The Awakening/C10 Awakening 2
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The Awakening/C10 Awakening 2
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C10 Awakening 2

Sera is finishing up the sandwich, but when she climbs the steps toward her room, her stomach still growls for more. It's crazy, she thinks, I exercise one time, and I'm ravenous. Get a grip body. She pats her abdomen for emphasis.

Once she closes the door to her room behind her, she finds herself pacing back and forth, desperate for something to do. She can't seem to sit for too long. Her eye catches a book she's been wanting to read. Reading hasn't exactly fit her mood lately. In one swift motion, she grabs the novel off the shelf, jumps into bed, and opens to the first chapter.

Less than an hour later, she tosses the finished book down and slips back downstairs for yet another snack. Coming out of the kitchen with a spoon to a tub of peanut butter, she catches sight of her mother's Kindle lying on the coffee table in the living room, unattended. With one glance around, she slips into the recliner and downloads the next book in the series.

The large mahogany grandfather clock in the hall chimes its tune. It's only chimed three times since she started reading. The tune echoes up through the house and reverberates through her ears. Staring at the words The End on the Kindle in her lap, she blinks in disbelief. She has finished the remaining three books in the series, in record time according to the percentage statistics on the Kindle. Her eyes flew across the pages at record speed and yet, she can still recall every line with insane precision, every plot twist connects. It seems that all her cognitive processing is moving at an incredible rate, just like her body. Whoa. Her fingers run themselves through her hair and she tries to contemplate this new phenomenon.

Finally, climbing out of the ugly recliner she makes her way back upstairs for her cell phone. It's on the bed where she left it. Clicking a few buttons, she calls Amanda.

Barely waiting for the second ring, "Oh my Sera, I was just going to call you! I met this really hot stud yesterday, and he wants to meet me at Chaos tonight." She breathes in. "Please, please come. Don't let me meet a strange hottie in the big city all by myself."

Sera's not fully inept when it comes to dating, but even she knows that guys only meet girls at clubs for one reason. She doesn't have the heart to break the news to her friend. That and a part of her needs an excuse to get out. "You read my mind—a night out sounds great right about now."

“Really?" The disbelief is clear. "Okay, who are you and what did you do with my best friend?"

“I thought you'd be happy. Can't a girl be in a good mood?"

“I am, I am! Let me go get a new dress—pick me up at ten-thirty; it's going to take a while to get to the city. Okay, see you later." Amanda hangs up without another peep from Sera, apparently trying to hang up before she would have the option to change her mind. With a smile, Sera places the phone down, Amanda is absolutely nuts, but she couldn't imagine her life without her.

Glancing at the clock, she has two hours—what the hell could keep her busy until then. A nice relaxing bath should be just the ticket to get her in the mood for a girl's night. It's been a while since they've gone out. Usually, Netflix and wine are the kind of nights they have together. Sera has learned the hard way that going out with Amanda is an adventure in itself. Especially, when there's liquor and boys involved. For some reason, deep down, Sera has a feeling tonight is going to be a good night.

After digging through her drawers, she finds a bath set she received from a crazy Aunt one Christmas. Perfect. Ripping open the packaging, she treks her way into the bathroom. Her nimble hands draw a bath in the cast iron tub, turning the nozzle to the hottest temperature it will go before tossing in the lavender bath soap. The bubbles ripple out automatically, filling the small bathroom with the relaxing scent. Sera slips out of her clothes with not even an ounce of sweat on them, before tossing them into the corner. Before the tub is even full, she finds herself testing the water with her toe. The heat doesn't bother her remotely. She climbs over the edge. Carefully lowering herself into the depths of the tub, she expects the heat to eventually become too much—it never does. As she slips into the tub and rests her head on the edge, she allows the lavender to soothe her. She continues to soak, lifting her legs a little; she's not even remotely sore from the longest run of her life. How is that possible? How can she have such mental clarity and yet still have no idea what's going on with her own body? Her last thought—maybe it's because the reason is nothing believable.

Sera lowers her face into the hot water, allowing her thoughts to dissipate out of her mind as she reemerges again. Her head returns to the lip of the tub and rolls to her shoulder. Glancing out at her arm propped up along the edge of the tub, she notices the water beading up on it. It fascinates her for some reason; she continues to watch as it drips back down into the water below. With a blink, she notices her skin seems to be shimmering. Her skin is giving off a slight glow. Her eyes focus closer, like a microscope it clicks closer, closer until she can make out perfect pale skin. It looks unreal, almost like a porcelain doll.

That just exceeds the amount of strange happenings in one day. She sprouts up and pulls the stopper out of the tub. Her arms reach up and turn the shower on before grabbing hold of her apricot scrub. She pours a huge wallop and starts scrubbing her entire body vigorously. Struggling to hold back the frustration, she scrubs out all her confusion, all the creepy things that are happening to her. When she's on the verge of breaking down, she turns off the shower, grabs her towel off the rack, and practically runs out of the bathroom. Her wet feet leave tiny puddles in her wake before she closes the door to her room and whips the towel off her naked body. She then commences another full body inspection; starting from top to bottom, front to back, and side-to-side. If anything, her skin is glowing, firm, and vibrant. She climbs to the edge of her bed, resting her head in her hands. There's no trauma, no bruising—how is this possible. Her hands fall to her sides. How is this possible? Was I hit by an alien rock? Did a radioactive spider bite me? What the hell is going on with me?

Breaking her out of her thoughts, her cell phone chimes to life. Without looking, she automatically answers, "Hello?"

“Sera? It's Jack!"

“Oh, hey Jack..." Sera replies, not exactly returning his enthusiasm.

“I," he pauses, "I just wanted to make sure you were okay, you didn't look so well last night."

She almost feels guilty, "Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better today. You're sweet for checking up on me."

“I just had to make sure." His voice is starting to lose its twinge of concern.

“Thanks, Jack, I don't know what came over me." It wasn't a lie, but she still felt guilty telling him.

“Good," he whispers almost to himself, "Good. I'm glad you're better."

That's when Sera gets the feeling Jack sounds a little too relieved, almost like he knows something she doesn't. Or a worse thought, maybe he is the one responsible for it.

“Jack—" she starts.

“What are you doing tonight?" he interrupts. "I'm sorry, what were you going to say?"

Oh, nothing—never mind. Amanda and I are going to Chaos, that new club in the city. You know, the one with all the posters plastered everywhere."

“Oh, my friend mentioned something about that place, maybe we'll see you there?"

“Yeah, maybe. Well, I have to start getting ready..."

“See ya."

Sera hangs up the phone and lies back on her bed. There's just too many things going on with her now, she doesn't want to add boys on top of that.

Sera allows herself to take her time while getting ready. She scoured her closet for the hottest outfit she could find. After about an hour of trying stuff on, she finally finds something that fits her mood—naughty. Of course, Amanda bought her the shirt last Christmas. The tags are still dangling from the sleeve. The old Sera would never have worn something so, revealing.

After coming to a decision on the outfit, she takes a straightening iron to her naturally wavy hair so that it falls down her back. Digging deep into her drawers, she pulls out her makeup; liberally applying more than she's normally comfortable with. Dark eyeliner coats the top of her lids and lavender shadow makes her hazel eyes pop with color. It takes a few seconds for her to recognize herself in the mirror. Amanda was right, who is this new person?

The icing on the cake is black knee-high boots. Sera zippers into the boots before grabbing her little black clutch off the dresser. She takes the time to admire herself in the mirror. A glimmer of her neck brings her attention downward. Her necklace. It just doesn't seem to fit the outfit. Her fingers reach up to the clasp behind her neck. It takes a deep breath before she unclasps it and places it down on her desk. Without it, she feels slightly naked. She debates putting it back on when her phone chimes again breaking her out of her thoughts. She has to go. Instead, Sera grabs the necklace and stuffs it in her tiny little clutch.

Stealing one more glance into the mirror, she smiles at her reflection before heading out of the house for the night.

Pulling her car up to Amanda's apartment ten minutes later, she runs up the three flights of stairs and lets herself in with her key. She finds her closest friend in the bathroom still applying her makeup, typical Amanda, on her own time clock. Amanda's jaw (and eyeliner pencil) drops when she turns to greet her. Her dark eyes look her up and down, starting from the knee high boots, up her tight skinny jeans, and finally the low cut black shirt. Sera gives her a little twirl while she finishes her assessment.

“You like?" Sera playfully pushes Amanda in the arm. Amanda continues to take in her long, auburn hair framing her face which is accentuated with dark eyeliner and lavender shadow making her eyes appear jade green tonight.

"Wow, I thought you were losing your mind on the phone, but this—" Amanda points to all of Sera. "This? Who would have thought there was a major hottie in there this whole time? And..." She takes a step forward. "She even appears to be a little slutty." Her finger drops to Sera's low cut shirt.

“Hey, you bought me this shirt!"

“Exactly, takes one to know one." She winks at me. "Wait, where's your necklace?"

“I left it at home. It didn't exactly go with the outfit."

“Are you trying to show off the goodies?" Amanda bites her lip from laughing.

"Maybe." Sera shrugs."

They share a laugh before things fall quiet again. "But seriously, Sera, is everything okay?" Her face flashes with concern.

The truth is Sera has no idea, but she answers as honestly as she can, "Yeah... I just feel, good." Her fingers run themselves through the length of her hair.

"Okay, good enough for me." She shrugs picking up her eyeliner pencil from the sink and finishing her other eye. "Let's go get our groove on hot stuff." She playfully smacks Sera's bum and pushes Sera toward the door before grabbing her own clutch on the way out.

Sera sits straight up in bed, gasping for air like it's the first breath her body has ever taken. Her blinds are open so that the sun, high in the sky, is shining directly in her face. That's when she realizes she's tucked into her own bed. Huh? Instinctively, she frantically runs her hands all over her body. Counting every rib, poking every muscle for pain, broken bones, any reason for the agony she remembers from the night before. She's still wearing the same outfit from last night. Her fingers pick out a tiny shard of glass from her light pink sweater. Ripping the covers off, she reveals the rest of her body. Her eyes widen as a gasp escapes her lips—there's dried blood all over her. The dress pants and sweater she was wearing look like they soaked through before they dried to a crusty red color. Yet, Sera finds no wounds. Not one ounce of pain on any part of her body; not even an ache from the running she attempted. Is it crazy that I actually feel... good?

Sera slips off the bed onto her feet, reluctantly at first, expecting all the pain to hit her again... it never does. Her toes wiggle into the carpet before she steps in front of the full-length mirror on the back of her door. Sera strips down to bare skin and throws her destroyed clothes in the garbage can behind her. She turns around and thoroughly inspects every inch of herself. Over and over, she turns, almost expecting something to appear—it never does. Her skin is spotless, even the birthmark on her stomach is missing. Am I losing my fricken' mind? I feel... healthy, strong... why do I remember excruciating pain?

Collapsing to her bedroom floor in a heap of confusion, she scoots against the bed frame for support and stares at the palm of her hands face up in her lap. What the hell is going on with me?

Sera blinks a few times as her hands come back into focus. She must have zoned out for a little bit. Like when a computer is on overload, it has to shut down to get things right again. That's how she just felt. Things aren't exactly clear, but it somehow doesn't make her too upset now. The sun is even higher in the sky, the warmth radiating into her feet against the carpet. Her body finds its way onto her feet again. She steals one last glance at herself in the mirror before the idea comes to her.

Go for a run.

Yes, that sounds great. Spinning on her heels, she digs through her closet for a pair of yoga pants and a navy sweatshirt. By the time she has her sneakers laced up, she is practically dancing around in her little square room. Her body is firing with such pent up energy flowing through her every vein, she just has to release it. The feeling is beyond words, they seem to escape her. A fire has ignited inside of her. It feels as though something deep within her has finally awoken. She feels alive, awake, and excited all at the same time. She feels as though she's had six cups of coffee and three of those energy drinks.

Opening her bedroom door she takes off down the stairs two at a time, unlocks the front door, and jumps off the porch steps in one bound. Once her feet touch the concrete walkway, she's hit with an array of strange scents and noises that immediately bring her to her knees. A bird caws in the distance and echoes inside her ears. It pounds through her head, vibrating her eardrums. Next, she picks up a crunching that sounds like dead leaves underfoot, but then that too is background noise to an annoying drip. Drip, drip, drip—the droplets continue to fall from a leaky pipe in the backyard that has yet to be winterized. The sounds become too much and she places her hands over her ears, fighting off the noises that hound her all at once.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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