I was afraid, literally afraid. I stood and stared up on her, Melissa, and then at Rachael. Rachael’s head was looking down into the ground, like she was judged to dead already.
Suddenly she looked up, and anger and despair was shown in her face, as she looked through the top windows.
“I know that face well” Dad announced “When one of your kind gets that face, it means someone did something to make you mad”.
Rachael didn’t answer but looked out the window. Her arms crossed, and she looked angry. But at the same time as if she had eaten something sour or too old.
“Rachael, what is wrong?” Dad asked her. Rachael took a deep breath. “I just realized I’m no different from my father” She announced with an irritated smile. “I thought so, but no. I’m no different from any descendent in my family”.
I stopped and stared at her.
“From what I have heard you don’t torture people” Dad noticed “That’s new”.
“No, I have a worse temper than my dad” She replied. She looked down in the ground, moved a little around and then looked out the window. “I don’t have the patience to do such a thing”.
“Are you trying to sentence yourself to death?” Dad asked her “Tell us what happened”.
Rachael startet bitting her lip. “The reason why my dad is chasing Maria, is because she is a threat to his family. I’m no different than him at that point. The second my dad declared, he wanted a blood test from my little sister I started fighting him. The difference for other lighters and my family are that our staff is our friends. Not just friends, they are family. And my best friend, who is not Lighter, who just happens to be my best friend, got attacked at school today” Rachael started to look down into the ground again. “And that pisses me off”.
I looked at dad, but dad just sighed. “You know, even if you are marked white, you can get marked dark”.
Rachael started to laugh out loud. “Oh please! If I kick five guys asses, do you really think I’ll get marked dark? The beat up my best friend BECAUSE he is my best friend. He is like family to me, and they won’t get away with it”.
“If you are marked dark, you’ll get executed” Dad noticed.
Rachael smiled. “I would kick their ass first. You prison can’t hold me”.
“Let it go” Dad said “And let’s get the sentence”.
We all looked up on Melissa.
She sighed and opened her mouth. “I judge her guilty”.
I had no idea what to do. Apparently, she would be placed in the palace over night. She was forced into a room – a guestroom, with guards inside and outside. I tried following my duty, I tried keeping my happy mind, but I couldn’t. How can I keep calm about this?! If the people doesn’t love her – they won’t let her live.
I fought with myself for a long time. I hated it. I truly hated it. I discovered during the day that I had torn my own hand more than once. I got to the infirmary, and someone took care of my hand. A woman with blond hair and blue eyes. “How did you get these injures my sir?” She was rapping it up nicely.
“I’m not sure” I answered “I must have – done it myself” When I looked at her, to see doubt and confusion, instead I saw a smiling mimic.
“You are not the first one coming in with such a damage” She told me “Multiple people did the same during the trial, some started bleeding. Apparently people damage themselves when they are scared, or don’t want something to happen”.
I took a deep breath. “She shouldn’t die”.
The healer nodded, and made the bandage wet with something.
After that, I left. I couldn’t help it, I moved to her room. I opened up the doors, or the guards did. She was sitting at a table, with her head hidden by the table, and her arms around her. I could hear her nose. She was crying. She hadn’t looked at me, and her eyes remained hidden. I didn’t know what to do, and what to say. She hadn’t seen me, and the daily guard was the only guard sitting beside her, looking all desperate.
I took a deep breath, and tried thinking it through. I can’t lie – dad would know. “Rachael, you have a guest” Bramai tried, and touched her gently on the shoulder. She didn’t respond, she was still crying.
Bramai sighed. “Sorry sir, since she came in here, she just covered her face, and started crying”. He moved away from her, and I took the seat beside her. I had nothing to say, so I just stroke her back carefully.
“Why are you crying?”. The sounds stop, and she just stopped moving.
“I’m fine” She answered. Her voice was sore, and she sounded tired.
“But you’re crying” I noticed.
She sighed. “Tyler… got pretty hurt, and Ray and George won’t let Jeremy heal him”.
“I don’t know any of those names” I noticed, she took a deep breath.
“Tyler is not a lighter, and So aren’t Ray and George. Ray and George both have bad experience with lighters, so they won’t let my protector heal Tyler”.
“I’m sorry” I stroked her back again “Can’t he just say, you sent him?”
“He could be lying for them” She answered “they would most defiantly think so – “ Her head raised itself and I could see the red wet eyes, and the tired look.
“Why are you crying?”
She took a deep breath. “Jeremy and I are fighting – Every urge in my body tells me to run from here, and help him. Jeremy is telling me he will get it under control, and yelling at me for talking like that in front of the people”. I stroked her back and took a deep breath. “Sorry, I can’t help with that”.
She smiled at me. “I know”.
I removed the hair in front of her face and smiled at her. “Almost good as new”.
She laughed shortly and dried her eyes.
“So did your protector shut up?” I asked her smilingly, her head went side to side, and I smiled to her.
“I just… pushed him out”. I took her hand and stroke her back again.
“When you were… human… did people ever think you were lighter?”
She nodded smiling. “ Yes, all the time. Tyler thought so, but when he mention lighters, I though he meant the ones human use to light something up with” She started laughing “Adrian started out thinking I was human… but he and his family came to the conclusion I was too.. weird to be human”.
“Or really unlucky?” I asked her. She looked in my eyes and nodded. For a second I had forgotten the people around us. The guards.
“Are you scared about tomorrow?” she took a deep breath.
“Not really – but I can feel Jeremy is”. She looked down into the table “It seems everybody is, except for me”.
“Maybe you are so scared, you don’t even know it”. She looked at me, and then she started laughing. It didn’t stop for a long time, she kept laughing, like I had told a joke.
“Do you miss anything? It’s your last day before the final judgment – “ That I can give her!
“The only thing I want is a day on the couch with Tyler” she looked apologetic on me. Tyler must be a good friend of hers. She seems so happy for him, and so worried. He must be special.
“We can hope that you survive and can get that” I got an idea.
“Wait here!” I said without thinking about it, she started laughing again, and I walked out the door. I found her – she gave me what I needed, and I ran up to her again.
She looked confused at me, as I placed the things in front of her.
“It’s called a Mimac-charm” I told her, and sat beside her again. There was some different materials. Some grass of different kinds, some water, some plants and two gold coins with a hole in them.
“A wish-charm?” She asked. I nodded and gave her a little cotton bag on the length of her index finger.
“You take some of the plants, whatever you feel like, and put in the bag” We started both by during that, and then she looked smiling at me. “Now what?”.
“You take the gold coin, and place on your tongue” She took it and placed it carefully on the middle of her tongue. “Now we say a prayer, just the normal ‘God watches over me, and protects me” with in in our mouth, and when you have said it one time, then you say what you wish”.
“All thighs wi-th it in my mo-outh?” She said while her tongue was having trouble dealing with the coin. I nodded and I took the coin in my mouth to, We sat side by side, an inch away from each other and said the prayer. She had closed her eyes, and let her head hand a bit low as she recited the prayer in another language. I said it in our language and whispered the wish for myself.
I took the coin out from my bag and smiled to her. “Now you kiss it, and put it in the bag”.
She took it out, and gently kissed the coin. She let it fall into her bag, and then looked at me.
“The kiss is optional,” I told her “But I think it’s too cute to leave out”.
She giggled and waited patiently for me to kiss mine. I got an idea.
“Why don’t you kiss it? You have so much bad luck, that you should have some saved up” I was reaching out with the coin to her, her hand didn’t touch it, yet, but was ready to do so. “Are you sure?”
I nodded smilingly. “Okay” she laughed for herself. She took the coin and kissed it carefully, with her eyes closed. She then let it fall into my bag, and I smiled. “Now someone else, that heard the prayer, closes the bag for you” I took hers and made a cute little knot. She did the same on mine.
“Then what?” She smiled and asked.
“Well… normally you sleep with it under the pillow, until you wish comes true… but since you don’t have a real – and your own bed – yet, I suggest you hold onto it, until it comes true”.
She was smiling, and looking at the bag.
“What language did you say the prayer in?” I asked her.
“Old Light” She answered “All the prayers I was thought is in Old light”.
“Can you teach me the first verse?”
“sure” She looked at me and took a deep breath.
“Se-mi-na” I tried repeating it. “Ce-mi-na”.
“se-mi-na”. I repeated it, correct for the first time.
“Se-mi-na, Torment, Semina, Bi-ma”
I followed what she said.
“What does that mean?” I asked her.
“First verse, two lines – Our god is creator, our god is destruction”
I tried repeating it again and again for myself.
“Semina, Krity, Semina See-a”
“Our god is love, our God is responsibility” I quoted and tried repeating it.
“Good” she smiled.
“Be-a-me-ri” she then said.
“Be-a-me-ri” I repeated.
“Be-a-me-ri, Krity, Be-a-me-ri See-a”
“I will protect love, I will protect responsibility?” I looked at her, and she nodded. When I say the prayer it’s normally like a song – just words I repeat, not something I listen to. But it sounds beautiful in the old Light.
“Ni-lo-Se Mi,, Ni lo Se Krity “.
“In name of our God, in name of love” I translated. She nodded.
“So… Semina Torment, Semina Bima, Semina, Krity, Semina See-a. Beameri Krity, Beameri See-a. Ni lo se mi. Ni lo se Krity”.
“Su-ka-du vi, Su ka du vi Rim”
“Bring protection over me, Bring protection over my light”.
First verse is incredible. I kept on repeating it, until it was stuck.
“It’s beautiful in old Light” I noticed.
She nodded. The doors opened, and it was Jonathan. He had been looking after me. I hid the Charm quick and left her there.
He yelled at me, and I ignored it. I was sitting at a table, and I had the bag in my hands under it. I kept smiling no matter how much he yelled, and at last I just left him to put the charm under my pillow.
It was time for Dinner; it didn't surprise me when she sat down with us. She wasn’t sad anymore, and her eyes was just as dry as mine. She was sitting next to dad like usually, and the guards were behind her.
“I guess you are calmer now?” Dad asked her smilingly, she nodded without answering. We took some food on our plates. I took some different kinds of meat and a little bit of salad. I took a peak at her plate, and felt a kick under the table, I looked beside me, to see Jonathan looking irritated at me.
“Are you not at all scared for tomorrow?” Dad tried. She laughed a bit for herself.
“I don’t fear death – I welcome it like an old friend”.
Dad smiled. “So you think the people won’t mark you white?”.
She sighed. “I think people are unpredictable. Some people aren’t, but that is because they are made with a purpose. Most people are unpredictable, and that makes their decisions harder than most. I was told that someone is making dolls of me” She smiled “And the children loves them – the children wouldn’t want their parents to kill their doll”.
Then she sighed. “But the same parents risk their lives, because the kingdom tells them to, so you can’t count on that point of view”.
She took a bite of an apple. “But at the same time – if you notice the distance to the school I go to – the lighters there hates me. They are currently isolated – and it would not surprise me if their parents is here in Amalion. So they can be blaming me – but at the same time, it can be because they aren’t affected by other people in the kingdom”.
She smiled and looked at my dad. “So just to clarify, I have no idea what I’ll get voted to become”.
Dad took a deep breath. “I guess you aren’t alone in the kingdom”
“I’m not” She replied smilingly “Just in the crowd in the hall alone, there are people who are here to make sure nothing happens to me during the trial – and some who are here to make sure I get home afterwards – if I get marked white, that is”.
She then smiled a bit for herself.
“I am surprised your dad isn’t here” Dad noticed “He was always so-“
“Family nurturing?” she suggested “He wants to be – but he can’t. It would be too dangerous with Maria so close”.
I cut of some meat and started eating.
“What happens if I’m marked white?” Rachael asked “I know what happens if I get marked dark but-“
Dad smiled. “We would need to make a long contract, find you a white protector, and make sure that he doesn’t have to attack your family, while reporting everything – except things that would hurt your family, then there would be held a feast, and a party”.
“Then I would be free – after that?” She asked.
He nodded smilingly. “As free as you can be”.
Somehow free have never been my destination. As free as you can be. Point taken. He was smirking and eating. I took another bite of my apple. I can’t believe some people. I glanced at him. He acts like a king, but he isn’t one. My head turned around and glanced at the princes’ and I looked at him. When I was sick, after a while of listening to Jeremy, telling me “You should rest”, I decided to listen in on what Jaime was doing – I know it’s wrong, but it was the only person I want to listen to. Adrian is so scared of the outcome like everyone else, and I can’t take his arguing with his family. Jaime “Followed his duties” as he said – called it my lifestyle. I guess he’s right.
“Do you have any request for a protector?” He suddenly asked smilingly.
I took a deep breath. Adrian would be a good choice, but he is under the age – and I don’t know many else.
“I honestly don’t know” I answered “and to be honest… I don’t really care. All I know if they have to keep up pace with Jeremy”.
I took another bite of the able, and looked at the princes. Normally I wouldn’t think much of them – my dad taught me that the rich and fame mostly spoiled their kids in such a degree that they were no good. When I asked him about me, he responded you deserve to be a little spoiled. I can see that some of the princes aren’t spoiled. They work – dirt under their nails, and their skin is dark from being out so much.
I want to look at her, but Jonathan kicks too hard.. I almost started to laugh for myself. Jaime, don’t get in trouble. It’s not the right time or place – aaaaand I’m together with Adrian. Fuck.
The guilt I had happily forgotten returned – making my heart feel as black as some lighters think I am.
I shouldn’t keep this a secret for Adrian. Actually, thinking about it – I miss him, I want to hold him close, and I could use to hold his hand or resting my head on his lap. He is so supporting, so nurturing. I smiled a bit for myself as I took another bite.
“What are you thinking about?” The king asked me. I smiled to him. “Reasons to live”.
He looked shocked at me, but then gave a warm smile. I kept eating, and looked out the window. It was starting to get dark outside.
“Is your family worried?” He continued.
I took another breath. “Yes”, even though Dad tried seeming calm he couldn’t. He hates that he can’t be with me, and see me go through this. His thoughts are filled with worry.
“But I know they’ll manage”.
One of the brothers threw something towards me – I caught ii and stared at it.
“What is it?” I asked confused. It was fluffy, reminding me of a teddy bear – but not resembling a bear.
“Can you really not see it?” Jonathan asked. I took another look and looked confused at them. “What am I supposed to see?”.
The king started to laugh, as he took it out of my hand.
“It’s a Rachael-Teddy bear!” He laughed as the tears drove down his cheeks.
I took it again, and tried seeing it. I couldn’t. I guess this is what I thought the doll was – but it doesn’t look like me. It’s skin is green and it looks scaly. It took me some time to figure out why.
“Is this how I look when I use the dragon scales?” I looked at the king, who was astonished.
“Have you never seen yourself do that?”
I sighed. “Jeremy says that I should only look in the mirror when I’m myself. That way I won’t get confused”.
With that remark I took a deep breath and took another bite. I need to talk with Jeremy, the guilt is eating me up.
Are you still mad? I need help… it’s not important… if you’re busy.
I waited and waited, and it seemed like no response was going to come.
What is it?
I send him the image of me getting a hunter jacket of Adrian, and then the memory of me kissing Jaime.
Adrian and I are together – but I kissed Jaime.
He didn’t answer that one. Even though I sat through the meal – then took a shower and went to bed, no response came.
You shouldn’t be thinking about these things, when your life is on the line, my light. Dad’s voice waking me up made me jump up, almost scaring the guards that was half asleep around me.
I crawled into a ball and laid down again.
I’m not bothered by the trial, and not bothered by if I die. All I feel right now is guilt, and I can’t help but feeling like it’s more important.
I wanted to cry, but I looked out the window from my bed – the sun was slowly risen up from it’s dark hiding.
My light… I hate to be the one to break your heart, but Jaime is the crowned prince of Amalion. You two can never be. Adrian is forbidden too – but not as forbidden.
It hit me that Dad thought I wanted to change my boyfriend. I sighed and bit my tongue. I’m not going after being with Jaime, I’m just… I’m in love with Adrian, and I betrayed him by kissing Jaime. I’m feeling guilt, and it hurts!
I tried going into Jeremy’s head, and apparently he was discussing it with dad. They really have no clue what to do. Huh.