Aunty Francis wandered back into the room with a frown on her face. Watching her sit down in the chair with a heavy sigh, I took a hesitant step forward.
"I'm alright honey; I just didn't expect anyone to be at home that's all. I probably reacted badly to the situation?" She looked up at me, her face forming a question.
I nodded reluctantly, my hands playing with the corner of my shirt as I felt a frown form on my forehead. "S-sorry."
"Oh, no dear. There is nothing to be sorry about. I'm sure that he was admirable, I just find it hard to trust that boy, he has been the cause of so many of the schools problems, but I will stand by my judgement and tell you that there is a good man under his rough exterior.”
Letting my hair fall in front of my face, I touched my waist where Ryan had gripped me to pick me up when I had dropped the glass. A strange sensation was flowing through me and I felt like a bird was flapping its wings in my stomach, lifting me up in the air. It was an odd feeling that I hadn’t experienced in a long time, and never to this degree.
Shaking my head, I let out a loud yawn, bringing my neck round in a circle to let out a cramp before looking at Francis. “I might just go to bed tonight; I’ve had a big lunch so I’m not very hungry anyway.”
Francis looked at me warily, her eyes watching me with pain. I knew what look she was giving me, she was looking at me like that more frequently lately and I didn’t like it. Pity, I couldn’t deal with that word. I hated it, as it wasn’t like anyone could actually help me.
Padding across the kitchen floor I made my way to the foot of the stairs, “Night Aunty,”
“Night Dawn, I love you.”
“I love you too,” I whispered quietly, before heading upstairs.
The next day I woke up bleary eyed and nauseous. It was a regular occurrence for me to feel this way, the prospect of an entire day of school looming over me like a dark cloud, making me feel sick to the stomach. Each morning I would wake up in the same way, my eyes stuck on the small crack on the ceiling, a few tears escaping the corners of my eyes.
Sleep was very difficult, but when I did sleep, my dreams were plagued with horrific nightmares that left me in a morbid mess when I woke up, a wet sheen of sweat rolling off my forehead. These nightmares were a constant, like the sharp pangs of a headache that left you feeling weary every single time you shut your eyes. From this, I found myself tired nearly all the time, and my enthusiasm for life was draining away from me rapidly leaving me with the complexion of a dull robot.
Dragging my legs from out under the covers, I slowly got ready for school, brushing my almond coloured hair till the ends were knot free and shining ever so slightly under the light. Next was breakfast so with heavy feet I swayed down the stairs until I came to a stop in front of the Kitchen. The image that awaited me was much the same as every other morning since the day Francis brought me to her home. She was clattering around in the kitchen, her face pink and business jacket creased ever so slightly from where she had leant against the hot oven.
“Morning dear, I put out a bowl for you. The cereal is in the cupboard as usual.” She straightened her back and swiped a strand from her face, grimacing at the burnt bacon that was sizzling and popping noisily on the pan. “Honesty, you would think a woman of my age could cook bacon by now.”
I smiled slightly at her look of despair as she pursed her lips at the cooker, but the smile didn’t reach my eyes. It was too early for that, whatever happiness now meant to me. I knew, as I had known since that first night, that it would take a lot for me to be happy again, but for the meantime I was stuck in a juvenile rut that would cease to continue unless I found a way to break the spell. The only question was would I ever find that spark that would bring my dormant personality to life? For the life of me I hoped so.
Settling myself down on the chair, I poured milk over the cereal and began eating. Very quickly I found myself thinking about Ryan and his behaviour towards me yesterday. What was that all about? What made him want to drive me home? Surely he had people to kill and a gang to contend with? With a quiet shrug of the shoulders, I scolded my runaway thoughts for considering the possibility that he may have been interested in me. It was ludicrous - the old me maybe, but not this Dawn. This Dawn as I had told him yesterday was as dull as a brick wall, nothing special.