It was the day before our grand plan was about to be put into action. Jamie was hard at work on her bomb, goggles strapped tightly over her eyes, giving her a mad scientist appearance. Robin was practicing his fencing form, while Ulna watched him, sarcastically criticizing how sloppy it was. William was sitting in front of my half sister, eying her, plainly concerned that she was going to mess up. I was talking to Don about some of my concerns that would not leave me alone. He listened patiently like a psychologist.
“Finir!” My sister exclaims suddenly. She reaches up and pulls the goggles from her eyes, letting them rest on the top of her head.
William releases his pent up breath in relief, as everyone’s eyes fly to Jamie. Robin immediately stops practicing and walks over to examine her work. A wide grin spreads over his strong features, “Magnifique!” He tells her, reaching out and wiping a layer of smut from around her eyes so she would look less like a raccoon.
I strut over, delicately taking the device from her filthy and burned hands, “It’s beautiful! Nice job, James.” I tell her, giving her an approving look. She beams at me, while I gently slip it back into her capable palms.
William snatches it from her, turning it over in his hands, “William!” She growls hazardously, reaching out two hands in concern as if he was about to drop her new-born child.
“Not bad, shrimp.” He confesses with a frown, returning the grenade to her.
Jamie takes it, cradling it gently, while glaring at William like a wolf. Her face burned scarlet with annoyance and her hazel eyes flashed with hatred. I had to do something before they chewed each other out for the second time that day.
Tempers were high. I can’t blame them for being on edge with the inevitable approach of the fight. “Is everything ready?” Their glares break, as the two, Jamie and Will, give me a nod.
I nod back before turning to address the room, “It is finally time for us to take back our world.” There is a roar, but I quickly silence them with a wave of my hand. We couldn’t have the guards coming in at a time like this. Even worse, we couldn’t make them suspicious.
“I would just like to tell you that it has been wonderful knowing all of you.” I say each of their names in turn, “I also must inform you that it is likely that we all may not escape from this hell hole.” There is a grim, determined silence from the crowd.
“Unfortunately, the only way for us to survive is to carry out this plan. Unless you wish to die here, you must help this plan to succeed.” There is a quiet murmur. I know that they understand what I am saying: you couldn’t back out, even in the beginning, unless you no longer wanted to live.
“Throughout this ordeal, you have all become my family.” A silent tear roles down my pale cheek and my voice chokes up, “We have been united against a similar enemy, which has bonded us together like brothers and sisters.”
“I love you all.” I finish, my eyes doing a quick scan of all the faces before me. There is a cry of admiration and inspiration, stifled only by tears of sadness and pain, before everyone begins their own individual farewells, in case of death.
I turn to my best friends, a couple of tears now glistening in my eyes. I see my sister rub her nose, red from her crying. There are tear tracks on her face, giving her two white stripes among all of the soot on her cheeks. Robin quickly pulls her into a passionate hug, letting Jamie sob into his shoulder.
I smile a little, rubbing the crystals from my eyes, trying to remain strong. I know that William notices, because he, too, pulls me into a hug, “I don’t want to die.” I whisper gently into his ear. He gives me a reassuring squeeze.
“You won’t, ginger. You’re too stubborn for that.” I laugh a little. I just can’t help it.
“Leave it to you to crack a joke just before you die.” I mutter.
“Would you stop saying we’re going to die!” He growls in exasperation. I smile into his shoulder, “I mean, come on, England! You have a future to live for.” He mutters. My smile quickly disappears.
“No, I don’t.” I tell him, closing my eyes as tears begin to accumulate.
“Yes, a future with your sister,” He whispers, “and with me.” My eyes fly open in astonishment. Did I really just hear him say that?
I quickly recover from shock, “Yes.” That one, simple word gave me a reason to live. It meant that what I had been hoping for was actually true. The boy did return my affection.
He pulls me in closer, his hand resting on the back of my head, crumpling my long, straight, ruby hair. I cry; I let my tears, which had been held in for so long, soak the shoulder of his rugged, black t-shirt.
“I’ll live.” I sob, my hands tightly grasping the back of his shirt.
He nods and let’s go of me, holding me steady at arm’s length, “You never cease to amaze me, ginger.” He gives me a boyish grin, which I then return.
“I refuse to go the easy way.” I state, wiping the remaining tears from my eyes, “The easy way is no fun.”
I look at Ulna, who is looking at the cement ground, allowing her heavy, dark bangs hide her tears. Jamie still has her face buried, but the sound of her tears can be heard. Don has a pained look on his face, as if he can feel our pain and sadness, but he refuses to cry. I can even see a couple tears rolling down Robin’s face as he holds my half sister in his arms.
Seeing such strong people makes me curious to see others reactions. I turn to look at the others in the room. Most of them are sobbing or hugging each other. Some pray to their gods or god. I even see a couple of pairs kiss each other. I suppose if there ever was a time to confess feelings, it was now.
I feel happy that everyone was willing to die for the cause, but, at the same time, it saddened me greatly. That they would follow a leader was impressive, but that they would follow a leader like me was disconcerting.
Could I really be the leader that they needed, or was I simply a child pretending?
To Be Continued…