CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 12


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An Accident

It had been two weeks since she had blocked Jordan from her phone and she had not felt better about it. Since blocking in from her mind, she had been able to focus on things that were more important. That was what she told herself, at least. She didn’t actively search him out, and she did not actively think about him. Save the nightmares that she had each night, Alexis believed that she was able to move past it. She had gone on a lunch escapade with a few of the musicians she had met and helped her mother with the yard more. She’d been on dates with Nate, and she had been able to completely forget the door.

Completely.

Jordan Brooks mean nothing. She did not long for a part of his song, and his chaos. She did not care about his random messages in the night, and she did not think about his smile. She was, certain.

“Hey!” Jim called out. Nia turned from where she stood with Alexis and waved out at him. It was the first double date that they were going on and Alexis had prepared for hours on what to wear. Alexis felt bad about not inviting Jordan out, but after asking Jim and Nia, Jim had said that Jordan was too busy. Yet as Jim arrived, Nate was not with him.

Alexis felt her heart sink at the sight. Nate had messaged her earlier that day that Jordan was sick and that he was helping Jordan out and would not be able to make it. It had been a last minute thing and Alexis had agreed to it. She’d spent forever on her clothes, and had hoped that Nate would be able to make it last minute. It was why she had not canceled with Jim and Nia. In that moment Alexis felt odd being the third wheel on their date, but she knew better than to complain about it. She had been the one who had not told Nia and Jim to cancel.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 11


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Family Matters

Alexis wiped her brow as she entered the kitchen from outside in the yard. She and her aunt had finished weeding the newest section of the garden. Inside the kitchen sat Nia on one of the bar stool swiveling around until she saw Alexis and stopped to place her hand on a shoebox and an empty Gersalt back. Alexis’ mother and grandmother stood a bit to the side sipping at their drinks.

“You went into my room?” Alexis hissed.

“I needed something.” Nia tossed out. “What. Is. This?”

“You went into my room without asking?” Alexis felt like she was thirteen again, screaming at her sister for messing with her stuff.

“I know for certain that Nate can’t afford Gersalt.” Nia shook her head. “Girl, if you’re cheating…

“It was a gift.” Alexis snapped. She had tried to return the clothes the day after the event, but it was one of the locations that the original card had to be presented to do so and they also could tell that she wore it. She had placed the shoes and dress in her closet along with the box and bag. She had planned to give them back to Jordan the next time she saw him. He was, however, ignoring her calls and texts. Again.

Continue reading “CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 11”

CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 10


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July

The July heat had hit. Nate had warned her about it and she knew to take him seriously. The issue was that no amount of warnings could have prepared her for it to hit. The sweltering humidity made her skin sticky and she felt as if it were melting off of her each moment that she stepped out into the open air. She wanted nothing more than to stay in at all times. Nate, however, had invited her to a party that night. It was in another city and Alexis had assumed that Jordan and Jim were not going. 

Alexis had gone into town to get something new to wear. She had clubbing clothes and party clothes, but after a brief internet search, she had come to the conclusion that none of her clothes would be appropritate. She dressed too much like an east coaster. Alexis did not want to stand out more than she already did, and thus she had taken the time to to get something new.

Alexis held up a few different options towards the mirror in the main show room, holding them against her self to make sure that the colors would work with her skin tone. Finding the right combination was always a bit more difficult than she would like. The two dresses she was between were not working with her at all. One was not her style and the other was too pink. 

“Alexis?” 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 9


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Second Dates

Alexis wore a dress. She often did, but for this day she had picked her favorite, a halter white dress with pink florals and a bow tying her curls back out of her face. She looked girly, so said Tiana. Which was perfect, because it was her ideal goal. She wanted to look feminine. She wanted to be girly. She liked being girly, and as much as she liked adventure and boating and hanging out with Tiana she did not want to put on the facade she was someone else for a minute. If Nate was going to like her, she wanted to make sure he liked her

She could almost not keep her self from bouncing all over the house. She had music playing in the background of her room, something light and airy. Her mood was soaring. She was waiting by the downstairs window fifteen minutes before he said he’d arrive. He too was ten minutes early

He showed up in his early two-thousands sudan, silver, and freshly cleaned. She got in the car without him getting out to open the door, snapped the seatbelt across her waist, and commandeered the radio. He laughed.

“Where are you taking me, oh mysterious one?” She smiled to him hoping that her eyeliner had not smudged. She had rushed through it last minute and had not give her eyes the time they needed to dry before putting on her false lashes. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 8


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Summer Days

Alexis sat in the kitchen, reviewing her class work for preparation for the new semester. She still had months to go, but with the end of June, she had to begin her preparation. There was not much she had to do, but she wanted to review her courses and the texts being taught before she showed up to class. Her teachers were notorious for bringing up things before they were taught.

“Staying in today?” Her father’s voice startled her from where she sat.

“Are you going out?” She eyed him. He was dressed for boating but he had a bag with him.

“Your mother’s brother invited me out to his friend’s boat.” Her father smiled. “Take care of your mother.”

“I will.” Alexis assumed that her aunt was coming over that afternoon to help with the garden, along with her grandmother. Nia was out, somewhere. She had told Alexis late, that she was going out with Jim to some event. Alexis had tried to inquire more and was at a loss of what she could get out of her sister. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 7


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The Lake

Alexis awoke to the sound of her name. For a moment she was confused, opening her eyes and starring at her ceiling trying to get her mind to focus. The ceiling was popcorned with flaking white paint that would need to be fixed. When her name was called the second time, she leapt from her bed in a fright. A thousand thoughts went through her mind. Was something wrong? Throwing open her door, she yelled back. “Yes?”

“A boy is here.” 

The words left her confused. Not only was her father speaking in Korean, meaning he didn’t want the guest to hear, but he was yelling. Usually he would knock on her door. The situation was urgent. He wanted her to understand fast. He was surprised. They all were surprised. What time was it?

Boy

Alexis looked over to her sister’s room. Nia was starring back at Alexis with a confused look. The light wasn’t even coming through the windows yet. Alexis was certain her sister’s face mirrored her own. Complete confusion had Alexis in a fright. Quickly, Alexis threw her door shut and rushed to get ready. She pulled on a skirt, a blouse, socks and tied her hair back with a ribbon before she flew down the stairs. Jordan fucking Brooks sat in her living room drinking tea with her mother and father. 

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 6


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Music Hall

The hall was not the most beautiful one she had ever seen. She had seen the legendary halls of New York, and of Boston. She knew that she was biased. She felt bad about it but in a way she accepted it. She was not at the location for good reasons. She was dedicated to discovering whatever truths that she could, now that Nate was giving her the cold shoulder. Since their failed date he had responded with one word replies. She was not yet sure what she had brutally messed up, but she knew that it was not easily solved.

And her curiosity about the door was beginning to keep her up at night.

Jim smiled at her with his hands in his pockets as she met him. He wore a nice pair of pants and a button down shirt. His face was clean shaven and his hair was cropped short. He had recently gotten the haircut from the way his neck was a bit pink in the sun. He seemed wholesome in a way, and certainly safe. “I didn’t realize that you were interested in meeting musicians.”

“Is this improper?” Alexis asked him. She didn’t care if it were, however. She had dressed in one of her best dresses, and had made sure her hair was perfect for this impression. She needed to look like she’d put effort into the meeting, even if talking to Jim was her actual goal. She had put on makeup and taken an amount of time that made her feel nearly foolish. She knew it was an act, but she had to be thorough.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 5


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First Date

Alexis leaned against the wall, looking up to the blue sky in the sweltering heat. Her thighs were sticky and her entire body felt as if she were melting. It was terrible. Her hair was a mess of humidity induced frizz and she was certain that whatever makeup she’d had on was gone. Sipping on her water through her straw, she thanked the heavens for ice. When Nathan tapped her shoulder, she jumped almost three feet into the air like a frightened cat, before pulling her headphones off her ears and starring at him. He had changed out of his work uniform.

“Sorry.” He apologized before Alexis could say hello. After he said the words, she did not have the heart to tell him that it was her fault and that she should have been prepared for him to appear. She had been the one to call him out and see if he wanted to go out on a date after his shift. She was the one waiting for him outside of his work place. She should have been expecting him, however she had not heard him approach. What was it with these southern boys and their frequency she could not track? She was going to have to do more to get to know the land so that she could sense when someone was approaching her.

It was going to be a date. She had framed it as a date so that there would be no confusion between the two of them. She had not known him long but she had gone on dates with less information before. Boys on dating apps were always hits or misses, and Nathan seemed like a far better option than any of them. She told him was a date when it was an information scout to learn more about the door. The date and hanging out with him was a bonus. She had asked him to show her around town, and to all of the cool music spots. He had agreed. She had told him it was a date, and had flustered him.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 4


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The Costume

When Alexis and Nia arrived at the bowling Alley, Alexis realized too quickly that she was sticking out like a sore thumb. She had pulled some of her curls back and pinned them out of her face. She had decided to go with a pink plaid shirt and blue jean shorts. Nia had thrown on a crop top with her shorts. They had thought that they would fit in. 

There were people cosplaying characters from cartoons and others dressed as fantasy races. There were people from shows she knew and more that she didn’t. Everyone was dressed up in some way and they looked at Alexis and her sister like invaders. They did not want Alexis and Nia there. They did not appreciate the two impeding on their space. The worst part was that Nia and Alexis were nerds in their own right. They deserved to be there under normal circumstances, even if they stuck out now. Walking into the hall, Alexis was bombarded with elaborate fantasy music and a scent reminiscent of a forest.

Alexis contemplated leaving for a long moment before she saw Nathan waving her down. He was dressed in a tunic and pants with what looked like chainmail. His bright smile was accented by detailed scale makeup on his face and hands, and a crown upon his hand that glimmered gold. James stood next to him in a more simple outfit with a fake lute on his back. He was dressed in brown linens and slightly elongated teeth and ears. As they got closer, Alexis noticed how he wore cat eye contacts, and his nails were painted black.

“You didn’t tell me it was a costume party!” Alexis hissed when they got close enough.

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CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 3


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The Diner

Alexis had an entire summer to stay in this new house and she had not even gone seventy-two hours without finding trouble for herself. She tried to ignore the itch of adventure, by organizing her entire music collection. She placed all her CDs in their racks, the records in their boxes. She organized her racks of cassettes. She checked her record player, her gramophone, her boombox and multiple radios. She organized and organized until there was nothing left to organize. Her walls were a beautiful display of musical players and her mind was no more focused.

The itch of adventure crawled at her skin telling her that it was there and it remembered. She knew that she was not supposed to remember it for some reason. Jordan? Jordan was the cause and the fault and the issue. However the door was whispering at her. come back. help me.

When her phone rang, Alexis thought for a long hard moment. She did not need to go and meet up with the man who had a mysterious long hallway that she couldn’t even remember. But she remembered the door. With each passing minute she remembered the door more. She thought of the black door that seemed to be a blackhole sucking in all light. She thought of the silver handle that was too bright to be old. She thought of the wafting smell of summer that came from under the frame and the fact that there was no keyhole. She could picture the light from the other side, a soft blue that flickered. She had felt so cold, and had wanted nothing more than to open it.

“Are you okay?” Nia asked from the doorway. Alexis’ head snapped up to her sister who was looking at Alexis walls. Alexis’ phone was no longer ringing. Her screen had returned to the image of Tiana holding her blow torch and a bike behind her. She had been fixing something in her shop, casting some sort of metal work. Alexis did not remember now. She had snapped the photo because Tiana looked cool. Nia touched Alexis’ shoulder. “Did you sleep at all? How are you already completely set up?”

Alexis did not want to admit that she had not slept. Tiana had taught Alexis to use power tools and so the installation of her shelves had been easy. She had brainless about it all. She had to focus on something else. She had to think of anything else. She needed… She opened her phone quick and then immediately shut the message. Tiana had messaged her a picture: Up all night. Go to bed. It had been accompanied by a photo of Tiana’s latest project.

Continue reading “CON – B1: Serenity – Chapter 3”