“Fine.” He retorted curtly. I sighed and looked back at him.
“Are you sure? You seem a bit… tense.” He took a sip of water and then looked back at me with slightly knitted eyebrows.
“Positive. Absolutely, fliggin’ positive.” I twiddled my thumbs, trying to find a way to get him to talk without angering him. I sighed once more and clasped my hands together. I glanced over at him as he slowly ate his food. Bringing the spoon up to his lips, he looked back at me, and there we were, caught in a stare.
“What do you really want, Maris?” He asked coldly. I gulped, not knowing what to say. The knot in my stomach told me to ask him what I really felt I wanted to know, but the other part of me was trying to stop me from asking anything at all. Swallowing my pride, I opened my mouth and asked him what I needed to ask.
“Who are you, Andrias?” There was silence in the room. Andrias was caught off guard by this simple yet so complex sentence. His dark, green eyes dulled and widened as if he had to take time to ask himself this question.
“Come again?” he asked, his face contorting into a defensive countenance. In my mind I frantically thought of what was going to happen next, but I needed to overcome the anxiety.
“Who are you, and what is it like in your world?” I asked again, feeling us both enter the uncomfortable bowels of vulnerability. Andrias clutched his blanket.
“No, Maris I’m not going to do this.” He spat. I saw his anger beginning to build. Frustration began to well up in me in response to his retort.
“But why, Andrias? How am I supposed to help you find what you need if-”
“I’m not going to allow myself to be open with someone else again. The last time I did that I ended up here, looking for my brother, stuck with a shitty life as a man always running and searching for something and coming up short.” I looked at him and out the window. The sea was far from at ease, yet it has an eerie sense of peace to it. Using this sight to allow myself to dissolve my thoughts, I looked back at Andrias again.
“Andrias, you can’t take on the weight of the world. You’re going to kill yourself if you continue to do so.” I said quietly. Andrias angrily looked out of the window, deciding not to make eye contact with me.
“Get out. Now.” He growled. I wanted to fight his decision, but I knew that I would have to go to the ends of the world with him if I chose to do so. Shrugging, I stood up from the bed and exited his room, leaving him to take care of his anger. Maybe someday Andrias will realize that he, too, plays a part of his self-demise.
There was something about the sea that told me that we were enter Hell. The Blood Moon was shining brightly on the water, staining it a dark and ominous ruddy colour. The gem returned to it’s chiming, it’s color matching that of the turbulent water. We were about seven hours away from our next destination, and the men were back to arguing about where we were going and Elsa in general. To get away from the ruckus, I went out onto the deck to clear my mind.
I walked over to the edge of the ship and peered over. The dark, crimson waters were violently crashing against the boat, rocking it from side to side. My stomach began to follow this motion, twisting and turning itself in knots like a Calpergan Circus acrobat. I felt as if I were about to vomit. I decided to sit down and regain equilibrium to soothe my stomach. Sitting and crossing my legs, I looked up at the sky. There it was, the Blood Moon, perched high in the sky like an owl, sending its evil gaze down onto the turbulent waters. Suddenly, I heard rapid and heavy footsteps pounding up the steps to the deck. I turned my head to see Andrias who was angry as all hell.
“I swear,” he spat “sometimes I can’t stand living on this fliggin’ boat!” He huffed and stormed off to the bow of the boat, taking out his telescope. A few moments later, Andrias stormed back towards me and sat down, lighting his pipe and taking a smoke. Sighing with relief, Andrias reclined against the wooden edge of the deck and looked up at the moon.
“I wish that things didn’t have to be this way,” he sighed. For the considerable amount of time I’ve spent with Andrias, I never seen him as fragile as he was now. I nodded at his comments.