I jolted awake from that awful dream, tears streaming down my face and my heart was beating like I'd just ran a marathon. I buried my face in my hands and let the tears keep coming, if I didn't I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep. Over the past few months I'd began to be grateful that I was born with dark fur, otherwise I'd have tear stains for sure if I was a lighter color.
A few minutes later, I'd begun to get control of myself, and wiped away the tears from my eyes. I'd had that dream for about two of the three months since he was taken from me, the thing that I hated about it, was that, that's exactly how it happened. It never changes, I never get to him in time, and I'm forced subconsciously to relive it over and over almost every night.
I glanced towards the window, it looked a little light outside so I reached for my cell phone in my duffle bag by my bed. My paws closed on the cold piece of technology, and pressed a button to light up the front display.
'9:30? That can't be right,' I thought groggily, "It's too dark to even be 7:00.'
Throwing off my covers, I got up and walked to the window and looked up at the sky. My ears drooped, the skies were grey and it was pouring rain. Oddly enough the weather seemed to fit my mood about being exiled involuntarily. I grumbled something about the weather and went back to my bed to crawl under my covers. I was about to pull the covers over my head when I heard a knock on my door.
I stopped for a minute, to figure out who that could be at my door. Then I realized it must be Vance, I'd completely forgotten that he was coming over- thanks to Chet -to help me unpack and set up the rest of my furniture. Suddenly my face started feeling hotter, and my heart started pounding in my chest.
He knocked again.
"I'm coming!" I called as I nervously tried to flatten my bed head and looked down at my "Wii" sleep pants and white t-shirt. Not the most ideal thing to wear to greet someone, but it would have to do.
I practically ran to the door so he wouldn't have to wait any longer. When I opened the door I hoped that- besides the pajamas -I wouldn't look like I'd just woken up. I smiled up at Vance as I finished opening the door.; he was wearing a way-too-tight t-shirt that had a design of a leafless tree and a setting sun, the same shorts from yesterday, and a pair of neon blue and green Vans.
He cocked an eyebrow, and started laughing when he saw what I was dressed in, apparently my "Wii" pj's weren't the right thing to wear, but I didn't have any clothes unpacked.
"I didn't know the occasion was THIS casual," he joked lightly as he gained control of his laughter, "Did I wake you up?"
I could feel my face heat up as I looked over myself again, 'I don't look that bad do I?' I thought to myself.
"No I've been up for a couple of minutes, I started falling back asleep so it's a good thing you knocked when you did." I chuckled, embarrassed at myself.
He smiled and laughed.
"Do you want me to come back in a couple of minutes, so you can get dressed?"
I shook my head.
"Nah it's fine, all of my clothes are still packed up so it'll have to wait."
I suddenly realized that I was being rude, not inviting him in yet.
"Here come on in, but I must warn you, the mountain of boxes is taking over the place." I said as I smiled slightly as I scratched the back of my head.
He smiled and walked in and made his way to the living room. I closed the door behind him and went to join him, he was just staring and the boxes with an overwhelmed expression on his face. I saw him exhale deeply and scratch the back of his head, and I couldn't help but chuckle.
"That's what I thought when we were loading all this in the truck."
Vance just smiled and looked down at me, there was a little sparkle in his eye as he did that. There was a little hint of something, but I couldn't quite put a finger on it.
"Well, the easiest way to do this would be to separate the boxes by the room they belong in. Work room-by-room, and we'll get done faster." the Dobie said, as he put his arm on my shoulder. I knew from seeing him that the canid was big, but being right up close to him and feeling his weight on me I knew he wasn't just big, he was HUGE!
'STOP!! You can't think about that it wouldn't be right!' I mentally scolded myself.
I shrugged the thoughts off and smiled at him.
"Sure, I'm not very good at lifting heavy stuff, so I'm glad that you're here to help." I said as I motioned to his biceps, "You're huge, so I don't have to worry too much."
He smiled a very cocky, coy smile and flexed his arms a bit, "You leave the heavy lifting to me!"
I'm pretty sure I blushed a little when he flexed, I mean I could feel it...
He started towards the mountain of boxes with that smile still glued to his face, and handed a box labeled "Bedroom" to me.
"Here you go, how about you take all the boxes for the bathroom and your bedroom, and I'll take the stuff for the kitchen and your other room?" He recommended as he hoisted a box full of heavy plates and glasses onto his shoulder.
I nodded nervously and looked at the box on his shoulder.
"Okay, just...please be careful with those plates. They're special to me."
He smiled a sweet smile, and nodded. "Of course."
I smiled in relief, and went to my room to drop off the box in my arms. As I went to set it down at the foot of my bed I realized it was the box I put my iHome in. I figured that since he was nice enough to come over and help me unpack, he shouldn't have to do it without some kind a noise besides me. So I opened the box a sorted through the clothes I'd put in there to be sure my iHome would be safe in the move, and pulled it out of the box.
"Hey, Vance?" I called from my room, "Do you have an iPod?"
"I found my iHome you wanna plug it in so we have something to listen to?"
I heard him chuckle a little, "How about we compare iPods first before we do that? So we aren't stuck listening to something we hate."
I walked out to the living room and smiled up at him, "I don't like Rap at all, just so you know."
"Good! Me either! Here hand me your iPod."
I handed my baby over to him after I set the iHome on the arm of the couch, and sat down on the couch. He walked over and sat beside me, handing me his iPod and turning mine on to find out all the artists I had on there, and I began to do the same. I was surprised to find that, his playlist, was the exact same as MINE! All the way from All Time Low to Shakira, Caramell to A Static Lullaby, and my all time favorite band Paramore; he had the best music in the world in my opinion.
"Wow...are you sure that we haven't known each other before now? Our music is exactly the same!" Vance exclaimed as he looked down at me with warm chocolate eyes.
"Wow, so, who's iPod do we use now?" I laughed.
Vance just smiled and grabbed the iHome, putting my iPod into the slot. He winked then plugged it in and pushed the play directional button, as Fireflies by Owl City started playing. My ears perked up and I could feel my mood lifting up as the upbeat techno-pop song started flowing through the apartment. I complimented the muscular Dobie on his choice of song and went to go find another box to take to my room.
After that we were making quick work of that mountain of boxes, but to tell you the truth, we hadn't really noticed. Vance was just so hard to ignore, he had this way of talking and acting that you just had to pay attention to him. He told about some of the other tenants, he'd start singing along to the songs and make me laugh and join in with him. For the first time in a long time I was smiling and able to escape my wandering mind from bringing back the painful memories. Pretty soon the only thing left of the box mountain were for the living room.
Since everything was in their respected rooms, we decided to start unpacking everything in my room first, so I could get out of my Pj's and into some actual clothes. I went for all of my clothes boxes and Vance went to work reassembling my artists easel, everything was going good, we were talking and laughing and just breezing through everything. That was until...I heard what song was playing. Then, my heart sank.
...Pour real life down on me
'Cause I can't hold on to anything this
Am I good enough for you to love me too?
So take care what you ask...me
'Cause I can't say no...to you
"Good...Enough?" I asked myself aloud. It was mine and Kri's song, he used to sing it to me every night in bed. His smooth tenor-tone (tenor and baritone) voice always washed over me and lulled me to a sweet sleep...-!!
"NO!!" I shouted out loud without even realizing it. My knuckles started clenching as I tried to fight back the tears again.
"...Alec? What's wrong...?" Vance's voice sounded a little shaky. My eyes widened, I couldn't believe that I'd just freaked out like that in front of Vance, he probably thought I was crazy.
I looked at him and I tried my best to keep a composed face, but I could already feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I reached into the box I was unpacking and pulled out a random shirt and a pair of pants.
"I'm gonna go take a shower," I said quietly. "If you don't want to be alone while I'm in the shower you can go back to your place...I'll come knock when I'm done." I started towards my bedroom door when I felt a paw on my shoulder. I turned my head towards it and looked up at Vance, who had a worried look on his muzzle.
"What's wrong Alec?" he asked, his eyes were genuinely concerned.
I couldn't help but feel guilty, but I don't know why. The way his eyes were looking at me just made me feel bad, those beautiful milk chocolate eyes that sparkled in the light...
I quickly turned my thoughts off, 'I can't think about that now! It's not the time right now!'
"I just need to think for a little, bit. Then I'll be okay." I replied back, "It's really personal."
I could sense that he wasn't really satisfied by my answer, but he took his arm off my shoulder and nodded. He told me that was going to go to the hardware store to get the tools to set up all of my shelves and stuff. I nodded and made my way to the bathroom, and I heard Vance pass behind me. I felt so bad that couldn't tell him, he was only trying to help...but even though I wanted to let him in, I don't think I'd be able to get it out of my mouth.
He looked back at me, "Yeah?"
"I'm sorry." That was all I could manage to get out, I hoped it was enough to make him understand.
Vance gave me a smile, the one he gave me when we started moving the boxes into the rooms. He looked at the keys to my apartment laying on the end table and asked if he could take them so he could get back in if I wasn't out of the shower when he came back, I nodded and closed the bathroom door, turning on the light. As I stripped myself of my sleep clothes and looked at my naked figure in the mirror, something strange happened.
The mirror began to ripple and shift, distorting itself until another figure began to become visible. The figure of a muscular male Bull Terrier slowly dissolved behind my reflection, his eyes and mouth were missing from his face. My eyes widened, I could've sworn that I knew that figure; his dyed spots, the dragon tattoo that circled his nipple and weaved down his right arm, and his dyed soul patch.
"Kri?" I whispered softly.
It was then that his facial features dissolved into view, bright Blue-Green eyes that could outshine the sun, and a perfect smile that made my heart flutter. The Terrier looked at me in the reflection and nodded, his smile about made me fall down to my knees. I could feel warm tears start welling up in my eyes.
"Am-Am I, dreaming?" I asked the mirror Kri hoarsely. I watched as Kri wrapped his arms around the mirror me, and nuzzled into my ear. I reached my hands up to try and touch the arms I knew should be there, but nothing was all I found.
Kri whispered into reflections ear, but I could hear it. A faint echoing whisper saying,
"No, you're not, wuff." his eyes tilted up to stare at mine, "I can't go, not with you like this."
A single tear rolled down my cheek as he said that, I just couldn't believe he was right in front of me, and it wasn't one of my hallucinations.