Author’s Note: I was doing a draft chapter on friendship (about the Moodoo gang) that I was going to add into my novel, Forgotten. And then I remembered Demi Lovato’s song, which was featured on the Disney movie ‘Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure’. Although this is talking about how Aschyris was traumatised by the years she spent in her twin’s mind, it is dedicated to Moodoo.
So if you are reading this now, I am really glad to know you guys. We spent our two years together through thick and thin, and I really can’t bear that we are going to be separated from each other. I don’t want us to end up like King Solomon and Queen Sheba (though they are lovers, but that’s not the point =_=), apart because of fate. We make our own decisions and control our turns in life, not some idiot system in school.
Let us be together all the way, okay?
A Gift Of A Friend
The days I spent in Sacrael’s mind was over since a month ago, yet I bore the emotional scars I dwelling there as long as I could remember. The outside world was much brighter that I could ever imagine, but it burned my eyes. The time I had been cloaked in total darkness had taken its toll on me- I couldn’t stare at things under light.
However, the nurse here had assured me that it would wear off as soon as I got used to it. I hoped she was right. I didn’t want to delve into the dark anymore. It was so lonely and empty, that I felt like tearing myself in two. I had considered cutting myself to be rid of the roller-coaster of emotions wildly turning my head upside down, but then shook it off.
No, I had argued with the foolishness of myself. I am not going to become weak! I am strong! I can handle this.
I had been introduced to Soven and Marellyn when I had stepped onto the rescue helicopter sent by the Head. They were simply amazed by my story and quickly became acquainted. Back to Kartafygion, curious Forgotten Ones questioned me.
What is your element?
Is it true you lived in Sacrael’s mind all this time?
How did it feel to be latching on another’s mind?
That question drove my rage to the edge. With a hasty turn towards that person, I felt my head burst. An invisible psychic shockwave exploded around me and the whole crowd of nosy people were forced onto their knees as I pressed two words into the deepest part of their brains, which I was familiar with, thanks to the years in my twin’s head.
That would answer their first two questions. I hated the third question. How it felt, you ask me? One word: horrible. Everywhere is just dark. You know you aren’t blind, but as wide as you can widen your eyes, you can’t see anything. No matter how hard you focus your eyes in one direction, there was nothing to see. Because, nothing was there. Just you and an endless stretch of walls at your sides. You sleep and hope to wake up with everything bright.
But deep down, you know it won’t. And that was your nightmare.
You couldn’t make sense of the time. You couldn’t count the days. You couldn’t do anything.
The meeting with the Head was nothing special. She just gave Soven the directions to my room and told me to rest well. The next few days, I realised my inability to see in light for a long period of time. So for most the day, I was stuck in my room, with all the lights switched off. Immediately, the image of me terrified and lost in my twin’s mind hit me like a blow.
“No!” I ordered. “This is different! I can see things!”
It was true. I could see the bed I was sitting on, the desk at the side with books of various genres dumped on it, the bathroom and the door. Yet, I was still scared, trembling as I hugged my knees and dunked my head within their embrace.
I started lessons the very next day. No one dared to look at me in the eyes in class. Even the teacher just pointed to a table at the far end of the room instead of telling me. A silence had enveloped the whole room when I entered. Without a word, I plopped on my seat and took out the respective textbook. It was Languages now.
The teacher, a tall lanky man, pushed his black-framed spectacles further up the bridge of his nose as he became to point to different Greek words and pronounced them professionally.
“So who can translate this into English?” He used a long stick and poked at a long string of squiggles. People started muttering and began to refer to their Greek-to-English dictionaries.
I stared at it for a moment. ‘Ένα δώρο από ένα φίλο’ was scrawled on the board. And it began to register itself in my mind.
“A gift of a friend,” I whispered.
The teacher must have had a powerful sense of hearing because his head snapped up and gaped. “What?”
His gaze was locked on me. “Repeat loudly for the whole class to hear, Asheris.”
“Gift of a friend,” I said my answer loudly before turning towards the teacher. “And it’s Aschyris, sir.”
“Hey, Ash!” Marellyn said cheerily as she slapped a hand on my shoulder, making me jump. I swiveled instantly and glared at her.
“It’s Aschyris!” I hissed, shoving her off me. What was up with people with mispronouncing my name? And note: I hated nicknames.
“Whoa, chill there,” Soven walked up to Marellyn who had a hurt expression on her face. “Are you okay, Aschyris?”
Finally! Someone mature enough to get my name right!
“I am fine,” I insisted, my anger still seething. “Could you guys just leave me alone? I need to go back to my room.”
“Do you need any help with homework or anything?” queried Marellyn wearing a smile.
“No!” I snapped as I rushed off. “I am fine by myself and I don’t need anyone!”
I locked myself in the room for the fifth time that week. Hugging myself, I knelt before the door and sobbed myself to sleep.
There was pain, as I awoke groggily. My body felt sticky as I dragged myself into the bathroom to have a quick shower. As soon as water touched my bare body, the tiny streams of water felt like they were piercing me with needles.
I changed into a black top with long sleeves and blue jeans. Walking out, I bumped into Soven and fell flat on the ground.
“What’s wrong with you?” I cried as I picked myself off the ground. Flaring agony shot up my hands.
“Let me help y-oh my god!” he gasped as soon the sleeve dropped back.
Exposing the pale skin beneath.
And the long raw gash.
I stared at it blearily.
And when your hope crashes down, shattering to the ground, you feel all alone.
When you don’t know which way to go, and there’s no signs leading you home
You’re not alone.
“You should spend more time with her, the both of you.”
“But she has anger issues!”
“Have you tried putting yourself in her shoes, Marellyn? Do you know what is like to live in someone else? Those years have traumatised her greatly and because of that, she has emotional issues.”
The conversation inside were dropping into murmurs. I glanced at the bandage wrapped tightly around my left wrist. When had I cut myself?
Awake. Sleep. Picking up—
—on the skin…sawing away….—
It can’t be true….no…
I realised I was breathing heavily. I started to take in deep slow breaths, calming myself down. I looked up into three familiar pairs of eyes watching me worriedly. I felt strong arms steadying my shoulders as my breathing became normal again.
“You okay?” Soven asked, concern filling his voice.
“I don’t need you, go away.” I tried brushing off his arms but his grip was too firm. I tried getting up, but the whole world was strangely tilting.
“Stop being a fool!” Marellyn said. “With Sacrael gone for a mission, we are in-charge of you. And this means taking care of you. So quit being so macho!”
I was too dizzy to retort back.
They spent more time with me since then. Nursing my wrist, assisting me in my studies and keeping me up with training were examples of my daily life with them.
Gradually, I became accustomed with daylight and the day came when I was able to step, unafraid, into the warm embrace of the sun.
The first thought I had: hot. It was so warm, so…soothing. Immediately everything dark had been swept away by a roaring fire that dispelled any sign of black. I closed my eyes and tilted my head upwards, taking in the sounds and smells.
Birds chirping, leaves rustling and the wind whooshing around me, as if to welcome me into their bright world. I opened my eyes and enjoyed the sights of a rainbow-coloured world. It was so beautiful.
But then I realised, it already was a long time ago. Beside me were Soven and Marellyn, smiling down on me as for the first time, I laughed.
The world comes to life and everything’s bright, from beginning to end.
When you have a friend by your side, that helps you to find the beauty you are
When you’ll open your heart and believe in, when you believe in….
When you believe in the gift of a friend.
And I believed.
“Aschyris?” Marellyn and Soven came up behind me. Again with the concern. But this time, it felt normal.
No rage. No anger. No trace of irritation.
I met their gazes and considered something that I should have done a long time ago. I paused, and gave them the brightest smile I could manage.
Aira: Even though I teased you about your height, I was really amazed by your skills with technology. Your drawings were so cute too. I am so sorry Alina keeps coming after you and all that, but it’s really quite an amusing show. Anyway, she’s after Denise now, so DON’T WORRY.
“Someone who knows when you’re lost and you’re scared…”
Chan Qing: I have always envied your talented hands. As I sat beside you and watched as you drew and coloured, that was what inspired me to draw a dedication for Moodoo, but sadly I failed. Don’t be so emotional all the time. We are your friends, so if you got anything sad, don’t bottle it up. Tell us, because friends are here to help you.
“Through the highs and the lows…”
Nadine: Don’t dislike you hair or hate it. I really love its ‘poofiness’ because it makes you look mature. Out of all of us, you actually look like an adult when you dress up. And your colourings are nice, especially the curtains you coloured with Copics. You are a great debater, and I hope you’ll become my lawyer next time! I am serious, okay! Don’t give up on your dreams!
“That helps you to find the beauty you are…”
Leanne: With talents of both Chan Qing and Nadine, I think you draw nice. Compared to me, which is total utter rubbish. Sometimes, I kind of find you unpredictable, but now I know where you are. The Emotions. Our Feelings. And the inevitable is coming soon right? You’ll be leaving us and go back to Australia, aren’t you? To return to your friends…I know how it feels like to be separated from them. I had a friend who died from a disease when we were 6….Ah well, time flies. Don’t forget us, okay?
“Beside you where ever you go…”
Denise: Hello, little clown! One thing that I’ll miss is your super cute weirdness. And your machine-gun laughter. It’s seriously epic. Your Math and Science are exceptionally good, so I’ll steal some of your knowledge! (Joking…) You could be an aeromancer, you know, because of your speed…ANYWAY. I think you’ll be going to one of the good classes because of your geniusness. KEEP STUDYING HARD.
“But it’s harder to walk on your own…”
I love you guys so much.
I’ll miss you all.
Thank you for standing up for me during hard and difficult times. I’m sorry for being annoying and whatever I did that upset you a lot. I am sorry.
Let’s make the rest of our time memorable, okay?