2| ♤ New identities
There were many places I’ve been to, but none quite like Westbay, a city on the coastline of Greysia. It was a miracle I got here safely, even though I didn’t get a wink of sleep on my way here, since I was constantly alert and paranoid.
It was worth it all simply by the view I was welcomed with--like a city out of a fairy tale. It wasn’t like my home country; it wasn’t like Almere or Verona or Gugliermo and Chai Town.
No. Here, the very air was filled with sweetness and delicacy, mixed with something like excitement and anticipation.
Maybe it was my emotions that were spilling free, but that didn’t matter in that moment. All that mattered was what would happen from now onwards.
What really mattered is whether I was safe here.
And I decided I liked Westbay.
The people seemed like they didn’t have the time to stop and chitchat, but the skyscrapers told a whole different story. It seemed like the city had some depth, if not duality. The breeze was fresh like the sea and everyone seemed like they were constantly on a rush.
Or maybe that’s purely because I just got off a train in the middle of the night.
It was better this way, I told myself. The night shadowed my face and with the huge hoody I had on, nobody would notice me.
Ok, maybe not in the middle of a hot summer day, but I expected the nights to be a little less--hot?
I’m a sweaty mess and I feel like I have been since I started running, so the best thing to do now was to find that little apartment and settle in for the night.
I dragged myself to the nearest cab and threw my bags in before showing the driver a pamphlet that had my destination scribbled on it. He nodded and within an hour, I was greeted by a large, ancient building. Moss and ivy ran down the sides of the property like rivers in a tourist’s map. The white borders beneath the windows and around the walls were decaying, but the small details of ancient architecture and art completely stole my breath away.
It was beautiful.
A bit ancient, but so were most of the things on this part of the city. The tourist’s guide explained the reason behind the old architecture was due to Westbay being a settlement where Greek adventurers settled in as they were wandering the oceans.
Or it could just be a made-up fairy tale to attract tourists in, who knows? Either way, it gave the city a magical ambiance, one I knew I loved.
I mouthed a thank you to the cab driver and grabbed all of my belongings, (which weren’t much) before heading up towards the entrance. A stray cat was sitting right outside the door, it was adorably fluffy but I restrained myself against my sudden urge to pet it.
Instead, I looked for the key.
The owner emailed me saying it would be under the door rag. At least it was safer in my hands now. I made my way up the stairs with utmost effort as I braced myself on one side, my rib hurting like a bitch.
I endured the stabbing pain until I found my door.
It was painted a soft white, a sliver of hope after everything I’ve just been through. Smiling, I unlocked it gently and pushed it aside to finally look around my new home.
The bedroom wasn’t much, it was small and there was a living room with a kitchen and a bathroom attached to it. The ceilings were quite high and the interior was to my surprise, very functional and modern, unlike the exterior. But that’s not why I decided I should live here, it was the free studio place that made my decision for me.
I was an aspiring artist, so having a little studio in your home was like living a life of luxury for me.
I smiled as I unpacked all of my art tools and then my clothes and toiletries. Unpacking was like second nature to me, since I’ve done it so many times by now, I was a pro.
All that was left was a shower.
A hot shower that will calm me down and maybe put me to sleep for the night and maybe...even help with my broken rib.
Unfortunately that night, like many nights in my past, I couldn’t fall asleep.
And it wasn’t the hot shower’s fault or the broken rib that was still healing under my pajamas.
No, it was simply the reoccurring nightmares.
And the undying screams inside my head.
“You’re telling me you’re moving again?” Jessica shrieked so loud, I thought my ears would bleed. “Babe, can’t you stay here for me?” She pleaded but I was already packing my bags.
I don’t understand what’s the deal with her.
“We’ve only been sex buddies for three nights and you want me to drop everything for you?”
Her eyes glowed bright with rage.
“What do you mean sex buddies? We’ve been dating, Ron, dating!”
“That’s simply what you assumed.”
I shook my head at her craziness.
I could be a gentleman when I wanted to be, believe me. But I had no time to spare. I was afraid it would take hours--or even longer, to explain to her all the ways she was being delusional.
I managed to get her out of my hotel room before she broke any more lamps in her fury. “Look Jess, you really do deserve someone who’s right for you. Fortunately, that’s not me. Since we won’t see each other again, have a good life. And if you can...please work through those anger issues.”
Her brows screwed together in rage, but before she could protest, I shut the door on her.
After a few minutes of cursing me and banging on the door loudly enough to wake up the old man living in the room next to mine, she left.
I guess other people would feel relief by now, maybe even regret.
I just didn’t feel a thing.
Pushing the thought away, I zipped my suitcase shut and dialed Marco. He responded right away.
“Ciao, bello! Have you finally decided that you swing both ways? Because I may or may not still have the hots for you-”
“Cut the crap Marco, I need a new vehicle under the name Damien Silver as well as a new ID and license, send them to me asap.” I hung up as soon as I was done talking.
Then I threw the phone down onto the table and crushed it into pieces with the hammer before finally burning the scraps up like I’ve done a thousand million times. I then burnt both the fake ID that named me Ron Beaker and the license that came with it. Nothing left but the car, which will also be disposed of, soon enough.
This hotel room will be cleaned after my leave, and every single fingerprint will be wiped out.
The school records will be erased and Ron Beaker will find himself a new ending. Maybe he’ll continue existing as someone else or maybe he died a couple of hours ago in his hotel room from a drug overdose after breaking up with his girlfriend.
I’m sure the members down in LA will be very creative in making a new cover-up story for him.
It wasn’t my business. I was no longer him. I no longer had blonde hair and green eyes. I’ll dye my hair back to its natural black, I’ll remove the fake green contacts and leave them their natural grey.
I’ll return to me because Damien Silver’s the closest to the original me any other identity has ever been.
I took my suitcase and looked down at the pamphlet I’ve been lent by Zane. The first page showcased a picture of that one famous beach in Westbay, West Coast. The waves were clear, and the sky was bright. It didn’t look like a bad location to be stationed in for the next month.
For a split second, her green eyes resurfaced in my mind’s eye.
My lips twitched into a smile.
No, it didn’t sound like a bad location at all.
Who knows? Maybe life won’t be so boring and mundane after all...