My pillow was damp with tears as I struggled to surrender to sleep. I couldn’t sleep that night. I got so used to the simplicity of our relationship that I didn’t even imagine complication would hit it. And unfortunately it did. I sobbed to the thought, I didn’t know why I felt so hurt, I was going to see him again, what all these tears were for? Besides he was only a friend, a friend I got used to so much that his departure made me hurt so deep.
When I finally slept I saw the same dream, except for one small difference. I was lying on the same bed, hurting, Alex was there looking at me blankly and Jon too. Except that Jon was crying, because I was in pain.
I woke up in the middle of the night feeling disoriented. I rubbed my eyes and covered my body with the soft blanket tighter. The bitter cold outside the bedroom window tried to seep in and work its way under my covered body. I shuddered furiously. Jon invaded my feverish mind. Jon was all I heard, all I saw, and all I wanted. Jon, Jon, Jon.
I sighed heavily and extended my arm to reach the cell phone I rarely used on the nightstand. I gazed at Jon's saved number in the contact list before I pressed dial. The phone rang several times before someone picked up. "Hello?" a crisp deep voice answered the phone. I recognized it, it was Alex's.
"Hello, um can I speak to Jon please?" I didn’t know why but Alex intimidated me.
"Whoever you are, don’t you think it's a bit late to make phone calls?" he asked coldly.
"I don’t think it's any of your business; if Jon is awake please give him to me!" I snapped. Suddenly I felt really furious towards him, he didn’t have the right to speak to me that way.
"Give me the phone" I heard Jon's soft voice on the other end.
"It's 3 am for god's sake!" Alex almost hissed.
"Hello Vanessa" Jon's friendly voice finally filled the other end.
"What was that all about? I thought this was your phone"
He sighed. " Nessa it's late"
"I don’t sleep remember?" my voice softened a bit.
"Yeah right, you're voice is filled with sleep" he said desperately trying to get rid of me.
"I don’t need too much sleep" I muttered. "Why are you awake? Isn’t a bit too late for you too?!"
"What do you want Nessa?" patience was running out from his voice.
"I need to talk to you" I almost whispered.
"Couldn’t you wait for tomorrow morning or something?"
"No" I answered honestly.
He was silent for a minute before he spoke. "Fine, what do you want to talk about?"
"Yesterday" I kept my answers short and straight to the point.
"Nothing happened yesterday Ness, we had dinner and then I left because I needed to get some sleep, what was the problem?"
"I don’t see anybody asleep, not you Jon!" my voice was raising involuntarily and I couldn’t help the anger and pain I felt inside my chest.
"What's with the attitude detective!" his voice got higher too.
"Look who's talking!" I snapped. "You're unbelievable!"
"I thought we were friends" he concluded.
"So did I, goodnight Jon" I hung up the phone before he could say a word. That was better.
I got up from bed and into the bathroom directly. I needed a hot bath to clear my feverish head.
My body was fully relaxed when I came out of the bathroom; I changed into short shorts and put my wet hair up into a ponytail high on my head. It was past five o'clock in the morning, I must've slept in the bathtub.
I ate breakfast slowly to waste the long time I had before going to work. I washed the dishes and the entire kitchen too.
After two hours of productive time wasting I was downright exhausted but it felt good because I didn’t think of Jon or any of whatever was happening while I was at it. I sprayed cherry vanilla; a perfume I mixed a long time ago and became my signature, which consisted basically of wild cherry and French vanilla.
Work was getting repetitive and I didn’t enjoy it today like I usually did. I yawned and looked at my watch. It was still too early to leave and I couldn’t stay any longer so I mixed two easy perfumes and told Wendy that I didn’t feel well, she was kind enough to let me go without questions.
The next couple of days were the same; I spent most of it alone, between my house and the scent shop. There was no sign of Jon, he never came to see me or even called and I missed him terribly.
For some reason work ended quickly today and I had to close down the shop. Wendy was already gone since I stayed here longer than usual, avoiding getting back home as much as I could. I dreaded loneliness after meeting that amazing friend I got attached to so quickly and easily.
I saw a shadow leaning against my little house's door when I reached home. "Jon?" I muttered his name loudly as I approached the door.
" Nessa" he nodded. His cute face was clearer now that I was closer to him.
"What are you doing here?" I said without looking at him, I unlocked the door and got inside with him right behind me.
"Aren’t you happy to see me? " he asked. I ignored him.
"Fine! I came here to apologize"
That caught me by surprise. I turned around and looked directly into his eyes. "For what?" I played stupid. I wanted him to say it.
"For what happened last night"
"Sure, what happened exactly Jon, why did you leave when I mentioned that…thing?"
"I think I was upset" he said apologetically.
He looked down. "It's complicated. You just won't….understand.
"People are just so selfish, when someone's different they start talking and making terrible judgments" he added.
"So you're telling me that Alex is different" I frowned. "But how?"
"I told you, it's complicated"
"Why were you awake at three am yesterday? And why did Alex answer your phone?" I asked suddenly. My questions caught him off guard.
" I came here to apologize, isn’t it enough? I don’t see the reason behind all these unnecessary questions!"
"Are you in love with him or something?" I narrowed my eyes suspiciously.
He rolled his eyes. "What are you doing Nessa?"
"I don’t know! I don’t get this" I sighed heavily.
"I've missed you" he said. I gazed at him, his expression filled with strange pain and sincerity.
Something inside me twisted, subconsciously moving and I found my arms draped over his shoulders and pulling him closer to me. I hugged him as tighter as I possibly could. It wasn’t a sexual hug, I didn’t have those sorts of feelings for him, I guess I just needed him and I really did miss him.
He hesitated for a second before he pulled me even closer to his body. He brushed my hair with his fingers softly. "You have some double personality disorder, don’t you Ness?" he whispered into my ears.
I pushed him away slightly. "You stupid devil!"
He laughed and pulled me again into a bear hug.
"Jon" I mumbled through his shoulder.
" I'll let you spend the night here and I'll cook a very delicious supper" I began.
"Sounds good to me" he said.
"In one condition" I challenged.
He looked down at me. "uh oh"
" please Jon, I want you to tell me why people talk about Alex and why is it so complicated please" I begged pathetically.
" I will, since you became a close friend of mine and that means you're already involved in this" he said matter-of-factly.
"Thank you Jon"
He looked away without saying a word.
I made grilled cheese sandwiches which were the easiest and fastest since Jon wanted to show me instead of telling me as he had put it. And I wanted this meal to be as fast as possible because curiosity began killing me slowly.
When we finished our meal we got into his car and he drove off to a very familiar place that didn’t even need a car to get to. He drove to my happy place.
" I know this place" I said.
He ignored me and pulled over. He opened the door for me and led me through a narrow path between the big palm trees and greens. After a few minutes we reached the rocky mountains of the island. He turned around to face me. " what you're about to see now is different. It's something you never witnessed before. It might seem wrong to you, but if you see it from their perspective..er I mean ours and only ours it will seem the most normal and right thing you've ever saw, so I just need you to believe in what you'll see, after that I'll tell you everything" he said calmly.
"Are you ready?" he asked.
I sighed and nodded again.
And then he opened a door I wasn’t aware of before this minute and I was facing the most abnormal thing I had ever witnessed, the thing that changed my life…forever.
I wasn’t aware of Jon when he clamped his hand over my mouth because I gasped louder than I should.
"white is the color of clarity and innocence"
Yet every cell in my body ached while I lied on that white bed....