AwakeningThe feeling of my eyes finally opening filled me with hope but I was confused as blackness covered the air. Am I awake or asleep? I put my arms out in front of me and felt something stop them. The object was soft like a pelt, but as sturdy as bricks. I pushed the thing but groaned as brightness blurred my vision. I closed my eyes and let them adjust to the light for a few minutes. When I reopened them I looked straight up to see a grayish ceiling made of cement. I slowly sat up as my back and shoulders ached from lying down too long but I tried to focus on the room around me. The blinding light attacked me from a small window in the wall behind me as the other three walls were made of dust covered shelves filled with unknown objects. I slowly stood as I looked down to the object I had laid in just a moment before. A wooden box covered in green mold on its lid where I had touched stared back at me as I was disgusted by the thought of sleeping under such a monstrosity. A small door lay on the opposite part of the room so I slowly crept my way to it. I tried to twist the handle but it was locked so I looked around for some other type of escape. A small wooden chair covered in dust and mold caught my attention so I quickly made my way over to it. I pushed it to the window as my mind raced. I crept onto it and pulled myself to look to the window to see a latch. I undid the latch before pushing the window out. Dust flew into my face and I had to hold my breath in order to not cough and alert anyone near that the dead had risen. I used my arm strength to pull myself out into a grassy area but was shocked to feel a rain drop on my bare neck as I pulled myself fully out of the window. I shut the window and then crouched in the yard as the sunlight slowly started to disappear behind a rain cloud. I listened and watched my surrounding to make sure no one was near before sprinting to a tree a few yards away. I darted from any type of covering to the next in order to get further from the window and did not stop till I reached what appeared to be a city. I walked through the streets as people ran past me to reach shelter from the cold water attacking the earth. I noticed how humans would stare at me a few moments before moving on so I looked down. A Grey colored long sleeve, button up shirt with red collars, silver chain going from my mid-chest to my shoulder pad added to the three ribbons of achievement with metals hanging from them, gray pants, black, mud worthy combat boots, and a grey hat with a golden eagle on its center above the visor finished the outfit. What country am I in? I looked to my right to see a pub and quickly went to the door. I opened the unlocked door as a small bell sounded. A man in a white shirt, black pants, and a white apron looked up to me from behind the counter, “I’m sorry sir, but we are not open yet.”
I stared at the young boy with awe, “Tell me, Sir, where am I?”
He gave me a look of confusion and concern, “Boston of course. Are you a traveler?”
I nodded, “Indeed.”
He put one hand on his hip, “You late for the freak convention or something?”
“Watch your mouth.” I hissed but looked up as a young woman stared at me from the back door of the pub.
“Oh, I thought I heard someone,” The girl whispered, “Don’t be so rude and kick this young man out, Emit! Let him dry off from the storm,” She came over to my side, “I will take your hat for you, sir.” She offered and I smiled as I took off my cap and watched the two peoples’ faces change to shock, “Oh! I’m so sorry! I mistook you for a man with your hair up!” The girl apologized.
I smiled again, “It is alright. You are not the first or the last to mistake me for a man, Miss,” I replied, “But if it is not too much, could I ask you for some clothes? I lost my luggage on my way here.”
“Of course! You can borrow something of mine!” She said with a warm smile and then led me through the door she had come through before. We came into a small home attached to the pub and went to the third door on the first hall. She opened the door and allowed me into the very plain room as she went through her closet. She handed me a very short purple dress and smiled, “Since it will stop raining soon and it is summer, this will be the best choice of cloths.”
“Thank you very much. Is it alright if I change?” I asked and she nodded. She left the room as I unbuttoned my shirt. I peeled off the fabric before removing the large bandage I had wrapped tightly around my chest to hide my breasts so I would not be killed for hiding my gender when joining the army. I then slipped off my boots and pants before pulling on the dress. It only went halfway down my thighs but looked nice on me. The girl came in and handed me a brush and pair of shoes. I smiled towards her before accepting the brush and pulled it through my mangled mess of hair. The brown curls that went to my hips finally lay at rest on my shoulders as I accepted the shoes from the girl. They were odd shoes of this new era that had only two straps to hold the bottom of the shoe to your foot that met up between your first two toes and went back into the bottom. I slipped them on and then looked to the girl, “I have forgotten to ask for your name, Miss.”
“Isabelle Muller, my family owns this bar.”
I stopped and stared at the girl, “You wouldn’t happen to be the daughter of Hank Muller?”
She gave an odd look, “No, that is my grandfather.”
I sighed, “The world truly is small,” I whispered to myself and then looked to her, “Would you mind showing me to your grandfather? I have actually come here to look for a Mr. Hank Muller.”
She nodded, “Follow me,” She whispered and then led me down the hallway outside the room till it dead ended at a kitchen area. I looked to the small wooden table in the middle of the room to see a very elderly couple and a fairly young couple. The familiar face, aged but still so familiar, watched me in shock, “Grandfather, this woman came in because of the rain and is apparently seeking you out.”
I smiled towards the group, “Yes, I am Veronica Simmons,” I added, “I have come here to seek you out Sir Hank Muller.”
Hank quickly stood and came to me. He knelt on one knee and bowed to me, “I have been waiting so long for your return, Nicky.” He whispered and then stood. He embraced me tightly as his words warmed me, “April 6th was so long ago!”
“Tell me, Hank, what year is this?”
He sighed, “It is 2010. You have been asleep for almost 70 years.”
I sighed, “I certainly was gone a long time this go around.”
He nodded, “Please Nicky, you must stay with us. Everyone in this house knows of your existence so that they can someday become a supporter for you and our master. We will all help you.”
I sighed, “I suppose, until I find my master, I can stay here.”
He smiled but then stared at the light pink line that went around the front of my neck. I put my hand over it as he looked to me, “Is that how you died?”
I nodded, “That devil of a man slashed my throat,” I whispered, “Along with the three other wounds he has given me.”
He looked away and to his son, “Could you sign Nicky up for school with Isabelle? She will look less suspicious if she goes to school.”
He nodded and then stood. He came over to me and bowed his head, “It’s an honor to meet you, Nicky. My father has told me a lot about you,” He looked to his wife, who nodded, before looking back to me, “I will show you to the guest room. You are probably tired.” I followed him to a room next to Isabelle’s and quickly went to sleep once I was left alone. I woke up in the morning to see a uniform lying at the end of my bed. I slipped on the purple and navy plaid skirt and navy short sleeve button up shirt. A pair of black shoes was also placed on me before I left the room. I went to the kitchen to see only Isabelle and Emit. They looked up to me and then back to the bread they ate. I went to the sink but looked up when Hank came into the room.
“Hank, I believe part of my skirt is missing,” I said but was shocked when he laughed, “What is so funny?”
He smiled, “For this time of day girl’s typically wear skirts that are very short.”
I looked back down to the skirt, “How will I stay warm?”
He came over to me and put his hand on my shoulder, “It is much warmer in this country than it was in Germany, also the style for cloths is much different.”
I sighed, “Well I guess I am used to such things. The alteration to military cloths was quite a step for me also.”
Isabelle turned to us, “Grandpa never told us when you were really born. Were you born before the second world war?”
I shook my head, “Certainly not. I was born on September 19th, 698 at the far end of the last Roman-Persian war of the middle ages.”
She froze, “Holy crap!”
“Holy crap,” I turned to Hank, “What is holy crap?”
He smiled, “It is an American expression meaning my goodness.”
“Oh,” I replied and then looked to his grandson, “That boy looks much like you did when we used to work together, Hank.”
He laughed, “He certainly does.”
“When I find my master I will be sure to let him see your grandson. He will be pleased to see another man like you.”
He smiled but then looked up to a clock, “Oh! You guys need to get going or you will be late for school!” I looked to Isabelle as she stood. I then followed behind her and we left the house. We walked for almost a mile and then finally reached a large building in the middle of hundreds of houses. I followed behind Isabelle as she led me to the front office and a woman smiled.
“This is the exchange student that will be starting school here.” Isabelle announced to the woman and I quickly went over to the woman.
“It’s a pleasure to be here. I am Veronica Simmons.”
“Well, Miss Simmons, your family here in the states decided it would be best if you had all your classes with either Isabelle or Emit so we made a schedule to accommodate to their request.”
The woman handed me a paper, “Thank you.” I said before following Isabelle out of the office and down a hallway filled with staring eyes. We went to a classroom where an older man asked me to sit in the back row of seats and tables in the room. The class was an entire four hours for some reason and lasted until lunch. When the bell rang I watched Isabelle and Emit leave to go with their friends at this time. I assumed they did not have any obligation to me once Hank was not around so I did not protest about it. I went out of the room and watched as people walked around with their friends. I decided standing in the middle of the hall was not the best idea so I made my way outside. I sat under a tree and read a book the old man in the classroom had given me written by Shakespeare. I had heard men in my platoon in the war talk of this book, Romeo and Juliet, but was shocked to see it was in my native language. I had been born originally into a society that only spoke like this and the book made me feel at home even thought I was nowhere near. When another bell rang I made my way back to the classroom and took my seat. An hour went by until we finally discussed the book I had been enchanted by.
“Would anyone offer to be Romeo and perform in the front of the class?” The old man asked and a boy at the front with hair of Ireland and eyes of the sea raised his hand, The old man nodded and the boy came up to the front of the room, “Would anyone offer to be Juliet?” He asked and no one raised their hand. He looked to me and smiled, “Miss Simmons, would you please do us the honor? I understand you are fluent in English so this shall not be too difficult.”
I nodded and slowly stood. I went to the front of the class and stood a few feet from the boy from the front of the class. He cleared his throat and then locked eyes on me, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound. But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. Be not her maid, since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love! O, that she knew she were! She speaks yet she says nothing; what of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it. I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks. Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, Having some business, do entreat her eyes, To twinkle in their spheres till they return. What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven .Would through the airy region stream so bright . That birds would sing and think it were not night. See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek! “
I closed the book in my hand and looked to the boy, “Ay me!”
“She speaks! O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art As glorious to this night, being o'er my head As is a winged messenger of heaven Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds And sails upon the bosom of the air.”
I smiled, “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I'll no longer be a Capulet.”
“Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?”
I looked to the class, “Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself. “
“I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized; Henceforth I never will be Romeo.”
“What man art thou that thus bescreen'd in night So stumblest on my counsel?”
“By a name I know not how to tell thee who I am: My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, Because it is an enemy to thee; Had I it written, I would tear the word.”
”My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound: Art thou not Romeo and a Montague?”
“Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike.”
“How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, And the place death, considering who thou art, If any of my kinsmen find thee here.”
“With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls; For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do, that dares love attempt; Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.”
“If they do see thee, they will murder thee.”
“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet, And I am proof against their enmity.”
“I would not for the world they saw thee here.”
“I have night's cloak to hide me from their sight; And but thou love me, let them find me here: My life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.”
“By whose direction found'st thou out this place?”
“By love, who first did prompt me to inquire; He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes. I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea, I would adventure for such merchandise.”
“Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face,Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight. Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny What I have spoke, but farewell compliment! Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say "Ay," And I will take thy word; yet if thou swear'st, Thou mayst prove false; at lovers' perjuries They say, Jove laughs. O gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully; Or if thou think'st I am too quickly won, I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay,So thou wilt woo; but else, not for the world. In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond, And therefore thou mayst think my behavior light, But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true Than those that have more coying to be strange I should have been more strange, I must confess,But that thou overheard'st, ere I was ware, My true love's passion: therefore pardon me, And not impute this yielding to light love Which the dark night hath so discovered.”
“Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—“
“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.”
“What shall I swear by? “
“Do not swear at all. Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, Which is the god of my idolatry, And I'll believe thee.”
“If my heart's dear love—“
“Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight: It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden; Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be Ere one can say "It lightens." Sweet, good night! This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath, May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. Good night, good night! as sweet repose and rest Come to thy heart as that within my breast!”
“O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? “
“What satisfaction canst thou have tonight? “
“The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.”
“I gave thee mine before thou didst request it: And yet I would it were to give again.”
“Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?”
“But to be frank, and give it thee again. And yet I wish but for the thing I have. My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. I hear some noise within; dear love, adieu!
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true. Stay but a little, I will come again.” I stopped reading as a bell rang and then followed the class to another room. I went into a room with a sign that said ‘locker room’ but stopped when I saw Isabelle, “What is this place, Isabelle?” I asked and she gave me a look as if I had asked her what my nose was.
“This is the locker room for gym. Here, you can borrow my spare gym uniform for today,” She said and then led me to one of the lockers on the top row of three rows. She put in a combination into the lock and then locker opened. She handed me a pair of navy shorts and a purple tank top. I accepted it and switched into them as I watched other girls in the room do the same. I jumped when a cold hand was placed on my shoulder but then turned to see a girl. I stood in only my bra and shorts so I felt slightly uncomfortable.
“Wow! You have a six-pack!” she said as she pointed to my stomach. I nodded and then watched her walk away. I quickly slipped on my shirt as an older woman blew a whistle while coming into the room.
“Let’s go ladies! It’s Friday so we are going to the weight room!” She hollered before I followed in the group as the other girls followed the old woman out of the room. We walked down three halls before reaching a door. When it was opened I saw machines of all kinds and boys walking around them as we came into the room. I stopped as I saw a boy lifting a bar with weights on either side while lying on a small bed like thing. I went over to the two boys who were watching another boy and smiled.
One of the dark haired, dark eyed boys looked from me and to the other one who was standing, “¿No es eso el nuevo niña?” Is that the new girl?
The other boy nodded, “Si, es el estudiante alemán de cambio.” Yes, she’s the exchange student from Germany. He replied and I smiled towards him.
“¿Es bien si utilizo esta máquina?” Is it alright if I use this machine?
They both froze and the first one to speak looked to me, “¿Habla español?”
I nodded, “Si, pero no mucho.” Yes, but not much. I replied but smiled towards the guy who had been lifting weights and stopped. He stood and looked to me.
“Soy hecho de todos modos.” I’m done anyways, he replied before walking away with the other two guys. I lie down on the bench and lifted the 45 lb bar and the 40 pounds put on either end with ease. I kept doing reps of the lifting until we were told by the old woman it was time to go back. I went back to the locker room and changed back into my uniform before the last bell rang. We were let out of school and I watched as Isabelle and Emit walked away with their friends to have me try to find my own way back to their home. It took me 45 minutes than it should have to walk back to their house since I got lost a few times. When I finally got there Hank opened the door when I rang the bell and he let out a sigh.
“Where have you been, Nicky? My grandchildren got back 30 minutes ago.”
I smiled, “Sorry, I left before them and got lost.”
“Are you alright, Nicky? You don’t look well,” He put his hand on my forehead and gasped, “You’re running a fever too.”
I sighed, “It is my body rejecting my soul,” I whispered as I walked into the house and Hank shut the door, “This happens every time I am reborn. My body wants to reject my soul since it has not been cleansed like most souls are when a person dies and their soul is passed on.”
“Is there anything we can do for it?”
I shook my head, “I will be deathly ill until I am reunited with my master.”
“Then let’s start our search.” He said and I nodded. I put down my book and the followed Hank to his car outside.