Who I Would Become
“So we do this for money?” I asked. I had ruined pretty much everything I could have received, now I didn’t want to end up as a corrupt, bribed and dishonest hyperventilating dolphin.
“You do this for what you owe to the world. You do this to save the salvaged remains of a constantly crumpling world. You do this for accomplishing and proving, Your Highness. Not for the money.”
Something about her tone made me stop and bite my tongue and prevent me from commenting back. Proving what? That I could be more than just a corrupt, bribed and dishonest hyperventilating dolphin? That I could be more than just a corrupt, bribed and dishonest hyperventilating dolphin. I settled upon this and looked up (I was holding my head down in shame) to see Carla smiling.
After all, there is more to me than the image the world painted and the painting that I chose for them to see. If someone is handing the brushes to me again, I will paint what I really am. A brave girl, who did not scream even when life gave her every reason to.
I will accomplish and prove.
Carla smiled. And then her appreciation meant nothing to me in the next five seconds. Why? Because she said this-
“Oh, and you also do this because if you do not uncover the crown until the 1st of June, you will all die.”
“DIE?” All of us screamed together. “Die. For reasons you wont get, and I won’t bother explaining to you.”
“Fine. You all will die because the crown acted like a life source for Eve. Now, with its absence as profound as its presence, Eve is dying. And if Eve dies, our full society, The Elementrals, our people, our little land, will perish into nothing. The last date is presumed to be 1st June.”
“So when do we begin?” Ella asked, impatiently as she texted someone on her phone.Carla looked at her, and in a fraction of a second, the phone switched off.
“WHAT DID YOU DO? DON’T YOU REALIZE CORTANA JUST BROKE UP? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED OLD LADY! SWITCH IT ON AGAIN! NOW!"
Carla answered all her questions one by one. “I just simply watched as your phone battery drained out. I do realize Cortana broke up, but then she deserved it. And, Miss Ella Edward Sparks, (the tone got real, fellas) I think the world perishing and the possibility of you dying is probably more important than Cortana and her Knight in Rusted Armor.”
Even though the comment was pretty lame, the shade was real.
Then it hit like a thousand fires in kerosene.
“Do we die if they take our powers?” I asked with the tone of a child who just realized that Santa ain’t real.
“Consider the possibility of you losing your beloved stamp collection as a philatelist. Even if you don’t love your powers to that extent, the hurt would be evident, right there on the surface, waiting to sink in. When you realize time doesn’t stop for you, that water doesn’t move for you, that invisibility isn’t possible, that nature doesn’t obey you and that metals don’t shape themselves anymore, when it does sink in, wouldn’t death be peace?
“Like losing what makes you special. The thing that makes you different from the rest. That makes you worthy of praise, of demand, of rewards. Your power, is now your liability and asset combined together in a deadly rope, ready to fray and break. You do not let go.”
I stared at her, wondering whether the reason why she could mould the pain into words was because she had felt it too.
“I should know. I let go of it. Didn’t hold on too tight, lost it.” Carla announced to the ever-silent, always shocked and slightly ashamed gathering.
Carla stared at me, and in that single glance, she somehow penetrated deep beneath the layers of hard, solid, carelessness I had put there, and reached deep beneath to the old, but still painful wounds.
I had one thought swirling around my head, and I did not wish to conceal it from Carla. ‘My second chance at my frayed rope.’
The orphanage was in the headlines for three weeks. The number of parents adopting lessened, and the guilt, mixed with the grief, deepened. They blamed me for the negative publicity, I blamed myself for the same. It scarred me, and resulted in me not being the leader I originally wanted to be, ever in my life. I stopped participating in anything unless it was absolutely essential, and though the grades were straight-A, the CCA portion was always filled with remarks like, ”Can do it, does not believe in herself,” “Can accomplish but doesn’t try,” and some of the ruder reports included, “Antisocial, shelled, and sadly, bright at the same time. Waste of intelligence.” I could not take it anymore, my ability to disappoint so nicely, that I tried and ultimately landed in my group of weird, but still amazing and ever-ready to help, friends.
I smiled at the happiness, then remembered it was all about to be taken away from me.
The silence was suffocating, and then finally Alex said, “So how, when, and where do we go?” Carla replied, “You leave from the port tomorrow morning at 7 sharp. You travel on dolphins who will escort you till the coast of India, where you will recover Candace’s emerald from Sashwat Colony in Delhi. You will receive your first hint from ex-elementral Tara who lives in Building 7, Floor 7 and House 7.”
I stared at her, mouth open, brain dead from the overload of information, when she said something that I could perceive and remember till the end of eternity, I swear.
“Failure to result at the said location, at the said time, with the required materials and chickening out- as we call it- at the last moment, will result in extermination of powers, and- well, you’re better off without that. Can’t pressurize.”
Yeah. Well. My blood pressure was so high that I felt dizzy. ”Can’t pressurize,” my foot.
Then she turned and with a small grimace on her face she said, “I promise you though, it can’t be worse than what you may endure on your journey. Just kidding.”