Part II: Unguarded
I woke up all sweaty and with my heart in my head. What I saw just moments before happened to be memories from my past. They weren’t good images and I really wanted them to be one of those things I’d eventually forget and leave behind.
I sat up and tried to collect my thoughts. It was dark in the room and I felt alone again even though I heard my…roommate sleeping nearby. Even though my eyes weren’t that great, I could sense that I’d thrown some things around in my sleep again. I was much too tired to pick them up, so I hoped that the others would understand. After all, this really was all that I could hope for.
My fatigue caught up with me again and I lied back down and waited for sleep to come. It didn’t no matter how long I waited, it just wouldn’t happen. I stayed still for hours and my misery clearly showed the next day.
I’d already assumed that it was going to be awful and for the most part it was. The weather was cold and windy. I didn’t like being stuck in these classes as a part of my parole, but I hated being outside even more. Then those dumb thoughts came into my mind again. I was sitting outside away from the others once more and felt nostalgic even though it had been only yesterday. I struggled to hold onto the memory.
Someone had talked to me, I think. I couldn’t recall his name, but it would come to me eventually. He was right about what he said, but my pride and fear made getting over my mistake rather difficult.
“Hey, Jaime.” A familiar voice said from nearby.
I didn’t reply and ignored him. He just didn’t know when to quit, did he?
“Come on, I know you can hear me.” Mace came up to me and sat down beside me.
“Go away.” I tensed up and inched away.
“I just want to know what happened to you…and why you’re like this. You’re like a completely different person now.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“It does to me! Why must you keep pushing me away?”
I looked down and tried to keep my emotions together. I remained tense as he tried to hug me. The second I was touched, he got a rather weak punch to the face. He seemed hurt for a moment, but was still determined. I hated that about him.
“That was uncalled for!”
“Who the fuck cares?!” I snapped and stood up to go inside.
I had just about enough of this crap.
“I know you’re still in there somewhere! What’re you afraid of?”
“You don’t know anything about me.” I mumbled.
“You might be surprised.” He tried to come in close again, but I wouldn’t have any of it and threw a knife I carried towards him. The blade stopped just inches from his forehead.
“You know, I didn’t want to believe them when they said you were once a villain. I hate to think how alone you must’ve felt back then.”
“What’s your point? You think that’s going to stop me?” The control over the knife twitched from my own stress.
“If you really wanted to kill me, you would’ve done it already. Especially if you are as lost as you think you are.”
“You…don’t know anything.” I felt my guard drop slowly.
The knife sank from the air and fell to the ground. Mace now had a faint mark on his cheek where I punched him. He clearly hesitated before trying to hug me again. So many thoughts ran through my mind over what I should do, but before I came to a conclusion, he was holding me in his arms.
“You’re an idiot…” My voice was low.
“Yeah, I know. Shall we go back inside?”
“Maybe we could stay here for a bit longer?”
“Of course.” He gave a reassuring smile and embraced a little tighter.
After a few minutes, my tolerance with him ended and I pushed him away, he looked a little sad. I moved away from him and hoped that no one saw what we did. It wasn’t like I was embarrassed over him, but I was afraid I’d be pressure into something I wouldn’t want in the end.
“Are we…um…you know?”
“Don’t push it. I’m going back inside.” I turned around to go back inside.
“I’m still gonna remain hopeful, you know.”
“Yeah, I do.” I went through the door and went to sleep in my room.
Seeing the food that was set out distracted me. I had to get closer to see what was there. I wondered who were had been making all of this. I’d offer them my thanks if I knew who they were…and if my pride would allow it. After getting a plate and returning to where I was before, I hoped that I could keep the food down this time. I reached out for something, but my hand made contact with some strange feeling skin and I pulled back in surprise.
“O-Oh sorry!” Someone said.
Looking over at them, I recognized the orange and black blur.
“I should apologize to you, not the other way around.” My eyes fell to the floor.
“Why, what did you do?”
“I was being ignorant before. I’ve also known Rowan as an ‘it’ in my mind, as well. I don’t know any better, sorry. It’s easier for me to just label something and not worry about it.”
“Oh. That’s okay. I’m sure they don’t mind, either. Well, they probably do, but it’s okay with me. I go by ‘they’ pronouns for now. Rowan probably does, too.”
“Do you mind if we start over, then?”
“From the beginning. I introduce myself and you do the same. Since we share the same room, it wouldn’t hurt, don’t you think?”
“Does that mean you won’t throw anything at me anymore?” They looked a little fearful.
“When did I do that?”
“In your sleep. Someone said you can’t control it?”
“They’re right. It’s nothing personal. Just means I’m having some bad dreams.”
“Oh. I don’t like to be alone when that happens. It’s scary being by myself here.”
“Well, if you need to talk, I’m here. Just, like, don’t tell the others, okay? I don’t think they’re as forgiving as you. Also, if I’m throwing things around, please wake me up. It’s draining using my ability even while I’m asleep.” I stopped myself before I’d get carried away.
“It’s a little shocking, but okay. I’ll try to.” They gave a convincing smile.
“Thank you.” I tried doing the same, but it probably didn’t look as genuine as I wanted it to.
They gave another bright grin before taking some food and going over to where the others were. I contemplated doing the same, but I wouldn’t feel right if Rowan was there. From what I remember, they looked really scary. Ahti was like the opposite of them, being tiny and sorta cute.