You're Not Alone!
Chapter 4 Together Again, Oh Wait, Never Mind
April stared at her two classmates in wonder. "Charlotte? Zee?" Dressed like teen heroes in a science-fiction novel, they wore plain colored t-shirts with jeans and covered shoes. Both came charging into the room with a look of determination, fear, and courage. I didn't even know you could look fearful and courageous at the same time. However, when they saw the scene before them they lost all emotion, save confusion.
"April? Why are you here?" Zee said in his concerned British way, after he had recovered. Even in the current situation she found herself blushing. Self-conscious about being in the "dreaded half" of girls with a crush on Zee, she turned to Charlotte to hide her pink face. As far as she could tell Charlotte wasn't beaten more then usual, only a few new cuts and bruises. What really struck her as strange were the shadows of tears trailing from the corner of her eyes to her chin.
"That's a very good question," April mumbled. There was a fake cough from behind her. She whipped around and caught the slightly awkward looks Steve was giving her. "Oh!" This is Steve. He was taken by Mr. Metos," She explained quickly. He gave her a troubled look at the last part, but shrugged it off. Charlotte and Zee barely had time to look at Steve before he bombarded them with questions.
"Who're you two? Are you going to stay here too? How do you know each other?" Steve said. He seemed completely lost if his wide eyes and slack limbs were anything to go by. Who am I kidding? I'm lost too. His pressing questions were met with a ringing silence accompanied by the mechanical sound of dripping water.
Charlotte tilted her red haired head to one side and looked at Steve in a funny way. "Whaaa…?" she stuttered. Despite herself, April found she was smiling. At least I'm not the only clueless one.
"You were taken," Zee said incredulously. He was talking to both of them, but looking mainly at Steve. "What did you do?" this seemed of the utmost importance to him. As if Mr. Metos and his friends don't go around kidnapping people.
"What do you mean 'what did we do'? As far as I know we're all guilty of the horrible crime of knowing the truth!" April injected bitterly. This comment was followed by another stretch of silence. Steve looked even more confused than before, and Zee and Charlotte were staring with a combination of horror and amazement. April realized that they were not here for the same reasons, or even on the same page.
"You know? Everything?" Charlotte commented. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. It seemed the well-spoken Charlotte Mielzwetski was finally lost for words. Zee put a comforting hand on her shoulder and whispered something in her ear while his eyes shifted from April to Steve.
"What aren't you telling me?" Steve said quietly. It was a heart wrenching sound of innocents, curiosity, and sadness. It sounded a lot like how April was feeling. Was that her heart she heard or the dull beat of another silence approaching?
Charlotte finally took pity on them both. Finally. "The truth is—" BAM! The door hit the wall with a deafening sound. An angry man in old ragged clothes entered the room practically breathing fire. He got right up in Charlottes face and yelled at her.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH DAMAGE YOU COULD HAVE DONE? DO YOU WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF MILLIONS!" She stared calmly enough into the man's eyes, but April knew the truth. Charlotte was so scared her hands were shaking. A man came rushing in to restrain the yelling figure. He was similarly dressed in clothes fresh off the counters of GoodWill. They even had the same dark hair.
"Thimon! Control yourself! They're just children for goodness sakes!" he sounded panicky and kept a strong hand on the man named Thimon's shoulder. "They couldn't have known who the boy was! Go get Metos, he'll take care of them!" With one last burning look Thimon left the room. The smaller, nicer man stayed for a few awkward moments before following suit.
"What's going on Charlotte? Who are these people?" April said in a rushed voice. If they were going to give them a moment alone, then she was going to use it to get information.
Keeping a weary eye on the open door Charlotte started to explain. She talked about how Mr. Metos was actually part of a group known as the Prometheans, that they were actually in London, and, she added in glee, a Chimera had destroyed the Intermediate School. April felt her jaw drop lower the more she listened. Well. Just when she thought nothing could surprise her.
"That's why we're here, actually," she said frowning. "Mr. Metos figured he couldn't protect us by himself." At this, her frown deepened. Nobody, but nobody knows what's best for Charlotte, except Charlotte thought April with a smile. "I almost didn't come because my parents. Zee here was all for ditching them, but I knew that wasn't—"
"I was not Char!," Zee said indignantly. He shot her a mock accusing look, but dropped the act when he saw her expression. She looked as if she was suffering from some unseen pain. "Char! What's wrong?" he hesitated, but put an arm around his cousin to comfort her.
Charlotte coughed and wiped her nose with a sleeve before answering. "I-I just… hate leaving them like that!" she said. Her voice was weak, but her face strong. "But we didn't have a choice! We have to help those people. We can't do nothing while people suffer." It was a statement, but she looked for reassurance from any of them. Zee nodded and patted her awkwardly on the back.
April felt a pang in her heart. She had a choice, and blew it. She could have chosen not to look on Mr. Metos' computer and stayed blissfully ignorant. Right now, she could be home procrastinating and listening to music. But it was not to be. What's done is done. It's silly to think otherwise. But there was one more realization to come crashing down.
"My parents are in danger," April whispered. "I left a note in my room before I was taken. They'll know by now." Her voice broke and she said no more. Looking into the sympathetic eyes of those around her, she found herself looking at Steve. Though she knew him the least among the group, she already felt closer to him. Both of them had been similarly abducted, and apparently hated by the so-called "Prometheans."
Steve walked right up to her and touched her shoulder lightly. It was a small gesture, but it meant much more to April. He was saying 'I'm there, it'll be okay' without breathing a word. This overly emotional boy was able to put aside his feelings and support someone else, and April was aware of that. She found his gaze and said a wordless 'thank you.' He nodded once and stepped back, dropping his hand.
Mr. Metos arrived in a miraculous short amount of time. He must have run when he was younger. He seemed out of breath, but got Charlotte and Zee away without any trouble or words being said. They followed him like lost puppies April seethed. The moment of comfort was gone, all she had was her anger, disappointment, and, above all, fear. Before leaving Charlotte looked back at her. Her features were unreadable, but her eyes burned like a flaming messenger. She'll come back for us; Steve and me, I know it. And for the first time that day April had more than just a neatly folded letter. She had friends, friends that knew more than she did, that could rescue her.