Chapter no 40

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2)

I’m still here.

I open my eyes and I’m momentarily astonished, confused, half expecting to find myself dead or brain-damaged or at the very least mangled on the ground, but this reality refuses to vanish.

The world under my feet is rumbling, rattling, shaking and thundering to life and my fist is still pressed into the ground and I’m afraid to let go. I’m on my knees, looking up at both sides of this battle and I see the soldiers slowing down. I see their eyes dart around. I see their feet slipping failing to stay standing and the snaps, the groans, the unmistakable cracks that are now creaking through the middle of the pavement cannot be ignored and it’s like the jaws of life are stretching their joints, grinding their teeth, yawning themselves awake to witness our disgrace.

The ground looks around, its mouth gaping open at the injustice, the violence, the calculated ploys for power that stop for no one and nothing and are sated only by the blood of the weak, the screams of the unwilling. It’s as if the earth thought to take a peek at what we’ve been doing all this time and it’s terrifying just how disappointed it sounds.

Adam is running.

He’s dashing through a crowd still gasping for air and an explanation for the earthquake under their feet and he tackles Castle, he pins him down, he’s shouting to the men and the women and he ducks, he dodges a stray bullet, he pulls Castle to his feet and our people have begun to run.

The soldiers on the opposite side are stumbling over each other and tripping into a tangle of limbs as they try to outrun one another and I’m wondering how much longer I have to hold on, how much longer this must go on before it’s sufficient, and Kenji shouts, “Juliette!”

And I spin around just in time to hear him tell me to let go. So I do.

The wind the trees the fallen leaves all slip and slide back into place with one giant inhalation and everything stops and for a moment I can’t remember what it’s like to live in a world that isn’t falling apart.

Kenji yanks me up by the arm and we’re running, we’re the last of our group to leave and he’s asking me if I’m okay and I’m wondering how he’s still carrying Warner, I’m thinking Kenji must be a hell of a lot stronger than he looks, and I’m thinking I’m too hard on him sometimes, I’m thinking I

don’t give him enough credit. I’m just beginning to realize that he’s one of my favorite people on this planet and I’m so happy he’s okay.

I’m so happy he’s my friend.

I cling to his hand and let him lead me toward a tank abandoned on our side of the divide and suddenly I realize I can’t see Adam, that I don’t know where he’s gone and I’m frantic, I’m screaming his name until I feel his arms around my waist, his words in my ear, and we’re still diving for cover as the final shots sound in the distance.

We clamber into the tank. We close the doors.

We disappear.

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