10 Open wounds 2
Veronica was crying and Enrique was comforting her while Cynthia and Yeny heard all under the invisibility ability of Yeny.
-Why did this have to happen? Why us?
-We did what we could…-said Enrique shortly.
-Then… why do I feel it's my fault?-said Veronica sobbing- Cynthia is right… Carlos wasn't stupid… he noticed I was leaving him out and got far as he usually did to calm down and then…
Enrique pulled her gently and hugged her. She cried in his chest.
-But if we stay here…-said Veronica- we also will… so we…
Enrique nodded. Cynthia smiled and made a signal to Yeny with the head. When they were invisible Yeny and the ones being touched by her could still see each other in a distorted and white and black old movie veil. Yeny understood and they went away leaving the couple alone. Cynthia had thought that Veronica had felt nothing and was cold but she should have known better.
-"I should have noticed"- thought Cynthia- "I know her better than that"
Carlos was a very strange student and nobody could really understand him. For the teachers, he was a well-behaved and impressive top level student who always presented very well made and high quality homework and projects that were far advanced his level. He easily took the 1st place in their level in all the school with an almost perfect score that made impossible to anyone, not even the 2nd place compare to him.
-He must be cheating- commented Veronica who had been studying as a mad woman and had only taken the 3rd place- it's impossible to get those scores… he must be asking the teachers for better scores.
-He is really good- commented Cynthia who only appear in the 16th in the rankings- do you remember the presentation about plants he presented?
Veronica couldn't argue this since she had also been impressed and had used the information from that presentation in the exams.
-Still, there's something fishy here- she said and Cynthia just continued studying.
He took the position of president of class almost immediately and for the other classes and senior representatives, he was a rare and matured junior who could speak at their same level and could even manipulate the situation when needed. At the beginning they had believed he was a simple rookie who didn't know a thing, but soon they noticed how wrong they were. They had clashed many times but even when they had believed that they had won, there had been an underhanded benefit for Carlos and his class. Also, he had gotten into the basketball team and he had showed excellent capabilities that had brought many victories to their school. For this reason and the favour the teachers looked at him he was respected and even some senior female students had been trying to spend time with him.
-Show off!- said Darwin looking at him during the interval between classes when Carlos would normally spend his time reading. He was an absolute bookaholic that always had a book of different subjects.
Darwin was not the only one who looked at him disfavorably. Even when he was regarded as a rare genius outside the class, inside the situation was the opposite. Almost everyone looked at him with rencor and many had a grudge that would be very happy to settle in the backyard of the school.
-I'd have him if not for him being the pet of the teachers.
Even when there were people willing to harm him, no one ever tried to do anything directly. Carlos was very smart and he would move for places where there were teachers and school police watching. Also, they had heard about his fight with Darwin and they all knew he had won using expert martial arts and the murmurs even said that he had left Darwin begging for mercy and crying so much that a teacher had to save him from Carlos wrath. This plus the regard that teachers would give him, made the rest of students swallow their fury and look at him with jealous and even fearful eyes. Of course there had been more subtle and furtive attempts on him but he had always been victorious. The fact that he was younger by one year just made all people in his class even more furious since the other parents had started to place him as an example to the rest.
- Ok, students, let's start the next class- the teacher arrived and Carlos opened his notebook placing all his attention to the teacher.
He knew of all of this better than anyone, and yet, he didn't seem to care and Cynthia started to think that it wasn't the first time he had been the target of so many feelings. Veronica and Darwin dislike him a lot, but she didn't think that badly since even if she wouldn't consider him a friend, she respected him.
-Erm… Carlos… could you help me with this activity?- asked a timid girl getting near him after the class had finished.
Carlos smiled lightly and invited the girl to sit next to him and explained how to translate a paragraph into French. Cynthia had noticed that even if he was distant and even cold, he would never deny help to anyone who ask him politely. Because of this, she really thought he wasn't bad but she of course would not actively look for his help since Veronica and Darwin would have stopped her.
The funny thing was that even if Darwin looked angry, he also kind of respected him. With the time he and Carlos had developed a rivalry that had helped her friend to develop in sports and academic points. Darwin was very proud of this, but Cynthia knew that Carlos was permitting him to catch up just to increase the necessary distance to motivate Darwin. Veronica also had started to note this and her opinion of Carlos also began to change. It was a funny and memorable period of time that ended in a violent and horrible way two years later in at the end of their first year in high school.
-We can do it!- had shouted his class basketball team the day of the finals of the interclasses competition.
Cynthia and Veronica were cheering for their team which was formed by Darwin and Carlos who had made a combination that worked very well to each other. The match ended with their victory and all the class rose all the team in arms while throwing them in the air. They sang and danced and celebrated so much that day along with their teachers.
-Good job- said Veronica and Darwin smiled.
-Praise me more- he said.
-Show off- said Cynthia while watching Carlos talking to the new boy of that year, Enrique Miranda. They seemed to be good friends since the moment Enrique had arrived to their class.
The celebrations continued until almost 5:00 p.m. when the students started to return to their homes. As usual, Darwin, Veronica and Cynthia decided to return together.
-And you saw that moment when I grabbed the ball?- Darwin was still pumped up by the excitement of their victory- man, I should be in the School team…
-Yeah, yeah… -said Veronica smiled- maybe next year they'll call you… ouch!
Cynthia looked at her friend who was in the floor and then she turned around to see a man with a knife in his hands.
-MONEY!- he shouted and Cynthia noticed he wasn't normal- GIVE ME NOW!
-Calm down- said Darwin standing in front of the girls- I'll give you money but… calm down…
-SHUT UP- he said and slashed Darwin in the face with his knife
Cynthia started to scream in terror when she saw the man slashing Darwin time after time until he fell to the floor twitching. The man looked at Cynthia with crazy eyes.
Cynthia saw the man getting near to Veronica and her and they both started crying for help. After some moments in which Cynthia thought all was lost a basket ball hit the man in the face and he lost his equilibrium. Cynthia turned around and saw many students that had heard the scandal coming. Cynthia and Veronica reacted and went to see Darwin who was covered in his blood.
-DARWIN!!! PLEASE HELP… DARWIN IS BAD!!!
Carlos came and asked someone to call an ambulance while he tore apart part of his suit and used it to cover the wounds to stop the bleeding.
-Damn it, Darwin- he said in a desperate voice- don't do this, man. You're supposed to beat me soon, right?
His desperation was so honest and real that could be believed he was his best friend.
The ambulance arrived and Veronica, Cynthia and Carlos accompanied him to the hospital where he was taken to emergencies immediately. The three sat down and waited for the results. The hands of the three were covered in blood but no one seemed to be eager to wash them. Soon, the parents of all the people there arrived and waited together. Veronica and Cynthia were consoled by Carlos' mother who cried with them and knew the exact words to make them feel better. Cynthia considered her a fine woman who showed empathy and humanity in a degree that impressed even her parents.
-Like mother, like son- said his father looking at both and Cynthia couldn't agree more.
A doctor came and gave them the terrible news. Darwin had died for massive blood loss and it had been too late. Darwin's parents were destroyed and Cynthia and Veronica started to shout and cry in desperation. The rest of parents showed their empathy in special Carlos' mother who hugged Darwin's mother knowing how she must have felt. Carlos got near Darwin's father and he bowed to him.
-I'm sorry, I'm sorry!- he said while crying- if we had arrived before… maybe...
Darwin's father hugged him telling him he shouldn't feel like that. Cynthia looked at Carlos with other light in that moment. The respect she felt for him became even stronger and she really wanted to hug him too. Two days later, the funeral took place and all students attended. Carlos had been the first one in arriving and was the last one in leaving the graveyard with her mother. According to him, this was a tradition they had. Cynthia could notice he felt responsible for Darwin's death and she knew it was something that had followed him until now, just like her. She didn't know if the powers they had acquired were a matter of personal choice but she was glad she had them. She didn't want to see any of her beloved ones die in front of her again.
-Even if we had our differences, I never hated him- he had said to her once remembering Darwin- I'm sad I wasn't able to talk more to him. That's all.
-So, you want to make group with us for the next year?- had asked Veronica and Carlos had accepted and not much longer Enrique and Yeny also joined and the group of 5 was established.
Carlos' attitude had improved but even so, he continued to show a great performance in his studies and the teachers would still show a lot of interest in him. However, lately he had been showing a strange behaviour that she related to his infatuation with Veronica. Cynthia, however, would never forget his kindness and interest in other, especially because in her eyes, he had saved her life that day. She knew that it was her turn after Darwin. If not for Carlos throwing that ball, she would have accompanied Darwin and she would not be here.
-Another friend I couldn't save- thought Cynthia crying while walking along with Yeny who respected the moment with silence.
Cynthia knew the real Carlos and she knew that he hadn't shown even a bit of all that he was capable of. When arriving to this world. He had been lost and powerless and Cynthia had tried to help him with advice and support. She felt it was the least she had to do. She had many times tried to convince Carlos to abandon that obsession for Veronica but he hadn't listened and now he had paid the price for not being able to control those feelings.
-I should have told him more- she said with great sadness- I should have been firmer and even colder… he would hate me but at least he would be here...
This was the reason the disappearance and possible death of Carlos hurt her so much. She continued crying for Carlos many days after they abandoned that place and she promised she would remember him forever.
-Ay Carlos! I told you not to get delusional!