Chapter 3: Hot And Cold
The pain was searing through her lower arm. She didn't know she could feel as a ghost, but maybe this was different. It definitely felt different, worse than anything Julia had ever felt. Almost as if it was as much mental as it was physical.
She stumbled around her bedroom, almost numb from the intensity of the ache in her arm.
Through the muffled fog of pain, Julia realized the source was her soulmark. The yellow letters blazed brighter that she had ever seen them, and the font looked almost peeling, as if ready to fall off her skin. As she walked around the room, the burning increased or decreased based on where she stood.
She walked closer to the window in a sort of daze, mind clouded with the thought of a release of the pain. Opening the window, she climbed out and tumbled onto the ground just a few feet below it. She was glad her house only had one floor. Though, the distance wouldn't have mattered, she was sure she'd have continued toward decrease of pain even if the drop was multiple stories.
After walking for almost five hours, Julia reached a house. Though rundown and caked with dirt, it was pretty. Blue shudders stood out against the peeling yellow paint.
The relief she felt at that moment was indescribable. Her soulmark was virtually painless, and she could tell it would be completely ache free in just a few short strides.
She walked up to the door, ready to knock, then remembered she was a ghost and no on would hear her even if she could touch the door. She inhaled deeply, anxious as to what waited inside the house and why she had to go through that agony to get to it.
Exhaling, she walked through the wall and into a dimly lit living room. A small television sat directly across from her and a couch to her right. The walls were a soft blue wallpaper, matching the fuzzy carpet.
Following the lessening of pain, Julia turned into the hallway lined with framed family photos. She didn't spend much time looking at them, or anything for that matter. She made her way to a door with a pink teddy bear picture taped to it.
She walked into the room and immediately realized why she was led here.
There, crying softly on the bed, sat her soulmate.
The shiny tears reflected off her almond skin, making their way down her face and neck. She wore a white T-Shirt and fluffy pink skirt with light pink pantyhose.
Her heart ached to see Lillian in this state. She wanted to wipe the tears off her face and kiss her forehead and cuddle her until she couldn't remember why she was sad.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans. Julia was stuck watching powerlessly as her soulmate sobbed. She couldn't comfort her or even tell her that she was there. Lillian would never know.
Almost unconsciously, she stepped forward, reaching a pale hand out toward the girl. She cupped Lillian's face in her hand, two fingers attempting to wipe away tears they couldn't touch.
Lillian looked up, staring straight at Julia. Wait, no. Through Julia. At the bedroom door that slowly opened, revealing a short woman. Her long dark brown hair matched Lillian's, along with the shape of her face. The woman was obviously her mother.
"Darling, do you need anything? Dad is making spaghetti and meatballs if you want any," she said, worry carved into her face.
"No, thank you." Lillian's voice was beautiful and soft. It matched her—from what Julia has gathered—perfectly.
"You need to eat. I know you're going through a very hard time right now, but you can't disregard basic needs." Her mother walked over to her, through Julia, and gave her daughter a hug. "I wish so much that this didn't happen, but it did. And you have every right to be upset, but you can't push away your well-being in the process."
Lillian nodded, looking up at her through fear filled eyes. Julia felt a prick in her chest, a longing to be the one to give this girl the comfort she needed—and received. More that that, though, she also felt glad that Lillian had someone who could be there for her, even if she couldn't. Even if she caused her pain.