Light Seekers #14 – Luce

“Wake up,” Mask shakes my shoulder.

“What’s going on?”

“Our stop is coming up.”

I lean out the window and take a look, “I don’t see anything out there.”

“Yeah, our stop is between stops,” Levi answers looking annoyed. “He didn’t mention that.”

“How do we got off the train,” I ask.

“Follow me,” Mask slides open our cabin door.

We follow him through the back of the train. Some of the other passengers are asleep, others are up having conversations or eating. Nobody seems to find it odd that three men carrying backpacks and weapons are moving through the train. Mask slides open the door to the back of the train, exposing us to the elements again.

“So how are we going to get down with the train going so fast,” Levi asks as we look out into the dark.

“There’s a turn coming up, the train will slow down for it, that’s when we’ll jump. Try to land on your back and let your body roll. Don’t fight it, you’ll hurt yourself. Don’t try to break your fall, you’ll break your arms,” Mask seems like he’s done this before.

“We could just wait for the next stop,” Levi still looks annoyed.

“No time for that.”

I know where this is going. I yawn and stretch preparing for this while Levi still argues about how insane this is. He’s right, but we don’t really have a choice. It isn’t like we could find our way on our own. Levi’s wild refusal has started to draw attention from others riding in the train. Mask doesn’t seem to care, actually I’m sure he doesn’t care. In the middle of one long sentence from Levi, Mask backs up and runs before jumping out of the train. I’ve already made up my mind so by the time Levi turns to me, I’ve already backed up and started to run. I can see just about everything, and I still manage to trip jumping out. A sense of panic sets in, my stomach drops and jumps into my throat at the same time. My back slams to the ground, cushioned by my backpack and I just roll.

Mask grabs my hand and helps me to my feet, “you’d think you’d done it before.”

“Thanks, did you see where Levi landed?”

He points to the train and I watch as Levi still refuses to jump. I take off running, trying to keep up with the train. Levi doesn’t say anything, he just keeps looking on. He’s mouthing something, but I can’t read lips.

“Jump,” I call out to him.

“I can’t. This is as far as I go,” he yells back.

“Just jump!”

“I’m sorry,” Levi just keeps repeating as I fail to catch the train. “I’ll be in Firerbend,” are the last words I can make out.

As the train gets further and further away I can see Levi close the door. I just watch waiting for the train to leave my vision, hoping Levi changes his mind and jumps off the train. If I had known he wasn’t going to jump, I would have pushed him. The train is gone, and so is my best friend, my only friend.

“You want a moment,” Mask asks me.

“Let’s just get going.”

“Next train stop is about forty miles out according to my map. We can go get him, but the mountain is closer. Right through the woods.”

“Let’s just keep going. He wouldn’t come anyway.”

It’s a lot easier to see with the flashlights. Mask leads to some hidden forest or something. I don’t know what he was explaining. I’m more concerned about Levi. I know he wanted to stay in Firerbend and build a life but this is too much. This is too far. Will he even be able to make it on his on? He knows the wilderness stuff and he can talk really good, but he’s can’t make it on his own. He can’t fight, he’ll get robbed.

“I knew your friend wasn’t coming,” Mask says.

“What?”

“Yeah, after our fight in the alley. While you were knocked out, we talked. He’s very talkative. He told me your plan.”

“What else?”

“He told me he wanted to start a life in the city, wanted you to stay with him.”

“I knew that’s what he wanted. But I had other plans. I couldn’t just stop because he wanted to live a boring life.”

“But you wanted him to go out on an adventure with you. Did you ever ask him what he wanted to do?”

“I guess I didn’t.”

“He’ll be fine, I gave him the key to my place.”

“So you worked on this whole thing with him?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“Because he’s weak, and he’s slow us down.”

“But he’s my friend.”

“Is he? Because with all the extra colors, and long distances over every direction that you can see, you still can’t see that he’s scared out of his mind. He only came this far because he cares about you.”

I don’t have a response. For a guy who says that he never had a friend before, he seems to know more about how to treat friends than I do. Levi probably is scared. He’s always scared, always a victim. I didn’t make him come on this trip wit me, but I kept dragging him along, further and further. I never gave any thought to what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go. I knew that he wanted to wrap this up and just live a normal life. I just kept pushing him. I’m a terrible friend. He’s my friend, but I haven’t been a friend to him. Dad is dead, Mom is dead, and now the last person in the world that cares about me is on a train, running away from me.

“We should just set up camp before heading into the forest.”

“No, let’s keep going.”

“You need to get your head on straight. You’re a liability right now.”

“The only person in the world that I could call a friend just left me. I don’t have any parents, no family, no other friends. I’m sorry if I’m a little out of it right now.”

“Shut up and get your tent out. Then you can stop acting like you’re the only person who ever lost someone.”

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