Chapter 20

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20. Recalling

When I got inside the house, I didn’t know how I felt. I didn’t know how to describe the way I was feeling at that moment. Jack ran to me, greeting me when I opened the front door, which revealed a dark, unlit kitchen. I couldn’t help but pet him absent-mindedly as I thought back to the day’s earlier events. From the moment I waited with Kenai when he confessed he had feelings for Kate to when I basically threw his whole past life in his face. I couldn’t get his face out of my mind. The expression he gave me after I told him the truth. At first, pure pity, but then this hatred-filled rage that consumed him as he yelled at me. It haunted my thoughts.

I was exhausted. Sitting down in the closest chair, I set my head down onto the table and let my thoughts consume me, not even bothering to turn on the kitchen light. I let the house stay dark. It helped to clear my mind, to help me think better. Yet, I felt restless.

Jack pawed at me, whining. “What’s up, bud? You hungry?” I asked him, getting up from my comfortable place in the chair and walking over to the cupboard. As I took down the bag of dog food, I realized that we were almost out. Putting the dog food into Jack’s bowl, I grabbed a sticky note from the counter, writing: Pick up more dog food. I honestly didn’t need to, I knew I’d remember. Still, for some reason, I felt the need to occupy myself, to do useless things just to be busy. As comfortable as I was in my chair, my mind was screaming at me, making me unable to rest.

How did I feel right now?

I went over the day’s events again in my head. I replayed them over and over, trying to analyze everything and let it sink in. A strange feeling was welling in my chest, but I didn’t know how to describe it. It was a mixture of anger, sadness, and loss of hope. There was even disbelief somewhere in the mix. Yet, I stayed perfectly calm, the traces of rage and hysteria seeming to have disappeared as soon as I stepped into the house.

I continued to replay the day in my head. More than anything, I felt confused, absent-minded. I had begun to walk around the dark and empty house, lost in my thoughts of nothing, meaning to go nowhere. Before I knew it, I had wandered into the bathroom. Now that I thought about it, maybe a shower would do me good. Taking out a towel from under the sink, I began to remove my clothes, still lost in a world of my own. I was still in my jeans and undershirt when it happened. It had suddenly hit me.

No, Clair, this isn’t crazy, this is stupid!

Kenai’s voice seemed to be shouting in my head. It felt as if he were here in front of me. The strange calmness shattered as I heard him continue to shout. Feeling my knees begin to buckle, I grabbed onto the rims of the sink, panting as I stared at myself in the mirror. My eyes were wide, still slightly red from crying. My face was pale, my skin almost translucent. Hair messy and ruffled, it framed my face in a frenzy of copper. I was a wreck. I looked like an unstable mess.

I continued to pant, feeling weak. The bathroom began to blur and spin. Why was this happening? Was I hallucinating? Was this some strange form of a panic attack? What was this? Why did I hear him shouting so clearly? It was as loud and clear as if he were here in person. I continued to hear him.

It’s nothing but a coincidence, okay?

Magic doesn’t exist!

Please understand, it’s not me.

Is this your idea of a fucking joke or something?!

I think it’s best if you just accept that he’s gone…

“No! He’s not gone!” I screamed, feeling the air escape from my lungs. My chest was being crushed. I felt on the verge of an asthma attack. What was wrong with me? Why was this happening to me? His words continued to echo.

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