Chapter 14:

sceNe 14 - ᴅeᴄiꜱioN

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

I was in the park, but not how it looks now. It was before, when there were soccer fields and a wooden playset. I was with the group of kids that would go to Jason’s after school so his dad could watch them for a few hours before their parents got off work. I wasn’t sure why we went to the park, and some of the other kids split off and returned before we went back to Jason’s house. I was in...first grade?

As they all walked off, and I was spacing out, I heard someone sniffling. Instead of following the group, I looked for who it was. There was a kid curled up by a tree, pretty loudly sniffling. And...growling? I walked up to see what was going on.

“Are you okay?” I asked, so innocently.

“Go away!” The voice was strained and clearly upset.

I thought maybe I should just leave, but it didn’t feel right.

“N-No! You need a friend!” I didn’t know what happened, but I wanted to help.

“Well I don’t have any!” Then came sobbing.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I just started rubbing their back. Maybe trusting a stranger wasn’t the best idea, but this was clearly a kid like me. After letting it out, they turned around. It was...Cryztal?

“Thank you…” She said. But wait, she didn’t look like that as a kid.

We aren’t kids anymore. What was--

Waking up on the couch wasn’t so cool. The TV was still playing episodes of Forgotten Station, and I started to wake up as I turned and looked around, trying to figure out where Cryztal was. Then I started to remember what was happening. Talking to my mom. Watching our show with Cryztal. How could I just fall asleep like that?

Realistically, if she wasn’t in the living room or the kitchen, she was probably in her room. I stood up and walked over to her room, knocking on the door as I slowly opened it. She was sitting at her desk, focused on her screens. She didn’t even turn to look at me.

“Hey, sorry for passing out there.” I said, my throat a little dry.

“It’s cool. Are you feeling better?” She didn’t take her eyes off the screen.

“I am, actually. Thank you for making me stick around.”

She smiled, but still wasn’t looking at me.

I told her that I decided I would meet my parents head-on and do my best to deal with them. Even if they don’t approve, I know my friends will support me. That was important and would help me get through it.

I didn’t stay much longer because I wanted to get home. It was pretty late, but I felt well-rested, and the roads would be so empty it would be easy to get home quickly. Cryztal said she had to stay on-task, so she couldn’t see me out, but she told me to take my old spare key and lock up on my way out. Hanging right by the front door was the same key I would borrow as a kid. Cryztal lost hers so many times that her mother trusted me with one and I never lost it!

Driving home, despite being alert, my thoughts were pretty foggy. I was grateful to Cryztal for doing what she could to cheer me up, but why was I dreaming about us as kids? Was I just nostalgic for our childhood? People always say falling asleep after eating pizza will give you strange dreams. Maybe I’m just hopeful that things can be more like before we were separated. Before things got bad.