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1. Hitting The Rock Bottom You re mad! exclaimed a slender girl with bouncy brown curls. In fact, it was more like a desperate, ferocious scowl that s supposed to put an end to any argument because an exclamation seemed merely a soft whisper compared to this. However, the other girl, the mad one with petite build and sleek, shoulder-long and raven black hair, stood with her back straight, the words having no effect on her. She wasn t going to let the turmoil of defeat and hopelessness inside her show; she was good at concealing her emotions. I am not mad! The petite girl shouted, her voice carefully steadied, over the buzz coming from the crowd, towards the slender girl- Sandra. You re and you know it! Leave me alone you freak! Sandra screamed, and turning on her heel, strode off in the opposite direction, pushing viciously through the crowd- making a girl loose her balance and get saved just in time by a boy that just happened to be standing next to her. The noise from the confrontation attracted a large audience. Perhaps even a whole school. The whole things wouldn t have been so much of a sensation if it wasn t the fact that it was Sandra and Jen arguing; two inseparable best friends (or ex-best friends) since kindergarten: seeing them argue was quite an event- a must see kind of thing. What are you all staring at? Jen tossed the question towards the crowd with so much bitter that it made (now dispersing) crowd shiver and wonder how so much bitter can possibly fit in a person of Jen s size. They had no idea that Jenine Bufi showed them only a weak shadow of what she really felt inside herself. She stood, glued in the same spot where Sandra Luevre abounded her; stabbed her in the back. There never was an argument of this size between the two close friends. To Jenine it all felt unreal, untrue: like a nightmare that she will wake up from soon, panting but finding that there in fact never was an argument between her and Sandra and that she is lying in her cosy bed. She involuntarily pinched herself, shattering the last of her hopes that she was in fact dreaming. The crowd that watched the event with such craving eyes had now moved on, leaving Jen alone- just a lonely figure in middle of an empty corridor. Now that there was nobody in sight, Jenine felt her emotional mask weakening; she could feel tears welling up in her eyes, threatening to spill. I don t need her. She stated internally. However, somewhere inside her there was a hushed voice whispering that her statement wasn t correct. She tried finding the source of the voice. It came from the back of her head. She silenced it. She concealed it with a layer of her present feelings. But it fought. It fought like a living thing and she fought back with tears trickling down her cheeks and dripping on the floor. Some tears stuck onto Jenine s long eyelashes and they looked like diamonds stuck to black feathers. She moved towards the wall and propped her back against it and then her knees gave away and she slid down and ended up sitting on the cold floor. She wrapped her arms around her knees and sobbed for all the injustice in the world. Jen? a smooth voice asked with a note of concern. She was taken by surprise- she did not hear anyone coming. That voice, she recognised it from somewhere. If only she could clear her head up enough to be able to remember who it belonged to. Jen, look at me please. The voice pleaded. She hurriedly wiped the tears off with the sleeve of her jacket before looking up. Her eyes were red and sore from tears. When she rose her head up, she ended up looking into a pair of beautiful chocolate coloured eyes. She took in the warmth of Nathaniel s golden aura as he kneeled beside her and passed her a clean tissue for any future tears. She wondered for a while where he got that tissue from but then shrugged and took it gladly. You should be in a lesson now. Nathaniel said out of the lack of better words. He of course spoke the truth but how could Jen show up in her class in this state? She would rather get in trouble than let her classmates see her shedding tears. She believed that her classmates had enough to talk about already. Nat put his strong arm around her and pulled her to his chest. He smoothed her hair
with his free arm and softly spoke words of comfort to her. After a while, Nat brought some warmth into Jenine s tortured soul and she was able to talk without bursting into tears. Nathaniel was the only one left that she trusted now, perhaps with an exception of her mother and sister. The thought of having someone she could trust made her feel better. Jenine didn t feel so hopeless anymore when she looked into Nat s breath-taking eyes. She felt like all air was punched out of her every time she looked into them- his eyes never failed to aw her and melt her from the inside. Let me take you home. He proposed softly into her ear and then he cupped her closely to himself, picked her up and carried her towards his car. His aura all this time was soft, sweet and golden like honey- filled with love. It was a warm afternoon; the school was about to end, when a black Audi with Jen and Nat inside it drove off from the school s parking lot. Jen could always feel Nathaniel s presence in magnified amounts. She was an empath after all. And being an empath is exactly what brought to Jenine trouble in her life. She once used to be a normal teenage girl with friends that always were there when she needed them; her biggest worries used to be whether she passed an exam or not but since she developed the gift to feel everybody s emotions, everything has changed. Today, for example, she has lost Sandra; it wasn t going well between them lately after Jen told Sandra her secret but never had Jenine thought that their friendship could be destroyed. But then maybe after some time things will cool down between them and they would be friends again. Jenine grimly laughed internally; If I won t prove to her that her dad is a murderer then I might never get a chance to talk to her again. Sandra s dad: the reason for today s affair in the corridor; he is the cause of last month s murders. He is guilty of homicide of six people. He concealed any clues and evidence from the crime scene that would give the police enough proof to find him guilty. Helpless police officers have been visiting every house in the local area in search of any further clues. Jenine being an empath could see straight through Albert s poker face and lies that he told the police when they knocked on the door of his mansion; his aura was drowned in darkness- a total eclipse. Nothing can be hidden from eyes of an empath. Jen couldn t believe it at first. She had never suspected Albert to be capable of murder. She has seen him and been in his house so many times and he always played a role of a caring father (which is why Sandra was so mad when Jen told her what she has seen and fgured i out); but maybe that s the point- he played, acted, lied. At first Jenine tried to find an explanation for the darkness of Albert s aura, something that wasn t as ugly as murder; but she could not keep lying to herself- especially after the murder of Mrs. Kolwood. Sandra s dad s aura was crimson mixed with black and indigo not long before Mrs. Kolwood was found dead on her porch- Jen was staying over at Sandra s to study for a Maths test at the time so she should know. It made all the more suspicious when Jenine saw Albert sneaking out into the darkness wearing all black as if he wanted to blend with the blackness of the night- that happened on the night of Mrs. Kolwood s death too (the revision session ended up as a sleepover). I should have acted earlier, Jenine though. Maybe if she did she wouldn t have to worry about more lives being taken right now. Maybe Mrs. Kolwood would still be alive. Now she thought of Mrs. Kolwood, she was a widowed older lady (somewhere in her sixties) but she still had a lot of vigour in herself. It is strange that out of all people Albert chose Mrs. Kolwood as one of his victims. She was too nice to be dead. Many that live deserve to die, many that died deserve to live, and Mrs. Kolwood deserved to live. Jen and Sandra always used to visit her on Fridays after school to help her with some housework and she always treated them as her own grandchildren. She was a wise lady too; she had given good advice to Jen on numerous occasions. Jenine could not possibly see a motive behind Mrs. Kolwood s murder. But then all Albert s murders didn t seem to have any obvious motives. It was the same with Jack Happydale, the bartender from pub called Under the Hill ; he was the first victim. If only Mr. Happydale wasn t Albert s best friend then I could think that the motive behind the murder was to get the keys to the bar surely that is what happens often in films especially when
the villain is influenced by alcohol. Jen thought. However Mr. Happydale was Albert s best friend and Jen could not understand how Albert could do that to him. In addition to Mrs. Kolwood and Jack Happydale s murders there was a mass murder of Lorien family. The Loriens were French immigrants that moved to this neighbourhood four years ago. The Loriens had two children. Jen went to school with them; she can still remember their laughing faces. They have not been so pretty after they have been taken out from the remains of the burning house, together with their parents. It was all over newspapers the pictures of faces changed beyond recognition, burned and blistered dead, no longer laughing, never going to laugh again, were showed to the whole world. Tears always came to Jenine s eyes at the memory of reading the article for the first time. She saved all the articles from all the newspapers that had any information at all, any clues, anything whatsoever about the murders and she read them over and over again every night before going to bed, trying to place everything together so that it would make sense. Jen should have taken more action though; the pointless reading took her nowhere. Jen has been to Sandra s house yesterday and she saw Albert s aura; it was gray and black like du mixed st with ashes. Jenine could tell straight away what the colours meant: he was getting ready for another homicide, and tinges of yellow and blue showed that he was anxious about it. It disgusted Jenine and worried her to the marrow of her bones. Anybody could be next is what is worst about Albert s murders. He was capable of killing his best friend so why wouldn t he kill his daughter? Therefore, Jenine tried to warn her friend but her help was rejected; now Jen can only hope that Albert won t commit any more murders before she can get enough evidence against him to prove that he is guilty. Yes making sure that justice is brought upon Albert was now Jenine s priority. She will not stand any more people getting hurt- not with the knowledge that she can do something about it. Jen is no ordinary teenage girl of course; she can see people s feelings by taking a look at their aura. Auras are mysterious things. They tend to change a lot; colour wise in particular. Sometimes they change in size depending on how strong the emotions the person is experiencing are. Auras consist of outer and inner layers. The inner layers don t change as often as the outer layers. The inner layers show person s personality and wary between individuals (they are a bit like fingerprints) while the outer layers show what the person is experiencing emotionally at given moment. Aura can say a lot about its owner. Jenine s gift luckily included the ability to understand what all the colours around people mean. There are empaths, called colour-blind empaths amongst the empath society and they have to learn how to interpret the different hues they see. Jen s mother is a good example of so called colour-blind empath. Jenine could remember as if it was yesterday the first time her mother told her about emphatism. Jen was relieved to hear that she wasn t going crazy, that it was all written in her genes. She thought of emphatism as of a superpower- she thought that it made her superior, better than others. But now? Now she cursed it; it was too much of a burden. She has seen things she wished she hasn t- things that made her responsible to act just because she is the only one who has seen them. She tried to learn how to block out her abilities so that she wouldn t have to be crossing people s boundaries of privacy at all times but her attempts didn t work. When Jen asked her mother for help, her mother glared at her with disapproval and told her that she should not be pushing away what God had offered her. Hey, we re here. Nat s voice got Jenine out of her train of thought and she was glad about it. The car came to an abrupt stop on the banking next to Jenine s house. Jen smiled weakly at Nathaniel- her only comfort. She wished to touch him and tell him how much she needed him an d she wished for him to touch her back and whisper to her that he ll always be there for her. It was an urge so strong that it made Jenine s heart beat so fast that her chest was threatening to rip open. In the flaming rays of setting sun, Jenine saw how mesmerising Nat s eyes were for real; they sparkled like brown tourmaline gems. Nat s surfer hair shimmered in red and gold with every small movement of his head. His strong jaw line was perfectly set and his face was chiseled handsomely as if angel Gabriel in person sculptured it. Yes, Nathaniel was quite a sight.
He was new to town; he came to live here last year. Ever since Jenine had first met him he was a mystery to her. For example, he always kept to himself no matter how many times he was invited into different friendship groups in school. He was the smartest guy in Jenine s class- it rather intrigued Jenine. But what was the biggest mystery for Jenine was the fact that out of all people in the world Nathaniel had chosen her to share his world with. It started two months back before the murders. Jen was walking back from the shops, her hands full of heavy shopping bags, when one of the bags ripped and all contents rolled on to the pavement. Nathaniel happened to be walking his dog when he bumped into, kneeling down to pick up her items, Jenine. He had quickly apologized and helped her with collecting her purchased things. And that was when their hands met and an electric current passed through Jenine s fingertips as they touched. He helped her to get everything home. After that he began to say hello to Jenine in school every time he happened to walk past her in the corridor. Then, one day Jenine had a bouquet of flowers delivered to her doorstep with a note saying Thinking of you... and it was signed Nat . Since then, Jen and Nat began to talk with one another whenever they could and sometimes Jen even left Sandra at lunchtime to sit with Nathaniel (of course after making sure that Sandra didn t mind). Nathaniel opened up to Jenine he told her the story of his abusive father and how his mother put an end to his beatings by throwing him out of the house. Nat told her his opinions about love, friendship and poverty. He was always honest with her; always telling her how things really were. He is her friend, her love, the only one she can trust at the very minute. However, Jenine felt guilty, as she was not so honest with him throughout their friendship. For example, she decided not to tell him about her gift. She feared what his reaction would be if he ever found out; she feared losing him and she made Sandra swear that she would never tell him either. Sudden realisation struck Jenine. Sandra is very likely to break her promise now that she isn t on friendly terms with Jenine. Jenine realised that Nathaniel will sooner or later find out. It would be better if I tell him about it. She thought while biting on her lip. Eventually, she made a choice; hoping that she will never have to regret it; that she won t hit the complete rock bottom tonight.
2. The Result Nathaniel watched how Jenine reluctantly opened the car s door. He studied how her smooth fingers gripped around the handle; he observed how her shoulder-long hair shifted in sync with her own movements; he also swept his eyes over the profile of her beautiful face. He tried to engrave into his memory every detail of Jenine s being- every curve, every texture and every colour that teamed up together to create his extraordinary Jenine was something he pretty much worshipped. His, he was proud to be allowed to think of her in that way. Nat always had trouble resisting not grabbing hold of Jenine and kissing her soft lips. A memory of their first kiss always came to Nathaniel s mind at the sight of her smile. It happened in a middle of a thunderstorm. Nat offered Jenine a ride home from school because of the rain. A beam of lightning had caused a tree ahead of them to fall in the middle of the road. They tried reversing but, as if fate directed everything, there was another fallen giant behind them. They were stuck. Oh great! Nat s companion, Jenine, said sarcastically. Nathaniel was in no mood for getting stuck on the road and Jenine s comment angered him. And you think I m happy to be stuck here? he snapped at her. He didn t intend for his voice to sound so hostile. No. she admitted. Relax Nat. Nathaniel saw Jenine shiver; he wasn t entirely sure if she shivered out of cold but he turned up the air conditioning anyway. He replayed what Jenine just said to him and he finally got it. Relax? Seriously? Relax? he was on the verge of snapping out of control and screaming out at Jenine all the reasons why he cannot relax. The only thing that was stopping him was the fact that it was Jenine. Someone other might not have been so lucky but with Jenine, it was a different story. He could never let her to see the monster within him or at least not all of it. Nathaniel had enough control to stop himself from shouting at Jen but he still could not make the rest of his irritation to go away. Jenine noticed something was going on with him. She touched his arm and looked at him with a stare filled with compassion and love. What s wrong Nat? the sound of her voice was oh so beautiful but Nat could not help his not understandable rage. You! he shouted. That did it. Jenine was taken aback but it didn t take her long before she shook it off and jumped out of the car before Nat could stop her. Nat immediately realised just how mean he was to her. She tried to help him but he snapped back at her like a crazed dog. His only comfort was that his anger didn t come entirely from him but from the lurking monster within him. He remembered the way Jenine looked at him before she took off into the rai . She looked at him n with fear. Yet somehow, Nathaniel felt that she didn t fear for herself- she never did- but she feared for him; she was concerned. Nathaniel was still frustrated and in no state to go after her. But he had to after her. He had to apologize. It took all his mental and even a part of his physical strength to trap most of his dark anger. He was calm enough to go after Jen so Nathaniel rushed out of the car and felt the lashing rain on his body. It didn t take long before he was soaked to the marrow of his bones. Jen wasn t far off. She was sitting on a large stone off the road. He ran up to her but she did not look up until his hands gently cupped her chin. Sorry, I was an asshole. He said. Since you called yourself that, I forgive you. She told him but there was still uncertainty in her voice as if she was considering how much Nat s apology was really worth. Nonetheless, Nathaniel felt that his task was pretty much completed and so he turned away from Jenine and began walking back to the car before his control snapped. Nat? Jen called after him and he came to an abrupt halt. Yes? he said but wasn t quite sure if he wanted to hear more from Jenine- for the sake of not waking up the beast in him.
That time in the car, well, that was not like you. She declared with concern about Nat veiling her voice. I said I was sorry. He answered back. Yes, yes, I know. She quickly said. I m still worried though. You don t need to be. Nat insisted after fully facing her. She looked away from him in search of something to say. She opened and closed her mouth hopelessly. Nat, if there s anything wrong- she began to utter. Which I told you there isn t. he spoke, hoping to end this conversation. He did not want Jenine to worry about him. He didn t deserve that. Jenine, however, carried on talking. I said IF there ever is anything wrong, I want you to know that I m here for you. Her voice was filled with reassurance, love and compassion that he was sure he shouldn t have earned. He loved Jenine s soft heart and valued every second he got to spend with her. Only she could stop the monster from consuming all good in Nathaniel and emerging into the outside world spreading malice and death. Thank you. He whispered softly and before he knew it he was held tightly in Jenine s arms. You re welcome. She breathed back into his chest. Electrical current shot through their bodies. Before the hug he was almost shivering from the cold but now his whole body felt like it was on fire. He pulled Jenine closer to himself and rested his chin on her head. He carefully stroke her wet hair and felt goose bumps forming on his neck; not from fear but from love and the closeness of their bodies. Suddenly Jenine pulled away slightly so she could look in his face. The last thing Nathaniel could remember seeing before their lips met was Jen s striking smile. The kiss was at first slow, almost hesitant, but then the passion increased and it was right there at that precise moment when Nathaniel vowed to himself that he ll be with Jenine forever. Even after death. Ever since that event, the beast in Nat would be fully silenced in Jenine s presence and much calmer than before when he wasn t with her. He stroke Jen s arm without thinking. He awed at how cashmere soft her skin felt and how the warmth coming off her body made him tremble with content as if he didn t need anything else to live. She swivelled around out of sudden. She smiled but it was a miserable attempt of a smile. It didn t touch her eyes. Her eyes. Her gorgeous, gorgeous, eyes- always smiling, always with little fierce fires flickering inside them now sparkled feverishly from the welling up tears with the flames in them barely visible. Wha- Nathaniel began but he was immediately silenced with Jen s finger. He stared a while longer into Jenine s eyes and then he figured something out. There was an ongoing battle in Jenine s head. She was trying to make a decision or already made it but wasn t sure if she made the right choice. He wasn t totally sure if that was what was going on but something about that constant battle between the fire and water in Jenine s eyes told him that his assumptions might be right. Jen beckoned Nathaniel to follow her and he didn t hesitate. He hastily unfastened his seat belt and went after her (of course after locking the car- he wouldn t have liked it to get stolen). As Nathaniel paced together with Jenine, he began to consider the possibilities for Jenine s awkward behaviour. It didn t take him long to figure it out- Jenine wanted to talk about Sandra, she needed his support. Uneasiness rolled over his body; how will he comfort her? He took a deep breath and then swore to himself that no matter what happens, he will make her feel good- he will get her through this hard time; they will get through this together. Everything will be fine. When they eventually reached the front door, Nat noticed just how very nervous Jenine was. Her small, supple hands were shaking as she tried to put the key in the lock. After few fruitless attempts, Nathaniel was ready to take the keys off her and open the door himself but Jenine finally coped with the task and both of them hurried inside. Nathaniel s nostrils instantaneously filled with a rich scent on vanilla air freshener. Nathaniel John Dawson has been in Jenine Bufi s house before. Not much has changed since his last visit. Perhaps there were more stacks of books and paper laying about but other than that all was just as he remembered it (which was, he had to admit, somewhat eerie). The walls still were painted the same pale colours that matched the furniture that was made from fair wood. There still
were the same large, framed pictures of nature hung on the walls. The same photographs decorated the fireplace- noticed Nat as they passed near the living room. The lamps gave off the same warm glow. Nathaniel wasn t completely sure if liked the house or disliked it. The pale colours made the interior look quite bare- incomplete in some way but the pictures and other little decorative details made up for it and gave the whole composition a cosy, homely feeling. There was something about the house that made it obvious that more than one person lived in it. The house simply didn t follow any rules for the theme and the mood of the decorations; it was clear that more than one person attempted to adjust the house to their own personal likings and it ended up in a compromise. The house was on the borders of simply decorated and richly decorated. Jenine led Nat to the kitchen slash dining room and gestured him to take a seat. Nat had already mentally prepared himself for words to come spilling out f Jenine s mouth, except no words came. He then decided that he would break the silence first but Jenine must have guessed his thoughts because she silenced him the second time in one day. Subsequently, she stalked off and began to fidget with cups and tea bags in the kitchen half of the room. She served the tea and then took a seat directly opposite to Nat and Nat wasn t certain if she did it because she wanted something to be in-between them or because she wanted to have a direct view of his features. I need to tell you something. She finally said. Nat was close to telling her that he has already figured that out and that she was telling him nothing new but instead he just nodded and uttered a hushed mhmm . I need to tell you something I should have told you a long time ago. She continued. Well, well, turns out I m not the only one with secrets, thought Nathaniel. Perhaps, this wasn t about Sandra after all as he already knew that story. Nat smiled encouragingly at Jenine out of the lack of words. What I m about to tell you is the biggest secret of my life. She paused to let the words sink in. This was definitely not about Sandra. Can you keep a secret Nat? she asked while piercing him with her stunning, chocolate brown eyes. Yes. He uttered, trying to sound a convincing as he could. He saw Jenine s tensed up body relax a tiny bit. She sighed one last time, Nat involuntarily held up his breath, and then all came out as an avalanche of words and confusion (at least that s how Nat remembered it). I know how you feel, she began, as in I know exactly how you feel. She said and Nathaniel could not help but notice how she emphasised the word exactly . Before he could ask what or how , Jen began to explore further her earlier statement. All it takes for me to know how you re feeling is to take one look at you. She explained. Nat s brain tried to piece all that thus far happened together and came up with a simple explanation. Jenine was basically informing Nat that she knows him so well that she can read him like a book. He internally smiled at his logic. It s the same for me. I can read your feelings too. He announced lovingly, his heart burst with feelings. For a brief a small smile curled Jenine s lips but then she shook her head. You don t understand. Nat looked at her confused. What else has she meant then? He studied her face in case the answer was carved somewhere in her delicate features. However, all he stumbled upon was the constant battle between fire and water in her eyes. He was glad to see that the fire was proving stronger- she made the decision but still was a bit troubled about it. I would be able to tell what you re feeling, even if you were a stranger. She penetrated him with her eyes. She clasped her hands together on the table as if she was doing some business- she was desperately trying to make herself sound serious and composed. Nat thought that Jenine learned that pose from her mother who worked as a market specialist (one of the reasons why no one was home). I wouldn t even have to look at your face. Jenine added after it came apparent to her that Nathaniel had nothing to say. She was hinting something. It looked as if she wished Nathaniel would guess what she wanted to tell him before it passed her lips. Yet, Nathaniel only grew more confused. What on Earth was she trying to imply? Was she telling him that she learned to read body language? Was that her secret? When she didn t say anything, he asked her:
You ve learned to read body language? Jenine heaved a sigh. No. I m an empath. At first Nathaniel thought he was being a part of some sick joke but Jen s serious expression caused him to think twice. A what? he asked in the end. He was sure he never heard of the term empath . An empath. She repeated calmly. Yes, yes, I know but what is this empath? There was another loud sigh from Jenine and then more words escaped through her lips. Don t even bother trying to figure out where you ve heard this word from because I can assure you that you haven t. Jen confirmed Nat s assumptions. An empath is a term used exclusively between other empaths. She paused and then after some thought continued, Do you know anything at all about auras? she probed Nat s knowledge. He couldn t help smirking because he actually knew what an aura is. All I know is that apparently everyone has an auraNot apparently. People really have auras Nat. Jenine interrupted him. He didn t like being interrupted. Not one bit. Fine. So everyone has an aura around them that shows how the person feels. But as far as my knowledge goes, nobody can actually see them. His words made Jenine flinch but he could not understand why. So you wouldn t believe me then if I told you that I can see your and everybody else s auras? Jen s voice was desperate or Nat has just imagined it. Where is this conversation leading? Look, could you just get to the point? Oh, he wasn t sure he wanted to be there anymore. He glanced at his Rolex; it was only half past four, which meant that the conversation lasted only ten minutes so far. Nat couldn t believe how time dragged. Jenine didn t sigh this time; she groaned quietly instead. I already got to the point: I m an empath. Now answer my question. Under the table, her leg kept swinging- a sign that usually meant that Jenine was frustrated or anxious or both. Nathaniel remembered the vow he made before they entered the house: he will make everything all right. So, he decided that he should just go with all of it and observe what happens a bit like a science practical. Comparing this situation to something related to his favourite subject eased Nathaniel s tension slightly. I would believe in anything you say. Even if you told me that fairies exist. Somewhat, Jenine wasn t quite pleased with his answer because the rhythm of her swinging leg quickened. Nat gulped quietly. He shouldn t have said it so jokingly, but then, he didn t think Jen was being serious. No one could read auras. He convinced himself that all that happened so far was a perfect act, no more. His human nature told him that it was easier to think that way than believe in some kind of supernatural things that there was no proof of. Suddenly Jenine shifted, making Nat s heart skip a beat. You don t believe me. Get out. She hissed through clenched teeth. That kind of hissy sound didn t go well with her beautiful face. Nathaniel flinched, goose bumps formed on his neck. He didn t move a muscle, he couldn t, he couldn t believe that his gentle Jenine just told him to get out. I said get out. It s pointless for me to carry on explaining to you something you don t even believe in. Nat stared at her and she stared back. Her gaze was hard. Harder than he has seen it in a long time. He stood up and his head spun. He realised that they haven t even touched their tea yet. That s when his belief changed as if a lever inside his brain was suddenly pulled and all the old believes have fell through a trap door, only to be replaced with new ones. If vampires could exist then why couldn t empaths? I believe you. He breathed, his voice was barely audible but Jenine must have heard it because she was suddenly beaming at him from the other side of the table. Now she stood up too, no more water in her eyes- the fire won. I can tell you mean it. What changed your mind? she asked smiling.
A secret of my own. Nat at first intended to say: my love for you, which wouldn t have been too far from the truth but he figured that if Jenine really could see his aura, then she would have been able to notice if he was keeping something from her. He also thought that he owned it to her to tell her his secret. She glanced at him quizzically. I ll tell you about it sometime. He said hurriedly, hoping that she understood that sometime didn t mean now. Thankfully, she understood as a small oh escaped her lips. My day was eventful enough anyway. Jenine managed a smile on but Nat could tell that it was a forced one. He felt that he hasn t kept his vow just yet and he wouldn t be able to leave with peaceful mind if he didn t manage to keep it. I m here for you Jenine. Talk to me. Let me comfort you. He breathed softly. She swept him with her watchful eyes, probably testing his aura. Take a sit. It might take a while. Was that a warning in her voice? A warning to embrace himself? Nat wished he could see her aura as well as she could apparently see his. He wondered what his looked like to Jenine. He obeyed at once and this time Jenine sat not opposite of him but right next to him. An overwhelming warmth radiated from her body. They talked for at least an hour that day; maybe longer. She told him everything that bothered her. Jenine told him how Sandra abandoned her because she thought that Jenine has gone out of her mind. She told him how worried she was that she would never be able to be friends with Sandra again. She explained to Nat how lonely she felt. She said that Nat was the only one she could trust now. Nat paid attention to her patiently. His heart was being gashed with every little thing that upset Jenine. He comforted her, just like he wanted to ever since he got out of his car. He whispered sweet words into her ear. Words that made that stunning smile of hers colour her features. And the more he saw of that smile, the more he felt proud of himself. He accomplished the task. All will be fine now.
3. The Plan Somewhere over the rainbow Skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true Yes, yes, that was true. Jenine felt it, knew it. At least she wanted to; she wanted to believe in the song s words with all her heart. She knew exactly which of her dreams she would like to come true. But where exactly was she to look for that somewhere the song refers to? She would give anything to find that place, away from here. Far, far away from the reality. But if the place wouldn t exist in the reality then where would she find it, right? The song continued to play: If happy little bluebirds fly Above the rainbow Why, oh why, can't I Jen s heart sank every time she heard that last verse. Her mother was a fan of this song so Jenine got a chance to hear it more then she would have liked to. She was no bluebird in whatever meaning. Sometimes she wondered what it would feel like to be a little careless bird. How would it feel to fly? How would it be like to weave nests? Would she be able to see auras then? She wouldn t mind eating worms if answer to that question would be a no . She sighed and continued packing for school. She quietly cursed under her breath as the song went back to the begging- it was set on repeat. Just before she walked out the door, the last verse of the song played again. If happy little bluebirds fly Above the rainbow Why, oh why, can't I Jenine felt that those words would be stuck with her for the rest of day. She left the house with a groan, without even bothering to say goodbye to her mother and sister. It s not like any of them would have even noticed if she bothered. They have other important things on their minds than listening to goodbyes. Outside, the sun was just emerging from behind the hill top- reminding Jen how very early it was. It looked as if the day would be sunny. Then again, the weather could sometimes be deceiving. You would dress up for sun and end up soaked up in rain. Jenine learned that lesson long time ago. As Jen thought about it, it also had a metaphorical meaning that reminded her that she would never be able to prepare herself fully for the future; for life is always full of unexpected surprises. That thought earned another frustrated groan from Jenine. Why can t life be easy? Why couldn t she be normal? At least then she wouldn t have to worry about bringing justice upon a psychopathic murderer she had no solid evidence against. One more groan and she was on her way to school. She didn t take the car today because she had more than enough time for walking. She would get a lift home after school from Nathaniel anyway. Morning walks was something Jenine rather enjoyed; not to mention the benefits for her health that a fast walk could give her. The first part of the path to school was desolate. It was just a thin strip of a dirt road marked in the fields as if one day a gigantic snake slithered across them. It was quiet. Desolate and quiet. And Jen really liked it.
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