Author's note: This is Luke's backstory from the Flawless Imperfection series so I would recommend you read that before you read this. Thank you! :D
The door banged open, and voices flooded the house. I peeked out of my room and saw people with badges that I have never seen before storm into my house. My father ran downstairs with a gun, but one of the people raised something and shot him in the leg. I stifled a scream, but my mother was not as lucky. Her scream pierced the air.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?” She screamed. The people didn’t answer her, they only shot her as well. She collapsed next to my father. I slapped both hands across my mouth, trying not to yell.
“Go search the house. They might have children,” one of the people directed. The other two nodded, and started roaming around my house. I stumbled back, and ran into my room. As much as I wanted to lock my door, I didn’t, knowing that it would seem suspicious.
I climbed into a small hold by my bed, hidden from sight. It was my go-to hiding spot when I was a kid, and I could barely fit it in now that I’ve grown up/
My parents… will they be okay? I knew that I should do something, but if I rushed downstairs right now, the only thing I would accomplish would be getting myself captured, maybe even killed. No, the only thing I could do right now is hide, and hope that they don’t find me. Minutes trickled by, but I didn’t know the exact amount. And then I heard the front door open, and then close as three footsteps walked out. I still stayed at my hiding spot though, afraid that they still might be lurking in the house. What’s going to happen to me? I sighed and looked around the tight space.
What a lovely way to spend my birthday: my parents getting taken away and hiding in a tight little space by my bed, I thought dryly.
It seemed like time had no meaning in this hole, so it could have been minutes or hours until the front door opened again.
I can’t exactly stay here for the rest of my life, I might as well go see what’s happening downstairs.
I cautiously climbed out of the hiding spot and walked downstairs, careful to not make a sound. But what I saw surprised me.
It was my parents.
“Mother, Father?” I asked, stepping closer.
“Hello, Son,” and that is when I knew something was wrong. My parents barely ever acknowledge me, let alone calling me “son.” I looked again at them, this time focussing on their eyes. Which were deprived of hatred.
I was always the family disappointment, unlike my sister (who now was studying overboard at Illira), who everyone admired oh so much. But when I looked at my parents, their eyes were just… neutral. Devoid of any emotion.
“Come now, Son. Let us go eat some dinner, shall we?” My Mother asked, and actually smiled! At me! Something was definitely wrong, but I just didn’t know what.
“Yes, Mother,” I said in reply.
Dinner passed rather quickly, as I was lost in my thoughts and my Mother and Father were chatting pleasantly.
“I am feeling rather tired today, may I be excused?” I asked, not wanting to stay with these strangers for any longer.
“Yes, of course you can,” my Father replied.
It took all of my willpower not to run as fast as I could up the stairs and to my room.
I lay down on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Maybe this is all just a bad dream. Maybe I’ll wake up and everything will be normal again.
But of course that wasn’t the case. Oh, who am I kidding? I should have known something like this would have happened, with my luck. But I should probably pretend to be like everyone else for now, who knows what those people did to Mother and Father?
I sighed, and let my mind drift off to sleep.
I was awakened by a doorbell.
“Son, it is for you,” my Mother called.
“Okay, Mother. Coming!” I groaned and sat up. I wonder who it is.
I quickly threw on some clothes and walked downstairs, plastering an emotionless look on my face.
“Good morning, Mister. Might you be Luke Alder?” A medium-aged man asked.
“Yes, I am. Can I help you?”
“Yes, actually, you can. It seems that you have a distant relative by the name Elijah Alder, who had passed away just recently. But he left you quite a fortune!” The man smiled.
Elijah Alder? I’ve never heard that name in my life! But then again, my parents didn’t exactly love talking about their family members. I glanced at my parents, who were still standing there, making no move that they heard us talking.
“May I ask how I would retrieve it?”
“Yes, you may. He had said that you needed to challenge yourself. He had lived in Illira, and one of the biggest problems that he had was to figure out who he should give the money to.”
I gritted my teeth, but still kept my facade on. I already knew where this was going.
“He didn’t know whether to give his huge fortune to you or to your sister, so he asked both of you to compete in a contest, and whomever wins shall get the inheritance.”
My sister, Isabella, was always the perfect child. She was the one who always got perfect scores on her tests, and never stepped out of line. Everyone adored her. I used to, too, before she changed. She used to play with me when I was younger, and defend me when my parents would scold me. But I guess the fame had gotten to her.
When my parents started yelling at me, Isabella just stood there, or sometimes even added her own rude comments about me. It got so she would even purposely frame me for something I didn’t do. Of course, she still kept her “smart, innocent, and kind” act on whenever our parents or friends were around. The only friend that I had was Mira, who had also disliked Isabella.
Mira. I wonder how she’s doing. Hopefully better than me. I glanced up, forgetting that the man was still watching me.
“Yes, of course. Thank you for this information,” I smiled at him politely.
He nodded and then walked out. I nodded to my parents before heading to my room and throwing myself onto my bed.
I will win this competition, whatever it is. I’ll make sure of it. Isabella had done so much to ruin my life, she doesn’t deserve this money. I looked around my room, mentally making a list of all the things I would need.
And then my eyes landed on a photo.
It was Mira.
Mira was my first friend, and she was the only person who still had wanted to be friends with me when no one else did. If anything I owed it to her to stay here and figure out why everyone is acting like this, and why the Equals have taken over Thykora. I remembered how I had escaped the danger of having the Chip implanted in me.
Maybe there are other people who also don’t have the Chip inside them. Even though I do not have the best memories when it comes to Thykora, I still need to help its citizens. Especially Mira.
And with that thought, I made up my mind. I wasn’t going to Illira after all. But, instead of feeling regretful that Isabella would get the money, I felt joy, and freedom. For once, I wasn’t going to compete with Isabella, because she wasn’t worth it. She wasn’t worth my time, and I have more important things to do, anyways. I wasn't going to chase after her anymore, I was going to find my own path, one that would never fail me.
THIS STORY IS DEDICATED TO LUKE (Litlover) FOR BEING SUCH AN AMAZING FRIEND AND ALWAYS SO KIND!!!