"Well we need to get her out of that room somehow. She hasn't eaten in like, two whole weeks," I hear El exclaim outside my bedroom door.
"And exactly how do you expect us to do that, El?" asks Laken. "She's stubborn… like more than the average bear."
I can practically hear El roll her eyes but I make no movement from my spot staring out my window when she begins to violently knock on my door. "Clarissa! Get your petite little ass out of that room right now!" Still I make no movement. It seems foolish but I am still clinging onto this hope that if I stay silent enough, everyone will believe I've died or gone away… then they won't care anymore… and I won't have anyone else to disappoint.
I lean my head on the glass window and watch as a gloomy rain continues to fall. I hear El mumble something outside the door again but I don't listen because I'm not in the mood for another lecture about how 'I'm not only hurting myself but everyone else too because they miss me more than anything.' I was done with Shakespearian bullshit. A couple moments of silence pass before a pounding bangs on my door with more force than ever and I immediately take notice that it is not one of El's delicate little taps. I whip my head to the old wooden door and see the whole then bulging in.
I get up off my windowsill grab a knife from my desk out of habit. Then, the door smashes in. I drag my dead eyes up from the door on the floor, to the five concerned people standing in the doorway. "Clary… you need to eat," says Paul. Oh Paul… this past year I had looked to him and Drake for support and comfort. Now Drake is dead and Paul is a distant memory. Not even he can hide the distressed bags under his eyes from sleepless nights thinking about what he could have done differently so that Drake was still here.
They all look at me worriedly- even Meg- so I begin walking towards them. I can hear El catch her breath when I walk straight past them and then I hear their footsteps behind me, but distant enough. If they thought I was going to the kitchen to eat, they were wrong. As soon as I come across the first open bathroom, I sidestep into it and lock the door. I hear multiple grumbles and curses come from the other side of the door but I block it all out.
I stand in front of the mirror for a moment and tilt my head at the foreign reflection. The person staring back at me has two large, dead, green eyes, dull red hair, sunken in cheeks, and a sickly pale tone. Even I felt bad for her but I still wasn't able to make the connection that that girl in the mirror, was me. I think, how bad off do you have to be to not even notice your own reflection? Was I too far gone? Is this why people ultimately… give up?
I press my back into the old marble wall and watch myself sink down onto the floor. I bring my knees up to my face and for the first time in a long time, I cry. I cry loudly, and I cry hard- harder than when I found out Jace cheated on me, harder than when Drake died. It was as if all the memories, and all the pain came back and hit me all at once like a tidal wave and I realized then, that I didn't want to be like this anymore… but I didn't know how to fix myself again.
Everyone outside that door right now waiting for me, they told me that they understood what I was going through. They told me that I was stronger than this. They told me that this wasn't the end. Were they right? Did they really know what I was going through? How could they? But then again, how could they not? I wasn't the only one that lost Drake that night and I am foolish if I think I am the only one who has lost someone else important to them. I wasn't foolish… I was selfish. But at the moment I felt like that was okay… to be selfish.
I stay in a ball on the floor for a couple more moments until my tears run out and I stand up. I look at myself in the mirror and then decide to splash some cold water on my face. I dry off my face and turn the door handle. When I walk out of the bathroom, I see Meg and Paul sitting on the floor with stone faces on.
Paul is the first one to look at me and he looks relieved. It feels good to see him until I see Meg, who has a look of pure irritation on her face. "She lives!" yells Meg in that condescending tone.
"What are you doing out here?" I ask, my voice cracking.
"Well," she begins with an eye-roll, "someone had to make sure little Miss Princess didn't try to kill herself in a room full of razors, chemicals, and other pretty self-harm products."
I give an annoyed sigh and roll my eyes in return while Paul scolds her with a few hateful words of his own. "We just wanted to make sure you were okay," he says gently.
I look directly at Meg and say, "Well you don't need to take care of me. I'm a big girl I don't need your protection. Just get out of my way." I push past Meg who seems absolutely flabbergasted and I allow myself a smirk.
I walk into my room and take out a pair of distressed, black skinny jeans, a black crop top, and a dark green vest. I change in my closet because there is now no more privacy in my room. I walk out of my closet and put my hair up into a messy bun and put on a necklace with a black leather strap and an orange pendant, and I slip on a gold chain bracelet. I pull on a pair of high lace up boots and stick my stele in one and my seraph blade in the other. Finally, I do my makeup and grab my 'John Lennon' style sunglasses and exit my room.
As I begin to walk out of the institute, I hear someone clearing their throat behind me. I turn on my heel and see Aaron, Paul, and Meg standing behind me, all with different expressions on their faces. Meg still looks sour from my diss earlier, Paul looks pleased and if I must say, proud as well, and Aaron still looks concerned and curious.
"Ugh, don't worry," I say trying to ease him. "I'm just going for a nice stroll down the boardwalk." And when he begins to move forward I say, "ALONE."
He lolls his head over to one side and says, "El isn't going to happy about this."
I laugh a bit and shake my head at the floor. "El is going to be happy that I'm no longer in my room that you all so kindly destroyed… I would also like that fixed by the time I come back here please."
He grins and scratches his neck. "Yeah, sorry about that… just… don't be out too late. A shadowhunter is very easily targeted at night."
I put two of my fingers to my head in a salute and begin to turn around and walk out of the door. I breathe in the warm Florida air and become astonished that I had forgotten what a Florida sunset felt like. It really isn't something you'd ever forget, but somehow I had managed. I walk off of the steps and begin to head towards the boardwalk.
I walk down the wooden trail that harbors so many other people and I watch them closely, going about their mundane lives without any real knowledge of what they are protected from- all they know is the fairytales told to them as I child. There may have been a time that I had pitied them, but then I remember that I was once an average mundane too.
A girl plays with her balloon while she holds onto her father's hand. A boy laughs as his mother dabs a bit of ice cream onto his nose 'accidently.' This is why they don't know about my world. If they did, they would never be able to live like they do… and that would truly be a tragedy. I then wonder, if I would ever get to live this life again. It seems so beautiful and desirable now… that I never realized how good I had it when I didn't know about the faeries and warlocks and werewolves and vampires and demons and… oh no, I guess I can't have this life back. Pity.
I jabbed at the stuffed dummy once more before the wrappings on my hands broke again, revealing the swollen gashes I received earlier from taking my anger out. "Jace, cut the crap and take a shower!" yells Isabelle.
I know that she is mad that I didn't say anything when we left that day, but when I looked back at Clary, I could tell that I was causing her more pain than ever. But I was still so mad! Maybe I was being a hypocrite but in reality, there was always something about her that got under my skin and I was addicted to it. Whether it was her stubborn resistance, or her witty personality, or her awful habit of caring so much… I didn't know but it was like giving Cocaine to an addict.
If I wasn't able to get my mind off her now, I was afraid that I'd end up bashing my head in. "I'm coming!" I yell back to Isabelle and I unwrap my bandages and shake my hands out, ignoring the stinging caused by the change in position.
"Are you ever going to go back for her?" asks Isabelle as I keep walking.
"Jace!" she yells when I finally reach my door and I turn to look at her. "Answer me!" she demands.
"I don't know Izzy! Should I? Do I deserve her? Does she deserve me?! Hell, I thought we were going back to old Clary and Jace… not Clary and Aaron! Who the hell does she think she is? She said that she loved me again and I said I loved her but that doesn't seem to change SHIT!"
"Jace!" Izzy says interrupting me. "Are you sure you're just talking about Clary here? This doesn't sound like anyone else you know?"
I roll my eyes and look at the floor but refuse to answer her. Instead, I walk into my room and slam the door shut.
I get back to the institute to people running around and going frantic. Alarms go off in my head but I try to stay calm and ask what's going on.
"What's happening?" I ask no one in particular.
Laken is the only one to stop and when he does I see the real terror on his face when he says, "Clary… uh… I don't know how to say this to you but uh… I think there's a war coming… and you should especially be ready."
My mind whirls but before I can ask anything else, he runs away and begins gather weapons. "El! What's happening?!"
El turns around and I can see the anxiety in her face as she says, "Come with me… you need to see this."
She grabs my hand and pulls me into the library. She leads me to the desk where a box lies open with a letter attached. First, I pick up the letter.
How wonderful to learn that you are okay. You know family is supposed to stick together. I would hate for something to happen in the event we ever got separated again. I'll see you soon dear sister…
My stomach clenches and I look into the box to see a bloody mundane hand.
A/N: wow… I can't believe I've been gone this long… what a jerk I am… so so sorry about the ridiculously long wait! I will try to update more often I swear!