Returning

The rain was gushing down in torrents, unstoppable, unpredictable. Just like her. I found myself; once again, reliving the past I'd been so determined to forget.

Kassia was standing, leaning precariously out the window of the tall, cold Astrology tower. The night was autumn at her very best, howling winds roused the pool of reds and oranges that fringed the ground and the fresh smell of rain filled the biting air.

'I love the rain. It can begin lives and destroy them.' she mumbled softly. 'It's the same reason I love fire, both are elements, untameable and so, so powerful.' Then she whispered something so low I may of imagined it 'I wish I had that kind of all-consuming power, Ash.' Kassia faced me with her glassy eyes, her red hair, darker where the rain had hit, and sighed a long, sad sigh.

'What's wrong?' I asked. She just shook her head and turned to face back out the window, lost in her long maze of thoughts.

By the time I had finished recalling every detail in her beautiful face, every expression her eyes had ever held in my presence I found myself feeling sadness so deep that I didn't think it could ever leave me… I was so tormented by her, the mere memory of her. My Kassia, so lost, so dark. I couldn't forget waking up that morning. The entire school was buzzing. Many were mourning. She had gone, the weird girl with the scarlet hair and equally red temper, the girl who had turned so quiet and calculated and mean and dark, killing her room-mate, his girl-friend and an innocent child, a poor little girl, in cold-blood, had finally run away. Many said it was from guilt, that nobody could commit crimes so terrible and live happily with themselves. A few said she had been corrupt all along, that we, her friends had been fools to trust her. But I alone knew the truth; Kassia had run not because she was corrupt but because she had been corrupted, by the boy she professed to love, he had turned her to the other side, forcing her to kill and rejoice. I shivered once more at the memory of her façade of bravery as that bastard made her break her own fragile wrists in a bid to have her learn how to deal with pain. If I hated anyone, it was him, Ash. He had taken her away from me.

Past the screeching winds I heard her voice, I thought I was imagining, I thought my mind was tricking but I ran to the door anyway. I thrust open the bulky oak door and froze.

"Kassia?" It couldn't be her; she was gone, lost for what? Over a year now? Yet here she was, her wild, crimson hair soaked by the rain, her dark eyes, glittering with a lingering burgundy, searching mine, seeing right through me, into my soul.

"Tristan, it's me." Kassia's voice was low and mournful. I blinked and looked more closely at her. She looked real enough. But I could see she'd been through hell, she looked thinner and her face held a terrible haunted expression, I felt the hate for Ash rip through me again, stronger this time. It took me a while to register the water dripping down her face was tears. Coming to me senses, I enveloped her in a massive hug, pulling her out of the storm. The light inside the castle caused her to collapse into a juddering heap, a side effect of being in the dark for too long, wherever she'd been.

"Kassia, you're going to be ok… Kass, look at me!" I screeched hoarsely. Kass moves her head.

"Trist, the lights… they're so strong…" She murmured. I refused to turn them off, even though she looks so weak but I know better, Kassia is so much stronger than she looks. I lifted her frail body into my strong arms and carried her off the hard, cold stone floor and onto the frayed purple sofa in the nearest dorm common room. Kassia abnormally tiny figure sank into the sofa with ease, I saw her smile very faintly as if a weight had been lifted off her. Against my will, I shook her into consciousness.

"Kass, listen to my voice, you need to wake up!" I saw her sigh again but I couldn't interpret the emotion behind it. If I had to guess I'd say it was, patronizing.

"Tristan, I'm so sorry no, sorry doesn't even come close, and I'm mortified at my behaviour. I- I don't know what- I can't explain…" The tears rolling in rivulets down her face made her dusky tea coloured eyes shine with the emotions she was trying to express, her voice cracked painfully as she tried to re-live the terrors playing through her bitter mind. I knew that she might never be able to forgive herself for what he had done, but if it made it better at least I could.

" Kassia, you don't need to explain yourself to me. I understand. It's that bastard Ash's fault, I swear

I'll kill him!" On any day, even now while she was clinging onto the edge of humanity, the nobility in my voice was enough to make my Princess cringe with disgust. Her pretty face wrinkled into a sneer that eventually ironed out in to a sweet smile…