A few minutes after Eric had gone outside, I started feeling restless. I stood up and walked through the infirmary. I paused when I heard Eva's voice.
I turned to face her. She was smiling.
"Good on you for ending things with Eric. Now we can be fully focused on the team."
Did she honestly just say that?
"How can you be like that?!" I asked. "I was in love with him. And you're pleased because we broke up! Do you not care about your team's feelings? Is everything just about beating Shadow? What is your problem?!"
I stormed off before she could reply.
I found myself outside in blinding sunlight. Why was it sunny? Was the weather pleased too?
I ran into the forest, wanting to escape the sun's taunting rays. It felt like the whole world was against me, though no one else had said anything. It was probably because my emotions were in a mess. My aura was a scattered rainbow of colours, but it wasn't pretty. There were slashes everywhere, showing vicious streaks of invisible, empty air. Eric... I wanted to be with him. But I couldn't. He could ruin me. I hated how that sounded (as if I were totally self-centred) but when your life's perfect, you know what's good for you and disrupting your inner peace did not fall into that category.
I stopped near a tree, hearing voices. I spotted Eric a few metres away. He didn't appear to notice me. He was talking to AJ. I gasped as I heard what he was saying. He was explaining how he had the shadows, describing a time when he had tried to kill himself as a baby. This horrified me: he'd wanted to end his life before it had begun?! I felt a surge of pity. And then, a horrid mixture of envy and sadness. Why couldn't he tell me these things? Did he think I wouldn't understand? And why could he tell AJ? Was she somehow ... better than me, more trustworthy? I felt anger and hurt well up inside of me. He stopped talking, looked up and noticed me.
"Did our relationship mean nothing?!" I yelled. I no longer cared about what he'd been through. I just wanted to cause him as much pain as possible. "Did you even love me?! Or did you just like me because I was pretty?"
Eric remained sat and looked at the floor. "I do love you. How could I tell the only person I've loved since my mistake. That I'm a dead man and repulsed by my own presence."
"Repulsed by yourself?! As if! You're just saying that because you don't want me to know the real reason. I'm guessing the real reason is that you didn't think I'd understand! And that really hurts, you know! The fact you thought I wouldn't try to understand is an insult: you're saying I wouldn't care about how you'd been feeling, you're saying I would judge you because of your past. I mean, how horrible is that! After all that we shared together! How could you think that of me?!" I realised that I was probably being unfair. After all, Eric wouldn't really think of me like that. Not after I had shown him he could open up to me and feel love without fear of it being shoved back in his face. But I was in a mood for self-pitying, still smarting from the sting of watching him confide in someone other than me. Even though the relationship was over, I still saw him as my Eric and saw myself as his Mystry.
"Mystry, it's not like that at all. I hate myself for being what I am!" Eric says getting to his feet and almost moving towards me.
"I don't believe you!" I yelled. "And why should I, you liar? If you lied about this, what's stopping you lie about other things?"
"I am not a liar!" Eric was starting to get mad. Really mad. The shadows crackled around him, crawling up his legs like snakes. "I would never think of you that way. If you believe that then you must be going crazy-"
"Don't say I'm crazy" I shouted, cutting him off.
"I can say that, especially when you're not letting me finish."
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw AJ start to back away.
"Fine then. If you couldn't tell me, why could you tell AJ?" I said, gesturing to her with my head.
"I needed to tell someone. I wanted to tell you... but then I saw the effect I was having on you. I didn't want you to turn into someone like me. I've done more things than try to take my own life, Myst. It's the first time in ages that I was scared to open up to someone 'cause I cared about them. Not just 'cause I would have to look on the dirt that I am."
"You could have opened up to me! That's what I was there for!"
"If I had told you, would you have reacted differently? Would you have stayed with me or would we still be in the same situation now? With you accusing me," he whispered quietly.
"You're scum! Evil scum!"
I saw the pain in Eric's eyes but I didn't care because the pain in my heart was causing me to cry.
"I thought you were brilliant! I adored being in your company! Look how wrong I was. I embraced the shadows, didn't I? I would have embraced all of you! But you didn't think of that! I could have helped you! I can see how little I meant to you!"
Some distant part of me told me I wasn't quite making sense but I was too upset to care. Irrationalism was kind of to be expected when you felt like a worthless piece of junk.
Eric didn't reply. A thought whispered into my mind. You meant everything to me, Myst.
"I hate you," I whispered, before running away.