no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Friday, January 28, 2005

English Ext2: majorwork: 3.5

Leshala looked over at the sleeping form of the man she now realised had been her carer for the last few months. A more dedicated protector she could not have asked for. But, while her memory was returning in quick flashes, there were still too many holes in her knowledge. The most important was that she still could not recall who she was running from. She knew it was something serious, something horrible and dangerous, but she simply couldn't get a handle on what she had done. Or not done. She didn't even know if anything was her fault, or if she had just attached herself to Max for no good reason.He had been sleeping for a little over an hour now, and Leshala had watched over him just as he had so often watched over her. Or that's what she thought he would have done. It was so hard to know anything for sure, so hard to really remember the scenes from her life. It all seemed so surreal, like she was in the middle of a movie, or a dream, and would wake up any time now. She munched on another biscuit from Max's bag. Hard to believe that all of this was her life now. Sometimes she thought she remembered other times, fancied that she saw faint pictures in her mind of other people who had loved her in so many different ways. But now there was only Max. She knew there had been others as well, dusty men and women in a travelling...circus? No. Not a performing group of jesters and players, but somehing so similar...She sighed quietly. There was no point trying to force her memories to surface. They came at their own will, in their own order. There was no pattern that she could discern, so she leaned back into the hard wall and tried to let her body rest so her mind could wander freely.So many colours and images, little bits of song and smell, all leading to nothing. She had nothing left, nothing to hope for. All was bleak and dim. Even in the broad daylight of the glaring city, she could only just make out vague silhouettes of the people below her. She felt, more than saw, all of them going about their day-to-day business, so wrapped up in their own little worlds. They were right below her, but she felt like there were seas and continents between her and these oblivious little figures of black and white. Just like the monochromatic colours of the people walking in ordered pairs past her windows, the moans and groans and cluttering of those in the rooms next to hers was muted, like long lost echoes of lives once lived by people who were gone now. Everything around her was but a sad and quiet reflection of what it had once been. Happiness and fun, love and joy, these were all emotions that belonged to a different person, another little girl named Leshala who had lived in a much brighter world. But she, just like all the others, was gone now, and in her place there sat a broken shadow, trying to piece the remaining fragments of her life together. Perhaps she was Leshala. Maybe that happy little girl was still inside her somewhere, and the shadow was just a front, an act put on so that all of the outside world wouldn't suspect that she was still there. So that they wouldn't know that inside of her, there still hid a bubbling little ball of flame and light. They couldn't find out because their jealousy would cause them to put the little flame out, just like all of theirs had been put out so long ago. But the mask had been up for too long now. She wasn't sure that she could take it off anymore. It was so much a part of her that most of the time she too was convinced that it was the real her. Most of the time she also forgot the happy girl hidden underneath all the pretend, all the make-believe. It was only times like this, times when she was alone and at peace that she longed for her old self, the old Leshala that had disappeared even before she met Max and his friends. The Leshala that had fled at the first sign of trouble, when she had first heard the murmurs of change on the wind, when she had first caught the scent of old sweat and musty corners closing in on her.The back of her head touched the wall and her eyes closed, the insides of her eyelids covered in pictures of another life, playing like an old movie reel. Clicking away, Leshala remembered the frames of another life.

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