Prologue

The damage is done
the police are coming too slow now
I would have died
I would have loved you all my life

You're losing your memory now…
You're losing your memory now….

Jami swung his head back, resting his soft hands on his face to shield him from the hot July afternoon sun. His legs were sprawled out on the not so green grass, and he lay there, just absorbing.

It's so sad... the sun is slowly killing the grass… Too much of a good thing…

"Is it just me, or is it hotter than usual?" He grumbled under his breath, not really asking and most definitely forgetting who he was with at the time.

He was answered with a bucket of ice, frigid, cold and strangely just what he needed to pull him back to earth. Right on his face. He spluttered as the water ran up his nostrils threatening to choke him. Courtesy of Izzy, no less. He opened one year to glare at her, taking in her sunburned cheeks, deep dish dimples, the freckles and of course, the hair.

That fine blonde I'll be damned if it isn't white hair. But now in the heat of the summer it was streaked with gold and brown but still the girl's hair was beautiful. She blinked her eyes demurely at him, waiting; gauging his response but before either could make a move Em popped up.

"Jami, stop undressing Izzy with your eyes, that's social unacceptable." Em tumbled onto Izzy's back, her twin in every way, causing them all to roll down Dead Man's Hill. The sounds of their laughter echoed down the silent streets, but not a window creaked, not a door opened to see the commotion. That's how it was, no one cared about the racket of bored 13 year olds whose parents worked endlessly. It's like they were invisible to the world, and the silence set in quickly after their gales of laughter ceased.

"Ya know, the one thing I hate about this place is the silence." Em broke the spell sensing the mood change. She plucked a piece of grass and put it in her mouth chewing once, twice, three times. They all knew she smoked, even at the tender age of 13 but Izzy and Jami pretended not to notice (desperately holding on the last bits of their childhood).

Jami nodded in agreement, averting his eyes away from both the girls. It was hard for him, times like these when he didn't want to think about Em, he couldn't think or look at Izzy either. He loved Em, but sometimes… he wished she would change.

"Sometimes, I wish more people…"

Em was cut off buy the sound of a ringing bell, high pitched and grating. In the far off distance the trio was greeted by the shadows of Lance and Noemi speeding along the heated pavement at top neck speed. Izzy frowned, her dimples deepening and her forehead creasing. Em pulled her legs into lotus position (easy for a child who was a gymnast her entire life), leaned over and flicked her thumb and forefinger in the center of Izzy's face. Her twin's face darkened, the green-gold eyes the shared flashing dangerously but, per norm, Izzy made no sound.

He's always wondered about that. He'd never heard Izzy speak; it's how he told them apart (and Izzy was much more... there was something in his 13 year old mind). Em tormented, teased, loved, lived and cried loudly enough for the both of them.

"Jami!" Noemi yelled out his name, noticing his cousin's furrowed brow. Jami looked up bemusedly, his doe like eyes blinking once, twice before taking in Noemi's presence. Noemi smiled a large smile full of knowing. He was older than Jami, only 15 but his little cousin had always seemed… Different. More mature. But Noemi pushed those thoughts aside as he pulled the length of his cousin's cornrows.

"Noemi, Hop off man! It's too early for you!" Jami squealed and the group erupted into fits of laughter at the sight of Jami curled into a ball, his face squeezed shut in indignation. The only one who didn't laugh, let alone join the group was Lance.

Lance was the same age, 13, but even Em noticed the strange habits and superior attitude towards everyone his age and younger. More than once, Em and Lance and fought out wright, her gymnast skills against his brown belt. Both times, any time there was a fight it was over Jami.

That's how it worked with them. Em did the fighting; she was his heart, his flame.

"Grow up Jami." Lance cut through the childish giggles, he voice flat, un-amused by the whole situation. Lance grabbed Noemi's arm pulling the older boy off his cousin and steered him towards their bikes.

"Leave your bitch cousin, we have things to do." The malice is his voice sharpened and again, Lance tried pulling Noemi away, but he wouldn't move. Noemi twisted out of the younger boys grasp and produced an iron grip on Lance's shoulder. There was an audible creak and Lance screaming… high pitched tinged with pain and terror.

How did things go so bad so fast…

"Noemi stop! Leave him alone!" Jami reached out, timidly touching his cousins arm when it was clear Em wasn't playing damage control. Not this time. She simply stood in front of Izzy who was crying… silently… arms outstretched hiding her twin's view of Noemi's violence.

"Apologize to him. Now." Noemi only twisted harder, and this time… there was a crack, deafening like the crack of a gunshot.

"Noemi! STOP." Jami was yelling now, he voice high pitched and cracking at the end this is my fault…

Noemi let go, dropping the Lance's body unceremoniously on the burning pavement.

"You don't ever speak to him that way. Never." He spat at lance as the kid tore towards his bike, his left arm hanging pimply in his socket and he steered his bike one-handed.

"Noemi, why.. random violence.. how could you…? It wasn't that serious!" Em was yelling now distressed at Izzy never endless sea of tears. Jami just stood, unknowing. What do I do…

And then he knew.

He ran to Noemi's bike, pushing the pedals down, crouching low off the seat and speed towards the nature trails he saw lance take off in.

He didn't hear Noemi's shouts or Em's sobs. Only the sound of Lances arm cracking, of his piteous sobs.

Jami saw him, and pushed harder his legs crying out against the torturous drive. He reached out his head, stretching trying to grab the black fabric of Lance's shirt and there it was.

The rock.

Jami saw it coming, the rock wedge in the side of the narrow road and knew there was no way to dodge without tumbling to the outside. He shut his eyes, loosened the grip on the handles of Noemi's bike.

The impact wasn't what he thought it would be, not a slamming sensation but a ragged push, like when you landed on a somersault in the wrong position, that burning never endless flash of heat and sensation.

He felt his body flip against the impact of rubber against solid earth, felt the bite of the chain against his leg felt the blood pounding in his ears.

There wasn't a flash of his memories, he was only 13… he had barely started living.

Then his skull shattered against the ragged rocks and… blessedly… there was nothing.