Mama? Papa? What’s the matter? Why aren’t you getting up?
It’s okay Carol, just go with him, we’ll come later too. Now be a good girl and listen to what he says.
Looking up she sees a pair of green eyes filled with tears, a young boy was grabbing her tightly by the waist, and pulling her away from two people who were crying too.
While she’s struggling to break free from the clasp of the boy, she’s shouting through her tears :
What’s happening? Why must I go? No…I don’t want too... Mama, papa, let me go!
But it’s all in vain, and the boy is dragging her further away. Just then, a loud noise startles her and she sees red flames embracing a white shell and a thick black smoke rising up from it, obstructing the sun, making it seem like the middle of the night.
She abruptly rose from her bed and with tears still in her eyes she looked around frightened, trying to figure out where she was. After a minute or so, she calmed down a little, got out of bed, and walked to the kitchen to get herself a cup of water. After she poured herself some water she heard branches snapping outside so she turned off the light and looked out the living room window. There was a shadow lurking in the dark, turning in circles around the house. She woke up completely, took a knife from the kitchen cupboard and she went out the back door, slowly, making her way to the shadow.
But as she approached it, she realized it was the mysterious man, so she left the knife fall down and ran to him, hugging him from behind. He jumped in surprise and violently shook her off, and she fell on her bottom, letting out a small cry. After he realized it was her he quickly helped her up, by taking her by the waist and pulling her up, and draw her to his chest for a few seconds before letting her go.
She looked at him pouting and said: “What manners, you should know better than to treat a lady like this!” He started laughing.
“What lady? You were the one that almost pushed me down from behind” She smiled.“Well, I missed you a little.”
“Well, I’m flattered… and a little glad.” He replied. They both started laughing.
“So what are you doing here at night?” She asked looking curiously at him.
“Oh, I was just in the neighborhood, and decided to see if anyone was still awake, and then I heard some noise from the garden and was checking it out.” He said, while avoiding to look at her.
“But what are you doing at this hour of the night still awake?”
“Oh, I had a terrifying nightmare, and came down to get a glass of water, when I saw you in the garden.”
“What was the dream about?” he asked jokingly? “A dream where you couldn’t eat your dessert?”
“No! If you really want to know it was a really scary dream. I was crying when a boy was pulling me away from a sea of fire and smoke, and I think my parents were in there…”, she said, and the some tears fell involuntary from her eyes.
The man froze for a second, then seeing her cry, he took her in his arms, and patted her head gently, while hiding his face in her disheveled hair.
“It’s ok, everything is alright, I’m here” he said gently. Cry all you want…” And for a few minutes they didn’t say anything anymore. After she calmed down she asked:
“Why what?” he replied
“Why are you so kind to me? Why did you send me searching for the Lytton family? What connection do they have to my family?”
He didn’t say anything for a few seconds, wondering how to answer her questions and weather she was really ready to know the truth? While hesitating, she looked at him trying to read his expressions, and then she suddenly asked:
“Is your name still unimportant? Cause I want to know what you are called.”
“Well, it really isn’t important to know my name but if you ask me to introduce myself, I can’t say no to such a cute young lady as yourself.” Then he smiled.
“You can call me Keith.”
“Keith, nice name, and I don’t know why, but it fells familiar.”
“Yes, well it should, you used to always call for me”.
“I did? When?” she asked.
“A long time ago, long before you even knew me...” And then he didn’t say anything else. She just sat there and thought of the words he had said, and what they could mean.
Was it possible she had known him before she was 10? If so, why couldn’t she remember?
“Can I ask you something now?” he asked.
“Sure!” she said being only half attentive to what he was saying.
“Six years ago, why were you out on the street? Who were you searching for?”
She then turned to him surprised and said: “Well I saw something moving in the garden, and I thought it was Joe, the driver, and I followed him with the intention to scare him, but then he just disappeared, and I got a little lost” and she smiled at the memory.
He started laughing. “Ah, yes, Joe, same stature.” She looked confused at this answer, but then suddenly she realized, Keith had the same height and build as Joe, so it was very possible she confused them, and she was really following Keith.
“So…it was you that night? The one that I followed?”
“Well yes…” and he kept smiling. She blushed slightly, then continued:
“But then what were you doing at my house?”
“Oh I just had a little conversation with your father. And I was on my way back to my house.”
“I didn’t know you knew my parents…” she said
“Yes, well, you didn’t see me coming to your house, so of course you didn’t know about me.”
Elisa wanted to say something but before she could do it, they heard noises coming from the house.
“I think it’s time I left, looks like your aunt is up.” As he said that, he slightly bent forward and kissed her forehead. “Next time we meet I might bring you suffering, so I’ll say I’m sorry now.” And he left. She remained there, with a blank stare, until her aunt saw her and came screaming at her.
“What do you think you are doing little miss? Have you gone mad? It’s not ladylike to go outside the house dressed like this, and not healthy either. What if someone saw you or you caught another cold? Go back to your bed right now!”
She looked at her aunt and nodded, then she went upstairs and got into bed, but she didn’t sleep, just stood there with her eyes open, thinking of what Keith had said.
“Why suffer? Did something bad happen? He’s still a mysterious man for me, just when I feel like I’m beginning to understand him, he says something which confuses me even more.”
And while thinking, she finally fell in a heavy sleep, to recover the sleep lost thru the night.