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The Hollow Days

Chapter Twenty-One

"I think you need a break."

My father's words got me thinking, and even hurt for some reason, but telling Emma it was nothing was probably the better idea. I couldn't imagine her waves of sympathy crashing into me. I wasn't going to have it, and I certainly don't need it. Besides, my dad is partially right. I need to get over this at some point.

Maybe this is why Emma was sent to me, so that I no longer have to bathe in constant darkness, so that I no longer have to shower in guilt. So that the sight of Tyler's blood will no longer bring me satisfaction, no longer bring me twisted content. I no longer am lost, but I am found, and that's all that matters right? I don't have to be anything, or feel happy. I just have to live without this guilt.

I snap out of my zoned out trance and turn the cold water off as the temperature began to unbalance. I stare at the drain, watching the water that's already cleansed me rush for an exit. I wash the shampoo out of my hair and the soap off of my body. I promised Emma I'd call her back, and I'm eager to do so, I just don't want to have to talk about what happened when I got home today.

I get out and dry myself off, seeing my phone vibrate with texts from her. I dial her number as I get dressed. "Hello? Her voice is sweet and curious and lovely and beautiful and...

"Yeah, it's me." And mine is seething with stupidity as usual.

"You don't sound good. Everything okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just," I look down at my bare chest, "getting dressed."

"You could've called me afterwards." I hear her say quietly.

"I don't think I could've waited." I say sheepishly, pulling on my shirt and collapsing onto my bed. "So did your mom ask why I left in such a hurry?"

Silence for a moment, then rustling around before I hear her take a deep breath. "Not really. I mean, she wondered, but I told her your parents needed you."

I nod, but it's not like she could see. I imagine Emma in my arms right now, instead of having to cling to this phone as if it were her. I could imagine running my fingers through her golden hair, and looking into her large brown eyes. I hear her clear her throat and I sigh. "I wish you were here?"

"Oh?" Her voice lowers. "How come?"

"So that I could show you how much I want you." What was I even really saying? Have I even called her a girl on my own terms before? Have I ever actually wanted to?

"And how much is that?" She whispers now.

I press end and then throw my phone at the floor. Did I really just hang up on her? I'm a fucking idiot! Well I can't call her back now, that'd just be stupid. I put my face in my hands and groan. I'm an actual moron. I pick up my phone and check it for a text, which of course wasn't there. I debate sending her a goodnight text but I figure I better not. I shake my head at myself still but I crawl into bed, cocooning myself in blankets.

"Today's lesson, is how to treat a girl."

I squint at Emma standing in front of an old chalkboard, my fingernails and sweaty palms pushing against the sides of the desk I'm sitting at.


I look down, and I realize something that makes me gasp. My face turns crimson and I look for something to cover my naked body up. Shit. Shit. Shit...

"So tell me. How do you treat a girl, Elliot?" A ruler smacks against her hand, which causes me to flinch. She arches a brow at my silence.

I clear my throat, shaking. "I-I don't know."

"You don't know." She repeats, laughing humorlessly. "Stand up."

I do as she says, closing my eyes briefly as she walks towards me. I want to cover myself up but I don't. When I open my eyes again she's behind me, and all I can see when I look down is her bare leg coming out of her short skirt. She whispers in my ear.

"Well, I can tell you what you don't do. You don't hang up on her," I hear a loud noise, and then sharp pain explodes throughout my left butt-cheek, "and you definitely don't not send her a goodnight text," more pain in my right, "but what you can do, is treat her like the princess she is."

"I'm sorry Emma." I gasp in pain, my eyes wide as my ass stings from the ruler. "I'm sorry."

My eyes fly open, and I sit up abruptly. "Holy shit." I mutter as the dream comes back to me quickly. I suddenly look down.

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