Guiltless

On the 11th of January 1937 Johnathon Ignes is born. He is a suitable weight, in good health...but different from all the other babies in the ward, because he is born immune to guilt. 2 years and 235 days later, worldwide war breaks out.
Sent away as an evacuee, Johnathon grows up away from his mother, and meets Erebus, a cheeky paperboy. Erebus too, has no guilt, and under his influence, Johnathon grows up into a monster.
This is the story of how that monster, became a leader.
- The prequel to 'Souls' (but will make sense if you haven't read it) -

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34. Chapter 33

“It must be a pretty big secret for you to drag me out of the party like this” Chloe mumbled as she followed after Johnathon, speaking her thoughts. Johnathon tried his best to ignore her commentary, feeling torn enough as it was without her added input. “Who are you worried about overhearing?” She suddenly thought.

“Everyone.” Johnathon replied bluntly, being deliberately vague. He found a door, and opened it. Seeing it lead to an empty room, he stepped inside, beaconing for Chloe to follow. Chloe sat down on the bed, and Johnathon on a chair next to it. He took a deep breath in, still anxious about spilling his secrets. “Have you ever been in love Chloe?” He began with a question, unable to think of any other way to start.

“No” she shrugged.

“I have, am I mean, I am.” Johnathon fumbled, nervous.

“Oh…Johnathon, I think I see where this is going.” Chloe blushed. She actually blushed. Johnathon had never seen her blush before. The red blotches stood out like traffic lights on her icy skin.

“Yes, well, you see…I have feelings for this girl. She seems to understand me in ways even I don’t, and when I’m with her I feel like, like a better person. I think I’m in love with her, but I’m scared to admit it. Not just for my sake, but for hers too.” Johnathon tried to explain.

“I understand most of all this, but I do have one question. What are you afraid will happen if people do find out?” Chloe asked him.

“I suppose I’m scared of what people will think, how they’ll react. I don’t think people would accept us.” Johnathon confessed. Chloe nodded, and moved closer to Johnathon.

“Since when did you care what people think?” Chloe smirked, adding humour into the conversation.

“Since…since I learnt that thoughts can lead to dangerous actions” Johnathon admitted. Chloe was inching closer and closer to him.

“Yes,” she murmured, “Yes, they can”. And with saying this, she pounced on him. Forcing her lips onto his, she cupped his head in her hands, giving him a passionate (if slightly violent) kiss. It took half a second for Johnathon to register what was happening, and another half second for him to shove her off, using all his strength so that she flew across the room.

Chloe sat up immediately after being thrown to the ground, humiliated and shocked.

“What did you do that for?” She screamed at him, angry.

“What did I do that for? What did you kiss me for?” Johnathon shouted back, standing up.

“I thought that was what you wanted me to do!” Chloe exclaimed, her eyes wide and her arms open in defence, “You were going on and on about how much you liked me”.

“I wasn’t talking about you” Johnathon spat out his words, trying to make himself clear, “I was talking about someone else”.

“Then why did you…Wait. Who? Who were you actually talking about?” Chloe changed her mind mid-sentence.

“It doesn’t matter” Johnathon headed towards the door, but Chloe flashed in front of it, blocking his way.

“Yes it does. Tell me.” She demanded. Johnathon sighed, wondering if it was worth it to try and get past her, of it would be a waste of energy. He gave in, sitting back down again.

“Her name is Adele. She’s got the most incredible ginger hair, chocolate brown eyes, a loving nature…she’s my everything.” Johnathon described her.

“Then why didn’t you bring her tonight? Why not show this perfect girl off?” Chloe didn’t move away from the door, still cautious. Johnathon bit his lip, reluctant to tell her.

“She’s normal”.

Chloe moved away from the door.

She moved towards Johnathon.

She knelt down beside him.

…She hugged him.

“You poor thing” she cooed, “You must be heartbroken”.

“Actually I’ve never felt better, with Adele I feel invincible” Johnathon argued. He felt Chloe stiffen, and she broke their hug. Her eyes were serious when they met his.

“You’re…still dating her?” She checked.

“Of course” Johnathon couldn’t understand Chloe’s drastic change in attitude.

“Johnathon! You absolute idiot.” She rolled her eyes, “You can’t date a normal, not now. It’s not safe, for her, for us, for anyone. She’ll get dragged into all this mess, and our security will be compromised. You need to end your relationship.”

“Can’t I just keep her a secret?” Johnathon suggested.

“And how long will that last? A month? A week? A day? Sooner or later you’ll get caught” Chloe pointed out, pacing around the room. “No. I won’t have it. As your leader it’s my responsibility to help you, whether you like it or not.”

In a flash, Chloe was gone. Johnathon was quick to rush after her, but it was too late. By the time he reached the main room, Chloe had already gotten everyone’s attention.

“Hello everybody, sorry to interrupt your evening, but I have something to say” she shouted out over the chatter. After a few seconds, the room was silent. “Thank you. Now I would like to hand over to Johnathon Ignes, I feel he should be the one to say this”. All eyes fell on Johnathon, who uncomfortable shifted in his position. “Go on Johnathon, tell them”.

“What is this all about?” Eloise intruded, concerned.

“I’ll let Johnathon tell you that” Chloe held her ground. Looking down at his feet, Johnathon began.

“Love is a strange thing ladies and gentlemen. Strange not in the way it exist, but in the way in which it acts upon us. It infects us like a disease, and influences all our decisions. We say different words, we do different things. Love can change you completely. I know for certain that it has changed me. I used to be reckless, careless, everything people expected me to be. Then I met Adele. She’s so warm, and kind, and she doesn’t fear me…which is brilliant.” Johnathon paused, walking over to the centre of the room, confidence blossoming inside him, “I am in love with her.” He announced. “There is just one problem, Adele, however amazing she may be, is a normal.” There were whispers around the room in response to Johnathon’s confession, “I know a lot of you will not be pleased to hear that, but I cannot alter the truth. Adele is normal, but she is also my girlfriend, and I think she might be the love of my life. Even though she does not experience life in the way I do, she seems to get everything about me. She has taught me so many lessons, one of which I wish to share with you today. Just because someone is guiltless, doesn’t mean they’re heartless.” Johnathon finished his speech, and looked around the room anxiously. After a few long minutes of waiting for some form of response, Eloise stepped forward.

“Johnathon…I can see this girl means a lot to you, but you must understand why we have our concerns. We cannot risk any of our secrets getting out! You have to see our side…”

“Oh I do,” Johnathon cut her off, “I just don’t agree with it.”

“Eloise is right” Kris walked through the crowd to speak to him, “This girlfriend of yours poses a risk”.

Johnathon, instead of ripping Kris’s head off, which he wanted to do very much, turned to Chloe.

“Do you see now why I did not want to tell them?” He tried to reason with her.

“Johnathon…” Chloe didn’t finish her sentence, not knowing what to say.

“Forget it,” he closed the matter. Noticing the clock in the corner now showed the time as 12:25, he added, “Happy New Year”. People cleared the way for him as he left the house, getting in the car and driving away, not caring that he had left Erebus behind.

All he cared about was Adele, and his cares had just been crushed.

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