Chapter 5 (4)
‘What was she trying to say?’
“But it is not a prison made by someone else. It is a prison made by the people who come here. It is the prison of their own making. At one time it was meant to be something better. A haven! But then over the years, it absorbed the feelings of the people who resided between its walls and morphed so many times that it became a prison. Because that is what they wanted” she continued.
There were so many questions that were running through his mind, so many things that troubled him about what she said. Yet he kept his silence and listened to her every word with interest.
“You have to understand that the people who come here. They do not come here looking for heaven, they come here looking for security and safety. They have seen so much, done so much that they want to get away from all that. So a little piece of heaven is created for them and they lose themselves in it.”
“As much as you may want to associate with them, they do not want to associate with you. Not because they do not like you or because they are antisocial. But because they are afraid. So afraid they cling on to the thing they know best and discard everything else. Unfortunately, this place caters just for that. We got so used to giving them what they want that they forget what they were supposed to give.”
“Instead of giving them security, safety, and a piece of heaven, they get a hole to hide in and while away their time.” She said and again turned away towards the waterfall.
She didn’t say anything after that. She just stared at the waterfall in silence.
So Sam followed suit; not at the waterfall but into the distance away from it.
He wanted so much to ask her something but in the end, he decided against it. There was no way he could tell if she even knew that demons were also here, or if she even believed in them. He didn’t want to unnecessarily scare her if she didn’t.
Sam was also curious as to her own reasons for being here. Curious about her own demons. But then she never asked about his and, maybe just like the other guests, she didn’t want anyone to know hers. So he let it slide.
When they reached the forest again, night had already taken over the world. But still, there was beauty among the trees.
Alice had taken him to a place where they could lie down and just stare at the stars through the canopy. They had laid next to each other staring at the sky, silently. He had to admit that since waking up in this world this was the best time he had spent; maybe even the best time he had spent with anyone since he remembered.
They had walked together, shoulder to shoulder, back to the hotel. He felt sad to part her company at the elevator, but then it was time to get back to his own world; his own part of heaven.
The strange thing was, for all the feelings that filled him when he was with her, they only increased the love he felt for Jess. Alice never found a place in his heart, and when he stepped out of the elevator, it was as if he had already forgotten her; left only with the effects of her company.
Jess was about to say something but she never got the chance, because the minute he was within reach of her he hugged her. Then he kissed her and took her to their room, much to the surprise and confusion of everyone.
The truth was Alice was right.
Everything about everything he had seen was about isolation. It was not about creating a perfect world to live in, it was about creating a perfect world to hide in. And that was what was wrong with it. It tried too hard. To his jaded heart that meant it was wrong; in every possible way. He wanted to fight it because he could never accept it.
Strange that, of all the people, Dean was the one who was able to accept it.
Jess didn’t protest when he took her away from everyone, or when he led her to their bed. She didn’t even need to be told what was to come next; which was fortunate because he didn’t have the time to explain himself. He wanted to act before his mind had the time to get around the stupor that Alice had left him in.
The images were real; the feelings poignant.
He heard the screams that shattered the air; piercing it like a knife.
He heard Dean scream his name and then he felt something tormenting, something warm flowing down across his skin, and then something liberatingly peaceful.
However, as when the morphine wears thin the pain grows, so did he find himself waking in the middle of the night screaming in pain. The feelings Alice had created having waned.
Sweat covered his body and his heart beat hard against his chest.
Nevertheless, it was when he opened his eyes that he saw real terror.
For filling his sight was the burnt corpse of Jess, staring down at him from the ceiling with dead eyes.