“She’s just having a bad day, I’ll just figure out this picture thing myself.”

A rush of thoughts swarmed Joey’s mind, but there were other tasks that needed her attention. A temper tantrum from her mother wasn’t something she could waste her time on.


A startled gasp escaped from Joey as she turned and realized it was her best friend, Mya, who stopped by for a visit; usually a visit from Mya was her just waltzing into their house like she lived there.

“Mya! Oh my gosh, one day you may actually figure out how to send a text that you’re coming, or–oh, I don’t know, KNOCK?!”

Mya let out a laugh, swinging her long blonde hair.

“Oh my little Joe, your life would be bland and boring without me. Just accept it!”

Mya was the typical “pretty friend” everyone wanted to have. With her blonde locks, and ocean blue eyes, Mya had an energy that often made Joey jealous. Mya was simply carefree, and did as she pleased. Joey felt as though she could never compare to the reputation Mya held.

Sitting at the kitchen table, silence overcame them both. Joey sat there nervously playing with her hair, Mya looked at Joey confused as to why she was abnormally quiet.

Mya grabbed Joey’s hand, “Hey, what is it? You really look like you’re going to barf all over your food.”

Honesty should’ve been Mya’s middle name.

Joey could feel her stomach turn and twist into knots. In the midst of Mya showing up unannounced, a flash of Joey’s nightmare sped through her mind. It was this returning shadowed figure that concerned her most.

With her breath shaking, she whispered to Mya, “Um–I’ve been having these bad dreams…”

Mya tilted her head in interest, “Well, what do you mean? You know, humans do dream, and from time to time, it scares the shit out of them!”

Though Mya had laughed, thinking the Joey was just being paranoid, she stopped when she saw Joey’s face change into pure fear after Mya had made her comment.

“You know Joey, you can tell me if something is wrong. Let me help you.”

Joey sighed, and debated with herself, “Do I tell her? Maybe I am overthinking it.” Even with the doubts floating around in her mind, she knew she’d feel relief if she’d just let out her fears.

With a deep breath, Joey had let Mya in.

“I’m not joking Mya, I’ve been having these nightmares for a while now. It’s always the same, I’m a child running through a parking lot, like I’m running from someone–a shadowed figure.”

Feeling the anxiety rise through her body like a fire set ablaze, Joey broke down in tears.

Mya hugged Joey, giving her best attempt to comfort her best friend. But behind the brave carefree face, Mya felt a ping of fear for Joey.

“Joe, what happens after you notice the shadowed figure?” Mya questioned carefully.

“He..or she, grabs me from behind, and runs off with me. The last thing I see is me dropping my teddy bear.”

Silence and tension surrounded them while they sat in the kitchen. The beauty of the yellow wallpaper, and white counters that always reminded Mya and Joey of summer, now changed. It wasn’t the warm and welcoming emotions of summer anymore; now, the yellow wallpaper and white counters were cold, haunted, and damaged.

Joey sobbed as she finally felt free from this secret, but also in fear for what it meant. As Maya hugged Joey, and allowed her to cry onto her shoulder, Mya noticed Joey’s mom standing in a side hallway. As Joey’s mom stood there, Mya knew that she was listening in on their conversation, but Mya wondered why Joey’s mom was standing there, and not saying anything.

Mya looked away as she saw Joey’s mom leave, but glanced up at the ceiling as she continued to hold Joey.

Mya thought and swore to herself, “There’s no way I can tell Joey now…”


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