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“Fine, you wanna know the truth,” Will raged, his voice becoming pained and angry, “then you’ll get the truth.” He stomped off, and I noticed that he seemed bigger somehow. Like in the few moments that we had been talking and he’d become angry, he’d grown. His muscles seemed more prominent, and almost bulged under his t-shirt. And I swore, that if we’d been standing back to back to each other, he’d be much taller than me, more than just the few inches we’d measured out one lonely afternoon.
Kyle waited for me, watching as I watched Will head to the barn, obviously wanting us to follow, so he could, “give me the truth.”
All the possibilities that I’d thought up in the last few weeks came rushing back. It’s a genetic thing with their family; they drank from a magic pool of water and are now young forever, like Huck Everlasting, etc. None of them seemed to fit.
I resolved that I would have no theories. I would go into that barn and listen fully, giving no opinions, no judgment. I also made a promise to myself. I would come out with an answer, no matter what. I could no longer go on wondering.
Creaking open the barn door, I found Will, somewhat cooled off, in the loft. He looked guilty, as though he was ashamed of something; I just hoped I’d get to find out.
Sitting in a circle, I waited for one of them to say something.
It was Kyle who finally started the talk I’d been thinking about since I spilled over that box of photos.
“Steph, we can’t tell you.”
WHAT!! Hold on, stop the presses. This was so not the talk I’d been thinking about. In my envisioned talk Will and Kyle explained everything to me in detail, Will even expressed that he thought I was the girl for him. Well, maybe my conversation was a little warped.
“Excuse me,” I said with annoyance, “I mean you do realize I’ve been walking around with these questions in my head for weeks now,” Oh no, I was about to get started, please help, somebody stop me. “ I haven’t been able to sleep, to eat, to concentrate since I discovered all your pretty little pictures. All I’ve been doing is thinking about what they could mean, and guess what, I haven’t been able to figure anything out. Please, release me!” I finished my little speech with a flourish of my hands.
Kyle looked stunned at my outburst of emotion, and Will looked almost mad again. Oh great, good job Stephenie.
Will leaned forward on his knees, seeming bigger again, his eyes full of menace, so much that they were glinting. I think he was about to release hells furry on me, when Kyle placed a hand on his chest, almost as if he were holding him back, or drawing out all his negative energy.
And then I witnessed something unbelievable, as Will sat back down, he seemed to almost get smaller right before my eyes. Now I know that people, when they get all worked up, tend to stand up straighter and therefore look bigger, but this, this was insane. Will seemed to go from the huge thing I’d watched stalk off to the barn, to a normal Will, who only had slightly prominent muscles, and who stood only a few inches taller than me. It was like watching a balloon deflate.
I looked to Kyle, hoping to find some sort of consolation, but got barley a glance, he looked too concerned about Will to care about me anymore, I doubt he even knew I was there.
Kyle spoke in a hushed tone, but I could still hear what he was saying, though I didn’t understand it all fully, “ do you need to go see mom?”
Will spoke back through his teeth, almost spitting out the words, “no, I’m fine, I just got a little too worked up. Let’s finish this, now.”
I suddenly felt nervous and scared. “Let’s finish this now.” What did that mean. Omg, what if their secret was so big and bad, that, eeeekkk, they would do anything to keep it a secret, and I mean anything. Was I safe here? I looked to the only exit, the barn door, which had conveniently been blocked by Kyle’s frame. I concluded that if anything happened that I found unacceptable, I would scream loud enough to shake the rafters.
“Steph,” said Kyle, facing me again, now we were getting somewhere, “ have you ever wondered were human emotion comes from?”
“Human emotion,” I questioned? I was getting a little lost, but reminded myself to be open-minded.
“Like anger, and kindness,” Kyle answered, helping me.
Have I ever wondered were human emotion came from? That small bit of understanding left me.
“Um, no, I have never thought about were human emotion comes from. What does this have to do with you?”
“Human emotion,” Kyle went on, “comes from…” he trailed off, looking at Will once more. I saw a shrug pass on Kyle’s shoulders, as if he didn’t know how to go on.
“Us.” Will finished, sounding very serious and solemn.
There was only one emotion I was feeling right now, and that was confusion. I just wanted an answer about pictures. All of this was getting me off track, leading my thoughts to places that wouldn’t help me reach my goal. “Okay, guys, I don’t know where you’re going with this, but I just want to know why there are so many pictures of the same family, in different time periods.”
“And we’re trying to tell you,” Kyle stressed, looking a little ticked for the first time.
“Well I’m not getting the message,” I said back, matching his tone, with a hint of sarcasm.
“It is a little hard to explain, ya know,” Will put in, finally becoming an active member in this conversation. “We haven’t had a lot of practice revealing family secrets.”
“Okay,” I sighed, trying to make sure that all parties didn’t get frustrated and huff out, “just tell me about the people in the pictures. That’s a good place to start.”
Kyle looked up, his face now showing the stress his voice had conveyed, “the people in the pictures are us, Steph.”