My mom was crazy.
How could she think that we wouldn’t see each other?
I became desperate. “Mom, he’s the boy in my dreams,” I blurted out.
“The boy of your dreams, what did you do, tell him about your dreams and he said he was the guy? Krista, it’s a line. Of course he’s going to tell you that he’s the boy of your dreams.”
I was in tears. “That’s not true, he has the same dream as me,” I said sobbing.
Mark made a move to comfort me, but my mom blocked him off.
“I think its best that you leave.”
Mark tried to protest. “Mrs. Miller, if you would just give us a chance to explain. We’ll tell you everything.”
“I don’t want to hear your explanations, you preyed on my daughter’s sensitivity, and you exploited her dreams. You need to leave!”
I tried to protest through my tears, but it was too late. My stupid emotions had taken over. I rushed to the bathroom as my mom escorted the love of my life out the front door.
I was weaker than ever after my bout of sickness and was ashamed at the way my mom had treated Mark. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to forgive her. I walked slowly to my bed and collapsed on it.
“Oh Krista, what happened?” Sam asked as she entered my room.
“She said we couldn’t see each other,” I said in a dead voice.
“Why?” Sam asked bewildered.
“Because, he’s finished with high school.”
“Krista, I know your upset, but we have to control it. I can’t explain it, but I feel your body is getting weaker. You have to learn how to control it. I’m going to show you how.”
“I don’t want to learn,” I said stubbornly.
I knew I sounded like a little kid who didn’t get what they wanted. I was just so mad at my mom, and that my body had betrayed me yet again. I was weaker than ever, and I was sick of that.
Sam was having none of it. “I don’t care if you don’t want to learn. I’m not giving you the choice. Now sit up!” Sam said in a demanding voice that I never heard her use before.
With a resigned sigh, I sat up and looked at her.
“Okay, it’s simple enough. You know how you briefly lose your breath when you kiss Mark? You need to copy that feeling. When your emotions start to get out of control you need to hold your breath and close your eyes. You need to deprive your emotions of the oxygen they feed on. It will go against what your instincts are telling you to do, because normally you suck air in when an attack begins. You need to train your body to do the opposite.”
It sounded simple enough and even though I said I didn’t want to learn how, I hadn’t meant it. I was anxious to get my emotions under control. I was sick of them dictating my life.
I practiced for a few minutes with Sam, but then I had to lie back down. I was exhausted from the emotional upheaval that my body had gone through in the last twenty-four hours.
I apologized to Sam as I drifted off to sleep.
The dream woke me the usual way. I was able to stifle my sobs and Sam slept on.
I headed to the bathroom, closing the door softly behind me. I turned on the shower and stepped in. As the water cascaded over me, I thought about how I was going to convince my mom that Mark was the guy for me.
Last night it seemed impossible, but with the new day, I was ready to try again. It was bad enough that we were being separated in my dreams, but I was not going to let it happen in real life.
I sat in my sitting area reading while I waited for Sam to wake up. Once we were both ready for school, we headed downstairs for round two.
My mom was already up and fixing breakfast when we walked into the kitchen.
“Mom, can we talk about it?” I said in a pleading voice.
“There’s nothing to talk about. I know you think he’s you’re dream guy, but he’s just trying to manipulate you. You’ve never dated and your still naïve when it comes to guys.”
I felt the anger and other emotions well up inside me. I tried Sam’s trick and held her breath. Smother them back, I thought. It was much harder than I thought it would be and went against every instinct I had, but miraculously it began to work.
“You’re wrong Mom, he loves me, and if you would just let us explain?” I said with a touch of anger in my voice.
“I don’t want to hear explanations. I’m the adult. I know more about the things guys do to get a pretty girl. The subject’s closed; you’re not to see him again.”
“Mom, he’s in my history class, I’ll see him in school. Please reconsider, you’re being unreasonable,” the pleading tone entered my voice again.
“Krista, I forbid you to see him; you’re grounded. I will pick you up after school, and I want your cell phone before you go to school.”
“What about Sam?”
I could not believe how she was acting. She’d never grounded me before. We had always gotten along. Why wouldn’t she see reason?
“Sam can still stay over, we already told her foster parents. Sam you don’t have to come home when I pick up Krista in the afternoons, but I would like you back at our house by at least six each night,” my mom said, addressing Sam for the last part.
I felt the anger rise in me again. “You can’t keep me away from him,” I shot at her as I turned and walked out the door.
“Yes I can,” I heard her mumble.
I waited for Sam on the front porch. I used Sam’s method to fight back the waves of emotions. It was a little harder than it had been the first time.
I thought it was because a new emotion had emerged, despair.
Sam came over and gave me a hug and a look of sympathy.
“Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out and you will see him in a little while. We’ll see what ideas the guys have. It’s all going to work out.”
“I’m proud of you for controlling the emotions,” Sam added.
Sam’s words cheered me up. She was right, in a few minutes we would be at school and I would see Mark there. I decided that I would go to his class before homeroom. I no longer cared about keeping our relationship a secret anymore; I just wanted to see him.
We walked briskly to school. Sam didn’t protest the faster pace; she knew I was anxious to see Mark.
The front lawn was as crowded as ever and everyone was buzzing. I didn’t give a second thought to what had gotten them all gossiping so early in the morning. They probably found out something shocking about another student and they were busy spreading it around.
Sam and I headed right to Mark’s class.
I was disappointed to find his classroom empty. We decided to wait for him.
Sam chatted away about trivial things, trying to take my mind off the fight I had with my mom.
I appreciated her chatter; it quieted away the last lingering emotions. Despite everything that happened, I was proud of myself for fighting the emotions back, and I would be damned if I would let the emotions dictate my life ever again.
Mark was still not there as the first bell rang. His room began to fill up with his homeroom students.
“I heard he’s in the office, something about a parent complaining,” I heard a girl say to a friend as they walked in the room.
I looked at Sam. She shrugged her shoulders; neither of us knew what to think.
“Let’s head to homeroom and we’ll check back before first period since we’ll be on this end of the building anyways,” Sam said.
She was right. It would only make matters worse if my mom heard I was late to class.
We left the room and bumped into the last person I wanted to see.
“Looking for your boyfriend? I hear he’s getting the ax. Seems some parent called complaining that an intern was dating her daughter,” Matt said with an evil smile. “Could that be your mom, princess?” He added in a nasty tone.
He draped his arm across my shoulders. “Why don’t you forget about good ol’ teach and go out with me?” He said, trying to turn on the charm.
“I wouldn’t go out with you if you were the last guy on earth.” I said, jerking away from him.
His smile turned nasty again. “We’ll see about that, you’re going to get lonely without your boyfriend,” he said as he walked away.
“My mom wouldn’t do that. She wouldn’t get a person fired from their job, no matter how angry she was,” I said to Sam in a distressed voice.
“I think she would, and I think she did. You didn’t see her face after you left the kitchen. She looked like a lioness protecting her cub. She thinks you’re in danger, so she’s protecting you.”
“She can’t do this. I can’t be away from him,” I said as the despair welled up in me. I felt the waves rolling in.
“I know, but you have to fight back the emotions,” Sam said, from what sounded like a long way off. “Krista, you have to fight it.
I heard her in the distance, Sam was right. I needed to calm myself.
Everything felt like it was spinning. I held my breath and closed my eyes. “Go away,” I thought as I fought to smother the waves.
Finally they receded. “I did it,” I said, still a little shaky.
“Good job, I thought you were a goner there. I’m so proud of you. How do you feel?”
“Not bad, just a little weak, but I’ve had much worse,” I said, looking at my watch. “We better hurry.”
It seemed crazy to be rushing off to class when so much was going on. I couldn’t wait until I was done with the whole school charade.
Sam and I slid into our chairs just as the bell rang. Neither of us missed how everyone went silent when we walked in the room. So, I was the new gossip material. “Twice in two weeks, that had to be a record,” I thought, sarcastically.
The rest of the day passed at a snail’s pace. Eventually, as the day progressed, the comments of the other students began to reach me. Surprisingly, the gossip didn’t bother me. I had been the outsider so often, it no longer fazed me. All I cared about was what was going on with Mark. I was anxious to get to fifth period to see if he was there yet.
When the bell rang for fifth period, my heart began to race. When we walked through the classroom door though, my heart dropped like a stone.
He wasn’t there. Only the teacher was there, and he was busy writing notes on the chalkboard. The rumors were true.
The class started to buzz.
They fired him, how could my mom do that to him? This was not the way she acted; usually, she was so even tempered and willing to talk things over. I felt betrayed. The rest of the class passed in a blur. I never opened my book and I didn’t take a single note. I no longer cared.
The rest of the day passed much the same way. Every once in awhile, Sam would look at me with a look of sympathy mixed with worry. I appreciated her concern, but I could say nothing to reassure her. Though I learned to control the sickness, it didn’t lessen the emotions that would try to race through me. By the end of the day, I was exhausted from fighting them back.
Feeling lethargic, I gathered my books. I missed Mark so much that my body ached, adding to the feeling of tiredness. Sam walked quietly by my side as we headed out the door.
I felt Sam’s excitement as we exited the school.
I followed her eyes, Shawn was here. I scanned the area looking for Mark. My eyes filled with angry tears. He wasn’t here. “Damn my mom for acting so irrational,” I thought to myself.
Sam hurried to Shawn’s side and threw herself in his arms. My heart ached and my insides seemed to clench inwards as I watched them.
Sam beckoned me over. “Shawn has a message from Mark.”
“Mark said not to worry, he doesn’t blame your mom she was just trying to protect you. He said that you two would find a solution. This works anyway because he and I are going to take a short road trip.”
Sam was shocked. “You’re leaving?” she asked anxiously.
He pulled her into his arms. “Only for a few days, we found out where one of the others was dropped off.”
In my current dilemma, I had completely forgotten about the others. “Where?” I asked.
“New Mexico. We think it will only take three or four days for us to find out what happened to her.”
“A girl?” I asked. “You found one of the cities where one of the girls had been left?” Even in my current frame of mind, I couldn’t help feeling excited.
“Mark wants you to continue to practice with Sam and to be careful.”
“Why, did you find something else?” Sam asked.
“No, we just want you to be safe while we’re gone.”
I had always been in tune with other people’s emotions and could always sense when someone was lying. I could tell Shawn was hiding something. I looked at Sam and could tell she knew he was lying also.
I was just about to confront him when I heard a car horn beep. Everyone on the front lawn turned to look. Parents normally didn’t honk.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I muttered, “She is literally killing me.”
Sam stifled a laugh.
“You have to go; Mark said he will call you later.”
“He can’t, my mom confiscated my phone,” I said desperately.
“He’ll call you on Sam’s phone. I have to go now anyway, our plane leaves in a couple of hours, I love you,” he said to Sam as he pulled her into his arms for one last kiss.
I walked away to give them a chance to say goodbye and climbed into the car without a word to my mom. Sam caught up to me and slid in the backseat beside me. My mom didn’t question my silent treatment. Sam, feeling uncomfortable, was unusually silent.
After dinner, Shawn called Sam on her cell. I sat on my bed and let Sam use the sitting room so she could have a little privacy. After a while, she brought me the phone and quietly walked out of the room.
The moment I heard his voice, I began to cry. “It’s going to be okay, we will work it out,” Mark told me, trying to calm my tears.
“I know. I just miss you so much. I don’t like being separated from you for twenty four minutes, let alone twenty four hours. My heart feels so empty with you gone,” I told him.
“I know, it’s the same for me. The separation is messing with me also. We’ve discovered it affects our bodies’ quite strangely.”
“What do you mean?” I asked him.
“I’ll explain when I get home.”
“I’m not going to let my mom keep us apart,” I told him. “I can’t handle the separation. Either she lets me see you, or I’m going to tell her I’m moving out. My birthday is in a few weeks and I will be eighteen.”READ MORE >>