12 Aug 2011

The mysterious man (Part II)

Several years passed that way, and on Elisa’s 14th birthday, while she was getting dresses for the party that was scheduled to start in about two hours, a maid came to give her a piece of news that changed her life forever. Her parents had been in a car accident, and were now in the hospital.

The days passed in frenzy and on the 3rd day Elisa’s parents died, at an hour distance one from the other. The relatives arranged for Elisa to live with her aunt and her family after the funeral.

Her aunt’s name was Charlotte. She was a short stocky woman, who took care of the household, while her husband was chubby and bold, and owned a construction company. They had a son who, unlike his parents, was slim and pretty tall for his 12 years, and who liked to study, being an overachiever.

On the day of the funeral rain was pouring down, and the ski remained closed even through the night. After the funeral, Elisa was to move to her aunts house, so after all the people were gone, she went up to her parents room and took her time looking at everything very attentively so as to imprint the memory of the room in her brain, each detail having a memory attached to it. In the end she fell asleep on her parents bed. When the clock stroked 2 Elisa opened her eyes slowly, rose from the bed, descended the stairs, went out the door without even putting on her shoes, and started walking down the street. She fell down but got back up and kept walking till she arrived at a cemetery, the one where her parents were buried. When approaching their grave, she saw a shadow crouched at their tomb. Uncertain at first she approached the stranger by the grave. When he saw her he rose and walked away. She passed her parents grave and tried to cry out for him, but her mouth just wouldn’t open. All of a sudden, he turned around and looked at her, then approached her slowly. When she saw him coming towards her, her feet gave out and she fell on her bottom. Unable to say anything she just stayed down and kept looking at him as waiting for him to wake her up from the nightmare. When he reached her, he kneeled down in front of her, took a white handkerchief with green lacing and bandaged her right palm which was injured from her falling down on the street on the way here.

“You should get that disinfected” he said in a low voice while looking at the hand. She still didn’t said anything, just looked at the bandaged hand and nodded.

“Are you ok?”he asked, still avoiding to look into her eyes. Elisa didn’t say anything, just grabbed his hand and squeezed it, and slowly tears began to fall, one after the other, until she started sobbing violently. She wanted to talk, to tell him all that had happened to her, but she just couldn’t stop crying.

“It’s ok now, cry as much as you want, it will ease your pain” and he hugged her and stroke her hair gently until she fell asleep in his embrace. When he noticed that she had fallen asleep, he took her in his arms and carried her in the direction of her house.

“What am I going to do with you now?” he asked while looking at her, while some tears were still dropping heavily on her cheeks.

“Mama? Papa? Where are you?” she mumbled.

Hearing her, a tear started making its way from his eye on to the cheek and dropped from his chin.

“Poor child, what a sad destiny she has, always having to say goodbye to her most loved ones. Will I only bring her suffering? Should I really awaken her memories or let them sleep undisturbed?”

While walking down the street, the sun started showing it’s rays, and finally they were at her house.

“Elisa, come on, wake up”

“Mother? Let me sleep a little more…”

“Elisa, it’s time to move, come on, be a good girl and wake up”

Elisa suddenly opened her eyes and looked around, but before she could awaken entirely she felt her eyes heavy and a strong headache quickly set in. She quickly closed her eyes so the sun couldn’t hurt them, then opened them slowly and looked around her felling at a loss. She was in her room, in her bed, but she remembered falling asleep in her parents room, how had she ended up back in her room? When she decided to listen to her aunt and get up, she felt something falling from her hand. It was the white handkerchief, which she had received from that man when she was only 10, but why was it in her hand? Then she began remembering what had happened the night before, but it was all hazy and her headache didn’t subside at all so she postponed it till later.

She got out of the bed, washed her face, got dressed in her black dress and started packing up her clothes one by one, all the while remembering how she had bought each of them with her mother and how her dad had always praised her, and told her how beautiful she was. After about an hour her luggage was ready and her uncle was loading it in the truck of the car. She took her time and looked one last time at her room, and she noticed something red under the pillow. It was the white handkerchief stained with blood. Then she remembered the cemetery, and the man, whom she called the mysterious man, and her crying in his arms and falling asleep. The memories of the previous night made her blush slightly, and then she even smiled for a brief moment at the thought that maybe destiny was bringing her and the mysterious man together when she needed him the most. She had really felt much better after she had cried her hearth out, and she was glad it was him who saw her and not some stranger or someone from her family. Then she realized she didn’t remember how she got home, or in her bed. She only remembered a light touch on her forehead and some words that didn’t make any sense to her: “let memories sleep undisturbed”. Were those words addressed to her or was there someone else around who talked to the mysterious man and she just heard them? Vainly she tried to remember more, it didn’t work, so she took the blood stained handkerchief, shoved it in her pocket and went downstairs when her aunt started calling her.

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