Chapter no 25

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2)

Another morning. Another meal.

I’m headed to breakfast to meet Kenji before our next training session.

He came to a conclusion about my abilities yesterday: he thinks that the inhuman power in my touch is just an evolved form of my Energy. That skin- to-skin contact is simply the rawest form of my ability—that my true gift is actually a kind of all-consuming strength that manifests itself in every part of my body.

My bones, my blood, my skin.

I told him it was an interesting theory. I told him I’d always seen myself as some sick version of a Venus flytrap and he said, “OH MY GOD. Yes. YES. You are exactly like that. Holy shit, yes.”

Beautiful enough to lure in your prey, he said. Strong enough to clamp down and destroy, he said.

Poisonous enough to digest your victims when the flesh makes contact. “You digest your prey,” he said to me, laughing as though it was amusing,

as though it was funny, as if it was perfectly acceptable to compare a girl to a

carnivorous plant. Flattering, even. “Right? You said that when you touch people, it’s, like, you’re taking their energyright? It makes you feel stronger?”

I didn’t respond.

“So you’re exactly like a Venus flytrap. You reel ’em in. Clamp ’em down.

Eat ’em up.”

I didn’t respond.

“Mmmmmmm,” he said. “You’re like a sexy, super-scary plant.” I closed my eyes. Covered my mouth in horror.

“Why is that so wrong?” he said. Bent down to meet my gaze. Tugged on a lock of my hair to get me to look up. “Why does this have to be so horrible? Why can’t you see how awesome this is?” He shook his head at me. “You are seriously missing out, you know that? This could be so cool if you would just own it.”

Own it. Yes.

How easy it would be to just clamp down on the world around me. Suck up its life force and leave it dead in the street just because someone tells me I should. Because someone points a finger and says “Those are the bad guys.

Those men over there.” Kill, they say. Kill because you trust us. Kill because you’re fighting for the right team. Kill because they’re bad, and we’re good. Kill because we tell you to. Because some people are so stupid that they actually think there are thick neon lines separating good and evil. That it’s easy to make that kind of distinction and go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. Because it’s okay.

It’s okay to kill a man if someone else deems him unfit to live.

What I really want to say is who the hell are you and who are you to decide who gets to die. Who are you to decide who should be killed. Who are you to tell me which father I should destroy and which child I should orphan and which mother should be left without her son, which brother should be left without a sister, which grandmother should spend the rest of her life crying in the early hours of the morning because the body of her grandchild was buried in the ground before her own.

What I really want to say is who the hell do you think you are to tell me that it’s awesome to be able to kill a living thing, that it’s interesting to be able to ensnare another soul, that it’s fair to choose a victim simply because I’m capable of killing without a gun. I want to say mean things and angry things and hurtful things and I want to throw expletives in the air and run far, far away; I want to disappear into the horizon and I want to dump myself on the side of the road if only it will bring me toward some semblance of freedom but I don’t know where to go. I have nowhere else to go.

And I feel responsible.

Because there are times when the anger bleeds away until it’s nothing but a raw ache in the pit of my stomach and I see the world and wonder about its people and what it’s become and I think about hope and maybe and possibly and possibility and potential. I think about glasses half full and glasses to see the world clearly. I think about sacrifice. And compromise. I think about what will happen if no one fights back. I think about a world where no one stands up to injustice.

And I wonder if maybe everyone here is right. If maybe it’s time to fight.

I wonder if it’s ever actually possible to justify killing as a means to an end and then I think of Kenji. I think of what he said. And I wonder if he would still call it awesome if I decided to make him my prey.

I’m guessing not.

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