“It’s ugly here in my world,” she said as she turned her head swiftly and looked away from his piercing gaze. “I’m different, so the world is afraid of me and no one wants me.”
“Jaya–“, he sighed her name and reached out to hold her face beyond the dark black, silky curtain of her hair, “You’ve got to understand, I don’t care how ugly the world wants you to be, I want YOU.”
Jaya’s shoulders slumped as she listened to Jared go on, and on, about how he loved her and only her. She was tired of it all and most of all, she missed Naya. She and Naya had been inseparable from birth and Jaya had grown accustomed to being her sister’s shadow. Being with Jared was beautiful but it wasn’t the same. She always felt like a part of her was perpetually missing and longed for the day she would be able to see her Naya again and breathe her in.
When they discovered her ability, she had had to go into hiding but the other side was calling out her name and she could only suppress it for a couple of hours before it flared out in flagrante. Naya had turned quite pale the first transformation and after Jaya shifted back, she had said she was afraid she would hurt her when she was in animagool form. Jaya had burst into angry, hot tears at that point; she was afraid what Naya said would actually be true.
“Jaya, have you drifted off again?”, Jared asked as Jaya snapped back to the present moment. She hoped her eyes didn’t look glassy, a dead giveaway when she was daydreaming. Right now she felt like one of the cows at a Rearing Lab in the GreenDorms with Jared as her own special egret. Only that, he was pecking at her and not doing anything constructive to keep the ticks of life at bay. Most times, when she was with Jared, the world stopped being ugly and mean and she could bear living in it at least.
She looked up to find Jared glaring at her in the sad, angry way only he could do. Before she could even break away from his gaze, they heard the first of the City sirens shrieking. At once, they were on their feet, hands already reaching for their weapons’ packs, readjusting armour and monocles simultaneously.