The Sins We Must Carry

Chapter 3

The laughter dies down and Ethan walks alongside Madeline. She doesn’t want to make it to the classroom just yet; being able to just be herself with Ethan feels good. There’s no worrying about if he really likes her or not. Everything is coming naturally to them.

“Well, this is gonna be your second period,” she tells him as they arrive at the door.

Ethan nods.

“Thanks for showing me the way.”

“No problem.”

They look at each other and it’s as if they can read each other’s minds.

“Want me to show you the way to the rest of your classes?”


Madeline leads Ethan away from the classroom as she looks at his schedule again. There’s still half an hour left, and she doesn’t want to stay out for too long; Nakamoto would only let her show Ethan around for so long.

“Between classes, you’re gonna have to book it to this room,” she tells him, pointing to the room. He glances down at it and continues to follow her.

“Mind telling me about this place?”

“What, the school? There’s not much to tell. It’s just like any other public school there is.”

“Hey, if your parents are rich, why are you going to public school?”

“Because I made sure I got kicked out of the private schools they sent me to. Just because my parents are rich doesn’t mean that I want to be a privileged rich kid. I just want to be like everyone else.”

Ethan nods and stays at her side as they walk.

“Is this town as boring as this school?”

Madeline shrugs.

“I guess. Unless a centuries-old cold murder case is boring to you.”

Ethan stops in his tracks.


She laughs.

“Pretty not-boring, huh?”

“Uh, yeah! You can’t just bring something like that up and then just not elaborate on it!”

She smiles and nods, recalling the story.

“To be fair, I don’t know how much of the story is true, and what’s been exaggerated for the sake of a story. But it starts in this city, about a hundred and fifty years ago.

“The name of the family was lost to time, but people here just refer to them as the Keller family. No one knows where the name came from. Anyway, the Keller’s were new to town, and they took a few days to settle in. They made their living trading with other families in town, then selling products to the general public. The Keller’s were pretty successful and they never went cold or without food.

“There was one family that was their only competitor, and they wouldn’t trade with them. Before the Keller’s arrived, they were the only salespeople in town, and everyone else had to do business with them. Once the Keller’s came, their business with the town pretty much ended.

“The family, specifically the oldest son, grew jealous of the Keller’s, and swore to get their business back. One night, the Keller’s had a visitor stay with them, and that was the last time any of them were seen alive. Their neighbors checked on them a few days later.

“The visitor was nowhere to be seen, and every member of the Keller family had been brutally murdered. If they hadn’t been staying in their respective beds, no one would’ve been able to tell who they were. The two assumed that the jealous family killed them, but no one found anything to prove it.

“Since then, the murder’s been unsolved, and no one knows what ever happened to the jealous family.”

Ethan stares at Madeline as she ends the story, his jaw agape.

“And that happened here?’

She nods.

“Still, I don’t know how much of that story is real, so don’t believe everything you hear about it.”

He smiles a bit and nods. They make it to a few of his next classes at that point, but they need to start heading back.

“So what brings you here?”

“Where? The city?”

Madeline nods.

“My parents moved for work. Said change would be good.”

She nods and makes a stop by her locker, getting supplies for her next class.

“So this was enough of a change for you?”

He smiles.

“So far it is.”

They start walking back to his class, taking their time.

“Did you have to leave your friends behind?”

Ethan’s smile fades and they stop walking.

“In all honesty, I didn’t really have friends. I guess I wasn’t the kind of person that people wanted to be friends with.”

“I’m sorry about that,” she mumbles.

Ethan shrugs.

“It’s not like it was your fault. I got used to it. And it made moving here easier, you know?” A smile makes its way onto his face and he turns to her. “Wanna know what stupid name the kids at my last school gave me?”



Madeline laughs.

“What? That’s so dumb!”

“I know,” Ethan laughs.

“Why did they call you that?”

“Because I was a quiet kid.”

“Oh my god! I don’t mean to take their side, but there’s so many names they could’ve called you.”

“I know. I guess I was also the brightest student in that school, if they considered that bullying.”

The two laugh and Ethan starts for the door.

“I’ll meet with you at lunch, alright?”

“Sounds good, Silent.”

“Shut up!”

“Would you rather me call you emo kid?”

He rolls his eyes.

“Guess I don’t have a choice with that, huh?”

“Guess you don’t, Silent.”

Ethan just walks into the room, leaving Madeline in the hallway, a smile on her face.