The Joys of Life
Chapter 3: It's Okay
Seth arrived at her flat with Kaim, she didn't know whether to feel slightly insecure about its appearance. "Well, this would be my humble home." She cleared her throat before unlocking the door, it opened it to reveal the just as dull interior.
"Isn't it beautiful?" She said sarcastically. She guided Kaim to the living room. "Wait here. I shouldn't belong, feel free to sit down." Seth left the room and quickly went into her bedroom to gather her belongings. Kaim wandered around the living room, absorbing his surroundings, he noticed a picture on the table. He picked it up, it showed a family picture of Seth with her parents. Kaim could tell where she got her looks from, her hair was like her mother's, but her mother's was much longer and she also had exactly the same smile, that smile seemed to be a winner, everytime Seth would smile at him class, it brightened his day a little, even if he wouldn't show it himself. He examined the father, Seth had his eyes, they were very intense and they showed honesty as well as a harsh reality, which Kaim couldn't pinpoint.
Seth was packing her suitcase, going through items that she thought were inappropriate and were no use to her anymore. As she was going though her belongings, she found a familiar small blue velvet box. She opened to reveal a pendant, it had beautiful blue sapphire that matched Seth's eyes, she took it out of the box and dangled in front of her and smiled. I know you are always with me... she thought.
Kaim put down the photo, thought back to what happened at the pool. He couldn't figure out what came over him, being close to someone wasn't who he was and was very difficult for him to do, it was difficult for him to reveal his true emotions, even his eyes were able to conceal them. Why he returned the kiss that Seth gave him, he honestly couldn't answer, it was completely out of character for him. He sat down on a chair, leaned back, folded his arms and took a deep breath. His eyes glanced down to the floor. He couldn't figure out what happened these past few months. He had even offered her a place in his home, something was definatley not right with him.
He asked himself one question: Why do I feel like this?
Thinking about it was beginning to give him a headache so he tried to distract himself but it seemed Seth was about to do that for him. She walked back in, with her suitcase, which wasn't big but she had learnt that having a lot wasn't the most important thing. She took the blue velvet box and just stared at it's contents. Kaim stood up, slightly intrigued.
"What's that?" He walked towards her.
Seth looked up at him. "This? Well, not long before my parents died, my mother gave me this. It's one of my family's treasures, it's only given to the females of the family. On a girl's sixteenth birthday, the pendant his handed down to them and they are to look after it until they have a daughter, and on her sixteenth birthday she is given it. The cycle just goes on. If the parents are unable to have a girl, they are passed to other relatives with daughters so the cycle never stops, it's been in my family for hundreds of years. Currently, I'm the guardian."
Seth removed the pendant to show Kaim, when he saw it, even he was in amazement of it's brilliance.
"My mother told me things about this jewel...."
A small 5 year-old Seth was in bed ready to be tucked in by her mother. Seth stared intently at the necklace around her mother's neck.
"Momma?" She asked. Her mother looked up with a smile, putting a strand of her long blue hair behind her ear. "Yes, Seth?"
"Why do you always wear that same necklace everyday?"
Seth's mother sat on Seth's bed, she unclipped the necklace from around her neck and wrapped her arm around her daughter.
"Well, actually, it's a very special necklace with magical powers."
Seth beamed up at her mother with excitement. "Magical Powers!?"
Seth's mother giggled and started to stroked her daughter's hair, she put the pendant in Seth's hand. "You see that little blue sapphire in the middle? That's where all the magic happens."
Seth twiddled the pendant in her fingers, examining it more closely. "Really? What kind of magic?"
"Inside that blue sapphire is a guardian angel, as long as you have it with you, it will protect you where ever you go." Seth's mother looked down her daughter who was in sheer wonderment, Seth handed back to her. Seth's mother got out of the bed and fully tucked Seth in. "And one day, Seth, this will belong to you."
"Really!?!" Seth exclamed.
"Really. Now, time to go to sleep, a brand new day is coming. Goodnight Seth." She kissed Seth on the forehead. "Night Momma." Soon after, Seth fell into a deep sleep with a little smile on her face.
Back in the present...
"Maybe if she hadn't of given it to me, and she had kept it, even for that little while longer. She would be here today."
Kaim looked at Seth, who was twiddling the pendant between her fingers. "Maybe it's time you wore that."
"Huh?" Seth looked up at Kaim, he took the pendant from her hand and put it round her neck. "There." He stepped away.
Seth looked down and admired the pendant on her, she turned towards Kaim. "Thank you. I think you're right, I will wear it. In honour of my mother and father." She was about to pick up her suitcase and question that had been logded in her mind was brought to the front.
"Kaim, before we leave, may I ask you a question?"
Seth was trying to piece the right words in her head, she soon paced for a few moments around the living room.
"Earlier today, when I, well, kissed you. Why did you return it? I'm not saying that it was wrong or right, but, I wasn't expecting that."
Kaim's eyes went to the floor, trying to find an answer. "Because..." He stuttered. He was put on the spot, and he couldn't answer.
"Because?" Seth walked up to him, lowering her head to try and catch his eye.
"Because... I'm not sure. I... don't know how to answer that question."
Seth's head lowered to the floor, but then she looked back up, Kaim was expecting a face of disappointment, but, she just smiled at him. "You know what, it's okay that you don't know. To be honest, I'm not sure what happened either, but that doesn't mean that it's bad. Why don't we just see where the wind takes us, eh?"
Even when no one else could think of anything to say, Seth always had something to say, being free-spirited helped her find answers that most people couldn't. Kaim looked at Seth and simply nodded.
"Alright then. Well, I'm finished packing, let's get out of this place." She grabbed her small suitcase and exited her soon-to-be former home, Kaim followed.
Outside of the building, Seth looked left and right, pretty much clueless. "So, which way do we go from here?"
"This way." Kaim pointed right. "Okay. Let's go." Seth immediately answered. Even though Seth had no idea where she was going, she always seemed to be in front. Even though Kaim wouldn't say it, this was one of the things he admired about her. She had this sense of exploration about her, she was an adventurer at heart.
Back at School...
Sarah and Ming had searched every inch of the school for Kaim and Seth since they saw them in the pool. Sarah stopped walking, "Where could they be? We've looked everywhere." She pushed up her glasses, letting out a huge sigh.
"Well, I'm going to say they are no longer on the school grounds. Although I can't say where they have disappeared to..." They went over to their lockers to collect thier books f
After many turnings, alleyways and roads, they finally made it. Seth almost dropped her luggage when she saw the house. "You... live here!?!" She was gobsmacked.
Past Seth's eyes, a huge house stood infront of her. She glanced down at the massive front garden, the amazing amount of pathways, just leading to the grand front door.
"Yeah." Was Kaim's answer.
"Wow! This is just... woah..." She turned to him. "How can I ever repay you? I can pay rent like I did at my flat, I'm not high maintenance so I won't cause any disturbances. Oh, and I will-"
Seth was stopped by Kaim's voice. "You owe me nothing."
"No, I have to do something."
"I can afford another person without too much trouble."
"That's not the point!" Seth quickly lowered her voice. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to raise my voice. I don't like to take charity, if I can do anything, whether it be cooking, cleaning, anything. I'll do it. Please, let me help." Seth looked straight into Kaim's eyes, she was being deadly serious.
Kaim sighed, knowing he couldn't win against her, let alone any woman in an argument. "Fine. How would you like to be chief cook?"
"It's perfect. I just hope my cooking is the right standard." Her serious face turned back to it's usually warm demeanour. They started to walk towards the door. "So, anybody else live here apart from you?"
"Just your father?"
"Yeah. My mother died when I was three." Seth looked down at the ground. "I'm sorry for your loss. If it's any consolation, I know how you feel."
"It's fine. I don't really remember her." They arrived at the door and Kaim put his key in. The door opened to show the grand hallway. The walls were beige and there were spiral stairs to the right leading to the second floor of the mansion. On the current floor, in the middle, a statue had been placed. Seth peered at the figure before walking up to it.
"Who's this? Resembles you quite a lot Kaim." Before Kaim could answer, another voice was heard from a door opening on the left.
"That would be me." A tall man, about the same height as Kaim, stepped from out of the door. He had similar, quite strong facial features like Kaim, although age had taken it's toll as lines were beginning to appear, his hair was considerably shorter than Kaim's, small grey hairs noticable. The definate difference between them was that Kaim's eyes were very different, his father had extremely dark brown eyes, almost black. He also gave out what seemed to be a welcoming aura.
"You must be Kaim's father. Nice to meet you." Seth walked up to him and shook his hand.
"The pleasure is mine." He looked towards Kaim. "And this young lady is?"
Kaim walked up to his father before switching his glance to Seth who was looking at him. "This... is Seth."
Kaim's father peered at Seth intently, especially her face, concentrating on her eyes. "Seth... interesting. Please, call me Artemis."
"Of course... Artemis." Seth smiled genuinely at him. Artemis felt like he recognised that smile. That smile... where have I seen it before?
"Dad?" Kaim said to get his father's attention. Artemis snapped out of his trance.
"Yes, Kaim?" Seth looked at Kaim, his faced showed slight hesitation which was very rare to see on him. Before Kaim could speak, Seth cut it to save him the trouble since she was the one with the situation.
"Mr Argonar, I am here to ask a large favour."
Artemis looked at Seth with interest. "Please, no formalities. Proceed."
"Due to some recent circumstances, I have been left to find else where to live. Kaim offered a place for me here, I declined, but he insisted."
"He insisted, eh?" Artemis had a slight smirk on his face. Kaim inched towards Seth and whispered. "Where are you going with this?"
"I tell ya when I get there." She whispered back, she returned he attention to Artemis who seemed to be slightly perplexed but he situation.
"I am here to ask for your permission to stay, not for free of course. I will clean, cook, you name it, my mother had the best recipes. But if I can't stay-"
Artemis smiled and shook his head at Seth's eagerness. "Sorry, Seth, did you just say your mother had the best recipes?"
Seth nodded. "...She died about a year ago along with my father in accident. But I try not to think of it as a negative thing, they have both gone to a better place. I'll see them again, I know I will." Seth twiddled her pendant in her hand that was around her neck.
"I am sorry for your loss..." Artemis just looked at the ground for a few moments, looking as if he wanted to say something.
"Thank you. And please, don't worry if I'm not able to stay, I'll figure something out." Seth continued to smile.
"I don't think you will have to go through that trouble." He smiled. "I have a good feeling about you, Seth. You are welcome to stay."
Seth eyes lit up and she was bursting with gratitude, she couldn't help herself. She went up to Artemis and hugged him, maybe slightly too tight, she quickly released her grip.
"I'm sorry about that. Hehe..." Seth said slightly embarrassed. Artemis adjusted his clothing and even laughed a little. "It's quite alright Seth. I must say, you are a lively one."
"Why... thanks, I think." Seth didn't know whether that was an insult or compliment.
"Kaim, would you show her to her new room?"
Kaim nodded before guiding Seth along, up the spiral staircase. Artemis watched them, carefully examining them, specifically Kaim. Kaim seemed more relaxed than usual, which is one thing that Alastair picked up on. There also was not a lot of distance between the two, which was odd for Alastair to see because Kaim wasn't the type to let people in easily, that Kaim offered Seth a place here was beyond his mind. But regardless of that, Artemis felt relief, just to know Kaim was becoming more open with people. Since his mother's death, Kaim locked himself away from people. Artemis thought this was due to Kaim not wanting to feel vulnerable by getting close to other people. That's the reason Kaim is the way he is today. But, this person named Seth has definately been able to break that border. Whether they are friends or more, Kaim didn't say but as Kaim's father, Artemis could tell.
"Kaim, don't mess this up." Were Alastair's final words before he returned to his study.
Seth and Kaim had arrived at their destination, Kaim pushed open the door to Seth's new bedroom.
Seth's face was picture at the room beyond her. "No way! This is my room!?" Seth exclamed.
"Yeah." Was Kaim's one syllable answer.
Seth walked in and put down her suitcase, she spun around in amazement at the space. "It's soo big!"
Kaim leaned against the door and smirked at Seth's excitement. She stopped spinning when she saw the bed, she just froze for about two seconds and then silently walked towards it. She tilted her head up at Kaim. "T-this is my bed?"
Kaim nodded. Infront of Seth was definately the largest bed she had ever seen, it could of held about 4 people in there with a lot of room for each of them. She sat on the edge and slowly laid back, the bed slowly moulded to her needs. "I can't even describe how good this feels. I can't get up, my body won't allow it... this is heaven." Seth sighed.
Kaim walked over to the bed. "Do you need help getting up?"
Seth turned her head to face him. "That would be helpful." Kaim went round and held out his hand and Seth gladly took it. As Seth was being pulled up, she lost her balance and fell into Kaim.
"Woah!" Seth's impact into Kaim wasn't enough to bring him down, but he did wobble. Seth looked up to see a slightly shocked expression on Kaim's face. "I lost my balance. Sorry."
Seth made herself stable on her own two feet. She looked at the time on her watch. "Well, I should probably start on dinner... But, I may need directions to the kitchen."
"It's your first night. You don't need to cook anything." Kaim looked at Seth who was exiting the room and walking down the stairs.
"Well, think of it as a dinner of thanks for letting me stay in your humble aboad." She said.
While Seth was making her way down, she was ambushed by two young children, who seemed to be in the middle of game.
"I am Captain Cooke! Legendary pirate of the Seven Seas!"
Seth decided to play along even if she had know idea who they were. "You won't make me walk the plank, will you?" She said, raising her hands in submission.
Cooke removed her eye patch and peered at Seth. "I've never seen you before. Mack, do you know her?"
A small, shy boy approached her, without getting to close. "No... Who are you?" Seth kneeled down to their level.
"My name is Seth. I'm a friend of Kaim's. I go to his school."
Cooke moved closer to Seth, with the most perplexed look on her face, looking as if she had been told a farce. "You're a friend... of Uncle Kaim's?"
"Yeah... Uncle?" She smiled.
"My mum was his older sister." Cooke replied.
Was?... Seth thought. She didn't want to ask what happen to the mother but she kept it in the front of her mind.
"Did Kaim invite you here?" Mack asked, his nerves slowly seemed to be disappearing as his interest rose.
"He did. In fact, I'm now living here, for the time being."
"Really? Kaim let you live here? Did you hypnotise him?" Cooke asked.
Seth laughed at Cooke's comment. "No... he invited me without my influence. So... I see you like pirates. My great great great grandmother was a pirate."
Cooke's eyes lit up and she grasp Seth's hands. "Your great great great grandma was a female pirate! That is so cool!"
"You have tight grip there... Cooke?" Seth said slightly wincing at the pain.
Cooke nodded her head. "That's me. And this my brother, Mack."
"Well then, nice to meet you, Cooke, Mack."
Kaim walked down the steps in search of Seth but instead was ambushed by Cooke.
Cooke had the biggest smile on her face, and grabbed one of his hands. "Uncle Kaim... you didn't tell us you had a girlfriend."
Kaim stood in silence for a few moments trying to piece together what he could say to his young niece. Seth put her hand over her mouth, hiding the huge smile plastered on her face just looking at the expression on Kaim's face.
"...There are some things that you... don't need to know Cooke." Cooke looked at him with complete perplexion. Kaim managed to release his hand from her grip and walked down the rest of the stairs towards Seth.
"So, Uncle Kaim, where's the kitchen?" The smile on Seth's face was still beaming.
Kaim quirked an eyebrow at her. "It's down the hall, I'll show you."
"Right. Seeya later, Cooke, Mack." She waved at them as she walked away with Kaim. Cooke had grumpy expression on her face.
"Things that I don't need to know... what does that mean?"
"Adult stuff?" Mack said.
Cooke gave daggers towards Mack. "What, are you saying I'm not mature enough?" She was slowly approaching Mack, who was equally backing away.
"No... I mean Kaim probably doesn't want to tell you right now."
"Yeah right... I'll just talk to Seth, she seems nice. I can see if she will tell me." Cooke skipped off in the direction of the kitchen.
"Cooke... wait! Nevermind." Mack sighed and went up to his room.
Inside the kitchen, Seth was preparing a meal, she was finely chopping lettuce when Cooke marched through the door. "Hey Seth!"
Seth would have replied immediately but instead she was in slight agony from nipping her finger with the knife instead of the lettuce thanks to Cooke's grand entrance. "... Hey, Cooke." She wrapped her finger in a kitchen towel. "By any chance so you know where the first aid kit is?"
"It's in the cupboard to your right. Why?"
"Oh... no reason, just good to know where it is. So, what is it you want?" Seth's eye twitched with the stinging affliction of her finger.
"Well, since we are both girls here... I wanted to ask you about Kaim."
Seth shot a look at Cooke. "What about him?"
Cooke paced about the kitchen. "You know..." Cooke was about to burst. "Is he a good boyfriend? What was it like when you kissed him? Are you in love with him-"
"Woah there, Cooke..." Seth went down to her level. "Where is this coming from?"
Cooke went as far as to raise an eyebrow at Seth. "I may only be 12, by I'm smarter then I look. I could tell you are both more than friends..."
Seth knew she had been beaten, there was no point in lying. "How obvious was it?"
Kaim was about to walk into the kitchen when he could hear voices echoeing from it. He stood listened till he recognised the voices. Cooke... what are you up to? He thought. But instead of interrupting the conversation, he decided to carry on listening.
"Well, it wasn't easy to tell with you since I don't know you that well. But...Kaim seems different around you, I've never seem him like this before."
"Right... so what's the difference between the way he acts with me and with others?"
"Duh... but," Cooke paced around the kitchen, trying to think of a way to say it, she came to holt and faced Seth. "I can't explain it. He's just different, and I thought I saw him sorta... kinda smile?"
Seth smiled. "I noticed that too. But that doesn't mean it's because of me."
"I think it is." Cooke giggled and ran out of the kitchen, Seth sighed and quickly bandaged up her cut finger before continuing to prepare the meal. Cooke bumped into Mack in her little charade, "Oh, hey Mack." She said quickly before dashing into the dining room. Mack's eyes focused on the door to the kitchen, I wonder what Cooke said to her... He shrugged and made his way into the living room, joining his grandfather, who seemed to reading the newspaper. She hopped onto the sofa, resting his head on Artemis's arm. "What are you reading?"
Meanwhile, after Kaim had guided Seth to the kitchen, he had retreated to the comfort of his room. He just lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling, into nothingness. He tilted his head the side, spotting a familiar photo on his bedside. He took it in his hand. The picture was an old picture of his mother and sister, before both had died. His mother was beautiful, her hair was this light shade of hazel and she had these gorgeous carolina blue eyes, just like Kaim's. His thumb scanned over the picture. He eyes then travelled towards his sister. Unlike his mother, his sister had jade eyes, they always looked so happy, full of life. She always had a smile on her face, just like in the picture. She had a short hair cut, her hair being this tyrian purple. Mother... sister...
He was interrupted when his door was being knocked. He got up and opened it to see Seth standing there. "Dinner's ready." She smiled. She quickly dashed back downstairs, just to add the finishing touches. Kaim lent against the door, stairing at her disappearing figure, before making his way down, towards the dining room. By the time he had gotten down, the table had already been set. Glass, cutlery, the works. Everyone was already seated, apart from Seth who still seemed to be fiddling in the kitchen. "I'll be out shortly!"
Kaim sat down, Artemis' eyes peered at his son. There's something bothering him... Before he could analyse the situation anymore, Seth marched in with the main dish.
"I present to you, the mystery casserole of Kiria! My mother's invention." It looked extremely appetising, it gave off that aroma of a real homecooked meal, just how they should be, the steam floating off from the top layer. She laid it down in the middle of the table and sat down in the spare seat next to Kaim, she smiled warmly at him. "Well, take as much as ya want. There's plenty." She said to everyone. Cooke and Mack were the first to taste the masterpiece, their faces lit up as the flavours hit their tongues.
"Seth, this is... AWESOME!" Cooke shrilled, Mack nodded, his mouth too full of food to make a comment.
"Well, you're very welcome, both of you." Seth beamed. Artemis' face was picture with his first mouthful.
"This is lovely, Seth. I Haven't eaten a meal like this in years, at least not since Elaina-" Before Artemis could continue, Kaim cut in. "Thank you, father." Seth turned her head towards Kaim, he looked distressed, just slightly. Her eyes filled with curiosity. He soon stood up from his seat, and walked towards the door, before he exited his head turned to Seth.
"Seth, thank you for the meal, but my appetite's not with me today." He said quietly before going up the stairs to his room. Artemis looked down at his meal, Cooke and Mack were also silent.
"Excuse me." Seth stood and walked out of the room, she managed to catch Kaim out of the corner of her eye walking up the stairs. He's probably headed up to his room... She dashed up the stairs, hearing the quiet closing of his door. She crept as quietly as possible over to the door and lightly knocked. "Kaim? It's Seth. Is something wrong?"
Kaim was lying on his bed, hands behind his head, staring at the ceiling. When he heard Seth's voice, his head turned towards the door. Seth just stood there, she didn't think he was going to open it. She lent against the door and slid down. Elaina... that has to have been his mother. "If you don't wanna talk about it, you don't have to. I'm gonna head back downstairs now, okay?"
She stood up, making her way back down the hallway. She heard the handle, the slight creak of his door and turned. As much as his face as whole remained indiffferent, his eyes told everything. They were filled with sadness, and even the slightest bit of regret. Seth took a step forward towards him, she wasn't whether to take another. He started walking towards her but he didn't stop, he just walked right past her, as if she wasn't there. She turned, he just made his way down the stairs and out the front door.
Seth flinched as she heard the door slam, she meekly made her way downstairs and into the dining room. Atermis and children looked to her for some sort of response. She was going to open her mouth but she didn't really have anything to say that had any relevance to the past event. "I'm going to do some studying, tell me when your done, I'll wash up." She forced a smile upon her lips before hastily leaving the room. As walked through the upstairs hallway, curiousity got the better of her. Kaim's room was empty, she wanted to find some answers. It may not have been her place to invade his privacy, but she wanted to understand him a bit more. She opened the door and crept into the room, "Wow... this room hasn't got thing out of place." His room was immaculate, not a sock or pencil on the ground, nothing at all. Seth could never say that about her room. She decided to stay focused on her mission, "Elaina..." She noticed a picture on his bedside table. She took a seat on his bed, eyeing the picture curiously before taking it in her hands. Her fingers scanned the pictures. "Wel that little boy in the corner is definately Kaim, the expression on his face gives it away. She glanced at the tow over women in the photo, she could say who they were for certain, but she could certainly have a good guess. The more mature looking women must have been his mother, "So, this is Elaina... so, this must be his sister." She never caught her name, but she wouldn't pry. Kaim would tell her when he wanted to. She seemed to subconsciously make herself comfortable on his bed, in fact, comfortable enough that she was slowly dozing off. Her head rested against his pillow, her eyes pushing themselves closed. She tried to fight it, but her fatigue got the better of her and she fell asleep.
Kaim had just spent his time reflecting, on everything. He was in the park across the street, lying down on the grass, staring up at the stars. He may have only been young when he lost his mother, but he had this bond with her, one he couldn't forget. Whenever his father mentioned Elaina, Kaim's jaw would clench and his heart would tighten. It was an uneasy feeling, his sister suffered the same fate as his mother just a few years ago. Perhaps that was why he was such a closed person, getting close people, maybe he thought he would just lose them, like his mother and sister. But why then did he become close to Seth? He asked himself this question, but he couldn't come up with an answer. He let out a long, deep sigh before pushing himself off grass. His hands shoved in his pockets, he feet trailed along the ground as he went back inside. Luckily, he didn't bump into his father, nephew or niece, he hastily made his way upstairs before they could catch him.
He was about retreat to the closure of his room when he noticed the door slightly open. He never, repeat never, left his door open. He assumed it was Cooke or Mack and was about to raise his voice but as he pushed the door open, no sound came out. He looked at Seth's sleeping figure for a moment before wandering over to the bed. He carefully removed the picture from her grasp and placed it back on the table. He could hear her light breathing, and the light trembling of her body. She's shivering... He pulled up the blanket from the bottom of the bed, gently placing it over her. He didn't want to move her back to her room incase she woke up, he grabbed some spare clothes from his drawers as well as something to sleep in. He took one last glance at her before leaving the room and quietly closing the door. He decided to spend the night in one of the many guest rooms.
Yeah, your probably thinking, this is very Kaim/Seth concentrated. I got a little carried away but I would have had to right this at some point so why not make it now. Don't fret, I'll be including everyone in the future chapters.
I am also extremely sorry for my long absense, I've been preocupied and pretty much forgot I wrote this story. But your wait is over!!!! Hopefully you've enjoyed this chapter and there should be many more to come!