18. Like We Used To

So we went back to the hotel room where everybody was being crowded and was gathering around to see what our next plans would be.

"So, were to next Johnathan?" Ethan asks looking over towards me.

"Yeah," Lizzie agrees, "What's next in your plan?"

I stopped in amazement for a second. "Why me?" I ask. "Why are you guys asking me?" I paused for a moment, "what made you guys think that I was in charge here?"

"Because," Ethan stands up from our crowded little space that we were gathered in, "We believe in you."

"And we wouldn't be here because of you." Lilly adds to Ethan's speech.

"You have saved our lives Johnathan," Carter points out.

Rian looks up, "The very least we can do is help you," he looks at me sternly, "This is what you want to do right?"

"Let me ask you guys something," I started thinking, "Why exactly are we planning an attack on Mac,"

"Because he killed people," Lilly answers.

Everybody seemed to agree with that.

"So would we be trying to attack him only for revenge? Or is there another reason?" I wondered.

"Remember Johnathan, he's gonna destroy the world, first by killing all the people with powers. Then he's gonna eradicate all the humans. And us two are gonna be the only ones left," Ethan tells me. "he wants us to see the moment when he destroys the world,"

"Yea Ethan by why you?" I ask. "He never did anything to you why does he want to spear you until the end?" my voice started to raise, "What did he do to you?"

Ethan had a look of fright in his eyes. A look that I've never quite seen before. "He's killed people, John; I've told you this before," when he said that I knew he was hiding something. I just wanted to know what.

"Johnathan where are you going with this? We don't have time for you to give us a lecture," Rian cuts in.

"I suppose you're right," I calm down.

"You're our leader Johnathan because we believe in you, and in our eyes you're a hero no matter what anybody says," Jackie says. "So tell us what's the plan?"

I started thinking, "The plan? I didn't go this far. Quite frankly I didn't think we'd make it this far. I didn't think everybody would believe me," I pause, "I guess we should probably move our location. Since this costs money and Mac might know what town we're in,"

"Yeah, but where are we going to move that doesn't cost money?" Carter wonders.

Then Lilly answers with, "My parents have a cabin in the Laramie Mountains that we could use I have a key," she suggests.

"All the way there?" Lizzie complains.

"We could leave you here, which most of us are in favor of," Rian suggests.

Lizzie didn't say anything as I laughed, I can already tell me and Rian are going to be great friends.

"Alright then, let's get to it," I answer standing up from the floor we were all sitting on; "you know where it is right Lilly?"

"Yea," she answers solemnly.

"Alright, well let's get to it, um girls go in Lizzie's car, and guys in Carters, we'll follow you guys," I say as we started to get our things together. And check out of the hotel and get into our cars.

As I hopped into the passenger seat and Carter gets into the driver's seat I watched as Rian, and Ethan headed into the back seats.

"I guess it's off to Laramie for us," Carter says as he turns on the car and waits for it to warm up for a moment. Then he turns onto the highway and drives off towards Laramie. The whole ride was silent, there's not much really to talk about when you know the world's ending slowly and slowly each minute.

"Does anyone know how long it's gonna take to get there?" I ask looking around in the Jeep.

Rian quickly answers, "2 hours 8 minutes."

I looked back at him.

"You can't do math in your head?" Rian wonders.

"Apparently you can," I look back towards the front.

2 hours 8 minutes later

We were at our destination when I could the feel the bumping of the jeep come to a stop from the rugged mountain roads. I was asleep most of the way, boy does it feel good to get a lot of sleep I feel like I can run a marathon. And that actually sounds like a good idea, haven't ran in a while since I dropped out of HERO anyways.

Lilly's parents cabin was anything far from fancy. It was huge and I'm not just saying that because I've never lived in a huge house before. It's even bigger then Analighe's house. It was probably a little smaller then the HERO mansion. It had two stories, and a loft perfect for Rian, its 5 bedroom and 4 bathrooms. I didn't really see much of it because I spent most of my time outside.

Once we got there, there really wasn't much to do, so I decided to go for a walk around the place just for kicks and giggles you know?

As soon as I started walking towards a trail that led towards the woods Lilly and Jackie come running after me.

"Hey Johnathan," Lilly starts as her and the other one start to follow me.

Just to make her happy I said, "Hi Lilly," in the most unhappy voice that I could.

"Whatchya doing?" Jackie asks.

"Exactly." I say looking down that the short haired blonde.

"What?" she asks confused.

"Yeahhh," I say trying to sound like a stoner.

"What?" she asks again.

I just continue walking.

"Wait!" I could hear Lilly shout from only 2 feet behind me.

Turning around on the balls of my feet I tried to give her a death glare.

"Take us with you!" they both demand at the same time.

I let out a huge sigh, "Don't you guys have something better to do?"

"Well, see I think Carter likes me, and it kind of creeps me out so I'm trying to avoid him." Jackie says.

Lilly jumps in, "And I just think you're the most amazing person ever, so I'm gonna follow you,"

"Uck! And No!" I look back at both of them and continued walking.

"Johnathan!" Lilly screams from only 2 feet away from me again.

"God Dammit what is it?" I blurted without even looking at them.

"Please take us with you," she pleads as Jackie nods her head.

"Fine. As long as you shut up," I finally say losing my patience and continue walking.

As I walked around the trail I didn't really pay any attention to Lilly and Jackie. I kind of didn't pay any attention to anything. I just kept on walking down the path.

I can remember asking Analighe something one time, "Hey Analighe tell me the truth why did you pick me." I ask sitting down on the grass as she follows me.

"Why did I pick you?" she pauses, "What do you mean?"

"Like there are tons of other guys out there why me?"

"Why you? Hmmm," she starts putting her finger over her lips thinking.

"Really Analighe?" I say.

"Johnathan," she starts gracing her hands on my cheeks, "Johnathan you don't give yourself enough credit. You don't think you're handsome?"

I pulled her hands off, "To tell you the truth I don't," I sighed and looked away from her.

"I think you're better looking than Mac," she says thinking quick on her feet.

"You have no idea how much that makes me feel better," I tell her emotionlessly. "I don't want to look better than him. Quite frankly I don't care; I want to beat him,"

"All because of me?" she asks referring to how he abuses her.

"No you have nothing to do with it," I say still looking away from her."You're still not answering my question,"

"Well," she starts to answer wrapping her arms around myself from behind me. "I kind of like a guy who doesn't hit me."

"Other than that,"

"You're funny," she adds as one of the things she likes about me. "I think you're stronger then Mac, you can fix anything,"

"I'm sure there are a lot of guys like that," I look back up at her.

"But only one Johnathan Collins," she reassures me laying her head down on mine.

Even though it's cliché it seems like it was almost yesterday when that happed. I still remember it word for word moment for moment. I remember every-thing: from our first kiss to our last, to our first time we said we loved each other, till the last time I held her in my arms, and felt like I could protect her. We were invincible and nothing could touch us. We rarely got into any fights or in any disputes, we laughed a whole hell of a lot together, and talked, talked like we were going to live forever. Yea maybe we were in high school, "Young love is such dumb love well, call it what you want it its still love," Says one of her favorite bands Mayday Parade. I never really paid much attention to the things she liked until now.

She was probably the most poetic girl I have ever met. She read me all of these poems I never understood and then she would have to take an extra hour to explain them to me. As I looked back in the notebook I saw a couple of them; the easy to understand ones though. Maybe that's how she came up with all of this.

"Okay," she holds out her laptop, "check this one out,"

We were sitting on her bed talking and she was showing me some poems, then she would help me with my homework like she always did.

I read aloud the poem she was showing, "'Some Say the World Will End in Fire others in Ice From what I've Tasted of Desire I hold with those who Favor Fire but if I had to Perish twice I think I know enough Hate to say that For Destruction Ice is also great and the world would suffice'. Robert Frost," I looked up Analighe, "Okay I totally don't get this one,"

She laughed then grabbed her tablet from me and reread it for me, "'Some say the world will end in fire others in ice', okay so you know how people have different theories of how the world will end well Fire and Ice are two of them, you know the next ice age. 'From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire,' so from what he's seen he's with the people who think fire will end the world. 'But if I had to perish twice I think I know enough hate to say that for destruction ice is also great and the world would suffice,' I think it means like he favors fire because the world would get totally destroyed because fire destroys everything, and since there's a lot of hate in this world then it would all be gone. But if there wasn't any hate then he would favor ice, because the world would still be here and it would be enough to live off of, not as many people would be killed,"

"How do you do that?" I ask her as she looks up.

"Do what?" she asks touching the touch screen on her laptop looking for another poem.

"Decipher all of these poems, they all seem like a foreign language to me, and then you explain it and make it English," I told her.

"Hahaha, it's not that hard all you have to do is think a litter harder," she giggles.

"Johnathan what's that?" Jackie's voice entered my head.

I looked up from the gazed I was in, "What?"

But when I took a second look I saw this man standing in the middle of the forest that we were in. I hadn't paid attention to any of my surrounding until now. The forest we were in was just like the ones in Washington. Green, very green the ground was moist and soft. The forest wasn't very heavy near the man was a descent sized lake and sage grass that grew near him. The smell was the outdoor smell that would fill your nose. The sky that was a clear sky blue turned into a hazing grey, with clouds slowly covering the sun.

The man that was standing over by the lake was no ordinary man, I knew him. His hair was the same dark brown swiped over his eyes with gel. His eyes glowed that infested Souran color of metallic blue. He would be handsome if he didn't look so old. Well, 34 aren't that old is it? He wore a grey t-shirt with holely jeans, and some form of athletic shoe. He had a pretty good muscular build shorter than me but I don't think I intimidated him.

I started running towards him, instantly noticing Jackie and Lilly started following me. I didn't care I kept on running.

"So, what's a HERO like you doing here?" I ask.

He had a solemn look on his face and he didn't look at me he kept on looking at the ground.

"Ansel, man what's up," I say.

"I hate this job I really do," the wind started to pick up.

"What?" I stopped, "What's going on?"

"They want you," he closed his eyes trying to gather his strength, "Dead,"

"What? Who?"

"HERO, and they want me to do it," he answers very critically.

"What? Why?" I kept on asking.

"Broke rules or something," he answers.

"What? Come on Ansel, you don't have to do this!" my voice started to rise.

"I'm sorry Johnathan, it's who I am, it's who I work for," he looked up at me a shot of air coming from him hit my face and cut it. Blood tip toed down my left cheek as I could feel it sting. "Defend Your Self!" he screams backing up.

My voice cracked, "You're No HERO! You're No HERO!" fire raced across my arms and combusted in an explosion around me. "Lilly, Jackie get out of here!" I scream.

"No," I heard Lilly pout, "We're going to help you,"

"Get the Hell out Of HERE; I don't need any of your god damn help!" I kept on yelling after that I no longer paid any further attention to them.

Air kept on striking me making cuts a long my arms but they weren't as deep as the first one. I had to use all of the wind to my advantage. Ansel knew all of my moves he taught them to me, he knew how to block all of them too, he's battled me before but it wasn't a battle to the death like this one's going to be. I'm not sure how I should end this. I don't want to kill him, and I don't think he wants to kill me. I know what I'll do.

I mustered up all the energy and power I had into this single blow. Ansel was too busy trying to land a punch or an air strike to notice what I was doing.

Whenever I try to use my fire there's a pull in your heart that you have to follow to make flames but you have to know when to stop or else it will take over you and control you. I know how to control my powers now before I didn't that's why I needed Ansel. This time I followed that pull, I let it take over me.

I breathed in heavily once Ansel got close enough I unleashed all of the fire power that was in my body. A huge incineration of flames made an enormous detonation surrounding us, of course I didn't get burnt but I could feel the massive decrease of energy I had left. My eyes closed as I could feel both of our bodies clasping towards the ground. I didn't think I had that much strength to take him down. I guess I do..