Metanoia

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Chapter Twenty-Eight

“I can’t- concentrate!” I complained in frustration.

“Stay focused on what you desire most,” the Forn calmly encouraged.

“It’s bloody impossible!” I panted.

“Just focus, Augustine.”

Laying down the crystal, I stormed off in an angered fit.

“I’m done!”

The forn pursued me, and with a powerful voice it spoke.

“Augustine, son of the cursed, you shall not run from destiny any longer!”

The forns’ stern and authoritative voice arrested my escape and caused me to crumble before it, shivering in dread

“Where shall you run now? Shall you go to the woods, to the waters, or perhaps the sea?” it thundered.

“WHY NOT?” I countered, “Why not just live like the animals? Why not eat sleep and die like they do? I see nothing wrong in living!”

“Living with no meaning is no life, but a disgrace!” The forn retorted.

“What if I don’t care anymore; what if the very thought of this journey turns my stomach?”

“You keep on going, till you finish what you started.” The Forn interrupted.

“I started NOTHING, and I am finishing NOTHING!”

I stormed back towards the crystal, standing in front of it. Rebelliously, I placed my hand on the crystal, gazing back at the Forn. He returned my gaze, with a look which I could not discern. The energy which the crystals emitted caused me more pain than usual. My head was aching, and my eyes were utterly dazed, yet I persisted as the light blinded me. ---

---The pressure of the blindfold which Sarah had put over my eyes began to ache. She seemed have taken great measures to mask the destination for which she had taken me.

“Sit here, try not to move.”

Sarah sat me down on a chair. Admittedly I was a bit worried.

Suddenly a splash of water made me jolt out of my seat, causing me to trip and fall to the floor. I hastily removed my blindfold; there before me was a cake aflame with candles.

“Happy birthday invisible man,” Sarah jested.

I began to get myself up from the floor, just as Fitz came rushing towards me, knocking me back once again and covering my face with dog kisses.

“Oh, get off me big boy… and you!” I said pointing my finger at Sarah; “ I’ll get you back for that!”

“Highly doubt that,” Sarah teased as she set the cake on the table, “Since you have no need to eat, I’ll take half.” As Sarah took her share, Fitz jumped up and in one swoop and ate the other half.

“You know, it’s not that I can’t enjoy a meal!” I said, mildly irritated.

“You should have made that clear, then.” She smugly uttered while leaving with a plate full of cake.

“Aha, and you’re on her side?”

I turned to Fitz. He simply gazed up at me, with a guilty look and a face full of cake crumbs.

I never did quite understood why people celebrated birthdays. Perhaps it was just an excuse for people to eat cake and not feel guilty.

While Fitz was finishing his cake, I followed Sarah to the lighthouse. It was a foggy day, and the waters where still, with only faint winds daunting the waves.

“Every year, I explicitly ask you not to do this.” I stated, while approaching Sarah.

She always loved to sit in the lantern room, gazing out at the waters. I usually found her fiddling with a contraption or simply reminiscing. Whenever I needed her, I would first look in the lantern room.

“It’s hard not to take advantage of your surprisingly poor track of time.” Sarah smirked as she continued to stare out into the sea. “You know, I’ve been thinking-“

“Oh, really?” I returned her smile.

“Yes, I’ve been thinking about maybe, leaving.”

Sarah words stunned me, and for a moment I stayed silent.

“Why?” I finally asked.

“I’ve been here all my life.” Sarah stood up, “I haven’t met a soul in years and my best friend is an invisible man with a dog named Fitz.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

“Of course, you don’t.”

“But you have it all; your own house, perfect peace not to mention an island all to yourself-“

“Which is infested with blood thirsty hounds.” Sarah countered.

“Well, if you want to look at it that way-“

“I just want a normal life, Augustine. You’ve been a good friend, a great one in fact, but I don’t want to fend off hounds and sea gods all my life-”

“You did it up until now, why not just- continue?”

Sarah halted and turned to me, gazing to my left. “I’ve done nothing all my life-“

“You defended the island.”

“For whom? You know, ever since you came, all I wanted to do was leave. I feel like this may be the right time.”

I turned to Sarah with a look of deep sadness. I had hoped she might feel as I did but she continued to look away staring out into space.

“What about the house, and everything in it?”

“We leave it all, just- start over.”

I desperately attempted to find a counter argument.

“Aren’t you a bit weary of all of this? Years of monotony, every year being the same one after another? Sarah asked.

Gazing out at the ocean, a great deal of words entered my mind, but I could not seem to figure out how to express myself.

“Let’s discuss this later.” I answered. “I need time to process all of this”

“Promise” Sarah asked, clutching her fist and raising her thumb

Bumping fists and touching thumbs I uttered, “I promise”

When Sarah left, I sighed and slouched my shoulders. Every time Sarah would speak of leaving, I would constantly deflect; knowing that sooner or later there will come a time where this will be but inevitable.

Since I had arrived on the island, Sarah experimented on me with the dust, creating a variety of glasses and contraptions, even mirrors in an effort to make me more visible to her. Often her experiments were quite a shock to me, and at times she would go a bit too far. On many occasions she came particularly close to burning down the house.

At lunch, Sarah had surprised Fitz and I with a new recipe. Her culinary skills were not the best, but Fitz never seemed to mind.

As we all sat around the small round table, I attempted to avoid Sarah’s impending questions.

“Have you been to the southern town?” I asked.

“No, the rusher needs a refill.”

“Don’t you have the reservoir, that was left here?” I inquired.

“I used it all.”

Sarah lowered her voice, as I stared at her with a sigh.

“You know this is a bit more important than your silly contraptions,” I said a bit testily.

“But this one was urgent, I just had-“

“How can it be more urgent than this?” I interrupted.

Sarah stayed silent and continued to eat.

“Those tracks we saw; it could be an indicator-“

“They could just be the sailors,” Sarah interrupted.

“Or it could be settlers?” I countered.

“The word was spread, Augustine. Rarely does anyone come here, and I know for a fact that no one in their right mind would want to settle here,”

I stayed silent, pushing my food around on my plate.

“I thought about it,” Sarah said with finality.

“Thought about what?” I lifted my head to face her.

“About leaving; I made up my mind,” Sarah said flatly, her gaze fixed on the corner of the room.

“Shouldn’t I have I had a say in this?” I asked.

“And what, if you said ‘no’ it would have been undecided, and I highly doubt Fitz is able to cast his vote.”

“But it’s unnecessary.” I argued

“Unnecessary?” Sarah raised her voice.

Although she turned her gaze my direction, she still avoided making eye contact.

“I’ve been staring at black beaches and barren wastelands for twenty-four years! I’d love to at least a green valley, or a flat prairie before I die. I would like to see a tree bearing fruit….at least once. Then if you want to return, I will return with you.”

Sarah continued to gaze as if examining the button on my shirt. Her eyes began to redden and fill with tears. She hastily stood up and put her dish in the sink. Fitz quickly followed carrying his dog dish in his mouth.

“Look, I didn’t mean to -“

“It’s ok, Augustine. I- I just don’t feel well these last couple of days. I just need some rest.

I quickly stood in front of Sarah to comfort her, “Listen… If you would like to take a trip, I’m more than willing to-“

Spontaneously, Sarah hugged me, with a tear excepting down her cheek. I felt a faint lump rise in my throat as I returned her embrace.

“Thank you, Augustine,” She whispered. “I’ll go get ready.”

Sarah hurried upstairs and began to pack for the trip.

“Pack for three days. We can leave tomorrow.”

I sat down with a sigh, and Fitz hopped on my lap.

“You know you’re too big for this, don’t you?” I asked as I ran my hands through Fitz fur.

He simply replied by nuzzling his nose in my hand then lay his head in my lap and fell asleep.

I sat staring into space trying to think of some way to prevent the upcoming trip, only for grief to fill my conscience.

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