by Emma Kincaid
"I never bargained on trying to save the world."
|Of course it had to happen this way. |
Of course her opinion was the one that got overlooked.
Of course Allen and Leo sided with Justin.
Of course. Because that was the way it always happened.
“Cal, believe me, if it weren’t so dangerous I’d have sided with you!”
Callie turned sharply on her heel, arms folded, not ready to listen to Justin’s pleas for her forgiveness. Betrayal cut deep, no matter how minor said betrayal was.
“I don’t like the idea of bringing other people onto the Evergreen either,” Justin continued. “But if we’re really going to follow up the prophecy, then-”
“We?” Callie whirled back around to face him. “We? If it’s so dangerous that we need to bring on more crew members, then why are you bringing me along?”
“Don’t bring up the whole girl thing again, Cal,” Justin said wearily.
“Which girl thing?” Callie asked innocently, though her eyes twinkled a little.
Justin’s eyebrows scrunched down just a little. “Seriously? I thought girls nearly sixteen would be more mature than that.”
“Hey, I asked a valid question. You’re the one taking it to new levels.”
Justin sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Just, don’t make a huge deal out of it, okay? Allen and Leo have enough to think about without you fussing over a decision that you can’t change, and frankly, I have too much else to think about too.”
Callie huffed. “Don’t expect me to be nice to them.”
“At least be civil.” Justin turned and left the girl’s cabin, his footsteps quickly fading away as he hurried up to the deck.
Callie’s shoulders dropped a good three inches after he left, and she turned to face the wall, resentment swelling. How dangerous could this quest-thing of Allen’s be? It wasn’t like it was real or anything.
But if it isn’t real, whispered a tiny voice in her head, then why are all three of your brothers actively on board with this?
Callie shook her head to silence the voice. Yes, all three of her brothers normally exhibited sensible minds, but even the most levelheaded of people sometimes sailed off course. That she’d seen firsthand several times over the six years she’d lived aboard the Evergreen.
Allen and Leo wouldn’t bring unsavory characters on board, her mind tried to reason with her. Even if they unwittingly did, Justin’s a good judge of character- sometimes even sharper than Leo.
But that was just it, Callie thought crossly as she sat with a sigh on her bunk. She wasn’t at all afraid of her brothers willingly exposing her to less-than-desirable personalities. No, she was afraid of something she’d seen only once before, at a port whose name she couldn’t even remember.
Callie shuddered as the memory, crystal-clear, came back to her. She’d been standing on the pier, casually observing the crowds from her safe little niche by Leo. One pair in particular had caught her attention, a teenage boy and girl standing in the relative privacy of a makeshift corner formed from the outside wall of a building and several stacks of crates.
It had taken her a while to figure out what exactly was happening, but Callie had realized that they were kissing. And not the little pecks she’d occasionally seen her mother and father exchange. These two were practically slobbering all over each other’s faces in their fervent proclamation of whatever-emotion-it-was-that-caused-this.
Callie had stood there, rooted to the spot in fascination and horror, until the pair stopped and began to walk her way. As they’d come closer, she could see their facial expressions and hear their conversation.
“You know, you didn’t have to do that,” the girl said coyly, snaking her arm around her partner’s waist.
The boy had laughed, wrapping an arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders. “You know I did.”
The girl giggled. “And why is that?” she played along.
“Because I love you, Meri,” the boy had responded, and then they’d passed Callie and the little girl could hear no more.
Callie sighed as the memory faded away. The kind of love her brothers exhibited towards her was fine; she’d grown up with the platonic sibling love and felt the same way towards them. But romantic love was quite a different story.
A story that Callie hoped never to unfold.