For some of you itching to read book two, here is the, UNEDITED mind you, first chapter of Guardian… ok the first TWO chapters 😉 ENJOY!
The cold granite felt like steel against my head as I lay on the top landing of the stairs, pondering my next move. I took a few calm measured breaths, allowing my eyes to stay closed as my heart raced. I hadn’t even gotten this far, not until now. The closest I had gotten to my room was yesterday when I finally laid one foot on the bottom step, and now here I was, at the top, my body trembling with fear and sorrow like a nervous idiot.
Slowly, I began to draw my eyelids open like a curtain at a play. I felt the granite under my sweaty palms, my arms sprawled out at my sides and my legs cascading down the stairs. I rolled my head to the right, looking at the doors to my room with sad recollection.
It had been nearly two months since I’d been back at the house, but I still couldn’t bring myself to go back to my room, to see what I feared would be a scene of sadness and loss. I had taken to sleeping on the couch in the sitting room, despite Sam’s attempts to encourage me to face the facts, and move on. He didn’t understand how this felt, he didn’t know what sorrow was anymore, or fear. He was dead, inside and out.
I drew in a heavy breath and held it as it stung my lungs. Carefully, I rolled my head to the other side, my eyes falling on the doors to Edgar’s mysterious room, a place I couldn’t even fathom visiting. I had never seen it, at least not in my current recollection, but it still seemed like an imaginary place, a place that had never really existed.
Although I had gotten my soul back when Edgar’s heart had ceased to beat, it hadn’t given me all of my memory. There were certain things that slowly trickled back, like my expert knowledge for chess, and of course my heightened sense of sight, and sound, but not my memory.
I exhaled as I drew my head back to the center, staring at the gold leaf ceiling. I wrenched my tired body up as I leaned my chin into my hands and placed my feet on the top step. Dragging my fingers across my tired eyes, I heard the swift cutting of wings echoing through the large entry foyer.
My hands dropped to my lap as I looked up, seeing Henry and Isabelle circle the chandelier and sharply dodge toward me. They landed on the top landing as their talons slipped and grinded across the granite like fingernails on a chalkboard. I winced at the shrill noise as they hastily clicked their way back toward me, each rubbing their head against my arm like cats often would.
In the passing months, Henry had grafted himself to me as though he were solely mine. I knew he missed Edgar. There was a glimmer in his eye that only my new sharp sight could catch. He looked to me as his foster mother now, and that was definitely something I could relate with.
I sighed heavily as I scratched them both on the head, this trip to my room was always destined to be a failed attempt, but at least I had gotten to the top landing. I looked up as my eyes caught the glimmer of something standing in the center of the entry. Sam was smiling at me as he stood there in angelic silence. It was frustrating that even I could not hear him moving in his soundless existence.
“Wow, looks like you got pretty far today,” he half laughed as he said it.
I quickly wiped the sorrow from my face, reverting back to confidence as I prepared myself to take on his sarcastic barrage of emotionless banter. “Thanks Sam,” my voice was sharp, but mused.
“So why don’t you just do it, pour salt on the wound so you can move on. I know you’re stronger than this, besides, you keep talking in your sleep about how uncomfortable the couch is. And frankly, you’re boring,” he smirked.
I pushed my brows together, “Do you watch me sleep? Come on Sam, that’s creepy.”
He laughed, “Of course I watch you, it’s my job. And I like being creepy, goes well with my superhero image.”
I pursed my lips and shook my head. It had taken some practice, but I was learning to hide my thoughts away from him. I had found a special room in my head that even he couldn’t penetrate and I was sure it was beginning to frustrate him. He was used to the minds of weak humans, so revealing. But I was more than human now, I was immortal, and my powers could somewhat rival his, though I still wasn’t as strong. At least my intelligence and sharp intuition kept him challenged.
I narrowed my eyes at him, “No, I think you’re trying to read my thoughts. You can’t stand not knowing my every whim, can you?”
He fidgeted with his hands as he held them behind his back. His wings were entirely withdrawn into his shoulder blades to the point that you would never be able to discern him from a human, other than the fact that his skin was cold as ice and his eyes were heavily shadowed in a light mauve.
He finally smirked, snorting lightly which suggested he was guilty, “Maybe, I just like to hear your thoughts, makes me feel alive again. Human thoughts are boring, what to eat, what to watch on TV, what should I do to poison the earth today. You on the other hand, you’re thoughts are fascinating.” His eyes suddenly lit up with joy.
I narrowed my eyes even further, exhaling sharply. I pushed myself off the cold floor and stood as Henry and Isabelle trotted toward my bedroom doors. They stopped and looked at me as though urging me to follow, but I shook my head in defiance, “Not today guys, tomorrow, I promise.”
They both looked at me as though telling me I’d promised them that a dozen times already.
Sam snorted, “Yeah, that’s exactly what their thinking.”
I turned my gaze to Sam. I had allowed him that thought. “You can’t hear what they’re thinking, so stop pretending you can. You can’t pull that one on me.”
Sam shrugged, “True, but I can feel their emotion, and right now they seem pretty disappointed.”
“Whatever,” I replied tartly. “You’re just upset that I can beat you at your own game, you’re such a poor loser Sam.”
He chuckled, “Whatever.”
I sighed as I quickly darted to the shelf at the top of the landing and grasped the Edgar Allen Poe notebook as though I were walking on hot coals. The thick old leather felt rough between my fingers and I quickly bounded down the stairs as though being chased by the ghosts of my past.
Sam laughed again, “That was some serious Indiana Jones action there, very impressive, but you forgot to replace the idol with a bag of sand. Better watch out, some evil gremlin will likely attack,” he pointed to the stairs behind me sarcastically.
I felt a sudden urge to punch him as my bare feet landed expertly on the foyer floor, and in fact, that was just what I did. As my fist landed hard against his cold bicep however, I felt my fingers crunch painfully as though I’d punched a marble statue.
Sam looked at me slyly, my punch no more than a brush of a feather to him, “Whoa there missy, better be careful.”
I grasped my hand as it throbbed painfully. Glowering at him, I rubbed my broken knuckles ruefully, molding them gently back to normal.
“I don’t get why you choose to inflict pain on yourself like that, time after time. I get the point, you resent me, but get over it, I’m not leaving unless Edgar releases my bond to you.” He paused as he smirked, my heart slowly breaking as he said his name. “And I don’t see that happening anytime soon,” he added, and extra twist of the dagger now stabbing at my guilty sad soul.
I growled at him, “Shut up Sam.” My hand was feeling much better and I twisted sharply on one foot and stormed toward the kitchen.
He soundlessly followed, “Oh come on Elly. I didn’t mean it. I’m not used to being polite.”
“Well then get used to it. You’re acting like a monster, not an angel.” His comment still stung in my heart. Any time he uttered Edgar’s name it hurt as though the dagger had stabbed me instead.
“I’m trying, but it’s hard to remember what feeling emotion is like. I still don’t understand why you chose to get your soul back. All it does is complicate things.”
I plopped down on a stool and thumped my elbows down onto the copper island, “Well try harder,” I spat.
“Ok, let me make you some lunch. What would you like?” the desperation in his voice was working, and I began to feel guilty, he simply didn’t know any better.
“How about some sympathy with a side of comfort?” I smarted.
“What’s in that?”
He sounded genuinely confused and I rolled my eyes at him. You would think he could at least smell his own sarcasm being thrown back at him.
“Just never mind.” I sighed, “Go in the upper cabinet, there should be a box of macaroni and cheese, just follow the directions.”
He eyed me with an annoying smirk, I know he knew what I had been talking about, but he was a good actor. I only wished I had been so sarcastically talented when I didn’t have a soul, maybe I wouldn’t be as miserable as I was now because I would have never come here, never met Edgar, and I could have lived on obliviously in my depressed darkness.
The box made a dull jingling sound as he tilted it down out of he cabinet and the noodles shifted inside. I thought about my eggs and syrup, and desperately wished Edgar was here to make it for me, only he knew how. I was never much of a cook, and my appetite hadn’t really been great anyways. I was still sick over the loss, and I wondered if the feeling would truly ever leave. Often they say time heals all wounds, but so far, I felt as though my wounds were still gaping, gushing sadness and blood at every painstaking moment.
Sam eyed me knowingly. I had allowed him the torture of that thought, letting him know how much I resented his attempts at filling the gap Edgar had left. Failed attempts, like eating sugar when you’re starving. There was suddenly an odd look on Sam’s face and I analyzed it carefully. I had never seen a look like that before, and I almost compared it with real remorse.
I was proud of myself. Fixing Sam had become a sort of pet project, no man should forget what he died for, as he had seemed to. I knew who he used to be, based on Edgar’s story of how he gave his life for a young girl he barely knew. I had never confronted him though. I was afraid of the outcome, afraid he wouldn’t remember why he was here and become frustrated. As hard as it was to admit, I needed him, otherwise by now, I would have already gone crazy.
Sam was watching me warily over the top of the box as he diligently read each direction, extracting each ingredient and measuring it as though in biology class. Sam didn’t eat either, he didn’t need to. He told me he couldn’t taste it anyways, all earthly desires were stripped from him because of his duty to serve. Nothing must sidetrack him from that. But in my stubbornness, I was determined to change that idea.
He had succeeded in making a pot of water boil as it sat very close to the flames of the fire in the kitchen hearth. I was amazed, even I had never succeeded in that and my mac and cheese was rather crunchy due to that fact. He looked inwardly content with himself, as though he’d accomplished something great.
Maybe Edgar had been right when he said it was easier to be the professor, than pretend to be the student. A professor lead, while a student followed, and it was now apparent, more than ever, that there was no one left for me to follow. I had to face the fact, that stepping up to my responsibilities was evident.
I had thought about the college, endlessly wondered if Scott and Sarah were still there. It was mid summer, and surely it was high time for the curriculum. It hadn’t seemed right though, to go back. What was the point beyond re-hashing hurtful memories, and the doldrums of waiting? And for what? Death? Still, it hadn’t escaped my thoughts and I was formulating a time to go, just not yet, not now.
Sam struggled with the packet of fake cheese sauce and I giggled slightly. He gave me an embarrassed and reproachful glare before tearing the pack nearly to pieces. He only managed to get about half of its contents into the pot before the rest spilled to the floor.
“Don’t worry about it Sam,” I reassured him, finding him surprisingly worried and angry with himself. Maybe he really was becoming human again.
His face suddenly changed, “Pfft, what are you talking about. I’m not embarrassed.”
I could see the attempt to lie crossing his face and I chuckled once, looking back down at the copper counter and admiring my reflection. My eyes gleamed like small orbs of luminescent opals, sharply reflecting off the copper and back at me.
He looked back up at me from the fire, his face pulled together in frustration over the result of his cooking, “Hmm?”
“What happened that day, before I was taken? What did you see?” I had never been able to ask this question, everything else had come first, mostly the fact that Edgar was gone.
“I saw you being stupid,” he replied bluntly. His amber eyes scanned my face, trying to pry into my thoughts.
“Yeah but seriously, you saw the cat, right?” my eyes scanned his and I allowed him to see my thoughts, my blurred memory of the white cat, and then the vicious attack of the ravens.
His face was suddenly torn, as though I’d revealed something painful to him. I realized it was a look of failure, failure because he had lost me that day in the woods, and had let Edgar die. It was silly that he blamed himself for that, it wasn’t even his fault, but I could see his dutiful point. He had failed at the only thing he did well, being a guardian.
“Yeah, I saw the nasty feline,” he spat.
“What was it, why was it here? Could you feel what it was thinking?” I knew how he could feel Henry and Isabelle, and I’d hoped he had felt the cat too. He had to have noticed something.
“I felt a lot of things Elly. There were the ravens first and foremost, but I suppose I did feel a strange muted undertone of something, but it was strange, as though a mixed signal. It certainly wasn’t normal, if you ask me.” He shrugged as he pulled the soupy noodles away from the fire. I watched as he contemplated over a plate or bowl, finally settling for a bowl after the sour expression on his face recognized the contents of the pot to be closer to soup than noodles.
“But do you think it was part of Matthew’s plan, another pawn to lure me away?” My voice was laced with curiosity.
“No, I don’t get that feeling, it wasn’t evil. That would be the first thing I would have noticed. To me the world is black and white, evil and safe.” He pushed a plate toward me, his eyes looking at mine with observant curiosity and I could sense he felt nervous that I would judge his cooking skills.
“Thanks Sam. Looks great,” I smiled.
He narrowed his eyes at me and I could feel him navigating every corner of my brain, coming up empty handed. He grunted sharply and walked into the sitting room behind me where he threw his body onto the chase lounge.
I picked at the soggy mass before me, urging my stomach to find it somewhat appetizing. I could hear Sam breathing behind me, though I wasn’t sure why he did. Being that he was dead he really didn’t need to, but I suppose for the matter of fitting in, it made sense, old habits die hard.
I had circled my life around three rooms. When I first came back it was hard for me to get past the front hall. But now, I felt comfortable being in the kitchen, sitting room, and entry. Healing was a slow process, and my burden to bear. I never understood how humans managed to move on, often so soon after their loss, but I guess love comes down to a choice: You can either get over it and try to be happy, or roll over a rot, all alone. And let’s face it, no one likes being alone.
Sam came and went as he pleased, but it didn’t seem as though he’d gone into any other rooms either. I suppose it was out of respect for me, if he even possessed a shred of any. He was so rude, that it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d been to every room in the house. But as long as he didn’t move anything, I didn’t really care anymore.
I worked down another painfully disgusting load of mac and cheese before giving up. I had a new goal in mind, so after throwing my plate in the sink and grabbing the Edgar Allen notebook from where I’d set it on the counter, I tried my best to slink out of the room unnoticed. There was one place in this house I was certain would be easier to visit than my room, and I now set out on a mission to go there.
My hand grazed along the rough velvety wall paper as I traced toward the library. There was really no reason why I hadn’t yet gone there, and I wasn’t surprised to find it exactly the same. I gripped my hand around the frame, feeling the familiar spot where I had dug my nails into the wood a hundred times. The memory of those last stressful days with Edgar flashed before me, the anxiety, and the waiting.
I took a deep breath and stepped into the room. Sam had not followed me, but I was not so naïve to deny he knew what I was doing. Even though I had impeccable sight and hearing, he had even better. I had noticed how he could watch the air before him, nothing there, but to him, there was always something, a particle of dust, a wisp of silk thread. He always knew, but that didn’t mean he always told me about it.
I ran my hand along the thick leather of the couch, finding it cold, rough, and almost uninviting. The notebook in my hand suddenly felt like a ton of bricks as I set it in the seat of the couch. I looked toward the greenhouse Edgar had built for me, and a lump ached in my throat. That room was still too hard to visit, and even seeing it now was like twisting the dagger in my throbbing heart.
As I diverted my gaze from the tables of dead plants, my sight caught the silky mahogany wood of the ladder to the second tier of the library. My breathing quickened, and I suddenly felt terrified of what I knew was up there. My mind had tricked me into coming here, tricked me into my insatiable obsession with that tiny room, and the painting.
I took a deep breath, placing one hand on the middle rung. Squeezing my eyes shut, the painful memory of Edgar’s hands around my waist flooded my mind. My sides began to tingle with the residual touch as the breath was suddenly ripped from my lungs. I cursed myself for whimpering like a fool as I placed my other hand on the rail. I worked to calm the burning pain in my throat, huffing heavily through my nose instead. I needed this, it had been long enough. My time for waiting was over and it was time for a new dawn. Opening my eyes, I took a deep breath and moved.
As my foot pressed onto the bottom rung, I hoisted my weight onto the ladder. I exhaled, feeling the salt hit my wounds and sting with the bitter sweet pleasure of love, and loss. A smile crossed my face, finding my memories here were less terrifying than I had originally judged, and more exhilarant than expected. I threw myself to the top tier gracefully, setting my feet onto the steel gangway and placing one hand on the rail, the other instinctually on the books stacked restfully against the wall.
As I walked around the familiar arch, my fingers thudded along the books as always. Suddenly, I felt as my fingers hit a cavernous void in the stack and a memory opened up like a package in my mind. The memory had been one that was now buried deep beneath the trauma of that horrible day. I averted my gaze from the small arched room to my hand, halting as adrenaline ran undiluted through my veins.
I knelt on one knee until my eyes were level with the void in the books and I instantly remembered what had originally belonged there. My finger traced the tall rectangular hole as I peered to the back of the stack, my eyes finding nothing more than the mahogany of the shelf staring back out at me. My eyes suddenly shot to the arched room in the corner where my mouth fell open and my breath tumbled out in hot waves.
I stood carefully, steadying myself against the books. Slowly, I moved forward, placing one foot carefully before the next as though stalking prey. As I centered in on the room, I slowly poked my head around the corner, the small candle bursting to life as sweat began to bead on my brow.
My first thought was to look to the painting, the faces searing out at me like sharp spears. I cringed, averting my gaze to the floor where something was glimmering bright like a bowl of golden water. My sharp breathing echoed of the small shallow walls as I bent down, hooking my finger under the pages that were sprawled open on the floor.
My first reaction was how warm it felt, as though it had just been held. I brought it to my chest as I looked toward the ceiling, feeling its strange warmth now reverberate through my soul, as though it were a living thing. I carefully shuffled to the armchair and allowed my body to sink into the soft malleable leather. Placing the book on my lap, I traced the rough gold surface with my palm, feeling the embossed Italian letters mold under my touch.
Carefully, I pulled back the cover, hearing the paper crackle under the stretch. As I opened to the first page, the familiar etched image of the raven stared out at me. My eyes fell across the Italian writing and I furled my brow in amazement as my mind began to recognize the words that were so foreign before, molding them into English, right before my eyes. I felt my memory unlocking each syllable, translating it until it was finally legible. I read the same first line I had that day, finally finding some sense in the description.
In the beginning, the raven was one…
I was suddenly shocked by my new found talent, shocked that I now would be able to understand the stories in this book. I hastily flipped through the pages, remembering how the book had been half empty, as though unfinished. As I came across the familiar picture of the white cat entering the cave, I was surprised to see that when I turned the page, it was no longer empty.
I suddenly gasped, dropping the book from my face and into my lap as the pages fanned closed and I lost the spot. I was not entirely sure about what I had just seen, but the bare glimpse had caused my heart to beat like never before. I took a deep breath as I hastily grabbed at the pages, fanning them back to where the cat had been. I took a deep breath and turned the following page again, my eyes falling on a new imprinted image.
There was a white raven in the woods, its body hunched over and its eyes screaming as a dark cloud of black ravens dove down on her. The scene was far too familiar, and I felt my mind suddenly surge with pain. I quickly looked to the caption.
On this day, she was taken. The dark soul was tricked, however, the raven was nothing more than a shell, but the doom ahead was heavily weighted…
It was me. The white raven had been me. I ran my fingers over the detailed image, remembering the fear that had cut its way through my body. I looked to the trees that surrounded me, and to my surprise the cat was there, its tail popping as it ran away, just as I had remembered.
I turned the page, but then quickly slammed the book shut. What I had seen there I was never prepared to see again. It was the image of two ravens, one with a dagger through the others heart. My breathing quickened and my fingers trembled on the cover of the book. My palms began to sweat and as much as I wanted to read further, I couldn’t mentally bring myself to pull open the cover.
My eyes were squeezed shut, and my breathing echoed off the wall. The moisture in the air was suddenly thick and crowded, as though the space was no longer large enough for just me and the book. As I drew my lids open I was surprised to see Sam standing before me, his figure heavily shadowed in the now very cramped room.
“What are you doing?” he pried.
I rolled my eyes, allowing my emotions to roll off my shoulders. “Nothing, just trying to figure some things out,” I lied.
His eyes fluttered to the golden book in my hand. “What is that?” he asked lightly.
I shrugged, trying to make it seem like it was just another book, anything but a magical book that wrote itself.
“Looks like you’re going a little further today, good for you champ.” He looked around at the small room and winked. He was hunched over slightly, the ceiling too low for his large body.
“Yeah I guess so,” my voice was tart, and annoyed.
He struggled to maneuver his body, twisting himself to face the large painting that I now eyed warily.
“Oh hey,” astonishment suddenly crossed his face, “Look it’s you!” he jabbed his finger at the image of me, “Oh and look, Edgar!”
I winced when he said his name. “Could you please not say that?”
His eyes shot to mine, his mouth twisted in a smile, “Oh yeah sorry, forgot that he was dead.”
I exhaled sharply. He was so rude.
“Oh but hey, look there,” Sam pointed to the couple in white, Margriete and… I couldn’t bring myself to even think the name.
I nodded, looking away. There was suddenly an awkward silence and I found myself looking up in surprise. I had braced myself for another rude comment, but one never came. My eyes met his, and we locked stares for a moment. The smirk was gone from his face, and he was searching my eyes strangely as though somehow feeling the same loss I had.
After a moment he finally looked away. “Sorry,” he mumbled, backing out of the room and sitting on the railing.
I was a little shocked by the comprehensible look on his face. He had actually shown a bit of remorse. The book felt warm in my hands as I suddenly remembered I was still grasping it. I felt the cover again, imagining that what I held were a hot pie, rather than a culmination of the past. The book was alive, and in some strange way, it knew everything that was happening.
I flipped mindlessly until the pages went blank, careful not to look at the last few images. There was still only about half the book written and I wondered if this meant that there was still more to come, more to explore. At any rate, I now had evidence that the cat was really there. If this book had deemed it so important to record, then it was surely a character that I would meet again.
Sam sighed, and I knew he was just trying to get my attention. My gaze lifted to his, and I smiled. “Sam, can you do me a favor?” I had been meaning to do this, but my reservations to come here had stopped me. “Could you take this painting downstairs, I’d like to hang it in the library.”
“What, is it too heavy for you?” he joked; now returning to his normal self.
I gave him a reproachful glare, “Just do it Sam.”
He grinned and ducked back into the small space. Placing two pale hands on either side of the painting, he effortlessly hoisted it off the wall and maneuvered it out of the space. In one swift agile movement he jumped up and over the railing, falling to the ground below as though stepping off a stair. I hoisted myself laboriously out of my chair and ushered to the rail. Sam stared up at me with a smug look on his face and I glowered at his utter defiance for earthly implications such as stairs and ladders.
“Show off,” I spat.
Sam grinned, his ghostly white face almost iridescent in the light that shown through the two story window. I noticed how much the blue circles under his eyes contrasted with the sharp gold bronze of his pupils and it sent shivers down my spine, the face of death looming in my thoughts.
He placed the painting against the couch while I made my way around the gangway and to the ladder. The book was clutched close to my chest and I felt my body begin to sweat under its heat. When I reached the ladder, I hooked it under my arm, careful to grab the rails as I had been warned endlessly from Edgar.
Halfway down, I squealed sharply as I felt Sam’s cold hands grab my waist. I instantly froze at the touch, finding the feeling hard to discern from that of my past. Sam had managed to lift me the exact way Edgar always had, and I quickly wriggled myself free once I was safely on the ground.
“What’s your deal?” Sam chuckled, amused by my discomfort.
“Nothing,” I paused, considering a mean remark but figuring there was no use wasting it, “Your hands are cold is all.”
He laughed, “Yeah well you feel like an inferno, so…”
I shook my head, grasping the book out from under my now sweaty arm, “Whatever.”
“So where do you want this hunk of junk?” He was trying to get me pissed off, and nearly succeeding at that.
I exhaled sharply. The one thing I could always count on was that Sam would never give me any pity. That was something I truly could not handle, especially now. I skeptically looked around the room, analyzing the possible spaces, which admittedly, were few and far between with all of Edgar’s clocks hung everywhere.
I winced at the thought of moving Edgar’s beloved clocks, but really, what was the point? He wasn’t here to care anymore and I was certain he would forgive me. My heart suddenly sank at my disregard toward his things. I loved Edgar, that was never going to change, but this was necessary. It wasn’t like I was remodeling because I didn’t like the style. I was doing this as my first step to finding him, a selfless act of love. This painting was bound to be useful to me, somehow. If anything, it was a good reminder of my goal. I refused to rot here, waiting like he did. I was more proactive than that. Licking my wounds and wining about my horrible luck was never my forte`.
Sam read my thoughts and began removing the clocks on the east wall, just to the left of the door into the room and right before the shelving began. There were deep faded silhouettes left as he stacked each noisy clock in a delicate pile. They were annoying anyways, like sands through the hourglass of my life, ticking away my endless existence. If I could remove everything that made me feel like sulking, rather than fighting, things here would be easier.
I grabbed the clocks and set them into the storage chest that was also used as the coffee table. As I clasped the lid shut, the clocks were instantly muffled by the thick wood. A sigh of relief escaped my lips and I caught a glimpse of Sam smirking at me.
A grumble grew in my throat, “Whatever you’re about to say, save it.”
He laughed then, and I knew there had been something he would have said. What a jerk, I thought, grow a heart already. I sharply pointed to the painting, instructing him without words to hang it and get out of my business. My mind locked onto his and I made sure to hiss sharply in my thoughts.
His eyes glimmered with satisfaction, thoroughly enjoying the torture he was putting me through.
I began thinking of Sarah and Scott as he hoisted the painting to the wall, placing it on a hook that had already been there from one of the clocks. The thought of going down to the school to surprise them had crossed my mind more times than I’d like to admit, and every time it did, Sam only looked at me and shook his head. For some reason, he was trying to keep me from them. Perhaps he saw how wrong it was for immortals to make friends with humans.
Though he himself had once been a human, he now regarded them as a sort of parasite, infesting and killing the earth. Considering I lived most my life among them, as them, I just didn’t see things the same way and I refused to throw out that part of my life. I couldn’t step on the little people that got me to where I was today. Besides, they were my friends.
Sam looked over his shoulder at me then.
“Shut up,” I spat sharply, sensing his need to express his disdain yet again.
As much as I tried to keep my thoughts from him, at times it was still difficult, especially when I was daydreaming. You can’t control the natural flow. Thoughts are like trying to capture the wind, possible, but hard.
“If you hate them so much, then you don’t come. And actually, I think I’d prefer if you didn’t, you’re nothing but an embarrassment.” I narrowed my eyes and glared at him.
“Sorry sugar, can’t do that, I have to come. It’s my job.” I saw the troublemaker in him rising.
I growled at him. “I hate you Sam.”
He chuckled, “I know, but that’s not really my problem, blame your little lover boy.”
I screamed sharply, shaking with anger and hate, but he didn’t even wince. “Just go away!”
He shrugged and left the room, my bitter hatred refused to muster as much as a frown from him.
My face was burning hot as I looked toward the sky, cursing Edgar for binding Sam to me for all eternity. This was surely some sadistic trick he had planned. But then again, I doubt he had planned on dieing.
I threw myself into the couch and glared at the painting. The warm book sat next to me and I placed my hand on it as it helped to calm my fury. I needed to find that cat, more than all else, I just knew there was something there, something it possessed that would help lead me forward, and to Edgar.
There was also the daunting matter of Edgar’s room, which I figured would house the largest jackpot of information. Though it was hard, my mind longed to know what it was like. I hated the unknown, but at the same time, the mystery of it spit satisfying gallons of adrenaline through my blood. I was addicted to the thrill, heart and soul.
Another wise plan was to go back down to the college, and not just to see Sarah and Scott, but also break into his lab. I figured by now they’d probably gotten a new professor, but what had they done with his things? Surely Edgar would have planned for something like this, and would have never allowed a human to stumble upon his life.
If I were to suddenly re-appear on the campus, however, I would need a plan. Perhaps I would tell them that Edgar and I had run off to be married, but then he’d died in a horrible car accident and so I was here to collect his belongings. I pondered over the idea, finding it had serious holes, but it would have to do.
I suddenly felt strangely liberated. Whining and pouting was not going to get me anywhere and I felt exonerated that I now had a plan, a solution. There had to be a way to find Edgar, even in death. After all, Sam was dead, but he could still be here amongst us and this fact gave me hope.
It was hard to feel so level minded about someone I still felt I barely knew. Though our life together was impossibly long, my mind only granted me the real experience of those few cherished months. I brought my hand to my neck, remembering how it felt for him to touch me. The electricity of our connection was undeniable, pre-determined, but still so sweet, and so real.
I longed to learn more about him. Build the memory and thought of him in my mind until it was so rich, that I could almost will him to be here. His face was still fresh at mind, and looking at his resemblance in the painting granted me the ability of seeing his face every day. There were no other pictures of him, not anywhere in the house. This was my only reference, and regretfully, it included Matthew.
There were other things that needed to be done as well. I needed to learn how to fly again. If I could only remember what it felt like, I was certain I could accomplish the feat. Edgar had told me to imagine being weightless. So every night, as I lay on the couch trying to drown out the annoying humming noises from Sam, I imagined myself floating effortlessly above the earth, like the clouds and sun.
Sam would be helpful in this, though I was uncertain how long I would be able to handle his sarcasm while teaching me. Despite my utter hatred for him, he was my friend, and I guess a part of me had to love him for that. At the end of the day, I was at least relived that I wasn’t alone, and in this, I felt human.
The couch engulfed me as I pulled the warm book into my lap, coddling it as though it were a teddy bear. I was suddenly exhausted as I filed my list of things to do safely away in my head and rested against the arm of the couch. I breathed in deeply, the rich smell of leather laced with the sweet smell of honey, of Edgar. I stifled back my tears, telling myself that there would be no more. It was time to be strong, and my time to suffer as he had for me.