Chapter 16

I cried for almost an hour. Anytime I got close to stopping, I would think about Calimo's face or his sobbing on the other end of the phone, and I would start up again. My headache was pounding in my head and I knew if I didn't stop soon I wouldn't be able to move. So I got up and pushed open the door to my closet and headed out into the room. Both Cheri and Sashay were sitting on my bed. They looked at me sadly and I knew they had heard me crying.
"How long have you guys been here?" I sniffled and wrapped my arms around my waist, trying to contain my shivering.
"Awhile," Sashay said quietly. "What made you cry that much?"
"Calimo, he....he called me," I almost broke down into another fit of tears but I wasn't going to cry anymore. Both of them looked shocked.
"What'd he say?" Cheri asked urgently.
"He just told me that everyone was turning him against me, and that he would never trust me, but that he loves me," I gasped out the last words and looked at the floor. Both the girls looked at each other and they looked to me. "He called me his 'little Cinderella'," I whispered, closing my eyes and remembering his voice. "Can you guys leave? I think I'm just going to take a bath to think." They nodded and walked out of the room. I heaved a sigh and walked into the bathroom and looked at my reflection. Big mistake. My face was red, my eyelids were puffy and my face was covered in the salt from my tears. My headache was thumping inside my head; I knew I needed water, before I passed out. I grabbed my cup and put it under the facet. I put the cup to my lips and tipped it back, the water quenching my parched throat. The headache lessened a little but I knew I'd have to get sleep before it would go away. But I needed to get to sleep, hence the bath. I filled up the tub and squirted in some sweet pea soap, watching the bubbles fill up the tub. When it was high enough I slipped out of my clothes and sank into the steaming tub, my muscles relaxing from the strain I had put them in over the past hour. I reached for a washcloth and dunked it in the bathwater. Placing it over my face, I focused on the one thing that always calmed me. The ocean. I could look at any water and be calm, but the ocean was my sanctuary from the world. I was getting good at picturing places, I could hear the waves crashing on the beach, the caws of the seagulls. The blue of the water changed to white every time a wave crashed. I felt myself smile in real life, content with that thought. Suddenly I heard my phone beep from my bedroom, and expecting someone important, I reluctantly climbed out of the tub and slipped on a robe. I walked out of the bathroom to where I had left my phone after my call. I picked it up and saw a text from Calimo, except it wasn't Calimo.

"Amberlin, we know who you are. We know what you are going to do. Don't try to stop us, because we will never be stopped. We will never stop looking for you, and when we find you, you're going to die. -The Eternal Knights"
I threw my phone against my bed. Calimo wouldn't have written that, it must have been Jaco. Jaco didn't know how much I loved Calimo, or vice versa I assumed. But if I had a role to play, I knew I couldn't let love stop me from doing anything. It tore me apart, but I had a bigger role to play. Once I had accomplished whatever the Guardians needed me to do, and Calimo still loved me, I'd go to him. I'd be his 'little Cinderella' forever if I could.
"But I can't now," I whispered walking back into the bathroom and I pulled the plug out of the bathtub. I just wanted to go to bed, but I was so hungry. I decided I'd grab something to eat and get to bed as soon as possible. I pulled open my door and started to head toward the stairs. When I reached the top of them, I overheard a conversation between Sashay and Cheri.
"Do you think she'll ever get Calimo?" Cheri asked. Sashay shrugged her shoulders.
"It's possible she could, but with Calimo's and her own destiny it might not be possible," Sashay said bluntly. I hung my head. If my best friends didn't even think it was possible, then it's not possible. Any hope I had, dissipated it that second. I walked down the stairs, making as much noise as possible. The girls looked up and smiled at me.
"Hey chica, you want something to eat?" Sashay asked. She opened the fridge and presented it to me. It was full with all the stuff from my list, plus some stuff.
"You guys went to the store?" I asked with a smile on my face. Cheri nodded and Sashay gestured in Cheri's direction.
"She was already up and gone by the time I was up. She went all by herself," Sashay laughed. I grinned and walked to the fridge, choosing some pasta and Alfredo sauce. The girls giggled and I made a face.
"It's just I knew you would choose that. We had originally made it for you for lunch, but you were still asleep, so we put it in the fridge," Cheri said. She held out her palm and Sashay grumbled and dug in her pockets. She pulled out five dollars and handed it to Cheri.
"You guys bet on what I would choose?" I laughed and nudged Sashay, who was looking glum. She then pulled a smile. "What'd you think I'd choose?"
"I was thinking maybe that chocolate cake," Sashay said. I felt myself perk up.
"There's chocolate cake?" I asked. Sashay looked at me and laughed, nodding. I opened the fridge again and saw the chocolate cake. I decided that's more what I was in the mood for and put the pasta back. I heard Sashay smirk and I knew she had held out her hand. I turned around and Cheri was handing back the five dollars, plus her own five dollars. We all laughed and I then focused myself on the chocolate cake, and cut three slices, handing one to each of the girls. We sat there and chatted about nothing in particular, eating our cake.
"I guess this was so worth five dollars," Cheri smiled biting into the cake again. I nodded; it was certainly yummy. We finished and washed the dishes together and then headed into the living room. Flipping on the TV we settled on watching HGTV's Island Hunters. We were talking about which one we thought the couple would choose, when the doorbell rang. We were instantly on alert. The girls grabbed some baseball bats we had set out just in case and I proceeded to the door without a weapon, in case it was just a random person.
"Who is it?" I called through the door.

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