Chapter 8

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There were screams echoing down the corridor. Red was fading in and out around the edges of his eyes. A deep voice laughed menacingly. Ben looked down at his hands. They were gloved with black. He noticed his body was covered with black robes, much different from that of the Jedi attire. He screamed, and screamed. He didn't understand. What was he doing here? All he could see were long metal hallways that all looked the same. Suddenly, Ben felt a force pulling him. Choking him. Tearing at him. Coursing through him.

And he was awake.

Ben gasped as he tried to regain his senses. His arms were around something. A person. He panicked. Where was he? Ben lifted his upper body up and looked around. He was, fortunately, in one of the rooms in the Jedi temple. When he looked at Rey, everything came flooding back to him.

'Oh god ', thought Ben as he watched Rey wake up from his movements. Rey's eyes fluttered open tiredly.

"Good morning, Ben", Rey said, smiling at him.

He didn't respond. He had to tell her. That's what he came here for, didn't he? Suddenly alert, Rey sat up.

"What is it?", she asked.

Ben only managed to stammer out, "I-I uh, I came to t-tell-l you something."

His friend looked at him sternly, waiting for a better answer.

"I've been having, um, problems. Lately, I've been having these visions, and I hear these voices. They've started becoming very loud, and uh, I just felt like I had to tell someone", Ben continued.

Rey's face was emotionless. Then, "What are those voices saying?"

Ben's throat constricted. He reached forward, pushing away strands of Rey's hair. He expected her to push his hand away but she didn't.

"I didn't answer your question", Ben offered, "And you deserve to hear everything."

Sighing, he lay back down on Rey's bed. She remained motionless.

"Ever since we fought at that Imperial base on Hoth, I've been getting these nightmares. I hear people screaming and fire is everywhere. Sometimes I get these visions, too. There's stormtroopers everywhere, and I keep seeing the blurry outline of a dark figure. He wears dark robes and usually holds a red lightsaber."

Ben looked mournfully at Rey. "I hear a voice, too. I don't know who it's from, but he seems to be able to hear my thoughts anytime. I find myself listening to him sometimes."

Tears were threatening to emerge. Ben felt hands around him as Rey pulled him to her in a comforting hug. "Shhhhhh, it's okay", Rey whispered.

"It's n-not", Ben murmured. "It's not", he repeated. He pushed Rey gently away, breaking up the hug. "You know I can't stop those voices, Rey", Ben continued. "I can't take it anymore. Come with me."

"What do you mean?" Rey asked.

Ben's voice was clear and certain now, unlike moments before. He didn't understand it, but Ben felt something in him stir awake. It felt good.

"I hate being weak and unable to do what I want. I love you but I can't even show it. I feel restricted where I am and it's terrible. You should understand that, Rey. Our parents rarely visit, and when they do, it's always so short because they're "busy". Don't you feel something in you, like you could do so much more without them? Let's leave", Ben pleaded, taking Rey's hand.

Ben was right about that unknown feeling in her chest. Rey sometimes felt it but had always managed to suppress it when she was near Ben. But now, it arose again, but Rey ignored it.

"I don't understand, Ben!" Rey said, using his name. Ben flinched. "Where would be go? We can't just leave!" But Rey understood perfectly well what he meant.

Ben tightened his grip on Rey's hand. "Don't you get it? We'll just be stuck here if we don't try to change our lives ourselves!" Ben softened his face when he saw Rey's face. "Look, Rey. I just don't feel like I belong here anymore. I never really did belong here. Everything that I want to have and can have is waiting somewhere, just beyond my reach. And it's not here."

Rey pulled back her hand roughly. "No! You don't understand, Ben! We were brought here because this is what we're supposed to do! I can't believe you would even do such a thing!" she snapped at him.

"Oh, but I would, and I will", Ben said, speaking eerily softly.

He got up from the bed and left quietly.

Rey started crying for the second time.

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