Chapter 37

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Peter's point of view:

I open my eyes the next morning, only to feel dread as I realize what day it is: today is the day I talk to the people from my side.

What will I do? What will I say? I know Adam told us to plan what we're going to say to them, but I don't plan things, I wing-it. I'll probably pay the price for that today, but I still hold on to the hope that maybe if I can't get the people from my side to listen, Adam might be able to convince the good side.

I stand up and stretch out my stiff muscles, brush my hair out of my face, throw on some jeans and a t-shirt, and head outside.

I see that everyone else is already up and waiting for me at the campfire, and my face turns red with embarrassment as I am the last one to join the group. "Good morning, sleeping beauty," Susan teases.

"Haha," I say back, brushing off her comment. Kyle, however, looks thoroughly offended at Susan calling me that, but he tries to hide it. I sit down next to him and he slowly inches himself away from me, but I whisper over to him, "There's nothing going on between me and Susan. That's just how our friendship works," I tell him. Kyle's composure relaxes a bit, but he still doesn't say anything back to me.

"Good morning everyone!" Adam says cheerily. "I hope you all got a good night's sleep and figured out what you were going to say to the people of the two sides," he adds. I laugh a little but under my breath, because as I evaluate each of my friends, I see they haven't figured out a single thing to say.

I do, however, notice a change in Cassia today. She seems more on edge, which is really saying something considering the lack of sleep she's gotten. And then, I see why: a dream.

I wouldn't say going through people's minds and seeing what they keep to themselves is right, but it helps me figure people out. I see Cassia's entire dream played out, and I can't help but acknowledge her courage. She's more outspoken and brave than she seems.

Cassia shoots me a murderous glare, as if to say, Stay out of my head. I nod and try to concentrate on Adam's pep talk for today.

He just sighs and says, "Who am I kidding? No one practiced what they were going to say." And when no one says anything, his suspicion is confirmed. "This is going to be a great day," Adam says sarcastically. "Nonetheless, let's get going. Cassia and Kyle, you guys come with me. Peter and Susan, you know what to do," he orders.

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By the time Susan and I have almost reached the dark side, I begin to panic. My palms start sweating and my heart rate speeds up. I have no idea what to do, much less what to say.

"Are you alright? You look like you're going to be sick," Susan states as she looks over at me. "I'm fine," I say nervously. Susan just shakes her head and says, "Do I look like I was born yesterday? Come on, what's the matter?"

I just sigh and finally let loose my worries. "So much depends on how today turns out. If I screw up, they won't listen to me. If they don't listen, they won't help out on the execution day. If they don't help, we might lose. And if we lose, then Julia dies," I heave out.

Susan, much to my surprise, laughs. "How can you laugh at a time like this?" I demand. "Because I'm not worried," she states simply. "How can you not be?" I ask. "Because I trust that you'll get them to listen. I believe in you, so why can't you believe in yourself? I know things have been hard for you without Julia, but she wouldn't want you to be worried. So don't be," Susan states.

I suddenly feel this warm sensation in my chest, spreading and giving me a sense of...happiness. "You're using your power of joy on me, aren't you?" I question. "You needed it. And if it helps you to know, I've gotten better at my power to where I can spread joy throughout mass groups of people. And you'd be surprised what people agree to when they're happy," she says.

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