Silence. The sound of nothing circled around her ears, making it easy for her to fall asleep again. She didn’t know what actually woke her up but there she was. Wide awake, with her eyes closed, trying to fall back into the world of the dreamers and escaping the reality. Counting sheep they say, right? Let me try it.. 1… 2… 3… 4… that doesn’t work, it is a stupid way. Something must have disturbed her try to sleep on because in the next second her eyes were wide open. Everything looked normal. She looked around the room. The big mirror right in front of the bed. The white drawer on the left side of the room. The cream coloured curtains, dimming the light of the street lamp, shining into their room. Nothing unusual – yet she was having a weird feeling. Cassandra pushed the thick blanket away and looked at the nightgown Louis bought for her yesterday. It was in a pale pink and had frills at the end of the dress and at the cleavage, while the rest was made out of silk. She liked it. It was the first gift Louis made her after quite some time. He stopped bringing flowers long ago – she felt the relationship decaying more and more and she had the strange feeling that they are together only for the children – but that is nothing new. Cassandra let that thought out of her head and she had a hard time getting up from the waterbed they bought three years ago in Wisconsin. She straightened her dress and pulled it down a bit so that her breasts were revealed a bit more. Something must have happened in their marriage, because Louis always loved looking at her breasts and admiring them, telling her how beautifully shaped they are. And now he buys her a nightgown with a almost fully covered cleavage. Was he cheating on her? Trying to not get distracted from his other relationship while still being married?
Cassandra looked around in her room and everything seemed normal. The street lamp’s light was shining on the drawer with the white bud vase her grandmother made for her when she was a little girl. Here Cassie, this is for you, decorate it with the most beautiful creations on this world she said while handing the vase over, a wide yellow ribbon tied around it. Everytime she remembered that thought she got tears in her eyes because grandmother was the replacement of love she has never gotten from her own mother. Everything she learned in life was from her grandmother. To receive love, to give love, to make others happy and to enjoy the beautiful sides of life. The vase held a single dark red rose which was withering, but in this light it looked rather black than red. Some of the petals fell down on the drawer already. She walked some steps and looked at herself in the mirror, feeling the tears rolling over her cheeks. What happened to her vivid hair? Now it is hanging straight from her head. Her pale skin color, which was a tanned brown once accentuated her deep orbits and the slim lips. She could feel the change in her body shape aswell. Once, a well-formed body. now a really thin waist made the dress look a bit baggy. She didn’t like herself that way, but she had to accept all of the changes. Her feet took her to the window, where she pushed one curtain away and glared into the big front yard. It was a windy night, and the cypresses were wielding around, trying to touch each other as if the would lose themselves out of the eyes otherwise.The street lamp on the other side of the road was flickering, which should usually annoy Cassandra but it didn’t this time. She let go of the curtain while turning around and saw Louis sleeping like a baby, on the side and turned away from her. Where was the man she used to love? They lost themselves in eternity. His edged face was accentuated by his big nose and his beard stubbles. Cassandra, overwhelmed by her emotions, wiped her tears away and started making steps towards the door that was separating the bedroom and the hallway. Nothing seemed to be wrong in this room – yet why would she be awake? She was curious and grabbed the silver door knob. The cold feeling of hopelessness pierced her and was spreading in her body as she turned the knob and opened the dark wooden door, with a pattern you couldn’t decipher in that darkness. She felt a cold gust around her ankles taking her towards the stairway, which was vis-a-vis of the bedroom. Her steps became lighter, not as heavy as they were in her room. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the door click shutting but she couldn’t hear anything except her steps on the cold wooden floor. Cassandra noticed that she got goosebumps all over her body but she didn’t feel too cold herself and she let her hand slide over the carved handrail. She had the urge to go down because she felt that the thing that didn’t let her sleep needed to be found and eliminated before she can fall back asleep. Because of the everyday use of the stairs, she prepared for a loud creak under her feet with every step she took but she didn’t hear anything, which surprised her but didn’t bother her too much.

After arriving on the first floor, she stood still and looked left and right. Nothing unusual in the kitchen, nothing unusual in the living room either. That was strange, because something woke her up in the middle of the night, although everything seemed normal, so the curiosity in her drove her further. She turned right and walked through the hallway, touching the walls with the very tip of her fingers and felt every little bump, every little scar the house got over the years. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the light getting turned on upstairs and a shadow moving really fast. She decided to not overthink it – it was probably Emily who woke up and went to the bathroom. The cold gust she felt after exiting the bedroom swirled around her feet again, but this time.. she felt like it pushed her into a direction and it didn’t take long until she saw what direction she was pushed in. It was literally the gust pushing her towards the back door, which was leading into the endless yard. Maybe there was something outside that was disturbing her sleep cycle? She couldn’t know, so she walked closer – and for some reason she felt something coming closer too. Cassandra saw the curtains wielding as she came nearer and she found out that it’s the wind that was entering from below the door. She watched the wind moving some of the paintings in the hallway and suddenly one of them loosened from the wall and she saw its glass shattering on the floor – thousands of pieces flying through the air, yet she didn’t hear anything – she was concentrated on the cold air around her ankles. She was a bit angry about the painting getting destroyed, because it was her favourite one, but she didn’t exactly know why. It showed a skull, an hourglass and a candle on a stone table, together with different other things – but the candle got her attention and she didn’t know why. After deciding to clean that up tomorrow, she turned around and grabbed the door knob uncertainly and turned it fast before the cold would hit her body again. She expected the worst with all the wind outside – probably a chaos on the yard, the tables and the flower pots being pushed down but after she opened the door, which she held pretty firmly so the wind wouldn’t rip it out of her hand she saw complete darkness. That was what she was supposed to see? Nothing? It was night, so of course it was dark but she didn’t except the lights in the yard to not work but it probably was because of the storm destroying connections. Carefully, she put one foot in front of the other one and walked outside while rubbing her shoulders to avoid getting cold – but it didn’t happen. She walked slowly and tried to see something but it was not possible. Due to the complete darkness, she lost track of time so she didn’t know how much she actually walked. Cassandra turned around on her toes to go back in because she couldn’t find anything outside that was disturbing her sleep. But as much as she tried to find the way, she couldn’t see the door she could use to enter the house. Probably the wind shutting it, I am sure I can find the way to open it again she thought and started walking in the opposite direction. It felt like an eternity until she saw a little light in the distance and she walked towards that light firmly. Found it, good thing I let the light turned on in the hallway. She came closer to the light and felt the warmth surrounding her body getting more intense with every step. While standing right in front of it, she closed her eyes and reached out for the door knob.

 

She couldn’t believe her eyes after she opened them widely. The view she had couldn’t be possible. From her point, she was able to look on her bed from the corner of her room. Louis wasn’t sleeping anymore as his blanket was thrown on her side. How did she arrive in her bedroom so fast? Did she forget all the way from the back door to her bedroom? Was she that sleepy? Whatever, it was time for her to go back to sleep and as she did one step towards the bed she saw Louis storming into the room, holding a phone and shaking.. shaking her part of the bed. She walked closer and she saw the light turned on on the hallway and Emily and Robin running into the room, tears all over their faces. What was going on? She was there, are they thinking she left or ran away? “Guys, why are you panicking? I am exactly here.” she said in a calm way but it seemed like nobody heard her. “What happened?” she tried to talk to Louis while walking closer and now she saw what was going on. The reason why they were panicking and why Louis was shaking her part of the bed was.. she lied there. Cassandra was both, laying in her bed with her eyes closed and standing up next to herself. Confusion was spreading in her head as she put a hand on Louis’ shoulder who was making a call and shortly after that she saw the blue and red lights of an ambulance shining through the window curtains. At the same time, Cassandra knew what was going on, but she couldn’t believe it. Walking around the bed, she caressed her children’s cheeks and kissed them on their hair while putting her arms around them. She felt them sobbing and shaking, shivering and the tears coursing over their cheeks. One last thing to do for her in that situation: She took Louis’ hand, who was holding the hand of the “Cassandra” in the bed and pressed her owen lips on his. I love you she whispered before the ambulance men entered the room. She smiled as a tear was rolling down on her cheek. She felt as light as a feather.

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