Did I tell you guys I wrote my college essay as a letter to Jay Gatsby? It was an awesome letter and I got accepted into 3 colleges with it. Yeah.... So again (for the umpteenth time) I'm sorry I haven't been around but I'm still writing!
Hmm... seems I didn't follow the Preview like I said I would... whoops, next chapter... promise :D
I'm back in that room again.
The walls were painted black and a star chart projector sat in the center of the room. I could gaze at the light painted stars for hours, and for the most part I think I already do, trying to find the star that has all the answers.
"Talk to the Patron Saint of Lost Causes." I jumped from my seat to see myself, calm cool and collected, her boots thumping on seemingly tiled floor. Each thump caused me to shiver. Max slowed to a stop before me, her gaze apologetic. "I'm not going back, we're a lost cause. There's no way you could get me to come back and there's no way for you to gain acceptance if you don't. Talk to the Patron Saint."
"I can't." My voice wavered and I suddenly felt like the eight year old I was. I felt smaller and unsure and I saw my own lips press thinly before she picked me up effortlessly, resting me on her hip. "I don't know what Saints are and Fang, he's in real pain."
"He's just being Fang, my dear. He is being the great Mr. Gatsby and I'm counting on you to save him from his tragic end."
"The Great Gatsby. Never mind, at any rate I'll be here if you need me until you just want me. I'll rarely ever show you our memories, Max dear, because I'd rather you not remember like everyone else does. I want to see if you can turn out a little better than I did." My face flushed in anger.
"What if I wanna know?!" I asked, my little hands clenching into fists as I glared at my older self. "What if I need to know?!" I bared my teeth in a grimace, Max set me down, patting my head as she towered over me.
"All you need to know is love. Remember what the old man and lady felt for you, remember what the flock feels for you. You just need love and you'll feel whole."
"NO!" I snapped, slapping her hand away and the room changed to a blank white room. "You don't know how lonely it is to not remember! To have them look at you expecting YOU not ME! No matter how much they include me I can't feel whole, I can't feel loved because I'm not you Max! I'm not you." Tears started streaming down my face, my tantrum burned at my face. I was upset and ashamed for yelling at myself, what good would that do? "It's lonely there! It's scary, it's big, and Fang hates me! I don't want to go back!"
Max was on her knees hugging me and stroking my hair whispering, "Shh, shh, everything's going to be okay…" over and over.
When I woke up Iggy was sitting quietly at the foot of my bed. He seemed calm and unbothered which was weird 'cause it bothered me. "What's up?" My voice croaked and I suddenly became aware I had been crying in my sleep, my cheeks seemed to crack the stream of dried tears.
"The Great Gatsby." Iggy stated simply. "Jay Gatsby, an amazing fellow, lied and cheated his way through life with half truths with the intention to have the love of his life fall in love with him again. He became surprisingly rich quickly through reason's 'unknown' but was considered 'new money' and therefore not accepted into the rich society. To be accepted into the rich society you needed to have 'old money', ergo you already had it. The love of his life did in fact love him but she loved her actual husband more and with that disappointment and other circumstances Jay Gatsby was killed. Well, in a nutshell, you'd understand it better if you read it. There's a lot more to it."
"How did you know?" I was bewildered.
"Max told me." Iggy stated as simply as before. He frowned suddenly as if knowing my confused expression before smiling sheepishly with a shrug. "Well not you Max but Max Max. She came while you were sleeping and woke me up. She talked to me about stuff – no, it's classified – and while she started mentioning The Great Gatsby she started crying. She said it was you who was crying and told me to tell you the gist of The Great Gatsby and for you to understand why Jay was so important. Any questions?" My hands gripped the covers as I sat up, propping myself against the pillows, filtering his words and thinking about his summary of The Great Gatsby.
"Mr. Gatsby sounds more like me than Fang. I'm 'new money' in a sense, I don't have your… experience. Lets just call it that… and… it's starting to feel like I have to lie, give half truths – especially to Fang – about me and Max. I mean, not that I have yet 'cause I don't want to but if feels like I have to…"
"But it's Fang who is the other half of Mr. Gatsby, Max. He wants you to love him, he knows the old Max already does so he just wants her back. He's been pining for you for eight years, I swear he's on the verge of crazy." Iggy sighed, running a hand through his strawberry blonde hair. "But," Iggy paused as if attempting to find the correct words, "what's important is yourself, you finding out who you are, not who Max is despite what Fang wants. We will accept you no matter what or who you become because all you can be is yourself, we can't ask for more than that." Iggy grinned.
"You will accept me but you do ask for more, you've always done it, all of you. You ask it of each other and you've especially asked it of me several times back then." I cocked my head, my brows furrowing as small memories drifted transparently through my mind. "Not verbally but those looks, how she would cave to those looks back then…" I laughed bitterly, a tight smile playing on my lips and my eyes downcast. "She felt so pressured to be the bravest, the strongest, the wisest, the best because she couldn't resist the looks you guys gave her… Someone had to be the best, it might as well be the one the most willing." I flinched at something inside me while Iggy leapt from his seated position to grab my arms. I winced, his grip hurt.
"Listen here," Iggy frowned, his teeth clenched tight, "We never meant to pressure Max and we never mean to pressure you but we live in a dog eat dog world. We're barbarians Max, we have to be the best to survive and we look towards the best of the best so we can survive better. You were the best of the best even before we unintentionally pressured you and I know why you fell behind that day Max. I know why you fell and why you wanted to forget. Don't pull this 'poor me' crap forever. I know you don't remember, I know you're only eight years old, and I know why the real Max doesn't want to come back." Iggy released his grip on me as I sorted through his words. He was talking to me and Max at the same time, wow, confusing. Iggy slipped from the bed and headed towards the door. As his hand touched the door Iggy looked at me, an apologetically grave expression playing his features. He smiled thinly, opened the door, said, "I know why the caged bird sings." and closed the door behind him.
"Well I don't." I said to the door. "Someone needs to tell me why, someone needs to tell me how to save Mr. Gatsby, and someone… someone tell me who I'm supposed to be." I was pouting to myself, asking myself to tell me what to do.
"Be my Max." I jumped at Fang's voice and I became aware of him standing in the doorway.
"I can't." I shook my head, my head spinning in the process. "I can pretend only to a certain extent, just like you." I blinked noticing Fang raise his brows slightly as if shocked. "Yeah, you heard me, you can only pretend a little bit too. Right now you're pretending that you're patiently waiting, that you're telling me to take my time but I know you. You're restraining yourself from coming over here and shaking me senseless until Max comes back. It's not going to happen."
"Have you always been this rude?" Fang frowned, his brows furrowing slightly in disappointment.
"Children," I began slowly, "say the blunt things in life, what's up front and real."
"But you know you're not a child."
"I know I'm not really eight years old, I think my body is proof of that, my vocabulary has been improving since I met the flock but… when I remember a little it's like I grow a bit older. I feel like I'm ten years old now…" My fingers stretched at the thought. "But I haven't grown up and you can't pretend." I looked at my hands, flexing my fingers in a pattern. "Who was I then? What was I like before I lost my memories?" I asked Fang, half knowing the answer.
"You were someone I wanted to protect." Fang stated simply as he walked towards the bed. "You were always the strong one, you smiled just before our dying day and gave me my name and I wanted to protect you, to prove to you that you didn't have to be strong."
"What do you mean dying day?" I asked.
"There was a point in time they thought we were defects and put us into the death chamber, they were going to gas us and we both knew it but you smiled and laughed at me and asked if you could name me. I nodded but I still remember the terrified smile in your eyes and you named me Fang."
"They did gas us, we felt like we were dying, it tasted horrible, but it couldn't kill us and the White Coats never saw us as defects again."
"You never realize how strong you are until you're weak." The words escaped my lips my hands moved to cover my lips but never reached that far.
"What are you doing?" Fang eyed the struggle of my arms. My arms were in front of me, ready to cradle something but they were tense and attempting to move.
"I'm not, I'm not doing anything!" I replied, my voice frightened. I couldn't control my body. "Max!" I cried. "Stop it! Please stop it!" Fang was staring at me with wide eyes. He must think I'm crazy.
"Not till he hears what I have to say!" My voice snapped, the fear still evident in my eyes. "Fang, get your ass over here now." An order. He was over in an instant, he knew it was his Max in front of him. My mind drifted from the conversation as Max took complete control and she soothed me with a memory of the old man and woman.
I flinched away when my mind snapped back and Max faded away. Fang was holding my hand but his hand flashed to his side when he noticed I had come back. "See? It didn't hurt." I laughed but the words were not my own. My arms dropped to my side and I sighed, content that I was free again.
"I'm scared." I suddenly said, curling into myself a bit. Fang's presence was, for once, comforting.
"I know." He replied.
"I don't know what to do."
"I know." My heart ached at his gentle replies. Iggy called from the kitchen but neither of us moved.
"Will you teach me whatever I need to know?"
"I will." She ached too; she hated his two-word sentences as much as I do.
"Will I ever be able to take charge again?"
"You will." He held his hand out to help me out of bed. I grasped it, suddenly feeling a rush of electricity running down my arm, and he pulled gently.
I slid out, stumbling out onto the floor and falling clumsily into Fang's chest. "Ah," my mind went numb, tears suddenly sprang from my eyes, and my arms unconsciously wrapped around Fang's waist. "She loves you so much." Her sadness wracked my body with sobs.
Yep... Um so no challenge again, I don't have enough time to write one... so I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! Reviews are loved. The Preview will be last chapter's preview reposted and yeah...
I flinched seeing her, that child who always watches me in my dreams. She makes me ache, she makes me cry and scream. The flock's already woken me up because my screaming would escape my dream world and into reality. She taunts me in her innocent way, that child is always changing, that child leaves me dead inside when all I want to do is breathe.