Sarah shut the door behind her as she entered her bedroom. She collapsed onto her bed that was cover with a large blanket and several stuffed animals. Exhaustion overwhelmed her as she sunk into the mattress.
Another busy day, Sarah thought wearily, as usual.
It was the beginning of April, and that meant endless days of studying until the day of the state tests arrived. Though Sarah had good grades, receiving As in all of her classes, she probably still studied more than she needed to. And the problems she had at home weren’t helping either..
Sarah let out a loud sigh. She wasn’t sure if anyone at her school had suspected her troubles at home. Sarah doubted it. She was very good at hiding things like this, even if she wanted to talk to someone about it. Her step father had been drinking lately, and had often caused arguments with her Mom and sister. Sarah’s sister, Katie, had been the one to anger their step father the most by rebelling against rules and talking back to him. At least one day a week, Katie got into some kind of trouble with him. One of their most recent arguments caused Katie to try and run away, and for most of her stuff to be taken from her room. Katie also seemed to be more hostile towards Sarah. Sarah suspected that her hostility came from jealousy of her high grades and good relationship with their Mom and Step dad. Even though the privileges Sarah was given to were nice, she hated it when her Step dad compared her to Katie.
A small mew sounded from across the room. Sarah’s cat, Willow, was stretching on her scratching post, her claws gripping the carpet-like material. Sarah smiled as Willow made her way to the bed, leaping up onto the blankets. She purred softly and licked my hand.
”Hey there, Willow.” Sarah greeted. I scratched the spot Willow likes best behind her ear.
Willow yawned, showing her thorn sharp teeth inside of her pink mouth. She curled up on the bed, her tail curling around her paws. Sarah smiled at her resting kitty. She giave Willow one more pet, then began to change into her pajamas.
Sarah knew that it was a bit early to wear her PJs, but she liked to wear clothes made for around the house anytime she could, since she usually wore fancy school outfits any other time.
A few hours later, Sarah glanced outside her window. The sun was beginning to be swallowed by the horizon, turning the sky shades of orange and yellow. Sarah watched the sun cast shadows against the different houses, people, and occasional animal that went by.
Sarah, for as silly as if may sounded, always dreamed of a world where the shadows of all creatures and people alike lived. A world similar to this one, but different at the same time. She always dreamed of meeting a shadow that wasn’t a copy of someone else, just it’s own being.
Sarah mentally scolded herself.
She was being childish.
Sarah slipped under the covers of her blankets and rested her head on the soft pillow. Sleep soon overtook her as the moon and the stars shone brightly in the night.
Sarah cracked an eye open. She was awoken from her sleep by the sound of leaves rustling near her window. Something was moving in the bush outside her window.
Probably just a squirrel or a bird, Sarah thought, pulling the covers over her head.
There it was again. Louder this time.
Sarah nervously and quietly stepped out of her bed, careful not to wake Willow. Sarah glanced at a large she had on her nightstand and grabbed it, ready to defend herself.
Sarah made her way over to the window and peeked outside. She found herself staring into a pair of vivid green eyes.
Sarah yelped in surprise and she lost her footing, stumbling onto the floor. She stared wide eyed at the being.
It it was a boy, about her age by the looks of him, who was pitch black all over his body. The only thing that wasn’t black was his piercing green eyes.
Sarah felt the need to scream, but her voice was stuck in her throat. She just continued to stare into the boys eyes. After a few moments, she noticed that the boy was smiling at her.
”W-Who are you?” Sarah asked, terror running through her veins, “Why are you here?!”
The boy was suddenly in front of her. He pressed one of his fingers to Sarah’s lips, silencing her.
”Shhh,” He shushed in a quiet voice, “We don’t want anyone knowing I’m here, would we?”
Sarah didn’t say anything. She could only stare into his eyes as he stared back. She started to ease herself a bit.
“Who are you?” Sarah repeated, quieter this time.
The boy smiled.
”I’m Shadow. What’s your name?”
”What a pretty name.”
Sarah felt her face get warm at his comment. Shadow say on the floor more comfortably.
”Now you’re probably wondering why I’m here,” Shadow began.
”Ya think?” Sarah muttered.
”Well, here’s my explanation. I come from a world called ‘The Dark Realm’, a world where all of the worlds shadows come and go. Different people in your world who have problems with their family, like abuse and neglect, are assigned they’re own shadow. The council noticed your step father’s alcoholism, and decided to assign me as your own personal shadow.” Shadow beamed, “How awesome is that?”
”I…Well..” Sarah didn’t know what to say. Her dream of a world of shadows had just become a reality. After all this time of thinking that her imagination was getting away with her, this finally proved that it wasn’t her imagination.
This was all too real.
”Well, what are you supposed to do?” Sarah asked.
”I spend time with you,” Shadow explained, “and help you through tough times. Making sure your life doesn’t fall apart and that no one tries to hurt you.”
”But, what if I’m near other people?” Sarah said, thinking of how big her school was, “How are you going to spend time with me if your able to be seen?”
Shadow smiled, “I guess we’ll just have to be alone, then.”
Sarah felt herself getting hotter.
Shadow got up to his feet and dusted himself off.
”I’ll be back by tomorrow and you’ll see me!” Shadow began climbing out the window.
”Wait!” Sarah protested, “I still hav-“
Sarah didn’t finish her sentence.
He was gone