Chapter 15 – 1

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Chapter 15 – 1

 

Chapter 15

 

LEA

– Keter. - Path of Pe.
The Overthrow of the Salve-Gods by The Beast 666.1

 

“Worse than the chains that bind me, or than the pain brought upon by the claws that imprison my heart,
is the inconsistence of the ground under my feet, of the air that surrounds me, of the world that I touch.
Because every time I allow myself to accept this thundering storm,
everything changes once again, blinding me and hiding my path,
making me drown ever more towards the inevitability
that is the condemnation of my entire being.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1

I stubbornly clenched my fists into tight balls as I dragged my foot towards a new painstaking step. That situation had long passed the limits of the ridiculous, I sternly told myself, counting under my breath as I forced the air down my lungs. I wasn’t afraid of him! I wanted to move forward! And yet, why wouldn’t my own legs obey me?

I raised my eyes from my frozen feet, my knees trembling against each other, and forced myself to face him. He sat in his usual armchair, completely still, watching me repeat my useless attempt with what looked like indifference; his expression calm, with no hint of impatience or disappointment. Making sure I kept my breathing under tight control, I noticed I’d already managed to walk a bit closer than the day before and tried to use that as an incentive. After all, what ... just four, five steps more, and I could easily slap him! Or maybe punch him! Punching him sounded very good! I dragged the other foot, placing one in front of the other, and something inside me seemed to shatter. Pain washed over me, leaving me breathless, making my will change in a split second. If I had to keep enduring that kind of torture, I’d rather just give up all together.

“Mari, enough,” Lea murmured, pulling me back by my skirt, and I wished I could tell him no, that I wasn’t about to give up, even though I knew I’d just done it. “Come, let’s make dinner,” he said, his small hand pulling me once again, and my legs followed him eagerly, even though they’d refused to obey me mere seconds ago.

I sat at the kitchen table, feeling too tired to move, and Lea perched himself on the sink to fill a glass of water, which he dutifully handed me with a worried expression.

“Are you all right?”

I took a deep breath, as all the trembling and shaking slowly waned, and took a long sip of water that seemed to help unknot my stomach.

“Better, thank you,” I replied and his tiny hand slid over my face to comfort me.

“You’ll make it, you’ll see.”

“It’s pathetic! It’s not like I’m afraid or anything! At least I’m not, when he’s sitting there like a statue! I have the stupidest feeling that even with my eyes closed, not knowing if he was really there or not, the result would be the same. This is really, really stupid!” I grunted in frustration.

“But you did manage to get closer today,” Lea countered, all positive thinking, and I sighed in dismay.

“Two meager small baby steps.”

“But if you add two meager small baby steps every day, it won’t be long before you actually manage to stand beside him!”

I looked at him and made myself smile at his hopeful expression. He really wished I could do it, just because it was something I wanted to do. I ran a hand through his black, soft hair and raised my head to reassure him.

“You’re right. The important thing is to never give up,” I stated, although I knew all too well I’d never be able to stand beside him of my own free will, and Lea smiled. “Does he ... feel disappointed at my constant failures?” I asked, well aware of just how embarrassing asking it out loud really was, and Lea seemed almost shocked. “I just can’t help wondering what he’s thinking, just sitting there, seeing me fight for every single step like an idiot.” I confessed. “If I were him, I’d long lost my patience. I’d find this whole situation so ridiculous! I’m always left wondering. Is he making fun of me? Laughing at my expense? Does he despise me for my stupid inability to give a dozen steps in his direction? Is he offended? Or maybe he feels proud of himself, since his presence is so terrible that I can’t even get close to him. Is he annoyed at all by my useless attempts? What do you think?” I asked and Lea reluctantly averted his gaze.

“I don’t think he feels any of that,” he said in a small voice.

“He doesn’t feel anything, then. And just sits there, indifferently watching me struggle against myself.”

“Why don’t you ask him that question, Mari?” he asked me as if he’d just had a brilliant idea. “I’m sure Master will give you an answer.”

“That might even be. But I really don’t know how to ask him something like this!” I confessed, blushing just from trying to picture it.

“Why? You asked me, didn’t you? It’s easier if you ask Master. Because no one else can really know what he’s thinking or feeling.” He was all innocence and honesty, and I smiled at his silver eyes, nodding.

“You’re right, Lea. Absolutely right. Anyway, let’s keep this between the two of us, okay? Secret?” I wanted to make sure, and he seemed to ponder for a moment, before nodding in agreement.

For dinner I prepared some baked fish with tomatoes, onions and garlic and, strangely enough, and not cat-like at all, Lea wrinkled his nose in disgust. Even so, as soon as he saw me place the bowl on the table, he ran out the door, returning a few moments later with Gabriel right behind him.

Like always, I waited until he’d taken his place, somehow feeling safer once he was sitting down, and asked for Lea’s plate. Holding his fork and knife, he still stared suspiciously at our dinner.

We ate in silence, except for Lea, who eventually ended up being completely won over by the sauce, and gladly complimented me on my cooking.

I watched Gabriel at a distance, as discreetly as possible, trying to ascertain his mood after yet another failure. He really seemed indifferent, I concluded watching as he ate, carefully chewing every mouthful. All for the best, I thought, as I gathered up all my courage to approach a subject too many times postponed.

“I received a new e-mail from my mother,” I announced, nervously plying with the food in my plate and, since he didn’t react, went on. “She says that she’ll probably be able to come home for the holidays, on the seventh.” I dared raise my eyes. He kept eating, as if unable to hear me. “You’re the one who basically sent her away. I want to know if she’ll really be able to come home for Easter!” I demanded and his hand finally stopped. I swallowed hard as I saw him slowly put down his fork and I prepared myself to face him when his head moved almost in slow motion.

“I really don’t think that’s such a good idea,” he simply replied.

“Why?” I demanded once again, raising my voice, and his expression became stone cold and distant.

“Because if she comes back right now, I’ll have to manipulate her memories again,” he replied. “And sometimes, Humans who have their memories changed too often start forgetting other events of their lives. I know you don’t wish for any harm to come to her.” I felt my heart sink. Sure, I’d told myself that the probability of seeing my mom so soon was thin, to say the least. But still ... “Besides, she’s safer in Paris. And it would seem she’s been quite successful.”

“Mari ...” Lea’s sad tone made me raise my head and put on another fake smile.

“It’s fine. I’m sure we’ll see each other over the summer. I always thought it would be difficult anyway, but since she wrote me that e-mail, I just hoped ...” I left it at that before my voice could break, ruining the I’m-fine act I’d put up for Lea’s sake. And for once I was happy that my tears never came when they should.

 

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