Chapter Thirty Seven: Part Two
Brite was screaming. Hysterically. In my face as tears flooded her eyes, plopping onto the dew-soaked grass, as she shook back and forth uncontrollably; even the whites of her eyes were shaking. Her body heaved another shudder, like she didn’t even notice as I bent down to my knees to match the position she was in and tighten my hands on the sides of her arms.
“Brite,” I said, but it was like I was talking through thick glass. Her eyes were frozen onto one spot behind me, where I knew Charlie – dead – lay with his eye sockets empty and his mouth slightly agape.
I don’t know how I did it. All I remember was my hands bracing for the impact of whatever he was going to do to me, and then I heard Brite screaming; my hands were lifted from my eyes at their own action as if I wasn’t controlling them, and I saw Charlie lying on the ground, lifeless.
But how did I know it was him, and just him? There was a feeling deep in my gut that someone had been controlling him. But had they killed him before hand? People don’t walk around all the time with their eyeballs falling out of their sockets and thick, black cloud-forming smoke pouring out of them.
My body was filled with shock too; my limbs reacting five minutes after I forced myself to move towards Brite and hold her close enough that I could smell her shampoo drifting underneath my nose. And her screams were piercing my ears, making them ring as if an invisible glass inside them had shattered.
How can time be frozen and Brite still walking around? I couldn’t help but wonder. According to Ivan, everyone was frozen except the people exerting the power, and others around them that had power, too. Unless¼someone wanted Brite to see what happened. Like they planned it.
I realize. She planned this. She wanted this to happen. She wanted Brite to see me accidentally kill her boyfriend and go into hysterics. It was all a part of that psycho bitch’s plan. Round Two, and she was already winning. I had until twilight to prove myself against her, to keep my one stake again to be alive, to be free from this¼curse she had placed upon me.
If only Brite would stop screaming, I could think.
I could think, and get everything in order, according to my OCD brain.
“Brite,” I tried to reason, lifting my hand to her shoulder, “I need you to calm yourself. Please be quiet. You’ll be rewarded later.” I said softly, trying to get her attention.
Her glazed over blue eyes drifted over to my silver ones, like she was aware that I was talking to her but she couldn’t comprehend what I was saying. She continued to scream and shake; enough to the point that I thought she was starting to have a seizure.
“Brite, please!” I yelled again, shaking her shoulders back and forth this time. She started to scream even louder, barely even pausing to take in a deep, shaky and hysterical sounding breath.
“Brite!” I yelled, frustrated. My hand slapped her against her face, making her head tilt to the side immediately.
My hands unwrapped from her shoulders and her body fell to the side with her hands planting themselves against the grass. She finally entirely fell over onto her shoulder, her eyes and mouth wide open like she was frozen like a statue.
My own eyes wide, I reached to give her a reassuring touch, but she shivered, let out an even deeper whimper, and curled up into a fetal position and rocked back and forth across the grass.
I wanted to help her. I really, really did. But there was nothing else I could do. And even though it was eight in the morning, I was running out of time. This was my life I was talking about here, and that woman kept throwing obstacles in my way, trying to throw me off. I couldn’t let her stop me, not in one of the most powerful battles of my entire life. I couldn’t let her win.
I took one last glance at Brite, who was still huddled up, rocking back and forth mumbling nonsense to herself. It was wrong, I knew that, but I had to leave her. Reluctantly, fighting tears that built up and were threatening to leak, I reached my hands into my pockets and pulled out my cell phone, throwing it towards Brite so that it landed right next to her. The phone thudded, and she flinched away from it once it landed.
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled softly, before running off into the distance, back into the school building.
I don’t know how, but I vaulted through the open window in Mr. Anderson’s room, where everyone was still frozen. I trudged slowly through the classroom, a conspiracy forming in my head.
Ivan had mentioned a while ago (well, not that long, I had basically met him in a sense of about two weeks ago— how insane did that sound??) that he couldn’t hold his focus on freezing time for that long. And this period of “frozen” time had lasted for at least 10 minutes as a minimum. So, that crossed off Ivan from the list; he couldn’t have held it for this long.
And I knew for sure that it wasn’t me. Yeah, my powers’ intensity increased when I was around other people with powers like Dre and Ivan, but I my nose would be bleeding like a fountain by now if I had tried to maintain a power that wasn’t even mine to begin with for this long. No way in hell.
Goddamn it, it’s her again! I cursed in my head. That¼woman was doing this again, wasn’t she? It was her that was royally fucking up everything to no extent. How in the hell was I supposed to win against this major bitch when she had mega tons amount of power?
“I need help,” I say to myself softly, crossing my feet over one another and leaning against the stoner’s desk that sits next to me. I look down and see a piece of greenish-brownish brownie sticking out of his hoodie pocket and roll my eyes. Who brings weed to school?
I don’t know what possessed me, but I took a quick glance around the room to make sure no one was watching – even though, hello, everyone in the room is frozen?!? – and broke off a little piece before popping it into my mouth. What could I say? I was starving¼
No time for dilly-dallying. I remind myself before running at a full sprint out the classroom and into the hallway.
I flew by everyone frozen in place: all the late people just arriving to school, the principal eating a banana and drinking a cup of coffee, and a couple in front of the stairwell having a full on make-out session. Definitely didn’t need to see that.
I make a loud, screeching noise as my battered up Converse squeak over the glossy, linoleum floor right around the student services’ office. I round the corner inside, and take a quick glance around.
Miss Patterson, the secretary was in the middle of talking to someone on the phone, mid-conversation. Two teachers that I didn’t recognize where talking to each other in front of the office window; both had a copy of Pride and Prejudice in their hands, which made me lift up my eyebrow in confusion, but I decided to just leave it at what it was.
I brush past the desk in the front office into a back room, the door halfway open as another secretary was walking through. I snuck in the tight space between her and the door before flicking the light switch up and revealing rows and rows of gray and white filing cabinets.
“Holy shit,” I breathe, examining the rows and rows of cabinets, all filled with the name of students attending this school.
“This is gonna take forever.” I realize with a start. I don’t know what it was that told me, but I had a feeling that I didn’t have long before crazy-psycho-perverted-bitch was going to give up her act and resume time in a minute, so I didn’t have time to lollygag.
I took an educated guess towards the stack of filing cabinets on the third from the left, since I was looking for Dre and Ivan’s classes, and we’re all in the 11th grade, so I assumed that the cabinets would be in that order or something like that. I don’t know; just another I guess you could say “abnormality/effect” of my OCD brain.
My eyes went wide with shock when I realize that my guess had been right. In a neat stack, the first cabinet read “Names A – D”. I have to say I think I’m pretty tall (5’9’’ is respectable for a girl, right?) but I had to reach up on my tippy toes to reach the top and easily slide the button over to the side so that the drawer slid open easily.
I had to admit, I felt a little¼I don’t know, uneasy when I saw how easy it was for just about anyone to obtain our records like that. All you had to do was walk through the office and just grab that. How creepy.
I think that’s creepy, but I’m getting stalked and eventually killed by some weird psycho woman who knows everything about me and licked my face after capturing me and tattooing a heart on my arm? Yeah. I have problems. I thought to myself.
I rifled through the cabinets quickly, double checking to make sure that hadn’t accidentally switched up the files and were misplaced everywhere. I hadn’t found any misplaced ones, so I skipped to the “Names L – N” folder for Ivan.
I yanked out the cabinet, not even caring that I was making a mess and sat into a folded, crisscross apple sauce position onto the floor and rifled through the files quickly. Mallard, Mallen, Maman, Mannen, Mannid¼
“Oh my god, why the fuck are there so many people with names that start with “m”?!” I cried aloud, getting frustrated almost immediately.
Marsen, Mason, Matthin, Muever.
His file isn’t here. I realized with a sudden start. Ivan Mathers. That was his full name. His file was supposed to be between Mason and Matthin. Where was it? Where was his file? It should be here!
I have to go through all this stupid shit, and only because I was born. God, seriously, I really regret my mom and dad forever meeting each other at that bar. I grumbled to myself, feeling annoyed with the world.
I stood up with the drawer in my hands, uncrossing my legs to get up, and smacked my head straight into the drawer I had left open above me. I let out a cry of pain as I felt the tracks on the bottom scrape against my head and a few strands of hair fell past my shoulders.
“Goddamn it!” I felt myself starting to lose it. I slammed the drawer closed angrily, making the cabinet rocking back and forth from side to side.
Files started to drift from the top, and I watched them fall until they reached the floor. The cabinet was so tall, taller than me even, and I hadn’t been able to see them from my point of view.
I swiped them up from the ground and raised my eyebrows as I scanned over the tab part of the folders with the names written across the top of them.
All three folders had the three of our names written across the top, and in alphabetical order. Ivan Mathers, Andre Young, and Melita Young, all of our names written across the top. Why were they clumped together, and why had they been on top of the file cabinet?
I turned around and there was the other secretary who had been walking through the door. She had a key in her hand, and she was leaving the room. Had she been the one who put the folders on top of the filing cabinet? Why in the hell did she want all of our folders clumped together?
I don’t have the time to be questioning every motive like this. I growled to myself, still not entirely over the fact that I had wasted at least 10 minutes looking for three file folders that were literally in front of my face the entire time. Granted, they were at a height that I couldn’t see, but still, just the idea of it all pissed me off grandly.
“Hurry, hurry, hurry,” I sing-songed underneath my breath as I stared daggers at the lady blocking the door entryway while I sprinted out the office. Multitasking, I grabbed Dre’s folder first and pulled out his folder, although I did spot something interesting.
His personal information, was front and center of his file. Now, if this had been about two weeks ago when I was obliviously head-over-heels for Dre (although I think I still was, at least in the slightest, even considering the feelings I had blooming for Ivan) I wouldn’t have been so curious as to see what was written about him.
I had assumed I knew every single thing about Dre, but I was learning more and more about him; almost enough to convince me that I really didn’t know him at all, or at least as well as I thought I had originally did. After all, he hadn’t told me he was a “demon king”, a poltergeist, a werewolf, and something else that I guess could be translated as “ruler and creator of everything evil”.
That’s why I didn’t hesitate as I found myself pulling out that mysterious piece of paper and taking a seat in the stairwell.
I pulled the sheet of paper out and propped it up on top of my knees while using the folder as a bottom for the paper. There were a whole bunch of things I already knew: his full name, age, class, and homeroom, which was followed by his schedule. He had trig with Mr. Stohlman, which was on the second floor.
I flipped over to the second page, and looked at some more information that I already knew. They had his mother’s full name (Evelyn Yvonne Young), the number to the rehab center she was at, and information on why she was doing rehab. There was a long list of drugs, some that I hadn’t even heard of.
Other than that, it was unimportant stuff like his student ID and the day he enrolled into the district. I should have known the school would have any valuable information about the other side of him, but I just got so caught up in the moment of him keeping secrets from me, and I felt myself go a little crazy.
I know it might sound crazy – and perhaps just a little bit stalkerish – but the idea of not knowing just about every single thing about Dre made me want to tear my hair out. Here was a guy that I cared for deeply; he was my best friend. He was my rock. My one friend that was there for me always, whenever and wherever. That had never changed (until recently), and it hadn’t changed when I had developed these feelings from him.
I felt myself losing ties with him; we weren’t spending as much time with each other like we used to. Sure, with the whole “being in love” part about Dre, I had wanted to spend more time with him to you know, explore those ways, but I would give up everything just so that things would go back to normal, where I was blissfully unaware of everything, I hadn’t killed two people, and I get through the day just because my friends were there for me.
Why did things have to change?
In fact, I know that this has been said a million times before, but why did I have to be born in the first place? Yeah, I’m sure my parents love me and they’re convinced that I wasn’t a mistake; blah, blah, blah, but really, just why exactly was I “manufactured” by Aerial? Why couldn’t it have been someone else that wasn’t me?
I’m just wasting time. One part of my brain tried to reassure me, but I couldn’t help as those I was stuck in the past. Too many things were changing. Too many people, to be specific were changing, and that even included me of all people. Out of my group of friends, I’m sure that everyone was sure that I would be the same old Melita Young. And now, look at me; a crazy mermaid/siren/werewolf/sprite teenager. Who has a crush on two different people. How in the hell do things change so fast?
I felt myself get up from my crouching position and walking up the stairs, finally aware that I needed to go to Dre’s first class, Mr. Stohlman’s trig class. I got up and climbed the rest of the stairs before shoving the folders up the back of my shirt to hide them and speed-walking down the hallway, knowing that I was running out of time, especially with that little stunt I had pulled by thinking of the past on the stairs.
I had to walk all the way down the hallway, and when I finally reached the door, I stopped and took in a deep breath. Somehow, this was the beginning of the end, and I wasn’t really sure how Dre was going to react about me literally dying by the end of the day. Maybe. Probably. Actually, most definitely. Obviously, I’m not very strong.
I hesitantly opened the door of the classroom and slowly peeked in, my toes in first, then my mid-section, and finally my head as I fully exposed my eyes to see where Dre was.
It took me a moment, because I didn’t see anyone moving around. I looked to the back of the classroom, where he was sitting in his desk, an angry expression on his face with his arms folded across his chest. Everyone else was completely frozen too, eyes focused on Mr. Stohlman as he was writing notes on the whiteboard.
And that’s when I realized what I had said: Dre was frozen just like everyone one else. He was frozen. And he shouldn’t be.
I let out a gasp of air and slapped my hand to my mouth, momentarily forgetting about the folders up my shirt as they slid out my waistband and onto the ground.
It didn’t make sense, how in the hell was he frozen? Hadn’t Ivan told me that anyone like us - with powers, dark and light - was fine, and completely unfrozen when someone had stopped time? Why was he–
“I’m gonna kill Ivan when I see him!” I suddenly hear Dre outburst. I sharply turn to the left to face him, almost startled to hear his voice.
“Did you know he was going to be doing this today?” He continued on, getting up from his desk and walking towards me.
“How–, but–, you...” I stuttered, trailing off. “Y-you were just frozen a minute ago.” I said, pointing a shaky finger at his desk in the back of the classroom.
Dre shook his head. “No, I was just gonna act frozen until Ivan came to find me and beat the shit out of him,” He muttered, narrowing his eyes. He cleared his throat, and then looked up at me with a grin on his face.
“Hey.” He said.
A sudden shyness crept over me, and I felt myself starting to blush deeply. Oh God. It’s the side effects from thinking you’re in love with someone. I thought to myself in my head, and it just made me feel even more shy and reserved. I could barely even meet his eyes as I replied.
And then, as suddenly as I had felt the shyness creep over me, a wave of unusual depression washed over me, taking me under its wave and sending me to my knees, physically, as I fell down to the linoleum floor.
“Mel?” Dre cried out worriedly for me. He was at my side in a few moments, resting his hand on my back and talking to me frantically. “Mel? Are you alright? Mel, if you can, you gotta answer me.”
My hand was against the side of Mr. Stohlman’s desk, my breath was ragged, and my eyes were shut, trying to keep the tears that were still – against my defenses – were flowing from my eyes and beading across my cheeks. I shook my head feebly, not able to open my mouth since I was pressing my lips together so I couldn’t let the sobs that were racking through my body inside come out.
I was crying like I never had before. It literally felt like I was dying; like it was dusk already, and this was how it was going to end. My lips flew out as breath tried to escape my mouth, and a ragged, breathy sob finally escape. A shaky hand lifted to my head as I tried to contain myself, but I just ended up losing my balance and falling in fetal position against the floor.
“Mel…” Dre said my name, not in a question, but as a whisper, as if he didn’t know what was going on. I felt his hands on my shoulders, just barely, since I couldn’t focus over the translucent curtain of tears running in front of my eyes.
“I-I’m not okay,” I stuttered through my sobs. I grabbed on tightly to the hem of his shirt, not caring how dumb and ugly I looked with snot stuffing up my nose. I leaned my head against the side of the teacher’s desk and looked into my lap, trying to shut my eyes once again just so the tears would stop. But they wouldn’t listen to me.
“What— are your hurt or something? Did someone do something to you? What?” Dre asked frantically, trying to rattle an answer out of me. It didn’t help, seeing that he actually cared about me. It would be so much easier if everyone hated me like I thought in my mine, so I could die in peace and no one would care. At least, that’s how I felt then.
“…I’m dying,” I whispered under my breath. My eyes were frozen on the specks in the floor, my hands shaking uncontrollably at my chest.
“You…you what?” Dre asked, quite incredulously sounding. “Did you say that you’re dying?”
I nodded, and swiveled my gaze toward him shamefully, sorry for dragging him into all of my shit in the first place. “This woman…she put this, I don’t even know what to call it. I guess you could say a…hex? She put it on me,” I explained, my voice cracking on some words.
“And she says that if I don’t do something to prevent it, I’ll die. Tonight, at dusk. B-but I don’t even know how to stop it. How am I supposed to stop something when I don’t even know what it is?” I blubbered, feeling like an idiot for doing so, but I couldn’t help it
Millions of emotions crossed over Dre’s face in literally one second. At first, he just seemed too stunned to say anything, and he was completely frozen. And then, suddenly, his face broke, and a fire broke into his eyes. His irises changed from brown to red as a flame almost instantly, and a vein in his neck started to slightly bulge.
He looked over to me, finally meeting my eyes, and I resisted the urge to turn away from him. His eyes settled onto my right arm, which was exposed and lying on my thigh as my hand continuously shook uncontrollably. And then, his glowing, red eyes settled onto my wrist, and I don’t know what it was, but it seemed like something registered on his face; just a simple click.
He suddenly seemed to realize why time was frozen, and that it wasn’t Ivan just playing a trick on us. He pieced it along with the fact that I was crying like there was no tomorrow – at least there wasn’t for me – and the tattoo on my wrist was the final piece, that corner in the jigsaw puzzle that solved it all.
I watched as his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down a little bit as he swallowed. I don’t know why I started to thinking it, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if girl’s had big Adam’s apple. They look fun to play with and everything, but just how annoying were they to have? Were they like boobs, because I mean, people like how they look, but it’s hard to carry them all the time, and no one cares that they’re basically breaking your back from their dumb weight.
“Don’t procrastinate with me, Mel,” Dre’s voice cut in, bringing me out of my deep-thinking trance.
“I…I’m not,” I lied, feeling another wave of tears building up in my eyes. I crossed my arms over my face, as if I could just shut out the world and leave myself alone, but I knew that couldn’t happen.
I felt Dre unravel my arms gently, and give me a worried look. The fact that he actually cared just egged on to the fact that by tonight, I would be dead. It sent me over the edge, knowing the fact that I would never see Dre again, and I started to full on cry again. Pathetically.
The next moment, I felt his arms wrap around the top of my shoulders, and he started to shake me back and forth gently side to side, trying to comfort me. The only missing, sappy part was that he didn’t say “everything’s going to be alright” because we knew that was a lie. We weren’t stupid enough to believe that.
“You’re dying,” I heard Dre whisper next to my ear. It sounded like a question, but it really wasn’t. His grip around my waist suddenly tightened, and he was pressing my head down so that I could lie against his shoulder.
Just like the good days. That would soon be over.
I looked to him, and I was surprised to find there was a deep sadness in his dark eyes. He was actually sad that I was departing with this realm. I don’t know why, but it surprised me. Tears began to build in my eyes, but it was like my eyes were too tired to cry. I closed them as I felt Dre’s head lean in towards mine. I winced as I felt his lips press against my forehead. I even lost a little bit of my breath as I felt his lips travel down from my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, and onto my actual lips.
I felt his hand to creep against the back of my neck, touching the little hairs on the nape of my neck. The kiss – I guess that’s you could call it – only lasted for a second, before we pulled away and I rested my head against his shoulder once again.
“Making up for lost time,” He joked, giving me another on my forehead.
“It took you long enough,” I replied, and then buried my face even deeper into his neck. His skin was so soft. I was going to miss these moments the most; the times when Dre and I were able to be close without feelings getting in the way.
“Mel! Dre! Take cover!” I heard a familiar voice, Ivan, yell at the top of his lungs, his voice straining.
I looked to Dre up in alarm but was up on my feet in a matter of a few seconds. I backed against the teacher’s desk, a death grip as my hand tightened around Dre’s as he hurriedly scrambled to his feet.
We watched anxiously at the doorway until Ivan burst in, blood rushing to his cheeks despite his shaken, pale skin. His normally blue eyes were white, and as soon as his eyes met Dre’s, his activated from brown to red once again.
“Ivan?” I yelled, alarmed. “What’s wrong?”
“They— she, he—,” He stuttered. He turned around, and his eyes grew even wider when he set his gaze back on the two of us. “Duck!”
I didn’t have time to react as Ivan crashed into me and Dre, sending the teacher’s desk flying across the room. A loud, roaring wind suddenly entered the room, and I recognized the familiar sound that arrived whenever a portal was opened.
“What the hell?” I screamed, trying to catch my breath as the wind whipped around, sending my hair flying so that it whacked me in the face.
“It’s Evan!” Ivan yelled at the top of his lungs, but I was barely able to hear him since the hard wind was so loud.
We heard another crashing sound, and all three of us whipped our heads to the door to see a desk hurtling towards it. Instinctively, I held out my head in defense and a purple, translucent shield appeared in front of us, sending the desk flying and ricocheting off the wall.
“Impressive,” A familiar, female voice entered the room. She talked as though it wasn’t difficult to, even the terrible wind was so strong that it was making it hard to breathe.
I watched in awe as no other than my half-sister Azrael walked into the classroom, her hair – that looked exactly like mine, of course – whipped around her face dangerously. What was even more peculiar than the fact how eerie it was for her to look exactly like me, was that someone was holding her hand.
My eyes traveled from the entwined hands up, to see that it was Evan, gripping onto my half-sister so tightly with a devilish grin across his face.
“Guess who’s ba-ack?” He sing-songed, giving me a murderous look. I was alarmed to see that fangs of all things were poking from his mouth.
There was another ripping sound like when the wind had formed, and turned around quickly to see that a vertically-shaped void had appeared in the classroom. My eyes were wide with alarm, but I somehow found the courage to yell at the top of my lungs to Dre and Ivan.
“Go, go, go, go!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, already up on my feet and tugging Dre and Ivan to the portal. I pushed Dre and Ivan in first before me, just before I stepped inside the dark, swirling portal.
I turned around briefly just in time for see a bright, flaming light launching towards the portal just as it closed behind us as we crossed through to the Twilight Realm.
The realm that I would die in.