It's one thing to be bothered; it's another thing to be replaced.
I thought people always depended on me. I thought that, even though I'm not pretty or witty or popular, at least I'm dependable. At least I'm strong. At least I have that much.
Those were the thoughts running through my head when I noticed Ro was relying on Rixon and not me anymore. Don't get me wrong - I'm so happy that Ro's happy and has someone to trust - but if I'm no longer the reliable one...who am I, exactly?
But all those thoughts of insecurity have been replaced by fear. Fear of the unknown. When I heard Scarlett scream a second time, I knew something's terribly awry.
The basement is odd. It's like all the books have been shoved to one side of the room, as if to hide something. Normally, I would've simply assumed the shop didn't have enough books to fill the room, or that the owners wanted to maximize the small space they have, but this is different. This is where Scarlett disappeared.
Suddenly, the bookshop doesn't seem so intriguing and enjoyable anymore. I think it's just twisted our fates...
Ro begins to frantically shove books aside, looking for some opening in the back of the shelf, but Rixon and I are a little more cautious. Whatever made Scarlett scream is probably going to be dangerous for us, too. The thought makes me shiver, and I pause for a moment in my desperate attempt to figure out what's up with the bookshelf. Shuddering, I close my eyes and imagine all the possibilities.
"Maybe it's not even on this side," I say, and I motion towards the books. "Maybe she disappeared elsewhere in the basement."
Ro looks at me with confused eyes. "It's gotta be something about the books, though," she says. "I mean, it's just plain wall on the other side of the basement."
And then, Rixon has found an opening. Somehow, he's revealed a secret...secret corridor, or room, or whatever's lurking beyond the bookshelf. I feel stupid, really stupid. This is one of the few times I've been proven wrong, and it doesn't sit well with me.
I chide myself for my bitter feelings. Let Rixon be the hero! I don't care, as long as Scarlett's safe.
"Well...do we head in?" I hear Ro ask. My heart falls when I realize Ro isn't looking to me for direction.
She's looking to Rixon to make the tough decision.
"Yeah," Rixon says. "We've got to find her."
Without so much as a "by-your-leave," Rixon and Ro enter the secret passageway. I wrestle with my ego as I realize that I'm losing my identity as the "strong one." I might not even be needed anymore.
After one last look around the basement, I follow.