Tonight I had to meet the man that wanted to kill me.
I'm one of them, I’m different, too different. Alaric, the man who wants to kill people like me works with my father Theo. I had only been informed an hour ago that we were going to a place where people believed that people like me should die.
I put a white t-shirt over my head and buttoned it up quickly, I found a black suit jacket and put that over me too, I had to be careful not to roll my sleeves up or take my jacket off because my scars would show. I also looked for trousers that were nowhere to be seen, I grabbed some black jeans, they were dirty but Alaric wasn’t worth it. I then put some brown contacts in my eyes to conceal the gold and grey speckles in my eyes, that would give me away.
About thirty minutes later me, my sisters and my parents were in our maroon car that Alaric had bought for us, the driver was stern at first but he started talking about everything and anything. I however couldn’t understand why he was so happy. Isren was a place which was heavily indoctrinated and guarded immensely with the secret police. I blocked out the regime by listening to music which made me calmed me down because I always had a feeling that Alaric knew that I was one of them. Coming through the streets of Isren I saw small kids curled up into balls leaned against tall skyscrapers inhabited by people who detested their jobs. It was becoming too much in my head, I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, my stomach decided to flip on itself and paralyse me with anxiety that I didn’t need right now.
I was about meet the man that hated me and my father wanted to make it seem like an enjoyable night out, my breathing picked up and I couldn’t take it anymore, my mind was replaying every bad situation that could play out tonight, Alaric would be waiting with armed guards at his mansion to take me away and kill me in one of the gardens, he would probably prefer to kill me himself actually he’s sadistic like that. When the car slowed to let a few people over the road I took my opportunity, I opened the car door and ran.
“Tate!” my father yelled “Come back!” He scared me more that anything. I was shaking uncontrollably now, I continued to run as fast as I could, trying to outrun my father; who was used to running after escaping prisoners, inevitably I had no chance. I knew Isren like the back of my hand, however so did my father.
I found a small alleyway to lose him. I saw my father run past the alleyway and now I could calm down. I would do anything to feel free right now I thought. I slid down the wall and let my legs rest, they were burning. My mind kept replaying the horrors that could happen to me. I knew in reality that my father wouldn’t hurt me at all but my mind tricks me into thinking he is under Alaric’s continuous control. I got back up and started walking towards the river that ran through Isren, it was serene, the sun was setting, the sky was full with splashes of colour; orange, pink and yellow. I sat on the bridge and let my legs dangle over the edge.
I felt at peace with my surroundings.
Right there and then I was turning over the idea of falling into the abyss of this river, it was moving fast and there were a strong current that could easily pull me under to my death. Alaric would probably want me alive. I close my eyes and let myself cry, the tears ran down my face. I couldn’t take the fear of Alaric anymore, I’d dealt with it since I learned I was a Mark, my mother knew from the colour of my eyes. I took off my jacket and undone the top button of my shirt. I undone my cuddle buttons and rolled my sleeves up. My scars were there, I was stupid when I was younger, only a few months younger. Alaric’s terror inside my mind became too much for me. It became so appealing to me when I saw the razors. I took Alaric’s anger at me out on myself which was the most stupid thing I could ever do.
I saw my father in the distance. He was running now. I felt even more like an idiot now. I was just a whiny kid that has been pampered his entire life. Quickly, I rolled down my sleeves and buttoned up my shirt and put my jacket back on. I breathed heavily until he came. He looked at me with sorry eyes. I bet he hated me right now, or maybe he just felt sympathy for me. “Hey kid,” he soothed “What happened back there?”
“I’m sorry Dad, I wish I wasn’t like this.” I whimpered
“Tate I wouldn’t want you any other way, you care too much. It’s sometimes a good trait to have.”
“Dad I can’t take this anymore, he scares me too much. I’m one of them, I deserve to be killed in his eyes.” I whispered
“You’re not evil as he says you are.” He assured me
“No, I’m much worse.”
He looked away, he couldn’t cry. It was sad how true it was. “No you are not, you’re my son and you’re the best son this world could give me,” He said with tears filling his glossy green eyes “C’mon you weirdo we’re not going until you smile.” He said with a small smile growing on his face.
I smiled and let my head fall on his shoulder. “C’mon then let’s go see the man that wants to kill me!” I said with too much excitement.
My father got not the phone to my mother “Hey darling, I’ve got him,” there was a sound from the phone “Yeah he’s fine calm down Hazel,” Another sound, “tell the driver to get you three there and me and Tate will run there, don’t worry.” He hung up.
“Right young man, how are your legs? Can you run?” My Dad said.
I nodded and I started running. We ran together and laughed and loved like the world was going to end tomorrow. Around twenty minutes later we reached the mansion.
The man himself, Alaric, was standing out on his grand front porch. Me and my father walked up to the grand oak door, Alaric rarely greeted us by coming out by himself, he hated me. This meal was only happening because my father and Alaric worked together, I also was also sure that he wanted to replace his wife with my mother, ever since he laid eyes on my mother there was suddenly a lot more invites to Alaric’s mansion. It sickened me. I had walked through this door too many times, but Pascal made it bearable, Pascal was Alaric’s eldest son and the complete opposite of his father too which calmed me immensely.
“Theodore! So nice to see you.” He shook my father’s hand
“And Tate! How is school?” He smiled, it sickened me.
“Okay I guess.” I answered
“His grades are the best they could possibly be, he got top grades and full marks in his exams for four years running now, he’s definitely something special
.” My father cut in.
“Special huh? C’mon we better get inside or the food will be cold!”
His eyes were what scared me the most, the dark shadowy eyes that haunted me, the sharpness of his voice that could change any second.
Around half an hour later food was served. I imagined all those people I saw on the street that wouldn’t be eating tonight but we sit here carelessly eating food that will inevitably be wasted and thrown out. Pascal looked at me from the across the glass table, his mouth curved into a small smile. Alaric looked at both of us then squinted his eyes at Pascal. I rubbed my eye and I felt my contacts move ever so slightly, to reveal my real identity, my speckled eyes. Pascal saw what was happening and thought fast as always. Pascal knew I was one of them along with my mother and father, Pascal held his breath as did I. "What's wrong?" Alaric's voice was deafened by my heartbeat.
“Nothing, can Tate and I be excused?” Pascal answered nonchalantly, he was always like this, nothing seemed to rile him; maybe apart from his father's regime and his brother Cassius' behaviour infuriated him like nothing else. I had never seen Pascal angry.
"Yes" Alaric said in a reluctant voice
I followed Pascal up to his room where Cassius had followed them. "Cassius fuck off." Pascal scowled
"Pfft, at least I'm the favourite." Cassius shot back
"You're just a mini version of dad, and he's shit," Pascal laughed as he said the words "You'll always live in his shitty dark shadow, if I was you I would break that stereotype that's attached to you, because that stereotype is shit."
I laughed, but not too much because Cassius looked like he was going to hurt me and I wasn't in the mood for that today.
Cassius eventually fucked off, which gave Pascal and I to talk just like friends do. He's the only real friend I've ever had, which in hindsight is really sad but I'm grateful of his presence.
We sat down on the floor against the heater, it was always cold here. I couldn't imagine how people in Ocril felt every night, especially the people who lived on the streets. "So, you want to leave?" Pascal started
"Well, yeah, also keep your voice down, anyone could be listening."
"Sorry, so what are we going to do?" Pascal enquired
"I don't know, there's a conspiracy that there is a place where people like me can go to escape the regime," I looked at Pascal, his dusky grey eyes that were engraved with worry and sorrow looked back. "It's probably not true though." I said
"I know a guy, I can't remember his name though, one of my friends relatives has links with a place called Floucia but it's hard to get in I think." Pascal said, hope restored into my brain "I'll try to get hold of him by tomorrow, if he comes to get you tomorrow be ready."
Be ready I thought. Be ready...