17 // DEBT

5.1K 386 191

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

I'd never been special. Not once.

I'd been told I was, but only by those who couldn't look me in the eye as they hurt me. They stroked my hair and told me I was special, that I was a good girl, that I was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen and then they covered my eyes from it all, as if covering my eyes would make a difference. As if covering my eyes numbed the pain. As if covering my eyes would make me believe them.

But I never did, because I knew I wasn't special. I knew.

Being Davey's top girl had made other people think I was special, but I'd never believed that either. I just took another pill, snorted another line and smiled as I covered my own eyes.

That Ethan could believe there was anything remotely remarkable about me was insane. I was a nobody. Nothing. But he was looking at me like no one ever had, like he was seeing beyond the façade, beyond the Casey Brogan that everyone else saw and he wasn't just seeing the layers of dirt and filth underneath. He was seeing something else, something that made me think of catching snowflakes on my tongue and dancing in the woods at midnight.

'You're looking at me like you think I have the answers,' I said to him, my voice shaking, wishing I could step out of the spotlight and slide back into the shade. 'I don't. All I know is that my boyfriend and his friends are dead, and the only other friend I have is out there somewhere, on his own, probably terrified out of his mind and you won't let me help him.'

He was just inches away now and I could smell the whiskey and cigarettes on his breath and the faint scent of something musky, maybe shower gel or deodorant. He continued to stare at me, his gaze travelling over my face as if he expected the answers he was looking for to magically appear as tattoos etched on my skin.

'It was a rhetorical question, Casey,' he replied, as if talking to a child. 'I don't expect you to have the answers. How can I possibly expect someone who's refused to believe everything she's experienced recently to give me any answers? And if I were you, I'd worry more about myself than some friend who's as good as dead anyway. After all, it's not him that the Cherubim are seeking. You're the one who's been bestowed that particular honour. They'll send some bottom-rung angel after him.'

'Meaning what?'

'The same, ultimately. But probably quicker. They're too busy to waste time making art out of death.'

I bit back the rage at his flippancy, chewed it, swallowed it down, felt it drop like a stone in the pit of my stomach.

'And what if your friends have found him first?' I said. 'What will they have done to him?'

'They're not my friends...' he began.

'Juliette seemed to think you were friends.'

He rolled his eyes. 'Old friends, and we were never that. I used to fuck her. That's it. I'd hardly call it a meaningful friendship, she knows that as well as I do.'

HEDOSCHISM **WATTYS 2018 WINNER**Read this story for FREE!