-August 24, 1987- Two days remain-
The clock in the hall struck midnight. I stepped out of my room, into the darkened hall. Nothing would come with me, I had decided. I needed nothing to remind me of this place. Tomorrow, perhaps, it would feel like nothing more than a dream, as though it had never even truly existed. As If I had imagined the whole thing. Just another of my weird delusions.
I was less than a foot away from the door when a pair of hands reached out of the shadows and pulled me to them. Moments later Donnie’s warm lips were upon mine, kissing me furiously. I couldn’t help but kiss him back. He ran his tongue over my bottom lip, and I granted him entrance.
It was over too soon, especially because I knew it would be the last time I would ever kiss him.
“Don’t go,” he breathed against my lips. “I’m so sorry. Just, please, I’m begging you, don’t go.”
“Donnie, I have to,” I whispered. “I cant stay here with you. I don’t belong here.”
“Then neither do I, because I belong wherever you are.”
I smiled at him, at the way the darkness fell over his face. “Oh, Donnie. I love you so much.”
He knew my decision was final. He pulled my face to his once more.
“I have something for you,” he said. His voice was heavy, filled with defeat. “Give me your wrist.”
I did so, putting out my left arm and watching as he reached down into his pocket. A moment later he was pulling out… something. Something that shone in the pale moonlight seeping through the windows. When I felt the cool press of metal to my bare skin, I gasped a little. The silver bracelet sparkled there, winking at me, a light to slice through the dark that surrounded me. Just as Donnie had been my light.
“It’s beautiful,” I told him, though the simple word hardly did it justice. “I’ll wear it forever.” And I would. It would forever remind me of Donnie and the short, tragic love we had shared.
“I’m… uh… gonna… I’ll never forget you, Alyssa Hamilton. I’ll remember you until the day I die. And I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone half as much as I loved- love- you. Just because I’m letting you leave doesn’t mean I’m letting you go.”
They say that there is no harder word to say than goodbye. But I say that’s bullshit. Goodbye is a perfectly simple word when you know that it’s only for a little while.
Goodbye forever? That’s another story.
I’d gone maybe half a block when I realized what a mistake I was about to make. I’d run away once before, and I’d had a good reason to. But this time, I was running out of fear. I don’t really know what I was afraid of, but whatever it was, I knew that it wasn’t worth losing Donnie over. Life was too short to live with regrets.
I sprinted back to the house and let myself in. The door was unlocked.
I shut it quietly behind me.
A second later I heard a quiet laugh from just beyond the shadows. “I left it open. I knew you’d come back.”
I grinned widely. Donnie reached out for my hand. “C’mon. Let’s go to bed.”
I spun around and saw the Fairy queen standing a few feet behind me in all her glory.
“Alyssa, the world is going to end.”
I was in no mood for her riddles. “You’ve mentioned that,” I muttered sarcastically.
She was unfazed. “Only you can save the world.”
I was sick and tired of her games. I’d finally found a bit of happiness in my conscious reality, and she was still haunting my dreams.
“Look, I don’t want to be a part of this,” I told her harshly. “This isn’t my problem.”
For the first time since I’d dreamt of her, she allowed a tiny smile to creep onto her lips. “Alyssa, look at me. Don’t you recognize who I am?”
So I did. I looked real hard, and I watched as the glitter and the magic fell away. And I screamed at what I saw in the magnificent queen’s place.
Elizabeth Darko stood before me,, smiling her bright smile at me. “Save the world, Alyssa. Save me. You know what you have to do.”
I tried to get to her or speak out or anything, but I was frozen in place, rendered speechless.
Then I was falling, falling through time and space and existence until I crashed into my own body, where I was laying on Donnie’s bed, secured in his arms.
Just a dream, I thought frantically. It was just a dream.
Still, the thought was in my head now. What if I could save Elizabeth? What if I could bring back my best friend? I could erase the permanent pain that had etched itself into Donnie’s face. I could make things better.
I shook my head in a vain attempt to clear it. It was ridiculous. The world was not going end in- I glanced at the clock, strained to remember what the fairy- Elizabeth?- had said in my first dream. A glance at my nearly- forgotten wrist (the one opposite were Donnie’s bracelet now hung) reminded me all too quickly.
The world was not going to end in two days. And there was nothing I could do to save Elizabeth or Donnie or myself.