Welcome to the Resistance.
The words rung in my head like the aftermath of an explosion that my mind was yet to overcome. Upon letting me know that I was now officially part of a rebellion, and a dangerous one at that, Philomena and Sahara had proceeded to explain to me exactly what had been going on over the past few months. But everything they said hung in the air, unprocessed as I sat there in shock, my mind simply refusing to let it sink in.
They'd told me everything I'd needed to know. That the Resistance had been formed by Philomena to strike back against the oppressive nature of the Selvites and Kathites who regarded us as scum. They told me how the members of the Resistance weren't caught by the Council as they'd gone into hiding underground, and that Sahara had been the only member sent into the meeting but she'd had a protective enchantment cast on her mind.
"Tiberus was just a scapegoat. He was deluded with the wrong information so they won't get anything out of interrogating him."
My mouth dropped open upon hearing that. "Does he know that?"
Philomena laughed, her green eyes lighting up as if I'd said the funniest thing in the world. "Of course not. How else would the plan work?"
My mouth suddenly felt dry and I licked my lips. "So you'd given him misleading information and purposely let him get caught?"
Philomena shrugged casually. "He served his purpose."
"Once he's released by the Council, will he be an active member of the Resistance?" I asked.
Sahara cleared my doubts for me by shaking her head. "No. The Council would be keeping a close eye on him, so letting him know our real plans would be a disaster. Like Philomena said, he has made his contribution to the Resistance. After this, we won't have further use for him."
My eyes narrowed upon hearing this. So they'd only just used him for their own convenience, to get what they wanted so they'd be on the right track. "What makes this any different from how they treat us?" The question slipped out of my mouth unknowingly but I rambled on, feeling frustration and tinges of anger express itself in my words. "You used him, like a puppet, for your benefit."
"Not for our benefit. For the benefit of everyone. For your family, for mine, and for all the other Durmans who've been pushed down to follow the orders of the so-called 'higher' class." Philomena spoke calmly but with a firmness in her voice, like she wanted to rid me of the negative thoughts I had. "It may seem wrong now but you'll realize that Tiberus did us a lot of good when we get our freedom."
I pressed my lips together tightly, glaring at the ground. I never liked trouble, I never wanted to have anything to do with it. Yet here I was, sitting in the living room of a stranger I'd met just an hour ago, plotting out the most life-changing events that were about to happen. Why had Sahara pulled me into this?
Standing up, I said coldly, "I'm going home." Without further ado, I walked out of the room and towards the front door, yanking it open but I felt someone place their hand on my shoulder comfortingly. It was Philomena.
"I know how you feel Safiya. Trust me, I do. But do you really want to spend the rest of your life wondering how different things would have been if we'd lived in a world of equality?" She smiled lightly. "You don't have to anymore."