👣🚶 left behind👣🚶
Meenah writes ✍️
The mirror reflected it all.
The mirror reminded me of everything.
The mirror reminded me of why I’ll have to do it.
I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, wearing nothing but panties as I examined the crisscross marks allover my body, from my neck, my arms, my wrists and ankles that were chaffed from the hold of the chains, my thighs. The only unaffected part, thankfully, was my face. Because I didn’t know how I’d have managed to have it covered.
I sighed as I ran my fingers delicately across the red marks that revealed pink flesh and winced at the pains.
My life was perfect before that goddamned excursion that changed it all, before all these troubles.
And now, as young as I was, I’m going to be sporting marks everywhere.
I heard Jean’s voice as she entered the room, humming as she rummaged for what ever she was looking for.
“Harry?” she called. That’s when I remembered that I didn’t lock the door. I lunged towards it, and immediately I pressed it and locked it, she turned the knob.
”Oh, you’re in there?”
“OK. I just wanted to…. well, we’ll talk when you’re out.”
And the hot water poured on my skin, I screamed into the pillow I brought with me to the bathroom specially for that purpose.
Jean smiled at me when I emerged from the bathroom.
“You seem to have taken up a special fondness for covering clothes now. Rex?”
I sat on the bed beside her.
“No, I just… like the fashion?”
“Harry, something wrong? Were you with him the other night?”
I shook my head. “Met a new girlfriend on the way home. Tamina. The weather was kind of turbulent, so I stayed at hers.”
Jean looked like she didn’t buy it.
“O…k,” she said doubtfully.
“Anyway, Ewan said I should tell you that he’s out now, but later at dusk he’ll like to take you out for a walk if you’re not engaged?”
“Eh?” was all I could say.
“Yeah! And boy, he sounded super nervous when he said that. You should have seen the number of times he ran his hands through his hair!”
She fell back on the bed, rolling in a fit of laughter, while I giggled.
“You… should have….” she trailed off and continued laughing, harder.
“Hey, so what’s funny?” I asked.
“He sounded like he was asking a girl out on a date for the first time! Harry, you’re it,” she tapped my shoulder.
“Duh Harry. It, like, it. The girl.”
“Spoilsport! You should be excited. I’m here all giddy, and I’m not even the one going!”
“OK OK. I’m excited,” I said. And it was the truth.
I didn’t know what to expect to be sincere.
Rex was an ordinary guy who asked me out on occasions, not like I was interested.
But this… this was Ewan. The guy whom my mind drifts off to on it’s own accord.
The guy who stirs up butterflies in my tummy by just being near.
The guy whom I was connected to in a strangely weird way.
The guy that…. if I examined myself closely… I might have a little thing for.
I playfully smacked Jean on the stomach, and smile triumphantly at her groan.
“That serves you right.”
“For being excited in my place,” I replied as I walked out of the room.
Stumping my feet on the ground wasn’t enough to let out the anger and hurt that I felt when I heard Ewan telling Jean to inform Harriet about a date outing.
Now I’m done trying to make Ewan notice me, instead I was gonna take it out on her.
I saw her standing in the corridor, staring with so much attention at the carvings that were on the walls.
She didn’t even flinch when I came and stood beside her.
She jumped a bit, and turned to me.
“Zoe,” she replied, rather coldly.
I was taken by surprise, because Harriet was always smiling at me and everyone.
What’s this now?
“Anything wrong?” I couldn’t help asking.
“What do you want?” she replied.
I wasn’t so interested in telling her off again.
I wanted to know what I did to her.
“Are you mad at me or something?”
“Zoe did Rex ask you to tell me to meet him at the alley that dark night?”
She eyed me for a second.
“What do you want?” she asked again.
“Harriet did he do something to you?” I asked, feeling somehow responsible for what I wasn’t sure of.
“Mind your business.”
She returned her gaze to the hieroglyphs.
I took a deep breath.
“Harriet, what is really up with you and Ewan?”
“Can I ask a favour?”
She cast me a long look, and said, “Have the corridor to yourself if you wish.”
Then she went out.
What have I done?
Evening had set in now.
I’ll have to prep for my date with Ewan.
What am I saying, it isn’t a date.
At least the hammering in my heart has reduced to a minimum level, though it hasn’t stopped completely.
Being close to someone you have a thing for does that to you.
The sky was grey, and speckled with the first batch of twinklers that dared to take a peek into the evening. Yes, I’m talking about the stars.
I remember how worked up I was over what to wear earlier on. A dress, a dress, or a dress? Crazy, but that was what happened. And despite assistance from Jean, I ended up wearing a long sleeved grey cashmere pullover over black long jean. I couldn’t wear any of the dresses because of the healing wounds allover me. Now you get it.
Jean had practically pushed, pulled and dragged me through the corridor, to the front door where Ewan stood, leaning on the pillar. And that’s when the hammering heart began.
We’d walked through out. It was more like an evening stroll. Pointing at stuff, laughing at crazy things. We’d eaten out too, at a fancy restaurant I didn’t even know exist. The food tasted good. Different, but good.
He showed me the oldest river in Amazon, which he said housed the most dangerous anacondas and sea creatures. Personally, I was beginning to wonder if he was taking me on a tour guide as opposed to the date I’d imagined. I felt bad, until I found out that he was nervous too.
It seemed that discovery just made everything easier and simpler.
From there we had a lot of fun, until dusk set, and the breeze blew allover Amazon.
Ewan and I sat on a deck of a pool. I let my legs remain suspended in the cool water, while he sat cross legged, throwing pebbles in the water so that it bounced thrice on the surface of the water before sinking.
I looked up at him.
His focus was on what he was doing, making sure the pebbles skidded across the water.
“You know I won’t bite,” I said.
He threw one more and turned to me.
“Bite?” he asked in confusion.
I giggled a bit. “Yeah. I mean, you’re so caught up in your stone over water game that you seem to forget I’m right here. Or maybe you’re purposely paying attention to it?”
“What, no. Why would I–” he threw a stone, “–do that?”
“Hmm…let’s see…,” I made a thinking gesture with my index finger on my chin, “….maybe you find me overbearing? Or disturbing?”
Now was his turn to chuckle. He looked at me. “Harriet, it’s neither. Unless you’d like to put it the way; disturbingly attractive.” He winked with a side smile, while my mouth was left hanging open.
I guess I was looking for that. But I’m suddenly speechless.
He leaned in and used the tip of his fingers to jam my mouth together slowly.
“It’s the truth,” he whispered, with his touch lingering on my chin.
I stared into his eyes.
What I wanted to do in that moment was to lean into him and take, no, share, and kiss.
But I knew I couldn’t.
Because I couldn’t risk being selfish and putting his life, my family’s life, and the whole of Amazon in danger.
So I lowered my gaze, and spoiled the moment.
I had to.
“Ewan…” I cleared my throat, “um..you were telling me about what happened when the Master um..why you hate the Master…” I trailed off, because I was stuttering too much.
“Oh, I remember. I was, until we got distracted.” He grinned and stared off, as if recollecting what was definitely the kiss we had in Juliante’s library. I remembered it so well too, but I didn’t want to.
” Well, I really didn’t want to talk about it again. But I will. ”
He paused as if finding the words, or the mood to commence with.
“I told you about the time the raid occurred. When I was unable to protect my parents.”
“Well, our house got burned down, and all exits were sealed, without any escape way for them. I was at a tree. I rebelled that day, against them. I was cooling of the steam, when I heard loud cries coming from the villages. I ran all the way. When I saw our house burning from a distance, I was momentarily unable to move. I prayed inside me that my parents weren’t in there. But my hopes were dashed when I got to the door and found it bared with woods. I kicked the door open. Smoke was forced out. I’d called out for them….I found father on the floor. Dead already, bleeding. Sword wound.”
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
I was sorry that I had to be the one to cause him to relieve those pains that he had buried, if not forgotten.
He gave me a weak smile and continued;
“Mother. She was on the floor, near a chair that had ropes on it. They’d restrained her, and somehow, she’d managed to cut it off. She was holding on to something for dear life.
She coughed. I immediately carried her out. But she’d already inhaled smoke into her lungs, and was finding it hard to breathe. That was when she handed the horn to me. She said the spirits appointed me to keep it before their capture, but she didn’t want me exposed to danger at first. I was so sorry that I had walked out on them. And if they died because of protecting that Horn, then I vowed upon their corpses to protect it with my life.”
I gulped, and took his hand in mine, squeezing it comfortingly.
“So, where did you keep it?” I asked, hating myself for doing so.
“Juliante. He helped me stash it away in a place where no one could find it, or think of looking.”
He turned to look at me, and I feared if I sounded so inquisitive.
“In the vaults between Light and the Dark. They call it Zenbow.”
The Master watched with anticipation as Harriet cajoled Ewan into disclosing the location of the Harmony Horn.
Rex stood on standby, not wanting to be apart of the plan, but having no choice either.
“The girl keeps stalling,” the Master growled.
“Give her time. She’ll do it,” Rex said.
They had been monitoring Harriet ever since she set feet back into Juliante’s house. Watching her every move. Waiting for the moment that the Horn’s location will be revealed.
Tamina watched too, feeling hurt that Harriet had to be made to undergo such.
And then he said it; “In the vaults between Light and the Dark. They call it Zenbow.”
The sentence kept replaying continuously in the Master’s head, and then he laughed out loud and long.
“Get the troops ready. And get me the Harmony Horn. We’ve got some taking over to do.”
“Yes father,” Rex said
I said it.
It felt so good to finally get the burden of being the only one with the knowledge of the Horn.
But at the same time, I felt that there was imminent danger waiting.
Juliante had warned me about Harriet this afternoon before we left.
“Stay away from her, Ewan. And be careful. I don’t believe she’s up to any good.”
“But Juliante this is the same girl with whom I’m bonded to. How can I?”
“She’s not meant for you,” he deadpanned.
But why does my heart tell me that she is?
I forced my gaze away from staring in space, and back to her.
She sat there, with her legs in the water, and her eyes lifted heavenward. The stars reflected in her beautiful indigo orbs, making it even more beautiful and dreamy.
And those lips that were parted as if she was deep in thought and did not realize it. But it was tempting. I wanted to kiss her.
I wanted to run my fingers across that smooth skin.
I don’t know if it was the unique bond we had, or if she’d read my thought, or if I stared at her too much, but she froze, and turned to me. And in her eyes, I saw that that’s exactly what she wanted to. No mind reading here.
I took her lips in mine.
This kiss was soft , softer than any other we had.
His thumb caressed my cheek, while the other angled my head for the perfect kiss.
I pulled him to me, closer, and parted my lips, granting him access to the heat of my mouth, with our tongues tangling in an exotic rhythm.
Then he trailed wet kisses from my mouth through my jawline, down to my neck, and he lingered there.
I hugged him closer while craning my neck.
The butterflies in my tummy were now going riot, fluttering everywhere, giving me this giddy feeling I couldn’t control, but enjoyed nonetheless.
Every rational thought of why I–we–shouldn’t be doing this flew out the window.
By a miracle we made our way home, too occupied to know how we did it.
We headed straight to his room, and once the door was secured behind us his lips found mine again, kissing me with a rough abandon. I wrapped my legs around his torso, and he turned around so that my back was against the wall.
I wrapped my hands all over him, ignoring the voice in my head that told me this was wrong. That voice tried to reason with me, to list out why I shouldn’t do this.
I chose not to hear it.
Ewan nipped on the soft spot behind my ear, and moan escaped my lips, a small sound that seemed to turn him on. I was too.
Then his hand found it’s way into my pullover to unclasp my bra, and I Screamed.
The magic was gone.
That’s when I understood what my mind was trying to tell me all along.
The wounds on my body.
To be continued