Special thanks to Kitsune95.


Prologue

When she first woke up in the middle of the street, she had no memory. She did not remember anything about herself, her surroundings or why she was even there. She had no recollection of a family or friends. Even the memory of enemies would delight her, but no matter how much she tried to rack her head, she remembered nothing.

She didn't even know what she looked like. Was she fat or thin? Tall or short? Pretty or ugly? At least she knew she was female.

As she observed her body, she saw a ragged, greyish dress. She suspected it was once white, based from the strange way it was smudged with dirt. The sight of her skin made her flinch. Her scrawny arms and legs were so pale they were almost white. She had the feeling that her face was no better. Her attention dropped towards her bare feet. She wriggled her toes just to see if they did belong to her. They did.

She did remember trivial things though. For instance, she could describe what her surroundings looked like. It was a dark and frightening alley with a horrible stench. Her eyes could hardly see a thing, but she didn't fail to see the pair of cat eyes that seemed to be glowing in the dark.

She didn't know how or why she knew such trivial facts and none of the story behind it. As far as she knew, she was abandoned and left forever with nothing at all. She didn't even remember her own name.

As soon as her eyes had adjusted to the dark, she could finally make out her surroundings in more detail. She spotted a pile of garbage just a few feet away which explained the horrible stench. Bones of different sizes were scattered around her and, as a finishing touch, she saw rotting dead bodies of rats and cats. The sight of it made her stomach flip. The burning sensation of acid threatened to rise from her stomach towards her throat.

She stood up and tried to walk. Unexpectedly, she fell down as if she were a child who was only learning how to walk. She attempted it a second time, but fell again. It was starting to frustrate her but she wasn't about to give up on such a simple task.

She repositioned her legs so she was half kneeling. She grabbed the nearest garbage can, not minding the stench, and pulled herself up. It was quite surprising how much effort she needed to pull herself when her skin was almost outlining her bones. Her legs wobbled but she was able to catch herself in time. Leaning on the brick wall, she found herself standing on her feet. With shaky legs, she took one careful step. This time, she didn't fall. She felt slight satisfaction with her little achievement. She took one more step and her trembling lessened. It didn't take her long before she could walk without shaking and leaning on the wall. Then, she started her journey to nowhere.

Walking on the rough road, she glanced down at her bare feet. Somehow, she knew that she should have been feeling cold, but she wasn't. In fact, the temperature felt normal to her. It was the first time something had felt familiar to her.

Once she was out of that dark alley, the morning light blinded her. The heat left a burning sensation on her skin, but she ignored it. Her instincts told her that cowering back in that alley would do her no good.

She didn't know where she was going but she went on, hoping that it would bring back memories. Unfortunately, she got nothing. No feeling of familiarity even in the slightest. What if she had no memory to begin with?

A million questions flooded her mind. Where did she come from? Why was she abandoned there, in that dark and creepy alley? Who were her parents? Did she even have parents? Who was she? The list went on.

It wasn't long until she met the piercing gaze of little girl. The girl was shorter than she was so she assumed that the girl was younger. Big, brown eyes stared at her, scanning her from head to toe. She didn't need to hear the girl's words to recognize disgust. When their eyes met, it only took a single step forward for the girl to scramble away in fear. She wondered briefly why the girl would be scared of her. Did she look that terrible?

She started walking through the busy streets. People in black walked at a fast pace. The loud beeping of cars filled her head. She didn't know why, but she felt so weak and trapped in that place. Once more, she considered going back in the alley, but her feet made the decision for her and led her into a straight path with no definite destination.

She received a few more looks similar to the one the girl gave her. Others were even worse. Nonetheless, she kept walking while trying to ignore the curious looks from the people around her. She tried to mind her own business, but some people could be so nosy. So, when a tall, muscled man blocked her way, she knew she had to face him somehow.

She looked up at him with blank eyes. Fear. Her mind told her it was the right emotion, but she just couldn't find it. Her feelings seemed to have disappeared with her memory.

"You're in the way." The man pushed her with his large, hairy hand. She fell back on her butt.

She hissed. It had taken her so much effort to stand. She didn't put in that much effort to be treated that way. She pushed herself back up on her feet. She glared at the man as she thought of all the ways she wanted to hurt him. The man returned her glare with the same intensity.

She was not going to let him belittle her. To humor herself, she imagined strangling him until he was out of breath, until his eyes turned white.

The man's expression slowly changed from the tough and scary man to fear and disbelief. Before she knew it, he was running and screaming in fear.

As expected, their little show earned a lot of attention from the people around them. A mix of curiosity and fear were in their eyes. At least now she knew something about herself and perhaps she wasn't as emotionless as she thought. She hated people. She hated how people couldn't mind their own business. She hated being the center of attention.

She walked through the crowd of spectators while trying to ignore their gazes. To her relief, no one dared to come near her again.

When darkness started to fall upon her, the temperature began to drop. The cold breeze penetrated her skin but it bothered her no more than she had expected. She continued walking until streets lights were her only means of seeing the way.

Deciding it was pointless to go on with such little amount of light, she slumped down on a park bench. She watched her motionless surroundings as she listened to the deafening silence of the night. She waited until drowsiness overtook her. Settling herself on the hard and uncomfortable park bench, she let her eyelids drop.

She had only started drifting off when a noise awakened her. Peering through half-opened eyes, she saw an old lady sitting on the opposite bench. The poor woman was clad in thick clothing that looked like patches of cloth stitched together. Despite the layers of smudged cloth, she could see how the old lady was only skin and bone, shivering as if she were inside a giant freezer. It made her wonder how she could stand the cold when she had less clothing than the old woman. Was it because of their age gap? Did the old woman have less tolerance for the temperature than she did?

The old woman looked up and their eyes met. She felt an unfamiliar tinge of pain in her chest. The woman's eyes held no life and she knew, just by looking at it, that the woman had little time left. Was this her fate, too? To grow old and die alone? To never find home?

Time passed and all they did was stare at each other. Neither of them made an attempt to start a conversation. Perhaps, neither knew the right thing to say. But, maybe, they just didn't want to waste what little energy they had left. They were content to hold conversations by merely addressing their thoughts through their eyes.

As the night grew darker, sleepiness started to overcome her again. This time, she fell into a deep dreamless slumber.

Warm sunlight awakened her the next morning. As she opened her eyes, she found the opposite bench empty, with no trace of the old woman that had once lay there. She felt a twist inside her chest. She was all alone again.

Days and nights passed and she wandered endlessly with no destination in mind. She might have travelled far already, but she couldn't really tell. Nor could she tell how long she had been strolling. She had already lost count of the days since she woke up in that dark alley. She didn't know where she was and she refused to ask anyone. Asking them would mean answering their questions, too.

She knew she should have been hungry, but she wasn't. She hadn't eaten a single bite since she woke up. During the first days though, she had felt her stomach grumble, but she had no means of getting food. She had considered grabbing the leftovers of others, but when she saw how fierce the competition against the street animals had been, she'd decided that she would rather not meddle with them. Then one day, her stomach just stopped grumbling. Perhaps even her belly got tired of telling her she was hungry and just gave up when she never responded.

Days without food should have weakened her. It should have drained her. But there she was, still walking aimlessly despite the lack of nourishment. She knew there was something odd about her seemingly unlimited supply of energy. However, while her body could still walk for miles even without an identifiable source of strength, her mind could hardly think straight. Thinking seemed to weaken her more than any physical activity could. She was merely an empty shell wandering endlessly, aging within a strange, unknown place.

Perhaps she was a ghost? But that thought immediately vanished as she recalled the curious looks from passersby. Obviously, they could see her. She wasn't transparent either. What with the numerous times that she bumped into people.

She thought the cycle would never end, but a fortunate day ceased it. When a loud cry suddenly erupted out of nowhere, waking her up, she knew that her usual routine was starting to end.

It came from a girl, probably her age. She was practically bawling her eyes out and she didn't seem to notice the people around her. The girl was alone like her, but, unlike her, the girl wasn't dressed in tattered clothes. The weeping girl was clad in a pretty pink dress. A large ribbon that matched her dress rested on her curly brown hair. Looking at the girl from afar, she could already guess the reason of her grief.

For some unknown reason, a strange feeling started to build up in her chest. She wanted to approach the girl. She wanted the girl to shut up. All these days that she had been wandering alone with no memory, not once had she shed a tear. Never. She hated how this girl appeared so weak.

Without knowing it, she had walked towards the girl. The girl paused crying and looked at her with her violet eyes, fresh from tears. They were beautiful. It was the most beautiful pair of violet eyes she had ever seen. Did people have violet eyes? As far as she knew, they didn't. But it didn't seem strange to her. What attracted her was how the girl's eyes could have so much life. Despite the touch of sadness there, life and youth glinted in those pretty eyes.

She wondered. Did her eyes look that beautiful, too? Did they look that lively? Perhaps not. Because if they were, people wouldn't be looking at her strangely. Even if they were, her disgusting appearance and awful stench would have driven them away, anyway.

"Who are you?" the girl asked her. Even her voice was beautiful. It was sweet and gentle. It was melodious like her favorite song. What was her favorite song?

"I should be asking you that question," she spoke for the first time in days. Her voice came out dry unlike the girl's melodious one. "You were the one bawling your eyes out."

The girl frowned, more like pouted. "I was not bawling. Besides, if it were you, you'd be crying, too."

"Why were you crying?"

"I got lost." Me, too, she wanted to say but hesitated. She was not lost. She didn't even know where she came from in the first place. If she really was lost, she would at least know where she came from. The only problem would be finding a way back.

"Are you lost, too?" the girl asked.

She shook her head. "Why don't I help you find your way?" Those words came out of her lips so easily that it surprised her. She couldn't even find her own way back. How could she help that girl? When all she could offer was false hope of ever getting found?

She had been so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice the girl hugging her until she felt a strange yet comfortable feeling of warmth. It was then that she wondered. Why did that girl hug her dirty, stinky self? Why didn't that girl look at her with curiosity or disgust or fear? Why didn't that girl run away from her like she had expected? Why had that girl felt like home?

Home. She did not even have one. Or if she did, it was something her mind could not remember, but her body knew too well. It was the kind of warmth that only her body could remember.

"Thank you." The girl offered a warm smile. She tried to stretch her lips as if to return it, but she wasn't sure it looked as warm and genuine as the one the girl had.

"I'm Aria. And you?"

She felt the smile on her lips drop. How could she tell Aria that she didn't have one? It would seem strange. And somehow, she did not want to disappoint her. Something about Aria made her want to impress her.

It was the first time someone had not looked at her strangely. The girl was the first one who looked at her like she was normal.

Despite her reluctance, her silence must have given her away anyway because Aria was looking intently at her. Aria's violet eyes seemed to pierce through her, peeling any mask she was wearing. Right there and then, she knew Aria knew. But Aria said nothing about it. Aria pretended that she didn't know. And she appreciated it.

"If you don't want to tell your name, can I call you..." the girl paused, pondering. "...Thalia, instead?"

Thalia. It was a beautiful name and she liked it.


Thank you for reading! Did you like it or not? Send me a review. Comments and suggestions are highly appreciated.