Author's note: This started as an assignment for one of my college classes. The assignment was, take the story... Show full author's note »
5It wasn’t until I felt 602’s arms against me that I realized I was falling.
And then I was sitting.
On warmth. Digging. Burying. Burying my toes.
602’s face sitting in front of me.
When I was little, I used to cover my ears and still try to listen to Mother talk. I found it entertaining because her voice sounded muffled and far away. Well that’s how 602 sounded. Only my hands were at my side. I checked.
“Who’s Rapunzel?” I asked.
“No. That’s impossible. I don’t have a name. I’m not Important. Only They have names.”
“So do you.”
I looked at him, just as he pulled out a tiny silver device and put it to his ear.
“I need patched through to the President.” There was a murmur on the other end that didn’t seem to make him too happy. “I don’t care!” He yelled. “This is sergeant Alexander. His son. I’m sure he’ll make an exception.”
I tuned out. The only words I heard were, “Rapunzel… whereabouts… known”. So not only did …602… have a name. But he was about to give me up to whoever was looking for me.
Who was looking for me by the way?
He snapped his phone shut, and paced back and forth. Then finally, he came to a stop in front of me.
“Okay. So, Rapunzel.” I couldn’t help myself. I slapped him. Hard. In the face.
“I don’t have a name!” I yelled at him. Regardless of everything, he seemed very calm. Which only seemed to make my anger grow. “But you have a name.”
“And I’m the President’s son.” He added.
“You’re a spy.” He nodded. “You lied to me.” I could help but notice the hurt flash across his face.
“I didn’t want to.” He was quiet now. “But I can’t take back what I did. All I can do is try to fix it. And those people that want you, they’re no good.”
“Who wants me.”
“The Important Ones.”
“I know. I know I am. But that doesn’t mean they’re good. Besides. I’m a rebel too, Aren’t I?”
“Why do they want me?”
“I don’t know. Remember what I said about the key to mankind?”
“Yeah. But what do I…”
“I don’t know that either. They don’t tell me everything. I play both sides of the field. It’s too risky. But I know they want you. But they’re not getting you.”
“But you just told…”
“No. I didn’t tell them where. I told them I knew where. You’re going to stay here, and I’m going to lead them away from here. And when it’s safe, I’ll come back for you. And we’ll leave. You and me. We’ll walk across the ocean for all I care. I’m getting you out of this.” He closed his eyes. “I can’t believe I’ve been so blind. You were right in front of me the whole time…”
Then he did something I would have never expected. He put his hands on both sides of my face, pulled me close, and touched his lips to mine. His warmth radiated off of him, filling me from head to toe. His lips her soft, and his fingers traced my face. When he pulled away, I found myself yearning for more.
“I promise I’ll come back for you.” And he stood up and walked away.
I passed the time by drawing pictures in the sand. I drew a family; a father, a mother, and twins, a boy and a girl. I realized that this was the family I had always dreamed of. Twins would be perfect.
“There you are darling! I thought I’d never find you! I put up those poster knowing you were with him…that traitor!” Mother ran over and hugged me.
“Mother? How… But. What?”
“I cam home early from work today and found you gone. But of course I knew you had been sneaking out all week. Some of my coworkers had told me they’d seen you about the region with a mysterious young man. So I put up the posters.”
“But my… my name?”
“Of course not darling! I only put that on there so that boy would reveal himself. You needed to know the truth. But we need to leave darling! He’ll be back any minute with the President and I don’t want to find out what they’ll do to you.”
“No. 602… Alexander… he’s good. He’s leading them away.”
“Darling, what have I told you. Men aren’t good. There is no good left in the world. Would he have lied to you if he was good?” I don’t know what to think right now. I found out I have a name, I found out I don’t have a name. I found out my bestfriend, whom I may have some very strong feelings for, has a name and wants to run away with me.
My mother, who had locked me up my entire life to keep me safe, but had also kept me away from the wonders and pleasures of the world. I am 19 and had just had my first kiss.
I needed to think.
And hey, maybe the walk home would be the perfect time for that. Mother grabbed my arm and led me home.
Once there, the only thing that changed was her grip, that tightened. I was no less confused.
Then she shoved me inside, slamming the door behind her. She turned to me, her eyes black, and the corners of her mouth turned up.
“We’re home.” She called out in a singsong voice.
Before I could ask whom she was talking to, another voice answered my question.
“I was about to send the troops out for you Gothel. What took you so long?” A man, three times my size and about as wide as the doorway stepped out from the shadows.
“Who’s Gothel?” I asked.
“Sorry Blake. Rapunzel here wouldn’t make up her mind. I almost had to drag her here!” Mother answered.
I turned around to face her.
“That’s right dear. He was talking to me. Gothel. That’s my name.” She almost spat at me.
“But you said. But no. You cant. I just…” The room was starting to spin. I couldn’t handle this anymore.
And then I heard footsteps outside.
A man’s footsteps.
Then banging on the door.
It flew open. “Let her go Gothel.” Alexander yelled.
Mother just laughed. “This is all your fault you know Zander. If I really wanted to hurt her, I had 19 years to do it. We would have been fine locked up here. But then you came along. She can’t be released into the world Zander! All our hard work!”
“I’m just one person! Why can’t I leave? 602? You said yourself! One person can’t make a difference!” I was sick of everyone talking about me like I wasn’t even in the room.
“I was wrong. You are the key. It’s you. You’re the one the rebels were looking for.”
“But why!” I yelled.
“Gothel. Care to explain? I think you’ve kept enough secrets.”
“It should have never come to this ion the first place.” She sighed. “Zander, don’t look so cocky. There are things you don’t know too.” Her wicked smile crept back into her face. “17 years ago, a group of rebel scientists banned together, thinking they could create a good human race. Altering DNA, changing chromosomes, anything. I was one of them. But I was also working with the Important Ones; reporting the scientist’s progress. But they weren’t really making any. Experiments were failing left and right. They were children, created in test tubes for one purpose, whose lives were cut too short. They lost hope. That is, until you, Rapunzel. You were… and accident. That went wonderfully right. However you were made, you’re special. You were… a powerhouse of some sort. You gave the other experiments… power. You gave them goodness. Whatever you have in you, that’s why you’re eyes are so blue. You and the other experiments. So, naturally the Important Ones wanted the experiments gone, because they were threatened. You were, and are, the only thing that can over throw them.”
“What does any of that have to do with me?” Alexander asked.
“Why do you think the rebels let you in so easily. Do you honestly think you’re the President’s son? Would he rick his real son going behind enemy lines?” Until now, I forgot Blake was here.
“What are you saying.”
“You’re real parents were the scientists who created your girlfriend here. Up until we blew them up that is.” If I would have blinked, I would have missed it.
Alexander flung himself across the room, and on top of Blake, punching him repeatedly in the face. Blake was so surprised he couldn’t even react before Alexander pulled out his gun.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t shoot you.”
“Because then you wouldn’t be any better than them.” I threw in. “You think shooting him will bring back your parents? Or those little kids?”
“It’ll be a start.”
“No. It won’t. It’s just like them. You think anger will fix anything? Killing people will bring the dead back? They’re gone. Do you think it’s honoring them to rip our home to pieces from anger? There’s only one earth. We all have to live here. Why can’t we all enjoy it in the process?” Zander lowered his gun.
“She’s right. My God. Have I been so blind?” said Blake.
I took the gun from Zander’s hand and set it on the table. He put his hands on my face, looking into my eyes.
“I’m so sorry. They were right. You are good and can save us.”
“That’s sweet. But I will not let you ruin all my hard work!” I heard a click, and felt cold metal press against my temple. “I worked so hard to get where I am. So hard to keep you away for 17 years. You will not ruin it for me now.”
She pressed harder. Zander’s eyes grew wider, the green fading.
“One move and I’ll pull it lover boy.”
I saw a tear slide down his cheek. I thought of everything in a single moment; the little children in the street, the happiness they felt when I handed them the food, the ocean, Zander’s fluid movements, the bickering neighbors, the brown streets, the self-entitled Important Ones, my white cat, who I had the sudden urge to name Evangeline.
All of this rested on my shoulders. I could save it. I could turn it around. I could make a difference.
With one quick motion, I swung my arm and flung the gun from Gothel’s hang, catching her off balance. I didn’t mean too, but I smacked her so hard, she fell backwards into the glass window, plummeting to the brown world below.
I stretched out my hand to catch her, but I was too late.
Zander grabbed me, and pulled me into him, planting kisses all over my face.
“I thought. I’d lost. You. I’m never. Leaving you. Again.” He looked into my eyes. “I love you Rapunzel.” His eyes twinkled.
“I love you too, Alexander.”
A few months later
“Zander, where are my test results?” He was always losing things.
We had re-opened his parent’s lab, only this time no spies, and we had begun research again. We were determined. If I was going to turn the world around, I couldn’t do it by myself.
Though, I wouldn’t have to be by myself for much longer.
I was due in six months.
One boy, and one girl.