Chapter 14

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A few hours went by before the sound of the doorknob brought us out of our relaxed state.

We all raised our heads up from our cots and stared at the door, waiting for it to open and reveal Ace and the two teens who should appear on the other side.

But it didn't.

The door slowly opened and Ace stood on the other side, but with only one teen by his side. The blond girl stood to the right of him, staring at the floor, her face completely slack.

I stared at the girl and the almost defeated look about her, wondering if Ace had killed the curly-haired boy. What had the boy even done?

Ace grabbed onto the girl's arm -once she didn't make a move- and then threw her into the room, none too gently. He then looked at all of us and told us to get to sleep before leaving once again. Once the lock was in place and Ace was sure to have left, the blond girl got up from where she had been thrown and then sat down on her cot, staring down at the floor.

The silence grew at a steady pace until it was finally broken by a shaggy, dark, blue-haired boy who stared at the girl almost sadly.

"Where is Tyler?"

Tears glistened in the blond girl's eyes as she took in a sharp breath and wrapped her arms around her midsection. She let a loud sob wrack her frame, which echoed around the room, each sob more pain filled than the last.

I watched the blue-haired boy get up from his cot and walk over to her, plopping himself on her left.

"Please tell us what happened," he said once she had calmed down a bit.

She hastily wiped her cheeks and took in a few quick breaths before hiccuping out an answer. "He-he's gone."

The blue-haired boy placed his hand on her shoulder blade and made small reassuring circles. "Can you please tell us exactly what happened?"

She nodded her head and took another breath, continuing to stare at the floor. "W-we got to the laundry room where Ace gave us instructions on how to do the laundry, and then he got a call on his phone. He told us to behave and hurry up, and said that he was only going to take a moment and be right back." Her voice cracked on the last word and fresh tears were starting their journey down her face.

"What happened next?"

"Ty, he-he..."

"He what?"

"He unscrewed the c-cap on the laundry detergent and then..." The girl ran an arm across her eyes and looked down at her hands. "He didn't even hesitate." She looked at the blue-haired boy. "He drank a lot of it... and then he started to double over, vomiting all over the p-place."

Silence overpowered the room once again. The blond girl's quiet sobs were the only thing that could be heard other than the strange ringing sound piercing my ears. After a few moments, I realized the sound was coming from inside my head.

I swiftly got up from my cot and made my way to the bathroom, ignoring the stares of the few teens who I had passed on my way there. My bare arms prickled with bumps as I entered and stopped in front of one of the sinks on the far wall, a chill running down my spine at the image of the boy's face and the way he was most likely convulsing on the floor in the puddle of his own vomit.

A feeling of guilt washed through me suddenly. I know it wasn't my fault, but I couldn't stop the feeling from spreading through my entire being. I could have stopped him... somehow...

I closed my eyes and shook my head, trying to shake off the strange feeling, and then turned the tap on. Cold water gushed out of the faucet and into the somewhat dirty sink. I placed my hands underneath the freezing liquid and bent over, splashing some of it up onto my face.

I straightened back up, a moment later, and stared at myself in the mirror's reflection and the drops of water that hung off the tip of my nose, lips, and chin. My eyes unfocused from the water and instead took in my entire face.

My ghostly skin caused the bruises under my eyes -which could only have been from the previous nights tosses and turns- look darker than before, and my longer, brown hair looked like a complete mess at the top of my head. I forced my eyes away from my dark eyes and watched as a drop of water dripped from my chin before being interrupted by a questioning voice.


I turned the tap off and used my arm to wipe the access water away from my face before turning to face Willow. "Yeah?"

"You alright?" Willow crossed her arms over her chest and slowly walked closer to me.

I nodded. "Yeah. I'm fine."


I took a deep breath and stared down at the floor. "We should probably just get back to sleep." Willow's face turned skeptical and I quickly did my best cover-up smile. "I'm fine, really."

Willow didn't look like she believed me at all but she nodded her head regardless. "Okay. Me and you will be getting out of here alive, no matter what."

I raised an eyebrow, my smile slowly turning into a genuine one. "You want to pinky swear on it?"

A large smile replaced her features and she dropped her arms down by her sides and raised one of her hands up, her pinky exposed. I raised the same hand as hers -her right- and linked our fingers together.

"We'll get out of here, together," she said, looking me straight in the eye. "Promise?"

I returned the gesture and nodded my head. "Promise."

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