Always Midnight

Madison Johnson's life changes the moment she lays eyes on Christian Watson. Christian is unlike any boy Madison has ever met in her life, he's a guy with a secret-he's a vampire with a deadly past. When they fall in love, Christian's past soon makes its way into their future together. As his past catches up to him, Madison must decide how much she will sacrifice to be with the man she loves.

Copyright © 2011


5. Nightmare (pt 2)


I continued to sit at the table not able to move. Instantly, my heart broke in half and I could already feel the tears running down my face. What the hell was my problem? Why did I feel heartbroken about a boy I’ve only talked to a couple of times? I never should’ve told him, he probably thinks I'm crazy, not that I blame him. In that one pure moment of honesty, I'd let down a guard I've kept up most of my life. Others have tried to penetrate it but never succeeded and yet I'd let a stranger into a very small section in my heart. Exposing a vulnerability I never realized I had, into feelings that I never experienced before. Feelings that were pure, a tad confusing to decipher but powerful. Slowly, I went back up to my room, crawled into my bed ,though it was early and for the first time in a long time, cried myself to sleep. 

I woke up Saturday morning, hoping that yesterday didn’t happen, willing myself to believe it was just a dream. I had almost convinced myself until I saw how red my eyes were and every scene replayed in my head. I decided a nice hot shower would wake me up, but instead it made me tired. After I got dressed, I went downstairs to find a note attached to the refrigerator. 
-Madison, had to go back to work, I came home earlier than expected last night but you were already sleeping, if you’re not feeling better today take some Tylenol and drink lots of fluids. I love you honey, call you later.
I might do a double tonight…probably won’t be home until tomorrow morning but I will let you know later on today. I left you money for food and in case you needed something else okay? Love You! XOXO Mommy

I didn’t want to stay inside all day because physically I was fine but mentally I was a mess. I decided spending time with Lillian and Dean would cheer me up, I was tired of being alone all the time. I called Lillian first and then Dean, happy that they both agreed to see me. We all agreed to meet at the local 24/7 diner to meet for breakfast. We sat down at our normal table and ordered our food; I could tell they were waiting for me to fill them in on what happened between Christian and I. Lillian watched me, with a sympathetic smile, and Dean stared at me patientily. I took a deep breathe and told them a vague description of what happened. As I told them, I could hear how scratchy my voice sounded, and how hard I tried to keep the pain out of my voice. I fooled Dean but Lillian knew better than to fall for my acting. 

“Oh Maddie, I'm sorry he didn't feel the same way. You did the right thing, you put yourself out there and that takes courage. You will get through this, I promise.” She assured me. 

“Yea MJ you’re hot anyway it’s not like you can’t get another guy. This guy doesn’t know what he’s missing if you ask me. You're the queen bee at Maple High, and this guy probably is imitated by that.” Dean told me, it wasn't heartfelt as Lillian's but I gave Dean points for trying. 

“Thanks you guys, I would be lost without you two. But this whole situation wouldn’t have happened if I‘d kept my mouth shut. Christian isn’t the bad guy here it’s my fault, he has a girlfriend anyway. I never thought I'd be that type of girl. Honestly, I don’t know what came over me it was like I had no control of myself. My mind was telling me to stay away but my heart, my stupid heart told me that how I felt made sense. It’s weird, it was like I was under a spell or love potion. And now I have to go to school and deal with seeing him in the halls!” I whined, realizing how uncomfortable school was about to become. 

I noticed our waiter coming back with our breakfast. “Can we take a break from the Christian talk?” I asked, anxious to eat and think about something not so complicated. 

I could see that Lillian wanted to continue but Dean came to my rescue. “Yeah, whatever you want Maddie.” He told me, giving a warning look to Lillian.

I deliberately ate slowly in order to avoid talking about Christian. As I chewed my food I was thinking about what other distractions I could preoccupy myself with today. My thoughts were interrupted when Lillian, already done with her meal looked at me. 

“I know you’re eating slowly because you don’t want to talk about it anymore, and I won’t force you to talk. I only want you to know that I am here for you and I don’t want you to stress about the situation. In fact, how about after we do some retail therapy and if you want to get out of your house then you can spend the night at mine.” She told me.

“Thanks Lilly you're a good friend to me what would I be like, without you?”

“A ratchet hot mess.” She smiled at me and I couldn’t help but smile back.

“Yeah I would. And tonight spending the night at your house sounds great but I need some alone time how about Sunday night though? We don’t have school on Monday.”

“I have another date Sunday night with Jensen.” Her smile widened and she didn’t notice Dean scowling next to her. 

“Oh, how about next weekend?” I asked quickly trying to come to a solution. I didn’t want to encourage her to talk more about Jensen when Dean was obviously jealous. 

“Well…” Lillian started but Dean cut her off.

“You guys can’t have a sleep over next weekend do you know what next Saturday is?” He asked incredulously. 

I tried to recall what he was talking about and I could see Lillian trying to remember too. Dean glanced first to Lillian’s blank stare then to mine, frustrated he shook his head and moaned. 

“Guys, it’s our annual camping trip!” He exclaimed. 

The light in my head went off, I couldn’t believe I forgot. Before I left for Georgia, we would all get together and camp out in one of our backyards as kids. It’s always been our little tradition that I had missed when I moved. I was happy when I came back; we usually went the second weekend after school started. When I was gone, they had stopped camping without me. I was excited, we would be camping by Oasis Pond, we’ve all been there hiking but never spent the night there. Over the past two years, we went to other campsites, so I was ecstatic to finally be going to Oasis Pond and the Forbidden Forest. The thought of being with my friends made me feel very lucky.   “Have I told you guys lately how much I love you? You guys are truly the best.” I took each of their hands into mine and smiled.

We paid our check and I said goodbye to Dean and Lillian once we got outside. I figured it would do some good to visit the library and read the new Dean Koontz book. I drove to the library appreciating the scenery as I drove by the forest; even though I hated the weather here in Maple Falls, I couldn’t deny the beauty in this town. This town was huge in size and everything was spaced out, but people here knew each other by names. It didn’t take me long to reach the library, I parked in the nearly deserted parking lot. I walked inside through the main entrance and the smell of books and coffee assaulted my senses, I loved the smell of a library. Maybe today day would be a good day for me, I thought optimistically, as I walked over to the mystery section. I was in there for quite a while searching for the perfect book to curl up with when the front door opened and familiar voices drifted over to me. 

“Christian, why are we here? We should’ve gone to the mall that way I could’ve brought something too instead of making two trips!” Emilia complained to her brother. 

“I’m siding with Emilia, Christian. I know you need to take your mind off of that girl Madi-” Lucas started to say but he stopped mid-sentence, and my breathe caught in my chest. 

I put the book back and bolted out of the aisle towards the back exit. My heart was beating fast as I walked briskly back to the front parking lot in order to get to my car. My heart pounded in my chest as I reached in my pocket to get out my car keys. The moment I had them in my hand Christian was standing right next to me. I jumped back startled; I didn’t hear his approach. I stood there facing him, not sure what to say or do. He was wearing all black; he looked like a beautiful pale dark angel. He truly took my breathe away with his beauty, I inhaled slowly and plotted how I could escape. 

“I need to talk to you.” 

“We both said what we had to say that day Christian, and I think rehashing what was said is pointless. I understand the position I put you in. You have a girlfriend and you don't want anything bad to happen that would jeopardize your family." My voice sounded robotic and I talked as if that day hadn't affected me in the slightest. I continued because if I paused I would break down and cry. "You told me that day to forget you, well I am. In return, you forget me too. I was confused that day, and I meant nothing that I said."

I stared at the ground, I struggled to fight back the tears. The lies hurt me and tore at me but I needed to be away from him. I would show no weakness or vulnerabilities ever again to Christian. His jaw clenched and his face froze, he didn’t say a word as his eyes went dead and he stood aside to let me open my car door. I got in and let the tears flow as I put my head on the steering wheel, when I looked up Christian was gone. It looked like I had gotten what I asked for. Why did this have to happen to me? My life wasn’t great but it wasn’t complicated until I started to develop feelings for Christian. It hurt to open up to someone like that, only to be rejected. 

My mind was racing because the worst part was trying to figure Christian out, everything he said out of his mouth seemed to contraindicate what he conveyed with his eyes. He hurled insults one moment but the look in his eyes seemed to say that he cared more about me than he led on. Maybe I was reading all of the signs wrong and it was all in my head, this town would make anyone crazy. I didn’t notice where I was driving until I pulled into a driveway, did I realize I'd driven myself over to Katie Lang’s house. Katie came to the door obviously surprised I had come to stop by.

“Hey Madison, what are you doing here? Come on in.” She opened the door. 

I walked in, surprised by how nice her house was, I really did miss coming over. I made a mental note that I would definitely be hanging out more with Katie; her house was one of the nicest houses in town. Her mom was the school psychiatrist, while her dad was a plastic surgeon in the next town over, Beacon Hills. 

“Yeah, I’m sorry I ambushed you like this I honestly didn’t even realize I drove here until I was in your driveway. I guess something must’ve led me here Kate, not sure what but I’m not complaining. I haven’t really seen much of you. Unless you’re busy then I can leave and come back another day.” I told her. 

“No, it’s fine I wasn’t planning on doing anything special. Both the folks are out of town anyway it’s just me, Leah and Comet here.” She assured me. 

Leah was Katie’s older sister, who was attending one of the few private universities in Oregon in the town of Devonshire which was about four towns over but didn’t live on campus. And Comet was their German Sheppard, who upon hearing his name came to inspect who came over. He jumped up giving me kisses happy to have a new face around. 

“Oh Comet, I missed you too!” I laughed, he gave me a couple more kisses before deciding to go back to his dog business. 

“Do you want something to drink or to eat?” Katie asked me over her shoulder as she walked into the kitchen. 
I shook my head and followed her into the kitchen and sat down in a chair at the granite island. Katie poked her head in her refrigerator then resurfaced with two diet Pepsi cans and sat down at the island with me.

“In case you become thirsty I don’t have to get up again” She told me with a hint of a smile upon her face.

“Thank you. So what have you been up Kate I feel as if I haven’t talked to you in forever.” 

“Nothing much, getting ready for the paper to start and wondering what has been going on with you lately. You weren’t in school and I have a feeling something is bothering you, I’ve known you since we were in diapers, your stress is vibrating off you. What‘s going on Madison?” She looked at me, waiting patiently. 

I didn’t want to talk about what was going on with me but I decided that Katie needed to know I could tell she was hurt I’ve been shutting her out. So I went on into my story about Christian from the beginning to our very last encounter. 

“Well, you should know better to like a guy with a girlfriend that never works out. I’m glad you told him to stay away though because he shouldn’t be hot and then cold. You can do better and you know it. I think this not-talking-thing will work for you. Out of sight, out of mind but then again who am I to talk when I can’t even tell Dean how I feel?” I was glad she told me what I myself felt that I almost missed the last part of her sentence. 

“What?” I yelled at her, more loudly than I intended to. 

“Shhh…Leah is sleeping. I didn’t mean for that last part to come out but you might as well now that I like Dean. I was going to tell you eventually, in case I asked him out one day, to get your permission. Since I can tell he is into Lillian I haven’t had the guts to tell him how I feel. But don‘t say anything you’re the only one who knows.” She sighed. 

I was shocked because I never saw this news coming. I was also relieved I wasn’t the only one who had complicated boy problems. 

“Wow. Kate I had no clue, and you don’t need my permission. Dean and I dated when we were barely teenagers he is nothing more than a brother to me, but you should tell him how you feel. Trust me Kate, Lillian is not into Dean she is all about Jensen, I am sure you've heard her babble on about him. Even if I haven’t talked to Jensen in a while I am sure he is babbling about Lillian, those two are definitely falling in love. I think you’re right, Dean is into Lilly but I know he would be into you too. He would be a fool not to be into you!” I smiled at her warmly. 

“Yeah, but Madison, it’s easier for you to have any guy in our school. You're the queen of our school and one of the most approachable people in our class. The funny thing is that you don't even realize it, the other day I had a freshman who nearly pissed himself when he found out that you were single. I would love it if even one boy felt that way about me! It’s hard to put yourself out there not knowing if the other person feels the same and being exposed…” She trailed off as I raised an eyebrow. “Sorry, you do know, I guess I’m not as brave as you Madison, and I am sorry that you didn’t get the ending that you wanted. But now you know and you can move on from this.”

"Kate I could care less about a freshman who likes me, the sad fact is that I've never liked anyone as much as I liked Christian. Being popular isn't what's important to me, I am sick of hearing the word 'popular' all it means is that I have the most people who talk behind my back than to my face. Don't you ever get sick of being defined by other's opinions, opinions that are based on false impressions of who we are?"

"To be honest? Yes, but that's the way it is and being popular has its perks." Katie replied. 

Katie's view on "popularity" disappointed me, because it was another constant reminder that there was a reason that I was right to keep my true thoughts to myself. It felt as if I lived in this glass house, and I had to be careful not to crash through it. There was a time I felt the same way Katie did and I admit, I worked hard to become "popular" and now I regret that. I'd spent so much time exposing only one side of me to people that whenever I showed other sides to me people didn't like what they saw. There was nothing I could do besides wait until high school was over, and go with the flow. The worst part of feeling partly concealed was that I had to face the fact that deep down I still wanted acceptance from my friends. I could care less what other people would think if I showed more of my personality, but what would my friends think of me? 

When it was time for college I would make sure to not repeat the same mistake. I pushed the issue into the back of my head and focused back onto Katie. We talked the whole day away mostly about non-boy related topics which I was grateful for. I hung out with Katie for the rest of the day until I realized it was dark outside. 

“Whoa! It got late, I better get going Kate, thanks for everything this felt like old times, I’ll see you on Tuesday okay?” I told her, heading out of the front door to my car. 

“Anytime Madison you better be in school on Tuesday too, I do know where you live!” She yelled back to me as I got in my car, I honked my horn and headed on back home.  


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