Claimed *Completed*

"I'm already living on borrowed time. When it comes to it, it will be my time to go."

500 years ago Cathy should have died, but she didn't. She was saved by the Devil.

"I agreed to something ... Something that cant have been important then, it seemed too far away.
I'd agreed, after five hundred years, to hand myself over to the Devil, to become his."

Now her time's up, but back in the city where it all started, things are far from over. Cathy finds out that there is more to the Devil than she ever thought. A new boy, a best friend and a deadly enemy, things are about to get complicated...

"No one's that good or bad, it's not that simple, nothing's that black and white. It's more grey."

*Hi, this is my first Movella, so I'd love some feedback and constructive critsism! Thanks :)

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4. Monday, 10th January 2012

Monday, 10th January 2012

 

 

 

 

 

  I’m driving to pick Chrissie up, we agreed that I’ll pick her up in the morning, and then drive us both to school.

  But I can’t concentrate on the road; I’m still thinking about the vision, or memory, or whatever it was. It went on so long I ‘slept’ until mid-day on Friday, after that I couldn’t bring myself to go to school; I was in a hysterical state. So when I calmed down a bit I called in ill. Chrissie has been constantly been texting, asking what was wrong since I’d been fine the day before. The only text she got from me was; ‘Fine now, explain on Monday ;) xxx

  I know that it’s not going to cut it. Chrissie will have been going crazy, since that text made it sound like something exciting. Which, in her eyes, it probably is; but what can I say? “I was reliving the moment I nearly committed suicide, then backed out of it but got pushed off the bridge anyway. Oh, and all this happened five hundred years ago” No, you can’t say that, not even to Chrissie.

  The truth is I’d buried those memories so deep that they’d almost disappeared. Almost. Now, they’ve come back and I can’t cope with reliving it over and over again every time I close my eyes. It hurts too much. The shock of it hits me first, and then it leaves a raw pain in its wake. I’ve been shaking on and off for the past few days, as much because of what I’d seen as because of the other memories that it brings with it.

  Elizabeth...

  No! Hold it together. I promised myself I’d hold it together for the whole day, and if I can do that I’ll let myself cry or breakdown, or what ever it is I do when I get home.

  It’s a lot easier said that done, especially when it’s all I can think about. I’m counting on Chrissie to take my mind off it.

  No such luck.

  “Cathy!” Chrissie comes storming down the drive of her parent’s semi to fling open the door of my car and glare at me. “What have you been doing?! You didn’t text me all weekend!” I open my mouth to protest, but she beats me to it, “No, ‘explain on Monday’ doesn’t count.”

  She sits next to me and before I can say a word she says, “Drive, now. And explain what you’ve been doing ignoring me.”

  “Jeez, anyone would have thought I’d jumped off a cliff.” I say it automatically, but tears jump to my eyes again so I have to blink them away.

  I focus on the task at hand – mainly convincing Chrissie I’m not mad, which is hard to do when I most probably am.

  I’ve already ruled out telling the whole truth, but what about a half-truth? It can’t hurt. I could just brush it off as a stomach bug, but I am seriously fed up of lying to everyone, my life is already one big lie.

  I let out the breath I’d been holding and turn to Chrissie, “Don’t laugh.”

  Chrissie looks at me and her scowl turns into a frown, “Why?”

  I turn back to the road; I don’t particularly need to look where I’m going, but I can’t look at Chrissie, “I, um... well. I had a nightmare.”

  Wow, that sounds really lame.

  “You had a nightmare?” Chrissie stares at me disbelieving, “You had a day off school and wouldn’t text me all weekend, because you had a nightmare? Seriously?” She starts laughing.

  “Well, it was a really bad one.” I say defensively, but can’t help smiling slightly too, I suppose it would sound funny to somebody else; someone that hadn’t been there.

  I can feel my smile slipping and Chrissie sees it too. She studies my face for a minute, from the bags under my eyes to the haunted look I know is on my face.

  “It was bad, wasn’t it?” She whispers it, as though it would hurt me to say it any louder.

  I nod stiffly, and Chrissie sinks back into her seat, “Some nightmare.”

  I snort, “Like you wouldn’t believe,” dreaming about your death is sure as hell, some nightmare. I shake my head to clear it, “I’m trying just to forget it, I just keep replaying it in my head, you know?” I shudder as I feel the whoosh of air around me; I’m falling, falling...

  I blink and snap back to the present – that’s what matters, the here and now.

  Thankfully Chrissie senses my mood and starts talking about the party, although there is a wary edge to her, “Well, I was looking on the internet for the best balloons, and I found these really great red ones – I was thinking we could have half of the plain and the other half with ‘16’ on them, because I thought if all of them had ‘16’ on them it would be a bit much. We could really do with a theme...”

  I let her voice fade in to the background and I fall into a numb state. I nod and shake my head in all the right places. I know Chrissie can tell that I’m not really listening, but she carries on anyway.

  When we get to school, I park and Chrissie and I head to form, I’ve remembered to buy some warmer clothes, so I’m no longer freezing when I step outside, but the cold would have been a welcome distraction. I tune back into Chrissie instead.

  “...I was thinking I could come to yours tonight to check out how much space we’ve got to work with, but I think maybe we should go into town first because I know this great shop that does amazing fabric that we could cover the tables in. Cathy? Cathy, what do you think? Is that alright?”

  I try my best to smile, “Yeah, sure!” The less time alone the better. My voice comes out a little too over-enthusiastic, so tone it down a bit, “Do you want to go straight after school?”

  Chrissie grins at me, happy that I’m back from my daydreams, or day-nightmares. “Great! My parents are out so I’d only have to go back to an empty house, with nothing but homework for comfort. I can’t believe Mr Kay gave us so much in the first week back...”

 

*

 

  I manage to find the IT suite without Chrissie’s help, and I arrive just as the final bell goes. My heart sinks as I scan the room and see that the only computer left is next to Jess, Katrina’s sidekick Barbie doll.

  As I slide into the seat, Jess glares at me and then winces as if I’d slapped her. I scan her for a second, and then look away.

  She seems the type that would rival Katrina for Queen Barbie title if it wasn’t for her loyalty to Katrina. I can’t grasp why she’s so loyal, but I do get the same feeling of a wall, shielding what’s inside, though not as strongly as Katrina.

  I turn my head to look at the rest of the class, and do a double take when I see a boy sitting in the opposite corner of the classroom - I don’t usually miss things.

  I figure he must be new, because he is dressed in jeans and comes without the hideous dark red jumper - which, unfortunately, I’ve had to start wearing, but at least I don’t stand out as much as I did before. He has sweeping light brown hair and a tall lean figure. He turns to look at me, as if he senses my gaze on him.

  I draw a breath, he’s gorgeous no doubt about it, but it’s not his sharp facial features, the muscles his jacket clings to; it’s his eyes. They pull me in, a strange mix of green and blue, but the dark classroom brings out the turquoise flecks in them.

  But it’s not just his eyes that make me stop; it’s the confusing sense of everything that radiates of him. Concentration, confusion, anger, annoyance, jealously, and a deep sort of sadness; they are only the ones on the surface, but they are all there – like his eyes – a blur of different emotions, all weaving their way through his life. They all pass by so quickly, they’re almost indistinguishable from one another. A dozen other emotions are there as well, but I can’t make them out.

  I turn quickly away, but not before the boy notices, and I sense him studying me with curiosity. I could easily watch him all day, sifting through all the emotions running through his head. Normally people’s minds are pretty boring, but I’d never seen anyone quite like this boy. I wonder what he must have done to make his life that complicated.

  Look who’s talking. I wonder what people might see if they looked at me; I’ve thought about it before, but looking in the mirror doesn’t seem to work.

  Maybe I’m just as confusing as this boy, but then maybe I’m not. Maybe grief rules my life. Or regret. Or fear.

  “Cathy Jenks? Cathy? Care to join us?”

  “Huh?” I snap out of the daydream I’d entered and see Mr Greene looking at me expectantly. “Oh, err, sorry, what was the question?” A few people snigger and Jess rolls her eyes and whispers something to the boy on her other side, who I recognise as a hair gel boy. He laughs.

  Mr Greene sighs, “If you’d been listening, you would know that this term we are looking at a certain type of database. Now, I was just saying that...”

  For the rest of the lesson I give Mr Greene my rapt attention, even though I know exactly how to use the database, it keeps my mind from wondering to the boy to much. At least he’s something else to think about other than my own complicated life. Near-death experiences and all.

 

*

 

  I’m in a much better mood by the time I slide into a seat opposite Chrissie in the dinning hall at lunch. Chrissie notices.

  “You’ve cheered up then.”

  “Yeah.”

  I pick at my chicken as Chrissie looks over my shoulder at something. “Who’s the new guy?” She nods over my shoulder and I turn to see the new boy across the room, sitting on his own, staring into space.

  “Jack Smith,” I reply, turning my back on him, “He’s from London, I think. Used to go to school there, but his dad got a job transfer, so they moved here.”

  Chrissie looks at me, eyebrows raised.

  I blush, but just shrug, “What? He’s in all my classes. I hear things.” Okay, so I’d been paying special attention to things said about Jack, but I want to know what makes his life like it is. Plus, I like his eyes.

  Chrissie looks at him again and turns back to her sandwich, “Seems a bit weird to me, odd. And I don’t mean the fact he’s sitting on his own, which is weird, but he’s got this air about him.”

  “He seems alright to me.”

  She wrinkles her nose, and then pats her stomach, “Nah, I’m going on my gut instinct on this one.”

  Her stomach rumbles and I laugh, “No, that’s your stomach telling you to shut up and eat.”

  Chrissie grins and takes a bite out of her sandwich, “I’ll do both: eat and steer clear of him, just in case.”

 

*

 

I spend the rest of the day thinking about what Chrissie said about Jack. Odd. Yeah, that seemed about right. He doesn’t even attempt to talk to anyone. He looks like he’s deliberately avoiding everyone and keeping his distance. Although I swear I see him throwing sideways glances in my direction. I guess that my gawping at him really made an impression, but then again I might be imagining those looks.

  It’s weird how he seemed to be in all my lessons.

  When I get to my Mini after the final bell rings, I find Chrissie leaning against it, looking smug.

  “Oi, off the car; you might scratch the paintwork!”

  Chrissie ignores me and nods across the car park at the Barbie’s, who are glaring at the car, and now me. It’s an accusing sort of glare; I’m not quite sure what I’ve done wrong this time, but from Katrina’s expression, it is bad. Or, at least, she thinks it is. I can feel her anger from here.

  I glance at Chrissie, who’s still wearing a smug look, “What are they so mad about?”

  Chrissie’s smile grows, “Katrina’s jealous, she’s not even allowed a car until she’s eighteen.” She gives Katrina a little wave, and gets an answering drop down dead look.

  I catch up with Chrissie’s line of thought; she thinks Katrina’s jealous of the car, but something tells me that that’s not it. Okay, there’s a lot to be jealous of with my Mini, but I don’t think its jealousy.

  “Oh, it’s so good to see Katrina jealous!” Chrissie cackles. I don’t bother correcting her; I’d probably have to explain.

  I turn and unlock the car as Chrissie does twirl and spins into the passenger seat. She flicks the radio on and I can tell she’s in a really good mood.

  “Oh, I like this song!” Chrissie starts singing and riffles through my CD collection. She frowns as she looks through them. I wince mentally when I remember some of the music I’ve got is ancient. There is some relatively modern stuff, but that’s mixed in with a lot of classical music.

  Chrissie pulls out a CD and makes a face, “Beethoven? I think maybe I should pick the music for the party.” This time I really do wince and then snatch the CD’s back off Chrissie before she can see that most of them are signed. Including John Lennon.

  “Yeah, you probably should.” I plaster a grin on my face, “I’ve never had the best taste in music. My aunt and uncle were a bit old fashioned and I think it must have rubbed off on me.”

  “Old fashioned? You’re telling me!” Chrissie snorts good naturedly.

  “What about the Beatles? You can’t say they’re not good.”

  “Okay, the Beatles were good – but I wish the ones that are left would just retire already! Make way for new artists – like JLS!”

  I smile, “That’s just because you fancy them.”

  I’m not paying any attention to where I’m driving until I look up and see it right there in front of me.

  I slam on the breaks.

  “What the hell?” I ignore Chrissie’s protests and stay frozen, staring straight ahead.

  It is just like I remembered it.

  The bridge. The Kiay Bridge.

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