Why? Why do I have to do it?
Clara got her purpose when she was older than I was. Her wings were whiter than mine. She was better than me.
No, no she's not. Don't think that.
But I got my purpose now. And I was a Quartarius, and I was going to get one. That just proved how good I really was. We all play our own part. Clara had to save Christian. I just had a…harder thing to do.
I ran out of the house, making my way to the exact spot I knew I'd set the fire. Why was I doing this? No, I had to let Clara fulfill her purpose. I had to fulfill my purpose.
And then I had to save Tucker.
My backpack over my shoulder, I unfurled my wings and flew over the trees. My wings were white, but they had grey spots all over them. I didn't know what that meant. Did the wing colour mean anything?
Finally I touched down exactly where I was supposed to be. My body was wracked with fear and I felt shivers all over. My thoughts weren't exactly clear. Doubt plagued me.
But mostly, all I felt was fear.
So first I screw up opening my backpack.
And I did. I actually tried not to, just so I could not fulfill my purpose. To prove I actually had a choice. To show I had control.
But my hands were shaking too much. My eyesight began to grow hazy from fear. I couldn't do this. I couldn't do this.
What if I killed somebody?
But I took out my match when I finally opened my backpack. And then I began to strike it.
I shook out of frustration when I failed to light it. I let out a growl, trying to calm my nerves. I wouldn't live through this, would I? I'd probably end up killing myself, damn it!
But I struck the match and set it down on the ground. The crackling of the fire was the only sound that I heard.
You can do this, Jeffrey, you know what's coming next.
Before I could stomp out the fire, I lifted up into the air and flew away.
And then I set myself down where he was going to be.
Only, he wasn't there.
I had to save him or else he'd die. I had to save him, not for me, but for Clara. I couldn't imagine her face when she heard that he'd died in that fire.
I felt numb, cold, and totally deprived of emotion. He was dead, wasn't he? And I couldn't do anything.
I'd essentially killed somebody.
What could I do? I wouldn't tell Clara. I couldn't bring myself to do that.
So I flew back to the house.
As I was flying, my feathers were the colour of lead.
Because I failed.
When I approached, I saw Clara and Christian on the porch of our house. At least she did it. I failed, but she did it. I tried to sneak past them, but then Christian said, "Is that your brother?"
I turn, anger on my face. I was angry at myself. I was afraid of myself.
I'd killed once – how hard would twice be?
"Clara?" I said, trying to make sure she was okay. Now I didn't care about anything, but her. Her I still loved.
"It's me," she said. "Are you okay?" At least she cared.
I stepped forward into the light. "Christian?" I asked, making sure it really was him, just so I'd be sure he was okay.
"In the flesh."
"You did it," I said. "You saved Christian."
Clara looked at me, worried. "Jeffrey, where have you been?"
I couldn't just stand there. I flew up to the roof, prepared to go back to my room. "Looking for you," I said. I couldn't tell her. Not now. Never. Not ever. How could I?
"Don't tell Mom," I said, before disappearing into my own room.
Once there, I promptly sank to my knees.
It's all over for me now.
I sobbed myself to sleep.