• Chapter Two

    Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. My body feels heavy then light. I’m thirsty then I’m hungry. I have fair memories then ghastly. I’m awake then I’m asleep. I don’t have the need to use the restroom or I fear I already used it. I don’t know why this is happening. I’m no longer in control of my functions. I have no recollection of the days, the hours that I’m like this. I sense someone. The person reads to me or talks. It’s all mumbled and I can’t make out anything. I feel the world as I never have though I cannot tell what it is that I'm sensing. I think I’m crying. My face feels wet but my eyes feel dry. I want to lash out but my arms are like sticks at the side of my body. I want to escape but my legs feel like rubber. All that I can tell is that I’m indeed not dead. Could I be paralyzed?
    My eyes open. I see a vivid light this time coming from a lamp next to me. Its warmth is artificial but I don’t mind. I look around but all that is in the room is the lamp, the desk the lamp rests on, me and a bed with covers. Nothing more. I laugh my hollow laugh because I feel like it has always been like this. My life is so pathetic that everything in this room is what I’m worth, more or less. I’m honestly crying now. I sense my eyes brimming with a scented liquid. I don’t even attempt to wipe the tears away. I look down at my body. I’m dressed in a loose fitting, white nightgown. The thin blanket that was on me is now around my knees. My hair feels matted to my head and in need of a good wash. My body is clean as far as I can tell.
    I move my arms and it takes a while until it feels natural again. I repeat the process with my legs and neck. I slither off the side of the bed unto the floor. The floor has neither warmth nor coldness. All is concrete in the room. The walls, the floor. There is no window and only a narrow, cracked wooden door. I hear little noise as I approach the door. My nightgown swishes a little against me as I stride. My steps are hushed and I open the door without as mush as a creak. I peer out, looking both ways. There are no windows again and only one way out, towards the left. I begin walking in that direction after I fasten the door behind me.
    The walls here are concrete too. My hand glides along the uneven texture. I appear at the corner and turn. I follow the corridor until I arrive at a wooden staircase that wound upward. I climb these with uncertainty. I wonder what I will find, that is if there is anything to find. I reach another narrow, cracked wooden door. I twist the knob and saunter into a semi-barren room. I see a reddish, weather-beaten couch and grimy green arm chairs. The furniture was arranged around an immense, empty fireplace with a number of logs piled nest to it. A wooden table sits between the couch and one armchair. There are candles against the walls that illuminate the room. It feels lonely but oddly relaxing.
    I stride further into the room. I take note that there aren’t any windows in here either. There was another door that was wider than the others. I glimpsed a bookcase covering an entire wall. I walk over and see that all the books are dusty like they haven’t been moved in centuries. I look at the authors’ names, astounded to see old ones such as Ovid, Virgil, and Caesar. I seize one and blow the dust away. I rotate it in my hand, examining the cover. It looked brand new just filthy. I opened it and skimmed the pages however not really reading it. I put it back carefully and twirl around. I gasp.
    A man stood by the wide door. He was leaning against it relatively, staring at me. His black hair was tied back into a ponytail. His clothes were old fashioned. A black pioneer shirt that was open at the neck amid black jean pants. His boots were heeled and velvety. I stared back at this man, getting the impression that I know him although not remembering. He pushed off the door and paced to the fireplace. He placed logs in the middle and had the fire roaring in seconds. The man rotated and looked at me. His unfathomable, black eyes penetrating deep inside me. My skin prickled and a shiver ran down my spine. He walked to one of the chairs and sat down gracefully. He sat there looking at me with the air of a nobleman.
    He beckoned me to sit in the chair across from him with his black orbs. I hesitated, not knowing I the chair would support me and he man chuckled. The echo filled the air with an eerie presence. I did as I was silently told, upset that he had laughed at my hesitation. I crossed my legs under the chair and observed the fire. The flames leaped and pranced to my pleasure and I felt a small smile tug at the corner of my mouth. I was warmed this time and wanted to surrender to the sleepiness that began to reign over me. I heard a sound in front of me. I looked and it was the man chuckling again. I grimaced and he stopped but kept a vibrant smile.
    I glared at him but was captivated. He was stunning and his laughter was crammed with amusement. I never quite heard someone have such fun over something so trivial. I sat up straighter and the man rose. He gazed at me and faltered like he wanted to touch me, but instead he went to position another log into the dying flames. He stood by the mantle and rested his hand along it.
    I glanced at the man’s back. He stood there, resting on one leg more than the other and sighed. I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came out. My throat decided to fasten as I tried to produce a sound. He turned his head.
    “My name is Livius (Li-we-us). I have not taken you prisoner.”
    He has answered the questions that I couldn’t get out. I thought of another one to ask.
    “I saved you from dying. You were about to commit suicide. Why?”
    He turned his full attention to me along with his body I slouched into the chair. I didn’t want to answer his question. It would bring back those memories. Those atrocious memories. I didn’t want to relive them now that I had attempted to steal my own life. He continued to stare at me with his eyes. I couldn’t see into them but they saw into me even if they couldn’t access the information there. I felt exposed and pitiful. I glanced at my hands from the uneasiness of his probing eyes.
    I thought of an answer that would make me seem like anyone who tried to take his or her own life. I just wanted to be unrestricted from the anguish that I had been dealing with, the grief.
    “Why do it in the first place? It only brings more suffering to your loved ones. Would you let them suffer more than you think you have?”
    I grew frustrated at the man, Livius, for asking me these questions. I had the urge to rise and leave.
    “Leave? Now that, everyone wants to do when they are with me.”
    He turned back to the mantle and pounded his fist on it. I watched him, stunned that he gotten irritated over my thoughts. Was he reading my mind? Did he have that rare ability?
    I though of my name and directed it at him. I thought of how I enraged him.
    “No. It’s my entire fault. I shouldn’t have asked you those questions so directly. Please forgive me Sorha (sore-ra). I’m just lost as to why someone who has the world at their very feet, in their very hands would want to die?”