AA-meetings – Chapter 8: Agonizing Reality

Agonizing reality

2011


“Did Amy accompany you to the doctor’s office?” George asks his daughter the second she walks in that evening.

Alex turns her head the other way and softly hums. Rick Spencer and her father decided it’d be preferable for her to see a doctor. There’s been a persistent infection under her arm for a while now – Alex is sure it’s from shaving – and the overly energetic girl has been feeling tired for ages. She wakes up in a cold sweat from time to time and hasn’t eaten in days. Uncle Aaron is worried too, but he’s just a pediatrician. His suggestion was for her to see a colleague of his. A ‘big people doctor’, as Eli likes to tease him.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 7: Apart For Too Long

Apart for too long

2015


It’s one p.m. when a soaking wet Alex shoots up in her bed. She’s panting uncontrollably, with eyes wide open. It takes a while before she realizes where she is. Then, the old memories of her teenage bedroom appear to be real. It’s not a dream. Not anymore.

She quickly throws her feet out of the bed and runs some fingers through her voluminous hair. The tiny knots of her hair extensions interrupt the smooth gesture. Not a lot has changed around the place. Not the people that live here, not the way it smells like cinnamon wherever you go, not the boisterous sounds reverberating from room to room. A pack of men and one girl. A pack of Spanish wolves. Just one thing. One person that used to always be here.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 6: Acceptance

Acceptance 

2009


Their first night together certainly wasn’t the last. After another few secretly sleepless hours in one bed, the girls yawn over the break of day. Alex barely has enough time to crawl out of bed, sneak out of the house and get a shower at her place. She told her dad she was spending the night at Amy’s. Problem is, Amy told her parents the truth about their relationship. How it has evolved from friendship over being soulmates to being in love. Now, the Wolfe family has been wonderful over that revelation, it’s just that Amy feels a bit weird now, asking permission to let Alex spend the night. It used to be a thing that came naturally. Alex came by, Alex spent the night – nothing weird about it.

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AA-meetings – Chapter 5: Aching Desire

 Aching desire

2009


Word’s going around about Alex’s first big photoshoot. Any second now and her face will be glued all over town. Any second and hell will break lose in this school over it. She’s always been one of the popular girls, but this will bring it to a whole new level. The girl can’t wait for what’s next concerning her career. That feeling of an entire crew being at your disposal, just to get one perfect shot – it’s amazing. Modeling is, weirdly enough, hard work. You can spend hours waiting time before you even get on set – before the client, the model and the photographer are pleased about the result. She doesn’t mind, though. She could stare at the lens and take positions for an eternity. Just like she could stare into Amy’s eyes for just as long.

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Captured – Chapter 19: Epilogue (final chapter)

Epilogue


Unlike a lot of things from my memories, the new ones I’ve built are amazing. They erase the level of sadness and depression I’ve been through. Lauren is the source of all my happiness. She’s the reason I wake up in the morning and jump in bed at night. She draws little circles on my tummy when we watch TV and kisses me softly when everyone is looking our way.

My book got published and sold a couple million copies worldwide. It got translated in seven languages. So one might say it was successful.

There are a lot of times when I still think about John and his demonic eyes. There are times when I wake up and smell the scent of the basement in our room. Sometimes I even lock myself up for a while, just like he used to do, to reconnect with myself. It’ll be a closet or a darkened room. And though it’s ironic, it helps me to forget. Because being all alone puts things in perspective. It makes me realize that after all the bad, the good triumphed. Actually, it took the bad, it kicked the living shit out of it, pushed it – face down – into the dirt and tossed it into the ocean so it could drown.

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Captured – Chapter 18: The Book

The book


When I open my eyes, it’s obviously way too early. Everything inside of me screams that I wasn’t supposed to be up already. My body’s still tired, but it’s not listening to itself. So I wake up and yawn long and hard. Tonight was way too short. Lauren kept me up for hours. First, we fooled around properly, then we talked until the sun came up again. She needed to tell me things, she said. Things that happened while we were apart. It were simple stories about going to the mall, getting a driver’s license or riding a horse, but they were special to her. I understood why. She let me in on her very admirable first-evers. The first time she ever dared to do things on her own, without anyone holding her hand. As sad as I felt about not being there with her, tonight I felt even more proud about the young woman that saved herself in this big world.

After smacking my lips to moisten them, I turn around to find an adorable Lauren glaring at me in wonder, like I’m the most adorable thing in the world. She looks beautiful in the morning, but finding someone staring at you while you’re sleeping is a bit disturbing.

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Captured – Chapter 17: Injuries

Injuries


Ellen and I decided to enjoy life a bit after our emotional evening. My mom and dad were at a point where they accepted that I wasn’t a baby anymore. They let go of me more and more. They realized that locking me up and keeping me under some strange kind of surveillance wouldn’t do any good. And, even though I didn’t exactly need their permission, they gave me their blessing when Ellen and I expressed our desire to go on a holiday.

We went to Mexico, where we stayed at a beautiful hotel surrounded by palm trees and beaches. We drank mojitos and fresh coconut juice at the pool. We went for massages and even spend a day swimming with dolphins. It was incredible. That country stunned me on so many occasions. It simply took my breath away.

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Captured – Chapter 16: Ding, dong, the witch is back

Ding, dong, the witch is back


A worked up woman is pacing up and down in front of me, while I’m sitting on a couch, smartly remaining quiet. The person in front of me is not happy. My publicist rarely ever is. She’s holding the last few rough drafts of my work in her right hand. She doesn’t like it. Hell, I don’t even like it. Something about it just isn’t right.

“This isn’t working, Mariana. I mean, look at your last three chapters. They lack finesse. They lack an emotional input. You’ve been rambling and rambling about the interior of the house for ten pages.”

I crunch my nose and shake my head doubtfully. It was a very unique house, though. Of all the things I hated there, the structure and bold posture of that Fortress was the least of it.

Ellen is standing in the room as well and objects in a supportive way: “It can’t be that bad.”

But Edna, my publisher holds the papers towards her: “Front and back!”

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Captured – Chapter 15: Drunk In Love

Drunk in love


We are checked into a fancy hotel by the time evening falls. She doesn’t feel like going to the one where her mother’s staying, even though it’s just a few minutes away. She needs to be near me tonight, she said. She needs to feel me close to her, just in case she’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking it was all a dream.

I should know better, but I let her. The entire ride back, on the Vespa, we didn’t say a word. She just held on tightly to my upper body, with her head on my shoulder. We didn’t even wear our helmets. By the time it got a little chilly and we got bored of staring into the distance, we ended up here.

“Here’s the key, Miss. Your room is at the second floor, on the right. Number 203. Elevator is down the hall.”

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Captured – Chapter 14: Road Trip

Road trip 


Surprisingly, Lauren’s back in town for some police business. The cops are ready to close the case and so they need final interviews to make sure every detail’s there. But they didn’t tell me that. They especially left out the part where they’d bring back my ex-girlfriend to finish their investigation.

First thing she did when she landed, was drive over to my place. It was two in the morning, but that didn’t seem inappropriate to her. Honestly, her waking me up in the middle of the night was the best thing that had happened in weeks. Her mom went directly to the hotel. I bet she put up a fight about her daughter coming to visit me, but, as the facts turn out, that didn’t stop Lauren from trying. And ending up here.

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