‹ Prequel: Promise Me The Stars
Status: This story is on hold right now as i'm in the process of editing the prequel Promise Me The Stars. Check it out for better chapters!

Rocks Painted Gold

Two Types of Hugging

Hazel walked down her old neighborhood streets with Forest beside her. Everyone else was back in the house talking and laughing like there wasn’t anything wrong. And to them there wasn’t really, but there was something wrong with Hazel, and something really wrong with Forest.

“Hazel,” Forest said. She looked up and raised her eyebrow at him.

“Yeah?” she asked quietly.

“I need to tell you something, and you don’t want to hear it, and you won’t believe it. But I have to tell you so you can be prepared okay?” Forest asked, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and turning towards her.

“Yeah okay.” she said.

Forest looked down at her, she was shorter then him and the only thing that made him know they were twins was that their faces were similar and their eyes were the exact same as each other. He noticed how she looked younger then him, he had grown with being homeless and working hard, she seemed to stay the same little kid since nothing bad had really happened to her he assumed. She still had that innocence in her eyes that reminded Forest of when they were much younger. And he really didn’t want to ruin it, but he had to.

“Hazel, I have a sick little feeling that I’m going to be leaving you again. But this time for good and I won’t be coming back. You know how I used to tell you that Shadow was fighting for my body?” Hazel nodded.

“Well that’s still going to happen. It’s just…” Forest paused to think of the words that would make her understand, “We’re getting weaker, well I am. When Shadow first got his body he was weak, really weak, but he’s getting stronger and I’m getting weaker. We both can’t be here and…”

He stopped when he noticed the tears threatening to spill over her eyelids but he had to keep going.

“Hazel…I’m going to die, on this Earth I’m going to die and you can’t stop it. It’s inevitable and you have to understand that I’m okay with it now.”

“How can you be okay with dying!? How can you be okay with leaving me here alone!” Hazel yelled hitting him in the chest.

Forest cracked a smile and grabbed her shoulders, “You’re not alone, you’re with them, with dad. I think…I think all of this was meant to be you know? Me leaving, distancing myself from you so you could cope with it better. And now whoever made this sick little tale is bringing us back together so we can make amends and none of us will have regrets when I leave.”

Hazel sniffed and looked around, “What about Shadow?” Forest shrugged and tugged on a lock of his hair.

“He’ll win, I knew from the start he was going to win. He’s going to get a body and keep living in the real world. Because both of us can’t live here, it’s not possible. He was in my mind and now he’s out so it’s like there’s two of me…in a way.”

“He’ll miss you.”

“Of course he’ll miss me but think about it. You have dad and them, and now Shadow has Kylie. He had her before he got a body and I think I gave her to him, so when I was gone he wasn’t alone. He would have someone to help him through everything that life throws us through.” Forest looked at her, begging her to understand, “I’m subconsciously setting everyone up to live after I’m gone. Because even if my mind didn’t fully know it, my soul did and I can’t have people stopping their lives to wish I was still here. Because the world doesn’t stop for a death and neither should the people.”

They stood there in silence as Forest waited for Hazel to say something, because he couldn’t think of anything else to say that wasn’t pure insane rambling.

“Think you’ll be with mom?” She finally asked. Forest thought about it and shook his head, earning a look from Hazel.

“I don’t actually. Because this isn’t my last stop before Heaven or Hell or wherever I go.”

“What do you mean? I mean, we’ll bury your body and you’ll…” she stopped short when Forest smiled and shook his head again.

“Don’t shake your head, you’re going to die Forest! We’re going to have a funeral and you’ll be dead!” Forest laughed and stepped forward, pulling her into a hug and whispering in her ear.

“You won’t bury my body Hazel, there won’t be a body, you’ll just wake up one day and ‘poof’ I won’t be there anymore. No body, no dead lifeless eyes. Because I may be gone on Earth, but Byte City is where I’ll live the rest of my life out.” He pulled back and kissed her head before walking down the street back towards the house.

Hazel watched him walk, burning the image into her mind and pushing tears away as she threatened to break down on the sidewalk. How was she supposed to cope with all that? How was she supposed to believe that what he was saying was true. It was just too insane but so was a guy in his mind becoming real, so she believed it and she lived by those words now. From that moment on she would live like it was her brother’s last day because it very well could be.

“Forest!” Hazel yelled, running as fast as she could to catch up with her brother. She grabbed his hand and pulled him to a stop, he looked down in her eyes, innocence was gone and in it’s place were fear and determination.

“Yes?” he asked.

“The water park,” she said breathless, “Let’s go to the water park.”

Forest smiled and nodded, leading her back to the house to get the others.


I sat on a lounge chair watching Forest mess around in the swimming pool with everyone.

“Forest told you didn’t he?” I asked, glancing over at Hazel who didn’t know I knew she was there. She jumped and looked at me.

“What?” she asked.

“He told you, about Byte City and dying and stuff.” I said, folding my arms behind my head and laying back, the sun warming my insides with it’s radioactive waves.

“How do you know?” she asked defensively.

“Because you’re not freaking out now, you’re being all defensive about it, and you’re not having fun with everyone which is a sign that you’re thinking too hard about something.”

“How do you know that?” She asked again, which really annoyed me a lot.

“I’ve pretty much lived with you since you were twelve. I’ve picked up on some things.” I stated shrugging.

“Oh yeah?” Hazel asked, pulling her legs up to her chest, “What else have you picked up on smart one?”

I smirked and sat up straighter, pushing the aviators I had stolen from Mavrix on the top of my head.

“Well you hate spiders, which I find highly amusing.” Hazel glared and I smiled and went on, “You act childish as fuck but you know a lot more then anyone thinks. I haven’t seen you the last couple years but I’m guessing you wanted to forget about Forest so that’s why you changed so much. You couldn’t stand to see him in the mirror when you looked at yourself so you did all these things to forget your old self, to forget him. And you didn’t mean to ‘betray your mother’ as Forest put it. You didn’t even think about it once, you just wanted to forget him because he forgot you.” I said, I had acquired the new position of sitting with my feet on the ground as I looked at Hazel.

“You’re…weirder then everyone thinks.” Hazel stated.

“They’re all scared of me.” I shrugged and glanced at Forest as Matt threw him across the pool towards Zacky. Val and the other girls were sitting on lounge chairs across the pool. That’s why I was over here, so I wouldn’t make them uncomfortable. Someone should thank me for that shit.

“Are you?” I asked looking over at her after I had assessed the scene.

“Scared of you?” she asked, I nodded.

Hazel sat there and shrugged, “Not really. I mean I’m waiting for you to lash out and kill somebody so I can be scared of you. But that’s really stupid right? You’re an adult and you don’t seem mentally unstable so I shouldn’t be scared, so I’m not.”

“That’s good.” I said quietly glancing over and seeing people looking at us, “Probably think I’m doing something to hurt you or something stupid like that, see you later.” I stood up and walked towards the snack bar so I could get a drink. Oh how I wish they served alcohol, but I don’t even have an ID so I guess it was useless anyway.

“Hey,” I heard someone say in my ear as they jumped on my back.

“What’s up?” I asked Kylie, grabbing her legs so she wouldn’t fall off.

“You okay? You looked weird when you walked away from talking to Hazel.”

“They hate me to talk to her. They won’t talk to me and they don’t want me to talk to them. Guess I’m really just that weird.” I shrugged making her head bob up and down as she put her chin on my shoulder.

“Well you know why.” she said as we stood close to some people that wouldn’t understand the fact that I came out of a kid’s head.

“Yeah well I’m sick of it. They’re going to…” I trailed off. Knowing Kylie didn’t know about Forest dying, or 'moving on' as he told me he was calling it.

"Going to what?" Kylie asked as I set her down so we could order.

"I'll tell you later okay?" I questioned, looking down and smiling at her. She smiled and laced her fingers with mine before nodding.

We got nachos and sat down at a small table that secluded us from the rest of the patrons around the area.

"You sure you can handle jalapenos?" I asked, laughing at Kylie's face full of pain.

"This one's really hot." she complained as she waved her hand in front of her mouth to fan her tongue.

"Yeah Kylie, fanning your tongue is going to help." I said sarcastically before handing her the can of Monster energy drink I had been drinking. I watched as she took a long drink and then sighed, making a face at me when she handed the can back.

"I think that one ruined my tongue." she stated as she stuck her tongue out and tried to examine it, which just caused a funny scene to play out for me to watch.

"Why are you laughing?!" Kylie exclaimed, pulling her tongue back into her mouth to glare at me.

"Because you trying to look at your own tongue is obviously amusing." I shot back, before mocking her by sticking my tongue out and crossing my eyes.

"That's not how I looked." she said, folding her arms over her chest.

"Yes it was I just watched you make the same face."

"Shadow you're so mean!" Kylie pouted and lay her head on the table. I shook my head and took her hand before I started playing with her fingers, bending them back until she winced.

"Why in the hell are you doing that?" she asked.

"Testing your flexibility." I stated nonchalantly.

"No you're just being mean." she said pulling her hand back and cradling it in her lap. I sighed and glanced around, I could hear the screams of joy coming from the pool and the sound of running water was everywhere.

"Wanna go on the water slide with me?" I asked, looking at Kylie. She sighed but nodded and stood up. I grabbed the leftover nachos and our other trash and threw it into the garbage can we passed.

"Come 'ere." I said grabbing Kylie's hand and pulling her to me.

"Leave me alone." Kylie mumbled pushing me away and walking past. I groaned and rubbed my jaw roughly. I had no idea why she was mad at me, again. This girl would be the death of me for sure.


The day slowly winded down and we were all headed back towards the cars to head home. Well Zacky and his group were headed for a hotel, Hazel wanted to stay at the house. I walked in the back of them all, they were all getting along great and I was pretty grateful for that. Forest needed them for this last leg of battle that we were going through.

"I forgot my wallet in the locker!" Kylie exclaimed as she dug through her bag.

"Want me to go back with you?" Hazel asked.

"No it's fine, i'll see you guys at the car." She smiled and turned to head back into the pool area, passing me and ignoring me as she did so.

"Shadow," I looked up and everyone was looking at me but Forest was the one who had spoken, "Go make sure you're both all lovey dovey with each other when you get back to the car. Or we're leaving you to walk home and make up on the long walk back."

"Yeah, yeah whatever." I said waving my hand at him but turning and heading back for the pool.

The pool was closing so a lot of people were gone, only a few lingered outside the woman's locker room and most were husbands or boyfriends waiting for their ladies. I sighed and leaned against the wall, the fresh air mixing with the chlorine as I took in a death breath.

I scratched at the light sunburn I had gotten on my chest and contemplated using the energy to lift my dead arms and put on my sunglasses as the fading sun glared it's final rays full speed at my retinas. I finally did and my exhausted body screamed at the movements that made me wish the concrete against my sneakers was a bed.

People came out of the locker room, not one of them Kylie, and soon I was left alone to stare out at the deserted swimming pools, water slides, and water toys that all were still going making it seem like a creepy ghost town.

"Shadow!" Kylie gasped, coming out from around the concrete wall and nearly falling when she saw me.

"Sorry." I mumbled, grabbing her arm to steady her.

"Why are you here?" she asked, crossing her arms.

"So I can kick the ass of any guy that looks at you funny." I said. She looked around at the deserted space and raised an eyebrow.

"There were guys out here trust me." I reassured her.

"Whatever Shadow." Kylie sighed and started towards the exit.

"Why are you mad at me?" I grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

"Stop," Kylie tried to pull her arm out of my grip and I let her go, fearing I would hurt her if I held on.

"No! Tell me why you're mad at me so I can fix it and make sure I never do it again!" I pleaded with her. She stopped and looked at me for a long time. She opened her mouth to talk but an employee came up, a look of annoyance on his face.

"You have to leave." he stated dully, pointing towards the exit.

"You must love your job ey mate?" I asked, smirking as he glared and ushered us out of the pool complex leaving us alone in the parking lot.

"Nice guy, we should come visit him again sometime." I said as we started through the empty parking lot.

"Wait...where's Forest?" Kylie asked stopping dead in her tracks. I stopped and glanced around, not one car was in the parking lot. Forest really left us two hours from home.

"Well he's a douche." I stated and started walking again.

"How are we supposed to get back?" Kylie asked, panic in her voice made me stop and look at her.

"We'll hitchhike or something, I don't know. But don't worry about it, i'll get us back to Aunt Maggie." I stated shoving my hands deep in my pockets.

We walked in silence on the deserted roads, apparently it was the hour that no one drove, and after half an hour of walking I heard Kylie dragging her feet. I glanced back and she had her head down, her feet sliding over the rocky shoulder of the road as she walked slowly behind me.

"Really? We've barely been walking." I stated as she caught up.

"Shut up Shadow." Kylie spat as she walked past.

"Talk to me!" I yelled.

"I am!" she screamed back as she turned to look at me.

"No you're not! You're fucking not and I can't stand it Kylie! Just tell me why you're mad at me! Tell me why you're pushing me away so I can at least have the satisfaction of knowing why I made you hate me in less then twenty-four hours!"

"Why should I give you any satisfaction in anything! You're just a stupid guy who came out of my friend's head. You're lucky i'm giving you the time of day! And no one would care if you'd just been diminished by the pills Forest took, he probably would have been happier that way you know. He wouldn't have left Hazel or Zacky and they would be a family!" Kylie yelled, and the look she gave me right after she said it told me she regretted it.

And I knew why, my chest ached from the harsh words that she spoke and I was clenching and un-clenching my fists over and over. My nose stung, my eyes got blurry, and a lump in my throat formed but I pushed that all back. I pushed it back because I wouldn't cry over a stupid girl that Forest knew. I wouldn't cry because it was stupid to cry like a little girl over stupid words like that. Maybe it was true, maybe they would have been happier, been a family. Hell it was true, very true, and I could have stopped it by fading with the pills that made me feel high as a kite. But I had always fought through and there was no guarantee that I would have stayed gone anyway.

"Fuck you." I seethed, breaking my thoughts and storming past, "Find your own fucking way home," I stopped myself before I called her a bitch.

I wanted to scream profanities at her and I had tons of things I could say that could make her feel as bad as I felt right now. But there was still a part of me that liked her, maybe even loved, and I couldn't bring myself to cause her that much pain. Because no one deserved that kind of pain, that kind of reminder that you could have taken someone who's miserable and made them happy with just one choice, and you didn't take it.

"Shadow, Shadow I..."

"I don't care! You said what you thought, you told me what you believed and this is my reaction! What the fuck do you want me to say? What do you want me to do?! Just forgive you for saying the truth, why?! It's the fucking truth!" I yelled, now glad the roads were deserted so I could yell until my insides caught fire.

"Will you stop cussing!"


"Because it hurts!"

"It hurts?" I said quietly, "It fucking hurts? Honey I could say so many things that weren't curse words and make you hurt a million times more then you hurt because I slip a couple 'fucks' into a sentence. So let me say fuck and shit so you don't feel what i'm feeling right fucking now"

I turned away from her, my control dwindling on the edge, and walked towards the house. But I really had no intentions of going to the house, that's where Kylie would go to be comforted. I would go somewhere else, maybe find a bar that didn't check ID's since I didn't have one. Or some dumbass would buy me some liquor if I was convincing enough. Yeah, that's what i'd do. She would go be hugged by everyone, and I would go hug a bottle.
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So here's the newest chapter!! On the right day too!

So no time for anything because my mother is getting mighty pissy because i'm using 'her' computer. So thanks to the commenters and subscribers, much love people!