Brandon, Jerry, and Charlotte dashed down the hall, avoiding the furniture that was in their way. They reached Adam’s room quickly, only to find that his door was no more. He stood there, his right fist raised with the World Mirror’s glow enveloping it. His left hand held the letter, now crumpled up.
“What… What happened?” Brandon approached Adam cautiously. Noticing this, Adam lowered his fist, his power fading away.
“I… Geez.” Adam held his head, expressing extreme frustration. He was breathing heavily, trying to calm himself down. Brandon placed his hand on Adam’s shoulder in support. After a minute, Adam shoved the letter into Brandon’s chest.
“Feel free to read it. I’m going for a walk.”
As Brandon attempted to reach out, Adam had walked quickly into the living room, grabbing his shirt that was off to the side, putting it on. He put on his shoes just as fast and left the house.
Charlotte looked down at what was left of the door. “Is it a bad time to mention that was actually a perfectly executed attack?”
Jerry laughed awkwardly. “Yeah, probably.” He turned toward Brandon, who had started reading the letter. “What’s it say?”
Brandon was silent, taking his time to read what had upset Adam to such a degree. He then threw the paper in frustration.
“This is such bullshit!”
“What is it?” Jerry clumsily attempted to catch the letter, just being barely able to. It was his turn to read what was inside. Charlotte looked over his shoulder to take a look. He began to read it out loud.
As you head off to college in a few months, I’m heading onto new things as well. In turn, I’m probably going to be moving away from Prelude, and potentially Requiem altogether if things go according to plan. In turn, I’m leaving the house and the rest of your mother’s money to you. Feel free to do what you like with it. I’m hoping it will help out with any of your future endeavors, as well as give you a place to stay aside from college. Papers should be arriving in the mail within the next few weeks. Simply sign them, as I’ve already taken care of my end of things. Pam will always be willing to help you out if you need anything. Good luck.
“He’s simply leaving, after all the goddamn neglect he’s done Adam’s whole life!?” Brandon was livid. “Sure, giving him the house and his mom’s money is cool and all, but it’s more than that!”
“This is…” Jerry was showing frustration as well. “I’m gonna call Pam and let her know about this.”
As Jerry walked away, taking out his cell phone, Brandon turned to Charlotte.
“I need to blow off some steam—” Brandon’s body erupted in electricity. “Down for another round of sparring?”
Charlotte let out a sigh. “Fine. If it helps.”
Adam did not realize that in his frustrated walk, he had nearly reached the other side of the town. He finally broke out of his thoughts, which he did not even consider to be thoughts. To him, the last fifteen minutes or so inside his mind had nothing but rage ravaging within.
Adam took a look around him, noting that dark clouds were coming in from the west. More than likely, he was going to get poured on before he could get back to his house. He could always take shelter at the Roswell house if things got too bad outside. It occurred to him that he did not take his cell phone with him, which was extremely rare.
“Dammit… I’m not sure if I can just go there without notice. Is that even a thing I can do?”
“You have a family here, don’t forget that.”
“What… does ‘a family’ even freaking mean at this point?”
After walking for another minute, Adam had reached the Roswell house. A few drops of rain were already hitting him from above. He figured he might as well take this opportunity to mention what the letter had said.
Before he took a step off the sidewalk into the driveway, he noticed a strange light coming from the woods off to the right of the house. Their home was right at the bottom left corner of the same woods Adam fought for his life a few weeks prior.
He approached the light cautiously, getting a strange sensation from it. As he reached the edge of the trees, Adam realized that the light was coming from a flame. Yet, not just any flame.
“Faith?” Adam walked into the woods, not hesitating to approach—now in awe. The same girl who had a fear of fire not that long ago now had the courage to face that fear. Her flame was large; she was so focused on controlling it that she did not notice Adam’s presence.
Faith finally glanced to the right, noticing Adam, who waved at her. She grew immediately flustered, almost losing control of the flame.
“You got it!” Adam dashed right next to her, holding her back to keep her from falling down. Faith was able to regain her balance, keeping the flame within her hands the entire time.
“Adam! Sorry, I got startled there!” She breathed in, letting the flame slowly dim, then diminish.
“Nah, that’s my bad. I should have said hello, but… Wow. I can’t believe it. You can control it now?”
“Well, barely.” Faith let out an awkward giggle. “I can make a flame that’s pretty big, but I can’t really use it in combat yet.”
“Still, that’s incredible! You’re learning to deal with it!”
“Yeah… Thank you, Adam.” Faith gave a genuine, heartfelt smile. Her smile slowly faded, as she felt something was off.
“Is everything okay? You look like you’ve been through the wringer.”
Adam noted that his appearance probably wasn’t the best, considering all the training he’s been doing with Charlotte. Although, he couldn’t tell Faith about that.
Tiny drops of rain could be heard hitting the leaves in the trees surrounding them. Adam felt a sense of calmness as the sound entered his ears. He then realized that Faith was curiously staring at him, expecting an answer to her question.
“I…” It seemed simple. All Adam had to do was say he was fine. That way, the conversation would be diverted, and any attempt on Faith finding out the truth would be avoided. But as words left of his mouth, Adam came to the sudden realization that she was not referring to his physical appearance.
“I’m…” Adam hesitated. “I’m…”
“What’s wrong?” Faith asked with genuine concern in her voice.
“Well, my dad, he…” Adam obviously was going to tell everyone about the content of his dad’s letter, yet he had hoped he had time to sort out his feelings beforehand.
“What? What did he do?” Faith showed evident anger in her voice.
“Basically, he… he’s going to leave the house and the rest of my mom’s money to me. Guess he’s just… leaving. To where? I don’t know. But, he’s leaving, and all he did was send a freaking letter to say it.”
“Adam… What the hell?” Faith was astonished. “That’s…”
“It’s fine,” Adam stated. “I’m old enough to take care of myself. In a month, we’re all going off to college anyway. He’s free to do what he wants.”
“Adam, I don’t think that’s the point here—”
“It’s not like it’s going to be any different. He’s never there, and even when he is, he never says a word to me. So, what’s the goddamn difference?”
Faith could not figure out what to say. She simply stared at Adam with a worried expression.
Adam sighed. “Obviously, I’m angry. I just….”
It had truly started to rain at this point. Both Adam and Faith had water falling onto their heads, although they did not bother to care about it.
“…Is this really it? He’s really just going to be gone without any attempt to try to associate himself with me? All I wanted… was…” Adam did not seem to notice due to the rain, yet tears were slowly starting to form in his eyes.
“You know, when my dad died, I was crushed. All the great times we shared when I was younger… They were just gone. And they could never happen again. As I got older, I realized that I’m grateful that those times even existed in the first place. Cause—”
“Right, right…” Adam interrupted. “Why the hell am I complaining when you dad…? I’m so sorry, I—”
Faith hushed Adam by placing her finger in his lips. She gave Adam a pure, heartwarming smile.
“It’s okay. We all share different kinds of pain. Me losing my father at a young age, and you having yours live, yet never really there at all. Regardless of what may seem like the bigger issue from an outside perspective, we know that both situations hurt. I don’t think either of them should be brushed under the rug.”
“Right now, your side of things is the issue. Don’t feel bad for me, okay?”
Faith pulled Adam closer to her, embracing him in a firm hug. Adam did not know how to respond. He simply rested his head on Faith’s shoulder.
“What was it that you wanted, Adam?”
“From your dad? What was it you wanted?”
As Adam pondered the answer, he slowly held Faith closer to him. They both realized it was obvious what he wanted.
“Someone to care.”
Derek Sommers was a freshman in college. As he typed out the literature paper he was working on, he turned around hearing the sound of his wife’s voice.
“What’s up, Sam?”
“I managed to get an appointment tomorrow! Two in the afternoon sound okay?”
“Yeah, that should work.”
Derek felt a weight press against his back; Sam’s black hair filling his vision as it draped over his head.
“You’re working so hard for the three of us. I hope I can keep up.”
Derek turned around toward his wife, gently touching her stomach. He looked up and gave her a tender smile.
“It’s all worth it. I’ll make this a wonderful family for all of us. Your little brother as well.”
“Speaking of—” Sam pointed at the door. “Chris has been very restless all day, trying to catch up on his homework. Maybe you guys can go play catch or something later?”
Derek nodded. “Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll take care of him.”
Derek jolted awake. It took him a second to realize where he was. Standing up, he brushed off the mud that had gotten on him from lying up against a tree. He looked upward, letting the rain fall on his face.
His gaze fell onto the rundown building that existed deep within the forest they were hiding in. Derek was concerned that the place would fall down on them any day. Yet, this was their base for the time being.
Hearing a loud creak, Derek noticed Chris exiting the building, slamming the sizeable rusty door behind him. Looking around for a moment, he saw Derek and ran up to him.
“Yo, there you are. How ya feeling man?”
“Better.” Derek stretched out his hand that had been injured in the battle weeks earlier. “I’m still upset at myself, though. I swore to shut off all emotions when it came to this thing. So we wouldn’t succumb to… what happened to your sister.”
“Derek, don’t worry about it. It’s tough shit we’re dealing with. It’s only natural.”
“But… That boy. His power. Something really… set me off with it.”
“You said something about that parallel timeline bullshit, right? This stuff must be getting to your head, there’s no way that kinda thing’s legit.”
“I alluded to that, cause…” Derek pondered for a moment. “Cause it really does feel like I’ve fought that boy before. But that’s impossible. I’ve only been in a handful of fights since we started all of this, and that was for sure the first time I fought him.”
Chris poked Derek on his forehead, snapping him out of his thoughts on the matter.
“Don’t worry about that shit. Anyway, I came out here to tell ya: we’re gonna try it out.”
“Really?” Derek’s eyes widened. “Already? Did Carl figure out how the seal works?”
“Not yet, but he’s figured out a way to finally get its location. I mean, it’s actually that one idea you suggested.”
“That?” Derek seemed stunned. “But, that’s dangerous for the people in the town…”
“Eh.” Chris shrugged. “The boss doesn’t seem too concerned with collateral damage at the moment. Besides, this is only to find the thing. The real show starts after. And, well. You know what will happen to the town once we get to that point.”
“I… don’t want that to happen. But…” Derek could not figure out what to say.
“Dude, I know. But we committed to this. We’re gonna save her, remember? We need to learn the truth about how that dark shit works.”
“Of course… It’s just… Not the way she would have wanted us to do this.”
Chris looked directly in Derek’s eyes. “I know I want to get my big sis back. And I know you want to get your wife back. Once we do, we can try forming one cheesy happy ending once again, just like it was originally intended to be.”
“Right…” Derek sighed. “Right. We’ll make it happen.”
Next: Chapter 1.11
Previous: Chapter 1.9