Since the passing of my mother, my life has changed in ways I cannot truly explain. These things are hard for me. My father has often been bombarded with the pressure to accept slaves into our home; which, as expected, he refuses the offers. I am somewhat pleased. It draws a rather, how should I put it... bad reputation to our household. Our family is starting to be looked upon with an extreme distaste and ignorance. But what really matters to me most is my mother. Who needs the likes of other people if you have a loving family, right?
I have not written for a while, but there are so many things to say. It pains me to write this, or even to think about it, but every night before I go to bed -- even approximately three years after -- I still see the image of my mother, painstakingly reaching out to me with hope and... and almost a look of comfort to see me there. It is an odd combination: hope, comfort, and death. Death does not belong with hope and comfort. Why must it have stolen my mother from us?
Aphrodisia had been of great aid to me, although she had acted slightly strange. I still remember our conversation about a month after my mother's passing:
She had crept up behind me and sat down next to me. We were quiet for a few moments. She seemed extremely uncomfortable.
Finally, she asked, in a wobbly voice, "Are you doing alright?"
I glared at her with such intensity. "Of course I'm not! Just how do you think I'm alright? My mother just died in front of my eyes, and you think I'm ALRIGHT?"
Aphrodisia shrank back, gulping. She hesitated, then said, "Look, I'm sorry. I just... I just want to tell you -- I mean, I just wanted to help you feel better. Talk with you. About it. Did the apothecary determine the... the cause of death?"
I chuckled halfheartedly. "That's the thing. They found these really weird marks on Mother's arm-"
"What kind of marks?" Aphrodisia interrupted, eagerly.
I looked at her strangely. "Well, I guess they were two tiny circles. The apothecary thinks it might have been a dog that bit her. It probably had a disease. But..."
"But you don't believe it?"
I sighed. "I don't know. It doesn't seem right. There were a few drops of blood running down her arm, but otherwise, she seemed fine. If a dog just came up and bit her, how could it have killed her that quickly? I don't understand it." I stood up from the bench. Aphrodisia rose, too.
"The only other thing I can think of," I said, "is that it could be a vampire."
Aphrodisia gave a few nervous giggles. "Don't tell me you believe about all that pish posh about vampires. They're all myths! Think about it. Vampires? You must be joking! Vampires are for bums who wish to scare infants."
I was quiet. I did not know what to believe; I still do not. "I'm not sure."
She coughed. She fell silent, staring at the ground.
Quiet tears ran down my face. I couldn't hold them in any longer. Aphrodisia regarded me with great interest; surprise, even. I felt so silly standing there, with my face a hot, sticky, wet mess. I felt alone. I was alone.
But then, Aphrodisia grabbed my arms gently. Her face was near mine. She said, "Melatiah, I know things are difficult. But you are different. You can get through this. Your mother went through the same thing when she was your age -- her mother died suddenly, too. I know you can do it. All is not lost. You've got your whole life ahead of you. You can do anything. You can make this earth your world."
"Your mother was stronger than she thought she was. So are you. Please, Melatiah. Turn around your life. Do this for me. Please, I am begging you. Don't let this ruin your life."
I looked into her gleaming eyes. I saw the sparkle, the glint of sunlight radiating outward. I saw her lightly bouncing curls of fire shiver in the slight breeze. I saw the faint pink blush on her porcelain cheeks. She knew so much about me, and I knew so little about her. But I had no idea of her age. No idea of her family. I had no idea who she was. I didn't know her.
There were so many questions, so many thoughts. I wanted to turn them all into words. I wanted to find out more about this woman, who dazzled me with her spicy attitude and grinning smile. But I just could not. Aphrodisia had not finished speaking.
She had paused. I thought I could see tears in her eyes. Her voice wavered once she began speaking again. "I destroy everything I touch. My hands look delicate, but..." Aphrodisia's lips trembled. Her face struggled not to crumble. "I don't want to destroy you."
"Melatiah, I-" She started. "I cannot wander around here anymore."
She hugged me tightly. I held on with everything I had left.
"Someday, you'll find out what really happened. But, for now, just forget me. I never help. I only hurt. Kiss the girl next door, fall in love, marry her. You will be forever happy. I'll... be around this town. Wandering through graveyards and walking on the beach. You could find me, but you'll only catch a glimpse of me. That's all I'll let you see. I will disappear in a flash. You will feel no pain."
Aphrodisia did leave. Slowly, over these three years, I have seemed to lost much of my memory about her. It is almost like my mind is a sand sculpture and a wave washed over it, leaving only the most prominent portions behind. Bit by bit, I am losing my memory of her. It bothers me. She blew my mind away. But I know that I will see her again. Even if for a flash of a second of time. Because in a flash of a second of time, my mother died. And in a flash of a second of time, I can decide to turn my life around. And now I am.
*The Antique Legacy*