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I started packing my books into my bag. After I had my bag, I met up with Fallyn outside the academy.
“You ready?” He asked.
“Are you?” I asked, really meaning it.
“Yeah.” He replied even though he hesitated to reply.
He headed towards the woods, which surprised me.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“You’ll see.” He replied.
Judging from his tone of voice, he really did mean it. He was prepared for what laid ahead of us. Now we were deep in the woods and finally, we approached a small cottage. He unlocked the door and walked in and I followed closely behind. The main level of the cottage was full of paintings of all sizes. A lot of them were rough drafts of the art project. I didn’t notice my jaw hanging until Fallyn tilted his head slightly at me.
“Wow… did you build this?” I asked.
“No. Eric and I found it one day and fixed it up. It’s my studio now.”
“Wow. You’re such a wonderful artist.” I remarked in awe as I studied one of the large-scale paintings.
“Thanks. I kind of threw myself into art and music when I was thirteen.”
I remembered when I was thirteen. There weren’t that many students that they took in at young ages since the younger you are, the more your body can’t stand the experimentations. I was one of the few who were adopted in at a young age. It was that year that I accidentally poisoned my roommate and was terrorized throughout middle school because of it. If it weren’t for Ashley and John sticking up for me, then I probably would’ve let the poison take over my body and kill me.
Fallyn dug around in a drawer and pulled out a long piece of white cloth. He walked over to me and started tying it around my eyes like a blindfold.
“What’s this for?” I asked, confused that he was blindfolding me.
“Use your hands as eyes.” He replied with contempt as he finished tying.
I couldn’t see, but I could hear him take off his mask and set it down. He slowly took one of my hands and put it to his face. It was smooth and soft. I moved my fingers upwards and brushed against a bump. I ran my fingers over it. It wasn’t a bump… it was a stitch. I started to recoil my hand because of impulse, but he grabbed my hand again and pressed it against his cheek. His tears touched my hand. I summoned enough courage to use both hands now. He had stitches in several places: from the corner of his left eye to the edge of his face; from the bottom of his right eye to the bottom of his right cheekbone; from the left corner of his mouth down his chin; and from the top of his forehead to his right temple.
I could feel his tears soak my hands and my tears soak the blindfold.
“What did they do to you?” I whispered hoarsely, frightened for him and what he has been through.
“Take off your blindfold.” He replied instead.
I slowly untied the blindfold and saw his face. His left eye was blue and his right was gold. His reddish brown hair fell over his forehead and covered his forehead stitch. He took off his jacket and shirt and then his scarf and gloves. Stitches ran all over his body. A stitch ran all the way around his neck, holding his head to his body. Another stitch ran from his right shoulder to his left hip. His arms were stitched on at the shoulder joints and every finger of his was sewn on with black thread. There were little stitches here and there to hold himself together.
“Now you know… When I was thirteen, I tried to kill myself, but before I could die, they found me and I was experimented on. They stopped my heart and somehow made me live without it beating. Then they did the muscle enhancements.”
“Is it true that Mr. Ward is your father?” I blurted out. When I realized what I said, it was too late.
“Yes and no. I am his and my mother’s child, but they altered me so much, you can say I have no relation to them anymore.” I took his hand in mine and looked at the stitches. They were neat and clean and finely sewn. “Are you afraid of me?” He asked.
“No matter how you look, it won’t affect how I think of you.”
He squeezed my hand.
He put his clothes back on and we headed back to the academy. When people saw us, they gave us weird looks and whispered, but they didn’t bother me and I’ll make sure that they don’t bother Fallyn anymore.