02 | MISSING PIECE

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CHAPTER TWOMISSING PIECE★⋆★⋆★⋆★⋆★

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CHAPTER TWO
MISSING PIECE
★⋆★⋆★⋆★⋆★

(trigger warning: mentions of suicide)

      Hadley had a strict list of things she'd want to be able to sleep through. Most of these things could be described as "boring." She would sleep through the entirety of first through seventh period at school, or maybe through the movie Carrie (despite Reese demanding that Hadley stay awake because it was one of Reese's favorites), and she would definitely like to sleep through dinner when there was a promise of dessert afterwards.

      Never once did Hadley think she would ever want to sleep through something involving Reese. But as she pulled on a black dress and black shoes she were pretty sure belonged to Reese at some point in time, she found herself wishing she could sleep through the rest of the day simply so she didn't have to deal with it. Or at least get wildly drunk so she couldn't process what was happening. Anything was better than actually doing what she was being forced to do.

      There had always been a point in those coming-of-age movies where the main character looked in the mirror. Whether it was to admire their reflections or degrade themselves, Hadley had always thought that scene in the movie was absolute bullshit. She'd never stood in front of her mirror and stared at herself as if trying to pick herself apart. And yet, here she was, in her movie moment, looking at the girl her reflection depicted. The black dress was one she'd owned since eighth grade. There wasn't much helping her hair, which always seemed to be a frizzy mess, so it was pulled in a bun at the top of her head. Technically, there was nothing missing from her reflection. There wasn't a hidden darkness in her eyes because of Reese's death. The only thing missing... was Reese herself.

      Turning away from the mirror was easy. But remembering another body was supposed to be there behind her, supporting her, that wasn't as easy. It was downright the hardest thing Hadley had ever had to wrap her brain around. 

      A quiet knock on her door sounded. Hadley turned just in time to see her mother entering her room, already decked out in a nice black dress and dark grey cardigan. She didn't mention anything as she entered Hadley's room, not daring to speak about Reese or how Hadley was doing after their fight a week prior. "You might want to wear a jacket. It's cold," was all her mother said as she put her hands on Hadley's shoulders. Hadley shrugged, watching in the mirror as her mother's hands moved up and down with the movement of Hadley's shoulders. The two women had always looked alike, and by default, Reese had looked like them too. But in that moment, with the weight of their burden on their shoulders, they looked more alike than ever.

      "I want this to be over with," Hadley announced in the quiet room. It was the understatement of the century, but Hadley didn't care. She felt that it needed to be said. Tabitha simply nodded in understanding before reaching forward and touching Hadley's bun with gentle fingers.

Sleepwalker  ▸ Jared CameronWhere stories live. Discover now