I ended up going home after the whole crying and shaking fiasco. Ivan told the nurse that I was having some family problems at home, and it was affecting me negatively at school. The nurse didn’t really have that much to say since I was still whimpering and crying as I huddled up in the corner of the room, refusing to talk to anyone. She didn’t even say anything when Ivan leaned in and gave me a kiss, since I was so distraught. After all, PDA isn’t allowed at all at Williem Ocean.
I didn’t even take anything with me once I left the school building; I just walked right out as soon as the nurse said my mom arrived outside. When I got into the backseat of the car, she put it in park and leaned around the seat.
“Why don’t you sit up front, Melly?” She said, using my childhood nickname and giving me a comforting smile. It kinda fell off her face when I didn’t even really react; I just walked out the door and got in the front seat next to her.
“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or is it just one of those days?” She asked quietly as she began to pull out of the parking lot.
It had been a while since I really talked to my mom and not just rushed past her, trying not to listen to her scolding as I walked out the door for the school bus. Don’t get me wrong; I love my mom. It’s just that…we’re so alike. It’s hard being around someone that has the same personality as you; it’s exhausting.
“I had…really bad cramps,” I lied, using the whole PMS bit once again. “And it just really ruined my whole day. That’s why I was crying.” I continued.
“Aw, poor Mel,” My mom sympathized, rubbing my back as we continued on to the house. “I know how you feel. How do you feel now?”
“Pretty broken.” I said solemnly, staring straight ahead instead of actually looking at her.
“Oh.” She said, and realized that I wasn’t really in the mood to talk. I felt bad, for just kinda brushing her off like that, but I really wasn’t in the mood. My powers had been stripped away, and for no reason at all! How can you deal with something like that? They were the one thing that was keeping me sane and thinking that maybe my life was actually worth something and not just a stinking bag of…bullshit.
Once she parked the car, I speed walked into the house and slid down the staircase on my bottom. Yes, I scooted down on my butt down the staircase. Why? Because I felt like the hugest piece of shit in the world. I lied down on my bed and snapped the little T.V. on, even though I didn’t plan to watch it. It just felt good to hear someone else’s voice besides my whimpering and whining once I lied down.
Why did they take them away? I…I hadn’t adjusted to them yet, but that doesn’t give them the right to strip them away. I need them! How in the hell am I going to protect myself from all the bastards in the world now?! I mean, when I had my powers, I realized just how fragile the human race is. Seriously. Aerial was barely even trying, and she almost killed me because I didn’t use my powers on her at first.
So how am I going to protect myself from the people who are out there and definitely trying to get me? Like Aerial and Azrael and the Ivan-look-alike guy, and oh, Dre’s father! Most of them want me dead; at least that’s how it seems like! I’m so fucked right now.
“I need to talk to Ivan,” I sighed into my pillow. I was done throwing a self-pity party. I needed to…fight back. But how? Just how in the hell am I supposed to get my powers back? I’m useless without them, seriously. I’m as breakable as a twig. I look like a freaking skeleton with balloons hanging off my chest when I walk around. Because I inherited the tall, lanky gene from my Mom, except I’m not as pretty as her. She actually has hips. Well, I do have hips; I just view myself as an ugly human being, at least according to Brite. But my mom…she can actually pull stuff off that I can’t. Like my skirts that I don’t like to wear but she does. To impress dad. Oh god, sometimes, I can hear them having make-up se—
Focus! I growled to myself in my head. I really needed to figure out a plan. And in that plan, the main, constant core consisted (haha, alliteration) of Ivan. He knew everything, and he was willing to tell me, I knew he was. The ritual thing those muses or whatever had conducted was in Ivan’s space station house thingy. So, if I went back there with Ivan’s house, could we somehow get them to reappear and I could get my powers back?
But what if they don’t give them back? I thought to myself, pulling on the ends of my hair. I can ask Ivan to use force. Doesn’t he have the power to like, use electricity or something? After all, he broke through that shield that Aerial created with those lightning bolts…he could surely use them again…I concluded.
After pulling on my hair and making my scalp sore (feeling like a complete idiot for doing so in the first place), I walked to the bathroom. After all, I’d been reminding myself over and over to cut my hair, but I had been so busy. Who would have thought that I, Melita Young, was actually busy? I mean, I was known on the weekends to stay in my sleep-shirt all day playing video games or something. Now, I barely had time to even take a shower at the correct time.
I fished my hand around in the medicine cabinet before finding my pair of scissors. I put my hair into a loose ponytail, adjusting the rubber band up to where I should cut. When I finally decided, I closed one of my eyes shut and cut off my hair, watching it fall down to the floor, the black vibrantly standing out against the white tile floor.
“I cut my hair,” I breathed in astonishment, my eyes involuntarily glued to the long strands on the floor. Everything suddenly felt…real. Vibrant, alive, like after that first time when I had cut. Did cutting hair and my wrists feel the same for me? But why? There was so much more to lose when cutting your own wrists. With hair, it’s just…hair. It’ll grow back eventually. Or did I just feel this way because some sort of thought was niggling at the back of my mind; somehow without all this hair, I felt better. I wasn’t who I was with my hair at waist length.
“Sweet.” I said, staring at myself in the mirror. My hair was now resting on my shoulders, a little short, shorter than I was used to. The change at least, was good. After washing my face – since the there were tear tracks running down from my eyes – I had a plan. I knew who I needed to talk to. Not to get my powers back, but to learn mortal tendencies about the enemy. Any information at all was great.
I grabbed my blue and black hoodie from atop my bed and slipped it on, closing the bathroom door behind me. I used to leave it open, but that was before our water bill had gotten so costly that my dad started to limit the times at which we could use the bathroom. He really did that, and it pissed Mom off so bad that Dad had to sleep on the couch for about a week and a half.
I turned out about a few months ago, Bojangles had crept into the bathroom, somehow removed the back of the toilet cover, and flushed the toilet over and over again because she liked to bob for the black ball that moved whenever it flushed. Sometimes, I regret Marshall for finding her one day when he was like six and I was five.
“Hey Mom, mind if I go for a walk?” I yelled as I walked up the stairs. I opened the front door, fluffed up my hair from the collar, and turned around expecting her to answer me. She didn’t after a few minutes, so I figured she might have passed out on the kitchen table. Not because she was an alcoholic or anything, but my mom could literally sleep 12 hours a day. I don’t know how she does it, but she can. In fact, because she sleeps so much, it’s the main reason why she works overnight as a nurse at the hospital with my dad. Originally, that’s where they met. In the on-call room. And the rest of that story is too weird and gross to explain, so I’ll just leave it at that.
“Mom?” I called, walking into the kitchen, expecting her to be slumped over in a chair. “Mom!” I gasped.
The Ivan-look-alike guy (what the hell did this dude want?!?) was holding my mom by the neck, strangling her. She tried to kick him away, but her attempts were feeble. Her eyes started to roll in the back of her head, and I realized how much of an idiot I was, just standing there watching my mother literally die.
“Get off of her!” I roared, charging into a chair before head-butting the Ivan-look-alike guy in the stomach. He let go of my mom, who collapsed to the floor gasping, while I tangled with the guy, rolling on the floor.
He was bigger and stronger than me most definitely, so he had the upper hand most of the time. As we rolled around, I knocked him into the fridge twice, sending a cereal box to fall off the top and smack him in the head. He was a little confused at first, and it gave me the opportunity to send my fist flying square in his jaw, dazing him for a bit.
I quickly jumped up to my feet before he could recover and stood with one foot on his chest, pinning him down. “What do you want?” I whispered fiercely. If he didn’t want to give me answers, I would not hesitate to murder him, seriously.
“Silly Melita,” He grinned, showing his bloody teeth from the solid punch I had managed to sneak in. He grabbed my ankle, completely unbalancing me, so that I fell to the floor and banged my head hard against the linoleum floor. I lost hearing in my right ear, and raised my hand to it, shocked to see that there was blood spilling from my ear.
He crawled over, still wearing that evil grin, and flipped me over to my back. He started to crawl up to me, and a horrifying thought crept into my mind. Is he going to try to rape me? I whimpered, knowing that there was no way in hell I would be able to fight him off. He stared at me with a burning anger in his eyes, and I stared back at him, my eyes filled with fear.
“What do you want from me?” I asked again, looking into his eyes to find something other than the fury he felt towards me. He couldn’t be completely evil, could he? Then again, if his heart was covered in darkness, then that could totally be a possibility.
He tilted his head to the side, and gave me a confused look as if it was weird for me not to know his demands. “Your powers, of course.” He said, and then opened his mouth to reveal long fangs and a forked tongue, just like how Azrael looked when I fought her after first meeting Ivan.
Whoa wait, conspiracy time! A part of my brain prodded, bringing back the memory of all the information that Ivan had told me that day. If Azrael is my mother, and this guy that’s obviously Ivan’s brother has the same…appearance as her, does that mean that Azrael is his mother, too? And if she is, that makes…IVAN MY BROTHER.
That was enough to send me over the edge I rolled from underneath him over towards the refrigerator, and just completely yurked up everything I ate that day, which included the Lucky Charms and two blueberry muffins. I covered my mouth from throwing up again, since I always felt extra sick whenever I saw throw up in the first place. It was just a back and forth thing, a puking marathon.
“Can’t get away,” he whispered menacingly standing up over me and grabbing me roughly by the shoulders. He grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and lifted me up, my feet dangling in the air. I felt the air rush out of my lungs, and I could feel my face heat up as I struggled to breathe. I flailed my eyes wildly, trying to claw at his face or something, but he just laughed right in my face.
“Give me your powers…” He whispered, almost seductively as he leaned into my neck, flicking his forked tongue out. I shivered in disgust as it lightly grazed my neck, and held back a few tears.
“You…turd…,” I gasped, pausing to replace the original “asshole” to “turd”. Even though my mom had passed out, I was pretty sure you could sometimes faintly still hear, so I didn’t want her to hear me cussing. “You’re such an idiot.” I added.
“And why’s that, dear?” His amber eyes flicked towards my silver ones in a mocking attitude.
“I don’t have any powers anymore!” I yelled, and then bit his hand that was clamped around my neck. I even drew blood, and he instantly dropped me down to the floor, sending a painful throb through my back.
“You bitch!” He said loudly, and he kicked me roughly in the side. I let out a whimper and tried to yank him down to the floor, but he just kept kicking me in the side, bruising my ribs and blood filling my mouth. He picked me up one last time and slammed me into the wall, where I literally saw stars dancing in my eyes.
“Don’t think this is the last time you’ll be seeing me, Melita.” He growled, sending me a look filled with pure hate. He disappeared into his portal of vexes and then he was gone.
He’s…he’s gone. I sighed with relief in my head. I raised my fingers to touch my swollen eye, wincing when I felt a stinging ache. My ribs were most definitely bruised, and it hurt even just to breath, since my sides moved whenever I took in a breath. I rolled over to my stomach, cradling my side, and looked over to the sink where my mom was.
I could tell by the way she was groaning that she was finally starting to wake up, and I let out another mental sigh of relief when I realized she was going to be fine. We were going to be fine. Until he comes back again. I reminded myself quietly, a deep-set fear rising in the pit of my stomach.
Don’t pass out again, Mel, don’t do it. I urged myself, kicking my feet a little so that I would stay awake, but it wasn’t really working. I could slowly feel my eyes drooping closed as my head slowly fell back and thudded a little against the linoleum. A little sleep wasn’t bad right? After all, I’d only gotten like, six hours last night. I needed two or three more hours…I could do that now.
I need someone to save me…I moaned in my head, feeling completely helpless. Why was everyone after me? Was it the powers that I used to have? That the Muses so selfishly stole from me? How could they just do that…how could they strip a part of me away? How could they just take them away like that…
I tried to pry open my eyes physically with my fingers, and stared up at the ceiling. I was so screwed. In just every aspect of life. Well, not sexually. I was definitely far from getting screwed by anyone, really. I lifted my head up a little, feeling a little creeped out about how quiet it was. It was deathly silent. Too quiet.
“You rang?” I heard a voice say, and saw Ivan’s bright blue low-top shoes staring at me in the face. I opened my eyes a little farther, and there he was in the flesh, a grin spread across his face until he saw my damaged face. “Melita!” He gasped, giving me a wide eyed look. He picked me up by my arms and literally dragged me into a chair, letting me rest my back against the table.
“Who did this to you?” He roared, slamming his fist against the table. It started to rock, and I almost toppled over out of the chair before Ivan caught me by the arm and held me back up.
“Wait,” I said softly, closing my eyes and slumping against the table. “Shh. Just don’t talk for a second. I’m not used to being so quiet…” I joked a little, but ended up coughing, and watching in horror as blood splattered onto my fist.
“Mel, you’re coughing up blood!” He said disapprovingly, giving me a concerned look after trying to hand me a paper towel. I made a feeble attempt to grab it from his hands, but I almost fell out the chair again, so he just wiped my mouth like I was a little kid or something.
“Who did this to you, Mel? You needed to tell me.” He repeated, giving me his pissed-off look. It wasn’t exactly directed at me, I knew that, but it was scary to see him sitting there, his eyes glowing that weird, vibrant white.
“I don’t know his name,” I finally whispered, feeling a little light-headed. “But he’s come to see me many times. He…he won’t leave me alone.” I whimpered, feeling a few tears break free and run down my face. I angrily wiped them away with my fist, successful in the process of not falling off the chair.
“I can tell that he’s dark. He always disappears into portals of vexes, and he has weird amber eyes. They creep the shit outta me,” I laughed humorlessly. “And he looks just like you, Ivan. Just with dark brown hair and he isn’t pale; he’s more olive skin-toned. But he still looks exactly like you.” I finished, trying to avoid Ivan’s gaze.
“That son of a bitch,” Ivan spat, slamming his fist hard against the table again. I was shocked as I saw a deep scratch cut down into the table, making a large dent.
“Ivan, calm down!” I muttered exasperatedly. “You’re acting all crazy. Like Muscleman.”
“You’re referencing Regular Show at a time like this?!” He shrieked, giving me an incredulous look. “I didn’t think he would come back! Shit!”
“Calm the fuck down,” I growled, staring at him in the eyes until he reluctantly sank back down into his chair. Once he stopped panting like a rabid dog, I figured it was okay to ask him just who this douche bag was. “Alright. Now. Tell me who this guy is.” I asked calmly, putting my hand on his to comfort him or something like that.
“His name is Evan,” He sighed, covering his eyes as he pushed his hand up his face, his platinum blond hair lifting up and resting across his fingers like curtains. It tripped me out, just how light his hair was; it almost seemed unnatural. And if it was, his roots were showing at all, so I figured that they really were natural.
“He’s my twin. Fraternal, definitely not identical.” He sneered, moving his hand down and giving me a pissed off look. “Our mom…she’s a Muse. Muses can’t really have children, since she was The Prophetess of the four sisters, and she couldn’t us around. She sent us into a separate realm close to hers, the space station thingy as you call it, and Evan and I lived there until we were 13. And then he turned dark.
“Aerial was still on the hunt for you, and she needed another lackey besides her children to find you, and she completely turned Evan dark. She sucked out his soul and replaced it with a new one, and stole him away from me. Evan’s soul is just wandering out there in the realm that my mom lives in, but she can’t even do anything about it. She’s not supposed to interfere with other realms’ affairs.” He explained, giving me a pained expression.
“I hate her so much,” I said scornfully. “She ruins people’s lives over and over again for her own reasons. I wish I could kill her.”
“I can’t believe he would just flat out hurt you like that,” He breathed, looking at me with a look of disbelief written across his face. “He really is completely evil…”
“Did he hurt you? That time at your house before he teleported me away?” I asked, referring to the time I had first seen Evan.
“Yeah,” He admitted, looking away from me. “I don’t know how, but it was like he was paralyzing my brain. It hurt to think. He knew he was doing it, of course, and that’s when he tried to capture you for the first time. I guess Aerial wants you.”
I took in the information, slowly regaining consciousness as I started to fee a little less dizzy. “Wait. If he can teleport, what stops him from just sneaking into my room and kidnapping me then?” I asked, a feeling of intense dread crept up my back. I flashed back to earlier this morning, when I had first waken up and Dre was still here. That scent I had tracked that I figured had been here while I was up at Ivan’s house…it was Evan, wasn’t it? And then he used that portal to the Twilight Realm to escape. That son of a bitch!
“I…didn’t even think of that,” Ivan said breathlessly, looking the table as if it would somehow give him some answers or something. “And since I didn’t think of it that, he probably hasn’t either, giving the fact that we’re twins and all.”
“He’ll figure it out sooner or later.” I said, getting a little more worried. He could just waltz into my room at any time and kidnap me right t hen and there, before sending me to Aerial. What did Aerial want from me, anyway? Oh wait, my powers. But I don’t…
“That’s it!” I shrieked, jumping up from my chair excitedly. “I know how to lure them back here,” I whispered, leaning my weight onto my elbows as I rested them on the table and stared at Ivan. “And I know how to get rid of them. For good.” I added menacingly, a grin crossing over my face.
“Really? That’s great!” Ivan yelled, jumping up from his chair just like I had done a few seconds ago. He grabbed me by shoulders and kissed me on the lips, and then pulled away, a shocked look on his face.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” He apologized, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. “I was just…excited. But not that kind of exciting, if you understand.”
“Oh, yeah, sure!” I said, feeling even more awkward as the conversation took a turn for the worse. “I totally understand! It was an accident. And accidents…they uh…” I struggled for words, looking up at him, suddenly feeling shy.
“They happen.” He suggested, giving me a far-off look, as if he wasn’t exactly looking at me, but he still kinda was. Well, I know that didn’t make much sense, but that was the only way I could explain it in my head. I looked away, a little creeped out at how he was looking at me. It was kind of an “I-don’t-want-to-be-just-friends-look” and I wasn’t really ready for that.
“Um, right,” I said uncomfortably. “But, we need someone else to help us, besides me and you.”
“That’s fine!” Ivan immediately replied. “Who is it?”
“Um…it’s Dre,” I mumbled, trying to gauge his expression. I winced when his eyes flashed from bright blue to white, and I knew that he was pretty pissed off. Which I understand they have this whole feud going on between the two of them, but they can’t hate each other forever.
“We don’t need that dickshaft,” Ivan said, giving me a dead serious look. “Make up another plan.”
“One,” I said, getting a little irritated, “Don’t tell me what to freaking do.” I growled, giving him a serious look. “Two, don’t talk about Dre like that. He barely talks trash about you whenever it’s just me and him, and you guys need to earn some respect for each other.” I said sternly.
Ivan merely waved his hand dismissively and rolled his eyes at me. “Oh calm down, Mel. I—,”
“I wasn’t finished!” I yelled, looking at him pointedly. “And three, dickshaft, really? That doesn’t make any sense. You’re like saying the same thing with just a different word. Come up with something better next time, will you?” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Fine,” Ivan muttered. “Whatever. Can I at least talk now?” He asked sarcastically.
“Sure,” I said, plopping down back into my seat. “But hurry up. My dad comes home soon from his business trip, and my mom and I need to file a police report.”
Ivan looked at me dubiously. “You know they’ll never find Evan, right? He can just literally disappear off the Earth, right?”
“Yeah, I know that. But my mom isn’t going to idly stand by and let the guy who came in our house and tried to kill us get away!” I explained.
“Sorry, no need to get snippy.” Ivan said, which only annoyed me even more.
“I’m not getting snippy!” I yelled, and then realized that indeed, I actually was getting snippy. “I…sorry.” I said, leaning back in my chair again. I definitely felt better, instead of passing out like I thought I was going to.
“Alright, so tell me your plan already.” He urged, crooking his finger to beckon me forward. “My powers are slipping; I won’t be able to pause time for much longer.”
I hurriedly leaned in and whispered the plan I had come up with into his ear, and leaned back, satisfied as Ivan’s eyes widened in shock.
“So? Was that good or what?” I asked, satisfied as I folded my arms over my chest and smiled.
“That’s…that’s pretty epic,” Ivan said, looking a little mind-blown. “And that was the first thing you thought of?”
I nodded, and he looked even more shocked. “Wow. That’s good. Really good.”
“Alright, your time’s up, hurry up and get back to school,” I said in a business-like tone as I pulled him up from his chair and practically pushed him out the front door.
“So, see you later tonight?” He grinned at my goofily as he turned around and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I let it slide; it wasn’t like Dre was there to throw a fit.
“Yeah, later on tonight,” I said briskly. He started to walk away, and then I suddenly thought of something, a thought that had been niggling at the back of my mind that hadn’t fully manifested until now. “Wait, Ivan!” I ran down the porch steps and caught up to him on the sidewalk.
“How did you know to come to my house?” I asked, feeling a little confused.
Ivan raised his eyebrow, looking as confused as I did. “You used your telepathy. You told me to come to your house.”
I thought back to that moment. I had said that in my mind, but how would Ivan know? I didn’t have my powers anymore; it was just a random thought, not a conversation starter.
“Is there something wrong?” He asked, seeming a little worried.
“Uh, no,” I said absent-mindedly. Ivan had forgotten that the Muses had taken my powers away; I was aware of that. So did that mean I had like, a strip of my powers left? I wasn’t sure, but I was going to figure out. Soon.
“Go ahead.” I smiled, and he smiled back before walking down the street until teleporting. I walked back inside the house and sat with my back slumped up against the refrigerator, so it wouldn’t seem like I was all fine and dandy why my mom had momentarily passed out from almost being choked to death.
I’m coming for you, Evan. I whispered forebodingly in my head.