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My Mystery Boy
I will never forget the day he saved me. He appeared out of nowhere and grabbed my hand, pulling me out of the reach of the men below.
"Please don't go down dark alleys anymore," he said.
"It wasn't my fault! They pulled me in!"
"You're lucky I was there to save you."
"I don't need saving! I can take care of myself!"
"Whatever," he replied, and faded into the shadows again. I never saw his face.
Nowadays, I can't sleep, eat or think about anything other than him. I must find out who he is and why he saved me. I’m not in love with him or anything. I just need to know who he is.
For the past few months, I have scoured the city looking for boys who could fit his description. Blonde hair, tall and thin, snarky and sarcastic. So far, I have found at least fifty who could be him. But none have his voice.
I have finally decided to give up my search. There is no reason for me to lose precious time on someone who obviously doesn't want to be found. He must not live in the city, for I have searched every house and every street and still I cannot find him. I'll have to forget about my mystery boy.
"Danielle, come inside!" my mom yells.
I sigh and drag my legs against the ground, stopping the old swing. "What is it?"
"You need to come and watch the news with me! You promised!"
I sigh and stand up, pushing the swing backwards. I forgot about that promise. When my mom complained that I wasn't spending time with her, I told her that I would watch the news. And I hate the news.
I hear the announcer's dull tone as soon as I walk inside. This was going to be boring, like always.
"And now we turn to downtown San Francisco, where a young man has been terrifying residents. Police suspect that he has been using some sort of gas to induce hallucinations, but there has been no trace in any of the victims." A picture appears on the screen. I gasp as I see the jacket he wears. It looks just like the one my dad gave to me as a Christmas present three years ago. I dropped it in that alley. This is my mystery boy.
I listen to the story for a few more minutes, where they describe what the victims saw. All of them say that there was a girl in their visions, a girl trapped inside a large cage. She had dark brown hair, light brown eyes, and was wearing a pair of dirty jeans and a torn shirt with the letters L, V, O, G, N, P, O, S, R.
A sketch of the girl is shown on the screen. She appears to be seventeen, and fairly tall. The girl is me. My mystery boy must be telling me to meet him. I look down at my clothes and cringe. I’m wearing jeans. And a shirt that says, Live Long and Prosper.
I rush out of the house, ignoring my mother’s screams. My mystery boy is probably expecting me to meet him in the alley.
When I arrive, he’s slouched against the wall, looking bored. “Well, took you long enough.”
“Why did you call me here?”
“Because I wanted some company. As you can see, I don’t get much.”
“You could have just called or something. You didn’t have to torture those people.”
“Ah, but would you have come if I called?”
“Yes! I need to know who you are!”
“Sounds like someone’s in love.”
“I am not in love with you! I just wanted to thank you for saving my life!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am.”
He takes a step towards me. “Completely sure?”
“Y-” I stammer. “Yes, I am.”
“You don’t sound so sure.”
“Well, I am sure. It was nice to meet you, and thank you for saving my life.”
“Wait! Don’t move!”
“You don’t tell me what to do!”
“I’m begging you please don’t move!”
I ignore him and step out of the alley. Immediately, a man jumps from the building above and puts something over my mouth. I hear my mystery boy shouting, but I black out before I see anything else.
I wake up in a cage. My jeans are splattered with mud and I see parts of my shirt on the ground. My mystery boy was showing people the future, my future.
“Well, Sleeping Beauty is finally awake. I told her not to move, and yet she did.” I look up to see my mystery boy on the opposite side of the cage. His hair sticks up in various places and there are bags under his eyes.
“Where are we?” I ask, still in a sleepy haze.
“In a cage.”
“I knew that. Where is the cage?”
“Inside a warehouse downtown. I’m not sure exactly which one, but it’s by the ocean.”
“Why are we here?”
“Because we’re about to be killed.”
I sit up straight. “What? You think we’re going to be killed!”
“I know we are.”
“No you don’t! You just think so!”
“Danielle, calm down. I know why we’re here.”
“Why?” I ask, still freaked out.
“I’m an assassin. I have special gifts that I use to kill people. The man who attacked you wanted revenge on me. He threatened to kill you if I didn’t go peacefully. So here we are.”
“Why did he take me? I’m just some girl you saved!”
He sighs. “That’s why he took you. I don’t normally save people. He thought I loved you.”
“Then when we tell him he’s wrong he’ll let me go!”
“No he won’t.”
“Why not? I won’t tell anyone.”
“He won’t because he’s not wrong. Why do you think I saved you? I normally just leave people to die."
"Well, aren't you hero of the year."
"Can't even take a little insult?"
"Do you want what happened in the alley to happen again? Shut up, please."
I close my mouth and watch as he inspects the cage. After a few minutes of waiting, I get bored.
"So how did you induce those hallucinations? And how did you know that I would be in this cage wearing this shirt?"
"I am. I can induce visions in people and it gives me snippets of the future. Or I can drive someone insane. It's how I deal with most of my targets."
"You are kidding me, right?"
"No." He smirks as the cage door comes off. "Let's go."
"Wait, will you at least tell me what your name is?"
"Nope. You'll just have to guess.”
“Fine. Is is Jason?”
He gives me a pointed look. “Really?”
“Okay, then that’s not it.”
“Shut up and let’s get out of here.”
“Mason? Dylan? Tony? Connor? Arthur? Ethan? Charlie? Daniel? Ryan? Damian? Josh? Shawn? Nick? Clint? David? Tanner? Eric? Steven? Harry?”
“No to all.”
“Can you please just tell me?”
Suddenly, something comes flying through the air and hits him in the arm. He cries out in pain and falls to the ground, blood seeping out of his shoulder. A dagger is embedded in his right shoulder.
“Well, well. Looks like the little birds got out of the cage. Now it’s time for the cat to catch them.”
I turn to see a large man standing behind me. He has broad shoulders and looks down at me with an evil smirk.
“I never thought I would find a lovebird who could finally weaken Bradley."
"Haven't even told her your name? Great job with your new girlfriend."
"Shut up," Bradley snaps. "You have no right to discuss this with me."
"Want to go down this road again? Why don't I tell your precious Danielle here who I really am?"
"You underestimate me, my son."
"Son?" I ask.
"Yes," Bradley says, his voice dripping with contempt. "But illegitimate. And the son of a psychic. So he wants me dead. Need to have a pure bloodline, after all."
"Correct. Now, my sweet Danielle, if you would please move so that I may deal with this abomination."
"No." I say simply, bending down in front of Bradley. "You are not killing him just to keep your stupid family tree pure. Let us go and I promise I will not say anything about this."
"Silly girl. You think I won't kill you. You have no idea what I will do for my family's pride."
"Danielle, move! Let him kill me! Just move right now!"
"I don't think so. He’ll have to kill me to kill you.”
“Please step aside. You have to survive!” Then I feel something cold and wet press into my hand.
I step aside and let the man pass. I wink at Bradley and smile as his father realizes that the dagger is gone. He turns to me and I throw it as hard as I can at him. He curses and falls to the floor, his blood mixing with his son’s.
Bradley hugs me and strokes my hair. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Now will you please explain why you saved me?”
“I love you.”
“Little sudden don’t you think?”
“Not in that way! God, I would never love someone in that way. I’ve been looking for you for years. You’re my younger sister.”
“Yes. Our father visited our mother more than once. You were born a year after I was, before he found out about me. Once he did, our mother hid you so that he wouldn’t find you. She gave me your name before she died and then I spent five years looking for you.”
“So I just killed my father?”
“Technically, yes, but he wasn’t much of a father, was he?”
“No. What are we going to do now?”
“Well, of you come with me, we could go anywhere. Or you could stay with your family. However, now that you killed our father people will probably come after you. I wouldn’t put it past him to have this place rigged.” He pretends to pout in order to make me feel bad, but there’s no need. I’ve already made my decision.
“I’m coming with you, idiot! I don’t want to stay in a house forever, especially now that I know I’m psychic.”
He lights up. “Awesome! Let’s go get your stuff right away!”
“Wait, how are we going to explain this to my parents?”
“Our parents are dead. Oh, you mean your adoptive parents. How about they don’t know?”
“But they’ll keep looking for me. Could be a problem for an assassin.”
“Not if they don’t remember you. You could use your powers to make them forget you.”
“Then would they be safe?”
“I believe so. No one would but two and two together, especially if you change your name.”
“But what about everyone who has ever seen me?”
“Your parents memory stem is the center of everyone who has ever seen you. Erase their memories and everyone else will forget you.”
“How do you know so much about this?”
“I’ve had years of practice.”
“You pick up these things fast when it’s in your blood.”
“Great. Let’s go. You need to help me with some stuff.”
We head over to my house, using our father’s old car, and I slip in to tell my parents the bad news. Actually, I don’t explain, just do what Bradley tells me and erase their memories of me. Tears come to my eyes as I leave them knocked out and throw out every picture and everything tying me to them. Bradley hugs me and wipes away the tears.
“It’ll be alright. Trust me, this is safer for both you and them.”
“But now they’ll have no idea I even existed. They won’t even go into my room because they’ll see it and think it doesn’t exist!”
“Hey, please cheer up. I know it’s hard to leave, but you need to do this. Come on, let’s go upstairs and get your stuff.”
My footsteps pound in my ears as I walk up the creaky wooden stairs. They’re almost as loud as my heartbeat, which has finally picked up as I realize that I am literally leaving my house with a boy who I hardly know to become some sort of assassin. Can I really do this? I think.
“Yes you can,” Bradley says in response to my thoughts. “You are my sister, after all.”
“Great. You can read my mind.”
“Just a bonus of being psychic.”
“This is going to take time to get used to.”
“You are so weird.”
I nudge him gently. “Who’s the killer here? Who just so happens to be able to read minds?”
“Umm… both of us. You killed our father if you don’t remember.”
“But can I read minds?”
“Yes. Try to read mine.”
“Ugh fine.” I concentrate on him and suddenly I hear his voice in my head. I can’t believe she thinks she won’t be able to do this. She’s a psychic for crying out loud. I wonder if she also likes cake….
“Yes. I love cake.”
“Do you also like birthday parties, balloons, and clowns.”
We reach the top of the stairs and he turns to me. “As a matter of fact, yes.”
“So scary. You are an assassin, right?”
“Not all assassins are only into torture and knives and hard rock music. That stereotype is actually completely wrong. Most of us hate rock music. It makes it hard to think.”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“Nope. It’s the truth.”
I open my door and grab some clothes, stuffing them into a bag. I also take my phone and some small pieces of jewelry to remember my parents by. Bradley comes back in with some toiletries. “Is this all you need?”
“Yeah. Now let’s get out of here before my pa- I mean they come to.”
He nods and we head back down the stairs. This time my footsteps are the only thing I hear.
We quickly run out of the house and down to the car waiting in the street. Before I get in, I turn back to the perfect little house with the white picket fence and green grass. “Goodbye, apple pie life,” I whisper to the old oak tree with the swing hanging from it.
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