Bad- the world had turned bad. Over the last couple of years there has been nothing but chaos. Unknown beings have infiltrate part of our world; mass hysteria, robberies, murders have tripled over the years. Innocent people are dying either out of starvation or their untimely and unwanted death. They- the military- the people that are supposed to protect us order us when to stay inside our homes and when it's safe to leave. But one thing is for sure after nine o'clock no one is supposed to leave, if you do and you get seen, it either you're punished or killed on the spot. Our government was meant to protect us, yet we were the ones that lived in fear of them.
"Alexis, where are you going? It's gone past curfew. Alexis, you're not supposed to leave." A voice pulled me out of my thoughts. I stopped abruptly, turning around to see the only person that gave me joy, out of everything that has happened, he was my only light. Small but packed with the biggest and brightest star.
I kneeled down in front of him, raking my hand through my little brothers' silver ivory-colored hair. "Evan. I just have to go to the shops, it's urgent." Lie.
"Can't it wait?" His baby-like face scrunched up and I could feel my heart tighten.
"I can't. But you know what, I'll get you something while I'm there okay? But Evan, if I don't make it back, you need to assure me that'll you take care of mum for me." Yet, I knew that was another lie. I was never going to see Evan again, call me heartless but it would be better for the both of us. Living in this house was taking a strain on me and I knew no one would hurt him, Eaton, my stepfather, loves Evan too much to ever even lay a hand on him.
"Are you coming back?" The sadness in his voice and the tears trickling down his face made me want to engulf him with a hug and tell him everything will be fine, but if I did, I'm afraid I wouldn't have the courage to leave. And I had to, I had to go.
Another deep, brooding voice called out from up the stairs I focused my attention on the man who turned my happy life into a quick nightmare, looking up at Eaton, he still looked the same as he did years ago: raven black hair, sunken in eyes, thin nose even thinner lips and the massive pot belly you could see from a mile away. The smell of cigarettes and alcohol seemed to cling to him wherever he went, he didn't have a bone in his body that contained good morals, let alone the will to get a job to support us. "Are you taking your leave soon? Or are you just going to keep wallowing here and leeching off my back?"
That's why I have to leave, the child care money won't cover all of us and one less child means more money if the government, or what's left of it, still believes I'm living with my parents. More of it would go to Evan. And he deserved it, he deserved a better life, more money for food, clothes, anything he wanted. He deserved it all.
"Let me finish my goodbyes, Eaton." Feeling anger well up inside of me but I did my best to keep my composure. The more I would try to suppress it, the more it bubbled up inside me.
"That's father to you." Never. Never ever. He would never be my father, just as I'd never call him it. He didn't deserve that prestigious, earned title. He didn't deserve anything.
"You know I'm not going to call you that." His bloodshot eyes welled up, the veins bulging out even more. He hated it when he was disobeyed. Yet, I loved seeing him crack so easily. He didn't have any self-control and that I hoped would be his destruction.
"You know, if you respected me more, you'd never find yourself in this situation.." I knew what he was trying to do, gas-light me, make me seem like the crazy, abusive one. Intimidate me into saying that's he's right and succumb to all his deluded wishes. But I had enough of it. Enough of all of it. If that meant I had to throw myself into potentially my death, to escape him, then that's what I had to do.
I turned around proceeding to leave, that's when I caught a figure in my peripheral vision. Her long black kinky hair flowing around her shoulders and her piercing hazel eyes digging right into mine. My mom; stunning, courageous, and as long as I could remember always wanted the best for her children but that was all before my real father died. My memories weren't as clear and vivid as what I could remember. Yet, I knew he was the best for our family and my mother. He was my father. His kindness, generosity, his love was all traits about him that I could never forget.
No one said anything, silence encompassing us. I knew she was afraid, of what she did if she spoke out of term from what Eaton wanted her to. But that sparking glint in her eyes, I needed to make sure her decision to abandon me was set. "Mum, do you really want me to leave? Me, you, Evan can escape this you know. We can escape him." My eyes flickered to Eaton, willing to ignore the heated glares.
"No one, absolutely no one is taking my son away from me." From as far back as I remember, the first time I held Evan in my arms, I never parted from his side. I was always there when he cried. I was always there when he hurt himself and needed my help. Me. Not Eaton. I guess it was undeniable he was there as a father but not as attentive as normal father's across the country. All he seemed to care for was his liquor and his life-shortening cigarettes. Burning money, we didn't have.
My mother began draping her hand over his wide-set shoulders, patting his back, trying to soothe down his temper. "Eaton, my dear. Rethink this, please? She is useful to us, she helps us with Evan." How, my own mother seemed so detached when speaking of her only daughter, did its best to sting. I was no more than a mistake now, in her eyes. Something that she did and unfortunately, now could never get rid of.
"Gia. She's disrespected us long enough in our own house. She deserves to leave and face the real world, maybe it'll extinguish out some of that fire in her. Mold her to be a proper, respectable girl." But it wasn't his, this house belonged to my father and his father before him. It was my birthright, not his.
"Yet, what if she doesn't make it? You know how hard it is to survive on her own, especially out there." This was the last she knew she could plead my case with him, if she pressed any harder, his anger that was now focused on me would be quickly redirected. And it was worst when it was her. A lot worst.
Maybe, she did actually love me and care for me. Still, her fear of him was much greater than her love for me.
"Are you suggesting that I let this abomination of a child still live under my roof? Gia, you better cool your tongue before I cool it for you." One warning. One warning was all she got and she quickly followed his command. Subtle, but still had enough venom to make my own heart hitch. We had to get through when my father passed, we needed means of getting by. Our money was running out and my father isolated himself away from his family, so when it came to help, there was no one to help us. Until Eaton came, at first he seemed nice as if he was a good man and would be an even better stepfather. Then, his true colors came out, by then my mother was trapped with him, pregnant. There was nowhere we could run to.
Recoiling backward, quickly trying to put as much possible distance between him and her. He was unpredictable. And it was dangerous if she got too close. "I'm sorry. I just thought it's the best idea for our son."
"We can cope without her."
She nodded her head, despite him not even giving her the brunt of his attention. His eyes kept trained on me, fury brewing between them.
"Indeed." Her eyes connected with mine, something screaming behind them. For help. For sanctuary. For me? "Call if you need anything." Immediately she turned her back to me, proceeding to walk away. If I didn't say something now, I knew I'd regret it later.
"Mother." The desperation in my tone must have stopped her in her tracks yet she still didn't turn to face me. I guess saying goodbye was hard for her too. "Do you want me to leave, really?" She didn't respond, I guess that was all I needed. If she wasn't willing to support me, who else could? "Well, mum. I respect your decision and I want you to know I still love you. And I always will. "Her back twitched before quickly recovering, she disappeared into the adjacent room.
"Now, Alexis. Or your time will be running out. Those soldiers will be patrolling down our streets soon. Nevertheless, you're still leaving this house tonight. One way or another." I received the message loud and clear. If I didn't go willingly, it wouldn't matter because he'd force me regardless.
Evan realizing what was going on, erupted in another bulk of tears, staining his lightly tanned cheeks, dimming his eyes, and crimping his features. Seeing him like this broke my heart. Seeing Evan cry was like a thousand bullets finding their way inside me all at once. And I hated myself for making him react this way. Slowly, I crouched to his level, draping over his head an emerald jeweled necklace, gifted to me by my father. It supposed to be lucky, yet despite me not having any I had to trust that its luck would find its way to the right person. And I hoped that was Evan. "Keep this around you at all times. Never take it off. And here, I'll hide it underneath your shirt so no one has any smart comments to make about it. Will you wear it, for me?" He nodded, tears still flowing down his soft cheeks, carefully I traced them down, wiping them away. "Don't cry. Be brave. Can you be brave, Evan?"
Somehow, I had a feeling that would be my final goodbye. One last time, my eyes wandered around the home I grew up in. Everything remained roughly the same when my father passed; the same potted plant on the table opposite the small window, the same carpet stained from when I spilled pasta rushing into finishing a game with my mother and father. Things were the same, yet everything was so different.
Giving Evan a quick goodbye kiss and tucking in the necklace. I took my leave, every step further away from him and closer to the door was bittersweet. My only way for freedom was to leave the people I cared about. The brisk, cold air hit me. The natural light flickering. My hand reached the doorknob and without turning back to see the face I left behind. I closed it shut, sagging back into the door, letting out the deepest breath I seemed to be holding in. My supplies would run out, soon enough. My small backpack could only fit the essentials; some sparse notes of money, toiletries, change of clothes. It was enough for at least a week, from then on I would have to make certain decisions for myself, be left to mother nature to lead whatever path it has for me. I didn't have a plan, but at this point, I didn't need one. I was sixteen, I knew there must be some sort of job for me, somewhere. I guess I had to live like a nomad before I coul
Chapter two The soothing sound of a deep voice brought me back to reality. My heavy eyes sluggishly opened and the first thing I noticed was the throbbing headache and the desire for water or any form of liquid. "Hey." The voice repeated again looking towards the corner of my eye I saw a figure carefully approaching me. Then it dawned on me everything that occurred the last time I was awake, the flashbacks held me immobilized in my body. Who exactly was this person? And how did he know my name? On the spur of the moment I ascended out of what was a rocky bed and lunged for my jagged, silver knife that was hid in the secret pocket of my coat, that currently was tossed to the side of the bare floor. If he tried anything, I guess I had to be to one to end his life. I used this for emergency only and I guess this would classify as one. I looked up to
Before I could collide with the ground, his arms wrapped around me and sat me upright on the bed. "What do you want with me?" I turned to face him only to be greeted with a frown. The thumping in my temple, died down but not to the point I could even think properly. "Nothing, I just want to keep you safe. I've been assigned to do so-" "No, what do you really want from me?" It was becoming increasingly hard to believe his outlandish stories and I really couldn't tell whether it was a pure truth or simply something fabricated in his mind. He let out a deep pent-up breath. "Take this. It'll make you feel better." He fished into his pocket and unwrapped a piece of cloth offering me a pale white pill. "What is it?" "It helps with after-effects of shifting. It'll calm down headaches and dizziness." "I'm pretty sure we didn't time
Falling. I was falling helplessly passing parts of the sky in a split second. The air was too thin. Winds too harsh. Stale tears trickled down my cheeks, I was in shock, the whole world was now moving in slow motion. Every passing moment represented all the parts that made up me; Evan, my mother, my father. All the people I subsequently left behind. Maybe it was honestly for the best, truthfully I knew that surviving on my own was edging on absolutely impossible but one thing my father always managed to hammer into my head, was never stay in a place that's mentally and emotionally draining, that's how you truly lose yourself. All the aspects, the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations, that make you, you. Gone. Never, ever find yourself in that situation. Stupid really thinking it was the right thing to do. But either way, I'd be free, so I couldn't r
Fifteen minutes later of speechlessly walking and mostly blending into the shadows we arrived at our destination, to be honest, I was still trying to grasp what Isaiah told me, yes I mean it's his mission to protect me but I never actually thought he really cared. Maybe I really should put my trust in him.But then how many people have screwed me over, the people I thought I trusted the most. I shouldn't be so naive to fall for his tricks. You're better than this, sternly I had to remind myself.You get nothing from putting your faith in others.The vast change of environment slightly stunned me, coming out from the vast busy, crazy streets into the somewhat quiet green area, the complex more like a skyscraper which merged to appear as a single mansion without a doubt looked out of place with the rest of the greenery. But this couldn't possibly be our destination."We're here."I
Chapter four It was weird really, I mean I saw myself, I saw a reflection of me. Tell me why did it feel so unusual, it didn't seem like me, I swear. Having had a long-needed shower I was gifted the tight attire I was currently wearing, the figure-hugging dress, black as night with even darker boots paired with a leather jacket. Everything pronounced my curves, but I was covered. I knew I was but I couldn't help but feel so naked. I guess I was too oblivious to notice that almost all of them wore black and dark colors. Was that a requirement or just a choice? Presentable. I looked presentable. Zee helped me pack my hair into a tight bun, it was a two-person job. They weren't allowed makeup, I knew that itself was a must, but it didn't even occur to me why they would, they were agents wouldn't it just be a huge waste of time? Nevertheless, they were both naturally beautiful, I would be lying if it didn't make me a l
"Alexis?" I recognized that voice. This was a dream. "Alexis!" The voice strained, unsure what to do. Another series of footsteps charged through, followed by another and then another until I lost count. Wet. I was wet. My cheeks felt unbearably damp. The paralysis slowly drained from my systems. A dream. It was a dream. Forcefully I snapped my eyes open the smell of sulfur disintegrated and sweet chocolate filled my senses instead. Instantly I locked my eyes onto Zee, her expression screamed everything, fear. Absolute fear possibly the overwhelming thought that I was the key to fixing the world, I could remember what she said about me being the 'savior' and Isaiah agreed with her, my mind flowed back to him saying he didn't know why they wanted me and he seemed surprisingly honest. Did he lie to me? If he did, how, why would he choose to slip up like that, right in front of me? Could I trust him?
With the boys already explaining to us that there was no one around for miles, I think it really dawned on everyone that this was deadly serious, eradicating the threat of an intruder instead was something we all could cling to, even hoped for, anything was better than the truth. But to our dismay, the boys extinguished our hope. My hope. Privately they chose to talk from earshot away from me, probably what they thought was for my own good. As if. They practically had to pry Isaiah away from me, he was so reluctant to go that when he left his fire and warmth died with him, at least I had Zee still by my side she thought it was best for me not to be left alone. I couldn't help but agree with her, silently of course. If they were nervous, how should I be feeling? Fearful? Scared? After their private get-together, all the boys stormed back into the room, Veronica still lingered in the hallway like she was anxious to come close to me, not sc