Authors: Dewayne Haslett
Brad, who has gotten a little calmer since our brief chat, simply nods his h
ead and steps inside the house.
As I walk closer to Taylor, she tightens her pink bathrobe against her body and tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, her eyes now facing the ground.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“Yeah, I’m all right,” she causally responds, as if there was nothing wrong at all. She then lifts her head up and I notice her dazzling eyes are no longer dazzling as they meet mine. “I just wanted to say thank you, for saving me.”
“You’re welcome,” I say, putting on a smile. “But it’s really not necessary. It’s my job.”
We laughed at my comment. After that, there led a brief moment of silence as we stared into each other’s eyes, losing ourselves to one another.
But even looking into her eyes wouldn't make the faint purple marks over her throat disappear, the ones caused by Kantos' hand, the ones she tried to hide from me, and ignore for the both of us.
Although Taylor hadn’t told me this, I could clearly see that she was nervous, her body still emotionally shaken after what happened on the bridge. Even though she was okay with my secret, there was still a question of whether she could handle it and the consequences that would follow.
“You know you don’t have to go through this,” I say to her calmly. “You can just walk away, and never see me again.”
She stares at me with a blank expression, as if she were having trouble understanding what I was saying.
“What are you saying?” she says.
“You know what I’m saying,” I insist. “If this is too much for you, just tell me and I’ll stay away.”
Taylor’s confused expression fades away as she looks at me in realization, finally understanding my intentions.
“No,” she snaps, her voice a broken tone. “That would never happen. Why would you even say that? I love you. I…”
As she stumbles on her words, I press my hands onto her face.
“Taylor, Taylor, Taylor,” I croon, trying to calm her as best I could. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It’s just that I…I just thought that maybe after all that’s been going on, that…you wouldn’t want to be with me.”
Taylor slowly begins to relax, taking my hands apart from her face, holding them in hers as she lowers them.
“That’s never going to happen, Troy,” she says. “So what if you’re an alien? That you’re saving lives? None of that matters to me. The only thing I care about is you.”
I look into her eyes for reassurance, and surprisingly, realize that she wasn’t lying. Everything that she was saying was the truth.
“Can’t you just stop worrying about the future for a while?” she asks. “And focus on the now instead?”
Without hesitation, I nod my head. “Yeah,” I say softly, smiling at her. “I can try.”
As I looked deeply into Taylor’s eyes, promising myself that I’ll never leave her, I finall
y realized what Alex had meant.
Ever since I was born, I’d pushed away all my aspirations, my dreams of becoming someone special, that there was nothing inside me that was worthy enough of making an impact. So I just disappeared into the crowd, hoping that one day a change would
come, making me into a person that, someday, people would be able to look up to, into something amazing.
But this was different.
After everything I’ve been through, I’ve realized that regardless of what I wanted to believe, I
amazing. With or without my powers, I was now able to see something in myself that I would’ve never been able to see on Iarnam. Something strong. Something powerful. Something courageous.
And as my hands return to Taylor’s face, my lips touching hers as we kiss, I think to myself,
this is where I belong. And this is who I am.
I would like to give a special thanks to:
Well, first to God, because believing that I got here all by myself just doesn't seem possible.
Andy (whose last name I don't know. Darn
it!) for designing such a striking and powerful cover. Carolyn Lockridge, Eric Lundry, and everyone else at Lulu, for all of your hard work on this book—you guys are great!
Mrs. Anne Rack, Mrs. Rebecca
Grober, and Ms. Lynn Harris, my teachers who, in one way or another, helped me improve in my writing.
My family: My mother, April, who cheers me
on when I least expect it; my sister, Iyanna, for both annoying and loving me past limitations (I hope); and my grandmother, Joeddie, for always being there when I need her.