Author's Note: After getting an idea that I just could not put down, I managed to spawn an Eleazar/Carmen one-shot. I just got pressured by my dear friend Kelly to finish this. This one-shot was fun to write. I hope you enjoy it. Also, it wouldn't be here if it weren't for Kelly pressuring me to finish this, or for her letting me borrow the name Rosa, or the Spanish words, because my Spanish is suckish. Thank you! Enjoy.


Freedom


What, exactly, is the meaning of life if you have nobody to share it with?

I was in a daze as I roamed through the lit streets of Madrid. Streets that would have been exciting to anybody else, but not to me.

I didn't have the slightest inkling of where I was going. I wasn't looking for closure. I wasn't looking for anything to catch my interest. I wasn't looking for anything in particular.

I did find a bar, though. It was an empty, shaded sort of place. One worker, only a few people there. We must have all had a common interest: utterly bored or depressed.

I'd never understood the point of alcohol, or alcoholism, to be specific. Drinking to numb the pain had never found me. I'd never known much pain.

My life had been perfect.

And it had all shattered because of a foolish driver.

I'd told Rosa that I would be home in fifteen minutes. A quick drive to the store to get her the things she needed was what I'd left the house for. However, when I was driving back, I saw Rosa, my beautiful Rosa who was pregnant with our first child, cross the street to get the mail. I was just approaching the driveway.

That was when the car of an absolute stranger on the other side of the road collided with Rosa at seventy miles per hour. The driver must have been drunk.

It had all happened so quickly. I was surprised. And, two weeks later, I still was.

I understood why people were alcoholics now.

Two mugs of ale later, I heard footsteps approach me. I turned and saw a young woman that couldn't have been older than twenty-three sit on a stool next to me. The woman was beautiful, with a petite frame, long wavy brunette hair, and full pink lips. Her skin was very pale, and her almond-shaped eyes were a peculiar shade of gold.

She smiled at me mysteriously, and I wondered why, out of all the empty seats at the bar, she chose to sit next to me.

"Cómo está, señorita?" I asked solemnly.

"Estoy bien," she replied. Her voice was like wind chimes, almost musical. "Do you mind if I ask how you are, señor?"

"Así así," I said indifferently, shrugging my shoulders.

"What is your name?" she asked.

"Eleazar," I said. "And yours?"

"Call me Carmen."

"May I buy you a drink, Carmen?" It was the least I could do.

"No, gracias." It was then that I noticed that Carmen was unusally still. She never fidgeted, like most people did.

"Okay, then."

I bought another drink for myself, and we were silent for a few moments until Carmen asked, "Is there something wrong, Eleazar?" She tilted her head to the side.

Everything is wrong. "." I nodded.

"I could tell."

I blinked twice. "How?"

"You're drinking your pain away," she observed as I took chug of my beer.

"You don't know half the story, Carmen," I muttered after swallowing the disgusting beverage.

"No tiene una familia." It wasn't a question; she said it like she knew I didn't have any family. And she did know. She was right.

"How do you know that?" I asked, my eyebrows furrowed.

"I could tell," she repeated. "I don't have a family, either." She shrugged.

"Cuántos años tiene, Carmen?"

"Diecinueve."

She was young. Too young to be out this late at night. Nineteen-year-olds weren't supposed to be out on their own. "What happened to your family?" I asked.

"I ran away."

"Por qué?"

"I was tired of my family. I wanted to live my own life." She moved her hair out of her face.

"But you're only nineteen. You're really young."

"I'm old enough to know what I want."

"What is it that you want, Carmen?"

"Freedom."

I was never like that when I was nineteen.

"You don't think you need them now, but you will miss them when they are gone, Carmen," I told her.

"I know."

"Then why are you out on your own?" I slouched in my seat.

"Like I said, freedom." She said it easily, like she knew everything about life at only the age of nineteen.

"Don't you miss your family?" I asked. Didn't all teenagers miss their families when they were gone?

"Yes, but I'm doing this for me."

"You should go back to your family. They need you."

"I'm not going back any time soon, Eleazar." She smoothed out her short skirt. "Why do you value family so much?"

"Because I know what it's like to have nothing. Family is everything."

She smiled slightly. "I have nothing and I'm fine."

"You didn't have everything taken away from you because of a drunken imbecile in a car," I said harshly.

"Oh."

Moments of silence passed.

"Lo siento, Eleazar," Carmen said. She put her hand on mine, and I was shocked by how cold it was. It was a warm evening. How could she have been freezing?

"Dios, su piel es fría," I said, surprised.

"I've always been that way," she said with a smirk. She stood up and said, "Come with me." Carmen grabbed my hand and led me outside. As we left, I saw a few men at the bar stare at her from the corner of my eye. Carmen paid no attention to them.

"I want to help you," she said once we were in an alley outside.

"How would you do that?" I asked. This strange girl was confusing me.

She covered my mouth with the palm of her cold hand. "Close your eyes," she whispered in my ear, "and it will all be over before you know it. Usted va a estar bien."

I followed Carmen's order and closed my eyes. Her teeth grazed against my neck, teasing, and then penetrated it. Her teeth felt like daggers.

After a moment of warmth and discomfort, that was when the burning began.


I woke up staring at the wooden ceiling of a small house. I could see every single fiber of the ceiling. I could hear everything, even from miles away. Birds singing, music playing, babies crying. Everything. I looked down at my right hand, which was now pale and cold. I stood up quickly - almost too quickly - and turned to my right to see the sun peeking through the window. I could see every color of the rainbow, and even one more that was nameless.

"Buenos días."

I turned to the direction in which the words came from, and there I saw Carmen, sitting in a chair, her legs crossed.

I spoke, and the voice that came out sounded like me, yet it was not mine.

"What did you do to me?"


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