Part I: Renewal
“Do you understand the terms of your parole, miss Santiago?”
I didn’t reply out of my own bitterness towards the situation. It was simple: They caught me. I’d given up and allowed myself to be captured. I was just so tired. Tired of running. Tiring of hiding. With my health slowly deteriorating, I knew my time was running out. I decided to give in and let them to whatever they wanted.
Unfortunately, my capture hadn’t resulted in me going without damage. A few of heavy set guards had ambushed me and I crushed against the floor. I’d panicked and thrown everything around me at them in my anger and surprise. It went black shortly after that.
“Don’t tell me your hearing is going, too.” The man in front of me mumbled.
I was pulled back into the present by his voice.
“I can hear you.”
“Good. Did you understand what I said?”
“You’ll be held here before being taken to an academy so they can set you on the right path. You’ll be taken when your injuries have healed up enough for you to walk, at least.”
I hugged myself and looked away.
The man stood up and walked out the room from the other side of the glass. If I really wanted to express my anger, a thin layer of glass would be useless to my barrage. Unfortunately, I was in too much pain to do anything at the moment. They’d given me a room that had everything stuck into the ground in a way so I couldn’t lift them.
When a doctor came into the room, my attention immediately went to the items I could use as a weapon. I then recognized him and realized he wasn’t a threat. Not right now, at least. He was the only nice person I’d encountered here. He greeted me kindly and took my blood pressure.
“How’re you feeling today?”
“Everything hurts. I hate it here.”
“I can’t increase the dosage of the painkillers, unfortunately. The place where you’re going is much nicer than here, at least.”
“I don’t care about that…”
“Oh. Well. Anything else you want to know?”
“When I was captured, how bad was the damage? I know I wasn’t really doing too well before then, so I need to know.”
“Hm, it resulted in several broken ribs and fractures. The internal bleeding was able to be stopped, but might become an issue again in the future.”
“What can I do?” I asked, already feeling hopeless.
“You need to put on some weight to begin with. I’d hate to add more medication to what you’re already taking, but the most important thing you can do is believe you can pull through this.”
“That’s not very promising.”
“I know. There’s not much else we can do, unfortunately.”
I sighed and looked down.
“You need to turn this around. If you don’t, your condition will worsen and you’ll be dead by the end of the year. I hate to be blunt, but I’m sure you’re tired of people not telling you how it really is.” He was looking something over on the clipboard he brought with him.
“Why should I have hope for any of this? I’d be glad to leave this shitty world.”
“There’s still good in this world, Jaime. And I believe that’s worth fighting for.”
I pondered his words and let him check the progress of the condition and my wounds. He wrote several things down on the clipboard and went up to the door. He stopped and turned towards.
“Take care of yourself wherever you end up, alright?”
“I make no promises.” I mumbled.
He sighed and walked out.
My healing process was slow and painful. I didn’t want to cooperate with anyone as I hated anyone touching me. They were very particular about taking my hands and helping me walk, but I wouldn’t have any of that. I wouldn’t even give them a chance. It also didn’t help that some of the fractures had been in my hands. They were now sensitive and numb depending on what I was doing. Using my ability made them sore now, also.
I found that my eyesight was getting worse as well. I was able to sense where objects were, but if I couldn’t see a person close by, I would have no idea they’d be there in the first place. They forced me to try glasses, but I found them uncomfortable and they didn’t really help too much. I was slowly going blind and there wasn’t much I could do about it.
I spent a few weeks being held in the facility before I was taken to a large city. From there, I was forced onto a bus and was supposed to be fine with being herded along like cattle. To add to my misery, Mace was going to the same academy. He tried to talk to me and deep down I really wanted to know how he’d been, but I knew I couldn’t get close to anyone. If anything happened to me, they’d be upset. And I’d be filled with guilt when I would decide to give up. This was probably a feeling I was going to have to get used to here.
This was proven further when I’d gotten my first encounter with the others I was supposed to be living with. They seemed kind enough, but I had to push them away. My vision couldn’t really tell me what a few of the beings were and I just went with an “it” pronoun when I’d been asked about them. Apparently, I was wrong to do so as a large black…thing snarled at me over my mistake.
Despite the fact that I wasn’t really getting along with anyone, this place seemed nice enough. They seemed so hopeful for their futures. Why was I feeling jealous? Why was I feeling angry? I wouldn’t live to see them live up to their glory. Why were they even giving me a chance? Putting me on the right path? What a joke.
Any form of physical exercise was hard for me. I tried not to show that I was as strained as I felt. I noticed another student having troubles as well, so I decided to keep this to myself. Sleep that night had been impossible. The roommate who was assigned to be with me was an Ithari… whatever that was.
There were so many terms that they’d tried to force into my mind recently. I couldn’t retain it even if I wanted to. It…or…They seemed to forgive me for my mistake. This was already a bad sign. I didn’t want their pity. I didn’t want them to get close…I didn’t want anyone to get close…I had always depended on myself in the past. Why would I change that now?