Soul Searching (Part 1)
After what seemed like forever, my face numb, my eyes red and puffy and empty of tears, I was finally able to fall asleep. My dreams of that evening were of a childhood that I had forgotten. Memories of a time that I had buried, deep within my subconscious came flooding back to me wave after wave.
I tormented poor old Orlaan the gardener regularly. Often yelling at him to fix the garden, even though there was nothing wrong with it. Father would yell at him for neglecting his job, that was until he found out it was me that was sabotaging the old man’s work.
If it wasn’t sabotage. It was just me being downright rude. I ridiculed him non-stop, belittled him for being old. He knew he couldn’t do anything about it, and this just made me bolder.
It wasn’t just him, it was everyone. I would lash out at my father almost every chance I would get. Complaining that I had no independence, “Why have Shadows if you won’t use them!” I demanded once.
“You need to earn your independence Leyva.” I remembered father saying. Those words just incensed me, I screamed and told father to get out of my sight.
Imagine that, the future Xaabosian Emperor being told by a petulant teenage brat to go away!
Besides my brother Jett, Nakaia was the only one in my same age bracket. She was older than me by many years, but she was still considered a teenager. I was forever teasing Nakaia, who at this point was just a member of the royal house. She was still growing in to her voice, and I revelled in calling her a seagull, or a banshee.
I liked to mock and tease her, because every now and then she would fight back. Not afraid to go toe to toe with a Xaabosian princess.
I recall Danica, one of grandfathers servants trying to break us up when we were getting a little too rough with each other.
I was provoking Nakaia when Danica swooped in and laid a hand on me, trying to pull me aside and break up what was probably going to be a brawl. I turned around and snapped at her.
“How dare you touch a princess! I’ll have you whipped!” I remembered saying. Father refused, he was always weak I used to always think back then, so I went to grandfather, the Emperor, and he obliged my wishes.
My thoughts shifted to my mother. She was the one thing that kept me centred. One word from her, a single hug, and I would forget all the darkness that I had inside me. And I had a lot of darkness.
Father wore the brunt of it. I don’t know why, he was just an easy target. He’d learnt early on to avoid me. Which just made it worse when I finally bumped in to the him.
There was one time when I caused poor Nakaia to cry. I shuddered in my sleep when I recalled the memory.
In a rare moment where we weren’t attempting to claw out each others eyeballs, Nakaia and I had slipped out at night to watch the stars. It was beautiful, seeing all those stars within the cloudless sky.
We lay there quietly for a long time. Just pointing out anything of interest as it passed our field of vision. Content to just be in each others company.
“Look!” Nakaia called out excitedly, “It’s Seimia, my homeworld!”
I don’t know why I did it. We were having such a good time. I turned to face her, with a smirk on my face, “How does it feel to be completely alone in the galaxy, with no one to love you?”
No fighting, no words. She just got up and ran away. I could hear her terrible screeching cries, but the raw emotion that came with that voice shook me to the core.
I went to seek comfort from my mother. I couldn’t go to Nakaia, not after what I had just done. She hugged me tight, and told me everything would be alright.
Jett had chosen that time to sneak up behind me and give me a fright. Mother got out of the way as the two of us fought.
When Jett had, had enough of my attitude he left for his room, leaving just mother and me.
She was clutching her temples, and looked to be in considerable pain.
“Are you okay mother?” I remember asking.
“Worry not darling, it is but a headache.”
So why did I then choose that moment to launch in to my own mother? The one grounding force in my entire universe. “Why didn’t you warn me about Jett!”
“I didn’t see the harm in it.” she replied.
I was furious, why was I so furious? “I hate you!” I screamed, “I never want to see you again!“
And I stormed off to my room in a fit of rage. Those were the last words I ever spoke to my mother. She passed away that very evening.