Awake, p.3

Awake, page 3



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  "I remember playing with Transformers when I was little. Me and Finn used to fight over who got the yellow one. At least I think it was those."

  She looked up from where she was resting on my shoulder. "I can't imagine you and Finn fighting, you're so close."

  "Believe me, we used to. What about you and Jeremy?"

  "We got along better when we were little. I'm not sure if we fought before the accident. We probably did."

  I watched her for a minute, taking in the darkness of her midnight blue eyes. They were unusual, beautiful.

  "What? You still think I'm weird for not remembering, don't you?" she asked.

  "No, of course not. I find it strange that you don't want to remember but not that you can't."

  Sitting up her posture became defensive. "I do want to, but I can't do it. I've tried a few times over the years, and it just ends up with me getting so frustrated that I feel like I'm going crazy. It hurts to try, Noah. Physically, too. It gives me headaches."

  "Alright," I said. "I'm sorry. But if it is something you want to do, I can help. Perhaps I can take the pressure off you somewhat. I don't like you wanting something but being too afraid to go and get it."

  She pursed her lips. "If I ever decide to try again, I'll let you know."

  Holding both hands up, I replied, "Alright. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."

  "Can we just watch the movie now?"

  I leaned back against the headboard and held my arm out for her. Reluctantly, she lay down with me and tucked herself back into my side again. Something felt wrong, and I realised that I didn't like her being angry with me, even if it wouldn't last long.

  "I'm sorry," I whispered again and kissed the top of her head. This needed to be fixed. I didn't feel right, and I knew I wouldn't until we were okay again.

  "It's okay," she replied, holding me tighter and breathing me in. I closed my eyes, enjoying seeing and feeling how she felt about me.

  That was our first real disagreement, the first time she'd shied away from me and gotten angry. I wanted to do everything in my power to make sure that never happened again, even though I knew that was impossible.


  I WAS ON such a high. It was the last day of school before Easter. Noah and I walked along the corridor hand in hand, trailing behind Imogen, Chris and Bobby. Noah was gravity. Everything was better when he was around.

  In two days, I was going to my grandparents' for the weekend, and although I would miss Noah, I couldn't wait. The Easter egg hunt was at the front of my mind. We'd even probably find a few from last year. No matter how old you got you still had a basket, and you still went searching.

  "I'll see you at lunch," Noah said as we parted ways to go to our one different class.

  Imogen pulled me through the door, and we took our seats. She was still a little sour about me being with Noah and him not paying her one bit of attention. I tried to not let it bother me, but it was annoying that she couldn't be happy for me. If she had a boyfriend right now, I was sure it'd be a different story.

  "Have you slept with him yet?" she asked.

  I was taken aback. Imogen was a little too open with things like that but I didn't expect her to come right out and ask, especially since we'd only been officially together four weeks, and it'd be my first time.

  "No, but thank you for asking."

  She rolled her eyes. "Don't be such a prude. Do you think guys like Noah are going to hang around forever?"

  "I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make him wait forever and Noah's not like that." He really wasn't. He didn't make constant sexual innuendos and talk to girls' breasts. He'd shown me nothing but respect and hadn't even mentioned us having sex yet. I wasn't sure where his head was, although when he kissed me I had a pretty good idea, but he wasn't the type to push.

  "Of course he's not. You're too naive."

  "That's the kind of guy you're used to, Imogen. They're not all like that."

  "Wow, thanks so much, Scarlett."

  "Come on! You can't tell me my boyfriend is going to dump me if I don't put out and then be offended when I come back with the truth. You're my friend, Imogen, so I'm going to be honest and tell you when you're being a cow. You get your heart broken because you go for guys that you know are only after one thing. Sorry, but that doesn't really leave you much room to complain or judge."

  Mr Waters started the class, and I'd never been so happy to begin a Math lesson before. Imogen pretended to be engrossed in the equations we were given, but I knew she was only doing it to ignore me. I didn't like hurting my friend, but I wasn't going to take keep taking her crap.

  My phone vibrated once in my pocket, and thankfully Mr Waters was over on the other side of the room helping someone, so he hadn't heard it. I slid the phone halfway out of my pocket and opened the message. It was from Noah, of course. My place after school. Everyone is out.

  It wasn't often that we got time alone so I sent back an immediate reply of 'yes' and shoved my phone back away.

  School passed far too slowly, but that was only because it was the last day. Me and Noah walked back to his place after I'd got the okay and a back by nine o'clock reminder from my mum. I hadn't told Imogen about Noah's text because she would only give me that I-told-you-so expression that I could do without. It wasn't her business anyway.

  "So where are your parents and Finn?" I asked.

  "Mum and Dad are visiting friends and won't be back until the early hours of the morning and Finn is taking a girl from work out on a date. Hopefully, he won't be back before I have to get you home."

  "I'm sure he won't, unless the date is really bad."

  He squeezed my hand. "Let's hope they like each other then."

  We got back to his house and he went straight in the kitchen, knowing I needed a post-school snack. His family were health freaks, though, so I knew I wouldn't be getting crisps or chocolate. That didn't matter; their food was amazing and healthy.

  Noah fixed us some carrot and cucumber sticks, fresh, homemade bread, cheese, and dip. We sat down in the living room to eat and watch their TV that looked like it belonged in a museum. They weren't big on TV.

  We ate, snuggled up on the sofa. It was perfect.

  "So, what're you cooking for dinner to top this?" I asked, taking a bite of carrot.

  "I thought you might cook for me. You know, since you are the one leaving me for four days."

  Shrugging one shoulder, I leant further into him. "Sure, if you don't mind oven chips and a frozen pizza."

  As I thought, he turned his nose up. "No, thanks. I'll teach you to cook something decent."

  "Pizza is decent."

  "Freshly made pizza is decent," he countered.

  "You're teaching me to make fresh pizza? Like the dough, too?"


  This could end badly, but I was surprisingly excited. We weren't completely alone much, and this was likely to be the only time before I went away. I was glad we weren't just spending the afternoon watching the telly. "Alright. Don't let me ruin it, though."

  "You won't ruin it."

  Yeah, we'll see about that.

  We went up to his room to chill before starting dinner in a little while. I sat on his bed, and Noah stood by his desk, tapping his fingers on his sketchpad. He was incredible and could draw pictures that looked like photographs - it was breath taking. He'd only just let me see them, and I seriously hated him for how much artistic talent he had. I had none.

  I could tell he was considering showing me something but was nervous and maybe a little unsure of it. Suppressing the urge to beg him to show me, I pretended to look around his room. The decision had to come from him.

  He bit his lip, picked the pad up and held it close to his chest. "I've been working on something."

  My eyes lit up. "I know. You've been keeping it hidden. Are you ready to share?" He would absolutely not let me see anything that was unfinished.

  "I am, but I'm worried."


  "You have to promise me it won't scare you. It's something I have been thinking about recently."

  "I won't freak, I promise. What is it?"

  "Well, even though we've not been together long at all, I do think about our future, and I'm not saying I want to rush into anything, but it is on my mind."

  I held my hands out, on cloud nine. "Show me!"

  Taking a deep breath, he gave me the pad and turned away. He hated watching someone looking through his work. It was really personal to him, and I loved that he shared it with me.

  I flipped the pad over, and the picture made my heart stop. It was me and him, probably about five years older than we were now, standing outside a beautiful wooden house, surrounded by a meadow.

  "You said you wanted to live in the city in a posh apartment, but I couldn't see it. I hope you don't hate this," he said.

  God, he made me ache.

  "Are you kidding? This is incredible." It brought tears to my eyes. I loved him and our mapped out future so much I thought I might burst. How could he think I would freak out? This was perfect. I was fairly certain that unless he cheated or killed someone, he was with the one I wanted to spend my life with.

  There was no way anything could be as beautiful or peaceful in the city. Everything changed as I stared at a drawing of us, arms around each other, happy as a person could be surrounded by nature. I wanted that. I wanted to live a life with Noah where we'd have more time to enjoy things, rather than rushing around a busy city, taking hours to get anywhere and bumping into people every second. I wanted our house to be surrounded by land we could enjoy and fresh air.

  "I want this, too, Noah. I have even less idea of what I'd do if we lived in the country like this, but I want it more than a built up city. I don't care if I don't earn as much money."

  He finally looked up, and his smile melted me. "You have no idea how much I want it, too."

  "Well, it's done," I said, my voice thick with emotion. "After university we'll move to the country and live the simple life. I want goats and those cute little micro pigs."

  Laughing, he sat beside me and stroked my jaw, stealing my breath again. His eyes were alight. I couldn't stop staring at him. "You want a farm?"

  "If I'm living in the country like this, I want animals." I handed him back the pad and instructed him to add them in. He did it awkwardly with one arm around me. It would be much easier if he let me go, but he didn't want to. Neither did I.

  I spent the next hour watching him draw pictures of my animals. He laughed through it, even adding chicks, rabbits, a cow and a llama. I added a stick sheep with a bad woolly body. It was stupid fun and had us laughing, flirting and kissing the whole time.

  At six we went downstairs to make the pizzas. Noah got the ingredients, and I got a wooden bowl and spoon. He didn't bother measuring anything out, so I left him to put everything in, and I just stirred it until it was thick enough to knead.

  Noah slapped the dough down on the worktop and smirked. "Go on, get kneading!"

  It was gross, I hated when things stuck to my hands and it greatly amused him, but I was having fun cooking with him.

  I pushed the dough down with the palm of my hand and froze.

  Noah, sensing something was wrong, asked, "You okay?"

  I shook my head, clearing my thoughts. "Yeah, just had a major sense of deja vu."

  "Really? With what?"

  "Kneading this with my palm. I've never done it before, so it must be when I attempted chocolate chip Christmas tree biscuits with Mum a few years ago."

  "Strange," he said with a shrug. "Hey, perhaps you have done this before, you just don't remember it."

  I looked down. "Noah, please."

  "No." He lifted my chin and bent down to look right into my eyes. "I'm sorry, I'm not bringing it up again, and I don't want to upset you."

  "No, I overreacted. You're allowed to talk about it. Wow, I really am different, aren't I?"

  "Yes, you are." Ouch. "You are completely different because there is no one else who is perfect to me and for me. Different is not a bad thing."

  He was still the same height as me, so I leaned forwards and kissed him. His arms quickly wound around my back, and I was pulled onto my tiptoes, flush with his chest. My hands were still gross and sticky from the dough, but that didn't seem to worry him as I gripped his hair.

  Noah pushed me against the worktop and ran his hands down my back. When I felt my insides burst into flames, I pulled back. I had the desire to be with him, but I wasn't ready. Why couldn't my body and mind be more in sync?

  He kissed my forehead, breathing just a little too fast. "We should get the dough kneaded and rested soon or this pizza is going to be awful."

  I took a deep breath and tried to get my body under control. "Sounds good. I'm getting hungry."

  We spent the rest of the evening relaxing together. We didn't mention my loss of memory again because it always turned things tense between us. I hoped he would get past the oddness of it, or I would remember already because I didn't want anything causing friction between us.

  I spent the next couple days - supervised - with Noah and then it was time to go to my grandparents'. I wasn't sad that I wouldn't see him, although I'd miss him because we were keeping in touch and, as he'd said, we had our whole lives ahead of us so what was four little days? I seriously loved him.


  I WAITED, IMPATIENTLY, in the car with Jeremy as our parents had yet another conversation after they'd said bye. We'd had a great weekend and I was sad to leave but could we not just go already!

  "Seriously, we shouldn't even get off the sofa until they're in the car," I said, pressing my forehead against the window.

  Mum and her parents could talk solidly until the end of time. Getting together again had always been a huge deal as far back as I could remember - which was actually only twelve years.

  "Yep," Jeremy agreed, and I looked over at him. He didn't even glance up from his phone, which had been glued to his hand the entire weekend. "It was really annoying when you were a whiney baby and I had to try amusing you while they were still talkin'."

  "Still texting Amie? You so lurve her."

  "How's Noah?"

  "Touche, big bro." I looked back out of the window and expected him to make another comment but he was too engrossed in reading her new text. Well, at least she was still talking to him; I hadn't heard anything from Noah all day.

  Mum and Dad finally got in the car and Mum wound down her window, ready to talk more. "You two ready?" she asked over her shoulder.

  Jeremy looked up then. "You for real? We've been sitting in here for fifteen-bloody-minutes."

  "Language, Jeremy," Dad scolded, frowning at him in the mirror.

  "Can we just go please, Jonathan?" Mum said to Dad and waved out of the window. "See you soon. Bye! Love you!"

  "You kids wanna stop off at McDonalds for lunch?" Dad asked. "We won't be home until after two."

  "KFC and you've got a deal," Jeremy replied.

  I rolled my eyes. "I don't think they're trying to make a deal, idiot."

  Mum sighed. "Jon, just stop at whichever one you see in an hour."

  This was going to be a long drive. I pressed the home button on my phone, again, to check if I'd missed a text from Noah, again. Nothing. I was being stupid. It was only one day that I hadn't heard from him, but I was used to waking up with a text and then shooting messages back and forth all day.

  I loved that we could talk so much and never get tired. We never ran out of things to say but if we weren't talking we'd just enjoy the un-awkward silence together. We'd not even been together for two months but I already felt so much more for him than I did for my ex, Jack, in the eight months we were going out.

  Slipping my phone in my pocket, I reasoned with myself. I did not need to text him every waking minute of the day - it was nice - but I didn't need to. We were seeing each other when I got home so I'd message him later to confirm that we were still on and ask i
f he were okay.

  Feeling better about my decision not to go stalker on him, I lay back against the seat and closed my eyes. I was settled, the steady hum and movement of the car threatening to send me to sleep any second. I welcomed it. Easter was amazing but exhausting.

  "No!" Dad snapped, suddenly tugging on the steering wheel. The car jolted to the left. My eyes flew open and I gasped as I was thrown against Jeremy's side. A scream ripped its way up my throat.

  "Jonathan," Mum shouted at the same time Jeremy and Dad swore.

  I heard loud horns beeping from several cars as Dad tried to steady the car. He slammed the breaks on as a minibus swerved in front of us.

  I screamed again as we're hit from behind. My body flew forward before it was caught by the seatbelt locking on. The sound of crunching steel and smashing glass pierced through my ears. My heart raced and I gripped Jeremy's hand as someone else smashed into us from the side, making our car hurtle towards the hard shoulder on the motorway - a ditch. Trees!

  Oh, God. I squeezed my eyes closed and everything moved in slow motion. We hit a large tree trunk but I was out before the car stopped.


  I TRIED TO open my eyes but they felt like they'd been glued shut. My mind was in overdrive trying to piece everything together. We were in the car. There was screaming and we must have crashed but I couldn't remember.

  Did we hit something or did something hit us? Was everyone okay?

  Glass. I remember smashing glass and a big grey building. But we couldn't have been in a building. Did we hit a building? No, a tree. Where was the building then? My head throbbed and I wasn't sure if it was because I'd hit it or because I was trying too hard to remember. And then I was drifting, or more like being pulled.

  Mummy brushed my hair and I closed my eyes, smiling. I loved it when she played with my hair. "Can I have pigtails, please?"

  "Of course," she replied. "You can have anything you want, my special girl."

  "Mummy, can I do your hair, too?" I asked.

  "You can but Mummy's hair won't look as pretty as yours. Mine is too short." She sat down and handed me the brush. I combed it through her short, blonde hair, pretending to be the mum.

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