Olivia Rowcliffe, Grade 10, Melville Senior High School -
“Why?” Her voice is thick and sodden with emotion that leaks through her hard exterior in the form of salty tears. Her sapphire blue eyes stare into his chocolate brown ones, but they’re not filled with the shining laughter as they normally are- no crinkles of laughter, no light of mischievousness.
No, because her eyes, her blue eyes he had known for so long were crinkling, but with tears of misery as she sniffed loudly, eyebrows fusing together as she turned away, one hand absentmindedly tucking a stray lock of her brown waves.
“Why did you do it?” Her voice was quieter this time, not filled with rage or anger, but pain and disappointment so thick it hit him with such force he could have staggered backwards.
Edward doesn’t know what to say. The truth, perhaps, or the carefully manipulated lie he had woven together to get her to forgive him- to take away some of the guilt he held within him, burrowed deep down beneath his sharp words.
The words he had rehearsed were swallowed as his eyes once again met hers again.
“I had no choice.” He said, voice cracking. Elizabeth bit the inside of her lip, more tears slipping down her face, her beautiful, heart shaped face, with the faint jagged scar stretching across her right cheek and sharp jaw. Her eyebrows were pressed together, and her feet stumbled backwards, tripping upon themselves, her shaking hands pressing against the marble balcony.
“You had no choice,” she repeated, nodding defiantly. “You always have a choice, remember?” She smiled grimly, but it had more anger within it- more disappointment.
Edward closed his eyes, his eyebrows scrunching together at her words. You always have a choice.
He remembered all the times she had come home from a mission, face pale, eyes empty. He knew what she had done, all those times, without needing to ask. And everytime, she looked him in the eyes, she would say; “I didn’t have a choice.”
And everytime, the anger had rose up to his throat, and he had replied; “You always have a choice.”
And yet, somehow, deep down, he knew she didn’t. He knew that the Assassins Guild knew exactly where she lived, exactly how to find her, exactly how to kill her.
“I hope you’re happy,” Elizabeth told him croakily. “And I hope you’ll be happy when you watch my body sway from that rope tomorrow.”
In the distance, he heard the guards yell- “there she is!” and he turned away. He couldn’t bear watch as they tackled her wrists into shackles. He couldn’t bear watch as she didn’t fight back, her eyes boring into his skull.
He could still hear the chains jingling against the ground, and her whines of pain as they manhandled her, dragging her to the king to be sentenced to death, as his knees gave away beneath him, his body shaking violently with loud sobs, tears fat and dripping down his nose and onto his trembling lips.