I don't understand... I don't understand me. Is part of death losing sight of who you are? It certainly seems that way. I used to be so ... afraid for Harriet, so concerned about her welfare yet here I am doing absolutely nothing when she's in a relationship with someone who wants to make her his proprius. ... I wonder how she feels about that.
I rolled over in the soft grass to fall into rainbows.
"I'll never get used to your eyes," I sighed.
Arthur and I had spent most of the October half term together. He'd taken me out to see films at the cinema, accompanied me on walks through the large meadow and the surrounding countryside, invited me around his house as well as come to mine and, of course, the grassy area near the lock in the park was still a favourite place to go, despite the chill air and the frequent rain. Our solution had been simply to bring a plastic sheet out with us to sit/ lie/ kiss upon. Today, it had been dry so the sheet had been unnecessary. We were just lying on the yellowing grass. I gazed into those magical, captivating irises and felt totally content and relaxed as he gazed back into my own which were rather plain and dark in comparison.
Arthur took a long time to reply to my statement. When he did, he said, "I'll never get used to you."
He reached out to stroke my face. I moved my head closer to his hand and smiled at the caress.
"You know ... you never finished that story you told me," I mused.
"Ah, there's much more to come."
"Really? It's not going to end ‘So the elder brother and the girl lived happily ever after'?"
Arthur smiled. "Not quite yet. Did you really think the younger brother would just give you up without a fight?"
"He did in September," I pointed out.
"Yes but no one could fall out of love with you that easily. You're still the girl of his dreams and this phase of being unfazed will pass and become a phase of trying his utmost hardest to get you to be his, although he'll still maintain his decency."
I rolled my eyes. "I don't believe you're the bad guy. Even when Henry said it, I didn't."
"I did say you wouldn't."
I frowned. "Why are you willing for me to think of you as ‘bad'?"
"Because," Arthur replied, gazing at me more intently, "if you can accept who I am, who I truly am, and still love me for it and endeavour to understand me, you'll make my life one filled with bliss and powerful pleasure."
"Don't I love you enough?" I asked, leaning in towards him for a kiss.
"Yes," he answered, transfixing me with his now utterly sincere eyes. I totally forgot that I'd been about to kiss him. "For now," he whispered, almost inaudibly, but then he was kissing me and the thought of the strangeness of that statement was swept out of my head.
She rarely considers the fact I want to make her my proprius. Perhaps that's good because I don't want her to be terrified. But part of me longs for her to see things my way. With her as my proprius, we need never pay attention to anyone else ever again. It would just be her and I in a world we didn't care about surrounded by faces we failed to recognise, living our lives as one. I wouldn't take advantage of the fact she'd be my slave: I'd barely acknowledge it. I want her to be my proprius because of the way she'd feel about me.
One might ask why I don't become her proprius. The answer is that only a Captivator can have a proprius. It's sad, in my opinion, because I would happily become hers. Hey, maybe I should try acting like one, one day! She can't think I'd ever harm her if I did.
It was with a sigh that I stood up and walked away from Arthur when it was time for his lunch. I'd never had a meal there and he would never allow me since he thought the presence of Andrew made it too dangerous.
"Besides," he'd joked, "you'd be entranced before you put the first mouthful of food in your mouth."
I was strolling under the tunnel of trees when I suddenly saw Elizabeth, Andrew's girlfriend, sitting on a bench looking forlorn. I went to sit next to her.
"Hey, are you okay?"
She looked up at me, looking surprised. "Hi, aren't you one of Andrew's brother's girlfriends?"
I nodded. "I'm Harriet, Arthur's girlfriend. Is something the matter?"
Elizabeth sighed. "I don't know ... It's complicated and it doesn't even make sense to me."
"Well, I can't say finding out there was a special type of race called the Hypnos People helped my life maintain its original easiness," I said.
Elizabeth smiled faintly. "Maybe you can help."
"I can certainly try."
"Well ... it's Andrew... He's ... horrible. He controls people and is cold ... and has a friend who has a proprius." Elizabeth shivered. "I don't want to marry him."
"You have to tell him that then," I told her. "Don't let yourself get into a situation where it would be harder to declare that you didn't love him."
"It's already too difficult," Elizabeth murmured. "... He's completely lovestruck. He has been for the last two years. I can't say the words that will break his heart. He looks vulnerable enough as it is around me."
"You have to," I said. "You don't love him and he's not the guy you deserve."
"Who am I to judge that, though?"
"Someone has to. If no judgements at all were made about someone's personality, we'd all be dating potential murderers."
"He's not a killer though. And ... I'm not sure I don't love him."
"How does he make you feel? Do you think he could be ... using his powers?" I asked gently.
"I don't know," Elizabeth replied. "I just ... sort of feel weak and helpless when he looks at me with all that love in his eyes - it's like he batters down my defences and reaches straight out to touch my heart... I don't even know if he would use his powers. How bad is that? I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing when I said yes when he proposed but it was a crazy thing to do. ..."
Elizabeth's face became wistful. "He made that day the best birthday of my life. Flowers and chocolates as presents in the morning, a stroll through the park and a picnic afterwards, and then a wonderful meal in a restaurant that evening. At the end of it, he took me to his room, led me out onto the balcony and got down on one knee to propose. I found myself thinking ‘I couldn't love anyone other than him' and was as elated as he was when I decided to say yes. But do I love him truly and deeply?"
"It seems difficult to tell," I told her, "and I'm sorry things are like that for you. I think the only advice I can give is do what you think is right. Make the decision while he's not around to influence you. Are great memories going to change the fact he's never nice to anyone except you even if you are in love?"
Elizabeth shrugged. "Great memories are powerful things. Thanks for all this advice. And Harriet..." she hesitated.
"Stay true to your own heart. You especially know what a Captivator can do."
"I will," I promised. "Thank you."
Suddenly, Andrew appeared. "Liza," he said warmly as he strode up to Elizabeth, lifted her hand and kissed it. He gazed into her eyes and I could see she was dazed.
She seemed to pull herself together, though, as she said, "We need to talk."
I began to walk off.
"About what?" I heard Andrew ask.
"About this relationship... About ... our marriage."
"Is something wrong?" came the shocked reply, the last thing I heard of their conversation. I hoped that Elizabeth was strong enough and that Andrew didn't use his powers to influence her. Hoping was all I could do though as I returned home and ate lunch. I knew it was unlikely I'd be able to catch up with Elizabeth since I rarely saw her.