As time goes on the pain seems to dull more and more every day. Life is quiet and has been full of fake smiles and dull looks. Micah and Eris have stood by my side every step of the way. Through my anger and tears. They have stood by my side when everyone else has left me alone. At first, they would watch my every move afraid of what I was going to do. Now it will be days till I see them again. We exist together, friends till the very end. Micah still brings me a meal every morning and night knowing I wouldn’t go get some if he didn’t. I don’t go very far in this labyrinth of a castle. I drift from the bedroom to the garden finding that it is the only place I feel safe. The flowers are calming almost like they are alive, telling me they will be here for me.
I wonder where Nick is right now. Does he feel the pain I feel? Does he feel as empty as I am? Is he happy? Is he sitting on some porch with Adeline naming the stars without me? Or is he dying inside? Can he feel my pain? Is he just ignoring it out of hatred? Does he hate me? I just want to see if he is okay. If after everything he won’t go back to the stone cold creature I met at the beginning. I hope he is okay. I hope he is happy. I also curse his name out of hatred. Hatred because he never let me speak. Hatred because he left me. Hatred because I let him leave.
So now that he is gone I don’t have much to keep my body alive. There isn’t much left of me at all. I have nothing to live for other than the possibility of seeing Nick again. To have him in my arms again. If I didn’t want that I would surely be dead. I would have jumped off this dark castle into the ocean below. Nick isn’t around to save me anymore. My suicidal tendencies would go unchecked. I would surely be dead without this one thing to live for. I have no family, no home. I am alone in this world.
I walk down the stone halls my eyes landing on an unfamiliar door. It’s darker than the rest instantly earning my curiosity. I break away from my usual walk heading towards the door my eyes tracing over the gold accents, it’s a beautiful door. My hand wraps around the cold handle gasping when the metal makes contact with my skin. It’s freezing. I slowly turn the handle hearing it click and the door slides backward. I push the door the rest of the way open instantly my eyes widening when it’s ten times warmer in here than the cold hallway. I step in fully closing the door behind me my eyes traveling around the room. My eyes widen when they land on the masterpieces in front of me. Thousands of paintings litter the room, I step towards them noticing that every painting is the same view from a mountaintop. My eyes lower as I remember sitting on this same mountaintop with Liam months ago. It seems like a lifetime ago I stood on that hill with that handsome stranger. I remember him promising to show me these paintings. I guess in the chaos of our lives were thrown into he forgot. I don’t blame him, I forgot too. My fingertips trace over the canvas feeling the old paint under my fingertips. I love the feeling of the dried paint against my skin.
“Are you a painter?” My eyes snap back to Micah and Eris who stand in the doorway, I nod my head remembering the feeling of the paintbrush in my hands. Feeling the paint slide onto the canvas. It’s been so long since I painted, I miss the feeling. I walk over to a sketch pad grabbing it along with a pencil looking over at Micah.
“I want to go to the hill.” His eyes widen and he looks at Eris who runs her hand through her hair nodding slowly.
“It’s in their territory.” I sigh closing my eyes. Nothing is going to stop me from going there, I don’t care if it isn’t our territory they have no problem with me. I am the reason why they can’t go there anymore.
“Just take me down to the beach. They aren’t going to harm me. I will come back soon enough, you don’t need to worry about me. I will always come back.” He looks unsure but he nods anyway. I’m not lying I will come back. This place is my home now, not that manor in the woods. Not that family. I can’t not after everything. I am not the same person they knew. I have changed probably for the best. I have been weak my entire life and now because of these past couple of months, I have become strong. Stronger than I even thought was possible. I am not the young naive girl I once was. I know now that the world is filled with darker creatures. That I am one of those darker creatures. I want to learn more about myself. I want to find my real parents, I want to know why they abandoned me. I want to know if they know about what I am. I want to know so much.
“Okay, but know Adele if you want you can leave. They will accept you back into their lives. You can grow old and have a family, you could look back at this and just see a distant memory. You don’t have to go through all this pain.” I look at Eris giving her a soft smile, I can see it in both of their faces. They don’t know why I staying in a place that caused me so much pain. They don’t understand why I haven’t left. They are right I could have a life, I could be happy with some man and bore his offspring. I could die when I am one hundred years old in the home we built for ourselves. I could live to see my grandchildren graduate high school. I could have a very full and warm life. But honestly, I’ve seen too much to even want a future like that.
“You’re right, I could leave and be happy. I could have a full life filled with joy and love. I could get married to a man and have his children. I could have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But that isn’t my life anymore. I love this life, the one filled with pain and sadness because you may see me standing here tears in my eyes but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nick is my home, he is the life I want. This castle is my home. You are my home. This life filled with tears and anger is also a life filled with love and joy. I could have a lovely life without you but honestly, I don’t want it.” I see her eyes widen and a smile spreads across her lips and she pulls me into a hug. I gasp softly hugging her back feeling a smile spread across my lips. I never thought I could be friends with Eris. I thought my jealousy would be too strong to allow that to happen. Standing here with her in my arms pushes away those thoughts.
“Let’s go. I better see that drawing once you’re done. Don’t hide your artistic talent from me.” I giggle nodding as Micah hooks his arm with mine leading me out of the warm room and into the dark hallway. I smile as we walk down the stairs seeing Eris stop at the top leaning against the wall as she watches us leave the stone castle. Micah pushes the large doors instantly sun hitting my cold skin. I gasp a smile spreading across my lips as the sun warms me. I feel ten times better now that I am out in the sun. I love the sun, I love the warmth it gives me. I love everything about it. Micah leads me down a stone path along the side of the castle. A sigh leaves my mouth as my bare feet hit the golden sand. My toes instantly sink down and I feel the small rock between them. I detach from Micah stepping farther out onto the sand. I look at the blue water hearing the sound of seagulls. I hear the sound of the waves crashing against the side of rocks. The breeze pulls at my hair as if it wanted me to follow it. I continue onto the beach seeing the long stretch of golden sand and the forest edge. Micah follows me quietly as I make my way down the beach feeling more at peace than I have in a long time. I missed the beach, the beach is where I learned to love life. I remember running across it as my father chased me. I remember Liza and I walking it early in the morning. I remember seeing my first crush on it. I remember kissing my first person late one night as the waves hit our toes. I lived most of my life at the beach, I fell in love with the ocean and I’ve never fallen out of love with it.
“We are almost to the point where we part ways, Adele.” I turn around to face him seeing a small smile on his face. I didn’t realize how far we have walked. I was lost in my own daydream. Captivated with my love of the ocean. I can see fear in his eyes and I know he is worried to let me go.
“I will come back Micah, you don’t have to worry about me. Nobody will hurt me. Sebastian Knight and his family will not harm me. The most they will do it watch me from the shadows.” He sighs nodding looking behind me at the endless miles of sand. I know he is scared to let me leave. He’s gotten used to having me around. We’ve become close and I think he is worried what will happen to him if I am to leave. “I promise Micah you will be okay. If anything is to happen to me, you will not be left alone. Eris will stay by your side no matter what.” I give him a sweet smile seeing his eyes soften and he nods running his hands through his hair.
With that I turn around walking the opposite direction. I hold the sketch pad to my chest as I walk down the familiar beach. I used to walk this beach every day. To think that just a couple steps away was a life I never thought existed. A path for me to follow, a person to fall for. A family to learn to love. A home I would call my own. I was happy in my bright sunny life. I didn’t know if the possibilities that this world could hold for me. I didn’t know the people in it. I always had a plan for my life. Finish school, go into nursing and save more lives. I would get married and have a couple of kids. Live for many years then die after a full life. I was satisfied with that plan, that life. That was till I was I introduced to this world. It may not be as bright as the other one but it is filled with so much more adventure.