An empty void of nothing faded into a castle scene. The castle was something from the medieval period and was decorated accordingly. The light was coming from torched on the walls and the stone wall matched the floor. But something was wrong I wasn't in a normal room. Nothing was in this small enclosed space except me. My chained up arms and legs struggled to get free but the metal would not give way. Rattling from me was the only noise in the echoing room. Suddenly the torches on the walls dimmed and extinguished. I knew what was happening and I needed to act fast.
"You can do it." A voice told me. And suddenly the room was alive with dancing flames.
I awoke from my dream with beads of sweat on my forehead. My gasping was hushed and not loud enough to wake the sleeping beauty in the bed opposite mine. I found my sketchpad from under my bed and carefully and quickly pencil sketched the room I had seen in my dream. I would probably forget it like every other time of my life so this time I would make sure I had something to remind me. It was still only the last part of the dream but it was more than usual. After my creative surge had ended and my paper was full of lines that made up the room I imagined myself in, I fell back asleep.
"Lila, you don't look so good." I felt a thermometer being stuck under my tongue and the blond nurse time with her clock. "One-oh-one." The cold plastic was removed from my mouth. "Lila I'm afraid you are going to be bed bound for a couple of days."
"Oh no." I said sarcastically by being ill threw it off and it almost sounded genuine. Not genuine enough because the nurse gave me a smile as she walked out the door. She'd be back Thursday to check on me.
"This means I have to eat with other people now. And class is going to be alone. Lila you owe me later." Was this all Lauren was thinking about? The only thing I was thinking about was the raging fire in my head. I muttered a half-hearted apology and she quickly fled to her first lesson.
Although being ill was a lot better than classes one cannot keep oneself entertained. I tried reading - which turned out bust because I had no good books, sleeping - but awoke every thirty minutes and eating but I felt too sick to keep it down. I was not going to do homework. It was about one o'clock - lunch time on m normal day when there was a knock on the door.
"Did Hawkie forget her key?" I said antagonising her as I opened the door. But I didn't find her there.
"Lila. You're ok." Nick said puffing out his words. Must of run. His brown hair was messy like he just woke up and his eyes had red rings underneath. Maybe he did just wake up.
"Yeah except my inability to think too hard without rupturing a brain vessel." I retreated back to my bed and curled up under the covers. Nick came in the room, closing the door behind him, and stood at the end of my bed. "Why so worried, chuck?"
"No reason." He rubbed his obviously sleep deprived face. "Just thought you might be like seriously ill. Guess not. I'll just leave." He went to put his hand on the door handle when I realised I wanted him to stay. Time passed quicker with him here and I needed someone to keep my company.
"Do you have to go?" I strangled out. I knew he wouldn't make this easy on me and his smile just supplied my theory with evidence. "Don't take it as a compliment. I need human interaction." He smiled and came back over to my bed. After grabbing Lauren's makeup chair and sitting on it I noticed how tired he was acting. "What did you do pull an all-nighter?" He chuckled.
"Went on a last minute trip. To the south of England." That was where I grew up and my family lived but something in his expression told me he knew that already. "It's why I wasn't with you at lunch the other day." I simply nodded once glad that he had an excuse. "Lila I'm sorry about your uncle."
"Why do you know so much about me?" My curiosity had all it could take from Nick. "Do you like stalk me or something?" He laughed at this as opposed to his serious expression at my previous statement.
"No just coincidences. One after another after another." His smile was warm but still didn't make me forget about his weird knowledge gain. "I knew your uncle. Jerry was a friend of my dad's. I went over for his funeral." I nodded because there were no words for how small this world was even if we came from separate countries.
"But you're Irish."
"And you're English. Thought we sorted this out?"
"You don't have a clean bill of health yet." The hushed tone told me to get inside. Friends - what are you going to do with them? My escape had already been planned. I'd get out of the dorm block, run across the campus until I got to the gates and sweet talk the guard that was on duty. Simple. Like I said I could be a flirt if I wanted to.
"See you." I gave Lauren a wide eyed smile and closed the door quietly. She would never stop worrying about me but with this fever completely cooled down I wasn't spending another minute extra in bed.
Operation freedom had begun.
As I slinked down the dorm stairs I found out it was just like the many times I snuck out before - unguarded. The door opened into the dark outside and I began to half-run half-sneak in-between all the buildings. My skin chapped at the cold wind. It's funny how big the campus actually is when you are running across it at night. I saw the gates in sight and one of the school guards stood blocking the iron bars. Time to turn flirty on.
"Lila what are you doing here?" It was Frank one of my favourites. He always caved because I was so sweet and so innocent. "Go back to bed."
"Can't sleep Frank. I wanted someone to talk to and I though you would be bored too." My smile dazzled him and he had no choice but talk nice to me.
"Lila if you keep doing this to me I'm going to get in trouble." I gave the puppy-dog look. No one could resist. And then his face broke. "Where are you planning to go this time of night?" I shrugged my shoulders because I really had no idea. Frank turned around to slip his key into the gate when the unexplained got weirder.
"Frank! What are you doing?" A stern voice came from the darkness. One that I knew too well but for some reason Frank buckled under it. He began to mumble apologies as the angry Nick came into view. I just rolled my eyes at him. Before I knew it I was being dragged by the arm back inside the school.
"Nick would you not." My outburst startled him enough to let go of my arm. "I'm a big girl and I don't need a personal bodyguard. Please stop keeping me out of danger - I like it."
"Lila you are completely oblivious to what harm you put yourself in every day." His voice was sterner than I have ever heard before and perhaps a bit angry. "Now stop being such a silly little teenager and go back to your room." To prove his point I sat down in the spot I was stood.
"And if I don't." His fury was bubbling. My body flew up from the ground and stood up. My arms locked in place like my legs and my face was made to look at Nick's gaze. It began to hurt. The pressure clamped on my skin and breathing became a hard task. "Nick." I whimpered. "Stop." Then the air released me and I had the sensation of falling over but my body never hit the floor. Instead my head blanked out and darkness took over.
"Liliana." The nurse said relieved as my eyes fluttered open. "You've been out for a few hours now. How do you feel?"
"Confused." It was the only word I could say. She nodded and told me that a few hours previous I had fallen down a flight of stairs and blacked out. I just nodded along but that wasn't the part I was confused about. I knew clearly what had happened. She told me that I could go if I felt well enough. I insisted that I didn't need an escort to take me back to my room and set off for my bed. The sky was still night.
It was cold but it was soothing on my hot head. My mind raced at thoughts of Nick. He really and truly scared me. Anyone who held you in one place by force and then caused you to faint would be scary. But Nick?! He seemed so cool-headed and calm all the time. I had never seen him mad and once I did I pushed him further into psycho mad.
"Lila." I heard a voice pant from behind me. I didn't want to look round. My legs locked in place - from my own subconscious this time. I was scared: Very scared. "Look I'm sorry please just let me explain." He came round me and into my sight. He didn't look menacing but more apologetic. Still, I couldn't get the picture of his anger out of my head.
"You can't blame this on bipolar Mr. McCauley." I said timidly afraid to scare him. He took one step towards me with an extended hand but my body moved simultaneously to his, mirroring what he did. "Please, don't." Even I had to admit I sounded pathetic.
"Lila, please. Don't be scared." He took another step forward and I took another step back. "Lila I'm here to protect you; not hurt you." His voice became more and more hurt with every moment my fear increased. "Lila." He breathed. "Say something."
"Are you going to make me?" Tears broke through into my voice but not out of my eyes. He shook his head.
"Please don't be like this. I didn't mean to hurt you just...you could get hurt if you don't do as I say." He sounded pathetic now. He didn't control my life and he couldn't protect me from everything; he shouldn't. It's not his job.
"You mean like you hurt me when I wouldn't move?" Now my anger began to show. "Leave me alone. The only danger to me is you." And that is what did it. I had rendered him speechless and he couldn't move. The words were harsh I'll admit but my swirl of emotions were the only things that were talking now. I walked off and towards my dorm away from the maniac.
I slept in the next day. My fever excuse was good for a few more days since the fall could have pushed it further. The truth was that I felt absolutely fine except for my traumatic experience that my brain kept replaying for me until I fell asleep.
I don't want this now. My thoughts echoed as my mind slipped into my recurring dream. It started from where I remembered; in the room that I sketched and everything was in the dark.
My wrists and feet were chained up against the wall that gave me a shudder as I remembered the feeling of what Nick had done. It felt almost the same except this time it was metal holding me and not magic.
Again I was alone.
That was until my captor's footsteps sounded in the room and I began to try and break free out of my chains. I heard a deep menacing sound that was laughter. It made me shiver once more.
"You're next." His deep voice boomed and reverberated off the stone walls.
"You can do it." The voice said on cue and once more the whole room went up in flames that flickered across my vision.
The phone beside me rang and woke me up. I picked it up to hear a woman's voice telling me I had an urgent call from my mum.
"Mum what's wrong?" I asked sitting up in a bed at the sound of my mum's heavy breathing on the other line.
"Lila I have some bad news." I could hear her crying.