Chapter 20:

Chapter 17. Memoriam ante vos

Another Story [Hiatus]

When I asked to enter his office, he didn't answer. I knew he might be busy or probably didn't care at all. But anyhow, I tried knocking again. No answer. I tried knocking again. And again. Until he screamed, "What!", from the room. He probably wasn't angry before but now he was.Bookmark here

"I am home. I graduated today if you don't remember," I told him from the hallway.Bookmark here

I heard his steps making their way to the door. I stepped back to make space for when he opened the door. He probably didn't want to see my face up close. After a while of walking, his footsteps stopped just right around the area of the door and he opened it. There he was. After 3 years of being in the school of mana, I finally got to see my father. I never visited him before; I didn't have any reason to. Nor did he have any reason to visit me. I was a mere burden for him.

"You're back now, I see." he started. He still seemed to have the gaze of malevolence when looking at me. Probably inspecting me or wondering why I am still alive. I am the person who took things away from him, after all. I couldn't blame him. This is how things were ever since. "You can go now. I have stuff to do."

As he shooed me away, I couldn’t help but go to my room. Although it was my first time in that room for three years, I did not have the emotional capacity to admire the nostalgic feeling. I tried not to weep about the lack of care father showed. I was already used to this before, but I think I forgot how it really felt to be unloved by your parent after three years of being away. I think I drowned myself in the joy and friendships. It seems that I forgot the reality of what my family was truly about. I never even told anyone at school about this environment; this part of me. I seem to have succeeded in hiding it all. No one also noticed that I stayed home during the end of the weeks. I guess people tended to neglect other people's lives when busy with their own. I knew that I might not be speaking from a professional point of view, but I knew how it felt to be neglected. How it felt to be blamed for the death of your own mother. How it felt to have been treated like a burden. It seemed that people tend to forget that others have a life as well. And that these people's lives are not all equally joyful and colorful as yours. I did not wish this life on others, but I just wanted them to understand how it felt to have lived this way.

In the end, I couldn’t stop my emotions from flowing from my eyes. I cried on my bed for many ticks. I did not exactly count how much, but I could only imagine that it felt like an eternity. I started thinking about whether this kind of life is actually worth living. What my achievements actually meant or whether I truly deserved to be alive at all. The latter was probably just an afterthought. But I felt somewhat depressed. I did want to die at that point. Because my life didn't have anything. I did have a few friends, indeed, but it only feels like they do not know who I truly am. They only knew a fake version of me. It must've been my fault for not telling them, though. I just wanted to seek out happiness. I did not know, at the time, how to achieve such a thing. It only occurred to me that to achieve it, I had to end myself. Happiness could only be there when sadness is gone. At the time, I felt I was very stupid. I laid down on my bed, not knowing what to do with my life. I never had a goal, now that I think about it. I never had something to be proud of. Yes, I earned some money through missions. But I never felt the necessity to spend it for myself or others. It felt like that money is nothing but a token of me risking my life. Value in exchange for having risked my life. My worth.

In the end, I fell asleep with tears in my eyes. Still dressed in my uniform. Still sweaty from the hot day. And still bleeding from when I was hurting myself. It wasn't the first time. No one cared much about the scars. Although, people probably just were bummed out that a woman like me had scars because then it would be harder for me to get married. I did not know what to do at this point in my life.

I woke up in the middle of the night. Dressed myself up for going outside. I knew I couldn’t stay in this house forever. I knew I did not have any plans. Maybe I would end up dead at the end of this journey or probably end up here again. The latter is not much different from the first. I would rather have been dead than returned. I did not want to be a burden anymore. Therefore, when I actually left, I went out through my window and jumped a good two floors. Good thing I stopped the force of impact by strengthening my body. Although I didn't really care if I did end up getting hurt. It just bothered me that people would have to go out of their way to help me. I knew that if I left this house, no one would come for me. My father would not look for me. Despite the fact that I was the only one who was responsible for carrying the family name, he seemed to have given up the thought of making the family whole again. He must've given up on it due to me having caused the death of my mother; me having taken his happiness away. It was probably better if I left him, he'd probably have been able to remarry because he always said I resembled my mother, and that's why he didn't want to look at me for too long.

I went out walking for a while. It was dawn when I realized where I was. It was another town near Dirya. A town called Orma. A farmer town that did not necessarily have a good or bad reputation. When I arrived, everyone looked at me weirdly. They noticed my cape, a noble's cape. Perhaps they were thinking that I was mugged or something, probably rationalizing why I was walking like a poor man. Once again, I did not feel welcome. I was dizzy at the time, so I tried setting up camp at a nearby forest. It was at this moment I realized how pathetic I was. Why did I leave home?, I kept asking myself. But yet, what's done is done. And by now father must've realized that I am gone. We shall see what happens next.

I sat there with my fire; I bought a piece of meat from a villager, which I was roasting. The villager was skeptical at first, but when I offered more money than necessary, he accepted my offer. After it was done cooking, that piece of meat was probably the most disgusting thing I ever ate. It was just plain and bland. Probably burnt as well. It is still the first day and I knew in order to survive, I needed a place. I found a vacant house earlier while walking through the town asking for whether anyone had any food for sale. The house wasn't that big nor special. But it seemed to be more than enough for me. I would check it out later.

Before that, I was there thinking about how long it would take them to find me. I hoped people would come and find me. But I stood there for more than half a day, it is almost sunset and there seemed to be no one coming. I didn't hear of any messenger coming to the town and asking for my name, as well. It was only the day after that I found out that my dad killed himself. That camp was very difficult to sleep in. Bugs and other insects would try to bite me. Sometimes I felt like they were trying to feed on me.

The next day I met a friendly villager that seemed to own the place I was talking about. He said he'd sell it to me without all the paperwork. But then I had to pay a higher price than what was originally advertised. When I told him my name, I accidentally blurted out my last name as well. He seemed to have heard that a noble of the same name committed suicide the night before. A traveling merchant brought the news. I knew that this was my father; no one else in Dirya had the same last name as I and my father did.

After I entered the small log cabin I bought, I collapsed on the wooden bed in one of the two bedrooms. It was a bed without any cushion or pillows, but it seemed to have been the most comfortable thing I have ever laid on that day. I finally fell asleep again. Although this time, I slept comfortably. Knowing that my father killed himself was still bugging me, though. Why did he do that? I thought I gave him his space. I thought I was the burden and now that I am gone, he could do whatever he wants. It still bugs me to this day, why he did that. After some time of staying in Orma, I gained the respect of the villagers by helping them out with farming. During the time of my stay, I felt that I got a little bit happier. The simplicity of life in such a small town did detoxify what had corrupted my heart before. This was when I started reflecting on my life and what I wanted. Although I did not have a clear plan, I still felt somewhat better now that I had somewhere I belong. One day, while picking some mushrooms in the forest nearby, I stumbled upon a small woven basket. When I came closer to the basket I noticed the small babe inside of it. I did not hesitate to bring the baby back to Orma and find out if someone lost their child. The child was very cute and probably the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

After asking around, it seemed that there was indeed a family that abandoned their child in a forest as an offering for better health. It seemed that the mother of the child was suffering from a chronic illness that caused her to have multiple miscarriages so far. It was a ritual at the time that to have more children, the first live baby would need to be sacrificed to a forest far away. This was because they thought that the first baby was the one who had eaten all the life force of the precious babies. It was a weird ritual and the other villagers knew this. But it seemed that they only wept for the babe from afar. They seemed to also know the birth date of the child. The other villagers did not stop me from taking you in. I called you Aura, after the god of the same name. The god of enlightenment. This was because I believed that you would enlighten my life, and I wasn't wrong after all. Raising you brought to me a lot of wisdom and self-awareness. I found my true value. You also brought me a goal in life; to give you a good future. The future that would have been taken from you by your parents. I kind of felt that we were somewhat the same. We weren't loved. We were blamed for things we do not know. I decided I would give you a second chance in life and also to teach me how to live a second life.

That was when I also decided that I was not May Tiyana and would be May of Orma from that moment. A new me was reincarnated.

The rest of the story, you probably already know. You always had a good memory.

The cake is long eaten, and the nearby candles are almost out. It has gotten late already. The only thing that I can feel is her presence in front of me. A single drop of tear almost having dried on her cheek. The tear reflects the candlelight gently towards me. A sight I have never seen before. I cannot be more than happy to be this person's child.

"It's late now. I think we should go to sleep." she finally points out. Her voice sounds tired. Bookmark here

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