“Forever”- These words are used too often by people who don’t understand their true meaning. What means “forever”? For some people, it means until death says its word, for others it’s just a couple of seconds. But some people mean it when they say “forever.” Irrespective of the obstacles, hard times and loses, this kind of people give their best, in order not to break their promises. What is a man who doesn’t have a word? A liar. What is a lie? A deception. These things don’t belong in a man’s soul who knows what he wants. He is capable of going until the bitter end, to have what is his. Forever. All you need to do is to believe. Beyond life, beyond death, beyond our souls lost in the abyss, and beyond the logic, there is forever. If we believe in it, it is there. It’s waiting for us. And it can be breathtaking. Life is a journey, and when we think it ends, there appear a crossroads, which doesn’t show itself when we want it to, but when it wants. It shows itself when it thinks that we are ready to believe in forever. Under any form, at any time, and even if we don’t see it, it’s there. It’s waiting for us. An eternity of happiness or one of torment? Happiness, because that is we all want. Everything comes with a price, especially the joy. The last question is: what is the price we have to pay for our happiness?
’I sneaked on him when he was arranging his tie emotionally in the mirror.
“Do you think your story matters?”
“Then go out there and do something!”
“Change something! Do what you want to!”
“But what if I fail?”
“At least you can say you tried!”
“Yes, but I don’t want to lose.”
“You always support me, even if you know I might fail”.’
I rolled my eyes, and I threw away the book. I stood up and grabbed an apple. I had taken a closer look before I took a bite and I saw a hole in it. I sighed, and I threw it too.
“Bullshit!” I grumbled.
“What is it?” asks Deby.
“This book… If I think about it, my life’s story is a lot more interesting than it.”
Deby started laughing. It was a good feeling to see someone laughing near me or because of me. Lately, she had approached me a lot. Even though before we were not best friends, now I was able to have some pretty deep conversations with her. Of course, Jo was one of our most important subjects because I wanted to find out more about her, and Deby was her childhood friend, so she told me a lot of things that brought a smile on my face. It was possible that the latest tragic events have brought us closer. In the end, it was all we had left.
“What’s with this noise?” asks Andy rubbing his eyes.
“Aaron was a literary critic in another life” laughs Deby.
“Ha! Just read it! You will see!” I said.
Ivy comes down the stairs with a long blouse with Mickey Mouse. I looked weird at her.
“Don’t start!” she says quickly. “I just woke up, and I don’t have another clean blouse! We need to go shopping, Deby. Soon!”
“As long as it’s for free, I’m in!” she laughs.
She jumped from the chair and ran upstairs. Ivy was glancing and smiling at Andy, but furtively because when I caught her eyes, she wiped out her smile. For a while, her eyes had a strange sparkling, but I didn’t think it was something that important. I was surprised by the fact that I observed these details that I never used to see before. Ivy and Andy would have been a weird couple, so I put away that thought. After a few minutes, Deby came down with a big backpack, which she threw into Ivy’s arms.
“Let’s go shopping!” she says and pulls Ivy out on the door.
“Maybe you find some coffee too!” shouts Andy before Deby slams the door.
He nodded his head and sat next to me on the couch.
“Sometimes I think they like to play house” he says seriously.
I looked at him seriously too, and I threw him a newspaper from 2016.
“Take a look at what’s happening in this world!”
“Not you too!” he says putting the newspaper on his face.
I started laughing. Sometimes I missed my life from before. I opened a can, and I started eating. I offered to Andy too, but he refused me. I lifted my shoulders, and I got out on the porch. We were there for almost three months, and we didn’t think about leaving too soon. Andy practiced his hunting skills so we ate a lot of meat, as long as we could find some lost rabbit in the woods. No one has disturbed us, and we didn’t find any new people either. The box wasn’t shining so we didn’t have any reason to leave. We didn’t think it was something out there for us anymore.
I saw Deby and Ivy coming back. We were trying to hold on our supply as much as we could, so we weren’t forced to leave there too soon.
“We have a problem” says Ivy seriously.
“What is it now? Didn’t you find any skirts?” I ask amused.
“Aaron, it’s serious” she continues.
“We left that sign from the store’s door turned backward” says Deby.
“Ok…” I say waiting for her to tell me more.
“Well, it was turned on the other side now!” states Ivy.
“Is someone else in the town?”
“If it didn’t move by itself…” says Deby ironically.
I made a face, and I told them to go inside and tell Andy about it. It was the time to leave, so after two minutes I got inside.
“It’s time to pack the things!” I said.
“Who put you in charge?” asks Andy ironically.
I whined. We took each of us a backpack, which we filled with food, bottles of water and changing clothes. We split the medicines and Ivy took the medical kit. In one hour, we were ready to leave. Deby sighed deeply.
“But I liked in here!” she complained.
“Me too, but I guess we all prefer to live than to stay here” I said.
Andy handed us some guns and knives. Deby took the sword and hanged it on her backpack. We hadn’t used the guns for a while. I wanted to step outside, but I heard a noise, so I made a sign to the others to be quiet. I pulled the curtain silently, and I saw an animal that looked like a lion.
“What the hell?” I ask.
Andy came close to see it, but the lion turned around. He didn’t look like a lion anymore, and he had a bird’s head. He was rummaging in the garbage outside. He hit two dumpsters with his tail, and then he flew away.
“What was that thing?” asks Deby.
“If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I would have told you that you’re crazy” says Andy. “It looked like a griffin.”
“I thought they are just some sculptures on the ancient buildings” says Ivy.
“They’re as real as we are, as you can see” says Andy shocked.
“How do we get rid of them?” I ask.
“I have no idea. I hope they are not immune to bullets” whispers Andy.
We wanted to get out, but another one landed just in front of our house. We got down quickly and waited. We were under the window when we heard a strange noise. I looked up, and I saw a man on the porch, not a mythological creature. It had turned. He looked inside, but he didn’t see anyone because we were hidden. Another one joined him.
“This town doesn’t seem inhabited” says one.
“Aura stated that we were supposed to find them here! Now what? We go back empty handed?”
“What else? It’s another town nearby. We will check there too.”
“But why does she want them? They don’t have the Traveler anymore. I heard they didn’t even find the key.”
“We have some traitors among us! Remember when she went after the Traveler, but she didn’t have the key?”
“Yes! She left her alive because she had a vision when she touched her, something like she would find the key! Bullshit! Now we don’t have it! She will send us to look for it!”
“No, you idiot! She wants us to get her the Protector!”
“She’s a witch!”
“She’s a Protector too!”
“The Traveler is dead, so she can’t be a Protector anymore! Whatever!”
Suddenly it was quiet again, so we figured they had flown away. Aura didn’t calm down, and she wanted Deby. We took our backpacks and got outside. We looked around, then up, but there was no sign of the griffins. We got in the car from the front of the house and left. We had a big Ford, and we had taken out the chairs from the back and put mattresses instead. We knew we were going to move someday, so we were prepared. I was behind the wheel, Andy in my right and the girls in the back.
We were on the road again, after a long time. I wasn’t sure if I could hit the target with the gun because I haven’t practiced for a while. While I was driving, the others were looking around, mostly up, to be ready in case of something. After almost three months of normal life, we were back to the start, and I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t scary. I had got used to the silence, to the house, to that town. But it wasn’t easy in life, so I didn’t have time to complain.
The appearance of Aura’s creatures has awakened in me some weird feelings. Even if there wasn’t a night I didn’t think of Jo, this time was something more. I had found out that Jo and Aura knew each other because they had met before. It was something odd for she didn’t tell me that, but I was sure there was an explanation. I woke up squeezing the wheel, under Deby’s worried eyes. I relaxed quickly, and I sighed. I had to focus on what was next.
In that time, I had learned that you couldn’t control everything in life and you have to accept that, to be at peace with yourself. A lot had changed, and I wasn’t the same person I was a few months before.