The Strength To Say Goodbye

The Strength To Say Goodbye

When I first saw you, I was afraid to meet you
When I first met you, I was afraid to kiss you
When I first kissed you, I was afraid to love you
But now that I love you...
I'm afraid to lose you

Chapter 3

~(~)~

by: Subrina
Anthony

After another week, my parents had finally convinced me to come downstairs. There was no TV in my room, and all the food was down here. I often slept on the couch, depressing music filling the empty spaces of my mind, which was pretty much all of it. My parents and I were now sitting in the kitchen, staring at each other. They probably noticed how dead I looked. I had gotten more pale, and my hair had gotten longer.

"Anthony." My dad said. I looked up at him. "Do you want to go and get a haircut son?" He asked, smiling. He had me come down here to talk about hair. I frowned and looked out the window.

"What's the point? We're all just slowly dying." I said, making a depressed cloud hover above all our heads. My mom looked around the room awkwardly and I rolled my eyes. I was about to get up when my dad cleared his throat.

"You mother and I are going to visit Mark's parents in Florida. We want to see how they are doing, to see if they need anything." He said, watching me. I tilted my head questionably, still not looking in their direction.

"When are you leaving and how long are you going?" I asked, wondering how long it would take for me to run away to Vegas. My father scratched his head.

"We're going to leave as soon as we're done talking. Do you think you can handle being on your own for a week? I'm sure Mark would let you stay with him. After all, he's got a whole house to himself already." He said, grinning as if he had told a joke. A week? Mark and I could buy plane tickets to Vegas in that time. And once we were gone... we were not coming back. I forced a smile onto my face.

"Sure, I'll be fine. You guys go and try to have fun." I said, using me most charming smile. They both almost laughed, seeing my fake happiness. My mother wiped a tear from her eye and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes again.

"Anthony sweety, we're so glad that you're finally cheering up." My mother ran over and kissed me on the cheek. My dad came over and hugged me. My mother quickly ran over and grabbed her car keys, tugging on my dad's sleeve. They kissed my goodbye and headed out the door. I watched their car leave the driveway and smiled to myself. Alone at last. I froze. You know that feeling that you get when you know someone is watching you? Well I just got it. I slowly turned around and looked out the window into the snowy woods. There was a flash of black, then a raven flew into the air, silently flapping it's wings. I noticed one white feather in the raven's wing, which confused me. I had never seen a raven with a white feather before. Weird.

I went into the kitchen and started to make myself some soup. I put the bread in the stove to keep it warm and put on my boots. After zipping up my sweatshirt, I made my way outside and over to where the raven had took off. I stopped when I reached one of the tree. There were footsteps leading up to the tree, but they just... stopped. I stood in the footsteps, wondering what they were looking at. My blood ran cold as I stepped into the snowy footprints. From where I was standing, I had a perfect view of the kitchen and living room. If I looked up, I could see into my room. I had been in the living room just seconds ago, feeling like I was being watched. I looked down at the footprints, noticing how small they were. They must have been a girl's... maybe Kayla? She was crazy enough to be a stalker. But that still didn't explain how the person had gotten away so fast, and without making any new footprints. I vaguely thought of the raven, then shook the thoughts off with a shake of my head. I got out my cell phone and called Mark. He picked up on the first ring. "Hey Mark, do you want to come over? My parents are going out for a week." I said.

"Sure bro, let me just get my jacket..." Mark grunted and it sounded a lot to me like he was taking his jacket off, then back on. There was a thud and Mark cursed. I swirled around.

"Mark?"

"Yeah?"

"Where are you exactly? Are you outside because I think I just heard you." There was a silence, then,

"Yeah I'm walking to your house right now." He said quickly. I hung up and looked into the woods. Sure enough, there was Mark, crunching through the snow and smiling up at me. I smiled back, stuffing my freezing hands in my pockets. Mark waddled up to me, punching me in the arm. "I was asleep dude. You woke me up. I'm going to have to kill you now." He said, making my roll my eyes. He followed me inside and I poured us both some soup, giving us each a chunk of bread.

"Like it?" I asked, dipping my bread in the soup. Mark's eyes rolled back in his head.

"Dude, this tastes exactly like Panera Bread. I love you man." He said. I laughed and tossed him so more bread. I watched him inhale my soup while I just dabbed my bread in the gooey liquid. He looked up. "Why were you in the woods anyway?" He asked, momentarily forgetting that he had dropped a piece of bread into his soup. I sunk. I shrugged.

"I thought I saw someone looking in through the window." I said nonchalantly. Mark choked on his soup, then wiped his mouth.

"What did the person look like?" He asked, frowning.

"They were wearing a long black cloak, and I couldn't see their face." I said, wondering why Mark looked so concerned. He hesitated, then shrugged.

"Look dude, I know I only stayed for a couple of minutes, but I should really be going." He said, getting up quickly, almost knocking his chair over. I frowned and got up.

"Why?" I asked, feeling like he wasn't telling me something. He just shook his head and headed outside. I didn't bother following him. He hurried into the forest, leaving me with a hundred questions.

* * *
Mark

I headed into the woods, not looking back. I pulled my hood up. I didn't want to leave Anthony, but I had to. He was my best friend, and maybe my only sanity in this world. He was so nice, and I was seriously worried about him. He was taking this all wrong. Cooped up in his room, barely eating... it wasn't healthy. When I was sure that Anthony couldn't see me, I pulled my hands out of their pockets. I snapped my fingers and my hands glowed a deep red. I rubbed them together and my hands instantly heated up. I breathed a sigh of relief and my whole body felt toasty warm.

I looked behind me and noticed that I was still making footprints. I waved my hand and snow blew onto my footprints, totally covering them. I smiled to myself and wandered deeper into the woods, not feeling the tiniest bit cold. I stopped in the middle of the woods, noticing claw marks on a nearby tree. I looked around, but the forest was silent. "I know you're here!" I shouted, waiting for a sound, anything. There was nothing. "Come out!" I screamed, getting agitated.

There was a flutter of wings and then a black raven flew down. I noticed the one white feather on it's wing. It landed on a nearby branch, on the tree with the scratches. It stayed still, watching me. I glared at it and it ruffled it's feathers, then seemed to sigh. "Come on." I said, glaring at it. "Or are you to scared to face me in person?" I growled through my teeth, resisting the urge to cut it's head off. The raven ruffled it's feathers, then rose into the air. It circled over me, then did a low dive on the ground in front of me. There was a small amount of black mist, and the raven grew exceedingly fast. There was a mass of feathers, then a person stood, half hidden by a tree, right in front of me. She wore a black cloak and her long, dark brown hair hung limply at her sides. I couldn't see her face, but I didn't need to. I could recognize her anywhere. She looked towards Anthony's house.

"How is he?" She asked, her voice quiet, since she hadn't talked in weeks. Something snapped inside of me, something big.

"How do you think he is?!" I exploded, waving my hands in the air and stepping towards her. She stood her ground. "He's depressed, and he's practically killing himself! And it's all your fault!" I screamed, almost hitting her. The girl made a small whimpering sound and her lip quivered. I scoffed and held my hands up. "You never loved him." I said under my breath.

"I did love him!" She said, waving her hand and sending me sailing into the air. I gasped for air as the wind got knocked out of me. "I loved him more than anybody has ever loved another human being! I loved him and I still do!" She screamed at me. The wind picked up and there was a few drops of rain. "I love him with all of my heart, and I miss him!" The rain was a downpour, soaking both of us. "You don't know how much it hurts to not see him!" She cried, crumpling to the floor. She put her head in her hands and moaned as she cried, breaking my heart all over again. I slowly walked over to her, the wind and rain chilling me to the bone. I knelt beside her and pulled her hood back.

"Elena..." I said in a whisper. Her dark purple eyes cried and her red lips quivered. She leaned against me and I hugged her, willing her to stop crying. The thing about Elena, she seems to scream when she cries. My little sister, the one who I adored no matter what, was crying in my arms. She had been a raven since the "accident" and when she was in animal form, her human feelings weren't as big. Now, when she was letting it all out, it was like a hurricane of emotions, all crashing down on her... and me.

"Shh..." I cooed to her. "It'll be alright." I said, mostly reassuring myself. She sobbed into my shoulder, which was already soaked from the rain she had caused.

"I... I just... I just love him s... so much..." She stuttered, and I wrapped her cloak tightly around her. I smoothed her wet hair, trying to comfort her.

"I know Elena..." I said, closing my eyes. "I know."

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