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Name: April | Gender: female | Age: 34 | Posts: 135 | Roses: 10
Old 03-09-2012 at 07:01 AM
wandering child
Wandering Child
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"Your first party ever?" Raoul asked.
"Do funerals count?" Erik asked with his usual dark humor. Raoul smiled though. He was beginning to find his room mate very likable.
"You know, we did start hating each other before we really knew each other. We should tell each other something about ourselves. Like- I'm going to marry Christine."
"You've asked her already?" Erik asked, surprised.
"Not yet, but I will. Now it's your turn. Why do you never let that compass out of your sight?" He picked it up.
"Give me that!" Erik snatched it back. "It was a gift from my father." he sighed. "And he shouldn't give me anything. he should hate me for what I did. It's my fault."
"What is?" Raoul asked.
"Lucianna being in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. I suppose since I've told you this much I may as well tell you the rest. You know Giovani and Lucianna aren't my family in blood. He adopted me after I ran away from home. I was eight at the time." He looked up to see Raoul was paying close attention.
"My mother always hated me. Couldn't stand the sight of me. My biological father died in an accident before I was born. She began to see this doctor. He wanted her to give me away into the foster system. With her hating me so much I didn't doubt that she would and I knew what kind of foster homes someone like me would end up in. So I just ran.'
"You were eight years old and on your own?" Raoul asked in amazement.
"It was better than the alternative."
"But how did you survive?"
"My mother made sure I was well educated. I think she felt that made up for her neglect otherwise. I learned to play the violin, and when I ran away I played it on the street or sang or did magic for whatever money people would toss my way. Usually it was enough to buy food and a ticket to somewhere else. I didn't really care where I was going as long as it was as far away from Boscherville France as possible. That's where I was born.'
"But what about the days you didn't earn enough?"
Erik shrugged. "Then I didn't eat." At the horrified look on Raoul's face he continued. "People don't need anywhere near as much to survive as they think they do, and I never cared to eat much anyway.”
"But didn't anyone buy you a meal or ask why an eight year old child was alone?"
Erik laughed at that. 'Nobody cared. If I'd have starved to death or become ill and died they'd have just shoved me in some unmarked grave and I'd have never been thought of again. Giovani was the only one who ever cared about me."
He sighed, taking a moment before continuing.
"I ended up in Rome. Giovani was in the masonry business, and he found me admiring one of his buildings. He took me in and adopted me, but there was one problem." He seemed to choke a moment. "Lucianna was away at boarding school at the time. She was extremely spoiled and her father couldn't handle her anymore. When she came back and saw me the first time she-" he bit his lip. "She fled as if I were a monster. She ran straight into traffic and she never saw the car coming. The doctors said she was lucky to be alive, but there's no one who can repair her spine. So you see what I mean about it being my fault she's in a wheelchair."
"Erik- that was her own foolishness. It was in reaction to your face, but that isn't your fault.'
Erik didn't look at him, but it seemed a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
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Sad days were to come to the university. The day came when Dr. Kahn told the class this would be his last day as their teacher. Erik was outraged that not one student besides himself did anything to protest, to try to stop the injustice of such a good teacher being dismissed. The last thing Dr. Khan told Erik was to believe in himself and his talents.
That day only got worse in science class. The teacher had a cage in the room with a small Siamese kitten. The poor little creature was meowing pitifully and reaching through the bars trying to get out. Erik thought he was going to be ill at the sight. But the kitten being in the cage wasn’t the worst of it.
“We’re going to learn quite a lot from this little girl this year,” the teacher said cheerfully. “To start with, we’re going to see what affects food and water deprivation have on her, followed by testing how electrical shocks affect her nervous system.”
That was all Erik could stand. Looking around he noticed a sprinkler system overhead. Many of his magic tricks involved fire, and all it would take would be enough heat to set them off. He pulled a concealed lighter he always carried for when he needed to do a fire trick, and held it under the lighter. Christine happened to be in the same class and was setting ahead of him.
“Be ready to get out of here,” he warned her, throwing his voice at a whisper so that only she could hear him. Even though it sounded like he was right beside her she turned where she knew he was setting and looked at him curiously. Erik could tell she saw the lighter but she didn’t say a word about it.
In moments it seemed as if it was raining in the classroom, and all the students shrieked and started running- all except Erik and Christine. Erik headed for the cage, but Christine was already there, opening it and grabbing the kitten. She bolted out the door, Erik right behind her. They stopped only when they were outside.
“Careful! Don’t shake her!”
“I’m not!” Christine yelled. “You think I’m really stupid?”
“No, not really stupid,” he said sarcastically. Christine glared at him.
“You sure caused a commotion this time.
“I don’t cause commotions. I am one.”
“That’s for certain.” Then her annoyance faded. “Why was I the only one you warned about what you were going to do?”
Erik shrugged, not knowing himself.
“You didn’t have to help me either.”
“So no matter how shallow and self-absorbed you pretend to be-“
Suddenly Christine had a frightened look in her eyes.
“Excuse me. There is no pretense here. I happen to be extremely self-absorbed and deeply shallow.”
Erik shook his head. “No you’re not. Or you wouldn’t be so unhappy.”
Christine looked even more fearful and began to pull away. Erik reached for her and grabbed her hand without thinking. She stopped more out of surprise than anything. It was the first time they’d touched, and neither was prepared for how- right it felt. Their eyes met, but Erik looked away. This couldn’t happen. He turned his attention back to the kitten, holding her gently.
“Poor little lady. Don’t be frightened. It’s all right.”
Christine reached to pet the kitten and Erik noticed a streak of red on her hand.
“You’re bleeding. She must have scratched you.”
Christine clearly wasn’t listening though as he hand brushed against his, tracing his long fingers without thinking.
“Yeah, or maybe she scratched me or something.” Then she seemed to wake up from a dream, pulling away and taking the kitten.
“I’d better get her to safety before she’s found.”
Erik nodded, and as Christine fled with the kitten he felt a sudden need to keep Christine from leaving his side. Realizing what this feeling was, he began to tremble. He was beginning to fall in love with Christine, and he couldn’t let that happen. Groaning, he began aimlessly wandering the school, sadly composing as he walked. He began to sing quietly.
“Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
Could I be that boy?
Not for that girl.”
His wonderings led him back to his room eventually. Raoul was out, in class or perhaps walking with Christine. Erik hadn’t bothered paying attention to what time it was to know if classes were over or not. His mind was filled with thoughts of her, but he tried to push them away.
“Don't dream too far.
Don't lose sight of what you are.”
He went to the mirror in the room, and forced himself to look into it. One glance told him all he needed to know. He didn’t even look human. He was a monster. How could he ever find love? He was only opening himself up for heartbreak.
“Don't remember that rush of joy
Could I be that boy?
Not for that girl.”
He nodded to himself. Already knowing it was a lost cause was ripping his heart in two. It would be so much worse if he got his hopes up.
“Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in.”
And then, there was the matter of his competition. Was it even a competition? There was only one real choice she could make.
“Blithe smile, lithe limb
He who's winsome, he wins her.”
And yet the image of Christine came to mind again, and he closed his eyes to keep the mental image. She was so beautiful.
“Gold hair with a gentle curl.” Then he shook his head. She was better off with Raoul anyway, and even if she weren’t, he couldn’t just steal his best friend’s girl.
“That's the boy she chose.
And Heaven knows
I'm not that boy.”
That night, he tried unsuccessfully once more to stop thinking about her as he tried to sleep.
“Don't wish, don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart
She was born for the rose and the pearl
There's a boy I know.
She loves him so
I'm not that boy.”

In sleep he sang to me
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