Survive him, Thrive with him.

Claire Mathews had a particulary normal life; good friends, nice education. The only things thatmade her different was her paranoid friends, and complicated family life.
She never really experienced more than her little secluded box of life and comfort.
In an eventful short period of time, that little box is stretched far and wide, opening up past what her mind can comprehend and bringing her 'normal' life to a screeching halt. She wasn't Claire Mathews anymore, and she wasn't the same girl who did all her homework and kissed her mother goodnight over the telephone.
What happened? A certain man of myth decided to knock on her door.
A certain man with surprising news and a shocking, if not believable, story to tell.
A certain man with no face.


3. Chapter three

I hear my own snore and snap awake, wiping the intense drool on my face and cleaning my hands on my pillow.


Note: Hot chocolate does wonders for sleep.


I yawn and slump back on my bed, an annoying bird ruining my summer sleep in. I narrow my eyes at my window and sigh, shifting so my stomach was facing downwards and trying to sleep a little longer, my insomnia returning.


I grunt as I lift my body up by my arms and look around. The light escaping my blinds was allowing me to see the floor, dirty and covered with random stuff. Of course, my mom says that I can't find anything, but in reality I know exactly where everything is.


Swinging my feet to the side, I urge my body upwards. My lazy attitude makes me fall back on the side of the bed and slowly sink to the floor, rough carpet not as inviting as cotton sheets.


My phone loudly rings and I raise my head to look at it, on top on my dresser. Using the smallest amount of movement possible, I try to reach up and grab it, failing to get high enough and scooting across the carpet. My hand finally reaches the ringing phone, but pushes it away instead. I groan and slowly rise to my knees, taking the phone and smoothing my shirt out.


"Hello?" I ask as I answer the phone.


"Hey, Claire. What are up to?" My friend Jacob playfully asks.


"I was sleeping. Now I'm not." I grumble tiredly, wiping my eye.


"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to wake you up." He apologizes.


"It's fine, I was going to start a project today anyways." I mumble, walking over to my wooden dresser and sliding a drawer open, revealing short sleeve shirts. I pick a plaid one out, covered in paint stains and several sizes too big. It was my main painting shirt, despite my mothers pleas to let her buy me more than just one. I don't care if she had money up to her elbows, I wasn't going to let her throw it all on me.


It's called simple living.


"Good. Does that mean I get to come over?" He asks, hopefully.


"Goodbye, Jacob." I reply, hanging up the phone. We may be friends, but he liked to purposely annoy me when I worked on projects. Personally, I believe it was because me doing a project meant that my dad was out of town for work, and I was home alone. He tries not to show it, but I know he has a crush on me.


I'm sort of creeped out, but also complimented.


I toss my phone on my bed and watch it bounce several times, turning on the light and walking back over to my dresser. I slide open another drawer and pull out simple capris.


My phone rings again and I climb halfway onto my bed to answer it.


"Yes?" I ask. Nothing replies. I take the phone away from my ear for a second to see the caller id and it wasn't listed.


"Hello?" I ask again, yet nothing. I hesitantly hang up and stare at my phone, tossing it onto the bed again, only for it to ring once more. I pick it up and see the not listed id, setting it back on the bed and leaving it alone. I brush out my orange hair and twist a strand around my finger, admiring the color. No one else in my family has had this color, except my great grandmother. I even got her green eyes. It seemed as if none of my parents were willing to give up their traits to me.


Not like my father gave up anything for me anyways.


I twist my hair up into a ponytail and walk out of my room, my stomach growling slightly. Over the summer, I didn't eat as much as I usually did. I guess the order that you have to eat lunch at school just trigger an automatic hunger in my mind as soon as lunchtime came rolling around.


Luckily, I wasn't in that kind of school anymore, now I've been scraping by in collage.


I steal a tortilla from the fridge and bite down on the edge, walking through the living room and down the stairs to the basement. I had canvases and papers down here and in my room, perfect for my project days.


I turn the corner and walk over to a set of counters and cupboard, opening a cupboard and pulling out my paints. I stoop down to the cabinets under the counter and look at the stacks of my canvases, picking out several and taking my things with me.


I had a passion for art, and drawing. The things you could create, the things you could do, were amazing. My imagination could run free, and the only thing letting to flow was the paintbrush, or the pencil. I loved seeing what it made next, though I never did anything with my finished projects.


I set up my paints and grab a paper plate, poking a hole in one side and covering the plate with assorted colors. Dragging my easel from behind the couch, I set it up with a canvas in landscape orientation and stare at it.


What to paint?


I take a few moments before dipping my brush in some green paint, and apply it to the bottom half of the canvas.


I don't even pay attention as I mix colors, creating light greens, dark green, yellow greens, dark browns, light browns, and reddish browns. My hands knew what they were doing without my help, and I would let them go. My mind left me as well, travelling to ponder whatever it wanted to.


When would dad be getting back? His trips usually took most of the week when he was gone, but some only lasted a few days. Where was he going was the correct question to ask, since the distance would determine the amount of time it took to get there and back.


I drop my colorful paintbrush in a glass of water, for now, and pick up a smaller one.


There was also the question of what his mood would be like when he came back? Sometimes he was tolerable, other times he made you want to run as far away from the house just to get away. Sometimes I wish that he didn't have custody of me after him and mom divorced. I don't understand what the judge and lawyer saw in him that showed he could lovingly take care of me.


He can't.


I stop painting when I look at my scene; lush trees made of many colors, and detailed trunks that dug into the fresh foliage beneath them. One smooth trail was parting the green and brown woods with a light brown color, something black starting to appear at the end of the trail.


My mind falls blank as I lean in to look at what I just made, a black rectangle, as if I was drawing a man. The train of thought I was riding on suddenly ceased, and I couldn't find the place I was just in to finish what my hands were making there.


I take the canvas off the easel and set it aside to dry, picking up another and painting with blues, reds, yellows, and oranges as well.
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