Like a huge tremor had hit it, his whole world shook violently. Before he could realize it, he was back. To the world he hated yet belongs. He looked around frantically as he realizes the looks everyone is giving him. Suspicious, curious, bewildered.
And he finally set his gaze on Shin, whom was looking at him. They locked eyes for a little while before Shin broke it off and walked closer to him. Worry with a hint of curiosity painted his face. Alva stood still, not knowing what to do, how to react, what thoughts to have.
Shin said nothing, only grabbing his arm tightly and steered him down the path as quickly as he could —trying to keep them from looking awkward or suspicious to the minimal.
Their steps weren't in sync, creating a somewhat irregular rhythm when they hit the ground. Alva, who finally came back to his senses, tugged on his arm and tried to break free from Shin's grip.
"Wait!" Alva yelled. "What are you doing?" Shin was holding on pretty tightly and it was starting to hurt a little. He also noticed his bandages were a little wet. Panic filled him as he realizes his wound opened up again and blood — his unusual blood was flowing out.
"What are you doing?" Shin finally ceased his quick walking and turned around. Alva flinched at his tone but swiftly hid his left hand inside of his pocket. "What's gotten into you? You look even sicklier pale now. What's wrong Alva? Tell me."
"I..." He looked away like a child caught guilty for stealing. Alva bit his lower lips, trying to act as normal as he could, "Well..."
Should he tell? Can he? He wouldn't stand on his side, right? Shin will be just like the others, who will be terrified of him and might even choose to kill him. Alva struggled between whether or not to tell. He wanted to trust, but can he risk it? After all, no one could ever give him their trust. All he ever receives from trusting people were...betrayals, betrayals and betrayals.
Shin didn't rush him, he intended to let him relax and open up. So he stayed silent, hoping his friend would tell him the truth — and believe him. But things weren't going his way. He could see how tense his shoulders were.
"Nothing's wrong," Alva said, finally regaining composure as his ragged breaths finally came to a stop. "I'm fine."
"No you're not-"
"Let it go already!" Alva shouted out of impatience and annoyance. He didn't want to talk any longer. Hiding things were difficult enough, and now his hands were bleeding. He can't risk letting his one and only friend know and leaving because he was afraid of him. He can't lose him.
Shin flinched, a little taken aback. His lips parted but no words came out so he closed them back again.
Alva felt guilt gnawed at him but as stubborn as he is, he would never go back on his own words. So instead, he walked ahead of Shin, towards their destination.
He let out a sigh, "Fine..."
Both teen started walking in silence with their minds both clouded by countless questions.
A video was replayed again and again. The light shone brightly upon their faces in the dark room.
"Hey," A husky voice rang throughout the walls that could be seen painted white despite the absence of light. "This guy—" The man with dirty blonde hair pointed a finger at the screen and said, "Is interesting, you know that? Capture him back at all cost. I need him here." He leaned back on his chair and smiled, amused and full of excitement.
"Yes, sir." A few men in white standing behind him chorused. "To what extent would you permit us to go?"
"I want to see him here," He smiled a little too kindly at them and immediately they knew how serious he had meant his words despite his smile and soft tone, "In one week time."
They all nodded and left without needing to be told. The door closed behind him, leaving him in the huge room alone as he started humming. He rested his chin on his combined fists as he led his gaze back to the screen and watched the video being replayed again and again.
"I wonder if you're the one now." A smirk that meant danger tugged on his lips, "I've been waiting for so long now."
It looked as if he was playing around with the video, but it wasn't the case. Soon, he would be playing with him – the one in the video – toying with him like a plaything.
"Soon, it will be soon," He whispered softly in the room like he meant it for someone instead of himself, "I'll release you from all of your sufferings."
He stood up from his seat and strode across the room, taking his new found exhilaration together with him as he left the room.
The three of them were sitting on different wooden chairs with a small table in front of them without any interactions. With eyes closed, they took in a breath of the aroma and breathed out before taking a small sip of the warm liquid in their respective cups. They gulped as the liquid slowly went down their throats, quenching their thirst and dissolving the tension away. The cups were placed down, clattering sounds filled the room. She noticed the two teen was looking around, obviously avoiding any possible eye contact. One was fiddling with the bandages on his palm and the other was looking out of the window.
The girl with auburn waist long hair refrained from letting out a giggle. They are at it again, even when they're both older than her, they could get immensely childish when they face each other. It was a good thing to her, actually. She didn't like watching them both forcing themselves to act mature for her. They could act childish once in a while, like how they could have been. And it was refreshing and fun to see that.
Finally, she spoke to break the uncomfortable silence.
"So what argument you two can't get over with now?"
"It's not an argument," Alva answered first.
"Yeah, 'cause it's just one sided," Shin added. He leaned back on the worn out wooden chair and crossed his arms, causing it to produce a creaking sound. Lacie noticed he was slightly more persistent than usual.
Shin continued, with his voice kind of impatient. "He refused to tell me what's wrong with him."
"Shut it, Shin," He glared at him before huffing. "Stop talking about this." Alva glances back at Lacie to send her reassurance but find her still looking at her brother in a small daze.
"What's wrong with him?" Lacie questioned. She could sense something a little off about Alva. After all, the three of them did see each other nearly every day for almost four years.
"He's been acting all weird and such." Shin totally disregarded Alva and answered his little sister. "Lacie, do something."
"I'm not," Alva sighed, "Just stop asking, okay?"
They both stared at Alva without another word. Alva frowned, as he could see the worriness apparent in both of their eyes, as if tugging on his conscience. Those identical but different shades of brown eyes were making him feel bad. Lacie's slightly glazed chestnut eyes caused his frown to deepen a little. Seeing his best friend's sister going blind certainly didn't feel good.
He tore his gaze away from them. He had to lie if he didn't want them to know. But he wasn't someone who is fond of or used to lying, especially to them.
Alva let out a long, long sigh. He didn't have much of a choice anyways. "...I ran into some policemen two days ago. I got injured, okay?" He rubbed his temples and mumbled quickly.
A half-said truth is better than totally lying right?
"Are you okay, Alva?" Lacie was the first to ask while Shin stayed silent. Alva locked eyes with him but receive no reaction from him. Why is he so calm? Usually he would be angry and blames him for getting involved with dangerous things again. Maybe he's weird from the argument? Alva realized he was too deep into his thoughts and they were still waiting for his answer so he snapped out of this thinking.
He looked away and mumbled, "Stop worrying." It came out firm and he didn't waver too. He was so glad. If he didn't, they would know. And he didn't want that.
Lacie nodded at him, "Mhmm...Alright." She wasn't surprised. She has seen this for four years anyways. Alva who had no memory of his past couldn't do much to survive. All he does is stealing. Even if it's a crime, that's just a way to live on. Unable to toss aside all her worries she continued, "Stay alert?"
"I will." Alva answered. "Nothing to say, Shin?"
Alva narrowed his eyes a little at him before nodding hesitantly. Well that saved him the trouble of lying then. He silently let out a breath of relief before taking another sip of tea.
"Lacie," He said softly, "How are your eyes?"
"Oh," She blinked a little, "I'm fine." Lacie smiled softly at him. When she smiles, she's a real beauty. Lacie looked even more mesmerizing when sunlight shines onto her auburn hair from the window behind her making it a deeper shade of red, almost like fire that attracts attention.
A nod followed by a short moment of silence.
"Lacie, can you help me refill my cup of tea?" He said with a weak smile.
"Sure." She stood up and took the jug of tea over. Bending down, she started pouring the tea with delicate movements, only to miss the cup by two centimeters. Alva reached out to move the cup swiftly but quietly to match the liquid that was being poured out.
"Thank you." He said with his voice a little tight. It pained him to see how bad her eyes are turning out to be and how she's still acting strong.
"No problem." She said with a smile and sat back down after.
Alva pursed his lips together and looked over to the brunet, whom should be in more pain that he is. His eyes widened when he saw the broken look on Shin.
The cheerful, positive and always smiling Shin was looking so broken, so pained and so...hopeless. Alva's lips parted and he was going to call out to him, but Shin who noticed this, placed a finger on his own lips and shook his head with a frown.
That's what Alva saw in his lifeless eyes. He didn't look okay to him. Alva didn't blame him, after all who would be okay after that? Their eyes met and they both silently wondered if they were looking just like the other.
Self-blaming, sorrowful, grieving.
The raven-haired boy turned away from the siblings. Looking at either one of them was hard now. Watching them both suffers, yet unable to help them felt just as agonizing as them. He wanted to curse the world but doing this to them. They both didn't deserve this. Losing both parents to an earthquake when they are just children was harsh enough. Their lies were getting harder and harder even when they are barely surviving in this competitive world.
Life has always felt unfair to Alva. If only he could change all this.
The sound alerted the raven. He snaps his head up and looked around for the source of the sound. It seems like Shin didn't hear that because he was too deep into his own thoughts. Alva's eyes rested on the window and he let out a sigh. A sigh of exhaustion with a little relief mixed in.
"Shin, Lacie," Alva stood up abruptly, "I need to go now."
"See you around then, Al." Shin said, looking right into his eyes. Alva saw how much sincerity and concern were in his eyes. "Don't do anything worrisome again."
"And come by to visit more often!" Lacie looked up and Alva could see she was trying to stare at his direction but her eyes weren't focusing right. He winced and quickly tore his gaze away from her.
"Yeah," Alva nodded and mustered up a smile. "I will." He went over and gave Shin a pat on his shoulder and left the room with quick steps. He couldn't bear another second in there.
Closing the door behind him as quietly as he possibly could, he took small steps away from the house. He let out a deep sigh as all his tension slowly dissolved away. He looked up at the sky to find it in a darker shade of blue before he had entered the house. It turned dark it seems; just like his mood. He should stop dwelling in this. Alva shook his thoughts away and turns towards the albino that has been right behind him all along. She was in her skin-coloured tights and brown worn-out cloak again, with her long and silky albino hair fluttering gracefully behind her.
"Hey," He said to her with a small nod. She waved with a grin and took a few steps closer until she was right beside him.
"I couldn't find you at your house so I came here."
"Alva, hand." She said.
"Am I a dog or something?" Despite saying that, the teen still opened up his palm right in front of her as she fished two candies out from her pocket and gave one to him. Alva stared at the candy in his palm. It was pink, like her eyes.
He was actually glad she came at this time. She helped him leave the suffocating place. With her sudden appearance, he found a real reason to leave. It's not like he didn't like staying with them or he was running away. But staying there is hard on the three of them. And he was too pressured to find a reason to leave.
All of a sudden, he didn't felt as gloomy anymore. Like a gust of wind that blew away the dark clouds. He stuffed the candy into his pocket. He never liked sweet things before, but he would at least keep them.
"Thanks." He muttered.
"You're welcome!" She smiled. "If you liked it, I can bring more!"
Alva let out a small chuckle. "You bring lots every time I see you anyways."
She giggled and replied, "Because I know you secretly like it, don't you!"
"Hmm," His lips curved a little upwards. "Maybe."
He did like it. Her company that is.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment on what you think of/liked/disliked about the chapter!