I wasn't allowed to see Sologne for the next two weeks. They kept her in captivity, even more so than Renee and I who were given strict instructions not to leave the Monastery.
Renee and I were provided a small room in the basement of the church to share. It was pretty drab and the beds were stiff and uncomfortable. It was a miracle that my first night spent in this room, was the first time in days I got any sleep at all, and even more of a miracle that I didn't have any dreams; not the second night, or the third night, or the fourth.... Nearly two weeks into my stay here and I had yet to dream of anything. It was as if my conscience were on vacation.
My eighteenth birthday rolled around and to me it meant nothing except that I would officially start my training. My mom and I had planned a cruise to Bermuda two years ago for this very occasion. My passport sat unused on my dresser at home.
“You alright?” Renee asked groggily as she sat up in bed. She must have caught me starring off into space, it's the first time anyone's asked me if I were okay since the leviathan invasion started.
I nodded nonchalantly, wondering for half a second if she would remember what today was.
“Well this is for you.” She said reaching under her pillow, handing me a piece of folded notebook paper. “I didn't really have a chance to get you anything, but here.”
“This is fine. Thank you.” I took the piece of paper from her and unfolded it. Inside was a detailed sketch of my parents, laughing and holding each other, oblivious to anything else. My little sister had an extraordinary talent; she could draw anyone or anything, and with a few strategic strokes of her pencil, bring it to life.
My chest squeezed, I had to steady my breathing to ward off unwelcome emotions. I hated the picture for making me feel this way. I knew that it wasn't Renee's intention so I hugged her quickly and headed outside.I folded the picture and put it in the pocket of my jacket, before meeting Simon under the gazebo.
“Your late.” He greeted as I approached the gazebo.
“Nice to see you too.” I said zipping my jacket up even further as a chill settles in the air.
Simon smirked, his green eyes carrying a mischievous glint, “I can guarantee you won't be saying that tomorrow.”
I ignored his comment, “How are we going to do this?” I said without bothering to feign an interest.
Simon walked over to a squared off area, padded with maps. “Step into the rink.”
I did as he asked.
He sized me up for a moment. “I'm going to teach you to think fast on your feet.” He said before shoving me hard to the mat.
Annoyed I took my time getting back up, only to have him push me back down again, and again, and again.
“Wow you must be an awesome teacher.”
Simon shook his head, “I'm not teaching I'm testing.”
I stared at him and waited for him to either elaborate or knock me down again.
“I'm trying to get a feel of what your made out of.”
He stepped closer me, nearly closing the distance between us. I braced myself, as my muscles became tense with his proximity to me. “Your jello, Ruby. You have absolutely no will to go on right now, I get it.”
I can't help but laugh. “ Your full of shit. You don't get what I'm going through. I mean did you loose both of your parents to Zombies?!” I gave him a moment to see if he would say anything. He didn't. “No I didn't think so.” I said as I stepped away from him.
“You have no will to live, that much I get.”
I began to walk away, dismissing myself from our session.
“How about your sister?” He yelled in the distance. I stopped in my tracks confused, What did Renee have to do with any of this?
“You won't fight for yourself, would you fight for her, or are you just going to let some beast from hell destroy her like they did your-
I didn't let him finish the sentence. Something inside me snapped when he mentioned my parents, turning me feral. Without realizing it I ran at him full speed knocking him on the mat, for a change. He went down, only because i caught him off guard. I raised my fist as I hovered over him.
He smiled, “So there is a little fight left in you.”
I lowered my fist and caught my breath, before climbing off of him and walking away.
“Hey!” Simon yelled after me.
Begrudgingly, I turned around.
“Happy Birthday.” He said.