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Author's note: This is a piece that I'm very proud of and hope everyone enjoys it as much as did writing it.
The evening breeze whispers to the tree limbs making them sway back and forth out of laughter. A single light hanging in the black sky shines down on the stiff, frozen dirty. In the shape of a circle the light source guides me to the small town that was once so lively and wonderful. A symphony of owl’s hoots and wolves’ whines fill the night air some for fun others for love but most out of fear.
I’m lost and can’t find my place in this world. Trying to see which path will lead me to people that understand me and my ways. As I walk nothing but confusion fills my mind. I’m a lost soul wondering the roads of life. The maze of life is hard to figure out but once you find your way things become more clear and easier to understand. I am a forgotten child of the pack. A man with low self-esteem, not sure what to believe in or what I used to believe in.
I continues down the long dirt road till I reach the big, torn down sign reading in white letters Paradise Hills. This town is the first stop to my long journey, just a temporary home that I will pass through. Maybe I’ll stay for a year or so but most likely it will just be a month at the most. Until I finds my place in with world I cannot rest or relax, I must keep pushing forward, though the cold weather and screaming heat.
The village hotel stood at the end of the town, the paint job is slowly pilling away and some of the windows are cracked. The door is the only thing that is in decent shape, it is a red door with a sign that says: Come on in! We’re open! Trying to pull people in by its loving words.
I slowly push the door open and take a step inside. Not a creak of the wooden floors or a whisper of a whining gust echoes through the building. A young lad, maybe around 18, so my age, stood behind the counter. His honey colored hair just falls right before his eyes which are a light blue. His face is lifeless and shows no emotions.
“Ja-Can I help you?” The blonde starts his first train of thought but then corrects himself. His voice is surprisingly full of life and happiness.
“I would like a room for the night.” I said in a distant voice. Looking around the inside of the hotel to see a beautiful painting of an angle with black wings. The sight confused me...an angle with black wings?
“Sure. Do you like it?” The blonde gestured to the painting.
“It’s very odd. Black wings...” I hear that my voice is even more lifeless and dull than before. “Where you get it?” I turn and face the boy.
“Well, my grandpa met this painter along time ago and the painter asked him if he had ever seen an angle with black wings. My grandpa replied with a no and said that’s crazy. The man continued to say that there is just one and that he met him before.” The boy stopped to take a break and catches his breathe. “My pa told him that he was crazy. The man started to look through his paintings and stopped when he came across the angle. He showed it to my pa and said: “Well then sir, now you have.” He gave my grandpa the painting and walked off.”
I study the picture, sorrow and despair fills me. I fell sorry for the angle for its eyes are filled with sadness and has a face that cried of lonesome.
“I need you name for the room.” The blonde explained.
“Jace.” I tell.
“All righty Jace. Here you are.” He handed me a bronze key and pointed to the hallway and told me the turn right at the end of it. I did as he said and continue down to the sixth door which is labeled by the number 11 craved into it. I put the key in the door and pushed it open. A cot sat in the back of the room and a wooden desk sat across from it. There is a dresser in the back corner.
I walk to the bed and flop down on it. I stare at the roof above me wondering if this is where I belong or not. Wondering if I should continue down this path or find a new one. A distant past that will forever haunt me, a terrible secret that will forever be with me, not allowed to be told to anyone.
I feel the black figures lingering above me.
The sun shines through the window and onto my face. The light shimmers on my pale skin, running its finger’s through my jet black hair. Laughter of children echoes in the walls of my room. I open my slivery-blue eyes and stare at the crack in the shades where the light creeps through. I pick myself off of the stiff cot and walk over to my bag that is only filled with a few of my belongings and pull out a small book named The Lost One, opened to about half way and start reading.
A loud bang comes from outside the door, the sound of glass breaking echo through the hallow walls. I walk over to the door, open it, and stroll down the hallway. In the main lobby the big chandelier that once hung high above the floor rest on the ground. Glass laid around it, few were big slivers while others way to small for the naked eye.
I see something move out of the corner of my eye. I turn to see the blonde headed boy that checked me in last night balled up in the corner crossing his arms over his face. He slowly pulls his arms down and looks at the glass light source located on the ground. His eyes are wide and his breathing heavy.
“Are you okay?” I ask. I place my hand out if front of the frail blonde. The boy excepts my hand and allows me to haul him up.
“I’m fine,” he stuttered, “it didn’t look like it would fall down but I guess it wasn’t as sturdy as I thought.” He laughs.
“Your bleeding.” I say as I study the boy’s arm. The red liquid drips to the floor, leaving red streaks. I rip the sleeve off my shirt and start wrapping it around his arm. The blonde looks up at me with fearful eyes, he is still shook up about the event that had just occurred. He slowly brings a smile upon his face to show his gratitude.
“Thanks...” he forces out, “my name is Ryan by the way.”
I help Ryan to his feet and look over at the glass structure in the center of the room. Laughter comes from its beaded cored that once held it up. The laughter is towards Ryan’s arm that is was successfully able to get its clear crystals to cut.
I understood the feelings of the beautiful chandelier. This feelings of just wanting attention from others, the feeling of loneliness, the feeling of defeat. Even though I understands these feelings I doesn’t fill sad or sorry for the crying item.
Ryan walks over to the corner of the room, picks up the broom, and starts to sweep up the mess.
“Would you like help?” I ask.
“Oh, no its fine. Your my guest I couldn’t possibly do that. I’ll be fine don’t worry.” Ryan smiled as he rubbed the back of his head.
“Are you sure?” I ask again to see if he is positive.
“Yes. You should go see the town, not waste your time here cleaning.”
I nod my head and walk back to my room to change my shirt, then start to head out of the small hotel. On the other side of the red door kids run around with their wooden swords and cloth dolls. A boy with short brown hair and freckles, takes a young girl, with long blonde hair and icy blue eyes, doll and runs off. The little girl starts to cry and tell him to give it back.
I walk over to her, put my hand on her head, and told her that it will be all right. She slowly stops to cry and wipes her rosy red cheeks. A smile appears on her face, her eyes lighten up.
“Thank you, sir! I’m Elizabeth Carter but most people call me Lizzy!” The blonde throws her arms around my neck. I feel my eyes widen, shock from her movements. This is a feeling that I’ve never known.
The little blonde takes my hand and drags me around the town. We walk in and out of the shops and venders on the side of the road. People stare at the two of us as we weave in and out of the different obstacles. As she lead me through the village, she stops suddenly and looks up and a piece of paper hanging on a wooden pole.
“Lizzy?” I look down at the confused looking girl. “What’s the matter?”
“Look!” She pointed to the paper, “He looks just like you!” I look at the paper that was labeled. Missing Prince! Lizzy stared at the flyer, then at me and back at the flyer. She studies both of us long and hard.
I just watch her try to figure out the truth. “Ahh! I don’t know! Is that you?” she whines. Lizzy looks at me with a serious face. A long pause comes between us then I starts to laugh. I hold my side to keep it from aching.
“You’re funny Lizzy!” I laugh. “Well, even if that is me I could tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.” This time my voice is a little more serious.
Lizzy cocks her head to the side and looks at me in confusion. She tightens her grip on my hand and just stares at me. We continue down the road till we come across the town fountain.
An angel sits in the middle of the fountain. The statue has long hair that lays right below her lower back and has big, lonesome eyes. She hold a vase in her hands and gently pours water into the base of the structure. The statue is very clean. People look at it with clam faces and caring eyes, like it’s a goddess. A goddess of love.
The two of us sit and stare at the sculpture.
“Jace, do you have any memory of your past?” Lizzy ask as she looks up at me. My eyes are wide and I have a lifeless look on my face.
“Why do you ask?” I respond.
“Well, It’s because earlier you said ‘even if that is me I could tell you whats right and what’s wrong.’” Lizzy stopped talking a watches me. “What did you mean?
I turn my sight from Lizzy to the ground, trying to think up away to avoid the question. From the looks of things this will be a hard subject to dodge. Even though I’ve tried to keep this issue from surfacing, it always finds its way to out.
A while passes, I snap out of my deep thought. Nothing has came to my mind to escape the subject.
I stood up and start to walk off, I feel that it’s the only way too leave the topic as it is. I turn around and stare at Lizzy she still has that confused face. She shows no sign of following me so I continue to walk farther away. I hear a thump come from behind me. I can tell that Lizzy is running to catch up to me. I feel a sharp pain in my left leg when I look down I see Lizzy’s foot in my leg.
“Lizzy...that hurt!” I spin around to face her. She has a pissed off look from ear to ear and her arms are folded across her chest.
“Good!” She yells and starts to walk in front of me. She turns around and asks if I’m coming. I shake my head and follow her. “You don’t have to answer my question anymore. Your reaction earlier told me what I wanted to know.”
“Then why exactly did you have to kick me?” I asked her with a smile. She looks up at me and smiles. Even though she doesn’t say a word I know exactly what she’s thinking. Because you walked away from me!! “Sorry.” I tell her.
I wave good bye to Lizzy and watch her skip down the road and disappear around the corner. I go into the front door of the hotel. The mess is cleaned up and Ryan is asleep behind the counter. He has a book opened and resting on his chest. He is leaning back in his chair, ready to fall at any moment. I walk over a slam my hand down on the wooden desk. The nose makes him lose his balance and fall onto the floor.
Ryan jumps off of the ground and looks around the room. He sighs and looks over at me, his eyes are filled with mixed feels. Part hate, part happy, part annoyed. I just laugh at the look on his face.
He walks over to he chair and picks it up off the ground. His book is closed making him have to skim over the pages to find his spot. It takes him a few minutes till he finds what he was looking for and fold the corner of the page.
“You seem to be in a good mood...” Ryan said in a monotone voice. He picks himself off the ground again and places the book on top of the counter.
“Well, you looked so peaceful as you slept so I had to just ruin that. Plus you shouldn’t be sleeping on the job.” I explain.
“Really Jace...” I stare at Jace’s dark black hair and study the liveliness in his eyes. This lost boy is someone that I once knew very well. Suddenly showing up in the middle of the night but why is he here of all places? Yesterday he was lifeless, a living doll but today his been very happy and cheerful.
“Sorry.” He says with a smile on his face. Jace has this vibe around him, a strange vide. It’s cheerful yet has a dark feel to it, as if he is trying very hard to keep something horrible from coming to the surface. “Oi, I said sorry!”
Jace waves his hand in front of my face. I snap out of my train of thought and just stare at this lost little boy. “Okay, okay. I forgive up but don’t do it again!”
He just smiles and heads over to the sofa in the middle of the lobby. He flops down on it and leans his head back on the edge of the it, letting his hair fall towards the ground, exposing his forehead. He closes his blue eyes and lets out a giant sigh.
I walk back over to my sit, grab my book, and start to read. While I read I hear Jace continue to sigh. I look up to see him staring at me.
“Can I help you, lost one?” I say to him.
“I’m bored!” He says in a childish voice. He turns around in the chair to look at me. His knees are folded under him and his resting his chin on the back of the sofa. The look on his face scream stop-reading-and-entertain-me. I just look at him.
“You know you’re kinda weird.” I tell him. “Also, you somewhat remind me of a dog.”
“Huh? I’m not a dog.” He yells and turns his back away from me. He folds his arms around his chest.
“I take that back, you’re not a dog, you’re more like a puppy. Always trying to get attention, if you don’t you become mad and grumpy.” I say in a serious voice. Then start to laugh.
“Whatever!” Jace says in an annoyed voice. I just continue to laugh and go back to reading me book. After a while I feel someone over my shoulder. I turn to see Jace look at my book. He looks serious like when I first saw him. That lonely, lifeless, dead look. It screams out for help, for someone to pick him up to of the darkness surrounding him.
He reminds me of the falling angel in painting that hangs across the room or maybe even a lost prince, that doesn’t know his place in this world. Its not like I could ask him about his past, he would probably think that’s strange. All I know is that he is one of those guys that doesn’t like bring others into their problems. I know his hiding something very important. He puts on fake smiles but his eyes are always screaming for someone to rescue him.
I watch him as he reads over my shoulder. He looks at the words with such lonesome. I close the book and flick his forehead. Jace falls back a step and holds his forehead. Eyes wide yet still lifeless. I stand up and put my hand on his head. Jace is short and frail looking. He only comes up to my shoulders.
“What’s bothering you?” I ask him. He just looks at me with surprised eyes.
“What do you mean? I’m fine...” Jace looks down at the floor. Making him look even smaller than he is.
“Let me guess you’re a lost boy with no where to go. A boy that doesn’t know his path. Trying to find the truth to his existents?” I blurt out. Jace slowly looks back up at me. Eyes wide again, tears swelling up ready to flow over his cheeks.
Just looking at one another I await for his responds. Depending on how much he know will I tell him the truth about him and the truth about me. I’ll tell him more to his past than he may recall.
I never thought I would see him again since we split ways. Right after we grow apart I got word of his horrible accident. At that very moment is when he lost his way becoming the living doll he is today.
Jace looks at me in shock. He tries to force out something but it doesn’t come out. He backs up from he till his backs reaches the wall.
“Who are you?” He ask.
“I already told you my name is Ryan. That is who I’ve been since I was little and is who I am today.”
“That’s not what I mean...What I mean is who are you to me?” He just looks at me with those big scared eyes. “do you know who I am?”
“Jace Witherspoon, you are a very well known person around this area of the world. You come from a very rich family and are the next air to claim your father’s place. Your father is a well loved man, a very kind and gentle father. He loves you from the bottom of his heart. Your family loves you. You have two brothers, that are younger than you and a little sister. They all look up to you, they see you as their knight in shining armor.”
“How do you know so much about my family and me?” His voice quivers a little as he speaks. Confusion and fear all at once. I want nothing more than to tell him everything I know about him but I feel that the loads and loads of history that we once shared would end up crushing him. I fear that his heart is not strong enough to hear the whole truth. Even though I want him to remember everything that happened, I want to protect him and the only way to do that is to only share things that won’t hurt him. I think that being able to protect him is far more important than my own wishes.
This pain in my chest is something that I don’t want him to feel. I rather him be happy and cheerful.
I look back at Jace’s fearful eyes and take a deep breathe. Not wanting to tell him anymore, wanting nothing more then to dodge this subject.
“Well then, what did you do in town today?” I say trying to change the subject.
“Ryan don’t dodge my question!” He yells.
“I hear there is a new bakery shop. Did you go in it?” I say pretending not to hear him. He comes over to me and pushes me into the wall. A sharp pain races through out my back. Jace is mad and wants answers, even though I know this, I’ve known since I saw him last night but I won’t tell him.
“Ryan! I told you not to change the subject! How do you know this much about my family?” He is yelling at the top of his lunges. I can hear the annoyance and sadness in his voice.
“I’m sorry Jace but I will not tell you anymore for now. Please try to understand that I’m only doing this to protect you. If I tell you everything that I know it will crush you. Your heart can’t handle all the truth right now, but I promise I will tell you everything I know a little at a time. So please stop.” I remove Jace’s hand from my shirt collar. He just stares at me with those rejected eyes.
Without say a word Jace turns and walks into the back hallway and disappears into his room.
The look in his eyes hurt me. I hate this feeling a want it to go away and never come back but I order to protect Jace I will bear with it. I will not allow Jace to be hurt any farther then he already has.
Morning comes around slow. I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night because of all the things floating in my head.
A hear the door open and in walks a little girl with blond hair and red cheeks. She wanders over to the desk. She stares at me with a stern look, rubbing her chin with her hand. Finally she starts to smile and holds out a book with a golden title.
“What do you need Lizzy?” I ask her.
“Glad you asked! Well, first off I wanted to gave you this book. It looks like something you would read. Second, I wanted to ask you about the Lost Prince.” She says with a big smile and cheerful eyes.
“Well, what do you want to know about that silly story?” I say as I reach for the book. She pulls it back from me and holds it over her head. “I promise I will tell you all that you want to know.”
“Good” Lizzy declares. She hands me the book, I open it to the first page and start to read. “Well, you were close friends with him when you were younger but you two split ways a year or two ago, right?” Lizzy ask as she crosses her legs.
“Yes, that is quite correct. So?” I say reading the black leather novel.
“So, Why do you think he would leave?”
“Maybe he lost his way and left to find his own path. Or maybe he was took by another noble family. What the heck, the Mafia could have got their hands on him.”
“Ryan, that’s not what I mean. Well, I guess it is but I want to hear your true answer! The real reason he left.”
“But one of those is the real reason. You just have to figure out with one is correct.” I tell the irritated girl.
“Mmmmm, fine. Oh, and is Jace in?”
“Jace? Uh, well I think so he should be in his room. You can go check.”
“Thanks Ryan!” I watch Lizzy skip down the hallway and turn right. I hear a knocking from the hallways, followed by a door opening and closing.
I go back to reading the book Lizzy dropped off. It is about a little boy that has lost sight of reality and can’t seem to find his way out of the darkness that has swallowed up his heart. He is tricked into thinking that his family hates him and is casted away. Dying from a broken heart.
As I read farther into the book I suddenly begin to realize that the main character in this book sounds so much like Jace. He is an exact replica of him, as if Jace as wrote it himself.Even though that could never be true, if Jace had wrote this I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be as lost as he is right now.
I hear a door open and close from the hallway, footsteps coming closer to the lobby. I can hear Lizzy’s cheerful voice creeping closer and closer. She is laughing, I can already tell that she’s pulling Jace by his hand, telling him to hurry. I can tell that Jace is just smiling at her and nodding his head.
Lizzy’s blonde hair pops around the corner. As I thought she is dragging Jace by the arm. All his doing is smiling, allowing her to pull him. Lizzy runs over to the desk once again. Her smile bigger than before, eyes filled with happiness.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Jace staring at me but to keep from possibly bring up the fight last night I don’t look at him. I just study Lizzy and the book that lays in my lap.
“Do you like it?” Lizzy ask in a childish voice.
“Well,...To tell you the truth-”
“Ah! You don’t like it but it sounds like the story you told me when you first moved her. You know the one about your old friend.” Lizzy whines.
“If you would have let me finished, I would have told you that it is a nice story even though it’s in fact rather sad. Anyway thank you Lizzy.” I place my hand on Lizzy’s hair and stroke it back.
“Ryan are you feeling all right?” Lizzy says in a concerned voice. Without saying a word I smile and nod my head. I stand up out of my chair and head for the door. Without saying a word I leave Jace and Lizzy in the lobby of my hotel.
I can’t seem to find the strength to stay behind and put on my fake smile.
Lizzy and me watch Ryan walk out of the big, red door and disappear into the crowd of people.
“It’s so strange...” Lizzy mumbles.
“What?” She looks up at me with worried eyes. I can see tears starting to rise.
“Ryan’s back to his old self. His lonesome self, that never allows anyone in. He used to always be so sad...and...well lost. When I first met him he was just like this, he never told me any stores of his past until one day when I found him alone by the old barn. He was crying, I asked him what was wrong. At first he wouldn’t tell me a word. He just looked at me with lifeless eyes.” Lizzy stops and wipes the tears off her face. Her eyes have turned red. She tries to stop her tears from bleeding down her face but they won’t.
“Has he ever told you his story?”
“Just one. He told me a story about an old friend of his. A very precious friend of his. Would you like me to tell it to you?”
I nod my head and we sit down on the sofa in the middle of the room. Lizzy is holding a leather book, it’s the one that Ryan was reading earlier.
“Alrighty then, Once an upon a time there was a very noble kid, like a prince. So kind and caring, always showing love for everyone. He never complained or spoke out of term. Yes, truly a prince in every way, good fighter and ruler, polite towards others and was loved in return for kindness. No one hated him, he was always, always loved, either if it was family or just strangers, they all cared for him, the same way he care for them. His siblings looked up to him, they saw him as their knight in shining armor, as their noble prince. His father always said that he was so lucky to have a son like him...”
Lizzy stops and pulls her knees in closer to her. She hugged her knees and studied the painting of the black angle.
“But, he had a horrible secret...under his beautiful skin and sweet smile, lays a monster. A monster with black wings. No one was aloud to find out this horrible truth. He was cursed...cursed by god. Yet, he never once said it was gods fault. He only blamed himself, he said that it was all his fault. He loved God and saw him as his only savor. Only blaming himself...he began to lose his way. Lost sight of the truth, of everything important to him. He left his house and was gone. His parents and family worried and worried about their little prince. Even though he has been lost for along time, his family never once gave up hope on his return. They wish his safety and send him their love. No matter where he may be he is loved.”
I feel like I have heard some of this before. ‘Jace Witherspoon, you are a very well known person around this area of the world. You come from a very rich family and are the next air to claim your father’s place. Your family loves you. You have two brothers, that are younger than you and a little sister. They all look up to you, they see you as their knight in shining armor.’
That’s right Ryan said something like it last night. He told me about my past, about my family. He knows so much about me but how? How does he know all this? Could it be possible that I was that friend? That couldn’t be true...
I’ve had a dream last night, I was running towards someone. A smile danced across my face, I was happy. I was running after a small boy, when he turned around he was smiling but I can’t remember what he looks like all I could see was his smile. He holds out a hand for me but as I try to grab his hand it drifts farther and farther away. I try to stop him but he continues to walk away from me.
When I woke up my heart ached, I was scared. I’ve never felt so lonely and frightened in my life. My breathing was heavy and sweat ran down my face. I heard Ryan’s voice through the door, it was soft and smooth. He sounded exhausted, as if he hadn’t slept in days.
Lizzy looks at me and waits for my responds. Ryan’s friend has a sad story but there is still something I want to know about it. Something very important.
“Why did Ryan leave his friend?” I ask Lizzy.
“I don’t know he never told me. I asked him the same question when he told me the story. He just looked at me and shook his head. He told me that his trying to figure that out himself. So, I don’t even know if he has the answer to that question.”
Ryan is a very mysterious person, I can’t tell what his thinking. His a locked dairy and the key as been misplaced. He knows more about my past but he won’t tell me a thing. I don’t get his motives for not telling me. I feel that I can take whatever me would say.
Could it actually be possible that he knew me before the accident? I can’t remember any of my past so I don’t know...but why does he know so much? I don’t get it.
From my room I hear the front door open and a pair of shoes walk towards the front desk. I walk to the corner of the hallway and peak at Ryan’s desk. He is standing at the oak bureau. Bags stain the underneath of his eyes. He runs his fingers through is blonde hair. Lets out a big, long sigh.
“Are you going to stand there and watch me all night or what?” Ryan looks back at me and waves me over to him. I slowly stand up from the floor and walk towards him.
“Well, I was just thinking about how you look really tired and I thought that you might not want to be bothered. Since this morning you looked really annoyed of me so...I just-”
“Annoyed of you?” Ryan seems surprised yet he still looks at me with such pained eyes. Wrinkles appear on his forehead from focusing to hard on me. I walk over to him and poke him in the center of his head right above his eyes. He flinches a little then loses the pained look on his face.
“Since this morning you just got up and left, I felt that you were mad at me...” My voice quivers as I speak. I try to cover up the sadness in my tone but it doesn’t work out to well. I can feel the depressed look on my face and try to get rid of it before Ryan sees but I guess it was to late.
Ryan walks over to the sofa and sits down slowly. I follow him and sit down on the other end of the couch. A moment passes and nothing but silence fills the air, making the atmosphere very heavy and thick. Ryan just stares at the painting of the black angle and remains quiet.
I let out a sigh hoping it will get him to say something but my attempt fails. I’ve never been so scared before in my life, this feeling is weird...It feels as if this has happened before. Ryan and me sitting in complete silent, him angry and me worried. It feels like déjà vu.
“Do you hate me?” I ask him. My voice quiet that I hardly even here myself. This is something that I’ve wanted to find out for so long but why am I so afraid of the answer. I have no real reason to be scared.
“Why would I hate you?” I can hear that my question ways a big eye-opener by the tone in Ryan’s voice. A tone of shock.
“I...I don’t know...I just thought that maybe you hated me because of how annoying I can be...” I hear me going to more of a whisper. I feel like I don’t want to hear the truth. All I can do is remain quiet, my voice won’t go louder.
“Ah Jace...” Ryan rubs the back of his head and leans it on the cushion behind him. “There’s no way I could hate you. That’s just crazy. Listen Jace, I couldn’t hate you even if I wanted to...”
“Oh! Really? Why? I don’t get it...”
“Tomorrow I’ll explain as much as I can but for now you should go get some rest.” Ryan stands up from the sofa and walks over to the fireplace underneath the painting.
“Okay...Oh! Wait, there’s one thing I’d like to ask you... Lizzy told me the story about your friend and I just wanted to know what was his name? And why did you leave him? Since you were friends I don’t understand why you would leave him.” I shouted.
Ryan’s eyes widened and all he does is look at me in such pain. He turns away from me and starts to walk to the back hallway. I jump up from the sofa and catch him by his shirt tail. He stops but doesn’t turn to face me.
This pain in my heart it’s something that I have felt many times but this time it’s stronger but why? I don’t understand anything. All I truly want to know is the truth. Ever since I came here I feel nothing but confusion.
“I don’t remember anything from my past but you do and I want to know! I don’t understand why you won’t tell me but I feel that if it’s my past I want to know about it!” I yelled. I feel Ryan tighten up but he still doesn’t turn around to face me. “ Please tell me...I want to know the truth about myself and...and my curse! You know about that as well don’t you?” My grip tightens on his shirt tail.
“Yes... I do...” Ryan said in a very soft, lifeless voice. I feel him start to walk away and tighten the grip on his shirt.
“Huh?” I gasp. “how do you know about that?” Confusion runs through my blood. What I thought was once a secret that could never be found out by others, Ryan knows everything about. He knows everything from my family to me and I still know less about myself than he does. It irritates me that I know nothing about the matter and he knows it all yet he refuses to tell me.
“Jace, it’s in fact a rather long story...I rather not go in to it. You understand right?” Ryan finally turns to face me. He has a smile on his face to hide his frustration. He tries to place his hand on my hair but I dodge his touch. My reaction shocked him, for his eyes are wide open and he hesitates to put his hand down, as if it’s frozen.
“No...I don’t understand...” I avoid his eye contact by looking at the ground.
“What, trying to protect me? Well, if you think that’s what you’re doing, you’re wrong!” I interrupt. I glare at him, eyes filled with anger. Filled with fiery rage towards Ryan. Not one other thing enters my mind but the sheer hate towards him right now.
“You just don’t understand-”
“Of course I don’t because you won’t tell me!” I shout at the top of me lungs. “I HATE YOU!”
I run out of the hotel and down the road to the angel fountain in the middle of the town. This place is indeed a living hell. I hate this pace just as much as I hate Ryan. I wish that I never even stepped foot in this dump of a town. Nothing but confusion and sadness came from being her.
I continue past the fountain to an alley between two shops. My upper back starts to throb. I can feel the curse wanting to come out. I feel my skin start to burn up and tear apart. I try to stop it by pressing it against the wall. It has no effect though. I don’t understand why it hurt so much this time. It feels as if my body will spilt into two.
I hear a scream, I hear me let out a horrible, loud scream. A tearing sound follows the scream. A liquid runs down my back and drips on to the ground. Black feathers float down from the sky and land around my feet. The liquid is cold, it feels lifeless and dead, like an iced covered pond in the winter time. Even though it’s fall it shouldn’t feel this cold.
Stomping feet on the frozen dirt come closer and closer to me.
No...don’t come any closer. Stop!!
They continue to my direction. Faster and faster, closer and closer. I can since their presence. They’re just around the corner about to turn it. I collapse on the ground and look at the puddles of blood surrounding me. A deep, deep shade a red, almost black stains the soil beneath me.
The footsteps stop just before me. I look up to see a man in his late twenties, early thirties, looking down at me. His eyes scream of fear, they look at me in disgust. His lower lip and hands quiver, he slowly walks backwards.
“What’s wrong John?” Another man asks as he walks closer to the scared man. The man points at me slowly, never taking his eyes off of me. I bow my head farther down hoping they couldn’t see what I looked like but it’s to late the other man already caught a glimpse at me face and is in shock.
“What is he?” The newly arrived man asked. He starts to walk closer to me, reaches out a hand and grabs ones of my cursed black wings. “Oh my! This are real!” He turns to John, who as finally calmed down a little. John starts to walk towards me again but is more hesitant.
I yank my wing out of the man’s hands. He jerks towards me, a smile dances across his face.
“Hey John! How much money do you think we’ll get if we sold him to a circus or something?” He says with that dangerous smirk on his face. He grabs my jaw and makes me face him. “His not bad looking either.”
My body starts to shake and I can’t move. I’m frozen, no matter how much I want to run away my body won’t act as I want. I just sit there in fear.
“Stop Jerry, you’re scaring the poor boy...but I guess we could get quite a few hundred, maybe even thousands.”
They start walking closer and closer. I start to feel dizzy and see the ground come closer. My eye lids are getting heavy and are hard to keep open.
I guess I should go find Jace. If he stays out any longer he might catch a cold and that will be a pain for me as well as him. Yet it doesn’t seem like he wants to see me right now. I guess I should have told him a little more instead of dodging the subject.
I HATE YOU! His words linger in my head. I walk towards the door, once out I start to hear a lot of commotion coming from the center on town. I start to head closer to the fountain. I can see a huge box shaped object covered by a giant cloth and two men standing next to it. It’s John, a blonde haired, twenty-six year old and the owner of a bakery shop at the edge of town. The other is Jerry, a light brown haired fella, he just turned thirty-four last week. His a blacksmith that makes all the tools for the farmers.
John and Jerry are yelling to a crowd of villagers. Jerry is taking the lead while John just sits back and smiles. I walk closer to the end of the crowd to get a better view. Jerry shouts about mythical creatures and what if they really exist. I look around the crowd for Jace but his not present. I notice that John is also holding a whip in his left hand. He is griping it rather tight, when he notices my lock on the rope he slowly slips it behind is back.
“What if I told you that there is such things? Would you stand on the side of denial or believe every word?” Jerry shouts. He smiles and looks over the crowd. Everyone looks at him with a look that says are-you-crazy? “What do you think Ryan?” Jerry gestures to me.
“Where are you going with this?” I ask him.
“This is where I’m going!” Jerry yells and pulls the cloth off of the cage. My eyes widen at the sight, inside the cage lays Jace. Hands and legs tied with rope that looks to be stained red. A puddle of a dark red liquid circle around him. His eyes are open but he seems to be unconscious. Tears leak from his eyes and fall onto the bottom of the cage. Blood trickles down his back from two gashes.
“JACE!” I yelled. “What the hell are you doing?” Anger fills me.
“Now boy show them!” Jerry takes the whip from John and starts hitting the cage. At every contact the frail, trapped boy jumps. The tears come fast and hard. Everyone is in shock, they are in disgust with the two idiots whipping the cage. They all scream stop to them but they don’t do as they’re told. Just keep hitting the wooden box.
“Hurry up boy!” John yells. He goes to hit the cage but the whip goes in between the bars and hits Jace’s skin. He lets out a huge scream and brings his knees closer to him.
All of a sudden two black figures come out from his back followed by another scream.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Behold an angel with black wings. Therefore he must be a falling angel. As you can see this is no trick!” Jerry howls to the audience.
They all just stand in shock and fear. Not able to believe the creature their eyes see. Not a word is spoking.
“How could you!” I hear a female voice call out. It’s Lizzy. She jumps up and runs to the cage. “JACE! Are you okay?” She studies his fearful eyes. “Have you no shame of your actions?” She screams. “Do you know who this is?”
“What are you talking about?” John bellows. Lizzy stands up and heads over to the wooden pole and yanks a flyer off of it. She shoves the paper in John’s face.
“His the Prince! You attacked the Prince!!” She screams at the top of her lungs. “You should be killed for this!”
“Prince? You’re delusional. Everyone know the prince went missing along time ago.” Laughed John. He ripped up the piece of paper and throw it in Lizzy’s face. He shoves her back against a crowd of people.
I shove my way through the crowd until I get to the front. Jace looks up at me with such terrified eyes. They cry out for help. My heart sinks at the sight of him. Black and blue spots cover his pale skin. Blood stains his clothes and the bottom of the cage. Cuts all over his hands and arms are visible.
My blood starts to boil and I head closer to the cage.
“Ryan...please don’t let them hurt me...” Jace mumbles. Everyone in the front row could hear him and I can feel all of our heart sink even farther. I head towards Jerry and throw him against the cage. He hits his head on the corner of one of the bars and lets out a small grunt.
“Let me out!” I yell as I put more pressure on his chest.
“Ryan don’t you get it, his a monster and we could get a lot of money for h-”
“I said let him go! You’ve commented a grievous sin. You’re so low!” Jerry’s face shows how annoyed he is. I tighten my grip once again making him let out a louder grunt. “Where is the key?” I glare at Jerry. He looks over at John, who is holding onto his front left pocket. His eyes are filled with horror. I release Jerry and head towards John.
“Give me the key!” John does as his told and throws the key to me. I walk over to the lock on the cage and unlock it. I walk in and untie the ropes from his hands and legs. Once they were untied Jace throw is arms around my neck, in the matter of seconds my shirt was soaked by his tears. His whole body quakes in my arms, his wings go back into his skin. The blood won’t stop though, this has only happened one other time, it was when his wings first came out.
He was five at the time and we were outside the house playing. He suddenly had these sharp pains in his upper back and then the wings shot out from his skin. Blood gushed all over the place. He was screaming out of pain making his dad come outside. The sight was horrible, I was frozen in one place. I finally had enough guts to go over to him and hold him until the pain stopped. His dad later told me that night that this is his curse. He said that Jace was the only one to receive it. He asked me if I was scared of Jace and his curse. I shook my head to tell him no. Even if his cursed it doesn’t change the fact that his Jace and that’s all that matters to me. That’s what I told Jace’s father, The King.
I lay Jace down in his bed and go to get some bandages and things to clean his wounds with. Jace slowly takes off his shirt so I can that care of the gashes on his back. They’re deep and won’t stop bleeding. I add pressure to his back, I feel him stiffen up from the pain.
“Sorry...” I say.
“It’s okay...I was so scared...Am I a monster...Ryan?” Jace forces out in a mumble.
“You’re not a monster Jace and you’ll never be one. If anything you’re special. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to protect you...” I tell him.
“No, it’s fine...Are you scared of me?” He asks very soft voice as if he is frightened by what my answer will be.
“No. Not at all. I don’t find anything scary about it. To tell the truth I would say that it’s pretty cool but it must hurt a lot when this happens, eh?”
“Yes,...” Jace mumbles. I continue to wrap up his wounds, there is a black line going from one side of his back to the other from where John hit him with the rope. A little bit of blood leaks out of it. It’s not that deep but it does look rather painful. His back is a huge canvas of blacks, blues, and reds. They all blend together making some areas plain black. His hands are filled with tiny cut and his wrist are black from the tightness of the ropes.
I finish cleaning the rest of his scars and start to walk out of the room. I feel a tug on the bottom of my shirt. When I turn around I see Jace holding on to it with huge, pained eyes. He bows his head a little and tells me not to go. I tell him that I will stay until he falls asleep.
Only one or two diamonds are visible in the sky tonight but most are covered by the dark, sinister clouds lurking between the stars and the ground. Since it’s a new moon the paths aren’t lit up very well. A howl comes from the forest on the outskirts of town.
The morning light twirls on my face making me wake from my dream. I noticed that I’m still in Jace’s room. He is still asleep and shows no sign of waking up anytime soon. I don’t blame him though, if I had to go through what he did yesterday I would never want to wake again. I don’t mean that in a I rather die way but as in the pain hurts to bad to move kind of way. His back must hurt a lot and the bruises don’t seem to be going away any time soon. They look bigger and darker then yesterday. I understand why he would just want to sleep it all off. Even by the look on his face you can tell his in a tremendous about of pain. His eyes are shut tight, hands in fist, clenched very tight on his sheets.
I guess it would be mean to leave him here while his in this much agony. I go into the lobby and grab the book Lizzy dropped off and head back, sit down and start to read. Page by page I read through the book studying every phrase carefully.
His the Prince! You attacked the Prince! Lizzy’s words pop into my head. I’m surprise she hasn’t came by yet to see how Jace is doing. It’s rather strange, I mean she is always over here bugging him and all. I guess she feels bad for not being able to help him out of John and Jerry’s evil grip. They must be out of there minds doing that to a young boy like Jace. Even though we are the same age Jace can act a little more immature. He can act like a child at times but sometimes he act like is father and thinks more like a prince.
I hear the door in the lobby swing open and a pair of shoes running through the hallway. They stop just outside of Jace’s door.
“Standing out there wouldn’t do anything, come on in.” I yell towards the door. The doorknob starts to twist very slowly. Lizzy’s blonde hair shows through the crack in the door. She enter the room slower then when she opening it. “His still asleep but come on in, you’re letting the warm air out.”
Lizzy does what I tell her and tiptoes to Jace. Tear start to build up as she looks at the unconscious boy wrapped in billions of bandages.
“Why would someone do such a thing?” Lizzy cries. She collapses on the floor and watches her tears hit the floor.
I remain silent unable to answer her. Lizzy proceeds to cry and watch her tears be absorbed by the wooden floor. After a while she gets up and holds on to Jace’s hand as he sleeps. For the whole rest of the morning she never once lets go. We both sit there and watch him suffer from the black lesions.
Noon comes around and Jace has yet to open his eyes. I bring in some soup for Lizzy and set it beside her, even though I already know she won’t eat until Jace wakes up. She won’t even let go of his hand. She feels nothing but sadness as she looks at his face, which is even more pale then usual. I know this is how she’s feeling because Lizzy is not only a very smart and clever girl but is extremely caring. Most people would call it her weakness but I see it has something that she has worked hard on. My mom would always tell me that you can be born with anger, hatred and even sadness but to be able to care for someone is something you must work hard on. So, I see Lizzy’s ability to care for someone so dearly amazing. It must have took her along time to be so nice.
Mumbling comes from Jace. Both Lizzy and me get closer to him. Ends up he way just talking in his sleep. Since it has been a while since I’ve actually saw him when his asleep, I guess I’ve forgotten that he always spoke in his sleep. When I was young I thought it was funny. I always had to go into his room to wake him up for morning training.
The truth is Jace and me weren’t only friends but I was is servant. His family took me in when I was very young. My parents died in the fire and I was the only one to survive. I was crying at the foot of the steps that once lead to the front door, when a little boy with black hair came up to me and asked why I was crying. He said that since I don’t have a place to live, that I should just live with him. Of course his parents were a little bit uneasy about me stay, maybe they were afraid that I would find out his secret. They said that if I gave my word to never deceive him I could stay. They made me his personal servant and told me that I had to obey his every wish. I agreed to the terms of my service.
The day I found out about the family curse his dad said that it would be best if I left Jace’s side. I wasn’t very happy about his decision but since I was only a mere servant I couldn’t dare refuse him. The man that shall I say “controlled” the slaves got a carriage for me. He told me that I was going to be sent to a nice, loving family that will rise me as their own but I ended up at a slave sell and was about to be sold to someone else as their servant. In the middle of the biding Jace showed up and demand my release. He said that I was not to be sold to someone else. Once we got back to the palace Jace asked me: Why did you leave my side? He was angry with me. I told him about his father’s decision and about the loving family. Jace was shocked. He didn’t understand.
That was when we were only eight years old. The day he found me I was six. I had nothing left and nowhere to go but Jace but a roof over my head and became friends with me. Before I had meet him I never had any friends, I was alway locked up in the house. I mean I had freedom to go where I wanted but I always had to stay close to the house. I was never aloud to go into town. My family lived in the forest above the village. We weren’t exactly rich but we weren’t poor. Our house was big but we had no servants. It was just my parents and me. I could have gone and lived with my aunt and uncle in Luxembourg but they never liked me much. So, I stayed in England and lived with Jace, the prince, in the palace. I ended leaving the royal grounds when I turned sixteen.
When I left I never said good-bye to Jace I just got up and went. The only things I brought was a change of clothes, a few books, and little amount of money. I decide that I would get things like a tooth brush after I found a place to call home.
I found Paradise Hills two days after I left, it isn’t that far from the royal residence. I thought that maybe I should find another place to go but something told me to stay. I’m happy I did though because if I would have kept going I wouldn’t have seen Jace again.
It has been two days since Jace has said another word. He did wake up for an hour yesterday but again never said a word. He just looked at me as I read my book. When I looked back at him he was already asleep. His eyes are still filled with fear I can see him leaving this village after getting 100% better. I wonder if I would go with him or not or if he would even want me to? It would be lonely here without him, even though I lived without him here for two year, it would feel different.
I walk into Jace’s room to see him sitting up in his bed. He is looking out of the window.
“How are you feeling?” I ask even though I don’t expect an answer. Jace jumps and looks at me.
“I’m...fine...” He whispers. I walk over to him and pet his hair. My touch makes him tighten up a little but then he relaxes and just sits there.
“You sure?” I ask. I sit down on the edge of his bed to make sure he looks at me and answers clearly.
“That doesn’t sound so reassuring.You don’t have to lie just say what you’re actually feeling.” I smile at him. For a quick second I can see him smile back at me but it’s gone as fast as it came.
“Actually If you don’t mind I would like to tell me a story about your past.” Jace stares at me with begging eyes. “It’s just I was just thinking how you know almost everything about me and I know nothing about you. So...please tell me about you.”
“Oh...I see. Okay then, I’ll tell you about me. What would you like to hear?”
“Um...I want to know...” Jace thinks. “Oh! How about where you lived and what your parents were like!” He smiles.
“Well,...when I was six my house caught fire and my parents were burnt up in it. I can still tell you that they were amazing. I loved them very much. Even though they were both very over protective of me, they were still very kind and loving. My mom had strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes, as for my dad he had light blonde hair and deep blue eyes. His eyes would alway remind me of the ocean, so rich and deep. My parents were Sarah and Gilbert Coleberry. They were very, very kind. A picture perfect couple. People told me that when they had me a fire lit in there eyes. They became even more happy and more mature. But...then the fire broke out and my dad got me outside and went back in to get my mother. The entrance to the door collapse and I heard a scream come from inside. I wanted to go back in and help them but I was so scared. My body wouldn’t move. I kept hearing my dad say that everything was going to be okay to me. Their last words were: We love you very much Ryan. You’re a very strong boy don’t let us bring you down. We love you...and then they were gone.” I stopped and watched Jace’s eyes fill with sorrow.
“I’m sorry...but what did you do after that?”
“I was found crying on the steps in front of the burnt down house. The person that found me said that I could live with him. He said that it would all be okay and that it wasn’t my fault. His family was a little uneasy about me staying with them but they later on started to except my presence. They treated my very kind, definitely the boy that found me but once I turned sixteen I left and never went back. I never ever said good-bye to the boy but I did give my thanks to his parents.”
“So...you just left him?” Jace has a stern, serious look positioned on his face. He doesn’t look away from me. “If he was your friend you should have at least said bye. I believe what you did made him go insane...”
Yes, what I did made my dear friend go crazy. He blocked everyone out and told himself he would never open his heart up to anyone ever again. I felt bad for what I did but by the time I was going to go back and see him, he had already lost it. I noticed that my actions were wrong to late in the game. Everything I did already smashed his dreams. I made a horrible mistake by leaving and I can never fix the wrong I have created.
The thing is I don’t even understand why I left. I don’t know my own motives for doing it. I must have had a reason but I’m still not sure what it is. Maybe deep down I was scared of Jace and his cursed life. Maybe I just wasn’t strong enough to stay be his side when he needed me the most. I ran away just to save myself.
I told him I would always be there for him. Even if he was already in the devils grasp. I thought that was the reason I should stay but even though I thought all of that I left. I forgot about how much pain he was in and how much he needed someone to lean on. I only thought about my own wishes and never once recognized how my actions would later affect him.
Ryan hasn’t said another word about his past ever since that day I made him tell me about himself. He has steer clear of me. I don’t understand why it hurts so much not to talk to him. I’ve had this feeling lately that we once knew each other very well but I can’t figure out why. All I know is that there is something very strange about him and his relationship to my past.
The bruises are finally going away but the pain still lingers. I scars on my wrist are not as visible and the stain on my back is very light. I can still feel their evil hands on my arms dragging me across the ground. The tightness of the ropes on my legs and wrist. The stinging of the whip on my skin. Two weeks have past since the horrible encounter but it all feels as if it was just yesterday.
I pick himself of my bed and head to the door. Today is the day Ryan collects the rent from everyone. I never noticed how many people actually stay here until last rent day when I had to go to the lobby and there was a huge line at the front desk. There is at least twenty to thirty people. Guest that stay here are usually out of the hotel by seven and most have to work. They are very silent when they’re here so I don’t notice them very much.
I walk in the lobby to find that I’m at the back of the line again. Once I walk in the room the whole crowd goes quiet. I believe the most of them saw the little freak show John and Jerry put on the other day. They all look at me in fear and try to avoid eye contact. The man in front of me is a very tall, board shouldered blonde. He doesn’t show any signs of interest in me. Maybe he didn’t actually see what happened. I know that I must leave sooner of later because if I stay the villagers will end up just kicking me out.
The line gets shorter and shorter as the minutes pass. The blonde man is next in line. Ryan calls him over and gives him a big smile.
“Hey Rob, howzit going?” He asks him. The man returns his smile and says his been good.
“You haven’t been getting in trouble have you?” Rob ask in a joking manor.
“Me? Get into trouble? That’s just insane.” Ryan throws the joke back at him. They say their final jokes in place as a good-bye.
“Well, look who decided to wake up!” Ryan says. He jumps out of his chair and gives me a hug. The remaining guest in the lobby gasp. Their eyes widen at the sight. Fear is running through their sweat. “Your finally on your feet.”
“Yea...” I mumble. Trying not to attract anymore attention but that’s hard to do when everyone thinks you belong in a circus. Their eyes are fixed on my back not daring to look away.
“What’s wrong, Buddy boy?” Ryan asks in a concerned voice. He studies my expression that screams for help.
“I have to leave soon, right?” My sight goes from him to the floor. I’m afraid of his answer. I’m afraid he will end up on the side that hates me, the side that fears me.
“What gave you that idea. This town is your home now. How could I possibly kick you out? Why would I want to?” Ryan’s smiles is big and cheesy.
For some reason my heart feeling lighter as if it’s filled with joy. I don’t really understand why though. This feeling of happiness, like that feeling you get with family. Even though I can’t remember my parents so well I know this feeling has came up with them.
I return his smile and hand over the money I owe him for the room. I head back to my room. Ryan stops me and recommended I go out for some fresh air. I tell him that I feel a little tried and what to get some more sleep. It was a lie, the real reason for me not wanting to go out is that I don’t want to see the villager’s fear as I walk pass them. I don’t want to be hated, I want to be loved, as shellfish as that sounds. It’s just that it’s so lonely. All I feel is pain, sadness in my heart. Such darkness...
I walk over to the window, open it, and sit in the windowsill. I watch people scurry past. Kids playing with their new toys, mainly wooden swords and slingshots. Shop keepers yell at one another about the most recent news. No one dears to talk about the incident. They all avoid the subject if it comes up.
One of the girls playing in a circle spotted my eye and runs over to me. She holds a flower in her hand and pushes it closer to me. I hesitate to take the flower. Afraid that everyone will shun me for it. I can feel the shoppers eyes on me. I go to take the flower when an older girl runs over to her.
“Don’t do that Marie. His not like us...” She grabs the girl’s hands and starts to pull her off. The woman's words float in my head. I feel my heart sink, eyes widen. Not like them... Yes, I’m everything but normal. I’m cursed and feared. A monster, a beast. Nothing but abnormal.
“But sister his very kind. Even if his different that doesn’t mean he needs to be locked away. He would like to be showed l-”
“Marie! Stop! His a beast. No one can possibly love him!”
“You’re wrong! ...you’re wrong. Everybody wants to be loved. Everyone!” The little girl yells. Her words comfort me. They flow through me, so warm and smooth, like a gentle flowing river.
She pulls away from the older one and runs to me. She grabs me hand and holds on to it. Her touch so warm and nice. She stares at the other with a stern, focused look. Not letting go of my hand. Her kindness pluses throughout my body.
“See there’s nothing wrong with him! Why would you say that about someone so kind...” She looks up at me and smiles. “His very, very kind.”
“But his just a...a freak. The only reason his still here is because of Ryan. He protects this monster!” I yank my hand away from the girl. I don’t know why but the woman's remark really got to me. It hurt...so bad to be called a freak. No matter how much I want to fit in, to be loved, I can’t, for I’m nothing but a freak, monster, a beast. Who can never be loved. I back away from the two of them until the run into the desk at the foot of my bed, making the lamp on time fall over. The glass shattered on the ground behind me.
The door to my room flies open. Ryan is standing in the doorway his breathing is heavy.
“What happened? Are you okay?” He ask me. I look down at the glass crystals.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to break it, it just fell. I’m sorry.”
“Jace...” Ryan walks over to me and puts his hand on my head. I can’t hold back the tears anymore and collapses into him. I fell a cold liquid run down my cheek and on to his shirt. “Jace, what happened?”
“I’ll leave as soon as possible. Just don’t hate me.” I watch my tears fall to the floor, disappearing through its cracks. I feel Ryan wrap his arms around me. His warm embrace.
“Why would you think I’d hate you?” He yells. I can hear the concern in his voice, his caring tone. “I made a promise to myself that I’d never leave you again, that I’d protected you!”
Again? What does he mean by again? If only I knew my past, if only I wasn’t such a beast. A living nightmare I cannot escape. I was born with this horrid curse, one that doesn’t allow me to be loved. One that mustn’t be shown to anyone. A feared child...
Thank you Ryan, for everything you have done for me but I must leave. You may not be afraid of me but others are and I can’t stay in a place that fears me. Nothing good has came out of staying here. I was never welcomed by anyone other than you and Lizzy. It’s to lonely here for me to stay. I’m a monster that can never be loved. I have put to much trust in you and ended up only causing you grief.
I leave the rest of the money I owe Ryan for the room on the desk. I take one last look at the lonesome angel in the painting above the fire place. Memories flow through me has I say my final good-bye. Some sad, some fun. For some reason my heart hurts more as I head closer to the door. A pain of sadness. I start to open the door when I hear footsteps stop behind me. I turn to see Ryan leaning against the doorway to the lobby. His arms are folded across his chest and his eyes are filled with sadness and pain. Such a lonely look.
I close the door again and stare at the boy with a crying soul. Despair fills the atmosphere. Not able to look him in the eyes I stare past him to the wall. I show no sign of wanting to talk. Everything is quiet, just like the speechless night I came here. Everything so dead and lifeless.
Ryan pushes of the wall and heads to the sofa and sits down. I continue to stand by the door.
“So you’re really leaving, huh?” Ryan finally lets out a word. I wanted to leave without telling him. “Now I finally get want it feels like to be left without anyone being told good-bye. It kind of sucks.” He stops speaking for a while. No matter how much I want to speak to him, my voice won’t come out.
“I’m sorry...” I finally say. Ryan looks over at me.
“You don’t even want to know about your past? After always trying to get me to spill the beans.” He says in a hopeless voice. I can tell his trying to get me to stay but this place is somewhere I can’t be. Somewhere I’m not wanted. “Before you go I have one question for you.”
“Why’d you leave the royal grounds?” He asks in a very concerned voice.
“I had a feeling that I must find something. Something very important. I left without thinking and can here.”
“This place it’s that far from the palace so why’d it take you so long to arrive?”
“Well, I kind of got lost...”I said. I can feel my cheeks get red from the embarrassment. I hear laughter in front of me.
“You got lost? All you had to do was stay on the path.” Ryan laughs.
“I zoned out and then I noticed that I wasn’t on the trail anymore. I had to retrace my steps but it didn’t work out so well. It wasn’t my fault!” I looked at the ground to avoid his wow look.
“You’re still as clumsy as ever!” He laughs. Again his words are confusing. He speaks in more of a past tense manor. I know that he is someone from my past, I was able to figure that much out. Even though I know this I still can’t seem to figure out the reason for him being there. Is he important? If so why did I forget him so easily?
I go over and sit beside Ryan. There was a moment of silence and then I ask him why he knows so much. The reason behind it all.
I figured if I started to slip hints about Jace’s past he would stay. It worked but now I have to tell him what I know. I really didn’t think this one all the way through but if I don’t tell him he will leave. He wouldn’t think twice about leaving. Not about Lizzy or me.
He looks up at me with those pained, confused eyes. His dying to know the truth about me and how I know him. I hesitate to tell him but I knew this day would come so why am I doubting my decision. I made the decision to tell him so I can’t back out now, well I could but as soon as I do that he will be gone.
I take a deep breath and start in on the story.
“Where should I start? Here I’ll start from the very beginning. You know how I told you about my parents and the fire. About how I was found outside of the burnt down house. At that point of time I thought I had nothing left, not a single thing. My life was at a stand still. I had no where to go and wasn’t sure what I could do. That was what started everything, all the memories start there.
A little boy found me and was very kind. He put a roof over my head and gave me a job. A very nice living situation, everything was prefect. I had a family again, people who loved me and didn’t throw me out. The little boy was you. It was the first time I’d ever seen you. I always heard your name, for you were going to be our next king. You gave me a place to stay and call home. Your parents welcomed me in and treated me like their very own. They reminded me of my own. Things were going just fine. Even though I was the prince’s personal servant, he always treated me like a friend. To tell the truth, I’d say you were my first true friend, the only one I ever had.
Then came the day that your wings finally appeared. I was scared and didn’t understand what was going on. I was frozen in place, I didn’t know what to do. Your dad came out and told me about the cruse. It was all very confusing. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes I would have never believed the words coming out of your father’s mouth. Everything was so strange but then I realized that you must have felt so sad. Being different from others, scared that you would be left behind. I realized that even if you were cursed you were still you and that was all that mattered.
Your dad told me that it be best if I left and forgot about everything that happened. I found it as a horrible idea but I couldn’t refuse. I was almost sold to someone else at a slave sell but you came and took me back home. I was so happy to see you again. Feared that I would never see you after I was sold. It scared me. I was only eight at the time and wasn’t very strong so I felt helpless and lonely, then you saved me once again.” I stopped talking and looked from the roof to Jace’s big, big eyes.
I continued to tell him about our fun memories after that and all the trouble we got into. I told him about all the birthday parties and festivals we had. About the fort we made in the backyard that we would always play pirates in. Jace would be the captain and I would be is right hand man. All the fun times and some bad. Then I told him about me leaving and never saying good-bye.
Jace just sat there and listened. He would laugh when a funny part can up and get very quiet when it was sad. He never once interrupted, just sat there and listened. The only thing changing from time to time was his facial expressions. I could tell how much some parts would hurt him and others fill him with laughter and joy.
“Are you still going to leave?” I ask. Not wanting to make eye contact. I look down at the floor and study the over and under of the stings on the rug.
“I’m sorry but I can’t stay here it’s to painful...” Jace states. “but I will come back and visit...unless you want to come with me...” His words shock me. I understand him still wanting to leave but the fact that he wants me to come with is surprising.
“Why would you want me to go with you?”
“Cause you were that important thing I was looking for. Now my journey is complete and the prince needs to get home soon, right?” Jace smiles.
“You mean you want me to go back to the palace?” I ask.
“Yea...I do...”Jace mumbles. He looks at me and my surprised face. I don’t think I can go back there it has already been two years since I left. I’m scared that they might not want me there. Though I really do want to but that’s shellfish. “Listen you don’t really have anything here to keep track of so come with me.” This time his voice is sturdy, as if the prince within him is speaking.
“Fine, fine I’ll come but I can’t promise you how long I’ll stay.” I tell him.
“That’s fine. That just means I will have to come find you again and drag you back.” Jace says with a big smile on his face. He stands up from the sofa and heads towards the back hallway. “Aren’t you going to pack your things?”
“Huh? You mean you want to leave right now?” I yell.
“Okay, okay I’ll pack.” I laugh.
Ryan and me stand outside of the palace doors. I take in a deep breathe and let it out slowly. The touch of the door is nice, its heart is warm and comforting, waiting for my arrival. I slowly push the door open and take the first step to my future. I look around the walls, they’re paintings of former kings and queens. At the end of the hallway is a huge portrait of a boy with black hair and slivery-blue eyes. A slight smile rest on his face, hands folded in his lab, and back straight. He looks very uncomfortable. The frail boy in the painting is me. Beside it is an angel with black wings and lonesome look. It reminds me of the one that Ryan had in the lobby of the hotel. I ask about it to Ryan he tells me that the one at the hotel is a replica of this one.
I walk into the sitting room and see a little girl with brown hair asleep on the sofa. She looks like she was waiting for someone to return but they forgot about her. I walk closer to her and study the small girl. Her hair falls in her face, I go to fix it when I hear her start to move. She opens her eyes and rubs them. The girl looked up at me and her eyes widen. She jumps off the sofa and throws her arms around me.
“Jace!” She yells. Tears bleed down her cheeks like waterfalls. In the matter of seconds my shirt is soaked. She tightens her grip and holds me. I slow put my hands around her small structure. Her warm embrace brings happiness and love.
“I missed you!” Tears not stopping. “I have been waiting for so long!”
I bend down to look at her face. I whip her flowing tears from her eyes and smile at her. She throws her arms around my neck. I pick her up and head up the stairs to the first door on the left. It’s the room that my little sister sleeps in. As excepted the bed was empty. The girl in my arms is my little sister, Isabella.
I set her down on her bed and pull her blankets over her. I sit beside her and stroke her hair back. The tears finally slow down.
“You’ve grown while I was gone. Just look at you, already so beautiful.” I smile at her. Her cheeks flush from embarrassment.
“Jace promise me you’ll never leave again.”
“I promise. I’ll be your knight in shining armor. I will never abandon you.” I whisper.
“Jace can I stay up with you a little while longer?” She asks in a shy, little voice. I shake my head and help her down off her bed. We walk into the hallway and head into the next room over where my to brothers sleep. I walk over to their beds, they are fast asleep. I sit down and look at their peaceful faces.
They’re both twins with light brown hair and blue eyes. I move Erick’s, the older twins, hair out from his eyes. He stays asleep but a smile appears across his face.
A shuffle comes from the other side of the bed. I look up to see Jayden sitting straight up. He was always a very light sleeper. His eyes are wide open, hand over his mouth, trying to hold back the tears. Jayden is more sensitive than Erick and isn’t afraid to show some emotions. While Erick on the other hand likes to put on that tough act and says a man should never cry.
Jayden shoots over Erick and wraps his arms around my neck. Erick lets out a grunt and opens his eyes.
“Jay...den, what’s wrong with you?” Erick says in a sleeping voice. He sits up and looks at the foot of his bed than to me. “Jace!” He screams. “Where have to been? Don’t you know it’s a pain to have to deal with Jayden and Isabel all by myself!”
“You didn’t miss me?” I ask in a childish whine.
“Then why you crying?” I whisper to him. Water leaks from his cheeks onto the bed. He jumps up and hugs me.
“Jace! Don’t forget me!” Isabel yells, runs over and hugs onto me.
All three of them cry onto my shirt. I hug them all back, their love flows throughout my body. I see Ryan out of the corner of my eye. His standing in the doorway of the room, leaning against the wall. Beside him is a very tall, broad shouldered man. His hair is black and his eyes are wide. He stares at me with such relieved eyes.
“Jace, is that you?” He ask me. I tone of his voice lingers in my head. My eyes widen and tears start to leak down my cheeks. Jayden, Erick, and Isabel let go of my neck. I stand up from the bed and study the figure in front of me. No one says a word, complete silence fills the room. I take a step towards the man, my knees shake as I get closer and closer.
I feel a pressure on my back and then I start to lose my balance. I catch myself just before I fall. I look behind me to see Ryan with a smile on his face and his hand held out in front of him.
“Come on, get going already!” He says. I nod my head and pick up my pace. I stop when I’m just in front of him. I look at his dark blue eyes and stained black hair. The resemblance is remarkable...
Jace walks slow to his father, not sure who he is actually. I watch him as he stands staring at this tall, sturdy person. The tall man puts his arms around Jace’s neck and welcomes him home. At the door stands his mother. Her hands are over her mouth and eyes are wide. She can’t believe what she’s seeing, for her son as finally returned.
Jace finally seems happy. It warms my heart to see that. Just a few months ago he was so lifeless and broken. He was a puppet not able to break away from the strings that lead him. Not able to make his own path. Finally free from the show that was leading him to destruction.
“You made back before your wedding.” The King says.
“Huh? Wedding?” Jace yells. Voice filled with confusion. He looks back at me.
“Ha ha...I kind of forgot about that.” I tell him, while rubbing the back of my head. Jace runs over to me.
“Forgot? That’s kind of major! How could you forget to tell me!” Jace yells. I just smile at him and try to squeeze past him. He blocks my way. “Ryan!”
“I forgot okay. My bad. The thing is your parents set up an arrange marriage for you but on the bright side your fiancée is rather cute.” Jace’s jaw drops. He starts to yell and throw a fit. “Come on Jace. You’re the prince you can’t act like a little kid.”
Just for Jace’s sake I’ll stay here for a few months but my journey as just began. I can’t promise him I will stay by his side forever but I will do what I can to make him happy. Not matter what I know he will probably come looking after me again so I guess I can never actually get rid of him. Even if I wanted to erase him from my own memories, I could never do that...The reason why is still unknown to even me...