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A Date with the Devil
“Gerard!” I muttered from under his weight. “Get. Off.” I shoved him off, and he hit the floor with a thud.
He groaned, rolling over, the floor creaking beneath him. “Did you really have to push me off?”
“Yeah,” I said, sitting up. “When I fell asleep, you were next to me, not on top of me.”
“I roll around in my sleep,” he said, sitting up. “Sorry about that.”
“Ugh, how is it only three in the morning?” I rolled my eyes. “Time’s supposed to pass faster when you’re asleep, not slower.”
He got up and curled up next to me, pulling me against his chest, radiating warmth. “It’s fate telling us to spend more time like this. How much you wanna bet no one’s gonna interrupt us now?”
“When did you get so—“ I meant to say warm, because originally he was as cold as a dead body, but he covered my lips with his own then. His lips were warm and soft, his hands twining into my hair, framing my face. Stars exploded behind my closed eyes in little bursts of color and passion. He tasted like apples and cinnamon—absolutely delicious. Everything about that moment, suspended in time, was perfect in every way. It was a long moment that stretched on and on, and that was fine by me. I wanted to do this all the time. Who needs school and work when you can just make out?
His soft, raven-black hair felt like silk between my fingers as I tangled my hands into it. My spine tingled as his hands traveled ever so slowly, deliberately, down my back, delicious chills filling me. He rolled over, pulling me on top of him, my head starting to get fuzzy from the sensations running through me. If he held on much longer I’d explode—was that his tongue against my lower lip? My senses were on hyper-alert. I sensed every heartbeat, heard every breath, felt every move he made.
I heard footsteps in the hall then, pulling away from him abruptly. “Get under the bed,” I whispered urgently.
He let go of me and slipped under the bed soundlessly. I pulled the covers up, closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep (I’m a great actress, if you didn’t know). The door to my bedroom opened slowly, and I could almost see my mom as she peeked in, checking on me. Satisfied to see I was comfortable and safe in bed, she shut the door behind her as she left.
Gerard looked offended. “Of course,” he said, rolling his eyes as he climbed to his feet. “OF COURSE WE GET INTERUPPTED.”
I sighed. “Sorry.”
“I should probably go.”
“Are you sure? I mean, would your parents really notice your absence?” I’d never met his parents, but seeing as I’d been to his house more than once and never even seen evidence of their existence, I doubted they were very involved with their son’s life.
“No, I mean it wouldn’t be the first time I stayed out all night. They’d probably figure I was out in some rural area alone, brooding, like I usually am. And it’s not like they’re my real parents, Samantha.”
He nodded, pulling back the covers then, burrowing under them with me like we were little kids at a sleepover, whispering so no one would know we were up late. “My parents died when I was very young. I was alone until Selena found me. I guess that contributed to my incredible attraction to her. After she died, after all that stuff went down, I found my latest parents. I don’t even remember how I got them to adopt me. They just did it.”
I nodded. “Huh.”
“Yep,” he said softly. “But just so you know, I really should go. I don’t want you to get in trouble if we get caught.”
“We won’t get caught,” I smiled. “My parents leave for work long before I’m up.”
“You sure they won’t check on you before the leave?”
“They’ve already checked on me. We’ll be fine. Stay with me.”
He smiled. “Okay.” His arms wrapped around me without me realizing it as I rolled over, putting my head on the pillow, coming out from under the sheets. He was right behind me, breathing slowly and calmly. I fell asleep happy.
“Good morning sunshine,” Gerard murmured in my ear.
“Hmmm?” I smiled, rolling over to face Gerard. Sunlight slanted through the window, gently lighting the tips of his hair. He kissed me smoothly, the sun sliding out of focus along with the rest of the room.
That is, until the phone rang downstairs. I pushed him off to get up. “Come on. Voicemail!” he called after me as I descended the stairs.
“Voicemail is for the lazy!” I yelled back as I picked up the phone. “Hello?”
I froze. No. Not this soon. He couldn’t be contacting me again. I’d just freaking defeated him yesterday! “Sammy? You okay?” said the angelic monster’s voice softly.
“Stop calling me that,” I said through tightly clenched teeth.
“Whatever. Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know that I have your mom here. Say hello, dear.”
“Sam!? Honey? Are you okay?”
“Mom!” I yelled. “Let her go, Lucifer. This is between you, me and Gerard. Keep her out of it!”
“You don’t understand the whole point of hostages, sweet cheeks. Anyway, you have a day before your mom either dies or returns to your world, untouched. My terms are simple. Come out with your hands held high and promise me you’ll stay away from Gerard. I might still kill you, but at least your mom would be safe.”
“What’s wrong?” Gerard stood at the base of the stairs, taking in my expression and how tightly I was gripping the phone.
Lucifer, the devil, evil incarnate (no, seriously), hung up, but I stood there, holding the phone desperately.
Gerard was next to me now, but I didn’t look at him. I didn’t want to move. Maybe if I froze long enough, this horrible nightmare would end before it could get too far. Maybe I’d wake up next to Gerard, and my mom would call me to check on me, and everything would be okay. Maybe, just maybe, Gerard would make me breakfast and we’d wander the town together all day until my parents got home and then I’d make him leave and watch whatever dumb movie my mom had picked out with my family.
“Let go of the phone, Samantha. I hear no voice on the other end.” When I still said nothing, Gerard wretched the phone out of my hand, after much struggling, then picked me up like I weighed next to nothing and carried me into the kitchen, putting me in a chair. “What happened?”
I opened my mouth, almost not trusting myself to speak. “He….he has my mom,” I said, my voice a very soft whisper.
“What!” He sat down in a chair near mine, burying his head in his hands. “How did we let that happen!?”
“I don’t know!” I yelled, everything settling in and suddenly very scared and very, very mad. “He called me and said if I didn’t break off things with you, or he’ll kill her! And knowing him he wouldn’t make it pretty! Dammit, this isn’t supposed to happen so quickly!” I got up, tossing my chair into the wall.
“Calm down,” Gerard said, holding up his hands.
“Don’t tell me what to do! You—you don’t know what it’s like! You didn’t even know your parents well!”
His whole stance changed. His eyes dulled a bit, his hands fell to his sides, and his whole body seemed to go on lock-down, like it was when I first met him.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t—“
“No, I get it. You choose your mom over me. You don’t want to try to negotiate or stage a rescue. I get it. It’s okay.” He got up then, walking out of the kitchen. The front door slammed.
I sucked in a very deep breath, fighting the urge to burst into tears. I hurt him. And my mom was gone. And Lucifer was not a man to go back on his word. He may be the biggest liar EVER, but he doesn’t hesitate to pull through on a threat. I shivered. I had to get my mom back. Then I could calm Gerard down and make amends. I had to strike some sort of deal. Apparently, Satan’s good at making those.
“….in what many are calling ‘Doomsday.’”
I perked up at that. I finally looked at the news I’d turned on, grabbing the remote and turning up the volume.
“Today, people across New England are having serious transportation issues—there’s snow taller than a grown man’s head, which many claim arrived in just fifteen minutes! And in the Midwest, hundreds of freak accidents on the roads leave several dead. Across the west coast, fisher boats have been spontaneously capsizing, leading to a watery grave for many. Bill, the weather?”
I turned it off, a hand covering my mouth to keep from screaming. This was it. The revenge Gerard told me would come. This was it. We were all gonna die. Now what?
The phone rang, and I yelped. “Hello?” I said breathlessly into the phone.
“Samantha! Oh, jeez, Sam—“
“Your dad’s in the hospital!”
Way to break it to me nicely. I grabbed the edge of the table for support. This sort of stuff isn’t supposed to happen so instantaneously! “Um, okay. Which hospital? What happened?”
“He’s in St. Joseph’s. And he was in an accident…Sam, he’s knocked out cold. Half dead. The doctors say he won’t wake up for a solid two days. He goes into surgery soon.”
“Okay, I’ll be over there as fast as I can.”
Turns out, no matter how you fight, they won’t let you into the Operation Room. Even when it’s your dad.
“How did you know he was here?” I said, finally giving up the fight to get inside and collapsing next to Sarah in the waiting room.
“Well…my car and his kind of…collided.”
“Are you mad?”
I sighed. “Not at you, dear. Not at you.”
“You can visit him now, but visiting hours end at eight. He’ll sleep through it.”
I nodded. “Okay.”
The doctor sighed and stepped out of the doorway to my dad’s room. “And, uh, Samantha, is it?”
He looked like he wanted to say something important, something to ease my pain and help me think straight, but then seemed to think better of it and simply said, “No cell phone use in the rooms.”
I nodded, disappointed, and went to stand at my father’s bedside. I took his hand and grasped it hard. “Hi, Daddy,” I whispered. He didn’t stir. “Mom couldn’t…she’s held up at the moment. I’m so sorry, Daddy, I got both you and her into this.” I collapsed in the chair next to him. “And now I’m alone and confused and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I really wish you could answer me right now, to help me.” His eyelids didn’t even flutter. I choked back tears. “Well I hope you hear this, Dad. I may not be back to see you after tonight. And I’m sorry. I love you and Mom so much…I’ll do whatever it takes to save you both. I’ll miss you, wherever I end up. Please don’t cry over me. I’ll be strong for you, and please be strong for me. I love you too much to hear Mom sob, to hear you silently scream at how unfair this all is. After I leave tonight, I hope against hope I’ll visit again. But I doubt I can.”
I sat there for a while in silence, a few small tears escaping my eyes, but no more than I allowed. I would sell my soul for the man lying in the bed next to me. And I would probably have to. Eight o’clock came and passed, and I left exactly when they asked me to. I climbed into the rust bucket I called a car, pulled out my phone, and dialed Gerard’s number. Surprise surprise, he didn’t answer.
“Look, I know you’re pissed at me, and I feel like crap for what I said. I’m sorry. I just want you to know that…that if we never see each other again, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone and I feel terrible that the last words we spoke to each other weren’t good ones. Goodbye, Gerard. I’m so sorry.” I hung up the phone, tossed it into the passenger seat, and drove to the first place I thought of.
Bear Hill State Park.
I parked the car and, moving as fast as possible, got to the top of the hill Gerard and I had climbed when he’d tried to kill me. I sat on the ledge, ready to plunge to the rocks if need be. I knew who I had to talk to now, and no one was there to stop me.
Gerard picked up his phone. One missed call? Oh. Right. Samantha. He dialed voicemail and put the phone to his ear.
“Look, I know you’re pissed at me, and I feel like crap for what I said. I’m sorry. I just want you to know that…that if we never see each other again, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone and I feel terrible that the last words we spoke to each other weren’t good ones. Goodbye, Gerard. I’m so sorry.”
“Tell me you’re joking,” he murmured, ending the call and running out to his car, climbing in the driver’s seat and revving the powerful, purring engine. “Where the hell are you, Samantha?”
I took a deep breath as a cool breeze brushed over my bare arms. “Come out where I can see you,” I called. “I’m not one for indirect confrontation.”
An old picture drifted into my lap—the fancy five-star restaurant downtown’s finest table, by the window, showing off the whole town. I flipped it over. On the back, in scrawling handwriting, it read “Meet me here tomorrow night. Wear your best.”
I sighed. Now, what do I call that? A date with the devil?
He went to the first place he could think of. Bear Hill. He knew it was far-fetched for her to be here, but if she was looking for who he thought she was, she’d look here first. He started up the trail, his stomach twisting painfully. If she was trying to strike some sort of deal…some sort of exchange…
“Samantha?” he called, his voice echoing back to him against the trees. When he reached the top of the hill, he saw her.
“Gerard?” I turned slowly. “Why did you come?”
“Tell me you’re not about to jump.”
“I’m not about to jump.”
He sighed in relief, stepping towards me. “Then what are you doing?”
“You should leave.”
I pulled my legs back, standing up. “You don’t wanna know the answer to that. Not really.”
His eyes said everything his lips didn’t need to.
“Gerard…he has my mom. And my dad. I have to…I have to do something.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Something you wouldn’t approve of.”
His expression went very grave. “Don’t you dare.”
“I have to, Gerard. He has my parents!”
“Don’t try to make a deal. It won’t work and it’ll blow up in your face.”
“Don’t you see? As long as my parents go free, I don’t care what happens to me.”
“Yeah, but what if they don’t? It’s like in politics. You don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
“But it’s my only chance! Gerard, this is a force we can’t beat!”
“Exactly,” he said, putting a finger to my lips. “We can work around this. Come on. You’re gonna freeze out here. Let me drive you home.”
“What about my—“
“Car? Give me your keys.”
He sighed. “Give me the keys.” I handed them over. “I’ll have one of my parents drop me off here in the morning and I’ll drive it back to you. Here, take this, and stop shivering.” He shrugged out of his hoodie and handed it to me. I gratefully wrapped up in the warm black fabric, too big for me, but perfect for the task at hand. It smelled like roses at a funeral, like Gerard.
I laid my head on the closed door as he began to drive, the engine quiet and smooth compared to my piece-of-crap car. I sank into a fitful sleep, attempting to forget about my problems and just smell Gerard. “Samantha?” Gerard murmured, but I was far away, trapped in my dream land. I felt his strong arms lift my body and his lips gently brush against my forehead, but didn’t really register what the touches meant till a few seconds after. I heard his footsteps as if they were coming through a staticy radio, and even harder to hear was his whispered, “Good night, sleep tight. I love you more than the stars above.”
Then I felt the bed under me, and the door open and shut as he left, and all was silent as I fell into a deeper rest.
I woke the next morning in a slight haze. My room was so peaceful, I forgot for a few precious seconds that my world was crashing and burning. I climbed out of bed, running a hand through my long black hair, heading downstairs. I felt a little faint, realizing I hadn’t eaten at all yesterday. I poured a bowl of cereal, and while sitting down to eat it, caught sight of my reflection in the mirror. I was still wearing the clothes from yesterday, including Gerard’s jacket. My eyes were red and puffy from too much sleep—too much uncomfortable sleep. I ate slowly, deep in thought.
Gerard wanted me to work around my original idea—which was negotiation. Sell my soul, you know, something that would make him happy. Trade him my happiness for my parents. Something very devilish.
I don’t know what Gerard could possibly be planning. I mean, staging a rescue mission against the devil himself? Honestly, unless the guy was using the living, there was no help Gerard could offer, nothing either of us could do to save my mom. And what about my dad? Would Lucifer be able to wake him? How would we be able to make him do that? What leverage did we have? Unless…no, he wouldn’t steal it…
I gripped the steering wheel tightly, my knuckles turning white with the effort. A cold fear was working its way through my veins. I wore the black dress I’d worn to my date with Gerard, and constantly had to flip my head to get my hair out of my eyes. I felt like Justin Bieber.
When I got to the restaurant, my stomach was clenched so tightly I thought I’d never eat again. My phone in my bag rang, splitting through the surprisingly still night. I fished it out and hit the green button.
“Where are you?” Gerard asked.
“Samantha, where are you?”
“Somewhere you wouldn’t like. I’ve really gotta go inside. I’ll call you if I need you.”
“Samantha, I told you—“ I wanted to hear the rest of his speech. Really, I did. But I hung up and shoved the phone back where it was in my bag, climbed out of my car, and entered the restaurant as if I had a lot more courage than I’ve ever had in my life.
“Table for one?” the hostess asked.
“No, I’m meeting someone.”
“Oh, the gentleman in the booth in the back?” she gestured to the table by the window, where Lucifer sat, smiling expectantly at me.
“Yes, the very one,” I said, walking past her and sitting across from the foulest being in existence, my stomach protesting by twisting even tighter.
“Good evening,” he said in a voice smoother than silk.
“Cut the crap. What do you want?”
“You know exactly what I want.”
“What do you want?” I asked through tightly clenched teeth. I was not in a playful mood.
“I want you away from Gerard.”
“And if I didn’t go?”
“Your mother becomes my slave, where she will be robbed of her innocence and decency.”
“What about my father?”
He smiled. “I might have had something to do with his little accident…”
“What do you want for him, you son of a b****?”
He smirked. “Oh, nothing big. Just your soul.”
I sat back in my seat. “Of course.”
“Maybe I misjudged you. You’re very smart. Listen to me, Samantha.” He leaned forward, his voice taking on that dark, smooth, angelic sound. “Remember the day you nearly died? I offered you to become mine forever. I would give you everything your heart desired and more. I know why Gerard chose you. You’re very pretty, inquisitive, intelligent. And now I’m offering you total and complete control. I have no one to be my second in command. We could belong solely to each other, Samantha. My offer still stands.”
My heart was doing jumping jacks by the time he finished his little story. So this was why Gerard had told me not to come. It was harder saying no a second time. I didn’t want to. I wanted to listen to him, to believe him, to let him take me away and set my parents free. In fact, my parents hardly crossed my mind. It was a little surprising how he completely derailed me, like a train in a wreck. He knew how to play his words just right to ensnare a fresh victim in his web of lies.
“Shhh,” he said, putting a finger to my lips. Chills radiated from where he was touching me. “You don’t have to say anything just yet. We’ve got eons of time.” The waitress came then, but I couldn’t order anything. I was scared to, as if Lucifer knew how to manipulate a chef to poison it.
“You sure you don’t want anything?” Satan asked, as if honestly concerned.
“Positive,” I murmured, unable to look away from his eyes. I felt ready to drown in them. He had such beautiful eyes…
Someone gasped nearby. “Sammy!?”
I turned. Of course. Tina stood there, looking proper and perfect, as always. Venom shot through my veins as I gave her the dirtiest look I could muster. “Hello.”
She wore a deep blue dress with a matching shawl over her shoulders, looking down her nose at me disdainfully from where she graced Michael’s arm. “What are you doing here with…him?” Her eyebrows arched as she took in the gorgeous Lucifer, with all his tattoos and piercings and pretty blue eyes. “Wait till I tell Gerard about this!” she said in a squeaky voice, unable to take her eyes off Lucifer.
I smirked. “It’s okay, Tina. I’m pretty sure Gerard already knows who I’m with.”
She gaped. “How…did you…and him…”
“Tina, I think it’s time we got going,” Michael said softly, flashing both Lucifer and I a look of disdain before pulling Tina away with force.
“Bye!” I called cheerfully after them.
She glanced back, looking ready to attack me. But Michael was far too strong. He just led her out of the restaurant without looking back. “Friends of yours, I presume?” Lucifer smiled.
I laughed out loud. “Far from it.”
He gave me a warm look that made my stomach quiver and I dropped my gaze to the table. Of course. Never make direct eye contact. If a bird looks directly into the eyes of a cobra, it’ll be so frozen with fear it can’t run or fight back. I think you can see who’s the cobra and who’s the bird.
I stayed silent through the rest of dinner. Well, at least, dinner for him. He attempted small talk multiple times, but I only gave short, one-word answers, shooting him down. At the end, he left cash on the table, took my arm, making my arm get all tingly, and led me out of the restaurant, out to my car. “Moment of truth, Samantha. Elope with me or let your parents die.”
He sighed. “I really wish you’d have made your mind up sooner. I didn’t want to do this, but oh well.” His eyes turned a very dark black. He let go of me and took a few steps back, snapping his fingers. What happened next was nothing short of getting jumped.
Men stepped out of the shadows, each wielding a bat and probably had a sharp object of some kind stashed in their coat pockets. One grabbed my bag, dumping its contents across the ground, stomping on my phone. I felt the hard thud of a bat against my side before I saw any of them move. I hit the ground hard when I was pushed from behind. Lucifer watched as they closed in on me with a grim satisfaction. Then I felt it, from all around, pandemonium, a blizzard of wood and brute force. I was being hit from all sides, in all areas, a few even striking me in the face or side of the head. It was total and complete agony. I cried out for mercy, and Lucifer held up a hand. They all froze in mid swing. He stepped forward. “Mercy? I’ve never understood that word. Why do you think I’m here and not there?” he said, pointing upward. “I don’t show mercy. Finish it,” he said to the one behind me. There was a loud crack! and all was black.
I woke in a very ordinate room, with pillars on the walls and gold lining everything. A fancy vanity was on the west wall, sunlight slanting through the east window, and doors guarded by two men each on the north and south walls. I was lying on a futon thing in the dead center of the room. “Where am I?” I called in a raspy voice toward the guards in front of me.
“Welcome to hell,” one of them smirked.
“Yeah, hell on—“ the other tried to add.
“Shut up,” said the first one, elbowing him painfully.
“This is hell?” I asked skeptically.
“A section of it.”
“I imagined it a little less polished.”
“Everyone imagines it to be a flaming pit of nothing but dancing demons and wailing lost souls, when really, that’s just part of it.”
“So why am I here? How do I get out?”
“You’re here because he told us to take you here. I don’t think you’re supposed to ‘get out’.”
“He being Lucifer?”
Great. I was stuck in hell, and no one could spring me. I had no idea what Lucifer wanted now, but it probably wasn’t anything pleasant. I sat with my back rigid against the futon, staring at the immaculate ceiling, wondering if I tried to jump for it, would it break through to the surface, or would I just hit rock?
“PICK UP YOUR DAMN PHONE!” Gerard yelled into his cell after the millionth time of getting Samantha’s voicemail. Where could she possibly be? She wasn’t at Bear Hill, he’d looked there, and she wasn’t at home, and he’d even asked around town for her. No one had seen her all day. He’d been so stupid to leave her alone like that. She was far too head strong to do what she was told and stay safe. She always thought she’d be okay, and only God knew where she was now.
No. He couldn’t have taken her. Could he?
“Come out, come out wherever you are!” he called, feeling a familiar prickling sensation on the back of his neck and turning. Lucifer lazily strode out of the cover of the trees.
“Hello to you too.”
“Where is she?”
“That is no polite way to greet someone.”
“Where is she?” he repeated through tightly clenched teeth.
“Oh, Gerard, you know it’s never that simple.”
“Is it possible to get a good burger around here?” I whined. “I’m starved.”
“Lucifer told us to keep you, not to feed you.”
Wait….what!? “I don’t even get scraps of stale bread crusts? What kind of imprisonment is this?”
“We’re not keeping you hostage, and you won’t die.”
“Why won’t I die?”
The guard looked down his nose at me. “Stop asking questions.”
“It’s this simple?” Gerard was skeptical.
“No. I can’t. I haven’t read it.”
“Do you really want to take time to read it? Just go ahead. Do it. No hesitation. Do you not trust me?” Rather than answering, Gerard just gave him a look. “Right,” he muttered, rubbing his hands together. “Well, basically, you sign that, and you’ll be death forever. But Sammy goes free.”
I rolled over in my sleep and hit the ground, probably gaining myself a nice big bruise on my forehead. “Someone get me a real bed!” I screeched, rolling over.
“No can do, princess,” said a guard I’d never spoken to before.
“Shut up. It was rhetorical,” I groaned.
“Only questions can be rhetorical.”
“They have a point.”
“ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!” I cried, loud enough to make my voice echo against the walls. “Just. Stop. Talking. To. Me.”
A knock sounded at the door. “Operation Romeo and Juliet begins now.”
“Is she dead?”
“No. And that’s not a lie. She’s still alive.”
“So if I sign this, she’ll be exactly as she was before?”
“Maybe a little better!”
He gave Lucifer another hard look and repeated himself.
“Yes. She’ll be just who she always has been.”
“………and you won’t go back on this?”
“Never,” Lucifer said, giving him a thousand-watt smile.
Gerard clicked his pen.
“Wait, what?” I said, getting up.
“Lie down and shut up,” the guard who was becoming a good friend of mine (and by that I mean worst enemy).
“What is operation Romeo and Juliet?”
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”
I narrowed my eyes. I had a plan, all right. And it was time I put it into action.
I rolled off and allowed my arm to do its crunch thing it does a lot when I fall, without legitimately breaking. “Ow, dammit!” Both of the guards from the south door rushed toward me. Perfect. Once the crouched over me, I was up, running to the door. Surprisingly, it was open. From there I just had to run like hell.
I realized pretty quickly that it was a maze. I turned a few times and realized there wasn’t an easy way out. I ran up a flight of stairs thinking, hey, if it’s hell, wouldn’t I try to go up? I was suddenly in a room full of staircases. Some on the ceiling, some going down walls, some going crossways and all leading to different doorways around the room. I ran across the ones of ground level and chose a door to the right of me. If I was going to get out of here, it was going to take a lot of effort…and a lot of luck.
“So you’ll sign?” Lucifer looked far too happy.
“I’m considering it,” Gerard said, watching him evenly. “I just don’t know how I can trust you.”
He gave Gerard a lost puppy look. “Why would I lie to you about the love of your life?”
Gerard rolled his eyes. “Why wouldn’t you?”
I heard people screaming my name. People I knew. Familiar voices. Raven, my text buddy. Sarah, my best friend. My mom. My dad. Gerard. I froze. “Samantha!” he cried again, the pronunciation still perfect.
“Gerard?” I muttered, putting a hand on the wall.
“Oh, God, Samantha!”
I stopped. No. This was a trick. Gerard wasn’t here…couldn’t be…
I turned and ran. I ran with everything in me. I heard unfamiliar voices calling to me now, but none of them could catch me. I was freeee, and no one could stop me now. I could almost hear the birds singing, feel the fresh air on my face as I ran down an immaculate white hallway. I stopped at a big white door and pushed it open. I was in a back alley in the city. “Well that wasn’t so hard,” I panted as the door slammed shut behind me.