I woke with a start as the train stopped abruptly. My eyes blinked rapidly shocked by the bright sunlight. I tried to remember where I was and why.
Reality soon hit me like a ton of steel.
My head began swirling; I was confused, partially from drowsiness, and partially from the truth. I had to sit down before I collapsed. I plopped back down in my seat, and clutched my head in agony
“Come on,” said the man harshly, already at the entrance of the train. I tried to regain myself and clumsily made it to the door. I began to fully awake, and managed to catch up with the man.
I looked around to find myself in a busy train station, packed with rushing people; the exact opposite of the train station I had just come from.
“Where are we?” I asked, curiously looking around.
“We’re in New York,” he said, quickly striding forward without as much as a glance in my direction.
The man stopped in his tracks so abruptly I nearly ran into him, and he stared straight ahead. I looked up; trying to follow his gaze, but all I could see was a couple of police officers gathered at the entrance.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, confused by the man’s hesitation.
The man slowly bent down to my level and whispered in a surprisingly shaky voice, “These are the Guardians. Just calm down and don’t say anything.”
“Those are just policemen,” I protested.
“Trust me, those are Guardians,” he replied firmly, “They’re on high alert now that they know you’re alive. There stationed around the world. There is nothing we can do now, we’re going to have to face them. Here,” he said pulling my hood up, hiding my hair and took some oversized sunglasses on me. “Let’s hope this buys us some time.”
He walked forward giving the impression that he was relaxed, but I could see that his hands were trembling slightly. The man flashed a tight smile at the stiff policemen, and they nodded back politely.
I followed his lead trying to keep a nonchalant look on my face like he did. Just as I reached the door one of the policemen stepped forth, blocking my path; and glared down at me with cruel, knowing eyes.
“Excuse me, I’m going to need to ask you a few questions,” he said in an accent I couldn’t place.
“Sure,” I said, trying to sound bored.
“How old are you?”
“Sixteen,” I said and immediately cursed myself or telling the truth.
“What’s your name?”
“Elizabeth.” I lied smoothly.
“Where are your parents?” he asked. There was something about the way he said it, like he was so much more important than I was, that suddenly pissed me off.
“Outside waiting for me, and I’m sure there getting impatient by now. Is there a problem officer?” I asked rather harshly.
“No ma’am, sorry for the interruption,” he said briskly.
I walked past the officers, smiling inwardly. When the man saw me walk out of the building he kept walking quickly with his head down, but I couldn’t help but look around. Skyscrapers stretching endlessly into the sky, vendors around every corner, and the craziest people you will ever see. I never imagined that I’d ever get to see New York, but then again, I never imagined I’d get abducted and told I have control over Water, either.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“We’re meeting a man I know. Let’s just hope he can help you,” he said mysteriously.
Before I could ask any more questions the man turned into a dark alley. A strange silence fell over us. I felt a sudden panicky sense someone or something was watching us, and I heard the ominous sound of echoing footsteps.
“It’s just him,” whispered the man looking off at something in the darkness. As the footsteps got louder, I could finally make out a dark figure in the distance.
“Why have you returned, traitor?” asked the voice hostilely from the darkness.
“I have brought a girl I found. She needs your help, your training. And I have decided to give up my position, for your information,” the man said.
The dark figure stepped even further out of the darkness so I could barely make out the brown glint of his eyes. He looked over me, his eyes stopping on my scarf.
Without instruction I pulled off the scarf, revealing the scar. I saw his eyes widen slightly in disbelief before turning to glare at the man. “Why should I help her? How can I trust you, or her, after what you did to us?” the figure said in a cold, accusing voice.
The man hesitated.
“Just leave,” the figure said. I stared mystified by the figure, which turned and walked back into the darkness. The man pulled me back into the busy sidewalks of New York.
“Wait, what was that?” I asked, confused. He strode on still gripping my arm tightly. “What’s going on?” I repeated. He ignored me.
I pulled my arm away from his grasp. He stopped and turned to me. “What just happened?” I asked.
He looked jittery like he wanted to get out of here as soon as possible, but my feet were planted firmly on the ground. He sighed. “That was Matthew. He’s a trainer. His power is to help people learn to use their powers. He was my friend while he was training the man who could control fire. I was hoping he would help you, but it seems like he’s still stuck in the past,” he said quickly
“Wait…” I said, confused, “I thought you said that the man who could control fire lived a long time ago.”
“He did,” the man said, “The Guardians give anyone who stays faithful to them eternal life. Matthew is alive because he’s been blessed by the help of someone even more powerful than the Guardians.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Then how are you still alive?” I questioned. The man didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to.
“You were working for the Guardians,” I said loudly in disbelief. A few people gave me a weird look as they passed, but I ignored them.
“All I did was look for suspicious activity,” he admitted.
“You turned in the man who could control fire, didn’t you?” I questioned.
“I didn’t mean to. I was just-”
“And you were going to turn me in, weren’t you?” I interrupted.
“That was before I changed. Please, just let me explain,” he pleaded, but his words meant nothing now. The man betrayed me. He tried to walk up to me, but I darted out of the way in disgust; I couldn’t even stand the thought of being near him.
My whole life had changed in a few days, and now I find out it’s all a lie. How am I supposed to know what was true and was just made up to get me to the Guardians? My mind was swirling with questions I couldn’t stand to think through.
I turned and ran as fast as I could, not caring where I was going, as long as it was away from the traitor.