Then... | Teen Ink


July 14, 2011
By Jujija GOLD, Brookline, Massachusetts
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Jujija GOLD, Brookline, Massachusetts
11 articles 6 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I wish to be something to someone"

Author's note: This is my first book, and I'm trying to get it published!!!

December 21, 2012, 11:11 PM

The night was still and peaceful, only interrupted by our constant outbursts of laughter. We were having our “End of the world” sleepover, though we knew that it was just a bunch of lies created by the media to get people to buy all sorts of useless things that they’ll never need, such as a seat on an aircraft directed towards Mars. The Mayans were just tired of deciding people’s future, right? Well, we’ll find out soon, I thought to myself.
“Wow, FAIL Lae. This is so stupid, nothing will happen”,said my friend, Luisa by my side, though with a slight tremor in her voice. I guess I wasn’t the only one that was worried.
“Yeah...” I murmured. The next few minutes would prove all. To see if the movie was really true. I turned back to the movie screen, watching the buildings fall apart and flames fall from the sky. Really, really bad movie effects. Looks like some sort of old film from the 1960’s.
It was Luisa’s choice to watch the only appropriate movie for this occasion, 2012. I sighed and leaned back onto the purple beanbag; this was getting dull. School ended today, and we have very important exams after vacation ends. Our teachers were so “considerate” about not giving us any homework over vacation. Oh well.
Amidst the bright flashes of light coming from the t.v screen combined with the yawns of my friend, I saw a bright flash streak across her room. Literally.
“Did you see that?” I questioned Luisa, taking my eyes off of the open window.
“What?’ she yawned, her eyes glued to the t.v screen. I shook my head, and walked over to the window. Little flashes of orange were shooting to the ground, falling quickly to the ground.
“Ummm, Luisa? Do you know what this is?” I asked, motioning her over. She groaned and stood up, sulking to the window. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and groggily looked out the window. The minute she saw what was going on, she gasped.
“THE WORLDS ENDING!!!!” she screamed, shaking me by the shoulders. I shrieked, and threw up my hands, not knowing what to do. I never knew this would happen.
“Run girls, run!”, her parents yelled, busting through the door.
“But, but, my stuffed caribou!” she whined, looking around the room for the stuffed animal that she had since before she was born. We were pushed out the room, her screaming and shrieking; I followed frightened. Where were we going? I had no clue. But, I ran along, since they wouldn’t be keeping us in the house if there were a better place to go.
So we followed, not knowing our fate, into the orange streaked night. Who knows where. I said my final goodbyes to the house as it exploded into and orange ball of flame, running to catch up and not look back. What were my parents and brother doing? Were they okay? What about Sky, my cat? I wiped a tear from my eye as I realized that I would probably never see them again. But things should be fine. Who knows what the future holds for us?

Three Hundred Years Later...

Enrique sighed. It was well past midnight in the tiny lab, and he was supposed to have been home hours ago. Only one left. He stared into the little petri dish, in wonder at the tiny human inside. Enrique picked up the syringe, the needle so tiny he could barely see it. He drew up some of the liquid substance from the small beaker, and injected it into the fragile form. A new generation of people would soon begin. If things went according to plan, everything would change.
Did he feel guilty about all of this? The smallest bit, true; but this was all for the better good. With the new generation, everything would be better. A new life, a change. And maybe then people would know, know what’s important and not. That they, simple creatures, were nothing. They had been perfecting the technique for several hundred years, not knowing how it would work. Thousands of lives were lost, thousands of little beings, not yet capable of making their own decisions. But this would work for sure. Their lives were decided ahead of time, and they would life the path planned out for them.
He had also donated his and his wife’s, Sabine’s, tiny son or daughter to this. They were lying in one of the small dishes, safe and sound in the warm incubator. A tear came to his eye, as he realized that his son (so he thought) would never know him. The embryos didn’t know their real parents, and wouldn’t. The leader of this all wouldn’t want that to happen. It was better to have everything already plotted out, like the pages of a book for them. Everything safe, secure. They’d be happy... if Enrique could have that kind of life, he would have chosen it. But back then, he didn’t have that option.
He stood up, putting the petri dishes in the incubator and pulling off the gloves to throw them away. He took his hat and coat out of the small cubes lining the wall, preparing to leave. He heard a strange sound as he was about to exit. All the machines were off,so what was that humming? But before he could turn to the source of the sound, a sickening electric jolt passed through him, and he fell to the floor with a thud.
“Your part in this is over Enrique” a slow voice droned. “Your services are no longer needed. We have everything we need. Now, we must wait”
Chapter 1

“ And so, on this day, three hundred years ago, the world ended”, Ms. Ellisa droned, brushing a strand of hair from her pale face. Yes, yes, everyone knows that the world ended. All of us that are here are lucky enough that our great great great grandparents were in some way related to the government, so when this all happened, they had an immediate ticket to here. When it happened, everyone was freaking out. Thankfully, someone was prepared for this, so most of us were saved.
A note flicked to my desk, and I nonchalantly slid it across the table, where it fell into my lap. I glanced around, making sure that no one was staring, and opened it. I read it over and searched around the room, searching for the frizzle of blond hair among the mass of others. I saw her clear blue eyes, staring out at me, and nodded. The bell rang, and I leaped out of my seat, rushing towards the door.
“All right class, remember to study for your upcoming test on the history of how we got here, and don’t forget to do the homework on the journals of Luisa!” Ms. Ellisa said, wiping of the board with a pink flowered towel, stacking books in the correct places. Everyone ignored her, pushing past me as I waited for Lizzy, my oldest friend, to appear. ‘Wait for me’, she mouthed, heading towards Ms. Ellisa. I sat down on a table, tracing the old cracks in the wood and waiting. I overheard little snippets of their conversation, “failing”, “summer school”, “you can’t do this”, ect. I tried to block it out, since Lizzy is very sensitive about her grades. Ever since she started her business in book binding, her grades have slowly been dropping.
A very flustered Lizzy returned to me, her face bright red and wringing her hands.
“I hate her!” she growled out in a low, guttural voice. “Why does she have the need to fail me! In second grade, she was our teacher too, and then she also found every opportunity to somehow make my life miserable. Uh!” she roared.
“Come on now, she doesn’t. It’s just that you haven’t been getting enough time lately to do your school work, that's all,” I soothed, patting her shoulder. She sighed, staring down at the floor and scuffing her feet across the linoleum floor.
“Sigh. So what do you want to do at my house?” she asked, a smile returning to her face.
“Hmmm” I pondered. “I don’t know. Do you want to go somewhere for lunch?” I asked.
“Ooh, crepes!” she chirped, hopping up and down. I smiled, inside and out. Sometimes she was so predictable.
“Sure” I laughed, and ran down the hall, skipping from time to time. We dropped our heavy bags on the floor once we got outside of the school, and ran into the ventilated hall. I looked up at the cement ceiling; so far above us I couldn’t see. Small ladders and staircases crisscrossed the dome shaped enclosure, wrapping around the large space like the vines I saw wrapping around old looking buildings in the history books we had to read in class.
We ran across the crowded stone floors, dodging the people in our way. The area was fairly small; however there were quite a few of these buildings in walking distance, and they all had their own special nooks and crannies which you could explore for all eternity.We rounded the corner several times, a path most people would have forgotten, had they not been there many times before. At last, it came into view. The little cafe, complete with outdoor, if you can really call it that, tables. We walked in, the little brass bell hung on the door jingling,and to our surprise, it was relatively crowded. Usually it was just me, Lizzy, and some random dude who talked to himself in a booth near the back of the cafe, but that was it. Today I saw people from all over, from the music school nearby, from our school everywhere.
“Look”, I murmured, nudging Lizzy and pointing to the direction of two boys, one with overly curly brown hair, the other with straight black hair, sitting at one of those small, high tables with skinny chairs. She sighed dreamily, staring of at the one with darker hair. Oh, him. Leo. We used to be great friends, but then people started saying that we were in love, and that kind of made the friendship really awkward. He also didn’t have the best reputation, and I didn’t really want my already slightly screwed up life to be even more so.Lizzy started hyperventilating, so I joined in, staring at the boy next to him. Mike. The best person ever, in my opinion. I stared at him, his laugh shaking his tousle of hair, not brushed in forever. But still; to me, he was perfect to me.
“Hey, get out of the way”, a slightly overweight pasty skinned girl said, pushing past us; breaking through our spell. Lizzy wound up, getting ready to punch, but I lowered her wrist.
“Calm down Lizzy”, I whispered. “There’s no reason to get worked up over her. She’s just going to the pastry booth” I laughed, smiling. Lizzy can have a really bad temper at times, but usually it can be calmed down. Lizzy grinned.
“Very nice Delilah, very” she joked, grinning and loosing her tension. We both had slightly cruel tempers.
“So what do you want to order?” I questioned, grinning, since she always ordered the same thing.
“You know”, she answered, wandering off in the direction of all the tables.
“You find a table, I order, okay?” I asked, starting to head towards the counter. She nodded, and disappeared into the crowds. I swim through the crowds, going to the back of the line. There are about five people in front of me, so I look around the small space, searching for more people I know. The crazy talking guy is nowhere in sight, which is sad. We’ve all been coming here every Friday for about a month now, and in a way, all of us have bonded, to the ‘strangers that seem to meet everywhere’ level. I was at the front of the line now, and I took our my money, ready to order.
“Hello, what would you like to order today?” the cashier droned in a creepily cheerful tone, wearing more make up than clothing.
“Ummm, I’ll take two chocolate hazelnut crepes with strawberries” I replied, staring off onto the sign behind her.
“Anything else?” she asked, a look of slight disgust on her face. Her perfect supermodel figure taunted me hauntingly, as I looked down to see my plump mid-section. However, the traditional meal was not overcome by that fact.
“Yes, a strawberry smoothie also” I added. The cashier sighed.
“Okay... for here or to go?” she asked, sipping from a glass of water.
“For here” I sighed. She rang up the price, and I gave her the money. “Keep the change” I sighed half-heartily, and sulked away.
“Hey”, a voice greeted from behind me, and I felt a hand on my shoulder. I jumped up, whirling around. I relaxed.
“Hey Hailee” I replied, my spirits lifting. I didn’t get to talk to her much lately, so this was a rare occasion.
“You here alone?” she asked in a worried voice.
“No, I’m with Lizzy” I replied. “ Do you want to come sit with us?” I questioned anxiously.
“No thanks, I’m here with Robyn and Carmen” she answered Robyn and Carmen were her two current friends, since she was put into a different class, she’s been hanging out with them quite often. She never turned to her old friends, Lizzy, Bella and I. But people changed.

“Okay, see you later, I guess” I wearied, walking halfheartedly, searching for Lizzy. I spotted the frizzle of hair, and ran over there.

“Boo” I whispered over her shoulder. She jumped, and laughed, as I sat alongside her. Amazingly, she had found the same table where we always sit, despite all of these crowds. I sighed.
“You okay Delilah?” she asked in a worried voice. The good thing about Lizzie was that she could always listen. Whenever I had a problem, she was there to see. The downside was, her inability to keep anything we talked about to herself. She was perhaps the quietest girl in the grade, so I didn’t have to worry about her telling Melissa or someone equally vile, but usually everything I said went straight to Bella. Usually it wasn’t too bad, I’ve learned to keep most of the things to myself. But we all have bad qualities. Well, at least there was someone to vent to.
“It’s not much,just annoying cashiers. The one today was particularly mean, and had something against me. Thought I was some sort of obese person who couldn’t stop eating”, I sighed in a downcast tone. “But it’s okay, nothing much”. I grinned slightly at her. Her jaw fell open.
“That’s horrible! And you aren’t fat, you’re skinnier than I am!” she shouted in anger. A nice thing to say, but she wasn’t the thinnest. But it’s the thought that counts.
“Calm down Lizzy, I-” I was cut off before I could say anything else.
“Two hazelnut chocolate crepes with strawberries and a strawberry milkshake” a waiter called, coming up to our table and with a flourish, setting down the tray.
“Thank you”, Lizzy and I thanked at the same time, giggling.
“You’re welcome ladies”, he responded, and waltzed away.. We laughed, the waiters here are always kind and hilarious; very pleasant people to be with, unlike the new cashier who clearly didn’t know her place yet..
“Cheers”, I toasted to Lizzy, pouring her half of the tall smoothie. We clinked glasses,gulped down the delicious drinks, and began devouring the crepes, like wild, starving hyenas let loose in a slaughter house. Delicious creamy filling flooded my mouth, accented with the small bits of strawberry. Absolutely delicious. Lizzy sighed happily, an expression of joy crossing her face. She swayed back and forth, humming contentedly.
“Lizzy!” I whispered, nudging her awake from her dream. I pointed in the direction of Leo and Mike, both in hysterics, laughing in the direction of us.She blushed, turning back to the large crepe on her plate. “It’s all right”, I choked out, laughs impairing my speech.
“They think I’m even more of an idiot than I am now” she choked out, her eyes turning red as droplets of water gathered in them.
“Come on Lizzy, they don’t care. In fact, they think that you’re more interesting now” I assured gently, patting her back.
“Thanks,” she laughed, tilting back her head so that the tears wouldn't flow down. She shook it off, and laughed. Both of us knew that she can often burst into tears, which hasn’t built her the best reputation, however she’s been getting better. We both scarfed down the remains of our food, and lounged back, ready to talk.
“So...” I wondered, not really knowing what to do. Lately we haven’t had much to talk about, mainly it’s been complaints about annoying teachers, annoying people, other stuff.
“Hey guys” a voice hollered behind me. I looked up, and saw the faces of Leo and Mike.
“Hi”, both I and Lizzy greeted at the same time, in awe. They never usually talked to us, unless if we have a project, but in that case, the conversation is very minimal.
“Mind if we sit down?” Leo asked,and without a reply, slid down next to Lizzy. Mike sat down next to me, putting his arm over my shoulder, which I shrugged off. I may like him, but he flirts with every girl in the grade, so I don’t take it to mean anything. He gave me a fake hurt look, and laughed as I joined along with him. Leo sat next to Lizzie, talking in a low voice with her. Every so often, her high laugh rang out in the full cafe.
“How about we move, okay Mike?” I asked quietly. I’m pretty sure that Lizzy would like to be alone with Leo, she’s liked him pretty obsessively for quite a while now.
“Sure” he approved, jumping up. I stood up with him.
“We’ll be back in a while” I whispered to Lizzy. “Good luck!” She smiled, and I gave her a thumbs up, walking away with Mike. Laughs were coming from the table, so I was happy that they were bonding. Leo’s not a bad guys, but at times, he can be really annoying.
We walked around, until Mike saw Robyn, Carmen and Hailee. naturally, he plopped down into the seat next to them.
“Hi girls” he rumbled in the voice he always uses around Robyn. Everyone likes her, and he becomes especially... flirtatious around her.
“ Hi Mike” she cooed in her always cheerful voice. “How are you?” She gave me an apologetic look, since she knew I like him and knew that he liked her. I turned away. I’ve sworn that until the day I die, I won’t be friends with her. Everyone likes her. Every single person in the school does. I sighed and walked away, they’ve tired me with their constant love acts. Carmen’s loud nasal laugh called out to me teasingly. She wasn’t that great appearance wise, her skin was a deep caramel, and her hair was always done in messy cornrows. But people were attracted to her also, probably because she hung out with Robyn so much.
I turned around, walking back to my table. There, Leo and Lizzy were holding hands underneath the table, smiling at each other like idiots, looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. Here I was again. Not fitting in anywhere. Ever since I came her when I was very little, felt as though I can’t fit in anywhere. People say that I cut myself off from everyone, but I try as hard as I can. Whatever. I sit down at the closest empty table, sighing. People just don’t see. I lay my head on the table’s cold marble surface. A hand touches my shoulder.
“You okay?” the soft voice of Hailee murmurs. I smile.
“Kind of. Well, not so much. But I don’t really want to talk about it.” I breathed out. I’ve become really distant with Hailee. Sure, we have our good times, but they rarely happen anymore. We’ve stopped hanging out, it’s sad. She’s the kind of friend who’s like a psychologist. I can tell her about my problems and not worry about them getting out to anyone. But some things I can’t even tell her, it’s just too awkward. Often, if I tell her some of the things I’m thinking about, it ends up in a huge fight between us. We had one recently, and things have been not really good regarding our friendship lately.
“Okay, that’s fine” she said, getting up.”But you’ll tell me if there is anything you want to talk about, okay?”
“Sure” I promised, waving goodbye to her. She skipped off to Robyn and Carmen, happily jumping to them. What goes on in her head, I don’t know. When she's with them she acts like a five year old. I really prefer the Hailee that I know, that I’m friends with. What goes on in her head, I have no clue. I sulked back to my original table. Leo brushed past me.
“Hey Delilah” he said cheerfully, obviously having had a good time with Lizzy.
“Hey” I mumbled, looking down. Ever since the rumors have been going on that we were dating, it’s been awkward between us. He’s a really nice guys and everything, but I just can’t stand the rumors, the gossip, people whispering behind our backs; I just couldn’t. He was having a hard time with this too, so we made a deal; no contact would happen between us at school unless necessary. I know, it was wrong, since we were really good friends, but the both of us agreed it was for the best. We were both falling apart, it wasn’t working. That first day was the worst, when I saw him but couldn't say anything.The sadness, I couldn’t eat. He had become my best friend over that time, to lose him was everything. But I got over it. He did too, quicker than myself. A lot quicker. It probably was nothing to him, but oh well.
When I got over to the table, Lizzie was sitting in a gleeful euphoria, not noticing anything around her.
“Lizzie” I sighed, shaking her shoulder to get her out of the bliss she had been in.
“What, huh?” she asked confused, looking around.
“Do you want to go?” I asked, starting to gather our plates.
“Sure,” she groaned, and silently gathered the plates from the table. I walked with them to the big plastic bin that had the sign ‘dump dishes here’ on it. She followed shortly with the two glasses, which she neatly stacked on top of the other two already there. We walked back to our table, made sure we hadn’t dropped anything, and left.
While going, Lizzy made sure to pass by the table where Leo and Mike were sitting. She gently brushed Leo’s back, leaned over and whispered goodbye to him. He smiled, and returned the greeting. I waved goodbye to Hailee who sat in a corner, talking with Carmen. Mike was still flirting with Robyn, unsurprisingly. Their faces were red, I’m guessing from laughter, since from embarrassment doesn’t make much sense.
“Bye Delilah and Lizzy” they all shouted in unison. Strange, very strange people.
“Bye guys!” Lizzy chirped cheerfully, waving to them. I waved with her, but didn’t respond.
We walked out the cafe door. The lights had dimmed significantly, and the large clock on the wall read 5:30. We quickened our pace, since we had to be home by six; soon, the dance was coming up and we both had to get ready.

“So how was it with Leo?” I asked, knowing that I was in for a long ride of a story.

“You won’t believe it!” she squealed.
“What?” I asked, sure where this was going.
“He asked me out! Can you believe this!” she excitedly screamed.
“Congradulations!” I yelped, jumping up and down and clapping. I didn’t care much, but she enjoyed these kind of avant garde reactions to things.

“Thanks!” she happily sighed, a smile plastered to her face like old wallpaper on even older walls. Today was the dance, so they’d most likely be dancing together. Great. Yet another reason to add to my sense of sadness..

“Look” she pointed out. “A hole in the wall”. A large portion of the square was taken up by large orange cones and police tape crisscrossing across it. Whenever a hole appeared in the wall, they immediately shut off the area, fixing the falling apart wall as possible. Apparently nuclear radiation seethed from outside, nothingness was there, a ton of myths have gone on relating to ‘what’s behind the wall’. Who knows. But whatever it is, I don’t want to find out. Usually the hole was just a tiny crack, no, a dent in the stone wall. But they didn’t want people to get hurt.

“Strange”, I mumbled. We approached my building, where mine and several other families lived. “Well, I got to go. See you tonight at the dance!”

“See you!” she shouted, skipping away into the oncoming night. Well, change of lighting. Apparently there used to be this thing called night and day, where a so called ‘star’, came out and shone in the day, many, many times larger than earth, though it looked very tiny. In the ‘night’, lots of little stars would shine too, and a big, round rock called the moon. I really doubt that this is true, since it seems really impossible. I grew knowing concrete ceilings and a blue painted sky, which darkens with the oncoming time, and I doubt that there’s anything other than that out there, and I prefer it to stay that way.

I entered the cluttered apartment building, where I lived with my cat, Puma. When we turned sixteen, we were sent away to live on our own, to prepare for our lives in the future; we need to know how to take care of ourselves, how to clean, to cook, but I was often just too lazy to do that.

“Hey Puma”, I quietly whispered to my cat, as she rubbed against my legs with her silky black fur. Whenever we were sent to live alone, we were given an animal to live with. I chose her, since I always wanted a cat; both of my parents had dogs as their animals of choice. They always terrified me, two hulking masses of muscle and skin. Terrifying. I walked to my room, covered in simple shades of light blue and lilac. I opened my closet door, and sighed in dismay. The dance was in half and hour, and I had neither the money nor the time to buy something new. I sighed, and in the end chose a simple, loose navy shirt and some white capris. I looked my self over in the mirror, thinking to myself ‘not bad’.

But something was missing. I adorned myself with the set of jewelry I made specifically to match, and walked over to the bathroom, where my wide variety of eye shadows, blushes, lip glosses, and mascaras lay. I chose a dark blue shadow, a slight coat of clear mascara, and some coconut flavoured shiny lip gloss, to match the nautical theme. I was ready.

The clock only read seven, and I usually arrived at eight, since it’s pretty crowded to get in until then. I walked over to the large piano I had in the separate room, marveling in wonder at its shiny gloss. The piano was a very old instrument, created even before the end of it all. Barely any people know how to play; thankfully I am one of those that can. I sat down, and began to play. Music was just one of those things that could take your mind off of anything, remove your troubles in an instant, just while listening to the notes chime in order, creating a melody unbelievably beautiful. Music flowed from my fingers, I didn’t even know when time was passing.

Now I was playing a hauntingly eerie melody; written by some composer called ‘Scriabin’. Now he lived a long, long time ago. But the music he wrote was far better than the random junk people listen to now, I can’t even seem to get what’s going on in it; there are so many random tunes at once, it just mashes up into a large... mush. How can people listen to that stuff? This was real... the real music. The true beauty of the human mind. Any one can create that junk, but this was talent, something that came from the heart. Before I knew it, eight o’clock had already arrived.
I stumbled as I rushed out the door, hurrying to see if I forgot anything. Identification card? Check. Extra money? Check. Sweater? Check. Keys, check. I ran around the house, turning off all the lights, and ran to the door.
“Bye Puma!” I shouted to the empty room, to which I closed the door, and ran off into the badly lit night.

Chapter Two

I arrived at the dance around eight thirty, and rushed into the building. I showed the security my identification card, and ran into the large hall. There, people from all over were dancing, some glued that the waist, some just dancing by them selves, looking slightly idiotic alone as they tried to impress their friends. I wandered over to the large area that our school was occupying. They were all crowded in a large clump, watching something (or someone). I looked over, leaning over the shortest person there. In the center of the group was Luis, the most badly behaved, rebellious kid in the class, break dancing on the floor with two of his other friends.
Every one was cheering them on, but I wasn’t in a very peppy mood, so I wandered around, trying to find Hailee or Lizzy. Any one really, who would talk to me. Not many people did.Finally, in the corner of the room, I saw Lizzy, talking with Bella, the girl who at time was my best friend, at time my worst enemy. We had a fight recently, it had been one of the most severe, so I decided to ignore her. It would be better than way, so that we wouldn’t get into an even bigger fight and get kicked out of the dance. Usually the only people that are are Luis and his group, at times Leo because of his insistence to not follow the rules that were given.
“Hey Lizzy” I screamed over the booming music. “I like your outfit!” she was wearing a tight fitting maroon top with a jean vest, a jean skirt, and maroon leggings. She had also straightened her hair for the occasion. I just felt so under dressed when I was around her, she had a sense of fashion that none of the other girls in the grade did.
“Thanks” she said with a smile, as she lightly bounced, her excitement overtaking her senses.
“Hi Delilah” Bella chirped in the unusually high pitched voice that she had. she was wearing a revealing black lace top and maroon leggings, her eyes coated in tons of eye shadow. She was a bit... on the dark side. People thought that Lizzy was also; she’s been catching onto the trends of Bella recently. I for some reason always felt overly protective over Lizzy, she was just so young at heart, and I didn’t want her getting hurt by Bella, who at times can be really sweet, and at others, a complete witch.
“Hello” I said, not looking at her. The last fight totally out-shot the last; it was horrible. We all made small talk with each other, asking about school, grades, life. All of us were tense, waiting for the next slow song. None of us were extremely popular, so we hardly got people to dance with, unlike Robyn, who had boys crawling at her feet to dance with her.
I looked over, searching for more people that I knew. There was Hailee, talking with Robyn and Carmen, unsurprisingly. I noticed another head among theirs, and smiled. It was Luke, the crush of Hailee for three years. He seemed to be looking at her in a daze, as though there were nothing better on this earth. Well, it’s about time now. He had rejected her before in the past,been disgusted by her obsession with her, but now, it seemed like he thought something else. I know that look. It has always been in my eyes when looking at Mike, and always in Lizzy’s when looking at Leo. It was undeniable true love. Well, it would be nice if they got together, or at least danced. It seemed like everyone had someone these days... everyone except me. Well, nothing surprising there.
As the song ended, a familiar slow melody started up. Now was the moment. To see if Leo actually meant what he said to Lizzy. To see whether or not Luke would ask Hailee to dance. Everything would happen in those moments. I turned around, and already saw Leo and Lizzy glued together in an embrace. They were swaying together in a fluid motion, gazing lovingly at each other. Bella was walking around in a provocative manner, trying to get any guy to dance with her. She can be like that. She rarely dances with anyone, the last time she did was when Robyn and Carmen set them up.
Near the far end of the room, Luke and Hailee were talking. My heart lit up, and I stared at them, willing him to ask. He was blushing, scuffing his shoe along the floor. She was looking at him happily. I never truly saw her happy lately, just wearing a mask, not actually being joyful. She’s been rejected by him way too many times, she deserves to have him now. If anyone does, its her. Sure, I’ve been rejected more times than I can count by Mike, and once already by Ryan, a guy who caught my eye at a school play. He was nice, though Bella says that ‘he’s hers’. So ridiculous. Guys are not possessions. But she just doesn’t see that.
I finally see them nodding their heads, her having a facial expression of euphoria. They finally joined together, his hands around her waist in a caring embrace, her hands gently wrapped around his neck. They both looked so happy, gently swaying, looking deep into each others eyes. Mellisa, Luke’s old girlfriend was walking around, glaring at at Hailee. But neither of them noticed, and stayed in their own little world. I sat down on the benches located on the sides of the room. Everyone looked so happy, looking dreamily into the eyes of their dance partner. Out of all the people I know, Lizzy and Hailee deserve it the most. Lizzy was never really like by people, and Hailee had been rejected by Luke way too many times. They had both finally found their soul mate, who they belonged with.
I saw Luke and Hailee lean closer, appearing as though to be deep in conversation, but that was not the case. Slowly, they leaned closer, as their lips touched. Everyone in the hall cheered, making them blush and turn away. The dance had ended anyways. He tried to hold onto her waist, but she was rushed away by Robyn and Carmen, each congratulating her, smiling and jumping up and down. I ran to her, but got cut off by Bella.
“You know, you’ll never get anyone. So don’t have your hopes up” she mumbled passing by. I was too shocked to respond. Sure, we fought we insulted each other, but never like this. She ran off before I could find her, respond. Whatever. Some things can’t be perfect. He had already taken away Hailee from the group of her friends, who were practically jumping to know the details. His arm was gently wrapped around her waist and she leaned on his shoulder. They looked so perfect together, her dark hair contrasting with his light brown.
“Hi Delilah!” Lizzy yelled over some loud rap song. She was very happy looking, her cheeks red, not from, embarrassment, but from joy.
“How was it with Leo?” I asked. If I couldn’t have someone, and I never will but, at least she does.
“It was amazing. We talked, and it seemed like forever. I love him” she said with a dreamy expression on her face, happily taking in the events of the past few minutes. She chattered on and on, about what they talked about, everything they did, how great he was, ect. I didn’t listen though, I was still in a half dazed state. The next slow song started up, and Lizzy was rushed to her feet by Leo. He waved at me, and I waved back, sadly staring at the floor. I looked around, seeing nothing new. Lizzy with Leo. Luke with Hailee. It seemed as though Mike had asked Robyn to dance, and there they were, him talking to his friends, her talking to her friends. No connection tied them together; just their arms, so I didn’t worry too much. Nearly every guys has danced with Robyn at some point during the dances, and nothings ever happened.
I started to get a head ache from all the flashing lights, the fog machine, the loud noises, everything. I got up to go get some fresh air, and I walked into the next door room; a small corridor with a few lamps here and there, some artificial plants lining the room. I sat down in one of the well cushioned chairs, put my head in my arms, and started crying. For everything. That I was all alone. Just then, I felt someones presence behind me. I turned around, and saw the calm face of Ryan.
“Hi” he said, peacefully sitting down next to me.
“Hey” I said, wiping the tears from my face. I can’t believe he has to see me like this.
“Why are you here?” he asked, wiping a tear from my face. I tensed, we never really talked before, so why exactly was he here? Even more so, why was he wiping tears from my face? Odd happenings.
“I just got a head ache from the lights, the music, the fog. Why are you here?” I nervously stated, terrified, but also, nervous of what may come. “You know. Just needed to get away from it all.”
“Yeah, same” he said, leaning in closer. A while ago he found out that I liked him, though I’m really not sure if all these events are in any way related to that. I scooted away; I’ve been in situations like these before, but they always ended badly.Always ended in heartbreak. I’ve assumed before, and it all ended in me making a fool of myself. But I didn’t care. I wouldn’t make sudden moves, but I would go along.
“Did you come here with anyone?” I asked. Ryan had recently been going out with Rosa, but I don’t know how all of that ended. Supposedly he broke up with her, but who knows. I heard that he likes someone else, most likely Robyn or Melissa. Maria was also a candidate.
“No, just me, myself and I” he stated proudly with fake valiance, then slumped down and chuckled. I laughed along with him, though I didn’t exactly see what was so funny. Some things you just go along with.
“That's too bad” I said sympathetically. By then I was very nervous, I had never talked to him much before, he always seemed to ignore me in class. Memories of Leo came rushing back, how we also started our friendship over something like this, then the teasing, the horror, the rumors, our friendship in the end dying. I couldn’t let this happen with Ryan too.
“Ummm, I need to get a drink”, I exclaimed, leaping up.
“Wait, he said, putting a hand on my shoulder. “I’ll get it for you. He motioned for me to sit down, and I watched him walk up to the table. I was surprised when he confidently bought a bottle of orange soda. How did he know it was my favorite? Creepy... but oh well. He casually opened it with a turn of the hand, and handed over the fizzling drink to me.
“Thanks” I said, and took a sip. Ahh..., nothing better than orange soda to brighten up your day. He sat down next to me, and I was too into the orange soda to resist as he placed his arm gently around me.
“You know Delilah, I’ve never really noticed you much” he started out. “I always saw you as ‘Bella’s friend’ or, ‘music obsessed girl’. But at the last dance, when I saw you looking so sad, alone, not dancing with anyone, I finally noticed how great you were. Not that you were sad, but you know... I finally noticed all your great qualities. You understand?” he stammered, his face bright pink. I quietly sipped my soda, my heart pounding. I didn’t respond, and he continued. “ So... ummm, what would you think about going out?” he blurted out, nervously trembling.
“You know what, I really like that idea” I said, turning to him with a smile. His face lit up, and I wrapped and arm around his waist, leaning against his shoulder. Both of us were really tense, but slowly we relaxed, getting into conversation. We laughed, enjoyed ourselves, it was more fun than I’ve ever had, excluding Leo. And this was much better, there were no rumors to spread around, since we were already dating.
“You want to go back to the dance floor?” he asked, already getting up and taking my hand.
“Sure” I said, and got up, throwing out the empty bottle of orange soda. From now on, that would be the drink that would always bring his name to memory. We walked into the slightly more crowded hall, nothing being different. A slow song started up, and we started to dance, the most incredible dance ever. Sure, I had danced with others previously, but never this close. I could feel the slow thumping of his heart, his breath slowly cooling my skin, which I noticed was overheated. Mike and Robyn were sitting in a dark corner, talking to each other. I looked away; even though I already was with Ryan, it still broke my heart to see him with her. I’d probable never get over him. Ryan leaned his cheek on the top on the top of my head protectivly, and I looked around the room. Bella was glaring at me over the mass of her shaggy hair, malice in her eyes.
“You okay Delilah? You seem very distracted” Ryan said in a distraught voice. I mean, he was a great guy, but at times he was overly sensitive. He was pretty much the Robyn of the boys, all the girls have had a crush on him at some point. But he was that kind of guy, the one that would become a football player in high school, the long flippy hair, that kind of thing. However, despite the overly sweet personality, he was still a really great guy.
“Yeah, I’m fine” I replied. “Just happy to be with you” I lied, smiling at him. A look of relief was on his face, and I leaned in closer. It was so nice to finally have someone, especially someone who you’ve wanted to be with for a while. The song ended, as we gently let go, his hand holding onto mine for a little while until we both went our separate ways,to our separate friends. I walked away sadly, sometimes you have things in life that seem that they’ll be so glamorous,but they never really are so much. Everyone else had their soul-mate, and I had to settle for second best. I felt really bad judging Ryan like this,; he’s never been really courageous when it comes to girls, but I’m sure that there’s some one out there that's much better for than I am. Someone who would appreciate him a little bit more.
I wandered around, looking for someone to talk to. Everyone was with their dates, Luke and Hailee were splitting as soda; Lizzy and Leo were hanging out with some of his friends, his arm wrapped around her waist, and Robyn and Mike were still in that dark corner, talking about who knows what. I went and found myself a little corner of the room, away from the crowd and the music. No one noticed, like it had always been. When Hailee and Luke kissed, they had gotten a ton of attention. But I’m sure that if I did something even more drastic, it would catch very little people’s eyes. That’s what I’ve always been. Ignored by the people, just seen as one of the invisible people of the grade.
I leaned my head on my knees, as a tear dripped down my face. Always second best. Ignored, overshadowed by Robyn. We looked similar, and people often called out “Robyn!” to me, then cringed in disgust when they noticed who it really was. It’s always been like that, from the moment I came. I’ve been an outcast, not noticed by anyone. People just saw me as a freak, someone who didn’t deserve to be in this school. Didn’t deserve to have even the slightest bit of attention in their huge machine-like society.
“Idiot” spat out an unpleasantly familiar voice from in front of me. Only then did I realize that I was curled into a tight ball on the ground, my eyes squeezed shut, tears gathered along the edges, people surrounding me and staring. But they weren’t important.
“What is wrong with you!” I screamed “What do you have against me!?”Everyone was silent, and Bella was staring at me with little interest, not replying. She shrugged, rolling her eyes.

“I was just kidding Delilah, why are you getting so obsessive” she yawned, tapping her foot on the ground with annoyance. I screamed in rage, and stomped away. The welcoming arms of Ryan awaited me, and I buried myself in them.

“Shhh, you’ll be fine” he said comfortingly. “Maybe we should leave?” I sniffed, leaning against his shoulder. He smelled slightly of spices, and I inhaled the scent with a shuddering breath.

“Sure” I answered. He went around the room, saying goodbye to his friends, holding me closely nearby. He whispered that he would be back soon, he let me go and ran off to do something.

I looked around for Lizzie, then saw her yelling at Leo.

“I can’t believe you danced with another girl!” she yelled at him, her face red and covered in tears. “I trusted you!” He tried to say something, but he was cut off. “No I don’t want to hear your excuses. You said that I was the only one, that you loved me. I hate you!” she slapped him in the face, running a way.

“What happened?” I said, running up to Leo in a rage. “What did you do to her?”
“Look, every one's calling me a jerk, but listen. I danced with that girl because I wanted to know what girls like, I wanted to surprise her. That’s all” he sighed. He rubbed his cheek, which was already turning red. Boys could be such idiots at times.
“Look, if you wanted to do something to surprise her, you could have asked me. I’m one of her closest friends after all” I groaned, rolling my eyes. So clueless.

“Oh” he realized. I nodded my head and walked away, searching for Ryan. I was too tired to comfort Lizzy and tell her the truth, so I decided to just go home. I saw him motioning towards me, and I ran over to him.

“Let’s go?’ he questioned, putting his arm around my waist for what felt like the hundredth time this day.

“Lets”, I replied, and we walked off into the dark.

I woke up on Saturday with a horrible headache, and I feared that all that happened yesterday was just a dream, the dance, Ryan, everything. I woke up and stretched, trying to think of a way how I could find out whether or not it was all true. I rolled over and fell of the bed. I grunted, and rubbed my head where it fell on the hard floor. The next door room had a light lit, and I cautiously walked into the kitchen to get a knife. Sure, people couldn’t usually get into building without the right identification cards; it was a way to stop robberies, however there were the few people out there that had technologies that could get to anything they desired.
I grabbed the largest knife I had, and ran into the room. Someone lay on my couch, appearing to be asleep. I rose the knife in the air, preparing to strike, when they turned around. I dropped the knife, when I recognized the face of Ryan, covered in the light purple blanket I usually had lying on there. His face was childlike and angelic huddled among them, his breath slow and peaceful. Yesterday he must have walked me home, and gotten too tired to walk home himself. He was also sixteen, so he lived alone. No curfew to meet, no troublesome caretakers, we were free. So what was I supposed to do now? My boyfriend was asleep on my couch. Not really the best thing to have there.
Puma was huddle against him, the two breathing in synchronization. I was starving, since I barely had anything to eat for a long time. I walked in to the kitched, deciding what to make for breakfast. In the end I settled on some orange juice concentrate, and grabbed a few eggs from the fridge. I decided to make breakfast for Ryan also, partially since he was here and I had a chance to practice my ‘care taking skills’ that we all were sent to practice from when we’re tsixteen until we’re married, partially ‘cause that’s what girls do for their boyfriends. Wow. Such a strange word to be saying, boyfriends. I had never been with anyone before, and this was all just so sudden... one minute I’m drooling over Mike, the next Ryan is asleep in the next room. It’s weird how fast things change. I thought i would be completely ecstatic over Ryan, but it never happened. I’m not sure what’s changed. I guess that once something that seems so out of reach becomes reality, you don’t react how you think you would. Maybe things were moving too quickly. Maybe this was just a phase, i didn’t know. Or maybe I just wasn’t over Mike yet. It didn’t really matter to me.
I heard a shuffling from the other room, and quickly started on breakfast. I wanted it to be a surprise for him. he came in , and laid his arm across my shoulder. I leaned into his arms, and looked up at him.
“Hey” I breathed. It was times like these that I couldn’t believe that these things were happening. Maybe it was a dream.
“Um, look, I need to talk to you about something” he said with a frown.
“Yeah?” I asked and leaned in closer. He pushed me away, I stood back a few steps. Please don’t let this be what I think will happen.
“Look, last night, I don’t know what got into me. Robyn and Hailee told me to ask you out, that you really liked me. I was surrounded by all my friends, and they started to pay me to go out with you. I caved at ten bucks. Because of all the closeness, I got twenty extra” he said with a shrug, a slightly apologetic look. Oh God. No. My shoulders slumped, and I looked at him with tears in my eyes.

“Why?” was the only word I could utter. He mumbled something inaudibly, and we stood there in silence for who knows how long. It was as if my whole world had ended, when he said those words. I finally thought I had something, but I didn’t. I never will. What’s wrong with me? I’d been rejected by the guys I liked more times than possible, and the only relationship, if you can even call it that, was just based on ten bucks? “Just please, leave. Now” I said to him in an icy voice. If this was how things would be from now on, why bother even trying to be social with people? Find love? It would all just end in reject, and I’d end up where I began again.

He left to go gather his stuff; a sweater, some money, his jacket, and with that, he left. I threw the knife at the door in rage, falling at the ground and sobbing. No goodbye’s, nothing. Just the loud slam of a door that I would always connect to rejection, that I would always remember as the last sound I heard from him in our relationship. The sound of the first, and most likely last love in my life, departing from my life..


I walked around the nearby market place, searching for new things to buy. My wardrobe needed updating, and I needed more food, both for myself and for Puma. Every sound I heard brought me back to my own personal hell. The sound of a door closing when someone has left their building, a laugh similar to Ryan’s, a flash of hair the same color as his, the slight scent of spices that wafted from him, everything brought me pain to see. The next few days passed by with nothing, the same old events happening, same dulling and brightening of the lights that came with the night and day. One day, I began thinking. What was outside of those walls that enclosed everything? Our teachers said that when the end of the world came, the outside world became unsustainable for human life. Everything was just a huge, radioactive desert. The ozone layer had completely melted away, faded into nothingness by the pollution. Our ancestors really weren’t that smart, they saw the signs, but in the end, everything turned against their favor. They probably thought ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter if the world will end, I’ll be dead before it happens. My kids will get along just fine’.

Thankfully,one scientist saw the problem, and decided to bring a solution before the entire problem disappeared, in the context that there wasn’t anyone else left to worry about it. He built these hundreds of concrete domes underground, and when the time came, that fatefull “2012” that people just though was a scheme by the media, they rose from the ground like zombies from the grave. All our food is grown in ‘growing chambers’, which have artificial sunlight and water pumped in daily. Very few people live in these domes, only about a few thousand. They’re huge, about the size of what were once cities, but things are much more organized. Everyone gets a set amount of money each week, if you work, you get more. When we are signed away to live alone, we also get money, along with a small apartment. The greater your relations, the better stuff you get.

I wandered around the square, searching for something better to do. Nothing caught my interest much, until I saw someone in the corner, slumped over. I ran, trying to see who it was. As I approached, I saw Mike. His eyes glowed up at me in an inhuman way, as he crouched next to the body.

“Mike, what are you doing?” I asked, nearing with caution. He didn’t reply, just ran away into the neighboring alleyway. I ran to the body, triong to recognize the face. It was no one I knew. I thought that they might be asleep, but a ragged breath came from them, and then, I realized the bloody nose, the black eye, the deformation at the ribs.

“Help!!! Someone, help!!!” I screamed, running down the streets, the newly bought produce rolling in the filth of the roads. People came running, and I was questioned by many, random voices asking me questions.

“Did you see who it was?”

“Did you do it?”

“Who is it?”I couldn’t reply, just fell back as the medics pushed past me, taking him on a stretcher. This couldn’t be happening. Not Mike, of all people. He was calm usually, I would’ve never thought of him doing something like this. Sure, he gets angry at times, but never anything like this. The streets were now back to their usual activeness, all signs of a struggle now gone. I picked up the least damaged vegetables, and ran in the direction that Mike ran away in. I just had to sort this out with him. He can’t go beating up people. He’d better have a good reason for why he did this.

I ran, turning in the darkest alleyways; that’s most likely where he’d be after this. After a few turns, I was hopelessly lost. Just as I was about to go find my way back, a hand grabbed my shoulder. I whirled around, and saw the glowing eyes of Mike. This time I knew it wasn’t a reflection. He led me away into the labyrinth of alleys, alleys where no light reached, and no one was around. I had no clue what time it was, so where on earth we were. Who knows. In the end we came to a large clearing, which had a few wooden benches. On them were seated a few people, some I recognized as Luke and Ryan, along with Donn, who was madly in love with Hailee, however now that she was taken, he was incredibly mad at Luke. Along with them were some other faces I didn’t recognize.

I was too scared to speak, and I hyperventilated; terrified. Then, I noticed something. All their eyes were glowing, the same eerie white color. Almost nothing was visible, only the light coming from their eyes shone bright.

“What are you?” I whispered, trembling. They said nothing, and slowly advanced, some of them had a glowing luminescence to them. I screamed and ran, but some unseen power forced me back. I was lifted in the air, a shriek coming from me.

“You tell no one about this” Mike growled out. I nodded my head in desperation, struggling against their grip. In the end I fell limp, waiting for the power to let me go. “I don’t think she means it, do you Donn?” he asked everyone else, with a dangerous look on his face. Everyone nodded, and I slowly felt my wrist being twisted in an agonizing pain.

“No! Stop!Please!!!” I pleaded, but they only smiled a cruel smirk, and kept twisting. Whatever they were, they were inhuman monsters. In the end I heard a crack, and I shrieked out in pain.

“And we can do much, much worse” he said, dropping me from the grips of whatever was holding me before. I fell to the ground, holding my broken wrist to my chest and breathing heavily. I heard their footsteps slowly fading away into nothingness, and I rolled onto my back, frightened. This couldn’t be, this couldn’t be, I kept repeating to myself. How was this possible; a boy stronger than ten, with invisible powers that defied all the laws of science? I don’t know how long I lay there, clutching my useless wrist to myself and wondering what kind of monsters these people were. People I had known forever, even since we were just entering school.

In the end, I had gathered my wits enough to stand up. I had a splitting headache, probably from falling on the hard stone tiles that covered the floor. And I ran. I didn’t care if it was into the next town, the next door neighbors house, I didn’t care. But I needed someone, anyone to help.

After many turns and almost running into walls, I finally returned to the main square. I ran to the nearest person, asking for help.

“You need help!” they yelled, running to find the medics, dragging me by my unbroken wrist. But it wasn’t the pain that terrified me. It was what I had just seen. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where I was rushed to a room. I don’ remember much after that; just clean, white sterile rooms, doctors running around. I had no clue how long I had been there, all i knew was that the doctors said i was in some sort of shock, traumatized.

When I woke up from the dreariness, I was exhausted. The calender by my side read that it was three days later. I was already supposed to be in school. Not that anyone would notice anyways; I was pretty much invisible to everyone there. In the chair next to me sat a doctor, his head leaned back, fast asleep. I tried to sit up, but and IV was in my arm, and I couldn’t get out without it breaking off. What had happened? All I remember was was pain, a lot of pain, though I knew there was something else, I couldn’t place it. The door opened, and I lifted my head from the many layers of pillows. I saw the anxious face of Hailee staring back at me.

“Delilah! You’re awake!” she yelped, a smile spreading across her face. I shushed her, motioning over to the sleeping doctor, who was now drooling on the side of the chair. I must remember never to sit there. She nodded, giggglng, and ran over to my side. We hugged, and she smiled even more. “You’re okay!” she whispered in an excited voice.

“Yeah, I am. How long was I out for” I asked her, sitting up as much as i could without tearing out the IV. An expression of worry crossed her face, and she replied.

“About five days” She supposed. I guess I had misread the calendder.

“Five days!!!???” I yelled, the heartbeat measurer thing (I don’t know the actual name) went crazy.

“Calm down Delilah! You’ll put yourself in even more trouble” She cooed, gently pushing me back onto the heap of pillows. I fell back, sighing. Five days.... so much. Who knows what had happened in the mean time? The doctor in the nearbby chair slowly woke up, shaking his mess of hair into place.

“Patient 1895! You’re awake!” he yelled, waking up from his sleep land. He pressed a red button, I assume calling others.

“Excuse me, but her name is Delilah, not patient ‘1895” Hailee sniffed in an annoyed voice. I smiled; there was Hailee, sticking up for me as always. Or, sometimes. He shrugged, rushing out of the room. Hailee grinned. “Now let’s get you out of here” she giggled.
“How?” I asked.

“You can be discharged at any time. The only reason you’re still here is because you haven’t been able too leave yourself. Now come on, let’s go.”

“I don’t know Hailee,” I shrugged, “I rather stay here for a little while. I feel a little queasy.” Of course, that wasn’t the real reason. I didn’t want to leave the safety of the hospital. The order of everything. I wasn’t ready to go back to real life. Or if you can even call it real life. I want to stay in a place where everything is predictable, where you know what’s gonna happen. Here, all you do is lie in bed; in the outside world, people are breaking your arms without even touching them. The outside was a frighteningly unrealistic place. Everything here was just perfect, no mistakes. I needed something stable in my life, something I knew wouldn’t change. Hailee nodded.

“O.K.” I could tell she was worried, but she wouldn’t understand even if I tried to explain.

“So what happened?” Hailee asked. I tried to think of a way to explain what happened without giving everything away, yet still making it believable.

“I was walking along the road and I tripped. My arm got caught in the gutter, and when I tried to take it out, it wouldn’t. In the end I ended up pulling way to hard” I lied. She glanced a bit skeptically at me, but didn’t say anything else.

“Oh, I need to go now. Sorry. Hope you feel better” Hailee said, rushing out the door. She was still twelve, so she lived with her parents. Most likely she had a curfew that she was over running. I sighed and curled up into a ball among the thin sheets, trying to get some warmth. I was freezing cold, though the thermometer on the wall read that it was a perfectly fine temperature of eighty degrees. Why was this all happening? Just a few days ago, I was worried about whether or not the guy of my dreams liked me or not. Now, I’m worried about a freaky phycopathic gang that go around beating people up with some sort of telekinetic powers. Life really does change. But how did this all happen?

I’ve known all of these people for who knows how long, and now this??? What other surprises were heading my way? The doctors ran into the room, checking all the random meters that I had no clue about. Who knows.

“How are you feeling Delilah? Any pain, exhaustion, loss of memory? How did this happen?” a random doctor asked me.

“I feel really tired, I think I’ll just go to sleep” I replied, huddling underneath the covers. It was still absolutely freezing. They still wandered around the room, buzzing around with their random meters like flies. The hospital felt so clean, so... pure. Like nothing could come there and hurt me, that I would be safe there forever. The last of the doctors wandered out slowly, and I was left in silence with my own thoughts. I wondered when I would be free to go home. Puma must be terrified. I hope she doesn’t miss me too much, or even worse, forgotten all about me. Hopefully not. Unintentionally, a tear slid down my cheek. How could this happen? Apart from the guys of my dreams rejecting me, now he has to break my arm? What was it with guys these days?

No one at all came to visit, except for Hailee. Even my own parents didn’t care enough to come to see their daughter who was hospitalized for a week. Apparently rebilding their life with their new son was more important than visiting their traumatized daughter, I thought bitterly. But no one really cared about me. I vowed to never trust anyone again. Not Ryan, not Mike, no one. Because the moment you start to trust someone, the moment you rely on them, they crush you and betray you. Thats people for you. You can never trust anyone, and never should. The same thing happened to me each and every time. I trust someone, either to do something or simply trust who they are, and then a little later, it turns out everything was just a lie. Why are we all even here? Humans just ruin the planet, look what they left us in. Even now, we’ve all managed to escape extinction, even though it clearly was supposed to happen.

I lay in the bed thinking about everything, as the hands on the clock slowly moved forward. There seemed to be some sort of grace to the hands, the smooth dance of the second hand, the minute hands minuscule movements, the hour hands unnoticeable shift, but when you glanced back after fifteen minutes you notice the movements at last, wondering how it all happened so fast, when just a while ago nothing noticeable was happening. I loved those kinds of things. Things that you don’t notice happening over time, and in the end once a lot of time has passed by, you finally seem to notice, wondering how you couldn't have before. And slowly everything moved. The Wednesdays turned into Thursdays, and that slowly became the weekend. I couldn't tell hour from hour, day from day.

One of those pondering days, a young doctor walked in the room

“Hello Delilah. How are you feeling today?” he asked, checking all the measureres.

“I’m fine” I relplied, not noticing much. Every day someone came, in. I always hoped it would be them announcing that someone had come to visit me, but it was always just the replacing of fluids.I never did expect much.

“I have good news for you today” he chirped in an overly perky voice. Sure, it kind of creeped me out, but who knows what it could be? “You’re finally being released! All the doctors have agreed that you are past your trauma, and that you can calmly resume normal life” he practically sang, a smile bursting across his face. My worst nightmare had come true. “ Aren’t you happy?” He laughed, skipping around the bed. This place seriously needed less childish doctors. He reminded me of Robyn and Carmen, except for a male version.

I couldn’t leave. I was getting accustomed to the ways of the hospital, the food that tasted like mush, everything. The old lady in the neighboring room that every night screamed her husbands name, the one who had died thirty years ago (according to the doctor’s conversations that I overheard while they thought I was asleep). Everything that occured here was predictable, even lunch came at the same time each day. I didn’t want that to change. I had to do something. But what. I groaned, falling back on the pillow, my mouth agape. Maybe even if they thought nothing was wrong with me, I migh be put in a mental clinic. Nothing wrong with that.

“Oh my God,Delilah? Are you all right? What happened!? “ he half screamed, half cried. But I kept staring blankly at the ceiling, attempting to count the numerous dots that littred it. He called in other doctors, and they came rushing in. One of them held a frighteningly large syringe, which I trembled at first glance at. I was never really partial to needles, especially large ones, such as this. I felt the injection in my arm, and slowly, everything faded away.


I woke up with my arm aching, a soft blanket covering me. The moment I saw the soft fuzz gathering on my shirt, the purple blanket, I knew I wasn’t at the hospital. Did they seriously drive me home??? I forced myself into a sitting position. No IV’s were in my arm, no white lights shone brightly in my eyes. Just the dim light that usually shone on my couch. The morphine induced world in which I was living in the past weed had disappeared. I screamed, loud enough for any passerby to hear. How could they do this to me?!?!? I fell down on the blanket, and made the mistake of inhaling. The smell of Ryan was still embedded in the soft fleece, and I cried out in agony. Everything came rushing back; the betrayal, the gang, everything. Why?

It was a cold, bleak Monday. A light drizzle appeared on my way to school (though I honestly have no clue how they did that, what with the giant dome hanging over us). It seemed as though it would be a pretty uneventful day; I dreaded seeing everyone again. I don’t know who I feared most, Ryan or Mike. Ryan broke my heart, and was also in the gang, Mike broke my arm; he’d already broken the section of my heart cut of for him into a thin powder, then scattered that powder all over the world. The school came into view, and I saw Luis doing random tricks on his skateboard, though it wasn’t really a new idea, however, none of the scientists felt the need to make us newer technologies, so you fell into on of four categories: the musical category (where i fell in), the electronics, the sports, and the completely randomness. I quickened my pace, hopping to avoid the awkwardness that came with talking to him. I had once liked him, but I really don’t see why anymore.

“Hey Delilah! Whats up?” he screamed over the sound of the younger kids playing on the nearby playground.

“Not much. You?” I replied, but I guess he didn’t hear, so I just walked on, softly humming a tune that I was learning on the piano to myself. The rain hardened, and I broke into a slow jog to the school. I ran into the doors, shaking off the rain from my hair. The hallway was warm and calm, and the kids were bustling about in a nice, homey fashion. I always felt so at home at school, before I found out about the gang. Ugh. Even thinking about that place gave me shivers. I dropped off my stuff at my boring grey locker, wandering around the school waiting for Bella, Hailee or Lizzy to show up. What would I tell Hailee about Luke? I couldn’t, not when things were going so well for them. She’s been obsessing about him for so long, it would just crush her to find out. I couldn’t.

While looking through the window and warming my ice hands on the metal radiator, I spotted Lizzy and Leo walking outside, crowded underneath her lilac umbrella. She was pressed against him, he was carrying her lunch. She looked so happy, even though she was soaking wet, despite their efforts to mold into one person. Lizzy’s hair had poofed up to twice it’s regular size, looking gigantic next to Leo’s sleek style. He was holding her periwinkle lunch bag, and they ran towards the school. The walked to meet them at the main door. It was really dark outside, but I suppose it was the weather persons choice for today. Since the domes didn’t have any actual weather and temperature, a few people controlled it. Seemed like a fun job, until people were complaining about your liking of harsh winds and rain. They came into the lobby, and I rushed to meet them. I paused when I saw them hug even closer, him gently kissing her cheek. Her face became bright red, and he waved goodbye as he rushed off to find his friends.

I appeared from behind the column, rushing to meet her.

“Congratulations!” I yelled in a whisper, surprising her. She smiled a large grin, joyously hopping up and down.

“Were you spying on me? Whatever, either way, thanks! And you know, a kiss on the cheek today may bring more tomorrow!” she excitedly yelled. I admitted to the spying, as we walked towards the hallway. It was already filling up, mainly with Luis and his friends, Kaleb and Perry. Perry has always somewhat intrigued me, with his icy stare, those cold eyes. He always seemed better than Luis and Kaleb, with their teenage boy idiocracies. He caught me staring at him, and I looked away, slightly turning pink. I never blushed, that is I never turned red. Slightly pink, yes, but not full on beet as Bella did (when she was embarrassed, cried, or showed any other emotion other than boredom). I busied myself with gathering the things I needed for the next two classes, my least favorites; science and history. Science was my worst subject, and history had the worst teacher EVER. She never taught us anything. I lugged my stuff, watching jealously as Lizzy greeted Bella with overly excited jumping. No one ever paid that much attention to me. I’d began to loose faith in people always seeing that I was there, it was really rare now a days for people to even see me. I’d began to think that I was invisible; not really a good thing to be in high school life. However there were those worse off than me, such as the computer freaks, whom Leo was friends with.

It was really pretty hard not to get noticed at this school. There were only about forty seventh graders in the school,since it was a school that started at preschool and ended at collage. This building had kindergarten until the end of high school, but the school’s company had a college also. We grew up on top of on an other, however through these eleven years, about half of the people still don’t even know my name. I walked into the history classroom, where Ms. Ellisa was staring at the board with a half crazy, half asleep look. I silently crept by, not wanting her to start harassing me about annoying history things. I sat down in my seat, waiting for everyone else to arrive.

“Hi Delilah” Whitney hummed walking into the room, plopping down in the seat next to me. When I started fighting with Bella and Lizzy, she and Rebbecca were the ones that accepted me into their group. Now we were all kind of distant and separate, well, Whitney and Rebbecca were still great friends, but I had sort of fallen apart from them. I was just my own person, wandering around a giant crowd, looking for someone to attach to. I’ve tried different groups, but in the end I always somehow drifted away. How does that happen, I really don’t know.

“Hey Whitney. How’ve you been?” I asked, arranging my things at the small table. There was only enough room for two people, so I assumed that Rebbecca was sick, since they always sit together.

“I’ve been great!” she sang out. Her hair was tied back in a sleek ponytail, and she smoothed it back even more. I wondered how her hair wasn’t getting ripped out by the force.
“Great” I acknowledged, leaning back in the seat. The hands on the clock slowly moved to eight, and Ms. Ellisa slowly turned around, and began droning the lesson. It was like she was a robot, programmed with what to say. Everyday was the same, at eight sharp she began the lecture of the day. Even if there was no one there, she did it. Really kind of creepy... She was in the middle of a lecture about world war three (which happened around the time the world ended) as everyone else trudged in. I caught Ryan staring at me, and I looked away. Never would things be the same between us again. Bella and Lizzy walked in the room practically attached at the hip, and sat down at the table behind Perry and Luis, who were chatting away about some random skateboard lingo that I didn’t understand at all. Something about a triple laser three sixty.... whatever.
Whitney was avidly taking notes, glancing up every few seconds from her already half full page. She clutched her dark purple pen strongly, writing notes in her neat font. Still fifteen minutes left... I began to doze off, doodling in my notebook. I looked around; Bella was humming loudly to herself, Lizzy was staring longingly at the back of Perry’s head, I supposed she also somewhat liked him. She could never have just what she did, she always wanted more. Before I knew it, the clock had passed to the class changing mark, and Ms. Ellisa stopped in the middle of sentence. She always did that. It really had me thinking that she was a robot, or else she was a really bad nutcase.
I slowly gathered my things, walking towards the exit. People pushed by me, avoiding my gaze. I don’t know why they always did that. Oh well. I was used to it by know. I trudged to science, slowly walking in a straight line. By the time I got there, our teacher was angrily tapping her foot, glaring at me,
“Sorry”I wearied defeated, walking to my seat next to Leo and Bella. I guess the teacher had enough sense not to let us choose our own seats.
“Now, today we will continue our experiment outside” she dictated, and no one dared reply that it was raining outside. “Gather your notebooks everyone, we’re going on a trip: ponding!”

Everyone grumbled, however gathered their things. She pushed us out the door, angrily screaming at us to move. Still though, despite the complaints, she was a teacher. Not many people wanted to be one, and there weren’t enough people for the other jobs to take her place, so she’s stayed with us for many torturous years. It was pouring outside, so naturally we were soaked to the bone the minute we walked out there. It was like it was pouring from a bucket, but she didn’t notice, with her raincoat and umbrella protecting her from the water.

“I wish I had brought my umbrella” Lizzy grumbled to me, hugging Leo’s side. I nodded, shivering as the cold penetrated my skin. It was freezing. After a while, I grew accustomed to the cold. We walked for a few more minutes, until we approached a pond with a few lone frogs jumping around; the surface of the water rippling with the droplets that fell.

“All right class, gather close. Today we’ll be measuring these frogs” she announced, grabbing one by its hind legs, making it squirm as it hung upside down. “Now, you take the frog, hold it like this, and measure its toes to its nose, its hind legs, the distance between it’s pupils and the circumference of its head and stomach. Later, we’ll be dissecting them!” she said in a creepily cheerful voice. Why must we dissect the poor frogs? I’d much rather dissect her... “Begin!” she bellowed, handing each of us a tape measure as we approached the pond. Everyone was chasing after the frogs, who were jumping for their lives. I walked behind everyone else, not in a rush to get the frogs that would soon meet their deaths.

“Delilah! Go get a frog! Here, take this” she commanded, shoving the one she was holding into my hands. It was squirming, and smelled faintly of rotten leaves.”No, you hold it like this” she screamed, manipulating my hands with her sharp claws, digging them deep into my skin. I cringed, as the frog was stretched out on the death rail. I walked away, releasing the frog when her back was turned. I could have sworn it had gave me a grateful look.

I wandered around to where a few boys were laughing about a frog turned on its head, twisting and attempting to get away.

“Hey, let go of it!” I demanded, gently taking away the frog from their grip. Sure, I wasn’t a big fan of frogs myself, they seriously freaked me out, but I couldn't stand animal abuse.

“Seriously Delilah. Go kiss it, you’ll never have a boyfriend anyways, this one might be your prince” one of them jeered. I slapped them on the back of the head, running away, flustered. They were all laughing idiotically. Idiots. I ran to the far side of the dome, crouching behind some bicycle racks. Hopefully no one would see me. A frog hopped worriedly towards me, as I gently stroked it under its neck. I leaned my back against the cold wet stone, everyone else just walking about, measuring their frogs gently. I could tell most of them were sad, not wanting to have to cut them in half later on, but you couldn’t refuse anything that Ms. Renis said. She was the devil of the school, even the rest of the faculty thought so. I looked at the wall, tracing the bumpy lines with my fingertips. A little bit of the wall came off, and I was instantly freaked out. What about the radiation? I peered through the tiny hole, however I saw nothing. Making sure that no one was looking, I slowly began pecking away at the wall with the small piece that had fallen off moments before.

Many times I had jumped, thinking that someone was approaching when it was actually just another one of the frogs that I had rescued ribbiting. There was a small crowd now, watching my moves intently. The crack enlarged, though there still was nothing there. Just more and more rock.

“Delilah! What are you doing?” Ms. Renis barked, making me nearly jump out of my skin. I covered the crack with my back, and she curiously peered around me.

“Nothing, Ms. Renis. Just observing the frogs”I answered, motioning to the small crowd of amphibians that had gathered at my feet.

“Ah, perfect samples!” she said, greedily reaching for the frogs that then scattered. I don’t blame them. She ran after a few, leaving me alone again. I stuffed a piece of stone back into the crack, standing up and walking away. She finally gave up, walking back to the middle of the area, where half the class was having a mud fight.” ENOUGH!!!” she exploded, grabbing Mike and Mellisa by the collars of their shirts roughly. Their faces were plastered with mud and a smile that reached their ears.

“He started it” Mellisa laughed, punching Mike gently on the arm and looking at him in adoration. So not every guy likes Robyn, but the ones that don’t make up for it by liking Mellisa. I hated her for that. I walked sadly after the group, looking with curiosity back at the hole in the wall. I would have to come back later and see what else there was. Sure, I may be endangering myself with the radiation, but I didn’t care that much about it. If anything happened to me, at least I could warn people about it. Plus I was really curious.... curiosity killed the cat, but what if the cat had an anti nuclear radiation suit? Now there’s and idea...

“Hi” Lizzy giggled, poking my arm. She was giggling insanely, holding a frog.

“Let it go” I said, shrugging her arm off and taking away the frog. People abused animals way too much.

“What’s the matter? I was just joking” she said in an annoyed voice. She rolled her eyes, and I rolled them back at her. Sometimes she could be so annoying. Even though she was quite a bit younger than me, she was much more... rebellious, more teenager-ish. It seemed like I always had to be the mature one, to supervise everyone to make sure they didn’t get into any unfortunate situations.

“Nothing. I’m just tired.” I mumbled back, and she got the point, backing away and running off to find Bella, who was trying to talk with Whitney and Rebbecca, though they mainly ignored her. Everyone had pretty much gotten accustomed to the rain by now, so no one minded that the rain they were soaked in was getting even more soaked. We walked back to the school slowly, no one in a rush to get back to the rubbing alcohol scented room. I realized I was freezing, and hugged my waterlogged shirt closer, trying to keep in the heat. The school slowly appeared through the fog, and Ms. Renis was angrily screaming at everyone to keep up the pace.

By the time we ran into the school, science was long over. The boys shook the water out of their overly long hair, and the girls did the same. So strange, how they all looked exactly like dogs. Everyone was shivering, so we all crammed in front of the large heater, getting some warmth. We were packed like sardines, which also contributed to the warming up, however not the the drying off. Oh well. We had gym after this anyways, for which we had a separate uniform to wear. Everyone hopped their way to the changing rooms, as I grabbed my jersey uniform from my bag. I always hated changing in the locker rooms; everyone looking at you, staring as you changed. It just made me self conscious. I slipped into one of the bathroom stalls and took off all my wet clothes, putting on the uniform that was plastered to my skin. It was extremely uncomfortable, but at least it was dry. I ran out, dropping the soaked clothes in my bag, following everyone else into the gym.

“Hi!” Haillee’s happy voice rejoiced, as I waved a tired wave back. “ Hows life?”

“Meh, okay-ish. Science was horrible. We had to go outside in the freezing rain, and catch frogs which we measured. She was going to make us dissect them, but in the end we didn’t have enough time” I responded, a look of horror spreading across her face.

“That's horrible! The monster. I hate her. I will NOT dissect a frog. It is against my beliefs” she nearly cried. Hailee was really a bit of an animal activist...

“I know. And she was holding them in a really painful looking way” I added on, a look of absolute disgust spreading across her face. She started mumbling to herself, and we hurried off to gym. When we entered everyone was already warming up, as I saw the long ropes hanging from the ceiling.

“Oh, great. I hate ropes. Ugh” Hailee fumed. She hated climbing ropes, swinging across, all the things we had to do with them. I gave her a comforting pat on the shoulder, as she ran to talk to Robyn and Carmen, who were also to ‘weak’ to do it. Whenever we had to do ropes, they didn’t even try, just hold on and scream in a high pitched voice. Ugh. I always saw them together, talking and soliciting. I wandered over to Lena and Maria. Maria has never really liked me much, though Lena has always been really nice.

“Hi guys” I tentatively wandered, approaching them.

“Hi Delilah. Where were you? Are you okay? What happened? Are you better?” Lena rambled worriedly. What really sucked was that I really don’t know her that well, and though I’ve been gone for a week, she’s the only one that has asked me about that. Some people you just can’t trust to be for you when you’re feeling down.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I was in the hospital; my arm broke and I went into some sort of shock. I really don’t remember what happened. But I feel much better now, thanks.” I mumbled back, lying.

“That’s good” she sighed, returning back to her conversation with Maria, who was eyeing me distrustfully. Her dark eyes sucked in the light, making what appeared to be a black hole. They went well with her dark black skin,radiating a cold heat.

“All right class, today we’ll be doing rope climbing. Get into groups of two, and we’ll start.” our gym teacher, Sandra (our gym teacher) said. I looked around, and already everyone was clinging to their partners. Left alone, again.

“Um, excuse me, do you have a partner?” a boy’s voice said from behind me. I whirled around, and saw the bewildered face of Mike. He probably though I was Robyn, we have very similar hair-styles. I looked around the room, desperate to find another partner. No one else was available. I was petrified. The last time we encountered, he broke my arm and put me in a hospital for a week. Not someone you want to be there to make sure you don’t fall.
“No, I don’t.” I replied, begging silently that he wouldn’t ask me.
“Do you want to be partners for it? I don’t see anyone else” he answered back. He sighed, realizing what he had gotten himself into. I shrugged, and we went to the rope hanging furthest from everyone else. He’d lately been a lot more silent and mature, I wonder if it was because of the whole, glowing eyes, magical freaky power thing. Probably.
“All right. Choose someone to go first, and then partners, make sure the climber doesn’t fall. if they do, try to catch them and soften their fall. Got it?” Coach Sandra commanded. Everyone nodded, getting to climbing. Most of the girls were failing at climbing the ropes, jumping up and then flailing their feet, falling back. The guys were smoothly scaling the ropes, but once they were about ten feet up, their hands couldn’t take it anymore.
“You go first” he commanded, and I didn’t decline, terrified of what he might do if I didn’t. I nodded, and got ready for climbing. My hands grabbed high up on the scratchy nylon rope, and I wrapped my feet around the knot at the bottom. I would fail this. I slowly started shimmying my way up the rope, slowly pulling up with my arms and grasping the rope between my knees in the meantime. I concentrated at the top, and as soon as I had looked down, I regretted it. I was some twenty-five feet up the rope, and everyone had gathered around staring. I swore under my breath, though slowly kept climbing. I don’t even want to imagine what happened when you fell from this height.
“Go Delilah!!!” people were chanting at the bottom of the rope, the beginning of my journey. Well, that’s certainly the first time they had noticed me in a while. My heart was panging in my chest. Just a few more feet to go, and I would be at the top. My hands were slick with sweat, and they were slowly slipping. I felt my knee’s grip loosening, and I knew I was going to fall. My hands lost their grip, and my knees fell away as I plummeted the thirty feet, screaming. Just as I was about to connect with the floor in a giant splat, I felt some force slowing me down, just enough for Mike to run below me and catch me in his arms.He looked me in the eyes, and I saw my own terrified face reflected in them. They were warm, soft eyes, dark grey with a bit of green around the edges. They didn’t match his character the slightest bit, but they drew me into their foggy depths.
“Thanks” I breathed out. Great. He terrified me with those powers, now he’s saved me. I can never figure out Mike. Everyone applauded for him, as he gently laid me down on the mat below. Once again, I was ignored. No, ‘are you okays’, no ‘I’m so happy you’re fine’, just the same ignorance I’ve been receiving for the past eleven years. Mellisa was hugging Mike’s arm, looking at him like he was her knight in shining armor. I picked myself up, and wandered around, nervously wringing my hands.
“I can’t believe he did that! Don’t you feel grateful? How he got there in time before you crashed, I don’t know. He’s amazing...” Bella sighed happily, wandering around. I ignored her, and went off to a little corner of the gym. I noticed Hailee walking over to me, and expected a conversation loaded with ‘aw, how sweet that he caught you’.
“Oh my god Delilah, are you okay? I can’t believe that happened” she nervously blubbered, clearly shaken up. I was taken very much by surprise.
“Yeah, I’m fine” I answered. “ Just a little shaken up. Adrenaline still coursing through my veins”, I breathed with a small grin.
“How did he catch you like that? You appeared to slow down for a few seconds, enough for him to move away from Donn and catch you”, she curiously pondered out loud. The image of Luke also standing with the gang flashed before my eyes, and I knew I had to tell her. Sometime, and sometime soon. I couldn’t leave her just like this, not knowing that her boyfriend was in a gang that murdered people. Recess would be a good time for this... recess.
“I honestly don’t know. But things were happening so fast, I couldn’t tell” I responded, giving her a look that said that was the end of the conversation. She looked away, tracing the lines between the wooden planks. The floorboards used to be coated in a layer of glaze, but after time it wore off, and the school never got around to re-polishing it. I sat there with Hailee in silence for a while; people were congratulating Mike and no one seemed to notice that it was time for lunch. The coach finally noticed, and we were dismissed.
Everyone rushed to the locker rooms, changing and taking showers. I was soaked in sweat from the fear of falling, so I jumped into a shower and quickly rinsed off. Bella was singing some idiotic song about love in the shower next to mine, and I quickly left, toweling off. I put on a soft turtleneck and a long skirt, and headed off to lunch. I normally wouldn’t wear that outfit, but since my other one was soaked to the innermost particles, I really didn’t feel like parading around the school in it. On my way to lunch, Lizzy caught up with me.
“You love him, you love him. He caught you, you love him” she jeered, laughing hysterically. I glared at her, and she silenced. She could be so... insensitive at times. I feel that I just can’t talk to her anymore, she’s become so... Bella like. They were practically clones of each other.
In the lunch room I looked around for a free seat. Lizzy and Bella had gone to sit with Robyn and her gang, and everywhere I looked was taken. In the end I found a seat at a table with Maria and Lena. I never saw them apart.
“Hi Maria and Lena. Can I sit here?” I asked, hoping that I didn’t seem too desperate. They muttered something under their breaths, and they smiled welcoming.
“Of course” Maria said, a smile on her face. I fretfully thanked them, and sat down on the hard plastic seat. We sat in silence for a while, each of us chewing away at out sandwiches.
“So... I can’t believe that Mike saved you today. You must be ecstatic” Lena said, chewing away at a particularly rubbery piece of bread.
“Yeah...” I muttered. i had already gobbled down my lunch, but then again i didn’t have that much. For the rest of lunch I pretty much was just silent, Lena and Maria were having a heated discussion about what was on the other side of the domes. Lena thought that there was nothing, while Maria disagreed, saying that a beautiful world of butterflies existed. Slightly unrealistic, but then again everyone has their own views. I saw our creepy lunch monitor approaching our table, and inwardly groaned. Everyone hated Mrs. Kopf, she was possibly the worst adult in the world; and had very messed up views about makeup. Apparently she thought her very prominent cheekbones highlighted with too much blush was in the slightest attractive.
“Maria, you have to clean tables today” Mrs. Kopf hissed, handing her a dirty towel. Her snake like eyes glared at Maria, who cringed, getting it as far away from her as possible.
“Ew, this is so gross. Can’t the school get more... sanitary things for cleaning their tables? This looks like it hasn’t had a bath in ages” she thundered, and we sadly agreed with her, nodding sympathetically.Everyone started cleaning up, and I picked up m trash and ran to the nearest recycling bin. I dumped everything in, and it greeted me with a mechanical ‘Thank you’. We had very polite trash cans around the school. As i turned around I ran into Ryan, and looked away. I wonder if people already knew about the break up. It didn’t seem so, since no one was talking about it. Maybe he hasn't told anyone yet.
I gathered my things and went in the direction of the courtyard. It really was one of the best places, it was in a way outside, since it had some plant life, and it was completely enclosed. It had a beautiful glass roof, so you could see, well, there really wasn’t that much to see, other than the chipping paint of the tall domes and the rain pouring from the sprinklers.
“Hi” Hailee bubbled from behind me. I turned around, plastering a fake smile to my face. Whenever I was in anyway unhappy, she always questioned me why, and I didn’t really want to deal with that today.
“Hey Hailee. How’s life?” I replied, slowly gliding towards the courtyard. Everyone else rushed by us, pushing us roughly towards the exit.
“Pretty good. Me and Luke are having a great time. He’s such a wonderful guy, I’m so happy I have him” she happily crooned. I felt really bad about having to tell her, but I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened to her because of me not wanting to ruin her relationship.
“That’s nice” I said, honestly meaning it. If Luke weren’t in a murderous gang, I really wouldn’t care. We walked outside, or rather, further outside bit not yet so. “Um, Hailee?”
“Yeah?” she asked, hopping slowly in the direction of Carmen.
“Can I talk to you? In private?” I questioned, motioning over to the benches lining the edges.
“Sure. About what?”
“You’ll see” I answered, as we walked. It’s so strange, how there are other people, other thoughts. You live only knowing your own mind, it almost doesn’t seem like there are others. Other lives, other people. I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to be someone else, to have someone else’s thoughts, someone else’s life. Such a strange thing it must be, to have the mind of Lizzy, or Bella, or Mike. What are they thinking of now? We sat down, and sat in silence for a few moments.
“So what did you want to tell me?” Hailee asked slightly impatiently, looking over to everyone else.
“Look, I know you may not believe me when I tell you this, but please Hailee, hear me out” I pleaded. She nodded understandingly. T took a deep breath, and stated. “So, you know how like, I broke my arm, right? Well, the story isn’t what it is. I was wandering around a marketplace, and I saw a dude that was completely beat up. I called for help, and before I saw Mike crouching next to him, so I supposed he had something to do with it. I followed him into a pathway of alleys, and I ended up in a dark clearing, with Donn, Ryan, Luke, some guys from our grade, and some other guys I didn’t recognize. All their eyes were glowing really creepily, like they were some sort of monsters or something. They told me to never tell anyone, but I guess they didn’t believe me when I said I wouldn’t. I felt some sort of force pushing my arm back, and then I felt it snap. No one was behind me, so I knew it couldn’t have been just human. This wasn’t at all humane. They said if I told they would do much worse. I think that they’ve been killing people, and I don’t want you to be with someone like that. I don’t want you to get hurt” I finished, my heat pounding. Who knows how she would respond? She took a deep breath, and glared at me.
“Look, Delilah. I never thought of you to be a person to lie. How dare you say things like that about my boyfriend? I trust him. You’re just jealous because at least I can keep a guy interested and that I’m good enough for everyone here. You’re too unattractive and boring. Yes, I know about your breakup with Ryan. And whatever you saw or ‘felt’ was an illusion. You probably broke your arm when stalking Mike. You’re already half crazy anyways” she fumed, standing up and walking over to Carmen and Robyn, putting a smile on he face and jumping to some weird music. I knew she wouldn’t believe me.


I was packing up my stuff, cramming it all into my overly small bag. Science, math, English... everything was there. The hallway was pretty much empty except for a few stragglers. All day after I had the argument with Hailee had been depressing. Bella and Lizzy had ignored me, as they did from time to time, and I was feeling lonelier by the moment. I heard someone clear their throat behind me, and I turned around to see the apologetic face of Hailee.
“Hey” I muttered, not looking at her. If she didn’t want to believe me, fine. And after how she talked to me, I didn’t even want to look at her.
“Delilah, I’m really sorry for what I said. I’ve been thinking, and the more and more everything makes sense to me. The way that Mike caught you in gym, you did actually seem to slow down a bit. Your shock; I really doubt that a person could go into such a thing all because they couldn’t get their arm out of the gutter. I’m really, really sorry. Can you forgive me? And I’’m going to break it off with Luke tonight; I’m going to his house for dinner” she wearied, a really apologetic frown on her face. I sighed, and considered. She seemed serious, although I wasn’t really sure if it was the best idea for her to be alone with him.
“It’s okay Hailee, I forgive you. Of course you were rash, you didn’t want to loose the love of your life. Are you sure about breaking up with him? I know that you should, but maybe you shouldn’t do it alone. Something might happen” I worried. she shrugged. I still hadn’t forgiven her for what she had said, but it was easier just to forgive.
“I’m not too worried. Plus the authorities will suspect something if I somehow got hurt at his house.” she said in a calm manner. “ Nothing too bad should happen”. She walked back to her stuff, gathering it and running outside the school.
“Goodbye...” I murmured, but she was already too far away to hear.

Hailee was sitting at home, pondering about how tonight would be. She hoped Delilah was wrong about Luke, she really did. But then again in similar situations, she was almost always right. She stood up, looking in her closet for what to wear. She settled on a sleek black dress, and some low heels. At least she would look great,even if she was breaking up. The clock read that it was six, and they were supposed to meet at seven. Some homework would be good to do....
“Ugh, this is so boring” she groaned to herself, sitting down to the packet of history reading she had to read before Friday. No one knew of the history before the end, although the few events leading up to it were written down. All the other history was just what had happened here in the domes. Slowly she dozed off, dreaming of concrete, fireballs, people. She wondered what it was like during ‘2012’. Now, it was 2325, soon it would be ‘36. The loud music from her clock woke her up. She swore, and ran off to Luke’s. How could she have overslept so much??? It was still raining outside, and she wondered whether or not to get an umbrella. Luke’s house wasn’t too far away, but she didn’t want to run in the pouring rain. She rushed back inside, grabbing the pink and purple striped one.
It was now pouring rain in bucketfulls, as she ran to the navy door that was the door to Lukes. As she was running, someone riding a bike drove up behind her, splashing her with water. She groaned and hurried on, finally arriving on his doorstep freezing. She knocked on the door, and waited untill he opened. A shockingly handsome Luke opened the door, and he gasped when he saw the state that she was in.
“Hailee! What happened? Come on in” he ushered, motioning to to warm building. Hailee rushed inside, not answering. She shook off her soaked coat; at least her dress was fine. He looked at her in wonder. “Wow... you look amazing” he drooled, gazing at her unflinching.
“So what do you want to do?” she asked, looking around the room, pretending not to notice his stares. There were a few candles lit; she didn’t know that Luke was such a romantic. But then again, that’s how you learn about people, by meeting them for dates.
“I’ll be right back? Okay? I have something I need to give you” he told, rushing off to a different room. Hailee sat down in a plump velvet chair, smoothing the dark blue fabric. What could he be up to? She heard some swearing from the room next to it, as some crashing sounds arose.Finally, Luke came back, his hands behind his back.
“Hailee, I never knew why I didn’t love you. I didn't know at all what I saw in Melissa, but a while ago, I saw you in a new light. You are amazing, Hailee. These are for you” he said, looking at her lovingly, as he handed her a bouquet of red roses. the fragrance coming from them seemed so strong, it was almost like someone had sprayed them with perfume. It was a bit overwhelming, but she was overtaken by the fact that he even did this.
“Wow Luke, they’re beautiful. You really didn’t have to” Hailee breathed, smelling the flowers and blushing. No one had ever given her flowers before, other than her parents. But that was for her birthday. Sure, she had other boyfriends other than Luke, but they were never considerate enough to give her anything other than heartbreak.
“No Hailee, you deserve it. And here, one more small thing” he said, pulling out a small black box from his pocket. He handed it to her, as he sat down next to her. Hailee opened it, and gasped. From the box twinkled two glinting earrings, a stud and a teardrop shaped crystal attached to that.
“Oh my god, they’re beautiful,” she gasped, as she stared at him. “What are they made of?” she asked, not meaning to sound too snobby.
“Diamonds” was his one word answer. He motioned for the box, and gently took out the earring, placing them on for her. He took her hand, and walked her to the full length mirror, brushing the hair back from her face so that she could see the glinting gems. They contrasted with the dress beautifully, and she sighed happily. They could be like this forever...
“Wow” she breathed out. He hugged her closer, and all of a sudden a thought came to her mind. Everything that Delilah had said, about the gang, everything. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all... She pulled away from him ever so slightly and went over to sit back on the chair.
“What’s wrong Lee? Don’t you like them” he asked, using the nickname her friends had given her long ago, back when they were in the third grade. This was way too serious; she couldn’t let Luke do something to her, if he did than Delilah would kill her, if she wasn’t dead already. He tried to look her in the eye, but she faced away, looking at the picture on the wall.
“Look Luke, we need to talk” she said, regretting every word coming from her mouth. His eyes closed, and they stayed so as she spoke. He breathed calmly, his eyelids slightly fluttering.“I know that I’ve been imagining this moment for who knows how long, but I really don’t think that you’re right for me. Your pastimes aren’t matching my beliefs, and I know what you do. I can’t have you and your friends hurting the people I love. If you want to be with me so much that you gave me these” she said, pointing at her earring and the roses “You’ll have to stop. I can’t have this” she concluded. Luke sat calmly, very calmly.When his eyes when opened, she gasped. They were glowing, but not the calm white that Delilah described, they were a burning, glowing red. He sneered evilly, and approached her, standing up slightly.
“So I see your little friend told you that I was a monster, yes? Well there’s much more to the story” he growled out, as she felt herself being lifted in the air. Hailee’s heart was beating faster by the minute. What was happening?
“Luke, please, don’t” she whimpered out, but her pleas went unheard. She was trembling, and squeals of fright came out of her mouth.
“And why not? No one will hear about this if there’s no one left to tell” he barked out, laughing gutturally. She screamed as she was smashed into a wall, and felt herself getting fainter. Hailee whimpered as she fell to the ground, her head pulsing painfully. She landed next to the bouquet of roses, and the smell from them made her choke; it was like they were poison. She tried to roll away, but her head was in too much pain. Luke sat there on the ground, picking at his fingernails, immobile to her screams.How could no one hear? Wasn’t anyone around? Or had he killed them too? Hailee wondered,as the world became blurry. She felt herself rising.
“No, please...” she begged, as she fell to the floor again and again in this sick game of his. A red stain was smeared on the floor, as she cried out as she fell from the top of the ceiling.
“No more Luke, please, just stop it” she plead, in her loudest voice which was barely a whisper. He smiled cruelly, as the giant piano was lifted over her head. She screamed as it flew towards her, her eyes shut, but she wasn’t crushed.
“Do you really think that I would let it end that easily?” he laughed evilly, as the piano moved back. She was too pained to even wonder how he did it. “ You want to know how this is happening? How your ‘prince’ became this?” he asked with a fire in his eyes. “You see, I and several others have these powers because of radiation on the worst level. We were an experimental batch of kids. We were put under radiation so that they could see what happened. It wasn’t life threatening, so when it happened, all we got was this. We hunt down the weak, they don’t belong in this world. And now that you know, or out secret, you must die, as must your little friend. Delilah. Mike only cut her some slack because of Ryan. If anyone knows about this, we’ll be killed quicker than you can imagine. We work for a man, the most powerful man in the dome. With him, we’ll have total rule” he explained, watching her as her life slipped away. Now she knew why. The reason for all of this. They reason for all the mysteries, how Mike had caught Delilah, the breaking of her arm, everything. Probably the only reason why he even saved her was because he wanted to torture her even more horribly than she was being.If they hadn’t been trying to kill everyone they met, then she might even feel some sympathy for all of them.
“Why aren’t you answering!” he screamed. She whimpered, and he went back into a rage. She was hoisted in the air and jerked around, her body flopping lifelessly. Everything hurt... too much. She smashed into a window, breaking it; the glass shards sticking in her skin. A large piece was stuck in her stomach, as she moaned. He let her go, as she fell to the ground. Everything went faint, and the last thing she heard was a gunshot before it all went black.


I was sitting in the chair next to the bed, holding Hailee’s hand. When I arrived she was a complete mess. Her head was bleeding, she had a gun shot near her heart, and she was blacked out. Luke had completely abused her. And that was only from the outside, I had no clue what was going on mentally. I knew she shouldn’t have gone. She might have died, and then what guilt would I have felt? This was bad enough, who knows what would have happened if I had arrived any later? If anything happened to Hailee, I would only have myself to blame for arriving too late and for even letting her go over there alone.Who knows when she would wake up? Maybe she never would, stuck in a life long coma, barely alive. I can’t even imagine what would happen. She was adored at school, so if anything happened to her the school would be in distress. She was always the nice one, the agreeable one; every school needed someone like that. When I had found her she was half alive, surrounded by a pool of blood. It made me sick to my stomach, but I knew I couldn’t leave her. I had to to something. Luke had vanished, and I quickly had rushed her to my house. I had taken lessons on medicine, so I knew exactly what to do. The wound in her chest... I couldn’t heal. I bandaged all the cuts I could, though there were fragments of glass still deep inside her skin, and the bullet was still caught next to her heart.I could never take her to a hospital, I’d be questioned, and I’d never been the best liar.
It was early in the morning now, about two. The white sheets that I had laid down on my bed were stained. Hailee was barely breathing, and her pulse was irregularly beating. I was too shaken up to sleep, though completely exhausted. She moaned, and I stiffened up.
“Hailee? Are you okay? If you can hear me, squeeze my hand” I trembled. I felt a light pressure coming from her hand, and she opened her eyes slightly, squinting against the light that I had turned on. I rushed to turn it off, and she lay back down with her eyes closed.
“It hurts” she whimpered, a shiver coursing through her. My heart quickened. She couldn’t die now, not when she had survived all this abuse. “Make it go away” she begged, a tear dripping down her face. I felt myself also succumb to the tears. If I could make it go away, I would. I tried to word that phrase, but it only came out in choking sobs. I fell on the bed, and started sobbing. Why was I the one to do that? She’s the one that’s in pain, she’s the one that’s dieing, so why was I the one crying? She was barely holding on. Her lips were open, trying to take a breath of the humid air, but she was clearly struggling. Her hand patted my back, and I returned the gesture. I sat up, wiping the tears from my face. She seemed so young and innocent, lying beneath the bloodstained purple blanket. “Promise me that you’ll stop them, even if I die, that you’ll destroy every one of them. You’ve already lost one on your side” she cried, some life returning to her eyes.
“Don’t say that” I commanded, nearly on the verge of tears again. “I promise, whatever happens, I will destroy them” I sobbed, filling her request. She shouldn’t be dieing, not so young. She wasn’t even sixteen yet. And if she did die, I would be by her side until it happened. This was all my fault. I never should have told her about Luke. Right now, if I hadn’t, she would be living a calm life, not on death’s doorstep, about to ring the bell. She shook violently on the bed, her eyes glassy, face covered in blood. What was happening? I had bandaged the wounds the best I could, and nothing was working. What would I do?
“Hailee, I need to get help. I’ll be back soon” I decided, gently getting off of the bed.
“No... don’t leave” she murmured.
“I have to, or else you might leave sooner than I will” I responded. She nodded slightly, and fell back on the bed, falling asleep. I brought a glass of water next to the bed, just in case she needed it. I ran out the house, closing the door gently. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to be running around in the night, but I had to. Would there even be any places open? I ran to the nearest medics, slamming my fist on the door. “Open up!” I screamed. “This is an emergency!”. A very tired man opened the door, letting out the scent of cigar smoke.

“What in the world do you need” he grumbled, spitting in my face with each word. He was about in his fourties, a layer of stubble coating his chin. He was wearing a checkered bathrobe, his bony ankles jutting out from beneath the folds.

“I’m sorry to bother you sir, but my friend needs help, now”! I yelled once more, desperately looking in his eye.

“No! You stupid kids probably just overdosed on drugs... serves your friend right”, he shouted, slamming the door in my face. I ran around helplessly, pounding on each door; no one was opening. I ran back to the house, knowing that it was useless. Hailee was laying silently on the bed, staring out the open window. She turned her head slightly, staring me in the eye, not saying anything.

“Are you okay?” I asked, sitting back down on the chair next to the bed. The metal had turned cold, and I shivered as it seeped into me. She nodded, curling up into a small ball, but then wincing and unfurling. She lay back, trying to sleep. She probably wanted to rest, so I covered her blood-caked body and walked out the door. I heard whimpers in the other room, and I rushed in to see her crying.

“Please go” she coughed out. I was tempted to disobey, but I would return if she was in pain. I had nothing to do outside, so I decided to go for a walk. It was warm outside, and I walked into the silence, everything dark. A few lamps were lit up here and there, but it was mainly dark. Now was the perfect time to go see what was really in the hole in the wall. Somewhere a dog howled, breaking the silence. It was really nice, and it would be a while before anyone even woke up, so I decided to just walk around town. In the dark everything looked lonely; the crepe shop was deserted and empty, the sign peeling, a thing that I never noticed in the daylight. The school had a few lights on inside, probably just for comfort. The colourful mosaics sat there on the wall, looking like some forlorn art museum rejects.
I walked by the deserted playground, as a swing swung back and forth. I heard a few voices coming from the wall, and I hid behind the corner, trying to tune in to what was going on. I heard a few overly hyper laughs, and the scent of burning .
“Awesome move Droidatron. Too bad she didn’t die though. Although Xenos would have killed us if we had ended up killing her... We need to think of a plan, ‘cause she can’t know about this. Same with Delilah too, although Mike can take care of that” a voice slurred. It sounded a lot like Luis. I peeked around the corner, and instantly stiffened. Luke, Luis, Perry, Melissa and Kaleb. Strange, I hadn’t seen Kaleb before in the gang. They were laughing, juggling a few squirrels. I sighed sadly, there was nothing I could do about it; If I went, I would be the one that was being juggled. Melissa was sitting on a fence, laughing along with them in loud obnoxious snorts. God I hated her.
“Thanks ‘L. Yeah, we really do need to kill the two of them. After Hailee blacked out, I just wandered around. Hopefully by the time I get home she’s gone” Luke snickered, leaning against the wall. I can’t believe them; they tried to kill my friend, and now are just joking about it??? Who were these people? I’d known them since I was four, they couldn’t be like this. They were normal, kind to everyone; what had happened? Imagine how horrendous this was for Hailee; she was dating Luke and he did this. She had liked him for who knows how long, and now he tried to kill her. It must have crushed her...
I’d decided that I’ve heard enough. I couldn’t stand hearing these things anymore. I silently walked away, trying not to draw too much attention. I was their prey too. If they found me now... the five of them would be there to decide my fate; and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be happy. I quietly sneaked back, the laughter seeming to follow me. My heart was thumping so loud, I was terrified that there was a chance that they could hear it. They were still laughing, and when I was about a block away, I ran for my life. I couldn’t be outside now, not with them close by. I ran and ran, panting as my legs burned. I finally arrived at the apartment building’s doorstep, and rested my hands on my legs, bending over and trying to catch my breath. It was terrifying. I walked inside, running up the stairs to my apartment. The door was unlocked, and I quietly closed it behind me. I leaned back, sighing heavily. That was really scary.
“Delilah? Is that you?” I heard the frail voice of Hailee ask from the other room.
“Yeah Hailee, it’s me. Do you need anything?” I replied, getting up and walking to the next room where she was. I heard nothing in reply, and I crept into the room. The wound on her stomach had opened up again, and she was coated in sticky blood.
“It hurts too much..” she whimpered, her hair slicked back with sweat. What should I do??? She was breathing heavily, and I began dabbing away the blood. The gash was horrible, large and deep looking. Blood pumped out with each pump of her heart, and she became paler and paler by the minute. I cleared away most of it, holding down a towel to staunch the bleeding. I grabbed a fresh roll of gauze, and began wrapping it around her torso. The flow dulled substantially after about twenty layers, after which I coated it a few more times and sat back. She was still shaking, her eyes blank.
“Hailee?” I asked shaking, kneeling above the bed and hoping that this wouldn’t be the last way that I would see her alive. She was such a beautiful person, and if she died, I didn’t want her to die in such an ugly way. The night passed by the same, nothing going on, constantly rebinding wounds. The ground was strewn with blood stained bandages and empty bottles of disinfectant. Could I go to school even? I can’t leave Hailee alone, I know that. But what if something happened? What if she needed help and I wasn’t there? She moaned and I knew then I really didn’t have a choice. It was either the life of my closest friend, or not getting trouble in school. Naturally I chose friends. Hailee seemed fine for now, so I decided to go rest while I could. I tip toed across the room, going to Puma’s food bowl to fill it up.
I lay down on my bed, sighing deeply. Now, people were probably walking to school, Leo was probably wandering with Lizzy. No one would notice my absence, whereas everyone would be freaking out about Hailee. But then that’s just the way that life is and has always been. I drifted off, dreaming of Mike.
When I woke up, it was already the end of the day. About half an hour ago school ended; now everyone was either at school or walking home. Someone was pounding away at the door, and I crawled over in my robe. I opened it a crack, and stared back at the clear blue eyes of Lizzy, smiling back at me.
“Hey Delilah. Can I come in?” she asked happily, jumping slightly. I nodded, forgetting about Hailee in the other room. “Great!” she chirped, walking in. “Why were you gone today?” she asked, and I remembered about Hailee. She walked into the living room before I could reply.
She screamed. “OH MY GOD!!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER??? MURDERER!!! MONSTER!!!” she yelled, backing away.
“Calm down Lizzy, it’s not what you think!” I shouted, patting her shoulder. “Listen to me first” I told her, interrupting her screaming. “You might wake her up with all your screaming”. She calmed down and sat down stunned on her bag. “You want to come in for some tea?” I asked. She nodded, and dizzily walked over and plopped herself down on a chair, staring at Hailee. Hailee moaned slightly, shifting in her bed. Her bandages were wet again; I’d have to change them, I reminded myself. “Do you want cranberry , mint or green tea?” I questioned, stepping out of the kitchen.
“Cranberry” she replied in a whisper, and I put a pot of water on the stove, putting some mint leaves in one cup and a handful of dried cranberries in the other. I walked into the room, sitting in the chair next to her. She scooted over a bit, and I raised my hands. “No weapons” I chuckled. She looked apprehensively at me, and wrung her hands. She was clearly nervous.
“Tell me” she commanded, sitting back. The kettle shrieked, and I held up a finger to signal that I would be a minute. I ran to the room and poured the steaming water in the cups, and walked back carefully. She stared dubiously at her cup, and sniffed at it carefully.
“Don’t worry, there’s no poison in it. Look” I said, taking a sip of it. After she saw I was fine, she carefully took a sip, her lips curling into a smile. She loved cranberry tea. “All right. Here’s the story.” I began, and told her everything. About the gang, what Luke did, who was in it. The whole time she sat wide eyed, listening closely. Her mouth was open in an expression of shock near the end, about the abuse that Hailee had received.
“Oh my god...” she murmured, staring apologetically at Hailee. She stood up and thanked me, walking away. We apparently had a lot of homework to do tonight, and she had to start. I waved goodbye to her at the door, and slouched down. I was exhausted. How would Hailee be? How long would it take for her to heal? When would this end? I went back to the couch where Hailee was being held. She looked so young, so innocent, she didn’t deserve those life threatening injuries. She had at least a concussion, a serious wound near her heart, and a huge gash in her stomach. Most people don’t have that many injuries in a life time, much less in an hour. On her earlobes glinted a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings that I had never seen on her before. They glinted, and she stirred in her sleep. Luke must have given them to her before he tried to kill her.
What I didn’t know was, why did he try to kill her? He must have been mad, but why to that extent? And even more so, why did he even shoot her? The injuries she had were already bad enough, and Luke had really good aim, so why shoot like that? It truly was a mystery.

Chapter six
Mike sighed and fell back on his bed. Sometimes life could be so annoying. Things in the gang were getting difficult. He wondered if Luke gave Hailee the earrings before he tried to kill her. What kind of an idiot does that??? He really shouldn’t be second in authority to Xenos. He was hotheaded, and he didn’t know how to follow an order correctly. He almost screwed things completely up. Luke didn’t deserve to be in a place of power. The change had to happen, they needed her. And Xenos didn’t want her dead. But then again, he could see how Luke would stray off guard. Killing people gave him a sense of power, people feared him. To him, it was probably the same. But then again...
“So Mike, how are you?” Mellisa asked, sitting on the edge of his bed, tracing the lines that the quilt had made. She was wearing one of his t-shirts; she was planning to spend the night. Mike stared at her sadly. Even Mellisa couldn’t really make him that happy anymore, there was just too much burden on his life.
“Not too great. Bored out of my mind,” he yawned, sitting up and stretching. She pouted, annoyed at the fact that he was bored, even though she was with him. Sometimes Mellisa came over too much, but she could always make him laugh when he was feeling down. Not that that ever happened. He was used to just living life, enjoying himself. But a time comes in life when you start to regret everything, when you look back and think, ‘what would happen if I did something else?’. You wonder whether or not you should have joined a murderous gang. You think that maybe inviting over the most popular girl in the grade for the night was a mistake or not. You think what would have happened if you didn’t find such a joy in causing pain. But somethings you get used to. It become a routine, like brushing your teeth.
“Come on Mike, what’s wrong?” Mellisa asked flirtatiously, brushing back the hair from Mike’s face. He flinched away; he hated it when people touched him.
“Nothing,” he mumbled, turning away. Why couldn’t people just leave him alone? Mellisa was like a hungry cat, intertwining around your legs, purring loudly. It got on your nerves. She got up annoyed, and turned around, taking off the shirt and walking to get her stuff on. He looked away. Everyone seemed to be shocked that he was acting actually human now, although he isn’t anymore. How he wished he were normal. He knew this life was better for him, it was a life of pride, of glory. If he didn’t have Xenos to thank, he would be nothing, no one. Soon, he would rise up to power. It wasn’t the best life, it was a life of hardships. But it’s always better to be the one in control than to be controlled by others.

* * *
Bella groaned. She was getting yet another lecture from her dad on responsibility and following directions of her elders. They could be so annoying at times. Well, she would turn sixteen in two months, so it wasn’t that bad. She could finally leave the annoyance of her father behind.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me young lady!!! Show some respect!” her dad raged, hitting her across the jaw with his palm. She fell back, stunned. He’d never hit her before. What was going on? “Get up!” he yelled, yanking her up by the arm. She screamed, and he slapped her again. He grabbed her wrists roughly from behind, and dragged her along as he looked for something to tie her to the chair with. He pushed her down as she kicked and screamed, as her arms were roughly attached to the chair with some scratchy fiber. Tears were pouring down her face, and Bella was terrified.
“Please Dad, no! Stop!” she begged, but her pleas went unheard. He took out plates from the china cabinet and began throwing them at her, hitting her and breaking the plates. She screamed even louder, as she felt the bruises forming on her soft skin. He yelled in her face, his breath reeking of onions. She cringed, and felt the chair being pushed over. It fell with a crash that reverberated through her body. “Please...” she mumbled one more time. He yelled back and untied her, throwing her into the closet. She felt it lock, and sighed in gratitude. He’s get over it soon. Then everything would be fine. Or at least she hoped so. Her head was painfully throbbing, and she heard swears from the other room. She licked the blood from a cut on her finger, and waited until he would get over it.
A few minutes passed and then she heard the crazy laughter. She pressed back against the back of the closet, trying to put the coats between her and her crazy dad. Her mom had left him when Bella was only a baby, for some model guy. Now she was famous, and never talked of her old life and plain old husband and daughter. Everyone knew her name. Apparently, she also had a twin brother. But here Bella was, living a sad little life in a house of hell. She braced herself for the next thing to happen, as the door was literally pulled off of it’s hinges. She felt her crazy father’s arm grope around, and she shrunk back in fear. But there was no point in hiding, she would be found anyways. She bravely stepped up, as he evilly laughed.
She was dragged into the kitchen, and there the stove was lit. Flames flickered on the burner, and Bella backed away, terrified. She was held in place by his iron grip. A memory came back to her from when she was five year old. She was having a temper tantrum, and her normally calm dad just exploded. He had turned on the stove, and the flames licked at her skin as she screamed. In the end he snapped to his senses before anything too terrible happened, but she still had that scar. The flames greedily danced, as her arm was dragged to the same place. The only thing that was different was that she didn’t think that he would snap out of it this time. They greedily consumed her sweater, and she felt the heat scorching her arm. She tried to fight back, but it was no use. She went limp as all feeling of her arm went away, and then she was pushed back.
“Never disrespect me again, or it’ll be much worse. Now go to your room.” he commanded in a voice quavering from anger. She nodded and ran up the flight of stairs, not even daring to look at her arm, which she was sure was a mess now. She lay down on her unmade bed and shivered. The pain in her arm was growing, until it was searing in a pain even worse than the actual flame. She mustered enough courage to look, and grimaced away. The flesh was black and charred, blood beginning to scab up. It seemed like it was thinner there, and the room smelled like human flesh. She went up to her bookshelf, where she kept a roll or medicinal wrap that she got from her dad’s lab when she was in third grade. She opened it up and began wrapping, until the pain was cut off along with her circulation. Bella then threw away the empty roll and lay back on her bed, closing her eyes that were wet with tears. She drifted asleep by the time it was dark.

* * *
Bella’s four years old. There’s snow on the ground, and she’s wearing a light pink jacket that feels like it’s made out of clouds. A boy stands next to her, and he’s wearing the same as jacket as her except for it’s dark blue. He’s holding her hand, and both of them are smiling. They pose for the person standing in front of them, holding a light blue camera. Bella and the boy grin proudly next to the snowman that they built a few minutes ago.
After the pictures are taken, the woman that was taking the photos ushers them into a big house, where they shed their many layers of winter clothing. Soon, they’re sitting at a table, drinking steaming hot chocolate out of mugs with snowflakes on it. A man and a woman sit at the table with them, smiling at each other and holding each others’ hands. They’re young- people who had kids too early but didn’t spend time regretting it. They were good people.

* * *
Bella opened her eyes, going back to real life. She constantly had dreams like these- her, the boy, and the two adults. They were constant to be dreams, and she wondered what they were. Maybe, they were memories. She dismissed that idea, since it would be ridiculous to have had a friend that she didn’t remember at all. She closed her eyes once more, and fell into a dreamless sleep.

* * *
Lizzy sat down to dinner, inhaling the delicious scent of potatoes and duck that her mom had cooked up. Her twelve year old brother sat down next to her, grumpily slouching in his chair.
“What’s up John? Anything in school today?” she asked curiously, piling a large stack of potatoes on her plate. He hissed at her, and began eating a few limp pieces of meat.
“Johnny, answer your sister nicely,” Lizzy’s mom lectured., trying to get her young sister to eat. “Don’t be so sour.”
“Ugh, stop talking to me. I had a horrible day. Just leave me alone!” he stormed, running away and taking the plate with him.
“John, stop acting so immature,” Lizzy’s dad called after him, but the calls went unheard. “What’s with your brother these days? Do you know if anythings going on at school with him?”he asked.
“No, I don’t know anything. Am I supposed to???” Lizzy replied. Her parents sat down at the table, talking with concern about him. She ate her dinner, the thoughts of everything that she saw today scrolling through her head. How would this all end? And when would she see Hailee as she was before; a happy, joyous teenager?
“So how was school today Lizzy?” her mom asked, putting a piece of duck in her mouth.
“It was fine. We have another test in science tomorrow. We need to write a three page essay in English on the book that we’re reading, and in art we made duct tape cats. It was fun.” she answered with a smile.
“That’s nice” her mom struggled as her sister screamed and fell to the ground.
“You know Lizzy, I was thinking of asking over Leo and his parents over for dinner. What do you think?” her dad asked. Lizzy’s face turned red, as she began biting her nails. She hadn’t told her parents that she was dating Leo yet, and she was sure that he had told his. Did they somehow find out about her secret? Her parents were very anti-boyfriend, and they would skin her alive if they found out that she was in a serious relationship with the troublemaker of the school. “His dad is one of my colleagues, and we started talking. You’d be good friends with Leo, you two have similar interests. Although I don’t think that he’ll be a good influence on you... I don’t want you spending time with people like him. His brother does drugs, you know?” he finished.
“Um, sure. When would you do it?” she asked, thinking of planning a sleepover with someone on that day. The tension would be too much. Plus, she hadn’t told Leo that she hadn’t told her parents, so he’d probably be trying to hold her hand and hug her throughout the whole dinner. That would be trouble. She had to get a way out of it. He might get upset, but that was the price she had to pay for not being caught.
“Probably sometime next week. At work we have a conference, and I was thinking that he could pick up his family afterwards and we could have dinner. Don’t you and Leo have a project that you’re working on? You two could do that at our house for a change instead of doing it at his all the time...” he continued. She had used the school project excuse for when they went on dates to his house, since her mom was at home often, and she didn’t want her walking in on them. Not that they ever did much, but in the case that they did. That would be awkward. Lizzy giggled, imagining how that would go. But then she stopped, because her parents would probably find it suspicious if she were randomly laughing at the dinner table.
“Cool.” she shrugged as she finished up the scraps of food on the plate. She took a piece of duck skin and put it in Foam, her mom’s cat’s, food bowl. He ran, the little bell on his collar jingling merrily. “I’m gonna go do some homework, okay?” she asked.
“Okay Lizzy. Can you try to talk to John on your way there? I worry about him, he’s been so solitary lately...” her mom worried, going to wash the dishes.
“Sure.” she lied, and ran up the stairs. Lizzy wasn’t in the mood to talk to him now. Who knows what has gotten into him??? She flopped down on her bed, and began feverishly writing in her journal.
Dear journal,
I just don’t know what to do anymore. Hailee’s practically dieing,and on top of that my parents are inviting over Leo for dinner (which will embarrass me to death). Though thankfully he isn’t in that gang. It sounds really creepy. I feel so sorry for Hailee, I can’t believe that Luke did that to her. I wonder what it must be like. Oh well.



She shut the journal closed, and hid it back in its place underneath the pillow. Lizzy laid back on the giant cluster of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals, sighing happily. She had many memories from being in this exact same place; when she was five and she got many of the stuffed animals that were in this collection; when she was ten and her parents surprised her with a huge cake... so many good memories. She hugged the stuffed caribou that was her great great great many great grandmothers. It was half patches, half actual fur, but she loved it nonetheless.
Lizzy opened up a book, and started reading intently. It was her relatives journal, and ever since she was about six, she was fascinated by the life that she lived before the end. Her journals were books now, everyone read them. Her name was Luisa, and she was her age when she had written the journals. They had huge cities, strange animals that she had never heard of; and blue sky. That was the thing that amazed her the most. No, actually, it wasn’t even that. It was the sun. It was like a giant lamp, heating and brightening the drab world. Why couldn’t they have such a luxury? Of course, their world, back then, was practically dieing. The people kept destroying the earth, and the suns warm and comforting heat was trapped in the ‘atmosphere’ (whatever that was; she didn’t know), creating a live inferno.
She closed the book when she got to the next entry, and lay down tired in her bed. It was only eight, and the pills she took made her fall asleep at exactly nine. Sure, she could try to fall asleep before that, but it was no use. She’d experimented before. She sat around, thinking. She worked a bit on the orders for her business; it seemed like everyone in the entire grade needed something ASAP. A gently draft was coming from the window, and she went over to close it. From the street across was a strangely glowing light, and she trembled. They looked just like the description that Delilah gave of the gang...
Lizzy freaked out and dove under her covers, shivering uncontrollably. She had seen what they’d done to Hailee, and she didn’t want that to happen to her too. Question was, why were they like that? What empowered them to do such a thing to innocent people? She fell asleep soon, images of the questions that she had racing through her mind.

* * *
Luke ran, his lungs out of breath. He was panting heavily, but he had to keep running. Whenever he was in a race, he imagined himself running towards something that he wanted more than anything. That, or that he was running away from something that he was terrified of. Since he had everything that he wanted, and he was content, in his mind, he was running away from his greatest fear: death. Every since he’d been little, he’d been terrified of it. A lot of the people that he had known were killed, or else they simply died. What scared him the most was that; he could never fight it. No matter how strong you are, it’ll always catch up with you. And then what?
The finish was nearing, and the darkness was closing in behind him. The only sound he heard was the pounding of his heart and the beating of his footsteps against the pavement. Only a little more... he ran by, panting. The reality came back; the rest of the runners catching up, the cheers and congratulations; to him there was nothing better than winning a race. He thanked everyone that gathered around, and looked away from the glares that the other runners had given him. Many people have tried to beat him in a race, but he was always the fastest. People said that he had just been running for a long time, but then again, everyone in the gang had some kind of advanced power. Some were strong beyond belief. Others were extremely intelligent. He, however, was one of the ones blessed with speed. And several other things, but speed was the height of his power.
After all the congratulations, he walked back in the direction of his house. That dinner a few nights ago was still plastered into his mind. Man that was fun. She was so helpless; she was like those small fish that swam in the pond. Did he feel guilty? Not even the slightest. He was the leader of the entire gang. People didn’t see why they killed them, but it made perfect sense. If there were less people, and they eliminated the weak, then the world would be a much better place. There would be an elite group of people, and they would get what would be normally the weaker, now dead people’s. And naturally, they’d be the elites. The city currently didn’t have a leader, as far as Luke’s memory went. Every one lived in harmony, and all that stupidity annoyed him. People were meant to be ruled. Some were born leaders, some were born to obey the leaders. And he, hopefully, would be one to lead everyone. Right now, Luke’s leader wasn’t too happy with the fact that he had almost killed the next part of the plan.
“Luke! I want a rematch!” a whiny voice shouted from behind him. Luke turned around with a sigh and stared at the pimply face of Joey. A pair of inch thick glasses lay crookedly on his nose, and his hair was slick with grease.That kid just couldn’t get it into his mind that he could never beat Luke, could he?
“Look dude, get out of here if you know what’s best for you.” Luke sighed exasparatedly, turning back in the direction of his house. Sometimes fights could be fun, but only if there’s the slightest chance that you could loose. That way, it’s a competition against yourself. But Joey was perhaps the most helpless person of them all, so he took all the fun out of beating someone up. Heck, he’d come back up smiling after you did.
“I’m not finished talking to you!” he screeched in that overly high voice of his, punching Luke in the arm. Mistake. Luke whirled around, pinning him to the brick wall.
“Look Joe, I’m gonna be straight here. You pick a fight if you want, but never, ever punch me. You hear!?” he yelled in his face, pushing him to the ground. A ridiculous grin was plastered to Joey’s face, as he nodded and ran off. Luke shook his head in disgust. People. Ugh.
He walked off into the night,muttering to himself that this is exactly why people should be exterminated from the earth. Or at least, the weak and helpless ones. The ones born for surviving should be the only ones left. It all made perfect sense that way. Everyone would live in harmony. Luke entered his house, remembering that night a few days ago. Oh well. He adjusted the roses on the table, still smelling fragrant.
He went into his room, and fell back on the bed, exhausted. It had been a very tiring night, and he always felt exhausted after running. It was a time when he used up a lot of his powers, and after that things were a lot harder to complete. Luke groaned, and rolled over to the other side, getting up and walking dizzily into the kitchen. He looked at his pet, Fish the fish. He had never really been a fan of animals, so he decided to get the least troublesome and least needing attention. He had enough things to worry about other than taking care of a pet. And of course, there was always the chance that he would get overly mad at it, and Luke hated animal abuse. Who would beat something weaker than themselves to death? It was inhumane.
Apparently his mom’s first husband was an abuser, and also some freaky scientist that experimented on people. Was it the same one that did it to him? He didn’t know. But now his mom was happy, living in a huge house with a famous male model. He’d grown up amongst riches, in a castle, but his life was a complete mess. His mom and dad were always paying more attention to each other than him, and whenever something happened, he had no one to tell. But he was done with needing comfort. He was happy living the life that he had, not worrying about anything. It was freedom. And soon, all that he wanted would be in his possession.

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on Aug. 8 2011 at 5:53 pm
SilentlyRising GOLD, Decatur, Georgia
13 articles 0 photos 100 comments

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