Lies We Tell Ourselves

Chapter 1

The burning sensation seemed to be taking over my entire being. My lungs labored as they rapidly tried to drag any ounce of air that they could into them. My muscles burned, screaming at me to stop. My eyes darted in every direction trying to pinpoint where my attacker was coming from. My heart hammered in my chest, my mind switching between my fatigue and the need for survival.

As I looked over my shoulder I saw what I feared the most, and for one split second everything stopped. My lungs stopped their labored breathing, my muscles refused to move, my eyes locked onto my greatest fear, my heart stopped beating, and I slumped to the ground.

The ongoing battle in my mind was finished, it had given into fatigue after the beating my body had taken and had decided to give up.

As I lay on the ground waiting for my death, all I could think about was the sweet release I would soon be granted. There would be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, no more regrets, no more anything. Thinking back on it I'm not sure why I had ever tried to escape in the first place, in all truth I was running from what I wanted the most; I was running from the inevitable.

I awoke in a cold sweat, my eyes quickly darting around my small bedroom before closing them.

I took in a deep breath before looking over at the clock on my bedside table and seeing that it was only four in the morning. I pushed the covers off of myself and got up, heading across the hall to the bathroom.

My pale hands grasped the cold porcelain sink; head bowed I stared down the dark hole of the drain. Inching my hand forward I turned on the cold water and watched as the clear stream emerged and continued its journey down the dark hole.

Looking up from the sink, I was met with my reflection, or at least the empty shell of what I used to be. Dark brown hair, that at this point in time was sticking out at odd directions from tossing and turning, matching chocolate colored eyes, that just so happened to be sunken back into my head from my lack of sleep.

"Just breathe Mia."

God I was starting to sound like my therapist.

Reaching into the medicine cabinet, I grabbed the one thing my therapist was good for; sleeping pills. I popped the two small white tablets into my mouth and swallowed them dry.

"You really should stop taking those, you'll get addicted."

I whirled around and came face to face with the owner of the deep voice.

"Shut up." I said closing my eyes tightly, trying to wish him away.

"That's not a very nice thing to say." The voice was closer this time; I could feel his hot breath on the back of my neck.

"You're not there."

"Yes I am."

"You're not real."

"Only to you darling." The sickeningly sweet voice whispered in my ear.

"NO YOU'RE NOT!"

I opened my eyes to find myself alone in the small bathroom.

Breath in, breath out…in…out…in…out…

Sleep, I needed sleep; it was the only way I could escape him. Turning around I grabbed the pill bottle and popped two more pills, before padding back across the hallway and curling up under the covers.

"It's not going to help Mia; you can't hide out in your dreams forever."

He was back.

My eyes shot open and I saw him leaning in the doorway, I could only see his silhouette, but I didn't need to see his face to know that his grey eyes were staring right at me, or that his perfectly white teeth were twisted into a cruel smile.

I had every feature of him memorized and I had for the past year. I could describe every hair on his head, every muscle, every expression that had ever crossed his face, but I couldn't tell you his name. When he first appeared a year ago, I had asked for his name, but he refused to give it to me and told me that in time I would remember him. Very unlikely, I had no recollection of who he was and was sure I had never seen him before.

"Go away." I mumbled pulling the covers over my head. "You're not real."

In a flash the covers were gone and his grey eyes were mere centimeters away from my own.

"When are you going to get it through your head that I'm not going away, I'm always here, I've always been here, and I will always be here. There's not one second of your life that I'm not a part of, even if you don't see me or hear me, I'm there, even in your dreams where you think you're safe. I'm everywhere Mia."

I knew what he said was true. He was everywhere.

"Why can't you just leave me alone? Go torment someone else." I pleaded looking into his eyes.

His pale hand stretched out and his fingers gently trailed down my cheek.

"My dear, I do not wish to torment you, but you make it so. If you would only accept what I've told you a thousand times, this would all be over."

"No."

"Have it your way dear, enjoy your sweet dreams, but remember when you awake, I'll be here waiting for you."

Closing my eyes against newly forming tears, I could still sense him as I drifted off into my sweet escape.

Not even three hours later my alarm blared at me, waking me out of my drug-induced sleep and reminding me that I had to get up and face the world. The pills wouldn't wear off for a few more hours, but I had to go to work, I couldn't miss again or else I would be fired, or so my boss said.

Dragging my feet the whole way, I slowly dressed and threw my hair into a sloppy ponytail, who cared what I looked like; I would be covered in flour by the end of my shift anyways.

The fifteen minute drive to the small bakery almost ended in my death a few times, I had to stop taking those pills.

"Mia! You're here!" A high pitched voice yelled the second my first foot was in the door.

"Yea." I replied groggily slipping my apron over my head and tying the strings in the back.

"Good, you can help me decorate the cupcakes!"

"Eh."

The bright-eyed, blonde glanced over at me before sighing.

"You have got to stop taking those sleeping pills girl. You look like hell."

"Thanks Sophie." I muttered. I knew I looked horrid, especially compared to the living Barbie standing next to me, but damn don't rub it in.

"Just start icing the cupcakes before Paul gets pissed again." She directed handing me a tray of cupcakes.

"I'll see you later Soph." I called as I walked out of the small bakery at the end of my shift.

"Someone looks tired."

I didn't have to turn around to know that I was going to come face to face with my walking nightmare yet again.

His voice sent a wave of burning heat crashing down over my body that was quickly put out by the chills that always followed. Whenever he was around my body was in a perpetual state of hot and cold. The seconds were split between being set on fire and being thrown in an ice cold lake. Sometimes I wish he would just let me burn, or in the very least drown in the freezing lake.

My step only faltered for the same second of hot and cold. I continued walking without looking over my shoulder. I climbed in my car and locked the doors, like that would do any good against him.

"What, you don't want to talk to me?" His voice was less than a foot away from where he was seated in the passenger seat. I knew the locks wouldn't do a thing.

"Silent treatment, eh?"

Hot and cold.

"Fine, I guess I'll just have to do all the talking."

Hot and cold.

My grip on the steering wheel tightened as I pulled out of the parking lot.

"You look tired."

Hot and cold.

"Maybe you should take a nap when we get back to that hell hole you call home."

Hot and cold.

"Or are you afraid of the nightmares that might come?" I caught him smirking out of the corner of my eye.

"Stop it." The words came out strangled through my gritted teeth.

"Stop what?" He asked feigning innocence.

Hot and cold.

"That."

"I'm sorry I don't know what you're tal-."

"Stop it!" I screeched my eyes snapping shut for the briefest second. "Stop talking! I know you know what it does to me. The hot and cold, I hate it, stop talking!" I growled out glancing at him before focusing back on the road.

Thankfully, he was quiet the rest of the ride back to my apartment. I knew he wasn't doing it out of the kindness of his heart that was impossible, someone like him didn't have a heart. He was just letting me suffer by leaving me to my own thoughts. Sometimes my own thoughts were worse than when he was around. When I was left by myself and it was quiet my mind would run rampant; various, horrible images flashing through my mind, the same images from my many nightmares.

I drug myself down the hallway to my door at the end and hoped that he would disappear. I moved into the tiny kitchen, looking for something small to eat.

"You really should take a nap love." His voice purred right by my ear, his hands placed firmly on my hips.

The fire and ice washed over me, but the ice didn't put out the fire from where his hands still touched me; it never did.

"Let go of me." I demanded trying to pull away from his burning touch.

"Why?" He asked gripping tighter and pushing me against the counter.

I winced, my back dug into the counter and the burning was becoming more intense.

"Because it hurts." I whined as I tried to wiggle free.

His grip tightened even more and his smile widened as he stared down at me obviously enjoying my pain.

"Ow! James! Please stop!" I cried out as the burning sensation became too much.

His hands instantly dropped from my hips; his face was mere centimeters away from my own.

"I knew you would remember me." He whispered.

A sense of horror washed over me and in the next second he was gone.

A/N: Well here I go! Back into my writing, hope ya'll liked it, as always feedback and constructive criticism is appreciated. Thanks