So now I think I’ll just be honest
I hope that no-one ever leaves
‘Cause I don’t want to be alone with me
I gasped and sat upright in my bed. The last week had not held particularly enticing dreams for me. In fact, I had been dreaming only one dream for the past months and I think it would be more accurately described as a nightmare.
A group of people are seated at a long table, all making small talk quietly to each other. I sit at a chair by myself at the very tip of the table, alone. As I survey the scene around me, I recognize all of my school peers. Lucy, Caitlyn, Katherine, Tess, Lily, Anna. The hall is large and cavernous with grand decorations. I am sure there is a party going on or at least a celebration of sorts. Suddenly everyone turns to look at me, my breath catches as I realise they all have a partner sitting with them.
“Oh that’s right,” Katherine, my friend, calls to me, “You must be Amelia. You’re the girl that no-one ever loved.”
“What?” I look desperately around myself to see a mirror on the wall; I am old and wrinkled, the life gone in my eyes. “You mean no-one loves me?” I realise I still have the voice of my 10-year-old self. They all begin to laugh at me as I shrink smaller and smaller…
And that’s the part where I always managed to wake up.
I waited until my breathing slowed and then thought gradually about my dream. Katherine was the closest thing I had to a best friend, why would she be jeering at me in my dream? I knew why; because I wasn’t connected to any of the people at my school. All they thought about was popularity and clothes and whether this food would make them fatter than that food. I wanted to talk about something deeper. Ha. Dream on, I told myself, nobody actually cares about you.
“Nobody cares about you.” I spoke the words out loud and hated the sound they made in the air. I curled myself into a ball on the bed. It was too hot though; I slid on my slippers and slopped across the landing to the bathroom. Ah, the quiet normality of the bathroom. I turned behind me and made sure to lock the door, while turning on the lights. I splashed a little water on my face and sat down on the cool, marble floor. Here I let the tears come to me.
I had been depressed since the beginning of the year. My friends had been slowly starting to avoid me, no boy gave me a second glance and my standard of work had been slowly slipping. It made it bad enough that my mother had decided to ship me off to London last Christmas. Oh yeah, and the fact that she had forgotten I was there. So now, I was stuck with my father in a penthouse apartment in Mayfair. He expected me to be like a normal teenager; to go shopping and see movies with my friends, but he showed no concern when my social life became non-existent. That being said, he only showed concern when his shares were involved.
In a way, it was kind of nice. I didn’t have anyone stressing over my emotions or telling me what to do. I just lived my life peacefully and no-one commented. Except for my school peers. I knew I was the subject of shameless gossip. Some thought I was on drugs, others thought I was mental and there were a few people who just stared at me. Simply watching to see if I would do anything crazy. They were the worst people out of the whole lot of them. Half of the people thought I was crazy because of the money. It was true, my dad was rich; filthy rich. He had at least three luxury homes on five of the seven continents of the world and we had a glamorous apartment. A three-storey apartment! It was ridiculous; we had maids and butlers and chefs. He had a personal assistant for his personal assistant. Completely stupid if you asked me, but no-one did ask me so that little bump in the road was smoothed out.
I stood up and decided to take a shower; I looked like a car crash. As I took each item of clothing off, I wondered if my father would hear me. No, I decided, he wouldn’t because the whole bloody building had soundproof walls. The place was a psychiatric ward full of people who were always on the phone to someone who shouldn’t exist, like a financial advisor or a personal shopper. They thought they were clever, leading lives of beautiful people and beautiful objects. Ha. They couldn’t be dumber, or crazier.
The warm water of the shower cleared my head. I breathed in deeply. What time was it? The digital clock on the wall read 2:58 am. I would have to straighten out my sleeping schedule before the term recommenced. I turned off the taps and cursed under my breath. It was so cold. I looked up and saw that not snow, but a thin layer of ice covered the skylight above my head. Why did they have to put it in such an inconvenient place? If anyone was on the roof of the apartments (not that they would be) they would surely look in and see the body that I had trouble looking at myself. Just as that thought reached my mind there was a flash over the skylight. A dark flash. A flash of…
“Shadows,” I breathed. Oh my God, there was someone on the roof. Who were they? Maybe it was a suicide attempt. Maybe they were in trouble. Maybe they were a serial killer. I didn’t want to think about that last one. I ran across the landing into my bedroom, then turning the corner into my walk-in wardrobe. I flung on a pair of jeans, a tee-shirt and ugg boots. For reasons I didn’t understand at all, I raced to the stairs to the roof. I yanked open the door at the top of the stairs and leaped into the cold night air. Then I remembered I wasn’t wearing a jumper.
Everything was very silent, as if a blanket smothered the city. I could vaguely hear the traffic from the streets below. I didn’t want to think of exactly how far below they were. I took a step forward; this was starting to make me feel a bit sick. “H- H- H -Hello?” I had never been good in situations that required my voice to be strong, like the school play. “W-Who’s up here?” I wish I’d turned at that moment. I would have walked back inside and spent a few minutes of my life worrying over what had happened. No. Instead, I was stupid. I stayed up on the roof. Yes, very very stupid indeed. But in a way, it was very very smart.
I took another step forward, as if it would somehow do something.
“Don’t. Move.” A smooth voice caressed my ear. My stomach tightened.
“W-Who are you?” A dark chuckle was the reply. My heart started pounding. I had never been in this sort of situation. Never. As a child, I had stayed close to my mother at all times. She had given me the street smart talk when I was very young. I never went down dark alleys. I never spoke to strangers unless it seemed as if my mother knew them. I never wore very revealing clothes in public. So why the hell I was up on the roof of a 30-storey apartment block at 3am on a winter morning wearing but a tee-shirt made no sense at all to my upbringing. Not to mention the fact that someone with a voice I loved and loathed at the same time was standing behind me and they might possibly be a rapist. Oh the joys of adolescent life.
Cold hands pinned my own behind my back before I had finished my train of thought. My breath became short and rasping and I realised I was nearly crying.
“There there,” the voice reassured me in a way that was not precisely pleasant. As he said it, my feelings mimicked his calm, “It’ll all be over soon.” What?! No! This couldn’t happen. I didn’t want to die. I knew I should, given my depression, but a feeling that I couldn’t place throbbed inside of me. I focused on controlling my heartbeat. The best way to get rid of an attacker was to make him think you are calm. He only wants you to scream and squirm, I told myself silently.
“Are you going to kill me?” My question was slow and scared. Another, louder chuckle followed. This was beginning to completely freak me out.
“I mean I’ll be gone soon.”
“Gone where?” I challenged him. At least, I think it was a him. There was a silence.
“So what are you waiting on then?”
“My family.” His family. Huh?
“I didn’t know there could be families of serial killers,” I thought out loud, as a joke of course. He wouldn’t, I prayed, be a serial killer. Right?
“Serial killers,” he laughed “That’s one way to put it.” My heart began double-timing. That’s one way to put it? Oh my God. I was on a roof with a fricking serial killer. I couldn’t feel my legs and all my courage was gone. I knew I was definite toast. Then there were light footsteps on the other part of the roof; the part behind me and the man.
“Jasper, we’re done –” the other male voice cut off, “Um – Jazz – what are you doing?” The man holding me spun around and I shut my eyes tight. I didn’t want to see who else was here. Probably another member of the crazed serial killer family.
“Don’t worry, she’s no one.” Ouch. I was being referred to as no one. I should have been used to it but I wasn’t. Anger boiled slightly inside of me. I snapped my eyes open.
“I am not…” I trailed off. The being in front of me was beautiful. The moon made him look a thin, translucent white and the muscles in his arms looked as if they were about to split open, they were bulging so much. He had a slight smirk on his smooth face and I realised I was gaping at him.
“Yes?” He laughed slightly, “You are not..?”
“I – I – I am not…” I trailed away again. The other one had just as enthralling voice as the one still gripping my wrists, Jasper. They both laughed. Oh, what a magical sound that was. I was being entranced by these people who definitely weren’t normal. They were too good, too attractive to be normal. Another set of footsteps came up the stairs and I stared at the door in expectation. The handle turned and it opened.
I had two reactions. The first one was awe as I marvelled at how beautiful the group of people who came up the stairs were. They were all impossibly pale and their eyes, I saw now, shone a slight golden topaz that was definitely not normal. The second feeling I felt was panic. How had they gotten inside of my house? Had they kicked down the door? No, that would set off the thousands of alarms we had in place. That meant they had a key. And the only spare key was under the doormat. I shrugged off this thought immediately. Serial killers had to be experts at breaking into houses, I thought. Everyone probably hides their keys under their doormats.
“Emmett,” a slightly older looking male addressed the muscle-y one, “What’s the hold up?” He turned to faced me and Jasper, a small ‘o’ forming on his lips. It was now that I really looked at all of them. There was a small, pixie-like female, another slightly taller female, who was beyond the realm of beautiful. There was also another woman, her face framed in caramel curls as well as the slightly older looking blonde man and a male (I wasn’t sure whether a boy or a man) with copper – no, bronze hair who simply looked… well, dead.
“And who is this, Jasper?” the small, pixie-like one gave Jasper a tight-lipped smile.
“Alice, relax!” So those two were together; that made no sense. I thought they were in a serial killer family. Maybe when he said family he didn’t mean literally.
“This is, well… she came up here and I’ve been holding her captive since. She would have seen me otherwise.” Alice seemed to evaluate the story in her head momentarily and then grinned, a white, blinding grin. Something in me clicked.
“Oh my God,” I said loudly. Everyone looked at me, as if they hadn’t expected me to speak. “I’m in a fricking dream! Now it makes sense! I must have passed out in the shower! Jeez you’ve got to let go of me, I might have flooded the house by now!” Everyone looked at me silently. I knew I was in a dream, I just had to be. “Well, at least it’s a change from my usual one,” I mused aloud. Everyone looked at the bronze haired dead boy/man all of a sudden.
“Is she joking?” The amazingly beautiful one raised her eyebrows at him. Slowly, while still managing to look dead, he shook his head. What the..?! This was weird. I realised with a jolt that my hands were still pinned to my back and I was still in danger. They started walking towards me very quickly. I felt my knees go slightly weak. Oh God, they were going to kill me. I shouldn’t have let my mouth slip. Well, I thought with dark optimism, no one’s going to miss me. You’re the girl that no one ever loved. The words came back from my dream. And I agreed. Nobody cares for you, I told myself, no-one ever will. You are worthless. You are worthless. You are worthless. The bronze-haired dead one gave me an odd look. As if he knew what I was telling my self right now. I didn’t care. Just let them do it painlessly; I thought to myself, I hope Father just thinks I ran off into the night. Maybe he might even care a bit. And then my sight blurred. I realised I was crying. The group stopped. The bronze haired one didn’t look dead anymore, simply curious. He probably wanted to try out a new killing technique on me. He reached out a hand and everything went black.
I don’t remember anything else from that night. I just remember waking the morning after. I was unaware if I was Heaven or not. Then the doorbell rang loudly and I knew I was alive. I’m not sure if that was a good or bad thing. I sat up in bed and noticed a note lying on my desk. It was clean, white paper folded in half. I opened it tentatively and read the four words written in neat penmanship slowly. I narrowed my eyes; something was very wrong here. How could – ? Why would - ? I didn’t understand. I took a deep breath and read the note again:
You are not worthless.