Unmasked Dreams - L.J. Evans
Performed by Taylor Swift
Written by Dessner / Swift
As I ground the gears in Jersey’s ancient Civic for the hundredth time since starting out on this adventure, I tried not to cringe. I also tried not to think about how much she was going to kill me when she found out I’d taken the car without her okay…without a license. Instead, I focused on the one thing making my heart sing.
He’d called me for help.
I’d burst into dance for all of thirty seconds after I’d hung up with him. My heart was still dancing, and the smile that had taken over my face hadn’t disappeared since then. My body was literally quivering with joy.
“Maybe you should let me drive?” His deep voice hit me in my core, all the way down to my teenage, hyperactive, hormone-driven regions. Even when it was sarcastic and teasing, like now, it still had my entire body reacting.
Like it had ever since he’d first walked into Mandy and Leena’s with his broody, bad-boy attitude and chip on his shoulder.
“It’s good practice,” I said because I’d never admit I couldn’t do something in front of him. Not now, maybe never.
“If you drop the transmission, Jersey won’t forgive me. She’s already going to chew us both out. Why didn’t you just wake her?” he asked.
Why hadn’t I? Or Jada, for that matter? While both of them would have been disgruntled to be torn from their sleep, neither would have denied me. Denied him.
You wanted to be the one to save him, my conscience rang out.
My brain knew better, but my soul was still leaping for joy because I’d been the one he’d dialed. True, he and Truck were fighting, but he could have called a CarShare. I’m not sure they would have picked him up in the middle of nowhere, but he hadn’t even tried. He’d called me.
I’d been the first person he thought of.
The lights on Jersey’s car flickered before coming back on, and I lost my stomach for a moment. It felt darker than normal. The clouds had settled down right on top of the pavement, making it hard to see anything in the dim reach of the Honda’s headlights. If the lights went away completely, I’d be screwed. I’d never get home before Jersey realized the car was missing.
I squinted as I rounded the corner. What was that on the road?
“Violet, look out!” he shouted.
I swerved at the last minute to avoid the deer that was already sprinting away, but the jerk of the wheel had the car careening, slipping along the wet roads. My body was trying to respond with a foot on the brakes that only seemed to make the back end of the car slide worse, as if it were going in one direction while my body headed in another.
Suddenly, the cliff was there, and the brakes weren’t responding. Dawson grabbed the steering wheel, flipping it in the opposite direction of how I was turning, but the dual motion did nothing to keep the car from diving off.
A scream ripped through my chest, echoing through the tiny compartment. My heart was in my throat, and my entire body was shaking as the car headed toward the rocks and the depths of the sea.
We were going to die. I thought I’d saved him, but I was going to kill us both.
We hit the water, and my limbs went flying, hitting metal and glass. My head whipped backward and then was thrust forward again before I slammed into the airbag as it exploded. Pain ratcheted through me.
Then, there was darkness…
A brutal stabbing sensation in my wrist and my head washed over me as I was jostled awake. Warm, strong arms surrounded me. The scent of Dawson filled my senses, spicy like pine and sea blending together, but there was another smell surrounding us as well. That metallic scent of blood. Was it mine or his or both?
“Vi,” his deep voice called to me with torment and regret searing through it.
I strained to open my eyes, struggled to see if we were in heaven, hell, or some in-between place.
It didn’t matter.
One mistake and I’d ruined everything.
Violet – Five Years Later
“Life gets heavy,
Your heart's like stone.
No, I won't let you disappear,
You'll never be alone.”
Performed by The Goo Goo Dolls
Written by Kim / Kim / Ro / Park
Microscopes and music. What could be better than that?
Watery Reflection was singing about making dreams come true in my ears as I danced around the lab, putting things away. My feet