― seventeen: dare #3

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[ CHAPTER 17 : DARE #3 : someone told me long ago, there's a calm before the storm. i know it's been comin' for some time, when it's over so they say, it'll rain a sunny day. i know shinin' down like water.]


          PARKER WAKES UP TO the sound of her grandmother snoring. The woman is passed out on her soft, and warm pillow filled haven. Whereas, Parker is forced to sleep on an air mattress tucked away in the far left-hand corner on the freezing cold hardwood floor with Frank tucked tightly beside her. Her body aches as she pulls herself up into a sitting position. Sleep is still in her eyes, her mouth is sorely dry, and her body feels like it could just fall over and go straight back to sleeping once again. Whipping away the last pieces of mucus in the corners of her eyes, Parker moves to get off the mattress―Frank, the poor dog, tumbles off as well.

          She heads around her bed, peaking at Rose who continues to sleep soundly, and takes off for the bathroom to brush her teeth, and get ready for school. Today's another day for a new dare. Parker's not excited, and she's nearly on the verge of wanting to puke. It'll be her third dare, but it feels like her fiftieth. The emotional grievances she's feeling, are taking over her mind. Forcing her to question everything, and everybody. Especially everything happening around Nico and Leo.

          Parker spits out leftover toothpaste before she's gripping the pink tiled counter top and glaring at the way she looks in the cracked mirror. What are you? Who are you? The girl turns away, moving so that her back is leaning against the tile and she's staring at the ivory plated bathtub and turtle shower curtain. A feeling of weakness falls over her as she slips down to sit on the slippery and cracked tiled floor. Her arms coming to warp around her legs which are pulled to her chest. Sweat boils over her body, but she feels chilly as her body shakes. Breaths become panicked and her heart beat races.

          And suddenly, she doesn't feel in control anymore.

          Parker tries calling out for somebody but her throat tightens, and she feels entirely helpless as tears roll down her face, and her sobs coke out of her mouth. What's happening? What's going on with me? Parker feels like she's having a heart attack, or she's dying―or she's crazy. Is she going crazy? She feels crazy. 

          Whatever's happening to her, only lasts for a few minutes, before she feels like she's gaining control of her body back. The tears seamlessly end, the sobs die down, breathing goes back to normal, and although her heart is still racing, she manages to stand up. Fingers gripping the countertop again, as she leans over the sink. Her hands turn on the faucet, and she splashes the water onto her face in hopes that it'll make a little sanity slap back into her.

          In the back of her mind, as she gets dressed and primped, she wonders if that awful feeling will come back again. It made her feel weak and hopeless, like there was never going to be a time to become her regular self. The Parker she knows. She'll forever be stuck in this endless loop of a Parker she doesn't recognize. She wishes she was back at the day, the day she got the letter―instead of going along with it, she'd rip it up and shove it in the trash. Then she'd hug Victoria to the point the girl would slap her for being so weird. Because, as much as she misses the old her, she misses her best friend more.

          "Have a good day at school, sweetie." Her mother yells as Parker slips into her ballet flats and heads out the front door without a second thought towards her mother or even her father who's sat on the couch. Things have gone back to the present normal, with Cameron waiting in her silver BMW, outside of her house. The car is already warm, and a latte is waiting for her in the passenger cup holder as she slides inside and buckles up.

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