Chapter 23 Loneliness
I pushed open the door and walked into the living room. It was pitch-black inside, and dead silent. A familiar feeling came over me, but I couldn’t contemplate what the feeling was as I stretched my hand to turn on the large chandelier in the living room. Everything became bright. At that moment, my first realization was that Daddy really hadn’t returned!
After today, I knew so many things. For a moment, it gave me an extremely tired feeling. Hence, I didn’t stay in the living room. Dragging my weary body and soul, I walked up the stairs and decided to get a good rest. I went to my own room and took out a pair of pajamas as I headed into the bathroom. Some people said that water possessed the most spirituality, therefore placing my body into the water would be the best way to rest.
When I lay in the water, I thought I would feel extremely comfortable, almost like I would’ve in the past, but it was different today. The sound of the water flowing on my skin was so clear that I was unable to relax and get a good rest. And so, I could only wash myself and got out of the water. The moment I stood before the mirror, the two circles on my left arm flashed a brilliant radiance. I put on my pajamas and helplessly walked out of the bathroom. What should I do now? I pondered as I laid on the bed. Sleep? However, Daddy hadn’t returned and I felt very worried. This way, I absolutely couldn’t fall asleep. Nevermind. I’ll just wander around upstairs, or go downstairs and sit in the living room. Maybe Daddy will be back later, so it wouldn’t be too late if I sleep when he returns. I made up my mind; I then wore the white cloak that was placed on my bed this morning and headed out of the room. Everything in the ancient castle was eerily silent as the soft sounds of my footsteps resounded continually in the living room.
I went around the winding corridor on the second floor, and slowly walked step-by-step past each room and door. Yet, I had no urge to push open the door to head into the room. I simply allowed them to pass by me. Maybe I was scared, because each door was connected to another world. The moment you opened it, you would have no choice but to face every possibility, whether it’s good or bad, whether it was familiar or not, while the thing I feared the most was——loneliness.
And when I stepped into the living just now, the feeling that washed over me was loneliness. The loneliness which I hadn’t felt for two years. Today, I suddenly felt the sentiment of being by myself again. As I was thinking, I found myself at the door of the room that belonged to my parents in the past. A layer of thick cobwebs was on the door, but it still gave me a sense of familiarity. Although it wasn’t locked, I couldn’t muster courage to open it. In my mind, I recalled distinctly everything inside the room. Everything was the same as it used to be; a bed, two tables and a few chairs. All these things must be covered by dust. However, I was still afraid of seeing this shocking feeling with my own eyes. Therefore, I averted and dashed downstairs. This was escaping!
After I went downstairs, I went to the kitchen to make a cup of red tea, and sat down on the sofa in the living room. The feeling of tasting tea alone would never be better than with two people drinking it together. I took a sip of the tea and my casual sight suddenly stopped on a low cabinet beside the sofa. I’m not quite sure how many years this low cabinet has been placed here. I only knew that a checkerboard and some pieces were placed on top of the low cabinet a very long time ago. They were the battlefield used for me and my daddy in the past to compete with each other when we were bored, while the daddy now would put some newspapers on top of the low cabinet. Yet, nothing is on the low cabinet now. I don’t know if the cabinet is feeling lonely and is afraid of loneliness like me.
I’m being so weird today. When do I feel lonely with everything that I see. The me in the past would never pay attention to these things. In the past, I would return to my room to do homework after I came home from school, and eat dinner with daddy when it was dinner time. After dinner, I would help daddy wash the dishes and wipe the tables. After everything was done, I would sit here with daddy, and enjoy tea and chat with him, or I might read the newspaper. However, why is it just me alone today? Why isn’t daddy back?
I moved my eyes away, refusing to look at that cabinet which seems to make people feel lonely. However, I then accidentally saw the corner of the wall opposite me. That was the place that I was the most familiar of, because I stayed there for one thousand days, and one thousand nights.
I remember the time when my parents just passed away, I was alone. Me, who never went outside, felt even more afraid of leaving the castle. I was afraid of everything outside that door, regardless of whether it was harmful or not. Plus, I didn’t know anyone at that time, therefore I would have no place to go even if I went out of the door. Thus, I felt afraid and curled up in that corner. Because only when my back leaned upon that icy cold wall, did I feel like I had something to depend on. That icy feeling was still so clear, once I tried to recall it. That corner seemed to be summoning me. As I kept staring at it, the urge to curl up in that corner grew stronger. I took a sip of my tea and calmed myself. However, I still stood up and walked to that corner.
I hugged my knees, curled up, and leaned against the corner as I lay down. Closing my eyes quietly, my back felt the coldness which came from the wall. This must be the temperature of loneliness -The temperature was as cold as the icy snow!
Now I felt it distinctly again; loneliness was a very weird feeling.
When you couldn’t hear a sound from the surrounding, the thing you felt was loneliness.
When there were noises around you, but the noises had nothing to do with you, the thing you felt was also loneliness.
Anyway, I really don’t like this feeling.
Daddy! Why aren’t you back? Why did you leave me here by myself, so alone and afraid?
As I lay there, I asked myself these questions in my heart again and again, but none of the voices could answer my questions. I could only lay down quietly at the corner of the wall as I waited for someone to answer, for daddy to return, for someone to pull me up from the cold corner and for someone to drive away the loneliness and fear from my life. But would someone really do it? Would someone really know that there’s me, a pitiful person, who was waiting?
No, never. Since the past, a long time ago until now, I was still lying here. Does that mean the icy cold corner is the place I should be at?
No, no way. Mommy said, “You are still too young. There will be happy times in the future, therefore you just have to wait silently for the arrival of that day.”
Mommy, did you hear? I am waiting. I have always been waiting. Because I promised you, therefore I will keep my promise. I will keep waiting until my happiness arrives.
However my body is so cold now, really, very cold, while my surroundings are so quiet. There is no one and no sound.
My consciousness gradually became blurry. I don’t know how much time has passed, or whether I’m awake or asleep. Everything seems to have stopped, as I just don’t feel anything anymore.