My hair whips around me in the breeze, and I smell the acrid scent of smoke in the air.
My eyes sting, and my breath comes in gasps. What have I been doing? I turn, looking for something- anything- and then I notice the house in the distance. The burning house. I look down and I see his body. A stream of dark liquid runs from his nose onto his lips, then his chin and his neck.
A crashing roar echoes in the distance, and I see the house collapse in on itself. The boy at my feet curls into the fetal position. His eyes shoot open, and I gasp with shock. They're blue, ice blue, so pale they could be white in the dark. A dark purple bruise covers his pale cheekbone, and his forehead has a gash on it, ending dangerously close to his eye. His lips form a word, and I furrow my brow as I try to understand. He repeats the motion.
He's asking me for his knife.
I get down on my knees and search, the sharp rocks beneath my knees cutting into my skin. I find it, a glint of silver on the dark ground. I hand it to him and step back, wondering what he will do.
I scream as he plunges it into his chest, but no sound comes out. His eyes are full of hurt, of anger, of hate. Towards me.
What did I ever do?
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 3:22 AM, London
I wake up with a gasp, shaking. "Xavier?" I reach for his hand in the dark, and he pulls me into his chest.
His voice is husky from sleeping, as he says, "Shh. It's alright, Anne, I'm here, I'm alive." He rocks me back and forth as he would a baby until I stop shaking so badly. "Water?" He reaches over to the nightstand next to my bed and offers me a glass of water.
I take it- I'm so thirsty, like I hadn't had water for years. An involuntary shudder racks my body, and the water sloshes over the side of the glass, on to my hand. Xave sits up and takes the glass from me, putting it back. I hear a button click, and my lamp blinks on, filling my massive room with a dull golden light. I wipe the cold sweat from my face and lean my head against his shoulder. A cool arm wraps around me, and I press into him, stifling a sob.
"I can't go back to sleep." My voice is hoarse, like I've been screaming for hours on end. I haven't, though- my dreams make my voice like that. A ray of moonlight falls through the open curtain and illuminates half of Xavier's face.
"Yes, you can. I'll stay awake. If you start whimpering, I'll wake you, alright?"
I can't go back to sleep. Sleep meant pain, screaming, nightmares, but I nod, letting myself dissolve into my best friend's embrace. Xavier kept the dreams away.
The thought echoes through my head as I fall asleep easily, safe, next to Xave. I'd always be safe next to him.