Agape

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You shut up

Chapter 13

Ella:

Moonlight trickles over the earth glazing it in a dim glow. Stars, they shine deep in the night. Crickets chirp and frogs croak, trees shadow the ground level causing the surrounding area to be cast in pitches of black space. Spurts of light flicker, fireflies illuminating their way dotting the darkness.

Laugher riddles around me, shading the air in happiness. My laughter, my happiness like a bursted bubble escaping the essence of myself. My feet scuttle the ground in quick sloppy strides, stumbling every here and there.

“I’m gonna get you.” My father calls, taunting me.

Glancing behind me, I see him coming quick on my tail. My arms are pumping, slicing the air reaching to get further away. My dad is so freaking fast it’s not even funny, in the end, he always ends up catching me.

With sweat beading my forehead and my muscles straining, I keep running. “No, you’re not,” I yell in a strangled huff.

His chuckles become louder as he gets closer. My yard seems to get smaller as I run out of places to sprint, the darkness not really helping my situation. My end is coming, I can feel it, he’s going to catch me.

Just like that strong arms wrap around me pulling me to an abrupt stop. I fall back into the familiar chest of my father. “Got you, princess.” He whispers.

Like always the tortured tickling begins and the uncontrollable laughter falls from my chapped lips. My arms flail and squirm as I fall to the ground not being able to keep still as the tickle attacks come at me.

“Stop, s-stop.” I sputter, looking like a dog rolling in the dirt.

He doesn’t take pity on my struggling form. My eyes are tearing up by how much I’m laughing, I squeeze them shut thinking it will help, my face hot.

All of a sudden the tickling stops, my giggles falling short. I open my eyes and look around, I’m not in my backyard anymore, my dad is gone.

Bright lights blind me as I stand up and put my arm up over my eyes squinting to find the source. Looking right, I see truck headlights coming at me at wicked speed. My body goes limp, arms falling to my sides, frozen like a block of ice.

Terror ties me up in the tightest rope holding me in place as the truck engine roars just feet in front of me.

“ELLA NO!”

My head turns, my eyes widen at that voice. Moisture soaks my cheeks as my heart thumps loud as thunder. Those piercing eyes burn right into me, the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen, dark and green like the forest. My terror reflected in them, or maybe he was feeling the same as he looked right into me as he pushed me so hard that I went flying.

Declan’s eyes seared through me, the last thing I saw before the blinding lights made all else disappear, him disappear. The noise deafening as screams so painfully familiar screeched my ears. My heart rips right out of my heaving chest . I know my whole world has been cracked into tiny fragments that can never be put back together ever again.

Flying up, a chocked sob topples out of my lips, skin soiled in salty sweat, and eyes as wide as they will go. I will not close my eyes, I won’t even blink, not being able to bear seeing, no living that again.

Tears roll down my hot cheeks in warm streams as the trembles possess my body. Fear an unrelenting push seizing me up and swallowing me whole. A ruthless pain stabs at my heart in sharp increments.

Nightmares shake me up in hurricane-like winds, then spit me back out into the real world after they’ve done their damage.

It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real.

No matter how many times I repeat it over and over again, it doesn’t matter because the image was real in my head. The sounds were so real, the air texture, and the bright lights. It’s all real, except for the person.

Declan wasn’t supposed to be there, but he was in the crystal clear light. Intense eyes like a shattered mirror piercing its broken pieces into every inch of my skin.

Instead of my father saving me, my conscience replaced him with Declan.

Cold sweat sticks to my hands and feet, tremors scalding my spine like cold ice being pressed against my skin. My mouth is desert dry and my lips seem to crack as I bite the fleshy layers not being able to help myself.

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

My fault, my fault, my fault.

No it’s not, no it’s not, no it’s not. Stop Ella.

Feeling sick to my stomach, I jump out of bed and run to the bathroom. Propping the toilet seat up, I release my guts into the white porcelain bowl. When that’s done, I stand up, flush the toilet, and walk to the sink to rinse the foul taste out of my mouth. Then after mouth wash with hot Listerine.

Seeing my reflection, I come to the conclusion that I look horrendous with swollen sunken eyes and puffed blotchy cheeks. My hair is kind of a chaotic tangled mess of knots. In other words, my reflection is doing a really good job of making me look like a homeless person.

Stop crying, don’t be a baby Ella, it’s over.

After a while of deep breathing, I calm both the internal and external discomfort, bringing myself back to reality. In reality, that didn’t happen, in reality, Declan’s home safe, in reality, I was only sleeping.

*

“Thomas, why are you calling me so early?” I mumble, even though I’ve already been up for hours. After that horrible nightmare, I couldn’t bring myself to go back to sleep, too afraid of reliving those images.

Also, I’m curious as to why he’s calling. It’s funny considering I was just thinking about him too, and if I’m being honest, I miss him more than I care to admit. Never in a million years would I ever admit it though.

“I just got done with my morning practice session.” He explains. “You have school so you’re always up anyway at this time. But I’m calling just to check in on my little sister. Is that not allowed?”

A small smile fights it’s way to my lips. He’s checking up on me? “I guess...” I reply, taking a sip of my water. “It just seems a little suspicious.”

He chuckles. “It’s suspicious that I’m checking up on you?”

I tilt my head thinking. “Just a smidge, don’t you think?” Static is heard through the phone as if Thomas is moving around. Maybe he’s talking to me while walking to one of his classes.

“Go downstairs.” He suddenly says, ignoring my question.

My eyebrows knit together in confusion. “Why?”

He sighs. “Just go, does there have to be a reason?”

“Umm yeah, why walk down there when I don’t have to? That’s a waste of perfectly good steps.” I mutter, not wanting to get up. Why does he want me to go downstairs anyway?

More static sizzles on the other end, a rough scratchy noise that I’m not fond of. “Stop being lazy and just do it.”

“Hey I’m not lazy,” I protest. “You haven’t even been home so you wouldn’t even know anyways.”

There’s a long pause, him not speaking. Was that mean? Okay, maybe that was a little mean, now I feel bad. Sighing, I stand up from my perfectly comfy bed and begin my walk down the hall to the stairs. “I’m going,” I mutter quietly.

As my feet fall onto each step, they creak loudly all to their own tune. One hand holds the phone to my ear, the other brushes along the wall. This is weird, I feel really weird walking downstairs for no reason. Actually, it kind of feels like I’m in a thriller novel, walking into the unknown, mysterious.

Maybe I shouldn’t relate myself to thriller novels, considering my self-conscious likes to put unwanted images in my head. My nightmare is just one example. But I’m a little creeped out and all I can hear is Thomas’s breathing on the other side of the phone. He’s not even talking so it’s making me hecka nervous.

It doesn’t help that my house is still consumed in almost complete darkness either, the sun has yet to rise. Reaching the last step, I walk into my lightless dining room with cautious steps. “Thomas?” I whisper for some reason, the room lacking illumination, putting me on edge. “I’m downstairs.”

“Open the door.”

Reaching up, I turn on the light, and as soon as the room is lit, the nervousness I’m feeling slightly slackens, keyword ‘slightly’. Why is Thomas being so strange? Why is he giving me all these weird instructions?

Taking a deep breath, I twist the cold metal doorknob slowly and pull open just enough to peek outside, squinting to see.

Without a second thought, I swing the door open and run outside. “You’re here!” I exclaim throwing my arms around a very real Thomas. He’s actually here, in front of me, and not at college.

“Yes, I am.” He chuckles, hugging me back just as tight.

After a minute I pulled away and hit his chest. “Why did you scare me like that? Why didn’t you tell me you were coming home?” I ask, taking him all in. He hasn’t changed much, same golden blonde hair and blue eyes. His skins a bit tanner I suppose, maybe he looks a little stronger.

A familiar amused smile lights his lips, his features quite similar to my own. “To surprise you. Also, I wanted to see your reaction,” He shrugs. “Missed me huh?”

“Nope, not even a little bit,” I state crossing my arms.

He shakes his head, smile widening. “Shut up, by the reaction I just got, you definitely did.”

“You shut up,” I fire back lamely.

Thomas rolls his eyes as if expecting that response. “Come on.” He mutters, walking into the house. So I follow him in, feeling much better than I did before. Him being here has immediately lifted my mood.

As I shut the front door, Thomas walks straight to the refrigerator opening it up. It doesn’t surprise me, he’s always hungry. Sometimes I wonder how he eats so much and is still perfectly fit, probably because he’s so active.

“Is this carrot cake?” Thomas asks.

Turning my head, I see the round pan of carrot cake I made last night in Thomas’s hands, and I just about freak. “Don’t touch that, it’s Declan’s!” I exclaim, walking over to him in hurried steps, taking the pan right out of his hands. “Today’s his birthday.”

Today Declan is eighteen, he’s officially an adult. He loves carrot cake, so that’s what I baked, wanting to make today special for him. I’m not sure he’s had a special birthday before, for some reason he disliked his birthday. He wanted today to be just like any other ordinary day.

That’s why I haven’t called him. When he comes to pick me up, I’ll wish him a happy birthday then.

*

As I finish Dutch braiding my hair in the bathroom mirror, a pair of hands fall on my waist, pulling me back against a solid hard chest. My hands fall on top of Declan’s after securing my hair tie.

His masculine fragrance invaded my senses in seconds, I loved the way he smelled. Turning around to face him, a faint smile pulls at the corners of my lips. My Declan is eighteen today.

His hands pull me closer, resting on my lower back. My chest almost against his, but just enough space between us so I can tilt my head to see his forest eyes already watching me. My cheeks tint, he is so handsome.

“Happy birthday.” I murmur.

He smiles that simple smile, but it makes my heart go wild under my rib cage. No matter what Declan does, my body always manages to react to him, always. He was special in that way, in all ways.

One of his calloused hands lifts up to my face, stroking my warm cheek. Standing on my tippy toes, I lean in and place a kiss on top of his lips, wanting him to know without words just how much he means to me.

As soon as I come back down on my flat feet, he picks me right up, hands under my thighs, landing his soft lips right on mine without a second thought. My eyes flutter closed as the taste of his mint toothpaste fills my mouth.

When his lips pull away from mine, he trails kisses down the line of my jaw, on my cheeks, and lastly on top of each closed eyelid. My hand’s fiddle with his curls, my body scalding like hot tinder under his touch.

He then looks into my eyes, his face displaying all kinds of emotions. “Thank you,” He whispers. “You’re my Ellie, you know that right?” His thumb brushes along my face, setting fire ablaze wherever he touches. “Always my Ellie.”

My Ellie.

Words don’t seem to come out, my mouth agape. Always.

*

Here’s another chapter, don’t know how I feel about it yet! Just wanted to say, this story will most likely be longer than Her Rock, so the plot has time to run its course for those who are wondering. Also if you guys have any song suggestions that would be great! Thank you!

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