I couldn't stand it. He couldn't know what it was like; seeing his face and not seeing Evan behind it. Not seeing everything I'd grown to love staring back at me.
I lasted all of the first lesson before I had to bail. I couldn't stand it. The monotony of class seemed so trivial now that I knew, now that I'd changed, now that Evan no longer existed.
I sought solace in the library, curled in the corner of the shelves where bean bags were nestled and people rarely came. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew I woke to a knife at my throat.
"You're inked." The librarian knelt in front of me, no longer the meek woman I'd gotten used to seeing. She had power, suddenly she was different. But then wasn't my whole world?
"Yeah. Guess I am. If you're going to kill me, you might as well do it quickly. It's not like I've got anything worth caring about anymore."
She blinked, and suddenly the mousy librarian returned to her eyes, all kindness and sympathy.
"That's no way to think. Just because I'm going to have to kill you doesn't mean you should regret your life. I mean at least fight back; use your powers."
"I don't know what my powers are."
"So you're new to this. Let me see; at least then you'll know before you die."
"But then what's the point?"
"I told you, you can put up a fight."
"Why do you want me to fight?"
"Because if you don't even try it's like killing someone when their back is turned. We fight with honour." Pride blossomed in her eyes, and she nodded to my sleeve. "Let's see the ink."
"An honourable killer. How medieval." I rolled my eyes, but pulled up my sleeve anyway. The knife dropped from her hand in to my lap. The woman was staring at my arms, where shooting stars burst and sped across my skin.
She muttered something I couldn't hear, then turned and hurried away, still muttering. She reached the end of the row and turned, gesturing for me to follow. I stood, gripping the knife, and followed.
We went to her desk, and she unlocked the cabinets that held the books no one was allowed to touch; books so old they might fall apart at the lightest touch. Her fingers trailed the covers lovingly, until one book, older than the rest, came to them. She plucked it out gently, and laid it on the desk.
"This is your history."
"My history? Don't you mean inked people's history?"
"No, I mean your history. You're no normal inked person. If you were I'd have let you know and killed you right there. Why do you think you're living?"
"Because you're nice and honourable and I refuse to give a damn if I live or die?"
"No. Because you're the saviour."
"The saviour? What is this? The bible?"
"Your version, I suppose. Read. It will help you understand."
"But... you're not going to kill me?"
"No. That's not my job. You're far to important, far too good for me to kill. Besides, we both want the same thing."
"I don't want to kill inked people."
"No. But you'll want to kill some of them, when you know who and what you are."
Then she left me, alone with the book. I stared at it for a good long while. Did I want to know? Did I trust her? For all I knew she could be insane.
Finally the urge to understand took over, and I lifted the cover.
Ink: Histories of the Gods, Goddess's and
Battles of our world.
Gods and Goddess's? Battles? What was this thing? It looked like one of those greek mythologies we had studied last year in English. I scanned the index looking for any clue to why the librarian had given me this book. Then I saw his name. Apollo.
Without hesitation I flicked to the page and began to read the story of Apollo.