Over the coming weeks, Samus and Carta didn't grow closer as a pair of sisters. Instead, they repelled each other until they hardly spoke at all. With every passing day, Carta's bitterness ballooned and her jealousy ignited into a scorching flame. Even though her clumsiness had ruined some of her father's past experiments, she felt deprived of a great opportunity to learn about things she could never find in any of her books. On the other hand, even though Samus was gifted with the pleasure of participating in all the science experiments she could possibly ask for, she was still unhappy. Samus knew that with every experiment, her sister's anger would only multiply and Samus soon begun to fear that Carta would resort to drastic measures. She never did, though. For as indignant and irate as Carta grew to be, she never expressed her anger in front of anyone but herself. The bitterness cooked in her mind like a boiling soup, but it never dissipated. Carta never let it escape.
That is, until one fateful day when Carta allowed her temper to slip through the cracks, the day that would change the Aran family forever. This day seemed no different than any other typical day in Drazur. The parents of the town had sent all their children away to the city's school while they tended to their assigned tasks for the day. Madame Signia was the name that the teacher demanded her students to call her. She was a plump woman who wore glasses with lenses as thick as a finger. Madame Signia had a personality as cold and cruel as the iron floors of the city's iron floors, her face always had a frowning expression glued to it, and her voice was a monotone buzz that slipped past the ears of all her students.
Samus and Carta were intentionally seated in opposite ends of the class (Madame Signia held a firm belief that allowing siblings to sit close together would only open the door for disruptions in her tightly monitored classroom). Samus sat in the back left corner and Carta was placed in the front right corner. Just to the left of Carta sat a girl named Louise; everyone knew she was nothing but trouble, but no one had the courage to stand up to her. Louise, just like her own mother, was a petite, young girl with flowing blonde hair and a smile that could manipulate gullible minds and that was exactly why none of her fellow students could touch her. She had the adults wrapped around her little fingers. No matter what Louise did or said, none of the adults would believe any accusations of wrongdoing made against her.
Samus knew the truth all too well, though. She didn't know why Louise said what she said or did what she did, but Samus did know that Louise was a menace. That day, during class, Samus saw the menace leaning to the right, toward Carta, whispering something into Carta's ear. After Louise had said what she wanted to say, Carta turned her head toward Samus and Carta gave her sister a suspicious glare. She wore an expression that told Samus that she had listened to Louise's venomous words. As Carta turned her head back around, Samus' heart sunk into her stomach. She felt betrayed, as though she no longer had a sister.
"Samus! You need to pay attention!" Samus' heart skipped a beat as she was startled by Madame Signia's outburst. She immediately looked at her instructor who had glaring, burning eyes locked onto her inattentive student. "Do you even know what I asked you?"
"No, Madame," Samus responded with a defeated tone of voice as she lowered her eyes back to the rough surface of her iron desk. Madame Signia let out an angry scoff and continued on with the lesson.
Madame Signia's lecturing words drifted to the back of Samus' mind and she returned her attention to her sister. Just like before, Louise had leaned over and was whispering something indiscernible to Carta. However, this time, Carta wasn't responding to anything that Louise was saying. She just sat in her seat, as stiff as the classroom's iron floor. Samas did notice that with every passing second, Carta's face was growing redder. It wasn't from embarrassment, though; it was from anger. Carta was fuming and looked as though her cheeks were about to pop like balloons. All of a sudden, Carta shot out of her chair, lunged toward Louise, and attacked the instigator. All of the kids remained in chairs, frozen by the shock of Carta's unforeseen assault. After throwing her instant horror aside, Madame Signia rushed to stop the one-sided barrage, but Carta was too lost in her furious stupor. Despite being tugged away by Madame Signia, Carta continued to fervently throw punch after punch at her adversary, dealing an unspeakable amount of damage.
"Somebody help me!" the teacher grunted as she tried to pull Carta away. That was when everyone in the class, except for Samus, shot out of their chairs and grabbed ahold of any part of Carta's body that they could. Samus could do nothing except for stand at a safe distance from the horrid display of aggression. She had never seen Carta lose control of herself like she did that day; Carta's anger had transformed her into someone unrecognizable. After Carta was subdued by her classmates, she started to calm down and her cheeks returned to their natural color. "Take her to the headmaster!" Madame Signia commanded, irate with Carta's brutish behavior. The students holding onto Carta immediately obeyed her command and rushed Carta out the door and down the hall.
Once they were all gone, Madame Signia, Louise, and Samus were the only ones remaining in the classroom. "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," Madame Signia said quietly as she knelt down by Louise's side. Louise was wailing from the punishment that was dealt to her. Crimson blood streamed down her face and onto her lavender blouse, her broken nose was bent to the side, leaning toward her right eye, and uncontrollable tears were pouring out of her eyes. Samus had never seen anyone in as much pain as Louise was experiencing. Madame Louise quickly took her brutally injured student into her arms and rushed out the classroom door, making her way toward the school's nurse, leaving Samus all alone.
Samus could think of nothing other than eruption she had just witnessed. She saw Carta's rage which consumed her entire body like a poisonous plague. What could Louise have possibly said to warrant such a reaction? Samus thought silently. Carta had absolutely no past of violent behavior, no signs of aggression, nothing that would've indicated she was capable of doing what she did today. Samus shuddered at the thought of what would've happened if Carta hadn't been stopped, if Madame Signia and all her students hadn't dedicated the entirety of their strength to shackle Carta's fiery outburst. Samus knew that if Carta would've had her way, the entire class would've seen a corpse on the ground.
Later that night, Samus stayed in her bedroom as she heard the irate screams of her mother and father coming from the living room. They offered Carta no mercy and Carta said in return as the barrage of her parents' words endured for what seemed like an eternity. At long last, Samus heard her father order Carta to go to her bedroom. Samus scrambled to find the closest book and pretended to be engulfed in the book's word. The bedroom door slowly opened and Samus peeked over the top of the book's cover. She saw Carta slowly dragging her feet toward her bed. Carta's skin was colorless, making her look like a ghost, and her expressionless face has glistening streaks running down her cheeks, undoubtedly from tears. Samus wanted to be a loving sister and comfort Carta, but no words came to her mind. There was nothing she could say that would alleviate what Carta had done.
"Samus!" her father called from the living room. Samus immediately threw the book aside, jumped off her bed, and rushed into the living room. When she arrived, she saw her mother and father both standing next to the couch. Meredith wore a mixed expression of sadness and concern on her face; clearly, she was still upset by the day's events. James, on the other hand, was trying to calm his anger and had his arms crossed across his chest. With a calm but shaky voice, he said, "Please sit down."
Samus didn't dare to protest or argue, so she obediently sat on the plump couch cushions. Her mother spoke first, saying, "We're concerned about you."
"Me?" Samus immediately shot back, blindsided by what she just heard. "But I didn't do anything!"
"We know that, but Carta had never done anything before today either," Meredith responded. "We just want to know that you won't do something like this."
"Of course not! I'd never hurt anyone," Samus promised to her parents.
"Okay. We believe you," James said with a forced smile. Samus could see that he was still struggling to regain control over his emotions. His rage was a monsoon that was trying to flood through the cracks in his mind.
"Will Carta be allowed to come to school with me anymore?" Samus asked with a concerned tone in her voice.
James and Meredith looked into each other's eyes as if to ask whether it was time to reveal the truth. Meredith gave her husband a slight nod of the head, signaling for him to tell Samus. James let out a tired sigh and said, "Samus, this situation is worse than that. Louise's parents are up in arms about what happened today. Carta can never be in the same room as Louise ever again, but even that may not be enough. There are a lot of parents who want her to be severely punished and we're not sure there's much that we can do to stop it."
"What's going to happen her?" Samus asked, scared for the safety of her sister.
"It's hard to say, Samus," her father responded with regret in his voice. "Nothing that your mother or I say or do will make her actions any less egregious. If I could shield both of you from all the consequences that come your way, I would, but that's not how reality works. Carta's fate is out of our hands."
"Tomorrow, Carta is going to be brought before the town's Captain and he'll pass out his judgment," Meredith said. "Whatever he decides will be what Carta must face."
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