Although the trees did not end here. There were still miles to go, only a few. The previous night was haunted by visions of failure and of capture. Of torture. Ronald awoke in a seizure of terrifying dreams. He had said he though he dreamed of the Executor, but later realized it was only his own mind frightening him. I, though, felt as if I relived my Shady's dreams, walls crumbling over each other, and chains holding my wrists until they bled. I had not felt any pain at all, but for unknown reasons my mind thought I did.
Many times I may have multiple dreams in one night, and this night was no different. After the feeling of switching bodies with the captured Lady, I had another night terror, this one more unsettling than pure horror. The man I know to be titled Timothy X. was present this time, though he looked much younger than I remembered him. I felt guilt at once when our eyes met. Such guilt that gnawed on my stomach, causing dizziness to spread across my whole body. I do not remember much, but he was followed by a small child that did not smile. Her wheat-colored hair was choppy and her skin dirty yet pale, her face an exact mirror of mine, but did not show emotion. She loved him dearly, Timothy X, as she followed him while clutching a spherical maroon ball in her arms. It echoed as it bounced off the white tiled floors, and the little girl cried. Yet Timothy did not turn to face her.
Then, he did, and they were in a little field beside the dam. Yellow dandelions grew and turned into puffs of white that they blew in the air, and they both laughed. Yet the child's laughter was not bitter and rough like sandpaper. It was as the chirping of the creatures that watched below from beds made of twigs and leaves weaved together. She was joyful, but her face became dark and colorless as the white specks that floated around their bodies, so close to one another. She stood at the edge of the stone walls that held back a thousand pounds of water and cried again, as she had when her tiny socks slipped off the tiled flooring in the petite vintage kitchen. The child did not wipe away her tears but let them drip down and mix with the bubbling, churning liquid below, and Timothy X merely looked at her from the center of the bridge. No vehicles passed by, but lights rushed by and blew over his cowlicked hair. I could still smell him, the scent of something I wished to bury my face into. So welcoming to enter his arms, so soft against my face. It almost made my head spin.
But the little girl did not run into his empty arms, filling in the space that felt so wrong to me as I watched them lock eyes. She spoke, though not in a language I understood. She spoke softly and timidly, as tears still dripped down her dotted cheeks. She spoke in code, static ringing in her voice, but this did not seem to bother Timothy. He merely nodded occasionally and giggled as if the child had told him an amusing joke. Then he came forward, and the young one lifted up two weak arms to protect her body from he, who was still a child himself. A young boy about ten years old. Timothy took me, took the child in his arms and brought her face to where his neck arched and where her head fit perfectly. He stood on the edge of the dam with her, and she began to weep once more.
My little Carrie. You are such a strong girl, I know you are. You can make it through this because I believe in you. You have to believe in yourself, too, Carrie, or it won't work. I can help you, and I promise I'll never leave.
No, no, that's not right. But he did leave, didn't he? Was that before I betrayed him? It must have been, there was no way I knew him afterwards. Where did I know him? It was in a small building, wasn't it? It was a place where we would purchase food with slips of paper and laugh as we ran down the narrow spaces between shelves and shelves and delicious things. We would sometimes get short bars wrapped up and tear them open outside at a place beside water. A public place, because there may have been families that rested there, though we kept our own corner of it private. In the woods, beside a stream that was blocked up with twigs and stones to create a little pond that grew over time. Our hands would dig beneath the soil to find creatures that ate the dirt like we had eaten the soil-colored bars. I had tasted the soil one day, and we laughed because it was not anything similar to the melting bars.
Why did I suddenly remember all this, anyway? Why have I not kept these memories stored in my mind since the day this event took place? I have only known his name and that it means I am a Child of my Father, as well as that his name once kept me aware that love did exist, although I did not know it back then.
We should check our pond, don't you think, Carebear? Some fishies might have come to live there. Wouldn't that be so cool?
Carebear. I cannot cry, because he would hate me when I did. He would call me a baby and I would not stop. He would shout and I would only sob louder because his words stung like a whip on my chest. Then he would rub my wrinkled forehead and call me his baby, tell me I would be all right, Carebear. Cuts and bruises will always heal.
Maybe I will have some money left so we can each get a chocolate bar. How about it, Carebear? Wanna leave and go have some fun? We can go out to a movie if that's what you'd like. Or we can just go home.
She stopped crying now, but still did not return the embrace he still trapped her inside. It was so different from a cage, so lovely to be trapped inside. The smell of cookies instead of rotting flesh. The feel of clean cotton instead of rusty metal and cement. Why could this child not love him? Why did she release him and step back so that he was in front of her face? My Timothy, damn that child to hell that she then flung her arms around his shoulders! Damn that he had welcomed her into him and only thought of what fun a movie would be! Damn that she had looked at him when they were apart and said the one thing I did not ever wish to remember with words I could finally understand.
But he was so confused. I can do nothing now for him. I can do nothing to change what has already been done. Who was this little innocent girl? Where was Carebear now to explain such complicated words to him? It was not her speaking, it was the Siblings. No, no! It was always her that spoke, her that decided what words to say. She had a choice, though had been only shown one. She was smart. She never there was another option that could have been chosen but had not for fear the child's own safety.
I knew I loved him, I know I now do. But was it a game to her, to this hideous beast? She had not risked her life for him, and had taken his with her own two hands. Clearly she did not care for him enough to bear what pain was in store if she had decided to safe him. WHY DID SHE NOT KNOW HOW MUCH SHE LOVED HIM?!
He did not need a bath, you monster! You killer! I hate you! You loved when he was dirty! You loved being a boy with him, you loved throwing him into the mud when it rained! "Baths are for sissies," you always said. And he would agree, and you would play with him every day from the time the sun rose to the moment it set. You know you loved him, so why didn't you show him?! Why didn't you run with him and eat candy with him and sing and watch a movie and check to see if the fish had come to live in the pond you created with him? Why couldn't you at least take his hand before you could not reach it, before the water dragged him underneath? Why did you betray me?
I can't cry. Can't cry. But I am. I hate myself because my tears cannot bring back my Mothy. I hate the world because of what evil it indifferently supports life for. And I hate that dam. I hate its cursed bridge and its water. If the world would only crush me for what I have done, I would be so thankful.
Why am I evil? Why do I only care for Ronald because he is the closest I have to Timothy X? Why did he die because of me, and yet I can't seem to make myself believe that he would still hold a grudge against me to this day? Why do I feel like he has forgiven me, and I have yet to forgive myself?
I want Ronald to replace him, but he cannot. Do I truly love my Brother, or am I only pretending?
Butterfinger is what his favorite bar was titled...These butter tears have brought back the name of it. I smile at it, but a cry twice as much.