Diaan found herself sitting alone in her huge room in Kailey’s mansion in Drase. Her room housed a four-poster, king sized bed, a few settees, a huge walk-in closet and an equally huge bathroom. Diaan left the door to her balcony open and allowed the evening breeze to gently caress her skin.
She was seated at the edge of her bed and found herself staring into her huge mirror situated right across from the bed. Looking back at her was a shell of her former self. She suspected that she had died a long time ago, back when her world first came crashing down.
She stopped truly living the moment her parents were killed in the car accident that Stacey had caused. That was a day she would, now that she had her memories back, never forget. She had never felt so alone in her life. Her cousin had finished university and had went off to start working - leaving her all alone. She was essentially raised by the house staff and by her old nanny, Myrna. Her life was black and white to her. She never got to have a proper childhood and went into her teenage years wanting it all to end.
‘What is my purpose for living?’ she had often found herself asking, ‘Is this even called living? Going through the motions of the day without much effort or motivation?’
Now, staring back at her were two soulless green eyes. Carson had told her that Jessica was still alive, but had Jessica ever been alive? Sure, she had never felt as happy and as full of life as she was when she was with Carson and when she had the twins, but even that was short-lived.
Despite the huge black hole that had consumed part of her memories, her life as Diaan was also enjoyable. However, when she really sat and contemplated her life, she would often wonder if her happiness was artificial. What was actual happiness? Was it just always laughing but, under further inspection, feeling nothing in your chest? She knew she had a heart but it seemed it only worked when it came to pumping blood through her veins or when it came to her children and Carson. Other than that, her heart ceased to do anything but pump blood through her body.
She had lived a happy life with her parents. They were essentially her best-friends. Having them ripped away from her at such a young age and having had to watch them being lowered into the ground was heart-shattering. Samantha was the only one by her side that day. Everyone else was strangers to her.
Diaan laughed bitterly. Happiness was just not meant for her. She had barely had a taste of it before it got ripped away from her. As if taking her parent’s away from her when she was so young wasn’t enough, life decided that they would rip her husband and children away from her as well.
“Probably just to spite me,” Diaan grumbled. Her reflection stared blankly back at her.
Who had she become? She was a product of her environment. She had seen others who were happy and had emulated that. She had seen others who emitted so much positivity and she had gone and emulated that as well. Emulating the poster person of happiness had essentially caused her to lose herself completely. She made decisions with her mind more than she did with her heart most of the time.
The whole Stacey issue, she felt the anger, but her heart didn’t once pick up its pace. It was as if she were numb. It was as if her mind was taking the wheel where her emotions had disappeared. The twins were big now, Carson had survived without her for so long, and Zac would also be okay…
Diaan felt herself spiralling into the darkness. It was a place she had been locked in shortly after she had given birth to Zac as well as for years after her parent’s death. It was nothing new to her. She knew she was broken. She was essentially living for other people. While meeting her two other children and Carson had made her happy, she couldn’t help that the darkness was tinging the corners of her vision. The darkness was always lurking. It had followed her since she was a child and it would follow her when she eventually died as well.
She was tired of the darkness. Gripping her chest, Diaan twisted her face, she just wanted the darkness to disappear. She wanted to be free of its steel grip. Tears started welling over and Diaan watched entranced as it ran down her cheeks. That was always something she had done – watch herself cry. She would have an out of body experience where she was blankly watching her face scrunch up and her mouth open with loud sobs. She just wanted it to all end and Stacey dying was going to be the start of this nightmare ending.
A knock suddenly resounded around the room and Diaan whipped her head in the direction of the door. Clearing her throat, she called out, “Yes?”
“Mom,” Zac called, “We have to go now. Aunt Samantha is waiting for us.”
Just like that, Diaan felt some of the darkness receding. Her child didn’t even have to do anything and yet he managed to bring her crashing down to reality. Even as a baby, he was what kept her anchored, he was what made her want to live.
“Okay. I’ll meet you downstairs in a few minutes,” Diaan called back before she cast her gaze back in the direction of the mirror. Her tears were gone and the redness in her eyes had disappeared. She blew out a breath and watched as her eyes hardened.
“No time to let the darkness win, reality is waiting,” Diaan told herself firmly before leaving her reflection behind. She got dressed and met Zac in the black SUV that was waiting in front of the mansion. Kailey had bid them a sad goodbye and said that she would have a hearty meal prepared for when they got back – safely.
Diaan and Zac hugged Kailey and disappeared into the tinted vehicle. Kailey couldn’t help but feel her gut fill with dread.
“Please come back okay,” Kailey murmured, “Please.”