Chapter II

Part I

Time changes all of us and as time goes by, ticking in endless seconds away, we may never know what we had or what we lost in our life, till we sit down and listen to it's eternal whispers.

I was never someone to be called special or out of the ordinary, a simple youth in his late teens soon to become a man as my eighteenth birthday approached. Most people would pass me by and never take a look at me or when they did, they always had this expression of wonder and annoyance in their faces saying `where of all places did he come from, he wasn't there a second ago or was he' and then walk away forgetting that the whole incident of my existence took place in their lives. In school it was always the same as most people ignored me, sometimes I believe if my name wasn't in the class list, the teachers wouldn't even take notice of me as one of their pupils. Of all the people in the school I had only one friend and sometimes I believe he became my friend out of pity for me, as no one else seemed to take notice of myself. Even my parents seemed surprised some days to find out that they had a son, and when, it was always to tell me that they were going again in one of their business trips and I should take good care of the house or that money was left for me on the kitchen table. I didn't mind so much about it as I lived my life and they lived theirs, I had gotten used to be alone, to be ignored, to be invisible from other peoples eyes. Some would say that I was cursed but to me it was a blessing. As I grew older I had always time to figure out who I was and what I wanted, without being pestered by friends, family and other people who knew always better than I did and never gave one the space he needed to make his own decisions and his own mistakes, the moments in privacy to discover what one did and why it backfired and messed up his life. My social life was for someone like me nonexistent, no parties at a friends house, no fooling around in the pool and talking about girls in our schools, no messing around and doing stupid things. Of course I did some pretty stupid things but I did them alone, it was a curse I mostly appreciated, it was a silence I welcomed and sometimes even enjoyed.

Although I enjoyed the solitary life, I also enjoyed when my friend Alex came by my house, usually when my parents where away and we would sit together for hours and talk about all the stupid things one does in his life, but also about matters that seem gigantic in a teens mind, if aliens existed in our universe, if god is really a man or after seeing the film Dogma may he be a woman or sometimes most important of all if god really existed out there and looked upon our doings. Sometimes I believed that if it was like that, you could say that god was the greatest voyeur that ever existed. As I grew older the meaning `God' lost it's sense on me as no one could create a universe and as I once read on Arthur C. Clark's book `The fountains of paradise', if a being mighty enough to create a universe existed, then where was the being who created this being that created us, it's a common paradox like the question `did the egg come first and after the chicken or was it the other way round?'

Never the less we loved talking about those great philosophical subjects, that most of the kids in our age thought as nonsense or simply ignored them and rather liked to discuss about this great cheerleader and that stupid guy and what some of them would do if they ever had the chance to do it, but never had the courage. It never disturbed me that I didn't have a girlfriend and never had my first kiss in the back seat of a shabby car, actually I was pretty comfortable with my sexuality and simply discarded the hints and points that Alex would sometimes to do with a laugh and a nod of my head.

Though as high school neared it's end and me and Alex would probably follow our separate ways I knew that some things were about to change in my life. First my eighteenth birthday was next week and strange dreams, like ghosts of an age gone by, echoes from the distant past visited me while I was sleeping. At first I refused to take notice of them as they were only dreams, sometimes scary but nothing like a nightmare where you would wake up in the middle of the night panting and drenched in sweat with your bed covers thrown down on the floor. But as my birthday approached, the dreams had increased on intensity and soon I was visited by those eerie moments, while I was awake in a form like daydreaming. I was awake and took notice of everything but it seemed I was somewhere far away and could see and hear everything behind a curtain of mist. It worried me a little but I dismissed it again as something unimportant, deep inside me I believed that it would go away as abruptly as it started. How wrong was I to think that it would simply vanish again in the endless depths of my brain, to that place where memories and emotions lie well hidden. Soon enough, three days before my birthday I had one of the most terrifying nightmares in my life, I awoke not only drenched in sweat but actually swimming in it, my bedspreads were all over the place and I had even managed to knock down my reading lamp on the commode to my right side. I was still trying to catch my breath, when I first took notice of the blood around me, I wasn't soaking only on sweat but also on blood. It seemed that when I knocked down the lamp I had managed to cut my self in several places of my body and arms and now they were bleeding. I almost lost it there and then, taking another deep breath I got up and went to the bathroom to clear the wounds and see if they were as serious as the looked like. Half ways there I almost fainted as a jolt of pain shot through my right ankle, holding the rail I awaited for a few minutes before I humped clumsily inside the bathroom and examined myself in front of the mirror. Soaking a small cloth I started washing the wounds and clearing the blood away from them, about half an hour later most of them had been discarded as very thin and shallow cuts but two cuts one on my right hand just above the elbow and one bellow it were pretty deep and were still bleeding. I took two long pieces of bandage and tied them; as good as I could, over the wounds after I used half a bottle of iodine to disinfect them. When I finished I took a look at my ankle but no visible signs were there to show me why it had hurt so much before, not even a bruise mark, feeling it with my hand didn't cause any more pain so I simply shook my shoulders and went downstairs in the kitchen to make me a big mug of coffee and try to relax. The strangest thing of all is that I couldn't remember nothing from my nightmare, not even bits and pieces as it sometimes happens, just enough to sent shivers down your spine and make your hairs stand up, although deep inside you know there is no reason for it. I was glad that my parents were away, they would come the day after tomorrow and if they had been here, probably would have panicked and rushed me to the hospital, still I made myself a mental notice to see the wounds in the morning before I went to school and if they were still bleeding I would go to the doctor and let him have a look at them. With a hot steaming mug of coffee I went into the living room and turned the television on, trying to find something to distract me, half an hour later I was snoring on the couch.

The next morning I woke up feeling like I had slept on a stone bed, most of my muscles were aching and one of the bandages had managed to get itself undone and had fallen on the carpet. Luckily the bleeding had stopped and no bloodstains were on the couch, otherwise my mother would have had a fit about it, as if the couch was more important then me. Going upstairs I tried to clean my room as good as I could and then went off to have a nice hot shower to wake up and ease the strain on my body. Twenty minutes later the doorbell rang and I assume I would have made a great comic figure as I tried to rush down the stairs while pulling up my trousers with one hand and buttoning my shirt with the other, while shouting at the same time that I was coming, just wait a second. It was Alex and he greeted me with one of his billion watt smiles as I opened the door. He took notice of my rough appearance and saw the lower cut on my hand, and worry crossed his face replacing the smile.

`What happened to you Adrian, you look as if you hadn't slept all night and what happened to your hand?' he said as he walked inside the hall.

`Nothing to worry about Alex, I just had a nightmare last night and I knocked the lamp down while I was sleeping, it seems that a shard cut me. It looks much worse than it feels.' I replied feeling relieved that I had cleared the mess in my room before. If he had seen the bloodstains and the mess there this morning he would have panicked and probably drug me to the hospital.

`Are you sure you feel all right, because you don't look like it at all buddy' he answered but his voice didn't sound as concerned as it was before.

`Yes, I'm fine and I know I look much worse than I'm really am, so don't worry about it. Let me get my bug and then we're off to school.' I said as I rushed upstairs and grabbed my rucksack.

Minutes later we were on our way to school, with music from the chemical brothers streaming from the boxes in the back. Sometimes I believe that Alex could open a club in his car and sell entrance for it, so loud it was. Most of the day went by uneventful, the usual boring lectures and warnings about the coming exams added to them. As usual most people ignored me, but as luck had it, soon it would change. During the last period, weariness overtook me and I fell asleep. The nightmare came back with a vengeance, this time it felt so real that for a second I thought it was real. With a wail so full of anguish and fear I jolted out of my chair and fell on the floor, not realising that everyone in the lecture room was looking at me, some of them with an expression of fear other with one of mirth and some with concern. The teacher rushed towards me and asked me if everything was in order with me, concern and fear as well a note of annoyance not easily overheard for being interrupted were mixed in her voice. I just laid there and tried to gather my thoughts together, a few deep breaths and only then I opened my eyes, though stupid I thought that those horrible images from before would somehow become reality and I wouldn't find myself in the boundaries of my class. People were staring at me and then it hit me, I was being watched by the others, they had taken notice of me and I was at that moment the centre of their attention, it almost send shivers down my spine. A hand on my shoulders scared me though half to death and I couldn't restrain a yelp of fear and surprise escaping my lips.

`Are you feeling all right Mr. Sandres?' The teacher asked me, concern clearly heard now in her voice. I think this was the fifth time she asked me that question before it registered in my mind that someone was speaking to me.

`Yes, I think that I'm ok now' I answered back at her, though still shacking inside.

`Are you sure, would you like to go outside and have some fresh air perhaps that would help you, or if you're not feeling that well, you could always go home, as we only have about half an hour still today.' Though this time the concern in her voice wasn't as apparent as before, I could still feel that she was still worried.

`Perhaps I should go home, if you don't really mind about it Mrs. Adams?' Although honest enough home was the one place I didn't want to go now.

`It's fine Mr. Sandres, I can give you the notes tomorrow, of what you skipped today.' She said and walked again towards the teacher's desk in the front of the room where she picked up a notice and wrote something on it.

As I was about to leave the class, she gave me the note telling that it was a safety precaution for anyone who may challenge my words about the reason I wasn't at school. I thanked and left the room, not taking notice to the whispering behind my back, but the teacher did and ordered silence. A slight smile formed on my lips as the teacher made some harsh remarks about some people in the class, which had pretended not to hear his wish for silence. That should teach them for whispering behind my back. I never went home, but waited outside school for Alex to finish with his class, so we could drive back to my place together. A constable came by and asked what I was doing there but after showing him the note from Mrs. Adams he left without a word, probably discarding my haunted look as he went his ways. About forty-five minutes later Alex walked by and he almost scared me for the third time this day, as I hadn't noticed him.

`Relax Adrian, what's wrong with you look like you have seen a ghost.' He jokingly said as he sat next to me, throwing his rucksack in front of him beside his legs.

`I heard you gave everyone in your class today a fright to remember, with your wails from the horror depths.' And now he looked at me, trying to figure out, what was going inside me.

`Yeah, I did but believe me I never had the intention doing it, it just happened Lexi.' And now I took a look at him before I continued.

`How did you find out?' I asked him a bit annoyed about other people talking about me.

`The whole school knows by now Ad, some shock it was for them to finally discover that you exist' and a thin smile played on his lips, waiting for my reaction to what he had just said.

Though I tried to stay annoyed I couldn't help it and soon I started laughing with myself and about what the school rumours, probably will say about me. The words lunatic and crazy popped several times in my own stream of thoughts. Some minutes later, after me and Alex had calmed down and found our composure again, we started walking towards the parking space.

`So do you want to talk about it now or later.' He said as he unlocked the car and we sat in.

`I would rather talk about it later, do you have to go at your place after you dropped me off, or would you mind staying for a while at mine?' I really didn't want to stay alone in my house and the strangest thing of all is that I couldn't figure out why. I had some nightmares, I almost bled to death, at that I gave my self a mental slap as I didn't have anything more then two cuts and minutes ago I humiliated myself in front of the class with my yelps. Nothing unexpected for a teenager but I was having my birthday tomorrow. My eighteenth birthday and it was kind of bizarre for me, that all these things happened now, and not all the years before.

`Planet earth calling to Adrian, hello this is planet earth...' Alex was saying beside me.

`What...?' I said harsher than I intended to.

`Ad, I've been talking to you for the past five minutes, it was scary man, you just sat there and looked outside the window, but you weren't here.'

`Sorry Lexi, I was just thinking and I kind lost myself.' I apologized to him, smiling at the same time to take the harshness from my voice.

`I'll stay at your place tonight and I don't want to hear a word about it, ok Ad!' emphasizing the `don't ` as he said it.

I was quite happy with that, so I asked him if he would like to stop by the local video store, so that we could rent some films for the night. Fifteen minutes later we were at the store. I was being damn silly as I didn't even dare to go near the horror films aisle, we picked up some comedies and then we drove off again to my place.

Well, this is it for now.By the way I know I made a mess with the chapters here in Nifty but I will try to correct them and then update them as soon as I can, probably on the same day that the eternity homepage goes online. :)

I would appreciate all kinds of comments either good or bad, this story is pure fiction for all of you out there, but some parts are taken from my life and the life of my friends.

Now to something else each chapter will be splitt in three pieces that makes about 15 pages in word for a chapter. It takes time to revise the whole work, so instead of letting you wait for weeks I'll try to publish about two parts a week, three if your lucky :)

Thank you for reading this, and now a small legal notice : The fountains of Paradise is a new book from Arthur C. Clark and the tittle is sole property of the author and the publishing company. Dogma is a film most of you would know it, those who don't you should see it!

Bye for now,


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