Scorching Secrets

By: Kaitlyn Hoyt

Chapter One



My body is numb. I can’t feel anything. My thoughts are running a mile a minute. Everything is a mess. The pain in my stomach is gone. The only thing left is the hole in my heart. This isn’t how it was supposed to end. I imagined so many scenarios of how that night was going to end, but this was not it. She’s supposed to be here with us. She did something to change the vision. I know it. I wasn’t supposed to come out of that alive. It was supposed to be me, not her.

Me.

Again.

Claire’s gone. She left us. She’s not coming back and she knew that. In the hallway, she told me: “You’ll all be alive.” She didn’t say we. I should have caught on to that. I should have known. I should have kept a better eye on her. That conversation keeps running through my mind. She said I was the daughter that she never had. That’s why she was getting teary-eyed…because she knew that she was going to be leaving us soon.

“Ryanne?” I can hear Colton talking to me, but I can’t respond. I can’t talk to anyone right now. My mind won’t let me leave. There are too many thoughts running through it to form any coherent sentences aloud. I keep my eyes forward, focusing on the road through the front window of the car, ignoring everyone. We’re heading to our next location. Tom decided to stop using houses that he owns. He thinks it’ll be too easy to track us that way. He has a place in mind, but won’t tell us its exact location. It’s safer that way—safer if we don’t know.

The sky darkened when we got into the car. Thunder keeps rolling, and lightning randomly strikes around us. I try to pull the magic in and control it, but controlling the weather is a lot harder than pushing thoughts back, and I just don’t have the energy to do it.

Everyone else is distraught over her loss too, but I can’t get her out of my thoughts. I can’t stop thinking about everything. She was right there in the kitchen with us. I should have stayed and looked for her. I could have done something. Couldn’t I? I know that I could have, but what? I glance at Colton and David. They just lost their aunt, their guardian, and while they look sad, they don’t look as upset as I am. Why am I more upset than them?

I try to keep my eyes forward ignoring everyone’s penetrating gazes. They keep glancing back at me to make sure that I’m ok, but I’m not. I’m not going to be for a long time. No one could replace my mom. However, for the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a motherly figure in my life. One that didn’t want to be my best friend, but one that truly loved me like a mother should. One that would help me when I needed it and wanted to see me succeed. A motherly figure that would do anything to make sure I was fine—that I was moving on. Now, she’s gone. Claire is gone and it’s all my fault.

Death follows me like a stalker, constantly reminding me that no one around me is safe.

“Ryanne, please stop thinking like that.” Liam grabs my left hand with his right. Putting a hand on my chin, he forces me to look at him. “There’s nothing you could have done differently.”

Staring into his grey eyes, I see the worry. The worry for me. I feel the barrier I put up a couple of hours ago start to melt away when he looks at me like that. I don’t know how Liam does it, but he always knows what I’m thinking. Either he’s very perceptive or I’m just really predictable.

“She knew, Liam.” I can feel the tears brimming to the surface. “She knew. She told me, you’ll all be alive. She didn’t say we’ll all be alive. She didn’t include herself.” My lips start quivering. “She did something. It was supposed to be me that died. Not her. Me.” I start shaking my head. The movement causes the water to spill from my eyes and slide down my cheeks. Liam wraps his arm around my shoulder and pulls me closer to him. With my head tucked into his shoulder, I let the tears fall. I fist my hand into his shirt and sob. He rubs my back but doesn’t say anything.

There’s nothing to say.

After a while, no more tears come. I still feel like crying, but my body can’t anymore. I close my eyes but remain tucked into Liam’s side. All the tension in my muscles disappear and I slowly drift into sleep.

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