I was still screaming bloody murder by the time awoke, and found myself lying in bed, staring up at the familiar ceiling of my basement bedroom. My heart was waking and my eyes were sore as if they had been pried open for a long time, and it wasn't long before my light was flicked on. In came Marshall, his shirt off and his boxers askew.
"What's wrong, what's wrong?" He yelled in a panicky voice, but still groggy.
My heart was still thumping out of my chest, and I knew that I needed to calm down before it went crazy and I had a seizures. Not only am I depressed, panic-attack having four elements/human hybrid, but seizures and heart problems also run in my family. Yet, I'm the only one who has them this bad.
"I-Ivan…" I mumbled, the scene of him I that glass space station looking thing running through my mind. "Werewolf…" And the scene of me as a werewolf fighting that colossus appeared in my head.
I guess Marshall was too tired to comprehend what I was really saying because he didn't say anything back as he pulled me into a tight hug. I hugged him back, my heart finally returning to a normal pace.
"Dude!" I shrieked. "Cover your balls!" I said, since his boxers were slipping and starting to show some of his upper junk.
"Sorry," He mumbled. He bent down and picked up my Interscope Records shirt and pulled it over his head.
"Okay, that's fine; you can totally wear my shirt." I muttered, weirded out by his half-asleep demeanor.
"Melly?" I heard Mya call from the top of the stairs. I turned, and there she was, peeking around the corner of the door.
"Come on down, My." I said, sounding like the announcer on The Price is Right.
She padded down the stairs on her tiny little feet, smiling the whole way. As she reached my bed - in which Marshall had already laid down on the opposite of my side - she smiled at me.
"I'm glad you're back." She whispered in my ear before giving me a half-hug, since I was lying down and she was standing up, it was kind of awkward.
I stared at her confusedly as she climbed into bed. She missed me? I was never gone, was I? I started thinking about it, and then I realized how I had completely bailed on dinner after having that weird, nervous breakdown. My parents must have carried me down to my bed- wait. I ran to the park. And that experience had been so painful, I felt like I was breaking into two. What had happened since then? What had I been doing?
"Take off your thinking face and go to sleep, Mel." I heard Marshall mumble into his pillow.
"How do you do that?!" I said. He wasn't even facing me and he could tell something was on my mind. That was seriously creepy.
But I decided to listen to Marshall and go to sleep anyway.
That morning when I woke up, I was out of bed right away. I quickly brushed my teeth, washed my face, and hurriedly brushed through my hair. I slapped on a blue shirt and plaid shorts, and I was out the door, headed over to Brite's house.
It was 10 in the morning, and that was kind of early, but I knew that Brite would be awake, since she could like sleep for two hours and still seemed fully charged in the morning. She was just like the Energizer bunny, always going somewhere.
"Mel?" Brite said, sounding confused. "What's going on?"
I knew that I hadn't seen Brite in a while since in school I had completely zoned out, skipping lunch so that I could hide in the bathroom and thinking about everything, but it still kind of hurt me to see her so surprised of my visit. Brite and I used to be the best of friends, but this whole siren thing was getting in the way. God, I totally hated the way my life was turning out.
"Dude, it's been forever," I said, echoing my thoughts somewhat as I pulled her into a tight hug. "I'm sorry. I haven't been that good of friends."
Brite gave me a reassuring smile as we walked into the house. "its okay, Mel. I understand. Besides, I've been a little preoccupied with Charlie."
I rolled my eyes. Brite was so innocent, I'm pretty sure she and Charlie hadn't even kissed besides on the cheek yet. "Yeah yeah, we get it: you want to be Mrs. Lambert. What's new?"
She smiled at me as we sat down on the couch. "Yeah, I guess so. Anyways, you looked you're in trouble. What's up?"
I didn't expect to, but I hesitated before saying anything. No "human" on this earth new about the elements as far as I knew, so something told me that I shouldn't say anything about the whole siren situation. It hurt me to keep something from my best friend, but I decided to stop being such a wimp and just get on with my problems or whatever.
I told her that I had met a guy named Ivan when I was taking Mya to the science center. Obviously, that was a lie, but not completely far from the truth. I had met Ivan in what seemed like a space station in another solar system or something, so it was close enough. The real facts I did tell her were about the kissing parts, how we had full on made out in the few seconds that I had met him.
As I described the whole situation to Brite, her mouth opened in shock. By the time I was done finished by saying that Mya had come out of the bathroom and I realized the gravity of what I was doing, Brite had her hand above her heart in shock.
"Melita Raphael Young!" She said in a scolding tone. "You…you made out with a stranger?"
"That's the thing!" I said, feeling the need to explain myself. "He didn't seem like a stranger. It was like…I had known him from somewhere before, and there was just this…powerful physical attraction between us," I admitted, and realized that what I was saying was true: I really did have a physical attraction to Ivan. I just didn't want to believe it, of course.
"Why haven't we ever seen him before around town?" Brite said, completely into the story now.
I shrugged, trying to think of a quick lie. God, I hated lying to her. "I don't know. Maybe he goes to Jefferson." I said, referring to the other school a few miles away from ours.
"Wow," Brite said in awe. "I can't believe it. I mean, before Dre, you never really liked anyone. And now, you like both. I mean, you do right? You still like Dre?" She asked.
I was taken aback, because I had never really thought about it. I had been so caught up with Ivan and fighting Aerial and the whole story of my existence that truthfully, I hadn't thought of Dre in a while. A long while. So what did that even mean, exactly? Did I…still love him?
I thought about it, yeah, I definitely did love Dre. With about 95% of my heart. But the other 5%...I could tell that it was already dedicated to Ivan. There was some weird, chemical spark between the two of us that made me want to keep seeing him. The realization shocked me to the point where I didn't answer Brite because I was too caught up in my own thoughts.
"I…still like him," I said slowly, trying to process the whole thing. "But not as much as I used to. Ivan came between us."
Brite's eyes widened even more. "Dude. That's bad. I mean, that's really bad."
"What do you mean? Why's that bad?" I said, getting confused.
"Because! You've liked Dre for like…four or five years or something. And now you meet this total stranger guy, and you "fall" for him? What the hell is that?" She shouted.
"Why are you getting mad?!" I couldn't help but yell back. "I'm just confused!"
She flared her nostrils at me in annoyance before she got up off the couch and walked over to me. "Mel, I don't know what's been going on with you lately, but it's completely paralyzing my mind!"
I looked up at her, completely frightened. It was very rare for Brite to become so angry, and I was shocked because it was brought on so quickly. "What do you mean?" I asked in a small voice.
"You barely even talk to me anymore, you're a complete ditz during school, and now all of sudden, you're completely forgetting about Dre!"
"I'm not forgetting about him!" I protested, a strange wave of tears suddenly seemed to form in my eyes. "I just have a lot of shit on my plate right now, and it's very difficult to deal with! I thought maybe you, my best friend, would be able to understand that!" I shouted, and found myself standing face to face with an angry Brite.
She bit her lip and closed her mouth as if she was going to say something and then decided against it. Looking into my eyes, she said, "And now you're saying that phrase; 'shit on my plate'. Remember when we used to say that we hated that line because…never mind. You probably don't even remember."
But I did remember. In the seventh grade, we had mad up a list of all the words and phrases we hated, and that one had been on it. And now, I had just used it. It was if I just walked over to the very foundation of our friendship and stepped on it like it was nothing.
"Brite…" I said, my voice sounding small and not at all like me.
"Forget it," She said bitterly, not even looking at me anymore. She walked over and picked up a magazine that had fallen from the coffee table. "Just get out my house."
That tipped the tears over the ledge. They spilled down my face and I tried to keep them other control, but I couldn't help but let out a little whimper as I tried to. "Brite, please don't leave me. Don't leave me now when I need you."
She whipped around, tears running down her face, too. "No, don't even go there! Because I'm always there for you, always, but you're never there for me. You don't even care about me, or at least you don't show it. So just leave."
Brite was right. I had been a completely terrible friend. "Bri, I know I've been a pretty shitty friend lately, but you can't just leave me. I really need your-,"
"LEAVE, MEL." She yelled, her skin turning a deep red. "Just, leave."
I knew that she was serious. I wanted to yell at her and be mad that tossed me away like that, but I didn't have any right to do so. Because I had been so caught up in my own world that I forgot about my own best friend. And yeah, I was going through a lot of stuff right now - stuff that I was still trying to wrap my brain around - but that didn't give me the right to just ignore her like I did.
I walked out the door and she slammed it behind me. As I reached the sidewalk, I turned to get one last look at Bri's house. I turned to find her watching me through narrowed eyes from the window. When she saw me turn around, she shut the curtains closed. The sight of it took away the little sanity I had left as I lumbered slowly back home.
After leaving Bri's house, I was a complete mess. I was crying uncontrollably and sobbing loudly. There were a few kids at the playground, and when they saw me crying, they pointed and laughed. I gave them the finger half-heartedly, not really paying attention to what they were doing. I was so distraught over my small fight with Bri, I didn't feel like doing anything besides dying.
Once I reached my house, Marshall was on the couch watching T.V. while Mya was at the computer. As soon as I walked in, Marshall went into big brother mode and asked me what's wrong, but I just told him nothing. I avoided eye contact with my siblings, and didn't even care as I tripped over Bojangles walking down the stairs. I didn't react besides feeling even more pity and self-hate for myself. I collapsed on to my bed and buried my face in my pillows.
I don't know how long I cried, my face smothered into a pillow, growing wetter and wetter by the minute. But I did know that I cried long enough to make my eyes puffy, red, and swollen and I had given myself a headache by the time the last few tears had dried up on my face.
I hate myself. I repeated over and over in my head as I rolled on to my back, staring at the dark gray and white speckled ceiling. I hate everything about me. From my face, to my body, my personality, my sense of humor, my voice, and everything else…I hate myself. I don't know why I was born- oh wait! I'm forgetting, I was manufactured by some evil siren-hybrid woman so she could rule over the entire freaking world! Yet, I'm just learning about this just a few hours ago, and half of my memory is just gone!
A felt a boiling anger starting to rage inside me, and what's even worse was that it was directed towards myself. I felt mad at myself because I was tired of being depressed, I was tired of being confused, and I was so tired of feeling pitiful for myself when people definitely had more problems out there than I did right now. I was mad at myself for letting my best friend slipping through my fingers, I was mad for letting my feelings about Dre shrink the slightest, and I was mad at myself for liking Ivan in the first place.
Before I knew it, because I was so caught up in my angry I hate you's drifting through my head, that I found myself in the bathroom, breathing hard and looking in the mirror. How much I hated my face, how I just wish that I could disappear…how I wished that I was never manufactory born in the first place.
I looked down at the sink, bracing my hands against the counter, trying to calm down my anger, but it wasn't working. There was a deep, boiling hate inside me that I had been pushing down for a very long time. I did have a habit of bottling my feelings, and I always paid for it when situations like this were brought upon me: when I was so upset and distraught that I started hating myself with such a fierce intensity.
My eyes caught onto something near the edge of the sink, and I saw that there was a knife sitting on the bathroom counter. I had no idea why it was there in the first place, but as soon as I saw it, I grabbed it by the blade and watched in fascination as it cut deep into my hand.
…I had never been a cutter, until that moment. I had never sunk so low that I hated myself so much that I wanted to hurt myself, just feel alive because I just felt dead now, like I was rotting six feet under in the ground.
I raised my wrist a little ways above my head, holding it so that my palm was facing upwards. I didn't ever debate whether or not it was a good idea to cut myself or not; I just slashed it across my wrist, and spurts of dark red spurted out. I was even more fascinated that so much blood had released to the surface in a short period of time, and it delighted me to see that blood spraying across the sink…it meant that I was alive. That I wasn't a dead corpse without a soul stuck inside a body.
I slid down to my knees, making small cuts as I dropped down to my knees. I sliced and cut, drawing angry red marks along my arms that reached all the way to the inside of my elbow. I cut and cut, until I started to cry again, and the force of the blow became weaker. The knife dropped out of my hand and clattered to the floor as I slid my hands down the cabinets of the sink. I dropped my head down to the floor near my spattered blood, not even caring that it was staining against my face. I lay on the floor, my tears spilling out of my eyes and mixing in with the blood on the floor. Soon, there was a liquid-y pink mess next to my face, while I curled into fetal position.
There's something wrong with me. A voice within me said, and I realized that gravity of my thoughts. There really was something wrong with me. It's not normal to have this much self-loathing inside you to the point that you wished you would die. It's not normal to become so depressed that you could hurt yourself over and over again, just to feel as though you were living.
"Mel?" Someone said. I looked to my right, my eyes opened in small slits, and was shocked to find Dre standing in the doorway.
"I didn't hear you come in," I said plainly, no emotion in my face. "Come join me, Dre. Come see my death…"
"Holy…" I heard him mutter under his breath before he walked into the bathroom, standing next to me. "What did you do to yourself?"
"I cut," I said, and then giggled at the idea. "Huh, I guess I'm an Emo. How ironic."
"Mel, you're losing a lot of blood. We need to get you to the hospital," He said as he helped me get to my feet. "Marshall! Call 911!" He yelled, a frightened look in his eyes.
"Let go of me!" I yelled as I twisted wildly, trying to get out of his grasp. I wrestled around as he had his arms tied around my waist, lifting me up in the air.
"Mel, stop! What are you doing?" He shouted at me.
I wriggled away from him and stepped away, backing up against the shower curtain. My breath was low and shallow, and I found it harder and harder to breathe. In a raspy voice, I said, "Don't act like you care now, because you never did! You left me alone to die!"
"What?" Dre said, his eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. "What are you talking about? Mel, come on, we need to get you to the hospital."
"So now it's 'we'?" I mumbled, losing my balance as I became dizzy. "You never cared for me, Dre. You kept me in the dark about everything. I, I thought we were friends!" I shouted, feeling another round of tears coming in. "Damn it!" I cursed, feeling the teardrops roll down my cheeks.
"We are friends," He protested, stepping closer to me. He made a grab for me, and I would have dodged out of the way, but I was so dizzy that he caught me and grabbed me to him. "And I do care about you. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here, saving your life." He said, enunciating on the word life.
"You said you loved me!" I accused through my tears, as they made a watery wall over my walls. "You said that you cared…"
I saw his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed, his eyes worried for me, I could tell. "I do love you, Mel. But it's not a good idea for us to be together. You already know that." He protested.
"But why not?" I said, crying hard now and making it harder for me to speak. "I know, Dre. I know about everything...I know who my second mother is. I know everything about the elements and the races." I said, clutching at his chest as I tried to hug him, but he didn't hug me back.
His eyes turned wide as he grabbed onto my shoulders. "What? Who told you? Who told you about us?"
"You're hurting me," I whined, trying to tear his fingers off, but I was too weak to even lift my own. "And what do you mean, 'us'? Are you a four part hybrid too?"
"It was Ivan, wasn't it?" He said, his eyes in a faraway look. "But he didn't tell you about me, did he? He didn't tell you."
I struggled to keep my eyes open, my grip on Dre's shirt slowly weakening until I finally let go and stumbled back. "D-Dre…" I mumbled, feeling myself tip back, but it was like I saw every second as I tipped back, falling into the tub. "I don't feel so good…"
It was then I felt my ears pop, and then all sound was blocked out. My eyes were almost closed, only a few centimeters from being closed, but I saw Dre rush over to me before I fell completely into the tub. He caught me, and lifted me up, cradling me under my neck in a bride-style way. One minute, we were in my bathroom, blood all over the floor, and the next thing I saw, we were in darkness, as if someone had turned off all the lights.
I could hear every footstep of Dre's, and there was a splash in each step that he took, like we were walking in a place where the ground was covered with water. I could hear whispering sounds, quiet little noises that I barely heard but fell upon my ears. Slowly, I realized that my hearing was returning, but only slightly. Dre slowly rocked me from side to side, like he was trying to get me from falling to sleep. Did I have a concussion or something? Is that why he didn't want me to fall asleep?
We were in the dark tunnel - or just the weird space of darkness that we were stuck inside - and then we stepped into a place that was only slightly lighter than the other. Instead of being pitch black, we were in dark gray environment, as if there was coverage of clouds blocking the sun from shining down. The wind was cold, and as my eyes finally closed shut, a shiver ran through my body. I felt Dre shift me and hold me upright, covering me with his hoodie as we walked to where we were going. Well, technically, I wasn't walking since he was carrying me, but it was all the same.
I awoke to a bright light shining in my face, and for once, I wasn't confused about what previous events had led me here. No, I remembered quite clearly. I had been so depressed and angry at myself, that I had cut myself. That I remembered intensely, like it was the sharpest memory in my mind. But something about told me that it had been about a whole day since that happened to me. I don't know how I knew that, but I had a strong, gut feeling about it.
"Mel?" Dre's voice brought me back to my consciousness, waking me up even more.
I reopened my eyes, wincing as the bright light shined into my eyes, making a sharp pain run through my head. My eyes slowly started to adjust, and I found myself looking up at what looked like the roof of some sort of cave. There were lights hanging down, which made it seem so odd, because how do you get lights to work in a place with no electricity in the first place?
"Turn down the lights," I heard Dre say softly, and then they slowly dimmed.
I looked to the direction of his voice sharply. No one else was in the room-, well, cave space. It was just Dre sitting on a chair-like sculpture made of black rock, watching me nervously.
"How did you do that?" I said, my voice raspy and sore.
"Later," He said immediately, his expression not even changing as he watched me. "Right now, you need to worry about yourself."
His statement angered me. He was always dodging my questions, and I started to realize that it was because it was usually about the subject concerning the elements and how I was a hybrid. Something inside me told me that Dre had known from the day that I met him that he had known about everything. And he never once told me.
"Stop dodging my questions!" I said angrily, my voice raising an octave. "Whenever I try to ask you something, you don't even answer me! You just keep me in the dark all the time! I am SO glad that Ivan finally told me the truth!"
"So it was Ivan who told you, huh?!" He accused me. He stood up, looking pissed as hell, and I shrank back in fear as his usually dark brown irises turned into a bright red color.
"W-why are your eyes red?" I whispered. "Ivan never told me about a hybrid having red eyes."
"Yeah, well Mr. Perfect didn't exactly tell everything," He said, venom lacing his voice. "He didn't tell you about the Twilight Elements."
"The Twilight Elements?" I echoed in awe. "What are those, exactly?"
His face look guarded as he said, "It's not in my place to say."
That really sent me off the edge. I rose of quickly from my hospital bed (how in the hell was there a hospital bed in the middle of this random cave?!) and grabbed Dre by the collar of his shirt, and amazing strength somehow radiating from my arm.
"Why the fuck not?!" I yelled, my eyes going wide as I stared into his. "Why do you hide me from every single thing? Why can't you just tell me the truth? Why can't you just love me?!"
The last part I had shouted wasn't originally intended. It just came out along with the other frustrations just came blurting out of my mouth. All I knew was that Dre had kept me in the dark for so long, and he couldn't admit to me why. But yet, a serious stranger - well, I guess not technically a stranger since Ivan knew everyone's future and had seen me coming - on the first day that I had met him, had told me everything I needed to know in one day. And yet, here I was, talking to a guy that I had loved for like, six years, and he still hadn't told me a thing! Why kind of messed up society allowed that?!
"I swear to god Melita, if you don't stop projecting your thoughts to me, I'm going to go crazy!" He shouted, even though I hadn't been talking.
"What the hell are you talking about?" I yelled back, now completely perplexed.
Dre continued on, like he hadn't even heard me. "And when I say I can't tell you, Melita, it means that I can't tell you? Why can't you understand that? If you weren't so wrapped in your own world being selfish, might I add, you would realize that I do love you but we can't be together, okay? We can't!"
I shrunk back, the power behind his words crushing all optimistic thoughts I 'd ever had. He must have been able to tell that he hurt me, because he reached out to touch my shoulder, but I flinched away. I avoided his gaze, not even wanting to look at his face. The guy that I had loved for so long was giving up on me. I should have known from the start that this would never end well.
"Don't touch me," I said, avoiding his gaze.
"Mel," He said, reaching out towards me again.
I swatted his hand away angrily. "I said, DON'T TOUCH ME. I HATE YOU." I shouted with all my might, and went to thump him in the chest or just hit him, when something caught my eye floating from my arm.
I lifted it up, and looked at it. My wrist had white bandages crisscrossed all over my wrist where I had cut myself, and that was normal enough, but there was this weird, icky substance surrounding it. There were small, black air bubbles that were floating from the cuts, and I had never seen anything like it. They slowly drifted up, making a small popping sound as they drifted upwards.
"What the fuck is this?!" I cried, pointing at the bizarre, inky black bubbles. As Dre opened his mouth to say something, I interrupted him by saying, "Oh wait, let me guess, "It's not in my place to say"." I said, quoting him from earlier sarcastically.
He flared his nose at me angrily. "That's not what I was going to say, exactly." He admitted sheepishly.
"I hate you so much," I muttered, knowing that I didn't really even mean it. It was just that I was so tired of Dre not being truthful with me. For the six years that I had known him, we had basically told each other anything. Well, everything besides the fact that I was in love with him and would do anything to get him to realize it.
"You love me," He said automatically, giving me a slightly hurt look.
I felt bad for hurting him, but Dre had hurt me, too. And I knew that he still wasn't going to tell me about the "Twilight Elements" or whatever. So if he got hurt in the process until he told me everything I needed, then so be it.
"But you don't love me." I accused him, staring right into his eyes. He didn't say anything, just looked away from my gaze.
"God, I wish Ivan was here. He would tell me everything I wanted."
Dre narrowed his eyes at me. "You know, Ivan isn't exactly who you think he is, Mel. He's not Mr. Perfect and he's hiding things from you."
"You're one to talk!" I shouted, getting angry again. It was just back and forth, back and forth with Dre. "You haven't told me a damn thing! Dre, whatever you think you can't tell me, you can!" I tried to convince him, grabbing his hands to get his attention. "Dre, look at me."
He looked at me reluctantly, his eyes slowly turning to look at my own. "What?"
"Dre, I love you and you love me. You know this. We're best friends. We've told each other everything and anything since the day we met," I said, getting a little emotional against my own will. "Please, for my sake and yours, can you please tell me about the Twilight Elements?"
He stared at me, looking like he wanted to believe me. He gave me one, last nod, and then opened his mouth to say something. But then, there was a whooshing sound behind me, and I turned around in shock. There was a wind flying around the air wildly, knocking everything over - including the hospital bed - sending me flying into the cave wall. I rubbed my head, feeling the sore throb right at the top.
A pain ran through my arm, and I looked to see that my cuts were starting to bleed again. But instead of blood, there was a dark black sludge running out, spilling over my arm.
"You rang?" I heard a familiar voice say, grabbing back my attention. I looked up, and where the swirling wind had once been, was standing Ivan.
"Ivan!" I exclaimed excitedly. Forgetting about the painful throbbing in my head and arm, I ran over to him and wrapped my legs around his waist, hugging him. I didn't even realize how over the top it was until Ivan gave me a weird look, and I slowly slid down.
"Uh…sorry," I said, feeling the awkwardness cut through the air. "I was just, excited. That's all."
"You," I heard a voice say, and my head snapped to the left. Crawling from under the flipped hospital bed, stood Dre, looking more pissed off than I had ever seen him before. "I thought I killed you!" He growled.
I turned to gauge Ivan's reaction, and saw that his usually light blue eyes hard turned into an eerie, blinding white. I flinched when I saw his irises turn into the weird color, taking a double-take to make sure I wasn't going even crazier.
"You son of a bitch!" Ivan yelled. He was so angry that the green veins in his neck started to throb. "You have the audacity to even be around her? Do you realize what you're doing to her?!" He yelled.
"You have no idea what you're talking about!" Dre yelled, his eyes doing that weird red thing again. "You stay away from Mel, or I swear to God, I'll kill you again!" He threatened.
My mouth dropped open in shock. "Wait, what? What do you mean, "Kill you again"?"
"Not now, Mel," Dre said, walking up to me and Ivan with an angry expression written across his face.
"Look at how you treat her!" Ivan cried, looking outraged. "You don't even deserve her."
"You leave her alone!" Dre said, walking even closer to Ivan.
I knew it was my time to intervene. "You guys, stop, and slow down! I have no idea what you're talking about!" But they barely even listened.
"Mel's going home with me!" Dre declared, pulling on my arm, which was still a little sore. I was too shocked to even say anything.
"If you were a real man," Ivan said, giving Dre a taunting look, "You would let Mel choose for herself," He turned to me with a pleading look in his eyes. "Who do you choose, Mel? Me, the light side, or Dre, the twilight side?"
I looked at Dre, and then I looked at Ivan. Ivan, who told me everything, but I had just met him yesterday. And there was Dre, who I'd known for six years, but still hadn't told me a thing.
Reluctantly, I turned to Dre. "I'm so sorry, Dre." And then I took Ivan's hand, and we were off. Maybe I didn't love Dre after all.