The wind swept through the trees, sparking across the tops of dusty branches. A lone figure began to emerge in the surrounding brush, walking with a smooth... BRINGGGGG!
In was snapped out of my day-dream. The ringing of the bell pounding in my head, taking me back to the real world of senseless chatter. Quickly I shoved my books into my bag, hearing the resounding thump as they swiped the bottom.
I picked myself up and made my way from the now empty room and into the corridor. A throng of hurrying people pushed past me, eager to rid themselves of the tiring day. My bag thumped against my back as I hurried slowly with the people covered in conformed rags. I paused on the steps outside the doors. Hovering, looking over the groups chattering noiselessly. Each one spoke a new story, each one spread a new life into the air. So many groups, so many types, and yet, not one group considered me to help spread their life. A shove in the shoulder signalled me to move on, again joining the conformity of swaying heads.
I picked a person and followed them, allowing them to clear the path. I needn't be stealthy in my steps; to them I was naught but a shadow. I was a step behind them as they pushed from the crowd, turning left as they turned right. Clear from the hurried crowd, I quickened my step. I paced quietly through the conformed altitudes of blocks, not sparing a thought to the unison climbing above. A white dove sparked through the air beside me. I started at the breath of air, following the dove as it trailed off into the sun. The day was bright; no gossamer clouds topped the high-rises.
I directed my attention off the golden globe, returning it to the cracked pavement. A stone kicked under my foot and rolled into a nearby gutter, thumping resoundingly into the pipes.
I started at the sound, looking for the speaking figure. No one to sight and I continued to pace over the cracks.
"Help me." Again I searched for the voice, settling on a man sitting ragged on the sidestep. His body slumped defiantly on the curb, his skin dressed in tattered cotton, unkempt hair placed atop his head.
"Help me," he repeated. I stepped towards him, cautiously treading my way.
"What's wrong?" My voice was tight and heaped with unspurred fear.
"What's your name girl?" His voice sounded convincing, soft and kind, but past it, far away was an anger.
I hesitated, not wanting to speak my name, weighing the choices in my head. "It's Jamie," I hid the fear and the terror and spoke my name with a hard confidence.
"Really, that's not your name you know."
"Yes it is," this man, in all his oddities must be delusional. How a stranger could not know my name, then state that it wasn't.
"Are you sure Ailua?" His voice rose to a sharp spike as he spoke the last word.
It shot through me, pumping into my ears and down to my heart. The word, the name, I knew it. I did not understand, but I knew the name was more than a word to my ears.
"What are you talking about?" The fear etched out, leaking into my voice.
"Do you not remember me?" He reached off his hat, a wide grin speeding across his grimy face.
The smile pushed across his skin. The smile spread to his ears. The smile rang into my eyes. I saw past the tangled beard, the dirt-streaked face, the tattered rags. I saw the clean-cut figure sitting there, just like now, just sitting there. I saw him reach out to me, push a silver globe into my hand. I felt his calloused skin. I smelt his perfumed breath.
I remembered him, yet I had never seen him with these eyes.
Now I saw him sitting, with a grin-etched smile plagued on his face.
"Who are you?"
He laughed at my question, a horrid laugh that scattered the birds.
"You don't remember everything do you?" He reached into his coat and drew out a small silver globe.
I shuddered, once again being drawn into a memory. The cool globe in my hand, fitting perfectly in my palm. I again saw his dressed figure, explaining ecstatically at his creation, pointing at it, then at me again and again. And the name, Aulia, repeated again and again like a token. I felt the confusion in my mind, the words he spoke did not make sense, they could not be true. But if they were... A chance to start again, to begin afresh.
"Do you remember now?"
I was startled by his voice, the ecstatic voice from my un-happened memory.
"Yes," I was jerked more by my voice. It was not the voice I remembered, not the one that I had always heard. "It didn't, it couldn't."
"It did," he stared into me, daring me to contradict him. "So now it's time you gave back what you promised me," he pulled himself up, moving towards me.
"What, no." I couldn't give him what he asked for, I hadn't thought it would be like this, I hadn't expected it to work.
"A promise is a promise Aulia."
I ran. I sprinted with sluggish steps, away from him. I dared not turn and see if his body followed me. I dodged the corners, hearing my breath constrict in my lungs. My house loomed up and I paused, fumbling for the key. The metal clicked in metal and I was slamming the door behind me.
"Lily!" No answer. Of course, it was Friday. The house was still as I padded down the hall, my bag dumped at the door. Nothing stirred.
I heard a patter on the roof and started, almost letting a scream escape my broken lips. It came harder, surrounding the house.
I entered the lounge room and my eyes came upon the window. Cold thick drops flashed down the pane. I stepped cautiously towards the glass, drawn by the eerie colour of the rain. I recoiled with horror. The cold thick drops supported a red mirage. I stepped again to the window, pushing my face against the glass, staring hard at the rain. It was red, hazing the outside surroundings.
Why did I promise the perspicuous stranger so much, when really he gave me so little. He had offered me a new beginning, a fresh start with everything I wanted.
A thump sounded behind me and I fell, smashing into the plated glass, breaking its clear-cut pane. I glided into the blood-red drops, feeling the shards cut into my face, waiting for the thump I knew would never came. Instead I fell, over and over, falling through the wet. I knew how my cascade would end and so I resolved myself to my design. I heard a resonant sound and knew it was time. My fate had been decided when I had first held the silver globe in my smooth hand, I had broken all laws of the world. I had done something that no one had ever done, something that no one had ever meant to do. I had lived twice and died twice.