2 Night before the big day

A rock fell from the sky, obliterated half of humanity, and then a disease followed. The disease made some go crazy, some crave blood, and made some became sex fiends. We called them the Kinmancers- Kin for short. After a century of suffering humanity bounced back and domesticated the disease or so the government claimed. And, an age of mutants began.

Elsa poked my nose. "What are you doing?" Her stray golden locks danced around my book. I hated it.

The girl who had been bugging me is my little sister.

"Nothing, just reading a book." I closed the book and placed it on my bookshelf. "That reminds me, what the hell are you doing in my room? Again?" I flashed a smile. "Didn't I tell you already?"

She pouted. "Am I not allowed to come in?"

I stared at her blankly. "Not what I meant, but whatever. In any case, did you need something?"

My little sister was like an angel. The type you'd want to hug. But only on the outside though. "Nope. " Her grin long and wide. On the inside, she was like the devil incarnate.

She was always like this, doing whatever she pleased. She didn't care if she made trouble for the others, she didn't care if she made trouble for herself. She was free and she loved being free. She was fourteen and a bit too bratty for her age.

My grin was just as big if not bigger. "Then get out!"

I shoved her out of my room despite her protests. Since childhood, she was attached to me. When we were kids that was no problem. But now I'm about to go to high school and sleeping together with your little sister at this age, is more trouble than it's worth. Besides, wasn't she old enough to understand common etiquette and that I didn't like her frequent visits? By frequent, I meant at least a hundred visits a day of course.

I didn't really care all that much about appearances anymore either. After all, I'll leave this place tomorrow.

***

I locked the door and kept on reading the book.

'Why do all these books have the same story dressed in different clothes?'

History, a topic I had to study for admission over and over again was a bit too boring. I didn't like it. I didn't hate it. But the way things were going, made me want to throw these books away: I did throw the one I was reading at the wall but picked it up a second later anyway. Did that make me feel more stupid? Yes.

They all had the same story about how a meteor crashed on earth but was it really all that important? I mean, wasn't it a hundred years ago and now everything was alright?

Since then humanity has changed drastically. And nowadays almost everybody has one power or another. But we already knew these things. So why did I have to study them?

Groaning, moaning, or complaining for that matter didn't really help.

'I can't believe I have to study all this crap even before attending school.'

"Helio? Come down." Mom called me from downstairs.

'Dinners ready? Or?'

I had this nagging feeling that something was about to happen. Whenever my mother called me by my surname, it was always trouble.

"Coming," I yelled back.

'Oh boy.'

I didn't want to go. I really didn't.

Anyway, I went downstairs. It was dinner time but apparently, I'd be living through hell soon.

My sister was clinging to mom.

'You ratted me out!'

I wasn't stupid enough to not know what was about to happen.

'You better remember this!'

Next time, she'd come to my room she'd leave with a puffier face.

***

The sweet aroma was very enticing though.

"Well, sit down. We have to talk." Mother greeted me with a large grin. Yup, things were about to go bad.

I sighed. I knew where this was going. But I didn't protest and sat like a good boy which I wasn't.

The three of us started dinner at precisely nine. The fourth member left us a long time ago. He doesn't live in our reality anymore. Before leaving, all he said, "I've found a new girlfriend."

I'd never forgive him for as long as I live but I couldn't hold onto a grudge forever either. In the end, all that was left was nothing but grief and blind hatred.

"Now then, why don't we begin?" By which she meant we start eating.

The food was amazing, in both looks and smell. Most of the stuff was my favorite. I suppose that was only natural. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for my impending doom.

Elsa was awfully quiet though. It wasn't like her. "Hey, you want any mayo?" I tried to address her and pretend everything was cool.

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But she didn't even bat an eye at me. If she pouted or even glared, that would have been a different story but being completely ignored? It felt bad.

I failed.

'Oh boy.'

Maybe I went a little too far this time?

We started eating, and soon my mother began her lecture. "You'll leave tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah."

'Here it comes.'

"Sorry about doing this to you. If only I could earn some more."

'Huh! What the hell is she talking about?'

Suddenly I was dumbfounded, better yet thunderstruck. There wasn't any thunder in here though.

"If I had more income then you wouldn't have to stay in the dorms." Mother sighed and looked at the chandelier. Did I end up in an alternate world or something? Was she really my mother? The same miser woman who'd drink rotten milk to save money?

"Don't worry mom. The dorms aren't that bad. And besides, it'd be quicker for me to attend classes." I tried to pass it off with laughter.

'Besides, why the hell would I want to travel 700 kilometers every single day, anyway?'

"Oh, Helio." She caressed my cheek.

What was I, a ten-year-old?

The main reason she called me by Helio, was because that was her father's name as well. It probably had something to do with the other former member of our family naming me Jintel or something- my nickname. Frankly, I didn't like the nickname. Not one bit.

'So the brat didn't rat me out?'

I sighed in relief. My nerves calmed down a little. Maybe I misjudged her? But maybe I thought too soon.

Mother drank some juice. Looked at me and smiled. "Now, why did you kick Elsa out?"

"HUH?"

That caught me off-guard. I didn't expect her to say that not after what she'd just said. Besides, her smile was as scary as the devil's, perhaps even scarier.

"I mean she-" I decided to go with the excuses route and couldn't conjure up anything feasible, or believable for that matter.

She didn't even bat an eye. "You're only here for tonight, so the least you could do, is behave nicely to her. Right?" She wasn't having no for an answer.

I acted sad, to be frank, I wasn't. "I suppose so."

"Aww…" My mother was a little dense but I most sure wasn't. But at least I wouldn't get scolded this way. Oh, wait, too late.

The smile on Elsa's face returned and she now joined in the conversation. "I'll come visit you every day!" Maybe a bit too enthusiastic.

'Whoa, whoa, calm down buddy!'

"No thank you!" A firm denial. I had no reason to let her come into the boy's dorm every day. Was she out of her mind?

A fourteen-year-old blonde beauty heading to the boys' dorm every day? I wasn't overprotective or anything but I wasn't going to let her do everything she wanted either.

I mean, wasn't denying everything you wanted to do, the job of your parents and older siblings in the first place? Right!?

'That's basically telling the boys to make a move on you!'

She almost burst into tears as water gathered to her surroundings instead of her eyes. Yup, my little sister could control water at will. A rather rare talent but she was also an idiot.

And so I tried to trick her, as always. "I wouldn't mind if you come once a month but that would be all."

"Really?" There was no enthusiasm in her voice. She wasn't convinced. Maybe she wasn't that dumb.

I kept forgetting that with each passing day she was growing more and more intelligent. I didn't know what sort of company she had, but I wished she'd stay gullible for a while longer.

At least I'd succeeded in making a 365-day hell, compact and only 12 days instead. A major success!

Things went fast and before I knew I was almost finished.

"But even so Helio, are you sure?" Mother's brows knitted together. She was serious.

"Yeah." My response came naturally, but this very thought had gone through my mind a thousand times. I couldn't backtrack now and I couldn't give up on my dreams either.

She smiled. "If that's your choice."

I didn't have a response to that.

***

Dinner was over and I was about to head to my room. Finally, I wouldn't have to do the dishes anymore. I couldn't control my smirk. It was like the devil had taken over me. But it didn't feel bad, in fact, it felt amazing. 'No more dishes!' I almost danced at the thought.

My internal laugh came to an abrupt stop when my mother opened her mouth. "Be sure to pack up everything you need. Don't forget your toothpaste, razor, underwear-"

"Mom!" I stared at her and then went back to my room.

I sighed.

'Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this family!'

Trust me, I'd been asking that same question for sixteen years now.

***

I'd already packed up everything I needed. So I didn't have any worries.

'I'd be leaving this town huh?'

I'd been living in this town for sixteen years now: my entire life. I'd miss it but I had dreams. Dreams which couldn't be realized until I graduated high school and became an Explorer.

'I gave her my word. So the least I can do is, try.'

Besides, it's not like I wanted to be poor forever.

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