Stormy Seas

Ben and Katie.
Katie and Ben.
But then there was Alex.

Katie lives her life in mental turmoil after her best friend moves to the other side of the world. After living with an alternative, she suddenly realises that she can't continue lying to herself. But just on the very day she finishes with Alex, Ben turns up. And it's all down hill from there, but is love enough to conquer all?

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9. Nightmares.

It's been three days since I sent the message to Ben.

I've had sleepless nights over worrying if they've met up for a beer, discussed the football, compared shagging experiences with yours truly. And this night is no different.

"Right, I'm going to bed." Liz yawns, "I think you need to too." She raises her eyebrows and slaps my leg as she gets to her feet. "It's not doing you any good Facebook stalking them 'til the early hours you know."

"I'm not!" I protest, feeling my cheeks glowing a little. It's 2am already and I'm not tired. Well I'll be honest, it's not that I'm not tired because I think I would quite literally eat a spider if it means I get a peaceful Ben-free night's sleep, but I can't stand the thought of him creeping into my head whilst I'm in a defenseless trance where he repeats over and over that hurtful laugh and the - "I'm not fucking stupid!"

I grimace at not only the memory, but the dreams. It's okay, I'll phone in sick again tomorrow and see the doctor. Make up some random story and get him to grant me some time off work to figure this mess out. Although, part of me thinks all of this might actually be depressing me. I googled the symptoms last night.

"Katie, I'm serious. You need to stop all this, it's not healthy!" She's stood at the doorway, obviously glancing at Ben's Facebook profile over my shoulder.

"Fine!" I slam my laptop lid down and make my way into my room, slamming the door behind me like a prepubescent teenager.

In the morning, I don't feel any better. I lie in bed listening to Liz potter around the apartment getting herself ready for work. I'll be honest, I've only had about an hours sleep, but when Alex came at me with Ben's bludgeoned head in one hand and swinging a kitchen knife menacingly at me I didn't see the appeal in trying to fall back to sleep.

When I hear the front door shut behind Liz, I decide to heave myself out of bed. Just as I do so, there's a knock at the door. That'll be forgetful Liz.

I open it to find Alex stood before me, flowers in one hand and a gift wrapped box in the other. What the-

"Katie-"

"Come in." I say hurriedly, praying the neighbours aren't watching. "Alex, what are you doing?" I shut the door behind him and watch as he makes his way to Liz's sofa. Make yourself at home, why don't you.

"I love you," his eyes have a glow about them, an energy that I don't recognize, "come back to me?" 

"No, Alex." I shake my head and spread my arms out in frustration. "You and me are over, why can't you understand that?" His face turns from the energy filled, glow of excitement into something slightly terrifying. Why is he coming towards me? No!-

"You owe me you bitch!" He spits, forcefully placing his hand around my neck and pushing me against the wall so hard it takes a moment to process what's happening. "Four years I put up with you, four fucking years I endured, knowing the whole time there was someone else."

"There wasn't-" I try, but the words only come out in a muffled whisper. His hand presses harder and I feel the burning of a tear roll down my face. Why is he doing this? Part of me wants to check for that knife... I can hardly breathe.

"I spoke to Ben." I squeeze my eyes trying to process his words. He spoke to Ben.  "Oh yeah," He laughs, mockingly at my expression, "I spoke to Ben, alright. He told me all about your little tree house escapade." His teeth are gritted and I can see a menace in his eyes that I've never witnessed before in my entire life. I feel scared and I want to run but he could quite easily kill me now, I have no doubt about it. Why would he tell him that? Why would Ben do that to me?

"My good old pal Ben apologized to me.  Imagine that." His face is edging closer to mine and although I've got my eyes shut tight again, willing myself to still be dreaming, I can feel anger radiating from his skin. "Why'd you do it? Eh? Was I not good enough for you?" 

"I didn't mean for it to happen." I whisper, my voice weak. His grip loosens for a moment, but when I open my eyes it's not to release me, it's to raise his fist. Before I know it, I'm on the floor clutching my left eye as the pain shoots through my body. I'm sobbing, I realize

"Alex, please!" I cry, watching him lower himself in front of me. He grabs my pajama top by the neck and drags me to my feet. 

"Get dressed." He spits, his face mangled with menace, "you're coming home."

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