izzy13 Isabel L

“I wish.” With the blink of an eye the world went dark. Time stopped for merely a second, a second that expanded, a second that travelled far, far back.

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A Little Too Far

“I wish I could reverse time, go back and just undo all of this shit,” Romeo was staring at the sky. Tears were streaming down his face as he the images of the last days overpowered him. The sound of the door when she left him. All alone now. The knowledge that he messed up, messed up again. So hard this time that there would be no going back. No going back to being in her arms. No going back to feeling her mouth on his. No going back to seeing her smile light up the world. “I wish.”

With the blink of an eye the world went dark. Time stopped for merely a second, a second that expanded, a second that travelled far, far back.

Romeo gasped, needing air, trying to absorb as much as possible. He tried to open his eyes, but his lids weighed a ton. Finally, he managed to overcome the heaviness and get a glimpse of his surroundings through his crusty lashes. He was lying in a hole. A hole, in a gloomy basement, barely any light grazed the small room. Dust kissed the multitude of boxes standing close by the wall and slowly started to settle into his linen shirt and the gray jeans he bought at Old Navy just a week ago. It was not a deep hole, he noticed when he found the energy to move his body. Just deep enough for him to have to pull himself up and crawl over the edge. It took him one, maybe two approaches but then he was sitting on the dirty floor, at last.

“What are you doing here?”

The little kid quite scared poor Romeo. The eighteen-year-old gave an unmanly shriek, twisted around and was ready to face the intruder.

“Are you alright?”

Romeo’s mind was spinning. A little girl was standing in front of him. A little girl who wore her blond hair in ridiculous braids. Little red bows enweaved in her hair. She wore a cute little dress; the sort of Romeo had always imagined Little Red Riding Hood wearing. Her big brown eyes were watching his every move with childlike curiosity. Calculating whether he was supposed to be in this place.

The young man finally found his voice. It was raspy, like a dry plant in need of water. “I think I am alright.”

“Come on then, Mommy said we are not allowed to be in the basement. Mommy said the basement is scary and dangerous and we should not be down here.”

The girl was rambling a bit while Romeo was trying not to fall apart entirely. Who was that girl, he wondered. And why was she here? Why was he there? Where was he? Why was he not at home anymore? Was this a dream? It must be a dream. Why would he dream of waking up in a hole with a child finding him? He concluded that he needed to tell his therapist next session. Vivid dreams were quite scary. Or maybe it is a side effect of his antidepressant?

“Well? Are you coming? We can stop by at the kitchen if you are feeling rather hungry.”

She impatiently stomped with her foot. A noise that vibrated through the old wooden flooring and brought Romeo’s mind back to her. He got to his feet and shot back down again, having hit his head on the unusually low ceiling. A bit of dust, maybe mould, too, came crumbling down on him.

“Are you mad? Mommy will be quite upset to see that you will have to get a bath now. She might have you go down to the well to wash and it is not the weather where you would want to. It would be quite cold.”

With a hand to his head, blinking away the raging pain that shot through it, he stood up again, careful this time.

“Before we go anywhere … “

“No, no, we must leave this basement. Mommy would not like us being down here. She always tells me that I am not allowed to be down here.”

“Wait, then why are you even down here?”

The girl looked at Romeo with angel eyes, the glint of mischief shining through. The corners of her lips were curling up, indicating that she was wondering around at places a kid should not be.

Romeo sighed. “Okay, let’s go.” The girl looked him strangely up and down but lead the way as he motioned her forward.

They ascended a dim, small staircase and stepping into a busy kitchen. Maids and cooks rushed by, doing their chores, not giving them a single glance, no moment of their time. The girl stalked through the kitchen like she was the boss of the entire thing, like they were there to serve her and her alone.

With the confidence of a child that has never been told off, she put her slightly chubby hand over the counter to grab a pastry from one of the many trays. Without offering one to him she strictly nodded her head, acting as if she has always treated him that way, to ask him to follow her. They stepped out of the servant’s quarters into what appears to be the actual living quarters of the family owning the place. Across the entrance they faced a black and white family portrait of a plump man with a kind face, a woman who had a sternness in her eyes and a timidly smiling little girl.

Romeo followed the girl, not knowing what else to do, having so many questions though keeping silent. If the girl who was so talkative before was quiet now, it must mean something. They turned around a corner and were in some sort of living room. A room filled with a desk, bookshelves in the back and a stiff woman sitting on a plush couch. The sort of couch that one would see at vintage sales.

It clearly took her a back that a stranger walked in after the girl. Her eyes went wide as she took in his appearance. A hint of disgust entered her gaze, disgust, and judgement. “Mary-Claire, what is this?” “What do you mean, Mummy?” Her mother rolled her eyes. “Who are you and what are you doing in our house?” She demanded, standing with the hands in her hips.

That was where Romeo realized it does not matter whether this was a dream or not, he was fucked. He had no idea what to tell her, he did not even know exactly how he got there so what was he supposed to say? The silence cost him. “For God’s sake, Mary-Claire, you’ve brought a madman into this house!” A what now? Hold on, Romeo wanted to exclaim, but then again, he did not remember a single thing about his arrival. The longer he was standing in front of the woman he was noticing the difference of clothing, of posture, of behaviour, of language. Who would even say for God’s sake? “I am sorry for intruding. My name is Romeo. I …” The lady interrupted him, holding out her hand, brows raised arrogantly. “My dear, I do not care. We are an honourable house. We do not give charity to good for nothings.” Good for nothings? What does that even mean?

Romeo looked around the room helplessly, confused. And that is when he saw it: the newspaper. The woman must have read it before Mary-Claire and Romeo interrupted her calm morning. A newspaper that made his face go white. A newspaper that had a date printed in black velvety ink on the right upper corner: March 13th of 1931. Wait… WHAT? “Ummm. So, well, I must sit down, I think. I have to say I feel a little strange. Could you, it sounds weird, but could you tell me the correct year we have, please?” A bit of worry crept into the woman’s look. Worry for him or worry that whatever madness he possessed could spread? “It is 1931, of course, but no, no, no you can not sit down here.” Her voice was as shrill as a police siren. Though her words did not reach. Romeo just sat, dizzily looking at the shadows overcoming him, his brain trying to wrap what was claimed to be reality.

In the back of his mind Romeo heard a whisper of his own words over and over again. “I wish I could reverse time, go back and just undo all of this.”

It appears, he did go back.

Far, far, back. A little too far.

16 Mai 2023 07:31 0 Rapport Incorporer Suivre l’histoire
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