"Psst Romi! Romi are you awake? Romi!" Destiny whispered urgently, practically begging her best friend to awaken. It had been two days since her body had been found resting peacefully against a charred oak tree and, to tell the truth, Destiny was starting to feel uneasy about her health. Sure the doctors insisted that she was fine, no internal bleeding, concussion, or the like, but Destiny still worried. What if they were wrong? What if Romi was in critical condition the doctors had no idea? It was quite likely, you know.
"What do you want?"
Destiny smiled at the sound of Romi's voice, despite how hoarse and tired it sounded. Perhaps she really was okay like everyone insisted. It was foolish of her to doubt them and worry.
"I want you to get better, of course!" Destiny laughed. "Do you know how much I've been worrying about you?"
"A lot I bet," Romi grinned. "Is Julio okay? I don't remember much about what happened last night…"
That was an obvious lie. Romi could still remember every detail of what happened last night. In fact, when she closed her eyes, she could still see the scene replay itself over and over again inside her mind. She hated it. She'd do anything just to get rid of the awful images, but that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was when the tree fell on Julio. That was the part she was certain she would never forget.
"That guy must really be your soul mate if that's the first thing you ask," Destiny laughed uneasily."Yeah, I think he's okay. There's no news on his condition yet, though… Hey, did you see all the cards and flowers everyone sent you?"
"Yeah, but to tell the truth I thought I'd get grounded and here I am getting flowers. I hope Julio got a bunch of flowers too. He deserves these more than I do," Romi replied thoughtfully. She knew that Destiny was changing the topic on purpose. What didn't she want to tell her? Was it about Julio? Was he in critical condition? Or was he… Romi swallowed. No, he couldn't be dead. There was no reason to start thinking that, not yet anyway.
"That guy is definitely your soul mate, Romi! Oh, I forgot to tell you, I found my soul mate, too! I told you that Scientific Soul Mate System would work!" Destiny teased. She had changed the topic once again, but this time Romi didn't care. To tell the truth, she was quite curious about her friend's soul mate.
"But I thought you'd meet him in England? How'd you get there?" Romi asked, an expression of shock plastered onto her face.
"Actually, it said London, as in London Woods. Anyway, you won't, in a million years, believe who it was!"
"Come on, tell me already!"
"It was… wait for it…Ben!"
"You're right Destiny, I won't believe you, not in a million years."
"It's true! He confessed right after we got the Fantastic Five! He told me that his bonus wish was for me!"
"You expect me to believe that you got the Fantastic Five, too? Isn't that pushing it?"
"What can I say? It was a truly magical night."
"Have you lost your mind? I almost died and who knows about Julio?"
"Well, at least you didn't die, right?" Destiny chuckled nervously. Romi, however, was not amused.
"Alright, I might as well leave now. The doctor said you have to get a bunch of rest or whatever." Destiny spoke uncomfortably. When the room door slammed shut a few seconds later, Romi gave a sigh of dismay. Now, nothing but sleep could distract her from the pain and worry blanketing her. So that's what she did, she slept.
"Sweetie, it's time to get up. You're getting discharged," Mrs. Cappelle told her daughter, gently shaking her awake.
"Already?" Romi moaned. "Can't I sleep more?"
"I think you've slept enough," Mrs. Cappelle chuckled. "Come on, Max and the puppies are waiting for you at home."
"Is Julio discharged, too?" Romi asked anxiously.
"Honey, about Julio… Well… His injuries were a bit more severe and…" Mrs. Cappelle's voice trailed off.
"And what?" Romi asked anxiously. A small knot was forming in her stomach. She had a pretty good idea what her mother would say.
"He passed away… I'm so sorry! But when we found him it was already too late…" Mrs. Cappelle's voice trailed off.
"No… No! That can't be!" Romi cried. Tears began to cascade past her cheeks and land with a small plop on the floor. There was no way Julio was dead. Just a few days ago, he had been alive and well. She could still envision him smiling in her mind. How could he be gone? Was this really the way the world worked. One minute someone's there, next minute they're not?
"I'm so sorry Romi. The doctors did all they could but it was too late. He didn't have a chance from the very beginning." Mrs. Cappelle told her daughter. A few tears of her own were beginning to drop to the floor. "His parents must be heartbroken…"
"He's not dead! There's no way!" Romi argued while Mrs. Cappelle patted her head in sympathy.
Romi couldn't remember the rest of what had happened that day. It was all a blur. All she knew was that somehow, despite the pain of Julio's death eating away at her stomach, she ended up home. It was crowded with people, many of which she didn't know, but it was still home. Several walked up to her and asked how she was feeling, how she was getting along, and the like, but Romi knew that they couldn't care less. They just wanted to be able to gossip with their friends about her. She knew, because she could hear them, every single word.
"That girl doesn't even look sorry for him. She's just walking around as if nothing happened to him."
"And it's her fault that he died. He was such a kind boy, too."
"I bet she didn't really love him. She must have been faking it."
Romi tried to block out their voices, but the harder she tried, the louder they got. Didn't they realize that she was sorrier for him than anyone else in present in her house? Didn't they understand that she did really love him? Of course they didn't, they'd just keep gossiping with one another, not even thinking about how she might feel.
With a sigh, Romi decided to head to the kitchen for a glass of water, hoping that it would help cool her nerves.
Romi looked around the kitchen, which was empty except for one girl: Destiny.
"What do you want? Are you going to make fun of me like everyone else out there?" Romi asked. Her voice, no longer sweet and quiet, made Destiny shiver.
"Nobody's making fun of you, Romi," Destiny told her friend in as soothing a voice as she could manage. "Everyone's really sorry about Julio's death and they feel really bad for you, too."
"Liar!" Romi blurted out. Tears began to stream down her cheeks once more as she trembled in rage. "They hate me! They were the ones who killed Julio, but they still blame me instead!"
"I don't think it's your fault and I don't hate you either, Romi." Destiny confessed. "You've got to stop blaming everyone. I'm sorry about Julio and everything, but honestly-"
"You should be sorry…" Romi suddenly interrupted. Her fingers began to tremble as they closed around the handle of a drawer, the drawer where her mother stored the kitchen knives, to be precise. "It's your fault that Julio's dead. If you were faster with your little search mission for us, then maybe he'd still be alive. It's your fault!"
Before, Destiny could even think of a response, Romi had flung open the drawer and was pointing a rather sharp knife barely an inch away from her face.
"I hope you remember this pain forever, Destiny, because how much it hurts was Julio's pain multiplied by a hundred…" Romi whispered, pushing the tip of the blade into her dear friend's skin.
"Romi stop!" Destiny cried. Tears of confusion and pain began running down her cheeks to join the still growing pools of blood flowing freely from her neck.
"Julio wanted it all to stop, too Destiny. But guess what? It didn't stop. Everything just got worse!" Romi hissed. With that, she yanked the blade out of her friend's neck and slammed its sharp tip into her chest instead.
"Romi!" Destiny pleaded. "Please stop! Please! I'm your best friend!"
"You mean you were my best friend," Romi corrected coldly. She pressed the knife even further into Destiny, causing her to cry out in pain. Romi smirked at this reaction and thrust the knife deeper into her skin before yanking it out once more. Blood splattered and stained the white tiles as Destiny struggled to stand up. Her vision was becoming blurred and an awful headache was making it difficult to understand anything, but her agonizing pain. She shuddered as she felt the cold metal, fully soaked in her blood, pierce her shoulder.
"Romi? Destiny? Are you in here?"
Destiny's eyes snapped open at the sound of Ben's voice. She had to warn him before Romi got him, too.
"Yeah, Ben we're here. Come in we're having so much fun!" Romi laughed cheerfully. Destiny felt the knife slowly withdraw from her body as Romi walked towards Ben. It was now or never.
"Ben! Run!" Destiny gasped. The pain was making it hard to breathe, let alone talk. Fortunately, Ben heard her cries.
"Destiny? What's the matter?" Ben asked, rushing over to his love's side. To his horror he found her soaked in blood and breathing quite heavily.
"Awww… You ruined it Destiny. You're going to have to pay for that you know," Romi sighed as her grip on the knife tightened. Ben tried to cover his eyes, but it was too late. He had already seen Romi thrust the knife into Destiny's heart.
"Ben…run away… before… she…" Destiny's rasping voice trailed off, along with her breathing.
"No! Destiny! Hang in there! I'll go get help! You can't die on my Destiny! You can't!" Ben begged, tears began to cascade down his cheeks once he realized that his love would never open her eyes again.
"Now you probably know how I felt when I was told Julio died," Romi suddenly spoke up. Her cold voice startled Ben, causing him to look up into her heartless eyes.
"You did this because of Julio's death? Is this some sick idea of revenge?" Ben demanded. Romi simply laughed in response, however it wasn't the same warm laugh he remembered. This one resembled a maniac's and made him shudder involuntary.
"I guess you could call it that. Yes, revenge… I like that. It has a ring to it," Romi smiled to herself as she yanked the knife out of Destiny's corpse.
"Romi, what are you doing?" Ben asked nervously.
"Why Ben, I thought you'd know by now. I'm going to kill you," Romi spoke. Her voice was unusually bright and cheerful for someone about to commit murder.
"But… Why? I mean, I've never done anything to you!" Julio spoke. He tried to keep his voice strong, despite the inordinate amount of fear washing over him. For some reason, he couldn't help but feel that it wasn't working.
"Of course, not silly! This is for Julio, not me!" Romi laughed. She swung the knife at Ben's head, missing by less than an inch.
"I never did anything to Julio either!" Ben spoke, trying his absolute best to remain calm. He began to back up slowly towards the door. If he managed to escape the room, he could tell someone. All the adults were in the living room so it wouldn't be that hard to get help.
"Exactly, it's just that. I'm going to kill you because of what you didn't do for Julio," Romi told him. This time when she swung the knife, she hit him. The cold metal blade easily pierced through his shirt and collided with his delicate skin. Ben doubled over in shock, but that only made more blood flow out of his stomach.
"Alright, so what didn't I do for Julio?" Ben gasped. His fingers began to close around the door knob and twist slowly so as not to alert his former friend.
"You didn't find him on time. It's your fault!" Romi cried, her grip on the blood stained knife tightened. "And now you're going to pay!"
Ben chose that moment to fling open the door and rush out into the hallway, leaving Romi alone in the kitchen laughing.
"You can't run and hide forever, Ben!" She called out after him. This time it was Ben who laughed in response.
"All I have to do is tell the adults and I'll be saved!" He spoke proudly this time, without a single trace of fear or worry in his voice. "And once they see what you've been up to they'll-"
A knife flew through the air and pierced straight through Ben's arm, cutting off the rest of his words.
"I told you," Romi sneered softly as she approached him. "You could have just received you're punishment like a good boy, but no, you had to ruin it. Now you'll have to pay for that, too!"
Romi yanked the knife out of Ben's skin, causing him to wince in pain. She smirked at his reaction and plunged the knife into his skin again. Ben bit his lip to prevent himself from screaming. He couldn't give Romi the satisfaction of knowing that she'd gotten to him. Not yet anyway.
"I don't understand why you're resisting like this, Ben. You're going to die anyway, so why not make it easier for yourself?" Romi sighed. She then dragged him back into the kitchen and slammed the door behind her.
Ben watched as Romi turned the kitchen drawers again. He saw her pull out several more knives, each of varying sizes and sharpness.
"Hmmm… Which one should we start with? Ben, what do you think?" Romi asked.
"I think you should just stop this, Romi. You're insane!" Ben cried out.
"Fine, have it your way," Romi muttered as she picked up the biggest knife and pushed it into Ben's chest. The cold metal blade easily pierced through his skin and it was no surprise when his shirt became stained red from all the blood.
"Stop it!" Ben ordered. He shut his eyes to keep the tears from pouring out, but it was no use. When he reopened his eyes, his tears had already reached the floor and formed a small puddle around him.
"No, you deserve this pain. It's your fault Ben died you know. If you could have just been faster finding him, than I wouldn't be here torturing you know," Romi laughed. In her hand was another knife. To Ben's delight, this one was much smaller than the previous. In fact, it seemed to be the smallest of all the knives laid out on the table! As grateful as Ben was, he couldn't help but feel that this might be a trap. What if she was waiting for him to comment on its size only to laugh "Just kidding!" and plunge another knife into him? Ben studied Romi's face carefully, she seemed quite serious about using the small knife, but that could just be acting.
"This is for you Julio…" Romi muttered. With that, she pushed the knife into Julio's forehead. She took care not to go too deep. Afterall, where would all the fun be if he just dropped dead now? No, she wanted him alive so he could feel the pain that Julio felt.
Ben cried out as Romi dragged the tip of the blade across his forehead, apparently engraving something in his head. The pain was unbearable. It was like nothing he had ever felt before. The worst part was that this time, he knew the pain would only be ended by his death. Like most people, Ben had always wondered what happened to you when you were dead. To tell the truth, he was a little afraid to find out. He still had so much more he wanted to accomplish in life. He wasn't even an adult yet! Ben began to tremble at the thought of his life being ended so soon.
"Stay still or I'll end up poking your eyes out," Romi growled. Ben sat up straight and tried his best not to move after that, despite all the pain. He shut his eyes in an effort to keep out the pain, but of course that didn't help at all.
"I'm done!" Romi sang cheerfully. "Now what should we do?"
Ben's opened his eyes only to see Romi smiling with another knife.
"How about we use this?" Romi asked. Of course, she didn't bother to wait for Ben's response. She simply pushed the knife into Ben's chest, right next to the other one. More blood soaked his shirt and Ben's cries grew louder and louder.
It was no surprise when Romi's parents, alarmed by the screaming, walked into the kitchen, followed by a horde of guests.
"Romi! What's going on?" Mr. Cappelle asked.
"Nothing much," Romi replied calmly. However, the blood was splattered everywhere, Destiny's corpse was huddled on the floor, and Ben's barely conscious body told a different story.
"Nothing much? Have you any idea what trouble you're in?" Mr. Cappelle asked.
"It doesn't matter, dad. I'm going to see Julio," Romi smiled before stabbing herself with the knife in her hand.