The Three

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Go To Your Sister's Wedding, They Said

In Marigold’s Eyes

There’s nothing better than looking for a dress to wear for your sister’s wedding who has always better than you at everything and is the favorite daughter. With your mom. What a way to bond with your birth giver.

She and I walked through the streets and inhaled the scent of flowers and smoke. I brush my brown curls out of my face and dig my hands in my pocket jeans.

I stare at mom in the reflection of an open-window sale outside.

She has the blondest hair and the prettiest skin. Her eyes are honey- brown just like mine and we have the same full mouth and freckles across our nose. I’ve always been told I look like her.

Anyone can mistake her for a supermodel. She looks good for her age.

She keeps glancing worriedly at me as we walk.Mom is a worrier. She overthinks a lot. Ever since I fell off a swing in third grade and broke my arm, she’s been worrying about everything. She gets this tense smile with distant, frightened eyes, and I immediately know she’s playing some gigantic scenario in her head in which a piano might come out of nowhere and crush me.

“Sweetie?” She blurted out, fumbling with the rhinestone beads around her neck.

“Yeah?”

“How would you feel if...” She trails off.

Oh, no.

“...You’d stay for a couple of weeks at your sister’s?” She quickly added before I could respond. “It would be nice for you to catch up with Grey and meet her fiancé! Plus, you’ve never spent the night in Central, it’ll be fun!”

I stare at her.

Oh, no.

“Honey, please stop doing that face. It looks like you’re having a seizure.” She scrunched her nose.

“Mom!” I shot. I am not staying in this place a day longer.

“What?” She shot back. “I’m not going.”

“I have errands to run.”

“I’ll run them with you.”

“I don’t need your company.”

“You will when I go off to college and you’ll regret not hanging out with me enough.”

“I highly doubt that.”

“I bet you 100 dollars you will.”

“Deal.”

“Deal.”

Dang it. She always wins.Mom breathed a sigh of relief and noticed a shopping mall just around the corner. I followed her in. We enter the mall, and I gape in awe.

The mall was packed with people. Huge, crystal chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling. I craned my neck to have a better look at them.

We walked forward until we reached a huge fountain perched right in the middle of designer shops and coffee stands. The water danced gracefully and was changing position every second.

People were hopping in and out of shops, waiters and retail sales workers flashed the warmest smiles.

I’ve never seen a mall this... Perfect. And mom doesn’t seem to notice.

Just as I was gazing admiringly at a pizza at the nearby restaurant, I tripped and fell flat on my face. Grunting, I look down at my worn-out grey converse sneakers.

My damn shoelaces. Embarrassing.

I got up and awkwardly walked to the near left at a nearby hallway.
I stopped to tie my loose shoelace and leaned my side to the wall near me.

As soon as I did that, I felt such strong heat I yelped in pain and backed away from the wall. It felt as if my side was dipped in boiling oil.

I stared at my hands in astonishment, the burning sensation lessening by the minute. My heart skipped a beat. The wall was hot.

The wall was hot?


There’s only one reason why it is.

And as if on cue, someone shouted at the top of their lungs:

“Fire!”

Then, it’s mayhem.

People are shouting, praying, crying.

A shopper almost got crushed by a carton cut out of a mickey mouse that caught on fire. A mother threw her child on her shoulders and ran away in horror. An old lady was screaming and the tiny chihuahua that was under her arm was barking its head off.

Everyone was running towards the exit, leaving all their luxurious shopping bags behind to burn.

Mom, who was just a minute ago was patiently waiting for me to tie my shoes, grabbed my arm firmly. Her concerned frown is drawn on her forehead deeper than ever. She looks like she’s about to faint.

“Marigold. Now.” She said in a shaky voice.

“O-okay.” I stammered, still digesting what happened. I trail behind her as we ran towards the exit door, just like everybody else. She whips out her phone and dials a cab. About five minutes have passed, and a black-and-yellow car came speeding over to us.

Just as my mom got inside the car, just as I was about to get in with her, just as we were about to get out of this hot mess, I heard a hysterical scream.

Run to them.

Something in my brain ticked, and I found myself automatically going back to the burning building and sprinting towards that scream. My legs have never run so fast. Blood is pumping through my veins. The wind is making my hair flow back. I run and run and run, almost desperately. I hear my mother screaming my name in horror, but I don’t look back. I just kept running.

What is wrong with me?I’m not the kind of person who would care to save people. I felt like someone else took over my body.

My reflexes came out of nowhere and I dodged a falling H&M mannequin on fire. With a swift move, I kick it with my foot as far away as possible.
How the hell did I do that?

I continue running. I wipe the sweat off my forehead with my sleeve. It’s a hundred degrees in here. The scream is getting fainter, and adrenaline surged through my body faster.

I took a sharp turn and jumped over a wooden bench. Grinding to a halt, I found myself stopping and staring at a boy lying on the floor beside the food court.

There was a huge piece of concrete almost crushing his stomach. He laid down, blood and sweat watered his bright ginger hair, which was so bright, it almost looked blonde.

I ran my eyes over him. He’s about my age. Plaster and debris covered his body from head to toe. He had a round face and the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen, which I sneaked a glance at before he shut them in sheer pain.

The boy looked up at me wearily before muttering something I didn’t understand and fell unconscious. I jump into action.

I watched myself do things out of my conscience in utter astonishment. I wiped the sweat off his forehead with my palms and tried to carefully turn his body around so he’s lying on his stomach and can breathe better. I glanced at the piece of concrete.

Or better yet...

My brain knows it’s nearly impossible to lift it. It’s too heavy. But my instincts screamed, “lift it.”

Lift it, lift it, lift it.

I lifted it.And it felt like carrying a baby. A small, tiny baby. I could have sworn I was carrying just a stack of textbooks. I threw the concrete away.


How the hell did I carry that?

I bat away the questions and focused on ginger boy again.His body is drenched with blood. I took out a restaurant napkin I had in my pocket and tried to dab away the blood that hasn’t dried yet. But before I could realize it, he clasped my wrist and shot up, staring at me intently with his piercing green eyes. He looked at my fingers that were stained with blood and sweat, then looked up to meet my eyes.

“I swear dad, I will catch him.” He muttered in pain. His voice was warm and husky. Almost comforting.

“Touch me again and I’ll milk your spleen,” I groaned and struggled to wriggle out of his grasp, but his fingers were firmly wrapped around my wrist. “A piece of concrete fell on you and knocked you out, let go!”

“... So, you’re not Dad?” He said hopefully.

“If I was Dad then Eminem might as well be your step-mom.”

“Aww, man.” He muttered distractedly, then looked at his surroundings and seemed to remember what brought him here.

“Have you seen where Trace went?”

The Trace?” I ask, a bit taken aback.

“Yeah.”

I stared at him dumbly. The fire crackled and burned around us. I felt a twinge in my stomach. A master criminal is the reason for this fire. I was in the same building as him.
He watches me stare at the fire in horror.

“Don’t worry. Fearless will take care of this.” He assured me.

Fearless?

Mystery boy grunted while getting up and extended his arm for me to help him. He stretched his fingers expectantly. I reluctantly took his hand.

I felt a sizzle as soon as our hands intertwined. The same thing in my brain ticked when my instincts urged me to run towards the fire, and as he looked up and stared at me, I realized he felt it too.

His eyes bored into mine. We stared at each other in astonishment, the building we were in was burning away. But at that moment, we didn’t seem to care. Goosebumps covered my body. My stomach stung. It felt like an electric current was flowing between us, finally connecting as soon as we held hands. It almost felt like a... Bond.

It felt like such a strong connection, and to have that with a stranger was too intimidating.

I finally hoisted him up on his feet. Now, I’m looking at him eye to eye. Well. More like chest to eye. He’s tall.

“I’ll see you... really soon,” He managed a smile, but quickly wore off when he looked at my hand. “thank you. Genuinely.”

As he turned away and walked the other direction, I couldn’t help but yell, “Go to a clinic, you maniac!”

He didn’t seem to hear me.

But that just happened. I saved a weird kid and lifted concrete off of him as if I was Hulk in the midst of a burning building. I stare at his back as he walked away, contemplating whether this is a dream or not.

I hear someone screaming lungs off from behind me:

“MARIGOLD DON’T DIE ON ME COME OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!”That was mom.
Definitely not a dream.

I run to the exit door and leave the fire behind. This is going to be such a thrilling ride home. I got in the cab and sneaked a glance at her.

Oh, yeah. She’s furious.

I gulp.

“Mom? What about the dresses-”

She whips her head so aggressively and gave me her deadliest of death stares. I thought she’ll bite my head off.

My mouth zipped shut.
No new dress today.

As if this day is going to get worse.

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