Everything around me was engulfed in silence.
The lake was still, barely visible due to the unusually dark night. The moon was nowhere to be found and the stars were hidden behind a cluster of dark clouds. There was something eerie about the silence of the night and I couldn’t help the shiver that ran down my spine.
A twig snapping behind me broke me out of my disturbing thoughts and I whirled around to see Kyle coming out of the bushes that encircled the lake. He was donned in his usual black attire, making it even harder to see him because of the lack of lighting. I swallowed the sudden sense of foreboding that came over me and waited until my boyfriend was right in front of me to speak but he beat me to it.
“I was surprised to see your text. I thought you were avoiding me.” Now that he was mere inches away from me, I could see his smirk and the glint in his eyes.
“I needed to talk to you.” My words were clipped and my tone was cold, but his smirk only widened in response.
“So I have gathered.” He took a step closer to me. “So talk.”
“What happened between you and Aline?”
Upon hearing my question the smirk on Kyle’s lips vanished and a dark look took over his features. His fists clenched by his sides and he ground his teeth so hard I thought he was going to break them.
“What have those whores told you? They’re liars Lilith.” Kyle let out between gritted teeth.
The fear that occupied my body up until this point disappeared into thin air and was now replaced by anger. Fire replaced the blood in my veins and I could tell that Kyle noticed my change in demeanor by the brief look of shock that flitted through his eyes.
“If I were you, I’d be very careful how you address my friends in my presence.” My voice was low and threatening. “I came here to hear your side of the story; I suggest you tell it without insulting the people I care about.”
He took a deep breath and ran a hand through his raven locks, taking a step back from me in the process. I smirked internally, proud that I stood my grounds.
“Aline and I were in love.” Kyle sighed.
Kyle must have noticed the bewildered look on my face as he nodded his head and continued, getting lost in his memories.
“We met freshman year here in Lixierra and it was love at first sight. We were perfect together, we had so much in common and we enjoyed each other’s company. But Chase had to get in the way.” His voice was a whisper by the end, laced with hatred for Chase.
“You mean her boyfriend?” I deadpanned raising a questioning eyebrow.
“He wasn’t her boyfriend.” Kyle roared, shattering the silence of the night around us. “He was a stalker who couldn’t take a hint. She was mine but he could never get that through that thick skull of his.”
“They were dating Kyle. They were in a relationship and from what I have heard you were the one with the stalker tendencies not Chase.”
His eyes darkened even further and the glare he gave me would have made me run for the hills if I weren’t filled with anger and betrayal.
“You have no idea what you are talking about Lilith. You weren’t here. You know nothing.” He seethed, spit flying from his clenched teeth and missing my face by mere centimeters.
“I’m here now.” I matched his glare with one of my own. “Let me ask you something else Kyle,” I spat his name like it burned my tongue, “Why did you ask me out?”
“What?” He looked taken aback by the sudden change in my line of questioning.
“You heard me.”
“Because I liked you, Lilith.” He threw his hands in the air, his tone sounding exasperated.
“You didn’t know me back then. I was the new girl, nobody knew me.”
“That’s how dating works babe, you ask someone out so you can get to know them.” His smirk was back, appearing proud of his answer. Smartass.
“So it had nothing to do with the fact that I looked exactly like your dead lover? Or should I say obsession?”
I gave myself a mental high five as I watched that infuriating smirk drop from his face once again. I can’t believe I actually used to like when he smirked at me like that.
“I was not obsessed with Aline.” Kyle yelled again, his face turning into a weird shade of red. Suddenly he threw his hands out and grabbed my shoulders, his grip tightening as he started shaking me with urgency.
“I wasn’t obsessed with her. I loved her, and she loved me but Chase had to come in and ruin everything like he’s doing right now with us. He’s the one that got into your head isn’t he? He’s the one who’s been talking to you, filling your head with lies about me. I knew I shouldn’t have let him anywhere near you. I shouldn’t have let you get close to any of them. They spread nothing but lies and you fell for it like a stupid bitch! I’m not a stalker Lilith, I didn’t stalk Aline, but her friends never liked me and they sided with Chase instead of me. I’m the one she should have been with, not him. She should have been MY girlfriend. I love her. I’m her soul mate. Chase doesn’t love her, he never did, he just wanted what’s mine and he’s doing it all over again.”
I winced at the pain his grip inflicted on my shoulders. That was surely going to bruise later. I tore my gaze away from Kyle’s, the hysterical look on his face and his loud voice shot a surge of fear into my bones. I heard everything he said but something inside of me, something akin to a gut feeling told me he was lying. But at this point, I didn’t know if he was lying to me or to himself.
As his grip tightened even more and his words turned into incoherent rambling, the fear once again turned to blinding anger. Not only did he lie to me, but he was also inflicting physical pain on me and I had enough. I unclenched my fists and closed my eyes, letting the fire inside of me consume me completely. Once I was sure my magic was at the tips of my fingers, I opened my eyes and got ready to unleash hell.
Fire erupted from the palms of my hands and spread around my entire body, creating the same shield I summoned at my fake battle with Chase, only this time it was bigger and brighter and ready to attack.
“Let. Go. Of. Me.” I enunciated every word, my hushed whisper turning into a loud roar by the end of my sentence , and in a an explosion of light and fire, Kyle was shoved away from me and thrust a few a feet in the air before landing on his back.
“I have had it with you.” I seethed as I took a step towards him. “You lie to my face. You insult my friends every chance you get. You ask me out solely because I look like a girl you used to pine after. You seem to be hung up on a girl you never had. How do you think that makes me feel babe?” By the time I finished talking I was standing right in front of him as he rose to his feet slowly, pain etched on his face.
“Lilith!” The sound of my roommates calling my name interrupted whatever Kyle was about to say, and I turned to my right to see Kira and Rose rushing towards me, their eyes wide and their breathing labored.
“Are you okay? We saw an explosion.” Kira asked.
“What happened here?” Rose looked around, her eyes roaming between my disheveled appearance and the look of pain on Kyle’s face.
“Nothing, let’s go home.” I let the anger that consumed me fizzle out and I started walking towards my friends. But before I could leave, a hand grabbed my wrists and I turned around to see Kyle holding onto me with a frenzied look on his face.
“You can’t leave me. Not again. You can’t.”
Was he even talking to me?
“You need help Kyle.” I said as I pulled my wrist away from his iron hold, my voice turning sympathetic. “And I really hope you get it. But you and I are done.”
And with that I turned around once again and left my now ex boyfriend behind.
As we got to the house, Rose unlocked the door and stepped in, leaving enough space for Kira and I to come in. She closed the door behind us and they both led me to the living room where they sat me down between them on the white sofa.
“Are you okay?” Kira asked again, her voice soothing and her hand rubbing comforting circles on my back.
“No, but I will be.” I forced a tired smile on my face, a lame attempt to assure them of my wellbeing. “How did you two find me anyway? I thought you were out.”
“We were.” Rose started. “But we came home at around the same time. Kira had bought some pizza with her so we went into your room to get you down to eat with us.”
“When we didn’t find you, we thought you went out and forgot to let us know. We were about to go back downstairs when that bright light nearly blinded us. We rushed out and there you were.” Kira finished.
“What was that explosion anyway?” Rose asked.
“That was me.” I leaned back on the sofa and rubbed my tired eyes.
“What?” Kira started. “What do you mean that was you?” Rose continued. It was almost funny how they always did that.
“I mean things got out of control, or more like Kyle lost control and I had to defend myself.”
“He attacked you?” Kira seethed, her eyes alit with hatred for my ex.
“Not exactly, he grabbed me and started yelling at me. I got pissed and blew him away, in the literal sense of the word.”
“Wow.” Rose whistled. “I didn’t know you could do that.”
“Me neither.” I shrugged.
“It was very cool.” Kira grinned proudly.
“It’s also very draining.” I stifled a yawn and stood up. “I’m burnt. I’ll see you girls in the morning. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” They both said.
Once in bed, the events of the night plagued my mind. I couldn’t help but feel hurt and disappointed in my first relationship. I remembered how it all started and how giddy and excited I felt around Kyle, and I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad that I found out the truth. But within the rollercoaster that was my emotions I couldn’t deny that I felt a sense of relief. Some part of me, a part I couldn’t identify, was glad that this shit show of a relationship had ended. Yet somehow, I ended up crying myself to sleep anyway.
I suppose I was more hurt than I thought.
The next two weeks I buried myself in work. Exams were only a few days away and the battles were getting more frequent and more aggressive. Everyone was eager to prove themselves to the faculty since we were being watched and graded all the time. I found that without the distraction of all the dating drama, I was able to perform better and I won my first battle against a cocky green haired boy from Avanindra. Rose had said he was a part of the royal family which made my victory all the sweeter.
News of Kyle and I’s breakup broke around the school and all sorts of rumors started going around but I tuned them all out in my pursuit of academic success. My days were spent studying and battling eager seniors and my nights were reserved for my practice sessions. Chase never brought up the breakup and I was grateful for that.
Finally, it was the week of our first exams of the year.
I woke up Monday morning a bundle of nerves. I was confident that I had studied well, my late night study sessions with Kira and Rose were enough proof of that, but I couldn’t help feeling anxious. I was home schooled for two years after all and before that, well I didn’t remember anything. So I had no idea what academy exams consisted of.
The crackling of the intercom system brought me out of my thoughts and the booming voice of Mr. X shook the entire house. God, can this man be any louder?
“Good morning students. Today is your first day of exam week. I hope you’re all very well prepared. The council and I thought we’d give you some good news before you start your day. By decree of the royal families, the students of Lixierra academy have been given a three day break after the exams to return home. You may all visit your families and relax before the seniors come back to continue their battle training. Use your time wisely. Good luck and good day.”
The silence that followed didn’t last long. Happy shrieks were heard from downstairs and soon after two sets of footsteps were stumping up the stairs. My door was pushed open and an excited looking Rose jumped on my bed followed by Kira.
“Did you hear that?” Rose shrieked again. “We can go home!”
“I don’t know what you’re so excited about, it’s only three days and it’s not like we’ll be going home to parties and celebrations. You know the royals, they’re most likely going to be so busy with war preparation they’ll hardly notice we’re there.” Kira shrugged and plopped down on the other side of my bed.
“You know what party pooper? I’m not going to let you ruin my mood.” Rose stuck her tongue out childishly. “Besides, I missed Goober.”
“Who’s Goober?” I asked.
“My golden retriever silly.”
“How did I not know you have a dog?” I gave her a shocked look.
“It must have slipped my mind.” She shrugged nonchalantly.
“Alright, get out both of you, I need to get ready.” I pushed them both off my bed and ripped the warm blanket off of me.
“Hurry up, breakfast is ready.” Kira said as they headed for the door.
My first two exams were back to back. I guess the academy was not taking it easy on us. The history of Mystics was a breeze for me, seeing how I was obsessed with knowing everything there was to know about the people I call my own. Then came Charms and potions and surprisingly, I did well in that one too. My first day of exams was proving to be a success and I was feeling very proud of myself.
I was exciting the main building when I heard Chase calling my name. I slowed my pace to let him catch up to me and smiled when he did.
“Hey.” He smiled. “How was the test?”
“It was fine. Both of them were actually.”
“Really? That’s great. I kind of had some trouble with the last glamour charm but I got it in the end.” He switched his book bag from his left shoulder to his right and continued. “So did you hear Mr. X’s announcement this morning?”
“I did.” I nodded. “Rose was very excited.” A low chuckle escaped my lips as I remembered her rambling about her siblings and dog at breakfast.
“I bet.” Chase rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “So what are you doing with your time off?”
“I’m probably going to visit my parents.” I missed them so much. We talked over the phone almost every day but it was nothing like having them around. “I haven’t decided yet though. Why do you ask?”
“I was wondering if you wanted to come to Agni with me.” His cheeks were tinted a light shade of pink and he was looking at the floor instead of me. “I thought since you’ve never been that I could show you around.”
“I would love to.” I blurted out. What the hell Lilith? There are so many reasons why you can’t go to Agni.
“You would?” the look on Chase’s face was too pure to let him down. Damn it, I guess I was going to Agni.
“Yeah, just let me talk to my parents first okay?” I smiled brightly at him, the blush still coating his cheeks making him look too adorable.
“Okay yeah of course!” He nodded enthusiastically.
We walked in comfortable silence for a few minutes before an irking thought crossed my mind.
“Wouldn’t Catherine mind?”
A long sigh left his lips before he turned to me and shook his head no.
“She’s going on a long shopping trip to Paris with her friends. She won’t be coming home.”
I couldn’t help but notice the sadness in his voice despite the smile he gave me. Chase really did care about his girlfriend despite what she did to him.
“Then I guess I’m going to have to keep you company.” I bumped shoulders with him playfully and his melodic laugh warmed my heart before we got swallowed by the hustle of the cafeteria.