5.1 || C R O S S R O A D

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Elijah's heart sunk when his efforts were rewarded with nothing but a blank stare. He threw his head back in frustration, gazing at a milky light bulb from above. Despite its overpowering glare, he refused to squint his eyes. "I don't know what exactly went down but I want you to know this at least: they loved you."

For some reason, Cadell's blank face seemed sceptical to Elijah.

"You don't believe me? Look around you!" he yelled, gesturing to the room with his arms stretched out wide. "They're the reason you're here right now! They're the reason I'm right in front of you! They made precautions in case you acquired any symptoms. Yes, the plan crashed and burned, but you're still here so you can still fulfil their wishes. Bro, you have a dedicated team of doctors and therapists waiting to help you. So please, let us help you."

Silence.

A lump formed in Elijah's throat. "Buddy, there was nothing you could have done. I'm a useless fudge head, an idiot cucumber. I was supposed to keep an eye on you but... Maybe if I noticed sooner I could have— "

A voice grumbled out of a speaker. "Times up, Elijah. Come back in. You did all you could."

Before Elijah could drag himself out of the room, a cold laugh paralyzed him.

"Hold him before phase three!" A guard shouted. "Get moving kid!"

Elijah's face hardened as he stared at Cadell. Or, at least what was left of him. It was tough for him to believe that the person in front of him was the same person as two days ago. Where were the clever remarks or funny faces? It frustrated him to no end. But he had already resolved to repair his best friend.

In fact, he had the perfect plan.

"Don't worry, Cad. I'll be back."

Why do you run away, boy? I can see you trying to hide in the woods

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Why do you run away, boy? I can see you trying to hide in the woods.

Staggering and falling. It's pointless.

Please don't ignore me. Please don't hide from me.

Because escape is impossible.


Why do you run away, boy? I can see you cowering up in that tree.

Your dignity is fading. It's shameful my boy.

Surely, after what has happened, you understand your true nature

So come down and let me help you.


Cadell woke up drenched in sweat. He forced a giggle. This voice even invades my dreams.

In front of him, on the other side of a table, sat Elijah... and Sara. Cadell swore in his head. He had countless questions, but nothing mattered to him anymore. He only had one desire and it was to be alone forever. What was so wrong with that?

"Hey Cad," Sara croaked. Cadell risked a glance at her. He wished he hadn't.

Behind her large circular glasses, were swollen, red eyes. Her lips crumpled into a half-hearted smile. "I didn't believe anything I saw on the news," She said. "I thought it was a sick joke but then Elijah brought me in the loop. I think I understand what happened on the train. You were having symptoms from the illness, weren't you? I can't believe you didn't tell me! I thought I was being paranoid, but I was right. You don't trust me? I would have helped you!"

Cadell glared at Sara. No, you would have laughed at me.

"Elijah thinks I can get you to talk, so would you be a good friend and tell me why you're being an intolerable dickass? Bear in mind, I'm risking going to prison just talking to you so you kinda owe me a conversation."

You're not funny. Cadell thought. You're just annoying.

"Okay, if that's how you wanna play it," Sara said. She paused for a few seconds, concocting a sinister scheme. "If you talk to me, I'll watch those Chinese cartoons with you."

Cadell had promised himself that he would never speak again and yet, a mere seconds later, he found himself yelling. It was almost like a reflex. He never could ignore her teases and today was no different.

"It's called anime and they're made in Japan!  Get it right for once in your life! Why are you so ignorant? This is why I... Oh. You did that on purpose didn't you?"

Sara suppressed a smile. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

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