Chapter 5 (Markings)
I was about to head out to visit Emrys. New Year just wasn't the same without her, not to mention the fact that it was also her birthday. Mom and Nina aren't all that into celebrating holidays, anyways, so I was in the clear. I hadn't seen much of her. I stopped by to take care of her of course, but most of the time she was sleeping, and I simply stayed by her side. She had two siblings to take care of her, too: Marz, her older sister, and Drake, her younger brother. They'd always been distant from her, I never knew why. After her parents died, they drew away from her. I would have thought that it would bring them together as a family. I was actually worried that I would be the one who was excluded; selfish I know, but a lot of the time, Emrys was all I had. Emrys is not one to show emotions very often, but I knew I mean as much to her, as she did to me. After everything that happened, I wasn't even able to stop by on my birthday, Christmas. I had to make up for it now. Though needless to say, she didn't know what happened that day either.
I looked at the time; 10:32, I should head out. Mom would have to take me since it was dark out. In just a few hours it would be January, 2012. I grabbed a few things before leaving, mostly clothes to spend the night in. Behind me shimmer followed every step I took as best as she could; her small trots climbing over the mess that was my room.
I was just about ready to go when a tiny "mew" called to me, immediately stopping me in my tracks. Maybe I could take Shimmer? I probably shouldn't though, since Emrys is sick, it might not be good for her. When I turned to look at her my answer was decided. Her tiny golden eyes looked back at me, and as if knowing I may still say no, she let out another tiny "mew". I went over and picked her up. I'm not sure why, but being with Shimmer has made me feel comfortable and safe, which was odd, since she was only a 2-pound kitten. Now with Shimmer packed along, I was ready to go. I searched around the house looking for my mom so she could give me a ride, when I finally found her, she had a concerned look on her face.
"Mom?" her head shot up, along with the rest of her body. "You ok?"
"Yes" She said almost in a whisper, she then quickly regained herself, "Yes, I'm fine. You ready?"
"Yea." I was a bit concerned for her though. Noticing my reaction she stood up, brushing herself off.
"Let's go then, shall we?"
"Okay" she grabbed her keys and we headed to Emrys'.
I know the ride to Emrys' wasn't long, but mom didn't say a word until we were parked in front of her house.
"If you need anything" She stopped a moment as if second guessing herself, and continued again, "anything at all, you call me, you hear?" The concern in her voice, along with the intense stare of her black eyes worried me, but I agreed.
I picked up Shimmer from my lap, and carried her along with my other belonging and headed towards Emrys' house. I knocked but when nobody answered, I let myself in. these kids really need to learn to lock the door. To answer my scolding, I saw a note on the table. I set Shimmer on the ground and the rest on the couch, picking up the note it read:
Adiana, both Drake and I went to spend the night at a friend's, knew you would come to take care of Emrys, have fun.
"Cht, so much for taking care of your sister."
"Mew" I walked towards the sound of her meow, only to find her scratching and meowing outside Emrys' room.
"You wanna see her too?" I opened the door, finding Emrys half on her bed, and half on the floor. "You know, I'm pretty sure the bed is more comfortable. She grunted in response.
"Emrys?" She was burning up. Crap. I helped her get into bed, while at the same time going through a million different ways to help her. I looked down at her, "I'll call for an ambulance."
"No." It was feint, but still audible. Emrys didn't want to go.
"Fine." I remembered my promise. "Then my mom." She lifter her arm, I'm guessing in a pursuit to stop me, but I ignored it, turning for the door to get my cell form my bag.
"Mew" there in the doorway was Shimmer, sitting almost elegantly, and looking straight at me.
"Water." Looking over at Emrys, she was trying to get up.
"No. Don't. I'll get you some water." She stared at me with curious eyes. "I won't call anyone, promise." She nodded. "Emrys, where is a thermometer?" if I couldn't call anybody I had to do as much as possible.
"Okay." I rushed through the kitchen, rummaging through every drawer possible. "Found it" though I'm going to have to clean later. "Water, I need water." I returned to Emrys' room, shimmer was on the bed next to her. "Here, let me take your temperature before you drink anything. I stuck the thermometer in her mouth and waited for the beep. "Shit Emrys, 106 degrees can't be normal! I have to call somebody." Emrys and Shimmer both protested at once.
"Damn it Emrys! You can't be serious!" She stared back at me, but before she got a chance to talk. "Yea, yea! Towel. Wet. Got it." She smiled faintly. I ran back to the kitchen, filled a big bowl with water, and grabbed a towel, then rushed back to her room. I looked over at the clock, is it really only 11:18? I wish I hadn't looked at the clock, because every moment after that seemed epic. I sat next to her, feeling so helpless, just watching her, helping with what I could.
I looked over at the clock again, just in time to see it change from 11:59 to 12. I smiled dryly.
"Happy new birthday year, Emrys." But as I looked back at her, I could see her color dramatically return to her face. I felt her forehead. Nothing. "That's not possible." I shoved the thermometer in her mouth. "98 degrees." I was speechless, but she wasn't.
"Stop looking stupid." I laughed, she's back. Her look softened. "Thanks, Adi…ugh." I heard a deep growl come out of Shimmer's tiny body.
"Wha-eh" I looked at Emrys. "Emrys?" I could barely hear my own voice.
In an instant, her body flailed backwards, her back arched, and her eyes bulged, and were moving everywhere, as if looking for something.
I was in utter shock. My body wouldn't react. Then I heard it, that scream. Out of Emrys' mouth came a shrill, deafening noise, filled with absolute pain.
"Em…rys" was all I could say. Soon after, her arms flew to her face. "N…No…No!" Emrys stop!" she was clawing at her face. At that moment my body reacted. I hauled my body on top of hers, grabbed her hands and pinned her down. "Emrys!" It's as if nothing went through to her, the only noise that came out of her were those awful screams. Then I saw it. On her face, next to her left eye, black lines were beginning to take form. They drew themselves, starting at the outer corner of her eyes. I was mesmerized by the flow of the lines, so much so, that I forgot about Emrys entirely. I loosened my grip on her hands, and instantly they flew to her face; I snapped out of it. "Crap. No!" I grabbed hold of her wrists and pinned her down again. Her scream returning to my ears. I stared back at her face, the design had progressed and just as soon as the lines started, they stopped.
"That looks like…" Wait, something was wrong. No scream in my ears, no resistance against my weight, and no breath escaping her lips. "Em…rys. Emrys? Emrys!" I found myself grasping her shoulders, shaking her. "Emrys!" The shrillness in my own scream echoed in her room. Answering my plead, her body arched upwards, gasping for air. She sat up coughing.
"Get off me!"
"Emrys…" She looked up at me, and I saw the same surprise I must have. She's alive. It must have been habit by now, I looked over at the clock. 12:02, I did a double check to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on my. One minute. One minute, all of this happened in one minute.
"You look ugly when you cry." She said this so flatly, yet I still heard a shakiness in her voice.
"Cry?" I touched my face, my fingers slipping on its wet surface. When did I start crying?
"Stop it." I felt a blanket shoved in my face. I pulled it off and saw her smile. "I'm ok."
"Shimmer?" I had completely forgotten about her.
"You brought Shimmer?"
"Yea, you probably don't remember, since you were in a fever-induced state. You picked her up when I went for the towel, and bowl of water."
"Adiana, I could barely talk, much less move. I remember I fell for just trying to reach for the cup of water my sister left me." I looked over at her nightstand, then at the floor, sure enough, there was a cup and spilled water on the floor.
"So that's what you meant by 'water'"
"Yea, I couldn't pick myself up, I heard some noise outside my door, then that when you walked in."
"Mew" I grabbed her and held her to my face.
"How'd you get up here huh?" I wonder if my baby voice sounded condescending to her.
"Didn't you say something?"
"Oh, musta just been me then."
"I'm hungry, feed me."
"Aren't I the guest here?"
"But I'm the sick one." Her scream echoed in my ears; I winced, and exhaled.
"I don't want to talk about it." I looked up at her, her stare intense, "Not tonight." I glanced over at what I would call a tattoo, I was curious, but I understood.
"Come on then, let's go get something to eat." She nodded.
We both got up, I put shimmer on the ground, and we all headed to the kitchen, Shimmer only a few trots behind us.