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My eyes snap open. My heart is pounding out of my chest, my body is slicked with sweat. I rub my eyes, attempting to wake up. This isn't the first weird dream I've had, so why has this one left me with so many questions?

Why do I feel such a connection to some girl who probably isn't even real? Who was looking at me with such intensity? I'm very thankful it was just a dream cause just thinking of it makes me tremble.

I hop out of bed, twisting the ring on my finger as the girl in my dream refuses to vacate my thoughts. I quickly shower, wear some jeans and my favorite Foo Fighters tee. I grab my thick auburn curls and throw them in a ponytail.

Beep. Beep.

I shut off the alarm that was supposed to wake me and head to the kitchen. I'm not a huge morning person, but at least mother's yells aren't ringing in my ears. That's a win in my book.

I scan the fridge for something delicious. My eyes stop on some sausages.

I grab the pan out of the oven and start cooking. I chop some peppers and onions and put them to the side for now. I add some olive oil to the pan and put the sausages in. Looks like Mother making me cook all the time actually came in handy. Thanks to her, I'm good at it.

Heavy steps make their way down the stairs and stop short at the kitchen door. My head jolts towards the noise. It's mother.

"Good morning, sweetie. Did you sleep well?" she says, the corner of her lips moving up, forming a smile.

"I woke up early, but I suppose I slept fine," I tell her, matching her fake smile.

"You can have your phone back," she replies while placing it on the counter near me.

"Thanks," I tell her, informing Talia that my phone is back in my possession. I throw some eggs I scrabbled, and the chopped veggies into the pan. I make a larger amount in case someone else wants to eat as well. Once done, I crumble some feta for the finishing touch. Delicious.

I put a portion on a plate for myself and have a seat at the kitchen table. Not long after, mom helps herself to some and sits across from me.

"Oh sweetie, have you decided which college you are going to register for yet?" she asks.

"I don't know," I reply, pouring Ghost's food into his bowl. I smile to myself, thinking about how grateful I am that guy found him. And now that I have my sweet dog, I could appreciate those looks of his. You just don't see guys like that in real life. He is literal perfection. It's a shame that I probably won't ever see him again.

"Earth to Freya?!" she nearly screams.

I look in her direction. "Yea. I'm listening."

"Well, wouldn't you rather go to a school near home? You know, with your family... me?" Her fork-filled food hesitates just before her mouth. She stares at me, waiting for an answer.

My mind races. Think. Think. Say something that will end this conversation. But as I open my mouth, I say this instead. "I don't like the choices around here."

"You DON'T love me? That must be it!" Her voice trembles and goes an octave higher.

"Just because I want to go to a school far from home doesn't mean I don't love you! I do," I try to reason with her.

My mom has been insisting on me staying close to home. She wants me to go to a college within a 30-minute radius of the house. I prefer to go to the farthest school possible. I don't hate my family, but I definitely would love some time apart.


I shake my head rapidly, and my mind crashes back to the here and now. I blink a few times and look at her. As I am about to respond, I hear my cell phone ring.

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