Chapter forty-six

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(Everything I wanted by billie eilish on spotify)

"And if not to hate and destruct, then what are you good for?"

Have you ever looked at the mirror, staring for what felt like hours without recognizing the person looking at you? Even worse, have you ever looked at the mirror and wished you saw someone else instead of the broken pieces puzzled to look like a human?

I look in the mirror right now, and when my eyes finally look so hard that they laser into the man I see, a glimpse of a boy appears.
Innocent boy, with a smile so genuine no picture could ever capture the emotions sparkling through his eyes, a boy beautifully unaware of the cruel world outside, the world outside of his imagination.

I blink.

Suddenly those innocent eyes are darkened, so much that if you look into them long enough, they'll show you nothing but misery and a broken soul with no chance of redemption.
The sparkle didn't disappear, it was grabbed and stepped on till there were nothing more than shreds left. And the beautifully unaware boy was now trapped in a personalized hell he'd never escape.

I've done everything to drive him away, to never see him in front of me again.
I've yelled, killed, shattered and let myself drown to escape him and I managed well, now I only see him once every year, he comes to remind me of the day there was nothing left of him but anger and grief.

And now, I'm a man ready to walk into my own or another man's death.

The war inside me tells me I'm no quitter, and the voice of the man who raised me plays on repeat as he tells me Man up, and do what you're made for, but a sweet innocent voice so soft it makes me fall to my knees tells me that I'm made for more than that.

I love that voice, but I've also managed to break that voice in more than one occasion and the fear of breaking it far beyond reparation is what drives me into the fires of hell, it drives me into my biggest fear if it means the voice can be free again and sing like a bird flying through the gates of heaven.

"Xander, what the fuck." Bruno emerges in, his eyes scan me from top to toe, a look of concern firing through his eyes as he looks at the clothes I'm wearing, "so it's true. You're entering the ring today?"
My eyes are blank, holding no expression as I nod and throw a last glance at the mirror before I make my way to the bed to grab my bag.

"Xander" Bruno huffs, "you haven't killed anyone ever since we left Mexico, are you ready to start again now?"
I grab my bag and turn around to face him, "who said I'm killing anyone?"
He knits his brows, as a look of confusion appears on his face, "You've won this more than anyone else has, you know the rules, you enter that ring and leave either a winner or a dead man."

I blink, keeping my expression blank.
I knew the rules well enough by now, no weapons, no help from anyone else, just one man against another fighting for the chance to get out of the ring alive.
"You're going against Rojo, he's won the last twenty fucking fights and you haven't fought in one year, you're walking straight to your death." Bruno spits, growing annoyed at my lack of emotions.
A dark chuckle escapes my lips, "good to see that you have some faith in me amigo"

I look at the clock and start making my way out the door before Bruno grabs my arm to stop me.
We're standing shoulder to shoulder, my head is still turned to the door while Bruno is looking over his shoulder, "I know this day is hard for you. You're still blaming yourself, but this isn't the fucking way to go, just let me be there for you."

I jerk my arm out his grip and continue making my way out, only stopping when he mentions her, "What about Luna?"
I swallow the lump forming in my throat at the mention of the only girl who's name alone is enough to make me weak, "take care of her."

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