Jason seems like a very sweet boy. I watch him now through the clouds, as he whips through the market, glancing back every few seconds at the man following him. He disappears into an alleyway and shrinks down behind the huge sacks of flour. I shake my head in disbelief; what a pathetic place to hide. The man inches closer and Jason buries his head into his knees - stealing is a crime punishable by death. But Jason does not have to worry about meeting my good friend yet. I pick up my pen and head to the library, scanning the dozens of gleaming, unwritten books. Jason Bennet. I trace my fingers over the gold lettering embossed into the spine and slowly pull it off the shelf. I breathe in the scent of fresh pages and settle down at my writing desk.
I peer through the clouds once more at the man, just metres away from Jason. I know that I should respect the rules and watch everything play out by itself, but I can’t help but think of Jason’s sister. Amara needs food. So does Jason. But he only has room down his jumper for one bread roll, and so he is content watching Amara’s face glow as the last few crumbs disappear.
Focus. I dip the quill into the ink and hastily dart it across the pages: Let him escape. I have just seconds before the man finds Jason. I play the waiting game. Jason’s face wishes for karma to be on his side. Well, she is. I bring my hand up to my mouth and chew at the nail, as the man begins to reach around the sacks. Jason prays for karma to save him. The man hauls him up by the collar and lets the bread roll fall to the ground. He shouts for a policeman and I watch in disgust as Jason is hauled into a cart, handcuffs jangling behind him.
My hands fall from my face as I stare at the bold, red words imprinted below mine: REJECTED.
Rule 1: Do not interfere.
Jason is back. He’s out of prison. I bat the clouds away to watch as he signs the papers and collects his things. His face is gaunt and his trousers hang loosely around his waist. He gazes in bewilderment at the unknown buildings before him – the town has changed. He hurries through the market once more, this time in the opposite direction. I observe, confused as to where he is going. Then it hits me: Amara. I know what you are thinking; I am the reason he is in this mess to begin with, so I should have taken care of Amara. I should have. I did try. Jason sprints now. He sprints through the entire market, past the bakery, to the lake where he lives.
My palms feel sweaty now and my head beings to throb. I feel like I have failed him. Him and Amara. He shouts her name now and it echoes across the lake – no one responds. His smile falters slightly and he shouts again, his voice a few semi tones higher in panic. Again, no response. He screams and screams, until his throat is raw. Tears dot the desk as I rush to open up his book again. I flick through the pages until I find a fresh one, and impulsively grab my quill. He looks so broken through the clouds, and probably more so in person. I need to help him. The quill trembles in my hand, as I struggle to form the letters onto the page. I finish writing and shut my eyes to stop any more tears from spilling out.
They say that I should not be emotional or impartial to any sole individual and I see why that is crucial for this particular job. But Jason is different. His life has already been so hard and the least he could expect is to have karma on his side. He is crying now – he never cries. I stare at my words once more: Let him be happy. Was that too much to ask?
My vision becomes a distorted haze, but I still make out those bold, red words: REJECTED.
Rule 2: Do not become attached.
I have a feeling that it will not be a good night. I slump down into my writing desk and hunch over the quill. How could one, small object hold so much power? I trace my fingers through capital K engraved into it and press it down onto the pads of my fingers, in an attempt to almost brand myself. I feel the lids of my eyes slowly becoming heavier and I rest my head onto the mahogany table, the cold wood cooling my aching forehead. As I shakily open my left eye, I watch in disbelief as the clouds part themselves. Strange – that never happens.
Jason sits by the lake, his legs dangling into the clear water. I have learnt my lesson; I do not feel anything for him anymore. He has changed quite a bit: not a boy anymore, but a young man struggling to find his way in the world. He is not happy. Amara was his happiness. I took that away from him. He seems to be writing a letter or diary of some sort, his chewed up pencil scribbling away, page after page. He looks up at the stars and smiles; I feel myself grin back at him. Jason holds a soft spot in my heart, as he is like the brother that I did not get to know. Jason reminds me him, from the deep, sea glass-coloured eyes, to the way his nose scrunches up slightly when he smiles. I do not remember my brother exactly, but through Jason I feel closer to him.
He tears some pages out of his book and carefully folds them into little squares. He lays it down on the grass beside him and gently gives it a quick pat. He looks determined now. Dread seems to creep through every sinew in my body as I anxiously observe him. He gradually edges himself into the lake, until the water is up to his neck. Alarm bells go off in my head. I have to save him. I have to. I failed Amara but I cannot fail Jason.
I sprint to the library and hurriedly scan through the masses of books – Jason Bennet. I snatch his book off the shelf. I do not have time to sit at my desk and so I dart to the opening in the clouds, my heart thudding in my chest. I turn to the final page in his book: Save him.
I hold my breath, my eyes fixated on Jason’s head disappearing into the water. The bubbles stop. I cannot look.
I begin to shut his book when the words underneath mine stop me-
He is safe. Jason is alive. I have saved him.
Rule 3: Do what is right.