From the Past
Afternoon came without me noticing it. I had been busy doing chores that my mother ordered me to do. Sebastian, my brother was at the farm, working with Jace. I made tea and sat on the porch.
It was through my brother that I met Jace. It had always been me who brought my father and brother's lunch at work. I never actually liked that task until I was fourteen, and Jace started working there.
He was the same age my brother, they became best friends in no time. I'm too shy to speak to him because I liked him. I had never felt anything like that for any boy. I couldn't even run into his eyes without blushing.
One day, Sebastian invited him to our house for supper. My brother did that because he knew that I liked Jace. He loved to tease and embarrass me.
I remember I was washing the dishes when we had our first conversation.
"Does my presence bother you? You seem to be uneasy when I'm around. You barely ate," he said, taking some of the plates that I scrubbed with soap and rinsed them with water.
I didn't respond, I just watched him. His blonde hair was unruly, his gold eyes were focused on what he was doing. I never saw anyone who had eyes same as his. They were so beautiful.
I finally had the bravery to speak. "Your presence doesn't bother me. I just don't warm up to people I just met easily. Sorry if I made you feel that." I wasn't lying about not warming up easily to people.
His hands stopped and he looked at me.
"Thank God," he said with a beautiful smile that made my heart skip a beat.
My green eyes met his gold ones.
"So are we friends now, Clarissa?" he asked. There was something in his voice, but I just couldn't pinpoint it.
"Yes." Only friends.
Two years passed and my feelings for grew stronger. I thought he only looked at me as his sister. I'd seen him with other girls a couple of times. I'd never been so jealous.
I proved myself wrong.
Sebastian and Jace shared the same birthday. It was also the day when he confessed what he felt for me. It wasn't the best way to express your love, but I was the happiest girl.
My mother was becoming worried, it was almost dawn and Sebastian hadn't come back yet. He said that he would celebrate his birthday in Jace's house. He promised that he would come back after supper, but that was long ago.
"Mother, you should rest, I'll be the one to wait for Sebastian," I told my mother who looked so exhausted.
"Are you sure, aren't you tired yourself?"
"I'm fine. I'll just have tea and read a novel."
She hugged me and left the room.
Two cups of tea later I heard something hit the window. Someone was throwing pebbles on my window.
I looked down to see who it was, I was expecting to see Sebastian, but there was Jace. He was ready to throw another pebble when he saw me.
"Clarissa!" He yelled.
Something must have happened to my brother that was why he was alone. I was so worried to even think about wearing shoes before running downstairs.
When I opened the door and met Jace in front of our house, I smelled the strong smell of alcohol. He had drunk.
"Where is my brother?" I asked him.
"In my house," he said plainly.
"Why did you come here? It's late, you should head home. No, of course you can't in that shape. You can sleep in my brother's room, I'm sure my parents won't mind," I babbled.
I looked at him and waited for his response, but he only looked at me and smiled. He looked so youthful and handsome when he wasn't all sweaty and filthy from the farm.
There was a meaning behind that smile and I didn't like it. He had something terrible in mind and he was about to act it.
"Jace, whatever it is you are thinking or about to do, please don't do it. Let's come inside?" I said nervously.
He didn't budge. I'm so dead.
"Clarissa!" he shouted.
"Don't yell, I'm here in front of you. My parents may hear you," I scolded him.
"But I want everyone to hear, I want the world, the universe to hear," he argued.
"I LOVE YOU, CLARISSA ADELE FAIRCHILD! I HAVE LOVED YOU FOR YEARS AND YOU NEVER NOTICED IT!"
And so everyone heard including some of the neighbors.
No matter what my parents and others say, I loved him. I chose him over my rich suitors. We might have nothing, but we had us. He was hard-working and I know it would bring him somewhere. He need not to promise me the world, because I'm happy with just being with him.
The sun was almost setting and my tea cup was empty. I could smell my mother's cooking. The boys would be home soon.
From the distance, I could see a figure walking toward my direction. It was a woman, she looked familiar. I tried to remember where I saw her.
Aline. Jace's first love. He didn't mention things about her, just that she was trouble. He told me that she wouldn't bother me again so why was she here?
She was wearing a black dress again. It looked expensive. My mother told me that the Penhallows were rich, but they barely get out of their mansion.
She stood in front of my house and waved at me. I nodded and smiled awkwardly at her. How should you react when your lover's first love came to your house?
I went to where she was.
"Is there anything you need from me?" I inquired.
"Actually, it's not me, it's Jace. He sent me to fetch you," she answered. She was beautiful and she dressed wonderfully, I felt the slightest tinge of jealousy.
"I didn't know you are friends," I said without thinking.
"You know, we were childhood friends before we got involved with each other. My parents and I just got back from Europe so we're having a come back party."
"Jace never mentioned that he was going to a party today."
"I only invited him today and is there, too. They're waiting for us."
I'm still wasn't sure why, but I came with her. Deep inside me, I knew I shouldn't go with her, but my thoughts were muddy and I couldn't say no to her.
This was insane, but I couldn't control my body. I even let her change me into one of her beautiful black dresses. I saw no one when we went inside her house which was a massive mansion.
"Aline, where's Jace? Is he outside with Sebastian?" I asked her.
We were now on our way to their backyard. I tried taking a step back from Aline but my feet wouldn't allow me.
Their backyard was awful. The flowers were dried and the trees were dead. It was dark already, early evening to be exact. There were a few stars and then there was the moon, full and bright.
"Step inside the circle, Clarissa," she commanded.
I didn't know what she was talking about until I saw it. There was a huge circle and a star inside it drawn on the ground.
"No," I said firmly, trying my best to keep my feet steady.
"No?" She lifted her arm and pointed a finger on me.
I could feel my feet moving and I couldn't do anything.
"What are you doing to me?!" I cried, "Stop it! What did I ever do to you?"
She laughed loudly, an evil laugh. I was scared. Her laugh became high-pitched as I continued to move toward inside of the circle until I was in the middle of it.
The circle glowed and a thunder rolled. My throat felt dry. I was shouting, but no sound was coming out of my mouth.
I could only look and cry silently as she mumbled words I couldn't recognize. Whatever she was doing scared me. Was it foreign language? Her lips were moving so fast, it was all I could focus on.
My vision started spinning and my head ached. I sank into my knees and later, I was lying on my back on the dirt. My eyes were focused on the bright moon. I could still hear her casting.
Am I going to die? I thought.
"You can never be with Jace. This is what he gets for choosing you over me." She laughed and went on, "If you stay with him after his twenty-first year, he will die and you will never see him again. But if you stay away from him, he will die and live again. He will continue to exist as long as this world exists, same as you, but you won't die. You will remain in that body forever. You will watch as the people you love die. As the world changes, you will stay the same. Try being with Jace and watch him die slowly because of you. Poor Clarissa, miserable for eternity."
The next day, I woke up in my bed, wearing my sleeping gown, and confused if what happened last night was just a dream.
A proof of last night made me realize that something really happened. There was a star-shaped scar on my shoulder and it stung when I touched it.
I was starving so I washed my face and went downstairs to the kitchen for food.
Mother, Father, Sebastian, and surprisingly Jace were in our small dining room. They observed me as I placed my bowl of soup on the table and sat beside Sebastian. It was late for breakfast, they should be in the farm already.
I couldn't help but ask. "Why are you still here?"
"Clarissa, how are you feeling?" Father asked, concern laced his voice.
"I'm feeling perfect, just hungry," I said honestly.
I heard my mother sigh and say 'thank God' and Sebastian even smiled a little. Jace was just staring at me, he looked like he didn't believe me.
It was creeping me out how they watched me eat my bread and soup. I was still confused on how I got here last night. The last thing I remembered was passing out from dizziness.
"Father, how did I end up in my bed this morning? I remember being at the Penhallow's last night." I spoke and my mother's face paled.
"Jace brought you home and people took care of the girl with you," Father answered calmly.
"Why are you there anyway?" Jace asked, sounding a little bit angry.
"Aline fooled me. She said there was a gathering in her house and Sebastian and you were there."
"That witch," Sebastian muttered under his breath.
"Aline is a witch?" I asked, feeling the hairs on my arm rising. So that was why she could control my body and the foreign words she was speaking was a spell. I suddenly remembered the words she said before I blacked out.
If it was true, Jace's twenty-first birthday was in two months. What should I do? Should I tell him? I know he wouldn't want me to leave him and if I did, he would search all over the world just to find me. I couldn't hurt him, but I also couldn't let him die because of me.
"Clarissa, are you alright? You look pale, dear." I was feeling queasy. I ran to the bathroom just in time to empty my stomach.
I felt someone hold my hair away from my face as I vomited on the sink. I gargled some water and turned to see Jace who looked worried.
He wrapped his arms around me tightly and buried his face in the crook of my neck.
"Tell me what she did to you, be honest Clarissa. I know what she's capable of," he whispered, but still enough for me to hear.
It hit me that I'd rather leave him than let him die. "She just did something that made me dizzy and then I blacked out. She did nothing to hurt me. I think she's just trying to scare you. She's so jealous of me because I have you and she doesn't."
"That's right," he said, agreeing with the last thing I said. I could feel him smile and I placed my hands on his arms.
He looked down at me with bright eyes. He appeared to be relieved and happy.
"I love you so much, Jace," I said with all the emotion I could muster.
"I love you Clarissa, always."
He leaned in and let our foreheads touch.
"Marry me," he whispered. I felt his warm breath on my lips, making me lean into him more.
I smiled. "You are proposing marriage in a bathroom? I thought of you as a more romantic person, Jace Herondale. And you want to kiss me though my breath stinks of vomit."
He chuckled. "Yes and yes I want to kiss you even if your breath smells like hell, though it doesn't really stink like you think."
"Then yes, I will marry you."
He took a simple gold band from his pocket and slid it on my ring finger. "It's really simple, but it's all I can afford for now."
"It's so beautiful," I said before wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling him into a kiss.
Right then and there, I was contented though I know I only have a few weeks to be with him.
Jace learned from my neighbors who saw me walking with a short-haired girl that I was with Aline. He knew what she was and that she did things to hurt people that was why he left her.
He brought people with him to the Penhallow mansion and found me unconscious in the backyard.
Those people found witchcraft instruments in her house, proving that she was indeed a witch. They burned the house and held her captive.
They were burning her alive tonight. Aline looked weak and pale. She was tied securely around a dead tree in the middle of the forest and many people surrounded her.
I didn't know what came to me, but I found myself in front of her.
"You shouldn't have that to me," I told her angrily.
"Then you will be happy with him. Jace is the only man I loved and I'm not giving him to you. He never looked at me the way he looks at you and I hate it. I sacrificed all my powers just so I can cast that spell on you. It's not something that can be broken," she hissed.
More people gathered around the tree, cursing the witch. I walked away from her and went to Jace's side and watched as the flames engulfed her body.
Thanks for reading!