He was protecting me. I was locked in a room in my house, but we got out and there was a bus. We were traveling together but I couldn’t trust anyone. I kept getting things stolen, but he would get them back. They were important.
It was constant overcast; dark like twilight. There was unease everywhere we went. Shadows in every corner, following us- following him. It was dangerous, but I felt at ease with him. He didn’t love me but he needed me, and I was devoted to him. He felt protective of me. I could tell in the slight touches to my back, the way he hesitated like he would say more than “It is time to go,” or “we must keep moving.”
There was something my father said to me before I escaped my home, before the bomb went off. It was something about not leaving with him. He tried to lock me up in there, but Nik got me out before my house exploded.
I am not sure who blew it up, but someone wanted us dead. I think my father survived. I can’t tell. There is a block in my memory, I can only remember bits and pieces- it’s like trying to put a puzzle together with less than half the pieces, and not even good pieces, but some outside ones and some inside ones and you have two that connect but the rest don’t.
The picture isn’t making any sense.
I remember watching a movie on a screen in an auditorium or it could have been outside, but it was on a college campus and my mother and Col and Ernest were there and that day people died.
Col was making fun of us, and my mother was worried. She didn’t tell me why she was worried, but in the dim light I could tell by the lines in her forehead- the way her brows furrowed- I could read her thoughts on her face like a page from a book. Nik was trouble and no-I was not really as safe as I felt with him.
I left her there-walked away from the safety of the campus with Nik. I don’t remember how far we traveled then- through a small town at the edge of campus, through throngs of people-half who were afraid of us and half who wanted to skin us alive.
Ernest met us at the colosseum, which had been transformed into a full theater, an arena.
I met his eyes as we entered from the back, I could tell he was nervous- not for his brother, but for me. At this point Nik grabbed my upper arm and pulled me around so I was looking directly into his eyes. They were blue, and they scanned my face in a questioning way- he was asking me silently, silently if I was ready to serve him. He must have gotten my silent yes by looking intently at me.
I drew in a deep breath, as if I could breathe in some of his strength.
I don’t think it worked, but Nik gave me little time to dwell on my fear. Still grasping my arm, he pulled me around so I was on his right side. His right hand girl. I was honored even though I was shaking in my bones.
This is where things are really fuzzy. I am pretty sure we were backstage then. I kept looking at Ernest who was standing in the right wing. We were behind the closed curtains. Waiting to be revealed to the spectators down below. It was maddening. The curtains opened while I was still looking at Ernest, whose mouth was in a hard line. Every nerve in my body knew this would not end well, but I had no idea how bad it would actually be.
The curtain opened and my face was still turned to Ernest. I wished I would never have to look out to the crowd, but when Nik grabbed my hand instead of my arm I could not, could not stop from turning to the sea of people.
It was disgusting to see. They were yelling, screaming at us, all disturbed, asking us if we cared and asking for our heads on a silver plate.
I never thought, was never able to conceive, that the anger from the people could get this bad. I was so very wrong. Down in the arena, the sea of people bubbled with set fires and screams of rage. Nik’s grip grew tighter on my hand as he address the mob. He was speaking words of peace and reflection, in attempt to sooth the audience. I stood slightly behind his right shoulder, grounding myself in his hands’ grip. I wanted to look away but my eyes were locked on the people. While Nik was speaking the audience grew louder and louder.
That’s when the second bomb went off.
It exploded right behind us. The people in the wild crowd were no longer of real concern as everyone on stage was flung forward by the blast. We landed several rows forward, scattered around. Nik had managed to keep hold of me and we landed not far from Ernest. Nik mumbled something I didn’t hear to his brother. Ernest seemed to have heard him though, since he nodded and grabbed me from Nik. He tried to pull me to my feet and asked if I could walk, although his voice was soft and muddled by the ringing in my ears. I wasn’t as strong as they were and my legs were wobbly, so Ernest pulled me into his arms and started to run.
I heard screams from the people in the crowd. They sounded as though they were being slaughtered. Nik must have had a hand in that, even though I knew that was his last resort. I wondered if I would ever see him again.
I doubted it.
It was insane in that arena, it didn’t matter how invincible he seemed to be, Nik wouldn’t survive.
I couldn’t see much as Ernest carried me through the destruction but I could feel the heat of the fires- I could smell the burning flesh. The anger of the people had turned to fear. There were wails and sobs and screams.
That’s what happens when he loses control.
I tried to squeeze myself closer to Ernest, and he gripped my tighter as he ran. I felt the vibrations of another explosion. I could only guess at who was setting them off. It could have been anyone- everyone hated us now. Eventually the heat and the sounds from the arena faded. Ernest got us out. By this time I had buried my face into his neck, but I felt the chill of a winter night engulf me as we escaped. Ernest didn’t stop running until we were back on campus.
I worried for Nik, wondered if he was still alive. Ernest sat down, still holding me for I was shaking. He cooed and told me we were safe now. I didn’t know if he said that for my sake or for his own. I heard Col asking what had happened- and my mother. She had left to find me.
She was gone. Hearing this I leapt up enraged.
“You let her leave?” I shouted at Col, whose ever present smile faded from his face. He backed away from me, looking to Ernest for support.
“Calm, darling Sirena, calm.” Ernest continued his attempt to sooth me, he tried to take me into his arms again, but as with Nik, my temper was deadly.
“They are dead. All of them!” I screamed, ascending on Col, who at a good foot taller than me seemed to shrink to a mouse under my glare. “And now she is gone! Because of your disregard.”
Ah, Guys. I have weird dreams.
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