Chapter 13

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"Memories do not always soften with time; some grow edges like knives." ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Freya's POV

Memories. Some were good, and were worth reminiscing. Images that leave you feeling warm inside, happy and makes you wish to live forever in your dreams, while some leave you earnestly seeking reality, wanting to wake up, wanting somebody, anybody, to tell you it's all a dream—all a lie— even when you know it isn't.

"No! Mom!" I yelled, hyperventilating as I dropped on both knees beside the body that lay unmoving. I looked up at my dad and the devilish smirk that distorted his rigid facial features was not one to miss. He was holding a knife on which healthy crimson blood that belonged to my mother dropped from its pointed tip. He waved the knife towards me and inched closer like a carnivore to its prey. I hurried to get up and I moved back, stumbling over my mother's work shoes. I fell to the floor with a thud and the heel of the second pair pierced my side making me scream out in pain. I shuffled back on the floor till my back hit the wall. Tears flowed down my face and hit the floor with inaudible sound as slightly coherent plea words escaped my lips. I begged my dad not to harm me but he kept coming closer and closer with the deadly knife pointed at me, its target.

"Please, dad! No! N-no! Y-you don't h-have to do this!" I cried but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I saw the movement before I felt its impact, the pain. He twisted the knife and dug it deeper into my stomach. I could feel it piercing my insides, the pain was crippling.

"Die! You have to die too! Evil! Bastard! Be gone!" he laughed hysterically.

6:37am

I sat up panting heavily. My heart rate had doubled and I was pretty sure my pulse would've shot up triple it's normal beat. I grabbed the bottle of water I had placed by my bedside the night before and fought a short battle with the cap of the bottle before ending up triumphant. I took long gulps of the water and drained all its content. I threw the now empty plastic into the bin beside the bed and groaned as a searing pain cut through my head. It was too early to wake up considering it was a Saturday morning, and even worse and a devil's curse to wake up from a bad dream with a splitting headache. The pattern of the dream changes every time. One minute he'd come at me with a knife, the next he would be crushing me with his boots. All I knew was no one was easier to deal with or comprehend. I still feared the man who gave me life. I still panicked at the thought of him and I shivered whenever images of that night popped into my head.

I was tired of eating cereal for breakfast but too lazy to cook something considering it was a miracle I could even walk to the bathroom to empty my bladder and to the kitchen afterwards. I dragged my shaky legs to the fridge and I drew open one of its doors. I scanned it's content till my eyes fell on the half-full plastic of milk. I poured the required amount in a bowl and returned the item to its place, it's home. My house didn't feel like a home yet. It felt like a space where I didn't belong but had to force myself to adapt to because I had no choice and nowhere else to go to. Having Trent over was close to the best thing I had experienced in shadow creek asides my sessions with Javier. Javier.

He had invited me to a town party. A barbecue party hosted by his family, I guess. I was surprised and confused that he'd ask me to a party. I was not really anything to him, other than his patient. Even though the thought that we were nothing more than physician and patient stung a little, for reasons I knew not, it didn't change the fact that it was all the relationship we had so it came as a surprise to me when he asked and I felt it was only right that I declined his offer. I knew it would be wrong to catch flying feelings and it would come back to haunt me and knowing how much I tried to avoid complicated situations, I told him no. And then he played a final card that awarded me no further say in the topic. He painted the party as nothing but a meet and greet where I get to interact with other Townes and make new acquaintances. He told me he would pick me up at 10 and immediately left the diner leaving no room for more conversation. I didn't want to jump into any conclusions but it was easy to notice how strange and more informal Javier had gotten especially in how he addressed me. And what was it with the cake?

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