The Prophecy of Three

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Chapter Fourteen

Emily:

I smile as I sit up, listening to the bright tunes that are flowing from my iPod. I smile and turn to my phone, expecting to only see the time. I blink when I see a message and open it, frowning in confusion.

Sel: We wont be @ skl 2day. C u this arvo? X

I frown at confusion at the ‘we’, wondering who she means – her and Melayna, her and Faegan, her and Malachi – before assuming she means Faegan. There’s no way Malachi would leave Melayna’s side and there’s no way Melayna would skip school, especially after missing a month of classes. I smirk at the thought that Faegan will be dragged into Selena’s truanting habits – assuming he normally goes to school at all – and yawn, ignoring the fact that I made a total fool of myself yesterday. Most likely Dudon and I will ignore it all day and that’ll be that. It’s not like he’ll be here forever.

Me: k! am I bringing Du to skl? And where shud we meet u? W/ the boys?

I get up and slip on my uniform and grab a shirt for Dudon – he’ll probably have to borrow some pants from my dad. I stall and stay in my room for as long as possible, constantly checking my phone for a message tat should’ve been instantaneous from the never-more-than-two-feet-from-her-phone texter. When no reply is forthcoming, I check her last message.

Sent at 3:48am blink up at me from the screen and I frown in confusion. Why was she up so early? I shrug and tuck my phone into my bag before heading for the kitchen. I start making eggs, getting out the toast and starting to prepare, humming to myself as I go. I smile when I hear footsteps, not turning around. “I’ve almost got your eggs ready!” I say happily.

“How did you know I like eggs?” The voice behind me is smiling, and I stiffen as I realise that it doesn’t belong to one of my parents. I force my lips into a semblance of a smile and meet his eyes.

“I just guessed.” I shrug, turning back and adding another egg to the pan. I’m plating up four plates when I hear my parents walk in, their normal laughter and sunny attitudes an accompaniment.

“Morning, Em! Morning, Du!” My mother’s use of Dudon’s nickname grates on my nerves but I hide it. I think about my mothers’ disappointed expression that would surely make an appearance if I were to say something even vaguely unpleasant. I’ not that kind of person, that’s not who my parents raised me to be.

“Morning, Mum!” I smile, handing her the plate made for her – one egg sunny side up and two pieces of brown toast buttered. She smiles at me and grabs the plate, sprinkling salt over her eggs before settling at the table.

“Are you taking Du to school today?” She says it so casually that it takes me a moment to process and make a non-committal noise. When my phone bings I practically sprint to my room in the hopes of escape.

Sel: yeah bring Du. & meet @ park!

I frown at the text, which didn’t give me an escape, and glance at my watch. I groan when I see the time and run into the kitchen, grabbing Dudon’s arm. “Bye, Mum! Bye, Dad!” I forego the usual kiss and hug routine, running out the door. A wide-eyed Dudon joins me, easily catching up and keeping pace with me.

“Why are we running?”

I hate that he doesn’t seem out of breath and ignore him, rounding the corner, sighing in relief as I see the bus at the bus stop. I start towards it, figuring it’ll be a while before everyone gets on. I slow my pace and make sure Dudon is still with me. I turn my head towards the bus and stop in shock as it starts to pull away from the curb.

“NO!” I yell, breaking out into a full sprint, my bag banging against my back. I keep yelling, giving up as I come to the bus stop and the bus is already out of view. “No, no, no!” I throw my hands in the air dramatically as I bend over, slightly out of breath, and put my hands on my thighs. I watch Dudon slowly approach me in my peripheral vision, breathing through my nose as I compose myself and turn towards the direction of the bus.

“Em, wait,” He calls behind me. I take a deep breath and feel an internal struggle arise. The person you are will stop and turn around with a smile on your face and help him, my rational voice says. I imagine the look on my mum’s face if I didn’t stop – what she’d think if she knew about how my first reaction wasn’t to help him. The other, stronger, part of me argues, why should you help him? It’ll take more effort and you’re allowed some you time, aren’t you? I close my eyes and wipe the second load of thoughts from my brain, choosing to stick with the person I know I am.

“Yes?” I turn around, a sweet smile plastered on my face. He stops in his tracks, his eyes going wide as his mouth opens and closes repeatedly. I shut my own eyes, trying very hard to keep the smirk off my face, and instead look at the ground, waiting for him to continue.

“Where are we going?” He finally says, and I keep looking at the floor as I tell him we are going to school. We start walking as I tell him about the basics of our school and what will happen today, and when that’s over I bit my lip to stop myself from rambling on and filling in the silence.

“That’s cool.” Silence follows his statement. I squeeze my eyes shut and let the negative emotions go. I contemplate stopping to do my meditation sequence but decide against it, instead choosing to keep going and not risk being late for school.

So, what classes do you take?”

I look at Dudon and sigh. I can see the awkward emotion on his face – he’s trying to be polite and repress some misplaced awe that he has for me and he’s trying to ignore the elephant in the room – I mean, street, heck maybe even in the world – that is the conversation that we had yesterday. So I sigh and give in.

“I’m taking English, Latin, Maths, World History, Chemistry, Art and P.E,” I say, thinking of my day ahead. Eight straight hours of learning will not be fun with this whole thing hanging over my head.

“Seems like a lot of work.” Dudon says absently, scuffing his foot against the ground.

“What about you? I mean, when you’re not chasing random girls through caves, that is.” I wonder for a second why I said that but disregard it, hoping it comes off as teasing. I didn’t really mean any offense by that, I’m just confused as to why and how I suddenly gained a watchdog. No matter how cute of a dog he is.

“I’ve never gone to school.” He mumbles. I turn to stare at him, mouth dropping open a little bit. I mean I know that kids always say they wish they didn’t have to go to school, but I can only imagine how lonely and boring that would be.

“Oh, so you were home schooled?” I keep my voice even and calm, tightening my hand around my backpack strap. Home schooling is normal. This boy is normal. This whole situation is normal. Oh, who am I kidding? None of this is normal.

“Not…exactly.”

I keep quiet, waiting for an explanation.

“I grew up in a very…close-knit community. And the…families within the communities have certain…ideas about what we should learn.”

I turn to frown at him and see him wringing his hands, almost as if he’s trying to word his sentences in a way that hides some real meaning whilst still telling the truth.

“So…what? Are you like a devout catholic or something who is only supposed to learn the bible? I say, trying to catch him in a trap of his own words. A little smirk tugs up at the side of his mouth and I speak again before he can reply. “Oh, I know! You go to an elite “academy” where they train you to secretly infiltrate the government and run our country like a draft of fools so that the aliens can easily take over!”

“No, not exactly.” He laughs out loud, head tilted back as the light shines on his face. “Our community is more into…myths and self defence.” At this, my mouth falls open but he continues. “I mean, we were taught the basics. Maths to a high school level and how to read and write and general history and stuff, but the focus was always more on the things most people don’t know. For example, can you break a man’s arm with your pinky?”

“N-n-no.” I stutter, staring at him in wonder. He grins and turns his face back to the sun, not speaking anymore. We walk in contemplative silence towards school as I think on that. “Was it nice?”

“Huh?”

“Learning about that sort of stuff and being in such a tight community? Was it nice?”

He stares at me intently, almost as if looking for some answers. I start to squirm a bit after a few moments of intense staring.

“IT was definitely different. There’s something invigorating about knowing something that barely anyone else does. And…being in a tight community has its pros and cons, as with everything. But…it’s my life. It’s always been this way and for me it’s normal; I don’t really have anything to compare it to.”

I think about that for a moment and by then we’re at the front gate. Just as we approach, the bell rings and so I start running. I run in through the gate and through the empty courtyard. I forego the trip to my locker in lieu of going straight to homeroom. I skid through the door just as the teacher calls my name.

“Here!” I pant, coming to a stop just in the doorway. “Um…I’ve also got my…cousin here with me for the day.”

Ms. Harpin nods at me and marks a little symbol next to my name. I slink to the back, ignoring the whispers that follow. I settle in my seat and turn to talk to Melayna, frowning as I realise she’s not there. I motion for Dudon to sit in Melayna’s chair and surreptitiously pull out my phone.

No new messages. I frown at the screen and check through my history, but there’s nothing but Selena’s message from earlier. I open it back up again. We wont be @ skl 2day. Suddenly I wonder what I’m being left out of, and what is so important that Melayna would ditch school for it too.

Melayna:

“Ugh, what time is it?” Selena groans as I jump on her bed. I spend a moment letting my thoughts run through my head until I hear her snoring. I bounce around a little, pushing her over and dragging the covers off with my feet.

“Lay!” She groans and I giggle, tickling her until she’s laughing so hard she can barely breathe. I stop and we just lie there, listening to her trying to get her breathing under control. “What time is it?”

“Eight,” I say simply, staring out her window in a trance.

“Well, should we get ready?” Selena sits up, sobering at the thought. I nod and leave to go to my room to chuck on some clothes. Selena knocks on my door lightly and together we slip down the stairs. Dad’s at work and who knows where Mum is. No one’s in the kitchen or anywhere to be seen in the house and my heart gives a little squeeze, upset that upon our return no one even cares enough to see that we’re here the day after we disappeared for a month. Finally we’re out in the open and I sigh heavily, relaxing my body and slowing my pace. There’s really no need to rush to the park considering it’s only eight thirty. Wow, record time. I spend a few moments wondering where the guys are, but I have faith in Malachi and I know that if he needed me he’d find me. And I him.

As we walk in the general direction of the park, I try not to think about what’s going to happen today. I try not to think about how there are multiple people out there who want to kill me. I try not to think about how I suddenly have powers that I know nothing about. And I certainly try not to think about how I now have a soul mate that I’ll be connected to for life. Suddenly it hits me, and a bright smile lights up my face as I turn to my sister.

“You up for coffee?” I ask Selena. It doesn’t matter what will happen later today, or tomorrow, or any time in the future. All that matters is that we’re going into our futures together, and I know that we can face whatever challenges come our way. I’m only upset it’s taken me this long to to get out of my funk and actually realise that we can do this.

“You know it,” Selena smiles back, hooking her arm in mine and walking me towards our favourite little coffee shop at the end of the street. As we walk up to the counter we get a familiar grin from the owner and a wink from her husband who starts up the coffee machine.

“So we heard you two got into a little trouble,” Amy, the owner, says. I blush furiously, but Selena just smiles mischievously. “We always knew you would come back,” Amy says conversationally. “Our coffee is too hard to live without.”

Selena and I both laugh and agree with her as she wraps up some pastries for us to eat. I start to get out my wallet when the coffees are done, but Amy waves my hand away.

“This one’s on me. Consider it incentive for you two to not run away again. You had us worried when you didn’t come back for your next coffee.” She smiles, but I can see the concern on her face. It feels both good and bad to know that Amy cares so much she was worried for us.

“We wont, Amy. We promise.” I squeeze her hand and grab the pastries as Selena grabs the coffee. “Bye! See you again soon!”

“We better!” Amy calls out as we walk through the door, the chime of the bell sounding behind us. Selena hands me my coffee and I take a small sip, feeling the liquid slip down my throat. Paul always makes the best coffee, just the right milk and always at the right temperature.

As I sip my coffee I try not to think about anything except the warmth of the sun on my skin and the taste of good coffee sliding down my throat. By the time that I’ve done all of my not thinking, I realise that we’re already at the park. I sigh and settle into a swing, Selena settling on the one next to me. I close my eyes and reach inside me, searching once again for the gold rope that connects me to Malachi. I keep my mind shut off from him, hoping he wont be able to sense me even though I’ll be able to sense him. I pen my eyes and there’s the rope in my hands. I follow the link to try and see Malachi, but all I can see is the pavement and the empty road.

I hold the rope in my hands, tempted to pull it and see if he falls, but instead I release it with a sigh, dropping the magic along with it. I turn to see Selena with her eyes closed and her head leaning against the chain of the swing. I sit forward, waiting for the tug at my heart that will tell me Malachi is near.

“Hey.” The soft voice is familiar but not the one I was waiting for. I look up at Faegan and smile, before looking around him to see if Malachi is here. I spot him in the corner of the park and frown at him. He gestures to me and I get up off the swing, giving Faegan a warning glance before I head over to Malachi.

“Hey, what’s up? Why didn’t you come over there?” I say, stopping besides him and turning so that I’m facing Faegan and Selena on the swings. I love my friend, I really do, but I don’t want her to have a conitouche unless she has to. I’d much rather she has a conitoume. But then again, how can you even know anyway…?

“I wanted to talk to you.” Malachi’s voice cuts through my thoughts and I make a mental note to discuss it with him later. If Faegan could be Selena’s Soulima then I’m going to do everything I can to get them together.

“About what?” Ideas don’t even rush through my head and I slip my hand in his, waiting for him to talk to me. I’ve kind of realised, with a bit of distance, that the conitouche shouldn’t define our relationship; instead it should enhance it. It should bring us closer together, not become a tool to be used against each other or to betray our thoughts that sometimes are gentler when spoken as opposed to as they are in our head.

“I just wanted to ask how you were going.” His voice seems masked, although if he’s masking himself from emotion or me from information I’m not sure. I turn to him, not letting go of his hand. His eyes focus on me, almost as if he’s being drawn away from somewhere else.

“Hey, please don’t do that. You can’t hide things from me. Even if you think I won’t like them, we need to deal with this together and the best way to do that is to communicate. So please, Mal, tell me what’s going on.”

He looks into my eyes and just like that something clicks. His shoulders drop and he squeezes my hand back finally. Warmth develops in my stomach, something that has nothing to do with the conitoume and everything to do with him, and I withhold a sigh.

“I meant what I said – I wanted to see how you are going. I…I was worried about you all of last night and I wanted to make sure you were okay. You kinda…left me hanging.” He says it so mournfully I just want to wrap him up in my arms and take him where none of real life matters –where we can just be. Instead I sigh and lean my body into his, looking out at the forest, our backs to the park.

“I’m sorry about that but I…” I stop for a moment and wonder why I did push him away, but then decide I may as well think aloud rather than cause him any more grief. “I don’t really know. I was in the moment and I just acted on auto-pilot, you know?” I turn to him, pulling him into the foliage a little so we can’t be seen.

“I didn’t mean to make you feel like this – god, never, but I just needed the familiar comfort, you know? I’ve known you for, what, a day? I just needed Sel because I’ve known her for ever and I was at my weakest.” I pull him closer to me, pressing my face against his chest and wrapping my arms around his waist.

“I know, baby. But I want you to feel like that with me there – I want you to want my arms around you when you’re weak and I want to be there for that, especially when you’re not one hundred percent.” His voice cracks a little at the end as he rests his chin on my head and I suddenly realize how much this all meant to him. He just found his soul mate – whatever it’s called in Mali-an – and also finds out she’s the reincarnation of some big hoo-hah who’s normally killed within a week, and then this girl ditches him with some untrained friend. Wow, he must’ve been freaked.

“I know, honey. I know. And we’ll get there – hopefully soon.”

He squeezes me tighter before kissing my forehead and I snuggle into him. We stand like that for a moment and his hand starts to slide down my back. I pull back in his arms a little to look into his face, and his eyes burn bright. His eyes shine with unrestrained emotion and my whole being melts into a puddle right there at his feet, falling through the rabbit hole of his eyes.

His whole face softens and the edges of his mouth turn up in a smile, bringing light to his eyes that are irresistible. I bite the inside of my cheeks as I reach my hand up to his face, sighing as I feel his skin under my palm. He pulls in a deep breath as my hand roams over his face, before putting my hand behind his neck. He leans down and I realize – this is it. As well as I feel I know him, we haven’t kissed yet.

I close my eyes in anticipation, squeezing the damp skin on the back of his neck and smiling as I realize that it probably means he’s as nervous as me. Wow is my mouth supposed to be this dry? I squeeze my eyes shut trying to banish those thoughts when I hear, and feel, a deep chuckle and blush as I realize he can hear my thoughts. And then I hear his.

I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like this but whatever this is I don’t want anyone else to ever know what you taste like. And with that I feel his hot breath on my lips, and my mouth opens ever so slightly…when the crunching of undergrowth shoots me from my passion and straight into the land of…Selena and Faegan.

“Wow, is it hot in here?” Selena grins at me whilst Faegan looks utterly confused – damn my sister, she probably thinks we’ve been making out this whole time and doesn’t know we haven’t done anything yet or she would’ve taken Faegan to get some damn ice cream and then popcorn to watch. I’m not sure if I should be grateful she doesn’t know or not.

“Seems normal to me,” Faegan says, looking at the probably tomato-red colour of my cheeks, the smile that’s trying to break off Selena’s face and…well whatever’s on Malachi’s face. I’m too scared to turn and see, because it will probably make me redder than I already am.

“Yeah, you know what, it is normal in here. So…we gonna start training?” I say, striding towards the park in a business like fashion, leaving no room for opposition. Until I realize that it’s probably best to train in the forest rather than the park. Oh well, we can have the discussion in the park then.

“Alright guys, are you cool if I run this?” I look mainly at Malachi but I notice Faegan’s nod and little smirk – most likely imagining how Malachi must feel. Once Malachi has given me an intense stare, which makes me want to take his hand now and run away forever, he nods and we sit down on the playground – Faegan and Malachi on the swings and Selena and me on top of the monkey bars, to which the boys seem amused.

“Sel,” I say and turn around to face the other way. I get a confused look from Faegan but Malachi closes his eyes, no doubt about to link in to what I’m about to say.

Don’t be mad, okay? Sometimes you just need a friend to hold your hand. And I need to hold hers too.

Seeing what I’m going to ask her in my mind, I feel him link out and I internally sigh gratefully. Considering we’ve known each other for only a day, it’s reasonable for me to not see him as my comfort yet. Right? Shaking my head to remove these thoughts, I focus on Selena and squeeze her hand in mine.

“Sel,” my whisper breaks a little and she squeezes back. “I don’t know where this ‘tough girl’ thing is coming from, and I’m not sure how long it will last.” She smirks at me and tosses her hair over her shoulder.

“I always thought it would be me, to be honest.”

That gets a giggle out of me as she models looking fierce and scowling, shaking her finger in the air. Her face softens and in her expression I can see the acceptance and support, along with the questions. I think for a minute and see me as she sees me now. The previously shy, quiet, go-with-the-flow kind of girl that I normally am is nowhere to be seen. I guess that even Selena didn’t know that the person I’m being now is the person I always was inside, and that all it took was a little tug to pull that out.

“I always thought it would be me, to be honest.”

That gets a giggle out of me as she models looking fierce and scowling, shaking her finger in the air. Her face softens and in her expression I can see the acceptance and support, along with the questions. I think for a minute and see me as she sees me now. The previously shy, quiet, go-with-the-flow kind of girl that I normally am is nowhere to be seen. I guess that even Selena didn’t know that the person I’m being now is the person I always was inside, and that all it took was a little tug to pull that out.

Well, that is until the weight surrounds me, at first remaining comforting before becoming violent and freezing up my whole body. The thoughts seem to squeeze my brain in a circle of questioning and doubt, causing a throbbing at my temples. Selena squeezes my hand and the pain abates for a moment before it returns with crushing precision, slamming into me right where it hurts the most.

Malachi:

Watching her fall is one of the scariest moments of my life. One minute she was relaxed and holding lightly to Selena, an aura of peace emanating from her. Next thing I know she is violently ripped from Selena’s grip and seems to almost be carried away with the wind, her body helplessly falling and her face eerily empty.

An inhumane sound is ripped from my throat but as my body lurches from its perch I fall to the ground, the energy sapped from my body. Whether my energy is taken through Melayna or just because of my emotions I don’t know, but I don’t care. I curs Mali and all above as I watch in slow motion as her body flies out of my grasp, the pain flaring from deep within me. I cry out and grip my stomach as a flash of golden-green pain erupts within my stomach.

I am vaguely aware of Faegan calling my name and leaning down next to me, but all I can see was her body seemingly forever just out of my reach. The pain flares but it was different this time – more determined and less painful. I ignore the pain, focusing merely on her body and our link, trying anything to call it up to me. I close my eyes to try and find her, but instead encapsulate my own body within endless blackness.

The blackness is different from normal – as if I am trapped in a room with black walls and still conscious rather than wrapped in the dark arms of unconsciousness. I lean to the side and feel a solid surface, leaning my body against it in an effort to move it, however instead it disappears and a bed appears through the wall – a glowing golden bed with an emerald green bedspread and…brown curls fanning out on the pillows. I rush to the bedside, collapsing beside her.

“Lay! Lay! Lay, wake up.” I choke, grasping her shoulders lightly but with the desperation of a dying man. “Lay, please.” These words echo in my head in another voice, another time, and I remember being passed out in blackness before, these words barely an echo through my body. I hope with every fibre of my being that she can hear me and push everything I have through my golden chord, imagining it exiting from my navel and joining hers. But I look down and…the sight has me feeling fainter than I have ever felt before.

The chord is bloody and disfigured, more red than gold, and finally the pain makes sense – someone tried to cut it apart, draining me, and possibly her, as well as leaving her vulnerable. A single tear slips down my cheek and lands on the chord, immediately absorbing into it. I watch with wonder as the chord shimmers slightly, the red dissipating and removing some black gunk that appears to coat the chord and drain us even more. With incredulity part of my mind starts to wonder at the possibilities – who could be so powerful as to have caused this?

A small groan comes from the bed and I immediately perk up, the thoughts not revolving around her immediate condition being wiped from my brain. “Lay,” I whisper again as she remains quiet, searching her body for signs of weakness that I can try to fix. It’s only then that I see her navel and the rope emanating from her stomach…the rope that looks normal.

The rope shines with inner strength that fades the closer it gets to me. But after closer inspection the rope isn’t just glowing with inner strength – but rather flecks of things float within, constantly moving and healing and reviving. They inch closer to my end and I can feel their strength as they heal me. I bend closer to inspect the rope when a gasp pulls me to her face.

“Lay!” I whisper-shout as I collapse on top of her, my arms coming around her in a desperate attempt to connect us forever and ever. Her arms come around me and I almost lose it then and there. I’ve heard of people who ‘snap’ – let the emotion flow out in nonsensical words, yet I couldn’t imagine it ever happening or being rewarding. Yet in this moment all I want to do is fall into her arms and cry out all the pain of the last few moments.

“Mal, you’re crushing me.” She doesn’t sound right and I pull away to see tears in her eyes, her face trembling slightly as she tries to keep some unknown pressure inside.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt? I’m sorry I don’t – don’t know what happened. I’m sorry.” The words would keep flowing if she didn’t wrap her arms around me and press her head to my chest, effectively shutting me up with the feel of her safe in my arms.

“No, it’s not your fault either. And I’m sorry too.”

I want to ask what she’s sorry for but instead I just sit there, revelling in the feeling of being with her even if I don’t know where we are or what is happening. All I need to know in that moment is that she is safe, and we are together.

“It’s almost time.” She whispers and I wondered what it’s time for, even though I don’t care as long as we are together. Wow, what a softie I’d become.

After a too-short moment she sits up, pulling me with her. She elegantly slips out of the bed and as my feet touch the ground the bed disappears with a wave of her hand. I focus on her face, about to ask her what is going on when I notice the change in scenery. We are on a beach – the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen.

Towering cliffs on either side effectively hide the beach from view and shelter the beach. Trees line the ridge, hinting at deep forests within. I look out over the water and a feeling of calm and familiarity washes over me as Melayna pulls me down to the sand, sitting in the circle of my legs as we look out to the sea. I try to identify why this beach feels so familiar before I feel her turning around on my lap to face me, her face mere inches from mine.

Without a sound, determination brightening her eyes, she brings her face right up to mine until her lips are covering mine. The feeling of her against me fills me with warmth, the conitoume lighting me up with warmth that I’ve never even dreamed of before. I feel a rumble go through my chest as I reach my hands up to her hair, sliding my fingers through her locks and feeling them getting caught in the tangles. She laughs against my mouth as I finally get my hand to her scalp, pushing her against me with a gentle hand.

Her sweet taste fills my mouth as I open my lips, letting her tongue slide into my mouth as mine slides into hers. I hear her wimper against me, causing me to pull her even tighter. This is all I want – her, on my lap, her lips on mine – for the rest of my life.

All too soon she pulls away, her lips swollen and her breathing heavy, as she looks at me. I go to pull her back to me but she resists, standing up and turning to face me. I sit on the stand for a few more moments before standing in front of her, my hand lightly gripping her waist as her hands rest on my upper arms.

“There’s one of my favourite songs, it’s called The Scientist and…well can I sing it to you?” She says it so softly, uncertainty in her voice. I don’t know what the song means to her but whatever it is that she wants to share with me, I know I will always say yes.

“Of course.”

She smiles tenderly and gives me a look that tells me that this song is specifically for me; that I need to listen with my heart and my brain to catch her meaning. It warns me not to get carried away in the melody and the lilting tone of her voice, and so I eagerly wait with baited breath.

“Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry, you don’t know how lovely you are. I had to find you, tell you I need you, tell you I’ll set you apart.” The melody slips into my head and wraps me around and around her little finger, even more so as I feel her hands playing notes against my arms. The pressure of her notes grows a little in intensity and I shake my head to clear it, going into memory mode – at least then I will hopefully remember everything later if necessary. I pull back in to the moment, realising she has continued without my attention.

“Nobody said it was easy, it’s such a shame for us to part.” Her voice cracks a little and so does a little part of my skull – just enough for the words to slip through.

“What?!” I ask immediately, lifting her chin so she meets my gaze.

“Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard. Oh, take me back to the start.” She closes her eyes and seems to wait for a next section but all I can do is stare at her in panic, as her form seems to fade from my arms.

The chorus words echoed in my head, it’s such a shame for us to part…take me back to the start…it’s such a shame for us to part…it’s such a shame for us to- Her grip increases in strength again and I force my brain to listen to her words.

“Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me, oh and I rush to the start. Running in circles, chasing our tails, coming back as we are.” I reach out to her as she fades again, this time more than before and I realise she isn’t coming back. Her words still echo in my brain as the rest of the song flows in, cementing itself with a certainty I don’t possess, almost as if it has been planted there with emphasis on the phrases I need to remember.

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