My feet hit the pavement hard, the noise echoing around the nearly desolate street. 'The running always helps, the fighting always helps, the pain always helps'. I repeat this mantra inside my head so many times that it should start to be true, but it doesn't. It did used to help. The pain, the fighting, the running. It used to distract me from anything that was bothering me. Maybe it still does, but not for this. Not for this awful feeling that starts in the pit of my stomach and travels throughout my body. Possessing me. Taking control of my every footfall, my every thought, my every breath.

I couldn't believe it at first. We couldn't be related. Not even remotely. I never believed in any kind of god, but it was never for any actual reason. Now I couldn't. If there really was a god, how could he do this? I knew from the moment that I met Clary that she was beautiful. The very first moment I could see it was after the ravener. She was frightened. But underneath that fear, her eyes burned. With love for her mother. Hate for the evil that had attacked. And wonder. Wonder that lit up her emerald eyes. Wonder that made her beautiful. Wonder. For this new world that had been hidden. This new world that had happened all around her, but she had never once glimpsed it. Those are the things that stay imprinted in my mind no matter how much I run, or fight, or hurt.

I stopped running. My chest heaved and burned where I hadn't drawn in enough air. I clung to the pain, but it left, leaving me to stare up at the old brick apartment building. Pell-mell decorations stood out in the windows. Old faded flags, small stuffed animals and wilting flowers. My eyes traveled to one of the very top windows. It was bare of any decoration and in the late night, the glass was too dark to see into t

he unlit room. I couldn't help but wonder about her. Was she there? Was she drawing in the big chair in front of the fireplace that was never lit? Was she at Simon's house? The idea forced a small bit of jealousy to clench in the pit of my stomach.

I shook my head to myself. Why was this happening to me? I've never once even held an interest in a girl, now here I am, finding myself running unconsciously to her house in the middle of the night. I shook my head again, turned on my heel, and kept running.

'The running always helps, the fighting always helps, the pain always helps'.