Justin went down on his knees. Jonathan had shot him on his left shoulder.
“You’re getting way too sloppy and soft. Have you forgotten that you’re only strong externally but weak internally?” Jonathan exclaimed before kicking Justin on his head. He fell on the tarred ground.
“Despite everything I’m willing to give you a final chance to join me and return where you belong. With my hypnotic strength I can make you unlock all your hidden energies, externally and internally,” Jonathan gave Justin an ultimatum.
He then saw me and Precious running towards him. He pulled the trigger and Precious hid behind a burnt car.
“You’ll be hearing from me soon,” Jonathan assured Justin and disappeared from the area through the block of buildings. We all rushed towards Justin.
“Justin, are you okay?” Precious asked concerned.
“I’ve just been shot in the arm, but other than that I’m okay,” he replied sarcastically.
“Do you remember anything useful at all?”
“I was hypnotised. What could I possibly remember?” he responded annoyed.
“You killed thousands of people here in Middle Stallian. Including my mother!” I exclaimed angrily.
“Idiot. Don’t you know what the word ‘hypnotised’ means?” he retorted. I turned my hands into fists.
I didn’t care whether he was hypnotised or not, I hated him for what he did. The least he could do was to be sympathetic towards my mother’s death and all the people he killed.
“You could at least show some remorse. How would you feel if someone was to take Precious’ life away from you?” I said angrily.
“You’re really starting to piss me off now. You don’t want to get me mad,” he said attracting volts of electricity with his un-injured arm.
“Neither do you,” I exclaimed. I had used all of my energy and I knew that getting into a fight with Justin now would be suicide.
“Alright that’s enough, all of you. We’re supposed to be on the same side, not fighting each other. Bernard, like Justin said, he was mind controlled; there was nothing that he could do. And Justin, you really need to be apologetic towards what has happened. Even though it’s not your fault,” Collen shouted.
“Alright. I’m sorry for your mother’s death,” he finally said.
“Benard,” Collen said looking at me.
“What?” I uttered.
“Don’t you have anything to say too,” Collen asked.
“Arg… sorry I believed that you did all those bad things on purpose,” I exclaimed even though I didn’t really mean it. I knew for a fact that an apology from Justin meant nothing.
“There now, that wasn’t hard now was it? Anyway, we need to find Jonathan before he does any more harm. Pam, did you get to see the place where you were kept at when you were kidnapped? Something that could be useful?” Collen asked.
“That brings us to a standstill,” he exclaimed with a sigh.
I didn’t really listen to Collen talking to Pam as I didn’t dare to take my eyes off Justin. Even though Jonathan was the mastermind behind all this, I had a gut feeling that he wasn’t telling the truth. Well, at least half of it, and from the way he looked at me he knew that was the case.
“Let’s get out of here before the cops show up,” Collen suggested.
In the first week we tried to find Jonathan but we didn’t even know where to start. Plus we didn’t have much info to find him. After a while we gave up. Justin went back, with Precious, to Saint Moreno. There wasn’t a bounty on head. All the witnesses that could’ve identified him were already dead as he had killed them when he was mind controlled. So no one knew who almost destroyed half of Middle Stallian and killed thousands and injured the civilians there in the process.
Collen stayed in New Stallian. I on the other hand went back to Old Stallian. Yeah, to that old RDP house. That’s where I grew up and shared some good and bad times with my mom. I just wanted to feel close to her.
As I was packing, I hear a knock on the door. I placed my suitcase on the floor and opened the door to see Pam.
“Hey,” she greeted.
“Hey,” I greet back.
“So aren’t you gonna let me in?”
“Uhm well I’m kind of busy right now,” I said.
“Suitcases. Are you planning to leave?” she asked as she peaked behind me.
“Yeah,” I replied looking down.
“You’re going back to Saint Moreno?”
Pam stares at me stunned. “You’re going to leave when this area needs you the most?”
“I’m going to leave before this area is destroyed into ashes because of me,”
“Jonathan will destroy this area even if you leave,”
“Don’t you think I know that? Do you think I wanna die young? I wasn’t a match for anyone. Even with Collen around I couldn’t win,” I exclaimed. Even though I still didn’t trust Justin, if it wasn’t for him, then Pam would’ve been blown to pieces.
“When were you gonna tell me about this? Am I not your girlfriend anymore?” she asked. I placed my hands over her shoulders.
“Look even if I’d told you, I’m sure you would’ve said no. Even if you’d agreed I wouldn’t be able to protect you. You’re better off without me,” I said softly.
“I know how you feel, Benard. You feel lost, like you don’t exist anymore, and like nothing matters anymore,” she said.
“How do you know that?” I was stunned as that’s how I felt.
“Because that’s how I felt when I lost my mother,” she said. I looked down.
“I really don’t know what to do Pam. For the first time in my life, I don’t know what to do,” I said.
“You know what to do. It just hasn’t become clear yet. I don’t know how you’ll get through this, but somehow you will. I believe in you Bernard. One way or the other you’ll overcome this obstacle surrounding you. You just have to believe in yourself,” she replied.
“You’re right,” I said in a low voice. She gave me a hug.
“Your heart separates you from all your enemies. You just have to listen to it,” she encouraged.
I then hugged her tightly. Everything that she said made sense. I hadn’t fought badly because I was weak. It was because I didn’t believe in myself. I’d relied too much on the energy drug to increase my strength, but I never believed in my own strength. That could be the reason why I couldn’t make an impact against Mr Jacobs and his son. I had to learn how to use my strength.
It was obvious that there were still a few hidden powers from the energy drug that I was yet to unlock. I knew for a fact that I’m not a hero, nor would I like to be one. But I’ll protect every person from the threat that Jonathan may pose to this area. The next time we meet, Jonathan would not only face a rejuvenated Bernard. He will face me, reborn, with new self-belief.
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