Ch. 7

Bright sunlight cascaded throughout the room. Birds sang and chirped nearby. Small, golden sands gleamed on a large tree and its branches, which were carved into a wall. Silence was filled with serenity, and peace was the warm bed underneath a war-torn body.

"You're awake," a voice said, but it wasn't a question. "You've been asleep for a very long time."

I slowly sat up on the bed, but every inch of my body wanted to return to its sleeping position. I had not had a bed like this in a very long time, and then I noticed that my clothes were gone. Instead, I wore smooth, pale white pajamas, and they caressed my skin, trying to erase all the harshness that it had endured. But my scars remained. What I did would never be forgotten, and maybe, it would never be forgiven. But there was no darkness here, no rain. There was just sunlight, and its warmth felt so good when it touched my skin, making me forget about those cold, dark nights filled with fear and death. Maybe, I was finally in heaven.

"You're on Leith at Scarback Monastery," the man replied as he continued to sit on the floor in a Lotus position, and then I realized that his eyes were closed. "I sensed you were awake," he replied.

"Can you read minds," I asked.

"No, but that would be a great trick." He opened his eyes, which were brown. "My name is Alvis. You are?"

I opened my mouth to answer, but it just hung open. Then, I closed it fast. What do I tell him? My real name had not been said for a very long time. Should I say that I was called, Princess, a revolting word created by my father and his men? They never called me that after that night in the arena. I made sure of it, and I didn't know what to say. Who was I? What was my name?

"Maybe, you don't know," Alvis said. "The raving man did not know."

"The raving man," I asked.

"The one with the bloody knife. The one that nearly killed you. The one that slaughtered all those men back at the factory," and I flinched at that. "So, you do remember that, but you do not remember your name?"

"I have had many names," I finally said.

"But none of them were you?"

"No. Not anymore," I replied.

"Well, a name does not define who we are. It defines who we want to be. Who do you want to be?"

"A good man," I said, and I fell quiet for a long moment. "The raving man is called Draon."

"Well, at least, we have his name, and I will let the Killjoy know. But this man does not remember anything. Why is that?"

"I don't know," but I could tell that Alvis did not believe me. "Am I a prisoner here?"

"Should you be," Alvis asked.

"Maybe," and I turned toward the window, yearning for the sunlight to fall more upon me. It's been too long since I felt its warmth.

"You've been trapped in the dark for a long time," and I turned toward Alvis, failing to hide my surprise. "I think you've been a prisoner also for too long," and he stood up from the ground. He brushed his hands against his brown pants and then adjusted his green cape. "You are free to go unless you choose to stay here, but if you want to go, your boots are over there." He pointed toward a corner of the room, where my boots waited, and they shined with black ore. "It was nice meeting you, whoever you are," and he moved toward the door, which I had not realized was left half open until now.

"I did a terrible thing," I said, and he stopped moving. Why did I say that? Why did I feel this guilt? It was like a weight pressing against my heart. Was it because she saved me? Did I need to confess what I did, and who better to confess to than a monk that was now standing before me. "I killed someone," and my eyes met his. "My father."

"I see," Alvis replied, and then he leaned in closer, placing a hand on my shoulder. "And did your father give you all those scars on your body?" I slowly nodded. "Then, maybe that was his punishment."

"But isn't killing a sin?"

"It is," and he moved his hand away. "Unless it's justified," and I nodded in response. "Get some rest, and then let me know what you decide."

"On what," I asked.

"On staying or going?"

"I need to go," I said but more to myself. "I don't know who I am, but I don't think I will find who I want to be, if I stay here."

"Then, I will have a ship ready for you by the end of today," and he moved toward the door.

"Alvis," and he looked over his shoulder at me. "Why are you being kind to me? Is it because you're a monk?"

"No. I am being kind to you because you are a lost soul. I saw it the moment that you were brought here, and if leaving here will give you peace, then I will help you on your journey. But whatever that journey is? You will have to find it for yourself."

"I will. Thank you," and I suddenly burst into tears. "I'm sorry," and I tried to brush the tears away.

"It must have been a very long time, since anyone showed you kindness," Alvis replied.

"Yes," I said.

"Then, you are very welcomed," and he smiled. "Good journey," and he left the room.

"Good-bye," I said. "My name is…" I had no answers. I was no longer him, and that boy was long gone. The princess was dead, and so was his monster. I was nobody, just a stranger, and Alvis was right when he said that a name did not define who you are. It defined who you wanted to be, but who did I want to be? I didn't know, but one thing was for sure. I would never be my father.