Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Her life started as a simple one. She was homeschooled, but not really by her parents as her mom lived as a wannabe socialite and her dad worked far too long at his work. Not that she knew what his job was, exactly.
Instead, the staff at their not-so-humble abode raised her and taught her the alphabet and numbers and how to not cry from feeling too overwhelmed by the pressure of her parents and their grandparents.
The one interesting part was that she slept but did not dream.
It had become her usual routine, sleeping, waking up with no recollection of anything while sleeping, then back to sleeping at the end of the day.
The last time she dreamed, she was seven years old. What was the dream about?
She didn’t really remember besides a brief glimpse of a strange man standing in the hallway of her home. Although, it wasn't quite her home, after all. The wall color was different.
Her parents claimed that she had seen a home intruder and that was why she dreamed of it, but somehow forgot about it from the shock of witnessing it in real life. But, then why did she not dream ever again?
Again, their explanation was that the therapist they hired determined a way for her to not relive that nightmare and simply worked with her to develop a way to sleep without any dreams.
Not that she remembered that at all, either.
But, that had become, again, her new normal. At the young age of seven, she had permanently become someone that did not dream. She didn’t have anyone to talk about that with, not really, since she was homeschooled and didn’t go outside much besides with the appointed staff. No sleep-overs, no parties.
Well, her parents had parties. Grown-up parties with other grown-ups. If there were kids, there weren’t any that she got along with, nor did they ever exchange numbers or ever talk much besides the niceties.
Every once in a while, she was able to run around the nearby park and played on the toy set there, but she could never go when there were other people around. So she would be bundled up in layers in freezing weather since no one was wild enough to want to play during that time.
One day, she swore to herself. One day, she would have friends to chat with, friends to hang out with, friends she would be able to actually speak her mind with and not worry about the consequences.
And that would start with being able to get her schoolwork done and go to an actual college, like the ones she read about in her beloved books.
Some part of her was surprised that her parents let her grow so obsessed with reading and book collections. Maybe something in them decided that their daughter deserved to be happy even if she was doomed to be alone for such a long time in her life.
The cynical side of her said that they were happy she found an activity that was solitary, kept her busy, and only required simple conversations to get her more to read when needed.
College. That was her goal. Even if she would seem like such a naive person, a typical protagonist in those coming-of-age stories that lined her bookshelves.
Enough time passed that she eventually landed to this critical point in her life. Here she was, on the night before she would be moving into the first place ever that she was not surrounded by her parents and family. Would this be possible for her?
All of her beliefs and hopes? Caitlin hoped beyond anything that could be possible.