In Lack Heart, the heat was not just uncomfortable but exhausting, a yearly ordeal borne solely by the privileged residents of the gated community. As they reveled in their opulence, I couldn't help but fantasize about a different kind of life – one that revolved around love and one of the eligible bachelors from the affluent Jacob's family. I yearned for my dreams to manifest in reality, desiring the grand houses, elegant cars, and fashionable attire that symbolized their luxurious existence. Above all, I longed to embrace life's joys and savor every blissful moment it had to offer.
As the clock on the wall jolted me back to reality, I realized that my lunch break had come to an end. The store brimmed with customers, and the diligent staff hustled to deliver impeccable customer service. Every month, the stakes were raised as a single employee would be crowned the coveted title of "Employee of the Month" along with a generous bonus.
The wall displayed the faces of the previous three winners, each of whom had earned the admiration of their colleagues. However, one face stood out prominently, adorned with a dimpled smile and captivating blue eyes. Others begrudged her success, longing to claim the title for themselves, enticed by the allure of the accompanying bonus.
For the third consecutive month, the prestigious title fell upon my best friend, Sasha Bluehill. Her infectious smile was like a ray of sunlight, but her gloating resembled that of a devil's advocate. She took every opportunity to brag about her accomplishment, delighting in rubbing her success in the faces of others.
In recent weeks, however, Sasha's behavior had taken an unexplainable turn. The excitement that once defined our friendship gradually waned, leaving me perplexed. Despite it all, I always believed I could count on her. She had been there for me during countless ups and downs, and my heart overflowed with love for her – she was my best friend, after all. Though she betrayed my trust with false accusations not long ago, and even though she denied it, I found it within me to forgive her.
Was I wrong to forgive her so easily, or would I live to regret my speedy decision? These questions hovered over my thoughts, and I had to refrain myself from pondering on them. After all, she's my best friend, and I love her.
The day was fading, and my shift had come to an abrupt end. I slammed my locker bitterly, feeling sad and disappointed that despite all my hard work, I didn't win. The bonus would have been a huge help as I had been wanting to move out of my crappy apartment.
"Hey, some of us are going to hang out at the bar for a drink and to celebrate. Are you coming?" Sasha asked excitedly, a flourish smile all over her face.
"Are you OK? You seem a little sad. Is something wrong?" Sasha inquired, her concern evident on her face.
"No, I'm okay."
"Are you sure? You know I'm here for you if you want to talk, right?"
"Yeah... Thanks, Sasha."
"Come on, girl, we are going partying," Sasha said playfully, her words and peaceful smile changing the mood in the room.
"So where are we partying tonight?" I asked, trying to get into the mood.
"The Mystic Lounge, of course!"
We grabbed our things and left for home to freshen up. Soon, Sasha, a few people from work, and I arrived at the club. It was pure fun, and we all had a spectacular night.
Throughout the night, Sasha flirted endlessly.
A few hours later...
It was late, and exhaustion crept over me as I began my walk home, knowing it was only five blocks away. Despite being a bit giddy, the cool night air and gentle breeze against my face felt refreshing. My short, dark hair cascaded above my shoulders, and the moonlight made my wide, dark eyes gleam.
Suddenly, a bright headlight startled me. Instinctively, I raised my hand for the vehicle to stop, and then...
My consciousness drifted away, transcending the limitations of the human body. I found myself floating in the arms of a stranger. His whispers caressed my ears, his lips tantalizingly close. His breath seemed to vibrate a unique frequency, igniting a symphony within my eardrums. Melodies echoed, electrifying my entire being.
My eyes rolled back, my fluttering eyelids synchronized with the erratic rhythm of my heart. The overwhelming sensations weakened my knees, causing me to lose touch with the ground. My lips arched as if longing for a kiss, embraced by his strong arms. My body responded to him with an arching back, driven by an irresistible force. He called out, eager to know my name.
His palms cupped my face, his touch gently sliding through my hair, sending waves of indescribable pleasure down my body. Emotions surged within me, emotions I had never felt before. I craved the affection conveyed by his touch. The experience was intense and unfamiliar.
A torrent of questions flooded my mind. "Was I ready to make a life-altering decision? Who was this captivating stranger? What was happening to me?" Restless thoughts consumed me, yet his allure remained irresistible. His fingers ventured up the hem of my minidress, which clung to my wide hips. A mix of scream and tears swelled within me. My emotions held reign over my body. He pulled me closer to his sculpted frame, and my knees trembled. His head lowered as if to claim a kiss. "Wait," I whispered, gasping for breath as if on a long, arduous journey.
Before I could finish my sentence, he vanished.
"She's fading in and out of consciousness!" one nurse called out to the other.
"We need to keep her awake!"
"Miss... miss! Can you hear me? We're losing her..."
It was the beginning and the end of something, something beyond comprehension. My body endured unimaginable agony, while my mind struggled to understand. Serenity eluded me, comprehension just out of reach.
The bright headlight disappeared. Another day emerged, but how?
My eyes felt strained, weak, as if affected by the piercing sunlight streaming through the windows. My body throbbed with pain, and my head pulsed ominously. My legs felt rigid, as though they had been replaced by boards. Attempting to move my fingers, I found myself too feeble. Lying still on my back, my gaze flickered around the small room as my mind grappled to grasp the unfolding reality.
My lips remained pressed tightly together, rendering me unable to call for help or articulate my confusion. I desperately tried to make sense of my surroundings, to understand the situation I found myself in.
The room was adorned with billowing white curtains that swayed in sync with the wind, casting captivating patterns with the sunlight, akin to a daytime disco ball. As I surveyed my surroundings, I noticed that my heartbeat was being monitored by a machine. Panic surged within me. Within seconds, two women clad in turquoise scrubs and with stethoscopes dangling from their ears hurried into the room.
In my fragile state, drifting in and out of consciousness, one image remained etched in my mind: him. The moments we shared, the intimacy we experienced, and the undeniable connection we had. I clung to those memories, desperately longing to know the truth. Who was he? Were those moments real? Countless questions flooded my mind as I grappled with deciphering the reality of what had transpired.
I couldn't help but ponder, "Who was this enigmatic figure, or was it all merely a figment of my imagination?"