Waiting on Morning

After the recurrence of her terrifying nightmares, Nebraska-native Maeva Blake has to find out why she's having them again. In the midst of be courted her charming Sebastian, Mae has to learn the truth about her gruesome dreams and their ominous messages. Unfortunately, she has to dig through her painful past to find her answers.

( Have an open mind going into this story! It can get a little vulgar and violent, sometimes even a bit risque. Comments, likes, critiques, all is welcome! Enjoy! )

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1. Back Again

            As I opened the yellow-paged paperback, I groaned. There were so many other things I wanted to be doing that wasn’t reading Moby Dick; many of these things were unproductive in nature, yet they still had more meaning to me than an old man and a whale.

            I sighed and rubbed my eyes, stalling. I tried reading the first page, each time my mind trailing off to distant places, and I couldn’t remember what I had just read each time I finished the text. In an attempt to reread it, I started losing track earlier and earlier in the passage. A hopeless attempt it was. And with a wasted half hour on one sole page of what seemed to me to be an archaic piece of fiction. I tossed the paperback library book, out of pure frustration and lack of interest, into my closet and shut the doors behind it. I grabbed my leather bag, slung it over my shoulder and escaped through my bedroom window.

            For someone who can’t afford a car or car insurance like me, walking was my sole mode of transportation. Not to mention being well into my sophomore year of college and living at home, I did not want my dad to drive me to and from where I needed to be. It would just accentuate the fact that I’m still living at home and not relishing in adulthood yet. And this topic seemed to burn its way to the front of my skull each time I set foot off in a direction, where others would hop in their cars and go. Yet all this time on foot has given me an appreciation for long journeys.

            With forty minutes of trekking behind me, I finally slipped off my socks and shoes and meandered along the beach.  Shoes in hand, I listened as the waves ebbed along the dark sand and breathed in the salty air that had an oddly cleansing quality.

            Born and raised in Nebraska, I still get excited about the beach being a forty minute walk from home after two and a half years of living in California. So many people from there take that luxury for granted, but if anyone put themselves in my shoes they wouldn’t look at the frivolities that way.

            I looked down at my feet; wiggling my toes in the sand and watching it fall away around them, it reminded me of when I was little. As my thoughts began to drift, I lifted my head to watch the sun send ripples of orange and pink through the stringy clouds amidst the horizon. Dark memories melted away as I refocused my attention on finding a suitable dry patch of sand to sit on and sketch.

            Back home, I received a lot of flack for taking a liking to art. My mother’s side of the family was never really supportive, getting complaints about how it lets a girl think too much for herself. My grandmother was the worst; she believed that women were meant to raise the children and keep up the household and said that pursuing art would distract me from “what really mattered”. I used to come home from visits and not touch my sketchbook for days, and it didn’t go unnoticed. My mom felt the need to come and talk to me about not letting her family’s views take reign of my life. She would say be who you need to be. If that meant I had to be an artist, then so be it. She would stroke my hair and hum Beatles songs until I felt better.

            A shower of damp sand falls into my lap, all over my sketchbook. I stand up swiftly and look in the direction of its origin. A handsome face with an embarrassed grin meets my eyes. My frustration swamps smitten feelings and I shout at the perpetrator.

            “What the hell, man?” I yell. He begins jogging his way over to me.

            “Oh, wow, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to,” he calls back. As I’m trying to salvage my charcoal sketch, I look up. He stops approaching me with about a two-foot buffer between us. Judging by the look on his face, I still looked upset. “My buddy and I were just playing a little soccer in the grass. I tried kicking the ball back, and succeeded,” he admits, running a hand through his wavy hair, “but unfortunately, I got you in the cross fire.”

            “Yeah, unfortunately,” I said through gritted teeth, shuffling hopelessly to see how many pages were affected.

            “Oh my god, I didn’t know you were sketching!” he gestures at my sketchbook. “Now I feel even worse.”

            “Like kicking a bunch of sand on me isn’t bad enough,” I added sharply.

            “Look, let me make it up to you or something,” he insisted.

            “Fine. Twenty bucks for a new sketchbook,” I held out my hand.

            “Sorry, I can’t really—“

            “Exactly,” I pull my bag over my shoulder and head towards the sidewalk. I sit down on a concrete ledge and shake all the sand out of my socks and shoes before proceeding. Sure enough, the handsome stranger continues to apologize.

            “Let me at least buy you a coffee or something,” he insisted.

            “I don’t drink coffee, thanks though.”

            “Please? I’m trying really hard right now…” I looked up at him, and the look on his face showed me that he wasn’t just talking about paying me back.

            “Are you serious? You’re going to try to pick up on me like this?” I finish tying my shoe and begin walking in the direction of home. “I hope that gets you somewhere.”

            “C’mon!” He calls from behind me. Ignoring him, I begin the trek home as the sky fades from purple to navy blue at a surprisingly rapid speed.

 

            I climbed from the stairs onto the landing in front of my bedroom window and slipped into my room as quietly as possible. After staying still for a few moments, I assumed safety. I go to shut my window and I hear my bedroom door open.

            “Where were you?” My dad’s voice fills my room, weary and worried. I just sighed in reply. “You are coming up on nineteen, why do you feel the need to sneak out?”

            “Because you wouldn’t let me out even if I told you.”

            “But if you disobeyed me, at least I’d know where you were.”

            “That’s true,” I said, looking off to the side.

            “What’s wrong with hanging out with me for a while?” I looked at him quizzically, and he lifted up Moby Dick. “Yeah, I looked in your closet for you. I knew this is why you left; it’s a shame you don’t like it, it’s a good book.” He sat himself down next to me on my bed.

            “Dad, no offense or anything, but I’m a bit of a loner. I just need to get out and be alone for a little while when I get all worked up.”

            He sighed at the apparent truth, “I know. I just wish you didn’t leave me to freak out about you all the time. You’re gone more than eighty percent of the time now. Between work, school, and your random escapades, I never see you anymore. I don’t know, maybe I’m the one feeling a little lonely these days.” He admitted.

            “I’m sorry. You know I don’t do it on purpose.”

            “Oh, of course not. I just wish you didn’t have to do it on accident either.” We exchanged half smiles and he pulled me in for a hug. “I just miss you, kiddo.”

            “How about we watch The Dark Crystal tonight?”

            “But that means we have to make dinner,” he said, groaning melodramatically.

            I patted his balding head, “it’ll be good for you.”

 

            I woke up in a cold sweat to a loss of breath. As I grew more accustomed to my surroundings, images of my nightmare faded. Before I could grab my notepad off my nightstand, I lost all my memory of my dream. I set the pad back down on the nightstand and just sat up in my bed, trying to catch my breath and letting my heart beat slow. I was so confused; I hadn’t had nightmares like that in a long time. There was always an explanation for them and in the past they had been lucid dreams so I was able to control them. But that wasn’t like anything I had ever experienced. After I felt somewhat stabilized, my father flung himself through my door and flicked on the light.

            “What the hell is going on?” he demanded while seeming miraculously awake.

            “I…” I trailed off, looking into his face with confusion plastered on mine.

            “It was one of the nightmares again,” he assumed, his eyes hinting at fear.

            I shook my head, “this was nothing like the others. This one I couldn’t control. It was terrifyingly short, too. Dad, this isn’t anything like the others I used to have.”

            “Maybe since it was so short you couldn’t control this one. You know, they are just dreams. They’ve always been just dreams.”

            “Seriously?” I barked. “You’re going to throw that bullshit at me right now?”

            His face showed immediate regret, “Look, Mae, you know I didn’t mean it that way—“

            “I don’t give a shit how you meant it, you said it. It doesn’t matter! You know that those dreams meant bad things.” I stared directly into his eyes and my glower spoke more for me that my words did.

            “You don’t need to swear at me,” his tone calmer, “just understand that I’m trying to get your head out of where it’s going. It wasn’t healthy for you then, so I know it wouldn’t be now.” My blood began to cool. He was right. Getting all worked up only got me in the hospital; no good ever came from it. “Do you think you’ll be able to sleep?”

            “I don’t know. I might as well try, the worst is that I’ll wake up screaming again.”

            “Do you have any sleeping pills?”

            “I could check. My prescription isn’t set to a particular date. I just haven’t needed them. I could go get more…”

            “This late at night? I’m sorry, but I don’t want you out this late. I don’t want to be out this late. Well,” he glanced at my clock, “early, I mean.”

            “If I need them, Dad, surely three A.M. isn’t a problem to pick up a prescription.”

            “Just check if you have any.”

He stayed glued to the doorway as I slipped past him to the bathroom across the hall. I checked the medicine cabinet; sure enough, there were two left. I turned to him and rattled the bottle. I dropped the pills in my hand and returned to my room. Placing one pill in my mouth, I washed it down with a strong gulp of water from my water bottle on my nightstand. My father chuckled again as I placed the other pill on my tongue.

“Still cautious about taking your pills, I see.”

“Wouldn’t you rather this? I think you’d be more worried if I suddenly became too good at pill popping,” my tone snarky. I swallowed another chug of water. I drew a long weary breath, only to exhale just as tediously. Dad came up and kissed my forehead.

“Sleep tight, Mae.” He left, remembering to turn off the light and shut the door completely on his way out.

It didn’t take me long before I was drifting away into a heavy, dreamless sleep.

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