“Mom, I’m sorry I ditched class but I just needed to clear my head. It was the first time I’ve been able to think straight in days.” I tried to reason with my mom after the call from the principle.
“I know you’re still mourning Addelyn, but you can not ditch your classes. Especially not to go into the forest by yourself!”
“I was not by myself!”
“Oh really? Who was with you then?”
“Lying to me then huh? First you start a fight with a classmate and now this? This is unacceptable Addelyn and I will not tolerate it!”
“I did not start that! You want to know why I went into the forest? Because SHE will not leave ME alone! Brittany has been tormenting me over Dominick’s death and I’m the bad child because I wouldn’t bite my tongue and let her tear what little sanity I have left apart!”
“Well why didn’t you tell that to anyone?” I almost wanted to punch the wall after my mom’s mood flipped so suddenly.
“This is exactly why! I make two mistakes and you’re acting like I’m throwing my life away! Everyone believes little miss popularity and you’re no different. You’re supposed to be my mother and you’re just the same as everyone else in my stupid school!” I stormed upstairs and slammed my door shut, sending echoes throughout the entire house. I stood waiting impatiently for Dominick to talk to me through the mirror.
When Dominick appeared in the reflection I tried to frame my words together but in the end I gave up and dropped to the floor, pulling my knees to my chest. “It feels like I’m losing everyone, like everything’s falling apart around me. I’m falling apart Dominick.” He put his hand up against the reflection and I laid mine against it. “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” Dominick shook his head frantically. “I know, I shouldn’t give up, life’s whatever I make it to be. It’s all the same wisdom wrapped in different words with the same save yourself bow on top.” Amous licked my cheek snapping me out of my depressive zone. “I’m sorry Amous, there’s no way I’d ever leave you here.” I hugged Amous tight and fell asleep on the floor, Amous as my pillow and Dominick as my protector.
It was three forty-two a.m when I woke up again. Amous had left but Dominick was still smiling at me with a zing in his eyes. “Do you ever sleep Dommy?” Dommy is the name I used for him whenever I was sleepy, or I wanted to annoy him. He shook his head and mouthed no. “What do you do while I sleep then?” His hands became binoculars and he looked towards me like a safari animal. “Well, I guess it’s better to have you as a stalker than some stranger.” I trained my eyes to extinguish the reflection of the blade in the shower but the temptation still lingered. Dominick had an expression of immense relief every time I emerged from the bathroom on schedule. The days started to blur together; shower, school, homework, Dominick, sleep. I can’t live like this anymore! A week had passed in this zombie state, so I decided to go straight into the forest and spend the day playing with Amous instead of the usual school routine.
I crouched behind a tree, waiting and listening. Everything seems normal, looks like no one’s there anymore. I slowly crept out from behind the tree only to be pounced on and tackled to the ground. “Amous! Not fair!” He wouldn’t stop licking my face as I dusted all the leaves off his back. A growl rose in Amous’ throat a, he stood baring his teeth at the poison ivy bush behind us. “Amous what’s wrong?” I army crawled backwards slow as a banana slug, never letting my eyes off the bush. “Come on boy, let’s go.” This doesn’t feel right, we need to go. I had just tugged on Amous’ tail when a mountain lion leapt from behind the bush and landed face to face with him. “Amous let’s go now!” I jumped up begging Amous to scamper away with me like rabbits, but he refused to budge. The cat had locked eyes with Amous, blocking out my screaming. Amous kicked me away, never losing his stance. “Amous no!” The cat swatted at him, knocking him onto the grass and reddening his shoulder. Next thing I knew a pair of arms were dragging me away and Amous battled the demon in disguise. “No, I can’t leave him!” My last memory consisted of the mountain lion looming over my wounded Amous before my world went black, the mysterious arms still pulling me away.
“Addelyn are you okay?” I opened my eyes to see the one and only Jake looking at me nervously.
“Where’s Amous? I need to go find him.”
“It;s too dangerous, you can’t go back there.”
“I’d like to see you try and stop me,” I rose back to my feet and sprinted down the trail, searching for Amous. Jake followed at first but soon found more interest in hassling Brittany and her cliche. I hadn’t gotten far when I was stopped dead in my tracks, greeted by the sight of Amous lying beside a rose bush. In seconds I was craddling his head in my arms, He’s still breathing! I whipped out my phone, No service! Are you freakin’ kidding me! “Amous, I’m here baby. It’s going to be okay, you know that.” Amous looked at me, he knew what was happening but I had to deny it for my own sake. “You’re going to be just fine,” tears rolled off my face onto his fur,”I promise.” I kissed his head and Amous licked my cheek, “I love you Amous.” His breathing slowed until his head hung limp in my hands. I don’t know how long I kneeled there crying before a usual warmth surrounded me.
“I’m so sorry Addy.” Dominick cooed, squeezing me tight.
“Guess I should be used to it by now, right?”
“Would it make you feel better to know where he went?” I nodded, more silent tears sashaying down my cheeks. “He’s right here with me, still asleep but he’s not far away. He’ll always be with you Addy, just like me.”
“But it will never be the same,” I collapsed in Dominick’s arms. I assume since he loved Amous as much as anyone the situation definitely had enough emotional structure to reanimate his physical being. Dominick wiped away my tears and held me close until my crying ceased.
“We need to get you home Addy, it’ll get dark soon.”
“What about Amous? I can’t leave him here to rot… “
“We’ll be back for him, but you need to tell your mom and keep yourself safe.”
“All Amous wanted was for me to be safe,” Dominick guided me to my feet and kept his arms around me until we reached home. Once again I got to enjoy the torture of his disappearance, leaving me to spill the news to my mother alone.