Chapter 40: A Quiet Morning
Dawn had hardly opened the door to her room before she was fairly pounced upon and dragged to her bed by Corrie, Edie, and Naomi. They sat her down and crowded around her so she couldn't get up, practically screaming, "How did it go?"
She laughed and tried halfheartedly to push them away. "Come on, guys, I can't breathe!"
They inched away, but still wouldn't let her up. "Come on, how did it go?" asked Edie.
Dawn sighed, but couldn't help grinning. "Surprisingly well. I ended up telling him about everything that's going on and he took it well. As in, he doesn't think I'm crazy. Apparently he knew about magic growing up."
"Well, didn't you know about magic growing up, too?" asked Naomi.
"Sure, I guess so... I mean, my aunt did magic sometimes, but everything she showed me was silly stuff, not part of everyday life like it was for Rico." That was why she was sure her aunt knew a lot more than she ever revealed. She would have to give Aunt Pru a call if she ever got a chance. "What about you, Corrie? Your family are witches, right?"
She shrugged. "Any magic we did was just kitchen witchery. Cooking up meals that were supposed to bring good luck and stuff like that. My mom and grandmother were never into the big ritual-type stuff. I don't even know if any of the magic they did worked." She leaned forward, looking worried. "So what do you think you're going to do about Annie?"
"I don't know." Dawn sighed, feeling exasperated. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't been constantly asking herself the same question and not coming up with a satisfactory answer. "I guess I'll go visit Lorelei first thing in the morning and see what she has to say. Hopefully she'll be willing to explain just what's going on. She never seemed to want to before."
"She probably didn't want you involved if you didn't have to be," Naomi said.
Dawn tried to smile. "Yeah. I guess it's too late for that, though."
Sunday, August 31
Dawn had tossed and turned all night. When she did sleep, it was lightly, plagued by dreams in which she was laying in her bed, but the forest was climbing in around her. She kept hearing screams that seemed to come from close by or far away, but when she shook her head in the light of the morning, they faded to mere echoes in the back of her mind, and she knew this time they really were dreams.
She padded barefoot to the bathroom, listening to the silence. She hadn't noticed what time it was, but she could tell it was early from the quality of light coming in the window and the fact that there were no other sounds. She wondered whether Corrie was already up and outside running. Maybe she should join her. But Dawn didn't really feel awake, just buzzing with nervous energy. She took a long, hot shower, trying to soothe her nerves. It didn't help, but it was nice to bathe without the uncomfortable feeling of knowing there were other people in the same room.
There was no more sound when she returned to her room. Naomi was still asleep. She quietly opened her computer and turned it on, holding her hand over the speakers so the sound wouldn't disturb her roommate. Maybe the hospital's website would give visiting hours. Lorelei wouldn't be in ICU, would she? No, if it was just an asthma attack, that was something easy to deal with. Not that she really believed that, but unless Lorelei was totally unable to breathe on her own, she shouldn't be in ICU.
Visiting hours started pretty early, thankfully. She would have to find out where Lorelei was once she got to the hospital. She started to stand up, then realized she couldn't go by herself. Even if she was totally comfortable going alone, she had no way to get to the hospital, unless it was within walking distance. She sat back down and looked around on the site. Yes, it had Chatoyant College as a landmark. She could walk there, but it would be a long, tiring walk. She'd better wait for Corrie so she could drive. Her friends probably didn't want her to go alone anyway.
Restless, Dawn stood up and walked around. She checked out the window to make sure it wasn't foggy. There were wisps of fog floating around near the ground, but nothing to stop them from going anywhere. The rest of the campus was quiet, though. She debated going over to Corrie and Edie's room to see if Corrie was up yet, then finally decided she might as well check. Slipping her feet into shoes, she walked the short distance to their door and knocked gently, thinking that if they were sleeping, they wouldn't hear the knock.
To her relief, the door opened shortly. Corrie was in loose yoga pants and a sweaty T-shirt. "Hey," she said softly. "If you wanted to join me on my run, you're a little late."
Dawn grinned. She glanced toward the bed, saw that Edie was still asleep, and matched her tone to Corrie's. "Maybe someday. I just couldn't sleep and wanted to see if anyone was awake yet. The hospital is already open for visiting hours, and I want to get over there as soon as I can."
"And you need me, right?" Corrie nodded. "Well, I definitely have to have a shower before I go anywhere. But you can hang out in here until I get back. Edie will probably want to come along, too."
She followed Corrie back into the room and selected a book from the crowded shelves. It was nice to have a friend who'd brought a lot of books to school, she reflected. She settled down on Corrie's bed with it while the blonde headed out to the showers. After a few minutes, she heard noises from the other side of the room and looked up. Edie was sitting up in bed, pushing her hair out of her face. "Hi," she said, her voice thick with sleep. "What're you doing here?"
Dawn marked her place with her finger and put the book in her lap. "Waiting for Corrie. I need her to drive me to the hospital so I can talk to Lorelei."
"Oh. Right." Edie picked up a shirt and regarded it critically. "D'you mind waiting for me too? I'd like to have a shower, but I want to come too."
"Um..." Dawn looked up at their clock, biting her lip. Well, visiting hours lasted a long time. And she couldn't exactly make her friends stay behind, could she? "Okay. Don't take too long."
Dawn went back to her book and waited for her friends.