They always tell you that you don't ever remember anything from when you are an infant, but that isn't true in this case. I remembered the comforting darkness and the sound of my mother's heart. Also there was a voice, a male voice always telling me of his love. He had called himself "daddy" and always told my mother and me that he loved us. He was always singing to me and teaching me. Each day he would sing to me and tell me of the world that I would be coming into. When it wasn't him talking to me, my mother was teaching me of herb lore and of the Goddess. Each lesson taught was to help in the unknown.
The day came when I left my warmth and darkness and I was born into the light. Mother and Father took good care of me and love me well. My early days were mostly sleep, and yet each day was still learning. Father stayed with us until he couldn't anymore and I could never understand why he had to leave. With each day my mind grew and at a year old I was talking, by two I was reading and each new though expanded my consciousness. In the year that I turned five I was placed into school. Mother was so happy that I was allowed into school since we didn't have money like the others. My mind was always picking things up and I was always learning, unlike those pampered brats that thought themselves to good to be taught. Me, well I absorbed it all. Each lesson was a new experience as I could picture everything and imagine myself there. I really enjoyed reading; I would read any book I could get my hands on. From the time I was six I had worked my way through half of the school's library and started to spend the evenings reading to my mother as she worked in the garden.
By the time I was ten I was in school full time and also helping momma tend the garden and making salves. After my long day at school, my night would start with dinner and end after twenty jars of different salves were made. Many nights we worked harder, for with each jar we had more money for the things we needed. Food was scarce enough to begin with and it was truly hard to get meat. Momma and I lived very meagerly, but we were always happy. So many wonderful memories packed into the younger years of my life that just spill over and bring back such pain. It wasn't until my eleventh year that momma started to get sick. At first she seemed to bounce back, but then it would attack her worse then before. Each month it would be worse than the last.
I was excelling at school and also doing most of the work at home since momma was still very sick. Everyone could see my mother wasn't going to get better, but I worked hard to make her comfortable. I started doing my school work at home so I could watch over her better. When I turned fourteen my mother got much worse, yet she was more stubborn than ever. I was at the school house for most days, when momma was feeling alright that is. On her bad days she lost blood, not just a little but a lot of blood. Momma would work and overstress herself and trying to help only brought her wrath upon me. It only took me a short time to understand that she felt like she had cheated me out of so much by being sick. Instead of getting in her way, I worked to help her trying to work harder so she had less to do. Momma always felt it was her job and she had made me promises, but no one expects to get sick.
The year I turned fifteen was the worst ever. Mother was mostly bed bound and yet still bossy enough to make me bound to my studies. She wanted me to have what she never had and I could fully understand. But that year, was the year that she died. As I went to school one morning she looked a bit better then usual and she was in such a wonderful mood. As she rushed me out the door she hugged me and I could feel the tension in her.
"Kalayne have a good day love, I will miss you today." My mother's sweet voice said to me.
"Momma I love you and I will see you tonight, please promise me you won't do too much today, I am looking forward to our discussion tonight." I hugged my mother one last time and walked out the door in a better mood then I had been in for a while.
My day passed as if I had just left and I rushed home so that momma and I could finally talk, but walking in the door I wasn't prepared for what was waiting for me. There was blood everywhere and I was taken aback at what I saw. The more I walked into our little home the more I wanted to run. The blood was washed on the floor and made a trail to my mother's room, the fear in me built as I reached her door. I could feel the tears streaming down my face as I reached for the handle to the door. My pulse raced and I steadied myself as I opened the door. I felt what resolve I had crumble as I saw the wasted body of my mother on the floor of her room. I could hear screaming but had no clue where it was coming from. I rushed to her and prayed that she wasn't gone, but looking at her I knew I was wrong.
I cried in earnest then and let the pain take me away; reliving each memory was such a stab in the heart. I felt someone then, a strong set of arms move me away from my mother. I felt so lost not being near her. I fought; I wanted to hold her just one last time, but those strong arms held me fast and soon I lost my will to fight against them. My heart broke then and it was too much. My days became that of necessity and keeping my promises. Each day at school I immersed myself in my work and my nights were to make sure I could keep our home. There came a time when I didn't even return to the school house, but did my school work at home while working on that which I knew so well. I sold different type of salves and I also moved up to teas and working on satchels for people.
I used every bit of what my mother taught me to stay alive and I couldn't have thanked her enough. After about three months I got into a routine and I could feel myself start to heal. My days were work in the garden and making my concoctions and my nights were school work. The weekends I used for cleaning as well as organizing, and that's when I found it. It was small and I could see how over the months I overlooked it, a letter. It was from my mother and I could feel the skip in my chest as I opened the wax seal. My breath caught as I read each word out loud before it registered in my head.
My Sweet Kalayne,
My hope is that you never have to read this, but my health isn't improving and I don't expect to see the year out. My sweet daughter, you have grown into such a beautiful, smart and well rounded woman and I hope that I will get to see the day you marry. If not though baby please don't be sad for I got to have you and you are the brightest star in my universe. Each day I spend with you is etched upon my heart and I couldn't thank you enough. I will tell you though that I am sorry for having to leave, but as you remember from your father "everything happens for a reason," and this is one of those things.
I must make you promise me a few things and I am sorry that I didn't get to tell you this as I had hoped. First of all, your father didn't leave because he wanted to; he had to because we didn't belong together. There are many things you are going to find out about yourself soon and I wish I could be there to walk you through it because I know it is tough, but I know if anyone can make sense of what is going to happen little Kay, it will be you.
Your father's name is Vayne Vasil and I will tell you where you can find him. You won't be able to leave right away to find him but you will have to go. Please make sure that you have money put away for it is a long trip. My sweet daughter I never stopped loving your father and I know that he loves you as much now as he did when you were born. Your trip will lead you north into harsh terrain so please be careful. Also dearest, there will be someone who will come along soon to help you. He will look scary but I promise that his heart is big. I am sending him a letter at the same time that I write this to you just in case something happens. He already knows what to do to help you; I promise that he won't stay long.
I feel horrible for sheltering you and moving to this small town. I feel that you would have done better in a city so that you could have had more experiences then those spoiled rich children giving you a hard time. Well my dear, I hope I gave you a bit to think about and also a goal to go with from here. All of my love will always be with you Kalayne, just press your hand to your heart and that is where I will be.
Love you sweetheart,
I felt the tears then, not of sadness, but of happiness. I looked in the envelope and along with the letter, was a map and two pictures. I placed the map down and looked at the pictures, one was of my mother in her younger days and my father, the other was of my mother, father and a very large man that I had never seen before. I placed the pictures, letter and map away and got back to my cleaning. Two weeks had passed when one day I came home to see a large man in the garden and see that the fences were fixed. I was shocked. I looked at him for a moment and remembered the photograph of him. I moved into the gate and placed the basket on a table I had made with momma a long time ago. I slowly moved over to him and watched as he put his weight behind the pick that was thrashing into the ground and digging deep. As he straightened up I gently tapped on his shoulder and then backed up.
When he turned he looked at me with wide eyes and then smiled. His voice was such a deep base that I could feel it reverberate through the earth itself. I smiled politely but in my heart I could feel the fear building. I curtsied and then tried to politely greet him.
"Hello, my name is Kalayne. You must be him, th- the man from the picture that is."
His smile was wide as he rushed to me and held me tight. "Kay, you are the little girl that Lottie wrote me about, but you aren't so little." He laughed as he swung me around, he seemed so genuinely happy and he seemed to know me so well.
When he put me down I stepped back and looked up at him. "You- you know me. How is it that you know me?"
He lost his smile as he looked at me. "Didn't Lottie tell you anything? Kay I am your uncle Siros, your mother's older brother. I haven't seen her today, is your mother at market today?"
My shoulders slumped and I lowered my head. I guess I didn't have to say anything for he hugged me tightly. I could feel the tears slide down my face and I felt him sigh. "I had hoped to get here in time; it was only a matter of time before the effects of what he did wore off. I told him to leave poor Lottie alone, but he had to mess with the order of things. I am glad in one sense Lottie got her dream. Kay you were my sister's dream. I know that she loved him, but he couldn't have loved her. If he had loved her he wouldn't have left her to die. I know my sister had a wonderfully big heart. Vayne, I don't think he ever truly understood her."
I looked at him and my eyes must have spoke volumes, yet I still voiced the words roiling through my mind. "You know for over a year my father told momma and I how much he loved us, I heard it myself. He used to sing to me and I could always feel him there. My mother explained to me that he had to leave because they didn't belong together." My hands were clenched at my sides, I had never known this feeling before yet it rose up in me. I moved them trying to strike out at him for the pain that he had caused me. I moved again and again yet I couldn't hit him. The last time I moved towards him he stayed put and I beat my hands into his large chest and I hit him venting my frustration that I didn't know existed, an anger that built in me a new presence a different more angry me.
I felt my uncle grip me tightly and trying to calm me down. "Enough Kay, just calm down please. You don't need to bring down the house."
As I looked around I could see a red haze disappear from my vision but still a bit of the anger remained and I felt it heavy on my heart and it was like cold water in my blood bringing me all the way back to my docile self. "Wha- What was that?"
My uncle looked at me and then sighed. "I think we should go in and talk. This isn't something that we should discuss in public." I nodded and followed him inside.
As we got in the house I moved into the kitchen and started preparing a meal while he talked. "You know I knew my sister needed me here to help you and now I know why. She did explain things as best she could, but still it isn't really clear. Apparently because of who your father was you are a gifted child. Your mother explained it that you are like two different people sharing one soul. She is a part of you and when you get to know yourself better the two of you will become one. I understand that it is a lot to take in and I don't fully understand it myself but that was all she said in the letter. Well she also said that you need to keep your temper in check no matter what. That is one reason she sent me here."
I thought over all of the information and then wondered what all he really knew. I didn't know anything about him though so how was I to know what I could trust him with. I nodded my head and moved back over to the stove. I worked to process each bit of information and wondered then why my mother was so worried about me being able to control my emotions. Well I guess that I would have more than enough time to figure it out after my teachers left for the night.
After eating a hearty lunch both of us moved back out to the garden and worked hard to expand it before the next planting season so I could not only expand my food stores but also how many salves I could sell. I was amazed that we had gotten a good portion done before my teachers showed up. My lessons were done by candle light since I didn't get in soon enough to start the fire. As my lessons commenced, uncle Siros moved to make a meal. Being a bit ahead of the other students meant that I couldn't go back to the school house, but my teachers were more then happy to come to me at home. They loved how quickly I learned and pushed to me to do twice as much. The books they left for me were wonderful and I could just let my imagination wander and the places I had seen, I would actually go to one day. After four hours of work I had finally finished and eaten and was definitely ready to soak off the day. I opened up the pipe over the tub and didn't even bother to heat the water. I washed off most of the dirt and grime before I had to empty the tub and start again.
By the time I had satisfactorily gotten the remnants of the dirt off I was too tired to move, yet somehow I climbed into bed and fell into a sated sleep hoping that I could find some semblance of normalcy in my life, yet I couldn't have been more wrong.