I fell asleep soon after that. The grief of the lives that I had both directly and indirectly killed overcoming me.
I awoke to Nigel shifting himself, in the first moments of consciousness I had completely forgotten everything, last night, where I was, why I had fallen asleep against Nigel. I looked up at him, to find him looking down at me. I blushed and looked away, I moved off of his legs, slightly embarrassed.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled, still not being able to keep eye contact.
"There's nothing to be sorry for," he told me, taking my hand.
"Did anybody on our side, die?" I asked quietly
"I don't think we had any more than five causalities," he said after a moment.
"Oh God," I muttered, feeling worse now.
"Hey, it's ok. It'll be worth it in the end," he said
"How do you know?" I asked unsure, "How do you know all those instructors, and students, and Society Army men, and our own team, how do you know that they died for nothing. Out of my vain, out of my foolishness? Maybe it would've been better if I had just died, y'know?"
"No, Em, I don't know. We'll never know. That's thing about life, you'll never know until you get there," his eyes were so gentle and caring, it was hard to believe that he same guy threw a rock at an innocent kid's head.
"How can we know, when we've got there?" I asked
"Honestly, Em. I don't know all the answers," Nigel let out a sarcastic sigh.
"They're gonna come back, won't they?" the thought coming to mind.
"They?" Nigel asked a little confused
"Oh, them. Well yeah, we've known that they won't give up without a fight," Nigel explained
"Right, I was just hoping," I sighed, "I don't want to do that again,"
"I understand," he nodded
"I can't shake the feeling I've made a huge mistake. That this a lost cause that will end in many lives lost," I admitted
"Em, they would've done the same to you, and to me. And to any other Betrayal. This is a battle worth fighting for. And I don't know what everyone else is fighting for, but I'm fighting for you. Because Em, you are what I am fighting. Even if it means my own life," Nigel looked into my eyes, and I turned red. Very red.
"You can't mean that. I don't believe you," I said very quietly
"Too bad, I do," and he kissed my forehead.
I walked out from the shielding of the mats, to see the terror scene displayed around us. In the daylight, I could see the blood dried on the floor. There were more injured than I thought. I was lucky, so Goddamned lucky, my friends were lucky too. Outlining the area of Gymnasium were people missing arms, legs, eyes. Blood everywhere. My stomach churned, but I tried not make a scene. I walked as calmly as I could manage over to Kalvin, he was attending to someone- so horrifically injured I couldn't make out who it was. The face black and blue. The skin was seared, hair burned, missing in asymmetric chunks - from fighting a Fire. Up and down the bruised limbs I could assume to be arms there were marks like you might find in picture of lightning. The soldier took on an Electricity too. The unbruised skin was gray and deflated. I kneeled beside Kalvin. I gave him a look.
"Myra," he mumbled, the girl's (who up until that time, I thought the she was a he) head was in his lap. I knew he had a girlfriend, this must be her.
"I'm so sorry," I bit my lip
"She'll be fine," tears filled his eyes, "she has to be,"
"I'm sure she will," I nodded encouragingly, "I'm so sorry, this is all my fault,"
"How? She knew what she was doing," Kalvin petted her head with its burned hair.
"This was my idea, my planning, my idiocracy!" I began to point in arbitrary directions, at limp bodies, "It my fault she's dead, and him, and it's my fault she's hurt, and he's dead, and their missing an arm! And Myra, it's my fault she's hurt!"
"Myra, and all of them knew what they were doing, as for the instructors, they were gonna kill you. Were they not? It's not your fault they don't like Betrayals! There's nothing especially wrong with you!" Kalvin argued
"Especially?" I raised an eyebrow.
"You talk to yourself," Kalvin shrugged
"Fair enough," I rolled my eyes, still not particularly content.
"Anyway, you presented us with a plan. We agreed, we didn't have to. You didn't threaten us with our lives. It was our own goddamned decision, ok? So stop feeling sorry for yourself!" Kalvin tone rose, as he tiraded. Myra stirred a little, and he instantly calmed down. He leaned down to her head, and spoke soothingly, soon she was asleep again.
"Alright. But tell me this, do you think it would've been better if I just let the Society kill me? I mean, there would be less death, Myra would be ok. Then only who would be hurt, is me," I asked
"No, you would not be the only one," Nigel argued, "Firstly, because they'd continue to kill off Betrayals for generations to come, nothing stopping them. Secondly, I'd have to put up with Nigel,"
"Huh?" I asked, very confused.
"He really cares about you. You kind of changed his life," Kalvin said
"Excuse me?" I sat back on my haunches.
"Yeah, before he met you, I had never seen him smile. Admittedly, I didn't know him very well, but I talked to one of his buddies from Air in his Year and he agreed, you've changed him,"
"He never really smiled, he talks about you all the time, he even dreams about you," Kalvin told me.
"He what?" I looked at him funny.
"Yeah, sometimes when I can't go to sleep and he's out cold, he'll turn over, mumble 'Em" and start grinning like an idiot," Nigel snorted
"I can't decide whether it's sweet or creepy," I bit the inside of my lower lip and thought for a moment.
"Why not both," Harley joked coming up beside me.
"Both works," I nodded in agreement.
"So, you've made an impact I see," Harley noted
"For better or for worse," I grimaced
"Hey, it's ok. It's not your fault," Harley defended
"So I've been told," I sighed
"So please, Kalvin, go on about Nigel and Em," Harley half laughed
"Oh, ok, sure. Lately, he's been worried about you. And you make these seemingly off the wall comments about dying, and how you should die. And it sends Nigel into panic mode. Yesterday, he rambled on for a good hour about how lonely he would be if something happened to you. It was really annoying," Kalvin continued
"Perceivable," Harley and I agreed, speaking and nodding at the same time.
"And now I'm worried if something happens to you. He'll go into depression, never smile- let alone laugh- again, and blame himself for damn death for the rest of his life. Assuming, y'know he doesn't like commit suicide or anything. So to answer your question, in the long run, the revolt is a better option than letting this way of life reign on, and making me put up with Pouty Butt for the rest of educational life. Do us all-and by all I mean me- a favor, and don't fricking die, " Kalvin finished
"Wait, what were you worried about dying for?" Harley turned to me
"I just look around and think, would my single death be better than these ten's of others," I explained
:No! That would not be better!" Harley bursted out, "I'd miss you and your multiple personalities, all of them."
"I do not have multiple personalities!" I argued
Yeah, Hun, ya kinda do.
Harley looked at me and clapped me on the shoulder, "Ok, whatever you want to believe,"