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Chapter 18 - Isolde

I lie, unmoving, on my bed, staring up at the ceiling as I try to get myself lost in the brightly coloured coral and fish my mother and I painted on it many years ago, in a life almost free from despair. How different things are, now. How wistfully I think of that younger Isolde, so frivolous, so different . . .

Isaac has done it. He has gone off to trap or destroy every Antithetical he can find. The thought of him killing someone makes me feel utterly sick, right to the bottom of my heart. His grief has warped into anger, which he wants to let out on the Antithetical – bad or otherwise. It’s just so unfair. If it was a ‘normal’ person that killed Gideon, he wouldn’t try to slay or imprison everyone he came across.

I interweave my fingers, and press down, trying very hard not to visualise what he’s up to. He can’t be my best friend. Not if he would want to take away my freedom – one way or another – if he found out that I’m an Antithetical.

I don’t know what I’ll do now. My future is bleak, a world of secrecy and endless caution. I won’t be able to be normal again. Not until I’ve mastered my uncontrollable powers. So much trouble I will have to face, just to keep something so simple – my life.

I have to be brave when I feel so terribly weak.

I press my lips together and stand up, forcing myself into the day.

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