An Unknown Life

May 6, 2010
By , Florien, LA

Romilda lay in her bed, looking at her favorite picture of her and her father together, both smiling in joy.

Her father was a very wise man, who taught her to play and compose classical guitar. When she was nine, at a school talent show, a talent scout recognized how well she played and made her famous. Only a year later, at her “fame anniversary”(which she had every year), her father had a heart attack and died.

She sighed and moved her misty green eyes to the window as a soft Marksville breeze shifted in.

Suddenly, her mother walked in.

“Lights out, honey,” she said.

“Yes, Mother,” Romilda said, unmoving.

They bade their goodnights, and her mother turned the light off and left.
Chapter 1: Romilda’s Plan

“Romilda, dear, it’s time to practice,” Romilda’s mother bellowed from the laundry room.

“Mother,” she called back, “can’t I have a little free time? I practice every hour, and I have homework!”

It was hard for a sixteen-year-old classical guitar prodigy to juggle school, practice, concerts, and traveling all at once.

“Your father would want you to practice.”

“My father told me that school came before anything, even before I came famous!”

They both had loved her father dearly, and Romilda missed him just as much, but her mother missed him a little too much.

“Oh, okay. But only thirty minutes!”

She looked down at her math homework, letting her shoulder-length brown hair fall beside her face. School was getting difficult for her. She was an exceptionally smart student, but ever since she became famous, her knowledge of the subjects was becoming vague.

She tapped her pencil rapidly and racked her brain for the right answer.

Eight times sixty-nine divided by x equals seven and thirty-six hundredths, she thought. Find the value of x.

she thought and thought until she finally got the answer. She leaned back and looked at the clock; she still had fifteen minutes left.

There was a sudden chirp from her bird, Shiloh, that was once very dear to her father.

She giggled and said, “I love you too, Shiloh.”

Shiloh chirped again happily as Romilda took the black-capped chickadee out of her cage. The bird nipped at her finger affectionately.

Romilda allowed Shiloh to fly off of her finger and around the room.

She flew for the next fifteen minutes until her mother called, “Romilda! Time for practice!”

Romilda’s smile faded as she placed Shiloh in her cage. She walked to the corner of her room and picked her most prized possession, her LK-6 model acoustic guitar. She sat down on the bed as her mother laid a basket of clothes outside of her door.

She sat down and said, “Play your father’s favorite.”

“I know,” Romilda retorted. “You always make me play that first.”

She began to play her father’s favorite song, which was “The Hope of the Lonely.”

The song went on, her mother swaying back and forth all the while.

“Mother?” Romilda said as she played the last chord of the song.

“Yes, sweetie?” her mother said.

“Can I have the day off tomorrow?”

“Oh, heavens no! You have a concert on Sunday, and tomorrow is Saturday! You need all the practice you can get!”

Her mother stood up and left the room, leaving Romilda sitting with an angered expression on her face.

She wanted to smash her guitar. She wanted to let Shiloh out of the window. She wanted to erase every memory of her father. Why did he have to have a heart attack? Why couldn’t he have stayed healthy and not died?

But she couldn’t stand thinking of her loyal father that way. She had to stop. It just angered her to know that her mother wanted her to live out her father’s dream for her so much that she defied everything else he had ever said. She was trapped and…and…she just couldn’t take it. Did she ever get to go shopping or to the movies with her friends? No. She didn’t have any friends to go with. Her only “friends” were the paparazzi, and they weren’t even real friends.

“I don’t hear any playing up there!” her mother yelled aggressively.

Romilda rolled her eyes and began to play a song she wrote a few days after her father died called “Promenade of Sorrow.” She thought as she played; how could she get out? It seemed almost impossible.

“I got it!” she said after playing many songs. She looked out of the window and noticed the pink and purple cloudless sky getting dark. Had she been practicing that long? Her mother must have been happy.

“Got what?” her mother said.

“Just-just an idea for a song.”

“Good! Maybe if you have it down by tomorrow you can play it on Sunday.”

Romilda smiled and sat down her guitar. She knew how to get away! She had finally figured out how to break away from her mother’s clutches. It was easier than she thought.

All she had to do was run away. After the concert Sunday, she would sneak out of the back door; no one hung out back there.

Sunday came, and Romilda had never been more excited about a concert in her life; she was usually quite morose about them. She had packed a bag of everything she needed to take with her and sneaked it into her dressing room the day before when they went to the venue to rehearse.

“Is she ready?” her mother asked, poking her head through the curtains.

“Almost,” her makeup artist replied. With a swift brush of eye shadow, he allowed her to stand up.

“Thank you, Zachary,” she said as her guitar was handed to her. She stepped onto the stage, and there was immediate clapping and yelling.

There was one boy, though, clapping politely and staring at her with severe interest.

She took a seat on the stool at the heart of the stage in front of the microphone.

“Hello everyone,” she said after the last person ceased to clap. The boy was still looking at her; it frightened her a bit. “For my first song, I will play in honor of my father, called ‘The Hope of the Lonely.’”

She began to play. She almost couldn’t stop looking at that boy, but he frightened her more and more each second, so she looked down at her guitar.

Romilda bowed as people clapped enthusiastically once more. She looked up, but the boy had disappeared. Where had he gone? She stepped off the stage, confused. After the paparazzi were done with her, and her mother left her to change clothes, her plan went into effect. She changed into some jeans and a T-shirt, and, grabbing her duffel bag, stepped out of the dressing room. She stepped into the alley behind the building, and got a little nervous. Graffiti and some pretty brutal things covered the walls.

She heard footsteps. She looked around and there, beside her, was the boy from the audience.

“What are you-“ she said before something hard hit her on the head. Everything went black.
Chapter 2: Damian’s Plan

Romilda woke up with her head throbbing wildly. She looked around; she was in a room with boarded-up windows, shabby carpet, and dusty furniture. Her duffel bag lay beside the bed.

“’Morning, sunshine,” said a casual voice. She looked towards the door and there he was again, leaning against the doorway. “How are you doing?”

“Who are you?” she asked quickly, determined for answers.

“Aren’t you going to answer my question?”

“Answer me!”

“Tell me and I’ll tell you.”

She sighed. “I’m fine.” She tried to sit up, but her head throbbed harder, so she grabbed her head and lay back down.

“Oh, here,” the boy said, running to the bed and pressing a wet cloth to her head. “I’m Damian, by the way.”

“What did you hit me with, anyway?”

“…A trash can lid. Sorry, but-”

“It’s okay. I just want to know why I’m here.”

“Well, it’s kind of hard to explain here.” He held out his hand. “What kind of world would you love to go to?”

Romilda looked bewildered, but answered, “Probably a world of peace where nothing bad happens.”

“I was hoping you’d say that. Take my hand.”

She took Damian’s hand. In an instant, everything went blurry and she had the sensation that she was being forced through a small tube.

As she gasped for breath, they appeared in a meadow.

“Where are we?” she asked, still puzzled and a little anxious now.

“We are in the Land of Peace,” Damian answered.

“It doesn’t look peaceful.” She looked at the sky; it was gray, as was everything else. “It looks really depressing.”

She heard a soft singing sound. She looked down and saw that they were in a field of dead roses. There were many fairies in the midst of them singing sadly:
“Best and dearest flower that grows,
Perfect both to see and smell;
Words can never, never tell
Half the beauty of the Rose-
Buds that open to disclose
Fold on fold of purest white,
Lovely pink, or red that glows
Deep, sweet-scented. What delight
To be fairy of the Rose!”

“Why do they sound so sad?” Romilda asked worriedly.

“Because our king left and our queen died,” Damian replied. “It pretty much destroyed our world.”

“Then why did you take me here? It’s not my problem.”

“Actually, yes it is. Watch.” He picked up one of the dark flowers and held it up. “Think of your happiest moment and wave your hand over this rose.”

She thought of her last few minutes with her father. When she waved her hand over the rose, it straightened up and turned a glowing red. One of the tiny fairies regained color at once and flew to stand on top of the rose.

“Thank you, my queen,” she said in her tiny voice, bowing.

“You’re welcome,” Romilda said, slightly frightened.

The blond fairy carried the now beautiful flower away. Romilda turned to Damian.

“How did I just do that?” she asked frantically.

“You are destined to be queen,” Damian told her.

“But why?” She still had trouble taking in the fact that she was in another world. Damian sighed.

“Your father was the king here, and everyone was happy. He left after a couple of years. The queen, your mother and being alone, failed to rule the world on her own. She died.”

“My mother is at home probably panicking about where I am.”

“Wrong. King Dmitri left right after Queen Kari had you. I’ve always wondered why he wanted to go to that wretched place. It was cruel.”

“Cruel?” Romilda laughed. “My father? My father was the least cruel person I’ve ever met!”

“He was cruel to us.”

“Because he left?!” She clenched her fists. “Someone could’ve persuaded him to leave me here.”

“We tried. Everyone did.”

“I don’t want to hear this anymore!” Tears perched on her eyes like small birds just waiting to fly away.

The sky suddenly turned darker than it already was; clouds covered it, and it began to rain.

“That happens when someone is mad,” Damian said matter-of-factly. “Calm down.”

Romilda looked into his ice blue eyes, which seemed endless now. They calmed her. She unclenched her fists and the tears died away; Damian’s physiognomy smoothed over, and he held out his hand again.

“Are we leaving?” Romilda asked.

“No,” Damian responded. “We’re going to your parents’ house.”

They walked hand-in-hand through many fields and meadows until they approached a house that was entirely entangled in vines. There was a wooden sign in front of the house which stated:
“Here lives the family of
Dmitri, Kari, and the newly-born Romilda Masterson.”

There were words carved into the sign around her father’s name like, “Scum!” and, “Cruel!”

“How do we get in?” Romilda asked.

“You ask a lot of questions,” Damian said. He walked to the vine-covered gate and made a series of hand motions.

The vines shrank back into the ground, leaving the house vine free and much more inviting. They walked through the now shining silver gate and to the door.

It was green with many flowers carved artistically along the edges.

Damian entered the house, and Romilda followed.

The house was very quaint, a bit like an at-home café. She walked into the kitchen, curious to see more of her former home. In the middle of the kitchen was a table that resembled a tea table. There were three chairs around it: Two regular chairs, and a high chair.

She walked over and ran her fingers over the high chair, trying to maybe remember some things when she was here and looking out of the window at the gray sky. After a few seconds, she felt an engraving. Looking down, she noticed a carving of a very queer symbol.

Damian was suddenly beside her.

“You know, your parents were very modest people,” Damian said, looking around the room. “That’s why they didn’t want a castle. I can tell you’re confused.”

“That’s not what I’m confused about,” Romilda told him. “Look here.”

He looked over with an expression that he was just as confused as she was.

“What is this?” she asked, and pointed at the symbol.

“That?” Damian said. “That symbolizes that someone has special powers. It’s very common.”

“What can I do?”

“You can make things regain color and thrive, as you did in the meadow.”

Romilda yawned and Damian said, “You should get some rest. Your stuff is in the room upstairs; the first door on the right.”

She opened her mouth to ask how he got it there, but shrugged and sauntered upstairs.

When she opened the door, she found that the room was shrouded in different shades of purple. They didn’t exactly match, but they went.

The light purple curtains flapped against the window pane; the bed had a violet bedspread and looked as though it had not been touched in years; and the regular purple vanity was clean.

Romilda changed and went to sleep.
Chapter 3: Changing the World

Romilda and Damian stood outside.

“All you have to do,” Damian explained, “is think happy thoughts, then take a deep breath and spread out your arms. That will restore all the color and life of the things five feet around you.”

“That will take a while to do the whole land, won’t it?” Romilda asked.

“Yes, it will.”

Romilda sighed and rolled her eyes. They laughed and began to walk around the field.

After a few hours, they came to yet another field. There was just something peculiar about it. There were thousands of frozen bodies as well as animals lying on the ground.

“H-how do I do this?” Romilda asked, putting her hands over her mouth.

“You just sit down,” Damian said, “put your hand on the person or animal, and say, ‘Live.’”

Romilda looked at him with worried eyes, but Damian’s bottomless ones calmed her again. She walked to the person closest to her.

The woman had blond hair and soft blue eyes. She had a beautiful, slender body. It seemed a shame for her to be frozen like that.

She sat down in front of the beautiful lady. She sighed, putting her hand on the body and hoped this would work. She closed her eyes.

“Live,” she breathed.

Her eyes opened, and something like glitter was emitting from the woman where someone’s heart is.

The woman gasped and widened her eyes.

“Where am I?” she asked.

“You’re home,” Romilda told her from instinct. “You’re safe.”

“Thank you.”

Romilda nodded, and the woman got up and walked away.

Damian and Romilda laughed and restored the world for a few more hours until they got tired and went to sleep.

Romilda got up the next morning and walked downstairs to find Damian already eating breakfast.

“Hello, my queen,” he said sarcastically.

“Ha, ha,” Romilda said. “You know, I’ve been thinking.”

She paused and lowered herself to sit beside Damian; he looked confused.

“When I become the actual queen, I’ll need a king. Can I choose that king?”


“Then I choose…you.”

Damian’s eyes widened, then a smile crossed his face. Romilda was nervous, and did nothing.

Suddenly, Damian leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. It seemed less than a second before he pulled away.

They both smiled at each other.

“We should get going,” Damian said. “We still have a lot more world to give color to!”

Romilda laughed and walked outside, Damian’s hand in hers.

They restored the world more quickly than expected. Quickly, the birds were chirping, the trees were swaying, and people were talking and training their animals.

Romilda would never go back to Marksville and her mother. She was probably the most worried about her she’d ever been, but she wouldn’t go back. All was well.

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