Chapter 1:


Convergence. Eli and Ama.

When I arrived at their home, disoriented and battered, I made a conscious choice to adopt the persona of a lost boy with amnesia. It may have been a lie... or the truth, nevertheless, I think it was a necessary act, one that ensured my safety and well-being in this unfamiliar world.

There were instances when the local authorities and social welfare institutions were involved, hoping to find the idea of my origin, or at the very least.. my biological family. But despite their efforts, no information emerged. It was as if I had been plucked from the fabric of time, a lone soul with no ties to anyone or anywhere.

The family, driven by genuine concern, welcomed me without hesitation. In their eyes, I was a fragile being in need of protection. They dedicated themselves to my care, treating me as their own.

A year later, In a moment of vulnerability, I suggested the idea of being placed with a foster family, believing it would alleviate the burden I felt, sparing Amaya's family from the responsibility of caring for a stranger. However, to my surprise, they adamantly insisted on becoming my guardians. The irony of it all was not lost on me; once a knight general sworn to protect others, I now found myself under the wing of a compassionate family who only sought my well-being.

Life has a peculiar way of weaving intricate patterns, revealing unexpected connections. But despite the fragments of my forgotten past, I cling to the sole thread that remains: my name, Elias.


"Eli! Can you call Ama in her room?"

"...let her know that her mother needs help in the kitchen," Ms. Ueda relies on me for things like this.

Sometimes, in our house, my old habits as a seasoned general would unexpectedly resurface out of the blue, permeating every aspect of my life as an eleven-year-old. Even in the tender years of my adolescence, the echoes of discipline, order, and precision reverberated within me, weaving their threads into the fabric of my existence. It's as if commanding Amaya to wash the dishes, tidy up the laundry, or engage in our morning exercises became an unspoken symphony that played out in the house. And Amaya's response, a blend of obedience and mischievousness, often drove me to assume a firmer stance. You see, her discreet acts of leaving stains on the floor, hiding during study sessions, or creating a chaotic pile of books in my room compelled me to assert the vigilance I've grown accustomed to.

But sometimes, the startled expression on Amaya's face when she catches me staring at her after she did something clumsy, complete with a salute like a soldier from this world, is quite amusing. It's not something she does intentionally, you can tell by how she immediately dashes off with a flushed face, just two seconds after her body freezes in surprise.

Oddly enough, Amaya's parents didn't seem bothered by it. Their faces radiated genuine support and a shared belief that the bond between Amaya and me was a natural fit. In fact, their laughter would occasionally fill the air, like a joyous melody that danced along with our lively interactions.

I understood why. From the very beginning, I sensed that her struggles with socializing had been one of their worries. But witnessing her newfound energy when we were together brought them a sense of delight and contentment.

I also understood that she, too, was striving to her utmost. Within the walls of Amaya's home, I chanced upon fleeting moments of vulnerability, like her practiced greetings before the mirror, the careful selection of her garments, and the composition of imaginary conversations that unfolded like ethereal symphonies. It was during these glimpses that I recognized the depth of earnestness that resided within her heart.

Though, 2 years later, she still sought shelter behind my presence when confronted with groups of children her age. It became evident that she still had a path of growth ahead. Sometimes, this dependency act of hers, caused me to forget the reality that I, too, am merely a twelve-year-old boy.

Nevertheless, it was never my intention to be Amaya's sole bastion of strength.


"Eli? Eli!" Ama's voice echoed faintly, reaching my ears. I could sense the urgency in her tone. Slowly, I became aware of my surrounding, looks like she just entered my room. I froze in a sitting position with my back leaning against the wall. My hands clung to my knees tightly, the coldness seeping into my skin.

"Rats... I underestimated the resilience of this young body," I muttered to myself. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't fully shed the ingrained habits of a former general.

"Dad!" Amaya's voice broke through my contemplation as she went downstair.


A Hospital.

There is no magic in this world, I realized that in the first week of my arrival. Instead, there is this place called the hospital. It amazed me to learn the vast expanse of knowledge that humanity has achieved when they aren't reliant on the mystical arts. Little did I know that one day, I too would have to rely on them within these white walls.

"If you're not feeling well you should have informed us... You have no idea how worried Mom and Ama were," Father, who is also adorned with the title of a revered physician reprimanded me while his skilled hands meticulously adjusted the long pipe in my hand, a silent testament to his expertise.

Father always refers to himself and Ms. Ueda as my parents, and although it feels strange at times, moments like these bring me a warm feeling.

"I'm sorry," I mumbled, feeling a wave of guilt washing over me.

"Do not dwell on it," he reassured me.

"Father, may I inquire... why didn't you bring me to the hospital where you practice? this one seems.. cost more" I asked softly.

"C'mon, don't you wanna try more advanced facilities you couldn't find there?" he responded. His tone was light and teasing, dismissing my concerns with a wave of his hand.

It’s just how Father is, he doesn’t treat me as a mere stranger, never did. I couldn't help but feel a strong sense of indebtedness towards him, a feeling that I must repay his kindness someday.


After spending just a single day at the hospital, I was allowed to return home. Father mentioned that even the doctors were surprised by my resilience. It boosted my pride as a former general, albeit only slightly. I couldn't help but put on a smug expression like any other 14-year-old.

Upon arriving home, I noticed that every room, including my own, had been meticulously tidied up. I learned from Mother that it was Amaya who had taken care of everything while I was at the hospital. Amaya couldn't visit me because she had to go to her all-girls school nearby.

Returning home from the hospital, I realized the true warmth of this place, something I had rarely experienced in my previous life.

But also, at that very moment, I made up my mind, I need to move out of this house.

Syed Al Wasee