(NOTE: the [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Represents past memories]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] )
“Oh there’s Luca, Hi Luca!” Florence waves with two fingers before Luca doesn’t appear to see her and turns his back towards her.
I choke on my drink, “That’s the third time he’s ignored your wave,” I slur the words mockingly as I can feel the second shot of spirits making me feel dizzy.
Everyone at the table laughs as Vieve offers us another round of alcohol.
I had missed this. Bonding with strangers hasn’t happened since I met him, a year ago.
For a second I wonder why I don’t do this more often. And then I remember why I don’t
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Two years ago I lounge lazily on one of the tavern chairs.
“Did you want a drink?” she asks with her beautiful Dunnick accent. I grin and nod.
“A knight getting a drink for a scum? Now I’ve seen everything…” he sounds annoyed. Perhaps because of his advances towards her have been fruitless.
“She loves me. I love her. We do these things for each other.” I give him a mocking smile, knowing what I am trying to imply. Maybe that way he will finally leave her alone, I can feel she’s uncomfortable by him.]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
“We should dance!” Florence says and before I know it the Beggar Kings are outside playing beautiful music. I feel Rosemary grab my hand quickly and start spinning me around. I resist a bit before she grabs her sister instead.
The happiness that these people exude is contagious…
I watch as the Princess joins, her sleeves swinging wildly around. Not a single care in the world.
Rosemary grabs my hand again and this time I laugh. A genuine laugh, not the mocking ones I’m used to giving to everyone.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ Two years ago I ask her if I could shoot her bow. She nods and stands behind me. She tells me how to aim and to hold my breath. Her voice is so gentle and it flows with a rhythm that is better than any song I’ve heard.
I let the arrow go and see it fly a few feet. My fingers sting, the arrow cutting through my hand as it flew away.
I let out a whine.
“That will happen sometimes if you’re not holding it right,” she laughs and her laughter is so contagious that I laugh at my own mistake. A very rare thing.
“I’ll stick to knives I think…” and I let out a soft genuine laugh. ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
“There’s something outside! It poked its head through!”
The thing knocks the door.
“Who is it?” someone asks cautiously.
I let out a snort and open the door to find nothing out there.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Two years ago, I stand outside the tavern.
“Oi, are you coming or not?” John Hunter asks her, he sounds annoyed before walking away.
She looks at me, then at him. “Do you want to come?”
I scoff, “If he wants me to help he can ask me himself.”
She gives me a sheepish look before going after him.
I immediately wish I had swallowed my pride and followed her. But I don’t. ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
“You should go to bed.” the Dunnick guy says to me, I keep nodding off.
“No, I don’t want to go to sleep just yet. I want to see this night through.”
I get up every once in a while and check my companions are in their beds.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Two years ago, I rise from my bed as I see her come in.
She gives a letter to another person. Says to give it to her family when she’s gone.
“What do you mean ‘when you’re gone’?” I sound confused, and I am.
I look into her eyes, there’s tears there.
“Be good Leonce…” She touches my cheek gently, comforting me.
And she leaves. I follow but she’s fast. She tells me not to follow her but I do…and then she just disappears. I don’t think I have ever felt that lost as I was when I she vanishes in front of my eyes. I walk the whole night trying to find her. I don’t succeed. ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
I lay down on my bed, it’s been a really strange night. I want to sleep but there is too much commotion outside…so I stay awake until sleep overtakes me completely. My sleep isn’t perfect but at least there aren’t any dreams.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Two years ago she comes to me in a dream.
Or it was a dream to me, people have said I rose up and was talking to the thin air outside.
She looks unnatural, but her voice is the same. I don’t care about her long nails or white pupils. I should have asked her what she was but I didn’t. Instead I told her to stay with me forever. She says she can’t, that this is her goodbye.
“Just remember, no one here really cares about you. They say they’re your friends but they’re not. All of them.” her voice is filled with hatred.
She disappears before me again, for one last time. ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
I get up early in the morning, I hear snores and no one is awake. The sun hasn’t risen yet. I get dressed quietly before heading to the lake.
Remembering the night before, the warmth I felt from these people…for the first time I think maybe there are some here that do care after all, and that is the most terrifying thought I’ve had in awhile.