Chapter Five

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"O sleep, O gentle sleep, nature's soft nurse, how I have frightened thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, and steep my senses in forgetfulness."


My whole body was numb. I had felt like that ever since the moment I woke up that morning. From waking up in a room that wasn't mine, realizing I had slept in Clayton Hugh's bed, to the hug we shared, and all the way up to meeting his family. Heck we were driving away from his house and to my own and I was still numb. All I felt was a tingling sensation everywhere. 

"We are going to have dinner with the Hughs tonight, Lucy." My dad broke the tense silence. 

I was so lost inside my own head that I didn't hear him. He had to repeat it louder to get a reaction out of me. "What?

No, no, no. That could not happen. I never wanted Clayton to see my face again. I already had the idea of switching out of chemistry class to a different one to avoid him entirely. 

"No, daddy." I whined. "Please no. No. Just no. I can't."

"Why not? All of us are extremely happy you are okay, and we wanted to celebrate that. Plus the Hughs are a very nice family." My mom chimed in. 

Were they really that oblivious? Could they not see the pain written all over my face? No - they had to have. At least mom had to have, I went to her last eye appointment and her eyes were perfect. Or maybe it was me. If I pulled the corner of my lips a tad touch lower, deepening my frown, and stopped blinking back my water works, they would have seen the fear. Humiliation. Heartbreak. 

If it were any other house - even the President's - there would have been one less emotion running through my body. The heartbreak was not caused firsthand by Clayton at all, but with him in mind, and every other wild thought, I was self destructing. 

"Please, no. I'm, um," I quickly thought of something, "tired. Really tired."

There was a silence, and by the focused look on his face through the rear view mirror, I could tell he was thinking. 

"Then that's good! You can walk yourself to the Hughs again for dinner!" 

I groaned, bumping my head into the back of my mom's seat, in turn making her groan as well. Despite that, my eyes remained on my feet-- my sock covered feet. The last time I wore socks were ages before - maybe as far as a month previous. So the only logical reason where those socks came from was from the same owner of the gym shorts and t-shirt I was wearing. 

Humiliation passed through me for the hundredth time, cursing my leap of faith last night with wearing Aunt May's revealing present. But when I thought about it, wearing Dumbo printed pajamas wouldn't have been any less embarrassing. That would have been worse. 

"Someone shoot me and put me out of my misery."  

- - - - - - - - - - 

My brother Jacob was always a very calm person. He was tidy, organized, and the epitome of a perfectionist. So whenever I wanted to clear my head or distract myself from the world, I went through some old planners of his. A few were from his high school years, one from his freshman year in college, then the most important one of all. 

It was camouflage, funnily enough. 

He didn't mean much when buying that particular planner. Jacob only thought it was a cool pattern. I would have known because I was there with him strolling through a Dollar Tree. 

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