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My eyes scanned over the heads of the students, bent over their notes—so unaware of the danger they were in. They needed to get out, I needed to get out...unable to help myself, my gaze wandered over to him. He needed to get out. I wanted to jump up, scream at all of them to run, hide, just get away as far as they could. And more than once, I had risen slightly in my seat, more than once, I had opened my mouth to say something—but then in my mind, I saw them. I saw the people I loved most in the world dying...dying to save the people I hated all my life. Well, most of them, anyway. I looked up at him again. He looked distracted. He wasn’t watching the teacher anymore, just staring at the back wall, his brow furrowed in concentration. It was a desperate attempt, I know that, even as I tried it. He wasn’t like me...he couldn’t be like me. Nobody was like me. Nevertheless, my eyes looked to the back of his head, I screamed in my mind. Almost instantly, he flinched, and straightened in his seat. But that couldn’t be right...he couldn’t be...it was just my imagination. But even as I thought this, I saw him look around the room, searching the faces of all the students, his eyes coming closer, and closer. Hurriedly, I looked down, staring heatedly at my paper until I felt him turn away. Then, an idea struck me. A horrible idea. But...it might work. Taking a deep breath, I concentrated on him again.
Get out. Tell them to all get out. Please...
This time, there could be no doubt about it. He swung around in his seat, looking me straight in the eye. I faltered a little, but kept eye contact, pleading silently that he would see the desperation in my eyes. That, he would understand.
With the faintest cock of the head, he turned back. I held my breath for a second...and then he stood. The students perked up, Miss Marion stopped talking. She lowered her glasses looking at him with a scrutinizing glare.
“Sorry, Miss Marion...” he gave me a side-look that clearly said, ‘you better not be making a fool of me.’ “But, I, just, uh, got a text from my dad,” he continued, “it’s a family emergency. I really need to go. Sorry about that...”
“Um, oh, okay,” Miss Marion looked a little put-off, “Mason, this is a very important test, I’m not sure-”
“It really can’t wait, sorry,” Mason said hurriedly, “sorry.”
With that, he was gone. My only hope was what no one else had seemed to notice. He had left his backpack. Was he still going to help?
“Well, uh, then,” Miss Marion cleared her throat, “If you remember what we studied on Wednesday morning-”
I felt a sinking feeling fill me. He had left. He had left me. He had left us all. I couldn’t do anything else now.
Then, I heard it. A shrill ringing as the red lights in the room started flashing. Someone had pulled the fire alarm. I couldn’t help but smile. He did it.
“Everybody, stay calm,” said Miss Marion, putting down her clipboard and picking up another, “leave your belongings, please quickly but quietly form a single-file line by the door. Quickly, please...”
Where was he??? We were outside the school surrounded by kids and teachers, rubbing their hands together and blowing in the cold.
“I hate these drills,” one girl was complaining, “it’s so cold outside!”
But I wasn’t bothered about the cold, I was searching the crowd. Where was he?
“You owe me an explanation,” a voice beside me mumbled. I turned to see him standing there, an odd expression.
“I know,” I answered.
“Why?” he asked, “Why did we need to-”
And as if an answer to his question, there was an explosion, loud as thunder, shaking the ground, throwing me off my feet. I heard the screams and shouts as a rain of glass was thrown from the windows upon us.