“Inside of what…Inside of me?” Rayna breathed, exasperated by this guys strangeness, and with a fear that he was telling the truth and really did know something about her that even she didn’t know about herself. “You don’t even know my name! You can’t claim to know anything about me at all!”
“Your name is Rayna. You have a blackness inside you. Humans call it depression. But, it is not humans who get this type of ‘depression’…No…Only greenhorns experience this darkness, and it is not what some humans think it is.” Ronan told her, becoming very serious as he spoke.
He finally let his hand slip from Rayna’s arm, leaving a burning mark only she could feel.
“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re playing some weird joke on me…it’s totally not funny. There are much easier and more normal ways to meet girls at a new school.”
With that, Rayna began walking hesitantly towards her English class, but stopped short when Ronan whispered, “You’re not one of them, Rayna. You’re different. The dark inside of you isn’t something a doctor can fix, nor does it need fixin’.”
Rayna slowly turned around and met his fierce green eyes. “What are you talking about? I’m already way late for my class, so you’d better spill it.”
“Like I was sayin’ before. You’re what we call a greenhorn. You’re not human, but you’re not completely like me. This darkness inside you isn’t human either.” Ronan never let his eyes shift from hers.
“You’re still not making any sense. Greenhorn? What the heck is that? And you’re acting all weird. So what you’re telling me is that you’re not human…but how can that even be possible? What would that make you? What would that make me?” Rayna’s voice began to tremble. Whatever Ronan was getting at, she was ready for him to stop. This was too much. He was crazy…right?
“No. I’m not human…and neither are you. Well not completely anyway.” A strange smile began to play on Ronan’s face now. “I am fey. You are a greenhorn – a young half-bred who hasn’t learned to master her darkness yet.”
“Ya, okay. You are a fairy and I am a half-fairy. Very funny. I’m leaving.” Rayna tries again to leave but Ronan keeps talking and what he’s saying makes it hard for her to keep moving.
“Never say that! I am not a fairy! I hate that word! I am fey; part of the Aphotic race of faeries. A fairy is a fair a happy little creature – that is nowhere near who I am! Anyway, this darkness inside of you is your Aphotic inheritance. You see, the Aphotics are a dark race of fey. No particularly evil, just sentenced to do the dark biddin’s of the earth, like putting the forests and creatures to sleep before the winter, coverin’ the earth in the shadows of night, and carryin’ the messages that summon Death to the mortal world.”
Ronan stopped here to see how Rayna was taking it. Her mouth was slightly open and she had a look of shock and understanding mixed into her expression. Seeing as how she was at a loss for words, and didn’t seem like she was going to try to walk away on him again, Ronan continued.
“Mortals call your darkness depression, not knowin’ or understandin’ what it really is. You were born with it inside of you, therefore it cannot be depression, somethin’ that comes on later in a mortal life. Now that you are of age, your darkness is tryin’ to come out so you can take your place in the other half of your life, the half you will stay in for as long as you continue to exist.
“Many greenhorns will die by their own doin’ if they are not reached in time. The dark inside of them – that which is inside of you – must be brought out and conquered before it consumes the weak part of your mortal mind, ultimately leadin’ you into destroyin’ yourself.”
Rayna stood staring at him for a while, and Ronan let her, waiting for the hysteric laughter, tear, or arguing that accompany this conversation with all the other greenhorns he’s had to find. He waits longer, but Rayna’s response is slow to come and when it does, it’s not what he’s expecting at all. Quietly, Rayna places the books she’s been grasping in her arms gently on the ground beside her feet. She stands up tall and walks towards him. She stops in front of him a little ways and holds out her arm to him. He looks at the tips of her fingers, ready to grasp his, and then looks back into her pale blue eyes, searching for an explanation and a clue on how to react. She stares back. Her voice is soft and quiet, on the verge of tears, when she answers his unspoken question.
“Then I’ll do what I must to bring it out. Everything you say…it’s everything I feel. My ‘dark days’ are what I call them, and they are visiting me more often than ever. I can’t hold on much longer and I am willing to trust you if it means getting rid of this dark rotting me from the inside.”
Ronan gently reaches for her hand still outstretched towards him. He takes it in his, intertwining his strong fingers into her delicate ones, and catches a glimpse of a small tear falling from her eye lash right before she reaches up and quickly brushes it away.