Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)(8)

I follow his eyes to the pane of glass separating us from reality and I wait for his lips to part; I wait to listen to him speak. And then I try to pay attention as his words bounce around in the haze of my head, fogging my senses, misting my eyes, clouding my concentration.

Did you know it was an international movement? Adam asks me.

No I did not, I tell him. I do not tell him I was dragged from my home 3 years ago. I do not tell him that I was dragged away exactly 7 years after The Reestablishment began to preach and 4 months after they took control of everything. I do not tell him how little I know of our new world.

Adam says The Reestablishment had its hands in every country, ready for the moment to bring its leaders into a position of control. He says the inhabitable land left in the world has been divided into 3,333 sectors and each space is now controlled by a different Person of Power.

Did you know they lied to us? Adam asks me.

Did you know that The Reestablishment said someone had to take control, that someone had to save society, that someone had to restore the peace? Did you know that they said killing all the voices of opposition was the only way to find peace?

Did you know this? is what Adam asks me.

And this is where I nod. This is where I say yes.

This is the part I remember: The anger. The riots. The rage.

My eyes close in a subconscious effort to block out the bad memories, but the effort backfires. Protests. Rallies. Screams for survival. I see women and children starving to death, homes destroyed and buried in rubble, the countryside a burnt landscape, its only fruit the rotting flesh of casualties. I see dead dead dead red and burgundy and maroon and the richest shade of your mother’s favorite lipstick all smeared into the earth.

So much everything all the things dead.

The Reestablishment is struggling to maintain its hold over the people, Adam says. He says The Reestablishment is struggling to fight a war against the rebels who will not acquiesce to this new regime. The Reestablishment is struggling to root itself as a new form of government across all international societies.

And then I wonder what has happened to the people I used to see every day. What’s become of their homes, their parents, their children. I wonder how many of them have been buried in the ground.

How many of them were murdered.

“They’re destroying everything,” Adam says, and his voice is suddenly a solemn sound in the silence. “All the books, every artifact, every remnant of human history. They’re saying it’s the only way to fix things. They say we need to start fresh. They say we can’t make the same mistakes of previous generations.”



at the door and we’re both on our feet, abruptly startled back into this bleak world.

Adam raises an eyebrow at me. “Breakfast?”

“Wait three minutes,” I remind him. We’re so good at masking our hunger until the knocks at the door cripple our dignity.

They starve us on purpose.

“Yeah.” His lips are set in a soft smile. “I wouldn’t want to burn myself.” The air shifts as he steps forward.

I am a statue.

“I still don’t understand,” he says, so quietly. “Why are you here?”

“Why do you ask so many questions?”

He leaves less than a foot of space between us and I’m 10 inches away from spontaneous combustion. “Your eyes are so deep.” He tilts his head. “So calm. I want to know what you’re thinking.”

“You shouldn’t.” My voice falters. “You don’t even know me.”

He laughs and the action gives life to the light in his eyes. “I don’t know you.”


He shakes his head. Sits on his bed. “Right. Of course not.”


“You’re right.” His breath catches. “Maybe I am insane.”

I take 2 steps backward. “Maybe you are.”

He’s smiling again and I’d like to take a picture. I’d like to stare at the curve of his lips for the rest of my life. “I’m not, you know.”

“But you won’t tell me why you’re here,” I challenge.

“And neither will you.”

I fall to my knees and tug the tray through the slot. Something unidentifiable is steaming in 2 tin cups. Adam folds himself onto the floor across from me.

“Breakfast,” I say as I push his portion forward.


1 word, 2 lips, 3 4 5 fingers form 1 fist.

1 corner, 2 parents, 3 4 5 reasons to hide.

1 child, 2 eyes, 3 4 17 years of fear.

A broken broomstick, a pair of wild faces, angry whispers, locks on my door.

Look at me, is what I wanted to say to you. Talk to me every once in a while. Find me a cure for these tears, I’d really like to exhale for the first time in my life.

It’s been 2 weeks.

2 weeks of the same routine, 2 weeks of nothing but routine. 2 weeks with the cellmate who has come too close to touching me who does not touch me. Adam is adapting to the system. He never complains, he never volunteers too much information, he continues to ask too many questions.

He’s nice to me.

I sit by the window and watch the rain and the leaves and the snow collide. They take turns dancing in the wind, performing choreographed routines for unsuspecting masses. The soldiers stomp stomp stomp through the rain, crushing leaves and fallen snow under their feet. Their hands are wrapped in gloves wrapped around guns that could put a bullet through a million possibilities. They don’t bother to be bothered by the beauty that falls from the sky. They don’t understand the freedom in feeling the universe on their skin. They don’t care.

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