Violet Strokes grasps her knife when she hears her bedroom door open.
Someone steps in. Emily.
But that can’t be right. Violet heard her on the phone with Christopher. She left for good…
Emily quickly shuts their bedroom door and walks shakily toward her bed.
“What happened?” Violet calls.
Her roommate jumps five feet in the air and presses herself to the wall. “I-I can’t talk about it.”
“What? Did you and Christopher-”
At the mention of her boyfriend’s name, Emily releases a sob.
Groaning, Violet sits up in her bed and reaches for the light switch. This is why she avoided friendships with girls. They were too emotional.
She turns on the light and then starts when she sees her roommate, ink running down her face as tears wash whatever words were written there.
“What the devil happened to you?!” Violet demands.
Emily raises her hands frantically. “Quiet- the devil might hear you. He might hurt you too...” She glances around as though the great adversary himself might step out of the shadows.
“Emily, what are you talking about?”
She turns her wide green eyes to Violet. “He’s been playing with my mind. And now he’s messing with Christopher and Dr. N.-”
“Who is, Emily?”
“Dr. Earnestine- my therapist- the devil himself-”
Violet nods, taking this all in. “And you say he’s playing with your mind?”
“Yes! This ink- notes he made me write on myself to trigger me or something. I’m not supposed to remember, but I can’t forget trauma-” She starts all-out bawling at this.
Shaking off her uncomfortable-ness, Violet approaches the weeping roommate. “What do you mean?”
Emily tries in vain to wipe away the tears. “He makes me forget him so that I think the thoughts he puts in my head are mine. And it usually works. But I can never forget trauma.”
She points at the ink on her arms. “I can forget what I was doing for periods of time. I can forget writing these.” She points to her chest. “I can even forget injuries I think I got accidentally. But not trauma.” She points to her black eye. “I can’t forget this.” She points outside. “And I can never forget Christopher’s screams. Ever. Or what he tried to make me to do him.”
More tears come, and Violet wraps her arms around her. “We’ll figure this out. Somehow. I’ll kick his butt. You’ll publicize this. We can stop him.”
“He has too much power. It would be a miracle to just escape him-”
“Then we’ll do that. Christopher will be fine. You’ll be fine-”
“I don’t know if he’s even still Christopher anymore. And I don’t know how to find out without revealing that I can remember. And who knows what he might do to Christopher. Maybe make him kill himself.”
Violet pulls back. “He can’t do that.”
Emily meets her gaze. “He almost made me kill Christopher.”
For the first time in a long time, Violet feels fear.
“And he wants me to pass the test. I need to pass that test. Please pass it with me.”
Violet opens her mouth to answer.
Just as something beeps.
Both of them jump. Then Emily pulls her phone out of her pocket and stares at a text from some Hunter person. It merely says “Good morning. We’ll meet you tonight..”
Then Emily looks up, a new gleam in her eyes. “There’s hope.”