Chapter 22:

Among Us (6)

Don't Die, Will

"What?" Ethan's eyes started to twitch.

"It...matched with yours." Olivia said.

"What? Wait, does that wasn't Emma after all?!" Julia said.

"Ethan, it was you??" Manny asked.

"Oi oi." Ethan gave an awkward smile, "There must be something wrong with that. O-Olivia, did you matched them properly?"

"If you don't believe me, see for yourself." She showed the matching to everyone, "Look how the alphabets, the way the circles were drawn, the marks...they all matched with Ethan's."

"It's true." Marco said.

"Fuck." Arthur covered his eyes out of disappointment.

"So, it was really...Ethan." Julia looked at him.

"N-nah nah nah!" He started to panic, "Those, those aren't my handwriting. A-also, w-which paper are y-you holding, Olivia? Is that even mine??"

"Ethan..." Olivia had a sorry look on her face, "Your name is clearly written on this paper. Of course, it's yours."

"Y-you guys...are you trying to pull a conspiracy on me?" He looked at Nolan, "Nolan, what did you do? D-did you set me up?"

"Why do you think that, Ethan?"

"Because, b-because..." He looked around, "Because, you're trying to protect Emma here! Y-you're trying to save her and put the blame on me! S-somehow!"

"And why would I do that?"

"Because, it was Emma!! Emma is a close friend of yours than I am! You're, you're trying to protect her!"

"Ethan, should calm down." Will said.

"Are you in this too, Will?" He asked.

Will didn't know how to respond to his question. So, he decided to stay quiet.

"I knew it! You've betrayed me too, didn't you?!"

"Emma." Nolan ignored Ethan.

Emma didn't respond. She was still at shock. Her eyes were staring at the table. With that candles fire, Nolan could see her suffering face. She was frozen still. Her connection with the reality was damaged. Her mind was somewhere else.

"Emma..." Nolan looked away, "I...I am sorry."

She slowly raised her crying face and looked at Nolan.

"Why, Nolan?" She said with a trembling voice after a short pause, "Why did you lie against me? Why?"

"Sorry, I had to." He also added, "I needed Ethan to let his guard down. Otherwise, he would've tried to change his handwriting. But when I false charged against you, he was relieved that he wasn't caught. So, he didn't feel like pulling any tricks. Also, I didn't mentioned anything about matching the handwriting before letting them write. So, he didn't even know what was coming."

Emma wiped her tears again. Nolan looked at her. He tried to stand still. But the wounded area was still bothering him.

"Don't blame the others for not trusting you, Emma." His voice was calmer than usual, "I bet if I were to be the traitor here, no one would've trusted me either."

Everyone was feeling guilty for what they've done to Emma. They knew that Nolan wasn't wrong. But deep inside, they weren't blaming themselves either. A traitor; one who betrays another's trust. "Trust".

If some betrays your trust, then who could you even trust them? That's what they were thinking.

" the end, we are all alone. We are carrying our own burden here." He said, "We are in hell."

"Yes! I've figured it out!" Ethan disturbed the flow of the conversation, "You can't use that handwriting shit against me. I-I am innocent!"

Nolan looked at him. But his face was emotionless as always. It was like nothing could surprised him. He had all the answers.

"This world is filled with countless humans." Ethan said, "It's not impossible for a person to have same handwriting as another person. Y-you can't prove anything with that. That so-called-handwriting proof you're talking about, it's useless."

"You're right." Nolan mumbled.

"What?" Ethan couldn't hear him clearly.

"As you said, the world is filled with countless people, and they have different handwriting. It's possible for a person to match his handwriting with countless other people. You're not wrong about that at all." He took the papers and shredded them.

"Nolan, what are you doing?" Olivia asked.

"In fact, I can't prove anything with these anyway."

"Huh! I knew it! You were just playing with me!" Ethan laughed, "You actually don't have any proofs, do you? You really were setting up a conspiracy against me here, to save Emma. There is no other explanation."

Nolan was quiet. He was staring at Ethan's eyes with out blinking. He wasn't smiling nor were angry. It made Ethan uncomfortable. He tried to look away but couldn't. He felt like something was holding him, he couldn't move his head nor his eyes. Some invisible strength was working against him, so he thought it was. But in reality, he was just too afraid to look away.

Nolan smiled a little. But make it go away instantly.

"Why...why you're smiling?" Ethan asked.

"I am not smiling."

"I saw. You smiled a bit ago."

"I didn't."

"You did! I saw!"

"You must be seeing things."

"Ethan, you're too stressed out." Will said.

"Shut up, Will!" Ethan screamed, "I saw he was smiling! D-did you all see?! H-he was smiling! He is hiding something! You're hiding something, aren't you!"

Everyone was looking at him with a sorry face. Nobody said anything.

"Wh-why are you all looking at me like that? I am not the traitor. I-I swear. Nolan is trying to pull out something. D-don't trust him. M-maybe he is the traitor himself. Yes, y-yes, he is just trying to protect yourself. He doesn't have any proof against me."

"You want proof." Nolan said.

"Yes, show me if you have any!"

"If I show you...would you admit that you're the traitor?"

"Y-yes, I will. But if you can prove, then."

Nolan looked at Will. His sharp eyes gave him the signals.

It's time. Will Nodded and started to wall to the door.

"W-wait, where is he going?" Ethan asked.

"Ethan, you should move away from the door. If you try to do anything, I am afraid, I would have to shoot you." Nolan said.

Ethan didn't do anything. When he built a safe distance between him and the door, Will went out. Nobody knew what was happening. None of them had any idea what was inside Nolan's mind. So, they had no other options but to wait for the answer silently.

"Before coming to this room, you were your normal self. Talking big, didn't really care about what was happening, the usual Ethan." Nolan said, "But when I announced that there was a culprit. Something changed."

"W-what the hell are you talking about?"

"All this time, I was observing your gestures." He said, "You got all quiet, barely spoke the whole time when I false charged against Emma. That's...unlike you, Ethan."


"The Ethan I know, would've come forward for a friend no matter what." Nolan said something he usually didn't.

Is...he playing me? Is he trying to get all soft so that I would let my guard down and admit that I am the traitor? No, I am not falling for that crap. Nolan, you're smart. But what you're trying to do now, is bullshit.

"Heh, I am not falling for that shit." Ethan laughed, "You are trying to let me my guard down, aren't you?"

Nolan shook his head softly, "No. I am mean what I said."

This fucker. He is playing me for sure! But fuck you, Nolan. I am not that stupid.

"What went wrong, Ethan?" Nolan touched his wounded area again, "Why did this even happen?"

"I don't know what you'r talking about."

"You still have the time to admit, Ethan." Nolan said, "Because, after Will comes back, there would be no going back for you."

What the hell? Ethan thought. But he said nothing.

"Ethan..." Nolan finally made a serious face, "I am asking you again, would you admit that you've done it?"

Ethan, surrounded by 7 "friends", was accused of being the traitor. There was no way to come back from this. He had nothing that he could use to defend himself.

Is this it? Is this the end? He spoke to himself, No, think Ethan, think. You can pass this. You still have the "thing" with you. Yes, I can use it. But now is not the right time. Will hasn't come back yet. Which means, they still got nothing to use against me. I don't have to use the "thing" yet. If I use it, it will be all over. Gotta save it for the worse. He thought, Wait, this suddenly came to my mind now. Why did he told us to wait in the front yard till the meeting? Will wasn't there at first. He came late. And Nolan, he was...yes...he was trying to stop us from going to our rooms. Rooms...rooms...r-r-rooms??

"Ethan, you still didn't answer to my question." Nolan made him come back to the reality.

"W-what question?"

"Are you admitting that you're the traitor?"

Tch, this fucker.

"You want you're answer, right?"

Nolan stayed quiet.

Ethan took a deep breath and let it out. He looked straight in Nolan's eyes.

"Fuck you, Nola-"

The door got opened.

"Nolan, I brought her."


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