Chapter 9 - I Think I Love You
1400 days ago
That night was the longest night of my life.
I was sick three times in the bushes, each an hour apart.
Hunger stabbed at my stomach.
But wort of all, Aurora kept waking me up just when I began to nod off.
She was talking to someone.
But there was no one there.
"Shhh! Don´t say thaaaat!" she giggles, kneeling with her back to me. A pause follows. "Oh, I knew you liked him! Hahahaaa!" silence. "Well, I saw it coming from day one. You were the couple of the asylum, we could all see it!"
I decide to say nothing. I would only draw attention to myself. Perhaps she´d go crazy.
"It´s so obvious, I know! Ryder and Mackenzie are a definite MATCH! Heeheehee!"
She flops on her blanket.
I open my mouth to interfere. I close it again.
"Thanks for saving me. I know it should be me where you are." she sighs.
There she was.
There´s the girl who I befriended all those years ago.
The real Aurora.
And with that on my mind, I happily fall asleep an hour before waking up to the sound of Ryder´s yells.
"Where is she?" I ask, panicked.
"I don´t know!" he shouts, peering at the blood-soaked blanket.
A trail of blood drops leads into the forest around us, a big pool of the stuff collecting in the blanket.
"Why don´t we just follow these?" I ask.
"Thanks, Captain Obvious!" he says sarcastically. "Don´t you think I thought of that? What if we find her? She´ll probably try kill us!"
I snort dismissively. "I´ve known Aurora a majority of my life. She wouldn´t kill me."
I drag him after me, following the crimson path.
It stops under a bowing branch deep in the forest.
"Well, then," he groans. "Why would it stop he-"
A scarlet droplet splashes on his nose and rolls down to the tip.
Drip. Drip drip.
Wine-red liquid splashes onto my forehead.
"Look up slowly," I say quietly.
And so we do.
"Hiii, Aurora," I say quietly, scared out of my mind.
She stares back down at us, smile pulled across her face.
Slits cover her thighs, arms, hands, wrists, ankles, feet, face, clothes, body- everywhere. Each are red and raw. She clasps a blood-dripping stone in her hand.
The same stone that Ryder used to kill Octavia.
She must have fished it out of her remains...
"Aurora," I weep, covering my mouth with my hands, shaking my head.
"I love this colour," she snickers. "Red. Octavia helped show me it!"
She slices through her thigh. "Oooo!"
"STOP IT, AURORA!" Ryder shouts. He kicks the bow. It snaps. She lands on her feet.
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," she tuts, studying herself. "I´m nearly all out of red."
She grins at us.
"Run," Ryder murmurs.
He didn´t have to tell me twice.
We stumble over roots, tree stumps, fallen logs.
I trip blindly, swatting at branches.
We reach the opening.
I grab my blanket and hurriedly stuff it into my bag.
"I can´t run for much longer," I wheeze. "I have asthma."
Ryder wordlessly hoists me onto his back as a piggyback.
I see Aurora screaming laughing and stumbling towards us before I bury my face in Ryder´s ashy blonde hair and finally use that well-earned sleep.
"We´re going on a field trip over summer break." Aurora weaves her finger between the little powdery mounds of dirt out the back ´garden´ of the asylum. "To Blackpool. We´re going to the funfair on the harbor and we´re gonna win toys and get ice cream. When she gets out. Do you want to come?"
"Aurora," I say. "We don´t get summer break. We don´t get summer. And our mothers can´t get out. I´m sorry."
"Yes she will," she says a little louder than usual. "And we´re gonna go to Blackpool harbor and win gorilla teddies and I´ll see the colour red!"
That red part wasn´t part of the memory.
"What?" I ask. The memory starts to become distorted. Slits and gashes begin to open all over her body, as raw and red as real life. She swells to an unnatural height, her asylum chemicals flaking off and her eyes glowing amber.
"I ´ M N E A R L Y A L L O U T O F R E D . . . "
That´s when I wake up.
I´m slumped against a firm wall, in a small space when I wake up. Pitch black surrounds me.
I open my mouth to say something, but my throat is too dry. What is there to say, anyway?
Do I call out? Or is it too dangerous?
I just gasp uncontrollably, eyes scanning the inky black around me, trying to make sense of everything.
"R-yy-derrr," I croak.
"Ssshhh!" hisses a voice. A cold hand clamps across my mouth.
"Wh-?!?!" my heart hammers, and I feel all around, panicked.
"Calm down!!!" a pale face emerges from the darkness.
My heart skips a beat, and I relax as I distinguish Ryder´s sharp features.
"What are we doing?" I whisper, breathing heavily. The air is limited and dense, wherever we are, and I feel compressed by the little space we have. I feel my shoulders wedged into the wall, and my knees tucked right up to my chin.
I have never been more scared.
"We´re underground. Not too far, but far enough," he hisses back.
His shins are pushed up right against mine, heels dug into the earthen ground.
"I was running with you on my back, and I really couldn´t carry you for much longer. Aurora was chasing me and throwing sharp rocks. So, I decided to hide you behind a log in a clearing, and hide behind some bushes. She passed me, and so I dug this hole and hid us inside...in case she came back...which she will. Aurora´s never given up."
"How long have we been in here for?" I ask, shuffling uncomfortably.
"About half an hour." Ryder looks up at the slab of driftwood covering the hole. "I wonder how the others are doing."
"Yeah," I reply vaguely. "This is scary, Ryder."
"I know." he looks down at the ground, eyebrows fixed in a quizzical manner.
I shuffle awkwardly, and hiccup in a very unladylike manner.
"I think I love you," Ryder says out of the blue.
I look at him. "Eh?"
"I´m not sure," he says, as if pondering it. "I´m not sure what love is, but I think this is it. I think I love you."
"No, you don´t." I sigh. Of course he doesn´t.
"Why do you think I´ve saved you all these times?" he says, eyes boring into mine.
I remain silent.
"I...love you, too." I say in an odd voice.
He presses his hand against mine.
"What´s this?" I ask.
"A hand hug," he replies. "I can´t remember what people do when they´re in love."
And with that, the pattering of rain begins to beat rhythmically on the driftwood above us.
apocalypseArisen That is soooo cute I can´t even rn oh my gosh OTP .O.
1349 days ago
Shelly You must continue! YOU MUST!
1389 days ago
KiwiWolf Continue. Continue right now. ;-; I SHIP RYDER AND
MACKENZIE :~: Don´t die guys, and Nia. FIX AURORA ;-;
1390 days ago
xXSilvermoonXx O.O... Please please please I´m begging you don´t let Ryder or Mackenzie die... I want them to both live! And die together if it ever gets to that point which I wish it doesn´t >.<...
1395 days ago