Yura, the last of that brave warrior, gripped the hilt of her sword tightly. A sword that had been tested for hours. Full of dents to its limit. A couple more blows and it would shatter. The young warrior gasped in exhaustion, but still defiant, despite being covered in wounds. Wounds that would take her to the grave before dawn.
In a last-ditch effort she rose to her feet and raised her weapon defiantly. Warning an unknown enemy. "We will never let you kill these innocent people”. Broken and on the verge of tears. "Never!"
She looked back, seeking the support of her comrades. Comrades who face the same fate as her. A tear welled up to meet the smile on her lips. They were all there. They would resist together, and die the same way. A battle cry resounded among the millions of flakes falling from the sky in that eternal winter. A cry that renewed their meager strength. They charged before expiring their last breath, with a cry of freedom for their people.
Suddenly, the damn unavoidable YouTube ad ruined the climax. When it finished, all that remained was the release date announcement. Emily was perplexed. "Why is the protagonist of the prequel so wounded?! OMG! Is she going to die?!"
Uneasy, she tried to imagine herself in such situation. "How could someone endure such a borderline situation? I would probably give up. Maybe because I don't know what it's like to have friends like that, supporting you against the impossible."
As soon as the promotional trailer of her future favorite video game ended, she began to feel a strong urge to play it. However, dejected, she realized. "It won't be out for another damn year! The wait will be endless! I hope in the next video, they clear up all this hype they've created."
Emily placed her cell phone on top of her school bag, turning off the autoplay. Then, lost in thought, directed her gaze out the window of the high school bus. She couldn't wait to lock herself in her room and play some video games for hours, specifically the prequel to that same video game. Despite having played it a million times, it still kept her entertained. Although, lately she had left it a little aside, because she was very addicted to one that perfectly combined role, survival and strategy.
Emily frowned, realizing that today her mother would be at home. She snorted, defeated. "She'll surely keep an eye on me. I bet she'll make me keep my bedroom door open."
She reached her cell phone, searching through her favorite videos for another one to watch. "In short, I won't be able to play today."
But her evasion urge was strong and her craving sought an alternative. "I can always read an old edition of any of my favorite comics or manga. I can camouflage them among the class books easily. Mom doesn't usually come into my room, she just sniffs in from the hallway every now and then."
As she turned her gaze again to her school bag, a feeling of guilt flooded her when she noticed her school bag full of textbooks. "Shit! I should be studying for next week's tests."
A feeling that was getting bigger and bigger. "I've been playing too much instead of doing my homework and studying. This will take a toll on me."
Each year she found it harder and harder to keep her grades afloat. "I've never had such bad grades. I'll end up repeating a year if I keep like this. When mom and dad find out they're going to kill me!"
Out of nowhere, she felt someone sit next to her. Surprised, she quickly pocketed her cell phone. No one got on the bus on the way home, only the students got off, so normally, no one changed seats. Friends were always together as soon as they got on the bus. But that wasn't Emily's case. Emily didn't have friends like everyone else, only had stalkers. She began to feel a growing pressure in her abdomen. Her inseparable traveling companion "Fear", was elbowing her. Although anyone would think "Fear" was imaginary, its effects were not for Emily.
Emily didn't intend to turn around to see who it was. She knew it was a mistake. Despite being such a pretty girl, she was the target of both Beth and her four friends' harassment and the depraved stares of any undesirable boy. Boys used to approach her a lot, although she wasn't sure if it was because of her looks, her personality; or both.
Emily was a 17-year-old girl, very tall and developed for her age. Her hair was red, of a very dark tone, and her eyes were of a hypnotic green color. She was gorgeous and always smelled like flowers. Combined, were the perfect blend to arouse the interest of any boy in the age of wet dreams. However, she was very shy, insecure and fearful; though some seemed to like that.
The sun was not far away from setting. A faint dark hue enveloped the whole exterior, allowing the light from inside the bus to reflect the entire interior into the windows.
Emily took advantage of this to check out that it was a boy. She breathed relieved. "Thank God it's not that whore." Emily disgustedly assumed that it would be George.
She wanted to get up, but she couldn't leave without him getting up first. She was sure it wouldn't happen. He would just sit there until Emily tried to get off before he did. She knew he was doing it because that way he could indirectly touch her ass. It had been years since her cherished friend "Courage" had been with her on her daily basis, so Emily just trembled and silently suffered through all the shit that was coming down on her.
Her stop was approaching. Minute by minute, second by second; meanwhile, her anxiety was overwhelming her exponentially. The penultimate stop arrived. Here, most of the bus got off, including her. When the bus stopped, Emily was almost shaking. Her also inseparable but weak companion "Wrath", was trying to force her to face George and ask him to please get up, but “Fear” stifled any attempt by “Wrath”. It was like fighting a colossus. Too many years she had fed it, always fleeing all confrontation.
To her astonishment, George got up before her, letting her out. Incredulous, she hurried to get off the bus.
As she was getting off, she realized that behind her, in the aisle, there was someone even taller, perfectly keeping his distance. Emily smiled slightly, relieved, as she whispered to herself. "Now I understand why George let me go in such a hurry."
Slowly, she let go of her fear, her anger and all her stress. She knew that if he was around, nothing bad would happen to her. She turned slightly and whispered. " Thanks, Ian."
If Emily had turned until she could see his face, she might have seen Ian smiling back at her. But Emily didn't, so Ian didn't smile either.
When they were already in the street, and each one of them was walking towards their respective houses. She looked back out of the corner of her eye, but Ian didn't give her a single glance. It was obvious that he held a grudge. She didn't blame him. After all, she was responsible, in part, for their lost friendship.
Grief-stricken, she picked up her cell phone and headphones and headed home with a crestfallen face. She still had about a ten minutes walk to her street.
It was already late afternoon. Reddish tones tinged the darkened sky that the sun had almost abandoned. The street lamps were beginning to take over in those ancient streets of a town that would never become a city. The cyclical world crises had been determined to prevent it.
Emily walked slowly, staring at her cell phone, mesmerized by anything that would make her forget that disgusting day. A day just like any other. Always courtesy of those bitches, Beth and her four friends. Today, they had harassed her since first thing in the morning, as soon as she stepped foot in the school. They were like ass and shit, always together. She hated them almost as much as she feared them.
"You're like a worm that crawls into your ear and slowly eats your brain. Little by little, tearing you apart." She whispered in disgust.
Although, she shouldn't complain too much either. Today had not been one of the most horrible. Luckily, she hadn't been pushed or tripped. She hadn't even been spit on. They had just stuck a piece of paper with a pathetic red drawing of a cow on her bag. She had smelled it as soon as she began to hear the laughter of everyone she came across. She didn't find out until she reached the bathroom and took off her bag. She was thankful she didn't have to endure anything else.
Collecting herself, she realized something. "Actually, the day had a good thing going for it. Richard greeted me." That was more than any high school student could hope for. But it was certainly just that. A greeting. He never spoke to her if someone was present, nor did he ever defend her from Beth and her hateful pack.
The only way Emily had to escape from them, was by staying close to Ian. No one at school messed up with Ian. But Ian didn't go to her same class, and he wasn't her friend either. He had been in childhood, but her mother had managed to end that. "He's bad company and a bad influence on you. He was turning you into a savage like him! Haven't you had enough of everything you've been through because of him? Stay away from that scum or you'll deal with me at home." That had been her mother's automatic phrase until she accomplished her purpose. Destroy what for Emily, had been the best friendship of her life.
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