“The Caretaker and the Snow Whales (Part 2)”- Pit

Part 2: Identification

When the door closes behind us, the man suddenly stops and starts huffing. “So close. It was so close. They almost saw me, especially that intensely inquisitive captain. If they had seen me, it would have been a disaster” he quickly says.

His voice is louder than before and clear. It’s a strong voice, a rather rough voice, a voice of a man inspiring intellect and knowledge. I can easily imagine a college professor speaking with that voice. I wouldn’t mind talking to him, though…or getting my voice back overall. Yeah, it wouldn’t hurt if that bastard gave it back to me!

I start squirming like a fish out of the water at the best of my power to draw his attention, but the quiet, nonchalant man has turned to an apprehensive, bee worker, buzzing up and down this new room, seamlessly putting away everything he doesn’t need. Everytime he draws closer to me, I struggle harder to make him notice me without any luck of course. I am seriously beginning to think that he will put me in a closet right next to his broomstick and fly away cackling in the night.

It’s only after he has made the same route up and down the room five times that he abruptly stops and says: “Bugglescotch! I totally forgot about you.”

I remember hearing a snap of his fingers before my face hits the ground. I am seeing stars and even though I could tell that I didn’t fall from a great height, I realize that pain is magnified when you can’t yell in pain. Instead, the mental impact of the hit is transferred throughout my entire body all the way to my toes.

At least, I have been granted the control of my body again, which feels rather refreshing if I want to be honest. It’s only after you lose something that you realize its worth. And I, a man known for my expressive hands, can tell you that being tied and unable to move is an absolute and horrifying nightmare.

I use my precious hands to rub away the pain on my shoulders and head, but still, my heart is pumping loud. The man seems to not notice, though.

“My sincerest apologies. I didn’t mean to carry you all the way to the Kingdom with me. I panicked when these blue men appeared,” he says.

Out of sheer power of habit I try to speak only to be reminded by my own pain that I don’t have a mouth. Still, I could mumble an incoherent sound that got the man’s attention. I raise my head to show him my mouth when our eyes meet each other for the first time.

“Is something wrong?”

He fucking forgot, I think as I sigh…internally.

At that moment, though, I am completely taken away by his eyes hidden behind a wooden, fox mask. Oval in its shape, embedded with black, and dark blue and red to portray the form of a fox. If I had a mouth I would gawp, mostly because of the color of his eyes. They remind me of cut wood — light in shade but warm, warmer than any other pair of eyes I have ever stared at. Even though I can’t notice any other characteristic of his face, seeing into his eyes feels like opening a door into his soul. And even though it’s cliched and somehow cringy, I feel my stomach dropping on my feet.

When he realizes the intensity of my inquisitive eyes, he shies away from my gaze and turns his back to me, scratching his head in the meantime.

God, he is so cute…

So much his eyes have grabbed my attention that I forget for a moment that I don’t have a mouth and that he has abducted me. Yeah…that’s correct. He made me forget that I am here against my will…

Get your thoughts together, Greg, you horny bastard! It’s no time to go all Stockholm-syndrome with him. He can make people float with his mind. Either that, or you are going mental, old pal Greg.

Focus!

I stretch my arm and touch his back. He turns immediately. “Hi! Yes, sorry for turning away. It has been so long since I had company here.” His voice hasn’t changed a bit from the strong bravado of a young adult. But, the way he says everything is completely contradictory of his physical characteristics. Like he swapped the heart of a kid with the body of a man.

Swapped the heart of a kid with the body of an adult…I suddenly freeze. Shit! Is this why he brought me here…? Shit!!!

The fish squirming returns stronger this time since I have control of all my parts now. The man realizes that something is going wrong, but he is too numb himself to do anything to calm me down.

“ I…I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know how to help you,” he keeps saying, his hands up in the air. “Maybe if you calm down and talk to me?”

The moment he utters those words I start swearing at him, using mostly my hand to do every gesture possible, while at the same time crawling away. The room around me is surprisingly dark. I can’t even discern any details of the objects that I feel around me, but I can tell that the room is heavily decorated. I keep pumping on wooden furniture and stands all around me, but even more surprisingly, everything stays magically in place. Yeah…magically.

What a night….

As it was bound to happen sooner or later, I hit a wall–something that resembles a wall–and I hit it hard. There is another wooden furniture behind me, but no matter how much magically amplified it is, it can’t stand the force of a panicked grown up man hitting it. After the loud thud that was probably my head, I know for a fact that something is going to fall on my head. Just a minute ago, I could hear the man’s breathing beside me, but after I hit it, his breath is cut short.

There isn’t any time left to wonder as a fraction of a second later, he launches over me putting his body over me to protect my head. Through him touching me, I feel a heavy force hitting us. I don’t know if it was one very heavy object or a very big number of less heavy objects, but I know that it was enough to seriously injure an ordinary man. That is any man that isn’t some sort of magician abducting people out of their houses.

He doesn’t even flinch. I mean…he doesn’t even hesitate, not even for a second. His left hand has grasped my head in its strong grip and I can sense his right hand tensed over him. The invisible things over our heads keep falling for five more seconds until they finally stop. It’s like a drumming noise is pumping over my head. His chest is touching my forehead and I can hear his heart dancing in the rhythm of my aching head.

I don’t know what is happening, but I find myself not caring. It’s nice in here after all…it’s warm and it smells of a flower field in a rainy day. It’s like happiness and excitement and hope at the same time. But it’s like sadness and loneliness and melancholia as well. I can almost see him in the back of my head waiting for someone under a full bloomed oak tree under a gray sky with heavy clouds, his eyes sparkling behind his mask like the eyes of a child on Christmas day. Always the face of a fox hiding his feelings, his body speaks volume.

A drizzle comes first; his fingers are tangled and he is swifting his weight from one foot to the other. He doesn’t move an inch from his original place though.

The drizzle becomes light rain. He leaves his hands to fall now but he takes a step forward. He hesitates again and turns back. That’s when he turns around.

A lighting falls on the tree. The light rain becomes a powerful storm. His whole body loses all its force and he bows his head slightly.

A second lighting comes that blinds me and I suddenly return back to where we were.

What was that? I say to myself. What did I see? Why…I mean…what?

His hand is still around my head, but it feels like I have just glimpsed into something very personal. I don’t even know the man’s name but I suddenly feel like I have taken a glimpse to a future that hasn’t come yet or a memory of his that has passed. Before I can make a move, he moves first.

“Are you alright?”  His voice is strained, like he is carrying a heavy object over his head.

Oh, shit! Is he…is he using his powers to hold all the objects floating up there to protect us?

I nod, hoping he understands my gesture. He sighs, comforted. “Thank the spirits, I managed to get here in time. I thought that I wouldn’t make it for a moment there.” As he finishes his sentence, he grunts. “Now, can you do me a favor?” I nod frantically again. “Can you move to the other side of the room for me?”

Why is he so kind to me? Yeah, that’s the first fucking thing that crosses my head. Big, old me. After the initial shock wears off, I crawl away from his protecting care (please, as if I wouldn’t say it that way), and get as far away I can in the dark as possible without causing a second avalanche of fallen objects.

“Okay, now cover your head. I will let them fall.” Before I have time to get prepared, chaos ensues. If before I thought that I would have gotten seriously injured, now I am sure that I would have gotten killed if he wasn’t there. Every kind of sound was suddenly heard from his side. Glass breaking, books hitting the floor en masse, metal clanking, and a rubber duck. Yes. There was also a rubber duck in there as well.

When they stopped falling, he managed to talk again: “phew. It was high time I moved these things to the Void. Prim always told me that one day, this overstuffed closet will burst open and it kill someone.”

I dare not take another step, but to be honest, I am kinda exhausted. So, even if I could, I wouldn’t move. Last time that I did, I almost killed the man that had become my savior…the same man that a minute ago was my abductor…

Great.

“Okay, now that this is over and done with, let me turn on the lights in here. I never have any visitors except for the Octums, so we usually enchant our eyes to see in the dark. But I guess you are too shocked to speak, so I can’t use my magic on you unwillingly.”

I almost sigh. A little too late for that, isn’t it?

What is more shocking, though, is the fact that it sounds absolutelly natural hearing him talk about random things, one of them being magic. Real, lights-in-the-air-while-moving-his-hands magic.

I lose him from my sight for a couple minutes. Then, I hear a click. The first thing that I see is a lamp on a nightstand. It’s one of these lamps with the weird, vintage covers that you see in the old movies. The light it emits is warm and comforting. It’s the kind of light that you can imagine yourself reading books late in the night with a cat on your lap for good measure. I now have a better understanding of how big this room is. It must be bigger than my bedroom, but only by a little. It certainly has more height.

Right next to the lamp there is an armchair to match the look. It seems big and comfortable, and well-used. The textile seems weathered and the color has faded, but I can sense happiness coming from that chair. I can sense happiness…if he was here he would make so much of me I guess. Still, being able to see, even with that weak light, calms me down. It’s one thing that I can’t speak and the man that has casted that spell on me seems to have charmingly forgotten about it and another that I can’t see.

A second later, another click comes from deeper within the room. I expect another night lamp or maybe a ceiling light, but damn, this man knows how to impress maybe a little too much.

Dozen of light bulbs slowly come to life, randomly, without a certain pattern and not all at once. They disperse the darkness to reveal the true picture of the room. Some of them brighter than the others, while some barely emitting any kind of light. When they finally find their place in the spectrum of light, they stop. The ceiling is now a sea of light orbs that I would dare even call stars, only that they are beautifully embellished by the colors of the rest of the furniture of the room — which are a lot.

The focus of the room is the king size bed in the center. There are no night stands on the left and right side, just books. Heaps over heaps of books have taken the place of almost every other furniture except the bed. That and the bookcases. Still, what a bed this is. Made by old hardwood, a small pillar rising from each corner up to a wooden ceiling over it. There are even curtains around it to seclude the lying couple from the rest of the world. It looks comfortable and welcoming, a place that you could spend an entire day with your significant other

The light falls on it and due to the different kind of colors, the wood looks vivid. Dark red at places, light brown at others, and utterly and overly welcoming, it’s a place that I would spend my money to sleep even for a night.

I don’t realize I am standing on my feet until I feel the wooden floor under my feet. Unlike my home — which is embroidered with cheap tiles — it isn’t cold and hard. I’ve never had a wooden floor in my bedroom before, so this is a big difference for me. I also realize that I am shirtless and barefoot at the same time.

Fuck.

I look around me some more only to notice that something is very wrong with the room.

“So, here is my home. I hope you like it,” the man says, drawing my attention to him. This is the first time that I can get a good, unobstructed look of his appearance under the light. He is close to what I imagined, only a bit taller. Black hair, a white, long-sleeved shirt, dark trousers, brown formal shoes and a currant trench coat that seems weathered as well. When he turns around to grab a couple shirts that have been messily tossed on the bed by someone (him, I guess), I see that his coat is full of dark patches. He must really like this coat to have patched it up so many times.

I want to gawp, I want to say something to him, but I can only mumble. He stares at me with wonder: “I am not sure I understand what is going on with you. I promise that I won’t hurt you, so why won’t you speak to me?” he says. And then he finally understand. “Oh Braterfert! It’s me, isn’t it? I cast a spell in your mouth to stop you from yelling at the police when they arrived.” Without hesitation, he rushes to my side and reaches with his hand to touch the place where my lips should have been all this time.

He does so with care, one hand keeping my head still while the other highlighting my lips with his pointer. My eyes are glued on his mask. It’s full of engravings so tiny that are barely visible from far away. Everywhere, up to the ears, under the eyes, around his mouth, tiny letters and symbols and hieroglyphs cover every inch. I lose myself in those letters; I want to understand what they are saying, what they are talking about. I want to touch him, to take off his mask, to see his face, to….

“What are you doing?” he suddenly says as he takes a step back. He sounds shaken. My hand is in the air at that moment.

Instinctively, I say: “What are those symbols on your mask?” I gasp. “Shit, I can talk! I can talk!” A burst of laughter leaves my mouth. “Finally! I was trying to talk to you for so long.”

The man lowers his head and tangles his fingers in front of his body. “My deepest apologies. It was my fault that you had to suffer such an unfortunate fate for so long.”

I smile at him, my previous doubts of the man’s potentially perilous nature completely vanished. “No worries. Now that I can talk again, everything is great. Damn, more than great. You don’t know how much I missed my voice.”

His back straightens once again and his shoulders relax. I think he is smiling as well. What does he smile look like I wonder? What does his face looks like when he is smiling? Do his eyes shine or are they sad? Does he show all his teeth or does he have one of those sensual and enigmatic smiles that hide the world in them?

I want to find out. I want to pull his mask off. No…I want him to take off his mask to show me.

A moment later, he turns around once again and heads towards the armchair next to him. He takes a seat and sighs. “So…,” he says, “I suppose you have some questions?” I nod. But, before anything else, I have to know more about that mask. Only that, he makes it quite clear with his next words: “I will answer everything to you except any questions regarding the mask. The mask is off limits. You will not touch my mask, you will not ask anything about the mask, and above anything else, do not expect to ever see under the mask.”

It’s my turn now to sulk. “Okay, I think. It’s not like I have a choice, but I will try to behave. I owe you my life, partly. And after abducting me…you owe me some explanations.”

He leans back so that his back touches the back of the armchair. He is radiating confidence, a man of authority, someone with knowledge over everything while he is sitting on that chair. Even with the mask on, I can’t help but feel entirely enthralled by him.

What about Brian, though? Aren’t you too quick to forget him?

“Yeah, sorry about that,” the man says interrupting my thoughts. “That was me getting panicked by you and the police. Usually, the doors don’t get me to full houses when I use them. But it seems that this time, it was different.”

“Okay, slow down a bit. Before getting on with the explanation part, there is one other important thing that we have to clear out first.” I make two wide strides forward and raise my hand: “I’m Greg. We still haven’t introduced to each other.”

With my best smile on, and my heart pounding in my chest like crazy, I wait for his reaction. It’s so difficult to read a man’s thoughts while wearing a mask. There are so many kinds of smiles and so many feelings hidden in one’s eyes that to be stripped off them is making me feel naked, even more so that I actually am. Simultaneously, it’s also refreshing. Kinda like relying to yourself to impress someone and not their impression of you. Not being able to adjust your behavior to their reactions, unable to read all those tiny gestures and correct your words, it’s just me, myself, and the man behind the mask.

He just stands on his feet and reaches for my hand. “Everyone calls me Marcus. Nice to meet you, Greg.”

As soon as our hands touch, I notice that his muscles are tense as well. He must be anxious. He did tell me that it has been too long since someone has set foot in his home. It seems that it must have been too long.

“Next question then for you, Marcus. The walls. Why does it feel like there are no walls in this apartment?”

“Oh, you mean the windows?”

“What?”

“These are windows, not walls. Except for the ceiling and the floor, instead of walls I decided to put windows around.”

“What?” I say again, dumbstruck about his words. “Okay, let me process this. All these” and I point around me “are windows? Giant, wide windows that you can see outside?”

He nods.

“So…why is it so dark? We were just in the middle of the city half an hour ago. Where are we now? Where are the lights”

Marcus leans back again, prompting me to sit on his bed. “Well, this is going to be a long story, Greg. But, given the time and how exhausted you must be, I should better show it to you. Please, take a sit,” he says.

I get closer to him while looking all around, squishing my eyes close trying to discern any details outside the windows, but nothing. Pure darkness through and through. I get to his bed and take a seat for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. At that point, I realize that my body is feeling heavy. I yawn and shudder at the same time, stretching all my muscles.

Marcus, still as a statue, seems like he is contemplating something. My eyelids are heavy and my mind drowsy. I want to hear stay up and hear him out, to hear more about these magic tricks and the books that almost killed us but now they are nowhere to be found, and how he did that trick that my lips were stuck with each other, and pretty much everything. But…but my body has a different story to tell.

Suddenly, he gets on his feet and walks all the way to the bed. He sits down next to me. Merely the thought of Marcus, the man with the fox mask, lying next to me, gives me the strength I was missing up to now. Suddenly, my blood is rushing straight in my head and my mind has found new interest. I mean…I don’t know what he is hiding behind that mask, but I know for a fact that this man is different from him, different from Brian. I know for a fact that he wouldn’t hurt me, that he can love me like no other man has ever loved me before.

I am certain that he might be the one to save me…

He lies next to me, his hand touching mine, his legs as well. He is staring up, into the ceiling, giving me a chance to stare at him. I feel like a thief, trying to steal a glimpse of his face, of who he truly is. And yet, he doesn’t mind at all. He isn’t trying to protect his mask. “ I want to warn you that what you are about to see is my most intimate secret and my greatest discovery. I first set foot in this room five hundred years ago and since then, I have never been bored once. Why you ask? Well…you are about to find out soon enough.”

The first thing that happens is that Marcus falls in a trance of some sort. Words start pouring out of his mouth, some of which I recognize. During his endless muttering, the lights of the room slowly get deemer but never entirely out. Imagine dozens of light bulbs breathing out at once, making the room feel bigger than it already is. At that moment, the darkness outside becomes welcoming, or rather malleable. Now, it doesn’t look like just a wall of darkness but rather like a faded photograph. The more I look at the darkness, the more I understand it.

I can almost tell that I see a man walking out there, giant rocks all around him, the wind howling against him, tiny retractions of light all around. The man leaves behind his footprints while struggling to move against the raging wind. I look at Marcus, but he hasn’t snapped out of his trance yet. “Marcus…I think that someone is outside.”

Without moving an inch he replies to me: “relax and observe. The light travels everywhere given enough time, Greg. Give it another moment,” and he continues.

I get on my feet now and walk closer to the window. I stick my face between my capped hands and look outside. The man moves again, only that this time it seems like a ripple of light. I start and take two quick steps back. “For the mother of God, someone is out there, Marcus.” I rush to his side and sit on the bed so that I am as close to him as possible.

His words get louder and louder and even louder till they echo and spread and echo back to us again. At one point, I have difficulty understanding which words are coming from Marcus and which are the words of the echo. I have to cover my ears and shut my eyes tightly to bare with the pressing sensation of his words returning to me with such force.

I want him to stop. I am scared; he is making me scared! I open my mouth to tell him that he doesn’t have to do this to impress me or explain anything to me, only to realize that he is suddenly silent. Hesitantly, I open my eyes.

“You!” I utter at once, looking at him, then outside, then back at him again in disbelief. “You! How…? Wha… ? I mean, this can’t be possible.”

Marcus, previously laid back on the bed has now raised his back and is staring outside into the open fields of a snowy forest. An actual, snowy forest.

“I will explain everything to you, Greg, I promise. Now, I just want you to enjoy the view and fall asleep in peace.”

“You want me to sleep now, after this?!”

His hearty laughter fills the room again. I wouldn’t mind hearing that laughter for the rest of my life. “I am sure that as soon as you lie on the bed, your body will follow. But, after making you go through everything, I owed you a quick trip for abducting you out of your apartment, love.”

I am too excited to hear him speak. I am so excited that I completely ignore his use of that word. “Where are we?” I say at once.

“Hmm, let me see. I think we are at the Titreneas mountain range, under the Mountain with the Twin Peaks.”

“Titreneas mountain range? I haven’t heard of that before,” I say.

“Well, that’s only natural. It isn’t in your world. But!” he says, interrupting me, “that’s a story for another night. Go on now. Lie down and enjoy the view. Nothing can harm you in here, neither the weather, nor creatures or people.”

My smile fades immediately. He knows something. “I…I…”

“You don’t have to say anything. Just make sure you enjoy the view.”

He doesn’t go away, though. He just sits there, almost tucking me to sleep. But he doesn’t do that as well. He just…is; a guardian, fox spirit meant to protect me and only me. I lie on the bed and I look up. Magically, the ceiling has turned into a moody sky as well. Filled with heavy, grey clouds that turn in the color of pewter the closer they get to the mountains with the weird name, I want to keep my eyes open for as long as possible.

There is no point since as Marcus already predicted, they have a mind of their own and they are strong and heavy, certainly unable to be controlled. But my mind is still awake. The silence of the sleeping forest makes everything so serene and protected. It’s like if I stay here, in this bedroom, tucked under the sheets with him by my side, nothing bad can happen to me.

I…am…safe…

As if to sprinkle chocolate on my cupcake, Marcus suddenly starts to whisper in my ear:

“Here the snow falls every day nonstop. At times it is heavy and fast, a white curtain of cold and despair that extends all the way to the mountaintop. In those days, the Snow Whales appear on the mountaintops. Giant and magnificent creatures that fly in the strong currents. Their color is so white that some people mistake them for fleeting clouds, but they are very much alive, I assure you. They use the snow to keep their skin moist and slippery so that they can continue their peculiar journey in the sky. This particular mountain range is their only breeding grounds that has remained intact over the centuries, so it’s common to see them in pairs when that happens. Six of them, eight of them, ten, eleven, fourteen…they fly all together and dance, crying in the empty night their song of love.

“But…when the snowfall gets weaker, so weak that you can almost count the snowflakes, the pairs start splitting and lead to their different destinies.” He stops for a moment before continuing. I think I hear a sigh in between his words. “Their song is the saddest thing I have ever heard. The Snow Whales know that the moment the snowfall gets weak, their song will be over, and with that, their time with their destined lovers. The Snow Whales mate only once in their lives before departing for their last trip, so they know for a fact that as soon as their song ends, that they won’t see each other again.

“And so they sing.”

He stops again. He sounds really sad. “Have you heard it?”

“I did the mistake once, yet. I was still young then and travelling more than I do nowadays. I ended up here one of those days, unknowingly. I was craving snow and silence, and what better space than the Titreneas’ Range. That day I promised to never come back again, not unless I found a person with such sadness in their heart as those flying creatures. Because, even though this mountain range is full of death, of a life frozen in time, it’s also the only place I know that can cure a broken heart.” Right then, he turns and looks at me. “And so, here we are again.”

I am barely able to ask him: “why?”

“Why? Well, because there is no greater reminder of love than losing someone you love. These mountains, the very nature of their shape, if you look at them carefully you will see that is a constant battle of two peaks trying to become one. And that’s also why the Snow Whales picked this place for their mating. This here it’s a monument to love — love past, love present, and love future. And you can feel it anywhere, as long as you stay silent…and listen.”

When his words are over, I have closed my eyes without realizing it. His voice echoes in my head. I listen, and listen, and listen some more, waiting for the Snow Whales. Only that instead, I feel the touch of a cold flake on my lips. I quickly lick it and smile. I don’t know when I started crying again, but this time my tears aren’t hot. Instead, they warm my face all the way to my chest, right where my heart is. Right then I wish with all my strength that my wail never ends. That I stay here with him for the rest of my…life…


Part 3: Morning

“Marcus!” I jerk myself awake. I quickly get up and look around me.

Walls…fucking walls.

My heart sinks.

My grandma used to tell me that you have never known true despair than that of a good dream ending. I have had good dreams in the past, but nothing like that, nothing like meeting Marcus and seeing the Titreneas Range.

I touch my lips and wonder: “was it all in my head?”

I look at my nightstand. There is my clock telling the time. It’s 8 in the morning and yet I feel like I have been sleeping for days. To be honest, I am not sure what day it is. Last I remember, it was 2 am on a Friday night. Now, I don’t know what year it is.

I am searching for my phone, but it’s nowhere to be found.

That’s weird. I never leave my phone in the living room.

I get up and head there at once. When I open my door and check on the hallway, I kind of expect to find him there, waiting for me…Marcus, the Wizard, swiping my floor. But, he has vanished…or he never existed in the first place. Honestly, I don’t know. The only thing that remains is that I feel abandoned, left out. I don’t why I was expecting him to keep his word and stay to explain everything to me. And, to be honest, I am not entirely sure if…Marcus…is a real person.

“It was a tough night…maybe this was my subconscious telling me that I have to stop thinking about Brian and get on with my life. There are more fishes in the sea I suppose, and a real-life Marcus waiting for me to offer me a life full of magic and love…”

I am trying to make myself understand, but I can’t. I don’t why, but I am feeling like a Snow Whale now. Our song lasted for a night and now it’s over, I am off to my own adventure and shit like that.

“Bullshit…,” I say to myself. “I went and fallen in love with a man in my dreams…”

I sigh and  head straight to the kitchen. There is my phone, lying on the top of the table. There is a note right below it. That must be Brian…he must have gotten here before I woke up.

I grab my phone and look at the date.

I freeze.

“It’s Friday…it’s Friday morning.” I look again, check to make sure that my mobile is out of battery or something, but it’s a fact that it’s still Friday morning. “Okay, I either have slept an entire year, which isn’t humanly possible, or yesterday didn’t…happen at all. I am very confused.”

I sit on a chair and grab the note. It might help me shed some light in this weird case of travelling back to time.

“Dear Greg,

I didn’t know how to help with the mess that we created yesterday so I improvised. I still owe you an explanation, but this is a story for another night as I have already told you.

I do hope that from now on you will take better care of yourself and will not let your sadness take the best of you. Still, if you ever feel sad again, remember the snow. I think it will make you feel better. I wish I could have stayed to talk with you more — even more so since I stole your mouth for a couple hours yesterday (sorry for that!). I am very sad I didn’t say goodbye to you, but you can always count that as a change to meet you again. After all…our song ain’t over yet.

There are still many places that need me and people that I have to visit.

I wish you a great day, Elthelear, and please, stay strong for now.

Till we meet again,

Marcus

P.S.1 Please, don’t lose the key I have left in your room. I will need it if I’m to return again to visit you.

P.S.2 It’s still Friday morning, so don’t forget to go to your work, sleepyhead. You don’t want to be late in your re-Friday!”

I don’t know if I want to scream, jump in the air, or simply faint. He is real! He was really real. Like…reaaaal. And magic is real. And the Snow Whales are real. And he can even travel back in time. And…

My phone suddenly starts ringing. It’s Brian.

“Fuck! I mean…what do I do now? Do I answer? Play it hard to get? Do I…? Oh, who am I kidding?”

And I grab the phone. I leave the note on the table. Only later I found the key he told me about lying on my bedroom’s door. Later, while I was wiping the floor before Brian got here. Later, when Marcus has become a simple picture in the back of my head, a sweet memory.

He does owe me an explanation, and trust me, I am waiting for one, but now…now it’s all about him. It’s all about him and I. I know that Marcus is real so that’s enough for now, but there are too many questions for me to take him seriously. While Brian? Well, Brian is good, and honest, and…well, he is my Brian.

And that’s more than enough for now. And if I ever get sad again? Well, there are some creatures that are called Snow Whales, and they sing a song of heartbreak and forgiveness. They love and let themselves be loved for the duration of a song, all that only for one time in their entire life.

That and nothing more.

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