Garrett made sure that I didn’t have to re-tell my story to the others, and I was very grateful for that. I felt guilty, and like I had betrayed them though; I had told the one person that had held back on me, when the other two had told me their stories freely.
I felt so much closer to Garrett but at the same time, I felt awkward around him because of how I had acted that night. I was absolutely pathetic, and I hated people to see me weak, as he had done. If you’re vulnerable, if you let people in, they can, and most likely will, hurt you.
The next morning (at around 11 a.m.), I stumbled my way to the kitchen, tired from crying and tired of the nightmares. As it was quite late to have woken up (I usually woke up at 8), I was undisturbed in my morning ritual. Grab a bowl, grab a spoon. Get cereal, get milk. Pour into bowl. Just preparing this tediously simple meal seemed difficult that morning. I sighed, taking my breakfast with me to the sofa, and putting it down in a small wooden table. I went to the bookshelf (that changed every day as if it was a shop) for a good book to escape into. I spotted something strangely familiar, and picked it up. I turned it over and studied it closely. It was a book that I remembered from my childhood, an exact copy. The cover was crumpled in the same places; it even had a missing corner. I opened it to page 166 and gasped, dropping it. There, across the page, was a blood splatter. Not just any blood. My blood.
When I was eleven, I was reading this book (it was one of my favourites), when my father came in to my room, in a fit of rage. I don’t even know why, but he hit me so hard that my nose and lip started bleeding. This was a regular occurrence, but my blood had gone all over the page that I was reading. Page 166. I had never been able to read that book again without feeling sick.
Even the house had decided to torture me with memories.
I bent down to retrieve the book, which had ended up partly under the bookshelf. As I grabbed it, I saw a flash of white. I put my hand under, and pulled out a plain book. The title wasn’t memorable, and I’d never heard of the author. I flicked through the pages, and was surprised to see that in the empty margins, there were little notes scribbled. The handwriting was small and printed. I went to the first note and read it.
01/05- I feel so alone sometimes, despite all of the people in the house. That’s when the darkness creeps into my mind. It’s because I’m different, I know that. At least I have my brother here, although he’s never been much fun.
I took the book over to the sofa, not planning on reading the actual book at all. It was the notes, the mysterious ‘A’ that intrigued me. Who was he? What was this darkness? I read on hoping I’d get more of the story.
26/05- I can’t believe I’ve been here so long. My baby brother is thriving- he can talk to these people like I cannot.
02/06- I miss her. With every fibre of my being, but I suppose that’s why I’m here. I left her because I had to, not because I wanted to.
Do you miss me too, love?
I was surprised to find Felix and Seth in some of the entries.
08/07- Had an argument with Felix today. He says I’m unfit to be a Guardian. Who cares what he thinks, with his stupid goody two shoes outlook on life. He doesn’t understand. My brother stood with Seth, saying nothing as usual.
I read every one of them, desperate to know what happened to A. He had many more arguments with Felix, which was strange as the Felix I knew was so mild tempered. He hated Seth for no particular reason, and grew more agitated with his brother. He often commented on the ‘darkness within’, that he couldn’t escape. I had finally made it throught the months, to the last two disturbing entries.
09/09- I sensed her, I knew she was close. I opened the door to her familiar street. I left and took cautious steps towards her house. I took her. I had to. It is unforgivable, I know, but I don't care. The darkness has finally taken over; only she can heal me.
I gasped, wondering what happened. What had he done to this nameless girl that he was so obsessed with? I turned to the last vandalised page, and took a deep breath.
03/12- They found her. I knew they would eventually, but I thought I could keep her longer, keep her till our baby came. Now she's gone. I've been banished, no longerallowed to stay here. I don't care about that, the Warriors wil take me, but they killed her. I can never forgive them. I will never forget. I will have my revenge.
Oh baby brother, you saved her from my evil clutches, but to what cost? You are dead to me. No, worse. I will kill you myself.
Goodbye, Lilly. Farewell my love.
I looked up, amazed and disgusted. He had kept her for over three months. In this house. I shivered with revulsion. A's story had brought up many questions in my head, questions that might never be answered. But two were the ones that puzzled my the most.
Who was A?
Who and what are the Guardians?