I didn't know where I was, but it took me about half a minute to remember what happened. I didn't recognize the place I woke up to or its surroundings. Was I kidnapped? Oh God…
I sat straight up and just darted my eyes left and right. I was afraid to see anybody else or anybody in general. I didn't want to see the scary face of the person who'd kidnapped me.
"Cheyenne," a voice said from my right, with alarm and relief. I recognized the voice and looked. My panic dissolved then, but I suddenly became confused. Why wasn't I at my house and in his?
"Are you okay?" he asked, still alarmed. He was sitting by my side on the coffee table that was in front of the couch. "I'm so sorry."
"What do you mean?" I put my feet on the floor so I was facing him. "Why am I at your house? Wait, what time is it?!"
He glanced into what looked like a corner or maybe a wall.
"Almost ten," he said, looking back at me. "But I didn't mean for this to happen, I was just trying to see…"
"What energy felt like, yeah," I said. "It's okay. I'm not dead or anything. But I have to go home." I started to get up.
He hesitated for a moment like he was thinking, then stood and touched my shoulder, but then pulled it away, remembering what happened when he touched me.
"Wait," he said, his face looking guilty or troubled. "I have to tell you something. I haven't been very open with you."
I furrowed my eyebrows together.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "We haven't been friends for that long, just about a month. It takes time for friendship to grow, you know. You can open up whenever you feel like you should." To him, I probably sounded cranky.
He hesitated again. "I just feel like…" Again. "I think I need to tell you now before things happen."
"What things?" I said, eyebrows still knitted together in confusion. "Are you in danger?"
"Please, just sit a minute," he said, his expression begging. So I did. He sat back in his place on the coffee table in front of me. I waited, starting to feel nervous.
"There's a lot of things I haven't told you. And even though I can tell you whenever I want, I feel that I should tell you now because it's not fair that you have opened up more than me. So if what I tell you now changes what you think about me, then I completely understand. And if you feel like you want to walk out and never see me again, then I won't stop you. I just want you to know about me because I trust you and nobody else. Okay?" his expression was sad now.
My stomach went in knots. I'll admit I developed a crush on him and I liked him, especially after he'd let me feel his energy. But this "heads up" or whatever was making my predictions come in as not so good. I just nodded, trying to relax.
He sighed. "I…When I lived in Nebraska…I dated this girl…a lot of girls, actually…and as far as I can remember, it was only three girls. And I wasn't a good kid like you think I am now…I was…bad. I would sneak out and go to parties…and I would drink…because when I was 8 years old, that was when I got the ability to read emotions." He paused to see my expression. I felt like I was going to puke up all of my internal organs. The thought of him dating or talking to another girl made me sick. I felt like…I felt like I should have him and no one else. Was that selfish? I don't know, I was too busy feeling sick. He sighed.
"I don't know if I should go on," he said uneasily. "You're already upset." He shook his head. I didn't want to know, but I did at the same time.
"No," I said, my voice choked. "Tell me the rest. I'm just in shock, but go on, it doesn't matter." I was practically begging.
He studied me again before going on.
"Well…remember how I told you that I get emotions ten times stronger?" he asked, choosing his words carefully. I nodded slowly. He sighed again, seeming like this was the worst part of the story.
"Well…when I went to those parties, I would drink to try and block them out. And I would drive home drunk…my mom would always get concerned…but my dad…" He clenched his fists and looked down.
"My dad…" He shook his head. "I don't know…this is the worst part…"
"It's okay, go on," I said, my voice getting quieter. I was being really still.
"…My dad used to abuse me," he said coldly. He paused again. "Sexually…ever since…I was 11. Years. Old."
That horrified me. I was frozen. My hands were cold. My stomach was in knots. I still felt sick. I didn't know what to say. I felt bad for him, but jealous because of the girls.
"And," he went on, probably taking that moment to feel my emotions. "…before I died…I was dating this girl…named Jamie…she was crazy. She was fake. A dumb blonde cheerleader. And about a week before I 'died', she invited me to her house and said her parents weren't home, and she wanted me to come over for 'homework'…and when I got there…she did not need help with her homework. She blackmailed me. She said if I didn't…sleep with her…she'd tell everybody that I was gay…..and being the dumb kid that I was…I did it." He sounded like he was crying and confessing to God or something. His shoulders were shaking. I still didn't know if I should hug him or what. I just sat there until I thought of something decent to say.
"That's worse than my situation," I said, trying to sound sincere, but I was very much jealous and actually heartbroken by the fact that he wasn't a virgin. I did view him differently as of this moment. I didn't know if I should accept it or just walk out and never see him again. I felt like I wanted to help him. I wanted to hold him and tell him my feelings. But all of that had been pushed back by his story. "You must hate your dad." Tears stung in my eyes, and I let them fall down my face.
"Very much," he said, clearly crying now. He never looked up. "He would beat me up and lie to my mom about it. He videotaped all of the times he abused me. He would tell my mom that he was taking me 'fishing' or going to have 'father-son' time…and he wasn't the only one who did it….He had friends….six of them. And he told me…'If you ever tell anybody, I'll shoot you.'…he even showed me the gun. And to this day…9 months later…I wish he was dead. Or caught. Either one would satisfy me."
I swallowed, trying to hold back crying. My emotions were going everywhere. Jealousy, heartbreak, anger, grief…and I'm pretty sure he was having it harder than I was by feeling it all.
"Oh my God," I said, shaking my head. But we both knew we couldn't hide it any longer. "She blackmailed you…..is she still alive?"
He probably sensed my jealousy then. "Yes," he said. "But I was stupid. If I could go back to that day, I wouldn't give in. I wouldn't have even gone to her house. But back then…I'd do anything to get out of my own house."
I didn't know what else to say.
"Can't we just admit that we like each other?" I said, wiping my face. "I like you. Okay?" I stood. "And yes, I will admit that the story about Jamie hurt my feelings. I am jealous. Very jealous. And if you actually don't like me back like I thought you did, then that's okay, but I actually feel that I can admit this to you." I didn't even wait for him to answer. I just walked out from the living room I was in all the way to the front door, and went out. Realizing I didn't have a car, I stamped my foot.
"Dang it," I muttered. Just then, I saw a car pull up into Hayden's driveway. I pulled out my phone. 10:18 and a text from my mom.
Where u at? It said.
I'm coming, I texted back. I started walking down the driveway, pretending that I was texting something long.
A girl, or should I say woman? Was getting out of the black Escalade she drove. She looked like she was an adult, being 5 inches taller than me. She had the same hair color as Hayden almost, and the same eyes.
Then I recognized her. The girl who had been standing in line at the movies behind me a couple weekends ago.
It was coming together.
Was she immortal too?
"Hello," she said in a friendly tone like she already knew me. "You must be Cheyenne."
"How did you know?" I said warily.
"Hayden talks about you frequently," she said, a sweet chuckle following it. She folded her hands patiently.
"Yes, I know," I said sadly. "We talked."
Her expression turned confused.
"Wait," she said, and stared at me for a minute like she was looking through me. Then she quietly gasped. "He told you."
I guess she knew too? I just nodded, not wanting to think about it. I didn't know what I was going to do. Stay away or somehow get over the fact that he wasn't a virgin.
"Oh honey," she said, even more sad. "I…I don't know what to say. He really does like you…will you let me take you home? We can talk in the car."
I'd just met her, but she seemed harmless. "I guess," I said grimly, and went to the car and got in. She got back in and started the car.
"I know that hearing about his past is hard, especially because of the feelings he has for you," she said, backing out, still keeping her sad, sympathetic tone. "But I didn't know that he'd tell you so soon. Ever since we both moved here, he actually seemed happier. The day he started talking about you, anyway. He would talk about you like you were a story book character, except you are actually real."
"What did he say about me?" I asked, feeling tired now. I just wanted to crawl in my bed and grieve all over again.
"He said things that, considering this generation, you would not hear from a boy," she said, adding a little smile at the end. "He's very serious about you."
"But what did he say?" I asked. She looked both ways at a stop sign and turned right.
"He thinks you're the one," she said simply. She sounded happy for him. "He says you're beautiful, smart…and not like other girls. And from what I have seen since I have been here, he is right."
That made my suspicion spark.
"You're immortal too, huh?" I said tiredly. She was almost to my house. She chuckled, sounding like an adult but a teenager too.
"Yes," she said. "But I am very old. I became an immortal when I was nineteen."
Interesting, I thought. Sometimes I had a knack for history.
"So how old are you really?" I asked, pushing my tired tone aside. She kept her eyes on the road and answered as if she told her age everyday.
"I am 206," she replied. "My family's house was burned in 1816. We were accused of witchcraft."
"Really?" I said incredulously. Even more interesting. "Does that mean you have an ability like Hayden does?"
"Yes," she said, nodding, reaching my street. "I can send messages in dreams, and that also allows me to predict a bit."
I felt like I would fit right in with immortals. It was strange, but comfortable.
"That's kinda like me," I said. "So…did your family die, then? Only you became immortal?" I couldn't help it. I wanted to know more about this, and it was all getting strange. She pulled into my driveway and didn't answer my question. She just put the car in park and looked at me.
"Honey," she said gently. "Hayden likes you very much. And he has never opened up his past to anybody. And if he had the guts to tell you…then you are considered one of us in a way." She touched my shoulder and smiled, but it didn't seem to match her face. I could feel her energy, though. It wasn't as warm as Hayden's, but still warm. It was calming, though. Friendly. "He wouldn't tell anybody his past unless he trusted them."
"I…" I didn't want to think about what he had told me. That stupid girl or whatever. Jamie. That had hurt me, like a stab to the heart. "I don't know if I can accept it. I honestly liked him too. I did. But if that girl is still in his life, then she can have him. I guess I wasn't supposed to get into this anyway."
It was true, but I liked it. It was like eating the cookies from the jar when you weren't supposed to, but you kept going back and sneaking them because they were so good.
She stared for a minute before answering.
"The future is always changing, sweetie," she said, and patted my shoulder. "You should go inside and sleep. You are right. You don't need any trouble. Have a good night."
With that, I simply got out, thanked her as politely as I could, and went inside to my room, unfortunately not receiving the sleep I needed.