My father's words echo in my mind and I feel Lucas inhale steadily beside me. My thoughts being in torment are not, I am sure, the most comfortable of headaches for him. His luminous hair shines bright in the sunlight and his face is set in a dedicated frown as he stares around him, trying to make sense of something unknown to me.
"I want to be the one to tell you," he begins, not missing a step or tripping over a crack on the streets, "What you have become under my hands. I want to be the one to offer you the reality of your salvation, my heart contends to be the one—but, it is not my job."
I watch him with a curious stare and wait for him to continue. His sweet, enticing smell fills my dead lungs and I manage to find myself questioning whether I am merely smelling his physical scent or something much deeper, spiritual.
"Your father, he has told you what he has needed to say—what he has been meaning to say for almost two decades of your life; praying, hoping for a chance." He neatly bypasses a car and holds me close, tightly, across his chest as we stumble from one end of the street to the other, his mind in a constant flutter. "But I am afraid, that he has said too much, but he will leave now in the least, to the next life that we shall never see."
"Next life?" I ask, finding my stride beside his. "Is that where it was that he went to after telling me that all that I had known for the past twenty-six years had been a lie; a pure creation of fantasy?"
He stops suddenly, forcing me to retrace my steps until I am beside him again. He stands like a marble statue, yet eerily looks at his world with a sense of security far more deserving than any human. His eyebrows crease uncomfortably together and his ageless eyes stare through my physical being into my mind. Most was not a lie.
I shake my head and turn around as I begin to walk briskly. No, it was a lie. If I had known the truth, if only I had known the truth--
Then what? Lucas asks, all ready beside me, our bodies become but a blur on the busy sidewalks of downtown Toronto. Would you have honestly been able to maintain all sanity knowing the grizzly happenings that your parents had to endure?
He stops me and holds my arm in a delicate, yet sufficient hold so that I am unmoving. "Your life, my life, is not pre-determined. We become what we are, not from what we may or may not know. The death of your parents was something that had been planned, you not knowing your memory of the night, that had been planned—but who you are today? No, that was not planned, therefore, nothing you saw; nothing you felt growing up since that night has been a lie. No acting ever placed itself in front of your mistaken eyes, understood?"
I nod and search his reassuring eyes for a simple sign of fear and find nothing.
Feeling his goal completed, Lucas gently tugs on my arm as he patiently waits for me to wake from my stupor. I feel the wind flick past me, lifting my curls behind my bewildered face and I hear the soft wings of the birds defying gravity above me. I feel the pulse of the toddler in the stroller as ice cream melts down his fingers and his mother's irritation as it enters her tired voice. I hear the loud whispers of the ants near my feet as they embark on the journey across the cement and I feel the heat of the cars as they drive past us, honking, busily forgetting all that they disturb.
In an instant I am awake.
Of course, not physically awake, for that I am all ready, but correctly awake, sensing all of my surroundings. I see the birthmark on Lucas's right ear, small, but unforgiving as it rests there, I notice the angle of his eyes as he studies my awakening, and I feel his cold, yet fiery hold on my arm. This sensation is so new to me, was I dead before Lucas saved me? Or was I immune to the world around me, too busy focusing on what had been wrong with my life?
"Come Carol Ann, you have to meet her; she will explain this world to you." He simply announces and pulls softly on my hand. I oblige and walk with him, again, moving faster than the world around us. Is it logical to defy the laws of nature that I had been assigned to for most of my life? Then again, I had only been human. What can I possibly be now? What will I do with the knowledge that my parents, my makers, the ones who had become my world in my childish eyes, were brutally, mercilessly murdered in front of my forgetful eyes?
If only such a word would melt like butter in this cold mouth of mine. First, you must know who you are, what you have become. I feel Lucas all the while beside me as I fret through my thoughts. His own are quiet, patient while mine destroy my inner calm like a tornado twisting itself into a monster contemplating the death of the accused murderer of my life.
When my emotions become almost unbearable, something interesting occurs: I feel the touch of Lucas's hand on my back.
"What," I speak in awe, "was that?"
He smiles down at me and stops walking, we now stand in front of a brown corporate building. "You and I are connected; our bond is beyond any other. Your soul and mine are connected by strings of fate and when I feel your distressed mind, I have the ability to relax you, as do you too, for when I am in a moment of panic."
I stay mute and let him guide me towards the large building, "We are here," he instructs, "Do not fear what you may see."
I move with him as one while we enter the large mysterious building.