Footsteps below me echo closer and closer until Max steps out of the trapdoor. He reaches for the gun in his pocket as he straightens up and stretches his hand pointing the gun at Jo. What on Earth is he thinking of?!
“Watch out!” I shout to her before I hear the horrifying gunshot, closing my eyes in panic.
I open my eyes at the horrid sight of Jo collapsing onto the ground, blood rushing out of her chest.
I crawl on the floor reaching her.
She smiles and says softly, “Run for your life and leave me behind. Don’t mess it up because of me, save yourself. Love you, Zoey.”
Her head tilts to the side. She’s dead.
“No!” I groan until my throat hurts. Tears flowing down my cheeks, I hug her lifeless body and smell her scent for the last time with her last words echoing loudly in my head.
He killed her and I won’t leave him inhale an extra breath.
I stand up on my shivering feet and take the gun from Jo’s hand and point it directly at his forehead.
He smirks. He actually thinks he won this, he couldn’t more wrong.
Before I could back out, my finger presses on the trigger.
I close my eyes involuntarily at the booming horrid sound that rushes into my ears. What had just happened?
My eyes open up widen as my sense seem to get back in place. It wasn’t only the bullet rushing out of the gun but the sound of it crashing in to his forehead.
I killed my twin, my other part, the only family that was left for me.
My cheeks burn as hot tears flow down for the second time. I rest on my knee and kiss his forehead. “Forgive me, Max.” I whisper before getting on my feet again.
I give one last glance at Jo, “I love you too...” I say in a hushed broken tone then flee away taking her backpack with me.
I slide it on my back and jump out of the window she was breaking. I can’t believe she’s gone, she was everything to me. She was that little sprinkle that lightens my day, the joyful girl who cracked up jokes when I’m around, the girl who had my secrets, the one who created memories with me since we were 7. I still remember the day when Max got lost and how she slept with me that night to calm me down and cheer me up. While he was gone, she became my other half and we were horribly inseparable.
We were, we no more are. She left me in this horrid place trying to solve a puzzle that has missing parts. She left me suddenly yet softly. I’ve always thought people exaggerate when they describe how they feel when someone abandons them but now that I’ve experienced it myself, I admit there isn’t anything else that is more bitter than what I feel. I feel broken... no not broken, no word can describe it.
And Max, I still remember how cherished I was after seeing him again but that was before his heart changes to stone, before he betrays me. But then I had hope in him, to get back to the supportive light hearted Max that I’ve always known so far.
Then I disappointed myself and instead of giving him a chance, I did an unforgivable act. I took away his life, out of my will, in a fit of fury and this is another mistake my angers gets me through. I think I can never control it for it had always been stronger than me.
I get cut off my thoughts the moment the forest I’ve been running through gets darker and darker.
I slow down my pace and throw myself under a tree. I take off Jo’s backpack and unzip it. I take the only thing in there out and examine it.
It’s a device. I hold it up in my hand searching for a ‘start’ button. I click on it and it beeps.
“Poliners detected. Poliners detected.” a robotic female voice repeats.
If Jo could find me using this, then I can get back to the apartment following the signal.
I stare at it, still not believing I’m returning without Jo.
I look around at the trees with its branches moving elegantly in the breeze. I shiver from the cold wind creeping into my body. I can’t go back now, I’ve to sleep here for the night.
I get on my feet searching for anything to keep me warm. My eyes catch the sight of a nearby fallen log surrounded by scattered broken branches. I make my way to it and gather all the pieces of wood I can see in this darkness.
I sit on the grass crossing my knees and start rubbing the branches together producing heat. After a great deal of failed attempts, a hot flame bursts at my face causing me to stumble backwards.
I fetch some leaves, pile them up as a pillow and rest my head on them. Cuddling up into a ball, I force my eyes shut.
I startle as I hear a loud crashing sound. I straighten up and get on my heels trying to figure out the source of the sound.
Oh My Goodness! The war had already started! I totally forgot it’s today.
I’ve to get back this second!
I push all of my thoughts at the back of my head and start running out of the forest grabbing the detecting device with me.
My heart races as I hear footsteps rushing behind me. I run faster and faster, even though my legs are sore from yesterday then stop when the sound disappears.
I guess they were just my own footsteps. I’m bending on my knees gasping for breath when all of a sudden, a hand touches my shoulder. Not even taking a moment to think, I take my gun out and straighten up facing him.
I sigh in relief the moment our eyes meet.
He looks at me, his eyes full of worry and concern.
“Are you okay?” He asks, looking around as if checking for someone.
I nod and look down at my boots hiding my tears.
I couldn’t help but start sobbing. I left her behind after she saved me, I left my other half. I can’t help but take everything out. I breakdown falling on the wet grass moaning in pain and sorrow. I lost the closest people to my heart. I’m the reason for their death and I’ll never forgive myself. Shame fills my soul as Edward leans in to look at my eyes.
“Zoey, you’re scaring me.”
I stand up and tell him in a broken tone, “Max killed her.”
He knits his eyebrows building up his anger as his jaw clenches.
He turns around towards the back of the forest, I hold his arm to stop him, “Don’t.” I say.
“Why?” He asks behind gritted teeth.
“Because I killed him.”
His angry expression quickly changes to a shocked one.
“You killed your twin!”
I nod, trying to stop the tears from falling.
“We’ll deal with this later.” he says grabbing my wrist and pulling me behind him.
“Where are you taking me?” I question him in a whisper.
“To fight, Zoey, to clean up this mess.” he says over his shoulder.
We’re soon out of the forest and this is when the horrifying sight crosses my eyes.
People are screaming and running with their families and children trying to escape, dead bodies lay on the ground while on the other hand, Xoliners are mercilessly throwing bombs and blowing fire everywhere as fierce dragons.
I never could’ve imagined witnessing this in my life, hearing the screams and groans, smelling blood and fire and seeing fear popping out of everyone’s eyes.
Edward drags me forward to face him and presses his both hands on my shoulders.
“Ready?” he asks clenching his jaw.
I look behind him and focus on a familiar face standing with their most dangerous leader, Marcilus Haunton.
I’ve seen this figure before, the same facial structure, the same height, the same glare. I look back at Edward as an idea rushes into my mind.
“Wait, I’ve got a plan.” I say looking into his eyes.