6.3 Ties of today and Tomorrow
Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track, then.
— Henry David Thoreau
The day is bright, busy; down on streets, the crowd is emerged hustling with their daily tasks, none is aware of the other’s problems as they pass one-another. Their focus is on their lives and their tasks. That’s how life passes, we believe our priorities matter the most, as a matter they do but what about the other?
Can’t we just hold up a moment and breath; can’t life hold up and breath, so perhaps this hustle can take a momentary rest.
The footsteps getting strong, breaking my musing, I wish to be left alone with my disappointment and not to be followed.
I feel his distress before he announces his presence, “I know, you’re angry Niera, but we had our reasons.”
My friend distracts me from my reverie, I offer him blunt silence because that’s all I own in this moment.
Sure, you had. Everyone had their reasons.
With the sky as my shelter, I feel vulnerable, vulnerable to think, how my friend betrayed me, my teacher was playing with me. I thought, I had my people with me, but no…I was alone, all alone…played and betrayed by the one I trusted the most.
Had he felt the same…when I left?
I shudder at the mere thought; sorrow in the essence of pain embraces me and I close my eyes.
“Why don’t ask? Your confusion will be cleared.”
Nothing can clear what happened in past, what I went through and the burden of guilt and terror; no one-nothing can clear.
“Niera…!” Jason mumbles and I turn to face him letting him see my rage, my pain and disappointment.
“Cryptic Friend blackmailed me. He turned my confidence into ashes. My rescue plan jeopardized because of him. I almost lost my life because—”
I don’t get a chance to complete, as a strong tug jerk me toward Jason; his warm brown eyes slit into worry and anger.
A breath escapes me, the close proximity, despite being best friends for years—pushes me to discomfort. I fidget to step back but Jason restricts my intentions by placing his other hand on my shoulder.
“What! Who tried to hurt you, Niera?”
“It should be why and the answer is, Cryptic Friend had all the details of my relation with Greefy Inc. while I was planted to solve the mess as one of them.” I can’t help but let the harshness dominates my tone.
Jason’s baffled eyes widen at my revelation, “What?”
And then, I chose to tell him the details, details which were the secret of A V Inc. and trust of authorities. The deal between Gideon and I, the only way to save the thousand families connected to Greefy Inc. I wish I could tell him; how it felt to face Hell, in McCoy’s powers, death was waving at me when I was tortured, those deafening screams were all mine. If it wasn’t for Gideon, I…
“No! Damn! Damn!” he pulls his hair in dense regret.
“I had no idea it could—I’m so sorry, Niera, I wish I could do something to help you. I’m really sor—”
I stop his rant by raising my hand, I don’t wish to but the buried truth must be known, “Why the Cryptic Friend mess Jason? Didn’t you—he trusted me? Or I was supposed to be sacrificed as a scrap goat.”
Jason shakes his head frantically, “We had no idea the situation would take such a turn, I thought—”
“Cryptic Friend had the information which was…”
Jason nods, “Sir found us leads.”
Astound, I gasp quietly, leads which Cryptic Friend hinted me about. But then, “We could communicate, why this—”
“The company’s security has been compromised, if any means could help you was this one. An anonymous email from which you could decipher and extract meaning. And I believe you did.” Jason raises his brow, confidently and I know we’re heading to the play of client and advisor, he is getting into his character.
“What? How does security breach affect my trip?” I scowl and Jason rubs his eyes roughly; apparently, the bright rays are irritating him. Had he been away from nature for long?
I can’t help but let a shudder of horror escape me.
I wish to ask but Jason doesn’t allow me, “Compromised, Niera.”
I frown and Jason finds interest in the ancient architecture of our building, “Simply put, a Global name like A V Inc., one would surely crumble if they piss them off. Now, Greefy Inc. had this mess, they wanted a safe way out.”
My face crumbles as the cookie thrown and picked up for thousand times, “You lost me, Jason.”
He shakes his head, serious clouds of thundering revelation prompt in his orbs, “We nearly did, if not for Sir.”
His steely gaze collides mine, molten rage on display, “Your files were flagged. As they found Mr. Wilson sent you, they planned to cover it—precisely save the heads.”
“What…you mean, they—”
Jason nods, “The blame on one person, can save the rest.”
“But I wasn’t even involved, I was—how was I, how could they?” I ask incredulously.
“Power has no morals, Niera. It serves the wishes of its master.” His eyes turn sharp, “Forming evidences is quite easy, when one has the reason.”
Disgust is small to define the feeling crawling upon me, the people for whom, we went through so much, they stoop so low.
“So, that’s how the Cryptic Friend was born?”
Despite the situation, a soft shade of humor finds its was on Jason, “Niera, he is your mentor, he knows you well enough to track your actions and predict your moves. He planned this to save you and the company.”
“Pressure pushes to Motivation.” I mumble to the breeze around us.
“You had no time, the orders were reached, if any delay. We’d have lost you.”
So, that’s why; Sir had the assumption, his shrewd mind was one step ahead.
“Why didn’t he go himself?”
“Could you’ve done this?” his known gaze collides mine and I shake my head. No, we wouldn’t have done anything like this. a shrewd mind could tackle their dirty tricks. We maybe the Legal maestros, but experience and tactics on field, our mentor knew it well. So does reading people.
Jason holds up my shoulder, “Niera, he saved not just you but the entire Greefy Inc. and for sending you there. I always heard him say that you’re capable to handle everything. That’s why heaven chose you.”
For my fallen face, Jason’s gaze softens, “Do you still hate me?”
I look at my friend’s eyes, sincerity and sadness overshadow his warm and attractive looks, I find myself shaking my head before I’m tackled into a warm and tight embrace.
Jason pats my head, pulling me closer, seeking apologies for all this time. With his nature, I know, he’ll be apologizing for a very long time. I let him, struggling with everything and every emotion trying to fight me.
Joy to see Jason safe,
Enraged to find the true colors of Greefy Inc.’s heads,
Sad for the mess at the first place
And perplexed, on how I’ll deal with my mentor.
A lot has been answered, a lot is still vague and a lot more making any sense, but I’ll make sure to find it out.
“Why were you missing?” I mumble numbly in his embrace and feel Jason stiffening. His grip loosens before he moves toward the boundary.
Jason’s grip tightens around the cement boulders, “Sir asked me to.”
A scowl forms its way between my eyebrows, “Why didn’t you contacted me, I was back three months ago. More than 90 days and I was searching for you hysterically but never once you came to me, in fact, you’re so close. Even under one roof, I had no idea. You could but you didn’t try.”
I let out a sigh, looking at the sky, “Sir had done what he knew was right but you, you were my friend Jason. Last months were hell for me. I’d blamed myself for being so unfit to find you, it was all my fault. I agree you both saved me, but then I was hurt the most by you both.”
I don’t hate you. I’m upset…I’m hurt!
Shaking my head, I look down at my feet, suddenly feeling exhausted and tired, all the days of pain and worry, sleepless anxious nights; perhaps, now, it’s all falling upon me.
Life is a long journey; with all the twists and turns, when you’re going through them, you earn or learn something and when you don’t; probably, you’re playing a role for someone else’s journey. In a way, every life is connected, one decision of yours affects many. One failure has its consequences and burden and one success brings changes for many. But for everyone their decision is the correct one.
I was sent there, it wasn’t just my vocation to bring the two royals close, but also to save my company; not just one goal was achieved but many lives were connected by this one trip were secured. If I had failed, the employees of Greefy Inc., had to suffer, if my Teacher had failed, I had been doomed.
My months of hustle has their reason, Jason had his reasons to go underground.
My mentor was right at his play when I was blaming him, I was right accusing them; perhaps, the officials were also right when they chose to put the blame upon me. Everyone was right, their decisions were fine for them, it was the twist of life.
The honk of the car jostles me, with a dark scowl I turn with an intention to bang the car—or—perhaps the owner, who thinks they can ride over the walkway as well.
But then, they don’t, it’s just my chaotic mind enraging me to throw a mental fit on people around me.
When I turn, the rage melts into bafflement and the car honks again, my boss peeks his head out with a smirk, “Come on Kid, let’s get you home.”
I blink, then twice, still standing on the pathway with a shocked face and a hanging mouth before he shoves his hand asking me to come quickly. I glance around the fairly crowded street before making my way toward my mentor.
The learnings of life are eccentric, despite all the revelations, the emotional turmoil; people who used to be precious for us, our mind and heart remains the same.
Despite everything, I call him my mentor and respect him as my teacher.
“Would a quick coffee be okay; the day had been long and eventful for you. You must be starving.” He glances my way while taking swift left turn to another street.
I let out a soft sigh, nodding. How easily situation turns, it just needs an…initiative.
Silence prevails offering a soft buzzing whisper of the cold air filling the car from AC duct. Concentrated on road, Mr. Wilson taking us to apparently, his chosen coffee shop. I chew my lips, concocting the manner to initiate the conversation.
Then, I turn to him and hear my own mumble, “Why didn’t you tell me when I was—”
Words flee leaving a scratching silence.
“Everything has its time. If I’d told you then, you wouldn’t be the same.” He softly shrugs glancing my way but I read the underlined words too well.
Scared, shattered and alone.
Looking away at the passing surroundings of outskirts, I let out a resigned sigh, “So you became the bad guy?”
“I became what I chose to become, Child. Now, your turn. Be what you want to be.”
The car comes to a halt with my frowning face, he gracefully slips out and with the same bafflement, I glance around; serene surroundings, protected by the long and wide—mighty trees, the greener vegetation on mountain like a cape of beauty, a vintage edifice cocooned in the embrace of nature, strong and breath-taking; the designs made by time, telling the tales of past. Dark yet interesting, I find myself stunned and flabbergast just by staring at it.
A knock on the window breaks the enchantment, sweeping my senses, I move out and a swift strong gust of wind tackles me. I smile through it.
“Since, you’ve experienced the magic of nature in Kingdom, I surmise, you’ll like this place.”
I can’t deny it, however time passes but the magic of nature in Kingdom Alicia is something, one will crave and seek that enchantment everywhere they go, but sadly, God has his special blessings there, or perhaps he had it everywhere, only we were fool enough to never appreciate it…we’ve destroyed our heaven by our own hands.
I nod, lowering my gaze, the clear pathway welcoming us to the wide spread old structure. No cars and absence of crowd pulls my interest. I look around the entire area, lack of human population in a place like this is eccentric; in the hustle of hectic life and work, people crave to spend time in places like these which bring comfort and positive vibes.
I take a deep breath, letting the fresh air sink into my lungs, with only moments in this place, I feel energetic and…happy. Just like I used to in there.
“I never knew, we had a place like this in our city outskirts. This can be a great tourist spot—people would love this. I wonder how it’s so vacant, has it been under construction? Or is it new?”
Queries buzzing my mind, and answers juggling with reasonings.
It can’t be new as its vintage. Nothing of construction—undergoing at sight, so this option also goes out. Then what?
“People can come when they’re allowed. This place doesn’t belong to the city, it’ll never be a place for everyone.” My boss smirks, confidently striding toward the deserted yet grand entrance.
“Why—to whom—whose property is this and if no one is allowed how we’re?”
Suddenly, he isn’t walking anymore, but his form is fully facing me, perplexed, I’m staring at my Boss awaiting answers to stop chaos in my mind.
“We’re not everyone Dear, You, aren’t anyone.”
From frown to crisp shock, my eyes widen at the fair – stupefying piece of thought.
A strange adrenaline rushes to my veins, buzzing through my limbs, I feel my heartbeats thumping loud and clear in my ears. Can it be?
For the sand castle built in my conscience, my boss flaunts a wide grin, nodding. Apparently, he knew where my trails of thoughts taking me.
“Yes. This place belongs to the Supernatural Realm, the Property of A V.”
If flabbergast is the word, I believe dictionary need new words to explain my state after this revelation.
“The grip of Supernatural world is more than our imagination. Like roots, unseen and deep, the name of Supernatural Kingdom rules over the world.” His charming sharp gaze collides me, “I hope you’re aware of what truly these Initials are.”
I find myself staring at the astute figure of my Teacher, trying to comprehend his trail of conversation.
“Even the air of this place is loyal to Kingdom, no spoken words will be out but reside here.” A strange note of queer reflects in his tone as he roams his gaze around. Pride…I read it like all the times from the people of Kingdom which mirrors in my gaze too.
“The identity of Supernatural World, pride of all but lost in her own.”
Suddenly, the carefree wind stills, the swaying trees until now dancing in the rhythm of wind, straighten in attention. They know my intention…anticipating my next saying.
I lick my lips, taking a deep breath. A daunting tranquility prevails and breaks when I say the name.
“Princess Alicia!” and the still wind breaks free from the control, furious and wild.
My teacher bows leaving me in utter astonishment and I sigh looking away, the bitterness somehow makes its way to my mind and I breath against it. I picturize her fragile frame from the unfading lane of memories.
No, Alicia, I won’t…
“I’m not a part of Kingdom Alicia.”
Mr. Wilson smirks, shaking his head, “Your bond with Kingdom was made long ago, destiny was written before your existence. Though, you’re absolutely right. You’re not bound to bow.”
The nature settles back to its warm carefree stance, embracing peace. I realize it’s the ties of Alicia’s powers binding this place with her Kingdom. I realize, it’s her powers offering the vibes and sense of peculiar familiarity.
I mutely follow him; as we ascending the steps to porch, I look up and almost groan when I notice, the small yet significant filigree design that owns this place. This time, instead of tracing the design to the alphabets, I steal away my gaze.
The royal interior warms my heart, satisfying the connection of the place with the Great Kingdom, nothing less than classy and exquisite welcomes me inside.
A soft squeal brings my attention to a young man trotting his way but stops at my Teacher’s nod. Mr. Wilson ushers me further, before turning back to the young man.
The wide reception area bathed in dark shades of ethereal beauty; in absence of heavy furniture looks magnificent.
I walk further and left stunned when the roof ends, and blue-sky allures me to its spellbinding setting.
It’s an open sitting place.
I don’t know, if anything can amaze me more now.
Shaking my head, I choose a chair settled in the center, allowing the view of sky devoured by the mighty mountains.
“Welcome Miss. Please allow me an opportunity to serve you this evening.” The young boy bows before placing a flute-glass in front of me.
I shift to him sharing my dilemma when he shakes his head, “It’s non-alcoholic, please enjoy.” He bows again at my nodding smile and leaves.
“Why are we here?” I mumble eyeing the bubbles rising from the corner and popping on surface. My teacher takes the other chair across mine.
“Sir Gerard visits this place on his every trip. He marvels the peace it offers.”
He takes a sip gazing at the far mountains; I follow his gaze.
If this place belongs to the Kingdom, how we’re so welcomed? We—I have no connection left…
My musing interrupts by the young server appearing again, “I was expecting Sir Gerard,” he bows slightly at the mention, placing the small snacks for us, “Isn’t he coming?”
I purse my lips; he is going to be disappointed.
“He left for Kingdom. I believe, he had some urgent work.” His fallen smile proves my assumption, I look at the plates and I rush in, “Please don’t bother with these formalities. We’re fine—”
“No Miss. I’ll bring the food.” He bows and leave; dismay evident on his young face.
What’s with him and bowing? Perhaps he thinks we are from Kingdom, since Boss accompanies Sir Gerard. I shake my head.
“Have you been to Kingdom?” from the wide range of greenery, My Teacher tears his gaze and meets mine. I take the sip from flute, an instant freshness busts in my mouth.
“You mentioned the connection so well, I wonder have you been there?”
My teacher smiles, “It’s been a long time ago.”
I nod, looking away from his sharp enigmatic gaze.
“Indeed, lucky. Fate indeed favors us sometimes.”
I smile but then he snatches it so soon, “But not always. There are times, when you must face odds, all are necessary to reach your destined fate.”
I can’t agree more, like the favors, odds play the distinct roles to bring people to their destined path; struggles and success, all make a perfect blend of life’s journey.
Darkness now accompanies us, reminding us about the setting sun behind the huge mountain, it’s getting too late.
My mentor rests his arm on the table, a sudden glint in his dark eyes, and I straighten. He is back to his shrewd Advisory self, “What ought to be concluded should be concluded as soon as possible.” He leans forward, “If you’re only one to think, it’s over. It doesn’t mean it’s truly over.”
Stiffness coils around my back, I perceive the words weaved in simplicity hit me hard.
He sighs, looking at the peaceful mountain, “The fate will find its way, you can defer but you must face it eventually.”
“I tried to save you Niera and I tried harder to save you from betrayal but you found your truth.” His soft gaze turns misty, when he meets my eyes; getting up, he moves toward the wide range of trees.
The server, holding up the tray remains quiet at distance, unwilling to interrupt us.
“That’s the quality of Truth, Sir, however, we try. It finds its way and definite time to unveil its existence. That’s why, we are taught to come clean by truth, but we intend to…” I shrug, “That’s human, I guess.”
His back straight, confident as he nods softly. “There are truths, too much to handle. That’s why, layers of myths are used to conceal it and save everyone around it.”
A sigh releases itself from my lips, Sir Gerard’s effect is more contagious than any disease.
“You did, what was necessary but you didn’t have to. It must be too much.”
Indeed, I’m hurt but I can’t hold it inside me forever; withered plants must remove for new ones. After all, it’s done and gone now.
Soft ripples of pain erupt in my chest, I conceal the shudder in my sigh.
“I must protect what is to be protected.” He turns his head over his shoulder, “After all, it’s my vocation.”
I scowl which takes turn of smile, “It was only because of Jason’s and your help; we made it. Thank you.”
“People may help you but they can’t be your savior forever.” He sighs, tucking his hand gently in his pocket.
Slowly, I get on my feet, accepting the well pronounced treasure of learning, “True. That’s why, I must request you, let me be hurt with truth but not be played like this. I don’t want to do this again.”
“It was necessary Child, but now, it isn’t. Now, I must let you choose.”
He nods quietly, “I’m proud of the disciple, you’ve become. Now, you can walk alone.”
Words can make anyone dizzy; I realize it today; I blink a couple of times, trying to reach the clarity from his words; but failed, “I don’t understand.”
He faces me, a mysterious yet alluring smile glows on his face. “You’ll. When the right time comes.”
He steps closer, and I feel a strange rush of distress crawling over me, my hand flees to feel the Gift of Life, Miracle left in me, pressing my hand tightly over my chest to fight fear.
“Go and find out. Your answers will meet you there.” He mumbles nonchalantly.
He wants me to go back…
No, I can’t…I shouldn’t…
My legs give up, and I take the support of nearby table, the young man comes to help me but I shake my head; I’d been alone in this, I’d been all alone until now, why take help now.
“You were never alone, my dear.”
My steely gaze meets his warm one, “All the decisions were taken by you, you set the play and then others follow leading my way.”
Taking me to him and brought back!
My Mentor nods and a cotton like soft smile graces his lips before he places his palm on my forehead.
“Until now, yes, but now, the decision is yours.”
The last of nature’s light gives out and darkness of night is welcomed and embraced by the lights illuminating the entire surroundings, the floor beneath glows in white and gold; almost blinding us.
I take a step back, then another before I turn but my Mentor’s call stops me.
“Niera, until now; the fate was in your favor. You were helped by elements; all the pieces were set to guide you. But now, you’ll face the odds, which may not be favorable but are necessary for the destined fate. Have faith and will to face those odds, my child.”
Once my ally, letting me wondering in my dreams,
An estranged wanderer, ignoring me all along,
What surprises will it bring, as friend as foe or…
I’ll be bearing pleasure or pain…!
April 18, 2021
That’s how a mentor guides his disciple to the answers she wants and path destiny holds for her.
Jason played his role; Mr. Wilson had his tricks. But why?
Does it satiate your curiosity?
Is it satisfying—or most mysteries are weaving for Gidiera and us?
Let’s find some answers in our next chapter.
Till then, stay safe and be positive; for self and for our loved ones.
I hope you enjoyed the chapter; I’d love to hear your views.