Jacob was laying on his back, staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. From time to time, a car would pass the front of his house and its light beams would cast strange and ominous shadows all across the room.
It was late, way too late, but he could not find sleep. Even after having ran for so long. He was tired and his body was heavy but his mind would not give him rest. He sighed.
After that time on the rooftop, on a day that was supposed to be for love, Kath had barely talked to him. Now, it had been over a week and on a Saturday night like this one, everything was quiet.
On that Friday night, Jacob had opened the package he had received. The one from the girl was mostly chocolate that tasted good but weren’t really pretty. They were homemade, that was for sure. The ones from Kath contained homemade chocolates too, but there was also a paper inside. On the note was written “I hope we can be like this forever.” Jacob had wondered why she had tried so fervently to stop him from looking when she had gave it to him but he could not find an answer.
He felt as if the message on the paper had been a lie. Kath had been distant and she’d barely talked to him since then. He had tried to act as normal as possible but he’d felt so much under the weather that he’d failed. Jeremy had spotted the expending chill between the two of them and had tried to cheer the both of them to no avail.
Jacob’s mother and father wouldn’t fight anymore, but now his father wouldn’t even show up. He had never felt really close to his parents, but the fact that they had become quiet made him lonely. He felt cast aside. Somehow, at least when they fought, he could hear them and know they were there. He had craved for silence back then. Now, the absence of noise would make him angry and bitter.
He had started to go out at night, unable to find the sleep he’s desired so much. He would run and run until he’d reach the top of the small hill near his house and then he would scream and shout as loud as he could. He would come back home, completely drenched and exhausted and yet, sleep would evade him once more.
In the end, he would lie on his bed, wondering when everything had turned like this. Why was Kath so distant? Why were his parents not fighting? Why was he alone? At this point, before knowing Jeremy and Kathelyn, he had always been alone and it’d never bothered him that much. He wondered if it’d be better to just abandon everything. Maybe, this time, it was time to retreat. Back to his lonely life, back to his tall tower amidst the clouds. With rain and snow as his sole friends and the wind as his lullaby. Was it really necessary to fight so much to keep something he had already lost. Kath was farther and farther away. Jeremy was always a little awkward if he was alone with him. His father had disappeared and his mother and him barely ever talked.
He crawled into a ball, trying to close his eyes. “If I had known, I would have stayed alone.” He thought. “It would have been easier to stay alone.” At that moment, his phone buzzed on his desk and, without thinking, he jumped on his feet to grab it. He was reaching when he felt dizzy. He had gone to his feet too quickly. He tried to grab onto his desk’s chair but it didn’t help. His vision faded to black and he fell, heavy, on the floor, bringing the chair along with him. The loud thud must have woke his mother because he heard her ask, her voice heavy with sleep, if he was okay.
-“I’m fine.” He answered and heard a door close.
By then, his vision was back and he slowly raised to his feet again. The feeling was familiar but it was the first time he’d fell to the floor because of it. He still felt the slight dizziness but soon it was gone and he grabbed onto his phone again. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the name on his screen: Kath.
He came back to his bed and slowly read the message: “Jay? Are you awake?”
-“Yes.” He answered.
-“The thing is… I really want to see you right now…” She answered almost immediately. Jacob read the message over and over again, trying to put the words together. “I know it’s late but, could we meet?”
Jacob felt his breath leave and he choked quietly. He peered at his digital clock. It was 2 am. He wanted to tell her it was late. That she should be sleeping. That it was dangerous to go out at this hour but the only thing he could reply was: “Where?”. He crawled under his covers, hugging his phone in his hand. Finally, it buzzed and the screen’s light blinded him for a few second before he could read: “The temple.”
Jacob didn’t answer. He felt heavy and tired but he still found some straight left in him to get to his feet again. He went downstairs and dressed as quietly as possible and then he was outside, running like a madman. When he reached the temple, he saw the silhouette of Kath in front of the altar. It seemed she’d been there for a while. She was covered in snow and when she heard him, she turned and smiled sadly.
Jacob was bent in half, panting, trying to get back the air he felt had left his lungs. He choked and coughed a little. His whole body felt heavy. Kath walked to him slowly and he signaled her to stop but she kept going. She was next to him when he felt his legs give out from under him and he fell over, dragging her along with him. He heard her gasp and then everything went dark.