Bolting up from her sleep, dazed, disoriented, and frightened; her vision shifting back and forth between nightmare and reality. Jesse's scream died out leaving her only to sob out choked notes of horror. Another nightmare during the night. They haunted her no matter where or when she slept.
Soft hands massaged her shoulders and brought calm to her as her vision finally settled on the reality around her.
"Jesse, its okay I'm hear. Calm down. Put your head between your knees and breath." Her best friend, Morgan, said rubbing her back. Jesse, listening to her source of calm, put her head between her knees as she was told and repressed the urge to vomit. The wet track marks left by her tears began to dry into tight salty trails and she hiccupped. Crying was never fun. It made her blotchy and her face and throat feel tight. Sniffling, she squeezed her eyes shut.
"Morgan I'm gonna' throw-up. Bathroom, now." She choked out as the brunette lifted Jesse and helped her to the bathroom. Inside, Jesse's long autumn red hair was pulled to the side as she knelt on the pearly white tiled floor and worshiped the porcelain god with offerings of her dinner.
When her rounds of vomiting were over and the dry heaves finally subsided, foot steps creaked on the floor above and came down the stairs. A second later Jesse looked toward the door; her head still hanging over the toilet, to see a pair of red fuzzy slippers enter the bathroom and an extra pair of hands helping her up.
With the toilet flushed and the seat cover lowered, Jesse was seated and Morgan, hair mussed from sleep, held her hand as Torre, Morgan's older sister, shifted through the contents of the closet.
"So, would anyone mind telling me why, on a school night I might add, Jesse is puking her brains out when she seemed fine earlier?" Torrance asked, without even looking at them. Her voice was level as she spoke and at the same time she pulled out a bottle of pills and a paper cup. Morgan and Jesse looked at each other and then back at Torre. Without their answer, she turned to them, her golden hair streaked with unnatural red highlights swung with her graceful movement, and honey-gold eyes leveled them with an observant stare.
"It was just a nightmare, Torre, nothing to worry about." Morgan said, not furthering her explanation. Short and to the point. It seemed to be the motto of the Blade family. Torre raised one finely arched golden eyebrow.
"Some nightmare." She handed Jesse two pills and a cup filled with water. "This'll make you feel better." She smiled slightly at Jesse before turning to the door and leaving. The foot steps yet again creaked all the way back up to Torre's bedroom.
Morgan watched Torre leave before looking into Jesse's pained and exhausted crystal green eyes, dulled by the nightmares after effects. The red head blinked at her once, a mental conversation passing through them in the language only friends know. Jesse sighed and swallowed the pills down with the water before looking up at Morgan's strange honey-gold eyes.
"I thought you said that the herbal tea would make my nightmares go away."
Morgan sighed and brought Jesse back to the bedroom. "That's what the woman at Magick Gifts said. Either she sold us some bad herbs or I did something wrong with the tea. And you know that I would never do something wrong when it comes to friends like you. So she sold us some faulty products."
Jesse sat down on her sleeping bag with a huff. "I told you we should have asked the guy at Spellbound. He knows what he's doing."
"Hey don't get on my case." Morgan shook her finger at Jesse. "Magick Gifts is a bigger store with a larger selection of herbs. How was I supposed to know?"
"I don't know. You're the smarter one here." Jesse retorted with a pout, crossing her arms over her chest and looking away, feigning anger.
"You're just as smart as me. Don't think differently just because Linda says so." Morgan said with a snort. Jesse peeked at the brunette.
"You really think so?" Morgan nodded. A deep chime filled the house as the grandfather clock up in the living room stuck another hour. Both girls looked toward the digital clock on the dresser in Morgan's dark room. Flashing red numbers spoke that the time was 3 o'clock am; three more hours until they were supposed to wake up and get to school. Jesse crawled back into her sleeping bag.
"Get some sleep Jesse. If you have another nightmare…I'm going to forbid you from going to school later." Morgan was already curled up in her bed. Jesse nodded, looking up at the ceiling covered in glow-in-the-dark stars and planets. A smile touched her lovely face and she giggled shortly.
"Now I'm kind of hoping for a nightmare."
"Jesse…" Morgan's muffled voice threatened from beneath her comforter.
"Yes?" The red head asked innocently, pulling the sleeping bag up to her chin.
"Go to sleep."
Jesse awoke with bright beams of sunlight filtering through the open windows that were spanned around her room. Another nightmare had not visited her after the first and that generally put her in a good mood, even if it did mean she had to go to school.
Feeling tiredness take its first steps away from her psyche, the red head let out a yawn and stretched. Crystal green eyes blinked and she sniffed the room. The perfume of breakfast made her turn on her side to face the tray laid out beside her makeshift bed.
With a smile on her face she sat up. Across the room Morgan, her glasses now perched on the bridge of her nose, sat cross-legged in her morning meditation; Incense and candles lit around her.
"Eat, shower, and get dressed, Jesse. We leave in 15 minutes." She said without even moving or looking at Jesse. The red heads eyes widened and Jesse was swallowing gulps of food and tea before she took off toward the bathroom, a trail of bed clothes following her. Not even 5 seconds later the sound of the shower water hitting the tiled floor met the brunette's ears.
Morgan smirked slightly, eyes still shut. It was a morning ritual, more so than meditation, for Jesse to rush to get ready. Morgan had not had the heart to wake her up so early after what happened last night. But it was forgotten now, practically, and it would be a normal day.
Well, as normal as their days could be.
Jesse was out of the shower 3 minutes later, braiding her wet hair. Bedding was packed away and everything was clean and brushed. The redhead was running around like a chicken without a head while Morgan merely blew out her candles and snuffed the incense before rising.
"Jesse, calm down, we have seven minutes before we have to leave for the bus. Let's go get some breakfast." Morgan said snagging her back pack from off the floor. Jesse followed her with her own back pack slung over her shoulder.
Upstairs they found Torre sitting at the table quietly drinking tea and reading the news paper. A handsome square jawed man sat next to her with curly black hair and deep gray eyes. There was a dimple in his cheek that screamed playful as he smiled at them and he wore a Ron Jon surf shop T-shirt on and a pair of stone washed jeans. Jesse nudged Morgan, her eyes confused.
"Who's that?" the red head whispered to Morgan. Morgan leaned over and spoke softly in Jesse's ear.
"That's my sister's boyfriend, Bryen."
"Does he have any younger brothers?" Jesse giggled. Morgan punched her playfully.
"Jesse! Bad redhead. No bagel for you." Morgan teased.
Yup, a perfectly normal day.
Okay--so they had been on time when they had started getting ready. But some how they still managed to miss the bus. Luckily Torre and Bryen gave them a ride to the school. As they pulled up Jesse stared out the window at the crowds of students. Most of them were people that she had known since kindergarten. Some she had met recently due to an exchange student program the school had just opened.
But one person caught her attention. The boy, Michael Trentsen, was wearing a green Varsity Football jacket with white leather sleeves that all the older football players had eared and he pushed his dark brown hair from his forehead as he laughed at something some girl said. There was an entire crowd of girls around him and his friends. Jesse sighed. He was her crush, one of the most handsome and popular guys in the whole school. And a guy that hardly even knew she existed.
The red head was brought back by a slight nudge. She turned towards Morgan who gave her a sympathetic look. The car had stopped in front of the main entrance and the brunette was about to get out.
"I know Jesse but we have to get to class." And Morgan slipped out. She was one of the only two people who knew about Jesse's crush on Michael. With a depressed sigh Jesse got out nodding to Morgan. Together they trudged up three flights to their 3rd floor lockers and then separated to go to their classes. Day one, block A was chore and probably the only class that she enjoyed besides doodling her stick figures in art. Probably because she had her two favorite males in it.
One was her crush, Michael Trentsen, and the other was her crush's twin brother and her best guy friend, Miles Trentsen. This was probably the only class she had both of them in. Although the problem was that she sat on the opposite side of the room from them in the soprano section. She waved as Miles entered. He gave her a playful grin but she noticed some scabbing cuts on his cheek.
"Hey, Kitten." He said calling her his pet name. They had tons of pet names for each other; some were purely for the purpose of annoying one another. This was one that annoyed her.
"Hey-lo Millie." She said with a triumphant grin as he threw her a mock glare. Beside him her crush looked back and forth between them with a confused look for a second before smiling at her. She blinked, beginning to feel heat creep up her neck. "No I won't blush." She whispered to herself and sat quickly with her hands in her lap twisting nervously. The redhead willed the red heat to go away.
Beside her another friend sat just as the bell rung. "Yes I made it." The girl said. She wore a pair of black sweat pants with the Kinnelon Softball logo printed on the hip in the school colors of green and gold and a white tank-top. She turned to Jesse with a smile. "Hey, Jesse, how was you're weekend?"
"The usual, Dara." Jesse said.
"Good usual or bad usual?" She asked twisting her mane dark brown, beach blond tipped hair up into a messy bun.
"Neutral usual." The red head said with a slight smile. Dara gave her a sympathetic look.
"Oh, I see. Well today will be good and we'll have some fun. You doing anything tonight?" Dara asked quietly as the teacher entered. Jesse shook her head, watching their blob of a teacher try to sit on the tiny metal stool behind the piano. It was actually quite amusing. Then she thought back her weekend and the small smile was wiped away.
"Not really. My parents are gone for the second time this month. I think they're in Europe…again." Jesse said blankly. A hint of bitterness crept into her voice. It wasn't unusual to hear that Jesse's parents were gone; they were almost always traveling, leaving Jesse to fend for herself. They sent her money, don't worry about that, but it was only enough to pay for food. Anything else and Jesse was on her own. Dara patted her shoulder.
"Hey that's cool, don't worry. We can hang out and watch movies or something." The dark haired girl said peaking at her with concerned steal blue-gray eyes. The redhead nodded. Dara always had the power to cheer her up a bit. Make things seem a little better than they were. With a smile, the redhead brightened up at the prospect of having someone to hang out with tonight.
"Yeah. I'd like that." She looked to her friend who was also smiling at her. "Meet me at Taste of Reality." Dara nodded, her attention though was on the teacher who was now taking attendance grumpily. If he caught you talking while you're name was called there was punishment in the future that involved old fashion chalkboard eraser clapping.
But the plan was set. Jesse had no idea what would happen until then. None at all. Her days were always full of some kind of little surprise.
Good and Bad.