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Courtney Fields

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I woke up to a horrible pain in my stomach. I could feel the bile rising in my throat and my mouth was parched. I yawned and stretched my arms over my head. I felt my heart jump and I took a quick look at my arms. My bones looked like they were trying to push through my skin.

This was more than just being skinny. I must have an eating disorder.

I crawled out of bed and ran over to the mirror that hung above a white wooden dresser. My blonde hair was streaked with pink and blue. My pale blue eyes looked like they were sunken back into my skull. I looked down at myself to see my bones protruding out from my body. It caused a shiver to run up my spine. I threw on a long floral dress I found hanging in the closet and slipped on a black sweater.

The kitchen counters were littered with papers. I saw a toaster with a loaf of bread sitting beside it. I popped a couple pieces in and then buttered them.

The other door in the apartment opened up and another girl walked through. Her hair was tied up messily into a bun and she had multiple pens and pencils holding it together. She had a folder in her arms that had pages spilling out of it. Her eyes widened when she saw me.

"Can't remember the last time I saw you eat breakfast, Courtney," she told me with a smile.

"I thought I would try it out."

She giggled and plopped her folder down on the counter. She dug through the pile of papers and would examine the odd one and then shove it into her folder.

"Do you mind if we go a little early?" she asked me. "I need to talk to one of my Profs before class starts."

Prof? We must go to university or college together.

"Yeah, no problem," I told her with a smile.

I dropped the plate full of crumbs into the sink. I had to throw one of the pieces of toast away. I was so hungry, but food was hurting my stomach.

I went back into my room and found a backpack next to my bed. I picked it up and I thought my arm was going to snap off. I opened it up to see it was full of textbooks. I didn't know what any of my classes were, so there was no need to carry the books around.

"You ready, Court?" the girl yelled into my room.

"Yeah," I said putting the empty bag on my back.

The girl raced down the steps of the apartment building and I tried my best to keep up. She climbed into her blue Bug and I slid into the passenger seat. She revved the engine and flipped through the radio stations until she found a channel that wasn't playing commercials.

"Are you nervous?" I asked. I thought it was a vague enough question.

"Just a bit," she said pushing a few strands of her dark hair out of her face. "If he recommends me to a gallery then all my hard work will be worth it. If not then this was all just a waste of time."

I guessed that he was the professor she was going to talk to. I could tell she was dealing with a lot of stress. I hoped Courtney's death wasn't too hard on her.

"I hope it all goes well for you," I said.

"Me too." She let out a deep breath. "I've done everything for that man. And I do mean everything."

She winked at me and then threw her head back and giggled. I laughed nervously along with her.

When she pulled into the parking lot she jumped up out of her seat. She threw her arms around me quickly and I was afraid of toppling over.

"I've gotta go," she said as she ran towards the university.

I looked up at the university in front of me. There was a large tower with a large glass wall. There were buildings surrounding the tower. Construction was taking part in front of the tower. I squinted so that I could read the white sign in the front.

Brock University.

I wonder if I ever went to university. Not Courtney, but the real me. Did I go to school or did I work? I hoped this would all end soon.

I walked up to the school. I had to kill a day here somehow. My friend hurried down the hallway without saying goodbye. I looked out the large glass window to see the trees were turning colours. People were sitting along the red benches that lined the window. There was a large line for a counter serving coffe. I saw a bulletin board on the wall that was full of colourful flyers.

They all advertised something different. Someone was selling a car. Yoga lessons were available. Someone was looking for a new roommate. A religious group was looking for new members on Saturday nights.

A flyer with a red demon on it caught my eye. It was hand drawn on lined paper and was written across with bold black letters.

"The Truth Behind The Reaper Syndrome."

Strips of paper hung down from it with a phone number scribbled across it. I noticed that a couple were already gone. Other people must be curious about it. Of course they would be, it has been all over the news.

I ripped off one of the pieces and shoved it into the pocket of my sweater. I knew this guy was probably a fraud, but I needed to at least try. I found an empty spot on one of the benches and I opened up my backpack. I dug through it trying to find a cellphone. I really doubted that payphones still existed.

I found a wallet in the bottom of the bag and I flipped it open. There was a twenty dollar bill and a gym membership inside. I took a quick look at it. I'm Courtney Fields and I'm twenty years old. I set it down in front of me and kept searching.

I unzipped one of the front pockets and reached inside. I felt a cold screen and a plastic case. I pulled out the phone and turned it on.

Damn. Courtney had put a lock on it. I guessed a couple times before locking myself out. I waited impatiently for five minutes until I was allowed to try again. I could ask my roommate if I could borrow her phone, but I wanted to call him now. I had no idea how long she was going to be.

I examined the screen to see if I could see a path of how she normally swipes the screen and unlocks the phone. There was a little "emergency dial" button on the screen. When I pressed it a keypad showed up. My lips curled into a smile and I typed in the phone number.

My heart raced as the phone started to ring. I hoped that someone was actually on the other end and that this wasn't just a cruel prank.

"Hello?" a sleepy voice said.

"I saw your flyer," I blurted out.

I heard him groan and let out a yawn.

"Listen," he started. "I'm sorry if I offended you. It's not what I meant to do –"

"No!" I cut him off. "I'm not angry at all. I just wanted to talk to you about your theories."

"You actually want to know what I think?"

"Yes. Would it be possible to get together and talk about this? I know some things that could help you."

"Tomorrow?"

I bit down on my lip. I wanted to talk to him today. I needed to know what he knew.

"Sounds good," I lied. "Where?"

"The café at the end of Main? It's called Charlie's."

"No, I need somewhere more private. What I'm going to tell you no one else can know."

"Fine then. My apartment is on Ventura Street. Number thirty-three. Come at noon and bring something caffeinated."

He hung up.

Ventra Street. Number thirty-three. I needed to remember that. I couldn't write it down anywhere.thirty-three.

Number thirty-three. Ventura Street.

My only hope and I had to memorize it.

Ventura Street. Number thirty-three. 

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