The Awakening/C8 Calamity
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The Awakening/C8 Calamity
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C8 Calamity

Sera could feel Amanda approaching before seeing her short, quaffed hair over the edge of her cubicle. She doesn’t feel the need to lower her search window, even though she knew she would have to explain herself. Instead, she continues searching until Amanda catches her.

“Job searches?” She snickers low, knowing Mrs. Valentine has a way of popping up at the worst times. “What the hell are you looking at Sera? We both know you’re not going to leave me,” she jokes, but her smile falters.

With a sigh, Sera turns her chair to face her best friend. “Don’t you ever just get tired of things,A? Don’t you just want a change? Do you ever feel like you have a destiny bigger than this?” She gestures to the space around her.

“More thana simple job, 401K, weekends and holidays off, and a team of doctors at your beck and call? No, I think we have it pretty stinking good here, girl. What more do you want?”

“I don’t know,” Sera mutters, “I just feel…bigger than this place. I want to feel more important, like my job actually means something. I want to feel like I’m a piece of something bigger than myself. I just sense I’m wasting my talents on this place.”

“Sere.” Its Amanda’s turn to sigh. “If that’s really how you feel, maybe you should leave. You’ve changes, and aren’t happy here any longer. I don’t want to keep you at this job for my own selfish gain.”

“Well, when have I ever listened to you anyhow?”


“I just want to make sure I’m making the right decision before I jump off the cliff.”

“Please don’t jump off a cliff.”

Sera cracks a smile.

“Promise me you won’t make any rash decisions.”

“I promise—but something is going to happen soon. I can feel it.”

“Just keep me in the loop.”

“You got it Amanda.” Sera makes a check mark with her hand in the air.

“Okay. Now, let me get back to work before I have to job search, too.”

Amanda leaves her best friend at her cubicle around the corner, glancing back only once. Sera contemplates what she would do without seeing her best friend everyday—maybe actually get some work done.


Her eyes gaze at the leather stitching of her steering wheel. She doesn’t recall making the decision to come here, but Sera finds herself in the back parking lot of the coffee house. She must have subconsciously driven here out of habit while she was yet again distracted by her talk with Amanda. It was on her mind all afternoon, she found herself obsessing over it, as the patient names on her screen appeared to blur into one.

Forcing a deep breath, she convinces herself she must go inside, slips out of the car, and heads toward the front entrance. The side window comes into view; anticipation floods her veins as she sneaks a peek. A sigh escapes her lips when she notices Jack isn't there. With added assuredness, she walks inside. The blonde behind the counter wipes her eyes and shoots her a smile before asking for her order. Her green eyes are a little puffy like she's been crying. The bags under her eyes tell Sera it's been going on for a few days now. The barista turns to craft her drink, and she takes the time to admire the way the tips of her blonde ponytail form a perfect hot pink V. Sera has always wanted to have the guts to do something crazy to her hair, but, let's face it, she's the play it safe type of girl. When the barista turns to hand her the usual latte that always calms her soul, her eyes glisten greener than usual. It's crazy how the ugliest things can bring out the beauty.

Once Sera pays for her drink, she turns, debating whether to sit and get some paperwork done—she couldn’t exactly focus on work earlier. That’s when she hears her name.

“Sera?” Jack is coming up the hallway that leads to his office in the back. His messenger bag is slung carelessly over one shoulder. His tousled, golden hair looks like he had been fussing with it while he paid invoices.

“Hey, Jack,” she responds, trying to distract herself from her thoughts.

“It must be a long day if you’re here again.” His entire face comes alive with one smile.

Once again, she is sucked into Jack's friendly banter despite the disastrous date, and the strange sensations she receives around him. No matter how much she knows she should stay away, a part of her can't seem to follow through. "You have no idea." Her hard exterior cracks, allowing her to smile.

Even though there is an unspoken elephant in the room, she finds it nice to still be able to joke around with Jack like nothing has changed. It makes Sera believe that no matter what happens between them, they will always be close.

"Are you staying?" His hand extends toward the green chair in the corner window.

"Uh, no. I was just headed out," she lies.

"Me too, let me walk you to your car." His excitement is apparent with every word. As he ushers Sera out the door, he waves to the barista. "See ya tomorrow, April."

"Stay out of trouble, Jack." Her sarcasm makes Sera hide a smirk. Jack holds the door open for her, and she follows him while sipping her coffee. She finds herself zoning out as Jack begins telling her about the investigation into the date-night-failure—a glitch in the wiring of the kitchen, which in turn, caused the melt down. Sera was there; that was no glitch.

"That's crazy," she finds herself mumbling in between his sentences.

"It's crazy it had to happen that night, of all nights, but, I'm glad you're okay." His arm wraps around Sera's shoulders. As they walk closer and closer to her car, his footsteps get shorter. His body seems closer. Sera glances around, feeling those eyes once again. Her hazel eyes scan the small, half-empty parking lot, from the dumpster to the low hanging tree... everything seems quiet, anticipatory.

They finally reached Sera's car, and she tries to dig into her pocket for the car keys. The nervous anxiety is building inside her once more. Before her fingers can grasp the key ring, he pulls her into an extra tight hug. Her fingers slip from her pocket, eyes wide with surprise. When he finally pulls away from their embrace, both his hands are on her shoulders.

Looking up into his face, his eyes are on her lips. She's frozen as his hands slowly trace their way up to her neck, then her face, until he finally brings her chin to his and plants a soft kiss against Sera's lips. Her limbs grow cold, ice cold in an instant. Her eyes immediately shut and her mind floods with every daydream she has ever had about Jack. Like some corny movie trailer, Sera sees the months of flirting, the way she smiled in the candlelight, and the first kiss just now.

Abruptly, Sera hands push him against her sedan, deepening their kiss. Her mind is numb, her fingers don't feel like hers as they climb up his washboard abs and wrap around his neck. Her tongue doesn't feel like hers as it teases his. He moans against her lips, enticing her even more.

The branches in the tree above them shake. A terrible crunching sound eventually breaks the spell. Jack's lips reluctantly pull away, and he spins around to face the noise. Sera finally snaps out of it, doubled over as the cold seeps out of her body. She stands with her hands on her knees, trying to get her mind back with the deepest breaths her lungs can muster. No matter how much air she inhales, she can't catch her breath.

"My truck!" Jack's voice makes her finally look up. His black pick-up truck sitting only two spaces from hers has a dent in the fender the size of a deer. The angle indicates it fell from above, like the tree? The only suspicious thing is... there is absolutely nothing around. The parking lot is dark and empty; they are the only ones around. Jack is too busy inspecting his truck to realize what is going on with Sera.

Just as she starts getting her breath back, she doubles over again. Something inside her has snapped. She feels like all the wind has forcefully exited her—like someone has come along and punched her in the stomach. She grips her shirt when the pain rises into her chest. Something is wrong. Something is missing, leaving. She falls to her knees, fighting a scream welling up in her throat and reverberating through her entire body. Finally coming to his senses, Jack turns.

"Sera? Are you okay?" He kneels before her, placing his hands on her shoulders.

"I..." she tries to form words to explain the pain inside of her, "I don't feel well." "You don't look well." Jack's nimble hands brush her hair to the side. Her skin has grown cold, her face slowly draining of color.

"I need to go home."

"You are definitely not okay, let me drive you."

"No," she states, maybe a little too harshly. However, she needs to be alone, needs to get away from him. This isn't the first time strange things have happened around Jack, and she has a feeling he might know more than he lets on. "I think I've got it now, Jack." With every shred of adrenaline, she forces herself to stand up. Sera takes another deep breath before stumbling to her car and collapsing inside. When she turns for the last time, Jack's face is skeptical. A fake smile and a wave is all she offers him before she turns the car on and veers the hell out of there.

Driving home, she tries to focus on the road, but her mind won't cooperate. Tears fill her eyes. She's driving down the lonely, deserted road; staring out the windshield through her tears. Sera notices the scenery resembles what she feels inside, alone and dead. It's just a normal December night outside, but she can feel it coming for her—the darkness and depression creeping up on her like a monster in the night.

She pulls up to her house, puts the car in park, and pauses for a second. She sits with her hands on the steering wheel, staring down the empty, dead-end street, not hearing the radio blasting. Breathing in the darkness, she finally accepts the depression that is coming. Tears, actual tears, are streaming their way down her face now, and smearing her mascara. Resting her head on the steering wheel, she allows the tears to stream down her pale cheeks. She can't control all the emotions swirling inside her now, not like usual. Something has broken. Her last shred of self-control, lost like a needle in a haystack. All she can do now is release these emotions, allowing her mind to wander.

Her mind finally focuses on the weird feelings she felt on Jack's date to those of her dreams, and then the psychic encounter comes to mind, and the thoughts cycle again. She can't help but feel like this world will never be enough; she will never be truly whole because a piece of her lives in another realm. On top of it all, she has the overwhelming feeling that she is waiting for something, something else, something... more.

Sera blinks and she's in her room. Her eyes dart around surprised; she doesn't remember coming inside. She must have, because she lies in bed, fully clothed, with her shoes still on. The tears surge behind her eyes again and slowly begin to fall, eventually turning to sobs until she can't stop. Tears dripping down her face, she looks to the ceiling and shakes her head. She hasn't cried in years, and now she can't seem to stop. What is happening to her?

She just can't put her finger on what exactly is so upsetting. She's distraught, that much is obvious, but why? She always struggles to put her feelings into words. For some reason, she has never felt more... alone. That's it; I'm lonely. However, that doesn't seem to fit the range of emotions. She doesn't mind being alone. It's more than that. She's not lonely, she feels... lost.

Sera is completely lost in her own thoughts, wants, doubts, dreams, and desires. She feels misplaced, undecided, and dormant. There has to be more to life. She has to be missing something. Purpose? Maybe. Direction? Mostly. True love? Definitely. She is searching for answers in a world she decidedly doesn't belong.

She needs space, air, and time to think. The walls of her room are closing in around her, as if she's under that tree again. She jumps to her feet and runs out of the house. Once Sera reaches the porch, she pauses momentarily before deciding to just start walking. Walking has always been a way for her to get her mind right, but she's never gone this late at night and never in the middle of winter. Common sense doesn't currently seem to be at the top of her mind. The truth is, she can barely feel the cold while she trudges along. When she arrives at the end of her dark, dead-end street, she turns left toward town. Her emotions continue to run wild. The tears threaten to fall again, and she suddenly bursts into a run. She's running to somehow escape the feelings overwhelming her conscious mind right now. Sera whips past intersections and landmarks, but she doesn't put much thought into her destination. It's not like she can get lost in this small town anyway. She's lived here, in Angelica, her entire life; knowing the area like the back of her hand. She runs as fast as she can until her legs develop a deep ache and her lungs catch fire. Dashing into the town park, she jogs until seeing a bench by the jungle gym before collapsing with her head in her hands. All her worries and sadness seep into her again, she weeps harder. I don't belong here.

The tears dry against her cheeks, and her breathing turns to hiccups. By the time she blinks, the world becomes visible again. Once her heart calms to a normal pace, her breathing evens out, and the hiccups eventually cease. Although her mind is still a mess, she can't sit here all night. Her fingertips have already begun to go numb with cold. Sera climbs to her feet and walks out the main entrance to the park. She wipes away the remaining tears from her cheeks. Her foot is barely off the curb when she sees it. Two lights whipping around the corner, blinding her. She's frozen. They came out of nowhere. Now fully comprehending the term 'deer caught in headlights expression', because she's so shocked she can't move... and then—the pain. The careful, play-it-safe Sera has never broken a bone in her body before, but now it feels like every single one of them broke at the same time. Excruciating pain vibrates throughout her entire body until she goes numb. Everything turns black.


Fluttering of wings is the first sound her ears comprehend. She feels afraid for some reason, but doesn't remember why. Wind is whipping her hair around her face, but she can't see anything. Darkness is crowding her vision; she can't tell if her eyes are even open, because her mind can't focus. All she is sure of is that her body feels ice cold. So cold, her whole body goes numb. The only sensation her mind can process is a tingling working its way through her body. The only reason she is aware, is how it feels like scorching fire flowing through her. It traces its way around her heart, down to her toes, and back up to her heart, only to trace its way down her other leg. Her mind is weak, but the fire is coursing its way through her veins. The strong wings still flap around her. The sway lulls her back to unconsciousness...

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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