Reaching Retribution (The Prophesized #4)(8)

By: Kaitlyn Hoyt

“There’s more.”

I look at her. She looks the same as she did when she was alive. Her chestnut hair is still cut in a short bob. Deep blue eyes look back at me. We look nothing alike. I apparently take after the Doctor in that department.

“I’m afraid that I’m going to screw all this up. Claire’s dead because of me. Colton died because of me. What if someone else dies? I won’t be able to live with that. Every day, I want to run away from all this. I want to grab Colton and run off. I want to live without fear. I’m tired of being surrounded by violence and death all the time.”

“You have to let it out, honey.”

“Fine,” I stand up. “You want me to let it out? I hate that I have these powers. I hate that I’m the chosen one. I hate that dad was never there. I hate that you left me last year. I hate that I feel like I’m never going to be good enough for anyone. I hate that I can’t stop worrying about those around me. I hate that Liam gave me this stupid pendant because if I actually die today, he does too. I hate that Dravin is always one step ahead of me, and he has a plan while I don’t. I hate that I get these visions. I hate that all I see is death, and I hate myself for attracting so much trouble and endangering everyone I love.”

Mom just stares at me, knowing there’s more I have to say. I start pacing back and forth, trying to collect my thoughts. I feel like there are so many things running through my mind right now that I don’t know what to say.

“Despite all that hate, I wouldn’t change anything, because I love all those people. I love everyone I’ve met since I’ve become a mage. I finally have a family again. Every day I wake up and miss you, but I know you had to die to give me something to fight for. I want to make you proud, and I’m afraid that I haven’t done that yet,” I whisper that last part.

My mom smiles at me. “There you go.” She moves toward me and wraps her arms around me again. “Now, you have to admit that you are good enough for that boy who loves you more than life itself. You have to admit that you are strong enough to do this. You have to tell me that and believe it yourself.”

“I can’t,” I whisper.

“Then you can’t go back.”

I could always tell when mom was lying to me and right now, she’s being sincere. “But I’m neither of those things.”

“Why can’t you see what everyone else sees in you, honey? Your soulmate thinks you are too good for him. Everyone else thinks you two are perfect for each other. Tom is so proud that Colton found someone like you. I’m so glad that you found someone like him. You two are meant for each other. They wouldn’t give you a soulmate who was too good for you. You’re each other’s perfect half, and you are more than strong enough for this. How many times have you been captured? How many times have you been beaten and broken? How many times have you come back from all that? How many times have you said I’m not going to give up?”

Everything she’s saying makes sense, but I still don’t want to believe it. It’s hard to let go of so many insecurities. It’s not like a switch that you can just move over to make everything better. “Can I tell you that I think that I could someday be good enough for him and that I have the potential to be strong enough for all this?”

“Do you honestly believe that? With all your heart?”

I know Colton loves me, and I know I love him. Maybe once all this war stuff is over I can feel more confident in us. I can finally be good enough for him. Yes, I do believe that part. Am I strong enough? At the moment, I don’t think so, but everyone else seems to believe I am. I can’t let their faith be misguided. I’ve already proven myself in training and in actual combat. With a little more practice and skill, I do think I can be strong enough.

“Yes,” I whisper. My mom tightens her arms around me. I feel weird. My body starts to vibrate. What’s going on?

“I’m so proud of you, Ryanne. Don’t ever question that. I’ll always be here for you. All you have to do is ask, and I’ll listen. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened. I love you so much.”

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