mud, smile a restrained smile and then start talking to her.

But Annabelle did not rise. She was still sitting in the same position, with her face hidden just as well as her feelings. After a while, Simone sighed deeply and held up her dress as she sat down in front of her friend.

“Annabelle,” her voice sang, full of eager anticipation. Without having received an answer, Simone lifted her hands to make Annabelle’s face visible. Annabelle did not fight her, and let Simone hold her hands.

“Oh, Simone,” Annabelle sighed, without any anger directed toward Simone at all. “You don't understand, but I can't go home to Mr. O’Malley.” Her face changed, and became more serious, and she began to sound more like the girl Simone knew as her best friend. Simone let a small smile shadow her lips, when she suddenly stood up to help Annabelle to her feet. When Annabelle took Simone’s outstretched hand, it was with some hesitation.

“I can't- well, I won't go home to John.” The girl said the words with a hard tone in her voice, and stubbornly put her hands on her waist. Simone didn't dare to do anything but nod wisely and let Annabelle get what she wanted. If that meant that the two girls would go home again - so be it. Simone didn't want to put up with any more mood swings from Annabelle, at least not during the same day.

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