as always, the truth lies just beneath the surface [story part 35]

September 25, 2012 § 14 Comments


And tomorrow did come, and home we did go. But home wasn’t for her what was for me.

Getting to the airport was a blast – I don’t even want to remember it. When we did get there, for the second time in a very short period of time, we were once again buying tickets straight from the airport. No reservations, no pre-booking, no man to wait for her and hand her the tickets as she walked in.

I wasn’t sure if this was “going towards normality” or “going towards chaos” – for her, because for me it surely seemed more normal.

In any case – there we were.

<Arrivals> – <Departures>

“Left! We have to go left!” – I said.

“Regina, left!” – I said again while spinning around in circles not knowing if she’s following or she has other plans.

“Wait here, I’m going for tickets.” – Now I don’t really know whether she actually bought them herself or not, but it seemed like it.

Only when we got near the gate did I realize we weren’t actually going to fly in a direction known to me.

Above the gate towards which we were rapidly approaching there was a big LCD reading “A2 – Departures – 12:15 – Rome – Boarding.”

“Ummm I don’t think we’re at the right gate.” I said.

“What do you mean?” Regina replied.

“Well these people are going to Rome…”

“So are we.”

“I’m sorry. What?”

“Where did you think we were going?”

“Home?”

“Yes. Home. That’s where we’re going.”

“Wait I think we have a bit of a confusion here. Whose home are we going to, to be more exact?”

“Mine.”

I said nothing. I just… adopted a neutral face and looked in the distance.

“What? You didn’t think I had a home?”

“Well… no, not really. I mean you don’t seem to act like it. It seems to me you’re always on the go…”

This time she was the one who didn’t say anything. The line started moving. We were boarding. Well, that’s that I thought. Apparently I was going to Rome. Hurray?

By the time we got to Fiumicion Terminal C I was already at peace with the idea. After all I was the one who got confused, and nevertheless, getting the chance to see “home” – whatever that meant – was a too good to be turned down of an opportunity.

We took the train from the airport for… about half an hour. We were almost downtown Rome. Now we were heading towards the subway.

And the fun part began here.
It was always like this with her. Never knowing the plan in advance. Never knowing where you’re going or what are you supposed to do. And for some people that might be the most stressful thing in life, not knowing what comes next. The unknown scares us for the most part, and we don’t really want to have anything to do with it. On the other hand, there are the few that are always attracted by the unknown, looking to see more, to do more, to explore. I’m talking about climbers or explorers, cave explorers, any explorers. Those that do not fear the unknown. I wasn’t part of them, but I wasn’t scared of it anyway. Call it a neutral feeling.

We descended in the subway, and instead of getting into a train, Regina seemed a bit confused.
She kept looking left and right, left and right, until there was no subway stopped and nobody around.

“Are we waiting for someone… some… thing?”

And she jumped on the tracks. “Come quick.”

And I did. Without saying anything, without opposing the idea that I might get electrocuted right there and then. I had no idea which track “you shouldn’t touch” – but I did know that one of them was not cool with being touched.

We only walked about 40-50 meters, and then she suddenly turned a right, opened a door, went down a corridor, turned another right and then we were faced with a pretty long corridor that apparently went on forever, and which was also flanked from 5 to 5 meters or so by large square stones, asymmetrically arranged spanning across the full length of the corridor. On top of each of these stones was a thick steel beam supporting the ceiling. I figured they were support beams, considering how old the town was and everything.

Regina looked closely at each and one of them, and then stopped in front of one. She pushed the beam aside and then started pushing that stone rock like her life was dependent on it.

“Hmmmppphhhh.”

“If you’re taking me in another crypt I’m not coming. I’m telling you now, Sweden was enough.”

“Shut up and help me.” – But that wasn’t the case, because before I had the chance to fake helping her, the stone started moving and revealed an access hatch connected to whatever was downstairs by a metal ladder.

“I really do hope we’re just taking a detour and there actually are easier ways in getting to wherever we’re going.”

“Mmm maybe, but I’d rather not open other doors.”

Before going further, you have to know something: Rome has the biggest and oldest underground network ever discovered. It’s a whole town, the old Rome, buried under the new one. There are literally streets and buildings, rooms and passage ways that haven’t even been discovered yet, or only seen by a hand full of people. If you want to know more read this and this.

I had always imagined her without a home. But ever since I found out she actually had one, I imagined it more in the style she was. An old building, big, imposing, secluded, and yet modernly equipped and with quick access to a large city. Maybe even a butler, who knows.

But no. Instead, we were descending into the depths of hell, because that’s how it felt like. Cold and dark.

We walked and we walked and we walked.

And finally we ended… nowhere. We were faced with a large, thick, old and rough block of stone, the size of Jupiter, which marked the end of the tunnel. There was no right or left, no way around it.

But sure enough, Regina found a way, because the left side of it wasn’t made of rock. It wasn’t even old. It looked like the same material, but was mostly clay and on top of that – it was smart clay.

It had a soft-spot. It was either the material which was special, or the way it was made. Either way, it wasn’t more than two inches thick. Regina felt the whole left side (which was about 20% of the whole thing) with her palm from top to middle and stopped in one place then quickly squeezed her hand into a fist and pushed in a short – but powerful – burst. The whole thing came down in front of us.

“Welcome home.” She said.

“Where the hell are we….?” I asked as we were descending once again through a tunnel.

“Rome.”

“Yes, but where exactly in Rome?”

“I don’t have an address if that’s what you’re asking.”

“No, I mean what’s on top of us…? Aren’t you in danger of like… someone wanting to make a subway line through your living room?”

“No… not really. There are mostly only old protected buildings above us.” – We were, after all, in Rome. It only made sense and I didn’t give it another thought.

“We’re actually under the Vatican.”

My heart stood still. For several reasons.

“You’ve got to be joking. I mean seriously. From all the places in the world, you decided to live in the Vatican?! Can you mock everything more than this?”

Seriously. You just can’t make these things up. Movies can’t even describe such a thing. But there we were. Under the Vatican, me and a the vampire. This was just too much. Of all the things I had seen – of everything – really weird, unexplainable (some) and just plain hard to digest things – this was the worst (best?). The irony and the degree of mockery cannot be properly described in words. I had later to learn that this was no case of irony or mockery, and it did serve a very, very special purpose.

OK that was the first reason my heart stood still. I just didn’t know if I wanted to go further or not. Because we weren’t actually inside anything that even started to resemble a house. We were more in a basement.

We were crossing a very small and narrow bridge, that went over nothing, but looked like a bridge, a stone bridge, and in the distance, on each of the sides, there was a straight white marble wall with a cross sculpted into it and blackened with what seemed like coal, or graphite, or something like that. It wasn’t paint, it didn’t look like paint. We were under the Vatican alright, and what a view, and what an irony.

We finally arrived to what seemed like a door, but there was no door there, just a very narrow arch that quickly turned to the left and then went up in a small, narrow – but short – corridor.

At the end of the corridor, we were finally there. All in all, from getting off the train until stepping inside the “house” – took us just over two hours. I figured she could be quicker by her own, but no way you do this under an hour.

As soon as she turned on the lights – a combination of candles, lamps and light bulbs (yes, there was electricity down there) – I was in awe.

We were standing in a big hallway that was shaped like half a circle. We came from the back, and in front of us, there was the arched view of the circle, with three rooms – like choosing your fate.

You could see in all of the three rooms from there. They had no doors. It was more like one big arch with two walls separating three separate entrances. Each of the rooms was huge, and they were connected among themselves also through a second arch in each of them, in the middle of the wall.

One of the rooms served as a bathroom. All of it. It was huge. These were no ordinary rooms. Imagine the inside of medieval church, each room being at least 50 meters long and at least 20 meters wide, and with ceilings that spanned upwards until it became too dark to see. You literally could not see where the ceiling ended. They were that high. The echo in each of these rooms was just plain amazing, and annoying in the same time, and with Regina’s hearing I could bet she heard anything and anyone from a great distance.

The room that served as a bathroom had its own pool – with continuously flowing hot water – that overflowed all the time in a reservoir. Other than that, it had everything a bathroom needed, equipped with modern and old things alike. The whole front wall was taped with mirrors and the whole room was rather dark, only illuminated by the light in the pool and later a few candles in one of the corners of the pool, which also had around it, within reaching distance, a half empty bottle of wine.

The second room was more of an entertainment/training/living room. One side of the room, all across it, 50 meters long, had a bookshelf full with books. It was a damn library. I didn’t recognize half of them. The very end of the room had three chairs around a small but sturdy, brown oak table. Right at the entrance, to the left, there was a training area of around 20 square meters – there were ropes hanging from the ceiling and most of the equipment was just non-moving steel bars and handles made for climbing, staying in balance on them or god knows what. The right hand side of the room had everything your heart could desire in the matter of electronics, from large screen projectors to stacks of hard-drives, servers, and hundreds of CD’s. Old and new were merging together, like everything here, from CD players, VCR, to old gramophones, from stacks of hard-drives to stacks of diapositives. A whole library and in the same time an entertainment room. A small wine selection was laying in a shelf near the big leather chairs and the table, and other than that the whole thing, the whole room, was tapered in paintings looking down on you.

The third room was the bedroom. It was both the quietest and most peaceful bedroom in the world, and also the most horrifying one.

There wasn’t really anything there. Imagine a 50 by 20 meters room, that you can’t see the end of it or the height of it because it just seems to have none of those due to the low light. This room had a bed in the middle of it – a bed the size of which I had never seen. It could easily fit at least 10 people on it, maybe more. It was the size of maybe 6 or seven king-sized beds put together in a perfect square. The whole thing was covered in layers and layers of huge, thin purple silk sheets. You could go under one, two, three, ten or more layers, as many as you wanted. This was also the most sad bed in the world. One single small lonely pillow in one corner. That’s it. That whole gigantic bed and one pillow.

One single thick rope was lingering above the bed, it was attached to the ceiling and when looking up at it you couldn’t exactly see where it led. It was just a rope descending from nothingness above the bed. In case of trouble I figured.

Regina pulled down a thick wooden door – more like a wall – after we entered, and sealed it by pushing it into a perfectly fit shape in the wall. We were sealed there.

The whole area, the whole place was covered in a thick black dust and spider webs the likes you’ve never seen.

I didn’t say anything, and nobody started cleaning. We just cleaned whatever we used next.

She started lightning more and more candles from one room to another room, and more and more lamps and light bulbs, until the whole area became rather visible and bearable. It was cold and damp as hell and stank of mold, but slowly it started getting warmer, more welcoming, dryer and the smell started going away, as we started actually staying there and stirring things up.

Regina headed straight for the pool and leaned in to check the water with one hand. She smiled.

“Eleven years… and still warm. Now that’s what I call welcoming.”

“Wait, you haven’t been here in eleven years?”

“No, I don’t come that often…”

Well that explained the dust and everything.

She undressed and was in the pool taking a bath before we finished speaking. I followed. The feeling of swimming in a catacomb was overwhelming, eerie but pleasant and quiet in the same time. Just like taking a bath in a warm-ish lake during a summer night.

After that we went in the living room and she started turning on one thing after another, computer after computer, screen after screen, they were all turning back to life, shedding their dust outer shell and aligning into a smooth, soothing humming sound, after the beeps and lights calmed down. The whole room started glowing and getting a whole different kind of light, with images reflecting from one brick to the other.

She then headed slowly towards the piano in the corner and sat down…

[audio http://k006.kiwi6.com/hotlink/ss5hunhhh3/beethoven_moonlight_sonata_sonata_al_chiaro_di_luna_.mp3]

I slowly approached her and put my hands on top of hers and gently started playing together with her until she took her hands down and left me to continue. She just stood there, frozen, without saying anything, with me lingering above her head, smelling her hair and playing one of the only three songs I can play. I can’t play the piano, not really, I just learned them by heart.

“BANG” “BANG” – I stopped playing and we both jolted up. What the hell. Who’s there, what’s happening, who knows we’re here. We’re trapped. Oh god…

“I can’t even have five minutes for myself…” She said angrily while heading towards the bookshelves behind us.

She pulled one of the shelves away and pried open a door an iron door locked from top to bottom with three metal bars going across it from left to right.

I was already prepared to run.

Upon opening the door, a small figured appeared, an old man. A priest.

WHAT?! Oh this can’t get any better.

But it did. The priest bowed his head, looked at me and then looked back and said something in Italian. He moved aside and from behind him, a taller, more imposing man appeared, also a priest I figured, but dressed casually with only the collar giving him away and the cross around his neck.

Regina kissed his hand and they both bowed their heads slightly to one another.

Well, I thought, this is something else…

The old man handed us both a suitcase with clothes in it. How the hell did he know I was here? How did they know anyone was here? I later asked Regina about it and she pointed up all around us. There were cameras, all around us there were surveillance cameras! I couldn’t believe it! She agreed to let herself filmed?! Granted, as long as she didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, there was no need for her to worry.

She told me that “All weapons can fire in two opposite directions” meaning that she had as many reasons to worry for being filmed as they had for filming her. I wondered if it was recorded. It wasn’t, apparently. But you never know.

Regina and the priest talked in Italian while we both got dressed. She took of the clothes that she had on her right there in front of the two priests like they weren’t even there, while they were still talking casually, and she got dressed. I followed. This seemed way too awkward for me, but I kept pushing and pushing myself into putting myself into her shoes. I kept trying to imagine how I would feel about each and every situation if I was her. And apparently the less ashamed you are of your body, the less pudic you are. In that regard, I don’t think she would have had any problems walking naked through Trafalgar square.

From what I could muster in my broken Italian, I understood that there were others that knew about her, there was someone else we had to talk with about the attacks in Turkey, and that they would help her in any way possible. I also understood that we had to go.

We were given two crosses to put around our necks, which we both did. Seeing Regina dressed as bland as possible, in a gray skirt and a gloomy shirt, with a cross around her neck and her hair tied behind her back, I couldn’t help but laugh. They all looked at me like at some distracted kid, which I was. But you have to give it to me, this was too ironic and too funny to not at least smile.

It was like in those times when something so unbelievable or unexpected, but most of the times bad, happens to you, that you just give up and jump over being angry, straight to laughing… out of self-pity. I didn’t pity myself, but I just laughed in the same way. Just like when you’re too tired to even think anymore and everything seems funny. It was out of this world for me, seeing her like that, knowing what she is and knowing what the whole world thinks about her kind.

We followed the two priests up a corridor, out of the house (crypt, catacomb?). One priest in front of us, one behind us. And as the old priest closed the door behind us, through where they came from, I could see sculpted in rock above the door, three small words.

Ancient latin letters. There were others like it, all around the house, and before entering it from the other side, but they were all half of word, erased, some meaningless, some without any context, some were names….

However this inscription… this inscription read something else.

I’ll leave you to decipher what it said, and because I lack the means of actually writing in ancient Latin here, I wrote it by hand.

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the girl who came back [story part 2]

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.

A sudden loss of consciousness

A sudden loss of consciousness.

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.
I gasped.

“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…

Where Am I?

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