The Maybe Epilogue: Part One
“You are never leaving Evercity again, count yourself lucky if I left you out of my sight. I can't believe you ran away like that after everything I have done for you.” It was a surprise to wake up and have Zaul yelling at me. Especially since the last time I checked he was still out looking for me. “Do you know how long I spent looking for you only to learn that you had already been found by someone else? How humiliating it was to tell the Emperor that I had lost you?”
You might be wondering, 'how did you get into this situation?' well let me tell you.
I was enjoying my afternoon spent with Sage and Tristan, learning what it means to be a Leastie, when a message came for Tristan. It stated that he had to join Camilla for an important meeting. Sage left soon after Tristan leaving me in the quiet of my new house.
I couldn't stand the stillness of a quiet room after becoming accustomed to the chatter of Tristan and Sage and decided to go for a walk.
Dropping down onto the forest floor I set out in a random direction. My thoughts were tearing my head apart and I wanted just a second of relief. Nothing good ever lasts long for me. Once I finally find something I can hold onto, something comes along to take it away. I hoped now that I was away from society I could live in peace.
Life just had to prove me wrong.
They came for me while I was alone in the forest. I was enjoying being able to sort through my thoughts when I was knocked unconscious. I learned that the message for Tristan was a trick, that whoever sent it wanted me alone. Of course I only learned this when Zaul told me as I was tied to a chair. Which brings us here, to Zaul yelling about my horrible idea to run away.
“When we get back to the house you are going to clean yourself up and stay in your room until I say you can come out. You will be writing an apology for running away and when I say it's good enough you will be giving it to the Emperor. Do you understand?” The only thing I could do was agree with Zaul. Tied to a chair I was in no position to disagree with him.
One of the automatons came in to tell Zaul something and when he left the room to take care of what ever happened, it stayed here to guard me. As if I could do anything anyway, I can't even move my feet from this position.
The automaton came closer to me and I looked up at it warily. What was it going to do while Zaul was out of sight? I'm sure Zaul ordered that I wasn't to be hurt anymore than I already was, but if it happened while he wasn't looking, who can he blame.
The automaton reached for the ropes around my hands and I thought it was going to tighten the already tight ropes, but instead it loosened them. I stared at the automaton in shock, was it really trying to help me? Automatons don't do that, they listen only to the government. “Be quick.” It said “You have to leave while you have the chance, there is only so much time I can get you.” That doesn't sound like a normal automaton voice. That sounds like Matt. “I know you have questions but meet me at our favorite hiding place and I'll explain everything. I'll be waiting for you there.”
Hearing Matt's voice spurred me into action and I rushed to untie my feet and leave the room. Stepping into the hallway I realized that Zaul had taken me to a warehouse at the edge of Evercity. I had only been to the warehouses a few times when I was younger. Zaul wanted to teach Matt and I everything in case we ever took over from him. Leaving through a back door I headed for the opposite side of the city.
Matt and I always had places in the city where we would go to hide whenever we wanted to get away from Zaul. Our favorite was near the stables close to the castle. No one ever suspected that two children of a high ranking official, whether adopted or not, would ever be near stables.
It was over an hour later when I got there, I had to sneak through back alleyways to not be seen by any automatons. News must have spread by now that Zaul has me back if Matt was able to know. Slipping around the back of the stable I saw Matt standing near one of the horses in the paddock. Approaching him I asked, “how did I know that I can trust you?”
“Do you really think I would have sent that automaton and distracted Zaul if you couldn't trust me? Have you really come to think that little of me? I thought you trusted me Sylvia, everything I have done has been to protect you. Why can't you see that?”
“It's not about that anymore and you know it. It's always been about you being the perfect son, always being in Zaul's good graces. Well I'm tired of it. I can't stand this anymore and I can't stand you. I'm sorry but I'm leaving, good luck ever finding me again.” I was so angry with Matt. Every time we see each other he's always selling me out to someone. Hopefully this is the last time I ever have to walk away from him. I love my brother but I can't continue being hurt by him.
“Wait please! Just let me explain that's all I ask.” He yelled, racing after me and grabbing my wrist. Matt grabbing my arm caused me to jerk to a stop.
“Why so you can make up more excuses just like you always do?” I yanked my arm from his grasp. Glaring up at him I wondered when he had gotten so tall. Had it really been so long since we've seen each other that he had a chance to surpass me in height? To grow up?
“No please it's not like that. You know I never would have done that is I didn't have a real reason.” He pleaded with me to listen to him one final time, like I used to listen to his stories as a child.
“Fine, you can talk but there's no promise that I'm going to believe anything you say.” I can't just blindly follow him like before, I have to protect myself now.
“Do you remember when we were little and they took away our parents?” That day visits my dreams often; the scene changing so much that I find myself questioning how it really happened.
“Of course I do. That was one of the worst days of my life.” I didn't want to tell him, but the other worst day of my life was when he left me behind to attend the Academy.
“When you were asleep, I went to find them and was approached by someone. They said that they used to work with mom on that project she was always busy with. They told me what the project was and it's bad Sylvie. She was trying to find a way to clone people; to make perfect copies of them to be used for any purpose. This person said that she has to be taken care of, that dad was in on it as well. When we were placed with Zaul after that I knew I had to do everything in my power to gain their trust. I couldn't let you be taken away like they were.
That's why it seems like I betrayed you. I couldn't let them think I followed the scarlet man, if they even suspected that I did then I would be working in the Fogworks by now. I had to keep us safe. When you ran away from the Grimms and then again from the resistance, I didn't know what to think. I was so glad that you took my pen with you when you left the Fogworks. I hated doing it, but I had to know where you were. The pen was a tracker Sylvie. I had to keep an eye on you. I had to protect you. I tracked you to the summer home we used to stay in before I went to the academy. There I saw you breaking in with that thief. You could have just used the key, it's not like it's been moved.
I headed back into Evercity before I confronted you. I wanted to have everything set up before I brought you back. When I got there I heard Zaul talking to someone, they were telling him that they had found you, how they were going to go after you and that once they had you you would never step outside Evercity again much less the house. I knew that my opening to keep you safe was closing quickly. I had to get to you then before Zaul could.
But I was to late.
By the time I had found you, Zaul was already there. I swore to protect you and I failed.” He was looking at the ground when he finished explaining everything. Like if he looked at me then he wouldn't be able to control his emotions.
It was hard for me to believe what Matt said to me, but everything made so much sense. All the unexplained things I saw, the times I should have been in trouble and wasn't. Matt was there for it all, protecting me. I tried to convince myself that it didn't matter. That Matt was just doing that because he had to as my brother. I could never believe that.
“Why did you never say anything? You could have told me this, I would have kept your secret.”
“That's not why I didn't say anything. I had hoped that by not knowing you wouldn't seek out the truth. Obviously I was wrong, I see that now. Is there anyway you could ever forgive me Sylvie?”