So, here's another chapter. This one's a shortie, especially compared to the last one. But the next one is good and long. haha. I won't be able to post again for about a week, though. :P
Thank you everyone who is reading Unsortable. Your feedback is super-duper appreciated. So, here's a question: Who's Team Trixie?? I AM!! Bahahaha...
Anyway, thanks guys!!
“You’ve officially gone insane.”
“I have not,” Trixie mumbles, turning me toward the mirror. “Look at your eyes, Kathryn, they’re perfect!”
I turn and grab her by the shoulders, gently shaking her. “We are not under any circumstances tricking them into thinking I’m one of you!”
She smiles. “You look like it. All we have to do is dye your hair…” She grabs a strand of my perfectly brown locks. “Maybe some black with pink? A lot of us have hair that’s black.” She winks. “Inner personality and all. Very deep stuff.”
I turn to look at myself in the bathroom mirror, breathing deeply. The colored contacts Trixie had on hand--when I asked she just shrugged--really do make my eyes look completely black. And if I were to dye my hair…
“This will never work,” I mutter, turning back to her. Carefully, I take the contacts from my eyes and drop them in a paper cupful of saline solution. “End of story. I’ll just…”
“Just what?” She demands, putting her hands on her skinny hips. “Be stuck here forever? Finally get out and have to live in the compound? This is your only chance!”
I shake my head. “Why do you want me to leave this place, anyway?”
She exhales, and all the anger rushes out of her. She sinks down to the bathroom floor, laying her head on her knees. “I know how you feel. That’s why.”
I lean against the sink, studying her. “How come you’ve never won the contests?”
She smiles. “I’ve never entered.”
“Really?” I ask with surprise, sitting down beside her. “Why not?”
She shrugs, tracing a pattern on the blue tile of the floor. “Because of Livi.”
I can’t breathe. I know the significance of this name. No, I’ve never heard it, but I know this is who Connor and Endriss were talking about. I sit, tense, waiting for her to continue--and kind of hoping she won’t.
“I met Livi when I came here. I was twelve,” Trixie whispers. She’s staring straight ahead, unseeing. “She was thirteen. We were instant friends.” She turns to smile at me. “Kind of like us. But there was a connection with Livi, which made us more like sisters. We shared a room, we shared a locker, we shared food and clothes and money and presents.”
“That sounds like me and Lynda.”
She nods, avoiding my eyes. “It was. Exactly like you and your sister. Except, while I was happy here, she wasn’t.”
A chill goes down my spine. Here it is.
Trixie swallows. “I was fifteen. Like you. Endriss had just come and joined the group, so I had been spending some extra time with her, and less with Livi. If I had, I might’ve seen…” She sniffs, wiping a tear from her eye before it can escape. “Anyway, one morning I woke up…” She pauses, breathing slowly. “A-and she was just gone. I went to school, and I kept checking my phone. I couldn’t breathe. I knew she was dead before Selena told me. She just wasn’t there anymore. I couldn’t feel her.”
“Trixie-“ I interrupt, as I’m already crying, but a steely glare from her silences me. I clamp my mouth shut.
“I hate them, Kate. Absolutely hate them. I can’t stand people with regular eyes. My parents tried visit me, after all that, but I pushed them away. I said some…some awful things. Things I regret. But each time I feel like saying sorry I remember Livi, and how they killed her, just because she wanted to be free.” Her jaw clenches and unclenches, then she turns to look at me. Her eyes, like black fire before, soften. “But you’ve helped, Kate, more than you can ever know. You’re not like the other people, and that’s good, or else you’d probably get the cold shoulder from me.” She laughs. “And that’s definitely not something you want.”
I force a smile. “Definitely not.”
She sighs, standing up. “So there it is.”
I stand, too. “There it is.”
She turns to the mirror, runs her finger through her messy hair, rubs the redness from her puffy eyes. “I have a lot of homework to do.”
She slides out of the door and down the hall. I lean against the wall, concentrating on the click-click of her black army boots as she goes clomping down the hallway, towards the staircase. I can’t seem to move until the sound fades away.
When there’s a knock on my door later that night, I expect it to be Trixie. So I don’t bother to change from my striped boxer shorts and oversized tee shirt as I call, “Come in!” The door creaks, and I look up.
“Oh,” I say with surprise, my eyes widening. “Um…hi Josh.”
He shuts the door behind him, going over to sit on Caroline’s empty bed. Since my arrival, she has been leaving the room a lot more than she used to. Or that’s what Trixie tells me. I hope somehow I’ve helped make her outgoing, and that the reason for her constant absence isn’t because she doesn’t like me.
“Hi,” he finally says after a weird, uncomfortable silence. I angle my pillow so it’s covering most of my legs, not that he’d be looking at them anyway. Would he? I go over this alarming possibility in my mind as I decide no, he wouldn’t, and look at him.
“What do you want?” Oops, that sounded mean. Oh, well.
He shrugs. I notice the tips on the end of his hair are purple now, instead of green. He’s wearing black skinny jeans and faded converse. Very…punk rocker.
I tell him so and he smiles, looking down absentmindedly, playing with the chain-bracelet on his wrist.
“Okay…so…this is awkward and all, but I’ve got a question.”
I smile, enjoying seeing him flustered. “Shoot.”
He presses his lips together in a firm line. “Do you, like…have other powers besides levitation?”
I point to my eye. “Nope. Turquoise, remember?”
He shakes his head, sending his hair into his eyes. He brushes it back unconsciously. “I don’t know how that works. My parents and I all have black eyes, and I grew up outside of town. Other than these other people’s families, you’re the first normal-eyed person I’ve ever been around.”
“Oh,” I say, stumped. “Well, do you want me to explain it?”
“Can you?” He says eagerly. “I can’t ask anybody else because they’d think something was wrong with me.”
I laugh. “Sure…um…” I tear off a piece of my notebook paper, bending over to scribble a quick explanation on it. Writing has always been easier than telling, for me.
“Here,” I say, studying it quickly.
Turquoise Eyes--Levitation (Me, Lynda)
Green Eyes--Speed (Reida, Chief Williams)
Brown Eyes--Invisibility (Caroline’s Family)
Violet Eyes--Healing (Margo)
Grey Eyes--Strength (Gregory)
Gold Eyes--Persuasion (Officer Greene)
“Your handwriting is hard to read,” he complains after a moment. He lays the paper facedown on the bed, crossing his ankles.
I glare at him. “A thank you would suffice.”
Josh snorts. “Fine, then. Thank you.”
He suddenly stands up, comes to sit beside me, and leans forward. The movement is so sudden I freeze. My hands ball into fists as he inches closer and closer, his crazy black eyes boring into mine.
Suddenly he pulls away, going to sit back down on Caroline’s bed.
“You don’t have turquoise eyes,” he murmurs, crossing his legs. “They’re more…aquamarine. A see-through blue.”
I unconsciously tuck my hair behind my ear. “Oh.”
He picks the paper up, looks at it again, and sets it back down. “Who’s Gregory? And Margo? And Reida? Isn’t Lynda your sister?”
“They came to visit me on Sunday,” I explained. “And yeah, Lynda is my sister.”
“Is Gregory your brother?”
I giggle. “No way. He’s Lynda’s boyfriend…” I tail off, picturing his face, and quickly rid my head of the image. “Reida is my best friend, Margo is Lynda’s best friend, and I guess Greg is kind of my best friend, too.”
“Well don’t you have a happy little life,” he sneers, glaring at me. The abrupt change in his mood is unsettling. I sit straighter, defensive.
“No, I don’t. None of us do or else we wouldn’t be here.”
He clamps his mouth shut and stands, grabbing the paper. He shoves it into his pocket before heading out the door, slamming it behind him.