“It never occurred to me that Enders have Doubles.” Marcus stated as soon as he saw me. I glared at Victoria who was standing next to him. She shrugged and patted Marcus on the shoulder.
“If I hadn’t told him, Norman wouldn’t be on his way right now in search of this ‘Double’ of yours.” Her fingers curved into bunny ears when she said the word Double.
I frowned and they gave each other this knowing look.
“You don’t think I have a Double, do you?” I asked. Victoria shrugged.
“I don’t really know, Shrimp. I guess we will just have to wait and see whether or not Norman dies.” She said carelessly.
“What…but I don’t want anyone to die for me!” I mumbled, “I don’t want him to die.”
“Oh,” Victoria said smugly, “really?”
My eyes widened as I realised my mistake.
Panicked, I stepped backwards and tripped over my own feet. I fell backwards down the staircase. I closed my eyes as I fell. Maybe this nightmare would end if I died. Obviously they wouldn’t let me die but as I opened my eyes, neither of them had moved to help me. I closed my eyes again and welcomed the pain.
It didn’t hurt when I hit the ground. It was more like I had hit a hard pillow. Really, it felt like I was in someone’s hands.
“Hey, hey, Opal, are you ok?” A voice said softly. I opened my eyes and saw that Victoria and Marcus had disappeared. Damn Jumpers. But who was holding me? “Opal, Opal, I need you to be ok.”
I sighed. This was really comfortable. I didn’t know who was holding me but I could just go to sleep right here in these arms.
“Opal, damn it, say something, please.”
“I don’t want Norman to die.” I murmured. The person chuckled and I sat up straight. My eyes drank up the leather biker jacket and the ripped jeans. Before I realised what I was doing I wrapped my arms around him.
He pried my arms off him and I cleared my throat.
“You right there, Opal?” He asked me. Not a hint of embarrassment was shown in his voice.
“I’m sorry, Norman… I didn’t mean… I just…. I’m sorry.” I spluttered.
“Opal…” He said carefully. Oh, I loved the way he said my name. Why didn’t I realise that until now? I swallowed. He stood up and offered me a hand. I took it and tried to ignore the sparks which flew up my arm.
“I thought you went up to Northampton.” I whispered. I frowned and so did he.
“How did you know it was Northampton? I’ve been searching since yesterday for someone who fits the description of your ‘Double’ but nothing showed in Northampton. The only place I found something was Holt in Michigan.”
My eyes widened. That was in America. I had never been to America and honestly I didn’t plan on going.
“I don’t know. It just came to me. Wait-
I grabbed onto Norman’s forearm and saw a fleeting smile pinch the corners of his mouth for a split second and I felt full of sunshine. I looked past him and squeezed my eyes shut.
There he was. My Double stared at me out of his deep brown eyes. I saw him- innocent and afraid when he first saw a girl with green eyes.
When he first realised that she was special. I saw him time travelling with the green eyed girl. I watched him and envied the way he looked at her. I stared at him as he joined her brother and her father’s little group.
I watched as he packed up and moved with them up to Northampton. I watched as he said goodbye to his closest friend at the orphanage he was staying at. And then I saw him talking to two older guys. And then he and the green eyed girl were kissing.
The last thing I saw was the sadness filling his dark eyes as he sat alone in a gloomy room, hands on his head.
“Norman…I saw him. I saw it when he had no idea what any of this was. But he met this girl. And she told him everything and then they moved to Northampton.”
“Is it just the two of them?” Norman asked. I shook my head and took my hand off his arm. He stared down at the place where my hand had rested and I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his head.
“There are four of them. Him, a girl, her Double and an old guy who looks like Gandalf or Dumbledore….” I said. Norman frowned.
“MARCUS,” Norman called, “Do you know any Dumbledore or Gandalf looking Jumpers who live with a male jumper, his Double and another boy?”
Marcus stepped into view, his hands behind his back and nodded.
“I believe the man you are referring to is Caspar. Caspar is one of the oldest living Jumpers in existence. He has chosen to grow old rather than keep his youthful appearance. Therefore he is the only Jumper that I know of who looks old enough to fit your description. He has both a son and a daughter who are fortunately Doubles. It is most likely that your Double, Opal, is staying with them.”
I noted that he said my name differently than Norman did.
Victoria Jumped in front of us and I almost jumped out of my skin. Norman noticed and held both my arms the way I saw my Double and the green eyed girl when they kissed. I tried to ignore it.
“Wait a second,” Victoria frowned as she tried to make sense of it all, “the daughter is the weapon, isn’t she? She’s the one they’ve all been talking about.”
“Who’s been talking about her?” Marcus’s voice thundered.
“Other Jumpers…” She trailed off, leaving me to wonder just how many of these people there were.
Norman’s fingers lingered as they left me and I gave him a brief smile.
“What does she look like, Opal? Can you find her name? I know it might be hard but it will be easier to find them.” Marcus asked me. He acted professional even now when my entire world seemed to be crashing down and being rebuilt at the same time.
I focused on Calum and closed my eyes hard.
I saw him talking to her- protecting her, loving her and then I heard him talking urgently.
“There are two things I really want to tell you, Elodie.”
The image swam in my head as this pretty, young and violent girl stood and listened to Calum. For such a brutal girl, the vulnerability in her eyes caught me off guard.
“I think I’m in love with you.”
I opened my eyes, desperate to see Norman’s but disappointed to see not only his but Victoria and Marcus’s as well.
“She has curly auburn hair which Calum loves against her obvious green eyes and she is quite slim. He loves her. He loves her so much that he is hurting inside and I don’t think she cares.” My voice broke on the last word and Norman moved in to comfort me.
Victoria stared past me with recognition and confusion on her face.
“I’m sure she cares, Shrimp- I’m sure she just doesn’t know how to show it.” Victoria spoke as if from experience.
“What was her name?” Marcus cut in, ignoring Norman’s hands on my shoulders.
I looked down, remembering Calum’s helpless tone as he said her name.
Why did they want to know her name? What was so important about her and the fact that she was apparently a weapon, that my Double’s looks were unimportant. I looked back up and saw unease apparent in Norman’s eyes.
“Give me a second,” I whispered. I wanted to see more about her before I betrayed the love of my Double’s life to these people I hadn’t known very long.
It made me wonder about my father. Was he out looking for me or was he not bothered? Would he care if I never came back or would he be delighted if these people sent me off to his academy as a spy?
I shook the thoughts as three expectant pairs of eyes waited for me.
There was Calum as his feet transported him to an obviously unsettled Elodie who sat on a bench ‘reading’.
There was Calum taking his lunch as he went and sat next to a troubled Elodie.
There was Calum hugging Elodie tightly as she went into a fit of rage.
There was Calum sitting outside Elodie’s door for two days before she calmed down.
There was Elodie standing behind Calum as he strummed out the perfect melody on a guitar.
At that moment I knew that she loved him too.
“Her name is Elodie.”