Prologue - At The Start

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End Of Summer - Five Years Ago

I turned over in my bed and groaned. The sun was already streaming through the space where the curtains met in the middle of the window by my bed, and the light had landed directly on my eyes. I groaned and buried my head in my pillow. The last thing I wanted to do was wake up and face the day and it wasn't even a school day. In fact school didn't even start for another week.

I ignored the fact it was morning, and forced all thoughts from my mind, as I slowly lulled back into a light sleep there was a soft knock on my bedroom door. Another minute or so and I would have been asleep, but it was enough to bring me from my slumber. Reluctantly my eyes opened, betraying my body.

"Honey, Sebastian is here." My Mother's voice sung out from behind the door.

Those four words solidified the one thing I had been dreading all summer, the reality that today would end with my best friend leaving for college, while I was stuck here for another three years. I wanted to pretend I hadn't heard her, as if not hearing her would mean that none of this had to happen, that it would turn into a weird type of groundhog day where Sebastian just never left. If it meant I could still see him everyday, then it was something I could get on board with.

"Emelia?" She questioned, her voice full of concern.

"I'll be down soon Mom." I mumbled loud enough for her to hear.

I sat up and looked around my room. Remnants of summer were still strewn throughout my room. Photos I'd had printed were covering my desk and the half deflated rocky horror inspired unicorn balloon Seb had bought me at the local carnival a few weeks prior was still tied to the back of my computer chair. I looked down at the time on my alarm clock, it was 9am. I frowned as I looked at the book Seb had leant me on my nightstand. I hadn't managed to finish it because irrationally, like not hearing my mother I thought not finishing meant today would never come.

I stood up and walked over to my drawers. I stared at my reflection and for the first time in my life I felt like I didn't recognise the person staring back at me. I looked the same, but my eyes seemed different. Like the once bright hue had dulled some how. I looked away as I opened my drawers and pulled out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I pulled my pajamas off and tugged my jeans on. They didn't fit the same as they had only a few short months ago. They hugged my hips like a second skin. I'd grown taller too and now they were almost too short. It was no secret I was in need of new clothes, but we couldn't afford them. Not right now. I threw my t-shirt on over my head and flattened it down.

Before I left the room I picked up the book Sebastian had leant me and walked downstairs with it in my hands. My Mom and Dad stood in the kitchen, coffee cups in their hands, talking to a swiftly dressed Sebastian. The boy who skulked around in ripped jeans and band shirts was dressed in tailored jeans and a nice plain black button down. He turned his focus to me as I reached the bottom of the stairs, his hazel eyes flickered with something I didn't understand while he smiled at me, albeit sadly.

"Em." He said softly. "You trying to avoid me?"

I shook my head, but said nothing because I couldn't think of the right words to say. I could never avoid Seb, I just wanted to avoid reality. I wanted to avoid him leaving, even though it wasn't possible.

"We'll leave you two to talk." Mom whispered. I looked over at her and Dad as they slipped out the back door into the conservatory.

I stared down at the book in my hands and sighed. "I should give this back to you." I whispered, holding out the book. Seb's hands didn't take it though, so I glanced up at him. His eyes were sad, I could see it now. He looked like I had in the mirror. Lost.

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