At first I thought it was a joke – but after Eve had instructed a rather burly man to hang me up, it got very serious, very quickly. But after the beating I had endured I didn’t have much of a fight left in me.
The man had chained me to the wall in a cell, just like they had threatened to do to J. I was beginning to expect that they had never done anything to him – that I had proven his guilt by coming for him.
I didn’t even know if he was still alive.
I took a deep breath; cringing at the pain it wrought me from doing so. After I refused to give the answer Eve and the other woman wanted they had begun to torture me – breaking ribs and cutting me until I screamed mercy, but every time they asked me I gave them the same answer.
“Eve” I called, using a fair amount of strength to make sure my voice was heard – but even doing so my voice raised only to normal levels.
I hung my head, breathing hard and trying to ignore all the pain I was in. I tried again to memorize the room I was in, remember how we had got here, and remember the way out of Haven. But my mind was hazy – I had blacked out in the interrogation and had been moved to this cell.
I had expected there to be some form of basic human decency provided for me – but there was no toilet or water. And they hadn’t fed me since I had been here, which could be hours or days considering the lights never went out, and whenever I tried to sleep one of the florescent lights began to hum.
The door clicked, the lights dimming for a brief moment before Eve entered the room, a Cheshire cat grin on her face and I instantly knew something had gone terribly, horribly wrong for the Rebels.
And amazingly right for Haven – what’s bad for the goose is good for the gander after all.
“Lilly, hanging in there I hope?” Eve asked, seemingly amused by her own joke. I gave no response because we both knew she didn’t want or expect one.
Eve walked around the small room before finding a spot where she could see me and I her, but she wasn’t overly close for me to attack her, or too far that she wouldn’t be able to hear me.
“You’ve come so far to fall so fast Lilly.” Eve said, leaning forwards slightly to whisper. “We found them all – all the kids. We went to Helf and rounded up every single one of them – their here in Haven undergoing initiation.”
Eve smiled and I threw my wait forward, pulling on the chains that bound me with no luck. Eve placed her folders on the ground where she stood, reaching into her pocket to reveal a gun and I paled breathing heavily. Eve smirked a knowing look in her eyes.
“I only have one last question for you Lillyanna May Darnell; any lasts requests?”
I gulped loudly opening my mouth before closing it – was she seriously offering me this one last request, after not feeding me or letting me have any human comfort. Obviously she expected me to ask for something trivial, but I wasn’t going to do that – but at the same time I couldn’t ask for anything too hard, too far out of my league otherwise they’d just kill me.
“I’d like to be let go.” I joked, my mind whirling – using this as a distraction process was risky, but it gave me a few more precious seconds of thinking time – but there was only one thing I wanted.
“If that’s what you want.” Eve sighed, cocking the gun at my head and I shook vigorously.
“No, I change my mind.” I said quickly and Eve smiled thinly, lowering the gun slightly.
“What will it be? A nice hot meal perhaps?”
I shook my head, if there was one thing I needed to do, I needed to set up a replacement leader for the Hell Rebels, and I knew exactly the person to do it.
“I’d like to see J” I whispered, using my most pleading, whiny voice.
Eve’s eyebrows shot up – this was clearly not what she expected of my last request. She pursed her lips and I widened my eyes, using what my father used to call puppy dog eyes. It generally works – I get my way often. Eve sighed, closing her eyes briefly before opening them again, quickly picking up her folder and disappearing from the room.
I closed my eyes, letting the numbness in my bones lull me into what I assumed was sleep – though I had no dreams, and it seemed only a few moments later when Eve re-entered with J in tow, not a bruise on his face, or a limp in his stride. He was exactly the same as when I had left him all those days ago.
Eve walked towards the wall, accessing one of the panels and lowering me to the floor through a series of pulleys. My feet hit the floor, but they could no longer support me, instead allowing me to fall onto my knees – helpless.
J came and wrapped my arm around his shoulders, pulling me from the floor and into a tight embrace. He sobbed into my shoulder – we both knew this was it. I thought about the moment only a few days ago when I had wished for an experience of the kind of love Grant and Selene shared – and here it was, waiting for me, but I was too late for it.
As J started to pull back I gripped onto the sleeve of his shirt, staggering slightly.
“Take this” I ordered, thrusting my wrist towards him and motioning towards the bracelet Kaysee had given me earlier.
J unclipped the black leather band before securing it around his own wrist. I tugged on his sleeve, and he wrapped his arms around me again, and I leaned up, whispering to him.
“You have to go to them, lead them. Do what I can’t and fix this world” J nodded slightly, enough to let me know he heard me, but Eve shouldn’t expect anything.
She had underestimated us before – that was how we had been able to get Kaysee in, how we were able to poison the grass around Haven. And now because of that Eve would only see two young people embracing for the last time.
Eve made a sound and J relented slowly, backing away. There were still tear streaks down his face, but his eyes were clear, determined. I had given him a mission, and I knew he was going to complete it. He would fix the world like I couldn’t.
“Are you ready now?” Eve asked, in that sweet insincere voice, as though she were trying to console me.
I nodded slowly, my eyes drifting around the room before coming to rest on my bare wrist lying limply in my lap.
Am I really going to go down like this?
I asked myself sternly, shaking myself from the depressive state I had been in. I staggered to a standing position, glancing at Eve while she tried to figure out how to work the gun. I waited a few more moments before shifting into a defensive position, taking off as fast as I could in her direction, my arms circled around her middle, dragging her to floor and landing a single hit to her pretty face before the shot went off.
I wish I had died suddenly, instead of being left bleeding on the ground in a dirty cell with no hope of a proper funeral. But there I was, dying. Only because when Eve had tried to shoot me she missed my heart – instead shooting me through one of my lungs which was now filling with blood, which I was coughing up periodically.
I was glad in that moment that I was alone for this; I wouldn’t want anyone to have to witness this kind of death. It was better that I could lie here and think about the meaning of life and love and all the things in-between.
You’re finally that girl
I thought bleakly.
Finally that girl who would sacrifice everything for those she loved, and now she had made the ultimate sacrifice – herself.
But it wouldn’t be for naught – her mission would be carried on through the boy. He had to be the one to fix this, because she trusted him, because she knew from the moment she met him that he could fix this, he just had to be given the chance.