Close to Dead

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Chapter One: The Same

Nothing would ever be the same again. Somehow, I knew it to be true. I guess I always knew it, but I had always been able to deny it until now. Now, it was bare, naked, and staring me straight in the eye. The truth. The future. And it wasn’t pretty. It was horrendous, ugly, scary, and if I could turn back time and go back to a few years ago, when vampires and werewolves were from horror movies, and fairies were just from nighttime stories, I would, God help me, I would.

But I can’t.

And nothing will ever be the same again.

I don’t want to think about the terrors that I’ve seen, or the things that I felt, or the pain that I went through, but I can’t help it. I’m one large open wound, and all I can do is feel.

I’m scared all the time. I walk around my house, and feel scared twenty-four seven. I imagine that someone is behind a chair, waiting for me. I look outside, and I think I see someone, (or something) hiding behind a tree. Every sound I hear in my bed at night is a monster waiting to get me, and the thing is, I know that monsters are real, because monsters have gotten to me before, so I know it could happen again.

I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. Amelia is gone. She blames me for everything that happened, in some odd way. She says she doesn’t, but she forgets that I can hear the truth in her head, so she has finally left for her own home. I guess she must have loved Trey more than I realized. Maybe she loved him more than she realized.

Sam has knocked on my door almost every day since I’ve been home, but I hardly ever answer. Sometimes I go to the door to tell him to go away. Sometimes I open it just a crack, smile at him, but tell him that I’m not up to visitors. Sometimes, on the days when I won’t let him in, he talks to me from outside. Sometimes he sits on the porch, and says nothing, and after a while, he leaves. It’s just as well. I want everyone to leave. Everyone eventually leaves me anyway.

Jason came right after I got back, right before Great-grandfather left, but that was the last time I saw him, and that’s fine with me, too. I don’t have the strength or fortitude to deal with him again. I don’t even want to be his sister anymore. Husbands and wives can get divorces, why can’t brothers and sisters do the same. It makes no never mind. He doesn’t seem to be aware that I’m avoiding him.

Bill is still unwell. I know this because Sam has told me so, on one of the many visits where he sits on my porch, and talks to me through the door. Sam must know that I’m on the other side listening. I do miss Sam. He’s a good friend. It just hurts too much to have friends. I also hope Bill gets better; after all, he did almost die while trying to save me. That’s says a lot.

That’s more than I can say for Eric.

Does he know that I’m still here? Am I still here? I feel like an empty shell. If our damn blood bond is all that its cracked up to be, you would think that he would know that I’m close to cracking up. I’m close to losing it all. I’m close to checking out. In other words, I’m as close to dead as a person can get without dying.

I don’t mean to be unfair, but I can’t get over the fact that I called, and cried, and screamed his name until I was hoarse, the whole while those evil fairies had their way with me, and he didn’t come. I wanted him more than I wanted anyone, and he didn’t come for me. He didn’t save me. He sent Bill and Grandfather. At least he did that much, I suppose. He might have a good reason why he didn’t come, but he hasn’t deemed it important enough to tell it to me yet.

Sure, he gave me blood to heal me, but knowing Eric, he didn’t do it for altruistic reasons. I remember the word, ‘altruistic’ from my word a day calendar the year Gran died, and it means that I’m sure he didn’t do it for anyone but himself. The first week I was back, things seemed fine between us, but since then, since I’ve had time to think of things, consider things, mull things over, I’ve concluded that anything we’ve felt for each other was false. It was only because of the stupid, blood bond.

Because I thought, I really believed that I loved him. I never admitted as much to anyone, not even myself, but I did, I loved him, but he didn’t love me enough to come and save me.

Maybe he couldn’t. Maybe he was busy that night. I don’t care. Remember, I don’t care about anything, anymore.

I stood in the shower that morning until the water ran cold, thinking about how much I don’t care anymore. When it ran cold, I still stood there. I stood there until I began to shiver. I heard my phone ring, I turned off the water, and I still stood there. I knew my answering machine was full, so whoever it was couldn’t leave a message. I hadn’t turned on my cell phone for days.

Eventually, I would have to leave this house, pay bills, get some groceries, run to Wal-Mart, (I was real low on toilet paper), but not today. I stepped out of the tub, placed a nightgown over my body, and threw myself on top of my unmade bed and closed my eyes.

The next thing I knew, someone was stroking my forehead, and it felt so good to have someone touch me, show me some care, show me any type of compassion, that I didn’t even question who or what it was. I knew I should. After all, I had been afraid of my own shadow for days, and as soon as I realized that I should be afraid, and that I wasn’t, I realized why I wasn’t. It was because it was he.

I wasn’t afraid because he made me feel safe. He made me feel loved and happy, even when I knew deep in my heart that I would never be safe, happy or loved ever again. Even if it wasn’t real, and I know it’s not real.

He bent down and kissed my forehead. “Are you finally awake?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. What a stupid question. Couldn’t he see that I was awake?

“You’ve been avoiding the land of the living for two weeks now, dear one,” he said softly. His hand went from my now dry hair, down my shoulder, to my hand. He lifted it, smelled my wrist, (which I thought was odd) and then he kissed my open palm. “What is wrong, Sookie?”

I looked up into his blue eyes, and I said, “Nothing will ever be the same again, Eric.”

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