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The Black Rose
A strong winter wind hits me as I struggle to lift my feet from under the white snow. I make my way through the trees and into the woods, straying from the hiking trail. My hands sting from frostbite as they grab hold of the nearest oak tree. My body is beginning to slow down, probably because I’ve been walking for about an hour; or maybe because of Anna.
I can’t get her image out of my head. She looked as if she was really going to die this time. So weak, and crippled, it scares me. She couldn’t even get up this morning. All of this is not her fault. I know that. It’s that bloody demon’s fault. Damon. That’s why you’re here, I tell myself. The only way to save her is to take what she loves most.
I continue deeper into the woods, each step becoming harder than the first. My eyes glance to my watch, which says 10:35 a.m. I look to the patched up sky, mostly blocked by the tall naked trees with long branches. Small hints of light make their way through the treetops to shine on my face, and the ground below. I keep looking up, hoping the sun will catch my eyes and blind me forever. I wish anything could happen so I don’t have to do what I’m about to commit.
The sun catches my eyes and I quickly look down, while white blotches blind my sight. I rub my eyes as fear over whelms me, when my foot gets caught under a root camouflaged by the snow. I hit the ground, and a stinging pain starts coming from my lips. Great, I bit my lip. I stare at the little droplets of blood hitting the snow sitting under my chin. As I stare at the blood, I am slowly taken back to a distant memory. The day everything started.
Fall was ending, and college was starting at Marian University, Indianapolis. Anna and I had decided that we wanted to go to the same college. We got a scholarship for being twins.
Even though Anna is older than me, I’ve always felt that I’ve been the more mature one. We look alike, but once you got to know us, you saw the big difference. Anna is the one who gets along with everyone, she’s the one people call an angel, or a saint. Anna was always the popular one in high school, and all her teachers adored her. She had all the guys after her, even some girls. She has always got gotten what she’s wanted, even now in college it hasn’t changed.
Then there’s me, Alaya, her opposite; the twin who doesn’t get the best grades, or has thousands of boys and girls after her. It was very clear who the favorite twin was in the family…but I didn’t care.
Anna was always there for me. She was my best friend, the one who never betrayed me. My one and only beloved sister, who I would do anything for, and she the same. The bond we have is not just of two sisters, but of friends, a friendship that would last forever. Or so I thought.
It was two months ago. I was on my way back from class, when I saw Anna sitting outside of our room. I could tell by the look on her slim face that she had something to tell me.
“Hey Anna” I said curiously, “Why are you sitting outside? It’s late.”
She silently stood up, put her hands on my shoulders with a serious expression and said, “Alaya…I have something to tell you. You will never believe what happened to me today.”
After we went inside, and sat at the kitchen table, she told me everything that had happened to her that day.
Anna was jogging on a hiking trail like she always does every Thursday, when a man attacked her from behind.
“I was so scared” she said. I could hear the fear in her voice; I could see it in her eyes. Then a sigh of relief replaced the fear.
“But I was saved, by another man!” she said with excitement.
“His name is Damon”, she said with violet googly eyes. I don’t know why, but I didn’t like the tone in her voice when she said his name. The look on her face seemed different. I soon found out why.
It turned out that Damon, was no ordinary guy. Anna explained to me that he wasn’t normal. Apparently he told her, he was called a Reaper, and that it was his duty to take the souls of murderers.
“He’s immortal!”,she said. “But his body is just as human as ours…”
‘Immortal’, was the last word I caught, because she was talking so fast. I sat there with a blank expression slapped on my face. It was too much to take in. She sounded like a lunatic; I kept that thought to myself.
“Wow” was the only word I was able to cough up. I slowly nodded my head as if I’d believed, and heard every word that came out of her jabbering mouth.
“I’m kind of tired, so…I think I’m going to go to bed now” I said while making my way to my room.
“Okay” she said, without the slightest hint of suspicion in her voice, “Oh, by the way, I’m going on a date with him tomorrow.”
My feet came to a stop. I tried to make my voice sound excited, “Great.” Then silently went to bed.
The next day, Damon came to pick her up around noon. When the doorbell rang, I took off to open the door, so I could scan him up and down before Anna came.
He had short dark brown hair, his eyes were as black as the night sky, and he was tall with smooth tan skin. I couldn’t see what he was wearing, because of the black coat he wore.
When Anna came to the door, she was in a short black dress; black boots with stiletto heels, and had her dark brown hair, beautifully curled and clipped to the side. She quickly pushed out me the way, and into a wall. With her delicate hand, she introduced us.
“Damon, this is my sister Alaya, Alaya this is Damon” and quickly added, “I’ll be back at ten. Chow!”
I didn’t bother saying anything. She took his hand and slammed the door in my face. I didn’t know why, she was acting that way. I was only going to say hi and take out a couple of her baby pictures.
I ran to the nearest window to peek through the blinds, so I could watch them leave. I’d just wanted to make sure; he wasn’t going to take advantage of her behind my back. Whenever Anna dated a guy I wasn’t familiar with (which was all of them), I always had her back, just in case they were phony (which was all of them). Thankfully he parked right in front of our dorm, so I could see everything.
They were standing in front of his car talking. Then Damon reached into the pocket of his black coat, and pulled out a beautiful red rose. That’s when the most bizarre thing happened. The rose quickly became all shriveled up, and the red color faded to a dark black. I turned to look at Anna to see her reaction. She was still smiling, as he gave her the lifeless black rose.
That’s when I realized; Anna had been keeping something from me. Something, that from the smile on her face, she obviously new the rose would die in his hand. A detail she purposely left out, when she was telling me about Damon the night before.
I watched in shock, as he opened the door to his silver Jetta with his arm around her waist leading her to the passenger side.
As I watched them drive off, it hit me. The little secret Anna didn’t want me to know. Every living thing Damon touches, dies.
I remember very clearly as I was still looking out the window; the lust that was building up inside of my chest, I was seeing the image of my sister, over and over again in my head, drive off, with a monster.
If it weren’t for Damon, and Anna falling in love, I would never be doing what I’m about to do. I would never be here, in the woods looking for him.
I slowly get up from the frozen snow, and wipe the dry blood from my mouth, with the sleeve of my jacket. I look around for a minute, to make sure I’m on the right trail. I saw Anna walk through this path once, when she was meeting with Damon in the woods. Today, she was supposed to meet him here, but she can’t. Her deteriorating body won’t let her, and neither will I. He will probably be expecting her, but there will be a different surprise in store for him today.
In the past, I did all I could to separate them. I tried to break them up countless times, but I started noticing that the more they saw each other, the more inseparable they were becoming. That the more dates she went on, the weaker she was becoming.
What scared me most of all, was not because she was becoming weaker, but because she didn’t care. I have known Anna all my life, and I have never seen her in a relationship like this. She had this eternal glow in her eyes, everyday, even as she was getting weak. Her heart was changing…in a good way.
There was one more thing I began to hate most. Damon. He knew what would eventually happen to Anna, but he didn’t do anything. Every time he came to pick her up, he would give her a pained smile. He knew that she was slowly dying, by his hands. Yet he was willing to let her die, than be separated from her! The more I saw him; the more hatred was building up inside of me. Whenever we were alone at the door, when he’d come to pick her up, the more tempted I became to do one thing…make him disappear from this world.
All those times I was always holding back, because of Anna. I didn’t want to hurt her, but now she’s given me no choice. My patience has long run out, and what was once holding me back, has vanished.
My train of thought is broken, as I hear the sudden sound of a twig snap a few feet ahead. I quickly hide behind the nearest tree. I peek from the side, to see Damon, snapping twigs, and piling them up to make a campfire. He starts whistling to a tune, I’ve never heard before.
I turn back around and look down at my feet; take a deep breath, and flush all the nerves out of my body. My feet begin to turn very slowly, as I move out from behind the tree. I slowly start to move toward him. He hears my crushing footsteps from the snow, and stops whistling. He drops the twigs out of his hands, as he turns to look at me.
He makes a very gentle smile, and says, “I told you not to come. Your not well.” His expression becomes very concerned.
A smile slowly makes its way across my face.
“I don’t care if I’m sick, I wanted to see you.” I say, a little startled at the words that came out of my mouth. I was just thinking of what Anna would say.
A light chuckle, escapes his lips, as he looks at me, with the softest expression. The kind of expression that every girl longs for from the one they love. The expression of a love so deep, that words are not needed.
He opens out his arms, “Well, don’t just stand there; get over here so you can get warm!”
Without the slightest hesitation, I sprint off, towards him. With each step, clearing everything from my mind, and letting instinct take over. My smile disappears; everything disappears, except the path between Damon and me.
I’m about a foot away from him, as I reach into the back pocket of my blue jeans, and pull out the pocketknife.
I jump into his stretched out arms, and pierce him in the chest, as we fall to the ground. When I open my eyes, our faces are just inches apart. Then, all of sudden a clear drop of liquid falls on his face.
“It’s okay”, he whispers, with a sweet smile.
“I still love you…” he trails off, and slowly, his eyes close; never to open again.
More drops of water fall on his face. I sit up, a little startled. Tears? Why am I crying? I wipe the tears away, and stand up from Damon’s dead body.
That’s when I hear it. Anna’s scream rips through the silence. I turn to see Anna about twenty feet away. She drops to her knees, while making loud sobs.
“It’s over” I say as more tears begin to stream down my face, as I say, I don’t bother wiping them anymore, because they won’t stop. They’ll never stop.
Anna, my beloved sister can live now, that’s all that matters. She has lost her lover, and now the precious bond we had, is eternally severed. She will never forgive me for this. I know that, but I did it all for her. Surely, this was for the best.