Reaching Retribution (The Prophesized #4)(6)

By: Kaitlyn Hoyt

“You never thought that more people would like you if they knew the real you?”

“No one would have liked the real me.” She motions to the room around her. My eyes scan the area, but I don’t see anything wrong with this house.

“I would have. I think this Lily is so much better than the one that I knew in high school.”

Still clutching her hair, Lily looks down at me and frowns. “I’m really sorry for everything I did to you, Ryanne.” She seems sincere. “I know that an apology doesn’t give you back anything, but it’s all I can do.”

I glance up at her, but she’s no longer looking at me. Her eyes are glued onto the entryway of the kitchen. “I forgive you.” Nodding, she steps away from me and moves toward that area. A few seconds later, I follow after her. I try to hold in my gasp, but I can’t when I see the scene in front of me.

An older woman is lying on her back in the doorway. She’s breathing, so Lily’s right about her mom still being alive. My eyes move toward the center of the room. A man is leaning back against chipped cabinets, silent tears running down his face.

Lily is standing near her mother, watching the scene. He slowly moves toward Lily’s body lying in the middle of the floor. Her body is laying at an odd angle in the middle of the kitchen floor with blood dripping down her face from a head wound. Her arms are covered in deep purple bruises. He did that to her?

Her step-dad crawls over to her body. I can hear sirens in the background. Someone must have heard the commotion and called the police. “I’m so sorry, Lily,” he sobs. “I’m so, so sorry.” He kisses her forehead and leans back. Lily’s staring down at him with sadness in her eyes. She’s not angry at him for killing her. She’s upset. Why?

“He’s not necessarily a bad guy, you know? He was abused by his father when he was a kid. It’s all he knows. My mom thought she could change him. Some people can’t change,” she explains to me. Turning to her step-dad, she crouches down in front of him. Police break the front door down and storm into the house, weapons drawn and ready. Lily looks over at her step-dad and briefly glances at me. “I forgive you,” she whispers.

Lily gasps and her real body begins to shake. The police rush past me and yell at her step-dad to put his hands in the air. He willingly lets the cops cuff him and escort him out of the house. The Lily I was standing with fades until she’s no longer with me. Paramedics rush into the kitchen with two stretchers. Lily’s mother is placed onto one while two other paramedics move toward Lily.

“She’s alive!” a female yells. I back out of the room. The paramedics are doing their jobs to ensure that Lily survives. I’m no longer needed here. Lily’s need was to apologize to me and forgive her step father. Now what am I going to do? There’s no one to help me here. I still don’t understand what is going on right now. I don’t know the man that killed me. Honestly, I’m not really upset with him. I wish that he didn’t throw the dagger, yes, but I don’t have any previous problems with him.

Walking through the front door, I head down the driveway and back to the street we just walked on. I wonder if Lily will remember any of this afterwards. Will I remember any of this? I really need to figure out what I’m supposed to do. How long have I been dead? How long do I get before I’m officially considered dead?

As I turn right, I feel something pulling me back toward the entrance of the neighborhood. I follow the road until I end up back in front of the school again. Where am I going? I walk past the school and continue moving through town. It feels strange to be back here. I’ve been away for so long. Even when I was here, I didn’t go out too often. When I get toward the edge of town, I instantly know where I am going. I try to bury my feet in the ground. I don’t want to go any further. I start shaking my head as my hand moves forward, without my permission, and opens the gate.

Walking past the rows of tombstones, I head to the back lot of the cemetery. Tears are streaming down my face before my feet stop moving. I bite my lip and look around. I’m alone—alone with the dead. Falling to my knees, I look at the gravestone in front of me.

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