Chasing Identities

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Chapter 5

I close the door to my room. My back rests flush against the wood, with my palms pressing firmly against it. I swallow the little saliva in my mouth, wetting the desert left behind by my shouts. The shouts I cannot recall. Thinking back, I can still hear my voice, Subbi’s voice and possibly Tendo’s too. But our words are drowned out by the visual snippets that fill my mind.

I clamp my eyes shut.

I can still see the blood leave black’s rosy cheeks as my fingers gain a firm grip on his hair. My hand drawn back to unleash the first of many punches. He managed to get in a swipe to my side, but I continued my pursuit without stopping. Adrenaline fuelling every action.

My mind brings forward the list ways I could make this experience more painful. Every kick, every punch, every object I could use to ensure a lesson learned was on that list. I saw myself swing the dining hall chair against his dainty back as he lay conscious on the floor. His teeth covered in blood from the cuts he had sustained after the punches. I stepped back to give him the opportunity to right himself. Black hood swinging freely behind him, strangulation was not off the table, but I needed him alive to testify to his cronies. I saw myself thrusting his body into a nearby table using his own momentum against him. Hopefully landing on his back because I wanted him to see me coming. Ready to draw blood for the blood he insulted.

I was thirsty for revenge and so was Subbi. We may be different but the blood that flows through our veins is the same. A Daka never backs down from a challenge.

I turn around in a whirlwind of power, slamming my palm against the door that closed me off from the rest of the world. The smack reverberates off the walls and the shatters clatter in affirmation. My feet back me up further into the room, each step stripping away a layer of anger. Soon my courage falls away with my confidence in tow. My knees meet my desk chair, and all that remains is fear. Fear that has me crumbling and anxiety seeps in through the floor. I screw my eyes shut hoping to reorient myself, yet the clock’s image burns bright behind my eyelids.

I have seven hours until they arrive.

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Chairs squealed as their occupants’ rush to their feet. Avoiding the body readying itself like a battle ram.

“Try me bush rat!” black taunted.

His friends have stepped back leaving him alone in the circle of death. I waited patiently for his patience to run out. If he believed so much in his pack’s ability and power, he would do well to remind everyone about it. His need for authority would deliver himself to me. He finally charged arms ready to encircle my body, but I veered out of his way. I was momentarily off kilter as a stray limb met my waist. A bruise is sure to form but I do not show my discomfort. That would only fill his overgrown ego. I seized the opportunity as his back was turned to me. My legs burned as I gathered the energy to attack, my torso taught as I raised my leg aimed for the back of his head. With the target locked I drill all force into lowering my leg. But the impact never arrives.

“Let me go!” I screamed. My fingers tore at the arm of my capture, but the grip held firm.

“Sefya!” Subbi shouted as I was drawn away from Black. I caught sight of her as she swiped at grey’s leg causing him to stumble back.

Fight!

I relax my body in my captor’s arms causing them to loosen, and once more I charged at black determined to unleash unthinkable pain. Black’s eyes widen with surprise, before I land a successful kick to his side. His back arching forward before violently straightening with the force of my shove.

“Bush rat will annihilate you,” I whisper.

Fear clouds his eyes.

I thrust my fingers into his hair, my grip firm and unyielding. My eyes are firmly on the prize. I draw my fists back a couple of times, the rosy hue returning to his face as is the crimson filling his mouth. My arm stalled on the sixth hit, followed by sharp yank. I release black’s hair from my clutches and his body slumps against the chair next to him. Some people rush to his aid. Tossing an arm over either shoulder as his head lolled to the side.

My sense of hearing gradually returned the further away I was dragged from black. My ears picked up the loud chatter, thoughts no longer caged behind their rusty lips. I certainly have attention now.

“let go of me!” Subbi’s shouts were as loud as a whistle. Her body flailing as she is pulled away from grey. He succumbed little damage compared to his friend.

“stop fighting Subbi,” I whispered knowing she will hear my voice of reason. She ceases her fight against her captors, our eyes locked in understanding. Her eyes turn back to grey.

“Next time, you’ll be even more colorful!” Subbi exclaimed before the doors shut after her with Tendo in tow.

My gaze is not drawn away from the dining hall once I am deposited outside. Instead my eyes continued to search through the glass doors for threats. A body tried to block my view, yet every attempt is evaded with ease as my feet led me back to the room.

“Zoya!”

My sidestep is interrupted by hands resting on my shoulders. My initial reflex is to drive my arms upwards to break the hold which I proceeded to do but the hands reposition themselves against either side of my face. My line of sight was drawn upward as my nails dug into either hand. My eyes perused the stubbled jawline, and the wavy black hair of my obstruction who I realized is a guy.

I need to use more force.

The brown eyes that stared at mine when they finally met seemed familiar. I accounted for his heavy breaths before enunciating my name once more.

“Zoya! Enough is enough!”

I shook my head as though I were doused in ice water. I inhaled and exhaled deeply through my mouth.

“Lucas. Let go of me,” I mutter as I attempt to reach Subbi via through our link.

“Breathe. Just keep breathing until you can hear me better,” Lucas said with his hand lock around my wrist. A precaution just in case I ran.

I shook my head a few more times to calm myself down. My mind begun to clear as I felt Subbi prodding at me. I grasp the calmness she radiated through the link, hoping to kill off the little adrenaline left in my body. I opened my eyes as Subbi and Tendo rounded the corner. Tendo’s eyebrows danced a little once she saw Lucas’ hold. I broke the contact with ease and took a seat on a nearby set of benches. Subbi takes a spot opposite me and leaned her elbows on her thighs.

“Sefya…. Dad…” she mumbles.

“I know—”

“Your mum!” Tendo adds.

“We know,” Subbi and I respond.

A shout causes us to turn in the direction of Lucas’s friend from down the hall.

“What’s up?” Lucas asked him with a little irritation behind his tone.

“Uh… I was told to tell the two girls to head to the main Office.”

“Who are the two?” I asked, annoyed by his alternative reference to Subbi and I.

“You and your sister. Rykov wants you there right now! And heads up! He has already been to the infirmary and saw the dude you guys beat up.”

I turned to Subbi sent her a pointed look as the guy made his way back.

“My guess is they already know.”

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