The Art of Remembering

Come on! I thought. I pushed myself harder, willing to run faster. I pumped my arms at my side as I heard their footsteps closing in. I escaped once before but they were making sure that I wouldn't elude them this time. My body was on fire and my lungs were burning and yet, somehow, I kept going.

"Why don't you just give up, little bird?"

"We both know you can't keep running forever!" Their taunts where closer than I had expected. I was slowly falling apart. For some reason I remembered the last time I saw Graham.

He walked through the door and smiled his unique smile. It lit up his whole being and made his dark, gold eyes lighten. It normally made me feel special and complete but tonight was different. I tried to return his smile but unfortunately I only succeeded in a grimace. He noticed this and sat down.

"Graham, I can't keep seeing you." His smile faltered and his eyes filled with concern.

"What, why?" he exclaimed. "I thought you said we could… we could make it work! I've given up everything for you do you realize that? I quit my job, I moved with you whenever you said you were in trouble. My life now revolves around you!"

"They're going to keep coming after me Graham, it's not like I have a choice! I can't keep doing this. I have to defeat them before I can be with you! I'm doing this for you! I'm trying to change all for you!"

"I don't want you to have to change Xandy." He hung his head in defeat. "Look I knew this wasn't going to be easy but at least I tried. Have you given up that easily?"

"I'm sorry but I need to protect you baby, you're just to important." He looked up at me and his golden eyes were filled with sadness. In that one second, I saw myself in his eyes.

I looked strong and uncaring. My shoulders were set and my green eyes were dead and flat.

I had known this would hurt him and yet I chose to follow through with it. I couldn't keep pretending that I was normal. I wasn't and he had to know that.

But I knew I would never forget the brokenness I felt inside. It was like I was made of porcelain. He was the owner and in a fit of rage, he dropped me on the unforgiving hardwood floor.

I stumbled over a tree root and fell on my face. My ankle was caught and I couldn't get free. I saw their eyes as they slowed their footing like a predator knowing their prey couldn't get away. Their eyes, normally a light blue, were now a clear white with an almost tint of blue.

"Well, if it isn't Alexandria. Long time no see. How are you and your mortal?" This remark came from Dante, leader of the Hunt.

"Oh you know how it is. They become baggage. So I disposed of him." I lied through gritted teeth.

"Oh really? Well in that case Derek is carrying some interesting dead baggage."

"You're bluffing. He's already dead. I saw the life drain out of him." As I said this I knew it wasn't a complete lie. I did see the "life" drain from him. His smile faded. I wasn't going to fall for this. The last time he tried to get me to fall for his bluff, my best friend and boyfriend were killed. Dante's smile faded as he realized I wasn't falling for his lies. He came forward and kicked my ribs.

"Coward!" I spat through gritted teeth. "Let me up and I'll show you again why I was the captain. Everyone here knows that as long as I'm around, you'll always be second best." His teeth clenched at the memory. At the Academy, I was always the best. My mental strength outmatched his by more than a hundred and twenty percent. My physical strength was weaker but I made up for it with speed and skill. Dante was always too arrogant, underestimating his opponent. I however, knew my opponents before I fought them. Dante never truly believed I could beat him. I glanced at his face and hatred started flaring in my stomach.

Dante leaned his face close to mine as he spoke. "Listen little cabron, you might have been number one before but you've been gone a while and you're rusty. So do yourself a favor and accept defeat."

"That's the difference between you and me, Dante. I never quit."

"Well, you should probably start." With that last remark he kicked my head against a tree and my world faded.