In the Mind

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Chapter 7: Stronger Than You

The bell rang and Elijah sighed and slowly moved out of the classroom. Elijah faced the ground beneath him as he walked through the crowded hallway. He tried his hardest to focus off of the hurt, which to his luck slightly worked, but not completely. He got to his locker and began to put his stuff inside of it.

"You look sad again." Elijah heard a girl say next to him. He jumped and jolted his head towards the girl who frowned at him.

"Oh c'mon. I'm not that scary am I?" Natsuki said folding her arms. Elijah's tense face loosened in relief.

"No it's just you snuck up on me." Elijah said, taking his hand off his chest.

"Well if you weren't daydreaming, maybe you'd have noticed me." Natsuki argued. Elijah raised an eyebrow.

"Well daydreaming makes me not think about school, and you legit popped out of nowhere." Elijah said, regretting saying the part about Natsuki popping out of nowhere. It reminded him of Noah, which made his stomach turn.

"Okay one, I don't pop out of nowhere. And two, you look like you're gonna puke." Natsuki said to Elijah. His face was pale, and had the look of nausea.

"I'm.....I'm fine." Elijah shakily replied. His stomach began to settle, but since his mind wasn't focused, his stomach started to burn from his pain. Elijah tried to focus on talking to Natsuki, hoping the burning would go away.

"Are you sure?" Natsuki asked, slowly walking over to Elijah. She looked into Elijah's eyes, which made him feel nervous and awkward.

"Um...yeah....yeah I'm fine." Elijah said nervously. Beads of sweat dropped off his face, causing Natsuki to give a confused look.

"Why are you sweating so much?" she asked tilting her head in curiosity. Elijah's eyes widened and he looked away from her.

"Oh um......nothing...I'm" Elijah stuttered. Natsuki raised an eyebrow.

"Hot huh? Well why don't you take off your hoodie." Natsuki asked staring at Elijah's black hoodie that was laying on his body.

"'m not hot anymore." Elijah said to Natsuki who rolled her eyes.

"Whatever." she said, completely aware of Elijah's attempt to find a reason of his sweat.

"So I'll see you next class okay?" Natsuki excitedly said to Elijah.

"Yeah." Elijah awkwardly said. He looked down to avoid eye contact with Natsuki.

She smiled and turned in the other direction. Elijah turned the opposite way of Natsuki and walked down the hallway. He made a right and immediately wished he hadn't. He felt chills run down his spine and goosebumps appear on every inch of his body. Dylan was laying on the floor while the creature that killed Noah and attacked Liam was clawing at his body. It bent down more to where it's head was centimeters away from Dylan's face. It opened it's mouth to the size of Dylan's face and took a chunk out of it. Elijah bent over and puked on the ground. It just ate him. Not just his face, his head. The creature noticed Elijah and quickly turned it's head around. Elijah forced himself to look up. It's head was turned all the was around. It's body soon followed and it stood up. It's white pupils staring Elijah's eyes. He couldn't move. He just stood there, staring at the creature who slowly edged towards Elijah.

"Hey Elijah what are yo- What the fuck is that?" Natsuki yelled from behind Elijah. The creature turned it's head towards Natsuki. It snarled and started to move towards her.

"Run!" Elijah yelled at Natsuki who didn't think about asking why.

She booked it down away from the creature where Elijah followed her. They both entered an empty classroom and ducked beneath the classroom door.

"What was that thing?" Natsuki shakily asked. Her face extremely pale from the fear.

"I don't know exactly, but it keeps coming back." Elijah replied to Natsuki who looked at him confused.

"What do you mean by it keeps coming back?" Natsuki shook as she sat on the floor.

"That thing has been in these nightmares I've had since I was ten. And every time they do, someone either gets hurt or dies." Elijah explained. Natsuki looked at Elijah with sorrow and fear.

"Who all has died and gotten hurt?" Natsuki asked. Elijah didn't want to tell her, but he didn't have a choice. She needed to be protected and she needed to know the truth. Elijah took a deep breath.

"A week after I started getting the nightmares about that thing, my dad got in a car accident and died. But only a few days ago is when I found out that my dad got in a car accident because of that thing and after they wrecked, that thing started to tear apart my dad limb from limb. Afterwards they went away and they came back about a week before my best friend Noah committed suicide last Friday. However, I don't think he committed suicide, but that thing killed him making it look like a suicide. But before Noah died, my bully Liam was out into a coma by that thing. I don't understand it though. It hurts and kills everyone around me, but it never hurts me. I should've never let you into my life. It's just gonna kill you and I'm gonna be left with nothing but hurt." Elijah explained putting his head into his knees. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." he repeated before Natsuki put her hand on his shoulder.

"Don't be sorry. If you were alone on this I don't think you would've made it. And your dad and Noah didn't die because of you. You didn't deliberately go over to them and stab them or something. It's not your fault and stop blaming yourself." Elijah shook his head.

"You don't get it. You need to get away from me before it does something to you." Elijah said with his face buried in his knees. It caused his voice to be muffled and almost unheard.

"I'm not going anywhere." Natsuki replied. Elijah looked up and turned over to face Natsuki.

"Please! Get away from me! I'm begging you." Elijah begged at Natsuki who shook her head.

"No. I can protect myself if I have to and you need me. You're breaking, and losing the people around you is hard. My older brother died a few years ago from cancer. But we can't control these things, we can only be with each other in the time of need. Elijah this is your time of need. Trust me. It's better to be with than without." Natsuki said to Elijah who stared into her eyes. He shook his head and got up from the floor.

"You may be able to protect yourself, but that thing is stronger and faster and a lot more terrifying than you. I don't want you getting hurt, and it seems that it only comes when I'm around. So if you won't stay away from me, I'll just stay away from you." Elijah said grabbing the handle of the classroom door while Natsuki quickly jumped up.

"You can't do this to yourself." Natsuki protested. Elijah turned his head to look at Natsuki's face.

"I'm doing this for the sake of your life Natsuki. I would rather you be alive and away from me than dead and close to me." Elijah said opening the door and quickly walking out of it. He closed his eyes, having to leave behind a friend. She ran after Elijah and started to walk when she got close to him.

"Don't do this to yourself." Natsuki said to Elijah who continued to walk down the hallway. He didn't reply, just walked down the hallway and into his next class.

Walking home was hard for Elijah. He was again alone, but he also did this to himself. But he knew that Natsuki's life was more important than his. He already had his mom who was close to him, but he couldn't keep his distance from her. But he could from Natsuki, and he would do it for the sake of her protection. "You can't do this to yourself. Don't do this to yourself. I can protect myself." her voice echoed in Elijah's mind "Yes I do have to do this. And even if you could protect yourself, doesn't mean you should." Elijah replied to her in his mind. Even though he knew she wouldn't hear him. He walked up to his house and opened the door. He clumsily sets down his things and walks into the kitchen when his heart skips a beat. Natsuki and her parents were sitting at the table talking to his mom.

"Oh there he is. Hi Elijah. These are our new neighbors." his mom said to Elijah who looked around at the three guests. Natsuki looks at Elijah and smiles.

"Yeah, we met at school today." Natsuki said to his mom and she smiled.

"Oh, well that's good. You two can be friends that live next to each other." Natsuki's mom said looking at Natsuki then to Elijah.

"Well why don't you two go and do something while we talk." his mom said looking at Elijah.

"Good idea Natalie." Natsuki's mom said almost pushing Natsuki out of the chair she was sitting in. She got up and walked over to Elijah.

"Well you can't avoid me now." Natsuki said smiling at Elijah.

"Whatever. My room's up here." Elijah said nodding at the stairs. He started to walk up them and Natsuki followed.

"So what are we gonna do?" Natsuki blurted out. Elijah turned around to face Natsuki.

"What do you mean?" Elijah asked with a raised eyebrow.

"What do I mean? Oh I don't know, how about a creature tried to kill us today?" Natsuki said almost yelling.

"Okay chill out." Elijah said with his hands raised above his head like a criminal getting arrested.

"Look, I don't know what we need to do. I just pops out of nowhere and I don't know how to handle it." Elijah said putting his hands in his hoodie's pockets.

"How about figure out what the hell it is and why it wants to attack us." Natsuki suggested in a frustrated manner. Elijah knew she was just scared, but her irritation was making him feel uncomfortable.

"It's not after us, it only came after you because of me." Elijah spat. Natsuki rolled her eyes.

"Like I said, I can protect myself. Just.....figure out what that thing is since it's so fond of you and we'll deal with this stuff later." Natsuki said crossing her arms and looking away.

"I'll find out." Elijah said softly. He could feel the tension from Natsuki in the air and it was making him feel even more uncomfortable. They stayed silent for a while until Natsuki broke the silence.

"You like anime?" Natsuki asked looking at a poster of Tokyo Ghoul.

"Uh...yeah." Elijah replied laying on his bed. She turned around and stared at his PlayStation 4. She looked over at Elijah who was looking at her, then the PlayStation. Elijah sighed and got up and turned the PlayStation on.

"How did you know?" Natsuki asked looking at Elijah with curiosity.

"No one can resist the powers of the PlayStation." Elijah said causing Natsuki to raise an eyebrow.

"The powers of the PlayStation? I swear you watch people play GTA under your covers at night when you're supposed to be asleep." Natsuki laughed which caused Elijah to smile.

"Not just GTA. GTA fails." Elijah corrected Natsuki who laughed and the two began to play.

"I'll see you tomorrow." Natsuki said to Elijah as her and her parents left. They walked out the door and as soon as the door closed, Elijah's mom or Natalie smiled and walked over to Elijah.

"So how do you like Natsuki?" she asked Elijah.

"She's cool and everything it's just that.....if she gets too close there's a high chance she's gonna die. I want to be friends with her, I just can't let her get hurt." Elijah replied looking down and holding his hand on his arm.

"Elijah. What that thing does isn't something you can control." Natalie said to Elijah putting her hand on his shoulder.

"It ripped apart Dylan like it did Liam. And when I saw it, it stood there looking at me. Then Natsuki saw that thing, and it started to go after her. We ran into an empty classroom and it didn't find us. The minute it saw her, it started to go after her. It saw me, and nothing but a stare. Why does it not hurt me, but the ones around me?" Elijah clenched his eyes shut and put his hand over his eyes.

"You need to stop blaming yourself. And Natsuki will be okay. Trust me." Natalie explained to Elijah who refused to look at her. He sighed and walked into the kitchen. He looked at the oven clock which read "9:03".

"I'm going to bed." Elijah said starting to walk up the stairs.

"Without dinner?" Natalie asked looking at Elijah with curiosity.

"I'll eat tomorrow. It's fine." Elijah said hurrying up the stairs.

"Good night!" his mom yelled as he entered his room.

"Night." Elijah yelled back.

He put his pajamas on and laid in his bed. His mind circled around thoughts that lingered in his mind. Whenever Natsuki was around, he felt happy. The pain his mind created was numbed when she was next to him. He liked the feeling, but knowing in the back of his mind that her life is in danger whenever she did so much as look at him caused his happiness to turn into guilt. He was full of regret remembering how he gave her his number. How they were becoming friends. He wanted to do nothing more than protect her. He wanted her to be safe. His mind added a new horrible thing he was to it's repeated playlist. Killer. The words repeated, but now all he heard was Killer. His mind spun. He hated himself even more for letting her in. He was weak, and because of that an innocent girl was going to die. He put his face in his pillow and clenched his eyes shut.

"Get out of my head!" he screamed in his pillow. "Get out of my head. Get out of my head. Get out of my head." Elijah repeated in his pillow.
"You think you can consume me. You think you can control my mind. You think all these things, but I know what I think. I think I'm stronger than you. No. I know I'm stronger than you. I will defeat you. You're the reason I'm keeping myself away from Natsuki. You're the reason I think of myself the way I do. You're the reason why I think of ways to kill myself. I'm stronger than you. Get out of my head. Just get out of my head." Elijah thought to himself. This thought causing him to go to sleep.
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