Dear Coraline

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Are you awake yet?

"Are you awake yet?"

I look up, and the stars overhead are in his eyes as well. Swirling in his eye sockets, as strange as it may seem.

"I'm not sure." I frown, deep in thought. "I still feel... closed off sometimes. My feelings are...muted I think."

My hands trail up his sleeve, his hands grip my elbows.

"Do you want to be?"

I'm silent for a moment. "I've always wanted to be."

The silence continues as I try to find my words.

Patient in the ever blackness of the night, he still holds me tight.

"But now I think I have to be." I swallow. "I need to be. If I want to become what I meant to become a long time ago.

If I want to fight as much as I do in my dreams."

His grip tightens.

"It'll hurt"

"I know. I'm scared."

"You should be."

"I want to do it anyway."

I think I hear him swallow, but he is just bones, and it is but my imagination.

He kisses me.

My forehead tingles where his bones pressed against my skin.

His right hand travels to mine, and he intertwines his bones with my fingers. His left rests on the dip in my back.

"Dance with me, before you go?"

I swallow back the words that I should not say and nod instead.

It's still silent, but the wind,

It blows a sweet melody, and we sway in its grasp.

My head rests against his chest, and I close my eyes, his skull whispers against my hair.

"Stay"

It's a whisper, but I hear it anyway.

Yes.

"I can't. I need to do this."

"Is it so bad? Dreaming?"

"No, it's wonderful." I lift my head to look up at him. "But it's a lie.

And I can't pretend anymore."

I can't be dead anymore.

I leave his embrace.

But he's still holding my hand.

Watching me.

Waiting for me.

"Goodbye."

It doesn't feel like it's enough.

It's not enough.

I know it's not enough.

But I don't know the words that would encompass every feeling I have.

I love you feels wrong.

I need you.

No.

I let his hand drop instead,

And leave him in the dark.

Under the starry sky.

He doesn't follow.

But he will stay,

because I will be back.

One day,

When my body gives in to the curse.

I will sleep once more,

And find him there.

And we will dance again.

But for now, I need to live.

And stop hiding.

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