❝Our truest life is when we are in dreams. Awake.❞
A small giggle escapes my lips as I peek around from my hiding spot. I saw his tall form, slowly stalking around while his brown eyes scan the area. That’s when he suddenly whips around and catches my eye. I immediately back away from his line of sight.
Peeking out from my hiding spot, I could see a mischievous grin making its way to his lips as he completely turns in my direction.
“Oh, where, oh where, has my little sister gone?" he speaks, in a slow taunting tone.
I raise both of my hands, covering my mouth to keep the giggles in.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!” he sings, his steps slowing down and nearing to where I was, it was then I heard nothing that I peeked from behind the tree.
The second I did, my eyes connect with those familiar brown eyes that glinted in the sunlight.
"Got’cha!” he laughs, his hands shooting out towards me.
A scream tears from my lips, and my seven-year-old body dashes underneath his arms and around to where I start running to my safe haven; the bushes that lined against the back of our house.
Small laughs burst through my mouth as I ran, glancing at me every once in a while. Suddenly hands clamped around my waist and lifted me off the ground and into the air.
"Masey!” I squealed kicking my legs, “Put me down!” I yell, my world turning upside down as I dangled from his shoulder.
He chuckled, shaking his head. “No can do, sis!”
I laughed, my small hands pounding against his fifteen-year-old back.
“Come on! I’m getting dizzy!” I protest.
“Too bad," he turns around and sticks his tongue out. “Say the magic words.”
I groaned, leaning my head on his back in defeat. “Mason is the best brother in the whole world, and no one can replace him.”
I then found myself upright and into the arms of my older brother who grinned down at me, “That’s more like it.”
His face was soon manifested into snapping jaws, the smell of death coming from the depths of it, the red glow of eyes staring me in the face.
I woke with a start, my body was in overdrive with my heart nearly beating out of my chest, heavy pants escaping my mouth. Quickly sitting in, my wide eyes flicker around the dimly lit room, searching for something— anything to make it seem like it was all a dream. I did a once-over of the room before releasing a breath; raising a hand to my forehead pressing my palm against as the now throbbing headache made it’s self-known.
’Why that dream of all others?′ I thought to myself, the image of him still fresh in my brain before the jaws appeared.
A sudden pounding in my head causes me to wince, the throbbing only increasing to be unbearable the same moment the door to my room opened, and in pops Mom’s head. Her eyes glide over to my form on the bed, she seemed surprised as when she met my gaze and slowly opens the door wider to let herself in.
“Abigail! How are you feeling, sweetie?” she asks, coming up to the bed.
I groan, hanging my head. “Besides this massive headache, I’m okay, I guess. What happened?” I ask, watching as she sits in the empty space beside my legs.
She sighs, setting down the bottle of ADVIL and glass of water she was holding onto the side table by the bed.
“How much do you remember?” she counters, looking deeply into my eyes.
I close my eyes, thinking back to earlier, the only thing I could remember was venturing into the woods after basically being shooed out of the house and finding a clearing where I saw a—
“Wolf!” I gasp, my eyes shooting open and snapping over to Mom.
My breathing began to pick up, and fear started to rise. “I-I saw a wolf, a really big wolf in the woods!”
She placed her hands on my shoulders. “Abigail, I need you to calm down and breathe.”
I shook my head. “But—”
“—nothing. Whatever you saw, was a dream,” she uttered calmly.
I slowly blinked at her. “A. . dream?” I mumble.
She bobbed her head, “Yes.”
“It felt so real,” I whisper looking down at my hands.
She slid her hands from my shoulders and onto my lap, gripping my fingers between hers. I look up once more, noting the calmness she was giving off.
“I know, your dream was so vivid you were kicking and screaming,” she explained quickly, squeezing my fingers again.
I frowned, my eyebrows creasing together. “Okay,” I say slowly. “So, who was that guy that was arguing with Dad.”
She chuckled, which seemed to be forced. “I told you already, sweetie, that was Logan your dad’s colleague from work. They were arguing about something work-related.”
I hum yet still unsure about everything, she seemed to notice and cupped my cheek with her palm. “Stop thinking about it, everything’s fine. I promise.”
’I find that hard to believe.′
“Dad?” I call out, my voice echoing in the hallowed hallway, the kitchen empty.
I walk and peer into the living room to see his feet propped up on the coffee table, as he relaxed on the sofa his back to me, the TV playing a random channel. I strode in further and rounded the sofa’s side to get a glimpse of his face only to gasp, my hand flying to my mouth.
“Dad! What happened?”
His eyes shifted over towards me before flickering back to the TV.
“It’s nothing,” he responded vaguely.
His whole left eye was swollen sporting black and purple bruises, his bottom lip was busted dried blood on it and his right cheek forming another bruise as well. My concerned gaze then landed on his busted knuckles that were angry red. I quickly stumble over to him, sitting in the empty seat beside him before taking his hand in my own and running the pad of my thumb over his knuckles.
When I glanced back up, I saw him looking at me with soft eyes. The condition he was in sent a twinge of pain to my own heart. “Daddy. .”
He sighed, tired almost. “I’m fine, pumpkin.” he tried to reassure, didn’t help much.
“Where’s your mom?” he asks, pulling his hand away and standing on his feet.
“Laying down, she said she was feeling lightheaded and nauseous.”
He simply nodded and began to walk out the area without another word.
“Dad?” he halts in his steps but doesn’t turn around, that’s when I notice his whole body is tense and his shoulders occasionally moving with his breathing.
“Can you tell me what really happened?” I pleaded.
I was only met with silence before he uttered a word that left me confused to no end. “Soon.” and then he was gone.
I sigh. ’Why do I have a feeling they’re both hiding something?′