I only wanted to save him. Stupid. Stupid. No matter what I do, he will still get himself hurt. I gnashed my teeth in frustration, feeling my jaw click in protest. What was I thinking? I was just Agrona's shadow, her second best. They all choose her, in the end. Hell, he did. She was going to run away with him, and leave me with nobody. Even she chose herself instead of me. All I wanted, back then, was to keep my sister. But I was abandoned. Abandoned, but never forgotten. She spent her days after James' funeral sat drawing in her room, endless drawings of spirals and eyes and bones. If I went in, she would stare at me, refusing to say a word until I left. She couldn't, apparently. It stung more than anything at eight. She became skinnier and skinnier, cutting more and more things from her diet until she was bones, yet, she still walked, round and round the town until we were called by whichever poor citizen found her lying on the floor, staring at the sky.
I ran faster, my hair sticking to my tearstained cheeks. My lips were raw from biting, and my head ached. The sun was low enough to sting my eyes, making my eyes stream more than ever. Then, she appeared in front of me, cross legged, as I remembered her from so long ago. I stopped dead. " He's far too good for you," she said, inspecting a hangnail and biting it off as she spoke. " He fought, harder than you ever did." " Take a long walk off a short pier, " I said, turning to walk away until the meaning hit me. " You took him, didn't you? You took him, because he was beginning to prefer me." Her laugh shook the trees, and she stood up, smoothing invisible dirt from her clothes. "No, love, I took him because it's fun. It's terribly fun to listen to him scream." She vanished, and my legs caved from beneath me. I lay in the dirt, as she had done so many years ago, and thought hard enough to tear the sky, it seemed to me. I had to choose now, between my safety and his.