Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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3 Months Later

It was a flash, like a vivid dream in front of my very eyes. Everything felt so real; every emotion, every touch, every word spoken. Everything that happened felt so real, so God damn real. And it was real, until the moment people around me began to fade away.

The bakery is open and booming, but the customers are fading away, they disappear. One minute they’re queued up in front of the counter and the next they’re gone. My employees gone, vanished, until all that is left are Harry and I, standing meters away from each other in the back of the eerily empty bakery.

Suddenly, I’m overcome with emotion, fear, sadness, anxiety. The feeling creeps up deep within me, making my appendages tingle all at once. It’s like when you start to feel buzzed and a great warmth comes over you, only I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy nor do I anticipate a good time.

Upon looking down at my shaking limbs a frightened gasp leaves my lips. Looking back up from my clothes, I see Harry staring sadly at me from across the room. He looks like a ghost, hęll my own skin looks ghost-like with it’s eerily blue undertones and pale white overlay.

“What’s happening to me?” I question, my words flying out of my mouth and I notice that in the once heated space you can now see my breath wafting into the air when I speak. When he doesn’t respond, I call out to him, “Harry! Why am I wearing these clothes?”

I could never forget these clothes; dark skinny jeans with rips through the knees, a striped black and white blouse, a black cardigan with a tiny hole near my elbow from a snag, and slightly scuffed red booties with heels that made me tower over even my father. This was the outfit I wore on the day of the crash, the outfit that was soon soaked to the core by murky water.

A shiver goes down my entire spine as I look around the room to everything fading away, looking just as it had when I first bought the place; dusty, worn, and dark. I realize that I’m freezing in a matter of seconds, my shaking limbs not just from adrenaline and fear but from the severe cold I’m just now processing.

“Why am I so cold?” I question, bringing my arms up to wrap them around myself in hopes to give myself some warmth. I even breathe into my hands, but I feel nothing but icy chills from lungs. How can even the air within my lungs be ice cold?

Harry looks to me, his bottom lip quivering as I stand questioning the situation around us.

Everything had been perfect, the bakery had opened without a hitch. Customers were flowing through the door. I hadn’t burned a single batch of sweets in the days leading up to the grand opening. I was happy, lively; but now everything was turned upside down. Apparently happiness can’t live on forever...

“I’m so sorry, Belle.”

“Why are you sorry?” I ask, equally upset and on the verge of tears. In fact, I feel the moisture on my face so I must already be crying. “What is going on?” I put the question out into the air again, hoping this time to get more than just a sad look in my direction.

Shaking my head, I look down, gasping at the sight. Not only am I absolutely freezing to the core, but now I’m also dripping wet, from head to toe. My blouse sticks to my skin, the white parts of the stripes showing off bits of my skin from beneath the fabric. My hands run through my hair, only to be met with soaked strands of hair.

“This is a nightmare.” I tell myself, looking around at the scenery around us. “This isn’t real. None of this is real.”

“You’re right.” Harry’s voice is eerily calm in this moment, which scares me a bit. I just keep telling myself this is a nightmare and that I just need to wake myself up.

“I just need to wake myself up.” I begin slapping my face and closing and reopening my eyes, hoping to somehow jolt myself awake.

Instead of seeing the ceiling of my and Harry’s bedroom every time I open my eyes I’m met with his sorrowful face. Somehow over the course of a few blinks, he now looks determined and focused, more so than he was before.

“You need to wake up. You need to breathe.” My eyes narrow at his last words. If this is a nightmare and I can’t wake myself up, I should just play along until my brain wakes me up.

“Harry, what are you talking about? I am breathing.”

Looking around the room in hopes that something’s changed, I see that my fingertips are beginning to change colour. They’ve gone from the pale white they were seconds ago, to a darker bluish tint than the rest of my body, scaring me half to death.

“My fingertips are turning blue, H. What’s going on? What kind of a nightmare is this?” I question, watching as Harry takes slow steps forward. He’s in front of me in seconds, his large hand coming up to cradle my face once close enough. Warmth radiates from his skin, a sigh of relief drawing from my lungs.

“This isn’t a nightmare.”

“Yes it is. I’m scared and this is definitely not real, those are pretty good identifiers of a nightmare.”

“Don’t be scared.” Harry tells me, his voice low. Suddenly, a sharp, stabbing pain radiates through my face, causing me to pull away from the man I love in an instant.

“Ow!” I exclaim, cradling my own face whilst I back away from Harry. Keeping my eyes on him I rush towards the only mirror in this place, the one in the loo.

Standing in front of the mirror, I notice the gash running across my forehead. There’s blood dripping down my forehead, running down my cheek and dripping onto my shirt. Then I notice the blood soaking my shirt from my shoulder. In an instant, I’ve peeled away the fabric, being met with a very familiar laceration, what is supposed to now be a scar.

“Oh my God, Harry.” I call out, rushing away from the mirror and back to where I had left Harry. Blinking away tears from my eyes, I look to Harry who is standing right where I left him.

“Everything is going to be okay.” He says, but he doesn’t look at me. It’s as if he’s talking to someone else. “Calm down.” There’s faint shouting to be heard, it sounds like Edward’s voice but he’s nowhere in sight. The sound was so faint that I’m probably just imagining it or it’s my brain producing his screams.

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” I shout in Harry’s direction. Instead of jumping or flinching at my tone, he appears to be completely unfazed,still staring towards nothing.

“Wipe those tears away;” He tells someone. “There you go.” He coaxes and I’m left confused and scared as he stares blankly at the wall in front of him.

“Who are you talking to?” I practically shout at Harry, approaching the man and standing directly in front of him. Though I’m standing within his gaze, he appears to just stare right past me, not even acknowledging my existence.

I go to grab his face, but as soon as I do I’m on the ground, staring up at Harry hovering over me. His hands are hovering over my chest, his face now looking frantic again as his eyes scan my face and body.

“Wake up.”

“I am awake.”

“Come on!” His hands suddenly press down against my chest in a rapid motion, taking my breath away in an instant and creating a panic in my veins.

“What are you doing? Harry!” I shriek, trying to bat his hands away, but it my arms don’t leave my sides as he continues to violently press on my chest. It’s like he’s doing CPR on me, only I don’t need it. “Stop! I’m breathing! I’m awake! Stop!” I screech, crying out in pain.

“Wake up!”

Just as I’m about to yell at him again, everything goes black and just when I think I can finally breathe again, I’m met with the eyes of Harry and a frantic young boy in the back of an ambulance. Harry’s hair drips water ringlets onto my face as he hovers over me. In an instance my body is shoving him away from my and trying to sit up.

“There you go.”

“Annie!”

“What the hęll are you doing?” I shout at Harry, pushing his hands away as I grab Edward and cradle him in my arms, against my aching chest. Looking around I see that we’re still in an ambulance. I know this isn’t real either, because I’m still wearing those dåmn clothes and all three of us are soaking wet, unless I’ve been sleeping for the past seven or so months.

“Shhh, calm down. Miss, you were involved in an accident, but you’re okay.” Harry tells me, holding his hands up in surrender as he looks me over. I shake my head at him, holding Edward to my chest as if he were the last person on earth.

“No, I wasn’t. This is a nightmare. Harry, I’m asleep and you need to wake me up.” I shout at the man. Harry’s brows furrow as I grip tighter onto Edward, afraid if I were to loosen up he’d vanish from my eyes.

“Have we met before?” Harry asks.

“Of course we’ve met before. You’re my boyfriend, you’re asleep right next to me, right now.”

“You need to calm down, miss.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Okay, I’m sorry.”

“What the fück is going on?” I scream, trying desperately to scream myself awake. My eyes shift to Harry in an instant and before I can say or do anything else, he’s taking Edward from my arms whilst an unknown male grabs my arms. “What are you doing? Stop!” I scream, watching as Harry gets out of the ambulance, holding an extremely calm Edward in his arms.

“Stop! Harry get back here! Please come back!

“Help me!”

Like a string attached to my body, I spring up in bed, my chest heaving for fresh air as I take a look around the room. Harry sleeps soundly at my side, I’m wearing my pajamas and I’m completely dry aside from the sweat lingering on my skin.

It was all a nightmare. All a bloody nightmare.

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