Chapter 15: Deceived (2)
She kissed the old man’s wrinkled forehead before leaving. “Wait for me.”
I almost pulled back the girl when she turned to the door. “Don’t go!” I shouted. “Shia, you’re making the wrong decision! Don’t leave his side!”
But soon the girl completely went out of my sight. I couldn’t do anything but looked at the old man on the bed. “Grandpa,” I tried to hold his hand but could touch nothing but air. “Grandpa, I’m sorry.” I closed in to the bed. I knew it’s just a memory but I want him to see me, I want to hold him, I want him to hear me. “Grandpa, it’s me, it’s Shia. I have returned Grandpa. I came back for you.”
A tear started to fall to on my face. Until it became a stream of tears gradually falling. “Shia.” The old man kept on calling. “Shia.” His breathing slowly faded from my ears. He slowly closed his eyes. I fell on the side of the bed and tried holding his face. “Grandpa,” Incredibly, my forehead touched his palm. “Sorry.”
I don’t understand what I’m feeling. I don’t know what is happening. Why are these memories coming back? I need to get out. How do I get out of here?
“You need to save him first, please!”
I turned to that voice. I was shocked to see the surrounding. I was not in that room anymore. Again, I was in a different place. I watched the white and clean walls and from beyond I could hear the strong rain outside. I stood in front of a door.
“I don’t know if he can still make it tomorrow. Please save him first.”
I looked at the girl. She was very wet from her hair down to her muddy shoes because of the rain. Even her shabby coat was soaked wet. She looked dirty. So that’s why they didn’t let her inside that white and clean building.
“Little Girl, I’m sorry,” a woman wearing a gray coat spoke. She has pale skin and looked like not from this town. She was inside the building while talking to the girl outside. “I have to prioritize the one who called me here.”
“Miss, it’s better if you leave,” the guard said holding a black umbrella. A black car was also parked in front of the white building.
“I’m begging you please,” the drenched girl pleaded. She was about to approach the woman but the guard blocked her.
“Do you even know who you’re dealing with?” he said in an irritated tone. “Do you want us to get in trouble as well?!”
The healer watched her. “I’m really sorry.” she apologized in a sad tone. “I want to help you. But I need to go to the chairman first. He is the one who called for me.”
The guard assisted the healer to enter the vehicle with the umbrella. When she was completely inside, she looked again for the last time to the girl who was standing in the rain, then the guard closed the door. The car immediately drove away through the rocky road. The girl watched the leaving car while wiping the mud that flitted to her arm due to its brazen driving. Under the rain, she didn’t know if it’s tears or rain flowing on her cheeks.
“I’m sorry, Miss. It’s just work; just following orders,” the guard said before returning inside the building while still muttering. That last thing he said stopped the girl’s tears. “Just a little headache and they immediately called for a healer. So much for the rich people.”
The girl continued to stare blankly at the empty street. She didn’t know how long she stood under the rain and just staring at the vehicles that passed. From a short distance, she saw luxurious lights from a portion of town where the ruler of the city and his family lived together with other important people.
“FUCK YOU,” she whispered under the rain. “FUCK ALL OF YOU.”
These happened two years ago. When all the beautiful things disappeared from me and was replaced by rotten reality. On the first month of that year, the old woman, who raised me, died because of an illness. When I thought that was the most painful thing that could happen, her husband followed her. I treated them more than I could to my real grandparents. They became my parents; they were the only people I have in my life. But in an instant, they were gone. At the same time, I lost all of my faith from the people in this town.
I approached the girl, soaking from the rain. I couldn’t even look straight at her face. There was too much pain and hatred and blankness— but the anger, that put everything in dimlight, was too much that I could barely look. From that day on, the hatred she felt never fade.
The surrounding spun again. It’s happening again. I closed my eyes tightly and tried to feel what will happen next. Until I heard a very familiar voice.
“Shia, so you’re just here.”
I quickly opened my eyes to look at his face. Just as I expected, he was in front of me, smiling at me. His familiar smile gave me a sudden wave of comfort and the feel of being home and safe. Lucas.
I approached him and was about to hug him when I realized this was an illusion—IT HIT ME. An Illusion. These were all illusions. I suddenly drew back, away from Lucas. I shouldn’t stay in this place. I shouldn’t feel these emotions. The first rule of illusion, don’t get sucked in. Don’t let it draw and lead you on. Because when you become the person in your memory, you won’t be able to go back.
“I’ve been looking for you, you know?”
I stared at Lucas. He leaned on the railings of the bridge where a girl was sitting. “What are you looking below?” He was watching the black water from the bottom of the gorge. They were not supposed to be there. This railway bridge was a forbidden area because it was not yet done.
“Am I going to die if I jump from here?” the girl asked him.
I knew I needed to get out from this illusion but can anyone blame me if I want to go back to this moment? I wanted to see Lucas’ face. I really wanted to see him.
Lucas didn’t answer. He was just watching the girl. “Shia, I’m sorry. I wasn’t there with you that time.”
The girl laughed weakly. A very desolate laugh. “If you were there, will things change?”
“I know, it won’t,” Lucas answered. “But I was not there for you when you needed someone. When you needed a shoulder to cry on.”
The girl started to stand from the railings. She tightly held the two opposite poles, balanced herself and let go. By then she was standing by the railings without anything else. She closed her eyes and felt the cold air rushing to her face. “I don’t need anyone.”
“Shia,” Lucas said still in a calm voice. “Let’s go back.”
The girl laughed again. The strong wind was sending her long messy hair in chaos. “Go back?” she asked. “Where?”
Lucas tensed a bit when he felt that the girl was about to jump. But she didn’t jump; she just walked on the thin railings. Her arms were spread in both sides as she stepped slowly yet carelessly in the railings. “I have nothing to return to, Lucas.”
The girl turned to him. Confusion was evident in her eyes while her brows were furrowed. “Don’t stay here, Shia,” Lucas said. “You need to get out.”
Her confusion increased. She was now staring at Lucas with a bewildered expression. What was he talking about?
“Shia, stay strong. Fight. You are sinking deeper. You are under an illusion.”
Illusion? Who? Me? Is he kidding me? I watched the bottom of the bridge where I was standing. How deep was this? If I jump would I die?
“Shia, YOU ARE becoming your memory. You can’t stay here! You need to wake up!”
I was so stunned because of what he said. I just realized how cold these railings on my feet were and how hard the howling wind has been hitting my face. SHIT- I stumbled on the bridge post and looked into the ravine below it. A wave of shiver ran down my spine. I turned and looked around but I could no longer find that girl before—she has become me. I was already the one walking down the railings. I’m now my very own memory. This can’t be happening!
Hello, it’s me again! We have a Facebook group! You may also find there my other works. Just search April Avery’s Stories. You’ll meet fellow readers and share your feels!
I know this update is a cliffhanger. I parted them because of the length. I will try to update as soon as possible. Hello to everyone especially those who aren’t silent readers!