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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4. Reality Check

( Sorry about the indentation, for some reason, it's not working the same as it has before. I don't know why. Thanks for reading, though! Enjoy!)

 

Sunlight streamed in through the blinds and all I could smell was breakfast. I blinked several times to restore my vision from a hard sleep, searching for the direction in which a freshly cooked meal was being made. I stumbled off the couch, my body sore from sleeping on a lumpy sofa, and ambled into the kitchen. My father stood there, preparing a hearty breakfast.

“Good morning, sunshine,” he greeted, a large smile plastered across his tired face, scraping an omelet onto a plate.

“Good morning,” I replied, moving towards the kitchen counter. “What time is it?”

“Around eleven-forty.”

“That late, huh?” I responded, with a yawn to follow.

“We had a rough night last night, remember?” He said, peering up at me above his glasses.

“Yeah, I remember. How are you holding up?”

“I’m alright, I guess. I just hate seeing you like that, but you know that already. It was the same with your mother,” that comment made him set down the spatula. He rubbed his head and sighed heavily, “I thought the nightmares were finally over. After moving here, and after you not having one after so long, I thought you were going to be okay.”

I sat there in silence as he finished cooking our breakfast. Mulling over what he had said in my head, I realize that I didn’t see this coming either: I thought the night spells were over. I searched for a logical explanation as to why they began again, after almost three years of no strange dreams, if dreams at all, why now? Why after so long? I never felt truly adjusted here, so it couldn’t be that I was finally feeling at home. Nothing about California struck me as home; it felt constantly temporary. Why now?

My father set my dish in front of me. I looked up, thanked him wholeheartedly, and we ate together in silence.

 

I never really was the one for research, but I had to get some answers. I typed in the search engine: meanings of alligator dreams. After scanning through a couple phobia-related sites, I stumbled across my answer. It rambled on about how alligator dreams are symbolic of your trusting someone, when the person doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Once I absorbed all I could about my previous dream, I gave myself a moment to think. By the looks of it, the dream seemed to be an omen, as the last one did. With the meanings of both dreams in mind, if I believed that these actually meant something, unlike the nightmares in the past, then I would be unable to overcome a looming obstacle and someone I trust would let me down. Neither were good things, but I also concluded that both of my dreams were drenched in fear. I didn’t survive either dream, but I didn’t expect to. My mind never strayed to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In both dreams, my fear consumed me.

I turned to look out my window. Fall was in full swing, the trees losing their colorful foliage. Yellow and tangerine leaves covered the ground, the wind wistfully dancing and kicking up leaves in her gait. The sun was still burning bright, as it always was in southern California. The outside world looked so calm, so contradictory to the raging war between my subconscious and conscious mind. Maybe time outside would be enough to heal my darkened thoughts.

I showered quickly, dressed in my favorite sweater and boots, and stole away through my window. Walking the streets, I meandered without direction. I passed through parks with children playing on swings and slides, playing tag in the grass; strolled along dirt paths with dry shrubbery lining their windy ways; ambled my way to the big oak tree that stood strong and tall and alone amongst a sea of grass. Standing there, looking up at the enormous tree, I felt at peace. If this tree could weather through over a hundred years of torment, I could survive. I walked up to its trunk and felt along the ridges in its wood, stepping over large roots entangled in the earth, breathing in the strong smell of aged oak.

“Beauty, ain’t she?” I whipped my head around: Sebastian.

“Truly is,” I agreed with a smile.

“I heard its around two hundred years old,” he added, strolling up to the tree and running his fingers along the bark. Watching his hands made it difficult to swallow.

“Wow,” I choked. He looked at me and smiled shyly.

“So how’s the calculus coming?” He smirked.

“I’m mostly finished, still getting a headache from it.”

“I see…” he leaned against the tree, hands shoved in his pant pockets. I took a second to look at him. A tall, sturdy figure slung in a hoodie and loose jeans with little locks of golden brown hair peaking from underneath his beanie. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until he spoke.

“You want to get out of here?” he asked, his voice low. It sounded husky and a bit too raw for me to handle. I nodded, and exhaled sharply. He smiled gloriously and reached out a hand for me to grab.

 

“Well, this is my place,” he told me, tossing his keys into a small bowl near the door. It was tiny: a studio with a multitude of windows. The white walls boasted several paintings, each of them appearing to be from the same artist, yet different in execution. The wooden floors were mainly bare, as the furniture was sparse. A striped convertible futon with navy pillows hugged the left hand wall, between two paintings; against a half-wall that separated the kitchen was a small television monitor on a modest stand; a rustic wooden, self-assembled coffee table sat between the television and the futon, scattered with random magazines and books. It was quaint. It was… cute.

I chuckled, “this is your place? It doesn’t seem all that manly to me.”

He turned to me, giving me a curious half smile, “You expected my home to be manly? Do I come off as the ‘man-cave’ type?” he laughed, pulling off his hoodie. His white tee lifted above his navel, exposing just enough to hitch my breath.

“I don’t know, it’s just awfully cute what you have here.”

“Well, thank you. I like my cute home,” he replied, a mocking tone to his voice, “You want anything to drink?” He strolled into the kitchen, which were all stainless steel appliances and black countertops on stained wood cabinets. In my mind I pondered what his line of work was in order to get a place like this.

“Water is fine, thanks.”

“You sure?” He pulled a beer out of the fridge.

“Oh, yeah, I’m not much of a drinker,” I half-lied. How could I be a drinker if I’ve never had a sip of alcohol?

“Do you mind if I do?”

“Oh, no, not at all. It’s your home,” I assured. He set down a tall glass of water before me as he rested his elbows on the counter to be eye level with me. Not to mention a bit close.

I took a sip of water, “you know, I do find it a little odd that you find me everywhere,” I looked right at his face, trying to read it. He let a small smile escape his lips.

“I was actually just leaving the library. I felt like taking a stroll,” he admitted sheepishly.

“You were at the library for the second day in a row?”

“Well, yeah, I mean—“

“You were hoping to find me there,” I said, taken aback at the realization. He looked at me apologetically.

“I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t, but I did get quite a nice catch up on my psychology homework,” he took a swig from his beer.

“Why?” I added after a couple moments of stiff silence.

“Why what?”

“Why me?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re a well-off guy. What is it about me that makes you follow me?” My voice grew surprisingly accusatory.

“Look, I’m not following you,” he set his beer down, placing his hands on the counter, “after I saw you at the beach that day, something kept me from forgetting about you. And then I saw you in the park that day and it felt like a sign. What were the chances that I saw you again? Let alone here, in the same town, leaving the same school I go to. There was something about you…” he trailed off. “Maeva, please, don’t assume I’m just some creep. I don’t want you to think of me that way. I just took every opportunity I could to talk to you. I felt obligated, like I couldn’t let you forget that we met.” He looked down at his hands and shook his head, letting out a heavy sigh.

“Okay,” I started off, breaking the silence, “despite the fact that you are, slightly creepy,” I waited for him to look at me, smirking at him, “I feel oddly safe around you. Normally, I would have run away from people like you. Because, let’s face it: you’re pretty invasive. You’re everywhere, and I can’t get away. Even when you aren’t in front of me.” He looked into my eyes this time. The air started to shift, feeling as though static electricity was surging through the air. If that wasn’t sexual tension, I don’t think anything could be. We just sat there a few moments, eyes searching each other’s for the answer we both wanted. Without an answer, he lifted off his hands, standing straight up and looming above me. He walked around the counter and stopped right in front of me. Slowly, the air grew tense as he placed either of his hands beside me against the counter. He leaned in towards me, his eyes still scanning my face. I made a strong attempt to keep my composure, despite having this incredibly alluring man hang his beautifully sculpted face just inches before mine. Then he spoke, his voice low and soft, my skeleton chilling with every word.

“I don’t know why it’s you either. I’m damn glad it is, but I don’t know why. But you feel it too,” his gaze darted between my eyes and my lips, “so can we stop beating around the bush here?”

It took me a moment to digest his offer, the reality of the situation really. I stood there, enchanted by the proximity and how he smelled not of cologne, but of his natural scent.

“I’m not one to beat around the bush,” I finally muttered after what felt like an eternity.

“Good, because I’m not either.”

He crashed his lips into mine, his soft and gentle. My hands moved their way up his chest, removed his beanie, and gripped a handful of his floppy hair in each. His strong hands effortlessly lifted my body onto the countertop, slowly caressing my body at its every curve. His touch made my whole body shake. I brought a hand down to his jaw, feeling its sharp, sculptured edge, along his clavicle, then resting upon his muscular chest. I felt as his muscle and sinew danced under his thin shirt. His hands moved up my body and into my hair, gently tugging my head to the side to expose my neck.

My mind raced in exhilaration; the sensation that his touch gave me was indescribable. I began to lose myself in his warmth, his scent, when a little red flag went up in my head. I had to admit, I wasn’t too happy about it, and it took everything in me to ignore it. I used my hands to gently put a distance between us. He picked up on it immediately.

“What’s wrong?” he panted, obviously as invested as I was.

“I don’t think I can do this right now…” I said, half-heartedly believing myself. He looked into my eyes, seeing that I honestly didn’t want to, but I needed to.

“I— I’m sorry…” he ran a hand through his hair, trying to get a hold on his breathing. He looked at me again, his expression close to desperate.

“Really, Sebastian,” I put a hand on the side of his face. He looked as though he were about to melt into it, “I wish I didn’t feel this way. There’s just something about right now that doesn’t feel right. I just have a very bad feeling,” I admitted. His stare bore straight into my head and it felt as though it were to burst. He leaned into me again and kissed my lips gingerly.

“Okay,” he submitted. My fingertips brushed a lock of his hair behind his ear and I let my fingers trace along his jaw, not wanting to let my hands leave his body; afraid they’d never return. “Just please, don’t make this any harder on me...” he asked, turning away from my touch. I reluctantly dropped my hand. And like that, it was over.

 

Back at my house that night, I laid in bed and thought. What was it that kept me from Sebastian? There was a force too strong for me to ignore it within me, but I couldn’t name it. Fear? No, if anything, I was overjoyed. It was a battle in my had between my conscious and subconscious mind. Then I remembered my dream from the previous night: someone I trusted was to let me down. The realization nearly slapped me in the face it hit me so hard. My subconscious eased at the thought that I had found an assailant to my presumed mistrust. But my conscious mind wilted into sorrow; Sebastian felt so right. He felt so honest and true, so lovely to be around. He made me feel safe...

I rolled over, nestling further into my blankets, letting the reality of my relationship with Sebastian sink in and pull me away to sleep.

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