The thing you need to understand about Elyan is that she never had the spotlight before. She was always the quiet girl–the one who read in the corner at lunch and listened to the teacher deliver the Captial’s lessons without question. She wore her dark hair in a plain braid and never complained about the dreary fabrics of our clothing. Unlike the other girls, she never attempted to find ways to brush colourful powder onto her cheeks or eyelids. She never rouged her lips. When the anthem came on, she always bundled her hand over her heart. Elyan was an ordinary girl–quiet and bookish.
Elyan and I were friends not because we had anything in common, but because we were the only two that didn’t really fit in, for one way or another. I was too loud. Always in detention. I’d blame my mother for my quick tongue, but she’s been dead since I was eleven so I can’t really pin it all on her. Me and Elyan are 17 now. We need to take some responsibility.
At least, that’s what I told Elyan when we ran away.
The girl’s a bit dull, but I owe her my life. I really do. She was the only one kind enough to reach out to me when we were young. I suppose that’s why I risked my life to save her. A life for a life, right? That kind of noble bullshit never dies.
Elyan didn’t understand why I was pulling her away from our town until we were at the base of the wall that separated us from The Wild. I recall her vividly. Her hair was wild–loose pieces tumbled from her braid. Scratches and cuts from the light brush marked her shins. Her green orbs were flecked red from crying.
“Why?” she asked.
I bit my lip and let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. “They’re coming for your family, Ely. You’re parents–they’re part of the rebellion.” I only knew that much because of my father–he’d given me his journal last spring, before he’d disappeared. The official story was that he’d gone to work in the mines down South, but I was smarter than that. I knew he’d never come back. I’d been on my own.
After we crawled through the gap in the wire and fled through The Wild, we made our way to the rebels.
Now, Elyan thinks that the leader, Derecho, and the head of recruitment, Edward, are both madly in love with her.
I don’t really have the heart to tell her that they’re the ones sleeping together.