Part 2150 – Antioch In Memory.

Antioch stood in the falling snow — a white-haired figure in a gray suit. “It’s all right, XQ.” He held out his hand to her.

She slunk over to him. Her flames flickered low and uneasy.

He smiled a kindly smile, but his mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes. “Good XQ.”

She transformed into her human shape and took his hand.

After everything he’s done to me, I shouldn’t trust him. But I do. I trust him.

“Let’s go home.”

She nodded.

“He’s dead because of me. I killed him. Oh!” She covered her mouth with her hands. “I killed him.”

“No, you didn’t. The stupid human killed himself. He wanted to break that vampire’s hold on him. I told Antioch what would happen if we kept trying, but he didn’t listen. He refused to listen, the stupid human.” His feathers rustled and his voice softened, “But if you need to blame someone, blame me. I obeyed him even though I knew better than that. I knew the consequences.”

Missy lowered her hands. “I never got a chance to say good-bye to him.”

“XQ. HOLD STILL.”

A needle…long and thick.

“XQ. COME.”

Fire.

“XQ. DON’T MOVE.”

Fire and pain raged inside her bones. Why didn’t they melt? Why didn’t they shatter? She tried to scream, but she had no voice. 

Antioch’s pupils widened. “I will make him pay for what he did to me.” He bared his fangs and lunged at her neck.

She put her hand above her heart. “How should I feel about this? It hurts, but he hurt me. He was good to me. He hurt me. He was kind to me. He was cruel to me.”

LM’s expression hardened. “Forget him.”

Missy looked up at him.

“If he was cruel to you, he doesn’t deserve to be remembered.”

“But—”

“NO.” He returned to his seat and curled up in it. His dark gray feathers bristled.

Missy watched him, waiting for him to continue his thought.

He said nothing more.

She laid her head back down. “He doesn’t deserve to be remembered. Does that mean he deserves to be forgotten? Does that mean I shouldn’t think about him again? But I guess a lot of my memories of him involved needles and all of that painful stuff. So, does that mean I should forget all about him?”

LM didn’t answer her questions and Raven was too sound asleep to even try.

“But if I forget about him, does that mean I need to forget Professor Hrashna too? I don’t want to forget her. She was so pretty and kind. She liked me and I liked her. She was my friend my only friend in the whole Institute. I could never forget her.” Missy closed her eyes and sighed. “I guess that means I can never forget him.”

Antioch smiled at her. It was a kindly smile. “It’s okay, XQ. It’s okay.” His mirrored sunglasses reflected her tear-streaked face. “The pain will go away. It always does.”

Tears trailed down the sides of her face. “Will this pain go away too?”

No one answered her question.

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