Out of the Darkness

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Chapter 7

The following day consisted of Jenkins’s usual jokes, Jimmy’s scientific babbling, Tom’s constant preparation for a fight, Clara’s snide remarks towards Raven, James always saying the wrong thing, Alexander arguing with Jonathan and Alice trying to calm everyone down. So, as you can imagine, it was a bit of a hectic day.

I was observing everyone and everything, just as I usually do. Even though I haven’t known her long, I had noticed a slight change in Raven’s behaviour. She was stressed and tired, it was obvious; to me at least, that she hadn’t slept very well last night, but I could also see in her eyes some of the emotion that she tried to hide and it got me wondering why she bothered, what was so wrong with showing emotion? I guess I would have to know her whole story to be able to truly understand that.

I was currently sat at my computer, trying to work out Raven’s true identity. It’s something that I’ve done for many years, and have never gotten any closer to finding out who she is. I scanned through hundreds of identities with the knowledge that I would’ve found even more possibilities by the time tomorrow rolls around. Maybe I’m just wasting my time, how can you find someone who can change their every feature?

“What’s this?” Raven asked from behind me, I was concentrating so much I didn’t hear her come up behind me.

“Raven, don’t take this the wrong way but-“ I began but she interrupted me.

“You’re trying to figure out who I am.” She stated matter-of-factly.

“Yes, I am. I’ve done this for a while, but you are very difficult to track down.” I said to her.

“How close have you gotten?” She asked whilst peering at the screen.

“Not very.” I said honestly.

“Need a hand?” I was surprised at her question and didn’t know what to say. “Budge up then.” She said and I moved my chair over so she could see the screen better. “Now I don’t know how much Damon erased so I don’t know how much I can really help you. But I can tell you the disguises that I remember.” She said to me.

“Raven, you don’t need to do this.”

“I know.”

“Then why are you?” I asked and she sighed.

“I’m helping you figure out who I am and you are questioning it? Have you never heard of the saying don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?”

“I have indeed. But I have also heard of the saying that if it’s too good to be true, then it most likely is.” I said and she smiled.

“You have been observing me Adam, you think I don’t notice but I do. I thought it was just because of who I am, or rather who you think I am but then I saw you observing the others as well, and yet they have been a part of your team for years. It confuses me.” She said.

“It’s just a habit I’ve picked up over the years, people aren’t always who they appear to be.”

“Even you?” She asked.

“I will leave that for you to decide.”

“You hide emotion, and yet your eyes question when I do the same. Why?” She asked me.

“Because you hide a lot more than just emotion, you hide part of yourself and act how others expect you to because it’s easier than dealing with the mistrust when you act in any other way.” She was silent for a moment whilst she studied the photos on the computer screen. She created a new folder and labelled it ‘Raven’, I watched as she started adding photos to it. I looked at the large variety of identities and wondered how she managed to keep up all the time. “Did you ever make a mistake?” I asked and I hoped she knew what I meant.

“Many times, especially at the start, it was difficult getting used to a new town, new people, a new name, a new personality; it was all very difficult to keep up with. And when I saw someone in the street that I knew, I made the mistake of talking to them once; they didn’t recognise me and just got confused.” She told me.

“Why do you always move around so much? Why do you never settle down? Is it because of the demons?” I asked.

“Mainly yes, I couldn’t ever build up strong relationships because it would always end in them getting hurt. Or killed.”

“Did you ever tell anyone who you were?” I asked.

“Mostly yes, it would be far too dangerous to tell anyone the entire truth. Ricky wasn’t the first person I told, but each time it always ended the same.”

“With you pushing someone off a cliff?” She laughed.

“No, not exactly the same I guess.” She said. “I got better at keeping my new identity, and it has now become somewhat of a second nature to me.” Raven added.

“Raven, is there someone in particular that you are running from? We can help you, you will be safe here.” I said to her.

“Why do you trust me so much?” She asked.

“You haven’t given me a reason not to.” I said. She looked back at the computer screen.

“I don’t remember any of these.” She said.

“Thank you.”

“Adam, if you figure out my identity, make sure I’m the first one you tell.”

“Well of course, but you don’t know?” I asked her and she shook her head.

“I don’t know if its Damon’s doing or that I’ve had so many disguises that I just don’t remember anymore.”

“How much do you think Damon removed from your memory?” I asked her.

“He’ll erase as much as he has the power to do, to cause maximum trouble.” She said. “I need to figure out who he’s taken, before it’s too late.” She added.

“Just remember that you’re not alone with this, you have all of us to help you.” I told her and she nodded. I saw the sadness and frustration at her memory loss in her eyes, I decided to change the subject. We talked for hours about anything that wouldn’t lead back to the current situation. Non important things like movies and music. The night was getting on and I felt the tiredness setting in. When my eyes were shut I heard Raven move from the chair next to me. I could almost sense her looking over at me, studying me while she thought I was sleeping. I heard material moving against the surface of the chair and then felt my coat being draped over me. She needn’t have bothered, vampires don’t really get cold, but it was a nice thought.

“If only you remembered me Adam.” I heard Raven say softly. As I drifted in to a deep sleep the last thing I heard was the retreat of her footsteps.

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