Chapter 2 - Lia
Monday, October 31, 2011

This is the chapter 2 of my short novel. If you haven't read chapter 1 yet, please go and read it first. This chapter is mainly about the girl, Lia. I think that this will probably end with chapter 3. So.. well, enjoy this and look forward to the next one! 

I present you, my heart.

"Hi, we meet again, Leo."

In front of Leo stood a girl with model-like features, sleek, tall and slender. An expressionless angel that instinctively felt warm to his heart.

"I'm sorry, have we met?"

Lia's cheeks twitched a little as she held back her emotions. "It's fine", she told herself, after all, it's not the first time that his has ever happened, and it certainly won't be the last. Still, it doesn't matter how used she is to this situation, pain is still pain. Even though she told herself that it's alright, the deepest region of her heart and soul secretly wished that after such a dramatic event, Leo would miraculously be able to remember her. Seems like reality isn't as convenient as she would have hoped, seeing how Leo crushed her weary heart over and over again.

She went on to explain the workings of the world as usual. However, there's a slight change this time, there was no shadows chasing them through the dark lands. The world still remained crystal white, yet the sky has a slight tinge of blue to it.

"You're here only because you needed to be. Or you wouldn't be able to enter this world under normal circumstances. The sky that was previously white now `has a blue hue to it, the colour signifies calmness, yet worry. It means that nothing has happened yet, but you're uneasy about the situation you're in. What is it that is bothering you Leo?"
"I don't know, maybe I just can't believe that my parents have passed away."
"That's not it. I know, because I am you after all."

Leo was taken aback by the last statement.
"What do you mean by.. you're me?"
"I'm your guardian, the embodiment of your very soul itself. I feel everything you feel. To put it simply, you can think of me as your split personality. We are of different minds but of the same soul."

Tears started welling and overflowed out of Leo's eyes.
"Wha-... why am I crying?"
He knew exactly why he cried. It's unfair, it's just not fair that Lia is the one who have to suffer alone for all eternity. It's not fair that he gets to enjoy life while the very same him is trapped in a world, giving her life to save himself, actions unknown to anyone, not even himself. It was contradicting, it felt paradoxical, it felt wrong.

"God is cruel, but I'll gladly give my life up for you Leo, you don't have to feel sorry for me."

Helplessness brew like a hurricane within Leo, he's exasperated at himself for not being able to do anything for her. More than anything, he hates himself for forgetting her. He heaved a huge sigh and said, "I may have lost everything, but thank god I still have you."

A huge ball of emotions swelled up with Lia. Is it happiness? Not really. Is it sadness? Not really. She's not very sure, it felt warm, but it prickles her heart. It's like a huge wave of uncertainty that just surged over her. Leo might have lost everything but her, but Lia has nothing but Leo. That very thought of it scares her, for this first time in her life, she is terrified of losing him. Since her birth, all she's known is to fight against the darkness within Leo. Sure, he might have entered the world a few times before, but there was never any life altering events. Nothing to make her think that she would lose him,  for he is her, and she loved him more than she would ever love herself.

Oblivious to all her feelings, Leo went on to explain the thorn in his life. After the bad accident, he was adopted by his uncle. He is married and have a rather beautiful wife. The problem lies with the wife, or rather, his aunt. Leo's uncle welcomed him with open arms and tried his best to make him feel welcomed, he was the closest to Leo's family and felt the responsibility to bring up his sister's son. However, the aunt have always seen Leo's mum as a thorn in the flesh, she simply hated her with no apparent reasons. Leo knew that all along but never thought that it would've interfered with his life.

Poor Leo could not be any more wrong. The moment their eyes met, he clearly saw glee of contempt in her eyes. It was all very unsettling for him, how could anyone rejoice over such a disastrous event?! His aunt felt like a body of evil, a monster in human skin, her eyes glowed at the sight of suffering. Leo prayed as hard as he ever possibly could that the aunt will not harm him, he felt threatened by her presence. Thankfully, his prayers seemed to have payed off since he was able to sleep peacefully that night and met Lia.

Lia was able to feel all of his emotions while he was recalling the events, if she were to describe it with one word, it'll be disgust. The disgust Leo has towards his aunt was clear as day. Lost for words, Lia hugged him tightly and stroked his back.

The insecurities in Leo vanished at her touch, and as the stress level went down, his awareness level went up. He realized that he is in the arms of a really gorgeous girl of his age. His cheeks flushed when perverse thoughts started leaking in, he's an 18 year old boy after all. Realizing that this isn't the right time for such frivolous thoughts, he tried changiing his thoughts by asking a question he's been wondering.

"Have you always been alone in this world?"
"I wasn't always alone per say. There used to be animals, all sorts of animals. Rabbits, horses, lions, tigers, dogs, cats, birds, and others, there was no need to eat in this world, so everyone lived in harmony. It might be really weird coming from your world if you saw rabbits playing with the lions. Oh the cute white rabbits, the butterflies fluttering in the sky, with the smell of rose flavoured sunshine. The flowers will blossom in the morning light, the never ending grass plains and the winding rivers. There wasn't anyone else, but I'm happy to be here."
"That sounds... wonderful. But...", Leo looks around. Nothing changed from the time he came. The world is still snow white with a pale blue sky. "What happened?"
"Death happened, my dear Leo.The passing of your parents killed a part of your heart. The brightest part of your heart, the glory of sunshine and life. Making friends may not be your forte, but you were fine with it, you liked the quietness of your life. You may not show it on your exterior body, but deep inside, it was brimming with hope and light. The sudden turn of events changed everything, the plants wiltered, animals fell to the ground and became one with the dirt. Colour seeped into the darkness, leaving nothing behind. The remaining white sky, void of clouds, started raining non-stop, hitting me relentlessly. You have no idea how scary it feels, to be hit by the rain, all alone in the world. There was no where to run, no where to hide. That's why I can't let you leave me, that's why I will do whatever it takes to stop the rain from ever falling again."

How do anyone reply to that? What worth are words? Leo didn't know what to say, he didn't know how he could make it up to her, speech seemed to be the hardest action he could make. He just kept apologizing over, and over, and over again.

"It's okay, Leo, it's okay. Come, lie down here."
Lia gently smiled and gestured for him to lie on her lap. Warm as Lia could be, the truth is that Leo is still a shy boy, he hesitated for a little while, before giving in to the loving face of hers.
After lying down and closing his eyes, Lia bent down and said softly, "Now, listen to me. I am you, and I will never do anything to betray you. Put all your faith in me, for I am Liasethim, the guardian of your heart and soul. I'll protect you even if the heavens fall."

Lia kissed his forehead and hummed a sweet soothing melody, watching over Leo as he drifts off into sleep.

Leo woke up to a strange ease in his body, his fear of the aunt still exist but he have came to terms with it. The day moved on with a great breakfast as he went to school. He trudged his feet, making his way slowly to the school gate. It's true that he have accepted the passing of his parents, but he couldn't bear the piercing looks of sympathy the school will give him.

When he finally made his way to the class, his classmates merely gave him a glance, and carried on with their conversation. Lesson started and no one came up to him. "Hah!", he chuckled to himself. Of course, no one cares, what was he hoping for in the first place anyway? It's not like he had any presence in the class anyway, he was merely there.

Even though it didn't come as a surprise to Leo, it brought his mood down. He had hoped that at least some kindness will be showered upon him, but who was he kidding. The day ended with no events and he walked home all alone again. Even though so much has happened, his mind mostly remained blank on the trip home as he wasn't sure what he needed to think about, might as well just go with the flow.

He opened the front door and heard shouting coming from his uncle's bedroom. Thinking that it might be an emergency, he rushed towards the bedroom. As he was about to turn the doorknob, he hear his aunt's voice.

"Come on, don't be so unreasonable, he really needs us right now!"
"I will not tolerate that woman's child! He's an eyesore!"
"Please, at least let him stay until he's fully recovered. Then we can talk about it again."
"NO. NO WAY! Are you going to spend money raising him up? Why not spend just spend it on me?! He's not our responsibility. He could die in the streets for all I care!"

Leo felt vexed, his facial muscles tensed up and he just couldn't think. The words stabbed repeatedly at his already wrecked heart, he just didn't know to be angry or sad anymore. He felt unwanted, thrown away by his kin and friends. All he could do was run, run away from all this clusterfuck of bullshit. Without anywhere to go, he ran into his room and hid under the blanket. Covering his ears from the muffled quarrels, curling up into a ball and tried to block out all his senses. He kept chanting to himself, "Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!"

Tears of frustration started rolling down his agonized face, it dawned upon him that sleeping is the easiest way to numb his burning feelings. Unknowingly, he told himself over and over again to get to sleep. to stop all his feelings and just forget about everything. Slowly, he cried himself to exhaustion and fell asleep in the tear-stained bedsheets.

"Hi, we meet again, Leo."

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