I picture you in the sun wondering what went wrong.
Running was good; it kept your mind occupied while keeping yourself from being killed. It kept the adrenaline pumping at your heart beating. Running took your mind away from things that ultimately could result in your permanent disposal. Running kept a person alive. You stop moving and you don't stand a change. Running was life.
But he knew that he didn't have to run. Everything could be over in seconds and he could be free. There could be no more paladins, no more war, and no more death. He could end it. Then and there, it could be the last and final time he ever had to run.
Griffin didn't know the number of times he had thought about offing himself. How much easier would it be, being dead? He knew that he wouldn't be alone; his parents would be waiting for him. They would wait for him. They would wait and they would welcome him home with welcome arms. It wouldn't be that hard either. All he would really have to do is jump in front of a moving train and it would be over, like that. It wouldn't even hurt.
And falling down on your knees asking for sympathy.
"Jesus, Griffin. Move!" April's voice smashed through Griffin's thoughts as he realized he had stopped moving and that the Paladins were quickly closing the distance between them. April was standing at the end of the alley, staring at him like he was completely bonkers and motioned for him to move. After waiting for a whole .2 seconds, she ran back to him, grabbed him by the hand, and proceeded to tow him along at almost breakneck speed. "You're going to be the death of me, Griffin O'Conner."
Shouts could be heard from behind them and Griffin finally pulled him out of his suicidal thoughts. Now was neither the time nor place. He looked back behind them and saw the four Paladins following close behind and smirked. "Ready?"
April threw him a sidelong glance as they continued weaving their way between the empty warehouses that surrounded them on either side. She nodded her head and they both slowed to a jog, turning a last corner before stopping completely. The two teens shared a look and grinned as the Paladins rounded the corner, stopping in surprise at the sight of them.
"Hey fellas, wanna dance?"
It was over quickly and Griffin jumped the bodies to a remote island in the Atlantic. It was sad and horrible, but as April grabbed his hand and he jumped them back to the lair, he realized how normal their day had been. Find Paladins, follow them, set 'em on a chase, kill and dispose of scummy bodies. A normal day in the life of Griffin O'Conner and April Lancaster.
How very wrong it was.
And being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen.
"I hate you."
The comment came with a loud crash as April threw her game controller to the ground. She glared at a triumphant Griffin who watched as the girl's character died for the fifth time in a row. They'd been playing the same game for over three hours, having nothing better to do.
"Not my fault that you completely and utterly suck at anything technological," Griffin said, shrugging. April huffed and crossed her arms.
"I do not suck at everything related to technology!"
Griffin paused in his gloating for a brief moment before he nodded his head. "You really do. You almost blew up our toaster, Ape." She winced at the memory. That had been a close call.
"At least I can do long division," April muttered, standing up and headed for the fridge.
"You don't need to know long division to go through life," Griffin defended. He switched off the game consol and joined her in the 'kitchen'. "We kill the big baddies that try to hunt down all the potential superheroes of the world. How could I possibly use long division in the life we live?"
April shrugged and took a sip of her pop. "No idea. I just think it's funny that a fourth grader is smarter than you." She picked up the cheese stick she'd grabbed from the fridge and walked out of the kitchen in the direction of her room. Silence followed her until a loud outburst made her laugh.
"Fourth graders know long division? What the hell!"
And trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in.
With a groan April fell onto their beat-up couch and shut her eyes. Every single part of her body was sore. Muscles she didn't even know she had screamed their objections as she rolled over to stare at the ceiling. A few moments later Griffin stumbled into the room, ice pack glued to his head. He didn't even bother to warn April before he half fell-half jumped onto the couch, pinning her aching legs to the cushions.
Griffin mumbled something that sounded remotely like suck it up, but April chose to ignore it.
Their plan to take out two Pallies had failed miserably and only Griffin's abilities had been able to save them. Turned out that two Paladins had magically turn into twelve, which were horrible odds at one teen to six armed adults. To say the least, they'd gotten the hell out of there as quickly as Griffinly possible. However, that hadn't been soon enough to save them from being bombarded the second they arrived.
"I swear to God that if I never see another bloody Pal, it'll be way to fucking soon," Griffin muttered, stretching out his legs with a sigh. April frowned and pushed the boy's smelly feet out of her face.
"We should just bomb HQ and get it over with," she replied, only half serious. It was a stupid idea, she knew, but it made sense at the time. Things would be so much easier if the Paladins simply exist. Neither one of them would be there if they weren't.
Griffin snorted. "Good plan. When you find out where the hell those wankers hang out, you go ahead and do that." She didn't have to look at him to know he was being sarcastic.
"Maybe I will," April stifled through a yawn.
"You have fun with that."
Thirty seconds later and they were both sound asleep, one at each end of their teeny couch in the middle of the nowhere. The only place they felt safe.
May god's love be with you.
They landed with a heavy thud and instantly fell to the ground. Griffin held his baseball bat tightly as April looked around the room suspiciously. She knew they were out there, probably hidden behind the crates of cargo or up in the rafters above them. It would be stupid of Roland his goons not to be there. It was the perfect time and opportunity for him.
This was his chance to take them off the playing board, permanently.
Griffin knew it had been stupid to bring her. He hadn't been planning to taking her with him, but April had been adamant about going with him. She had actually threatened to cut off some.. 'valuable treasures' if he left her behind. It was stupid and dangerous, but Griffin knew his boys would never forgive him if April acted upon her threat. Which she more than likely would.
He looked around the room tensely, looking for any sign of Roland. How he loathed that man. He was the sole reason for everything horrible that had ever happened in Griffin's life. Roland was the reason that his parents were dead, April's brother was missing, and everything either of them had ever cared about was forever gone. That man was the whole reason that Griffin did what he did. All the dead Paladins were on Roland's shoulders, not his.
It was the only reason that Griffin had even given this meeting a second thought. Had any other Paladin leader called the meeting, he wouldn't have bothered to come. Griffin would spot a trap when he saw one, and this one screamed "TRAP!" the second that Paladin had come to him. He had only come because both he and April wanted to see this Roland man with their own eyes, to see the man that had taken every thing and every one away from them.
And Roland knew that. Which was why he was going to show.
Everything happened at once.
One second, she was right beside me, and then the next, April was gone. I don't even remember processing her scream or the hordes of Paladins that flew in out of nowhere, surrounding me. All that I knew was that I was royally and painfully screwed.
There was no possible way to get both of us out.
May gods love be with you.
But maybe that had been the plan from the very beginning. Roland didn't care that night whether I lived or died. All he cared was that I had to watch one more person that I loved die before me. By the time I even realized that April was gone, fucking Paladins had me pinned. I couldn't do a damn thing as I watched Roland appear out of the shadows and head straight towards April.
I can't remember a time that I screamed louder than I did that night. The look on April's face before the light went out in her eyes still haunt me at night. She didn't look scared as Roland unsheathed his knife that both of us at seen used before. I think at that moment, both of us realized just how fucked up the world really was.
Two kids locked in a warehouse surrounded by men who thought they were doing the work of saviors. They thought that by removing all Jumpers from the world, they would ultimately save us from our own horrible ending by whatever cause we chose. They took matters into their own hands and decided to purify the world. To hell if that meant the lives of a few kids here and there. They didn't give a rats ass who they killed, who the person behind the Jumper was, or who they had to hurt to cleanse the world of our impurities. Nothing mattered to them.
And no one was about to stop them.
Because April tried. And I tried.
And in the end, I failed us both.
I know I would apologize if I could see your eyes.
It took me a long time to get over April's death. I nearly burned down the lair when I finally managed to escape Roland and jump back. I saw her everywhere I went for months. Every brown haired girl seemed to be her twin.
I went to her house once, where her parents still lived. I had a plan, a confession of sorts, to tell them everything that had happened over the past eight months. I was going to tell them everything. From the time that I met her running down the street from a Paladin to the very end when I couldn't do anything to save her, I was going to tell it all. I had it all planned out, I figured that as parents, they deserved to know what happened to their one and only daughter. I didn't have the courage to tell them what had happen to Ryan, but I could give them comfort in knowing about April.
I made it to their front door and even rung the bell before I jumped away.
Because when you showed me myself I became someone else.
For awhile, I laid low, bidding time. I got a few Pallies, but for the most part just hung around the lair. After a few weeks of staring at all her stuff, I gathered it all up and jumped to her parent's house for about the millionth time. I still never had enough balls to talk to them, but I checked up on them periodically to make sure Roland hadn't gone after them.
Dumping all her stuff on the front step, I rang the doorbell and jumped behind a tree in the park across the street. I'd left a picture I had drawn of her one day on the top of the pile and watched as the front door opened and her mom stepped out. I didn't stick around to watch the emotional breakdown I knew was coming.
I'd had a few myself.
But I was caught in between all you wish for and all you need.
A few moths later, I found Roland's base. I was seventeen and been on my own for eight years. April had been with me for eight months and before that, it'd just been me. I figured I owed her something for putting up with me for that long. I knew I was a pain in the ass to live with, and I don't think that she ever quite understood how much I appreciated the company.
I took a leaf out of Ape's book and bombed the place. It burned to the ground in a half hour.
Granted, it wasn't easy and it certainly didn't go according to plan. I ended up almost getting myself killed in the blast after an unfortunate run in with a couple Pallies who didn't like the idea of being blown up. But I let that place burn and even got my hands on Roland himself.
I jumped his ass to Nepal and dumped him there. Even cut his face up a bit for April. She deserved as much.
She deserved a whole hell of a lot more, but it was the best I could do on short notice.
I picture you fast asleep.
Griffin stared at Millie in confusion as she called to David and made her way up the sandy slope towards them. She looked exactly like April.