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Prologue

Ariel

Seven years ago....

I literally loved sleeping, and normally you would need an earthquake measuring more than six on Richter scale or a cyclone to wake me up on holidays. But I was restless the whole night, unaware of when I drifted of to sleep. I had a bad dream though.

I was the school's official punching bag, and the freak that had no friends. I tried to search for Tyler but he was no where to be found. And that's when the realisation hit me that perhaps I've slept for too long, and everybody left without me. And, so, I woke up, horrified at first but relaxed a bit when I found out my parents were still present in the house. You may think that's funny but it's a possibility that maybe they have tried to wake me up but couldn't and gave up trying.

They had already woken up and were setting things in order for the camping trip we went to every year with the Millers. I looked at the clock; it was seven thirty am. I still have one hour to brush , take a shower , get ready and have breakfast. Altogether, I would have to move my hands and limbs very fast.

I used my favourite strawberry flavoured shampoo for washing my hair ( since it was Tyler's favourite too, which mattered the most, of course. As all of these troubles were taken to impress him ). After I was done with the brushing and showering part, I decided to wear my blue jeans and a red half sleeved t-shirt . I brushed my shoulder length black hair and left it to air dry.

Tyler Miller was my best friend from I'm not sure when , but it feels like forever. His mother and my parents were childhood friends and thus we always shared a pleasant relationship and they were almost family. I liked Tyler from the very moment I'd laid eyes on him , and it would be a big, fat lie if I say that he was just my best friend. Everybody knew I had a huge crush on him, and I'm pretty sure he did too. However, I never had the guts to confess . But don't judge me just yet, for I was only ten years old , and I was afraid of rejection. He was so just so perfect, every girl swooned over him . I don't even know why he hangs out with me in the first place. I'm so. . ...simple .

I was super excited to meet Tyler though I'd seen him only yesterday. I almost flew downstairs, over the railings, gulped down my breakfast in a fraction, and was out of the door like lighting. It's a good thing that I had managed to pack my things previous night only.

A shrill of ecstasy passed through me as I noticed Tyler standing by the car, helping his mother put their things in the car. I don't know when but my dad came to me and patted me on the shoulder saying, " exited much, huh kiddo? " and that's when I realised I was gawking at Tyler. I just nodded as response, trying vaguely to hide the blush creeping up my cheeks. Dad must have noticed it though, and he confirmed it by saying, " you should probably go to him, you look like you'regoing to eat him up." He always teased me about Tyler and how I should just tell him how much I like him but right now, he wasn't helping the situation by managing to redden my cheeks more than they already were.

He must have heard my Father's voice for, to my utter delight, he glanced at me that instance. He smiled his adorable smile, which always formed cute dimples on his cheeks and waved at me. My happiness knew no bounds. I had to remind my accelerated heart to slow down. Although, somehow, I did manage to wave back. God! He looked so delectable in his grey jeans and blue t-shirt. His dark hair nicely combed and blue eyes sparkling with energy and enthusiasm.

I rushed to him and was soon enveloped in his talk, mesmerised by his voice, drowning in his deep oceanic eyes, unable to get out. But somehow had to encourage myself to swim back to the surface when our parents announced that we were all set to go. We literally begged to be on the same car and at last, they had to allow us to be, after all who could tolerate that much wailing and crying. It was decided that we would go in their car since it was bigger.

I wasn't expecting to see my parents rather that happy to have some alone time. They went to our car hand in hand. Dad said something in mom's ear, which made her blush and then laugh. My parents were childhood sweethearts and it was clearly visible that their love hasn't faded yet; Even a blind person could see it.

After everything was set, we drove to the lakeside for camping like every year. After helping our parents with the tents and the bonfire we impatiently asked, "can we go play now? " my mom replied, " yes, you can but be careful, don't go too far and come back before dark ". We wanted to have a little time of our own. Since it was the last we could have together, we wanted it all to ourselves.

Tyler and his mom are flying to California on Wednesday. After Tyler's grandpa's death, his house and property has been transfered to his mother. Tyler was really upset about his grandpa's sudden diparture from this world. Albert was a nice man, I've met him a few times, and he had never failed to amaze me. It's so sad that he had to pass away from a sudden heart attack. The old man was so jolly and full of life, who would have anticipated that he had such a weak heart.

Anyways, that's four days from today and it's already freaking me out. I couldn't 't even handle the mere thought of him leaving me for one day, how am I going to animate the next couple of years of my life without him. Surely we could visit each other and call almost whenever we wanted to. But that didn't diminish the anguish of being unable to hold each other's hands and run till the feet give in. Take shelter in each other's company and protect each other's back( actually it's his job to protect me since I'm unable to protect even myself ).

The place was almost vacant throughout the year,since it was on the outskirts of the city. My parents found it inadvertently, while retuning from their two weeks vacation to Paris, when mom was pregnant with me. I correctly remember after the numerous times I've heard that story. Their flight had landed at around three PM and they were heading towards the city. But, unfortunately, their car had stopped midway and dad was trying to make it start again. Mom stumbled upon this place while attempting to find some fresh water nearby.

Mom once described it in length. she said, " the meadow was picturesque with a magnificent lake, surrounded by trees, as if hidden from the world. All kinds of exquisite flowers like roses, daisies, violets, dandelions, periwinkles and primroses bloomed around and fragranced the surroundings with their sweet aroma. The chestnut and cherry trees stood tall, overshadowing the area beneath them and providing shelter for the enthralling birds whose melodious hums filled the air. The lake water was so clear that the fishes were clearly visible. The alluring sunset left us astonished and spell bound, with the sun setting below, as if blending with the lake water and completely turning it scarlet. It felt as if we were in heaven, surrounded by the angels and fairies trying to amaze us. It was so rare to find a place in the near radius of the city, away from all the hubbubs of the common people. We felt so attracted to this place that we decided to cherish and attach more memories to it. "

" What fascinated us the most was the history of that place, which was inscribed on a signpost, it depicted the reason the lake would turn scarlet at dusk, every time the sun went down. It seemed like the sun would drown in the water and alter it's colour. That's the reason that place is called the 'Blood Eden ' " I know the story by heart, from the numerous times I've heard it from my parents as a bedtimes story.


Once upon a time, an ancient tribe inhabited this meadow. One day the chief was blessed with a beautiful girl. She was named Ariel. As she grew up her divine looks became more prominent. She was gorgeous with knee length black hair and captivating lavender eyes. It was believed that just one look into her violet eyes and you will feel tranquillity and peace envelope you. Her silvery laughter could fill the hearts with glee, her harmonious voice could lift any soul.
One day while all the men of the tribe had gone to the woods for hunting and gathering purposes, a thief broke into her house, his leg was injured and was bleeding from the wound caused by a knife still stuck there . oblivious to the darkness of his core, Ariel uncontaminated heart dashed to comfort him. Taken aback by her benevolence, he was amazed to come across such a kind soul.
Ariel gently laid him down on the bed and washed and redressed the wound until it stopped bleeding. After a long phase of time the thief found serenity in her company and fell in love with her. She too invariably responded to the handsome, charming, young gentleman whom she didn't consider, for even a single moment, a precarious thief who had once arrived with the intention to harm her.
Time passed and soon it was dawn. The thief narrated his whole past to her , and she fell more madly in love with him after hearing all the dilemma he had to pass through, which completely altered his life. However, their happiness was short lived. Ariel heard the tribe's men ascending and urged him to leave. If her father found out she had a man in the house and that too a thief, he would certainly kill him. Only with the promise to meet again, he hastened but to no avail, the door burst open open and her father seized his neck, almost strangling him to death and thrashed him on the ground. The other men also joined their leader, holding him down and incessantly striking him. He struggled under their hold and attempted to brawl back, but his injured leg wasn't helping either.
Ariel cried and begged her father to stop hitting him , but to no avail . After executing him, they threw his lifeless body, completely drenched in blood into the lake, with the sun setting down, turning the lake scarlet. Ariel jumped after him but unable to breathe new life into him didn't emerge from the lake herself . The men tried to search for her but nothing could be found only the lake would turn scarlet at every dawn since then. It depicted that their love was so strong that neither time nor death could fade it.
And that's how I came to be known as Ariel. My parents were so stirred by the story of that young girl that they decided to call me Ariel.

Tyler challenged me to run to the other side of the lake. Of course I won! Just kidding, I ran with all my will and strength but somewhere my stamina fell short and what can I say, well he won. We decided to rest by the lake side , since none of us had the strength to run any further.
We sat side by side, with our feet emerged in the water. I thoroughly enjoyed the gentle touch of the cold water, but only when, due to the proximity between us, our shoulders would touch, a burning sensation would pass through my whole body. The soft breeze blew through our faces, dishevelling his hair and making it fall on his forehead. I supressed my sudden urge to reach out and brush them of his eyes. I didn't realise his had grown that big, but I liked it as it was. It made him look more delectable.
I didn't realise I was starring at him until he spoke," I'm really going to miss your creepy stares so much. "
I tried to defend myself " I wasn't starring at you " liar! I was starring at him. "You totally were! It's cute though, how you can't take your eyes off me. I like your eyes, they remind me of lavender, lilacs and violets in full bloom during the spring. And the time we spent together, sowing, planting and watering them in your garden. Remember how we would sit together in the old oak tree behind your house and chat for hours. I'm really going to miss all this time I'd spend with you, playing with you, laughing and crying with you. God! I'm going to miss you so much. Ari, will you miss me too? "
"Every single day, every single hour, every single minute and every single second of my existence. But promise me one thing, no matter how far we are, no matter where we are, separated by states, nations or universes , we'll always find a way back to each other. We'll always be best friends. "I held out my pinky finger, he let out a soft chuckle but immediately responded by wrapping his pinky finger around mine , " forever yours "
"What!?",I was more shocked than happy, although he didn't seem affected by it."I'll forever be yours and you'll forever be mine ". It was really overwhelming with the amount of truth and surety he spoke those few, simple words.
Neither of us spoke anything after that, we let silence envelope us. Silence was never awkward between us, we somehow always managed to find the right words, when they are needed and share the silence, when they were not.
And with that the sun went down and the water turned blood red. We immediately removed our feet and with one last lingering look towards each other we ran towards the tents, hand in hand. We ran free, we ran wild. For some reason I knew that what ever happens, he won't let go my hand. Our hands always seemed to fit so perfectly with each other, as if they were carved that way. They belonged to each other, we belonged to each other. As if we were destined to be together.
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