Fixated


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3. 2

Chapter Two

-Brigh-

            “I thought you were with your mum?” Michael asked as soon as he opened the door to his and Kate’s house. I shoved my hands in the pockets of my sweater and shrugged.

            “I was,” I said simply, shouldering past him and thundering up the stairs. He followed.

            “Then what are you doing back? Not trying to be rude or anything,” he added quickly, catching my glare. I opened the door to my room and flopped on the bed, stuffing my head in my pillow.

            “Didn’t want her to think that I needed to be pitied on. Which I don’t!” I snapped. I heard Michael shuffle around my room before cautiously sitting at the end of my bed. I peeked through the little slit between my pillow and the mattress to look at his bright blue hair.

            “Is that what she was doing?”

            “No,” I scoffed. “But I could tell she was thinking about it. So I got out of there.”

            “But, doesn’t that seem a little harsh—,”

            “No, it doesn’t seem a little harsh, Michael!” I groaned, angrily sitting in an upright position.  Michael raised his eyebrows at me as if saying, really? I knew I was getting angry at nothing, but I couldn’t control it. It just kept piling higher and higher.

            “Why are you getting angry?” Michael questioned, staring inquisitively at me. I rolled my eyes.

            “Because people think I’m some helpless—,”

            “Hey!” Michael interrupted loudly, gesturing for me to stop. “You can’t exactly blame people, Brigh. You disappeared, for fuck’s sake! And God knows what happened to you! You let people assume the worst because you won’t fucking tell anyone what happened to you. I don’t even know what to think about it and I can’t imagine what Kate must be thinking! One day you were here then then next, gone! Weeks later, we get a call from the police station saying that you were there. And you know what we saw when we got there?” Michael demanded, shuddering. I slowly sank away from his booming voice and shook my head meekly, biting my cheek to keep my words in. “We saw a girl covered in blood and bruises. A girl that I could barely recognize as you! When we walked through the doors, I remember thinking ‘No, that can’t be her…’ But it was.” His voice was subsiding to a soft whisper now, but each word stabbed me in the heart full force.

            “Then there’s Harry, which I have no idea what happened to. You won’t tell us.” He continued. I choked a little on my own spit.

            “Please, can we not talk about this?” My voice grew shaky and my hands were starting to tremble.

            “Can you please tell Kate and me what happened, then? To you and Harry?” He asked, ticking his head slightly to the side. I shook my head.

            “No. I can’t, not right now at least. I’m sorry.” Tears gathered in my eyes, seconds away from cracking. Michael’s face fell, but he nodded anyway.

            “Okay. I don’t want to force you to tell us, but I think it might be good if you talked to someone,” He said gently, shifting closer to wrap his pale arm around my shoulder. I tensed, but moved into his side. A single tear drop fell down my cheek, followed quickly by more. Before long, I was crying openly. I could tell Michael wanted to ask what was wrong by the stiffness of his body and the hesitation of his hand and was glad when he stayed silent, pulling me to him instead.

            I circled my arms around his waist tightly, clinging to him as unwanted memories and thoughts raced through my mind. Sobs racked my body violently, my nose ran endlessly, and my arms clung tighter to Michael’s torso.

            “I-I-I can’t t-tell you w-what happened y-yet. I don’t t-think I’m r-ready,” I stuttered through my tears, a fresh bubble of emotion burst in my chest, causing my cries to become louder.

            “That’s okay. When you’re ready,” Michael whispered, rubbing a hand soothingly up and down my back. I don’t know how much time had passed, but I ended up curled by Michael’s side on my bed, arms still tightly wound around his waist. The tears had dried upon my face, drying around the corners of my eyes and mouth. I closed my eyes for only a moment, vaguely feeling Michael lie me back down properly on the bed and pulling the covers up past my chest. Exhaustion suddenly over took me as soon as my head hit the pillow.

            “Thank you,” I mumbled, barely sure if he heard me.

            “You’re welcome, Brigh.” He whispered back, sounding further away.

            “What happened to you?” I heard him say so, so softly as my mind fell blank and my heart beat returned to a normal, steady pace. Then I fell asleep.

+++

            “Kate, don’t you dare wake her up! She needs time.”

            “But I need to –,”

            “No. You should have seen her last night. She doesn’t want to talk to anyone right now; she just needs to be alone. I think.” Michael hissed. The rising and falling of their voice startled me awake, my eyes snapping open and my muscles tightening immediately.

            “Wait-what happened last night?” Kate whispered behind the closed door, her soft voice muffled slightly, but loud enough for me to hear. My ears perked up.

            “She just had a little moment when you were out, just needed someone to lay her head against, that’s all.” Michael whispered back. I thanked him mentally for not telling the entire truth. I didn’t want Kate to hear about my tiny break down, not until I tell her myself, if I decide to tell her.

            “Really, is she okay?” Kate said an octave higher than a whisper. I heard Michael quickly shush her.

            “Be quiet! And yeah, she’s fine. But I really think that we should just leave her alone for the day or something. It’s not healthy to smother people.” He said, in a somewhat teasing tone. Kate sighed.

            “What happened to making her get out there again? Get a job, meet new people?” She whispered again. I sat up slightly, barely catching her words. Michael chuckled.

            “Maybe we acted too early on that. Right now, at least.”

            “Since when did you become a mother, Mikey? Is there something I don’t know about?” Kate teased, giggling like a school girl. I allowed the grin that was threatening to show.

            “Yeah, I’m pregnant,” Michael laughed quietly. I heard them shuffling around, the floor boards creaking under their weight.

            “Would that make me a dad, then? And you the mother?” Kate asked. I clamped my lips together, a laugh bubbling in my throat. The sound of Michael’s contagious cackle and Kate’s stupid questions drifted down the hall, away from my door.

            I tossed the duvet off me and sat up completely, the bubble of laughter dying down slowly, leaving me somber and alone with my thoughts. The sun outside shone through my window, its bright rays blinding me momentarily. The house around me was now silent except for the noise of the TV running downstairs and the occasional laugh coming from either Kate or Michael, or both.

            With wobbly legs, I slowly made my way to my window, grabbing hold of the blue curtain to close it when something caught my attention, a sudden movement in the corner of my eye.

            Harry.

            I gasped, eyes widening impossibly wide. Every ounce of breath fled from my system, leaving me incredibly light headed. I swayed, stumbling over my feet to press closer to the glass. That can’t be him. No, no, no, no, no.

            There walking on the sidewalk opposite from the house was a slim figure, hooded in all black. Although I couldn’t see the persons face clearly, the head of dark brown curly hair certainly made up my mind. I rubbed my eyes harshly, incredulous. When I looked back to the retreating figure, he wasn’t there.

            “No!” I screamed, pounding on the glass. “Harry! Harry!”

            Feet thundered up the staircase, rushing to my room faster than you could say snap.

            “Brigh, what’s wrong?” Kate yelled; face flushed with concern and alarm. Michael ran to my side, looking in the direction I was pointing.

            “He was there! I saw him!” I shouted madly, frustrated tears stained my cheeks.

            “I don’t see anyone,” Michael said finally, sharing a panicked look with Kate.

            “What, but he was there...?” I whimpered, dropping my hand and slumping my shoulders. Reality was knocking furiously at my door, finally kicking its way in. Harry wasn’t there because he was gone. There was no one there… My entire body sagged against the wall and for the umpteenth time, cried openly into my fists. 

 

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-Hunter x

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