The memories of the last two days haunted her mind. The torture she endured, the terror of seeing her sword-brothers end, memories going further of disappointment in their eyes, in everyone’s eyes, angry at me.
Suddenly, Kamara’s eyes flew open. She felt her heart race and she gasped to catch my breath. She felt the wind gently blowing from an open window of the room. She looked around. Kamara was lying in a bed mat on the floor. She finally recognized where she was. She was in Sensei Wu’s room. He had a large room, and split his room in half with a paper-screen door to serve as a sick room. Sensei entered the room.
“Ah, good, you’re awake” He stated.
Kamara slowly sat up, taking a deep breath.
“What happened?” She asked.
Sensei sat down in front of his small fire pit where he was making some tea.
“Mmm, you were unconscious when the ninja brought you back to the Bounty. You were weak, and still look a bit weak. Nothing my special tea can’t fix!”
“Were they…Upset with me?” Kamara asked.
“No, quite the contrary. They were relieved to have you back” Wu replied.
Kamara looked away.
Sure, they’d be glad that I’m out of danger. But the next time I’d see them, they would likely clearly expressed how displeased they were with me. That made Kamara want to avoid them all she could, to hide her shame.
“Where are they now?” Kamara asked.
“Having dinner in the dining room.”
“She’s with them. She says she isn’t leaving until she sees you awake.”
Kamara smiled. “Yeah, that sounds like her…”
Sensei Wu turned from his tea to me, closely observing me.
“It seems the blood has just drained from your face. What is wrong, child?”
She looked away.
“I screwed up. I screwed everything up!”
“What did you screw up, Kamara?” Wu asked, “It was not in your control to be kidnapped. You saved your rescuers from being trapped in that cave….”
Kamara’s cheeks grew red with embarrassment.
“I just…I was trying so hard. I wanted to change: Turn over a new leaf. So that…Somebody close to me would say, ‘Hey, she’s a good and helpful person’. But now, with everything that’s happened, there’s no chance…”
She hung her head in shame. “I’ve gone back to that petty, angry, angsty teen that…everyone can’t stand to be around…”
“By ‘everyone’, you mean your sword-brothers, don’t you?”
Kamara didn’t answer.
Sensei Wu stroked his beard in contemplation.
“Ah, I feel like I understand now,” he said, “Kamara, a lot of people your age feel like they have to be invincible; that they have to be strong and unfeeling in order to be accepted. The trick is however, it’s impossible to be perfect. Mankind is corrupted from the moment they are born. Everyone has weaknesses. The best cure for weakness, is learning to live above it: to not let it tear you down, and dictate your happiness.”
Kamara looked up.
“But what if that’s not enough?” Kamara asked.
Wu frowned, and sighed, “Then you will have to decide whether to keep your distance from people that hurt you, or cut them off completely.”
Kamara swung her legs around, and got off the bed.
“But what happens when those people, are the people that live with you?”
It was quiet when Kamara stepped onto the upper deck. It was night, but the moon was full. Kamara leaned on the railing and looked out in the distance. The Destiny’s Bounty was high in the air, above Ninjago City, and above the clouds. The wind blew in my hair, which seemed to be my only sense of comfort. Kamara hoped nobody would find her. She desired some time alone to collect my thoughts.
“We have been watching you for a long time, imouto.”
The haunting voice of Safrina played in her mind. It made her heart rate go up, and anxiety nearly overwhelmed her. There was a group of individuals with dark elemental powers was after me, and were now angry. Was Kamara really one of them? Would they find me? And if they did, how soon would they find her? Was she alone in this conflict?
“I probably am” Kamara thought, “I’m all alone, and no one can help me…”
Then, over the wind, Kamara could hear someone coming. A chill went down her spine. Like a child fearing monsters under the bed, she was afraid that it was a Dark Child preparing to attack me. She froze. When she heard them three feet away from her, she summed my Windblade, and whirled around in fury to face them.
“Woah! Easy, sis! It’s just me!”
Kamara stared, and lowered her blade. It was Jade. Kamaea sigh in relief.
The windblade promptly disappeared and Kamara embraced her. Jade was a bit startled, but soon returned her affections.
“Well, you certainly look like you feel better” she commented.
She looked at Kamara, turning serious again.
“Kam…What happened?” She asked, “What did those people want with you?”
Kamara frowned. She turned away, and leaned back on the railing.
“Kamara, talk to me” Jade said, sternly. I sighed.
“Apparently, they think I’m one of them” Kamara stated.
Jade scoffed. “Well, I picked that up; and that’s malarkey! You’re the master of wind! Not whatever dark magic they seemed to be cooking up down there!”
Kamara shrugged. “I don’t know…”
“Kam, you don’t seriously believe them, do you?”
“Of course not!” Kamara snapped.
There was a moment of silence before Kamara continued.
“They claim to be descended from followers of the Dark One, each given the main elements, almost…tainted copies of the ones the ninja have. I was one of the last they needed to recruit.”
“Well, the ninja will make sure that doesn’t happen again, right?” Jade asked.
Kamara was quiet. She hesitated to say yes. She knew how much the ninja disliked her. At least, most of them did.
“I don’t know. I don’t think they trust me. I’ve caused them too much trouble, especially now.”
“Well, I hope you figure it all out. I gotta get back to Ninjago City before my employer wonders where I am” she stated.
She put her hand on Kamara’s shoulder.
“Be safe, okay Kam?” She asked.
Kamara turned around and smiled.
“I’ll do my best. If nothing else, you’ll be there to get me out of trouble, as you always do.”
“Yeah….See ya Kamara.”
“Okay. Goodbye, Jade.”
The Destiny’s Bounty landed in Ninjago City, and Jade was ready to leave. Kamara slipped away, as the rest of the ninja stepped out to say goodbye. She watched them from the crack in the door. Kai, Cole, Jay, and Zane warmly gave her their thanks. Her heart sank. When Jade left, the ninja turned back around, and headed for the lower deck. Kamara quickly shut the door, and ran for the safety of her bedroom. Kamara listened to the the ninja’s conversation as they passed.
“Hey, how come we haven’t seen Kamara?” Cole asked.
“I agree, we have not seen her since we brought her back” Zane added.
“I spoke to Sensei,” Kai answered, “She immediately went to her bedroom, and hasn’t come out since.”
“Well, she’s missed dinner. Hope she doesn’t get hungry” Jay said, worriedly.
Kamara closed her eyes, leaning her head on the door. She wanted so badly to open it, and give her brothers relief that she was alright. However, she refused. She didn’t want to risk them mocking her for her misfortunes. They may always be joking, but she never found it funny.
Sure enough, in the next hour, Kamara was starved. She had heard the ninja go to bed, and felt more comfortable emerging from the bedroom. She snuck into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Kamara eagerly reached for the ingredients for a meat sandwich, and fixed it up as discreetly and quietly as she could. The walls creaked slightly as the wind blew outside, in which Kamara found the sound very comforting. She sighed.
“I guess Nya took the watch tonight” She thought, disappointed, “I really wanted to talk to her. I guess she didn’t want to bother me either, as she didn’t say ‘goodnight’…”
Kamara sighed again, this time more deeply.
“The only person I wish-”
Kamara’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone walking towards the kitchen. She froze.
“Maybe it’s Nya?” I thought, “No, you moron! It’s probably one of the ninja! I gotta hide! But I don’t want to! But I have to!”
The debate with herself lasted too long, and the person entered the room.
The blood drained from Kamara’s face.
“Kai?” She addressed.
Sure enough, it was the fire ninja. His eyes squinted slightly, as if he had been half-asleep.
He replied, “Gee Kam, you look like you’ve seen a ghost! It’s just me.”
Kamara scrambled to retain casual composure.
“What are you doing here?”
“Eh, couldn’t sleep.”
Kamara raised an eyebrow.
“I can see that. You don’t even have your pajamas on” She replied, coldly.
Kai looked down at his ZX ninja uniform, and chuckled.
“Heh, oops, guess I am.”
Kamara stifled a giggle.
Kamara completed fixing her meal, and put the ingredients back in the fridge.
“Kam…You didn’t show up for dinner.”
She paused. She turned around to face him. That tone again. That…concerned tone.
He continued with, “We were worried about you.”
Kamara frowned. She looked down at her sandwich, now hesitant to eat it.
“Kamara, what happened?”
She sighed exasperated. “There’s nothing to say that you don’t already know” I replied, flatly.
“I meant what happened to…how you felt. How you feel. Are you okay?”
Kamara slowly looked up. Kai was now right in front of me. He grabbed her hands, which made her heart nearly stop with shock. Her cheeks went red.
“I want you to trust me” he said sternly, “If no one else, trust me. I…care about you, Kam. I saw you when you were…indisposed. I hated that! I never want to see that again! I never want to see that happen to you again! Please Kamara.”
Kai continued to turn over a new leaf every day for the past few days. He was always so disagreeable, and needing to do everything himself, and hated someone telling him what to do.
“Then again,” Kamara considered, indulging the somewhat charming thought, “He’s not the only ninja who’s like that…”
“I’m…a little anxious.”
Kai’s eyebrows stopped furrowing. Kamara looked down.
“I don’t know what to think. I don’t…want to turn out to be something evil.”
She smiled slightly.
“I happen to like being a ninja.”
Kai smiled back, more out of relief that Kamara had decided to open up, even if it was just a little. Then, he finally realized he had been clutching her hands, and quickly released them, causing him to get red in the face.
“Thank you, Kam” Kai said, “And don’t worry: we’ll make sure those Dark Children don’t come back! If they want to try and take over the world, we’ll put them on the ninja hit list!” I chuckled.
“Ninja don’t have hit lists.”
They both giggled, trying to keep their voices down for fear of waking everyone up. With that, Kamara took a big chunk out of her sandwich, eagerly. Kai chuckled.
“Welp, I’m gonna let you eat your snack in peace. We’ve got a long day of training tomorrow. I gotta get to bed!” He smiled warmly.
“Well, it may not have been girl talk, but it will do.”
As Kai started out the door, she added, “You know, maybe there is some potential…between the two of us.”
THE END || STAY TUNED FOR PART 2