Chapter 1. Eve
I was about six years old when I started to pester and question my mom about the necklaces everyone had to wear, even me. She would always tell me the same story I'm sure everybody knew by heart.
"Before, when the world was a very bad place, people had to search for love. Women and men had to date and experiment to find their soulmate. Many hearts got broken daily. Then science found a way to stop that. They came up with the necklace."
My six year old self interrupted with questions, "How does the necklace fix that? What is a soulmate?"
"When someone is born the doctors check their computers to see whose atoms were close to yours when the universe was created."
"What if the atoms were close to multiple people or were too far away?"
Mom laughed and continued the story, "The doctors choose. Anyway, the doctors will give the newborn a necklace," Mom held up hers. It was a deep emerald green and looked like a very short lightning bolt. "And there is one other person on the planet who has the other half of the shape on yours. The necklaces also help to tell you how close you are to your other half. The necklace will get warmer the closer you are or get colder the farther."
"Wouldn't the chain get too small the older you get?"
"Yes. The only time you are allowed to take them off is to replace the chain with a bigger one. But when you are somewhere between the ages of sixteen and twenty, the chain gets changed one last time."
"All not to go through heartbreak? It just seems too complicated."
"All of this with the necklaces is just so no ones heart gets broken," She confirms. "It is the only way. And it is the most affective."
When I was eight is when I started to notice that my necklace shape never got warmer or colder on its own. The pink piece that hung on my chest stayed room temperature, unless I changed it. In winter the necklace would cool down and become cold, and in summer the necklace piece seemed to heat up in the hot air. I would always ask my mom about it but she would brush it off with a simple statement. "You're imagining things."
Even today it still won't heat up or cool down. I decide to check again. I take the round topped, bottom pointed stone in my hand and hold it. I run my fingers around the sides, one smooth, flat, straight and the other side was slightly rounded from the top going down to the point. I start to wonder what the other half looks like, if I can ever find the boy who has the other piece that fits. Maybe he has a piece like mine, that doesn't heat up or cool down. Many of my friends have found the guy or girl that has the other half of their stone, except those whose stones are cold.
I touch my stone to my arm. It feels warm now from the heat of my hand. Is my stone broken? Was I not near someone when the universe was made? The thoughts attack me again. My stone wouldn't heat up or cool down naturally, of course I should worry. I'm seventeen now.
Chapter 2. Cyrus
I had just taken off my necklace to inspect it. It was such a cool shape. It had amazed me so much. I never could understand why the stones had to be around our necks always. My short fingers ran over the nubs that came out on one side. This was the first time I had taken it off in a while. The last time my mother yelled at me and told me it was stupid to do that. She kept asking why I had done it, I honestly didn't know why. I wasn't the smartest cookie in the jar, that's what my mom had told me many times before. I had barely passed kindergarten, according to a conversation I had happen to have overheard.
"Cyrus, go play with the blocks." My mother had said, pointing to a pile of multicolored shapes.
"Yay!" I had shouted, stumbling over to that pile that I was attached to every day I walked through the classroom doors.
"Okay, so about your son's performance...." The teacher said. I never remembered her name, honestly now I still haven't. My tiny hands grabbed the shapes laid out in front of my and started hitting them together.
"I know. He's underperforming isn't he?" There was that word again, perform. What did it mean? My little self had set down the blocks and stared up at them in awe.
Now that I'm older I remember this moment clearly and am better able to describe it. I have the better vocabulary than a five year old, nearly turning six.
"Yes. I believe he has the potential to do good, he's just very distracted. He focuses well on certain things, like the teaching of the necklace, but learning the alphabet and numbers are too difficult for him."
"Well, we take the necklace very seriously in our household, and I'm sure many others do as well, but maybe he's heard us use that word often and thinks it's important."
"You haven't taught him the alphabet or how to count?"
My mother shifts uncomfortably. "I've tried, but he's not the smartest cookie in the jar, I mean, what kindergartener is though?"
"Well I have multiple students who should skip grades. Mindy is already learning addition between three-digit numbers and can count past one-thousand. Karl can read at a third grade level and has the penmanship of a sixth grader."
I furrowed my brows and cocked my head to one side. I recognized some of the terms she used. One-thousand, three-digit number, addition, third grade, but what did they have to do with Karl and Mindy?
"I let your son pass this grade, but I can make no promises for what happens for the rest of them. I would recommend summer school, but he is young for that, so I will say try teaching him to read over the summer and hopefully he'll catch up next year. I'm sorry, but I have to get to a staff meeting. We can continue this some other time."
I remembered that day very clearly. It only happened a few months ago, I was six now and getting ready for first grade. I held the necklace and inspected it very closely. It was room temperature, or at least I thought. "Cyrus! Where are you?" Mother had shouted from the other room. I was in my own world staring at this contraption. How did it work? How did it just suddenly heat up, or cool down when the one was near? "Cyrus, there you...Cyrus! What on earth are you doing!" Mother shouted. She picked me up after taking the necklace from my hands. "Boy, I have told you more than once that you can't take that off." She sighed frustratedly. She clasped the necklace back around my neck and it hung in the middle of my chest. "It has to stay on. You know how important the necklace is to our values. You have to keep it on. Here, I'll bring you to your room and we can go over the story again."
Now that I think about it, my mother enforced the necklace rule on me very roughly. I rarely had any freedom in my childhood and I always had wondered why. I would do stuff like this and get in trouble. I used to get D's and C's in classes now I always get A's and the very occasional B. I rarely can have friends over and if I do my mother has had to have known them for a long time, to know they are responsible. Now that I am little older, she does allow a bit more freedom, but at the same time is more protective. She wants to make sure her little baby is grown up okay and well. My friends give me shit about it all the time, how my mother can be, but I try to ignore it. They're only joking, right?
I'm almost eighteen now, and I'm almost done high school. I can't wait to be able to travel to find my soul mate. My necklace wasn't very warm, but it wasn't cold either. I couldn't wait to be able to fly to a different district to figure out where they may be. I smile at the thought, soon.
Chapter 3. Eve
My mom called my downstairs from my room so I head down. She was sitting on the couch so I take the seat across from her. "I'm afraid I have bad news," Mom says sullenly.
I sigh. I had a feeling this was coming. Something like this always was going to happen. I just knew it. "Just say it. We have to move again don't we?"
"I'm afraid so. Your father got a big promotion and we have to move to District M-261W. We have plane tickets for this Saturday, so start packing."
"This Saturday?" I practically shout. It barely left time for me to say bye to all my friends.
"I know it's very soon, and you just got settled in. You made a lot of friends and got comfy here, but these things happen."
"How does that even happen? How do you move from District M-413K to M-261W? Shouldn't it be the opposite? Don't the bigger numbers have the bigger companies?" It was annoying to say the district names, but that's how they were named. M and then a number one through five-hundred and then the first letter of the rulers name. It's simple to keep track of, but a pain to talk about them.
"Eve, honey, I know you're upset," Mom gets up and sits next to me. She puts her arm around me, "But life is filled with disappointments, and maybe you'll find your significant other there," Mom tries to calm me down but I could care less.
"How many times do I have to tell you this, my necklace is broken! I'm never going to find someone!" I shout at the top of my lungs. I run upstairs to prevent Mom from seeing the tears falling down my face. I slam my bedroom door and jump into bed, stuffing my face into the pillows. I hope I fall asleep and wake up to be told that this is a nightmare. We are going to be staying in our district. I don't want to lose my best friends! Kendra and Bella. They are the best friends anybody could have asked for and now they'll be gone! I stuff my head into the pillows harder hoping that this could just go away, but deep down I know it won't.
I open the door and walk into the room. "Are you Eve?" A man stands up and walks over to me. His face looked familiar but I couldn't put a name to it. He takes my hand and starts leading me in a slow dance.
For some odd reason it became hard for me to speak. "Who're you?" I manage to get out. He stops dancing with me momentarily. He grabs his stone and mine to put them together. I notice that my chest seems colder with the stone off. My stone was warm!
He fits the stones together. I inhale sharply. "I am the one who is meant to be with you." He starts to disintegrate. "But you cannot get me." His voice becomes a mere whisper.
"Wait!" I shout with tears streaming down my face. I try to grab him. He was right there, and I couldn't get him. "Wait!"
I open my eyes but all I see is pillow, so I roll over. I had that dream again, third time this week. I hear a knock on my door and Mom's face comes into view. "I brought in some boxes for you to pack." She pauses. "There is something else."
"Let me guess, more bad news, huh?"
"I'm afraid so." Mother sighs, "Jeremy is going to finish college in our new home."
I wanted to shout and scream and throw a tantrum. I know how badly my brother wanted to get into college, especially in the district that was known for the best colleges. He even waited a year and a half for us to decide and actually move here for that. Now, he's giving that up? Why? He could live on his own, he's twenty-two! Why was he going with us? Who knows? All of this angered me and I didn't want to do anything bad so all I said was, "Just go, please."
Mother nodded and left the room, leaving the boxes behind. I close my eyes and remember in freshman year, the map of the world they refreshed in our minds. One through one-hundred on landmass A. One-hundred and one through two-hundred on landmass B and so on and so forth until you got to five hundred on landmass E. And two extra lands that no one dared to explore, or at least that's what we know. I was always taught to be skeptical, well in math at least. It ran from math to everything else in my life. The teachers always taught us that how the world is now is not how it used to be, but the world has become simpler, and that is for the better. With the districts and simple names it was easy to organize. A lot to memorize, but in the long run, it was the best. That's what they always said.
Chapter 4. Cyrus
"How hot is yours?" Asks Jeffery.
"Mine's pretty warm. I guess we're kinda close," Ashton replies.
"My stone is like room temperature," I say, holding up my stone.
"Huh, interesting. Mine's cold. Guess I got some 'venturing to do," Jeffery sighs.
"I like the colour of your stone," I point to Jeffery's stone. "It's a nice bright, ugly, firetruck red," I barely finish before bursting into laughter. Ashton laughs with me.
"Hey! At least I don't have matching colours. Maybe your stones will fit together. Although that blueish-green colour is cool." Jeffery mumbles the last part.
"That colour is called turquoise, Dingus." We burst into more laughter and Jeffery hits us both.
Jeffery smirks before commenting, "I might not be smart but I don't like any of the girls in our class. These necklaces are supposed to stop peoples hearts being broken and you two... ha."
"Just because we might like how hot they are doesn't mean we are going to break hearts or have them broken," I answer for Ashton and myself.
"Yeah, okay," Laughs Jeffery.
"Seriously, we can't date them even if we wanted to. The laws don't allow it unless our stones match."
"We are gonna graduate high school soon. We should have more freedom of liking who we want," Ashton sighs.
"Have you never heard the story? We could break hearts and blah, blah, blah," I mock.
"I know it's stupid but according to my parents and probably all our parents it went perfectly. They both met, fell in love, and lived happily ever after," Jeffery states.
"You know, Ash, if you have any issues you could bring it up with the mayor," I joke.
"As if," Ashton says with a roll of his eyes.
"Even if someone did, what would they say?" Jeffery asks, "The stones are the ultimate solution, so they will always have the right answer."
"Maybe someone's stone is broken?" I suggest.
"Broken how?" Ashton asks,
"Maybe it doesn't..." I get interrupted by Jeffery's ringing phone.
"Yeah?... Okay... Yep, right away.... Okay, I'll tell them. Bye."
"Who was it?" I ask.
"Dom wants to know if we are still coming over, so I told him yeah, right now."
Ash stands up. "Well, I guess we better go.
"I'm sorry I can't. My mom wants us to visit her parents and go to dinner with them tonight."
"Why are your parents such party poopers?" That comment gets laughs from everybody, including me.
"It's just how they are. See you tomorrow at school, though." I lead them out the front door and wave goodbye.
A few hours later, as I was helping my mom clear the table from the dinner with my grandparents, I get a text from Jeffery. I reread it about a thousand times. Hey, me and the guys were talking about this and figured we should throw a senior class bash. Wanna come? It'll be at Dominick's house at 9 on Saturday. Hope to see ya there bud. I didn't know what to say. I wanted to go, but I know how irresponsible they are. Knowing them, they would have real alcohol and maybe some drugs. Even though it's very illegal. Although, they are my friends, and it would make for a good story and a fun time, so should I? I decide yes and wrote back, Sounds awesome! Can't wait. See ya then.
Saturday was a couple days away. I could probably find an excuse or reason why not to go. Or I could go and have the time of my life. All of my decisions in life seemed to be on the spot impulsive choices, so maybe I should just let time pass and whatever happens, happens? I sigh and decide to wait it out.
I count down the days 'til Saturday. Three... two... one.... I check the clock. It was 8:43 at night. The party starts in a little under a half-hour. I still don't have an excuse, other than the obvious, so I decide to just enjoy the night. I grab my cars keys and was just about to walk out of the door when, my mom stops me.
"Have fun going to the movie with your friends," She tells me. I had to make up something. My mom was super protective of me, and if she found out I was going to a party she would have a conniption. It was Dominick's party too, and she's barely able to let me hang out with him because she knows how irresponsible he is.
"Yeah. I will, but we might also hang out their house for a while too." I didn't know how long I was going to stay.
I did also plan on having a drink or two because they would beg me and I would like to have my first drop of alcohol. "Have fun. Remember these memories will last a lifetime so make them count." I know I was underage, but as my mom always said Have the time of your life! For my friends that would mean getting wasted, for me, well it was a little different.
I walk down to the car and drive down. When I got there it was a little past nine and it was packed. The music was blasting so loud that I heard it from inside my car across the street. I get out and head inside.
A loud and rhythmic beat was playing over the speakers as people stood in small groups dancing among themselves. I wander in the house a little before finding Dom, Jeffery and Ashton hanging out with a few girls. "Hey! You made it!" Dominick shouts over the loud music.
Ashton elbows Dom and says, "I guess I owe you ten bucks."
"Just like you guys, betting on if I'm going to show up to things like these." I snicker. Dominick shrugs.
"I'll grab you a drink," yells Jeffery. He merges with the big crowd of people.
"I didn't realize there was this many seniors in our school." My guess would have to be there were over a hundred people here.
"I know, and the funny part is not everybody showed up! Imagine if they all did, I barely have enough room in my house as is."
Jeffery comes back with two drinks in his hand and gives me one. "Drink it," He orders me.
I smile and try a sip. It tasted different? That wasn't the right word but it wasn't like anything I've tried before. It also had a fruity flavor. "It's new," I explain, "Never tasted anything like it."
"Wow. You need to get away from that woman! What has she done to our little Cy?"
"Don't call me that! That's childish."
"Then do something to become a man."
"Chug your drink."
I wanted to prove to my friends that I wasn't a child. I mean seriously, I was turning 18 in a couple weeks, but I still wanted to obey my moms orders. "Fine," I say before chugging that strange liquid. It starts to burn my throat the closer I get to the bottom of the cup, but I still continue to drink it.
"Wow! You finally grew a pair and are disobeying orders from the man!" Ashton laughs.
"Wooks wike our wittle baby grew up!" Says Jeffery imitating the voice you would use to talk to a little kid.
"Oh, shut the hell up guys! I did it, isn't that proof enough?"
"Just wait until it kicks in," Laughs Dominick.
I start to walk away because they were annoying me. I wonder what they meant, kick in? What would it do to me? Did they put drugs in it? I vaguely knew what alcohol did to a person but I never cared enough to actually find out everything. I went to the middle of the dance floor and start to dance with everyone. I wanted to enjoy this night so I was going to force myself to enjoy it. Soon enough I didn't have to try very hard, and I kept smiling and dancing to the beat. I was in a good mood and I don't know why. Some guy walks up and hands me another cup and I gladly drink it. The song changes and I continue to dance with the rhythm. A group of people invite me to dance with them so I do. Then what happens after slowly becomes mixed together. I think I kept dancing with people, maybe I was up in someone's room. The strobe lights kept flashing different colours and the disco ball hanging on the ceiling made the room sparkle. Maybe that was the eyes? The room starts to spin, or was that me? Then the lights just went out.
Chapter 5. Eve
The past few days became a blur for me. Packing and heavy lifting. Goodbyes and farewells. Car rides and plane rides. We finally arrive at our new house. It was a bit bigger than our old house but I just wanted to go back. A few more blurry days of unpacking and attempting to settle in. I sit on my bed staring at the pile of boxes in front of me, was it even worth it? Losing everything I had ever known? I don't even know anything about this district. Maybe I should just run away and go back. How would that even work though, being on different landmasses and all.
"Come in, Mom"
She walks in and sits next to me on the bed. "I know you really didn't want to move, but I appreciate how accepting you have been."
Mother sighs. "You should get some rest. You do have to start school tomorrow."
"I realize that."
"Why must you be so difficult? This is going to be a new experience, you'll make new friends, and maybe even find your soul mate!"
I want to tell her that my necklace was broken, but I decide to hold my tongue. "Yeah, I guess."
Mother gets up and pauses before walking out of the room. "Do you want anything to eat?"
I haven't eaten much since I've been here, and I don't want to worry Mother, so I decide to go with toast.
"Okay. I'll be back soon." Once she leaves I check my necklace in hopes that the temperature would be different. It wasn't.
My alarm blares at full blast making me jump. I slap it with my right hand as I lean my head against the wall with my eyes open. I stare at my ceiling for a few minutes before getting ready. Someone knocks on my door before cracking it open. "Eve?" It was Jeremy.
"Yeah?" I ask swinging my legs off the bed.
"Time to get ready for school, little sis."
I smile. I loved when Jeremy called me that. I don't really know why because some people hate when their older siblings call them little. I guess it made me feel safe. "I know."
"Since it's your first day I'm going to drive you."
"Okay." I throw on some nice clothes and grab my backpack. I head downstairs and grab an apple to eat on the car ride to school. Getting in Jeremy's car, I ask the question that has been bothering me since I first got the news we were moving. "Why didn't you stay to finish college?"
The question seems to take him by shock, judging by his facial expression. "I don't really know," He finally answers, pulling out of the driveway.
His response shocks me, it wasn't about the stone? Maybe he just didn't want me to know. "I know how much getting into that college meant to you, it's one of the best out of the districts, so why would you give all that up?" I remember around four years ago that we got news that we were going to be moving to M-413K for dads promotion. Mother didn't want to us to move since she was doing really well in her line of work. Dad finally convinced her two years later and we moved. Since then mom never really worked in many places, since we had to move around a lot. We lived in about five different locations within the two years we lived in the four-hundreds, staying in 413 the longest.
He was silent. I go between staring at his face and at the road. The silence between us was awkward and unusual. Normally we were talking about anything and everything. I remember one time we argued over why chickens and turkeys should or shouldn't be the same bird. "I... I don't know."
"Didn't you think this through?"
"I did but," He sighs frustratedly, "You wouldn't understand."
"But you've explained things like, that time you..."
"Don't bring that up. We can't talk about that and besides, this is different. We're here." He pulls into the school parking lot.
I take a moment and check out the school. It was a big brick building with windows spread out all over. Towards the left wing there was a glass hallway. This school was much smaller than the one I used to be at. "I guess I should go."
"Bye." This goodbye was almost a little salty. I walk up to the front doors and push one open and walk through. There were so many students standing and talking with their friends that I had to push my way through them to get to the office. "Hey, so I'm Eve. I need my schedule." Even though school just started, I was ready to go home.
"Okay, give me a second." The woman behind the desk digs through a small stack of papers before handing me one. "Here you go."
"Thanks." I turn around and the bell rings. I check the paper and I have Math. Great. Classes went by slower than normal because I was new and had to introduce myself many times over. By the time lunch came the first words out of my mouth were "I'm Eve." I got my food and had no idea who to sit by. I stood there for a moment before spotting someone I recognized from class. I sit next to him and his friends."Hey," I say shyly.
"Hi. You're the new girl, Eve, right?" He asks.
"Yeah. What's your name?"
"Mines Cyrus, and that's Dominick," He points to the boy sitting across from him, "That's Ashton" He points to the blonde haired boy sitting on the right of him, "And that's Jeffery" Cyrus concludes pointing to the dark haired guy sitting in front of me.
"It must suck being a new girl since it's this late in the school year," Comments Dominick.
"I guess." Very little conversation followed. We mainly talked about things about ourselves. After the lunch-bell rings we all scurried off to classes. It seemed like forever before the end of the day bell rings.
Walking out of school, I get stopped by Cyrus. "Hey, new girl. Wanna hang out for a while?"
That question shocks me. Why did he want to hang out with me? We barely knew each other and our stones weren't matching. I get shocked by my own thought. I've been so brainwashed I can't even just be friends with a boy. He was really cute though. His curly blond hair and blue eyes won me over, that and I need to stop thinking like this. "Sure, why not?"
Chapter 6. Cyrus
The end of the day bell finally rings. I head out of class and in front of me was Eve. She must of had the class next door. Something about her was different than all of the other girls. I couldn't explain what, but something was off, maybe? I don't know why but I acted shyer around her and got a little anxious. Why?
She walks out of the front door first and I follow. I tap her on the shoulder and she turns around and her light brown hair whips almost hitting me in the face. My legs felt shaky for some reason, Why did she make me so nervous? "Hey, new girl. Wanna hang out for a while?"
She looks shocked. Oh no, I ruined it. Her brown eyes seem to inspect me. I hope she couldn't tell how anxious I was. I had to know why she was different than everyone else. "Sure, why not?" She finally decides.
I smile. "Awesome! Want to head down to the café? It's only a couple blocks away."
"Sure. Lead the way, Cyrus."
When she said my name it made it sound so much better. We start walking side by side down the sidewalk. Why was she different? Was she the one? I pretend I have an itch on my chest to feel if my stone was warmer. I touch it with my index finger. I audibly sigh when I feel no difference in the temperature. "Is something wrong?" Eve asks.
"Oh it's nothing," I say with a slight laugh hoping she would ignore it.
"I can tell. Something is bothering you. Ever since you asked me to hang out, something was off. What is it?"
"Is it really that obvious?" I ask looking into her beautiful brown eyes.
"My mom's a psychiatrist. She taught me to read a person’s body language. I don't let many people know this since they hide a lot more things. If they don't know, they act upon mood."
"Oh. Well you might think I have some disorder if I tell you."
She stops walking and turns to look at me. Her face looks a lot more serious. "What?"
"I mean... it's not that bad... but people just," I sigh in defeat. I couldn't find the right words to express this. Maybe I should lie, but would she know? I've lied before and it's pretty easy to look like your telling the truth, at least for me. Maybe I unknowingly did something to give it away. It was worth a shot.
"It's about your stone, isn't it?" She asks. How did she know?
"Well, yes," The way I say that made it sound like I was unsure of myself, but I was very sure. "This is going to sound weird, but it does not get warm or cold. Well it does, but that's if something changes it, like room temperature or my body heat."
There was a long pause between us. I didn't want to say anything because her face made it look like she was searching for the right words to say. "Didn't you want to tell anybody, or report it?"
"I was too freaked out to. I was afraid they were going to throw me in the defect pile."
"Okay, that whole defect thing is a rumor, the mayors have said so."
"You never know," I shrug. I think we share a moment, standing here and laughing together.
"I believe you though. Seriously," She had to look up to meet my eyes. If I had to guess she was around five inches shorter than me. "So, where's this cafe?"
Chapter 7. Eve
I take a sip of my latte and smile. I still couldn't believe it, his stone was like mine! It was a different colour, and different shape that didn't look like it could fit in mine, but maybe we were meant to be together. We got along splendidly and our stones had the same defect. His stone was a tealish colour and mine was a shade of pink. My stone was smooth and rounded and his stone had three round tipped points on a side and the rest was round. It would be an oval if it wasn't for the points. "So what about you?"
I snap out of my daydream. Shit, what did he say before that? "Uh... what?"
"What's your story?"
Story? What does he mean my story? Where I was from, but he knows that? "You know, there's something I think I should tell you."
"Oh no. I'm so scared," Cyrus jokes.
"You said your stone doesn't heat up at all, right?"
"Yeah," He nods along with my words.
"Well, mine doesn't either." A long silence ensues. "Maybe we were meant to be together," I suggest.
He thinks about that for a moment before responding. "Our stones do not look alike at all. It's true that they do not heat up but like everyone says the system never fails." He pauses. "I want to tell you something. When I met you, something about you was very different than all the other girls I know. I thought it was my conscious informing me that you were the one. As much as I would like to believe it...." Cyrus sighs and puts his head down. "Science won't let me. You're an amazing girl, beautiful, smart, funny," He lifts his head, "But the stones don't match. I don't want to break your heart or mine believing something that just can't happen. What if we meet our soul mates? We just force them to be with the each other? No. Just no."
Cyrus's long speech shocks me. He really believes in the science behind the stones and that's the only real thing stopping him. Everyone has a little rebellion in them, but his real belief in the system was shocking. When he was saying the last part he sounded pretty disappointed, it seems to like me. He put his head down so he didn't have to look me in the eye when he delivered his bad news. He really cares. "Cyrus?"
He was finishing the last sip of his coffee. "Yeah?"
"The stones are so no ones heart gets broken, but judging by how you spoke, you seem to be on the verge of it."
"Are you sure you're not an actual psychiatrist?"
We both chuckle at that statement. "No, but I'm serious. The stones are so hearts aren't broken. If we're together that won't happen."
Cyrus grabs his stone and holds it, "But the science behind it. The proof. This is just a guess. A theory."
"I know, but everyone makes mistakes, right?"
Cyrus sits back in his chair and thinks about our conversation. I could tell it was a war between science and logic. The science behind our stones or the logic that we should be together because of broken science. "Can I have a while to think about this?"
"Yeah, of course. I just want to say one last thing before I go." I push my chair
back and get ready to stand up to leave. "If I've learned one thing from my mom it would be this. No matter how much evidence there is for something, it is not fool-proof. Things like this date back centuries, people think it always work, but it never does. There is always something or someone that messes it up. This right here might be just that." I stand up. "Just think about that."
Chapter 8. Cyrus
Eve's words ring through my mind for the next few days. She still sat with me in classes we shared and at lunch, but we never really talked. What's happening is a fault in the system. My heart would be broken without Eve, but the stones don't match. I know it's a little soon to say that, but we really bonded that day. We have so much in common, excluding the stones, and we both enjoy each others company, is this how it went before people had the stones? Our history teachers have tried explaining it to us but I never really understood it until now. How could people live like this, unsure of who it was, unsure of love. I shudder at the thought. It scared me so much. Not knowing what was real, how could anyone do it? Somehow it was considered normal.
I sigh as I stare at the page of homework due tomorrow. I couldn't focus long enough to do it. It was easy, but I just couldn't do it. I frustratedly set the pencil down and walk over to the mirror above my dresser and look at my face. "Get yourself together," I say to my reflection. Then I understand why this is bothering me so much. She is my soulmate. Every parents story is once they met each other they fell in love right then and there. That's what's happening here. That is what it is, right?
Maybe I should ask someone about this. The mayor could probably do something. He is the mayor after all. "Cyrus! Dinner is ready!" Mom shouts from downstairs.
"Okay, I'll be down in a second," I yell back. In the morning before school I'd go see the mayor. Maybe then I'd be able to get answers.
The bright red doors stand out when comparing it to the plain white, marble building they belonged to. I nervously open up the door and walk in. There was a receptionists desk to the right and a waiting room on the left. On the back wall is another door that hung a plaque that said office. "Hello, how may I help you?" Asks the woman behind the desk.
I've never done this before so I don't know what to say. "Can I... I mean may I, if it's possible, speak with Mayor Widley?"
"What is your issue?" She asks, not looking up from the stacks of paper she was fiddling with.
I realize this is where I need to start lying because if I told the truth, who knows what would happen. "I just have a few questions about the necklaces," I hope she couldn't tell how nervous I was.
"Is it happening to your necklace?" The tone of voice she used was very disinterested sounding and very monotone like.
"No. I'm just curious." I hope it sounds believable.
She sighs very loudly and checks her computer. "If you can wait a few minutes he will be right with you." I nod and sit down in one of the chairs off to the left in the waiting area. I twiddle my thumbs and admire all of the paintings and how prestigious it looked. The Mayors office was probably the most expensive building in the whole town, more expensive than his home. "He's ready."
I swallow hard then get up. I look down at my clothes and suddenly realize how inappropriate my choice of clothing was. I was wearing jeans and a black hoodie with a bright green drink logo on it. What was I thinking when I was getting ready?
I slowly walk to the doors of his office. Oh god, what do I say? What will he think of me? My shaky hands grab the doorknob and open the door. "Ah, welcome Cyrus," he said with a booming voice that had a slight accent. "So what was it about your necklace you needed help with?"
"Oh, it wasn't my necklace. I just have a few questions," I say meekly. I stumble over to one of the cushioned chairs and take a seat. On his desk there is a computer.
"Cyrus, there's nothing to be nervous about. Just ask away."
I swallow and suddenly realize how dry my throat is. "Well..." I start off, "What if someone's stone didn't get warm or cold? It just stayed the same temperature?" Next to the computer was a name tag plaque that had Mayor Widley printed on it in bold lettering.
The mayor nods slowly along with my words. As he does so his white beard puffs up like it was inhaling a breath so great, and then finally deflating, becoming flat and curly. "Well, that couldn't possibly happen, Sonny."
"But what if it did?"
"Are you sure this isn't happening to you?"
That is the question that had to stop me. How am I supposed I answer that and continue getting answers without further investigation. I would be thrown into the defect pile at that rate. Even if it was a myth, I wasn't risking anything. "No. Never mind. I should be getting to school now."
Chapter 9. Eve
It's been almost a week since the talk with Cyrus. I begin to wonder what was going through his head. What is he going to choose? The system? Or me? He seemed pretty serious about the system. I mean I can't blame him, the necklaces are supposed to be the answer. The thing that always works and never fails. I felt like Cyrus was supposed to have a matching stone but something happened and didn't. We seemed to have a connection I couldn't explain. Anytime we talked it out me in a better mood than I was in.
The school day seems longer than usual. It felt like an eternity for lunch to come. When it did, Cyrus began talking to me again. After lunch he stops me in the hall and pulls me aside. "We should talk."
"No, after school."
I wanted to talk and know what he thought, but at the same time I was scared for that exact same reason. My heart was pounding but I still agreed. The rest of the day seems to drag by even slower since I was overthinking every possible outcome of this scenario. I could think of reasons why he should choose me, and reasons he shouldn't. I didn't know what to think. I try not to think about it during the day but that was hard. I had a math test next and I knew I wouldn't be able to focus.
Finally, the end of day arrives and the bell went off. I wait in the main lobby for Cyrus. He eventually shows up and we head out and start walking to the café. Awkward silence fills the trip since neither of us wanted to start. I work up the courage to ask when we reach the street the café lies on. "So... What did you decide?" My heart was pounding out of my chest.
"Well, I kept thinking about it and I didn't really know. It's so complicated. It's broken, but we love each other. We have a connection that I know means we should be together. So according to what the laws said, we should be together. Even if it doesn't match. Everything breaks eventually and I guess now it an example."
I couldn't help but smile. The fact that Cyrus said he loved me made my heart melt. I'm so glad that he understood. I didn't even know what to say. "Th...thank you."
Cyrus stops walking and looks confused. "What?"
"I don't know what else to say. I'm just so happy. It makes sense really."
"I'm just worried about one thing."
"If we act like our stones match but people see they actually don't, what would happen, or what would they do?"
I grab Cyrus's hand and hold it. "I guess we'll just have to wait and see," I say with a smirk. I just hope that this was the right choice. I mean it was, right? It had to be. If everything was how it was supposed to be, then this was the right choice.
"I guess we will." He squeezes my hand back and we finish walking to the café. We order drinks and a small bite to eat. We talk and get to know each other better and it was pretty fun. We have a scary amount of things in common. We have the same favorite food, book, movie and even some bigger things in common like our birthdays and the amount of letters in our full name. It was amazing how much we were alike.
The sun starts to set outside."As much as I hate to say this, we should get a ride home. It's getting pretty dark out now."
I sigh. "Yeah I know. It sucks that we can't spend a lot of time together. My mom didn't even want me to stay out this late. Jeremy is going to flip for not telling him where I've been."
"I'll call my mom then." He pulls out his phone and has a short conversation with his mom, confirming she'll pick us up now. "Ten minutes she said," Cyrus informs me while putting his phone in his pocket.
"Well, I guess we better wait and see."