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“Xavier get out of there!”


Absolute chaos filled the air along with the musty smell of the ashes amid the ever blazing fire. The screeches of children, the wailing of loved ones. Fear, panic and terror wrapped their cold hands around the lives of the people. Suddenly, a fiery explosion sounded from the left.


“XAVIER!”


My heart squeezed, my lungs unable to handle the pressure. My nerves were racing, my hands and knees shaking. I knew he was gone, but I couldn’t react. Couldn’t cry or scream. I couldn’t even complain because this was my job. My destiny. They come and go. Train, fight, and die. That was the life of a bionic warrior. Unfortunate, but the harsh reality for the chosen ones.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


RINNNNNNG! RIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGG!


My phone had been buzzing for the past ten minutes, call after call from my family and friends who had heard the news. I sat in my hotel room, on the uncomfortable soft bed, staring at the landline on my desk. I ran my fingers threw my sweaty, uncombed hair. My stomach growled and my feet ached in pain, but I couldn’t get myself to go to the canteen. I couldn’t get myself to look at my teammates and watch the other members celebrate our victory after I had lost the one thing that kept me grounded to reality. My partner, Xavier.


Us bionic warriors were selected by a lottery during the war of 2165, under terrible circumstances. I can not forget the day I came home from school and saw my parents sitting in the living room waiting to share the news. That I had been selected. 


Training was the hardest part. Bionic chips were inserted into our necks, connecting to our brain stem and giving us supernatural powers. Every morning we were expected go through extremely painful training regimes. Only after we had finished our training were we allowed to tell our friends. Only then was the world allowed to know about us. 


My friends refused to talk to me once I passed the training sessions. Their parents warned them to stay away and their influence spread to everyone I knew.


Well, almost everybody.


My cell phone buzzed. I picked up the cold device with shaky hands and tapped the screen. It was Kara. 65 messages. I suddenly became frustrated. Frustrated that she didn’t understand how much I was going through. Frustrated that she wouldn’t leave me alone. I stared at the projection of my screen and swiped my hand up, scrolling through her texts. 


“Naya!!!!! How are you?!”


“Naya respond.”


This repeated for the next 60 texts. Finally, I reached the bottom of the ocean of words.


“Naya if you are in trouble please talk to me. I'm worried about you.”


And that’s when I exploded with anger. No one has to worry about me and no one should. 


“Kara, leave me alone. You can’t do anything to help. You might as well go find something else to do.”


With that I threw my phone on my bed, my emotions jumbled up in my tired brain. Anger, frustration, sadness. But one emotion stood out. The most painful of all. 


Guilt. I was guilty of so much. Too much. 

   

I flopped onto the bed and stared at the ceiling, hot tears rolling down my cheeks. My head throbbed in pain and I was unable to think. I brought my dry hands to my head, letting it rest there. I closed my eyes, trying to wish the pain away. Slowly, my eyelids got heavy, drooping like a palm tree in the wind. Finally they shut, shut out the world and it’s terrors. 


I woke up extremely groggy. All of my limbs felt as if they were on fire. My hair was a matted nest on my head and my eyes refused to stay open. It felt as if someone had pried my eyes open in the middle of the night. I sat up to check my alarm clock only to find out it was midnight; 12:36, and the person who woke me up was the same thing that had kept me up; guilt.


I tried to force myself back to sleep but nothing seemed to work. In frustration and with a loss of hope, I grabbed my phone, scrolling through my never ending black hole of texts. I was lost in some sort of trance, clicking and reading, clicking and reading.


Without a warning, my phone sang with the very ringtone I was so used to ignoring. I dropped it in shock, slowly bending down to see who it was as if my phone was on fire. Kara.


My heart thumped with anxiety. I was nervous and fearful of what she would say after I yelled at her over text. Suddenly it stopped ringing, leaving me in the silence with nothing but my pounding heart beat.


When it rang again a few seconds later, my finger instantly swiped right to answer the call. As if Kara was shocked with my decision, she questioned, “ Naya is that you? Oh my gosh I was so worried I didn’t think you would respond! How have you -”


Before she could even finish her sentence I interrupted with a broken sob. My entire body shuddered at the sound of her amiable voice. She sounded so concerned and genuinely worried that it scared me. Tears ran down my cheeks and my voice croaked. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t even make a sound. I wrapped my hands around my head and I felt my chest heaving. It was the first time in months that I had even let myself feel sorrow. So I cried. I let my tears out, all the tears I had been holding in. From being homesick to the hurtful words of the public. From the pain of training to… the loss of Xavier. Everything hurt more now and holding everything in made it worse. 


After a minute of tears, I finally pulled myself together, managing to say “Sorry”.


Unexpectedly, Kara started laughing. Not a sarcastic laugh, but more of a giggle. The giggle turned into a thunderous storm of disbelief. 


“ Naya why in the world are you sorry? I called to give you a break from everything.” 


She continued her thunderous laugh that was so contagious that I couldn’t help but laugh as well. It was uncalled for, but my emotions were so hard to control. My laugh came out strange, dry and painful, but it felt relieving to let it out. I sat up and picked up my phone. One by one, minute after minute, I told Kara everything. Everything about how I felt and about what was going on. I finally relaxed, letting my shoulders drop, letting my guard down, allowing myself to feel vulnerable. I opened up my heart, my feelings, and my emotions.


Despite the fear I had of what the bionic warriors would say if they found out, I continued to pour my heart out. When I was done, I took a deep breath and glanced at my clock. 2:29. I had been talking for a little less than an two hours and Kara had still been listening. 


“Kara, I’m sorry to have kept you up. Thanks for everything.”


“Naya that’s what friends and family are for. Promise me you’ll call the others.”


I cut the call feeling fresh. My heart felt lighter and my shoulders relaxed. It felt strange to not feel stressed. It felt as if I were stuck in a cocoon and my call with Kara was a transformation. My wings spread and they wrapped around me like a comforting blanket. I slept, peacefully and calmly. Despite my loss, a single phone call taught me how to cope with it. A single phone call from a true friend. 









May 09, 2020 03:39

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2 comments

A. Y. R
19:54 May 11, 2020

The opening paragraph really hooked me into the story! I would elaborate a bit more on the Bionic warrior training though, do some more world building to explain the situation and flash back and forth in Naya's memories to give your readers more of a sense on the horrors building in her mind. But you did express her emotions very well!

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21:26 May 11, 2020

Thank you for the feedback, this is helpful.

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