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Secrets of the Shadows (Part I)
Eyes closed. Heavy breathing. Yes, it’s the dream again. I find myself alone in the woods, running. I feel fear coursing through me. Looking back, nothing is behind me. I know as much. I’ve been having the same dream for nights upon nights. My legs cease to run, stopping in front of the tall oak. The same insignia flashes silver on the bark, carefully carved. Intricate swirls spread through the bark, curling and twisting like that of a vine. A hand places itself on my shoulder, and I scream, perhaps it is my last.
“SHARA!” I jolt upright, panting. Deep breaths now. In and out, in and out. But nothing ever stops me from being frightened. Never have I been able to run from this terror. “SHARA!!! Get up now!” My poor roommate Tiffany insists on getting me up.
“GOD I’M COMING TIFF!” I yell. I bolt downstairs. Sigh. Another day at Wellesley College. I brush out my dark red hair, coat my lashes in mascara, and throw on my Beatles Hoodie and jeans. Tiffany smiles upon my arrival.
“I thought you were going to come down like a zombie or something. I was just trying to tell you about the pancakes, you know. Hot and freeeeessh!” she says in a sing song voice. Well, I thought to myself. Don’t have to tell me twice. I plop down in the lounge chair as Tiffany loads up my plate with pancakes. You might think Tiffany’s the stereotypical blonde college girl, but you can bet she isn’t. The girl has serious smarts- and confidence. Something admirable, you know? She’s like a little Barbie, but a ton prettier. I slice the pancake carefully, and pick up a piece with my fork. She turns her back, and I rip apart the pancake and start using my hands. Either way you have them, pancakes are delicious. You just can’t screw them up.
She starts to waterfall braid my hair, while she discusses the latest news. “Well,” she says business like as she fingers my hair. “I have my birthday party this Tuesday. I would expect you’re coming. I already know 48 out of 50 guests have already RSVP’d, minus Erica, who I know is studying abroad in France. As for Delia, I’m pretty sure she’s coming. She just told me she’s going to try and find someone to fill in for her at La Zingara, so she’s most likely a yes.” I bite my lip as she accidentally tugs my hair. “Sorry. I’m just confused with that new guy at Aeropostale. You know, the one with choppy bangs? Yeah, so I am pretty sure he’s into me, but I don’t know, and he hasn’t asked me out, and I kinda want to invite him to my party, but I don’t want to creep him out, and…” I cut her off, she talks WAY to much.
“Tiff, he obviously likes you, and you know that. Since it’s not a just close friends party, it’ll be okay. Now chill and we got to leave in 5!” Tiffany instantly brightens.
“You think so?” she asks hopefully. I shake my head, laughing a bit.
“Tiffany, I KNOW so. And- I don’t lie.” Tiffany beams and rushes to apply her lipstick. I laugh. She always obsesses over silly little things like this.
At the eating hall we head to the small Panda Express Chinese food place. I order my usual orange chicken and pork fried rice. Really healthy, I know, but it’s delicious. Tiffany leads me over to our lunch table with Emily, Rose and the latest addition, a new girl named Maryann. I grin and point out a dark haired girl. “See, Maryann? That’s Anja, and she claims to be a fortune teller. I wouldn’t suggest seeing her. She always predicts doom, death, sad things.” Maryann laughs, a soft one barely audible.
“Sounds pretty crazy to me,” she says quietly, almost whispering. We all laugh, except for Emily.
“Em?” I ask, concerned. Em’s eyes roll back into her head, and she fell to the floor. “EM!” And I turn to look for help, and I come face to face with Anja, and she began to grin. My stomach began to turn. I knew one thing for sure- Anja knew something. And I don’t think I want to find out.