January 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
November 17th, – about 16:00
… I was really buried. There was no other explanation in my head at the time. Ever since I was a little kid, this was one of my worst nightmares. Waking up to being buried alive.
I remembered, for a short period, the time when I was 10 and I woke up crying because I had dreamed that I was buried alive in a glass coffin, by my own parents. I think that was the dream that traumatized me forever in the matter. Right now, I was frozen. I didn’t even have the power to move properly, not even mentioning screaming.
Slowly, I paced myself and started running my hands up and down the joints of the coffin, it seemed bigger than I would expect from a coffin and it was made out of rock, hard rock. I wasn’t sure it was a coffin.
I was feeling a draft of air right above my forehead but I couldn’t see any light from any place. I kept puzzling myself and asking myself what could have happened and where I am because clearly I’m not buried, I am trapped, and I was shit scared, but I could feel fresh air and that – at least – made me more or less at peace with myself. At least I wouldn’t die from asphyxiation – but was that a good thing in the end?
In the following minutes I remembered the whole thing, the growls and hisses, the blow in the head, the screaming – and now this. I started to panic more and more and by the time I realized what I was doing, I was already kicking and screaming from the top of my lungs for help, and I continued kicking and pushing with my hands up, trying to get something to move, to crack, to anything just to let me out of that place.
Now that I think about it, after years and years of remembering, I realize it wasn’t such a bad place and a bad way to die – it was really quiet, peaceful, I had air and everything – but the thought of dying of thirst didn’t seem a good way to go at the time, and it still doesn’t, to this day. Especially now.
I must have been there for at least 2 days – I don’t know exactly how many hours I’ve spent in there, not to this day, but it felt like an eternity. At one point I remember I was really thirst, hungry too, but mainly thirsty, that I actually had a plan on biting myself and drinking my blood just to feel some liquid going down my throat – which I actually tried, but couldn’t get my mind to bite myself hard enough to get blood flowing – I remembered of a thing I read online some time before – about how a sane person cannot bite himself enough to bleed – somehow this being related to the basic human instinct of survival and preservation of the species – only an insane person was proven to be able to do that – and how all that was a fail-proof test of a mentally deranged person – I was pleased with myself, I really tried, and I would die, but at least I’m not crazy – I giggled.
Back to the thirst issue, I remembered all the survivor documentaries I’ve seen on TV – there was no Bear Grylls at the time, but there were others – and how all of them seem to head to the same last resort: drinking their own piss. This was not an option for me. Why? Well first, I didn’t feel the need to piss – which was odd enough – maybe I pissed myself and didn’t realize. Second, even if I could force myself to piss, I would at least die honorably, without drinking my own piss. I know that’s a bit stupid, but it’s the way I think to this day.
After a while I started drifting in and out of sleep – or maybe it was feinting and gaining back consciousness, I can’t really tell. I was pretty sure I will die, about as sure as one can be, so I had no problems of letting myself go. I wanted to get it over with, just… fall asleep. Fall asleep…
I think – just as I was falling asleep – or regaining consciousness, can’t tell – I heard a screeching sound, like rock being dragged on top of another rock – I felt trembles all over, around me and inside me, and then I saw a light so bright that my eyes literally burned and hurt and had sharp, sharp pains inside them all the way up to my brain and my big toes from my feet – I had never in my life felt such a short but intense pain. It was gone before I knew it, some after effects lingering.
My heart started pounding, everything I saw was a blur, but there was a shadow, a contour of what seemed of a person, or a bear, I couldn’t tell, it was that blurry.
I tried standing up, failed. My back was frozen in place. As I kept trying to stand up I heard a voice: “Tranquille…” – which is “Easy” in French, I understood what it meant but I couldn’t give a crap, I wanted to get out of that hole.
The voice immediately changed to Romanian and started saying: “Usor…” – which is the same thing as Tranquille. I still didn’t give a crap.
Once again, that voice – which by the way was like honey flowing through my mind and ears – I never would have believed there can be such a beautiful and soothing voice as that one – maybe it was the voice itself or maybe it was the prolonged absence of any sound – that made it so beautiful and soothing and calming and all those nice words.
Anyway, once again – that voice switched languages and started going: “Relax…!” this time I did. I stopped trying to get up, not because it was English, not because a hand was already pushing me down, but because I was already too tired to try again.
The voice continued talking with me in English: “I’ll help you get up” it said. I could sense an accent – French or German, couldn’t tell. I still couldn’t see clearly but I was pretty sure it was a girl, not a bear.
I closed my eyes, let the hand that pushed me down rest on my chest, where my heart is, and said: “I could understand you in French, Romanian, and English too – maybe you have any other languages you want me to try – but I really want to get out of this….”
I opened my eyes and stared at the girl: “Crypt” – she had finished the sentence for me.
I was shocked.
First, I had never seen such a beautiful thing in my life – dark, long and smooth hair with a single streak of hair, in front of her right eye. Her face was perfect, no zits, no imperfections. Really pale, really white. No smile but she looked beautiful nonetheless. She had a worried-amazement-amused kind of look on her face and her eyes were the grand finale – she had really big and elongated eyes, with two black – and I mean the depths of hell couldn’t be that black – pupils, which contrasted with the whites of her eyes, which were the purest white I’ve ever seen, no red veins in them, no sign of fatigue, just plain pure milky white.
Second, what did she just say? A crypt? What the hell was I doing in a crypt?
She had seen my reaction and may have read my thoughts, and she immediately started talking: “Yes, a crypt. I’m sorry about that” – Why should she be sorry for it? I asked myself. “I’m going to help you get out of it, here, take my hand.”
I took her hand and with one swoosh she yanked me out of that crypt and threw me straight on my feet – for about 2 seconds – after which I fell – my knees were not functioning yet. Still, she caught me half-way through my fall and let me go down easy, I ended up kneeling.
I was shocked yet again – I was going at the gym but I couldn’t throw someone in the air that easily – I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I continued looking at her with amazement and bewilderment, her clothes seemed out of this world – she looked like a true steam punk addict. I strongly advise you to google steam punk if you don’t know what steam punk is. She was gorgeous. I later-on found out this was a mere special occasion, and she usually dressed more or less like me or you.
– I have to pause the story here and explain that – under normal circumstances, a memory would not sound so much like a story, with so many details and so accurate, but, a lot of this is just transcribing from my diary and just putting it all together, once again. I am trying to be as exact as possible and I stop after each sentence and think about the next one carefully trying to remember and identify the exact words, feelings, surroundings and everything – so that you can print a real and vivid picture in your head about the feelings that I had and where was I. The diary helps a lot to do that, and for you, I’m trying to provide as many photos as I can to at least see the surroundings.
Speaking of surroundings, as I watched her watching me – Was she horny? – She was looking at me like she would want to hump me any second now – what the hell I was half-dead I thought – I also looked around to see where was I, and I immediately realized where. I was in the old cemetery, that’s just right on the side of the hill that I was climbing to get to high school. It was about 200 meters away from the path – the stairs – that I was climbing when I got hit in the head by something.
This is the exact spot where I was standing and the view that I had in front of me. Mind you, I didn’t take this photo, but I know the spots around the town and I’m lucky that this is a tourist attraction so I have no need to take photos myself, I can find online pretty much any spot in the town.
By now I was standing down, like in a chair, with my ass on a crypt (grave?) and with my back leaned against a tombstone. I was so cold that I could feel my bones squeak and scream of pain each time I moved. Anyway, I remember the girl came up to me after some time, asked me (she was now talking a perfect Romanian) if I was cold, offered me her jacket – which was way too small at the shoulders for me but I took it nonetheless and then we started talking.
“Who are you? How did you know I was there? Were you the one who struck my head? Do you have anything to drink? What’s your name?”
I almost giggled when I realized how many questions I just had for a person.
Without flinching she said: “I haven’t answered so many questions in a hundred years.”
I took that as a joke and said nothing.
She continued answering the questions in the same exact order that I put them – it was amazing – I couldn’t even remember the exact order – not even now – I’m just guessing. Anyway, she said: “I’m Regina (that is a Romanian name which also translates to “the queen”), I put you there, no, eat snow, I’m Regina.”
Interesting and subtle connection – I REALIZE ONLY NOW – that she did between the first question and the last. And the choice of the name, couldn’t be more perfect to make that connection. You’ll realize later what’s so interesting about it if you read the story further.
I wanted to run. Couldn’t. She saw the expression on my face and immediately started explaining.
“My ‘friends put you in there and I had to help them because… umm… well at the time it seemed the right thing to do, for them, but then I realized I had to get you out and it took me 2 days to decide to come back, to actually come back and let you out. I wasn’t really sure you’re still alive you know, if I was, I might have came sooner”.
I still wanted to run.
She continued: “Here, have some snow, I think you’re dying of thirst, I know the feeling.” – she shoved a fistful of snow in my mouth. I wanted to spit it out but it was delicious.
“Can you walk?” she said.
“If you help me…” – I said with kind of an insinuation meant to be taken as “How the fuck are you so strong anyway?”
“I workout a lot,” – she replied. “Let’s go.” – she added.
Without me even noticing she yanked me up on my feet – they felt stronger, if just by a notch – and I put an arm over her shoulder and we started walking. She was indeed strong. She didn’t even flinch and I, at times, put my whole weight on her, just to test her. I think.
“Where do you live?” she asked me.
Now, I was more than happy to go home, I was pretty sure my parents, the police and everyone was already searching for my ass – my mom had a habit of freaking out after 3-4 hours even, of not knowing where was I. That was prone to change soon enough.
But right at that moment, I felt more puzzled and intrigued by this girl, even if apparently she was both my executioner and my savior, which I felt I’m never going to see again if I let her take and leave me home.
“I don’t wanna go home.”
She looked at me inquisitively.
“I understand you saved my ass, but I need you to take me at a hotel, get me something to eat, drink and then fucking tell me who are your friends and why they wanted to kill me.”
She stopped, looked at me really carefully, from top to bottom, then again from bottom to top. She then looked left, right, behind. Then she looked up – What the hell was she searching for I wondered – then she said “très bien”.
I was a bit amazed she accepted that. Also, by this time we were already speaking three languages. Mixed. Romanian, French and English. This is not unusual in Romania, we’re taught two foreign language in any school from a young age, those are French and English. Some took Italian too, because it’s closely related to Romanian.
She also, at some point – which is something I will tell about later – said something in Latin, and Italian. I was really puzzled by this girl. Most girls of her age (heh) had no idea how to speak their own language, or no interest in learning at least the ones taught in school, yet this girl mastered 4 if not 5 languages.
It didn’t seem that awkward because you see, Romanian is a romance language, and it has the most well-preserved Latin base, even better than Italian, as such, most people (the ones that have some formal schooling at least, and are somewhat brighter, like I always considered myself to be) can understand, even without formal training, at some degree or another, all of the romance languages, including Latin.
Myself, at the time, besides from what I learned in school, English and French, I could also take a hint in Spanish without much training, mostly picked-up from soap operas from TV.
Also, I could understand about 80% of a normal Italian sentence, about 70% of a Portuguese one and about 40-50% of Latin. Also, I could muster some simple phrases in the last three languages mentioned. That’s just how native Romanian is. It allows you to easily understand and switch between all of the Latin languages, pretty much like the Scandinavian languages. This might all seem strange to a native English speaker (from the U.S maybe) but for a Norwegian it’s common sense that you understand the language of your neighbors. For example any Swede can understand and speak Norwegian and Danish (I understand Danish is a bit harder to understand) – add the fact that they also speak English, and maybe take a second language in school such as I, maybe French or German, you you stop being so amazed. Being born in the Latin family of languages or the Nordic family of languages in Europe opens up the door for you to understand from a young age the other related languages. English is the hardest to learn really.
Also, as a Romanian, you don’t have an accent in learning another language as long as this is a language close to the Latin alphabet. For example, Romanians who meet each other overseas, can never tell about a fellow countryman that he or she is also Romanian. They can’t distinguish themselves. No accent. They do have an accent, in English that is – but it’s just that – an accent, but not of a particular geographic place.
Anyway, I’m digressing.
We continued walking towards a hotel which was pretty close to the cemetery. It’s called “Casa Wagner hotel“, I had friends working there but luckily none were on call that day. She booked a room faster than I’ve always seen. The teller didn’t ask for an ID, for a credit card, for nothing. He just handed over the keys as if he knew we would come and already knew us, like regulars, and then turned to tend to his paperwork.
We went upstairs, my heart pounding – “What the hell was I doing?” – I remembered asking myself that as I was going up the stairs.
When we got in our room the first thing she did was literally push me on the bed and then going straight do the bathroom getting me water in her hands. That felt rather funny, weird but OK. I was thirsty I didn’t give a rats ass.
She then looked at me and stormed out of the room.
I was worried by now that she’s not going to come back and I felt a bit disappointed. I felt my pockets to see where’s my phone ( how did I not think about this while I was in that damn crypt? ) but my phone was nowhere to be found. I thought she stole it.
I took the phone in the room and started dialing but before being able to get a tone she was back and without hearing her footsteps, the door opening or anything else, I saw her hand on the phone fork. It was an old style kind of phone. Yes, the one with a fork and a cord.
“I just wanted to call my folks to tell them I’m OK.” – I said. And she continued: “Yes, you could do that but then I need to go. They will know where you called from, and they’ll be here in under an hour, and you won’t even see me leaving. I just told you I buried you, and you’re calling someone. I’m sorry. I won’t stop you but I will leave if you do.”
“OK… never mind then. I guess they can wait for a bit longer” – I knew my mom was suffering but I really, really couldn’t get myself to lose this girl. I was fascinated. Mesmerized.
She had a wine bottle in her hand.
“Are we celebrating me not dying?” – I asked.
At this point I remember I had the first “WTF” impression about her.
She said: “I’m thirsty.” I thought she was either an alcoholic – at this age? Not possible. Maybe. Or that she literally had wine for lunch – breakfast? What time was it anyway?
“What time is it?” – I asked. And she immediately looked at the window, saw the sun, and said: “16:48”.
The sun was almost setting and I disregarded her preciseness because there was a watch in the room, somewhere… I can’t remember on which wall, but I’m sure there was.
She opened the wine bottle with her teeth, in one move – She needs to teach me how to do that I thought – and started gulping down straight from the bottle like it was water. It was almost gone by the time I gasped at her.
She didn’t say a thing. She set it down. Looked at me and then went to the bathroom. She had a shower and by the time she was out I was eating. Apparently when she stormed out she told someone in the hotel to get some food up.
I ate like a king, drank about 2 liters of water and had a coffee. She was finished with the shower before I finished eating and when she came out I offered food.
She swallowed, and said no. Instead she finished of what was left of the wine bottle.
I remember she got dressed really fast, in front of me. Naked. She was truly gorgeous. I was young. As a matter of fact, I was really a bully and a ladies man. Seriously. I’m sorry but that’s the truth. She somehow knew it. I don’t know how I know she knew but I do.
She finished dressing up and then stormed out of the room only to come back seconds later with clothes for me.
She took them in the bathroom – as she somehow knew I will be ashamed to do the same thing as she did, dress in front of her – and then she came out telling me:
“Enough with the eating you’re making me hungry. Go get a shower, please, you stink.” Subtle.
“Yeah, thanks to you putting me in a coffin for the past… 2 days?” I replied.
“Crypt, 3.” She added.
“Fuck my life.” I said as I was closing the bathroom door.
I went and took the quickest but most awesome shower I ever had and then came out decided, with a list of questions in my mind, to ask her everything I wanted to know. I was damn curios why is this happening to me. Not that I minded, it seemed like a welcomed adventure in this boring town and somehow I was the most happy dude on the planet, for not dying in that crypt.
I came out, she was lying on the bed playing with a – wait for it – big ass hunting knife.
“What? It’s from downstairs, they have an antique weapons collections” She said and continued poking at its tip with a finger.
That was true, most historical buildings in the city have some sorts of medieval weapons collections, just to “preserve the old image of the town” and then I realized that was a fucking sword, not a big ass hunting knife.
“You’re thinking of finishing the job?” I asked.
She looked down at the knife, then at me, then back at the knife.
“Yes.” She replied casually.
I don’t really know what expression I had on my face at that particular moment but I’m glad I did, because it made her giggle and jump out of the bed – really quick this one – hug me (WHOA!) – smell me (WTF?) – and then stepping back.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. I’m just joking. If I wanted you dead, I think we both know you would have been without a knife by now.” – That was true. I relaxed.
Instinctively, we both sat down on the big bed (look at the room photo) and then she took my hand – man it was really weird, one of her hands was freezing cold and one was fiery hot – and then turned towards me, one leg on the side of the bed and one beneath her, and said:
“So, I guess you want to ask me a bunch of questions and then I can go right? Will that make you happy and forgive me?” She said.
“I already forgave you for putting me in there because you came back and released me, in my mind, that’s enough.” I replied after a few seconds of thinking about it.
“As for you going, I don’t think I want you to leave. You’re different and I like different. Where are you from?” I quickly added.
That was my first question and even though a simple one – it seemed to be the hardest one for her to answer.
After fiddling around for a bit she looked at me and said:
“Well, I guess I’m from all over the place… I lived in different places but I don’t really remember where I was born.” – That was weird enough. How can you not know where you were born?
Anyway, I started asking her the next questions and the answers I got rocked my world so hard that it changed my life forever…