Continuation of the teenage world of Lewis!
Maybe I woke up because of the storm outside, which was still raging long into the night. However, maybe it was the dream I had... I have always had very vivid dreams, even 'day mares', as doctors call them. After looking at the clock, I confirmed it was 2:00 AM. I started remembering the hellish reality my brain conjured in my sleep.
In the dream, I was in the kitchen. My parents had been cooking dinner, but were arguing with someone. I realized what they were yelling about as my father turned and stuck a finger out at me, screaming at my mother. She then turned to me and yelled too, and then Jason was as well. They were calling me names, rebuking me. I stood and walked out the door, and when I was outside, I ran crying and did not glance back until I was to the park. Everything at this point was pulsing with colors, the orange slide had a pulsating aura, and the swings were a foreboding haze of black. In 'my mind', I began to feel scared of where I was, so I tried to make my way back home; yet I was lost. I cried out but no one came to help me. I managed to find home, but once I arrived; my parents, brother, and all our possessions were gone. I stood looking around, disbelieving, at a den stripped of all precious items, the pictures, antiques, and trinkets. I suddenly felt lonely and forgotten. I went to the corner near the stairs and laid there sobbing, tired, out of breath, and distressed. A car door slammed; sounding much louder than it should have been, and then the front door swung open to reveal my brother, aged ten years older than before. He looked at me disgustedly and slammed the door, rattling and cracking the window in the door frame.
"You..! They're gone! What's more, it is your fault. Everything is your fault." He satirized, fading away into the darkness.
The memory began to crumble away. I could not see any further into the recesses of my memory, and I was aware that I was shivering. At that point, I wept; for at least ten minutes, until I quieted myself when the stairs creaked.
"Hey...Lu? You okay in there?" he said, outside the door.
I sniffed and wiped my face dry on my forearm.
"Yh.. Yeah. Fine...You can come in..." I replied weakly.
He walked in and closed the door behind him, although we were the only ones in the house.
"Hey kiddo. I had to stay up... weather report said our area was under a tornado warning until one thirty..." he trailed off, picking up my shirt, boxers, and jeans from yesterday.
"I wonder what a clothes basket is for. Decoration?" he chaffed jokingly, tossing the articles of clothing into my basket.
I smirked slightly and remained silent as he came near me and sat on my bed with me.
"What's wrong...? 'nother nightmare?" he asked, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
"Y-yeah..." I said, feeling more at ease. "I... it was about mum and dad again" I added shakily.
He sighed, "Lewis...you need to understand what happened is not your, or my, fault..."
"But why does it feel like it? I always have this dream...they yell at me, and I run off. Then when I go back..." I replied.
"Everything is gone...?" he asked, to which I nodded. "Lewis... we were robbed... the mind is not something that can easily be explained. Your guilt is turning against you in the dreams. Your conscious is under the impression that it's your fault, so that's what it will 'believe' as long as you think that." He said slowly. Jason is a rather philosophical and deep person; we were alike on this notion.
"I know... I just cannot get that feeling out of me, Jason. I feel like... like if we were here we could have stopped it..." I said quickly, trying to push the thought away.
He hugged me. "I know...however, we cannot regret something we had no control over. How did we know that they would have done that?" he stated. "We were at the park. We can't help that."
I sighed quietly, understanding his point. I resigned to argue that it was my fault.
"You feel a bit better?" he asked in his normal bubbly tone.
"Yeah...I'm going to try to sleep more. Bye..." I replied as he walked off.
"Night buddy." He said shutting the door lightly.
I sighed and lay back down.
I woke up at noon. It was a Saturday, June seventh. I stood and stretched, and after relieving my bladder, I went downstairs. Jason was, as usual, in the kitchen concocting some type of meal. He always hummed when he was at work, so I decided to leave him to his musical and culinary experiments. I waited on the couch until he called me.
"Done!" he called, a short while later.
'Ooh Breakfast!' I thought as I ran into the kitchen sliding to a halt at the refrigerator to grab some juice.
"HA! Waaay ahead of you kiddo" he teased, shaking the jug at me and sticking his tongue out.
"Tch..." I said as I sat at the table, my tail wagging quickly. "What's on the menu?"
"Let's see...juice, eggs, biscuits, and bread and bacon." he said.
"Damn! Mind cooking the kitchen sink as well?" I sniggered, smiling.
"Mh... might be kind of hard," he said thoughtfully. "I think that you are a weird little brother indeed. Eating sinks. THAT sounds healthy..."
I only laughed back at him as he wiggled a black-furred paw in my direction for emphasis.
After we ate, I went upstairs and noticed I had a few texts and an email from Alex:
Hi, Lewis I was wondering if you wanted to hang out or whatever, you could come over to my house if you want or vice versa,
Get back with me when ya can,
I replied after a moment:
'Yeah. Sure. I don't have anything else to do. What're we going to do?'
I sent the email and moments later, he appeared on my chat queue. We discussed for a while on what to do, and after confirming the time and location, I went downstairs and talked with my brother about it.
"Hey, Jason? Can I go to a friends'?"
He looked up from his sketching. He was probably working on school assignments.
"Yeah...sure. Text me when you get there alright?"
"Yup!" I hollered as I was walking upstairs to grab my phone.
I was feeling nervous as I walked down the road. I was about to meet up with a friend, basically for the first time ever. I'm not much of a social person, really.
Once I arrived, I stood on the veranda for a few moments before ringing a fancy-looking bell. A silhouette appeared in the fogged glass of the door, and then the door swung open to reveal Alex.
"Always fashionably late?" He quipped, before adding: "Ha-ha, just kidding. Glad you could come!", as he gestured inside.
"Nice place you have," I stated.
"Thanks." He said, stretching with a silent yawn. "well, that's the kitchen, the bathroom is just down that way, and my room is this way' he added, gesturing to each as he said it.
I followed him down the hall, and at a right, we entered a rather spacious room painted in deep shades of blue. His room was painted with a light baby-blue color, where a small grey band bordered the top of the walls and near the floor, making a square. Inside this square were different shades of blue painted over each other's corners. The walls were all, amazingly, identical; for such an intricate design.
"Nice room!" I smiled, my tail agreeing and fluttering in the air behind me.
"Thanks..." He looked around, turning his face from my view. "It was like this when we moved in. It was a bit rough, but my mom touched it up a bit..."
We sat and chatted for a while, getting to know each other. I learned he was from Fye and that his parents had moved down here for a job offering a few months ago, and that until a few weeks ago, he had been homeschooled. We played his PS3 for a while and goofed around on the internet before I decided to head home. Our plans for having a sleepover weren't brought up, and I didn't mention it. After I went home, I ate leftover pizza and sat in my room for a while doodling, before I took a shower. I had a few thoughts about Alex. He seemed highly curious of everything, from my history to what I liked to eat.
I soon finished and dressed for bed, then I once more messed with my journal; writing my deepest thoughts and emotions onto the grey hued paper. Sleep overtook me some time into the fourth page I had written, my pencil and notebook still resting in my grasp.
I awakened due to the bright morning rays of sunlight filtering through my window, and my ears instantly twitched in response to voices downstairs. I eventually got up and started down the steps, when I realised whom it was. The voice was Alice; Jason's fiancée. They've been engaged for about a year, and they plan to marry on the eve of Christmas, which is also the day after my birthday. Alice and I get along quite well. She seems fond of me; naturally a sweet and kind-spirited person. Alice works in the city, as a medical doctor and ICU nurse at the Children's Hospital, Anderson & Gallé Children's Hospital. (AGCH)
"Hi Alice, how are you?" I inquired, sitting next to Jason.
She reached across and hugged me firmly, "Lewis! Oh goodness, I'm glad to see you! I'm wonderful, how are you?"
'I'm not too bad myself, I'm glad to hear you're well," I replied, hugging her back. "Err... Jason... When is breakfast...? I'm starved!"
"Ah. Teenagers. Always hungry!" he chuckled, which elicited a cheery laugh from Alice as well. "Well, you're in luck buddy." he replied, standing up to help Alice with a package she brought in. I heard Jason's keys jingle in his pocket.
'... We're going out to eat!'
This brought my tail to action, as it began fluttering around behind me wildly. I took the cue and headed back upstairs to change into more day-appropriate clothing.
The chatter during the ride there was lively, mostly about academics and work. Alice told us that she had recently been working with high school students for their 'job shadowing'. She explained to me that students, mostly juniors in high school, are allowed to work with people hands-on for careers they have interest in.
We all ate the buffet at the 'Imperial Shogun", a Chinese restaurant outside of town. On the return home, we went by the market to buy a few necessities and finally headed home. Alice decided that she, regrettably, had to leave, so for the rest of the weekend, things were rather uneventful.
Monday was a school holiday so I stayed home, and furthermore, slept in all day. I woke around four o' clock PM, and Jason was off at work. I was feeling quite bored, so I called Alex to see if he could meet up somewhere and play football or something. After a short chat on the phone, I locked the house up and made sure the security system was on.
'Where the hell is that stupid ball at...' I said, looking around the front yard. It seems as though every time I look for something, it's never where I leave it; yet when I have no interest in said item, it gets in the way. I eventually found it and started toward the main town park. Lowellville was large enough to have two parks, one more scenic than the other. The latter was also farther away, but it was far more modernized with plastic and rubber sets, rather than the old style metal slides and play sets.
Arriving at the park, I saw a group of kids playing basketball and figured they'd let me join. I play ball on occasion, but I'm not exactly a great fan of the sport.
"Uhm... hey. You guys mind having another player?" I inquired, stepping onto the black-topped platform serving as the court. I immediately recognized that was a mistake. The largest of the group, a Bengal tiger, stopped advancing with the ball. I recognized him as one of the senior jocks; he played both football and basketball and was supposedly high authority among the 'popular' crowd.
"Who the hell are you kid?" He growled, throwing the ball to one of his friends and walking towards me. I tried to keep my cool, though I was actually frightened. It was all I could do to keep my ears and tail from tucking against my body.
"Lewis." I said monotonously, standing straighter up and locking my knees up.
"Pfft. You must me some kind of dumbass to see that we have four players already. Four on five isn't that fair, now is it?" He replied adding sarcasm, looking back to ensure his friend's laughed,
By this point, an 'other nature' seemed to turn itself on. I clenched my fists around the football. "Five against four? So what you're implying is that you think a puny character such as myself is a threat in a game of basketball to an 'advanced' player as yourself? Give me a break"
He growled again and stepped forward, "I'll show you a threat you mouthy little shit."
His group jerked him back as he started for me "Whoa dude, Sal you're still on probation man!" said a rather small but malicious-looking goon.
"Mmmhg... I oughta beat his muzzle in..."
"Think about it bro... Seriously, Coach Wells will tan your hide if you get into trouble again!"
"Someone should shorten his leash..." I muttered, under my breath.
I scoffed and walked away. All I had done was ask to play a round with them because Alex was not there yet. I noticed two younger boys, one of them a rabbit and the other a raccoon, occupied the swing set. He rabbit appeared to be twelve, while the raccoon looked much younger.
"Oh well! I don't give a damn!!"
The raccoon lifted his head to see what the commotion was. I suddenly realised that I had pissed off the most conceited kid, quarterback of the football team, and one of the wealthiest kids in school; which all together made for an even more naïve attitude. Not a good idea.
"Stupid little bastard!"
I didn't have time to react.
After a moment, my senses failed and sound seemed miles away, while my vision became blurry as I came around after the first blow. I felt an immense pain in my stomach, then groin, and then my face met the earth, leaving me dazed. The white-hot fire burning within my nose prevented me from smelling the coppery scent of blood, and through the shroud that darkened my eyesight, I began to lose consciousness.
Soon the real world came back to me and I began hearing a voice; though it sounded as though its owner were shouting down a large metal pipe. The garbled voice started to become more distinct; as did the agonizing pain that had spread since I went out cold.
"..-llo? Can you hear me? ...Hey kid? You okay?" the faceless voice said. I suddenly realised I couldn't really feel or smell anything, and that I was freezing cold.
"Mh... wha-?" I groaned as I tried to sit. "Agh!!"
A sharp pain like glass cut the wind from my lungs and I fell back to the ground. I inhaled in gasps and clenched my jaw, waiting for the dagger to disappear.
"Oh! You're bleeding! Oh... uhm, d-don't move okay? Lay back down!" I heard more footfalls and then two voices, "...Stay with him okay sweetie? Can you do that for mommy?"
The reply was simple and innocent, "Uh huh!"
I heard soft humming, which became louder as my new guardian approached. The soft shuffling sound of their feet was slightly eerie in the moment.
"Hi... Mummy told me stay so she could get help," the quiet, seemingly blithe, voice said. He sat down, coming into full view and allowing me to determine he was the young raccoon from earlier, "Are you hurt mister?"
I nodded in affirmation "Yeah. I guess I am". Though he probably had no idea what happened, for some reason my heart fluttered. His innocence of the situation and blind concern calmed me, even though I had no idea who he was.
"Uh ohs..." he said. " I sowwy... "
"I'll... be okay..." I replied softly, suddenly becoming very tired. I finally lost strength and let my eyes close again as the raccoon leaned over and rested his muzzle to my shoulder.