Chocolate 3: To go or not

This is the last chapter I’ve edited so far. I really should write more.

Let me know what you think 🙂

To go or not

Sam or whatever was left of him was airlifted out of here. The beautiful peaceful blonde guy in front of me wasn’t Sam. Not anymore. If it would have been Sam, the lips that I had kissed countless times would have been stretched into a grin. His peaceful face would have shown emotion because Sam had been the most expressive guy I had ever known. So it wasn’t Sam.
But it was. That guy, sleeping peacefully, had had the same blonde hair, the same nose, the same everything as my Sam. Because he was Sam. Only that he wasn’t sleeping peacefully or taking a nap. No. Sam O’Donnell was dead. Gone. Passed away. Kaboom.
It had been a week. Seven days. One hundred and sixty-eight hours. Ten thousand and eight minutes. Six lakh four thousand and eight hundred seconds. And still, I felt the sharp pinch every time, every single time Sam and death came in one sentence.
He had been eighteen. This shouldn’t have happened to an eighteen year old. Especially to a healthy eighteen year old. Not due to natural reasons. No matter what the doctors said, I refuse to believe it.
Who did it then? Me? Rachel? Kathy? Jeremy? Zac?
No. We were friends. At least we had been. Friends don’t do that. Not murder. So who had it been?
I blamed the ghost. I hadn’t met him. But he was the one. The culprit. There was no other explanation.
So this dead person I had been fascinated with, now well to put it lightly, was on the top of my hit list.
To make it even more worse, the O’Donnells including Rachel blamed me. I blamed myself. And rightly so, if I hadn’t wanted to come here, Sam would have been alive. It was all me and my selfishness.
I lay in self-loathing on Alexander Wilson’s bed. My eyes ached with dryness. All of me ached. I hadn’t slept in what seemed like a few years at the most. In reality, it had only been a week.
All I did was sit in the room, on the bed where I had my last memories of Sam. The alive Sam. I couldn’t bear to part with them. My strength whatever little I had of it had disappeared with a poof at the very same time when Rachel had lost it. She had made it clear that I was the one to blame for all of it.
The sun was shining outside. The sun rays penetrated the window and pierced my eyes. I wished for the dark of the night. It was good company and sunshine felt all wrong. How dare the sun shine down upon the earth when the earth was no longer inhabited by Sam?
The world was such a bloody unfair place to live in.
A soft knock at the door jerked me out of my joyous merrymaking. It had been a while since any contact with the world outside.
I gave no indication of my presence in the room. I did not want to. What’s the use? I’m better off alone in here.
I expected the person knocking to just go away, give up. Instead the knocking grew more insistent. The soft knock was now a loud drumming.
I continued ignore.
Finally the person outside stopped knocking. I let out the breath I had been holding. I couldn’t face any of them now.
As I was once again about to lose myself in the gloomy situation, she opened the door. Yes the door hadn’t been locked. It was Kathy in all her glory.
Argh. I so don’t need this. Is it not enough that I am beating myself up into a pulp over this? I can literally see the psychological bruises.
She walked in towards me as I looked back defiantly at her. She rested her ass beside mine and held my hand.
“How are you doing?” she asked in the gentlest voice.
“Fine. Just peachy.” I said looking down at the bed.
“Really? You don’t fool me, Becky.”
“Really.” I said not raising my eyes.
“Rebecca Andrews, I am your friend! Stop acting like this right at this very moment!”
“But you sound like my mom.”
“Good. Now speak.”
“How will I be Kathy? This sucks. And I am the one to blame.”
“No. you’re not.”
“Of course I am.”
“The autopsy reports say otherwise.”
“Rachel blam….”
“Rachel is Rachel. She’s in grief. She needs someone to blame. Unfortunately it’s you.”
“Kathy, do you seriously believe that none of this my fault?” I said through the tears that had started falling freely. And I had thought that I was all cried out.
“Yes, I do.” She said firmly daring me to contradict her. “Now, stop crying. Is there a sale going on on tears or something? Seriously. Besides, all of us need each other today.”
“Why? What is today?”
“Today. Becky, today is his funeral.”
“Oh.” Was all I could get out. Did someone just punch my tummy?
“We need to stick together. Also, there’s a breakfast meeting about some issues. You should come.”
“Do you want to clean up? Comb your hair?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Okay. As you wish. Now let’s go.”
Kathy marched me back to the room where they were camping. Indoor camping. Wow.
Neither one of us felt the need to fill the quiet with the unnecessary chatter. I felt weak and realized that I had probably lost some weight in the past week. Finally. Wallowing in grief and guilt was so much better than going to the gym.
As soon as I entered the room, I felt all their eyes on me as I took my seat at the table.
I tried to avoid meeting their eyes until I realized that it was inevitable. I looked up and I saw four different emotions in the four different pairs of eyes.
Kathy was concerned. Jeremy looked wary. Zack had pity. And Rachel, Rachel had revulsion. Revulsion and real, pure hatred.
I looked away half expecting to see another pair of blue eyes exactly like Rachel’s smirking at me. Hair so very like her only shorter.
It hit me again. The absence of him. How in the world was I going to survive this? How were any of us going to deal with this?
Sam had been our sunshine. The person that stopped us from killing each other. The one that stopped Zach from getting in to drunken bar fights with truck drivers. The one who had set Kathy and Jeremy up. The only one who could deal with Rachel when she was a bitch. The only one she would listen to.
He was the one who could make me laugh non matter how bitterly I was crying. He was the one who would stare intensely at me when he felt I wasn’t looking. He had eaten those cookies. He had…. he had loved me. The only guy ever who had.
We had never been perfect. I had loved him anyway.
I could feel someone speaking. I could just feel the vibrations. I was falling down the tartarus and it was swallowing all the sensations. All except the pain.
I felt something. It felt alien. I looked up blinking back tears. Wow. I was crying. That was new.
Kathy had her arms around me and she was whispering that everything was going to be okay. Okay? Was okay even possible?
I was breaking apart. I could almost feel bits of my skin blowing away in the wind, disintegrating me.
I was freezing, I realized as I opened my eyes. I hadn’t even realized that I was asleep.
My head didn’t hurt anymore. Nor did my eyes. On the other hand I couldn’t see anything. Like nothing at all. Except darkness. I had non clue where in the world I was. Was I even still in Aphrodelia?
I guess yes. It wouldn’t be this freezing back home. One thing about the weather in Aphrodelia is that it cold here.
I tried to go back to sleep but I was all slept out. Maybe I could start a bit of ghost busting. Why procrastinate?
I crept out of the bed. I realized I was alone. Alone was good for kicking some ghost ass.
I walked towards the door. For a moment,I was afraid that they had locked me in. But no. Fortunately for me.
This time around I had my slippers. So I was cold but not freezing.
I decided to go in the direction opposite to the room where they had found him.
I reached the first closed door. That was when I realized I had no freaking clue about any of this.
Okay. Seven days a week. Seven Harry Potters. Seventh door. I counted six doors. The seventh door, I opened.
It made the most horrible creaking noise that raised my hair. I almost backed out.
Then I switched on my flashlight to at least take a look at the room.
Calling it grand would be the understatement of the year. The room was long and rectangular. Portraits were hung on both the long walls. Every portrait had a man with fat moustaches and a pouffed up lady. There were different men and women in every painting but they were obviously related. All of them were old and had the ‘I am so awesome’ expression and upturned noses. The ladies wore way too much of jewellery. Yes, they had the money but none of them had any decent looks as such. Call me superficial but all these people were lords and ladies. They were supposed to be pretty.
Or maybe I had been reading too many M & Bs.
I started from the left wall. These paintings were clearly older with cracked canvases and faded colors. The first one was of a Lord William Wilson and a Lady Priscilla. I moved forward chronologically. They were all the same only a generation ahead of each other.
There were ten portraits in all. Ten generations of the Wilsons. None of them stunners. At least that was what I felt till I reached painting number nine.
The lord in it Lord Hector was old-ish but striking with a straight posture and a thin moustache unlike his forefathers. Lady Anne was younger than the other ladies had been. Prettier too. She had glossy brown hair and smiling eyes. She was smiling too, the only one who didn’t look grumpy.
I moved towards the next one squinting my eyes. Thank goodness, my flashlight was strong enough.
The other painting was different. The couple in it were young. They were blessed in the looks department too. He had beautiful brown hair and eyes that were laughing as much as he was. The eyes were deep dark pools in the night light. He was hot! She was wearing a ballgown will a low cut neckline that had certainly been the talk of the town back then. She was tiny with luscious black hair that was straight. Green eyes, the cheekbones. They felt so familiar. I had a feeling of dejavu looking at this woman’s face. Where had I seen her before?
I stood there staring at her in wonder. Then it struck me. I had seen her before in my mirror. My reflection, me; she was my doppelganger!
I frantically read the plaque. Oh. My. God. It was him. It was her. Lord Alexander Wilson and his fiancée Miss Victoria Cooper.
Something started burning in my stomach. I had this irresistible ugre to either ripe of the portrait or at least draw a really silly moustache on Alexander’s happy face. Alexander Wilson was a sick twice dead man. I was killing him. Seriously.
Apparently he was the ghost who haunted the mansion. Apparently he was the one who had murdered Sam.
I had never felt that intense hatred for anyone as I did for Alexander Wilson.
And the worse thing was that they looked happy together. And the bitch was going to leave him. He was going to go crazy, die and murder my boyfriend.
I hated both of them. Sam was gone and they were the reason.
Sam was gone. All of a sudden, my legs couldn’t bear the weight of me. My knees were bending and I was sinking.
The portrait room had a fur carpet. I lay down on it. I tried to concentrate on my breathing. Was it going to hurt this bad every time?
I had nothing to cover myself with and I fell in a sleep where I was trekking the south pole.
Next morning, I opened my eyed when I could feel light beyond the lids. The portrait room had a window. I felt better today. Like I could deal with all of this. Sam wouldn’t want me to be sad so I’d decided to be happy.
I could hear voices muffled by the thick door. I could hear people running. I couldn’t feel anything though. My feet were asleep. My finger tips and toes were numb from the cold. So was my ass.
I got up from the floor. And my eyes fell on him and her. I agree she had a haughty turn to her face. But he didn’t look like someone who would kill. He looked genuine. It unnerved me. How could he look so damn normal?
There had to be something. A fat nose? A crazed look in his eyes? Fangs?
I couldn’t figure him out.
I was staring hard at him, trying to find some kind of flaw. Something about him that could kill.
My eyes were beginning to water yet I couldn’t look away.
Way to go Rebecca. Staring at your boyfriend’s murderer.
The door slammed open. I nearly sheded my skin and ran away. It was Rachel, glaring. Only today, I wasn’t going to let her get to me.
“What are you staring at?” She snarled.
“My long lost twin.”
“What? ”
“Look at this.”
“Oh my God. She is a prettier version of you.”
“Thank you. ”
She walked towards the door and yelled downstairs.
Soon we were joined by the others. Kathy was standing beside me staring at the painting too.
All of us were amazed.
“You had us worried sick, Rebecca.” Said Kathy.
“I know. I’m sorry. I meant to return before dawn but sometime just before I fell asleep. ”
“It’s okay. Just, next time, please inform. We don’t want you to be next. ”
“Okay. I promise.”
“So are you guys related or something?” She asked pointing at Victoria.
“No relation that I know of.”
“It must be a coincidence. You aren’t stuck up. She is literally plastered with glue.”
“Gee thanks Kathy.”
“So people, when are we leaving?” Asked Rachel loudly.
“In about six months,Rachel.” I declared confidently.
I looked around asking for support. There was none. Something had changed. And I was feeling pissed.
“What?” I asked accusingly.
“We’re leaving earlier than that.” Said Zac sheepishly.
“A lot earlier. ” added Rachel skankily.
“And why so?” I asked warily.
“We’re scared. Sam died. Maybe of natural reasons. Maybe this house is actually haunted. But we’re scared anyway. None of us want to be next. Mr and Mrs O’Donnell are really shaken up and they want Rachel to come back home. So we leave tomorrow.” Said Jeremy steadily.
“Okay. So you guys leave. I’ll manage here.”
“And leave you alone? Are you freaking kidding me? You are coming with us! We hadn’t come along only for Sam, you know? ” which I what I had thought all along .
“What about the ghost? And GRO? I need to stay here for the next six months.”
“No. It’s too much of a risk. Please Rebecca, be reasonable.”
“Can I think about it? ”
“Okay. Now let’s go have breakfast.” Said Kathy cheerfully.
So we did. I had been surviving on candies for the past one week. Having proper food inside me felt just do good.
I made a pros and cons list for going back home as opposed to staying back here. Jeremy did have a point. Sam dying changed everything. My parents must be worried sick. As must be all the other parental units especially the O’Donnells.
It made sense to return no matter how much I wanted to stay. Because I did want to stay desperately. If I returned home, I wasn’t getting this kind of a haunted opportunity ever again.
Not to mention my dad. He was a great dad. Really. But he had really been against me coming to Aphrodelia right from the very beginning .
I had always been the obedient one. This was the very first time I had wanted to do something different. Something that my parents didn’t agree to.
If I went back now, I was afraid I would go back to being that girl again. No ghosts ever. Except on Halloween. But that’s not the same.
Also I loved Wilson mansion. Literally loved it. I would not mind living her for the rest of my life.
But Sam had died here. I didn’t want to risk Rachel’s or Kathy’s or Jeremy’s or Zac’s lives.
Insisting on staying back was going to male me feel guilty because they would stay back to. And I wasn’t sure that I could bear losing any one of them.
So I guess there was nothing o do but go. Responsibility before ghosts.
By the time I came to this conclusion, I was done with my breakfast.
No better time than the present. I took a deep breath.
“So guys, I guess we should start packing.” I said not quite meeting their eyes. This was too hard. Like getting my eyebrows done.
“We already kinda packed.”
“Did you call the GRO people? For the plane pickup? ”
“Yeah. That too. ”
“What if I had refused to come home? ”
“Well, your parents have given us the permission to physically carry you home.”
We looked at each other for a moment and then burst out laughing. I wasn’t very light.
My remaining time at Wilson mansion was spent packing. And mentally threatening and cursing the ghost of Alexander Wilson. He had gotten away.
Around dusk, I crept back into Alexander’s bedroom. This was where Sam had last been alive. Technically not. But here was where he had told me that he loved me. I just missed him so much.
I cried silently for a few minutes. As soon as I got home, I was going to add crying to my hobbies on Facebook.
Then I went back to the sleeping area. It was now night and dark. The temperature dropped a few degrees.We had an early dinner of chicken soup. Steaming soup felt so good in this weather.
We arranged our sleeping bags with the me in the middle. Rachel and Kathy on my either side and Zac and Jeremy next to them respectively.
I couldn’t sleep for some time having slept quite a lot in the past 48 hours. Finally I drifted off into the dreamland.
Unfortunately it seemed today they were handing out freaky dreams.
I dreamt that Sam was still here. Alive. I could feel him, his heat . I could feel his heart beating. I could see his eyes blazing. I could smell him. He smelt like the sea, sand and summer. He kissed me. And someone knocked on an invisible door.
My eyes snapped open. I looked around for Sam. Until it hit me yet again. It had just been a dream. Sometimes the best dreams are the worst ones. Especially when there’s no chance of them coming true.
So it was just a dream. A tear escaped my eye and slid down my cheek.
A noise made me jump. I realized someone was actually knocking on the door. I got up to open it. The brass knocker could get insistent. Bad idea I know. But I wasn’t in my senses at all.
As I stepped out of the sleeping area, I felt Kathy stir up. I felt her shake Jeremy and Rachel. Zac had been wide awake.
I looked at their tense faces asking. Jeremy nodded gravely.
I held up a flashlight at the general direction of the door. My heart was skittering like a pebble and my brain yelled mortal peril. A knock out of nowhere in nowhere was disturbing.
I inhaled and opened the door before I could freak myself anymore.
A guy was standing out. His eyes were squinting due the flash of the flashlight.
I lowered the flashlight to get a better look at him. Who was he? A psychopathic killer? The pizza delivery guy?
He took my breath away. He was tall. I had to look up to meet his eyes. His eyes; they were melting balls of chocolate as they held mine with an intensity that could be called scary. His hair was chocolate brown and longish without being weird. His face was all strong planes softened by full lips.
I remembered all those lines, each one of those hard lines. The painter who had made the portrait had been accurate.
“Hi.” He said making that two lettered word sound like poetry.
I couldn’t look away. Nor could he.
I couldn’t breath. I didn’t know if he could.
I fainted.

Week 2: I go to sleep

Week 2: 13th July to 19th July

Prompt: Lullaby with creepy undertones

I go to sleep

The flat still smelt faintly musky despite of all the dusting I had put it through. I thought it would take some time before it got the lived in feel.
  It was a decent place to live in. It was situated in a good locality; my neighbors didn’t seem to be creepy and the flat wasn’t rat-infested like my previous hellhole. And it had barely cost me anything. Overall, a great bargain!
  I couldn’t help but feel a little alien living here. I had lived in the same hellhole for seven years. Then my insomnia got worse. I would spend my nights pacing relentlessly. My flat mates tolerated for a while but they had jobs too which were being affected due to their lack of sleep which was a result of my pacing.
  So I moved out.
  I figured maybe I would be able to sleep better in a new environment. I would be all alone with no one to disturb. Living with people felt like an intrusion of my thoughts. Both my flat mates read my mind.
  I snuggled up in my old bed in my new room and tried to lose myself in the world of dreams.
  The new flat theory? It worked! I could feel myself drifting off. 
  The world of dreams brought my mum singing ‘Raindrops and Roses’ from Sound of Music. She used to sing every night before I slept. The song was a talisman against the monsters under my bed.
  Mum was patting my back so that I would sleep better. She was affectionately running her hands in my hair and crooning in that sweet voice of hers.  For once, I felt at peace.
  The moment I thought that her fingernails grew into talons which stroked threateningly against my back.
Why do good dreams like these get distorted so?
  I could feel sleep slipping away from my clutches. Soon, I was completely aware of my surroundings. But my eyes were closed.
  The lullaby hadn’t stopped. The talons dug deep into my skin and brought out blood. I yelled and sat up. There was nothing around. The pain in my back was reduced to a ghost ache. The singing had stopped. There was silence all around.
  I breathed a sigh of relief. Just a bad dream. Nothing else.
  My accelerated breathing slowly  returned to normal.
  Suddenly something grabbed my face and slammed it into the pillow. The palm pressed against my nose and lips, smothering me.
A voice like fingernails on a blackboard whispered.
“This is what happens to bad children who don’t sleep. Everything is okay now. Go to sleep.”
So I did.


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