heroes | Teen Ink


June 28, 2011
By wearewed BRONZE, arlington, Virginia
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wearewed BRONZE, Arlington, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
never let your eyes tell your heart what to feel but let your heart teel your eyes what to see

Author's note: i had a weird dream like this and decided to build a world and plot around it.


Today I meet my teammates, all of them. I’ve got five others.
“Cesar” I mumbled when they asked me my name. We would all live on a grand estate outside the city the city’s government gave us the estate in exchange we were to protect it. “I am a shifter” I could be anything I wanted, what I didn’t want to be was here. A young black girl smiles at me as if she’s trying to make me feel warm and comfortable
Give me a break.
“Monique, I can teleport” she blinked and then she was gone I turned my head along with the others to find her sitting perched on the arm of the loveseat.
“Luc I can sense auras detect someone presence” Luc had wavy hair that passed his pale face, his eyes smiled matching his lips that were practically hooked to his ears he was smiling so big
“Xavier” the boy had an olive tone short black hair and dark eyes. Compared to Monique’s and Luc’s soft browns his were hard and cold. “Super speed and strength”
“Kent” this boy was young only ten (the rest of us were thirteen) he was very short with creamy skin and black floppy hair “I can do anything with technology I know all the pass codes everything” The last girl looked up there was a collective gasp her eyes were mismatched one was a haunting silver-blue the other a bright red.
“Imani” she said her eyes flashing “When I say something in my mind it happens, I grow grass; I can bring objects in the air I can whisper in your mind while I pick it apart, and even people bend to my will. In short, I’m a monster” she seemed shy with her words in a quite murmur she spoke them quickly. Her eyes looked kind now she smiled her lips pulling slightly at her pale face which made her eyes and her long wavy red hair stand out. She was so beautiful; for once my heart stopped and fluttered she caught my stare blushing like wild. I realized something very alarming.
I just imprinted.
The only way I can stop this is if I treat her like dirt.

Cesar the name is as beautiful as he is. I throw a smile at him; I haven’t smiled in a long while. Since mother died, since I ran from father’s cruel hand, I tried to avoid him, all I knew is that if I used my power I’d grow to be an even bigger monster, more of one then I already am. There are so many times I’m ready to say “Damn the world” and let the dagger I keep in my new room slide across my wrist. Like my horrible father did, like everyone I trust will. Cesar will be different.
I hope.

Four years later
We face another challenge, the man’s name is Dagger he has claws sharp as knives, and he has that horrible evil breath when his words slink out of his dirty mouth I can smell it in the frigid air. Imani roars slamming her fist into the earth it changes around her and blows Dagger off his clawed feet. Monique is behind him now and she catches him teleporting again, but he slips away. Before Monique disappears and reappears several feet away. Luc’s eyes tint with light which is what always happens when he uses his ‘gift’
“Behind you Xavier” Luc yells franticly waving his stringy arms pointing at an empty spot
“Damn it” Dagger growls when he reappears Xavier is by his side he’s almost as fast as Monique’s teleporting; he picks up Dagger by the arm holding him between two fingers he flings him to me. I jump transforming to a coyote my jaws are powerful this way amazingly Dagger lands on his feet and swipes me away a painful backhand Imani’s rage fills the whole area that’s empty, we have to do that. We can never risk it, some us apparently more than others. Imani’s voice echoes in all of our head. Stop, stay, hurt. Dagger sinks to his knees clutching his head. I jump for him again. But he’s out of my reach; Imani has him in the air and shoves her hand away from her body. He lands and goes still, and then he rises and brushes off and he smiles. He swipes at the air creating a rift in time he coos a goodbye. Then I do what I usually do, I yell at Imani, I call her an idiot and a floozy. I call her very horrible names. She takes it again as if she’s used to it.
“I love you” she says, I hate those words. I don’t want those words; I don’t want the way she makes my heart flutter.
“Too bad B****, you’re too ugly to love, I’ll bet your parents were the same way.” I can tell I hit a nerve when her face falls a thousand miles. The others shake their heads, they’re too used to this, and then I realize what just happened as I continue to rant as she lets me do this as Monique pulls her close in a hug and takes the boys with her as they teleport home.
She’s had enough, because she lets a few words slip into the air before she disappears.
“I give up” and she’s gone. Xavier even cold Xavier thinks of her as fragile even he cares for the beautiful girl. He decides to run home waving he turns to me
“Jack ass” he says before punching me hard enough to send me into the wall and he turns away and soon runs off. This isn’t the first time; I treat her like this often. Each time it takes longer for her to come back around. This is by far the worst. She looks at me each time sometimes just hanging her head and taking and a few times she has met me in it she agrees, honestly I hate myself for the thousands of times I crack her heart.
This time I’ve broken it.
As I look at the monster, the ugly girl in the mirror, the stupid girl who risked her heart again. I realize Cesar’s right I’m too ugly to love, Father was like that and he’s like that. It hurts to trust. Xavier tells me he hit Cesar. I give a weak smile and ask him to warn me when Cesar comes home. I can’t stand Cesar anymore, Xavier smiles at me like the big brother he is and whispers that he will and that he’s going to hang with Monique and the other boys I nod. My gaze drifts to where the dagger hides. Just once, please? Whispers that voice, the same voice that made me realize I love Cesar. I take the dagger out from under the small plank of wood that I keep it. I take a breath, and pull it across my wrist, first comes the pain, the stinging pain, and my heart hurts less. I forget about Cesar and father.
Yet no matter what I do I can’t forget mother. I let the sob burst out of my throat, and try to control myself as I compress a towel to my wrist. When I’m done, I clean up the blood. I plop down on my bed, and I remember when I was little how mother loved father too much. Yet she’d use her gifts like mine to push him away from me before he could hurt me. Then she died, and I remember the whip the things he’d do. I remember little me looking out the window and being pulled up so father could open the latch and I remember being tossed outside.
I remember floating when my mind screamed at the air to catch me. He had growled and glared at me, he called me so many names, and the names had made me lose focus. I fell breaking my leg and twisting the other ankle. I can remember how his action seeped into my clothes and made me want to scream, I still have nightmares of him returning for me.
Like he’d ever want me back, he’s probably happy right now.
I feel the edges of sleep covering me like a blanket slowly being slid over a body. I curl into a ball, a position I used when I lived with my father. This way he couldn’t hit my internal organs too hard. Then I drop into the abyss of sleep that is sure to contain the same horrors it does every time I close my eyes.

When I finally arrive home that night I’m greeted by cold distant teammates, they all snarl at me and seem to have eaten early so they don’t have to see me. I deserve it I deserve for them to do much more than ignore me. I get the feeling they’re whispering the insults in their heads wishing they could pelt me with the hurtful words, but then they’d be no better than me. I walk to my room letting my legs swing behind me; I sit on my bed and lean my head against the head rest. My fingers roam through my hair which is coarse and rough.
I bet Imani’s hair is soft and smooth. Her lips and skin are probably the same.
I shake my head, I can’t think those thoughts it only makes me love her more, ever since my Catalina died I promised myself and Catalina I would never love again. I broke my promise, the only way I can hide the shameful fact is if I continue to be the asshole I am. To keep on shredding Imani’s heart into pieces to push her off the edge. I wonder what would happen if I kissed her, if I went to her door and knocked on it till she opened it, If when she came out I took her in my arms and kissed her harder then possible. How it would ease the guilt and the pain that reverberate in my heart with every pump.
Wouldn’t Catalina want that for me?
Imani, how would she react? would she let me do what I wanted and stand there till I got the message to stop? Would she shove me away? Or would she do the thing I’ve dreamed of for years and let go, fit her body into mine and let me run my fingers through her beautiful hair? Would I feel her arms around my neck and feel the tugging in my hair? I banged my head back against the headrest. I ached for her touch. I lifted my hand in the air and pretended that her cheek was there like I’ve done almost every day, I close my eyes and let my hand go to where her long hair would be and I pretend to tangle my fingers in the imagined tresses then I purse my lips pretending to kiss her.
“Imani, lovely sweet Imani” I sigh each word making them soft and delicate. I desperately want to do two things: add the word “my” before her name and to whisper the words all off them into her ear at the same time she lays in my arms. I wrap my arms around myself.
I bet Imani is doing that now, she’s probably crying. She loves you she said it herself, you’re ruining your one last chance with her. If you weren’t so bull headily stubborn she’d be in your arms right now. My inner voice chides me. I can’t help but growl. Imani could hear my thoughts if she wanted to. I love you Imani! My thoughts scream I grunt if she’s listening then maybe-maybe she’ll knock on my door and I can kiss her then. My breath shook slightly, and I held my head. I shook my body cracking with unshed tears, for Catalina, for everything I did to Imani for everything I said to her.
I want her, I need her. She could be there for me. She could sooth me every time-every time I thought of Catalina.
I decide
I pull myself from the bed untangling my limbs and standing up I find myself at Imani’s door. I knock.
“Go away Cesar” I knew she’d hear my thoughts
“Then why’d you come?”
“Imani-please can we talk?”
“Talk? As in you call me a bunch of names?” I sigh, she’s certainly stubborn
“Not stubborn, just not stupid”
“I want to apologize”
“For what?” her voice is closer now I can imagine her ear pressed up against the door. I see her trying to hear me better now. “Why are you imagining what I’m doing?”
“I am sorry for being a jack ass Imani, I’m sorry for every time I’ve hurt you-“
“Tell me a truth for once Cesar”
“I am, I’m not lying, and I’m not going to hurt you again”
“Sure Cesar” I heard the eye roll in her voice that leaked with bitter sarcasm.
“No, really Imani I love you. No, I’m in love with you”
“How dumb do you think I really am?”
“Trust me”
“Prove it then” the door slid open a crack I shot my hand in and shoved it open hard enough for the wood and the frame to shake and shudder. It looked as if it was shivering. Without a word to Imani I pushed her back inside the room with my body as soon as we were both inside I turned and shut the door. Then to my surprise I felt the ground pull away from my feet, I spared a look down the ground was still there.
I was the one floating. Imani snarled at me. I felt the air collect around me with a whoosh an invisible force crashed me into the wall, in the last instant I grabbed Imani’s hand and pulled her with me she fell on top of me surprise drawing on her face. Then her cheeks colored with red fury but my arms were around her one of my hands wrapped around both her thin boney wrists and the other clamped onto her face, and then like a puzzle piece I brought our lips to fit together like puzzle pieces.

Oh my god. Cesar was kissing me, I wriggled, god he had a tight grip. He pulled away regret scribbled on his face. I wriggled again pulling myself off him. Righting myself I stood my legs wobbled under me.
“How dare you?” I screamed “How dare you do that, when you don’t mean it? Is this some twisted part of your little game? Give me hope by kissing me then ripping my heart out for the thousandth time?” I turned away sensing wet trails dripping from my eyes. I couldn’t hide the way my voice broke “Haven’t you caused me enough pain?” The tears are running in delicate streams off my cheeks and chin now. I risk a peek over my shoulder at Cesar who’s standing up now.
“Imani-.” I feel pressure on my shoulders I realize he’s trying to hold me. I shrug him off harshly but he just replaces his hands again.
“Go away”
“No” I blink in surprise
“Not until I fix this” his words are sweet and soft. His tone gentle like he’s pleading with me and trying to stay calm himself. “Turn around.” His hands guide me spinning me to him. I look at his eyes pain flickers in them. His hand rises and lands on my cheek he trails it up and down and stops letting it rest there. Then as if he’s thought better of it he seems to ponder dropping his hand instead he moves it to push a strand of hair from my face. He sighs leaning in closer. “Give me another chance.” My head buzzes and I suck in a breath, he misinterprets it and leans into me to press his mouth against mine for the second time.
I felt the spark, this time I felt it. My arms trailed up to his neck like people do to bring their partners close. He seemed like he wanted it and his arms wrapped tightly like the grip of a viper around my waist. I realized what I was doing.
Stop, be strong. Stupid inner voice, so indecisive if only it’d shut up.
“What?” I realize I just said that out loud I felt warmth in my cheeks. Oh, god I was blushing. I tried turning away I quickly yanked my arms away from his neck and turned but he still had his iron grip.
“Let go!” I screeched
“Do you forgive me?”
“How can I forgive you for what you did? Tell me that, how can I really trust you?”
“We’ve been over this Imani.” He chided me his tone seeming almost demeaning my blood boiled. What was I doing with him? He hurt me so badly and he expects me to forgive him? God, he must me totally insane or something along the lines of that.
“Let me go! I hate you!”
“Do you really?” he whispered “Or are you afraid of being hurt again?”
“Shut up, you don’t know me.”
“I’d love to get to know you”
“Why should I forgive you?”
“Because the only reason why I hurt you is because my first love died and I promised her I’d never love again, but then I met you and everything changed for me. I thought if I pushed you away enough I wouldn’t have to face that I broke that promise but I couldn’t keep it up for years I pretended to kiss you and touch you”
“You did what?”
“Yeah err well-.”
“I’m sorry about your loss”
“-but it still doesn’t completely ease what you said.”
“I know.”
“Maybe I should tell you a truth too”
“I’d like that” his hand brushed over my cheek and he let me go I sat on the bed he plopped down next to me. Taking a deep breath I told him everything, everything about my mother how she died when I was two, how my only memories of her were of her protecting me from my father how he’d hurt me. I even told him about the window, when he reached for me I scooted away.
“It’s too soon Cesar” it was barely audible even to me “I need to see that I can trust you first”
“Okay, Imani.” He stood “I’ll let you go to sleep now.”
“Goodnight Cesar” I said
“Goodnight m-Imani” he shuffled out of my room I shoved the door closed behind him gently.
I was so stupid, I actually kissed her. She kissed me back the second time but then she quickly pulled away, and I couldn’t help but register the regret on her face. She had been so comforting when I told her about Catalina and when she told me about her father I had to mask the anger. She’d say I had no right to be angry, she would be right. I punched the wall the anger rolling over me in waves my fist broke through the dry wall and the wall paper. I let a growl rip through my throat. The vibrations it set off tingled. I heaved a sigh, she still caught me.
What have I done?
I knew our roles had been switched; I was the one pining after her because of me she wouldn’t fall into my arms easily. I would really have to work for this. In a haze I ripped off my clothes and put on sweats, and then I crumpled under the covers. I closed my eyes trying to sleep, but I couldn’t I needed something. A thought came to my mind what if Imani was in here? I would sleep well being able to feel her head snuggled into my chest. If only I could hold her and curl around her, maybe even kiss her hair and whisper a goodnight in her ear. If only I hadn’t shattered her heart, I sighed.
“Oh Imani” I desperately wanted to apologize to her again.
But deep inside me knew that just apologizing wouldn’t work. She needed time.
I just don’t know if I can give it.

THE days seem to drag on, since I kissed Imani she’s been unusually distant from all of us, I guess the others blamed me in the pit of their minds trying to keep it buried within their heads in case Imani was listening. She accidently brushed up against once or twice it took a lot of my will not to keep her there or catch her arm and swing her into my lap and kiss her neck her jaw.
If only I could kiss every inch of her.
I couldn’t though.
A few days after our kiss we were all doing our things I was sitting on the coach flicking through channels on the TV when the doorbell rang, which was odd because no one came around here. I swept to the door at the same time Imani did she caught my case and I lost my breath. My hand found the door and an impatient knock broke my gaze I looked away. When I opened the door she gasped.
“No, no, please go away” she whimpered tears began to slip from her eyes.
One of which matched the man’s exactly. I growled.
“It’s time to come home” the man snarled he reached out to grab her but I pulled over before he could and caught his hand.
“You need to leave and never come back” my gaze bled red as I gritted the words through my clenched teeth.
“She’s seventeen I still have control over her, It’s against the law for her not to come with me”
“It’s also against the law to treat me how you did father” Imani said
“Then I’ll keep breaking the law Imani” her dad had her eyes but they were nothing like hers they had that evil undertone that danced at the edges of his cornea and slashed on through to the opposite edge they were hard and cold. His voice became terribly even “I’ll give you to the count of ten-.” But instead of agreeing she grew angry, very angry.
“Go to hell.” She spat the man grew surprised he took a small step back. He turned on his heel
“I’ll be back” he promised

The author's comments:
i changed the last part of chapter two a little

“I’ll be back” he promised and he trotted away I shot myself back when Imani sent the door clashing closed. Her anger swirled away from her I didn’t need Luc to tell me that. Her whole frame shook, I wanted to hold her. She must have read my mind because she leaned away from me.
“I need some time alone.”

My stomach lurched I made it to the toilet in time to spill the contents of my stomach into the porcelain bowl I let my hand lazily shove down on the flush feeling too weak to make or even form a command. I stood shakily and brushed my teeth and rinsed my mouth.
Cut you know you want to
“Okay” I breathed I quickly drew out the knife and slid it roughly across my arm. I felt the sting of a fresh wound again, and father quickly faded from my mind.
Yet his promise didn’t
“Aw hell” I cursed the dagger slipped from my fingers clattering to the floor. Cesar stood in the doorway.
“How long have you been doing this?” he asked
“I don’t know the first time when I was nine was an accident but it relieved the pain so-I continued.” Why was I admitting that to him? He grabbed a towel from the rail mounted to the wall, and wrapped it tightly around my wrist. He made a makeshift compress.
“You can’t do this to yourself Imani” he paused “did I-was I a reason for-?” his question hung there for a bit. He guided me to sit on the bed.
“Sometimes” I whispered his expression bled through his face like ink. He placed my hand on the wrist and zipped away he returned before I could question where he had gone with medical supplies and he began to treat my wound. His hands were so gentle I clamped my mouth shut and bit back a moan. Stupid hormones, my heart sped up and I looked away.
She’s not looking my way. Oh, her hearts beating faster maybe I’m doing something wrong or maybe-maybe she likes-
I blinked and blushed his thoughts were racing like cars on a famous track. He seemed very persistent on his new found feelings for me.
“You seem quite today” his deep voice broke the silence he had finished treating my hand but his finger still curved around mine. I slipped my hands away. I didn’t want to hurt him by yanking them away, it would weaken his resolve. I couldn’t decide clearly if that’s what I wanted or not. He patted my hand.
“Give me the dagger Imani.” He demanded
“What? No” I stood he blocked me and braced his hands on my arms his grip steely.
“Please, Imani” his voice dropped to a soft note “Just think about it”
“Cesar” I hissed, my tone dropping to a smooth flat “I don’t think I should”
“Imani, please”
“No, I’ll give it to you,” I walked over picking up the dagger and ran it through cold water. I turned of the faucet. And placed it on the bed “I just shouldn’t-we shouldn’t touch like that”
“What are we Imani?” his voice rang with a note of sadness and a small twinge of hope. I hated to crush it.
“Nothing much yet Cesar” I sighed “Maybe buddies”
“Friends is a bit too much huh?” he looked at his hands it was awfully out of character for him to act bashful around me, yet here he was. It seemed that if he wasn’t being mean, cold, and distant he was shy and bashful around me. His tone still held hope it was sprinkled in his mind’s eye too, he had that hope that we’d happen one day. It made him even more bashful than before. This was so different.
I diffidently like bashful Cesar better.
I hated the fact that I still had strong feelings for Cesar; it isn’t healthy, not at all. I know for some weird reason I want to kiss him. I can’t help the stupid connection I have with him, he’s like a magnet
And I’m the flimsy paper clip that he can and will bend his way.
I won’t let him win this round I won’t fall into his trap. For once I have seen through his ruse through his next stupidly evil plot to destroy me even further.
He’s going an awfully long way to hurt you. Are you sure he’s trying to be mean? Remember he did make a move to protect you against father. The thought my optimistic inner voice has a way of forming several of my thoughts and then comes the voice of reason
Don’t fall for it girls he’s manipulative, he’s a liar, and an ass to boot
Oh shut up, you’re not the voice of reason you’re just cranky optimistic chides
And you my dear are an idiot, reason or maybe cranky retorts I have to come up with a name for her
I am reason; listen up Cesar doesn’t love us.
But the kiss Optimistic or maybe she’s dummy now whispers across my mind my heart gives a hard squeeze my voice of reason doesn’t utter a response she’s just as stumped.
No matter what I have to agree with reason I can’t trust Cesar not now.
Not ever.
Or can I?
I wonder how I didn’t notice the signs off Imani’s self abuse.
Really? The answer is simple you never showed how much you feel for her before; I wouldn’t be surprised if she never trusts you again.
Not true
She’ll trust me
Don’t kid yourself Cesar. You already hurt her to much, like she’d forgive you. Not even Imani is that forgiving
Are you even listening to me? At all?
“Shut up” I scream at myself
Oooh you’re telling yourself to shut up? So now on top of being a jackass you’re insane? I let a stiff breath hiss through my teeth. I can’t get a grip on reality. Even though I’m not real in the eyes of humanity well most of humanity some know. I realize that Imani’s father is one of the threads woven into the tapestry of the ever world. His string is frail as a human is and is a dark color a deep dark blue with swirls of black. His eye that matches one of Imani’s is steely. I’ve seen Imani’s eyes when they were soft and sweet. Her eyes are only hard at certain times
When she’s with me, when I talk to her,
I realize that Imani might never actually she probably will never forgive me. She’ll never trust me. She’ll never be anymore more than “buddies” with me.
And buddies would take a long time to become.
What have I done?
How can I ever have the love story with a happy ending when I’m the villain? She’s the princess, the beautiful maiden. And I know that I may never be her prince. I’d vow to be that prince to her, but I’d never push. But I’ll try.
Then it happens, my room bursts open. Imani comes in, I can’t tell if she’s angry or what.
“What is with…with what I feel?” she asked, so it was confusion then “why do I-I-I why—why do I feel this-“
“You love me don’t you?” I say trying to hide my smile “you really do”
“Imani, you’re my soul mate. Don’t you see?”
“Then why treat me the way you did?”
“I was in a damn denial”
“Imani, why are you really here?”
“To ask a question”
“You did” I tease her she actually smiles
“What do you need?”
“You saved my life today, why?”
“I couldn’t forgive myself if had let him kill you” she was very close now. I stood up and we were suddenly inches apart
“Maybe we-I- could reconsider the buddies thing” her hand touched mine lightly. My breathing had caught a bit. She went on her tippy toes and brought her lips to mine. I wrapped my arms around her torso and let a hand tangle in her red hair. She smiled from where I could feel her skin with my own I felt heat on her face. She was blushing, her arms hooked around my neck. Then one of her soft hands trailed through my hair. When we finally pulled apart I was beaming she buried her face in my shoulder.
“I talked to the others, they said if I really believed I should do this that I should follow my heart,” that struck me as odd,
“No” her words cut my trail of thought short she must of read my mind and guessed “Xavier didn’t”
“I value his opinion…”
“But, not as much as my heart”
“So what are we now?”
“I don’t know”
“An item?”
“You’re welcome, but, if you ever hurt me again, there will be no redemption”
“I agree” she smiles at me pulling her head back. I kiss her chin. “I love you”
“I love you too Cesar, I love you too” she suddenly looks annoyed “what were you saying a while ago? When you kissed me?” Damn she had a good memory “you said you pretend to touch and kiss me” she shoved me away playfully trying hard not to laugh “You are so weird!” I laughed tracing my fingers along her ribs tickling her.
“I’m not weird” I said between dying chuckles, she’s still laughing
“Stop it!” she gasped “Stop...”I let my hands drop and raise them to her face I cupped her cheeks in each hand and I kiss her. I feel her smile under my mouth, suddenly the hunger for her washes over me. I press into her. She gasps and pulls away, dazed.
“Err…I think it’s time for bed.”
“Okay” I mumbled she leaned over and kissed my cheek, wishing me goodnight and left. Once the door shuts behind her I touch my lips and can’t help the surge of freedom from my torture over Catalina flow in my heart. I realize that Imani’s loss would strike me deeper than Catalina’s did, I must protect her. I dream of Imani that night,

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