In the Mind

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Chapter 9: One Chance


Elijah's forehead was poring of sweat. He was confused and scared at the same time. Everything that Noah said made Elijah think of him in a completely different light. During the nightmare he told himself it was all fake and it was his mind playing games on him. But Noah's cold words and his dull eyes were burned into his memory.

"It was my head. It was playing games on me. Noah isn't like that. And that thing.....it told me I know why it's doing these things.....I don't though. How do I know? If I knew I could've saved Noah.....but if I did know.....and I didn't save him.....then it is my fault." Elijah thought to himself.

The intense feeling of guilt burrowed into his mind and his body. He couldn't go back to sleep. Not after what he had just witnessed. He turned his head and saw the time "4:27" the clock read. Elijah fell flat on his pillow and sighed. He moved his hand across the surface of his nightstand and grabbed his phone. He turned it on and began to surf the web.


Elijah heard his alarm clock scream at him and he turned his head away from his phone and turned it off. He sighed and slowly got up. His mind was racing in thoughts about the nightmare he had. It felt so real that he couldn't help but think Noah was telling the truth. He wanted advice on whether to believe Noah or not, but no one would believe him. They'd all think he was crazy. "....Except for Natsuki" Elijah thought to himself and smiled. Someone who knew it existed and had his back. She could help him. Elijah felt excited in the first time in a long time. He finished getting ready and almost ran down the stairs. To his surprise, his mom wasn't in the kitchen. He looked around confused until he saw a note.


Elijah.

I got a call from work saying I had to come in early. I'll also be working double shifts so won't be back until around 9:00. If you're hungry there's leftovers in the fridge.


-Mom


Elijah put the note down on the dining room table and made himself some breakfast. Mid way through his cereal, he got a text from Natsuki.


xX_MagicHeart_Xx: Hey.


LoRd_cHuNGus: Sup


xX_MagicHeart_Xx: Since we're neighbors and all, wanna walk to school together?


Elijah was hesitant by the question. He felt that if he walked with her, Noah would be watching and would hate him more.


"Pull yourself together. Noah is gone. I know it's hard to swallow, but he's not going to be watching you or hating you." Elijah told himself. He took a deep breath and wrote back to Natsuki.


LoRd_cHuNGus: Yeah we can.


xX_MagicHeart_Xx: Awesome. I'll be by in a few minutes.


LoRd_cHuNGus: Ok.


Elijah put his phone down and leaned back in his chair. He finished eating his breakfast when Natsuki knocked on his door. He clumsily walked up to it and creakily opened the door. He stared up and down at Natsuki who was beaming while looking at him.


"Same hoodie? Really?" Natsuki asked skipping into the house.


"Why? Is that wrong?" Elijah asked raising an eyebrow.


"Well it's just you wore it yesterday. Shouldn't you at least wash it?" Natsuki asked walking closer to Elijah.


"What's the point? It's comfy and it's not like anyone's gonna actually care about what I look like." Elijah said cracking a bit of a smile. Natsuki gave him an irritated look.


"Oh well. Let's go so we're not late." Natsuki said opening the front door and stepping outside. Her pigtails waving back and fourth with every step she took. Elijah soon followed her out. Elijah through up his hood of his hoodie and walked along side of Natsuki. She looked up at Elijah and caught a glimpse of his eyes under the sunlight, which were dark and looked tired.


"You look exhausted." Natsuki said to Elijah. He shrugged at her which made her frown.


"A shrug? Really? Did you get any sleep last night?" Natsuki asked continuing to look up at Elijah.


"Yeah somewhat." Elijah replied. He heard her voice, but he wasn't paying too much attention. His mind was in a completely different world that his mind had created. One where his life was back together. He lived in this world for the majority of the time Natsuki was talking. "Oh shit she's talking." Elijah thought to himself and he snapped out of his fake reality. He looked over at Natsuki who looked confused.


"Were you spacing out? 'Cause I said your name like five times and you were just staring into oblivion." Natsuki said crossing her arms.


"Yeah I was spacing out. I'm sorry. Now I'm not spacing out and I can listen to whatever you were saying." Elijah said looking in front of him.


"Did you see that thing last night?" Natsuki asked which made Elijah become paranoid. His heart began to race and thoughts ran through his head like he was listening to an audio book.


"Oh shit. Did she see it last night? Did it come to her? If it came to her then it's planning on hurting her. And it'll be my fault.....just like Noah said."


"....Just like Noah said..." Elijah said aloud. He was unaware that he said it aloud.


"What do you mean by 'Just like Noah said'?" Natsuki asked. Elijah looked at Natsuki and sighed.


"Last night I got a dream where I talked to him. It seemed real and like I was actually talking to him, but he was different. Noah's always been happy and bouncy and he hated things that were sad. And when I talked to him he was dark and cold. He told me that he was suffering and he killed himself because he couldn't take the extra pain of knowing that creature existed. He said how his whole life he was concealing his own pain for me, and I was selfish because I put all of my shit on top of his own and he couldn't take it." Elijah clenched his eyes shut and Natsuki let out a sigh.


"You're doing this to yourself. Like you said, it was just a dream. You're mind was probably blaming you for that because you feel guilty that you weren't there for him. But it's just a dream and I'm sure that Noah wasn't like that." Natsuki said looking at Elijah who was still looking at the ground.


"That's not the only thing I saw though. I saw that thing. And I asked why it was doing this.....and it told me I know why.......I don't though....I don't understand anything that's going on except for the part that it's my fault." Elijah said without much thinking. He regretted saying what he did to Natsuki. His heart was pounding even more and his stomach opened up into an even larger pit that felt like a boulder was placed in it and it was sinking.


"Stop blaming yourself. It's not your fault. What's done is done and all you can do is try and stop anything else from happening." Natsuki said to Elijah. He felt weak and his body wanted to fall on the ground and not get up.


"Um....Elijah..." Natsuki shakily said. Elijah looked up to see the creature staring down at the two of them.


It smiled and tilted it's head. Elijah stared at it. Looking at all of it's details which made his skin crawl. It's black face slightly reddened from extreme burns on it's face. It's mouth curled into a smile on one side of it's face, but the other had a gaping whole through the cheek that showed it's teeth like a skeleton. It's wide blank eyes staring with one white pupil surrounded in black on each eye. Dark veins were bulging from the sides of it's face and body. It's long body thin and dark with it's rib cage showing through the skin, some of the bones shoved through the skin. It's arms and legs long and bony.


"Go go go!" Elijah said backing up then turning in the other direction and running. Natsuki followed Elijah and they ran down the sidewalk with the creature following them.


They took a turn into an alleyway hoping the creature wouldn't notice them, but it followed them into the alleyway. The two of them slowly backed up into a fence. The creature moved forward as they moved back. It stared into their eyes and looked as if they were it's breakfast. Elijah's heart was pounding even faster than before, and now it was planning on killing them. But he wasn't worried about it killing him, he was worried about Natsuki. He only cared for the ones around him, and how it would effect them. If that creature killed him, he would be glad. But he has to protect Natsuki. That was the only thing he wanted to do.


"You're doing this for a reason." Natsuki said to the creature. It tilted it's head and stared at Natsuki. It didn't respond, but continued to stare. Elijah stared at the creature, trying get enough courage to talk to it. He swallowed his fear down, and took a deep breath.


"You said I know why you're doing this. But the thing that doesn't make sense about that is that if I knew why, then I could've helped so many people. If I knew, then things would be different. Yet they're not, so how do I know why?" Elijah questioned the creature who turned it's head towards Elijah.


"You know why. Your mind knows why. It's in the mind." Elijah heard it's scratchy and deep voice say in his head. Elijah was stunned, not knowing how it talked to him in his head.


"...But how.....I don't know." Elijah stuttered. He was confused on what was going on, and why everything was happening. It was like his whole reality was flipped upside down.


"Don't you hurt him!" Natsuki yelled at the creature who was edging towards him.


"Natsuki don't!" Elijah yelled moving closer to her and standing like a guard in front of her.


"You don't have to protect me, I can defend myself!" Natsuki said frustratingly, trying to move away from Elijah.


"Even if you could, I can't see you get hurt." Elijah said still guarding her from the creature that was now a few inches away from Elijah. Natsuki struggled, but Elijah kept his guard up. The creature stared into Elijah's eyes, then grabbed his head. Elijah's mind felt like someone was squeezing it into a pancake. It pounded like a migraine causing Elijah to let out a scream. He held both his hands on the side of his head and fell to his knees. The world around him became a blur, and bits of memories that he didn't remember having came to his mind.


"Elijah!" Natsuki yelled at Elijah who opened his eyes wide, and was walking down the sidewalk with Natsuki. She was yelling his name and he shook his head to assure himself that he wasn't dreaming. He looked over at Natsuki who looked irritated.


"Finally. I've been calling your name for like a century." Natsuki said looking at Elijah who was confused on what was happening.


"Weren't we....didn't we....." Elijah stuttered looking around at his surroundings.


"Did you hear what I said? Stop blaming yourself." Natsuki said to Elijah, but he wasn't listening. He remembered being in an alleyway with that creature. He remembered the horrible pain from when the creature grabbed his head. Now, he not only remembers what just happened, but new memories. Memories that he was sure didn't happen played in his mind.



Elijah was sitting at a table. It wasn't the one from the house he was used to, but a square brown one. He was sitting in a comfortable chair at the table, and he was staring at the grey wallpaper. He looked around and decided to get up.


He moved across what seemed like a mansion, but one he didn't recognize. He didn't know why he was in the mansion, but he was. People walked by Elijah saying hi to him and he replied to them. Despite him not knowing who anyone was or why they were in the mansion with him.


He continued into a large room with a few people he didn't know, but also a few who he did. Noah and Natsuki sat across from each other at a long table for meetings, and all of their parents including Elijah's dad were talking at the table. A few older men and women sat at the table talking with Noah, Natsuki, and Elijah's parents. There was an empty seat that was waiting for Elijah to sit in it. Everyone looked at Elijah as he slid into the empty seat.


"Hey Eli!" Natsuki happily said to Elijah.


"Hey." Elijah replied with the same happy tone as Natsuki had. He felt a smile spread across his face as he sat at the table.


All of the adults stood up and shook hands with each other, and everyone's parents began to leave.


"C'mon kids. We're finished." Natsuki's mom said gesturing for the three kids to follow her.


They all got out of their seats and followed the parents across the mansion.


"Hey Eli. Wanna ditch dinner and play some PlayStation?" Noah asked Elijah who looked at him and smiled.


"Yeah totally." Elijah replied.


"Noah we have to be at dinner. Our parents said so." Natsuki said to Noah who rolled his eyes.


"Well Eli and I are gonna ditch it. And you're not gonna boss me around." Natsuki rolled her eyes at Noah's statement.


"Just because you guys feel like ditching doesn't mean you should. We're family and we should spend quality time together." Natsuki replied.


"We're only cousins though. It's not like we're siblings." Noah argued back at Natsuki who crossed her arms in irritation.


"Okay, let's just stop fighting. We'll just ask if we can skip dinner, and if not then I guess it's another boring dinner." Elijah said to Noah and Natsuki as they entered the dining hall of the mansion.


"Fine." Noah and Natsuki said in sync.


"You're spacing out again." Natsuki said waving her hand in front of Elijah's face.


"Oh....um...sorry." Elijah replied sympathetically. He looked over to see Natsuki frowning at him.


"That's like the third time you've done that." Natsuki complained as they reached sight of the school.


"I'm sorry I'm just really spacey." Elijah said looking down. His mind was still trying to process the memory he had.


"Cousins? We can't be cousins.....there's no way......but he never said Natsuki and I were......just Natsuki and Noah....yeah.....that's what he meant." Elijah thought to himself. But the more he thought about it, the more he felt weird. When he first met Natsuki, he found her somewhat familiar, but didn't know how or what. And Noah Elijah had been best friends with all his life. His mom said their parents met when Elijah and Noah were babies, but she never told him how or when. He was confused and wanted answers. Nothing made sense anymore, but a voice kept echoing in his mind.


"You know why. It's in the mind." The creature's voice echoed like an endless playlist. But somehow, Elijah felt like he knew more than before, but he didn't know if it was the memory or not. It could've been a dream for all he knew.


Elijah and Natsuki entered the school without saying a word to each other. Elijah's mind was occupied on figuring out what was happening, and why his world was being messed up the way it was. Elijah walked through the hallways of the school and into the classroom where he sat at his usual seat.


"You only have one chance." Elijah heard the creature say in his head.


"One chance."
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