It was an alarming four O clock start to the hazy morning, one Elijah was too familiar with. He sprung out of bed, wrapping his dressing gown tightly around his slender middle. He stumbled around the darkened corridor, tripping over his own footsteps as he diverted up the steep staircase, the carpet rippling beneath his feet. He fumbled at the handle of the stiffly jammed oak door before barging through it, and sprinting further into the spacious room. He sourced the Location of his panic and paced over to the elaborately dressed bed where his wrapped his arms around a Girl, the same age as himself.
"Anna..." he whispered, in a gentle sigh, as her tears dampened his angular cheeks. She looked up at him, her blonde hair tangled around her face.
"I’m sorry...it’s happening again Elijah and I can't stop it" She whimpered, her hands clasped on her forearms
. He looked down at her arms around him, each burn mark a swirl of fiery destruction, he traced his fingers along them softly, wincing at the heat that radiated from them. He stared at his now blistered fingertips, a sight that was now almost natural. He placed his whole hands over the scars, each minute a surge of unbearable agonizing energy that now coursed through his own veins,He looked back at the Scars to see them now faded.
"Elijah you can't keep doing this..." she spoke between deep breaths. " You're hurting yourself...stop..."
He shook his head, but took away his hands anyway before placing them against his pursed lips, fighting any urge he had to cry. His Darkened blue eyes flickered as the last of the energy surged through him. Drained, he stumbled back into the now brightly lit corridor and into the bathroom. He thoroughly washed his hands, as if they were blood stained, obsessively repeating the routine over and over until his hands were so cleansed they stung. He didn't dare catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror, in fear that he may have caught his own eye. He didn't dare catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror, in fear that he may have caught his own eye. He crouched to reach inside the cupboards and pulled out a packet of pills, taking three of them and placing them on the side of the cabinet as he poured himself a glass of water.
"You don't need all those," Anna sighed, leaning against the door frame. He scowled at her, swallowing the pills and pushing past her back to his own room.
"See you in the morning," He muttered behind his shoulder before sitting on the end of his bed. He looked at the clock on the side of his bed that read five o'clock and decided that going back to sleep, or at least attempting it would be utterly pointless.
He switched on his bedside lamp and turned towards his dresser, taking out his uniform, taking extra care to lay out his blazer and tie on the crushed velvet upholstered chair beside his bay windows. He began to button up his cotton shirt in front of his floor length mirror. He stopped to stare aimlessly at his torso. He places his hands over the frequent scarring that plagued his frame. He looked away in utter disgust and carried on to button up his shirt. He carelessly slung his tie around his neck and chucking his blazer upon his shoulders before blundering down stairs loudly. He checked his phone every so often but resorted to sitting silently in the kitchen, watching the clock hands tick past endlessly. A sudden ringing startlingly broke the hush. He shoved his hand into his pocket and took out the phone that shook within his hand.
“Hello..." He answered, quietly still weary of the time. "Yes...I will meet you...coffee, seven am, before school. Bye."
He exhaled deeply as slammed his phone down on the granite work surface.
"Someone's in a bad mood" Anna chimed, strolling through to reach the fridge.
"Someone only got four hours sleep so I suggest someone else doesn't annoy them as they are very unpredictable at the moment." He snarled back with a smirk, but subsided to his previous straight face.
“Mum and Dad should be back tonight,” She smiled, grinning widely and dancing slightly in her place.
“As you seemed to have failed to notice, I don’t care.” He leered, staring at the floor, scowling. She rolled her eyes at him, ambling over to sit beside him.
He stood up quickly, grabbing his coat and wide brimmed school hat and began to make his way to the large front door.
"Elijah, your phone?" Anna called after him, a mane of gold swaying behind her. He snatched it from her grasp, barely making eye contact and continued his movement through the door and out onto the busying streets. Paris was relatively warm at this time of year but even in the dead of the summer Elijah somehow managed to feel chilled as he made his way through the hurried crowds. He began to slowly wrap his scarf around his neck, keeping a wary eye on his surroundings.
"Eli!" Shouted a husky voice from behind him, he turned on his heel and walked towards the large crowd of boys that stood beside the coffee house, a couple of them beginning to sit. The owner of the voice stepped forward, messing at the cufflinks of his school shirt.
"Claude, I am really not in the mood," Elijah sighed, walking straight past the fair haired boy who gawked at him as he did.
"You never are... it’s boring Elijah... You're boring." He said mockingly, handing him a cup of coffee He was taller than Elijah, which was a considerable achievement due to Elijah's height of six foot. He had eyes of vibrant peppermint green, ones that seemed almost impossibly too bright, which shockingly, they weren’t. Elijah squinted his iced grey eyes before breaking into a short laughter, placing the coffee cup up to his paled lips.
"SSH he's not in the 'mood'" one of the other boys teased. Elijah laughed once again and regained control of the conversation. After another hour of small talk and swallowing Latte's, they began to make their way over to the large school grounds. Elijah strolled toward, leader of the pack, his white-translucent skin more apparent in the blinding sunlight. As they trooped through the gates of Paris Secondary International School for boys, which was split from the girls half, putting their straw hats firmly on their heads they greeted the head master who stood sternly in his long tailed coat.
"Tie, Mr Whittington-Smythe." He spat, taking a firm step in front of him. Elijah sighed, loudly straightening his tie up in an official way. "Thank you" Elijah continued to roll his eyes and carried on walking to the middle of the courtyard. Elijah had often wondered why the school was called international as everyone there was English or from English descent and they all had the privilege of going to school in Paris but keep in the ever so familiar comfort of the English language after being hauled out of his though process he turned to Claude, who looked panicked, as usual.
"What's wrong?" he asked, mostly out of curiosity and less out of assistance.
He pointed to the top of his head, stressing the importance of his absent hat, which had clearly gone unnoticed as they had walked passed. Elijah rolled his eyes once again.
“It’s not a big deal Claude, get over it” He laughed, mocking the dread in his companion’s eyes.
“It is Eli, I’m on thin Ice as it is.” He pleaded, searching the perimeter, keeping a close eye on any teachers that loomed in the yard.
Elijah scoffed at him but never the less reached out to take a hat of the nearest boy to him and handed it quickly to Claude. The first-year, who was now hatless, stared up at Elijah a look of pure-terror and bravery glistening in his eyes, a mixture that was easily distinguished.
"Problem?" Elijah and Claude said in unison. The young boy shook his head and scurried away to the large archway that entered into the assembly hall. The bell rang through the yard, leaving Elijah and Claude to walk very slowly, killing as much time as they could to go to their common room, Claude keeping a tight grip onto his hat.
“You’re so paranoid, to a point it’s actually pitiful.” Elijah breathed, patting Claude on the back.
"Elijah, and Cohort..... Don't you have a lesson to be attending?" Asked an angry looking women her eyes wide and stride long and determined.
"Don't you?"Elijah retorted, raising his eyebrows and continuing through the corridor, dragging Claude firmly by his sleeve. Claude straightened out his jacket, frowning at Elijah and turning back to see if the women, they knew as Madame Lester had followed.
"Don't be so fearful," Elijah said calmly, his brow creased. "She doesn't know your name."
"And she knows yours?"
"Yes, I’m important," he continued rolling his eyes. He forcefully opened the door and sauntered into the room.
"Elijah any particular reason why you are late to registration?" Said a slightly softer looking, old man with wiry grey hair and round-brimmed glasses. Elijah thought about explaining his whole 'sister' situation but then he reminded himself that's not something you share with your Registration tutor.
"No, no 'particular' reason. I just walked slowly." He exhaled, taking a seat and the far back of the classroom. The bell echoed once again for the start of first period
“Elijah, how nice of you to join us…ten minutes late,” said the Stern women from before “ Seems you did have a lesson to be getting to,” Elijah glared as he entered to the class room, his teeth gritted as he handed a note of absence to the women and sauntered over to his chair.
Claude whispered from behind him. He contemplated turning around to answer but after an unsympathetic look from Ms Lester he decided that he might as well keep his head down.
“I don’t understand. I really don’t. You are all so privileged to be able to have your schooling here in Paris. You are all fluent in English and French and yet you still can’t be bothered to take part in your Latin classes. It is a shame letting all this talent go to waste...If I had my way you’d have double the amount of Latin you’re getting…and you’d be forced to take part in it” She addressed the class, whilst jotting down meaningless notes on the board behind her. Elijah shrugged, along with the rest of the class room, not really sure how to react to her regular outbursts.
The satin drapes curtains had never seemed so small and unimportant and the dark woodwork was almost drowned by white walls. Elijah laughed at himself and turned to stare out of the window, blank expression once again. A knock at the door brought Elijah back from his thoughts to the room he sat in. An important looking Man, of around 50 strolled in as confidently as Elijah had himself. He felt a sudden urge to sit up a little straighter and tie his tie a little more formally. The man pointed straight in his direction a nodded for him to follow. Elijah slumped out of his chair but had to break into a brisk stride to keep up with the ever so influential man.
He looked up at him. He had dark brown eyes that seemed to match exactly to his cropped, chocolate shade of hair. His skin was a light mocha colour and his teeth a glimmering shade of white. Ms Lester closed the door behind them muttering more than usual.
"Where are we going?" Elijah questioned, his pace finally at a regular speed. The man didn't even turn to look at him, keeping his eyes forward and his head high.
"I deserve to be answered!" Elijah said harshly. The man gestured towards a door beside them, irritated by the young boy’s impatience. He sat down in front of the boy, leaning back in the leather arm chair.
"Name?" He asked sharply.
"Elijah Charles Timothy Whittington-Smythe" he replied, proudly, also leaning back into his own chair, smirk curving his lips.
"Age?" The man questioned again.
"Sixteen Sir," he replied again but a little more quietly. The man's calm demeanour was off-putting and unnerving which somehow made Elijah feel a little less sure of himself.
"There have been many complaints about you, young sir. It seems you have been causing quite a lot trouble." The man sighed.
"I'm sure I can explain," Elijah exhaled loudly.
"You mean you're sure you can talk your way out of it," The man laughed, before returning to his straight face.
"Who even are you?" Elijah asked, perplexed. “What gives you the right to question me?”
"Sebastian Dawes, your new councillor."
Elijah began to laugh to himself, amused by the idea of him needed a councillor but was brought swiftly back to silence from a stern look from Sebastian.
"I can assure you that I do not need counselling." He smiled.
"I am afraid that's not something you get to decided anymore." Sebastian, smiled back, falsely. He reached into his brown, worn satchel and took out a small amount of documents, placing them in front of him. Elijah took out his own fountain pen, not really sure if he had any intention to sign the documents.
'When will I see you then, Councillor? “He sighed.
"Whenever I decide is suitable," Sebastian replied.
"If we can make that during my Latin Lessons then....we have some sort of deal."
Sebastian chuckled at the young boy, nodding slightly.
"We have a deal,"
The bell rung through the air, dismissing Claude and Elijah to their free period. They both managed to wander over to a nearby bench, sitting there in stillness until Claude began to pry.
“Elijah Where were you just?”
“You know, we should go out tonight, invite some of the other boys, some of the girls from the other half.” Elijah smiled, evading his questioning.
“Yes, that sounds great…but where were you?” Claude replied, perplexed by Elijah’s attempt of avoidance. After a deafening silence that seemed to last longer than it should have done he decided to drop the matter.
Elijah couldn’t help but keep his mind far away from the meeting he had endured with Sebastian. He wasn’t sure what he needed counselling for or even who Sebastian really was but something about missing a Latin lesson every once in a while didn’t seem like it could hurt. Elijah stood up abruptly and began to walk down the cold and darkened corridor.
“Where are we going now?” Claude asked, hurrying after him. Elijah heaved a sigh at his slow associate.
“To the Library to invite people to our get together.”
“Oh right….Why the library? Last week you said you hated and despised reading of the ‘pathetic fiction’ that they held in there”
“It’s the only shared part of the school…that’s why.”
“Oh…you want to see Bonnie…don’t you?” Claude teased, mockingly making kissing motions. Elijah scorned at him.
“If she happens to be there I will invite her along.” Elijah said back, his mouth creasing into a small smile. They sauntered up the large stair case to the Library, continuing to widen their smiles.
“Mr. Whittington-Smythe, Mr Bouncent it is rare to see you here” Said the librarian as they arrived, pushing her glasses further onto her face, their bright red frame matching the shade of her cheeks. They smiled falsely and meandered over to the far corner of the Library. A girl with cropped silvery hair sat, her knees close to her chest with her blazer placed over them, her head buried in a book. She brushed her fringe out of her bottle green eyes, glancing over at Elijah and Claude her lips curling into a slight smile and raising her eyebrows before turning away. Elijah smiled back, keeping his eyes fixed on her.
“Oh Gosh…” Claude breathed, looking behind them.
“Elijah!” squealed a high pitched singing. Another girl with flowing Auburn locks ran over, wrapping her arms around him and kissing his cheek softly, before sitting beside him.
“ Oh hey Dulce,” He smiled through an almost clenched jaw, wrapping his arms around her but still keeping his eyes secure on the girl in the corner. Dulce sat, her legs crossed staring into her pocket mirror. Claude glanced over at her. He wasn’t quite sure what Elijah had ever seen in her apart from her impeccable good-looks and millionaire wealth and if he was honest it probably wasn’t anything else other than that.
“So, Dulce. We were planning on going out tonight. Are you in?”
“Sure!” she beamed “I’ll invite some of the girls?”
“What about...Bonnie?” Claude pushed, looking over t the girl who Elijah seemed fascinated by. Dulce let out a small but amusing laugh before returned to her usual serious and perfected self.
“We can’t invite just anyone….” She said sternly…” But if you really want to…” She walked over to Bonnie, tossing her hair behind her shoulder and plastering a smile on her face. Bonnie looked up at the girl that towered above her in slightly heeled school shoes.
“Bonnie, right? Do you want to go out tonight with Elijah, Claude and I. They insisted I ask.” She sung, a little too falsely.
“With you? I’ll have to pass thanks. But no thanks.” She sneered, pushing past her and keeping her eyes fixed on the ceiling.
“Well that was unbelievably rude…” She chimed, pleased none the less with the outcome. Elijah sighed, forging a smile at Dulce.
Well I will see you later” She giggled before flouncing into the distance.
“I really not too keen on her.” Claude sighed.
“Me neither” Elijah muttered to himself. The rest of the day was a dull, uneventful haze and before he knew it Elijah found himself walking home alone, once again thinking about Bonnie.
He opened the door to the large manor that he now called home, sitting at the Granite breakfast bar, and picking up the pile of news-papers from the side-tables. Anna walked through, not making any attempt and conversation or even eye-contact. Not that Elijah minded. He enjoyed the silence.
The door unlocked from the main hall, half stopping Elijah’s heart as he sat with the evening newspapers, sighing at what the world was coming to. A women of around forty, with perfectly styled platinum hair and perfectly placed pearls around her neck.
"Oh how it is reassuring to hear your sweet voice Mother...such a rarity." Elijah spat, not looking up from the newspaper.
"Don't Elijah...Where's Anna?" She sighed.
"Oh you remember you have other Children, Why did you have two? You barely have time for one." He snarled slightly..."Just go back to work Mother..."
"Elijah don't talk to your mother like that," His father interrupted, walking in, his suit in disarray, slamming his brief-case on the counter-top.
"I'd rather not speak to her at all if I’m entirely honest," he sighed, putting the newspaper down.
"Maybe so. But honesty has never been your strong point."
"And superiority has never been yours," he smirked back, rolling his eyes and slumping back into his stool.
"Elijah Charles...you dare say another word..." His father fumed. Elijah smiled and stood up to begin walking up the spiralled stair case. His dark green eyes shone brightly in the sunlit roomed but with a thrill of excitement.
He laid back on his bed, closing his eyes in relaxation. He was brought back to realism by a sudden ringing. He positioned his phone to his ear, answering to the unknown number.
“How the hell did you get this number?” Elijah retorted, fear striking through him.
“Never mind that…I have ways. Ready for your first meeting.” Sebastian chimed through the phone. Elijah stared at his phone in disbelief.
“If you hadn’t noticed…I am not currently in a Latin class.” He smiled to himself. “Where are we meeting?”