I stared at her table. No one had chosen that seat while she had been gone, not even any of our other classmate, since they’re all use to knowing that it is her seat. She was sitting there, staring down into a book, like nothing had changed, her hair, her mouth… her eyes. They all looked normal. But then again nothing really changes that much in three days. Silencia had told me she didn’t know if Rachael would ever come back. Here’s the answer: Three days only.
I wanted to yell at her, but instead I sat down beside her.
“Hey Ra” I said, and she just smiled.
“Hey Tyler” she said. Something was different about her, if not the outer shell, then inside her. What is it?
“I’m sorry, I should have called” she looked down in the table. “I guess picking up and leaving like that may were a dumb idea”
“It-“ there’s so many things I want to say right now, “is okay”.
“Sorry” she repeated, then class started. Jenny acted like nothing had happened… so I guess she knows where Ra had been?
“I guess it aren’t you I should be afraid of” she said when Adrian came in the door – an hour late. He’s more sloppy around getting to school when she aren’t around. Adrian stared at her with a look that could kill before going to the back of the room. Really? Is he really that angry? I ignored him the rest of the day, but it seemed like it was hard for Rachael. I knew what would happen after school so I followed them out in the forest.
“Adrian, before you start sho-“ she started out calm, they had thrown their back packs on the grass and Adrian looked furious.
“HOW COULD YOU JUST PICK UP AND LEAVE LIKE THAT? HAVE YOU NO IDEA OF THE TROUBLE YOU LEFT BEHIND HERE, YOUR SISTER HAD NO IDEA IF YOU EVER CAME HOME AGAIN! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT? WE TOLD YOU! WE TOLD YOU! IF YOU NEEDED ANYTHING JUST ASK! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? WHAT TOOK SO LONG TIME THAT YOU COULDN’T BE HERE THE LAST THREE DAYS?”
She looked at him with a tired expression. “I can’t tell you”
“WHAT?!” His hand went back and hit a tree. She looked down in the ground, and I could see she wished to be somewhere else.
“Besides that I won’t come to school the next two weeks” she said “My dad told me to drop out the next month or so, so he can prepare me for Amalion”. Adrian stood silently.
“Are you going to stay the next two weeks at your dad’s?” he asked more calmly, she nodded. “I got a temper. If I want to get out of Amalion alive, I need to control it. I’m far behind on my training, and I need to refresh the laws that have been changed” As she talked I bit my lip. “If I want to get out of Amalion alive”.
Why hasn’t she told me she’s going to Amalion? It can’t be safe for her!
I stepped forward and looked at them. “Why are you going to Amalion?”
“Were you ears dropping?” Adrian said. He looked angry.
“Yeah” Rachael answered she stepped forward. “Sorry, I haven’t had time to tell you but – the king of Amalion want to do my marking. It’s as peaceful right now as possible, so I’m going” she hugged me.
“But” my arms hugged her, but my heart was pumping hard of another reason “It’s dangerous for you!”
“It’s either that” she said “Or every hunter from Amalion will come look for me”.
I stared at her, looking down in her eyes and for a moment, I considered picking her up and run away with her. “I thought no-one knew about your dad yet” I noticed. She smiled at me.
“Adrian is under the law, and as a white lighter he has to report these things” It took me a while to understand, I made a fist with my right hand, took my left arm around Rachael, before stepping forward and hitting Adrian in the face. He fell back into a tree, while Rachael screamed “TYLER!” then she got out of my arm and ran to Adrian – his nose were bleeding.
“Why did you do that?” she ask confused, while helping Adrian up, who tried to deny her help.
“Because I deserved it” Adrian said, he looked like he had no intentions of hitting back, so I took her back pack.
“I’m not going to let you go through this alone” I told Rachael “No matter what, I’m not leaving your side” She stared at me.
“She’s going to live with her dad the next couple of months” Adrian noticed “Even after the marking. It won’t be completely safe for her, out here”
“I don’t care” I looked her into the eyes “I’m not letting you go through this alone”.
“Hey! You really think I would?” Adrian said and stared at me.
“Haven’t you done enough?” I asked. Adrian took a step closer “Want to fight about it?”
“You guys….” Rachael was looked from a distance on us, she was smiling, touching something in her pocket, while holding around her necklace.
“Tyler, I don’t think it’ll be a good idea for you to … drop out” she noticed “And Adrian, I’m not mad at you, but I’m going to do a lot of training the next two weeks. With as many creatures at possible… It would be better for both of you to leave me alone, go back to normal. Tyler… I’ll text you, when I’m home at my dad’s, and make sure that you can contact me no matter what. And right now I need to pack a bag of the things I’ll need. I am going home to have a tough conversation with my little sister” She took her bag and smiled for a second. “This is why I’m supposed to be isolated,” she noticed, and with that, she walked away, making Adrian and I stare after her.
“What did she mean by that?” I asked. Adrian took a step away from me and took a deep breath. “I think she just said goodbye to us” Adrian replied “And now she’s going to say it to her little sister”.
My heart started speeding up. “I’m not going to let her off that easy” I noticed. If I start running now, I can make it home. Maybe.. I took my phone up, dialed the number and started running.
“Start packing a bag, I’m going to be gone for a long time!”
Then I hanged up, and kept going. When I reached the door, a face smiled at me. I smiled at him at first, but then I reached him. “How do you know where I live?” I asked “I never told you-“
“I met Rachael not far from here, a while ago. And then I have my methods” he said “I’ve come to pick you up”.
“What?” I stared at him for a second, I could see him smile. “Rachael can’t go through this alone. And I know exactly who has to be around to help” I smiled at him for a second. “So… anything I need?”
“What you need to be comfy” he said smilingly “I’ll wait here, just get your stuff” I started running up the stairs, the higher I got, the happier I became. Rachael didn’t send him. This is his decision… If this is for Rachael will he pick Adrian up?
“Hey man… where are you going?” Ray asked and handed me the bag.
I took a deep breath “Rachael is going through something… and I need to help her… it will take a lot of time sooo”
“What is it?” Ray asked confused.
“I don’t know” I answered “just that she will need help”.
He just nodded for a second before smiling “See you sooner or later then”. I ran down the stairs with the bag, and felt happiness for a second. We walked along the sidewalk in silence.
“by the way-“ I started “Do you know where Rachael has been?”
“No, I’m sorry” he said “She just disappeared for three days, that’s all I know. She hasn’t been willing to tell me anything, she even closed her mind for me” The sky started to darken.
“How… how did you react when she came home?” I asked.
“I was frighten to be honest,” he said “She was walking on foot, her clothing was torn and bloody, she was really dirty, but she seemed fine” Then he smiled “We always taught her everything she would need to know about surviving on her own. But we always get scared when she comes home”.
“Do you know why she went?” I asked.
He nodded. “I don’t know exactly why… but I guess it has something to do about Laina’s death”.
The door opened and I hugged her again. I know what’s coming. I saw the bag in her room, I know she’s going away. It doesn’t make it any easier though…
“Hey sis” she bit her lip and looked down in the ground for a second. “I have been invited by some friends… to come on a vacation with them for a while” she said “So I’ll be gone a month or two”
I took a deep breath. She can’t tell me the truth. I smiled at good as I could. “Awesome! Where are you going?”. She smiled at me.
“I don’t know” she laughed “I just said yes”. She took her bag from her room and took a deep breath. “I love you” she said, then she closed the door and walked outside. I walked to the door and looked out. She turned around and looked at the house, I could see a tear running down her cheek as she stepped away from the front yard and started walking away.
“Did Rachael come here?” mom asked.
“She’s going on a vacation with some friends, you just missed her” I said. Mom smiled calmly at me and nodded. “Okay”.
Mom must know what is going on… why doesn’t she run after her? Why doesn’t she say goodbye? WHY doesn’t she say ‘I love you’ to her? As my eyes started to tear up, I walked to my room and closed the door. Mom started cooking I could hear. So… this is it? I took a deep breath. Mom always tells me she loves me. She did this morning before I left the house. She does it every morning! And every night before I go to sleep… She never does with Rachael! Why doesn’t she? The tears poured down and made me unable to see for a moment. She missed Rachael’s goodbye. She missed hearing how much Rachael loves her. I know she would never say it too her. But I know she does. Mom knocked on my door, and told me dinner was ready, I opened up, and mom asked what was wrong. With a smile I told her I was crying because of the book’s ending. She just smiled at me, and told me to eat a bit.
My feet keeps moving away. Towards the goal… I’m going to stay here a while. Maybe I should quit school for good. Start to be more… interested in my dad’s work. I could move home, stay out of Silencia’s life, and make sure she doesn’t get killed… just because I’m around. I took my headphones on and smiled a bit. I’ll miss you Silencia…. I’ll miss you if I don’t come back.
When I reached the portal I went inside, and sat ready for dinning. The food appeared but my appetite was gone, and I kept on fighting the tears. When Jeremy and dad looked away, I held around the necklace.
“So my sweetheart” dad said “Jeremy told me, you haven’t said a word about where you were”
I smiled at him. “Sorry dad, I love you… but sometimes secrets are better for everyone”. Both Jeremy and dad stared at me. “I’m sorry”.
A few days earlier...
The wagon kept bumping up and down. The sun was roasting me, even though I only was wearing shorts and a thin t-shirt. Laina’s body was starting to smell a bit, the sun doesn’t help much… The horse pulling us forward walked in a steady speed… I took the book again and opened on the next side.
“He took me shopping today. He said we are very alike, and that I could help him decorate her room. Something he apparently has tried to do for a long time. Jeremy fought the chef today, when he was told I was going, and that he weren’t allowed to come. I don’t understand why they all love her so much. It’s like they worshipping her like a goddess. Even though she might be dead. As for now… I guess I can only be happy. Without him, I would have been dead by now”. I bit my lip. I’m sorry Laina. It wasn’t fair to you… to be a replacement… so my dad wouldn’t lose it all…
I looked at her again. “I told you” was all I could make come out of my mouth. “and so did he”.
I could see the little village. “We’ll soon be there Laina!” I announced.
“You don’t usually have secret from us” Jeremy said “Where did you go?”
“It doesn’t matter” dad said “We’re just happy you’re home now!”.
My head nodded and I tried eating an orange. It would help a lot on the guilt in my stomach. ‘worshipping her like a goddess’… I hope they don’t… I hate that. How can people do such a thing? I know they missed me… but that doesn’t mean they should ‘worship’ me…
With a smile on my lips I could relax in my room. I started to walk towards it. The hall are so big, and empty. Jeremy had left me for some business and dad had followed him. Sometimes I wish we could be a normal family, but that is selfish. How would I be able to do that? I smiled as I opened the door and a familiar face was sleeping on my bed. “You just don’t give up… do you?” I walked to the desk and started reading. I don’t want to dream again. I’ll be able to stay awake for a long time… if I can keep the sleep away. As I started reading through the book, my eyes started to fall more and more. And in the end… my eyes was closed, and my head was resting on the softness of an old book.
The dunk dunk in my ears told me I was back. I was back. The echo of my thoughts followed. Followed. The darkness of the room was terrifying. I stared around until I could see it, the giant pocket watch. Why is it always at three? Always… Always… three… three… the lonely voice of death made a chill go down my spine. It isn’t death. Dunk, dunk. Is it? It….is… Beneath me was only darkness, what am I standing on? What is happening? The air seemed to disappear, and a giant hand appeared above me. Dunk dunk. “Murderer” “murderer”
The voice of the angel of death in my ears made me sit down on the nothing I had been standing on, and holding on my ears. “I DON’T WANT TO!” dunk dunk. “for the last time LAINA! GIVE UP! LEAVE!” my voice… dunk dunk voice… voice…I didn’t want too! I got up and started running away. Away from the clock, the hand, the voices. I had to protect her! Her…. Her… I can’t take this! Dunk dunk
“The murderer, may run, may hide.
But the verdict stands as tall as her pride.”
The voices of the dead… I fell over it… something soft on the ground. I looked at my leg, bloody and gross. I got up and walked back to look down on what caused my fall…
“A life for a life,
A tooth for a tooth,
She killed merciless,
The daughter of truth”
Dunk dunk. WHAT IS THAT SOUND? I turned around again and again, ignoring the dead body on the ground. Dunk dunk. I ran towards the sound, followed it deep, while the whispers followed me.
“Insanity, despair and hatred,
The daughter, the mother, the people”
“I DIDN’T WANT TO KILL HER! LEAVE ME ALONE!” I yelled as loud as I could. A red hooded person appeared at the side of me, with a candle in the hands. As I stopped, a circle of persons like the first surrounded me.
“The sound of the heart,
And its last beating,
The sound of Laina,
And her love leaving”
Their candles stopped glowing. It weren’t lights. It was knives. As the one I used on her. The hood disappeared and I stared into a pair of my own eyes, when thirteen knives stabbed me.