It's ok to dream...

...until you find the real you. Forever and always.

Willow had always tried to fit in to the crowd; make new friends; pretend she was the happiest of girls in the world. But it never really worked, not really. She'd always had a passion for obtaining her ultimate dream: the perfect life, and now she's almost sure she can do it...

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7. The Diamond Necklace

"Willow," I hear a voice echo in and out of my ears, "Willow?"

I suddenly feel a twank of energy, blood bolting through my skin, and my eyes shoot open, my mother's face in front of me. She looks like she's been crying, though it's hard to tell, and I look to my left, noticing my arm is bandaged up.

"What, what, happened to me?" I manage to say, whilst my mother helps me to sit up right in the bed that I'm lying in.

"Hush, hush, you'll be fine. The doctor's been here for a while now." Hearing this, I nearly choke on the banana my mother's now handed me, to give me more energy.

"Doctor?" I say, in between bites of banana.

"Yes, I think you got bitten by something down there in the cellar. It was terrible! I think you'll have a scar forever now." She says, fiddling around with my hair, though I constantly push her away.

" Evil rats..." I mutter, nodding my head.

"What?" My mother questions, but before I can answer more loudly, the doctor enters, holding a cup of water. She hands it to me, and I take a slurp, before gulping it all down.

"You need to rest for a while. Whatever was down there did some nasty damage. If it wasn't for this boy that saved you, you'd probably be..." The doctor explains, but I stop listening before she says the horrible word, thinking more about what she had said before. 'The boy that saved me'. What boy? I figure saying this aloud would be more helpful, so I do.

"Well he said he was walking along the sidepath outside the cellar," the doctor says, smiling kindly, "and he heard somebody screaming. He noticed it was coming from the cellar, and that the window was open. So he jumped in, and saw that you were hurt. He pressed down on the bite, stopping the blood pouring out, and bandaged it up himself, before getting your mother who was upstairs in the bath with the radio on to call the doctor's surgery. Your sister was out at a party, and your brother was outside. It's lucky that boy heard you, because if he hadn't, you would be..." I stop listening then, as usual. I don't know what it is about the word 'dead', but I hate it whenever it's mentions. I guess it's part of life, and I'm not so immature that I'll never say it, it's just I never like thinking about it. It's depressing.

"Oh," I say, feeling I have to say something in response.

"He saved your life," My mother repeats, "Aren't you grateful?"

"Of course I am," I say, "I would just like to know who this boy is, so I can thank him personally."

The doctor sighs. "I'm afraid this is not possible. He left as soon as he knew you were ok, and we have no form of contact."

I swivel my body around, so my legs are out from under the cover. I notice that I'm in my own room, but in my sister's bed - as it's closer to the floor - and that the doctor has come to us. I place my hands either side of me, pushing myself up. I ignore the 'What are you doing?' from the doctor, and the 'You need to rest...' from my mother, and carry on out my room, stumbling down the stairs.

I walk over to the cellar door, pulling it open, and switching the cellar light on, making my way down the steps. I search around for any sign of Austin, but he isn't there. I fall to my knees, just as my mother and the doctor appear in the doorway.

"What are you doing?" The doctor repeats, just as I notice a little box on the floor addressed to me, which I slide into my pocket, secretly.

"I want to find him." I say quietly.

"Well it's not possible." The doctor says, again. "We tried to..."

"I want to find him," I interrupt, slightly raising my voice.

"Willow..."

"I want to find him." I say louder, getting frustrated.

"Darling, you..." My mother starts.

"I want to find him!" I shout, grabbing a book from the shelf and chucking it in my mother and the doctor's direction. They duck, and it hits the wall. I bang my fist on the floor in anger, and they begin to take the stairs back to the house.

"Let's give her some alone time," My mother says, and although the doctor seems wary, she soon agrees, and they walk off, leaving me all alone in the cellar.

I reach for the box in my pocket, bringing it to my face. I look at the swirly writing on top, forming the name of 'Willow'. I smile, opening it up cautiously. I don't know what I was expecting really, but I definitely wasn't expecting this.

Inside, lies a precious, studded-diamond necklace, it's chain swirled around beside it. "It's beautiful," I whisper, ever-so-gently lifting it up from the case and holding it up, the diamond glinting in the light. It reminds me of the ones I'd seen in jewelery shops. The ones I'd always go inside to look at, but the ones I'd never thought I'd be able to hold, quite like this, because they're almost too expensive to buy, or even wear.

After fussing over how beautiful it is, I suddenly notice a small piece of paper stuck to the lid inside, and decide to open it up, hoping it will reveal some more. The writing scribbled on it seems different to the one on the top of the case - hurried, rushed. It's faded slightly, and my eyes read on, nevertheless, one line to the next.

Willow,

I never thought 'd have to break this to you, that I would finally have to leave you, but here I am now, doing that very thing. It was heart-breaking leaving you here, suffering from what seemed like a rat bite, but all I needed to know was that you were ok, before I had to continue my journey. I've always loved you, Willow, since the day I met you. But things have changed, and now I'm no longer with you. The necklace is a present that I've left for you, so wear it when you want me, and I'll be by your side. Forever and always.

Austin xxx

My heart skips a beat, and a small teardrop begins to fall, sliding down my cheek, before dripping down onto the paper before me. My finger traces the words 'Forever and always', over and over again. How could he leave me like this, and so sudden? Just after he'd saved my life. It seems fantasy, all a dream, but I know it's something really happening, which can't help but make me feel worse.

I carefully fold the paper back up, placing it in the lid again. I hold the necklace up once more, the diamond seeming perfect, the one thing in my life that has been. I'd always wanted to be perfect, just like this diamond necklace, but now I realise it's not about being perfect all the time, it's just about feeling it.

I bring the necklace close, holding it to my chest. As I place it around my neck, letting it touch my timid skin, I feel a sudden burst of happiness. The kind of happiness I feel when Austin is around. I smile, letting the feel of it run free through my body. I know that some people really do have the perfect life - perfect family, perfect looks, perfect boyfriends - but the perfect life to me can just be this. Capturing the heart from someone you love, and holding it with you. Forever and always.

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