Okay, the last chapter was a false start, figured out I had to change a few chapters in order to fit the mythology. This is #day1 of the #30days30chapters
P.S: Not betaread yet.
(Hozier-In A Week)
Medea expected a few awkward conversational starters but apparently, Sen wasn't big on small talk because when he opened his mouth next, he went right to the jugular.
"Did you get any sleep after?"
"Some." Medea had learned to answer such questions without giving actual information, it's better than having them imagining things if she kept quiet. It's amazing what people cooked up inside their mind when she stayed silent, it's like they immediately went for the worst case scenario.
From the corner of her eyes, she saw him slide a look at her, taking her appearance from head to toe. She was used to that, used to people looking at her with a waiting look in their eyes; as if they expected her to do something crazy. His look was different though, it was if he...cared.
"Where do I go from here?"
"Take a right."
We passed by the Rickenberg House, a creepy looking manor surrounded by walls and an intricate iron gate in silence before Sen spoke again. "You're not going to give me the tour? On your right, a perfect setting for a horror movie, on your left..."
"You have Yukiko for that."
"But Yukiko would only give me the black and white version, I need the gray version, the place you guys sneak away to drink beer, the best cheapest food, where you go to make out."
Medea only stared at him. Expecting to get some action, was he?
"Why would you think I'd know all that?"
"Because you're the correct age and this is a small town?"
Okay, he got her there. Sure, she knew the answer to his question but it wasn't from a first person point of view. Medea knew that the Highlands Cemetery was the best place to drink beer, Leland's has the best and cheapest burgers around, and Lockheart Bridge was where the teenagers went to party and make out. Not that Medea has ever been invited to any of these occasions, when you're known as the town crazy, you kind of have to keep to yourself. Maybe in another town, what Medea had wouldn't be considered weird but nothing special, but in this town, having insomnia was a pretty big deal, much less night terrors and sleep walking and depression.
She had pretty much solidified her town-crazy standing when people heard about her stay in a mental facility and a sleep disorder lab and of every alternative treatment thing she had ever tried.
Though everything probably started from when she screamed the whole house awake at the only sleepover she had ever been invited too. No one invited her to anything since then. Her parents made the best of it, always throwing lavish parties on her birthday and not inviting anyone over as if to revenge-snub everyone that snubbed her. It was awesome at first, but it got tired after the first few years. Nowadays, her birthdays were quiet affairs and she was much happier for it.
Medea realized that he was waiting for an answer, so she told him what he knew. Nothing less, nothing more.
"Do you always hide your scars?"
"Are you always this nosy?"
His eyes were on the road but a smile flashed on his face. "Not really, but you're welcome to ask me uncomfortable questions and maybe then I won't ask you questions that you're uncomfortable answering."
"Can't we just stay quiet and listen to music?"
"So, do you always--"
"Fine." Medea crossed her arms and tried to ignore his short laugh. "Where did you live before?"
Oh, all the snark answers he could go with that. "Yeah, my parents live there."
"What are you doing here?"
Medea gave him a dirty look.
He shrugged. "My parents wanted oba-san to live with them, they think that her age makes her decrepit and helpless," He laughed when Medea scoffed, "That's how she reacted."
"So, you're, what? A compromise?"
"Something like that."
"And you're okay with that?" Uprooting his whole life to satisfy his parents and his grandmother? No one was that good and selfless. She couldn’t believe that his parents let him move to another country to take care of his grandmother either.
Medea eyed him, trying to detect some bitterness on his face but couldn't find any. She didn't know why that irritated her, but it did.
"Am I going the right way?"
"Yeah, just take a left at the first turn."
"This town is a damn maze."
Medea made a noncommittal noise, it was a pretty known fact that the town's original families were paranoid, pranksters and smugglers. All three qualities guaranteed that many hideyholes and secret forest hideouts existed, in fact finding out new tunnels or storm cellars or secret rooms have been a popular winter past-time for the town's people. Even Medea's house boasted of two separate tunnels, an escape route to the forest and a small but substantial hide out behind her bookcase.
"What do you dream about?"
Medea blinked. "What?"
"Your dreams, what is it about?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"Curiosity." He took the left turn and flipped down his visor and hers, the motions of his hands easy and smooth. The black and white beads on his left wrist clicked softly, reflecting back sunlight into the interior of the car.
When she didn't answer, his eyes flicked to her. "Don't want to talk about it?"
"Why would you think I’d want to talk about it with you?"
He shrugged. "Because I'm not a grown-up, I'm not a parent or a shrink. Have you ever tried just to talk about it to a friend?"
"I don't have friends."
He smiled as if he thought she was joking, but then she saw her expression. "You're serious. You actually don't have friends? How long have you been living here again?"
"I'm a pariah, people tend to avoid talking to me." Some people even tried to pretend to not see her which was ridiculous, but she was used to it. She waved her hand and rolled her wrist. The scars gleamed white in the warm ray sunlight. "Then add this, it's understandable that they think I'd be a bad influence for their kids."
She shrugged again.
"Have you tried?"
Medea wrinkled her brow.
"Have you tried making friends?"
She had once upon a time, but her attempts fell apart eventually. It's kind of hard explaining what she felt, what she was dealing with when she didn't really understand why she was the way she was. Saying 'I have dreams that make me not able to sleep’ sounds dumb. And she hated when other parents acted as if she was just making this up, and that her parents were in the wrong for enabling her as if she was just acting out, that it was a phase.
"Is it really that bad? Your dreams?"
She didn't answer, she was done explaining herself to anyone.
"Or are they good?" he asked, his voice casual. His face was relaxed and the set of his shoulders easy underneath his sky blue T-shirt. There was nothing in his demeanor that should set her heart knocking against her ribs, but it was.
"Your dreams, are they so bad that you’re afraid to sleep or that they're too good, you're afraid to sleep in case you won’t wake up?"
Medea’s stomach twisted, and her fingers bit into her palms. “What?”
Copyright © 2015 by D.F. Jules
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