I closed the door behind me while humming Rest. It was funny, really. I had thought after my blunder these songs would only remind me of my stupidity, yet every time I listened to them I couldn’t help but be at ease. In a way, I wasn’t lying if I said I was hanging out with Shawn if I listened to his songs. He just sang them for me from a distance and back in time.
“You’re home early, Darc,” Mari called from where she was seated on the couch.
“So are you,” I said, taking off my shoes. I rounded the corner, my stomach dropping when I saw Dillan sitting beside Mari, watching a movie together. “I’ll be in my room.”
Mari turned to me. “No, come sit with us, Dillan doesn’t mind.”
“What won’t I mind?” Dillan asked.
“If my sister joins us,” she said, placing her hand on her boyfriend's leg, squeezing it adoringly.
Dillan started to look around the room. “Of course not, where is she? I’d like to meet her.”
I put on my fake smile, shaking my head. “It’s alright, already seen this one anyways.”
“Tell me everything tonight,” she called right before I closed my bedroom door. I fell down on my bed, sighing contently as I hugged my pillow. What story should I tell her tonight?
Grabbing my laptop, I set it up on my pillow. I typed in my password and opened the Word document where I had put all the details of the lies and stories I told Mari. It was easier to remember if I wrote it down. I never knew making up these stories would be as fun as it was. It was a nice way of passing the time when Mari was busy.
Perhaps I could write a novel. As soon as the thought came I rejected it. There was no point in writing a novel that no one would read. My oblivion went further than people not noticing my on the streets. On social media only my sister followed me, she was also the only one commenting on things I posted. I learned that early on in my teenage years how pointless it was to try and reach out.
Rolling onto my back, I left my laptop abandoned on my pillow, my attention now fixed on my white ceiling. I didn’t even know what to write or how to write. I could do some research on it. Another thing I could do when I was supposed to be on dates with Shawn. Though, I had to sneak out my laptop with me in that case. Mari might suspect something if she sees me taking it with me. Though, if I left after she left there shouldn’t be a problem.
I had to think of a convincing story on why I hadn’t gotten my scarf back, too. I’ve been avoiding answering that long enough, might as well think up something pretty. Rolling back, I stared at the new blank page. I typed ‘Scarf’ and made it bold. Then, I wrote a short part of the first thing that came to mind.
Shawn still hasn’t given me back my scarf because he likes it too much. He said it reminded him of me and every time he wrapped it around his neck a whiff of my scent would pass by his nose. He just loves it too much to give it back to me.
I bit my lip, letting my fingers tick away the words that suddenly followed right after one another.
Whenever he wore the scarf his eyes would brighten up, much like how they do when he sees me. I really like that look on him, it makes me feel special. I don’t feel as alone or pained like I usually do. I can smile again, a genuine one. And he will share that same smile with me.
I really like it when he holds my hand. His is always warm and soft, closing around mine like a perfect glove. Even in the snow, he keeps me warm. I like that about him, too.
Sometimes I wonder if I really am not dreaming. His smile looks too real to be fake, yet I can’t look away in the fear of it disappearing when I do. But, his eyes, they always remind me of the spring that still is to come, which gives me hope. Even if it snows it doesn’t mean the sun will never shine again. Even if it is cold now it will be warm in the future. It’s why I like looking into his eyes.
And his voice…
I looked away from the screen, my heart beating faster than usual. Shawn’s voice was the only thing I had a real opinion about, a real connection with. What I just wrote was what I wished it to be like, but his voice was something else. I couldn’t tell pretty little lies about it, wishes and dreams, because those would be truths. Admitting them to myself was no problem, writing it down seemed suddenly a lot scarier.
My fingers hovered above the keyboard, but every word that came to mind didn’t reach them. They just stayed there, unsure of how to move and what to press. Shaking my head, I closed my laptop, placing it back on the ground before I…
Before I did what exactly?
“I’m going out for a bit,” I said, grabbing my jacket.
“This late?” Mari asked, coming to lean over the bar table.
“Shawn wanted to meet up, I’ll be fine.” I closed my jacket, hoping she wouldn’t suspect anything. Glancing at her, she seemed to not give it much thought, simply shrugging.
“Will you be staying at his place?”
“Don’t know yet, I’ll text you if I do.” I unlocked the door and opened it. “Bye sis.”
Closing the door behind me, I headed for the elevator. I sighed as I pressed the button, stuffing my hands into my pockets. All I wanted was a moment to think. I liked walking through the snow, it offered a comfort nothing and no one else could. At night the snow was the most beautiful.
The doors opened and I stepped inside, pressing the button to the ground level. Not being seen does have some perks, I supposed. If I were any other person, going out this late might actually be dangerous. Though, I would go unnoticed by any robber or murderer. One could call it convenient.
The ding sounded. I relished the last bit of warmth in which I took my few steps to the outside world. Tiny white flakes softly danced through the air, thickening the blanket already laid out. One snowflake, as tiny as it might be, still bared such an important role. If it was there neither would the blanket that covered the streets be.
Taking a deep breath, I let the muffling of the snow calm my restless thoughts. It wasn’t as cold as I expected. There wasn’t as much wind, making the temperature more bearable. Casting my eyes up, I found the Christmas lights that decorated the streets glowing brightly. The different colors flickering, unbothered by the cold, nor the dark. They seemed so happy, embracing whatever they could shine upon. Inspiring, one might call them.
Lowering my head, my feet stopped on their own as headlights quickly approached me. I couldn’t move, but I wasn’t scared. My breathing was slow, my mind at ease for once. Maybe it was a sign that my time had come.
Tilting my head, I wondered why time was slowing down instead of speeding up. Didn’t survivors of accidents always say ‘it happened so fast’? Yet, I could count my every last breath. I had the time to close my eyes, remove my hands from my pockets, and furrow my brow…
Who had called out?
Force hit my body and it fell to the ground. I blinked, confused when I barely felt any pain. That wasn’t how I expected it to be like. Shouldn’t there be more pain? Perhaps I died instantly? Was I dead?
“Damn it,” a rough voice said beside me, startling me slightly. “Didn’t you hear me? Why didn’t you move out of the way?”
I abruptly pushed myself up, slipping slightly as my eyes adjusted and my sight cleared. “It’s you.”
Shawn groaned, rubbing his head as he sat up as well. “Yeah, I know, Shawn Clifton-“ he cut himself off when his eyes met mine. “Oh, it’s you.”
I was a bit surprised he actually remembered me, but that wasn’t the point. “What are you doing here?”
“Saving your ass, you’re welcome,” he said annoyed as he got up. “Why didn’t you move, you got a death wish or something?”
My gaze faltered, landing on where I had been standing just a moment ago. The print of my boots were still visible in the snow, right between those of the tires of the car.
“What if I do?” Standing as well, I brushed the snow from my clothes before it could melt any further. “Thank you, I guess. Goodnight.”
“Wait,” Shawn called as I started to walk away. “Darcey was it, right?”
I didn’t stop, forcing my legs to keep on moving despite them shaking.
“Darcey, can we talk?”
“What about?” I snapped, keeping my head down. Shawn grabbed my arm, pulling me into a small alley. I shivered as he pressed me to the wall, covering my mouth with his leather gloved hand. Two people walked by before he removed his hand again, though he still held my arm in a firm grip. “What the hell?”
“Shush.” He peeked out from behind the wall, sighing when he saw no one.
“Don’t shush me, no one will hear me anyway.” I glared at him, crossing my arms as I waited for his explanation. However, Shawn only kept staring at me. His brows were drawn together and his lips pressed into a thin line. His eyes were searching mine for something that seemed to trouble him.
“Listen,” he finally whispered as he looked away, releasing my arm. “I’m sorry for what I’ve said, I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Looking down, I knew fully well he had no reason to apologize to me. I was the one who lashed out for no reason, he didn’t do anything wrong. “I should be the one apologizing.”
Taking a deep breath, I dared to glance but up. Shawn had taken a step back, leaning against the opposite wall. He still seemed troubled, though, he was no longer looking at me.
“I’m a complete mess,” I said, the words leaving my mouth without a second thought. “I’ve only been angry with you for no good reason.”
Shawn smiled, looking back up. “I guess it’s your defense mechanism, an understandable one.”
“Doesn’t excuse my terrible behavior.”
“I get it,” he said in a soft voice, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “If I have only been forgotten and ignored for most of my life I would be angry with the person who do see me, too.”
I tilted my head. “How so?”
He tapped the side of his head. “Subconsciously you connect one stranger to all the others, and when you finally got that one stranger’s attention all the fury and hate you felt for all these years towards them is unleashed onto that person. It is not your fault, it’s just part of your trauma.”
Wrapping my arms around myself, I stared at the ground. “I guess that makes sense.”
“You want to get inside somewhere?” Shawn stepped forward, the tips of his shoes coming into my view. “It will only get colder tonight.”
“What else could you want to talk about?” I mumbled, still confused by his actions. “Despite sharing some kind of curse we have no connections.”
He shrugged. “Maybe I just don’t feel like being alone tonight.”
“Then why me?” I looked up, meeting his gaze. His eyes were soft, and so was his smile. He seemed more relaxed then I had ever seen him on pictures.
“It doesn’t look like you want to be either.”