1 First Part

"Where is your mask, rose?" My neighbor Greg shouted from behind. I rolled my eyes without him noticing me .

Mind your own business Mr. Poking nose! The bad me howled.

But he is right honey! The inner good me whispered..

"Oh thank you. I nearly forgot it. " and smiled at him showing a little teeth . He winked at me. I moved on my way to university. That lots of hand sanitizing had made my palms dry. I was already allergic to ethanol and it made the condition worse. So I won't be able to shake hands with the new senior whom I had to assist as he was from a different country. An international student, yes this was what my professor told me.

I reached the campus on time , given it was just a walking distance from my apartment . Well single room accommodation. And there was my crazy friend , Jeannine fighting with the library assistant.

" Hey, what happened now?" I put my arms around her. Her mood changed within seconds.

" Nothing. I was telling her eating a candy in library doesn't break rules." She shrugged and the assistant narrowed her eyes and just left.. I mean who will want to ruin their full day by fighting with the devil?

" I have to meet Mr. Gilbert . When will that international student arrive?" We searched the staff room and finally found him flirting with the new professor in the cafeteria.

"Good morning, Mr.Gilbert . " his focus shifted to me.

" Oh, Hello rose. And Jeannine too." Jeannine was staring at the new professor and her purple hair. So she just smiled bluntly.

" Where am I supposed to wait for the new student ?" He seemed confused but then smiled.

"Sorry rose. The authorities informed me that his flight was delayed so maybe tomorrow ." he smiled apologetically. Why? Because there were no classes and still I was called just to help the student . Why me ? Again. Because I took the responsibility in my hands when the In-charge of International students department wanted a smart student to help him.

The word smart made me do it.

And I looked at Jeannine with pure sorry on my face . Why? Because she came for me. But deep down I knew she came for the new student. Naughty friend.

Just then my phone rang. Damian! My narcissist boyfriend. I mean ex-boyfriend. But for him we are still together.

"Hi, Damian" I answered the call . Jeannine raised her brows. I mouthed sorry at her.

"Hello there. Where are you ? I was waiting for you in your parking lot. Maybe a nice lunch near the beach will make you feel good. " I sighed and watched Jeannine crushing a dry leaf.

" No. I don't think this will be a good idea. Since we are not together anymore I think I need to spend more time with my friend." She smiled at me and gave a thumbs up.

" Wait. I mean yes last time was tough for both of us . But I know you are sorry. And every relation is build on lots of mistakes and forgiveness. " Not again!

" No . I am not sorry . why should I ? when you can't keep your filthy words to yourself. STOP BLAMING ME!!" I shouted loudly and disconnected the call.

" you know how it always goes. So relax." Jeannine hugged me . But my heart still beat harder and I was angry at him for not trying to understand how much it hurts when someone plays with your mind .

The reality was my life was not a bed of rose. Instead it was a path full of cactus. And at last the recurring dreams . Not so normal but they always left me wondering what their real meaning was.

And Damian was a parasite who invaded my life. Sick man.

Sometimes i had this feeling that there was some other place where i belonged. With some other persons and maybe with a better man.

"Well, i think we should get going now. I know a place which you will definitely love." Jeannine smiled at me . We boarded a bus and sat on the last seat.

Then a faint memory of parents appeared in my mind. No. They weren't dead or something. It was just that we all were different. Even my brother left for abroad. Those two just couldn't be normal. And the memory vanished with the last encounter of mine with them.

Jeannine elbowed me and i looked in the direction of a lovely couple with their cute daughter. She was smiling at us and my mood lightened a bit.

I just love children!

"We are here, rose" Jeannine winked at the child and we rushed out of the bus . But then i knew it was going to be tough for me. The cold breeze made shivers run down my spine. i was so afraid of woods and darkness . And this place had it all.

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