Chapter 20





Jenna looks different, her movements are less controlled and her eyes don't touch mine for the entire walk from our houses until now. Something is wrong, something happened to her during the time that she lay unconscious on her bed the day before. One of the longest days of my life. She had looked so pale, her skin had been cold and her tears had intermingled with the sweat of her nightmares.

My mother had called me to ask what was keeping me from dinner and had visited shortly after when I had explained the situation. Jenna had fainted after vomiting and I had walked out of my house in time to witness Jenna collapsing onto her lawn. My mind had been in chaos as I carried her limp form up the stairs to her bedroom and laid her gently on her bed.

The moment her beautiful eyes had opened, returning her to my world I had been staring blindly out the window, not really seeing. Her first words were of pure magic, barely inaudible, but strong enough to make the hairs on my spine spike up to the tips of their existence.

"Mike?" Her voice was hoarse and pained, her hand reached for me over the drenched covers around her and her mother looked at her daughter in awe.

Now we are back to square one as we walk through the crowded hall way of our school and I know that I am not the only one hearing the other students discussing us.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I ask her in vain, maybe she will open up to me, maybe she won't--I have to try.

We reach her locker after a moment of silence and I face her, trying again, "Please Jenna," I can feel the need in my voice, but I do not care, if she is suffering I don't want her to do so on her own. From behind Jenna I see Sammy, wearing the outfit that I bought her for her birthday during freshman year. She looks pissed, but she is the last thing on my mind. From the expression on Jenna's face I can tell that she knows that something is different in our situation.

"Sammy," she murmurs. No one hears her but me—it is a thing we share. It's like we have acute hearing made for each other. My mother told me once that when she first met my father she had simply been an eighteen year old woman with extra sensitive hearing. Her overconfidence went perfectly with my father's suave personality.

"Michael, we need to talk," Sammy announces, and I am momentarily annoyed. I feel myself calm down when I remember that this was something that needed to be done a long time ago, especially given the circumstances of Jenna and I. "Alone."

I give Jenna one last look and wish to God that I could kiss her perfect lips of sadness. Her scar shines bright in the lights of the hallway today and her eyes appear to be holding a fear that I am ready to save her from. "We'll talk after." I love you. I add silently as I walk after Sammy's disappearing figure, towards the cold winds of winter that promise a heatless remaining year.

The End

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