It smells like vanilla. My eyes opened and closed again. I opened them a bit slower, adjusting to the light of the room. What room? Where was I? A jolt of panic ran through my veins. My medications. I look to the side, it's all there; perfectly placed on a sliver tray. I then hear voices, coming from outside. Sitting up a bit, I support myself with my elbows. A young man with long curls has their back to me. He's talking to someone, an older man; who's glasses were at the end of their nose and held a stern expression. I fall back, with a sigh. This is a dream, I'm dreaming. My eyes slowly began to droop and I fell asleep. Minutes or hours later, I'm woken up by someone sinking into the bed. I felt a warm touch on my fingers. Their thumb slowly circling around the back of my hand. I smile a little, my eyes still close.
"Mara?" My name echoes in the room. "Mara?"
Slowly my eyes opened and I'm at the same place. It wasn't a dream. What I saw earlier was real. My eyes finally adjust to the scene around me. I'm laying in a huge king size bed, covered in pure-white bed sheets. I'm tucked tight under a fluffy and puffy white duvet. In front of me—hanging from the ceiling—a grand chandelier with glowing lights. The crystal tears are shimmering with the illuminating lights. The window drapes are down and white; everything in this room resembled whiteness and pure. But I look to my right and the green eyes pop out more than they usually do. First his eyes held a worry look, but as he saw me move and sit up; they were soft. I look around me again, this must be his place. It's spacious and clean. Just like how I wondered it'd be like. "Mara," Harry speaks up. "Are you feeling better, love?" Harry's voice was soft and friendly. Not like how it sounded back in the bookstore. "I'm feeling better, thank you." I smile at him; just to be kind. "Where am I?" Asking as I grab a hold of the iced cold water glass on the nightstand. He answered, "my place, it was closets from the bookstore."
"Dr. Hugo, came by earlier to check on you. I didn't feel sure taking you to the hospital. He's my personal doctor, a family doctor."
I nodded my head, damn I felt so weak. I wanted to close my eyes and sleep. But I couldn't; with him staring at me. "My head hurts," I groaned softly. "Here's some pain killers," Harry said quickly. I leaned my back against the headboard of the bed. I took the two pain killers, they perfectly lay on his palm. I threw them in, and then took the glass of water I had earlier. I drank a huge amount of water. Harry smiled back and carefully took my hand in his. He rubbed his thumb on the back of my hand and I hummed softly; tilting my head back and closing my eyes. The softness of his skin against mine, it burned right through. My heart was beating twice as fast and I couldn't control the electrons that rushed in my body.
"Mara?" Harry questioned.
I said, "yes?"
"How long have you had these panic attacks?"
Oh no. He asked the question–one I try to avoid towards arrogant people– but he wasn't like that. My head hanged low and I stared at my fingers; fiddling around with them. Then a hand happens to cover my awfully small hands; a inked cross was under his thumb. My heart beat fasten and I lost my breath. I looked up to meet his eyes. A powerful green, mixed with different shades. I just met him in two months and look what he's done to me. He's made me weak and breathless. With a curl of his lip, my heart can't help but beat. When his hand touches mine, that spark—I feel it all over my body. Maybe even my brain. I look at him, like right at him. From his thin brows, pointy nose, rosy lips, and carved jawline. Sometimes I think he's a sculpture. That he's from someone else's imagination. But I see him breathe, walk, and talk. He's 100% alive. Someone once said, "there are only a few people who'd stay by your side when life has thrown a pile of bricks at you." Or I just made that up in my head, right at this moment. My dad and Jade have been those two people. I was born with problems and I'll die with them too. I took a huge breath, before I can say a word.
"I was born premature," I started. "My mother got very sick during her last few months of pregnancy. She died, right after she gave me life. I was in the incubator for two months. I had trouble breathing and a small heart condition. After those two months, they still had me in the hospital. My heart got better, but my lungs were still weak. I was a small baby, my dad will tell me. For another month of having tubes down my throat and the sound of the monitors; I was out. From that day on, I was—free—till when I turned like 6. My allergies for fragrances, nuts, laundry degenerates, and cats; began to ruin me. When I started middle school, almost all the girls had a mom except me. I was beginning my period, learning of becoming a women, and all that jazz.
"It was hard. Being the only child and raised by a dad, who really didn't know how to take care of me. I was mostly alone, since my dad is a plastic surgeon. I didn't have much friends, I normally hung out in the school's library. I started to have these panic attacks in freshman year. When I was going to do an oral presentation; I felt my chest tighten and breath quicken. I was taken to the nurse's office and that's when I met Jade. She was bleeding from her nose and had a black eye. I worry to much. I over exaggerate. I care to much. I'm afraid of so many things. I feel alone half the time. I'm nothing, but a mental case. My therapist says my progress is great. But I'm not."
I was crying—no—sobbing into the white duvet. I felt embarrassed. Never have I told anyone this; well, only to my therapist, and Jade. I feel someone sit next to me and wrap their arms around me; pulling me on to their lap. "I'm s-s-sor-ry," I kept whispering. He pushed my hair out of my face. His hands cupped both sides of my face and he brought it close to his. Our noses softly touching. Our foreheads against each other. I can feel his breath on my lips. I can taste the lemon on his lips. "I want to be there," he whispers. "Through your good and tough times. Let me be the one to guide and help you. Let me be the one to love and care for you. I'll give up teaching; anything—for you. Just … Let me in, Mara. Let me in, please."
So it happened. His lips connected with mine. I can taste the salt from my tears, and the sweet lemon from his lips. A kiss full of sorrow and pain; all these mixed feelings that I can't describe. His hands pressed against my cheeks and my hands squeezed his arms. My head felt dizzy. My heart pounding against my chest. My hands were shaking and stomach weak. This should have been our first kiss. We finally parted, catching our breathes. Harry's forehead leaned against mine. "Oh Mara, Mara," he whispered my name repeatedly. "I'm–I'm falling for you."
It's short I know; I wanted to get to the point.
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