Charlotte Jones is stuck in a world where love is looked at as a disease. She is caught talking about becoming a Shadow with her friends Talia and Madi. Shadows believe in love, which most think is bad. The three friends must now escape without getting caught. If they are caught, they'll be given a choice. A world without love or death?


5. Envy of Love

All three of us had finally met up together at Lake Luv in our secret hiding spot. Something seemed different about it. There was a black dot about the size of a quarter on one of the sides of the rock barrier. I'm probably just being paranoid because of evaluations.

We started talking about evaluations. Madi said she will be the last pick. I can't understand why she thinks so badly about herself. She is beautiful, just like Talia. She will be a first or second pick.

She has maple brown hair that goes just past her shoulders. Her sidebangs make her look even prettier. Not that she wasn't gorgeous without sidebangs. Her eyes are the same as Talia’s, only Madi has a hint of blue in hers, making them shimmer even more. She has a tan complexion, slightly darker than mine.

After we were done dreading evaluations, we talked more about Shadows.

“What do you think they're even like?” Talia said in her enthusiastic voice.

“Better not get close! They'll eat you!” Madi mocks sarcastically.

Madi isn't very good at sarcasm. Talia and I are trying to teach her.

“Seriously though Mads! What do they live in?” Talia remarks.

“Houses.” Madi replies.

“What do they eat?”


“What do they look like?”

“People. They're normal people like us. The only thing that separates us from them is the fact that they are free and we are caged in this freaking dump of a town.” Madi meant to end that conversation, but I continued it.

“They also love.” I begin to add. “And we'd be killed if we did so.”

This is true. I envy them so much for it. I want love. I want a guy to hold me in his arms and tell me I'm pretty. For me to tell him I'm not pretty, and them him to remark with a sweet comment. That's what I heard love is like. My parents loved each other. Very much. Until they were, well, killed.

I realize I'm starting to tear up because Talia is getting out her bag and handing me a tissue.

“Thanks.” I say as she slides the soft tissue into my slightly shaky hand.

“Don't worry.” Madi says. “Someday, somehow, we will be Shadows. Free to love like your parents. Like Talia’s dad. Like my grandparents.” Madi and Talia both begins to tear up. Talia grabs Madi and herself a tissue out of her bag.

I forgot about Talia’s dad. He was caught with a heart necklace that Talia’s mom had given him in his pocket. He wouldn't say Talia’s mom gave it to him though. He didn't want her to be hurt, or worse, killed. He was taken to the Shackles and never seen again.

Talia never talks about it. She's the type of person who cares more about other people's needs than her own. If you have a problem, Talia is there to listen. It's like she doesn't have a bone to pick with anyone.

Me however, I have a bone to pick with a lot of people.

I will get my revenge.

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