Scarred by Flame

My name is Bella. I have been scarred by flame. I never expected to love again. And I never expected anyone to love me. But those green eyes me otherwise.

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1. Nightmares and Scars

Bella's POV

I gasp, wrenching myself upright from the tangled sheets. My hair is plastered to my forehead and my body is clammy with sweat. My eyes, blurred with panic, see a dark figure at the end of my bed and I scream, still half in my nightmare, until my lamp switches on and I see who is. My step-brother sits at the end of the bed, with a tight jaw and fury in his dark brown eyes. "Zayn", I croak in relief, lying back across the pillows.

Some of the anger in his eyes dims replaced with worry.
"Bella, are you okay, its fine, it was just a dream, Sagheer, just a dream" he repeats, using his Arabic nickname for me. 
"I'm fine, Zayn, don't be so paranoid", I say, trying for smile. Some of the anger comes back into his eyes and I sense a massive explosion of anger from him.

He always gets mad when I try to reassure him, because he thinks I might have another heart attack. Yeah, no kidding, I literally got a heart attack when I was fourteen from a nightmare. Except these nightmares weren't like normal nightmares, they were ultra-realistic, abnormally bright and I see and remember everything clearly. You know how they say the past is in the past so leave it there. Its a little hard to do that when have night terrors about the past. My Mom's just about tried including from therapy, in which I sent my psychologist running in fear, to sleeping pills which only prolonged the horrible dreams and left me trapped, unable to wake up. 

I blink, coming out of my daze, realizing Zayn has been calling my name for a while. I refocus on his face realizing that he no longer looks angry and alarm bells go off in my head when he instead has on his smirk that usually makes girls melt into a puddle  of goo but signals to me that's he thinking something oh-so-not good.

"You better get up, Sagheer, its your first day and you don't want to be late be late, do you?", he sings in his annoying way. I groan and flip over, burying my head in my pillows. He laughs and I throw a pillow at him which he just barely catches it, laughs again and walks out of my room, still with my pillow in his hands.

I groan again and roll over, peeking at my beside clock to check the time. I jackhammer up like I just received an electric shock. 

Six am. Zayn fucking Malik woke me up at six am. I'm going to kill him. After a ten minute sleep in. 

After ten minutes lying in bed trying to find the energy to get up and fantasizing all ways I could kill Zayn, I finally get up and pad over to my ensuite. I shiver as my bare toes step on the cold marble tile. I strip off my pajamas and lob them back into my room, then turn back to the mirror. I study my face, seeing the white skin, the blue eyes the precise color of sapphires, the delicate nose and the full lips. My hair, which is in its usual tangled mess, is as dark as an oil slick and just as shiny. But what really draws my unwanted attention are the three inch mess of red, livid scars that run from the bottom of my left hip to just under my armpit. 

I shudder. 20:23, the exact time my father burnt down my mothers house to the ground and scarring me for life. I remember being eight years old, hiding in a closet and terrified while flames licked their burning  path up my side and I choked on smoke. 

Enough, if I keep going like this, I'll end up screaming and that would not be good. I take a deep breath and slowly relax my hands that have a death grip on the sink, not noticing the sweat running down my face and back. I take another deep breath and step into the shower, turning it on the hottest I can, washing away all the sweat and bad memories, focusing on the now.

When I'm done, I exit my bathroom, wrapped in towel and my hair wrapped in another towel, I walk into my wonderfully large walk in closet, contemplating what to wear.

I finally decide to go with a black silk top with a heart shape neckline and some black jeans. I throw a black jacket over it and slip on my favorite pair of black leather boots and add a hint of mascara to my already long lashes, some dark eye-shadow and dark red lipstick. I step back and examine myself in the floor length mirror. Perfect. The boots don't give me much height but at least boost me from 5'0 ft. to 5'2. 

I bound downstairs, smelling delicious food cooking in the kitchen, expecting to see Mom or my step-father Yasen cooking breakfast at the stove but instead I find Zayn sliding another pancake to the giant tower he has constructed. He looks up and smiles at my wondering stare. Zayn never cooks. Never. He points to a note on the bench, his mouth obviously full with pancake. I walk over to the bench, stealing a couple of pancakes on my way, I recognize my mothers curly handwriting:
                              
                               Bella, you know how Yasen and I were thinking 
                               of going on a cruise. Well, Aunt Cass just canceled
                               her cruise and gave us the tickets instead so we'll
                               be gone for a few weeks.
                                Love you and make sure you look after Zayn,
                                Mom.

I smile, glad that Mom is getting some time off. My Mom is professional artist which may not sound very hard but there is huge demand for her work worldwide hence why we've moved so many times. I was originally born in New York, then we moved to Australia after the fire, then to Paris, then to Athens, then Rome then Madrid in Spain before we finally got to England where Mom met Yasen, they fell in love and blah blah blah.  The only downside is I got Zayn as brother but I'll live. Possibly.

I hear Zayn come up behind and turn to see he has both of our bags in his hands and his car keys are nowhere in sight and I furrow my brow in confusion. He laughs and answers my unspoken question "We're taking the bus and that's final" he says, talking over me as I open my mouth to protest. I shut my mouth and glare at him, in response he chuckles nervously and looks away. He knows my glare is a general sign I'm going to punch him. I've done it to him before and he knows I won't hesitate to do it again. Zayn may act like a bad boy but I still remember when he was fourteen and scared of the dark. 

I sigh in defeat and stalk past him, grabbing my bag and walk out to the bus stop. Zayn joins me after a couple of minutes and together we wait in silence.


*Authors Note*
To 161 odd people who read Scars of Flame. Just so you know this is the new 2.1 version. See I don't feel like I did it right so I've decided to rewrite it so hopefully you guys like it and please comment so I know if you guys like it or not.
PS if you guys are wondering what Zayns nickname for Bella is it means  tiny in Arabic. And you pronounce it sag-here.
And yes I know Zayn has left 1D but considering the boys aren't famous in this fan fiction I figure he can stay.
May your days be sugary-sweet,
Candy-Cain

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