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Rebellion of 2018 (chapters 13 and 14)
Chapter 13: Here We Go
“We have trained for two months now. Most of our group members are already gone and are doing well in Imperium. You all will go in within this week.” I tell the remaining ten spies. I am standing in front of them for the last time before we go. The researcher managed to find a safe passage for us to take that leads into the city, without us being noticed. It is a normal road that leads straight to a cave in the mountain. The cave leads to the gate of Imperium. From there we can enter quietly and unnoticed into the middle of a small town. They also managed to find a place for us to stay for a while until we can enter the city to our real homes.
“I can’t wait to see you guys again, once we start our new lives in Imperium.” I say as we get ready to leave. I look at them closely and see many mixed feelings on their faces. Some are fear, others are excitement. Then there is sheer indifference or understanding in a few eyes. The bell starts ringing and we all make our way back home. I end up alone on my walk and my head is spinning.
‘I am leaving in three days. Two days in the morning. I am entering enemy territory!’ I scream in my head as I continue my walk in the pitch black night. I stay close to the shadows to prevent from seeing Alec again. When I reach my house I slip in silently and quietly make my way to my room. I fall asleep completely clothed once again.
“You stand before us, accused of treason. How do you plead?” President Cilark says from in front of me. I stand in front of everyone in Imperium. I have a rope around my neck and my hands tied behind my back.
“I plead guilty.” I announce in a strong voice. I look out into the crowd and spot all my friends.
“Who helped you? If you tell me, then your punishment may be made less harsh.” He offers. I bite my lip and look at my friends again.
“Ok, come closer.” I whisper. He moves closer to me so that I can tell him the names in his ear. In a loud voice I say, “F*** you!”
The anger is visible on his face and he slaps me across the face so hard that I hear my neck crack. He signals to the executioner and he prepares to pull the lever. “Just give up.” The lever is pulled and the ground gives way beneath me.
The dream still haunts me, even after I wake up and eat breakfast. I think it over and realize that this is the first dream that doesn’t bring me fear; instead, this dream makes me feel proud to be fighting. I am smiling to myself as I finish eating and get ready for the day. Today I am meeting with Marie, Gio, and the other researchers and hackers to go through the passage I will be taking and to get my new identity, address, driver’s license, and whatever else I need.
“Morning Kat,” Cody says as he enters the living room. I am just slipping my shoes on and about to leave. “Are you leaving already?”
“Yea, I’m going to go see the researchers and hackers to get my stuff. You can come if you want.” I offer with a bright smile.
He shakes his head and holds up his hunting bag. “I’m going to go hunting for a bit and try to clear my head. I am meeting with the fighters tonight.” I make my way out the door. “Kat, you’re leaving soon, right?”
“Yea, in two days.” I turn to look at him and see nothing but sadness in his eyes. I flash him a smile and then leave.
“So, this is your driver’s license. It has your address on it. This is your occupation.” Gio hands me a sheet of paper and a small, rectangular, plastic card. I study them both for a long moment.
“My name is Willow Frost, I’m seventeen and my birthday is still April 9th. I am 5’7, Creole/Asian, with curly black hair and green eyes. I live on 34th and 8th street, in house 3446.” I say with a smile as I read over my license. I look at my other sheet and start to read. “Occupation: waitress at ‘Bleu Fleurir’. Just moved to Imperium a few months ago from a small town near what was California. Parents died in car crash and I live alone. I speak fluent French and love the government. My dream has always been to live in Imperium and I am a stupid robot who was programmed to be happy and to worship an arrogant dictator names Cilark.”
“Hey, don’t act like that. You have to seem like you are proud to be an Imperium citizen.” Gio says with a half-smile. “Plus, I worked hard on your story. There isn’t much for a fifteen year old, or even seventeen year old to do in a major city. It was also hard getting you a job at the top French restaurant in Novus Terra.”
“Thank you Gio. What about my supposed fluency in French? It’s not that easy to fake.” I inform him as I fold the paper and place it in my pocket with my license.
“I doubt you will need to speak it, and if you do, find a way out of it.” He flashes me a teasing smile. I stick my tongue out at him and turn back to Marie.
“Anyways, you will be taking this road,” She points to an ‘x’ on her blue prints of the city. “Straight to this spot. Then you will have to go through a cave in the side of the mountain. Once you enter the city go straight to this house. You will have to wait there until high noon, when the streets are crowded and busy, to jump in and blend with everyone else. You will be starting work the same day. You can stop at your new house first to drop off your belongings.” She says as she continues to point out more things.
“Ok, I got it. I think I’m ready for this.” I smile and get ready to leave. I look back at my team mates and friends. They all have the same expression that Cody had when I left. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”
* * *
“I’m leaving at one A.M.” I remind Cody as we sit in the kitchen for lunch. Yesterday he was avoiding me when I got back from Marie’s. Now he is acting as though nothing is happening. He makes ideal small talk and I know he wants to say something, but he won’t. “Everyone is coming later to say goodbye.”
“I know. I am going to be there.” He says as he places his plate in the sink and starts to leave the room. I am left alone in the kitchen with a scowl on my face. ‘Why is he acting so distant? It was his idea for me to become a spy.’ I say to myself as I wash the dishes in the sink. ‘I’m not expecting some sappy goodbye, but even a hug would do. I’m about to throw myself into the lion’s cage and he is acting as though it is just another Monday.’ There is a knock at the door and I hear Cody greeting someone and then laughter following. I saunter over and see Marie and Leo in the doorway.
“Hey Kat, we just stopped by to say goodbye. I’m coming back in a few minutes, but Leo wants to go to the woods to try hunting.” Marie says with a grin.
“I was just heading over there. I can take him so that you and Kat can talk.” Cody suggests to Marie. ‘Now I know that something is wrong. He would never volunteer to spend time with Leo, but I know he’s not a clone. This morning he burnt his finger making pancakes.’ I watch as he leaves with Leo.
“Are you ok?”Marie asks as she steps inside. I try to smile at her but it is hard. The thought of leaving all my friends finally sinks in.
“Marie, I don’t know if I can do this.” I finally say.
“What do you mean? You practiced with me, you know where to go, and you have all your information.”
“I know that, but I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready to say goodbye.” I say in a pathetic voice. I almost hate myself, but I can’t really blame myself for being worried.
“Katherine, you are a strong person, you can do this. If you don’t say goodbye now, you never will.” She says with a frown as we sit on the couch. We both have the same depressed look on our faces.
“Marie, I don’t want to say goodbye. Let’s just say, we’ll see each other soon.”
“Ok, I will see you later. I’m not going to see you again after you leave.” She tells me in a quiet voice. She gives me a tight hug and then stands up. “I have to go talk to the researchers, I will see you later.” With that said, she leaves and I am sitting in my living room alone. I lie back on the couch and take a few deep breaths. It is one in the afternoon and in twelve hours I will be leaving. I sit like this for an hour before Cody comes back.
“Hey Kat, I’m back from hunting. Why do you look so miserable?” He asks as he walks up to me. I look up and give him a smile. He is holding a bag filled with roots and berries, and his belt is covered with rabbits and a turkey. He comes over to me and sits beside me. “Did something happen with Marie?”
“No, nothing bad, we just said goodbye to each other.” I tell him in a quiet voice. I watch as he pulls out a few berries for me. “Thank you Cody.” I say as I take them. Again, he looks as though he is preparing to say something, but he hesitates. “You know you can tell me anything, right?”
“Of course, I just don’t have anything to say.” He says with a grin and stands up. I am tempted to grab his sleeve, but I decide otherwise. I let Cody walk into the other room before I announce that I’m leaving to go see everyone and say goodbye.
It is already thirty minutes to one and I have seen just about everyone. I am sitting in my room, packing my bags, when Cody comes in. “Hey, are you here to say goodbye?” I ask him with a bit of an edge in my voice. I am a little mad that Cody has been so quiet today. Everyone else sought me out just to say their goodbyes, but he did nothing but talk about the weather.
“Yea, I just want to tell you to be careful and try to not get in too much trouble.” He says with a half grin and then leaves my room. My hands start to shake and I jump up to my feet, knocking down the bag of clothes that was next to me.
“What the h*ll Cody?” I yell at him. He turns and looks at me with perplexed eyes. I take a breath to calm myself and now I realize just how hurt and angry I am. “Why are you acting so cold? Yesterday you avoided me and today you are acting as though I’m just going down the street for a while. I’m leaving to go enter Imperium in thirty f***ing minutes!”
Cody is silent and just stares at me with disconnected eyes. I let out an aggravated sigh and lean against the wall. I continue to wait for him to say something, but he never does. After ten minutes he just turns away and starts to leave again. This time I grab him by the sleeve and pull him back.
“Stop trying to avoid this! What the h*ll is your problem?” I scream at him.
“You, this, everything!” He yells back. I can tell I have finally pushed his button and he is at last going to tell me what has been on his mind for the past few days. “I can’t watch you leave. I know it was my idea for you to be the leader of the spies, but I never thought that it would be this hard to say goodbye. Kat, you are my best friend and I don’t want to see you put yourself in danger.
“I understand that I shouldn’t have been so cold, but I just don’t know how to react in a situation like this. I’ve never had to tell anyone goodbye. My father was executed and my mother was taken. I can’t just say goodbye to you Katherine. You don’t understand.” He says the last part in barely a whisper. I hear the door open downstairs and I know that it is Marie. She has come to take me to the spot where the road is.
I ignore her as she walks up the stairs to where we are and goes into my room. I know that she saw Cody and me, but she can tell not to interrupt our conversation. I hear her grabbing my bags and papers. “Cody, I do understand. I didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone close to me except my aunt. Do you think it was easy for me to say goodbye to all of our other friends?”
“Of course not, but this is just . . . different.” He starts to walk away again and I am getting a little annoyed. “You will never understand.” He whispers.
“Then explain it to me. Why can’t you just talk to me?” I scream at him again.
“Kat, we have to go.” Marie says from behind me. She grabs my arm but I pull away. “You have ten more minutes.”
“Kat, you should listen to Marie and leave.” Cody says coldly and keeps his back turned towards me.
“I’m not leaving until you f***ing tell me why you can’t say goodbye!” My voice is hard and I have the most serious look on my face. Marie is starting to tug on my arm; trying to drag me out of the house. “Cody Priling! Answer me!”
He finally turns back to me and yells, “Because I love you!” I am silent as I stare directly into his eyes and Marie’s hand drops from my arm. She takes my bags and whispers that she will wait for me outside. Once she is gone I take a step towards Cody, but he steps back. “I don’t need to hear it. I know that you’re just going to say that you don’t feel the same way, blah, blah, blah.”
‘How do I feel? I know I care a lot about him, but is it love?’ I ask myself as I stare at my dear friend. I take a deep breath and finally find my voice in order to answer. “Cody, I don’t know how I feel. I know I care a lot about you, but I’ve never been in love, so I honestly don’t know.”
“I’ve never been in love either, but I know that I love you. Kat, I’ve loved you for a while now. Please, just remember that.” He says as he takes a step closer to me. I can tell from the look on his face that we are about to kiss. Now we are only a few inches apart, but that is soon widened when Marie comes running up to me and yanks me back.
“Kat, we really need to get going right now.” She tells me as she continues to pull on my sleeve and usher me down the stairs. I grab my bag and give Cody one last glance before he is out of sight.
Chapter 14: Alone . . . Or Maybe Not . . . Who Knows?
I am halfway through the cave and it has already been two days since I left my home. I am all alone now and I am exhausted as I make my way through the tunnel. My torch is the only source of light, but it is slowly fading. ‘Because I love you!’ Cody’s words continue to repeat over and over again in my head. I smile to myself as I walk silently in the dark.
‘How can this be happening? Cody admits to loving me on the same day that I am leaving.’ I say to myself as I get closer and closer to my stop. The house is empty and dark. All the windows are covered by sheets, the furniture is coated in dust, and the only sound is of the floor boards creaking beneath my feet. I find a note taped to the wall. I pick it up and wait until I’m in the living room to read it.
Kat, I had one of the other spies leave this for you. I just want to say good luck, and we all believe in you. Don’t mess up! -Marie I smile at the note and place it in my back pocket. The main floor has a bit more furniture in it. There is a small couch and a mini TV in the living room. The kitchen has a stove and some leftover food from the other spies in the refrigerator. I continue to make my way around the house and I finally find a bedroom.
I toss my bags in the corner and collapse on the bed. ‘It is nine in the morning and I need to stay here for five more hours.’ I think to myself with a sigh as I start to doze off. The last thing that runs through my mind before I fall asleep is the argument I had with Cody.
When I awaken it is already two in the afternoon. ‘TWO!’ I have to get to my job in thirty minutes. I grab my bags and run straight out the house. The moment I step out of the house I realize what Marie meant when she said that this was the busy hour. It looks like almost everyone in the city is out on the street. There are so many people walking almost simultaneously and I have to wait ten minutes before I find a spot where I can jump in.
Most of the people stare at me as I look around for my house. I am scared to ask anyone because I don’t want to make it obvious that I am new. I eventually find my house, after passing it two times. I am standing outside my house and I can’t stop staring at it. It’s huge compared to Cody’s. The outside looks like one of the old houses that were only seen in photos of perfect homes.
The inside is even better. There are three floors, the main and second floor have at least six rooms. Each room is completely furnished and it looks as if a rich family just got up and left without taking anything. On the first floor there is a kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, guest room, and a library with three book cases filled to the tops. On the second floor there is a main bedroom, bathroom, another guestroom, television room, and a storage room.
Marie must have had some of the suppliers come here and place all the furniture. I place my bags in the master bedroom and remember about my job I need to get to. I rush to change my clothes and then dash out the door. I am wearing a weird suit type thing that Elisabeth packed for me. I jump into the crowd again, and this time I actually fit in with everyone else.
At first I was scared of not finding ‘Bleu Fleurir’, but I am beyond mistaken. The restaurant is huge and the name is literally in bright blue letters. The moment I step inside the building I am greeted by a small red head girl. Her face almost reminds me of a fox. She has a small nose that is pointed at the end, big green eyes, and freckles along her nose. She is wearing a small black skirt and a button down green top.
“Do you have a reservation?” She asks in a high pitched voice. She is staring down at her computer screen and it takes me a minute to realize that she is talking to me.
“Oh, this is my first day working here.” I tell her with a smile as I try to seem like an average teenager trying to make it in the big city. “Who do I need to see to get my clothes and information?” I ask her. She finally looks up and I can see that she is judging me. She lets out a sigh and points to a man at the bar.
“That’s Mr. Turner, he will tell you what to do.” I give her a nod and then head over to the man. He is a tall man, about 6’3, with black hair and tan skin. He looks like he is in his mid-thirties and is very well dressed.
“Hello Mr. Turner, I’m Willow Frost. Today is my first day working and the girl at the desk told me to see you.” I say as I shake his hand. He smiles at me and seems like a friendly man.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. Frost. I talked to your cousin, Gio, on the phone and he explained to me that you are a hard worker. In my office you will find your uniform. It is the first door to the left in the back area, the door is unlocked and you can just change in there.” He says in a rush, as if he has rehearsed this talk before. “You will be a waitress and you will work Mondays through Fridays at 2 pm to 7 pm. every day. Greet everyone with a smile and do not mess up. Got it?”
“Yes sir.” I say as I make my way to his office. I notice all the people in the restaurant and I am actually a bit nervous. Everyone is dressed up so fancy and the waiters are all acting so professional and it is so different from the one restaurant we have back home. The workers there were so kind and hospitable.
I quickly change into my uniform, a black skirt that reaches my knees and a button down blue top with a black vest over it. I tie my hair up in a ponytail and then head back out. Mr. Turner hands me a notepad and tells me to just start serving. I look at the notepad and I see that it is filled with a whole bunch of writing. Everything in the menu is in the pad, all I have to do is put a check next to what food they want. This seems fairly easy.
“Good afternoon, I am your server, Willow. Would you like to start with any appetizers?” I ask my first table. It is a family of four, and they all seem a bit too business like, even the two teenagers. ‘Today is going to be a long day.’
I finally arrive back home and I am so tired. It is almost eight at night and I am supposed to be getting information on Cilark. ‘So, where do I go to get any information?’ I stand up and step out of the house again. This time I notice some teenagers standing outside wearing dresses, jeans, and punk clothes. ‘Teenagers know stuff.’ I run back inside and change into my casual clothing and follow them. We approach a crowded night club. It is overflowing with teenagers in skimpy and expensive clothing. It’s a completely black building with the word ‘Ace’ written on it in big red letters, surrounded by windows showing silhouettes of people dancing. I walk up to the door but am stopped by the bouncer.
“Sorry, this is a seventeen and older club.” He says with a frown as he holds up his hand to stop me. I quickly pull out my driver’s license. “Ok,” I try to walk past him but he stops me again. “There is a fifty dollar entering charge.”
“Oh, um . . . I don’t think I have fifty dollars.” I say as I reach into my wallet and pull out a twenty dollar bill. I give him a grin but I can see he isn’t going to take it.
“I’ll cover her.” A boy says from behind me. I turn around and look at the guy. He looks about seventeen, 6’2, with short, emo style, brown hair, beautiful blue eyes, and tan skin. There is something about him that is familiar. His voice is smooth and sounds a little melodic.
“Hey Griffin, how’s your dad?” The bouncer asks the boy behind me. An odd look crosses his face, but then he just gives him a smile.
“He’s doing well. I’ll tell him you asked about him.” He hands the bouncer a hundred dollar bill. I notice that his fingers are very slender and long, matching his thin figure. He walks past me but then turns back. “Are you coming in, or are you just going to stand there?”
“Who are you?” I ask him as I follow him into the club. The music is blasting and I can feel the beat from the floor all the way through my body. Griffin says something, but I can’t hear him at all. I move closer to him. “What did you say?”
“My name is Griffin. What’s your name?” He repeats, louder this time. I think about it for a moment and remember my new life.
“My name is Willow Frost.”
He nods his head as we approach the bar. “Can I get two cokes please?” He asks the bartender. He turns back to me and gives me a smile. “So I take it that this is your first time in this club.”
“Yea, I just moved here a few months ago.” I tell him as he hands me one of the cokes. I watch as he takes a sip of his.
“Why haven’t I seen you around? I know just about every teen that lives around here.”
“I don’t know. I work most of the day at ‘Bleu Fleurir’.” I gulp down my coke and place it on the counter. This is the first time that I realize I haven’t eaten anything since I left Cody. “So are you the popular kid around here?”
“Kind of, my dad is the popular one.” There is a look of annoyance that lingers on his face after he says this. He shakes his head and looks back at me. “I guess I’ll see you around.” He says as he walks away from me. I am tempted to follow him, but there is still something off about him. I linger at the bar and then decide to go talk to some people.
I find some girls leaning against the back wall of the club. They are talking about the President’s plan to work with Asia. I approach them and simply add myself into the conversation. “Yea, he is totally full of himself.” One of the girls says. She is tall, maybe 5’9, with bright pink hair and dark skin. She is wearing a completely purple, glittery dress that reaches her mid-thigh.
“I agree, I think his plan will never work.” I say with a nonchalant tone. The girls don’t seem to question me adding my opinion, but they do seem a little intrigued.
The second girl is a lot shorter, 4’10, with blond hair and what looks like orange skin. She is wearing a blue tank top and mini jean shorts. “I think his plan will totally work. He might be full of himself, but he is a genius. Why do you think he will fail?”
“Oh, well, Asia isn’t that stupid to let Cilark fool them, and Europe will probably have a hard defense to protect their nation.” I try to sound reasonable and not like I support them. The girls just nod and then start talking about some new fashion thing. ‘Looks like even the Imperium teenagers are supporting Cilark’s every move.’ I start to walk away and then end up realizing I’m not going to get any kind of good information. I quickly leave the club and head back home.
When I get there it is already ten and I am tired. I take a quick shower and then get ready for bed. When I leave the bathroom I am a little shocked at how quiet it is. This is my first time being alone in a house, and it’s just so . . . weird. I enter my room and lie on the bed with a sigh.
“I love you Katherine, do you understand that?” Cody asks with a smile as he takes my hand. We are sitting across from each other in the kitchen of his house. “Do you feel the same way?” There is a look of nervousness in his eyes. I squeeze his hand but I do not answer him.
“Cody, you are my best friend and I care so much about you.” I inform him with a nervous laugh. Bobby comes running in with a rose in his hand. He approaches me and places the rose in my lap. I carefully pick it up and sniff it. I am taken by surprise when I smell the awful scent. It is not one of a rose, but of a corpse flower; like the smell on President Cilark.
“Katherine,” I look up and find that Cilark is now in Cody’s place. I pull my hand back but he tightens his grip. “You shall not live! You shall not kill me!” He screams at me as he raises a knife and tries to stab me. I raise my free hand and punch him in the head. He lets go of my hand and takes a step away from me.
Bobby takes a step closer to me and grabs my hand tightly. I almost fear to look down at him, remembering when I killed the mutant soldier who appeared to look like him. “Kat, don’t let go of my hand.” He begs me with a sad voice. I squeeze his hand lightly and finally look down at him.
“I promise I won’t Bobby.” I say to him. At that same time Cilark throws the knife and it barely misses Bobby. I pull him close to me and pick up the knife. I throw it back but never let go of my little brother’s hand. It lodges in Cilark’s chest and he collapse into a pile of dust. I step back, but the ground beneath me starts to crumble.
“Kat, help me!” Bobby screams as he falls into one of the cracks. I fall to my knee and try my hardest to keep holding him, but his hand starts to slip through my sweaty hands.
“Bobby!” I scream as I reach for my fading brother.
I am sitting in bed panting once again. I slowly sit up and lean against the bed post as I calm myself. I reach into my bag and pull out my journal.
August 10th, 2018
Yesterday was my first day in Imperium. I work in a fancy restaurant and live alone in a huge house. It is almost as if I have entered some strange robot city. Everyone is so business-like and if you are not one of them, then you’re a freak.
I spent my morning traveling underground and then sleeping in an old, dusty bed. The afternoon was spent at work, and at night I went to a night club and met a mysterious boy. Griffin is an odd person, I doubt I will see him again, but there is something familiar about him. He just has a look that I feel like I’ve seen. He is defiantly an interesting person.
After I came home from the club, I feel asleep and entered the realm of nightmares once again. I don’t know why I’m having nightmares now. I have been sleeping well for the past few days. I thought the nightmares were finally over. I guess I was wrong.
I close my journal and stare at my wall. It is only five in the morning and there are no woods for me to go hunting in. I close my eyes and try to fall back asleep, but I fail. Instead I stand up and make my way to the library. I start searching for a book about Cilark, and I manage to find a few. I also find a book that I thought I would never see again. It is the book that I was reading to Cody on the first day that I moved in with him. I pick it up and smile a little, but then I place it back and take Cilark’s biography.
I barely start to read it when I hear a knock at my door. I stand up and go to answer it. To my surprise, I find a strange girl standing in front of me. She looks about my age, maybe 16, with green hair and pale skin. Her eyes though are what catch my attention. They are an eerie electric blue that seem to pierce through me.
“Um . . . hello.” I say with confusion clear in my voice. She looks a little ADD and doesn’t really seem to want to be talking to me. I wonder if she had just come out of the night club.
“Are you Willow Frost?” She asks in a high pitched voice that somewhat annoys me. I slowly nod and she gives me a bright smile. “Good, it took a while to find you. I had to ask all your neighbors and none of them seem to even know you.” She gives a nervous laugh but realizes I’m still totally confused as to why she is at my door.
“Can I help you with something?” I ask her hesitantly. She smiles at me and pulls out a small sheet of paper and hands it to me.
“This is from Griffin. He sent me to give it to you. I don’t know what it says, but that’s about it. I need to go now, have a fun day. By the way, my name is Jamie!” She says as she hurries off down the street. I close the door and just stare at the paper in my hand. ‘Why would Griffin send me a letter?’ I ask myself as I go to the living room to read it. I slowly unfold it and start to read.
Hey, you left so early last night, you didn’t even find me to say goodbye. I was wondering if you would like to actually talk sometime. I would like to talk to you, seeing as how you are new and I am the ‘popular kid’ as you say. ? If you want to talk I will be at the North Central Park today around noon.
I close the letter and place it on the table. I don’t think I’ll be going, but I am somewhat interested in getting to know more about him. I just don’t think he’s the type of person that I want to hang out with, there is just something odd about him. Plus, he might draw too much attention to me.
* * *
“Hello, welcome to Bleu Fleurir, I am Willow and I will be your server this evening.” I say as I stare down at my notepad. Today has already been a long day and I am very tired. I only have an hour until I can clock out.
“I would like the beef daube and a glass of ice tea.” A familiar voice says. I look up and I see Griffin sitting in front of me with a brilliant smile on his face. “Also an explanation as to why you denied my invitation this afternoon.”
“Well, I had stuff to do.” I tell him as I check off his order and hurry to leave and get the food. I try to focus on serving the other tables, but my boss soon comes over to talk to me.
“Willow, I know that you have a lot of other tables to serve, but Mr. Griffin is an important regular and I want you to focus on serving him.” Mr. Turner says with a smile and guides me back to Griffin.
“Hello Willow, I was wondering if I could get a salad to go with my meal.” Griffin says with a grin as Mr. Turner watches us. I give him a nod and then go to the kitchen to get it for him. When I come back he is talking to Mr. Turner about something that is making them both a bit happier.
“Willow, you are done working. Mr. Griffin would like you to sit down with him for dinner.” Mr. Turner tells me as he takes my notepad and pulls me aside for a moment. He whispers in my ear, “Do it, he pays a lot and we want him coming back.”
“Yes sir, let me go change.” I say as I reluctantly head back to the employee lockers and change into my clothing. I am wearing a nice red skirt that reaches my knees and a cute blue sleeveless top. I return to find that Griffin has had Mr. Turner bring me a glass of tea and some chicken cordon bleu. “Why are you being so persistent? I’m not special.” I inform him as I take a seat across from him. He is smiling at me and picking at his beef.
“I don’t know. There’s just something about you that makes me want to know more about you. So, tell me about yourself.” He says and tilts his head to the left in a sort of charming manner.
“Well, my name is Willow Frost, I am seventeen. I just moved her a few months ago from a small town near what was California.” I begin with a smile as I recite my information sheet.
“Why did you move here?”
“I always wanted to live here, ever since I was a kid. Then a month before I moved here my parents died in a car accident. After that, I found no reason to stay in that small town. I got a job working here and I live in a house at the edge of the city.”
He is silent for a moment as I eat my chicken and watch him mentally analyze my story. I am hoping he buys it, which he does after another second. “I’m so sorry about your parents. That must have been hard to go through.” I bite my lip to stop from saying anything mean. There is something about the mention of my parents that strikes a chord deep within me; making me a little p*ssed off.
“Yea, it’s a terrible thing having to lose both your parents.” I tell him in a disconnected voice. The memory of my father and mother hanging from a rope in front of me flashes in my mind and I have to muster up all my strength to not cry. I look up at Griffin and see the concern written clearly on his face. I shake my head to clear it and smile at him. “Now it’s your turn. Tell me your life story.”
This time it is his turn to hesitate. I study his movement and notice all the signs that he is going to lie to me. His eyes start shifting from side to side a little, trying to make it look as though he is looking at me; when in fact he is looking past me. His fingers are also tapping ever so lightly on the table and I notice the minute change in his breathing habit, it is now a bit shallower. “There isn’t much to tell. My name is Griffin, I am seventeen and I’ve lived in Imperium my entire life. I guess I don’t even really have anything to say, I’m a pretty boring person.”
“I don’t think that anyone who is as persistent as you can ever be boring.” I inform him as we continue to eat. Griffin continues to look at me, as if he is trying to figure something out. “What?” I finally ask.
“Nothing, there is just something about you. You’re different from all the other girls in this city.” He tells me as we finish our dinner. I get ready to leave, but then he decides to order some chocolate ganache. “Why don’t you want to get to know me?”
I hesitate when I hear this question. I don’t really have an answer for him. “Well, I don’t know. There is just something about you that is too familiar and is actually creepy. I’m not trying to avoid getting to know you, I just kind of am.” I explain to him as the ganache arrives. He is silent for a moment as he watches me take a bite from the dessert. I am beginning to feel a little self conscious as he watches me.
Once the dessert is done, he stands up and places a wad of cash on the table and offers me his hand. I gladly take it and he walks me to his car. I stop just outside of his sports car and look at him hesitantly. “I just want to give you a ride home. Pretty girls shouldn’t walk alone at night.” He tells me with a smile from the other side of the car.
‘Why should I trust him? I don’t know him!’ I scream at myself as I slowly enter the car. I tell him my address and then lean back on the comfortable seat. I stare at Griffin as he drives and I can’t help but feel a little bad for avoiding him and not giving him a chance.
“Do you want to get to know me more now?” He asks in an almost teasing voice. He glances at me and gives me a smile that automatically reminds me of Cody. My breath catches in my throat for a second and I have to blink a few times to focus myself.
“If I say no, what will you do?” I ask in a somewhat serious voice.
“I will be as persistent as I was today, maybe even more.” He pauses for a moment and then gives a silent chuckle. “Pardon me if I sound like a creep. There is just something about you that makes me want to be your friend. I don’t know what it is.” We arrive at my house and I give him a grateful smile.
“Thank you for the ride.” I say with a grin as I open my door. I start to leave but then turn back to him. “I want to get to know you better too. Tomorrow I’m not working.” I step out of his car and watch as he drives away. I slowly start to make my way into my house when I realize that the door is ajar.
“Crap,” I mutter to myself as I slowly approach the door. I cautiously open the door and walk inside. Everything seems completely normal. Everything is as clean as I left it, I can’t find anything that is missing, and nothing looks broken. I go through each room but there is no one and nothing wrong.
‘Who the h*ll would break into my house and not take anything?’ I ask myself as I walk up the front again. I close and lock the door and make sure that the windows are securely locked.
I awake to the sound of a phone ringing. I drag myself out of bed and saunter over to the living room. For a moment I forget where I am, but now I remember that this is my new house and everything is different. The ringing continues and I search all the rooms for the source. I enter the library and find the phone on the desk in the center. I slowly pick up the phone and raise it to my ear.
“Hello?” My voice is hoarse and strained. I attempt to clear my throat as I hear the voice on the other line ask for something. “I’m sorry, who did you ask for?”
“Is Katherine there?” A boy asks from the other end. I am about to say yes, but I remember that I am now Willow.
“Sorry no, there isn’t a Katherine here.” I say hurriedly. “You must have the wrong number.” I am ready to hang up when the other person on the phone speaks up.
“Kat, this is Cody.” I freeze and return the phone to my ear. “Are you still there?”
I slowly sit on my couch and take a deep breath. The memory of the last time I talked to Cody flashes in my mind. “Yea, I’m still here. What’s up?” I ask in a cheerful voice.
“Not much, I just wanted to make sure that you’re adjusting and happy. Marie gave me your number and I didn’t know when would be a good time to call.” He says in the same cheerful voice. It is great to finally hear from a familiar and friendly voice. “How are you doing?”
“I’m fine. Work sucks and the people here are so different. I don’t think I will ever fit in, although I am now friends with the popular kid. How is everyone? Are the canines doing ok, and all the others?” I ask in a concern voice.
“Oh, they are doing great. Everyone is excited and working hard, but everyone misses you. It’s a little hard leading alone, but I am doing my best.” There is a short pause as I hear someone say something to Cody in the background. “Kat, I’m sorry, but I have to go. I will call you later.” Before I can even say bye he hangs up. I place the phone back on the desk and get ready for the day.
I am sitting in the park with Griffin. It is almost three in the afternoon and we have spent almost the entire day with each other. He is sitting across from me on the grass and we are talking about our hobbies.
“I love reading, hiking, archery, and just relaxing.” I tell him with a smile as I pick at the grass. “When I was a kid I did a lot of reading with my father. I also did a lot of hunting with my best friend.”
“I see, well that sounds interesting. I love hiking. I used to do it a lot with my mom before she died.” He says with a frown as he stares at me. I give him a sympathetic look that is soon replaced with an understanding glance. “Anyways, I was wondering something. Why are you still single? I know you just moved here, but did you have a boyfriend back home?”
I hesitate as I think about this. I don’t exactly know how to answer. “No, I didn’t have a boyfriend. I don’t know why, I guess I’m just not girlfriend material.” I look back down but I can’t stop thinking about Cody. ‘Why didn’t he ever ask me out? Why did he decide to tell me he loves me when I had to leave’
“How about I take you out? That way you can have your first date.” He offers with a smile as he places his hand close to mine.
“Griffin!” We hear a man yell from a few feet away. We look up and once again I am shocked to see who is standing in front of us. It is none other than President Cilark.