Colours In Blackness - A New Life - Book #1 by Tammy Dunning - HTML preview

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CHAPTER SEVEN

 

 

I was right about talking to my mom. It did make me feel better. I didn't realize just how much I miss her until I was talking to her. I told her all about my vision and how Sherri felt it too. Then I told her all about my new friends and their 'afflictions' and about the medicine Doc Turner suggests that I take.

Before I knew it, the time had flown by. After hanging up, I barely have enough time to change into my jogging pants, a huge t-shirt and tie my hair up into a ponytail when I hear a knock on my door.

Tara's here to collect me so she can show me where Sherri's room is. Tara has on a pair of pajama pants with little pink and purple hearts all over them, and a massive purple T-shirt on that goes down to her knees and has 'Don't wake a sleeping bear' written on the front of it. Good to know that I'm not under-dressed.

Sherri's room is one floor up from mine, almost directly over where my room is. She's in room #415. Tara just opens the door and walks right in like it's her room. Everyone is already there waiting for us.

Todd is dressed in green and blue checkered pajama pants, a white T-shirt and black housecoat. He’s flopped on Sherri's bed with her pillow wedged under his head. “We were thinking that we'd head back down to the mess hall to get ourselves snacks. I prefer a bag of popcorn and a huge bottle of pop. Then we can go to my room, turn the lights out and watch a movie. It’s your choice tonight sweetheart, since you're the new girl.” Todd raises and lowers his eyebrows and grins at me in a 'come-kiss-me' way.

I look away from Todd quickly. “Um, yeah... about that, I don't want to pick the movie. I don't know what everyone likes.” I really don't want to pick the wrong movie and have everyone hate my choice.

“Well, Todd has a vast assortment of movies to choose from. We watch all types of movies so any choice you make will be a good one.” Jessy smiles at me. “I think I'm going to have a banana split with caramel ice cream and chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream. Sherri, what are you craving?”

Sherri stares off into space for a minute before she answers. “I think I'm going to go for a bowl of pudding with a fruit topping... and whipped cream, of course.”

Reilly, who looks much happier than he did earlier, pipes up next. “You always have something with fruit on it. Why don’t you try to shake it up a little? Maybe go with what I’m going to have, jelly beans and hot chocolate. Not blended together. Laura, what's your favorite thing to treat yourself with?”

For a moment I think about what the two would taste like if they were melted together. “I'm definitely not going to melt jelly beans in hot chocolate either. Well, I like salt and vinegar chips. Do they have chips?”

Tara throws her arm around my shoulder and gives me a little squeeze. “I'm right there with ya sister, chips are always my thing... BBQ baby! Mm mm mmm.”

Jessy stands up from where he's sitting on the floor. “Are we ready to go then, 'cause I'm getting hungry talking about all this food?”

Everyone stands up all at once with nods and 'yups'. We file out the door and down to the mess hall where we pick through all the junk food, then scurry up to Todd's room. His room is also on the fourth floor; room #425.

His room is bigger than our rooms are; makes me wonder how he got so lucky. He has a queen-sized bed instead of a double like us. On his floor are four beanbag chairs. The television he has is a huge flat screen; probably a 60” and it hangs on his wall. His bathroom has an oval two-person tub and a shower stall.

 

Note to self: Find the list so I can put my name on for a room like this!

 

Todd and Sherri flop on the bed and shove pillows under themselves to prop up. The rest of us pick a beanbag chair and flop into it. Jessy puts a tiny little table between us so that we can put our drinks on. We don't want to set them on the carpet and risk tipping them over.

Jessy flops into the beanbag chair next to me. “The movies are on that wall. Take your time and pick whatever you'd like to watch.” His smile is nice, warm, comforting. He’s really trying to put me at ease about what movie to pick.

I struggle trying to get out of the beanbag chair, and decide that it's probably easiest if I just roll out of it and crawl over to the movies, which are pretty much at ground level anyway.

There's about a hundred movies, ranging from romance to terror. So I close my eyes, reach out and grab the first one I touch. “Is a comedy ok with everyone?”

Everyone nods, so I take it out of its jacket and slip it into the side of his big screen TV. Jessy fluffed up my beanbag chair while I was picking the movie. I settle back into it again. He hands me my bag of chips and the black licorice whips that I couldn't pass up when we were picking our treats.

Reilly reaches up and flips off the light, and the movie begins.

 

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

 

 

I love math. Math comes easily to me. Numbers revolve around everything we do in our lives. They're a definite when everything else can be altered. They're universal. For instance, language can be turned into slang and still have the same meaning. Numbers cannot; they are either the right number or the wrong one. They just make sense to me.

It's 2:30 PM and I have one class left. It's called Concentration Class. I'm a little nervous. Whenever I concentrate on anything too long, I tend to get a headache. I'm really hoping that's not what it's all about.

Todd's waiting outside of my math class. He smiles one of his pretty-boy smiles, and slides his arm through mine. “Can I walk you to class? I figured since we both are on our way to the same class, we might as well walk together. Is that's ok with you, beautiful girl?”

Wow, two really hot guys touched me today. I never get this much attention. They're just being nice to the new kid. “Sure. I'm a little nervous so being with someone familiar will probably help.”

It doesn't take us long to get to our class. Our casual conversation while we walk makes it seem really short. Todd can be a nice, normal guy when he wants to be.

I feel a calming warmth swoon over me as I enter the room. My fear and nervousness is gone. Now I remember why, Todd has the ability to control emotions and temperatures. I really am thankful that he's here. “You're helping me, aren't you?”

“Is that ok?” His voice is soothing and smooth. He must feel the flush of my nervous heat because he smiles his sexy little crooked smile.

“Definitely! Can you sit near me?” I don't think I've blinked since we entered the room, until Todd’s eyes meet mine, and linger for just a fraction of a moment too long for it to feel like a casual glance.

He's still smiling at me. “We have to leave the backpacks, purses and books, basically everything, against this wall. Make sure your cellphone is off, or she'll throw you out of class if it rings.” I do what he tells me. He points me in the direction of the back of the room.

The room looks more like a yoga workout gym, with mats thrown about the carpeted classroom floor. The candles, blackboards and speakers that are scattered about the room convince me that it's probably not actually meant for yoga.

The walls are burgundy, with candle sconces about every two meters apart, with big white candles burning softly. The floor has five landings, each one raised about a foot up from the other. Each is wide enough to accommodate a full grown man quite easily. They step up towards the back of the room.

We walk up to the top tier and sit on two mats that are about midway across the room. Three other students sit along the top tier with us. Each one smiles and introduces themselves to me.

The first guy, Jerry, says he can hear things that most people can't hear. He's what's known as a Listener.

The second guy, Andy, says that he's a Progressionist. He can make a seed grow into a tree in a matter of hours. I think that’s really cool.

The third person is a girl about fourteen years old. Her name is Rebecca. She's really shy. Her ability is to set things on fire, but she hasn't learned how to put them out yet. She's still new here.

As others introduce themselves, I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed. There’s so much information so fast. It is nice to know that there is a wide range of talents at this school. Some are weirder than mine. Maybe there are others like me, and I just haven't been introduced yet. If everyone is still learning the extent of what their talents consist of, then who knows, there could be more.

“The instructor’s name is Maria Suvert. She prefers us to just call her Maria, because she says it removes the uncomfortable tension assumed by having to address someone with a salutation. She's a very easy-going person. Everyone likes her.” Todd's sitting on a blue mat that he's pulled over to be right next to mine.

I don't mind the closeness. He's stunningly handsome. Besides, he is keeping me calm. His gift is really coming in handy for me today.

Once everyone is seated and quiet, the instructor introduces herself to me, and fills the class in on who I am, and what my ability is. Yup, good thing Todd is keeping my fear level down to a minimum, because I think I might otherwise have run screaming from the room. Being the center of attention is not something I do well with. Thanks to Todd, I might avoid vomiting.

 

Note to self: Bring Todd with me to help out in nervous situations.

 

Maria then gives me a quick rundown of how in this class I will learn techniques of how to relax myself, so that when I have an episode, I'll be able to keep myself calm through it. That might help me see more details in the vision and could help with the pain level.

I really hope this works. Not so much for the details of the vision, more for the pain level. If I can ease that, I'll be a happy girl. Maybe this will help with the anxiety that I feel when I know that these attacks are coming. I call them attacks because I think it's a more suitable word than episode or vision. At least right now, that's what they seem like.

We lie out on the mats, and begin a deep breathing exercise to help us get into a more relaxed state. Todd must still be helping my mood because if I relax anymore, I'll be asleep.

Todd reaches out and touches my hand. OhmyGod this sexy, amazing guy wants to hold my hand. He interlaces our fingers and instantly more warmth soothes through my body so intensely. I can feel it radiating from his hand and flowing into mine, down my arm, then spread throughout my body. It's like having an invisible warm blanket covering all of me.

The warmth is increasing and the relaxing feeling is changing to... desire? The heat is changing into desire? More and more my sexual excitement is building. I can almost feel his breath on me, so hot, heating me up. I want him to touch me; touch me in places never yet touched by a boy. I want him kissing me, caressing me, on me.

My mouth is open, I'm breathing heavier and faster. Why can’t I tell him to stop? If he touches my body right now, I'll melt into a heaping pile of heated flesh, and yet still yearn for more. I'll be unable to stop myself from going too far; farther than I consciously want to go. A soft moan flows from deep within me and escapes my lips.

Just then, that feeling is gone. At first I feel angry, I want it back. Then I'm left wondering what the heck happened, and where did that come from? Suddenly I'm overcome with a feeling of satisfaction; not my emotion, someone else’s. It's the kind of satisfaction of a job well done. Todd’s gloating. He’s proud of his accomplishment, I can feel it.

I open my eyes and turn my head only to meet Todd's sexy eyes. I pull my hand away when I finally realize that he was making me feel that way. It’s obvious that he’s thinking that I’d like it, and want him to do it again, maybe later when we’re not in class. I'm kind of angry that he forced himself into invading me in such a way, but at the same time, I kind of do want him to do it again. I've never felt so sexy, so filled with desire, so wanted.

Looking at his smug face really ruins it though. I can't believe how weak I must be to let him control me like that, so easily. Maybe other girls like it when he controls them like that, but I don’t.

“Don't do that again.” I whisper to him, trying to sound angry but through my still heavy breathing, it sounds like I didn't really mean it.

Still, his bedroom eyes are looking deep into mine. Through his sexy grin he replies, “Did you not like that; because it sure looked as if you were absolutely enjoying it. Perhaps this just isn't the place for it; maybe in a more secluded place next time.”

“No, next time. There won't be a next time. If I ever feel that way again around you, it'd better be because I want to feel like that, not because you're forcing it on me. Understand?” I glare at him; even though I secretly do want him to do it again. I try to mask that feeling with anger. I really hope he can't sense that I truly did enjoy it.

He raises an eyebrow at me, then turns his head so he's looking at the ceiling, folds his arms over his chest, and closes his eyes, still with a smirking little smile. “So what you're saying is that you want me to do it again, but only on your terms? I can deal with that.”

No matter how hard I try to relax and get back into the exercise, I'm not able to. I just can't decide if I'm angry at him or if he's right and I really do want him. Thankfully there's only ten minutes left of the class.

I start walking down the hallway as quick as I can, desperate not to make a scene, but still trying to get away from Todd. Before I can get far, he's walking beside me, keeping up with my pace, quite easily I might add. Of course he is taller than me, with longer legs. Why did I think I could get away?

“Do you forgive me?” He doesn't really sound like he cares if I actually forgive him or not. And when I don't say anything, just nod my head, he smiles at me with the most adorable little boy ‘forgive-me’ smile. He looks so innocent, but now I know better.

Instead of going straight to my room, I stop at Tara's door and knock. “Come on in.” Tara's sitting on her bed reading a book. “Hi Laura, how'd your first Concentration Class go?”

“Well, that's why I'm here. The class was great. I think I'm going to learn a lot. The teacher, Maria, she seems awesome. I want to ask you something about Todd though.”

Tara drops her head down and with a muffled sound she asks me, “What did he do now?”

“He controlled my moods.” I reply, rolling my eyes.

She lifts her head to look at me. “How did he make you feel?”

“I was seconds away from doing the nasty with him, right there in the middle of the classroom, with everyone there! I moaned out loud. Thankfully he stopped. Then I felt his self-satisfaction.” I pause, and Tara rolls her eyes. “I must admit, it was hot. I've never felt that way before, even with my boyfriend, Brian.”

Tara is trying not to laugh, but she's unsuccessful. Through her snickering, she says, “He can be so bad.” She stops giggling and seriously asks me, “So you've never... you know, done it?”

“Nope. I really don't want to yet. I don't think I'm ready for something that heavy. I mean, I've never felt the desire to do it with Brian. I don't think he's mature enough to handle it. I think that when I’m ready, I won’t have any doubts, so I’ll know." I pause for a second then ask her, "Have you ever..?”

“Once, about a year ago with a boy named Steven. Not here at Salvation. I wasn't here yet. Steven and I were an item when it happened. We dated for about three years before we did it. We got into making out in his room one day while his parents were at work. We had a day off school. It was all planned out and everything. We made love, sort of. It was clumsy and awkward. I always pictured it playing out as a romantic adventure, where the two of us would bond even more than ever. I just knew in my heart that it would be everything I'd ever hoped for. Well, it was nothing like I thought it would be.”

“That's what I'm afraid of. I'd like my first time to be an event to remember, something to look back on fondly. Not like what happened with you.” I'm hoping that I'm not offending her. “Besides, Brian and I definitely aren't there yet.”

“Back to what Todd did to you…” She's giggling a bit again. “At least he did something awesome with you. He was really bad with me. He built up so much impatience and anxiety in me that I got up and stormed out of class. That was how I actually met Todd. I had no idea that he could do that, or even who he was.”

“Wow, what an ass. So what happened next?” I am now very glad that 'impatience and anxiety' was not the emotion that he filled me with. At least mine was pleasurable, very pleasurable.

“He chased me out of the classroom and filled me with calmness, then he explained what he did and apologized. Needless to say, I didn't like Todd all that much at first. He really is a nice guy once you get to know him. Todd would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it. Just don't trust whatever you 'feel' when you're around him.” Tara shrugs her shoulders.

We chat for a bit then set a time to head down for dinner. I leave her room and travel a whole ten steps to my room. I'm so glad to be back in my new sanctuary, safe from all the strangeness this place exudes.

It feels like there's something strange hanging in the air. Something’s not quite right. It's almost as though I'm waiting for the ceiling to fall down on me or something. Maybe it's just my own anxieties of being in a new place with new people.

I splash some cold water on my face and brush my teeth because they're feelin' like fuzzy slippers. I sit down on my bed and start taking my books out of my backpack when someone taps on my door. It must be Tara... she’s early.

 

 

 

CHAPTER NINE

 

 

“Come on in, doors open.” But then I remember that the doors are always open here. We have locks, but nobody ever locks the doors because if something happens, people need to have access to you, and a locked door makes that really hard to do. This is a hospital after all.

It isn't Tara, its Laden, the smokin' hot orderly. “Hi. I just want to stop by and check in on you. Can I come in?”

OhmyGod, mega hot Laden is actually standing in my room. Since the door has a hinge making it close automatically, he's here in my room, alone, with me, with the door closed. “Yeah, come in. Have a seat.” I don't point to the chair or beside me on the bed. I'm not sure where I want him to sit. My heart is pounding. My body’s heating up and I’m getting flush, I can feel it.

If he sits on the bed, I know that after what happened today, I'll probably try to kiss him. How embarrassing will it be if I make a move on him, and he rejects me because he thinks of me as just a kid? He is older than me after all. Not a lot older, but still.

Laden takes the chair from my desk and turns it so that he's facing me. The chair is so close to me that when he is sits, our knees are touching.

He asks, “Can I take your blood pressure and check your heart rate? I don't know if the nurses have explained to you why we're checking so often. They usually don’t explain unless you ask.” When I shake my head ‘no’, Laden continues, “Well, two reasons really. First, we want to make sure you're healthy, and that you stay that way. Second, if we can get any different fluctuations in your vitals charted, maybe we'll know when a vision will happen, and you can prepare yourself for it. That'd be great, huh?"

Laden looks deeply into my eyes. His baby blues make my stomach flutter. He smiles his sexy smile. Funny thing is, I don’t think he’s trying to smile sexy, his face just is sexy.

I nod, awkwardly. I wanted to say something like, 'you can check my vitals anytime you'd like' or 'please stay here and never leave', but it only came out sounding like an idiotic grunting exhale. I immediately feel the hot flush of redness overcome my face.

He smiles again, but quickly drops his eyes and tries to erase his grin, trying not to embarrass me. Laden shuffles with the paperwork and says, "The nurses are really busy today, and since I'm doing my nursing rotation, they asked if I'd help them out by checking your vitals... all the kids on this floor, not just you. If you'd rather have a certified nurse do it, I won't be offended.”

Of course I want him to take my vitals! I want him to touch me just like he did the last time I saw him. I think my arm is still tingling. “I don't mind. I'm sure you know what you're doing.” Who cares if he knows what he's doing or not. I stick my arm out so that he can wrap the blood pressure thing around my arm, and suddenly realize why he’s fighting off a laugh. So I add quickly, “When you’re taking vitals… I’m sure you know what you’re doing for taking vitals.” I should have just shut up when I had the chance, because a giggle does escape his lips.

He keeps glancing up after he wraps the pressure cuff around my arm, and begins pumping it up. Our eyes keep meeting every time I try to catch a glimpse of his stunning face, perfect lips or silky golden hair.

Laden takes the stethoscope out of his ears then he takes off the arm wrap and writes on the clipboard. He stands up and puts the stethoscope ear pieces near his ears. “Can I listen to your heart?” He gestures for me to let him stick the cold stethoscope under my shirt.

Of course I nod, he is studying to become a nurse, and I should definitely be his practice dummy. My stomach is flipping crazily, and my mind is racing with all kinds of thoughts.

My face must be blood red. I can just imagine what the readings for my heart rate and blood pressure are. I can feel my heart ready to pound out of my chest. If he stands close enough to me, he won’t even need that stethoscope. I take a few deep breaths, trying to slow it down before he listens.

He sticks the stethoscope at the top left side of my back, then to the other side. He brings his arm around to the front of my T-shirt.

Hesitating slightly, he carefully slides his hand and the stethoscope under the collar of my shirt, to the upper right side of my chest. I inhale hard but can't seem to exhale. His touch is so gentle, yet firm. A quiver rushes over me. I close my eyes in an attempt to calm myself down.

Maybe if I'm not looking at his perfect body leaning over me, and I picture some old ugly doctor guy, then maybe my heart rate will go back to normal. But no, that's obviously not going to happen. I exhale hard, making a weird noise.

“Take a deep breath for me.” He asks… I comply. He moves over to the upper left side of my chest. “Again…” I inhale again. He moves the stethoscope under my shirt down my left side, just below my breast. “Can you take one more breath for me?” All I can think is 'OhmyGod, maybe'!

Somehow I manage to inhale once more, so he pulls his hand out of my shirt, then sits back down. He goes to write something down on the clipboard and stops. He looks up at me nervously. “Um, your heart rate is really high. Is that because of me?” He’s looking straight into my eyes so serious, but in a charming, vulnerable way.

Ok... so, I thought my heart was going to pound out of chest before, well I think it definitely will right now. I can hear it in my ears, loud. “Maybe.” I'm not going to say ‘No’, that will be a lie and I fear he'll know it. I'm suddenly very aware that my eyes are wide open, much larger than normal so I try to adjust, but only end up blinking a few times.

He lays the clipboard down on the desk, puts his hand on my cheek, and stares into my eyes. He pulls my face towards his. His lips stop about a millimeter from my lips. OhdearGod, please don't let me puke.

Then our lips touch, soft at first, then he full on kisses me.

His lips feel exactly as I’d imagined so many times before. I thought they'd feel soft, warm, gentle… I was right. My lips part with his, and we mesh them together. His tongue softly explores my mouth. My tongue tenderly stroking his...

His chest touches mine as he lays me back onto my bed with him on top of me. Our lips are frantically kissing. My fingers weave their way through his hair. My other arm is tightly wrapped around his shoulder, as though I'm holding him to me, fearful that if I let go, he’ll disappear and this will have only been a dream.

Is this really happening, or am I imagining this? Holy Crap, I think it's real.

He supports his weight with his one arm so he doesn't crush me, and his other hand is under me, holding my butt. His body somehow slid in between my legs. His hips are gently rocking. The firmness I feel is a full reminder that he is a man. His hand leaves my ass and slides up under my shirt and under my bra. He shifts his weight then his other hand lifts my shirt. His lips leave mine and kiss down to the base of my neck. Reality slaps me... I don't know if I'm ready for this.

A knock on the door shatters the moment, and we spring off the bed, both of us frantically trying to compose ourselves. We are both breathing heavily, and trying to gain control of ourselves. I manage to yell out, “I'll be right there.”

Did that just happen? I almost went to second base in only about five minutes. Ok, so I'm turning into one of 'those' girls. I thought I had more control over myself.

 

Note to self: Control yourself!

 

I take a quick look in the mirror as I run my fingers through my hair in a failed attempt to smooth it. I open the door only a bit.

Todd is standing there. I thought it would be Tara but I can never be that lucky. Please dear God, don't let him feel my emotions. Oh please, oh please. He'll know something's up.

“Oh, I must have fallen asleep. I'll be out in a minute. Are you headed down to the mess hall?” I don't know what to say. Why is he here anyways?

“Are you ok? You look flushed. Your anxiety is really high too. Are you having a migraine?” He's looking at me rather intensely, curiously.

I shake my head, maybe too vigorously. “I'm fine. No migraine. I was just sleeping and you startled me awake. Why are you here anyways? You shouldn’t be here.” That comes out a little too abruptly. Not my intention.

“Um, I thought maybe I could come in, and we could talk about what happened in Concentration Class.” Todd's waiting a moment for me to respond, but I don't know what to say to him. “Can I come in? Are you sure you're ok?”

“No! I mean yes, wait, I'm really alright.” That was a really quick response, too quick. Now he's looking at me weird. What do I say so that he doesn't want to come in. “My room’s a mess, and besides, I don't trust you enough to be alone with you. Not after today. I'm sure you understand why.”

“Yeah, no problem, I understand. Are we good?” He really does look apologetic. I nod ok. “Good. Ok. I'll see you downstairs for dinner. It's pizza and lasagna night.”

After I nod again, Todd slowly walks away and I shut the door. That was so close. I inhale and exhale deeply.

I turn around to see how Laden is doing, but jump when he plants a kiss on me. He was standing right behind me the whole time that I was talking to Todd. No wonder Todd was looking at me so weird, he was probably reading Laden too and had no idea.

Laden's body pushes me against the door. His hands slide under my butt and lift me up, opening my legs around him. I wrap them tightly around his hips, lacing my feet at his back.

Laden grinds his pelvis into me. His muscles are flexed and strong, holding me. His lips, warm and velvety, kiss my neck. This is so hot, it's so bad. Naughty! This is so not me!

I think I'm even more excited just knowing that a simple door is between us and the rest of the world. He can't be seen with me, not like this, he would lose his job and maybe even his career. Not to mention that people would think I'm a slut, after all, I just got here.

Another knock at the door and I jump and squeal a little. “Laura, it's me, Tara. Are you just about ready?”

“I need a few minutes. If you want to go on down without me, that's ok, I'll catch up soon.”

“No, I can wait. Are you getting dressed or can I come in?” Tara is so impatient.

“I'm getting dressed. Just a second, ok?” I’m desperate to keep her out in the hall.

Laden puts me down and moves away from the door and whispers, “She's obviously not going to leave without you, so why don't you go and I'll hang out here until I'm sure the coast is clear, then I'll slip out.”

Sounds like a good plan to me. I run my fingers through my hair, for the second time. I check my make-up and decide to just wipe most of it off; no time to put more on. It doesn’t help when my eyes are red anyway. But when I go to grab the door handle, Laden grabs my hand and pulls me close to him.

“I'll catch up with you another time. Maybe we can continue where we left off, or we can just hang out.” Laden is sooo hot! I can't believe this is happening. He releases my hand, so I open the door just enough for me to slide out and let it close behind me.

Dinner was great. Maybe that’s because I’m still super giddy from what happened with Laden. Not only was the food awesome, but I'm getting to know my group of new friends better. I like them, they're fun.

I'm finally in my room, alone. I have some time to myself. I decide to get caught up on my e-mails. I flip open my computer and wake it from its sleep. I open my social networking account, read up on what my friends are doing, and throw out a few comments on their posts.

Ronny is the only one who's messaged me through Facebook. Not Brian though. He hasn't changed his status in three days. I think he's avoiding me.

I fire off a quick note to Ronny, giving him a quick rundown of how it's going here so far, leaving out the part about Laden, of course. He's just worried that I'm lonely, scared or that they're doing weird experiments on me. I let him know that the experiments are performed at a minimum. Then tell him that I'm only kidding, no experiments. I make it a point to tell him that I still have no answers as to why this is happening to me. Hopefully soon I will.

I open my e-mail account. There are two messages from my mom and one from Brian. I read and reply back to my mom’s e-mails first.

I’m not going to fill her in on exactly what's going on here. How would I explain it anyways? Oh, by the way Mom, I made out with a hot nurse guy who’s older than me... I don’t think so!

I open Brian's e-mail and read it. He's breaking up with me. Ok, I know that I shouldn't feel angry or hurt, especially because of the way that I carried on with Laden, but I am. I'm hurt. I e-mail him back saying that I agree with him anyway, and close up my e-mail. I can’t believe he wasn’t even man enough to do it in person… or even over the phone.

I shut down my computer, then climb into bed, try to put Brian out of my mind, and with the relaxation techniques that I learned, I'm able to force myself to sleep.

 

 

 

CHAPTER TEN

 

 

Beep, beep, beep. Ugh, my cellphone is beeping away; someone's texting me. I roll over to look at the clock and can't believe that someone is waking me up at 6:45 am. It takes me a few minutes to get my bearings.

Beep, beep, beep. “Fine! I hear you already!” I snatch up my phone to see who's bugging me. It's Tara.

I click the message to find out what she thinks is so incredibly important, that she can't wait another fifteen minutes until the tap on the door would wake me up. Ok, so yeah, I'm a little grouchy this morning. I could have had another fifteen minutes of sleep.

Her message reads, 'I'll pick you up at 7:10 so I can show you around the school before breakfast.'

The next message read, 'r u up yet?'

The third message read, 'u can't ignore me all day.'

Beep, beep, beep; another message just coming in, 'ok, I'm coming over to get you up!'

I quickly text back 'No!' and hit return. Quickly writing, 'I'm up! 7:20 is ok' and hit return. Growling under my breath, I force myself out of bed and hit the bathroom for a quick shower.

Sure enough, at 7:15 Tara taps at my door. “Come on in. I just have to brush my teeth; you're early.”

The door pops open and Tara comes bouncing in with two coffees in her hands and a paper. “Nope, I said 7:10 and you said 7:20 so I compromised. I figured you can use a coffee. You seem a little grumpy this morning. Here's some mail for you. It was in your slot.”

I take the paper from her and read it over while I brush. 'Please come to room #19 at 9 this morning. I’m looking forward to meeting you. Dr. Jennifer Adams'.

“Who is Dr. Jennifer Adams? What's her story?” How Tara can understand me with toothpaste in my mouth baffles me.

“She's really nice. I like her. She relaxes you, enough so that you can use your gift to the best of your potential. Like for me, she helps me to leave my body, and guides me in my travels. She's the one who helped me realize that I can hear what people are saying when I'm travelling. I didn't know that before. I only knew that I could see what people were doing. She helped me figure it out. Are you just about ready to go? We're running out of time here.” Tara explains as I hear her shuffling around the bedroom.

I rinse my mouth, throw my purse over my shoulder, and stare at her as she's finishing making my bed. I can't believe she made my bed… she's so nice. “You went down to the mess hall and got us coffee, and you make my bed for me? Alright, I forgive you for waking me up early. Thank you."

Tara giggles, “No problem. Dr. Jennifer, as she likes to be called, might be able to help you see the more important things in your visions, not just the awful things, like death and bodies... eww. Maybe she'll help you learn how to slow the visions down, like in slow motion or something. You did say it was like watching a movie. Maybe it works the same way… play, rewind, fast forward, pause…”

I hope Tara's right. I don't want to be so focused on the horrible stuff. Maybe if I can see through all that, then I might be able to prevent them from happening in the first place.

We wander around the hospital while she tells me about each room, and usually some kind of story that goes along with it, until we come to a room with 'Restricted' written in red letters across the door. Tara stops and stares at the door.

“We aren't allowed in there, we being non-hospital staff. As you can see, we'd need a keycard. I sure would like to get in there though.” Tara seems to lose herself in thought. “It's weird how we're allowed pretty much anywhere in this place, but we're not allowed to go through this door. I just wonder what is so important in there that it has to be locked away. What are they hiding? I mean, locking the door only makes us more curious.”

“So what's the big deal, so they lock it, so what? It's probably just patient records, storage, or maybe that's just where they lock up the staff's purses and junk. Most places provide a spot for employees to lock up their personal items while they work.”

Tara walks closer to me and whispers, “If that's the case, and don't look now, but why would they need a locked door and a camera?” She rolls her eyes up over her head, directing me where the camera is. "Theft has never been a problem here. I mean, we don't even lock our doors, and our computers and other expensive things are in our rooms. As for the camera, why aren't there more of them installed all around the whole hospital and school area? Why just here, in front of this door?" Tara crosses her arms and taps her toe on the floor, making a light tapping noise.

“Yeah, ok, that is weird. Has anyone ever asked?”

“Sure, but the staff just tell us to leave it alone, and stop asking questions. That just makes me want to ask more questions. I'm just nosey like that.” Tugging on the arm that's not holding my almost empty cup of coffee, she adds, “Let's get out of here before someone comes and escorts us out.”

“Hey Tara why don’t you just drift through the Restricted door?” I ask.

“Oh, no. I never go where I’m not invited. That would be rude. At least that’s how I was raised. I don’t know. I never actually thought about it. I guess it’s worth thinking about, maybe.” Tara seems scared kind of like a kid about to get caught with their hand in the candy drawer.

As we wander back through the corridors on our way to the mess hall, Tara continues with the tour. I'll never remember everything she tells me, but it gives me a good start. It doesn't look like I'll get lost to easily if I ever have to go to this area again; the floor plan is pretty easy to catch onto.

Breakfast is great. I have my favorite cereal, and some fruit, while everyone tells me about their stories of how the wonderful Dr. Jennifer helps them out. I really am looking forward to meeting with her in…

“OhmyGod! I have five minutes to get to Dr. Jennifer's office. I have to go guys.” Everyone looks up at the clock and shoots up out of their chairs too. Everyone lost track of time and we are all going to be late.

 

Note to self: Appoint someone to be the time-watcher.

 

I almost run down the corridor to room #19. I suck in a deep breath, in an attempt at trying to slow my heart rate down, before I rap on the door. Under her name is a sign hanging from a chain that says 'open for visitors'. Tap, tap.

“Come on in Darlin'.” I open the door and step inside. Before I can close the door, she asks, “Sweetie can you just flip that sign over, please and thank you.”

I flip the sign, and read that side, 'Silence, Please, come back later'. I shut the door quietly behind me.

Her room looks like an old library, with hundreds of books that line the wall, floor to ceiling, on dark wood shelving. Her desk looks as though it were hand-carved, matching the big wooden chair that sits behind it. The floor has an old-style wool rug that stretches almost the full length of the room. The lazy-boy chair looks like the only thing in here that's made in this era.

Walking towards me is a short woman in her mid-fifties, but with a full head of grey hair. She can't possibly weigh more than ninety pounds soaking wet. Her smile is big and friendly, just like my friends had said it was. I can't help but smile back at her.

She takes the purse from over my shoulder, and sets it down on the table beside the door. “So you're Laura, huh? Well, it's nice to finally put a face to the name. I'm Dr. Jennifer Adams, but please just call me Dr. Jennifer, ok?”

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you too. Have you read all these books?” Most of the books look really old and well worn.

“Yup, every single one of them. Took me a lot of years too. Please, take a load off.” She points at the lazy-boy as she walks back to her desk.

I sit in the big burgundy lazy-boy as she goes on explaining why I'm here. “Well Laura, I'm here to try and help you learn how to use your gift in such a way that you'll get the most out of it. I figure that there must be some cosmic reason why all you kids are having these afflictions. Maybe you all are here to save the world one day. Maybe it's all the preservatives that are being put in our food now-a-days. Who knows? But if it is to save the world, then I would like you all to have the best knowledge possible, so the world doesn't cave in and kill us all.” She giggles.

Dr. Jennifer has a way of putting things. I like her. She's a normal type of person, straight forward, no bullshit. Maybe while she's learning all she can learn from me, I can learn as much as I can from her. After all, if she's read this many books on psychological studies, I should really pay attention.

My mind shifts back to the 'Restricted' room that Tara showed me earlier, and no matter how hard I try, I just can't imagine Dr. Jennifer being up to some evil plot against us kids. I truly don't think she has a mean bone in her body.

“Ok, let's get started, shall we? Flip the leg-rest up, and lay back my dear. Take a break. I'm sure you could use one.” Again, with the giant smile. “We'll start every session with deep breathing, kind of like when you're in Concentration Class, but if you fall asleep here, I shoot spitballs at you until you wake up.” Giggles come from both of us. She can't be serious… although, she might be.

“Start with some deep breathing, and I'll talk. You focus in on my voice, ok? Then I'll ask you some questions, and you can answer them the best way you can, without thinking too hard.” I start breathing deeply, while she's talking.

“I'd like you to imagine that you're standing directly in front of a huge wall, and on this wall is nothing but white paint. Imagine yourself reaching your hand out and touching the white wall. Now, I'd like you to imagine turning your head to the left. You’ll see that the white wall curves all the way around. Now I'd like you to imagine turning your head to the right, and see the white wall curves all the way around to your right. Now imagine turning your head up towards the sky. Imagine that the white wall is really high. Imagine that the ceiling is also painted white. Now, I'd like you to keep breathing deeply, and take a step backwards. The wall is still white. Take a few more steps backward. Imagine that you can see colours and shapes. Take a few more steps backwards. Now turn your head to the left and see that now the walls have something on them. Turn your head to the right. Something is on that wall too. When you look straight forward, and take a few more steps back, the picture starts to come in clearer. Can you see a picture forming?”

I can actually see something. How is she doing this? “Yeah.”

“Take a few more deep breaths, when you're comfortable enough, take a few more steps back. Look all around you, and when you feel like you can, start describing what you see on the walls.”

I take a few steps back, and realize where I am, I'm in the food court; the same food court that I saw collapse in my last vision. “I'm scared. I have to get out of here!” Panic is starting to take over me.

“You are perfectly safe. Nothing can hurt you. Remember that you are only looking at painted walls. When you get scared, take a step forward and everything will stop. When you feel like you can continue, take a step back again.”

I take a deep breath and look around the food court. “There's a woman in front of me with two little kids, twins maybe, about three years old. There's an old man eating alone. A group of girls are about thirteen years old. Three men in work clothes eating kind of fast.”

“I'd like you to look around and read signs. Is there a sign with the name of a city on it? Is there a sign with the name of the mall? Do you see a store or restaurant with a name that you don't recognize? Remember that you can turn your head, and look all around you. You can walk around and look for a sign. Maybe there is one around the next corner.”

“I can't move. My body can't move. I don't see anything saying what city I'm in. There is a store called 'Campichamps'; I don't recognize the name at all. There's no other sign.” I feel like I'm watching a movie, from inside the movie film. This is amazing.

“Now, take another look around to see if anything looks out of the ordinary. Is there anything out of place, or threatening in any way?” I can hear Dr. Jennifer, but her voice sounds hallow and like it's really far away; getting farther away. I have to concentrate more and more to hear her. I try to stay with her.

“There's a worker with a big plastic bin on wheels and he's putting trash in it while he pushes it through the food court. I guess that's not out of place.” I start to take another look around, when the floor starts to shake, then stops. “The floor shook! People are looking around at one another. The floor is shaking again! Everyone is getting up. Dust is falling from the ceiling. The floor is shaking really hard, and the ceiling is starting to fall down. Oh no! Those kids, their mom! They're under a big slab of ceiling. OhmyGod!”

“Laura, take a step forward, and then take a deep breath in.” Dr. Jennifer's faint voice shocks me back to realizing that it is not really happening, that it's just like a movie; not real.

A haze fills the food court, and then little by little, the scene unfolds through the dust and floating debris. It instantly slows down when I take a slow step forward, towards the movie screen, so to speak.

I continue talking to Dr. Jennifer, describing what I see. “I'm ok. It doesn't look like a bomb went off, or anything like that. It looks like an earthquake has shaken the building so hard that the ceiling has fallen down. That’s what it is. There must be a really big earthquake about to hit somewhere.”

Confident that I will not be afraid, or at least trying to tell myself that, I take a step back.

Blackness engulfs me. Colours rush past me, until I’m being thrown through the bubble. The scene immediately starts to play right where it left off from. I blink hard, trying to force myself to not look at the bodies and the blood. I try to only look straight or up, not down.

"There are huge chunks of cement from the ceiling on top of people. The railing that surrounds the second floor has partially fallen. I don't know if anyone fell from there." I talk, hoping that Dr. Jennifer can still hear me.

I turn my face to the left and scream loud enough that I shock myself. Horror! I see something that scares me so much that I scream louder than I ever have in my whole life.

In a matter of a split second, I'm being sucked out of the bubble, back through the colours, into the blackness. My eyes fly open, spinning me back to reality. Even though I'm awake and sitting up in the safety of the lazy-boy chair, I'm still screaming, shaking and trying to run away. If my legs weren't so shaky, I just might have been able to. I've never been so terrified in all my life.

Dr. Jennifer has my face in her hands and she's looking straight into my eyes. “You're ok, nothing can hurt you here. When you think you can… tell me, what did you see?”

I'm still panting and crying. I try to tell her. “A man… he was bleeding, really badly. His ear was hanging off, and he had blood coming out of his mouth. He was covered in blood… all over his clothes. It's the same man that I saw eating alone.”

I can't help but sob. The horror of seeing that man is being changed into sadness. He must hurt so badly. It looks so painful. “He scared the hell out of me. Why was he standing there? Why next to me?”

Dr. Jennifer hands me a tissue and tries to comfort me. “The man can't hurt you. He doesn't even know that you're there. Remember that you were only witnessing the event, and not actually participating in it.”

I look up at her and my eyes feel heavy. “Then why did he look right at me and say, 'Young lady, can you help me?'”

All the blood seems to be leaving Dr. Jennifer's face. Her eyes are huge, and her mouth is moving, but words aren't coming out. She stands and walks quickly over to the window and whips open the drapes, blasting sunshine throughout the room. My eyes are burning. I can hardly hold them open.

I wait quietly for what seems like ten minutes, but is probably more like two, until she stops scanning the books on her shelves before she actually says anything.

“Did he actually talk to you, or do you think that just by coincidence he might be talking to someone that you can't see? Perhaps someone is standing on the other side of you?” Dr. Jennifer is leaning on her desk, looking back at her books. I think she's searching for a particular one.

“He was talking to me. There was nobody else around me, I'm sure of it. He was standing right beside me. I could have touched him if I was actually there. It scared the shit out of me. I don't want that to happen again. It won't happen again, right?” I am desperate for her to tell me, to promise me, that indeed it never will. But she doesn't. She stares at me for moment, but doesn't say anything. I take that to mean that it probably will happen again.

“I have read about this before, I’ve personally never experienced having a patient do it. If I could just find that particular book... Here it is.” She takes the book from one of the lower shelves, and holds it gently. She’s smiling at it, like it’s an old friend that she hasn't seen in a very long time.

The cover is brown, with small printed words on the front that I can’t read from so far away. When she opens the book it makes a crackling sound. It is obviously extremely old. The pages are yellowish and the writing is very faded.

“Can I use the bathroom? I'd really like to splash some cold water on my face.” Before she even says that I can, I'm up out of the lazy-boy and picking up my purse, heading to the little washroom that's just past her desk. She doesn't say whether I can use it or not, she's too busy carefully flipping pages. Her lips move silently, as she reads little bits off each of the page, searching for something in particular.

I look into the mirror and can't believe how horrible I look. My eyes are so bloodshot, and the reddish-purple under my eyes is even more emphasized by the intense paleness of my skin. I splash some water on my face and decide to use the toilet while I'm in there.

I hear Dr. Jennifer mumbling from the other room. I hope she doesn't think that I'm still sitting in the chair, and that she's talking to me. She is pretty engrossed in that book, so maybe she does.

I shudder when I picture that man's bloody face so close to mine. I just can't believe that I didn't pee my pants. The way his ear was hanging, and the blood that was flowing down from his head, was gruesome. My body shivers again.

I come out of the bathroom after several minutes. Dr. Jennifer is still flipping through the book. I ask her, “Is it ok if I go now? I don't want to do that again today, I really don’t.”

She looks up from her book and says, “I'm going to read through this book again, and leave little notes where there is important information, so that you can read those pages... if you want to. Otherwise, I'll just fill you in on what I find out. Maybe we can learn something that might help us make your journeys much more pleasurable, and not so terrifying.”

Dr. Jennifer looks up at me, and realizes that I’m just standing there, looking too terrified to even consider purposely going back into that vision, let alone ever think it may ever be even remotely pleasurable.

She drops her voice down, and calmly adds, “If we can discover how to enable communication between you and someone else, if indeed he was actually talking to you, perhaps you'll be able to talk to him. It sounds impossible because you're not actually there in your physical person. It'll take me a day or two though.”

“Is that a book about what's happening to me? Please tell me that someone else has been in this situation before.” I am desperate for any help I can get.

“Well, there are theories and claims, but I don't think there has actually been any solid proof of being recognized in visions. I will keep searching, though. If I find anything, I'll drop this book in your mail slot as soon as I'm finished with it. If you don't want to read it, drop it back off to me, and leave me a note. We can schedule an appointment for you to come in and we'll discuss it.” I turn to leave her office and she calls out to me, “Just wait a moment dear, I called to have your orderly, Laden, come walk you back to your room. I just don't want you alone right now, in case this session brings on a migraine, and throws you right back into a vision. Not that I think it will, but just to be on the side of caution.”

She called Laden? Great! I look like death, and he's coming to see me. So far, this day is just crapping all over me.

“Hello, hello.” Laden comes strolling in the door all smiles, until of course he sees how awful I look. “Wow, you look like you've been given a beating. I hope you got a few good swings in. How do you feel?” He laughs, then takes my wrist, and begins counting my heartbeats. Then holds up his finger, and tells me to follow it with my eyes, while he moves it from left to right, and back left again. Although it hurts, I can still do it.

He looks straight into my eyes. The whole world around us disappears. Until of course, he pulls down my bottom eyelids and tells me to look up.

“Yup, she's blown a few vessels in and around her eyes, but otherwise she seems ok. Even still, I'll take her back to her room and keep an eye on her for a while.” He flashes me a glance and a wink.

Without even looking up from her book, Dr. Jennifer says, “Good to know that all is good with you Laura. Try not to think about what happened here today. Put it as far out of your mind as possible, so that you don't have a nightmare tonight when you're sleeping. I'll pick up with you later sweetheart.”

And with that, Laden and I leave her office.