Don't Die, Will
The people of Rust gather around in the front yard for 3 meals each day. The first meal was already done. That left Will and Nolan with 2 more chances. Nolan had different things planned for the night. So, they actually had only 1 chance to work it out.
Nolan made a plan. But for this plan to work out, he himself physically needed to participate in it. Though he was injured, he forced Juan to release him.
It was time. Everybody was starting to come out of their houses to take their second meal of the day. today's meal was only boiled fish. Since the winter mission kind of failed, there wasn't much to cook.
Nolan and Will was observing the atmosphere from the balcony of the house that was put under medical section. Nolan was shivering and he couldn't stand straight. The wounded area was still itching. But he didn't have any other choice either.
"Hey, Nolan." Will noticed his situation, "I think, you should rest after all."
"Don't make me regret my actions now, Will."
"But you don't look good."
"Yes, I can feel myself...I am not an idiot."
Will didn't say anything. Nolan noticed that.
"Huh...I am sorry." He put his elbows on the railing and covered his eyes, "The pain is taking over me. I am not in my right mind right now."
"I get it."
"But, something should be done." He looked at Will, "And now is the time."
"Hm." He nodded.
"So then." He moved his hands from the railing, "I'll keep them busy. You do as I told you to."
Arthur stopped joining the others even when it's meal time. It started to happen after Will and his family came here. Now, he usually spent his time alone. He was taking his meal and sat under a tree which was a bit far away from the tree with the round table, where everybody usually gathered for conversations and meals.
He was already feeling separated from the others and now that his face was ruined, some people were glaring at him. Specially, the little kids around here and there.
Tch. What the fuck are you looking at?
He looked at the round table. Emma, Olivia, Ethan, Manny and the others were gathering there with their meals.
"Fuck, I am really starving." Ethan said.
"Tch, I hate fish." Olivia wasn't happy with her meal.
"Don't act like a queen now. We don't have food. This winter mission was a failure." Emma pointed out, "Oh by the way, where's Himari, Julia?"
"She's with Lucas. They are having their Lunch together." Julia replied.
"Lucas, I never really see him now that I think about it." Olivia said.
"Yeah, he is really shy. Doesn't like to interact with other people."
"Oh, I understand. I was like him too once."
"Eh? you?" Emma was surprised.
"It's just hard to believe."
"But it's true."
"Well, I wonder about that."
"Anyway, where's Will?" Ethan noticed.
"You're right." Olivia looked around, "Where is he?"
"He said he would meet check on Nolan. But it's time for lunch already." Emma said.
"Huh..." Olivia got up from her sit, "I'll go bring him."
"There's no need for that." Nolan came out of nowhere, "I gave him some work to do."
"Nolan!" Literally everyone screamed out.
Arthur was looking from away, Nolan?
Emma asked, "Are you healed?"
"Sort of." He pulled a chair and sat.
"But the doctor said it would've taken a few more days."
"True but I was getting bored in that room all alone."
"You said, you gave Will some works to do. What's going on?" Olivia asked.
"It's a secret." He said, "For now."
"Secret?" Manny spoke for the first time.
"Manny, do you even know what a secret means?" Ethan put his hand on his forehead out of disappointment.
"Where's Arthur?" Nolan said.
"Oh, he's there." Manny whispered.
Everybody looked at him without him being noticed.
"Looks like he is in a bad mood." Manny whispered again.
"Yeah, he's been in a bad mood after he got released from the doctor. Did something happened?" Emma asked.
"Huh, why all of you guys are so dumb?" Ethan asked, "One doesn't know what the word secret mean and the other one can't simply see anything."
"What do you mean?"
"Look at his face. It's all fucked up. Would you be in a good mood after getting your face fucked up like that?"
Everyone got quite for a while and started to eat their meal slowly. Ethan was really enjoying his boiled fish. He was not actually a big fan of fish but it didn't matter much as his stomach was empty. Olivia barely touched hers. And the others were eating normally. Nolan was kept seated in his place. Something was going on in his mind. After a bit, he stood up and started walking towards Arthur.
"Where are you going?" Olivia asked.
"Just a minute."
He was covering his wounded area softly and was unable to stand straightly. His small steps made him reach Arthur slower that he thought.
"Hey." He stood in front of Arthur.
Arthur looked up at his face. It was feeling like he was looking down on him. So he moved his face and started to eat again.
"Not yet." He struggled a bit to sit beside Arthur.
"I can see that. You're groaning like a pussy."
It made Nolan smile a bit.
"Heh...Now you're smiling."
"Why? Can't I smile?"
"You've changed, Nolan." Arthur put the spoon in his mouth.
"Why do you think that?"
"You talk too much now."
"O-oh." He couldn't find anything else to say.
"You were a lot quieter back then." Arthur lowered his bowl and looked in the sky, "What...got into you, Nolan?"
He simply looked at the grass he was sitting on, "I don't know."
"You look stupid now. Do you know that?"Arthur looked at Nolan.
He also looked back, "You're the one to talk."
"Heh..." Arthur looked away, "Why did you even come to me? What do you want?"
"I want you to join the others. Come, let's have the meal together like old times."
"You should listen to yourself. You're making me cringe." He added, "Reaching out to help others. Never thought it would be coming from you."
Nolan didn't said anything. He was right. Even he himself didn't know that he would turn out like this. All this time, he spent his life minding his own business. Never have done anything against all the bullying he saw with his eyes, all the bad things. They never shook him. All he had to do was look away and everything used to go back to normal.
You're right, Arthur. He smiled a bit, How did I...become like this? What...went wrong? How come I became so stupid? I could've just mind my own business. But no, I had to put my legs between other's business. Feels like I am being blamed for everything. I am taking all the blames. Tell me, Arthur. What went wrong? You were here from the start. You should've noticed. I feel like...I...I feel like...I am carrying all this burden...I feel like...I can't move on forward. My legs are feeling heavy, my body is going numb, I can't breath. Arthur...I never killed anyone, but I can feel it. My hands...they are covered with blood. I am drowning...I am drowning in blood, Arthur. What should I do? What should I do, Arthur?
"Do you pity me, Nolan?" Arthur said with a calming voice.
"Do I look like someone who is desperate for help?"
"Have I become stupider?"
"Was...I a good friend?"
"Heh...I was always alone, wasn't I?"
"I am all alone now too."
"Nolan." Arthur looked at him, "Will I...be all alone...forever?"
Nolan looked at him slightly turning his head. Then looked away. He shook his head left and right after a little pause.
"Heh, what's this? So cringe." He stood up.
Seeing him standing up Nolan also tried to stand up. As he was struggling to stand up on his own, Arthur advanced his hand.
"Who's the cringe one now?"
"You need help or not?"
"I definitely need it." He grabbed Arthur's hand and stood up, "Come, Arthur. Let's eat together."
"Nah, I'm finished. Others are too."
"Look. They are leaving."
Nolan turned and looked at the others. They were getting up from their seats.
Will's not back yet. They can't leave yet.
"H-hey, guys." Nolan went to them with his small steps.
Everyone looked at him.
"Don't leave yet."
"But we are done with our meal." Manny said.
"You haven't eaten yet, have you?" Emma asked.
"Huh, wait let me bring some for you." Emma said.
"Okay, then. I will head back to my room. After eating all those, I am kinda sleepy." Ethan yawned.
"Is...something wrong, Nolan?" Olivia noticed.
"I...have something I need to say to you people. So don't leave yet."
I gotta hold them as long as I can. Or the whole plan will be screwed.
"What is it?" Ethan asked.
"Wait, I'll tell everything. Just..." He looked around, "Just wait for other people to head back. All of you, sit down for now."
"Heeeh? You're acting weird, Nolan." Ethan sat down where he was seated.
Seeing him, everyone also sat down. Except Emma and Arthur.
"Wait, let me bring some boiled fish for Nolan first." She walked away.
Nolan looked at Arthur, "Arthur, you sit too."
"Tch, I am heading back. I don't have time for this shit."
"Arthur..." Nolan said with a calming voice, "You can do whatever you want. You have the freedom to do it. I won't stop you, I am not even able to. But...if you leave now...you'll regret later. And there won't be an option to reverse it. Would you be happy with that, Arthur?"
Arthur kept quiet and was looking Nolan in the eyes, eyes of an eagle. As sharp as always.
"Tell me. Would you be happy with that?"
"Huh, Jeez fine. Shut the fuck up and stop being so dramatic. I'll sit. So, keep your mouth shut for fuck's sake." He pulled a chair and sat beside Nolan.
Emma returned with a bowl in her hand. With everyone gathered around, Nolan was finally relieved.
Now, we wait.
He made them wait for him to finish his meal first. He was eating as slow as he could. Other people were leaving the yard after finishing their lunch. Ethan was cutting his nails with his teeth. Olivia was cleaning her knife. Emma, Julia and Manny were talking among themselves. And Arthur, his arms were crossed, had a serious look in his face and was closing his eyes. Like this, literally half an hour passed. Nolan started to notice some impatience among them.
Will, aren't you done yet? I don't think I will be able to hold them for much longer.
"Nolan, just tell us already. It's late." Ethan said, "you are ruining my sleep here man."
"Ethan's right. Everyone left minutes ago. And you are done with you're fish too." Emma insisted.
"Oi, Nolan. If you don't tell what you have to say quickly, maybe you'll start to regret something." Arthur threatened.
"Yeah, Nolan. And I gotta go take a leak. So..." Manny didn't need to finish his sentence.;
Everyone was reaching out of hands. He knew that he wouldn't be able to hold them anymore.
"Okay, I'm telling you." Nolan exhaled.
Sorry, Will. You're time is up.
"Today..." He started to talk, "I want all of you t-"
"N-Nolan." Will appeared at last. His face was tensed.
"Give me a minute." Nolan stood up from his seat and approached Will.
They talked for a while.
"What are they talking about?" Emma asked.
"Since when did they get so close?" Ethan noticed.
"But they look serious though." Manny commented.
Nolan and Will finished their conversations. Nolan seemed disturbed and Will had a frightening look in his face. They came close to the others.
"Listen everyone carefully." Nolan said, "Tonight, we are going to have a secret meeting in the previous discussion room."
"Previous discussion room? Why?" Emma asked.
"You'd all soon find out."
"You're acting really weird today." Ethan said.
Nolan brought out the pocket watch from his right pocket, "And exactly at 7 pm. But I would like to make another request."
"What is it?" Olivia asked.
"I would like you people to stay away from your rooms till the meeting is over."
"Did I hear right?" Emma tried to confirm.
Ethan was disturbed, "Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to sleep then?"
"Bullshit." Arthur got up from the seat.
"Arthur, I can't go around this every time. If you don't listen to me, I am afraid I have to use force."
"The fuck, Nolan!"
"Marco!" Nolan called him out as he wasn't far away.
Marco was observing the situation now and then. But didn't have the exact idea of what was happening. He came down from his post and advanced towards Nolan.
"Marco, I need you to stay them here. Use force if you have to."
"I'll tell you later."
"But what about my post?"
"He will guard it." Nolan looked at Will.
"Me?" Will asked.
"Then why not make Will do this instead."
"Nah." Nolan said, "You're stronger. You're the perfect person for this job."
"Don't listen to him, Marco." Ethan said, "Maybe he has hit his head or something."
"Nolan, we don't have to do this. Just tell us what's the matter." Emma said.
"You're being dramatic." Olivia crossed her arms.
"I'm sorry." Nolan said, "But please try to understand. It's for the best. I'll tell you everything you want to know later. Just be patient till then, please."
Everybody looked at each other's faces. Then sat down on their places without having any options, except Arthur.
"Arthur, you too." Nolan said, "Please."
With everyone being seated, Nolan got relieved a bit.
"I'll see you at 7."
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