Part 2: It's Never About You

Authors Note: The disease called Ondine's curse mentioned in this story is a real genetic illness and makes the respiratory system shut down when the person sleeps, meaning that they have to be on a ventilator(a machine that breathes for them) at night.

LuAnn kept running and running. Her heart felt as though it was about to explode, and her mind was imagining all sorts of crazy things, such as black winking unicorns and a shrieking blue tarantula. Trees were all around her; she just needed to get to the cabin quickly. Although the cabin was her permanent home, she never felt she could call it 'home'. Nothing was 'home' to Lu anymore. No wonder; she never stayed in one place for long as a child.

At least Serry is here with me, LuAnn reassuringly thought.

However, Serry wasn't there this time. She had completely disappeared and left Lu alone. Alone in the forest, having a paranoia attack. No matter how hard she tried, Lu just couldn't get Serene Grace back. Lu collapsed onto the dry forest floor, crying, and right outside the front door of the cabin. One of LuAnn's problems was that she just couldn't take events head-on.

"Walnut! What's wrong?" Serry's voice questioned.

Lu turned around. Her grief turned to angst.

"Why did you leave me like that? You had me all worried!" Lu shouted.

Serene wasn't listening, though. She was fixated on something, giving an almost fascinated look to LuAnn.

"Walnut, what's Michael doing?" Serry asked.

Lu turned around at a flash. Her boyfriend, Michael, was standing there; face as pale as a ghost's, staring into Lu's eyes. He was so handsome in Lu's mind; gorgeous long blonde hair that glimmered every time he brushed it away from his soft-featured face, and beautiful sky blue eyes that carried such charisma and tale. Often, LuAnn would lie awake at night, wondering why he had chosen her out of all girls out there.

"I have been worried about you, Luey." He told Lu in a soft, Irish accent.

Luey was Michael's nickname for her. He gently began touching her face, his small, slender fingers stroking the frame of her face. She loved him; but she almost felt like he was a fantasy, not meant to be with her. He then stroked her long, wavy dark brown hair that was a waterfall down her slim back.

"It can't be true, it can't be true, it can't be true..."

"What can't be true?" Michael whispered in Lu's ear.

Lu opened her eyes. She hadn't realised she was speaking out loud. Another of Lu's problems was that when she thought she was talking to herself, she was actually talking out loud. It gained her unwanted attention in public, which she hated.

"What do you like about me?" LuAnn asked.

"Luey, you know the answer to that." Michael responded.

The couple stared at each other for a few minutes. Despite being a really close friend to Lu, Serry absolutely hated these soppy moments. It was all too sticky-sweet for her. Instead, she whistled deliberately to annoy LuAnn.

"Serry, we've talked about this..." Lu hissed.

Serene stopped whistling, Out of all people she knew, LuAnn was definitely not for one to annoy. She had always had a bad temper since she was young, and when unleashed, it was explosive, and would do lots of damage to the person who set it alight.

The soppy moment was abruptly stopped by a loud wailing coming from deep inside the cabin.

"Thank you very much, little Jocelyn." Serene muttered to herself.

Right within the cabin, in the living room, Jocelyn, LuAnn and Michael's daughter, was wailing and crying with exhaustion. She was so vulnerable; Jocelyn had tiny bags under her sleepy eyes. Serry felt sorry for her, as she was suffering from Ondine's curse. Lu was looking upset as well since she knew there was nothing she could do about it.

"There, there, my little Jocey-Wocey." Michael cooed as he picked her up and held her in his arms.

LuAnn looked like she was about to crumble down and give way. Although Serene Grace had forever told her that she was a brilliant mum, Lu never, ever felt that. They had gone into the same conversation over and over...

"*Sobbing* I'm...such a bad...*sniff*...mother..."

"No you're not, Lu. You have all the life-saving equipment you need for Jocelyn, and you put her first..."

"Yeah...but now *sniff* we are on child benefits and we have to scavenge *sniff* for food and beg. Does that sound *sniff* like I'm a good mother?"

"Of course you are, walnut. You are an amazing mum. See, she looks at you every time you walk into a room..."

Serry snapped out of her memory when she realised Lu had peculiarly disappeared. She waited for that very line that LuAnn always wailed, and then she heard it, loud and clear.

"Where are you, Serry? You are my only best friend that understands me..."

Looks like I've to face another shout again, Serene Grace thought as she floated upstairs.