Broken Hope (ON HOLD)

Just one second after a truck smashed into her mother’s Volkswagen, Hope Callian collapsed in the middle of her science class, screaming in pain. An hour later, her mother was dead, leaving Hope as an orphan.
Now, almost 4 years later, Hope is living with her aunt in Elmira, New York.
Hope has one rule that she swears she’ll never break: Don’t love anyone. Hope has discovered something terrible about herself: when someone she loves dies or feels extreme pain, Hope feels it, too.
She does a good job of following her one rule...until Peter Hannetty arrives in town. He’s mysterious, stubborn, and insanely attractive. All of the other girls flock around him like love-struck birds, but the only girl he cares about is the only one who refuses to love him: Hope.
Will Hope break her rule for Peter? Or are they destined to suffer from untreated desire?

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8. Chapter 7

“Hope.”

    “Hm.”

    “Hope!”

    “Wha?”

    A hand on my shoulder, shaking me. “Hope! Wake up!”

    Lauren Hoffman’s cold blue eyes, wide and wet with tears. “There’s been an accident...Peter and Izzy...”

    “No, no...I would have felt it...”

    “Hope, they’re dead.” Her eyes are ice, freezing my limbs...my heart. “They’re dead...because you couldn’t save them.”

    “No!”



 

    “NO!”

    I bolt up, screaming. Poor Buffy, whom I’ve scared half to death, falls off the bed and glares at me from the floor.

My heart is pounding in my chest, and my body is coated in a cold sweat. I collapse back onto my pillow, trying to slow my breathing and calm my heart.

A nightmare. It was just a nightmare.

Even as I try to soothe my panic thoughts with that fact, I can’t stop myself from grabbing my phone off the bedside table and sending a text, first to Izzy, then to Peter:

 

You okay?

 

Izzy, who’s used to my panicked late-night checkups, answers almost immediately.

 

Alive and well. Relax. Nightmare?

 

Yeah.

 

Well, I’m okay, so you can sleep soundly. See you tmrw

 

I almost text her back to tell her that I can’t sleep soundly yet, but then decide to leave her be.

 

Peter takes much longer to respond, leaving me cold and shaky with panic.

Finally, my phone buzzes with his name.

I pick up. “Hey,”

“Hi. I saw the dream. Are you okay?”

    “Yeah, just a bit shaken up.”

    “Hope...what did Lauren mean?”

 

    You couldn’t save them.

 

    “I...”

    Peter waits, silent and patient, as I try to form the right words to explain.

    “I’m...a bit different from most people. I...I feel the pain of people I love. If they’re sick, or they have an accident, or they’re dying...I feel it as if it’s me. But it’s not me, and it doesn’t physically affect me. It just feels like it’s affecting me. But it’s only people I love, who I really care about, like Izzy, or my aunt. Or...you.

    “I have a fear...that I’m supposed to use this...feeling...to be able to save people, but I won’t be able to. And if someone I love is dying, and I can feel their pain, and I can’t save them...in the dream...I didn’t feel the pain of you dying...and I didn’t save you...that’s what Lauren meant. She was confirming my fears.”

    

    Peter is silent for a long time.

    “I see dreams. Other people’s dreams. People I care about. That’s why I keep seeing your dreams. I...I care about you.”

    “I love you, Hope.”

 

    My breath catches in my throat.

    I love you, Hope.

    I love you, Hope.

    I

    love

    you,

    Hope.

    

    Peter just said he loves me.

    Peter just said he loves me?!

    I can’t help it - I pinch my arm hard. Ouch. Definitely awake.

 

    “Hope?”

    “Peter...I love you, too.”

    And, as I say it, I know in the core of my soul that it’s true.



 

-+-+-+-


 

    It’s been two weeks since Peter and I officially started dating, and Lauren is still shooting me death glares at every opportunity. It’s clear that she feels cheated by Peter, and jealous of me, and furious that a “freak like me” would catch the attention of a “star like him”. I heard her saying that to one of her followers in the bathroom as they smacked their glossed lips and fluffed their shiny hair at their reflections. They spent nearly half an hour gossiping and primping, which was thirty minutes that I was forced to hide in a stall, seriously afraid for my life.

    As terrfiying as pissy-Lauren is, Peter is completely worth the hate. Every time I see him, my whole world lights up, and when he kisses me? Electricity, racing through my entire body.

    I’m amazed by how much I love him, by how he clearly love me back. I’m also amazed by the yearning that has started to grow in my body.

    Whenever I’m away from Peter, I ache for him. I ache for his embrace, for his kisses, for the feel of his wide, firm hands resting on the small of my back, heat seeping through my shirt. I yearn to gaze into those celestial eyes, to see the warmth of his love shining through the blue.

    I never believed in true love and attraction before.

    I completely believe it now.

    Every day, I love him more than ever before.

 

    

    “Hope...”

    “Hm?”

    Peter shifts me carefully so that I’m turned towards him more. I’m sitting on his lap, and not entirely sure how he convinced me to get there. We’re in a lonely corner of the library, during our study hall, alternating between talking quietly, kissing, and somewhat studying.

    “Do you want to come over to my house? This afternoon?”

    The question surprises me. “Your house?”

    He reddens slightly. “Yeah. I...want to be able to spend some time with you. Outside of school and coffee shop. Um, you won’t be able to meet my parents...they’re working late...but, we can, you know, hang out...” His face is turning redder every second.

    I didn’t even know that he could get this flustered. I tilt his chin up so he’s looking me in the eye, and I smile at him. “I’d love to.”

    He smiles back, then kisses me softly.

    My heart swells in my chest, and happiness and love surge through my body.

    I love him.

    And he loves me.

    This is good.


 

    “You’re what!?

    “I’m going to his house.”

    Izzy squeals. “OmiGOSH! Are you meeting his parents?”

    “Um...no, he said they’re working late.”

    Izzy raises an eyebrow. “Love-struck best friend say what now?”

    “They won’t be there.”

    Izzy blinks. Then she explodes, dropping her pizza.

I’m really glad I’m telling her now, while Peter’s in the lunch line.

“You better not exchange any fluids other then saliva, Hope, I swear to the stars-”

    “Izzy!” My face flames. “We are not going to sleep together. Jeepus. It’s only been two weeks.”

    “You better not. I’m okay with y’all making out, but it’s a big N-O to the S-E-X.”

    My face feels like I’m being burned alive. “No S, Izz. I promise.”

    She nods, satisfied. “And no E or X, either.”

    Peter sits down beside me and take in our faces: mine flaming red, and Izzy’s a mix of joy and outrage and “momma bear” protectiveness.

    “Um...what just happend?”


    Izzy waves him off. “We’ll explain when you’re older.”

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