Chapter 38: Ethan
We were ready to go within a few minutes.
Somewhere along the way, it was decided that Mark was going to be allowed to come, which was perfectly fine with me and seemingly everyone else - except Ava, who seemed reluctantly keeping her space between herself and Mark. He decided that he'd just close the inn for the time being - barely anyone stayed here anyway, no one would come by asking for him to give them a room anyway.
"We should take the shortcut that ed us first here," Zoey reminded, concluding that Mark would be the leader for the first few hours. Ava seemed to onl reluctantly follow - usually she was somewhat walking ahead of the group - this time she was walking slowly behind, taking her time to kick every single little pebble out of her way before continuing on the path.
I slowed myself so that I was walking behind with her, and Elidi, Zoey, Mark, and Ravi were all walking ahead of us. "What's up with you and Mark?" I asked, probably just then fufilling the stereotypical nosy big borhter type thing, but hey - they're right, big brothers can't help not helping their little sisters sometimes, alright?
Ava looked up startled as if she hadn't known that I was there. "Nothing! What are you talking about Ethan? Stop being weird." She teased, and she started to walk faster as if nothing were going on.
But of course, alos being a big brother, I could let it just like that - I would just have to save my nosiness for later, wouldn't I?
I caught up with Ravi as Ava trailed yet again back. "So Ravi," I started, ready to ask him a few questions, "what's your take on the rebellion and all?"
"It's a complete threat, obviously. But we're not going to be able to get past it by just talking about it, we're going to have to find all the Gaurdians. And there's a problem too, because because of the traumatic experience for all Gaurdians, I don't think any of us completely remember who every single Gaurdian is."
Elidi, hearing us talk, nodded in agreement. "I had completely forgotten Ravi as a Gaurdian until his name was mentioned. And I had no idea who the heck Apollo was until you mentioned his name."
Ravi gestured towards Elidi, for she was just proving his point. "She what I mean? I don't know just how much help us Guardians will be to you, but if you could help all us escape from our captors then that'd be magnificent. Obviously, of course, no one likes being held captive."
"Yeah, I think I remember Apo- po- po-" Elidi sneezed and sighed. "I hate the outdoors sometimes...." She muttered.
Zoey laughed. "I feel you there sister!" An kept walking, as if she hadn't said anything.
Ravi clapped his hands. "Oh! Oh! Oh!" We all stared at him till he realized we were iving him silent permission to say whatever was on his mind. "We used to call Apollo Po, remember that Elidi? That's what we were missing. See what I mean, we didn't even remember his nickname much less his name until we stuttered upon it!" Ravi exclaimed, and I laughed.
"Okay, okay, I'm not doubting you there. What we really need to focus on is what we think that this troll or whatever kind of creature is going to ask us once we get to this bridge."
"We'll probably have the night to sleep on it," reasoned Mark, moving a large tree branch out of the path, "it's already pretty late and the trip is going to take us a while to get to the bridge. It's on the other edge of the forest - we might have some nasty encounters on the way there, in fact, you never know what the heck is in the forest."
"Brilliant." I said sarcastically. Okay, so maybe I wasn't the brghtest person around. But still, it's not like we really needed anything getting in our way - the sooner we got this quest thing donw,the better - the less chance of Zoey, Ava and I evaporating and seizing to exist.
That was a factor that I'm pretty sure most of us had forgotten about. If we failed, then we failed as people, and we died. There wasn't any room for mistakes. There wasn't a Plan B, where if this world died Zoey, Ava, and I could make a new one. There wasn't a plan like that - it was either we succeeded or not, and if we didn't then we died. I'm pretty sure that everyone had forgotten that, or it sure seemed like it. But I haven't.
I couldn't help thinking about Mom and Dad, and how if we died they would never know what happened to their kids. That was the point in leaving Zoey out of this - if something happened to me and Ava, well, Mom and Dad would still have Zoey so they wouldn't be completly alone with each other. Sure they might be able to have other kids, but come on, I don't want to sound completely self centered here, but if we died they couldn't ever have kids exactly like us. And they had already devoted their lives to us - if we died, that devotion would have been for nothing.
What's more, they'll probably plan a funeral... With three empty caskets. Now that would be extremely depressing, wouldn't it?
I shook the thought out of my head. We couldn't have thoughts like that, not now. We needed to focus on getting Apollo (or Po, apparently), and after that if the sun started to set more rapidly then we could worry. But for now, it was time to focus.
I was so indulged in all my stupid thoughts that I hadn't even looked where I was going - of course I tripped over the very log that Mark had earlier moved. Of course.
Ravi helped me up, hanigng back, even further than Ava was. "Thanks," I muttered, dusting off my pants - yeah okay, even I didn't like a bunch of dirt on them, alright?"
Ravi laughed. "It's alright. And by the way, I haven't forgotten. You're not the only one that remembers. And neither have the others, they're all terribly worried. WE're all trying our hardest. But you're right, you need to focus. We all do." He smiled and ran up to catch up with Elidi and Zoey, who were laughing as if they had been the best of friends.
Boy I missed times like that, when I could talk to friends and pretend I didn't have a care in the world, when really, I was worrying like hell on the inside.