Chapter 19: Hand-prints
Some people say that we come into this world with nothing and that we leave this world with nothing. The Boy That Hates Books doesn’t believe this is true. Because yes, maybe we do arrive with nothing but this can be said for anywhere you go in life. You leave life with memories, just like you leave places with memories. And I can guarantee you this, memories are the most precious gifts you will ever get given in this life and they don’t cost a penny.
Now here’s the difference: every place The Boy That Hates Books had been to left him with no memories. Because it was all the same. But since coming to The Valley he has met someone who will make countless memories with him, however they will come at a price. And that price would be her life. Because as soon as she learnt the truth, delved deep into the secrets beneath the surface, she too would become a fugitive like him and she would never be able to turn back.
The past years she’d spent with her two best friends would mean nothing, because truly she didn’t know a thing about them. The truth would destroy her. The truth usually does.
One thing is for sure though, no matter what price Kirsten has to pay and no matter what Trent drags her into, they will both leave their hand print on the world but most of all, on each other.
“How do you know my name?” her eyes glistened with curiosity and in some places, fear.
She didn’t think I could hear her but I could and I was almost certain she could hear me too, so I kept my voice quiet.
“Because I’ve known you much longer than you can imagine.”
Her face was kind of blurred out through the glass, her features faded and her hair seeing no beginning and no end. She seemed to be thinking about something so mind consuming that she no longer noticed what I was doing.
I lent forwards and placed a single finger to the glass, waiting for her to respond.
Her eyes flickered. Her breathing hitched. She moved.
I placed my second finger onto the glass, anticipating the cold wash over my skin.
She moved again, a small and gentle smile playing at the corners of her mouth.
She was just as beautiful as the moment when I first saw her, sitting on the grass in early summertime, reading some book I couldn’t give two tosses about. Her lips moved with the words and her finger stroked over the pages like a ballroom dance. I don’t think she even knew that she did things like this when she read. They were only small details but I noticed them, even from a distance.
What Alice and Austin didn’t know was that I’d been to The Valley before they knew I was here, before they’d even settled down. I’d been on the run for a long time and I always would be. At least if Kirsten said yes tonight, I wouldn’t be alone for the rest of this damned life. The only downside was risking hers.
It was just fate that I came back here and found myself wandering into the Highway Cafe, asking about the girl that always reads. That’s where I met her sister, Nala, who was loved up to the max with her (now ex) boyfriend who screwed her over to an equal max. She was the one that said,
“Oh, you must be talking about my nerd of a sister. Her name’s Kirsten.” Nala flashed me a pearly white grin, before flicking her barbie doll blonde hair over her shoulder.
Nala was nothing like her sister. She was artificial, whereas Kirsten was natural, and I felt bad thinking it but it was true. Nala looked easy, so no wonder Vixen played her so hard. But I would never repeat that to Kirsten because I know it would break her heart.
So months went on and I was still the target for every police officer around, until I’d almost forgotten about this girl who lived her life in a book. Until yet again I came back on the search for Austin and Alice, on the thirst for revenge, and got sidetracked by this girl of The Valley. It was then that I made my choice, to make the twins go running but stand my ground, and partner up with this girl who made my life hiding away seem worth it.
Plus, if I’d gone ahead with the revenge I’d planned I would’ve led the cops right to me, and then they definitely wouldn’t listen to me in court.
I looked at Kirsten now, and one by one we placed each finger up to the glass until our hands were touching, yet not entirely. And in that split second of a moment I decided that I was happy with the decision I’d made.
“Roll down the window.” My heart thumped in my chest. Only she made me feel like this.
I was trying not to smile, people like me don’t smile or laugh or talk to girls. She nodded, not saying a word. She was barely breathing, barely moving.
The window rolled down slowly and within seconds our hands touched. Her eyes lit up like stars and my heart did a somersault. Our fingers were icy cold against each other and our breathing matched at the same jagged pace.
The world was moving slower than usual and finally, for the first time ever since the tragic and blood-curdling incident that left me branded a monster, my world...