9 - Missing

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It was dark.

I was free but it was dark.

No more Merideth, no more Jessica, no more Jack.

I was completely, and utterly, free.

It was silent but it was a comforting silence. Everything was good, everything felt so well and good. I've never felt any better.


I jolted up from the bed and looked around frantically for the angry silhouette, but I didn't see one.

Instead, I was met with the gorgeous guest room that Axel said I could have as my own. The large beanbag that sat at the foot of the bed, the beautiful white wooden nightstands that stood beside me, and the beautiful white silky curtains that were swept off of the wooden floor because of the soft breeze. I was met with a peaceful morning, one that I would gladly welcome for the rest of my life.

Along with the beautiful scene was also the satisfying aroma of breakfast. The delicious scent caused me to absentmindedly get out of bed and walk out down the hallway. Last time I was here, I never got to look at the paintings that well. But now that I'm looking, they're absolutely gorgeous.

But one, out of the thousands that hung on these walls, caught my eye.

It was a painting of a vibrant sunflower that stood taller than all of the rest of the drenched and dried out plants. Storm clouds were painted with accurate precision in the horizon and continued all the way to the foreground. Rain was pouring down onto the field but even when the storm drenched the rest of the flowers, this one stood standing. It was beautiful, really. There were more words behind this painting than anybody would think, than anybody would know. It screamed 'strength' but it was so silent, and it was astounding at how loud it was.


I snapped my head back to Axel who was walking towards me with a worried expression, "Are you okay?"

Babe. For some reason it doesn't bother me as much anymore. Now, whenever he calls me that it just brings me comfort, and the only way for me to feel comfort was for Axel specifically to say it.

"Good morning to you too," I said sarcastically.

He chuckled and stood in front of me, "I made some breakfast, you hungry?"

I groaned dramatically and rolled my eyes, "Starving," I stated.

He swept me off of my feet and carried me downstairs, "You sure? You ate like a whole box of pizza last night," he asked unsurely.

I playfully glared at him but he didn't see it since I remembered to put my hood on. I wasn't going to have him look at my bruised face any longer than he should have, I was going to wait until I grew comfortable with him, that's all.

He set me down on the chair and I immediately dug into the the pancakes. I stuffed them in my mouth and hummed of satisfaction through my chewing, they were just so good.

"I guess you never get full, huh?" Axel teased.

I narrowed my eyes and pointed the tongs of my fork at him, "Do not underestimate my ability to eat," I said lowly. He chuckled and shook his head as he continued to eat his breakfast.

"What time is it? Shouldn't we be getting ready for school?" I asked puzzled.

He grabbed my empty plate and walked towards the kitchen, "We're not going to school babe."

I almost fell back in my chair when my mind finally processed his words. I've never missed school before, I always organized my school days perfectly for the last 18 years, and never once have I messed it up before.

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