32. I Think I Grew a Beard

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With a scream, Elisa opens her eyes. To her surprise, Jude is already at her side, squeezing her hand with a very, very worried look upon her face.

"You're all right, Sam." Jude smiles softly, but she doesn't accomplish to make the worried twinkle in her eyes to fade away. "It was just a nightmare."

"It wasn't." Elisa shakes her head softly as she sits up next to Jude. "It wasn't just a nightmare."

"You're just scared." Jude pats Elisa on the top of her head. "No nightmare can be real, silly."

Elisa wants to tell her that she's wrong because Elisa has experienced truth in a nightmare of hers already; the time Vanya called for help. Being reminded of Vanya's screams, Elisa shakes her head once more.

Now she has let Vanya alone in this. She is sure that Vanya won't open up to anyone—not after everything that has happened. And now after the nightmare, Elisa is determined to go back to Vanya and help her. She must. Vanya deserves to have someone to share everything with, to open up.

After having rubbed in her eyes, Elisa notices that Jude is the only one in the apartment together with Francis and herself.

"Where are the others?"

"They're getting us breakfast," Jude explains as she scoops Francis off the ground. "They should be back anytime now."

"I never got to the end of the movie," Elisa admits, rubbing her face again. "I fell asleep."

"We know," Jude chuckles. "But don't worry, the ending was still the same."

"How surprising." Elisa grins as she pets Francis who's now enjoying laying in Jude her arms.

A quiet, unsure knock is heard on the door, and Jude immediately places Francis in Elisa her lap.

"I can open the door." Elise frowns as her friend makes her way to the door.

"Oh please." Jude rolls her eyes. "And let them think they're royalty? They'll be fine with me opening the door."

The door cracks when Jude opens it quickly. Starting to tell her friends off for taking so long, Jude raises her voice a little. But when her eyes actually fall on the person in front of her, words fail her.

"I'm sorry," she excuses herself with an apologetic smile. "I thought you were someone else. Who are you?"

Elisa does her best to stretch her body out, but she isn't able to see the person who Jude is talking to. An annoyed groan leaves her lips, disappointed with her not stretching body. She then places Francis carefully on the ground, causing him to argue with a meow.

"Sorry, bud," she mumbles, getting out of the bed.

Whoever Jude is talking to clears his throat. "Wrong apartment, I think," the voice says. "So sorry for bothering you."

Elisa recognizes the voice immediately. Yet, she stops in her tracks, still out of Five's sight. She should stay here—she knows that. And still, she does not.

Slowly, carefully, Elisa walks towards the door. Her hands are already shaking softly—out of anxiety to see Five again.

Selfish selfish selfish selfish, she tells herself without actually saying a word. So selfish.

But her nightmare—whatever it was—did tell her otherwise. She can control herself. At least, she can try to do so. If she notices that it won't work, she'll block them out again. Wait—that does sound rude. But it is for their own good, for their lives.

Before she can groan, Elisa her eyes fall right on Five. He was about to turn around, but when his eyes fall on Elisa, too, he doesn't. Instead, he doesn't even move a little.

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