Chapter 10 : The BeginningMy eyes flutter open. It fells like it's been an eternity since sunlight has greeted me. I notice how uncomfortable I am. My clothes are dirty, my skin and hair desperately need a wash. My mouth is like sandpaper and my body is painful to the touch. What else is new, huh ?
Once my eyes are adapted to the light I take in my surroundings. My head is tilted at an uncomfortable angle and I cannot feel my legs, that have grown to numb from my immobility. Something is cutting into my waist and my
I look around and see trees flying by, already drifting away the second we pass them. The lights of a big city are still visible, far behind us, and mountains surround us.
It only takes a second to realize that I'm in a car. And cars have mirrors. Have I changed ? Am I a monster now ? I can't look. I dare myself to keep my eyes fixed on the breathtaking sights of nature and friendly deer lurking between the trees. They won't judge me whether I'm a Forgotten or still a human being, with a beating heart and a soul to keep. But my soul can't be saved anymore, can it. No matter how hard I try, I am a goner for sure. I died already, I am dead to God. I will never be a part of humanity. My life as Leah Mortel is over. Finished. It's almost ironic, Mortel, when I am no longer mortal, but immortal. Maybe I should change my name. No, bad idea. Changing anything else would mean embracing the new me. I am not that person. Nor will I ever be.
That's when it hits ! Mom and Dad, Darik... They will never know the truth. Because they believe that I was kidnapped. Well, I was but for all the wrong reasons. Adrian wants me to be his forever young looking bride, parter, girlfriend, something rather unholy let's say.
Don't get me wrong, sex doesn't repulse me but I was raised in a Catholic family, I went to church every Sunday until High School when it became uncool to go pray on weekends.
One of the most important lessons I learnt at Sunday School was about consent. How, in life, men don't want to marry in holy matrimony a woman who is not pure. That pressuring someone into a physical relationship is unacceptable, and if continuing to do so after the other has said “no” is a sin, and a federal crime. I must say, it saved me more than a few times from doing something I would have regretted later on. And I won't bend that rule I've imposed on myself for some freak, even if it kills me. Hell, I'm already dead. Death a second time can't do much harm. He might even achieve to end this torment. It looks like a rather bright path from were I'm standing. And if you were wondering, I am currently standing at Hell's front gate.
“Sleeping beauty finally awakes.”
That voice, the one that freezes me, chills me to the bone, frightens me to death (I have to stop using that pun – it's killing me), that one voice that brings nightmares along for the ride. It's his. But at the moment, I feel the opposite. It somehow sounds like bells, honey in warm milk, a soft fire, rain drops soothing you to sleep, Mozart, laughter. His voice warms me from the inside and brings butterflies to my stomach.
I turn to face him. Adrian, my soulmate, my one true love. Wait, back up ! What am I thinking ? I shake my head clear of that foggy stuff and whatever it's doing to my brain.
“How do you feel ?”
I trust my voice to work properly, not start blabbing out sonnets or something.
“Dizzy.” Great of all the insults and comebacks, I choose a lame adjective. Especially after our last meeting in his study, where I found out what he was and what I was becoming, and he took the opportunity to confessed his undying love for me.
“That's normal. And may I state that you look beautiful this evening.”
I blush, no matter how hard I try, his words effect me. His words seem to stick somewhere in my throat, next to my heart. The one that doesn't beat because of him.
He said it's evening, but how could it be. How can he tell ? To me, it's morning. The setting sun and vibrant blue horizon are marvelous. A shade I've never seen before, one words cannot describe.
I remember his flattering comment and being well brought up, thank him. Then we drive for hours, not a word is exchanged. When the sky changes from midnight black to dark blue I know dawn is approaching. I'm not the least bit sleepy though. Do Forgotten need to sleep ? We stop for gas, I could run but I feel safe with Adrian. I am as strong as he is now, so why should I fear him ? Instead, I head to the unoccupied restroom. After I wash my hands I can't stand it anymore. I cautiously glance into the mirror and shriek. My brown eyes, the ones I'd always hated for their blandness are white, like Adrian's. My own skin makes me crawl. It's to pale, I look like an Albinos. My brown hair that's had a washed out look to it since I was kidnapped is shinny and straight again. No more curls or waves. I look skinnier too and in the name of all that's holy ! My breast are larger. I look like a bra model for some popular brand. I turn from my reflection and take a step backwards, I don't even make it that far. For a strong Forgotten, my legs can't even hold up my weight. I scream, I cry, I shout out for Darik. Didn't he promise to save me ? Where is he ?
I hear approaching footsteps after a while. And I begin to hope it's him. Adrian bursts in and takes in the wrecked sight also known as me. He doesn't ask a single question, just pulls me into his strong arms. I realize that I wasn't calling for my brother but for him.
“Promise to never leave me again,” he never even left. Doesn't matter.
Adrian's white eyes meet my own, I hold on to his gaze until tears start streaming again. I need to know, hear him say the words.
“I swear it Leah.”
And with that he picks me up and carries me to his car. He is gentle with me, like a father claiming back his little girl after her first break up, persuading her to give up on guys for a few more years, so she learns more about life and gets to profit. As we hit the road once again a song is blasted through the stereo. I turn it up even louder, until I can feel the bass vibrate in my bones. I drown my painful thoughts in the music. I'm not ready to face my demons, not just yet. I will one day, but for now I have Adrian as a shield.
“Such a beautiful song,” he says.
Yes it is. Almost as beautiful as him. I shut my eyes, tuning myself to the beat instead of my new life. It's the first time I feel so connected to a rhythm, this song is the first I get to experience as a Forgotten. It's strange because I know it, as a human I had listened to it often. I even sang it sometimes. So to hear it from another perspective is like discovering it all over again. It's a song about new beginnings, and tragic ends, about hope, about life's ups and downs... It has a new meaning to me.