Inquest Chapter 13

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Chapter 13

Nothing

In the weeks since my run-in with Angus, I’ve only caught Lance spying on me twice. I think he’s been there more often than that, but he’s gotten better at hiding. There are times when I feel the brush of his familiar presence somewhere near me, but I don’t see him anywhere. I could find him if I tried, but to be honest, I don’t want to. I don’t want to think about him watching me or his reasons for doing so.

We’ve spent so much of our lives together, my Perception can feel it when he gets too close to me. If he tries to kill me again, I know I’ll be able to stop him. If he’s really trying to protect me, I don’t want to be faced with that either. The more I think about it, the harder it is to hate him. It scares me that when I think about him sneaking around, I feel safer knowing he’s there. He has always protected me, but I can’t let myself believe he always will.

Another concern about Lance’s spying is that Milo’s pretty much always by my side lately. His intentions aren’t any clearer than Lance’s, but I know for sure that if he sees Lance, or Lance tries anything, Milo will be more than willing to beat him into a pulp. I tell myself I would like to see Lance punished, but I don’t think I could ever really hurt him or let anyone else hurt him. He’s too much a part of me. So I stick close to Milo and do my best to pretend Lance doesn’t exist.

I wish Milo were here now. Not because of Lance, but because having Milo next to me right now is about the only thing that will make my Spiritualism class even mildly interesting. Not that I don’t think having a talent for Spiritualism is important, but I just don’t see how it’s going to help me stay alive. Going into the spirit world has absolutely zero benefit for me. Being able to connect with people’s souls in order to comfort or guide them doesn’t have a lot of offensive possibilities, either. Comforting President Howe out of wanting to kill me doesn’t seem very likely.

At least the rest of the school seems to be slowly getting used to me. It’s been nearly a week since anyone tried to injure me. Most of the world didn’t believe in me before my Inquest. They only believed after because the Guardians made such a big deal about it. People still avoid me, but in general that’s them doing what they usually did before. I’ve never been everyone’s favorite person.

Even the other Guardians-in-training seem to have given up trying to find a way around the law that will let them kill me and have settled for pretending I don’t exist. But again, that’s what they did before they knew who I was, so things actually seem like they’re getting back to normal. When the bell finally rings for the end of Spiritualism, I’m actually anxious to get through my next couple of classes so I can head to Mr. Walters’ class. At least his class will be interesting.

I don’t realize how much more interesting until I walk into the normally empty classroom and find Milo sitting next to the seat I usually occupy. “What are you doing here?” I ask.

“Milo has decided to audit my class. I hope you don’t mind having a companion, Libby,” Mr. Walters says.

“No, not at all.”

“Give me a moment to gather my notes and we’ll get started.”

Tuning out the rustling noise of his preparations, I make my way to my seat. Right away, my thoughts center on Lance and Milo continually antagonizing each other. Milo doesn’t know anything about Lance following me, but he can’t stop himself from mouthing off at Lance every time he sees him, and Lance’s jealousy goads him into responding every time. Lance has come dangerously close to getting suspended several times already. I cringe every time I think of him getting tossed out of school and losing his dream. Usually when I hear him talking about me, doing his best to make sure everyone remembers who I am so they stay properly scared of me, I find it much easier to put him out of my mind, but lately that’s been harder knowing he might be watching over me. Still, Milo would rather be doing just about anything than taking on extra classes. Something must have happened.

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