Okay, so here it is, straight. I've started school. I'm both a full time student and continue to work full time and while this isn't an excuse, it's one of the reasons I've been gone so long. That and my depression worsened. Beside the point, I've deleted nearly the entire story, because I decided I didn't like what I had one bit and so I'm rewriting what I have and then continue on from there. In all honesty, I've made leaps and bounds in my writing and it really shows with these two chapters, making me want to upload the old ones again just for comparison for grammar and overall direction of the story. Eh, maybe some day.
Also just to mention that while I've had panic attacks before, I've never had one of the magnitude that I wrote. That being said, I apologize if it is incorrect in anyway. I know some people experience them differently and I just want you to know that I'm sorry you have to experience them at all. Anyway, hope you enjoy chapter 2!
Time slowed to a standstill. Nothing could have prepared me for this. How would you even prepare for this. Finding out I had a soulmate-it shouldn't have been possible. It doesn't seem real. I had wanted something like this, craved it beyond rationality, but wishing is not the same as having. This was real and I wasn't ready.
It quickly became a mantra. This was real and I wasn't ready. He was moving towards our table. I was acutely aware that I was alone. Marion had disappeared and left me to deal with this. With every step he took my breaths became more labored. I'm panicking and I don't know where to go. I'm facing an impossibility and it's terrifying.
All the years spent putting myself down were coming to the surface, making everything more muddled as my mind began to spin. I hadn't even noticed that he had reached my table, so acutely aware of how uncomfortable I felt in my skin. I just wanted to breathe normally. I'm not worth it, I don't deserve it, just go away because I won't be enough for you. My brain was running in a circle, a cycle, a never-ending loop, feeding me poison I ate like I was starving. Why can't I breathe?
It was hard to focus on my surroundings now. My vision became blurry as the tears started to form. All eyes were trained on us, the product of the man's loud entrance. I felt like a kid again, trying not to cry because I was in front of the class and everyone was staring at me. The thing is, I don't what's so frightening. This is something I had wanted, why am I so scared, I should be happy.
He was squatting in front of me; his face was the only thing I could see. I was too busy trying to get myself back under control. I couldn't understand the look on his face. His brows were knitted together, his mouth was set in a thin line, jaw tense. The thing that truly frightened me, shook me right to the core, were his eyes. A green like no green I have ever seen or thought could exist. Mesmerizing and clear, they were searching for something, something on me. What were they searching for? Concern, he was concerned, no, frantic. Like he didn't know how to help.
He was trying to say something, his mouth moving in the same pattern over and over, but I couldn't understand. I couldn't hear. All there was, was the pounding of my heart inside my head loud like drums in my skull. Pouring every ounce of concentration I had in me, I forced myself to focus on what he was saying.
Are you ok? What's wrong? Breathe, please breathe, you're alright. Breathe.
That's what I'm trying. to tell him. I needed to get that look of worry off his face. He shouldn't be worried.
This shouldn't have happened, I should be fine, this was supposed to be a happy moment for him and I went and ruined it. How could you be like this, I raged at myself, ruining things because of an overreaction? Pathetic.
Run. Run, run, run, you need to run. I needed to move, my fight or flight response-who am I kidding, I have no fight left. All I could do was sit and wait for it to pass, with a strange man trying to comfort me with curious bystanders gossiping around us. I needed help and this man could only do so much. Soulmate or no, he was not helping. That's when I remembered. I barely managed to get the words out.
"Call Erin." My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. I couldn't say anything else. With shaking hands, I unlocked my phone and handed it to him. He wordlessly searched my contacts and pressed the call button.
I couldn't hear anything. It was like I was underwater, desperately screaming for someone to help me-but they couldn't hear me either. I could only sit and watch as he spoke into the phone, lips going too fast for me to read. His hand found its way to my hair, running fingers through the snarls. I focused on that, relishing the feeling of his hand, closing my eyes, afraid that I'd never get to feel it again. How could he want to stay after this?
"Alright, I'll do that." His voice was a stark contrast to the silence that consumed me. It was smooth, not too deep, almost lilting-like he was suppressing an accent. Time slipped away as I listened, unaware of anything else. I could feel myself starting to fidget, and tried to focus on his fingers in my hair, but they were missing. In fact a lot of things were gone, namely the bustling café. A stiff breeze rushed passed and my exhausted mind registered that we were outside. I also wasn't walking, I was being cradled in someone's, his arms.
By this time the attack had calmed down, leaving my body aching and limbs limp. I wondered if I should try to fight instead of allowing this stranger to carry me as he likes; I should be terrified of this shouldn't I? I'm not though, just tired. Tired enough that I nearly missed his random introduction.
"I'm Drazan Forger," he said out of the blue and then I recalled that those letters in that particular order meant he was telling me his name.
I knew that name. Where had I heard it before? "Wait, your dad is Alistair Forger-" I gasped, "-He just joined the Council, didn't he?" It was on the news just the other day.`
"He's my step-father, actually," Drazan growled.
"Oh. I see." His scowl did not invite further conversation, so I didn't say anything else. It wasn't meant to last, though. Prolonged silence had always had a way of driving me insane; so I decided find out what the hell was happening.
"What are we going to do? And where are we going?" I asked, attempting to shift to a more comfortable position. He still hadn't put me down and his steel arms were bruising my legs.
"What do you mean?" He stared at me, brow knit up in confusion.
"Well, I don't really know what I'm supposed to do here; I only learned this," I said, gesturing between us, "could happen a few minutes before you showed up."
"Who told you about this?" he asked, arms tightening around me.
"I wish she hadn't-" he sighed, "-but I understand her reasoning. She wanted to prepare you for this. I just wish she had let it happen naturally, it would have been better all around. Nothing good happens when you mess with the timeline." He set me down by a muddy buick with two cracked windows and—shit was duct tape holding that door on?
"Wait, she knew about this?" I yelped, whirling around to face him and trying not to touch any part of the buick. How long had it been since it had been washed?
He caught me by my shoulders to steady me. "Yes. She has the gift of foresight and knew we were soulmates," he explained. "She arranged this so we could meet."
"What do you mean by that?"
He rubbed his neck."All I mean, is that she messed with the future. By bringing us together now, she could impact things later on down the line. WIth her ability to see the future, I guess she just go excited and wanted to get us together right away, but there's no telling what might happen." Well, I suppose that makes a little more sense.
"But—but hold on," I stammered, "were you in on this?"
"Of course not," he snapped, fiddling with his keys as he tried to unlock the buick. "She said she had someone she wanted me to meet. I had no idea that—" he stopped and rested his head on the side of his car.
"Had no idea that what?" I asked, trying to still the frantic beating of my heart.
"That you were the one I'm supposed share my life with," he muttered, not lifting his head off the buick. "That you were the one destined to complete me."
I had to look away. I didn't want him to see the tears pooling in my eyes. It's not that I didn't find it romantic, but I need prepare for the inevitable rejection and the pain that was going to go with it.
"How do you know that? How can you be sure?" I demanded. Don't cry, I told myself, please don't cry. The wait for his answer passed like an eternity.
"I feel it in my blood," he said, lifting his head and staring into my eyes.
I wasn't expecting that level of sincerity. Well, actually I was expecting him to say 'it was all a mistake and his soulmate was someone else and how could I possibly think it was me,' or something along those lines. He couldn't mean it, I told myself, he doesn't know me, what I'm like. I could be a serial killer for pete's sake. I mean, I'm not, but still, the possibility is there.
My phone blared from my pocket, the ring breaking the intense staredown. I pulled it out with shaking hands and walked away, desperate for something, anything, to get me out of here. My prayers were answered.
"Danielle, where are you?" Tanda screamed in my ear. "Class is in twenty minutes and we were supposed to quiz each other."
The blood drained from my face as I double-checked my watch and—crap, it really was that late. I ran towards my car, away from him, shouting apologies over my shoulder as I dove into the driver's seat. I pulled out of the parking lot, driving like madwoman, ignoring the figure growing smaller in my rearview mirror.
I made it, just in time, only for the professor to send me home. He said 'I looked like I had been hit by a truck.' Not very tactful, if I'm being honest, but nevertheless it agreed with how I felt at the moment. I wanted to be alone, but instead of going home, I sat on the low wall that stood along the walkway leading from the building.
I mulled over the day's events, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. I mean, I have a soulmate. What am I supposed to do with that? It makes me want to run away, run away and never look back but-.
Avoiding my problems has never panned out for me, yet that doesn't stop me from trying. Can I even run from this? I don't know much about this guy, but if he's the type to follow a person to the end of the world, what do I do? Say no thanks, maybe next time?
So I can't run because not only do I have no idea how he'd react, but I also have no place to go. It's a lot harder forging documents then it used to be and I don't have the money for it. I guess option A is out. Fuck, what do I do?
"Dani!" Someone shouted my name, causing me to jump and nearly fall off the bench. I felt the collision before I even knew who it was. Just kidding, it was Erin. Of course it was Erin.
In all honesty, I'm not surprised to find that she knew where I was. Tanda must have sent a message as soon as I left. That and Erin knew I had a test today and had probably come over as soon as she could. I decided to voice my theory.
"Yeah, I was already on my way here when Tanda texted me. Jeez, you look like crap." She chuckled at my mock glare and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. The gesture was appreciated and I didn't even bother trying to stop the tears that rise to the surface and let the relief of not being alone wash over me.
We sat there until my crying to subside and exhaustion to once again, dig its claws into me.. Thankfully, since Erin was a werewolf, she was able to hold me up. I needed her strength in this moment, her sureness.
"Erin, what am I going to do?"
"You can do whatever you want, I guess," she said in a low voice, "it doesn't matter."
"That doesn't help me much." I sighed and bit back another sob. It didn't help me in the slightest.
"I'm serious though. You can go for it, or walk away, it's up to you. Up to the both of you, actually."
"Dear lord, you humans don't know anything," she said, covering her eyes. "Look, I don't know where the idea came from, but soulmates aren't all do or die. It's not a complete certainty. Your kind creates stories where two people are bound and fall madly in love, that's it. Well, it's not, not truly. You can make the relationship whatever you want, alright? If you want to be friends, you can be friends and you won't be judged for it. That's the best part of this thing."
"But what if it's not what the other person wants?"
"Did he say what he wants?"
"Well," I said slowly, thinking back to the brief conversation we had shared, "he said he wanted to know if I was the person he was going to spend the rest of his life with."
That wasn't alarming or anything.
"Is that bad?"
"No, no," Erin said, waving her hands around, "it's just that he's already made up his mind. He wants you and there's nothing you can do to change that, but I want you to understand that he won't force you to stay or anything. If you want out, he'll let you go. If you want to just be friends, he'll say hell yes and if you want the moon he'll pluck down from the heavens for you."
"Erin, that's nice and all, but I really don't understand what you're trying to tell me." I will admit though, I was starting to feel a little better.
"Okay, here's the thing. A soulmate bond is more than two people being able to find each other. Soulmates aren't always romantic and don't always stay together. A soulmate is someone who strives to make you better and vice versa. They're meant to push you, break you, and then help you build you back up. They're the ultimate companion and ultimately, the worst kind of heartbreak."
"Oh, why's that?"
Erin pulled away and wrapped her arms around her stomach."Because they will be closer to you than anyone else. They will know your fears, mistakes, every flaw and secret that you harbor within you, leaving you naked and afraid of what you are. Really, it's rather bittersweet."
"Is that what it's like for you and Samson?" I asked, hesitating over the words.
She took long enough to respond that at first, I thought she was either ignoring the answer or just didn't hear me, but soon enough she opened her mouth.
"It is and it isn't," she said, in a voice that got lower and more introspective with each word. "It's like when you look at a mirror and see only the surface. Then, when you step away and self-analyze, you get an even better picture of who you are, all your quirks and the bits and pieces that make up the whole shebang. Samson though, he could write a thousand page book and still keep going. He sees me, understands more about me than that mirror or even I ever could."
"So, if I'm following what you're saying, you and him could have been friends and that's it? What made you decide to-you know?"
"I don't really know. It just felt right, I suppose. I thought my soulmate and I would just be friends, but when I saw him...I don't know, I guess...something clicked in me and I knew what I really wanted. Someone to share my joys and sorrows and be with me through a family together, with his eyes and my hair together on a child was too hard to give up."
She leaned away and looked me up and down..
"It's your choice. If he's half the man he sounded like on the phone, then he will accept your decision no matter what. All you can do now is wait and see."
I nodded and turned my head away. I was almost ashamed to have acted the way I did, what with the panicking and everything. She made it all sound so simple.
"Don't look so glum," Erin said, nudging my side to get my attention, "come on, let's get some food and get you home, you look horrible."
"You said that already," I said with a straight face.
"Maybe-" she laughed "-but it's true." She stood and pulled me up We walked together to the parking lot.
"Thanks, Erin," I whispered. "For making me feel better about all of this."
"You're welcome," she said with a smile, "Now, we'll worry about everything else later, yeah?"
"Good. So, you're going to have to drive because I didn't use my car to get here." She scratched her cheek in embarrassment. I cocked my head to the side.
"Wait, then how did you get here?"
"I ran," she said in a voice that implied how obvious she had thought that had been.
For the first time that day, I let a laugh that had me doubled over at the red dusted cheeks of my friend. I realize that it might not seem that funny, but right now, I didn't need that much to laugh. The rigidness in my shoulders relaxed and the knot in my stomach subsided. Whatever may come, I suppose we'll just have to see and hope that it doesn't go down the drain.
My phone vibrated, making me look down. I had several text messages, all from my friends, and two missed calls. One from Marion and the other from an unknown number.
I listened to Marion's voicemail, not really paying attention as she explained her disappearance and apologized for the confusion, hoping I wasn't angry. Also, she gave Drazan my number. Great. In truth, I'm wasn't actually that upset. Yeah, he's a stranger and what not, but I'm going to have to talk with him eventually and him having my number is one step closer to doing that. That and I don't have to hunt him down.
I played the other voicemail, the knot in my stomach tangling again as the tone played. Drazan. It had to be, and it was. I didn't really know what to expect, but the concern that saturated his voice drew my attention. I let Erin drive so I could listen without being distracted.
"Danielle? Um, this is Drazan. I'm just calling because...Marion gave me your number as a way to contact you...shit. I have no idea what I'm doing. Look, I just wanted to make sure that you're alright. With what happened, I'm sorry if I caused that somehow and that I wasn't better prepared to help you. I'm glad your friend was able to help me get you through it, but I was so unprepared. Anyway, when you rushed off, I didn't really know what to think. Did I...do something wrong or say something that upset you even more? If I did, I apologize and I'm praying I didn't just drive you away forever. Uh, yeah...shit...um I guess that's all? I hope to hear from you? Uh-"
The message ended abruptly. He must have hung up. I had to laugh a little at how awkward he sounded. It eased my nerves to think that he seemed as unsure as I am. It only took a moment to come to a decision.. The barest hint of a smile played on my lips as I sent a text and returned to staring at the passing scenery.
Nothing is certain, I realize that. If anything, I knew it all to well. For once, though, I felt a spark of confidence that blazed in a long thought dead bed of coals. No, nothing is certain, but sometimes there's a bit of fun in the unknown.