It all stopped for me. In that second before he would hit. I couldn’t make myself listen to the statement, even though I should. My life wasn’t flashing before my eyes, I wasn’t seeing my dad, happy, I didn’t see my mom whispering she loved me (That would be an illusion). All I could feel was sorrow. Sorrow that I might not have completed my task. Sorrow that can only be filled with a ‘not-guilty’.
I wanted to cry. Even though I’m here, and I know of the hate my Mothers brother feels towards me, I never imagined he would be swinging an axe at my neck. I can – just by feeling – sense that Mom’s parents are in the crowd as well. They feel horrified, but more because they can’t get my money. I felt sorrow. Not for my own life, but for Jeremy. Jeremy who lost the love of his life, only to be picked up by dad, to take care of me. A girl he would have cared for her entire life… if she would ever have one. He took care of me from my birth.. and I have nothing to return but my presence.
The doll that should look so much like me…? Don’t I recognize myself, because I aren’t who I am to these people?
Jeremy knows me. Is this why he never told me to look in a mirror when I changed? Did he actually think I would become scared? Or sorrow filled? I know what awaits me if I live… A busy year maybe a year and a half, then I’ll die the most horrible death ever seen. If I die now – that will never happen. I could feel death holding my hand, ready to relieve me from the pain of causing pain to so many others.
“Not Guilty” The King declared. I Followed the trail up my back and flipped my cells. As much as I would like to go with death, I would be looked ill upon for leaving my duties. I rotated and ended on the floor. I stood up and looked at the king. I bowed my head and returned to the stand. I would like to say a remark about him not getting to kill me today – but I don’t want to cast more hate around in the family. Apparently, dad could never tell me that he had a child with Maria. Does he even know he is alive? I want to know. He searched for me since he left, but never looked for this guy? He tells me everything, but not all at the same time. I could feel my inner fire starting to burn. As I realized it, it became a storm instead.
“Congratulations” The king said “You are voted Light”.
I thanked, and tried pushing the depressing and angry thought away. Tyler is hurt – that is more urgent. I kissed Jaime, but didn’t tell Adrian – That is more urgent. And there is something more – something I can’t seem to remember.
“What now?” I asked.
“The lighter assignment” He answered “since I talked to you earlier, and you told me you didn’t know who-“
“I would like to volunteer” Adrian stood up from his chair beside the Jem. He was sweaty, shaking and looked tired. Have he been up all night?
“You are not of age” The king noticed.
“I know – but I am one of the best Lighters in this kingdom, and even though I’m not of age I have protected her before”. He spread his legs, and stood his ground. I looked surprised at him.
“You seem to have a bond, which could reflect on the reports-“ The king tried.
“Actually” I pinpointed “Adrian was the one who reported me, even though he at that time also was my friend”. He looked at me, and I could see he still felt hurt about that. I hate bringing that up.
“You are aware that being Protector for a lighter her… class, is different from usual?” The king asked him.
He nodded. “I know that the protectors for other nobles are chosen carefully and with a lot of thoughts. I know that her dark light protector can’t die, and can help her in areas that I can’t. But at the same time he can’t be with her – because he is dark. Even if you could find another Protector for her, he would probably be old. And Since Rachael is so stubborn about going to High school, a white protector all the time would irritated her”.
“And you do not fear her?” The king asked “She is –despite everything – a very powerful lighter”.
I smiled and looked into the ground.
“I’m certain” He answered. Surely with a smile on his face as well “Rachael and I fight verbally often. She can’t scare me”.
I discovered I had raised my shoulders and tried to look bigger. It most have looked funny from other peoples perspective.
“But you are still under age-“ He noticed.
“I would like to have him as a lighter as well” I told the king “and you know I don’t like everybody I meet”.
He looked surprised at me, but then sighed. “But-“
“He have already been home with me, seen me train and cooperate with other creatures. Sure, he doesn’t like it, but to be honest no Lighter with just nearly the same background as him, would”.
Suddenly he nodded. “Fine. Adrian you will from now and every moment after, until otherwise it told you, be assigned protector for Rachael Green”.
With that statement he wrote something down, and the advisors ran to her with a paper. She got a pen, and stood while reading it through. Sometimes she raised the pen and scratched something over with it.
“You were supposed to sign it” The king noticed.
She smiled “I don’t sign things I don’t agree with, and to be honest I have noticed several spelling mistakes”.
The king sighed and looked at his advisors. I tried not to laugh. So the advisors do stupid mistakes.
“It was made in quite a rush” the advisor standing before her said “And all the terms in the agreement have been made so you should be able to accept it”.
She smiled “I know every law in this kingdom, old as new. This agreement does not just bend the laws so I can be captured by several ridicules laws, it also forces me to reveal the location of several dark lighters I consider as friends – marked dark or not”. With that statement she returned it, and smile “ I have an idea. We do agree upon the fact that I am marked light?”
The king nodded.
“Well then – since a lot of things would have to be prepared, then why don’t your advisors try to redo their mistakes, and figure out what I don’t like, in the meantime. Then by dinnertime I can look at it again, and if they can’t do their job properly, then I shall rewrite it myself so not only I, but you as well will like it”.
Her sharp tongue told me something was going on inside her head. The king smiled at bit for himself. “I had really forgotten why it’s normally your kind that stands behind the chair, rather than before it”.
She smiled and bowed her head. “So agreed?”
The king nodded “Sound reasonable”.
With that people started to leave, but she wasn’t moving. The king wasn’t either, and the advisors was sitting at a table talking fast, angry and irritated to each other.
When all had left, it was only us left. The king came down from his chair and smiled to her. “Happy to see you are not dead, I don’t want to get into a strong fight with your father”.
Rachael smiled and nodded. “I’m happy as well… this means I can get back to my little sister, and heal Tyler as well”.
“Hopefully not in that order” Goldilocks noticed. She laughed “Of course not”.
The youngest of the advisors – someone who could be new educated – went over with a paper and stood near us. He was shaking, didn’t know where to look, and looked like someone on the edge of breaking down.
“what is it?” She asked before anyone else.
“I’-m sorry” He took a deep inhaling. “but we don’t understand this-“ It was a site from the agreement, she had made an x over it.
“The x means it’s wrong” she said “That law haven’t existed in some time, they must have used out dated books while writing this”.
“That reminds me – don’t be so hard on my advisors” The king noticed “They are doing the best they can”
Rachael smiled. “No they aren’t. The oldest of them – the three in the middle arguing so loudly – they think they know everything about this kingdom, and if they would one day need to be punished by law, they would themselves be able to go unpunished. They think they are sneaky enough to go past a mind who knows the laws, and to be honest I think they are too cocky. “ She smiled and looked at the guy almost broken down. “I like him much more. He is honest, asking about the failure, and new. New is mostly better. Especially when talking about laws”.
“I guess you would have a few changed if you could” The king noticed “I would change all of them” she answered “The kingdom would not only be more open, and kill less, they would also make sure, not so many lighters would be forced to leave their families, because of changes”.
“The kingdom has never been ready for those kind of changes, and you know it” He smiled as he said it.
“For now, you will go back with Adrian, and prepare yourselves for the feast, and relax for that matter”.
“May I come with a suggestion?” It was the advisor looking in to the ground.
She nodded smilingly.
“Wear Adrian’s cape, and cover your face. Adrian should borrow a guard’s cape as well… if there is some unsatisfied lighters they will try to kill you…”
“Oh” She smiled “Thank you”.
With that we left the advisors, the king, and him.