A Chapter by Paige Nikol

 I sit bolt upright in my bed, just like I have every other night for the past three months. Breathing heavily and sweating bullets, I'm only happy that I'm not crying. The tears don't always come, for which I'm very grateful, but things are usually pretty bad when they do.

I slowly lean over to look at the alarm clock on the night stand next to my bed. It reads 5:50 in the morning, and my alarm is set for six. I sigh, knowing that there isn't really any point in going back to sleep now. I get out of bed with a little more annoyance than I'd intended, and go to my dresser to pick out some clothes. I grab a pair of gray swear pants, a green cami, and blue hoodie. I'm not in the mood for anything more complicated.

I go upstairs to the bathroom as quietly as possible so that I don't wake anyone, and turn the shower on as hot as it'll go. I strip out of my sweat-soaked pajamas as quickly as possible, hoping that the steaming water will calm me down a bit.

Thankfully, the water decides to work its magic, and massages me deeply as I breath slowly in through my nose, then back out through my mouth. That's what my therapist advised me to do whenever I can't control my anxiety. I've been seeing Dr. Watson for a few weeks now. My parents were starting to worry that the dreams would affect other aspects of my life, like school. It's not as if I don't want help, but this just seems sort of weird to me. I haven't even told my best friends about the dreams, and there is absolutely no way I'm going to tell them about the therapy.

Once I feel clean and calm enough, I turn the water off and grab a towel. I dry myself off a bit before getting out of the shower. I wrap the towel around myself and wipe the mirror above the sink off with my hand so that I can look at my reflection. I get a look at my eyes first. They're usually the first thing that people notice about me. When I think of the blue water near a Caribbean island, this is the color that comes to mind. Cyan; my eyes are the reason that I got my name. Sometimes people tell me that they're the most beautiful eyes they've ever seen. Maybe that's what they think, but lately, all that I've seen in them is fear. Pure fear. Sighing, I bring to towel up to dry my hair. I can tell already that this is going to be a very long day...


The walk to school is short, but since it's January in Michigan, it isn't a very fun one. I usually don't have to walk to school, but about a week ago one of my best friends, Ian, got a ticket for speeding and got his car keys taken away by his mother for a couple of weeks. He was my ride, so this is my only option. I see my breath come out in front of me like the smoke of a fire-breathing dragon whenever I exhale and start walking a bit faster.

About five minutes later, I enter the double doors of Northern High School and immediately feel a warmth spread through me. Slowly, I walk down the hall, my hands in the pockets of my sweatpants, yawning as I do. These dreams are really starting to kick my butt. I drop my bag at the end of the hall where my friends and I meet every morning and sit down, doing my best to get comfortable. It takes almost all of my strength not to curl up in the fetal position and fall asleep right then and there, but I resist it. The smarter part of me knows that having the dream in school isn't the best option.

Instead, I decide to pull out the book I've been reading for my AP Literature class, The Scarlet Letter. Right now I'm at the part where Dimmesdale is dying on the scaffold when my best friends Raina and Giana walk up and sit down on the ground next to me. “Hey,” I say as cheerfully as I can, stuffing the book back into my bag.

“Hey, Cy,” they reply in unison. Giana and Raina are identical twins, but they're polar opposites. Raina is very mellow and quiet while Giana is wild and loud. There both extremely smart though, and they get along much better than a lot of other sets of twins I've met.

“You okay, Cy?” Giana asks, looking at me warily.

“Yeah, Cyan, you okay?” Raina asks, concerned.

“How do they always know?” I think to myself, but instead I answer, “Just tired, I guess.” I say it as normally as I can manage. The last thing I need right now is these two becoming even more suspicious If that happened, I knew I was done for.

“Well, get more sleeping then! You gotta be awake on a lovely day like today!” Giana nearly shouts. Raina nods in agreement, but doesn't add anything else. See, this is one of the things I love most about the twins. Even though they're so different, their personalities compliment each other so well.

“Hello, ladies,” Ian says, seeming to appear out of nowhere. He walks over to us, giving Giana a kiss on the cheek., making her grace him with a goofy grin. Ian and Giana have been dating for the last two years, but they've been in love with one another since they first met in sixth grade. For the longest time, both of them had been too scared to tell the other how they felt, but one night in tenth grade, they decided to kiss, just to see what it'd be like with each other. That's when they finally told each other how they really felt, and they started dating a week later. It's such a sweet story. One that I envy.

It's not as if I don't want to be in a relationship. I just feel that, at least at this point, with the dreams and everything, a relationship probably wouldn't be the best idea. Besides, the only guy I really even want a relationship with has never spoken to me in my life.

Hayden Frye. He's also a senior, and we've gone to all of the same schools since kindergarten. We've also been in the same classes on several occasions, but we've never said anything to each other. Not once.

As odd as it may be for me to have a crush on someone I've never spoken to, to feel this way about someone for year, that's just how it is. He's so mysterious. He hardly ever talks to anyone, except for Carter Jordan, who I've also never spoken to. They both just keep to themselves really, and that fascinates me. They both could get any girl they wanted, but they just seem to have more going on.

“Cy,” Raina says, snapping her fingers in front of my face. I look up, realizing that everyone is standing, ready to head to their lockers, but waiting for me to do the same. I've also been staring off into space while they've all been having a normal conversation. Well, I'm certainly on top of things today.

“So anyways,” Giana said, picking up where she'd apparently left off. “I was thinking that we should all start looking for prom dresses Friday night. Well, everyone except for you Ian.” Ian winks and smiles, and Giana replies by sticking her tongue out at him.

“Okay, but you do realize that prom is still four months away, right, Gi?” I ask, sarcasm and amusement both clear in my tone. If I know anyone who loves going shopping, it's definitely Giana.

“Of course I know that,” Giana replies. “I have the date memorized. I just that it's important that we're prepared, because if I end up with a dress that someone else has or that I don't like, I'm not gonna be a very happy camper.”

I nod in agreement. “Yeah, I guess I won't either. Where should we look?”

“Well,” Giana begins, grinning. “There's this new little shop downtown, it's called Dress to Impress. Stupid name, I know, but I was looking in the windows, and it looked like they actually had some pretty great stuff. So, sound good?” Raina and I look at each other and nod.

“Okay, I'm in,” I say.

“Ditto,” Raina adds.

“Great! Okay, Rae-Rae and I will pick you up at five. See you later, Cy,” Giana says as she, Ian, and Raina head off in their direction of their lockers.

“Bye,” I reply, heading in the direction of the 'A' lockers.

I'm about ten lockers down from mine when I see Hayden in front of me, walking by himself in the opposite direction. He looks over at me, so I decide to take a chance and smile at him. He sees me, but doesn't smile back. He just keeps walking.

I know it's stupid how much this hurts, but I really don't care. I've liked this guy for years, but it's more than obvious that he doesn't feel the same. Sighing, I put in the combination for my locker and try to prepare myself for the long day ahead of me.


“Ce-Ce!” My younger brother Nate says excitedly, running up to hug my legs.

“Hey, Bubby!” I reply, laughing a bit at his excitement to see me. Nate is four years old and full of energy. He's the only person who can truly make me smile when I'm upset. He's the person that I tell my secrets to.

“I missed you,” he says, smiling up at me. I set my backpack down on a chair and pick him up, grunting a bit as I do. He's getting kind of heavy.

“I missed you, too,” I reply, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “How was school? I asked, going to the kitchen, setting Nate down so that I can get myself a snack.

“It was so fun, Ce-Ce!” he tells me happily. “I made this for you.” He reaches into his pocket and fishes out a piece of paper. A little bashfully, he hands it to me. I unfold it and smile immediately. The instructions at the top of the paper say, “Draw a picture of your hero.” Nate had drawn a picture of a girl in a green t-shirt and purple pants. She also had bright blue eyes and long black hair. Next to the girl was a crooked arrow pointing to her with “Ce-Ce” scribbled under it in bright blue. I smile at the sweet boy and say, “Aw, Nate, this is awesome! I love it! Can I take it to school with me?”

He smiles back at me, proud that he'd made me happy. “Sure! Almost everyone else drew Spiderman, or Hulk, or Batman, so they give their pictures to anyone, because their heroes aren't real,” he tells me happily.

“Well, I love it,” I answer. “It's going right up in my locker.”

“What is?” my mother asks, coming into the room and startling me a bit.

“This,” I answer, handing her the picture as I go to the refrigerator to get an apple out of the fruit drawer. Mom studies the picture while I rinse off the apple and take a bite.

“Oh, Nattie, this is lovely,” Mom tells him, nodding in approval, but looking a little sad or uneasy. I could never figure out why, but she sometimes treated my close relationship with Nate like it was a bad thing.

“Thanks, Mommy!” Nate answers, not seeing what I see, as Mom hands me back the picture.

“Okay, well, I have some homework to go work on.” I head down the hall toward my bedroom, grabbing my backpack along the way.

“Okay, Annie,” my mom replies, using her pet name for me. “Dinner will be ready in about an hour and a half.”

“Okay,” I shout back once I'm in my room. I close the door behind me. I sigh, setting my backpack down on my bed and my coat down on the back of my desk chair. Sitting on my bed, I unzip my backpack and pull out a notebook. I'm about to continue an essay I'd started this morning for my mythology class when I thought comes to mind.

I look again at the picture Nate had given me and think about what he'd said.“They can't give their pictures to anyone like I can, because their heroes aren't real. So... does this mean I'm a real hero?


With my homework finished, I walk out into the living room to see my father sitting in his recliner, reading today's newspaper. I look at the date on the paper. Wednesday. That means I have only two more days until the weekend. Smiling, I say, “Hi, Dad,” and wave at him, sitting down on the couch.

“Oh, uh, hi,” he replies. My father isn't really the type to show affection towards people, which is kind of ironic considering the fact that he's a surgeon. You'd think he'd be able to show others that he cares about them, even just a little... But no. It's Mom's job to love us, and even she has a pretty strange way of doing it. Nate's the only person in this house who truly loves me, and I love him, too. With all of my heart.

“How was work?” I ask, already knowing that I'll get a short answer.

“Fine,” he replies, not once taking his eyes off of the story in front of him. I sigh inwardly.

“Well, good, I'm glad,” I answer, forcing myself to smile. “I guess I'll go wash up for dinner. I get off of the couch, hearing a mumbled “'Kay,” as I head to the kitchen.

As I scrub my hands in the warm, soapy water at the kitchen sink, I hear small but hurried footsteps behind me.

“Didja finish your homework, Ce-Ce?” Nate asks, looking up at me expectantly.

I nod. “Sure did! Here, wanna come wash your hands?” I ask.

“Yup!” He stands in front of me so that I can lift him up to the water. Before I do though, I give him a hug and kiss, which he smiles and laughs at. Honestly, if I didn't have Nate, I don't know what I'd do.

Once we get the table set, we're all ready to eat. As usual Nate and I sit at one side of the table while Mom and Dad sit at the other. Tonight's dinner is Rosemary chicken and mashed potatoes with green beans baked into them. Yum. I get myself a bit of both and dig in.

“So, did everyone have a good day?” Mom asks, as she does everyday. She's a stay-at-home mom so that she can take care of Nate, but now that he's going to preschools Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, she doesn't know quite what to do with herself half the time. She hasn't had, or even needed, a job since she married my dad. Lately she's been looking into taking some kind of class; poetry or painting or something.

All of us nod at her question, and Nate, as usual is the first to speak up. “Today, my friends got to bring in their pets! I could have, but I don't have one, so I just looked at theirs. Maya has a gerbil, and we all watched him eat little bits of carrots, and Paul has a-”

“That's enough, Nathan,” Dad snaps. He doesn't have much of a tolerance for Nate's rambling. “You know we can't get you an animal,” he continues. “They're unsanitary.” Mom nods in agreement.

“Yeah, I know,” Nate replies, trying his best not to sulk. They can be so hard on him sometimes. It makes me sad.

“Cyan, how was your day?” Dad asks, ignoring the sadness on Nate's face.

“Um, fine,” I reply. “Kinda boring though. Not a lot happened.”

“Oh, I see,” Dad replies simply, going back to eating his chicken. After that, things get pretty quiet.

Nobody's said a thing by the time I finish my dinner, so I get up as quietly as I can and go to the sink to rinse my plate. This is the kind of night where I just want to lie in bed and listen to music; relax. Maybe I'll even read some more of The Scarlet Letter.

I hop onto my bed and grab my iPod from the end table. I go to “Music”, then “Artists”, and Find Green Day, one of my favorite bands. I put it on shuffle and their song 21 Guns, one of my personal favorites comes on. I mouth the works as I lie back and look out the window. The sun starting to set and it's only about five o' clock. I breath- in through the nose, out through the mouth- and close my eyes...


I wake up, startled, but for the first time in months, it's not from a dream. I quickly yank the earbuds from my ears and turn the volume down as “Jesus of Suburbia” attempts to murder my eardrums. I shake my head trying to calm my heart, which is now beating out of my chest, and look over at my alarm clock.

It's eight o' clock! What?! How did I stay asleep so well for three hours with Green Day blasting in my ears? That doesn't even make sense...

I decide to get up to get a glass of water, but quickly stop in my tracks once I make it to the living room... Why is it so quiet?

Walking as fast as I can, I stand in front of Nate's bedroom door, which is cracked open. He's usually asleep by now, but something isn't right... His night-light isn't on, but he refuses to ever turn it off. It's not that he's afraid of the dark; it comforts him.

I open the door a bit more and walk inside. He isn't in his bed... I check the closet and toy box...Nate isn't in the room. Rolling my eyes, I go down the hall to check the bathroom. He isn't there either... The kitchen? Nope... Now I'm starting to get scared.

I check the ground floor, the upstairs, the basement as quickly as possible. Nate isn't anywhere. There's only one room left. One that I've been too afraid to check. Mom and Dad hate it when anyone but the two of them goes in their room. I don't really have any other choice at this point though, so I haul it back upstairs as fast as I can.

I enter my the room as quietly as I can, worried about what I will (or won't) find. I stop as soon as I see the bed. Scared out of my mind now, I check the whole room, trying to keep my breathing steady. Mom and Dad aren't here either.


© 2013 Paige Nikol

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Paige Nikol
Constructive criticism only, please!

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Added on July 12, 2013
Last Updated on July 12, 2013
Tags: young-adult, teen, crime, mystery, dream, love, crush, friends, siblings, family, sadness, music, green-day


Paige Nikol
Paige Nikol


Hey! I'm Paige and I'm getting ready to start my Freshman year in college to study English and writing. Hopefully with your help and the help of college classes, I'll be able to become the best writer.. more..

The Dream The Dream

A Chapter by Paige Nikol