Moonlight

My life is beyond words to explain. I have neither the vocabulary, nor the time to explain how incredibly unpredictable, but amazing it is. Or at least, that was what I thought a few weeks ago; Before I realized my entire life, or what I knew of it, what I was always told of it by other people, was a lie...before I realized I was being hunted by the most dangerous creature in the universe. . Before I realized that I, by my own selfish reasons, had put my life and the life of everyone I knew in e

Chapter 1

“Juliet…”

My eyes flew open as wide as they could as a hoarse whisper spoke my name softly in my ear. I sat up with a gasp, my heart thumping wildly against my chest at the pace of a hundred miles per hour.

I looked around the room, puzzled that it had changed. It was lit by only the dim, gray light that was overflowing from behind the curtains of my window. Not the dark mustiness I was in. Everything was how it was left the night before. There was no painful moaning and sobbing from the woman who I thought was sitting in a chair in front of me. No cold and unexplainable drafts coming through the planks in the walls. Everything was normal.

I put my head in my hands and sighed, wiping my moist eyes and letting them adjust slowly to the light, while a groan of frustration escaped my raspy throat.

I had been waking up from the same nightmare for a month now. Every night, the same dream kept returning, starting and ending the exact same way every time. The first night the dream had come, I woke up screaming. The way I experienced the dream felt so real. I could feel every bit of it, almost as if it was actually happening. For some reason, the nightmares never went away. But the more they came, the more used to them I had gotten. I even expected them every night. But expecting them still didn’t stop the fear.

I swept my curly, brown hair from my sweaty face, and kicked the covers off my legs. It was very warm inside my Aunt Colleens house, despite the winter-like air outside. I slid off the bed, the soles of my feet resting on the cold, wooden floor, and staggered into the bathroom, glancing back at my sickly looking reflection in the mirror. My face was pale, and my gray eyes were red and puffy from tears. My hair rested in messy curls on my shoulders, sticking to the sides of my sweaty face. I looked like I was suffering from an exotic disease, I realized.

I reached for the sink knob, turning the water on and splashing it onto my face. The cold water made my skin tingle, making me gasp in surprise as the icy liquid streamed down my face to my neck. I snatched a towel from the rack and dabbed it around my face, my senses fully clear and alert.

I set the towel down onto the counter and stared at my pathetic echo in the mirror. The more I looked at myself, the more I wanted to cringe. No matter how hard I tried, I don’t think I could ever look what most people would call “pretty”. I thought I was average, with my big eyes the most unnatural gray color you could ever see, along with long, naturally curly hair that was, in my opinion, thinner than I would have liked. I had the body of a twelve year old. I was tiny. And I don’t mean short, I mean skinny, bony-like, and not the attractive skinny, but a crazy skinny. The kind of skinny that would make people slap an “eating disorder” sticker to your forehead. My grandmother would say it was because I didn’t eat a lot of meat, which I tried not to help. I was a vegetarian. Even the thought of meat made my stomach churn.

Though my complexion was pretty clear, without the blemishes and bumps most teenagers suffered from, I had a lot of freckles. Especially on my nose, and along my cheek bones, which made me look even dorkier than I thought I already looked. Thankfully, all of my teeth grew in straight enough to not need braces, and my vision was perfectly 20/20, and I’d never even had to consider visiting an eye doctor. But even without the extra add-ons, I still looked like an awkward teenager. And I didn’t think that would ever change, no matter how old I got.

I flipped my hair to the side of my neck, letting the strap of my tank top slide down my shoulder, leaving the side of my neck bare and a strange looking mark visible. A thick, C-shaped scar stuck out just below my ear on the bare skin of my neck. I was told I had gotten it from the car accident that killed my parents ten years ago.

The one I happened to survive from.

But for some reason, when I looked at it, though I couldn’t remember anything about it, I felt as though it was from something else, something more complex than a “car accident”.

The accident happened ten years ago, when I was only seven. Apparently, the impact from the crash caused me to lose my memory, or get a concussion or amnesia…one of those…I was never really sure. The only thing I remembered was waking up in a hospital room to a woman who called herself my grandmother, telling me she was going to take me back to Chicago with her. And about a month ago, ten long years later, her being the only person that I’ve ever known and the only person that knew me, she had a stroke and died, leaving me with the stranger aunt that I never even heard of until the funeral arrangements were being planned.

The only life I knew had been a very difficult one. A very confusing one. I didn’t know who to trust or who to believe. Who was telling me the truth about my previous life, and who was making things up to make me think this new life was better than the one I had before. It was almost like being born twice, only different.

Of course, I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t mind having the life I have now. I went from orphaned amnesiac living with her grandmother in a two bedroom apartment in big city Chicago, to moving in with an aunt with a huge miniature mansion in the forest of a silent town next to the prettiest coastline I think I have ever seen. And Colleen’s house was like a miniature mansion compared to what I did live in before. Her house had a dozen bedrooms, a huge kitchen, even a library. Not to mention my room came complete with its own tower—which was a twirling staircase that led up to an indoor balcony at the very top of the house. It was beautiful. You could even see the ocean from it and a small lighthouse on a large rock cliff way off in the distance.

But I would give it all up just to be with my grandmother again.

Even though all my grandmother had said to me about my past was that I had a mother and father who died in a car accident, and that I bumped my head really hard, while a piece of the glass window pierced my neck, giving me the scar I have now, I had felt comfortable and content living with her. I was just getting used to the fact that I would probably never get my memory back, right when she died.

Ever since I had gotten the scar, it had always felt sore. Almost like I had just gotten it. And, though I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it or not, it felt like it was always hot. Like that spot on my neck had been covered by a heated blanket for hours.

With a sigh, I pulled up my tank strap and flung my hair back over my shoulders, then flipped off the light and headed back to my room. I threw on a clean pair of dark jeans, and a form fitting t-shirt, and headed downstairs.

As I reached the end of the staircase, a faint smell greeted my nostrils, making my stomach growl with desire.

I looked at the round wall clock hanging above a few pictures Colleen had framed of her and her fiancé, Wesley. It was almost noon. Colleen should have been at work by now.

Colleen was a nurse. She worked at the hospital here in Cutler. She’s even received a few awards as top nurse of the year or something like that, which I thought was pretty impressive. She was marrying Wesley Jennings, a psychologist with an emotional deficiency. It was almost as if he thought he knew the answer to everything. But Wesley was a nice guy, I’ll give him that. But he and Colleen was a very unlikely couple.

I crossed the living room and stepped into the kitchen, where a tray, covered in tin foil, sat on top of the counter, a small note taped to it. It was covered in Colleen’s scratchy, cursive graffiti. I pulled off the note and read it slowly:

Juliet,

Went to work. Be back at five. Breakfast is on the

plate, just warm it up in the microwave. You can take

the truck if you want to go out. Keys are on table. C.

I set the note down and pulled the tin foil off the tray, uncovering a couple sausages, a strip of bacon, a pile of scrambled eggs and a piece of toast coated in butter that had already soaked through the whole wheat bread.

My stomach growled loudly as I stared at the food, though usually I was never hungry in the mornings. I grabbed the bacon and sausages, wrinkling my nose in disgust, and threw them into the trash can. Colleen obviously still didn’t realize my extreme repugnance for meat.

But just as gratefully, I stuck the rest of the food, which was just the tiny hill of scrambled eggs, in the microwave and nuked it, popping the toast into the toaster.

After I had finished eating, I washed my dishes—out of habit mostly as I was taught to, living with my grandmother—and quickly grabbed a jacket, and my sneakers, sliding them on quickly, clutching the keys to the truck tightly in my hand. I walked towards the front door, locking it before I went out, and headed to the garage, where my aunt kept her heavy duty, silver Ford F-15 truck parked underneath a thick layer of frost.

After I dusted the windshield off, I hopped into the truck and stabbed the keys into the ignition and letting it roar to life beneath my fingers. I pressed the accelerator a couple times to warm it up, buckling my seatbelt quickly. I switched the gear to drive, pulling out of the garage and down Colleen’s long dirt road.

Colleen— and I, now—live in Cutler, Maine, a very small town, with only a small population of six hundred and seventy (seventy-one, now). It was right near the coast line, which was surrounded by docks and boats and fishing nets galore. But what I didn’t like about the town was that it was constantly cold and cloudy. The highest the temperatures ever got in the summer were only sixty degrees. Definitely a big transition from Chicago.

The entire state was a long stretch of country land. Trees, forests, long open fields and only tiny towns and markets and tons of boats. Being almost raised my whole life in the big city of Chicago, Illinois it was all very strange to me. I wasn’t used to so many trees, and so much cold weather, along with more grass than I was used to seeing. I was used to paved roads, sidewalks and subways, along with tall buildings and smog for as far as the eye could see. This town seemed almost deserted compared to Chicago.

My grandmother never used to want to travel. She was definitely a homebody. And I never argued with her. I wasn’t much of an adventurous person myself, so I stayed home. I couldn’t remember one vacation I’d ever had. I just grew up not caring what the rest of the world was like. Just hoping things could just go smoothly without changing. I was tired of having to adjust.

But here I was again. Having to adjust to another life, now knowing only what I was told about myself and about my parents. About my life before the accident, and that still was not a lot.

My grandmother never really wanted to talk about my life before. This made me feel like maybe she had something she wanted to hide from me. Like my life was, and always will be a big secret that I would never know about.

That thought would send several questions creating a curious swirl of anxious thoughts through my head; could my parents have been abusive? Was I a terrible child, constantly getting in trouble? Were we a happy family or a family full of nothing but emptiness and hate? These questions, along with many others had been left unanswered in the back of my blank mind. Was I a good child? Did I love my parents enough while they were alive? I would give anything to remember the answers to these questions. I knew they were somewhere in the back of my mind, in a place that couldn’t be reached. I just had to find a way to get to them…Somehow.

I pulled the truck over, into an empty parking lot at the beach, and parked in a space closest to the long blanket of sand that stretched out across a long it. Blue, twinkling ocean residing just below, high waves toppling overtop each other in a thundering roar.

I stepped out of the truck, breathing in the salty air deeply as I stared at the foamy waves.

I tucked my hands in the pockets of my jeans and walked across the sand, my sneakers sinking into the yellow dust with each step. As I got closer, I could feel a cool mist brush across my face as the most recent wave crashed down onto the sand, roaring loudly at the beat of the chirping seagulls that danced around in the oncoming water.

The beauty of it was completely surreal, fantastic, amazing…all those words. Watching it in a movie just didn’t top how amazing it was to actually watch it in person, here in front of you.

Anyone, especially Colleen, would have thought I was crazy for being out here this time of year, especially in a place where warm wether was a rarity in itself. But I had always been hot natured. I guessed it was from living in Chicago, which also wasn’t the warmest place on the continent. I assumed it was like building calluses from playing a guitar so much. You just get used to the sharp pain.

As I watched the churning waves, a strange sense of déjà vu came over me. The smell of the salty liquid and sand brought back familiar feelings I couldn‘t place. It almost felt like remembering a memory that was far from lost, but at the same time, not remembering anything.

I sighed, letting my curly brown hair sweep off my shoulders with the breeze, letting the cold mist engulf my face and the smell of the salty waves fill my senses. All my emotions, all the troubles that had seemed to hold my mind in a locked cage trapped with nothing but sadness seemed to drift away. I felt weightless and completely relaxed. I felt as though I could have stood there for hours.

And I probably had been, seeing as I didn’t notice the stranger that was now standing behind me.

“You know you’re going to catch pneumonia standing in the water like that.” said a deep, soothing voice, immediately breaking the relaxation. I felt myself stumble to the ground in surprise, as I was attempting to turn around but losing my balance.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” A male voice said. His voice was like gentle lullaby. I could have listened for hours. “I didn’t mean to make you fall.”

Suddenly I felt warm, strong hands lift me back onto my feet fluently, as though I weighed nothing but five pounds. I looked down at my shoes which were completely soaked, as I realized I had been standing in the freezing water, which was now stabbing at my skin like needles.

I turned around, facing the person who had just spoken. I gasped unintentionally, as I found myself gaping at the figure in front of me. I was staring at the most handsome, beautiful boy I had ever seen in my entire life, which even those words themselves were an underestimation.

He looked about my age, maybe older. His face was perfectly arranged, with his cheekbones sticking out visibly and stylishly beside his ears. His mouth seemed to curve in the most angelic smile as he watched me study him. His hair was jet black, almost an unreal looking black, dyed most likely, and his eyes were the most bright, glowing blue I had ever seen, like they were being lit up by neon, which I assumed could only be contacts.

He was very fit and muscular, with thick, strapping arms sticking out from a bare white t-shirt that was beginning to dampen from the mist. By the way the wind swept his hair, with his stance it looked like he was posing for a magazine cover. I almost expected to see a film crew walk up behind him, or a body guard of some kind, maybe even a paparazzi.

“Are you okay?”he asked, snapping me out of the stupor I was in.

I couldn’t say a word. My mouth felt dry. I tried to swallow and mutter a reply, but instead, I made a dumb “uh” sound, that probably made me look like an idiot.

But he just watched me and smiled, waiting for me to say something.

“I-I’m sorry.” I managed to croak, though my voice was hoarse and unrecognizable even to me. “I didn’t realize that you were-”

“Don’t apologize. It is a public beach.” He assured. “I was doing the same as you were. I just thought I was the only one that came here during winter-like weather. Most people find it too cold.”

I nodded, turning my attention to his bare arms. Even as hot natured as I was, a short sleeve shirt was pushing it. And he was saying I would catch pneumonia.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around here before.” He said, studying me. “Are you visiting?”

I looked at him, shaking my head, waiting to find my voice again. “No, I just moved here, with my aunt.” I stammered.

“Oh, of course.” He said, smiling. My heart began to skip beats. “Well welcome to Cutler. I’m Nicholas.” He welcomed, holding his hand out and offering a kind shake.

I almost hesitated, but I grabbed it slowly. It was warm and soft. “Juliet.” I replied.

He stopped, and jerked his hand away as if I had poked him with a sharp needle. He was looking at me through wide, shocked eyes.

I stared at him, confused and scared. Had I said something wrong? I wondered.

He straightened his back, his breathing picking up in pace and his chest heaving up and down quickly. He took a few steps away from me, staring me down from my feet and back up to my face.

I looked around me, wondering what it was I had said. He continued to examine me, almost as if I had changed into some unexplainable object.

“It’s nice to meet you.” He said swallowing, keeping his eyes away from mine now. His words were almost choked out.

“Well, I’m afraid I must go.” He said, smiling, though I could sense the force behind it.

“You too.” I replied, a little delayed, but he didn’t seem to notice.

I looked down shyly, hoping I hadn’t offended him in any way, and when I opened my mouth to tell him goodbye, he had already left. He had disappeared.

I stood there, disoriented and confused by what had just happened. Had I run him off? What did I say to offend him?

I looked around again, hoping to see him, to make sure what had just happened wasn’t a figment of my imagination, but he was gone. Nowhere to be seen.

I turned my gaze back to the water. It continued to churn in frothy ripples down at my feet. I stepped away from it, shaking the water out of my shoes, and looking around the beach again, still hoping I would see him. But he was still gone. I doubted I would ever see him again.

Sad, I returned to my truck. I was now soaking wet from the rain that had began to fall without me realizing. Heavy drops began to pelt at my windshield.

I started the truck, letting it warm up for a few seconds, and backed out of the parking lot, and onto the road, back to Colleen’s house.

The End

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