Chapter 30. Write a Novel Challenge.
Time had tattered Janus, but the sweet vivid memories spun to his heart like strings of gold.
He cherished each one of the memories he had woven so lovingly, from the moment he was created, up till the fateful day when his little girl bid him an abrupt good bye. Janus suddenly felt a surge of love. He felt his body burn like a bush on fire. He stood strong, facing his opponent like a fiery dragon; there was longing, there was ecstasy but there was no room for envy, no not yet.
Neina opened her eyes to the broad day light, and her unsteady gaze locked on the scarf which swayed gently under the breeze. Instantaneously the labyrinth inside her head unravelled itself and she recalled the resemblance, “Oh yes! It belongs to Janus” she quivered as she fondly pictured her childhood companion; a mere bundle of straws with black beaded eyes and the argyle scarf around his neck.
Neina sat upright, her head spinning. She felt lost and disoriented and numerous questions stormed her mind. `Who could have sent this to me?’ she thought aloud. “And why Now, after all these years!?’ She gazed at the shimmering sun sinking into the sea far away. As it disappeared into the deep horizon, Neina felt a familiar feeling of trepidation creep up her spine – “Is this an inkling to something big?”, she thought nervously.
The warmth of the scarf gave some solace to her cold icy soul as she reminisced the good times in her life. The happy days when she lived without a single care in the world. The only thing that she ever worried about was reaching the kitchen table well in time before her tall charismatic older brother, Ryder, would gobble up the deliciously flavored chocolate filled dessert her mom always made for them.
“Ryder” she gasped, as she felt the pang in her heart of longing just to have a glimpse of him. Lately Ryder seemed to have just vanished. He had not picked up her calls nor replied to any of her texts. `Where could he possibly be?’, she thought helplessly. She reached out to her cell phone and dialed the only number she could trust.
“Hi butterfly!”, the familiar comforting voice of her friend, Charlotte, squeaked at the other end. Neina could not reciprocate her friend’s enthusiasm. Instead, she spoke only haltingly, examining the piece of jewelry dangling down from her neck. The heavily embossed glittery stones on it shaped its fine texture paving way to two tiny butterflies who seemingly held the door to a priceless treasure. Neina opened the locket and stared tenderly into the eyes of a little boy with dark curly hair and charming smile, “Did Ryder visit me when I was unwell?”
Charlotte did not have to think much, “Yes”, she said softly. She had seen Ryder storm into Neina’s hospital room, red eyed and pale. He had stroked Neina’s hair muttering repeatedly “you will be fine; all will be fine”. His soft lips pecked her forehead as a solemn goodbye while his presence disappeared as quickly as it appeared.
Charlotte did not want to burden her friend with extra worries by being garrulous describing his visit. Earlier that month, Neina had confessed to her about how she feared that her brave but vulnerable brother might be in some sort of trouble.
After a minute of complete silence, Neina spoke, her voice soft but unwavering, “Char,” she said “I worry for Ryder, I worry for Janus. The time has come for me to rise above the chaos surrounding me and take matters in my own hands”.
She sounded shaken yet firm, like a final decision made, a path selected – ready to lose herself into the unknown.
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