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Authors: Thomas Grave

Dark Destiny (2 page)

BOOK: Dark Destiny
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Liam and Makayla continued to eye each other hard.

“We were just leaving,” Justin said. He walked up to Liam and whispered something in his ear.

Liam’s eyes remained fixed on Makayla’s. The lack of fear in her eyes challenged him to do something. Liam glanced briefly at Coach Reed before returning his gaze back to Makayla. He let out a frustrated huff, then stepped away. Justin followed, mouthing “sorry” as he left. She stared at their backs, daring them to turn around.

“Clear this area. Now!” Coach Reed hollered.

As the crowd began to clear, Makayla heard snickering from some of the students. She could hear her name being mentioned a few times, but she didn’t care.

She approached the bullied boy. “Are you okay?”

The boy picked himself off the floor. “You didn’t have to do that.”

“Yes, I did,” she told him. “They’re morons.”

He lifted his soaked bag, which continued to drip on the floor. “Maybe I can salvage some of it,” he murmured, more to himself than to her.

“What’s your name?” she asked, her tone soft.

“Ethan,” he said, sounding almost defeated.

He opened his bag and took out what was left of a Halloween themed snow globe.

“You brought a Halloween snow globe to school?”

“Yeah. I brought it to show Ms. Addison.” She noted that his tone had perked up. “I have a collection.”

“You collect snow globes?”

He looked into her eyes as if examining something, wondering. After a moment he smiled. “Would you like to see them some day?”

 

 

Three months later

 

 

Makayla understood for the first time what it meant to be happy, not just the dictionary definition either. Real happiness. The term soul mate used to seem so impractical, like something out-of-touch poets or stupid girls who read teen magazines garbled about. But with Ethan it made sense. The way he looked at her, like he really saw her, all of her. The inside too.

Makayla gazed at the clear blue skies over Shohola Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. A couple of years ago she’d come here to go horseback riding, and she’d seen deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, and tracks she thought belonged to a bear. This was her favorite place in the world, and now she was able to spend time here with the person she loved.

Ethan not only collected snow globes, he made them. Usually, he used tap water, but this was the first time Makayla had ever watched him make one with lake water.

She shivered as she sat on a small wooden fishing dock. She looked down at her thin white sundress. It was silly of her to wear it, but she loved the colorful sunflowers all over it, and she knew Ethan loved it too. She dangled her bare toes in the freezing cold water, thrilling at the tingles that shot up her calves. Her feet were totally numb.

“We’re actually doing this?” she asked.

Ethan was standing in a canoe. He’d paid a guy fifty bucks to borrow it for a few hours. He grabbed his backpack from the dock and placed it carefully in the boat.

“Yes.”

“Can you even swim?” she asked.

“No,” he told her with an air of confidence that did not match the answer.

She laughed. “Are you serious!?”

“Yes,” he muttered.

She laughed again but noticed that the canoe guy hadn’t included lifejackets. “Why aren’t we just getting the water from the dock?”

“It’s not real,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Excuse me?”

“It’s not fresh,” he said as he grabbed one more backpack and carefully placed it in the canoe.

“What does that even mean?” she asked, giggling at him.

He sighed, gazing at her. “Do you know how beautiful you look right now?” he asked. “With the sun. I mean, it’s like you’re glowing, like you’re an . . .” He trailed off, blushing.

Makayla lowered her face and smiled softly. “What?”

“Perfect.”

Makayla couldn’t help the wide smile that formed on her lips
. How did I get so lucky to be with someone like Ethan?
A dull ache hit her in the chest, the most wonderful ache she could imagine.

“Now,” she said, “are you going to tell me what the exactly ‘real’ water is?”

He sighed and returned her smile. “You’re going to think this is stupid.”

“Aw, don’t do that. Tell me,” she whined playfully.

He carefully stood in the canoe and climbed onto the dock. He sat next to her and took her hand. “My uncle was really superstitious. He died last year. He’s the one who taught me how to make the snow globes. He used to bring me out here. He always said, ‘If you want the snow globe to be perfect, you need the water from the heart of the lake. That’s where the water is both the prettiest and the purest.’ I figured since it’s my first time out there by myself, I wanted to share that experience with you.”

She didn’t know what to say, and her eyes glistened as she gazed at him.

Ethan leapt to his feet and then helped Makayla stand. He stepped carefully into the canoe, making sure his weight was balanced. Then he held out his hands to help her in as well.

Once settled, they made their way out to the “heart of the lake.” When they were at what Ethan deemed the center, he opened one of the bags and took out a jar.

A sharp noise at the tree line made Makayla jump. Birds sang a chorus of caw-caws from high in the trees. Substantial movement coursed through the branches, the sounds of flapping wings, and a flock of small black birds flew off.

Makayla continued gazing at the tree line and the calm serenity of the lake returned, leaving her wondering what must have spooked the birds. Whatever it was seemed to have gone.

Looking into the water beneath her, she saw how remarkably clear it was. Ethan was right. She was about to comment on it when an open mouth bass brushed up next to the canoe before fading back into the deep water.

“A fish! Ethan! It’s a
fish
!” she yelled, the excitement in her voice evident.

“Lakes have those, you know.” Ethan winked at her.

She gave him a leveled look, and then said, “Thank you for bringing me out here.”

“I thought it was the perfect place,” he told her. He carefully took another jar out of the bag.

Tilting her head, she slightly narrowed her eyes. “For something other than snow globes?”

His eyes focused on the jar’s cap and twisted it off. “The first time I saw you, that day, I thought maybe you were an angel, that you’d come down to save me from those jerks. Then, when I looked into your eyes, I prayed you weren’t an angel. Or a vision. I wanted you to be real.”

He glanced briefly at her face before turning back to the jar in his hands. “I saw your hand and couldn’t imagine not holding it. I saw your face filled with that beautiful controlled anger as you took charge and did what I couldn’t do. That’s when I told myself, I’m going to marry that girl one day.”

Makayla’s pulse raced but she managed to smile. “That’s really sweet, but what makes you think I’m going to marry you?”

He turned to her face.

“Because you love me,” he said, as though it was a statement of irrefutable fact. His eyes penetrated hers. “And because I love you.”

Her mouth opened with a small gasp.

“I am going to marry you someday, my brave, beautiful Makayla. After we graduate college, we’re going to move in together and I’m going to spend every moment of my life loving you. You are my girlfriend, my savior, my soul mate. I love you Makayla Roberts and I want the whole world to know. I’ve never met anybody as strong as you. I’m ready to spend my life with you. Grow old. Die. Whatever. Just everything. If you will let me.”

“Oh, Ethan. Of course I will.”

She hurled herself forward toward him, trying to stay low in the canoe, but the boat rocked violently. She tried to steady herself but it was as if a great wave had come out of nowhere. They were both caught off guard as the canoe flipped.

The ice-cold water shocked the air from Makayla’s lungs, and when she gasped, she took in water. Her muscles cramped and panic gripped her. She wanted to scream, to fill the water with her anger at herself for spilling them from the boat. Fear consumed her, but then her heart beat one enormous thump, adrenaline roared into her brain, and she was as calm as she had been afraid only a few seconds before, as calm as she had ever been in her life.

A little voice in her mind said to kick her feet and she forced her leg muscles to move in spite of the needle pricks driving deep into her. All she managed was a tiny swirl in the dark blue void beneath her. She sank farther, the cold burrowing organ-deep, the needle pricks reaching her heart, which slowed. A beat seemed to take an hour to complete, the silence between even longer. She paid no attention to it all: her heart and the frigid water and Ethan so close and yet so far away. She could only wonder why she had not told him that she couldn’t swim either.

 

Ethan’s worst nightmare was coming true. He was going to drown. He wanted to flail his arms and legs but they hurt, like sword-sharp icicles were shoved through them, and he barely managed to fan the water. His fear deepened and his mind went as blank as the water below. But then he saw Makayla barely moving. He snapped back into the moment. She was sinking.
Oh, God, she’s drowning!

With every ounce of energy he had, he clawed at the water until he reached her and pulled her to him. His sweet, amazing girl who had filled his dark world with light, who’d taught him that a stupid little kid like him could also find happiness.

He pressed his lips to hers and kissed her, and then he exhaled into her. He loved her and was going to give her his dying breath even as they sank farther from the light of the surface of the lake.

 

Makayla didn’t understand what he was doing, kissing her at a moment like this, and then his breath rushed into her mouth a few seconds later. She knew Ethan was fading fast; his body started to still, and her heart ached all the more. The stabbing pain nearly overwhelmed her.

Sunlight rippled on the water above her, shining down on his face. He was so beautiful. Almost in slow motion, his body began drifting away from her, sinking faster than hers. His hair floated around him calmly, and his hand raised as if waving goodbye.

Her hand shot down into the weakening light and grabbed his. If she was going to die, at least she was going to die with the love of her life, her soul mate. She pulled herself to him, away from the light. She smiled to be with him. Her heart no longer ached with cold but was filled with a warmth she’d never experienced before.

They sank as a single being to the bottom of the lake.

 

 

Present Day

 

 

Tuesday, 9:17 pm

 

The mist-shrouded moon lit up the night sky of the Baltimore Cemetery. The sun had gone down a little less than an hour before with the night creeping in quickly. The stars were out, sharing the sky with some small dark clouds. It was early December. The winter had just started, the worst of it yet to come.

Sebastian had gotten used to the freezing cold over the years. Snowflakes laced his messy black hair and rested upon the shoulders of his black jacket. His blood-red t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and black boots reflected the darkness he felt inside.

He wasn’t ready to let go. He couldn’t. But staring at the tombstone made her death feel so real. His dark brown eyes were hard and unfocused from staring at the gravestone for so long. There were so many questions he wanted to ask her, or ask God. Anyone really. Etched onto the stone were the words:
This is only the beginning, be prepared for the end.
He wondered at the meaning.
Why would anyone put something so morbid on a tombstone?

It had been only three days since she’d died.

 

 

Three days ago

 

 

Saturday, 9:12 am

 

Armed with a pair of earphones, his iPhone, and
Detective Comics
issue 39, Sebastian relaxed on his bed to listen to some light jazz and find out whether or not Batman would, once again, save the world.

Next to his bed was a large window he could open and close without ever having to raise his head from his pillow. A variety of pens and pencils and an opened but barely used sketchpad were spread randomly across his desk nearby. A cold breeze blew in from the window and rustled the sketchpad’s pages, turning them from half-drawn ideas to nothing but blank pages.

Half of his clean clothes were hung up in his closet and the other half lay crumpled in piles on the floor. Some clothes were neatly folded inside his brown straw hamper, still not put away though they’d been there for almost a week.

On his bookshelf were
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Ender’s Game, Perks of Being a Wallflower,
and
The Book Thief
, to name a few.

Hidden behind the other books was a romance novel,
Lovestorm
. He had once forgotten to put it away, a mistake he would never repeat. When his two best friends had seen it sitting on his desk, he insisted he had read it to better understand women.

BOOK: Dark Destiny
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