Generation 9, Maddy – Chapter 3 (PG-13 VERSION)

This is the PG-13 cut of Generation 9, Madison – Chapter Three. Enjoy!

**************
For the rest of the night, Kennedy continued to talk excitedly about the audition, her new band and her hopes of success. I smiled and tried to be supportive, but in truth my mind was occupied with my own little adventure of the evening. More specifically, my mind was filled with thoughts of Kaia and her invitation to see her the following evening. I was feeling strange things…new things, things that I couldn’t quite understand. She made my heart flutter, my palms sweat and my voice crack. I wasn’t sure if it was something I could talk to Kennedy about…I mean, I know what those symptoms are supposed to mean…. The fact that I may have been crushing on a girl was not lost on me. Truthfully, she was the first person in general that I had felt even an inkling of attraction towards. Was it just a coincidence that she was a girl? Was our sex just something there, but not something that really identifies us? My head was spinning. I’m sixteen years old for Christ’s sake! My brain isn’t developed enough to worry about these things. That settled it then, I wasn’t going to go.

* * *

Two hours later I opened the doors to Waylon’s dive bar. Yeah, I know I’m full of shit. I just couldn’t get Kaia out of my head, I knew I had to see her, or else I’d regret it forever.

I saw her standing by the bar. My breath hitched in my chest, she looked amazing. My felt my cheeks flush with color as my eyes raked over her. She was statuesque. Her serious face broke out in a smile as she met my eyes. My nerves planted my feet firmly, but they seemed to have a mind of their own. I felt myself walking towards her, a smile creeping on to my face. As I reached her, she surprised me by throwing her arms around me in a tight, warm embrace. As we pulled apart she slipped her hands into my own and held them gently.

Her smile was so bright and warm, it made all of my worries melt away. In this singular moment, I didn’t care what these strange feelings meant. It was Kaia who made me feel better. Girl or not, I just knew I wanted to spend time with her. I couldn’t be completely sure, but she seemed to echo some of my feelings. She bit her lower lip and glanced around before grabbing a firmer hold on my hand. She grinned and lead me out of the bar and out into the warm night air. She pulled me behind the building and towards a fire escape. She jumped in the air and pulled the ladder down to the ground. I tried not to notice that as she leapt up her dress inched higher up her thighs. I felt a strange warmness in my the pit of my belly and a furious flush crept on to my cheeks. She grinned and began to climb up the ladder. As soon as she was cleared I stepped up to the ladder and tried not to let sheer curiosity allow me to look up. As we reached the top of the ladder I saw that we were on the roof of the building and before us was a hot tub. The jets and lights were on and bubbling, and I couldn’t help but notice that there were two votive candles surrounded by a ring of flower petals sitting nearby. Had she planned this all along? Was this some great seduction scene? Was I just fooling myself? Did I even want to be seduced? My body felt tingly and warm, but my heart and mind were gripped with fear. I didn’t understand what was happening to me.

Kaia winked at me and walked around to the edge of the hot tub. She bent down and unzipped her boots before sliding them off her feet. I watched, unsure of what to do with myself. I felt my pulse race as her hands crept higher and grasped the right strap of her dress. She smiled as she slid it off her shoulder. My breath hitched in my chest as she grabbed the left strap and pull it off her shoulder. In a matter of seconds she stood before me, completely naked.

She flicked her hair over her shoulder and smiled at me before looking down to the water. She stepped into the water carefully; I was so gobsmacked I could hardly do anything but watch her do it. She sighed and relaxed against the side of the tub and put her arms behind her head. She seemed to be completely, one-hundred percent at ease with not only herself and her nudity, she seemed to be perfectly content with me viewing the entire thing.

“I’m waiting,” she said with a sly grin.

I was standing at a crossroads. I could turn and run, like my mind wanted. If I ran, I would be running away from all of the troubling thoughts, all of my self-doubts and my worries. I wouldn’t be facing an identity crisis. I wouldn’t have to worry about what my lust for Kaia meant. If I ran, I could put it all out of my mind forever and go back to the way things were. Or, I could stay and accept that perhaps I wasn’t the person that I thought I was. Maybe I was a lesbian, maybe I just had a thing for someone who happened to be a girl. If I stayed, I would probably have an identity crisis over what it all meant…but I also knew that I’d be with someone that I was pretty sure my heart wanted to be with. I may not be right with many people, but at least I’d be happy. It didn’t take me long to make my decision.

I stood in front of Kaia, sighed and began to peel off my jacket. I practically ripped the clothes from my body, wishing for the process to be over as quickly as possible. Not because I wanted it to be over, but because I didn’t want to change my mind while standing on the rooftop of a dive bar in my panties. I plopped into the water a lot less gracefully and seductively than Kaia did.

She regarded me with a smile, but didn’t say anything. She didn’t need to. She was glad and grateful that I had stayed. I wonder if she knew what sort of a crisis this was putting me through. I wonder if she ever questioned herself. She didn’t seem to be the type. I was jealous of that. I put on a good act, but deep inside I know how insecure I really am. I forced myself to relax and lie back. I stared at the stars above me and felt more peaceful than I had in years.

I felt Kaia move a little next to me. Her arm slid around my shoulders a moment later. I closed my eyes and smiled. In our current state, it wouldn’t have been hard for her to make a more serious move on me. I was grateful that she was taking things slowly with me. I knew then that she understood how strange and new this all was to me. After all, romance in general was strange…but adding in the taboo factor of my interested party having the same sexual organs as me made it ten thousand times more complicated. I slide in closer to her. Our bodies brushed against each other as I lay my head down on her shoulder.

I sighed, and was overcome with a strange new feeling. It was complete and utter contentment. I felt truly happy, for the first time in a long time. I knew that wherever she was, I belonged. I pulled a little away from her so that I could look into her eyes. She smiled warmly at me as she met my gaze. My eyes fell to her lips as my heart began to pound. I looked back up at her and saw that her cheeks were flushed, as though her heart had been fluttering as well.

As our lips met, she whispered my name against them. Her lips were soft and smooth against mine. As I sighed happily, she deepened the kiss. It was amazing, and for a first kiss…I couldn’t imagine one any more spectacular.

“Do you want to get out of here?”

I grinned and slid my hand up her thigh to her hip and up past her breasts to her cheek. I cupped her cheek in my hand and kissed her softly, gently.


* * *
There weren’t a lot of places for two young girls like us to run off to. We couldn’t go to Kaia’s place because of her Aunt and Uncle being complete hard asses or bigots or something. So, I volunteered Kennedy’s place. I was sleeping on the couch, but at this time of night Kennedy would be fast asleep in her bed. If we remained quiet, we’d have our privacy. We walked down the darkened street, hand in hand. As we neared my building, I paused to pull my keys out of my pocket. Kaia took the opportunity to snake her arm around my waist. I bit my lip and giggled as she swung around to face me. she captured my lips with hers. I broke the kiss early and jingled my keys at her eye level.

We made our way inside, careful to be as quiet as possible. We kept the lights off inside the apartment, and as I expected Kennedy’s door was closed and the light was turned off. We crept towards the couch and I flicked on the table light so there was at least a meager amount of light in the room. We sat on the couch and immediately wrapped our arms around each other. We had held our hormones at bay for so long that we were both bursting.

Kaia and I were so involved in what we were doing that we didn’t hear Kennedy’s door open. Nor did we hear her soft shuffling down the hallway and into the kitchen. What we did hear however, was the sharp gasp behind us.

We flew apart from each other and tried to act like Kaia hadn’t been rounding third right at that moment. I looked down at the state of our dress and felt my cheeks blush under my older sister’s gaze. Kaia coughed and began to pull up her dress. After she had dressed herself she leaned over and kissed me softly on the cheek.

“Until we meet again,” she whispered softly in my ear.

I smiled slightly at her, my stomach twisting in nerves over what I was sure was going to be a very uncomfortable conversation with my sister. Kaia stood, nodded to my sister and walked out of the apartment.

It was then that I turned around to look at my sister for the first time. Her face was startlingly passive, as though she was still in too much shock to process the entire situation. Almost like a slow computer waiting to boot up a big file. She sighed and walked over to the couch as if she was planning on sitting down next to me. I jumped up quickly. I didn’t want her to talk to me about this. I didn’t want or need her approval on Kaia. Just as I was about to walk past her, a hand on my arm stopped me.

“Oh no you don’t. We are going to sit down and talk about this like two mature people.”

I fixed her with a wild glare, demanding that she make me. Her face remained calm, not angry or sad or disappointed. She didn’t smile, but she didn’t frown either. I could feel an overwhelming sense of calm radiating from her. Strangely, it put me at ease enough to back down. I sighed and returned to my seat on the couch.

“So, uhm…” she began, “I noticed..uhm…Maddy are you a lesbian?”

I looked down at my feet, “I don’t know…maybe. If the person I’m attracted to is a girl, does that mean that I’m a lesbian? Or does it mean that I fell for a person who just happens to be a girl? Are you mad?”

“No, I’m just disappointed.”

I inhaled sharply. Those words stung more than I had thought they would. I felt my eyes well up with tears before I stole a glance at Kennedy. She was staring straight ahead when she turned to me suddenly.

“Oh! No no, honey,” she said wrapping an arm around me, “I’m sorry. I meant that I’m disappointed in myself for not noticing earlier. I will love you no matter who you wind up being, don’t ever forget that.”

She hugged me then. It was strange, I couldn’t remember the last time someone in my family had hugged me. It wasn’t for lack of trying on their part, it was lack of reception on mine. It felt good. It was like being a child again, young and innocent and perfect in the eyes of your parents. Not like now, where I was facing things in my life that I wasn’t ready to deal with.

“If you and…” she started, gesturing to me to fill in the blank.

“Kaia.”

“Kaia decide to be a real couple…you know that we have to tell Daddy. He deserves to know this sort of thing.”

“He wouldn’t understand! He’d hate me.”

“I think you would be surprised just how understanding Daddy can be. Listen, if this was a one time thing then no, I wouldn’t tell him…but don’t you want him to meet the person…the, er, girl who has made you smile?”

In the end, we decided that at the end of my trip, if Kaia and I were serious about each other as a couple, I would tell Dad. It was a compromise, one that I think Kennedy was glad to make as long as I behaved myself. She allowed me to continue to see Kaia, but said no more late night rendezvous. I had a curfew, and because my sister had been so supportive of me I decided to obey it.

* * *

A few days later Kaia took me to get a makeover. She said I looked like I had just escaped from the mall. It was fun, finally getting to express myself outwardly. When I was finished, I was thrilled with the results. I wondered what my father would think of my new look.

One thing was for certain, he wouldn’t be happy.

* * *

I spent as much of my two weeks in Bridgeport with Kaia as I could. Unfortunately, it passed by much faster than I would have liked. In the end, it seemed like flashes of memories.

Soon enough, it was time for me to leave. I had been dreading this day since I had first learned I had a time limit on my stay… and there was Kaia. I wasn’t any closer, or farther away to figuring out exactly what it was I had with Kaia. I was crazy about her. She ignited in me passion that I had never realized I could feel. I was happy with her, she made me feel that way. I still didn’t feel like I was a lesbian or whatever. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. I was also afraid of telling my parents. Would they understand? Would they still love me?

Kaia knew I had to leave. While I wanted to let things cool between us as a way of letting go of her easier, she deepened things between us. She didn’t want things to end. It seemed as though she was just a crazy about me as I was about her. On the day of my departure we met one last time. We snuck off to a little cabin on the other side of the river. When we saw that the cabin had a hot tub we smiled wickedly at each other.

Once we were in and cuddling close, Kaia pulled away to look at me. I smiled up at her.

“Maddy, I have to tell you something…you might think I’m weird or crazy but I just have to say it.”

“What is it?”

“I’m in love with you.”

Before i had a chance to even consider an answer, I opened my mouth and said, “I love you too, Kaia. You are the light of my life.”

We kissed. It was a different sort of kiss this time. Before it had been all about the lust, the passion, the sexual desire. This however, was a kiss a love. A pure love, despite what others may think. This was real. It wasn’t a choice I had made. I had been born to love this girl in front of me. We got out of the hot tub and went inside. We relaxed on the small bed, arms wrapped around each other. We told each other again that we loved each other as we made love for the first time.

* * *

Just like that, I was home again. My heart was aching again, but this time for a different reason. It seemed like forever ago that Lincoln had announced that he was leaving for school. I had left then from the pain of losing my twin. Now I was returning with the pain of losing Kaia. We had made promises to write and call and to see each other whenever we could, but I wasn’t sure that I would ever really see her again.

Being home was pretty surreal. Things seemed the same, but the air had a different quality to it. Was it me? Had I changed so much that I couldn’t really go home again? I had accurately predicted my father’s reaction to my external changes. He was none to happy about my multicolored hair, new outfit and piercings. What did surprise me however, was my mother’s reaction. She scoffed when she saw me, and instead of welcoming me back in open arms she crossed her arms over her chest and said that this was all of the rebellion she was going to take from me. If she only knew what had happened in Bridgeport. Still, my Mom and I had always been close. This sudden rejection of hers stung. I was only gone for two weeks, I wondered what could have happened to make her change so much in such short a time.

I missed Kaia so much. I found myself thinking of her always, dreaming of when we could be together again. I imagine what it’d be like to have her near me again. Sometimes I would dream that she’d come walking up behind me and we could be together again.

She would call my name and-

“Maddy?”

I whirled around. Standing before me, like a dream, was Kaia. I shrieked with happiness and ran to her faster than I had ever run before. We threw our arms around each other and embraced. My heart leapt with joy at seeing her, and I finally felt complete again.

As much as I wanted my parents to meet her, I knew that it wouldn’t be a good idea. Previously, I would have thought that my mom would understand, but I wasn’t sure now. I didn’t really understand why she was acting the way that she was. So, I decided to go and sneak Kaia inside. We had so many bedrooms in our house there was no way that we’d be caught. Besides, Mom and Dad slept on the main floor. I wanted to know why she was there, but she didn’t seem to keen on telling me. Once we got into the bedroom and closed the door behind us, she practically jumped on top of me. She started kissing my neck and running her hands all over my body. I got caught up in her touch and her intoxicating presence. Any worries or fears that I had about her being here faded away.

We were getting hot and heavy when I heard the strangled yelp of an older man. A man who’s voice was very familiar to me. I cried out and jumped away from Kaia as if she had been burning me. I looked from her, to him and finally back to her. I flew off of the bed as he approached us. I stood in front of Kaia, wanting to shield her from him. All I could think of right then was that I didn’t want him to find out that way. I didn’t want him to learn about Kaia from seeing her half naked beneath me. No parent should ever find out that way.

“Dad! I didn’t…you’re…I’m….”

He didn’t yell and he didn’t scream, but he couldn’t hide the disappointment on his face. My heart sunk, and I knew then that he didn’t love me anymore.

“Madison, I would like for your friend to get dressed and then meet me and your mother downstairs.”

His voice was so calm that it was actually painful to hear. He turned on his heel and walked downstairs. Kaia and I exchanged looks as she got dressed again.

“Maddy…your Dad…he’s, uhm, he was President.”

“Yeah, sorry that I never told you.”

She rubbed the back of her neck and looked bewildered for a moment. We walked carefully downstairs and sat down on the couch in parents living room. We held hands as my parents walked over. Kaia stared at her knees while I stared defiantly at my parents.

My father was the first to speak.

“Madison, your mother and I are very disappointed in your behavior-”

“With a girl, Madison? You have the indecency and gall-”

My father interrupted my mother, turning to face her, “whoa there, are you actually telling me that you would be fine with our teenage daughter about to do…that with a boy?”

She fixed my father with a glare, “of course I would be. That is natural, this is not!”

“Are you insane? She is too young, period. The gender of her partner doesn’t matter, its that she’s obviously having sex or about to be having sex.”

“She should be focused on finding a husband to settle down with! How can she have a house and a home with a girl?”

“A house and home? Oh my god…she’s not even eighteen yet! She should be focused on her future and deciding what she wants to do with her life. How could you possibly be okay with her doing this at all?”

She turned to me, “Madison, if you keep talking to and seeing this girl…well I’m just not going to be able to see you for a while.”

“Mom…are you giving me an ultimatum?”

“Yes, because I love you.”

My eyes pricked with tears and my heart ached beyond anything that I had ever imagined before. Tears began to roll down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe that she was doing this to me. Now, when I needed her the most. I needed her to love me and support me regardless of what decisions I made with my life. It was, after all, MY LIFE.

“I don’t need this right now, Mom…can’t you see what I’m going through? Everything in my life is changing…I don’t even know who I am anymore. I just need you to support me.”

“I know, I know this is a bad time but I’m doing this because I love you.”

“Oh please,” my father said, his voice filled with disgust, “that is such bullshit. How dare you give her an ultimatum? Are you really that petty? When Lincoln was around you spent all your time ignoring your daughter and now that he’s gone you’re suddenly interested in her? Are you really that transparent?”

My mother rolled her eyes and scoffed before leaving the room. My father watched her leave. He heaved a heavy sigh before he sat down on the couch next to us. Kaia gave my hand squeeze. My father reached out and patted my knee.

“Madison…the truth is, I’m shocked by this…I’m disappointed in your decision to be sexually active at this age…and I will say that I’m very shocked by the uh, choice of, well…you understand what I’m trying to say I’m sure.”

“Daddy,” I said softly, he looked at me, his eyes glassy. It had been years since I had called him that, “do you still love me?”

He wrapped his arm around me, “Baby, I will always love you and nothing will ever change that.”

“Does Mommy still love me?”

“I’m sure she does, honey.”

“What happened to her?”

“I don’t know…I honestly don’t know. While you were gone, she changed. I thought I knew her, I mean…I built a life with her. We had so many plans for our lives. Not only was she my wife…she was my best friend. I just don’t know what to do about it. I wonder if she’s really gone…or if she’s just lost her way.”

“Oh…Dad,” I said softly.

“I only went into that room because…that’s where I’ve been sleeping. I’m sorry sweetheart, I shouldn’t be burdening you with this. Now then, I haven’t properly met your…er, friend.”

Kaia scooted forward in her seat and held out her right hand to my Dad while still holding mine with her left, “I’m Kaia Daneel, sir. I’m very sorry for the way that we met.”

“So what is it that brings you here to Riverview…I’m assuming from Bridgeport?”

I turned to her, “yeah, what’s going on?”

“My Uncle kicked me out. I was hoping that Maddy could take me in…I had no idea who you were, sir…I’m sorry.”

My Dad nodded slowly before offering Kaia a supportive smile, “well, we have rules in this house which will have to be abided by…but, I don’t see why you can’t stay with us until the situation with your legal guardian is sorted out.”

Kaia’s face broke out into a huge smile which was echoed on to my face. I threw my arms around my father’s neck and thanked him profusely. It was really extraordinary. I had never imagined such support from my father. I had always imagined that the supportive person would be my mother. That, she above all others would accept and love me regardless. It was my father, however, that gave me the true support I needed. It further showed me that life was a funny thing. You can’t ever really know someone, it would seem. Despite knowing my mother all of my life, she still surprised me with who she turned out to be. I had to wonder if this change in her was something that was always going to happen. Was this her at her truest form? Or, was this the result of her simply losing her mind? Would enough time pass for her to come to her senses and realize how much she had hurt me? Would she apologize to me? Would I even be able to accept it.

At that moment, I was too hurt and angry to even want to see her again. They say that time heals all wounds…perhaps four months would be plenty of time for her to wake up and own up to her mistake. I would hope then that enough would be enough and that she would admit that she was wrong. If she came to me, I would listen. No promises, but I would listen.

So, Kaia moved into our home and my mother moved out.

She didn’t tell us, her family, where she was going or what she was going to be doing. We found out from some friends of the family that she had decided to change careers and the course of her life. I haven’t heard a single word from her since that night. Though my Dad received divorce papers from her a few days after she moved out. How on Earth could this have happened?

* * *

Despite everything, life with Kaia was amazing. I was glad she was around. Without her, it would have just been my Dad, the butler and me. At least with her I could escape from the reality of losing my twin and my mother. I felt for my Dad though, I knew he was lonely. He spent more time than ever at his first wife’s grave. I guess she was his true love…my mom…I don’t know what she was. I wished sometimes that she had never died, even though it would mean that I would never be born. I just wanted him happy. I even told him that one night. His eyes widened in such alarm and he grabbed a firm hold of my shoulders. His eyes searched mine and he told me that despite what happened with my mother he would never, ever wish that I had never been born. He told me that Lily, that was her name, would have loved me to pieces.

Four months passed us by, and Kaia was still living with us. Strangely, my Dad didn’t seem to mind. In fact, the two of them developed quite a rapport. It turned out that my girlfriend was actually extremely politically savvy. They discussed politics and what it was like to be President. It seemed that Kaia had a never ending supply of questions about protocol and policy and Kaia fit in with our family like she had been shoehorned in. We began to make plans for our future. We’d graduate and go to college together. Then, if things with us remained as wonderful as they were now, we knew we wanted to get married and have a life together. When I was with her, my identity crisis just didn’t seem so bad. She was so confident in herself that she made me confident in return. We hadn’t known each other long, sure…but does true love really know any time limits?

I never imagined that when I woke up that Saturday morning that my entire life was about to change again, this time… for the tragic.

I remember it perfectly. Kaia and I had been watching a movie on my Dad’s big screen. He was out for the day. He was speaking at some kind of public event in Sunset Valley. We were watching The Godfather and weren’t even halfway through the movie when our popcorn bowl went empty. I hopped up to go and pop another bag.

As I walked through the hallway the world began to shake violently. It was so sudden. As though someone had just suddenly flipped a switch. I heard the crashing of things falling to floor around us. The windows rattled and the doors swung open. I heard glass breaking from the kitchen and the startled cry of our butler, Orlando. I cried out for Kaia and tried to make my way back into my Dad’s living room. I had never been in an Earthquake before. They weren’t very common in Riverview. The house was shaking so hard I couldn’t even stand up properly. I heard a cracking sound above me and dust falling down around me. I looked above me and suddenly…everything around me went black.

“Hold on…I’ve got you!”

His determined face still haunts my mind. As I awoke, I realized I was trapped underneath a pile of debris. He was digging me out as fast as he could. He seemed so brave, so heroic in that instance. I was so grateful for him, but as I came fully to, I realized I had to get to Kaia. I had to make sure she was okay. When I was free, the fireman ran off to check the rest of the house. I couldn’t get him to stay, couldn’t get him to understand that he needed to come back with me so that he can help me rescue Kaia. Coughing, I got shakily to my feet and hobbled to the door. My whole body hurt. My legs were aching from the rubble, but I was running on pure love and adrenaline. I had to find her, I had to make sure that she was okay.

I opened the door and cried out when I saw her.

She was pinned underneath some rubble, as I had been…but her injuries were severe. She was pinned under heavy planks of wood from the floor above us, and I recognized some of the things from upstairs lying around her body. I looked up and saw that part of the ceiling was missing. I checked Kaia over as best as I could, but her body was hidden by the debris. She coughed and groaned, but seemed to be unable to speak. I managed to clear some of the lighter pieces of debris from her body…but I wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t seen it. I wanted to close my eyes and pretend that none of this had ever happened. Kaia’s abdomen had been pierced by a large piece of wood. The area surrounding the protrusion was a deep, dark red. Her face was twisted up in tremendous pain.

“Kaia!” I cried, tears starting to spill from my eyes, “baby?”

She groaned, “Mad….”

I stood and flew to the door. I was afraid to leave the room, afraid to leave her alone. I began to scream for help, over and over again. My voice was growing hoarse from tears and exhaustion. I didn’t care though. I needed her to be okay, I needed someone to come and help me save her. It couldn’t be over, it couldn’t be the end for her. She was my light, my love…how could I ever live without her?

“HELP ME! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!”

I fell to her side and began to weep. I looked down and saw the blood flowing freely from her stomach. She couldn’t be dying…she just couldn’t be. Our life together had just begun, it couldn’t be ending now. I cried hysterically by her side while she weakly tried to reach for my cheek.

“I lov…I love…you,” she whispered.

“No!” I shrieked.

Her hand began to fall.

“You can’t do this, you can’t leave me. I need you. I’m nothing without you.”

Just like that…Kaia was gone.

I stayed with her, weeping by her side until the firefighters finally came in. I said nothing to them as they cleared the debris away from her. One of the them tried to put his hand on my shoulder to comfort me, but I shrugged him off. The paramedics came to our house, but they were too little, too late. Kaia was dead. She was dead and as cold as my broken heart. My Dad came rushing in. He had dropped everything and left to come home to check on us. He looked down sorrowfully at Kaia, but he didn’t approach me. One of the firefighters tried to talk to me. He had the gall to tell me that it was time for the paramedics to take Kaia’s body. I stood and glared at him. If looks could kill, he’d be a pile of goo on our floor.

“Where were you?” I snarled at him.

“Miss, listen I-”

Where. were. you? I screamed and screamed for help and you never came. She could have been saved. She would still be alive if you’d been so negligent! I hope you’re happy you murderer.”

My father came to me then and wrapped his arms around me. He lifted me up and pulled me away from Kaia’s crumpled body. I broke down and collapsed into him. I could feel the weight of everything all at once crash down around me. I sobbed into him while he stroked my hair. He rocked me in his arms like I was a child as I cried hysterically.

“I’m sorry, Maddy honey. I’m so sorry,” he said softly.

Through everything I heard a single word echoing throughout my thoughts: run. I lifted my head from my Dad’s shoulder and looked around me. My life and everything I knew was in ruins. The love of my life was gone…forever. My heart was pounding and I couldn’t breathe. The world around me slowed down to a crawl, while I remained fully in motion. The word: run flowed through me. I pushed away from my Dad. I looked at him, then over to the room where Kaia’s broken body still remained. I shook my head at him and turned on my heel. I took off in a sprint towards the front door. It was broken off of its hinges allowing me to slip through and out into the ruined world. I didn’t stop, I didn’t look back…I just kept running.

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