“Don’t say that,” I told him.
“What else do you want me to say?” he asked.
I pursed my lips, “I don’t know. It’s been a long day.”
“You know, when you left, I never expected this would be what you came back to,” Wyatt chuckled sarcastically. “Don’t think I’ll want to come back anytime soon.”
“Wyatt, I think you need to know something.”
“What is it?”
“In the past few months, I actually found out a lot about my parents. And, well, some of it is a bit...shocking.”
Wyatt raised his eyebrows, “Shocking? How so?”
“Well, let me start from the beginning…”
I took a deep breath, “I was born into the Order, and stayed there for five years until...something happened.”
“You were born at the Castle!?” Wyatt’s eyes bulged. “How did you not remember it?”
“I don’t know. There’s still a lot of pieces that I need to put together. For now, let me just tell you what I do know. When I was young, my parents were sent to Old Tenebris to figure out why the twilight was so much stronger here. So they came as they were told, and returned with Aunt Aurelia, who had lost her home weeks before they arrived.”
“But Aurelia was out in the twilight too long. My parents didn’t know she had become a Dweller before they brought her back to the Castle. Her instinct took over, and well...she attacked another Guardian.”
“When they realized what happened, my parents tried to protect her. Their only option was to run, and so they grabbed me and fled from the Order. Eventually, the Guardians caught up to them, and to save my family, Celeste’s father sacrificed himself.”
“So that girl’s had it out for you in the very beginning,” Wyatt said.
I nodded, “At first, she held it all in. That was until I spoke to the Master last Duscan. He said he burned any records regarding the incident. When Celeste heard that my parents would be able to walk free, she snapped. By the time we caught up to her, Old Tenebris…”
Tears began to well up in my eyes, “You didn’t deserve any of this. None of you did. I should’ve been here, Wyatt. I should’ve—”
Wyatt glared at me with daggers. I hadn’t seen such a stern expression on him in such a long time. He was always the guy with the smile on his face, the best friend who knew how to lighten my mood.
“I’m not going to let you beat yourself up over this,” he said sternly. “You might not let anyone notice, Elijah, but everyone can see it. You love to carry the blame, even when there’s nothing you could do to change the situation. No one expects you to be perfect. Nothing could have prevented what happened years ago, especially a scared little five year-old. So drop it. No more dancing around what could have been, and start focusing on what is.”
“It’s for your own good Elijah. Trust me, the best way to live is in the present. You know what that feels like, because you’ve done it before.”