Chapter 2 of The Forsaken is now up for your reading pleasure! If you want to leave a comment, please feel free to do so!
I woke again thinking of her. This feeling welled up inside my heart until a slight moan of anguish passed my lips. It felt as though that sound was earsplitting, able to shatter glass, but it was only a whisper. My body was tense and rigid. I must have had that dream again.
There were two distinct dreams that I had of Rayna. One of them was on a beach in my hometown of Australia. It was sunny and the wind was crisp and cool. In the distance I would see her. She would wave to me with a smile on her face. I knew that she was beckoning me to join her as if nothing between us had changed. For a moment, in those dreams, we were happy. There was no Gift and there was no Jayce. It was only she and I.
When I had those there was a part of me that was vaguely aware that it was just a dream. However, there was a part of me that was oblivious to that very important fact. Upon waking, when reality settled in, it felt like something was ripped from my chest. My emotions were raw and vulnerable. A piece of my heart seemed to die each time.
Then there was the nightmare. Rayna and I were always inside some old structure, something made of stone. It was cold and the floor was wet with freezing water. When I looked at her she would always be crying. Her soft purple dress would be covered in blood. She would always have this purplish light on her skin. When I would look behind me I saw moonlight shining brightly through a stained-glass window.
Then we were suddenly transported to The Landing. Rayna would still be crying, but there would be this eerie smile on her face. It was as if she were still behind those soft, brown eyes, but something else or someone else was controlling her body. That would be when she would jab a long, sharp blade into my chest.
When I woke up from this nightmare I always felt sick. There was this sickly sweet smell that always filled my senses. It was no different this morning. I had to run for the window and open it up, letting in the fresh salty sea air. Inhaling deeply, I let the wind wash through me. I rested my arms on the windowsill, bowing my head as the nightmare played in my memories.
There was a sound of a bird chirping and I looked up. The sun was peaking over the horizon, bringing memories back that I wanted to stay buried. Sleep was still clinging to my senses and I could tell it would be for a while.
It actually surprised me that I was sleeping more these days. I don’t know what the change was, but I couldn’t say it was good. I think I would rather not sleep than sleep and dream of her. Then again, it was the only way I could see her face. The only way to feel close to her was to see her in times of slumber. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t healthy, but it was all I had.
I wasn’t sure what the dreams meant. I knew without a doubt that Rayna would never hurt me like that. She may have torn my heart out of my chest, figuratively, but she wasn’t capable of physically hurting me.
I knew that she thought that’s what would happen to me if I stuck around. Try as I might, she wouldn’t believe me when I told her that we could find a way to work around it. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to make sure that she was safe just as there was nothing she would do for me. Yet, she pushed me away and how can you help someone who doesn’t want help? How can you be there for someone who doesn’t want you around?
There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Rayna loved me. She had made it clear when we were together. The way she smiled at me, how she held my hand, I could feel her love the way I felt the sun upon my skin at this moment, warm and pure.
It was hard to think about that right now. Honestly, I just couldn’t afford to think of it. If I allowed myself to begin to wallow I would never stop. Rayna had taken so much out of me. It wasn’t hard for me to let her in and once I did it was hard to come back.
“Dude, close that window,” my roommate, Henry, said to me. “It’s bloody cold.”
“Sorry,” I said and shut the window.
“I was sleeping so well,” he mumbled into his pillow. “And was having the best dream. I was on an island, finished with school, touring the world in my rock band, surrounded by beautiful women.”
“You’ll get over it,” I said and tossed a pillow over at him. “You need to get up anyway. We’re going to be late for class.”
“What time is it?” he jumped up. “I thought I set my alarm.”
“It didn’t go off,” I informed him.
“Great!” Henry exclaimed and then started moving around the room like a tornado, finding something clean to wear.
I liked Henry. I had gotten to know him fairly well since starting classes at the University in Australia. He was in most of the same classes as me. He was a music major as well and could play the bass guitar like nobody’s business. We had a few jam sessions outside of class too and I was filling in as lead guitar in his band while his buddy, Abe, was recovering from a terrible car wreck.
“If we’re late again Professor Krimble is going to murder us,” he told me.
“Well we wouldn’t want that now would we?” I asked sarcastically at his overdramatic reaction.
“No, definitely not,” he answered seriously.
This made me laugh. Henry was one of those people who was perpetually nervous. He was also very scattered. There were times I wondered how he was able to function. Then when I saw him play the guitar all of that nervousness seemed to wash away. He was an entirely different person; he was very calm and smooth.
The girls loved him. His voice was smooth and I had seen him on many occasions giving out winks, which made the girls in the audience swoon. He wasn’t a vile person, but he took advantage of his charms. Henry came home with numbers and more than a few kisses. I didn’t envy him. There was only one person whose kiss I desired.
“Aren’t you going to get ready?” he asked running a very pale hand through his light red hair.
“I’ll meet you there,” I told him and lay back down.
“You know Professor Krimble isn’t going to let you forget it if you’re late again,” Henry said as he rushed around picking up things he needed. “Even if you are Dr. Jackson Cole’s son.”
“I didn’t think anyone cared about that fact,” I rolled my eyes.
“Your father donated a large sum of money to this school when you enrolled,” Henry pointed out. “Everyone cares about that.”
“Well, I don’t,” I said, hearing the irritation in my voice.
I wondered if I would ever be able to go somewhere without people knowing who I was or who my father was. It was the same story and had been my entire life. It always seemed that my father had to have his presence on everything. I couldn’t just have something for me. The only way my father would even agree to allow me to attend the arts-minded university was if he could put his stamp of approval on it and that stamp was a donation.
It actually was a shock that he agreed so quickly. A part of me wondered if it wasn’t because he knew that something had happened to me after Rayna and I broke up. He wanted to send me as far away from her as possible I suppose. It wasn’t because he was concerned for my broken heart; he just wanted me to finish college.
In a way I understood where my father was coming from. If I had a 19-year-old kid I would want him to go to college instead of following after a girl who didn’t want him. It’s just that Rayna wasn’t just any girl; she was more than that. I wanted to scream at him because he didn’t seem to understand or care about that fact. He would never understand the things that she had to go through and still goes through.
Again, I had to get that out of my head. I couldn’t be there for her if she didn’t let me. I had to just go on with life until she realized that we could be together. I just wasn’t sure how long it would take.
I took a longer shower than I really needed after Henry left. Grabbing my bag I headed out of the door into the cold January air. Pulling my leather jacket tighter around myself I walked toward Dr. Krimble’s class. I would be late, I was sure, and I knew he would threaten me, but I honestly didn’t care.
Dr. Krimble taught music history. While I enjoyed the subject matter I didn’t necessarily enjoy his teaching of it. He was dry, humorless and pompous. He abused his knowledge by treating those he taught with disdain. It was as if he expected all of us to know everything before having the chance to study and if we didn’t then we were treated like idiots.
I gratefully entered the hall, my shoes echoing all around me, escaping the cold wind. The heat greeted me but still somehow I felt chilled to the core. It could be because I knew I’d be entering the Ice King’s dimension soon.
Opening the door to the class Dr. Krimble looked up and narrowed his eyes at me. As I made my way to my seat next to Henry I tried my best to avoid eye contact with him.
“Ah, Mr. Cole,” he began. “So nice of you to join us. I hope my class didn’t interrupt your beauty rest.”
“Not at all, sir,” I said as I sat down, shrugging my bag off of my shoulder.
“Mr. Cole, you might not care to come to class on time because your father paid for your entire tuition, but there are those of us who have had to pay our own way,” he snarled at me. “Considering the fact that there are students here who have had to pay for this class and want to get their money’s worth, without being interrupted by spoiled, rich brats, it would be in your best interests to get here on time.”
And there it was, laid out there for my entire class to hear. Of course, I had brought this on myself by being late more than once. I could sit here and say it really wasn’t my fault since I had felt so sluggish lately, but that would be cowardly of me. Yet, he wasn’t as concerned with his other students as he claimed. He was just ready to jump on the chance to call me out because he viewed me just as he said. Spoiled. Rich. Brat.
He wanted me to back down. I guess he thought by insulting me the way he did I was supposed to crawl back into my shell and hide away from him. Instead, I merely smirked at him. Dr. Krimble sneered at me.
“I can see my words of truth mean nothing to you, Mr. Cole,” he walked toward the bottom of the platform he stood on. “If that is the case, then you can leave my class until you learn how to get here on time, otherwise I’ll kick you out of my class.”
“If that is the case, Dr. Krimble,” I said before realizing it. “How will you ever know if I have learned my lesson if you never let me come back?”
There were snickers from all around me. Henry snorted until he was choked on his own breath. When Dr. Krimble’s face turned an unnatural shade of red I knew I was in big trouble. He walked right up to me and looked me square in the face.
“Get…out…” he whispered, but it was worse than a yell.
I realized what I had just done and felt terrible for it. My anger and torment had provoked me to publicly insult and disrespect him. This wasn’t in my nature. I was the easy going one, the calm one. Yet, here I was, acting like a spoiled, rich brat.
“Sorry,” I said in a low voice, grabbed my stuff and left the room.
I huffed as I walked out the door and down the hall. There was no doubt that my father would hear about this and would be giving me a call. As my feet echoed across the long, empty hall I silently chided myself for playing into Dr. Krimble’s game.
Suddenly, there was a chill at my back as if a breeze had found its way in from the outside. Turning around I looked to see if…if what? If I was being honest with myself I halfway thought there was someone standing behind me. I looked from left to right, but there was nothing and no one.
I furrowed my brows, wondering why I had suddenly become so paranoid. Pulling my bag higher up on my shoulder I turned back around and continued walking. I rounded the corner and nearly screamed like a girl. There was a girl standing in front of me who actually screamed, well, you know, like a girl.
“Oh no!” she yelped, dropping her belongs on the floor.
Her instrument case had busted open and her violin had slid across the concrete floor. I watched in horror as it hit up against the other side of the hall and cracked down the middle. The girl went over to it hurriedly, as if that might reverse time and save the instrument. She kneeled down and picked the violin up in her hands.
“I am so sorry,” I said, picking up her other belongings as I spoke.
She didn’t say anything as she stood up. The girl turned and looked at me with tears in her soft brown eyes. One fell down a slightly freckled cheek. There was so much pain and despair in that tear. Her light red hair fell in her eyes as she looked back down at the mangled violin in her hands, which she held like a wounded child.
“I…I don’t know what…I’m so sorry,” she stammered.
“You’re sorry?” I asked, confused.
“I should’ve watched where I was going,” she said, as more tears fell down her face. “I’m sorry. Oh great, what am I going to do? I don’t know what to do.”
“About what?” I asked. “Your instrument? I’m sure you can get it fixed.”
“I don’t know how,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
She shoved the violin back into the case, grabbed her things from me and stormed off down the hall. I could hear her whimpering all the way as I stood there watching her. She seemed so lost. It hit me all of sudden why she was so distraught. She had said that she didn’t know how to fix her instrument and I knew why.
“Hey! Hey! Wait up!” I called after. “Hey!”
She had already made her way outside. I ran after her into the cold winter air, not paying attention to the fact that it had begun to lightly rain. She turned to look at me as I came to a stop in front of her.
“Hey, listen,” I started, out of breath. “I think I can help you. It was my fault that you dropped your violin. The least I can do is pay for it to be fixed.”
“What?” she sniffled. “No, don’t be absurd, really.”
“Don’t be prideful,” I said back.
She stopped short, taken aback by my frankness.
“I don’t know what to say,” she remarked, still sniffling.
“Just say that you’ll agree to me taking you to the repair shop tomorrow,” I smiled at her.
“Yeah, sure, thank you so much…” she said.
“Liam Cole,” I said shaking her hand. “And you are?”
“Angel,” she smiled. “Angel Rodchester.”