I thought that sleep would’ve helped me with my tired mind, but I was plagued by nightmares the entire night. I kept dreaming about burning buildings. I was trying to get everyone to safety, but the fires were starting to get out of control. To make matters worse, we were also under attack by someone I didn’t know. I couldn’t tell who, or what was attacking, all that I knew was that I was terrified of them.
The smoke in my dream got so thick that everyone, including me, was choking on it. All that I could think was that I had to get everyone out of there. I needed to protect my people. But the smoke just kept getting thicker and thicker. Parts of the burning buildings started to crumble and fall in our path. The falling rubble was crushing the people as they tried to flee. I saw a piece of debris start falling towards me. I raised my arms up in a pathetic attempt at protecting myself. Just as the chunk was about to hit me, I woke up.
I gasped for air as I tried to breathe. I gripped my throat and chest in panic as I tried desperately to remember how to breathe. That dream had seemed so real. Too real to just be a dream.
I felt someone touch my left shoulder, I freaked out and reacted automatically. My arm sent out a quick burst of flames. I heard a yelp of pain. I looked around from my hunched over position to see who had touched me. I was surprised to see Avin standing next to my bed holding his right arm at the wrist. I didn’t understand why, though.
I quickly rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. I looked back down at his hand again. This time, I noticed little red blisters and patches of peeling skin all over Avin’s hand. God that looked painful. Wait. Did I just do that to him?
I took a deep breath in through my nose to try to calm myself down. Thinking to myself the entire time that I could fix his hand. But when I took that deep breath in, all that I could smell was smoke. I wiggled around in the blankets to see where the awful smell was coming from. I saw that where my left arm had been laying before I had woken up was a small charred section of linens. Oh no. What had I done while I had been asleep?!
I finally looked back over to Avin and the mess that I had created on his hand. He was still holding onto the wrist of his burnt hand. As much as he tried to hide it, I could see the pain in his eyes. I didn’t like seeing that there. I didn’t like to hurt anyone.
I held out my right hand towards him so that I could heal up his hand. But instead of giving me his hand he took a step back. He was staring at me suspiciously and with contempt like embers in a fire, burning low in his eyes.
Okay, that stings. I did understand it, though. Still, that didn’t make it hurt any less. I hadn’t intentionally wanted to hurt him. Besides what was he doing touching a sleeping woman anyway? You don’t do that. No matter where you are from that’s just a violation of a woman’s privacy.
“Look, I know that it hurts but at least allow me to fix it up for you,” I told Avin as I stretched my hand out towards him again. I waited as patiently as I could for Avin to make up his mind. Although frankly speaking, he didn’t have much of a choice. If other people tried to heal the blisters, they would only get worse and worse until the hand would fall off.
I got a massive headache all of the sudden. I rubbed my throbbing temples and closed my eyes. The light was making the headache worse. Where was all of this information coming from? I felt like I should know other things but I couldn’t bring them to the surface of my mind. Then again I’ve never actually tried to remember anything.
Now was not the right time to go mind surfing, though. I had other priorities. I opened my eyes and looked up at Avin. He towered over me. He was so tall that from where I was sitting I should’ve felt intimidated. However, I caught something in his eyes and in his ever so slight change in posture that let me see behind the social mask for a second.
I saw a glimpse of the man behind the mask. It wasn’t what I had expected to see. Yeah, there was pain and weariness those were the most prominent emotions. But that wasn’t all that I could see. It was like a mixture of genuine kindness and understanding. There was something that flickered in and out of his face before I could figure out what was going on. Maybe he wasn’t as cold-hearted as he first appeared to be.
I held out my hand once more, and this time, Avin didn’t hesitate. He stretched his arm out to me, and I grabbed his wrist just below the blisters with my right hand. I was being as careful as I could not to directly touch the blisters or sore skin. Once I had a good grip on his wrist, I let my powers go to work on patching up his hand.
This time, I didn’t feel compelled to close my eyes like I normally did. I got to watch what I did to help a person heal up. Which was a first for me.
The bubbles and blisters on his skin seemed to melt back into his hand and become skin again. I let go of his wrist and instead began tracing my fingers up and down the palm and back side of his hand. Where my hand touched his skin, the blisters vanished.
As I was cleaning up the last of the blisters, I started to notice his older scars. There were some scars on his knuckles, wrist and the part of his arms that were covered by his clothing. What did he do to get all of these scars? Did he fight with his people on the battlefield?
I looked up into his amused face. He wasn’t freaking out by what I had just done? Maybe he has seen weirder things in his lifetime. Now that we were closer I could see the scars on his face with much more clarity and in much greater detail. Especially the one scar that covered the right half of his face. His right eye looked glassy. I wonder if he could even see out of it.
The scars almost looked like he had been tortured, especially to get that kind of depth in a scar. It must’ve been excruciating. If that was what had happened to him. I felt the urge to reach out and touch his face to feel his skin under my fingers again. I was confused by this odd feeling.
His eyes. Oh my, his eyes. They were even more beautiful up close. I had gotten the color of his eyes wrong, though. They were purple mind you, but they were more like a lilac color. It was an amazing and breathtakingly beautiful color. Oh shit, I’ve been staring too long. Look away! Look away!
I turned my head to look away when I caught sight of the burnt blankets out of the corner of my eye. I turned completely around so that my back was to Avin. I couldn’t face him right now; my face was probably really red. I focused on fixing up the blankets instead.
Now that I wasn’t scared anymore. I was a little bit embarrassed by my flaming outburst. Once the blanket was back to its original state I swung my legs back around and stood up from the bed. Avin stepped back to give me some space to get up. It also gave me a chance to look at the rest of him.
Yeah I know, I just saw him last night. You know when you first meet someone, and you don’t pay much attention to what they look like? That’s kind of like what happened yesterday, except there was a lot of adrenaline involved too.
Avin had different clothes on today than he did yesterday because I was pretty sure that they weren’t so plain. He had on a white shirt that had strings going down the first few centimeters. It almost looked like a shirt that a pirate would wear. The only difference was that the sleeves were shorter. His pants were dark brown, and the only thing that seemed to be holding them up was a piece of string that was tied around his waist. Avin was also wearing brown cloth boots on his feet. All they were was cloth tied around his feet with a piece of string.
Talk about a complete transformation, wow. He didn’t look a thing like a prince anymore. If it weren’t for his scars, I would’ve thought that he was someone else. And now I’m staring again.
I looked down at myself and noticed that I was in the same clothes as I was in yesterday. I needed to change out of these clothes. Without looking at Avin, I walked over to the closet, opened the door and walked inside.
As I closed the door, I looked out into the room. Avin had taken a seat in a chair off to the side of the chamber. He appeared to be in deep thought about something. I felt an odd fluttering in my chest as I looked at him. Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.
I shook my head and shut the door. What the heck was all of that about? My arm started to get itchy, and when I scratched my arm, I could feel the creature move around. It seemed to like it when I had scratched my arm in certain spots. I waited until the creature had settled down again before I began looking around for something decent to wear.
I shifted through the hangers and drawers, searching for something that wasn’t too revealing. Just as I was about to give up looking, I found something that wasn’t completely revealing. It was at the back of the closet underneath some shoes. Well, that’s odd. Perhaps it had fallen and gotten shoved to the back by accident?
I shrugged and picked it up. I held up part of the outfit to my body to get a better look at it. It still didn’t cover as much as I had hoped that it would but it was covering more than the outfit that I was wearing now was. If this was as close as I was going to get than I was going to have to deal with it for now.
I quickly switched out of my old clothes and into the new ones. The new clothes felt more comfortable once I got them on. I walked over to the mirror so that I could get a better look at the outfit. I couldn’t get a good enough look at myself from just looking down. But there wasn’t enough light in the closet.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something that looked like curtains. I sauntered over and pulled them apart to reveal a window. The sunlight shone through, lightening up the whole room. I went back over to the mirror to see what I had looked like.
I was stunned by what I saw. I’ve always been self-conscious of my body. One of the reasons was because I had these weird whitish marks that would appear and disappear on my body just randomly. At first, I had thought that they might’ve been scars, but scars don’t just disappear. This outfit, though, made me feel empowered and confident. Even if it did show off more skin than I had wanted it to. I felt like I had worn this before somewhere, even though I knew that I never had. I felt almost like a sense of belonging.
The top was still a crop top, but it had long sleeves with a ring at the end of each sleeve. I hooked the ring around the middle finger on both of my hands. It was almost like the sleeves off of a figure skater’s outfit. The whole thing was red with gold designs and accents on it. The bottom part of the outfit felt like it was chiffon or perhaps it was silk. I wasn’t sure.
The skirt was a bit darker than the top, and the gold colored designs only went halfway down the skirt. Slits were going up either side of the skirt all the way up to my hips. There was a small band of red going around my hips. The two sides of the skirt were connected to the band. Oh, and underneath the skirt was a pair of shorts. The shorts were an entirely different color underneath the skirt. The shorts were black. But where were the shoes?
I looked around the closet, but I couldn’t find any shoes that would’ve matched any part of my outfit. I shrugged my shoulders and gave up looking around. I walked towards the door of the closet and reached for the door handle. But I hesitated with my hand centimeters from the knob.
Suddenly thousands of thoughts swarmed in my mind. I couldn’t process any of them. There were just too many! I tried desperately to focus on the present so that I wouldn’t drown in my thoughts. I had no idea where all of these ideas were coming from. I didn’t understand what any of them were about either.
I tried to shove down the thoughts mentally. I pushed them as far down as I possibly could. I could still feel them in the back of my mind. Like a package that I wouldn’t dare to open. Once that was under control, I felt calm enough to leave the closet.