The Other Side

For her, it was the fire.

For him, it was the voices.

Ella and Kade. They thought they were safe. That they were normal. They were totally unaware of one another's presence until fate had to draw them together.

In each other's eyes they are strangers. But in another reality they are more than friends.

It's just too bad they can't remember any of it.

Now they both face an impending doom from group of powerful people trying to kill them. At the same time trying to figure out what got them into this mess in first place.

But the answer may prove to be more terrifying than the question.

Who are they?

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12. Chapter 5. Part 3

I was uniformed in a red and white jersey, huddled in a circle with the rest of my teammates.

 

“You were late, bro. What was keeping you?” said Tim, one of my teammates.

 

“Oh, you know. The usual. Mum hires a tutor for me just before the game. Can’t escape,” I let out a light-hearted laugh just to add some emphasis to the lie.

 

“Your mum’s tough,” he replied, not pushing the situation further.

 

I sighed, half exhausted by our intense training before the game, and half depressed from my session with my psychologist. There was no way I was telling any of the boys here that their team captain was losing his head. The last thing I needed was to cloud up my thoughts.

 

That was the main reason I had taken up football. It helped me clear my mind. Helped me stay calm. Helped me-

 

“Smith! Are you listening?” barked our coach, Coach Donald. “I want you centre forward with Tim. James, Nelson, Ralph, and Tunde. Form midfield. The rest of you, make yourselves useful taking back positions and goalkeeper...”

 

“Yeah?” said Liam, scratching the back of his head.

 

“What on earth are you doing here? Shouldn’t you already be…?”

 

I dispersed from the group with Tim in tow.

 

“Lad. That exam yesterday was tough. Thank god it was the last one, though!”

 

“Oh yeah, I finished mine last week. No more exams until Uni,” I said proudly.

 

“Oh man, you mean-,”

 

Help me!

 

“-Help who?” I said, bewildered. “Who said that?”

 

“Said what? Kade, are you okay?” he asked.

 

“Oh yeah, I’m fine,” I said, trying my best to hide the cracking in my speech.

 

No, I thought, this can’t be happening. First the visions. Now voices.

 

I looked over at Tim who was across the field in his midfield position. He grinned and gave a small salute. I returned it with my own and a shaky smile. My focus then went to the game on the pitch. The other team members, dressed in green and black jerseys looked equally as eager to start the game. My opponent was a lean one with muscle. We locked eyes and sized each other up. I could tell without even thinking, that he was definitely a lot stronger than me. A smirk played on his face as he shot my flat muscles a condescending gaze. Judge not lest ye be judged. Strength was on his side, but he didn't know how fast I was.

 

Find me!

 

"Get out of my head," I muttered under my breath.

 

A whistle sounded and Tim started with the ball, dodging a midfielder and passing the ball to me. My opponent sprinted and I quickly tackled him to the left before faking a right from a back defender. I passed the ball back to Tim, who passed it to Tunde, who passed it to Ralph, who passed it back to me and before we knew it, the ball was in the net. Our team cheered in praise, which brought a good light-headed feeling back to my head.

 

“Looks like I underestimated you,” said my opponent. “I won’t be so easy next time.”

 

I grinned. “Me neither.”

 

The whistle sounded again. My opponent started with the ball, avoiding the onslaught tackle of Tim and passing it through Tim’s legs. James and Ralph both advanced to defence, attempting to block him by forming a human barricade. He smiled, dribbling around them as if he were dancing the waltz to a tune only he could hear.

 

I stood, beside his closest teammate, waiting patiently for when he would pass the ball. I would intercept and score into the net.

 

INTERCEPT 35.02O, 4.320 METERS LEFT, 9.756 SECONDS.

 

What was that?

 

The voices. In my head. They came back.

 

“No, no, no, no!” I shouted in frustration.

 

“Kade! Your ball!” somebody shouted.

 

I snapped into focus. The ball was heading my way. Four meters to my left. Coming down at a low angle.

 

Coincidence?

 

Through pure instinct and adrenaline, I raced towards the ball, striking a header and lowering the ball down low enough to run with it along the pitch.

 

The boy I’d been blocking came charging towards me. I quickly swapped the ball to my other foot and back, confusing him so he leapt to the wrong side.

 

This was it. My mind was fully in the game. Nothing could stop me now.

 

ENEMY TARGET -45.13o RIGHT

 

The voice sounded in my head again. I caught the sight of my raging opponent on my right. Another opponent on my left. A third coming from my right again. A fourth blocking my path. I was trapped. There was nobody to pass to.

 

What should I do?

 

Something in my mind clicked. There was a faint tickling sensation and as if someone was typing letters on my brain. And then shock. Like somebody had poured a cold bucket of ice water on my scalp.

 

DATA PROCESSING…

 

The third from my right came first, charging towards me. I used a roulette move, turning a full 360o and narrowly avoiding him.

 

ANALYSING DATA…

 

Quickly! Damnit!

 

MANDATORY DEVIATION FROM PATH, MAX 10 METRES RIGHT

 

20o VERTICAL, 46o HORIZONTAL AIM LEFTWARDS.

 

 

CONDITIONAL OUTCOME OF SUCC-SUCC-SUCCESS: 53%

 

E-ERR-ERROR!

 

UNABLE TO PR-PROCESS REQUEST. SHUTTING DOWN…

 

The voice in my head went silent. I dodged the next opponent blocking my path with a step-over move.

 

There’s no way out of this! Members of the opposite were charging at me like an army of raging bulls. And my opponent was gaining on me.

 

“Arghh!” I lost control of the ball and tripped.

 

A tremendous scream echoed through my head, splitting my brain apart. Holding my head in my hands, I echoed the scream. Agony. Pain was reverberating through my skull.

 

Don’t forget me, Kade!

 

I tried to answer. The voice in my head was loud and clear. I had no idea who it belonged to. A stranger’s voice in my head.

 

Find me.

 

“GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” I yelled, squeezing my eyes shut.

 

You have to find me!

 

“Get...”

 

Or they’ll find us first!

 

“…out…”

 

My body went numb, the agony in my head subsided. Through the haze that surrounded my vision, I made out a pair of football boots running towards me. Somebody shouting. Somebody talking to me. Somebody carrying me.

 

And then I lost my grip on everything.

 

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