Three more hours of class then a half an hour graduation ceremony, and I was done. No more repetitive history classes where we learned the same thing over and over—that we needed to accept what they told us happened. I stood and let Trevor lace his fingers into mine before we walked out the door of the one-room schoolhouse.
“Phew,” he breathed out, looking down at me with his honey brown eyes.
His military style hair curled against his skull in waves of dirty blonde but remained still as the warm end of summer air wafted over us.
“I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me fight with my father,” I said as we walked towards what Trevor considered “our” corner of the forest.
“Come on, Kate,” Trevor said, stopping and taking my face in his hands. “You should just accept things for the way they are.”
I looked at his plain white shirt that matched mine, and then into the forest that surrounded us on all sides like a cage.
“I just want to understand,” I began, but he put his thumb over my lips to silence me.
“There is nothing more to understand,” he assured me, and his eyes looked convinced of his own words.
“You can’t believe we just conveniently ended up here with all the amenities we needed—”
“The families that came up here with ours were already preparing well before The Fall, you know that.
“Why not? And aren’t we lucky they did? Otherwise we could be dead like all the people that didn’t do what we did.”
“How do we know they died?”
Trevor cocked his head at me, blinking his eyes in disbelief, and I felt my chest tightening. It was his version of Father’s look that said I was an idiot.
“How would they survive?” he asked.
“We don’t even know what happened when our parents left! We weren’t even born yet!” I pushed, hoping that somehow he knew more, and he would tell me.
“I’m sure some did survive, and that’s what we’re doing up here—it’s safe here.”
I let my eyes fall before swallowing and looking back up at him with pouty lips.
I leaned up on my toes and let our lips hover over one another.
“You’d tell me if you knew something else, right?” I whispered as I let my hands run up his arms to his neck.
He trembled against my touch, and his lips twitched in a smirk.
“Are you trying to seduce me, Kate?”
I bit my lip and leaned further up.
“Is it working?”
“It would if I didn’t have to go…and if I had something else to tell,” Trevor replied as he lowered his lips to brush against mine.
I pulled his body into me and kissed him as I tried to convince him to give into me, to tell me whatever he was hiding.
“Where do you go?” I asked as I pulled away.
He licked his swollen lips. “You’re a tricky woman, Kate— very tricky, but I can’t tell you.”
“See!” I said, pulling away as I threw my hands up in frustration. “I know you’re lying to me!”
“Kate, don’t push this—”
I turned to face him.
“Like I push everything else?” I snapped.
His mouth opened and closed as he leaned back on his heels.
“You need to learn to accept things for what they are—”
“What if I can’t?”
Trevor’s jaw tightened. “You’ll get yourself killed.”
I wasn’t expecting his answer, and I found myself backing into the tree behind me as my limbs went numb.
“I thought there was nothing to fear out here,” I managed to say.
The look in his eyes said otherwise, and for the first time in my life I felt like the thing I needed to fear was the people around me filling me with their truths—their lies.
“I’ve got to go. We can talk again later if you want,” Trevor said as he nodded over his shoulder. The look in his eyes had vanished, and I wondered if my imagination was running wild.
I rubbed my arms and nodded my head.
“It’s fine. I should let it go.”
Trevor stepped forward and pulled me into a hug, kissing my forehead before leaving me standing there in the middle of the now empty forest.
All I wanted to know was the truth, but I was beginning to see the truth was so far gone, not even the ones that created the ocean of lies I was drowning in knew its depths.
I wondered if they even knew the truth anymore, or if they even cared.