I know Logan had expected me to go straight to Echo's side, that's why when he pushed past me through the door he went to the right, trying to stop me from making a scene. What he didn't realize was that I wasn't sad right now; I had not a grain of sadness left in me. In its place though, I had pure fury, burning within me.
Marching through the Compounds chatter filled halls, I made my way to the training ring. I kicked against the door as it slid open, gaining a few stares from the people inside. It was as if was diseased, everyone moved out of my way and had terror struck in their eyes. I didn’t even care that it was fear that I saw in their eyes, the only thing that I was focused on was making sure that Ryder’s face was bruised with black and blue by the end of this hour.
I found him by the weapons room, leaning against the door frame, flirting with some poor girl. I didn’t bother to ask her to leave or even warn her, I pulled him back by his shirt collar and threw him to the ground. The only reason that was easy enough as because he didn’t see me coming from behind, he was too distracted ‘flirting’ with a girl he would probably never see again.
“What the hell was that for?!” He yelped, his voice cracked on the last word, I didn’t realise I had attracted a crowd until I heard their laughter.
“You know damn well what that was for; She’s going to die because of you!” As I spoke he slowly got up from the floor but wasn’t standing for long. I threw my fist back and slammed it into his cheek; he fell against the wall but didn’t have time to fall down before I held him up by his shirt.
For all of those years he had been taunting me, putting me down, trying to make sure I wouldn’t get back up – He failed. I never gave in, never backed down from him or let him win, in a way he helped me become who I am today, and he was going to witness firsthand just how much of a monster I can be.
“Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen” He cried, I don’t know if the tear I saw fall down his cheek was from sorrow or pain, either way it had no right to be there.
“You don’t get to be sorry, Ryder! You killed her! You killed her!” I started yelling, but by the last three words I was screaming at him. I could feel the tears fall from my eyes again, I threw my fist against the wall instead of into his face again. I knew if I had hit him then he would have become unconscious.
I knew I was letting my anger and hurt get the better of me, but I just didn’t have enough energy to care about anything more than making Ryder knew exactly how much he had screwed up. Even if that meant being put on probation forever, I couldn’t let him get away with it, not this, not Echo.
Because of him, Echo is going to die. I had no doubt in my mind about it, there was no way they could treat a snake bite because they were basically extinct from this area, their poison evolved into something stronger and more lethal than ever before, there was no way she could be cured, no way anyone could ever help her.
She was gone, she just didn’t know it yet.
A stray tear fell from my cheek, for some stupid reason Ryder thought it was his place to wipe the tear away from my eye, I slapped his hand away with my free arm and pinned it against the wall. We both knew if he really wanted to he could fight back, he wasn’t defenceless and knew exactly how to fight, but he didn’t. Adrenaline was slowly starting to fade, the voice of reason came back into my mind and was telling me to let him go, only that was just for a moment before I realised it wasn’t in my head.
Professor Lansbury appeared from the crowd and pulled me off of Ryder, her hand never left my shoulder.
“Lyssa! I know you are worried about Echo, it is understandable, but attacking Ryder here is not the way to help her” Her voice was calm even though her grip on my shoulder was firm and hard. I knew it was a front, Professor Lansbury has been like a mother to me since my parents passed, I know she would rather see Ryder burn.
“He killed Echo, it’s his fault, he did it” I couldn’t even understand myself as I sobbed into the palm of my hands. I let Ryder go and he crawled away, I didn’t see where he went, my eyes were blurred as tears fell from them. I fell back against the wall and pulled my knees close to my chest, I watched as Professor Lansbury shooed the rest of the crowd away, thankful that no one else would ever have to see my in this state. Grief took over my body; I couldn’t hold back anything as I cried the pain away. I felt myself slip away and have complete and utter sorrow take its place, my muscles turned into mush.
I hate myself for letting this happen, if it wasn’t for me then Echo wouldn’t be in this position, Ryder wouldn’t have taunted me with a stupid snake and Echo would be fine.
All I want to do right now is give up, stop fighting for myself, fade away from this world and see if anyone notices. The worst part is, I can’t, and I can’t do anything but feel sorry for myself. As long as Holli is in the picture, I will never be able to truly do anything for myself ever again.
I sat there for who knows how long, I didn’t even realise that I had gotten up and walked towards the lake. Once I reached the air lock door, I slammed my hand against the handprint pad that opens it, I don’t know why it’s there, and everyone in the Compound can open it without any problems.
The complete change of colours always takes me a while to adjust to, instead of having a line of light above my head like I do in the hallowed hallways of the Compound, there is only one dim light throughout the whole lake, the light shimmers against the falls buts stops you from being able to really see much.
It was strange to think that even underground we still had the pleasure of lakes and waterfalls; it was a beautiful scene that I could sit by for hours without moving or having a care in the world.
The sounds of the water beating against the rocks as it falls gracefully is complete and utter bliss, the serenity one feels when they are near the lake is enough to calm the rugged seas.
I tiptoed over to the water and submerged my whole body, not caring about having to dry myself when I decided to finally get out.
The serenity I felt was amazing, the water washed out all of my worries and problems that cluttered my mind, leaving behind a cold chill that ran down my spine. I loved the feeling swimming could give you, gravity was not a factor and you could do whatever you wanted to.
Holli told me once that she loved to imagine she was a mermaid, I pondered on that thought for a while, thinking about how we never used to believe that walkers were a possibility, yet now they are the terror of our nightmares.
Who is to say that mermaids can’t exist?
I swam around through the cool, clear water, enjoying how the water calmed my nerves and helped me to forget about life at the moment, the only thing on my mind was how the water made me feel.
I decided that I would try ago as low as I could, giving myself a challenge. I took one last breathe above the surface and pushed myself towards the bottom.
I realised that I had bitten off more than I can chew when the pressure of the water started pressing down on my, my lungs thinned and the pressure in my head building.
My whole body felt like a pulse, beating against the inside of my skin. I don’t know how close I was to the bottom when I was swept to the right in an underwater stream.
I was pulled left and right, banging against the sides on the stream, the hard rocks more than likely leaving a mark on my skull before the rocks were washed away by the stream fighting against me.
The current was pulling me in all different directions, my limbs feeling like they could break off any moment. I stopped fighting against it and let it drag me wherever it may be, I couldn’t tell which way was up anymore, only that instead of going down further into the barren earth I was being pulled upwards slowly my the water. I don’t know how it was possible but if I am being honest, my mind wasn’t really pondering the laws of gravity when it is being drowned.
The only thing that amazes me right now is that I haven’t run out of breathe yet, that my lungs still held precious air that was keeping me alive right now.
The last thing I remember was having my head thrown against a hard rock sticking out of the walls and feeling a strike of pain before fading out to the oblivion, watching as the darkness behind my eyes became permanent.
Or at least that’s what I had thought.
The first thing I felt was my heart.
Beating against my chest, forcing blood to pump back through my veins and awaken my lungs which felt like had lost every spec of air.
I forced my eyes to open and was blinded for a moment from the light beating down on me, heat radiating from my body. I slowly pulled my knee under my body and pushed myself up, the hard grains of sand burning against my bare skin.
As soon as I got up my balance wavered, I fell against an old, broken boat that I didn’t even realise was next to me. One foot in front of the other, I walked towards the tree line, away from the grey beach that had no sign of sunlight. The sun was hidden behind the clouds, in a way that disappointed me, for the first time in years I have been topside and the sun is hiding away. The hard, dry bark of the tree crumbled in my hand as soon as I fell against it, I still hadn’t regained my balance.
This day just kept getting better and better.
I stumbled through the over grown tree’s, tripping over fallen branches and weeds that had infested this place. Dead leaves covered my feet as I walked, with the inevitable fear that a snake could be hiding anywhere and I would end up with the same fate as Echo.
The thought of her completely escaped my mind, not that she would care if she knew, she would probably get mad at me for thinking about her while I was in this situation. She would call me a loser again for thinking about anything other than survival, just like she did the other day after my simulation. I couldn’t help it though; it was just easier to focus on something else.
My body gave up and I collapsed onto the bed of dead leaves, the dead leaves scratching at my skin, more than likely leaving red marks and flaring rashes. Who knows what could happen to me here, it’s not like we have many trees in a metal facility, just a few pot plants and herbs, which is as natural as we can get down there. The environments in the simulations don’t count because they don’t affect you, only the threats do.
My thoughts were quickly interrupted by the sound of branches rustling, twigs snapping and someone gasping.
I was being watched.