The next morning I was eager to get to school and get out of the house that now held such bad luck; but, I was also nervous to be going to school and having to act like everything was normal.
I got ready quickly, not stressing too much about my appearance, and I drove myself to school.
I was welcomed by the usual sight of an ignio getting beaten, a constant reminder of the danger in my identity. I stopped by my locker and tried to remember which class I had first today. Chemistry. I smiled a bit while grabbing my books, remembering Caden would be in that class with me, as well as Addison.
The late bell rung and only then I noticed the hallways were practically empty. I was going to be late! I quickly close my locker and started towards my class in a fast pace, but then slowed down. I was already late so I thought I might as well walk normally.
I glanced around the hallways, admiring how different they looked empty, when something caught my eye. In the shadows down a hallway that branched off of the one I was walking down, I thought I saw something sparkle. I turned my head to look again and saw a pair of black shimmering eyes glowing out of the shadow, and then they were gone.
I blinked twice trying to see them again, but they were gone. ‘How does black shine through a shadow?’ I wondered.
But I thought nothing more of it as I continued to my class.
I went about the rest of the day normally and before I knew it I was driving home. I opened the door carefully, anxiety ripping at the idea of walking back to my room.
I was expecting it this time. I knew there was a good chance I would be greeted by yet another letter by my mother’s captor, but the thought still frightened me.
Slowly, I trudged up the stairs keeping a firm hold on the handrail, and I turned into my room.
My bed, which I had left messy that morning, was neatly made. As expected, on top of it, was a letter. The envelope identical to the previous with the same shiny, black seal on the back.
I opened the letter scared, yet anxious to see what it contained.
I slid out the note and opened it, took a deep breath, and read.
TODAY SHE WAS ABLE TO ALMOST PUSH HERSELF OUT OF THE BED BY HER ARMS. STILL HOPING.
The note didn’t scare me as much as I thought it would. I must’ve grown more comfortable with the idea and accepted the circumstances. Though I knew it was probably a lie, the letter brought me slight comfort at the idea of my mother recovering, but I quickly pushed that aside, as it was impossible. I set the note aside for Sterling and spent the remainder of my afternoon doing homework.
That night, I still felt the feeling of being watched creep up my spine as I layed in bed, but my lack of sleep pushed it away and I fell asleep peacefully.
The next the next two days were nearly identical. School was boring, I didn’t see anymore glowing black eyes, I had the constant feeling of being watched, and I was welcomed each afternoon with a new note:
STILL WORKING ON ARM STRENGTH. HOPING FOR BETTER RECOVERY SOON
ARM STRENGTH INCREASED TREMENDOUSLY, WAS ABLE TO FULLY PUSH HERSELF OFF OF THE BED (DON’T WORRY, WE COATED THE GROUND IN PILLOWS FIRST. STILL HOPING
Despite knowing someone was coming into my room everyday with a note, my anxiety in the house was nearly gone. If they were gonna hurt me or take me, I figured they would’ve done it by now.
I expected the following day to be just the same, but then something terrible happened.
I went to school the same as always the next day, and the day went by as usual, until after lunchtime.
I got up from my normal spot with Caden, Addison and Jayden and we began to walk down the hallway. Addison turned to me with curiosity etched into her face. "Azzie, would you mind if I asked you a question?"
"Of course not." I responded.
She took a breath in and started "Well, you know, the whole school has been talking about how you had a bunch of police men around your house..."
I gulped, nerves beginning to swim in my stomach.
She continued "....I heard that your mother kidnapped someone or something...is that true."
"Addi!" Caden scolded her.
"Acually I want to know too." Jayden spoke up
I felt my eyes begin to water as I looked down ready to speak. "No, thats not what happened."
"What did then?" Jayden asked. I heard Caden try to silence her
"Its okay." I nudged him. "Well...my um.. my mom....she was taken." I squeaked out. And then the memories came rushing back. My heartbeat quickened, and I felt helplessness begin to stir within me.
I began to panic, trying to stop the feeling, but I couldn't help it.
"Azzie!" I heard Addison yell, trying to get my attention. I looked up at her and her jaw dropped.
"Oh my God."
The emotion got stronger and I could practically feel my eyes glowing, I turned my head to the ground and I heard Caden ask whats wrong.
Addison replied in a tone of shock "She's a..a..she's a.....SHE'S AN IGNIO!!!" She shouted, and everyone in the crowded hallway stopped suddenly to look at me.
I kept my gaze on the ground. I felt Caden come closer to me.
"Az...is that true?" He said softly.
I looked up at him, and he gasped. His eyes widened. That was all it took for the shouts to break loose.
Caden was pushed out of the way and a tall boy approached me. In a quick gesture he shoved me to the ground, my backpack adding weight and increasing the fall. People began to kick my legs and shout at me.
I cried harder.
A boy came close to my face and got his hand in position to slap my cheek. I squinted my eyes, waiting for it to come, but it didn't.
I opened one eye and saw the boy get tossed across the hallway but a tall figure with a black hoodie tied shut around most of his face.
"I suggest all of you back off and get to your classes right now unless you want to be next!" His deep loud voice boomed, and immediately everyone evacuated. The figure began to run away, but I caught him glancing back at one point, and I saw his eyes.
They were a glowing black.
I tried to yell after him, but he was gone.
"Az, are you okay?" I heard Caden's gentle voice from behind me.
I turned to look at him and his eyes widened again, probably still from shock of seeing my eyes, and he held his hand out to help me up.
I took it hesitantly, and stood up slowly. Pain shot up my legs from being pushed and kicked. I grimaced. Caden threw an arm around my waist for support. "Do you want for me to take you to your car so you can go home?" He asked calmly.
He walked me to my car and then left once I was inside.
I cried the whole way home, fearful of what my life was to become.