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Chapter 22

I had dinner, same amount as I always do, and went up to my room to read before bed. And the same thing happened for a few months. I would go to classes, eat a lot of food, workout, smoke, unfortunately, and wake up an hour or so after I fell asleep. I also made the soccer team. Fortunately.

I progressed in Weapon’s training, now one of the best at wielding a sword, and now we were moving on to dual swords. In Power Control I slowly progressed, too. Me and Storm got closer, as well. It was almost like we understood each other better. Especially after I had a panic attack in the middle of Power control.

I was practicing my shielding with Storm. He would through ice shards at me, and I would have to conjure up a solid shield of fire. My fire was slowly changing from a dark red to an orange, which meant it was slowly getting hotter. And my control was getting better.

But then I continually failed at shielding, making myself frustrated and angry. Which wasn’t a good mix for me because it could mean that I lose control. And when Storm did it again I asked, in a frustrated voice, “Can I take a break? I need some water.”

“No,” was his immediate response, “We’re not leaving this field until you get this at least once.”

“I said I need a break,” I gritted through my clenched teeth.

I went to walk away but Storm threw another ice shard at me. I turned around, and, without thinking, shot out my arm, a wall of fire flung towards him. Somehow he was able to make it ricochet back to me, and the overwhelming heat hit me. Making me relive memories I never wanted to return to.

I started hyperventilating remembering the heat, the pain, the months it took to recover. The emotional struggle I had with myself.

I started backing up, too. I needed something solid to ground myself. I eventually hit a wall, where I sunk to the ground, but then Storm started walking towards me. Then I realized my mistake. And Storm’s.

I felt trapped, against that wall with Storm coming towards me. I was still surrounded by heat. I was still hyperventilating. And I was starting to feel light headed, which wasn’t very good.

I was having a panic attack. God dammit, I thought I had gotten past this, I thought, Just calm down Blaze. Deep breaths.

Then the flashbacks started.

Sophia’s funeral. Chloe’s malicious words. The quiet girl who stood by. The quiet girl who got burned. The quiet girl who snapped.

Cold, soothing hands broke me out of the haze I was in. Storm. Storm was here. Watching me break down.

Deep breaths, Blaze.

“Blaze,” I heard Storm’s soft voice, “Take some deep breaths. I’m right here. It’s okay. You’re okay.”

I opened my eyes to see ocean blue ones. His hands were on my shoulders, and he pulled me into his chest, where I inhaled his scent. Soap, and ocean air.

This is real Blaze. Storm is real. And you’re not back where you were two years ago. You’re not the quiet girl anymore.

Finally, the heat went away, and my breathing went back to normal. The flashbacks stopped. And Storm was hugging me.

I pushed him away, having come back to my senses, and stood up quickly. I walked out, embarrassed about what had happened. I was letting them in. I couldn’t let them in. Everyone I let inside of these walls ended up dead. I wouldn’t let them in.

Or at least that’s what I told myself.

It had happened a month ago, and he hadn’t brought it up. Turns out the Academy had element proof walls, so any element thrown at it would just rebound back. And Storm had used a water shield to make the power passed through him. Which then made it ricochet back to me.

After the panic attack I never wanted that to happen again, so I started practicing when I couldn’t sleep. I would go to the field, throw fire at the wall, and shield myself. The fire didn’t have any shape at first, until about two weeks ago, when it started taking the shape of a throwing knife. Then I started experimenting with what weapons I could create, and throw at myself. I could now make my fire take form of any weapon I could think of. And make a solid shield that could cover my whole body.

I also hung out with Kalama and her friends a lot. It seemed like I had made a good first impression. For once.

We had sparred together, and watched movies, and just hung out. It was really nice to be able to have friends where we didn’t have to do anything with each other. We could just enjoy each others company. We mostly hung out on weekends.

I also got to get to know Iris and Camden better.

Iris was a girly girl with a tomboy streak. She loved pink, like the colour of her eyes, she absolutely loved food, and her weapon of choice is the bow and arrow. She was also a very organized person, and the Student Body President. Her dad and her were also very close, as her mother had died when she was very young from giving birth to her younger brother, who had also, unfortunately, died at birth.

Camden was a jokester, who had actually gone through a harder life than most would expect. His dad wasn’t always the most forgiving, and his mom did nothing to stand up for herself. So he didn’t have the greatest relationship with his parents, but he did have an older brother who he was very close with. Camden also loved to run, he was a great long distance runner, and his weapon of choice was a sword.

I didn’t really learn much about Storm because we were both very closed off people, and, I guess, he wanted information in exchange for information. So I had to tell him something for him to tell me something. At least something too personal.

Right now I was in math class with Mrs. Atwater, Storm’s mother, and Iris. It was a normal day, and I had started it with the shielding. I was pretty exhausted from that, and from not getting proper sleep. I now had nightmares every night. Which really sucks because they had stopped after I became the tough girl that everyone was afraid of.

Anyway, right now Mrs. Atwater was droning on about something that I already knew, so I wasn’t paying very much attention to her.

Then all of a sudden an alarm went off. The alarm that goes off when we’re being attacked by Darklings. Most jolted out of their seats, and headed for a safety room. I had learned that there were safety precautions for students, excluding us, when there was an attack on the Academy.

Iris and I bolted out of our seats, along with Storm’s mother, and started running for the armoury, which was a building close to the office filled with weapons. Unfortunately I still didn’t have any weapons of my own, but Iris told me that if I mastered a certain weapon, and chose that one as my chosen weapon, then I would receive one from the school. Or from my family. But that wasn’t an option for me.

When I got to the armoury I chose a belt of throwing knives, and a pair of daggers, with their blades about twelve inches long, and hilts with beautiful red gems in them. They weren’t rubies, but some other red stone.

I strapped the belt to my hips, and the daggers, in their sheathes, there too. Then I ran out, Iris with her bow, and Mrs. Atwater with dual swords following behind me. We found our way out of the school, and into the chaos. Where I thrived.

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