In the last chapter, tensions mounted for Leena when Syrah revealed to Kate her intentions to take her sister to Maine to pay their respects to the Sullivans. After much trepidation and despite her personal feelings, Leena decided to bite the bullet and take the trip to Maine with her sister. Syrah hopes that by doing so; her and Leena will find a level of peace and closure that has eluded the two sisters since the untimely death of the Sullivans…
"Leena! Leena! Wake up, it's high time. Wake up! Come on, dear!" I felt a hard shoving on my shoulder as I started out of a deep sleep. "What? What is it?" I felt absolutely dizzy with drowsiness as my eyes hung heavy and listless. I struggled to see or make out anything in the night's darkness. I was immediately drawn to the time displayed on the car radio. "One in the morning? Already?" I lamented.
"You've been asleep for hours." Syrah said. "And I've never heard somebody snore so loudly in my life". I stretched my body in the front passenger's seat. Sitting for all of those hours was giving me cramps. I sat silently as Syrah began to fumble around in her purse
But it only seemed like a moment ago when Syrah and I had embarked earlier in the evening and the hours must have flown by in my state of slumber. "We're at the hotel so let's get moving." she hastened. "What? You want to see the graves NOW? At this time?"
My sister let out a sigh, running her hands down her face. "No, Leena. Just get the bags out from out of the back seat while I go check us in." She seemed very insistent, almost in a hurry. She bundled up her coat before exiting into the extreme cold of another bitter winter's night. I watched her breath condense like a huge puff of smoke as she hurried to make her way inside the front office.
My eyes suddenly burned as the florescent lights of the building lit up the night sky with an intense, white aura. As I finally came to I realized that we were more or less in the middle of nowhere. I could see that the parking lot was virtually empty save for a few other vehicles off in the distance.
This wasn't even a hotel for that matter. At first glance, it looked like a cheap motel, the kind where prostitutes and the other dregs of society would hang out at. In fact, the single story structure wasn't all too different from the sort of places where I used to conduct my "business" out of.
I tossed and turned in my seat, fumbling for the button to release the seat belt. I sincerely did not want to leave the comfort of the vehicle. "Screw it", I put my head back onto the seat and tried closing my eyes again. Maybe I was dreaming, after all. I had settled back into rest for no more than a few seconds when I heard a soft tapping at the window.
I moaned and groaned, expecting to see Syrah as I rolled down the window slowly. Standing there was an older man wearing no coat and dressed in absolutely ragged clothing. The holes in his shirt and the dirt on his jeans were the tell tale signs of a street person. He wore a scruffy grey beard and a stained baseball cap that seemed as aged as the man himself.
I could see the age etched on his wrinkled face. Even in the cold air the strong smell of alcohol was terribly repulsive. "What? What do you want?" I challenged him in anger.
"Excuse me, little miss. You don't happen to have a dollar or two I can borrow, do you?" His speech was somewhat slurred, indicating he was obviously intoxicated. "FUCK OFF, YOU FILTHY BUM BEFORE I GOUGE YOUR EYES OUT!" The old man seemed indifferent to my harsh demeanor as he meandered off into the darkness from which he came, staggering aimlessly to and fro.
I leaned my head out the window. "AND I HOPE YOU FREEZE TO DEATH! YOU HEAR ME, MISTER?" I shouted. Still in a state of exhaustion, I finally mustered up the reserves to get my tired body out of the car. The sudden chill gripped my bones. "Might as well be in the Arctic" I grumbled.
I opened up the side to retrieve the two bags of luggage that we had packed. "Damn it, Syrah. Why did you have to pack so much?" I pulled the heavy black travel bags from out of the seat and let them fall at my sides. The wind suddenly picked up slightly and I immediately went numb. It was easily below zero this far north. I was hoping that the bum would stay at bay as I waited a few anxious moments before Syrah returned.
Her hair blew backwards in the wind as she motioned for me to follow her. I struggled mightily with the oversized baggage, dragging them lazily behind me. For an 83 pound woman like myself it was nearly impossible to carry 30 pounds worth of baggage or of anything else for that matter.
As this was a motel, all of the doors to the individual rooms were on the outside. Trash and cigarette butts cluttered the sidewalk. I could hear the endless wail of television sets as I passed by each room, their electric glare emanating eerily from the windows. It was strange how uncomfortable I felt yet how familiar of an environment this all seemed. There were plenty of dumps such as this in Estonia where I used to sell myself for a quick buck.
My attention was soon drawn to all of the beautiful stars gazing down upon us in the sky. It was a stark contrast to this dump I would soon be spending the night in. I shivered uncontrollably. It felt as if it were becoming colder by the minute. Even in Estonia the winter's never seemed so cold and harsh.
Finally, we made it to our room. I watched as Syrah struggled for a moment to unlock the door. "Come on you piece of crap" she griped to herself. "Hurry up, sister. I'm not really in the mood to get mugged tonight!" I urged. She finally managed to lurch the door forward. I hastily made my way inside, welcoming the inviting warmth. Syrah closed the door tight and locked it, keeping all of the more unsavory aspects outside. As I took stock of my surroundings I was immediately struck by the musty smell of stale cigarette smoke. Syrah flipped on the lights which broke through the dense darkness.
I immediately took off my jacket and set it down on a chair. "Couldn't we have gotten a better room elsewhere? Is this really where we have to stay?" I complained. "There's nothing I can do about it. The GPS says this was the only one in the area." my sister said. "After all, it's not so bad. It's just for tonight and then we'll head home." I chuckled for a moment. "What's so funny?" she asked.
"It's just strange that you call the Coleman's house…home. As if you've claimed it for yourself already. You know what I mean?" Syrah cleared her throat. "You already told me that, sweetie. Well, home is wherever I'm staying I guess. Home is wherever you happen to be. It's not like we can drive back to Estonia or anything. Unless you want to get your feet wet" she said with a laugh. She excused herself and disappeared for a moment into the bathroom.
I looked around at the pathetic excuse for a room. White walls stained with the nicotine of a thousand cigarettes. The carpet looking as if it hadn't been cleaned in years. At least the simple beds on the other hand looked clean enough to lie on. The small bathroom that Syrah had ducked into was directly adjacent to where the closet was. I almost hesitated to lie down as much as my aching body wanted me to. "I've had worse" I thought. "Much worse."
"Should I unpack?" I asked. Syrah was pretty adamant about what she wanted next. "Yes, and I need you do something before we can both go to bed for the night and please don't argue with me about it." I didn't answer her. I could hear the bathroom sink running and assumed she was washing up. She looked serious as she came back out.
"Leena, hon. I need you to do something before we go to sleep and I don't want any drama over it" she repeated. "What?" I asked. The look on Syrah's face seemed to show she was disappointed that I didn't know the answer. She leaned over and picked up one of the travel bags, placing it flat on the bed.
She quickly unzipped the flap and pulled out some clothes; a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. "Remember what I told you the other day, Leena? That when we would get here that you would drop the whole Esther nonsense. Just for this visit? Just for this short time?" I nodded understandably. She held the clothes out to me. Her demeanor was dead serious. "Get dressed!"
"Syrah, it's one in the morning. Why not wait until we get up?" Syrah stuck to her demands. "Don't argue, honey. Please go into the bathroom and get out of that ridiculous outfit of yours. I just want to see my REAL sister for a change. Come on now, don't make me beg just to see you as yourself for once."
"Who could blame you?" I gingerly took the clothing from her hands. "It's not like anybody is going to recognize you. Now if we were back in Tallinn then there would be no way in hell I would allow you to do this." As I was about to leave for the bathroom Syrah gently grabbed hold of my wrist to stop me.
"Oh, and let's not forget. There's a clean washcloth in there. Lose the makeup, sweetie. I want to see a woman, not the false face of a nine year old." Without another word I trudged into the bathroom and shut the door. My heart began to race like an engine at it's red line. I could feel my blood pressure almost skyrocket. No, I didn't want Syrah to see Leena Klammer. I wanted to hide myself from the entire world.
I looked into the mirror at "Esther" and realized that she was the only thing keeping me from a one way ticket to disaster. I could stand to look at "Esther" but never Leena. But I was always obedient to Syrah and I wasn't about to go against her wishes. I would do as she asked if it would make her happy. What choice did I have in the situation I was in?
I hesitated for a moment before I began undressing. "What if she doesn't like what she sees? Will she judge me? Will she somehow have less love and respect for me?" Again, what choice did I have? I removed my shoes and pulled my tights off. I thought about how thin my legs looked when they were bare. I became more nervous and apprehensive as I looked in the mirror at "Esther" once again
How disgusted I was to see that false persona. Yes, I could bear to look at her but I was always ten times mores disgusted to see the real me. To see Leena Klammer staring back at me was a living nightmare. I suddenly felt ashamed as I pulled off the black plaid dress I was wearing. So old fashioned, yet one of the few things that seemed to define me.
I let it drop haphazardly to the cold linoleum floor. A large moth landed on the porcelain sink, making it it's perch. Angrily, I balled my hand into a fist and smashed it down onto the tiny creature. In an instant it's life was ended. Nobody would miss him after all. I ran the cold tap water and washed the mess off of my hand. "Why am I so angry? What is there to be angry about? Just let Syrah see LEENA!" It was as if my subconscious was trying to tell me to stop. That I was making a grave mistake.
I took the pair of jeans, a pair that Kate had bought me, and slid them on. It had been a hell of a long time since I had worn such clothing. Clothing that every other woman took for granted seemed so alien to me. "Guess they don't look too bad on me."
I then began to tediously unwrap the medical gauze from my slender frame. I wore it so often that it almost seemed to stick to my skin. Slowly it unrolled around me until I finally peeled it completely off. I let it fall into a heap on top of the pathetic looking dress. The gauze acted much like a corset, making me appear smaller than I really was. I forgotten that I even had the curves and the figure of a woman. Was Syrah really ready to see all this?
Beads of sweat coursed down my face as I slid the t-shirt over my body. I didn't even need a bra, my body was so undeveloped and ravaged from my disease. The shirt clung pathetically to my skin I looked into the mirror and stared at the blue ribbons still dangling within my hair. How disgusted I was by them! I removed the silk atrocities and let them fall down onto the pile along with everything else that made "Esther" who she was.
I let my hair fall down over my shoulders. I fluffed it a few times as I struggled to stare at my own reflection. Just one more thing to do. Yes, just one more thing but probably the toughest of all. True, there was plenty of times when I removed and reapplied my make-up but this was always done in total privacy. Now I felt as if the whole world was watching me over my shoulder. Mocking me for the pathetic excuse of a creature that I felt like inside.
My lips quivered, I placed my hands on the sides of the sink just to keep my whole body from trembling. I felt woozy as if I were on the verge of passing out. I reached over for the washcloth and wetted it in some warm water. I held it to my face realizing that I had to do this for Syrah. I OWED it to HER!
The washcloth made a sickening slapping sound as I put it to my face. Slowly I let the water permeate the make-up as it finally began to run onto the washcloth. It was another one of those moments that felt like an eternity, I could almost feel my hand go limp as the make-up dripped down into the dirty wash basin.
Each drop was a part of Esther that was literally going down the drain. "Is everything okay in there?" My sister's voice was now making me almost paranoid. "One moment, Syrah. PLEASE!" As I washed my entire face I became strangely transfixed by the transformation.
The vibrant, youthful skin of "Esther" was giving way to the dull, pale, almost grayish skin of Leena. The frown lines and creases I tried so hard every day to hide from the entire world were now bare for all to see. I knew I had aged even more from the time that Syrah and I parted ways in Estonia to this unreal moment.
She would soon see how ugly I was. Not only how ugly I was on the inside but on the outside as well. I felt like my appearance was a physical manifestation, a reflection if you will of the rotten soul that dwelled within. I feared my sister would become so repulsed that she would faint or worse. I couldn't shake such wretched thoughts from my mind.
I took another towel and dried my bare face. Was it merely fear that my sister would judge me that was causing my distress? Or was it the fear that, as with James, some person would recognize Leena for whom she truly was? "Alright, ready." I called out. I could feel a knot grow tighter in my stomach.
I reached for the brass doorknob, turning it slowly and methodically. I had to dig deep for the courage just to take another step. But I had to get this over and done with. I hanged my head as low as I could. The linoleum tiles gave way to the dirty carpet as I trudged out of the bathroom.
I suddenly stood still, becoming almost like a statue. Too frozen in shame. Suddenly I felt her gentle hand life my chin. "Look at me, Leena. There's nothing to be ashamed of here." How much willpower it took to lift my gaze. Syrah had the sweetest, most tender look on her face. "Leena", she whispered. "It's finally you for a change." She caressed my cheek with the back of her hand.
"I missed how beautiful you looked. Now you can be you for once." A wall mirror was hanging right behind her. She stepped aside and gently guided me over to the mirror. "I want you to take a good moment and look at yourself." I felt as if the mirror would crack at my very reflection. Her hands were placed delicately on my shoulders, trying to reassure me that I had nothing to fear.
"Oh God, I look so hideous." I reached out to touch my reflection. "No wonder no man wants to be with me. Who the hell would want a freak like this?" I wanted to collapse into a ball and retreat back into the dark recesses of my soul. "Now Leena, don't start beating yourself up. You ARE an attractive woman. You DON'T have to behave as Esther in order to get a man to love you." Syrah's attempt to reason with me would be fruitless.
"Oh, really? Look at how beautiful you are, Syrah. You're nearly 40 and you barely look older than 24. You always had boyfriends when we were growing up. You've been married before. You always had the best relationships. And what did I get? All I ever get is rejection! I'm so ugly and STUPID!" I suddenly stared at myself in the mirror as I grew more upset.
"You hear me you stupid little whore. Just say it, you're UGLY and that's why nobody wants you!" Syrah immediately tried to console me. "Leena, are you really that filled with self-hatred? Do you really mean to tell me that? Please, pretty PLEASE don't make this trip any harder than it has to be."
She pointed to the mirror. "Repeat after me…'Leena Klammer…I love you!' Go on and say it! Lift yourself up for a change." I stared at my cold, dark eyes. There was not a glimmer of beauty in them. I couldn't manage it. I turned my back to the mirror. "You know something, Sy? I can't tell you how many times I've looked at myself without the make-up. Locked in a bathroom, doing my best to make Esther real. And yet…" I trailed off.
"Scared, aren't you? I know what you're thinking, Leena. That you'd somehow put me off if I seen you for who you really were. Leena, you're fully aware that I KNOW Esther is fake. Do you think I'm going to be terrified just because you take off your mask every now and then? Come on, I think you have a little more sense than that. You know I'm not going to pass judgment on you" Once again it was incredible how Syrah always instinctively knew how I felt. That bond was still as strong as ever.
"It's not just that." I started. "The whole reason the Sullivans died to begin with was because they found out who I really was. It's…it's not just you. You don't know how hard it is to be Esther, yet at the same time it's just as hard to be Leena. I'm paranoid! I feel like I'm going to walk outside tomorrow and every person will know that Leena Klammer is on the loose." I laid down on the soft mattress as my sister took a seat at the edge of the bed.
"No, no, I understand. But you look so much different without the get-up. We're what? Three thousand? Four thousand miles from Estonia? It's not like Dr. Varava is hiding in the bushes outside. You don't stand out at all, you look like a normal human being. But if you start acting paranoid around everyone than people are going to question you. Stay in control!"
Ah, that helped a bit to put my mind at ease. "Syrah, isn't it crazy that a man I slept with years ago just so happened to run into me a matter of miles from where we're at now? That he blackmailed me? And then finally he stabbed me in the back and caused me to…God I can't even bring myself to mention it." Syrah gently ran her hand through my hair.
"Leena, he's dead, right? It's not like he can come back and ever try to hurt you again. I mean, guessing how you went through that then you do have a right to feel nervous. But we'll have enough on our plate in the morning. All we have to do is go to the graves and for you to show me the fire. That's IT! Then you can go back to the Colemans as Esther and nobody will be the wiser as to who you really are. Can you do that for me, honey?"
"Yes, but I hope we can both make it back in one piece. It's going to be so fucking painful tomorrow. The pain, it's already tearing at my chest, Syrah. I can't get this knot out of my stomach. I can't get the lump from out of my throat. I know you're…I know you're just…" I felt as if I were on the verge of a panic attack.
"Just what? Trying to close that chapter on our lives? I'll tell you one thing, we're not up here because I'm looking to drag you through the mud or anything like that. You promised me that you would come up here with me. And you know what? After tomorrow, we'll never mention the Sullivans around each other ever again. How does that sound sweetheart? You want to leave it in the past then so be it. After tomorrow it'll be a done deal for the both of us."
I sat up, slightly confused. "You mean to say like it would have never even happened? That we'll just forget about this disaster forever? Bury the hatchet?" I was hoping Syrah would feel that way. "Leena, I know you're never going to forget about it. I just want it to be dead between us because if we keep going back and forth and dwelling on it then…well, it's not going to be very healthy."
I took a minute to measure my thoughts. "Do you think tomorrow with be healthy for us? I said it a few days ago that I owed this to you. Believe me, I DO NOT want to be here right now. I rather be at home cuddled up next to John or playing with Max for that matter. Not wallowing in this filth ridden hell hole." Syrah suddenly cut me off.
"I know but don't start complaining. It's for one damn night and that's it. We're not staying up here for a week or anything. After all, they want beautiful weather tomorrow and I'll try to make it as painless as possible for BOTH of us. We'll go to the grave to lay flowers. It'll be like how we used to visit our grandparents graves back home. And visiting the sight of the fire? Again, we'll just lay flowers and say a prayer. It's not going to be as hard as you're trying to make it out to be, my dear."
She was about to finish her thought when we were startled by a loud knocking on the door. "What in the hell…?" I questioned. We suddenly heard the muffled sounds of the old drunk that I had encountered outside a short time earlier. "Little miss…hey little miss, are you in there?" More knocking followed. "That stupid son of a bitch!" I hissed. "Fucking bum tried coming up to the car and asking me for money when you were in the office." I explained.
We both were alarmed when the doorknob began to shake. "Come on, I just need a dollar" the old drunk pleaded. "I have pepper spray in my purse" Syrah said. "I think I can one up you on that." I told her. I reached into my coat and pulled out a folding butterfly knife, not exactly legal to carry around. He continued to mill around outside. "This is unbelievable" I muttered. I quickly lost my temper yet again as the adrenaline began to rush.
"I'M GOING TO TELL YOU ONCE AND ONLY ONCE, EITHER START WALKING OR YOU'RE GOING TO START BLEEDING!" I warned through the door. Syrah tried taking control of the situation. "Leena, keep it down before someone hears you." I wasn't having any of it. I angrily marched to the door and unlocked it, flinging it open without a second thought. I was determined to give this old drunk something to cry about. "Leena, what on God's earth!" Syrah was in complete disbelief at my bold display.
I took two or three steps out into the cold and swung the blade out of it's handle. I watched as the fear grew in the old man's eyes. His pupils seemed to dilate as he suddenly became very quiet. I held the blade out menacingly as I bared my teeth like a wild animal being threatened. "You LEAVE my sister and I ALONE! Do you UNDERSTAND me you worthless piece of shit?" The anger in my voice was enough to make him back up, holding his hands out in front of him in a defensive gesture.
He didn't just seemed stunned by my violent gesture. It was obvious to me that I wasn't the little girl he thought he had seen earlier. He looked utterly shocked at the "grown" woman standing before him,.
"I…I don't want any kind of trouble little miss…I…I just had a little too much to drink." He carelessly bumped into one of the cars as he inched backwards, forcing him to catch himself. "If you DO come knocking again there's going to be some VERY serious trouble."
The idiot finally fell flat on his ass before literally crawling away in defeat. Syrah came outside holding a small white can of pepper spray. "Give me that!", Syrah grabbed the knife from my hand. "What do you think you're doing carrying around a switchblade? Hurry, get back inside. You're letting the heat out."
I took one last glimpse at the pathetic creature as he disappeared once more into the dark, inky void. Syrah pulled me back into the room, once again securing the door. "You see, Leena? Stuff like what you just pulled are going to land you in hot water. The BOTH of us, damn it. Why did you have to go and threaten him?"
I shrugged. "Because I was defending us from God knows what kind of scumbag that was." Syrah seemed to accept my answer. "I was just afraid for a moment that…you were going to stab the guy." I smirked at her. "Had he came at us then he would've been in for a treat." She poked her head through the blinds to make sure the coast was clear. "Don't worry about it, Sy Sy. The bastards gone. Now can I PLEASE go back to sleep." I begged.
"I just don't want the guy flagging down the cops…" She finally trailed off with a nod to me. "Go ahead." she resigned herself. "I'll just take a shower in the morning. It's too late in the night now." I said before yawning heartily. "Can you turn off the light?" I asked. I wanted to climb into bed but I found myself hesitating for awhile. "Better not be bed bugs in this filth hole. Did I ever tell you that we had bed bugs at Saint Mariana's?"
"You don't say" Syrah laughed. "Blood sucking bastards bit me left and right. You can't trust a dump like this." I lied down and threw the covers over my head. I took comfort that I was lying in a warm room while that piece of shit bum would have to find a dumpster to stay warm in. Ah, how other people's suffering always managed to put a smile on my face.
I decided not even to bother changing out of my clothes. "What's the point in even changing into a nightgown?" I thought to myself. Syrah spoke up. "Well, I'm going to have a shower. So I'll see you in the morning. I know there's a ton of things on your mind about tomorrow but just try to get a good night's rest, okay? Love you, Leena."
"Love you too, Syrah." We always told each other that each and every night without fail. A reminder that we were bonded through thick and thin together. I fluffed the pillow and let my eyes grow heavy once again as the sound of the shower water acted as white noise.
The hypnotic noise began to dim for a few brief minutes until finally I had drifted back into sleep. As consciousness faded into black, I began to dream. I found myself experiencing the same dream I had had for the past week.
It started out simply enough. Syrah and I were walking into the cemetery with the car parked back in the distance. It was a sunny, cloudless day yet it seemed to be either springtime or summer as there were leaves on the trees despite the fact we were both dressed in winter clothing. One of those days that seemed too bright, too colorful, and just a little too real to be true.
Birds chirped melodically one song after another. There was no dialogue between the two of us as we approached the graves. Syrah simply stared straight ahead in a slow, emotionless, monotone manner. Her movements and demeanor seemed almost mechanical.
Suddenly and out of nowhere the sky began to become darker and darker as if nighttime had suddenly began to seize the day with no warning. I could even liken it to a sudden celestial eclipse. Yet there was peace and calm between the two of us as we held one another's hands. Slowly we approached four graves. Paul, Veronica, Rebecca, and…James. They were all there, just as I had remembered them.
Suddenly the earth began to shake violently. Syrah became motionless and became fixated in place. It was as if she had become a mannequin, still and lifeless. Yet even as the earth shook I didn't seem to lose my balance. The shaking increased in intensity as the ground began to open up beneath me. I suddenly realized in terror that I was alone. Where had Syrah gone? The darkness was all consuming. It was the worst darkness one could ever imagine. Surely I thought I was about to die!
But I did not fall into the chasm. Instead I found myself hovering over the pit as if I were being suspended in space by some unseen force. I tried to open my mouth and scream but it was as if my jaw had been wired shut. The gravestones and the earth itself were all swallowed by the black pit as if it were some hungry beast. The background suddenly disappeared. Neither trees nor birds nor warmth. Everything became deathly cold. Had I descended into hell?
It was only then when a gigantic hand rose forth from the pit. It was easily the size of four or five grown men. As it rose into the air I could see the dark, rotten flesh absolutely infested with writhing maggots. Thousands if not millions, each of them enjoying a macabre feast of death. The stench was unbearable. The sight unbelievable. The terror palatable. I tried to run but I couldn't move. I couldn't scream. I couldn't call out for my sister. I was completely under the spell of this horrible vision.
As this abomination gripped me in the very definition of fear I watched as it began to open. Slowly, the decaying fingers opened until the entire hand was left to bare. I was staring at the palm of the hand, now completely infested with vipers. In the center of the palm was a gigantic red eye. It neither blinked nor moved. Instead it merely stared at me, knocking at the very door to my soul.
It was the most evil thing I had ever seen. The proverbial "evil eye" in flesh and blood. Suddenly the hand moved closer. I felt my feet and legs begin to tingle uncontrollably. As I looked down I found myself standing in a vast sea of maggots! I was standing in them nearly up to my knees."
My mouth remained shut. Suddenly the eye inside of the hand morphed into James' rugged, evil face. "Stupid woman! You're mine for the taking, naughty girl!" Suddenly his mouth opened. It opened far wider than it could in real life. This was followed by a horrifying sea of snakes that rushed from his mouth like a living waterfall, falling at my feet and mingling with the countless maggots. I suddenly felt as if the maggots were beginning to devour me….
Suddenly it was all over! I jolted up in bed in absolute terror. My eyes darted through the darkened space only to my utter relief that I was still in the motel room. The shower water was still running. I knew I had only been asleep for a few brief minutes. "What the hell is wrong with me?" I thought as I collapsed back down onto the pillow. I draped my arm over my forehead.
Syrah emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later dressed in her nightgown. She took a concerned glance at me through the semi-darkness. The bright moonlight streaming through the windows providing our only source of light. "Is everything alright, Leena? You look distressed."
"I…just had a terrible dream. That's all, nothing at all's wrong." Syrah got under the covers with me. Even though there was a second bed adjacent to us I felt more safe with her by my side. "Was it about tomorrow?" she asked quietly. "Sort of, but I'll tell you about it in the morning. There's…I'm just exhausted."
"Well you're not the one who had to drive all those hours" she teased. "Not that I can see over the steering wheel anyways" I joked. Syrah was reassuring. "Don't worry, honey. Let's hope for the best tomorrow and just rest for now. Believe me, it will come and go just like that."
Syrah finally settled in as I was left to think about what I had just dreamt about. Was it some sort of sign? Should I even bother taking notice to it? "You're just freaking yourself out" I thought. "No worries, Leena. They're all dead and buried." Still, I knew I wasn't prepared for tomorrow. Hopefully I would be strong enough to stay sane through it all and poor Syrah, bless her heart! We would get through this TOGETHER…I hope…
In the next chapter, Leena and Syrah finally face the music but who will have the tougher time dealing with the past? Will Syrah stay as calm and collected as Leena hopes for her to be? Can Leena trust herself enough to hold herself together? Or will the whole experience turn out to be more than merely paying respects? Thank you fans for continuing to read, review, and subscribe! Two and a half years of writing this and I'm still not burned out :D It's all because of you guys! Thanks!