I looked up at the night sky, specks of bright, white lights illuminating the dark. Everything was so misty, fogged and unclear. The moon was covered by a thick cloud and only a small amount of its light shone. There was something that was different. There was something that I couldn't quite understand.
There was something about her that was vaguely familiar. She seemed so different than before but what was different about her? Was it her hair? No, her hair was still the same shade of black it always was. Was it her eye color? No, they were still brown. Was it her smile? No, I didn't think it was.
I was so confused by her. I didn't know what to think but the longer I stared at her, the more I understood who I was looking at. There was no denying her beauty. There was no escaping her strong and powerful presence. There was something about her that made you look, that made you wonder. Everyone wanted to know who this stranger was and how she got here. Although we craved more knowledge, there was something that restrained us: there was something missing.
The girl just stood there and said nothing. She didn't smile, she didn't move and for a moment, she didn't breathe either. What's wrong? I wondered. I started to look away but something caught my eye. She moved and took a step away from us, away from the crowd that was surrounding her. As she walked, the sea of people stepped out of the way, creating a long trail to a place that I couldn't quite see.
"Where are you going?" I asked aloud, the silent air echoing my words. No answer.
I took a few steps, unsure of whether she was going to stop or not. The girl kept walking, everyone's eyes set on her, waiting in anticipation. Something was drawing me to her so I followed her slowly, my feet shuffling against the dirt road.
Suddenly the girl stopped at the edge, a cliff resting at the bottom of her feet. A harsh rumbling noise disturbed the air and I watched as the girl quickly fell, the ground opening up beneath her. I tried to move, I tried to run after her but my legs wouldn't budge.
I watched her and found it odd that she didn't scream. She fell with silence, a blank expression on her face. She wasn't afraid nor terrified, she was calm. I waited for someone's reaction, wondering if they were going to make a first move. Everyone stood still.
I looked around, my gaze setting on anyone I could find. Everyone was looking away as if they didn't care anymore, the crowd quickly dispersing. I shifted my gaze towards the girl, wondering why everyone was looking the other way, why they were leaving. I needed their help, I needed them to help me understand. I had to find someone that would help, someone that would help me save her.
The girl hung from the edge of the cliff, her body desperately trying to hang on. I looked at her, studying her face. Those brown eyes that were once flooded with tranquility and serenity were now terrified; they screamed for help. I noticed that her fingers were frail and they slipped further and further off the edge. I couldn't move towards her, I could only watch. My legs wouldn't allow me to move as I tried to step forward. No one was helping, no one tried to save her. Finally I stepped in the opposite direction and noticed that I was allowed to go back. What did this mean? Did it mean that I was supposed to go with the others?
Quickly I ran, my feet violently patting on the ground. I ran to the others, I ran for help.
"Please," I exclaimed. "You have to help her! She's falling!"
"Who?" I heard a man ask, his deep voice a little more than frightening. He was dressed in a long black leather coat and a top hat. Who was he?
"That girl, she's over there!" I pointed frantically.
"What girl? Who are you talking about?" The man asked, his eyes searching for something more than what he could see.
"She's right there!" I yell frantically. "She's slipping! Can't you see her?"
"I'm sorry, but we can't see." The man pressed his palm to my shoulder, a frown playing at his lips.
"So you do know?" I asked in disbelief. "You understand, don't you?"
"I do." He nods.
"Can't you help me?" I asked, my hand trying to touch the leather jacket. My hand falls through his sleeve and I'm left standing there bewildered. Why was it that he could touch me but I couldn't touch him?
"No." He answered.
"Can the other's help me? Can they hear me?" I asked. "Can they see her too?"
"I'm afraid not." He said, walking away.
"Please don't leave her there!" I called after him. The man continued to walk away, ignoring my every plea.
What was wrong with them? I didn't understand. Their ears were deaf to my cries and something was obscuring their vision. What was it?
I heard the girl cry, her sobs roaring in the silence. She screamed a piercing scream and I couldn't help but cringe. Her cries didn't cease, they continued crying, beckoning me to come close. It didn't let me go before, what makes it any different now? I wondered.
I ignored the events of earlier. I had to try again, I had to help her. One leg after the other, I moved closer. I ran towards the girl, her cries now disappearing. I tried to look at her face but there was something that was so dark that it only enabled me to see if I was standing directly in front of her.
My eyes darted downwards and I watched as her last bony finger slipped off the edge. I dove for her, my hand quickly grasping her. She was heavy for such a small girl and I struggled to pull her up. Something was weighing her down and I knew it that I had to look at her, it was time but still there was one question: Can I see her?
I stared at the girl, my vision quickly adjusting to the darkness. As I laid my eyes on her I realized that I knew who she was. My hand slightly slipped from her grasp at the frightening realization of who she was. The girl I was looking at, the girl I was wondering about this whole time was me. I couldn't understand how this could be. From a distance she looked so different, she looked so unfamiliar.
"But how?" I asked in surprise. "How could you be me?"
"I am not you," She said. He voice was small and had an eerie feel to it, sending chills down my spine. "You are me."
"I don't understand," I whisper.
"Don't you remember?" She asked. "Try to remember."
"Remember what?" I frantically asked, my hands shaking and my palms becoming sweaty. "What am I supposed to remember?"
"Remember us," She answered. "Remember the change."
I tried so hard to remember but I didn't know what to think about. "What change are you talking about?"
"The change that made you become me." I felt her hand slip away and I held on tighter.
My mind raced, desperately trying to remember her, to remember me. What changed? Did I change? Is that what she's talking about? If I did change I would notice, wouldn't I?
As my mind searched for answers, something shook my body. It was so unsettling, so violent and quick. It was like something was electrocuting me. My body clenched at the pain, my head groggily moved back and forth. I was suddenly tired and I was hurt.
"Look," She said. "Look at yourself and maybe you'll remember."
I tried to look down but a sudden jolt of pain surged through my body.
"I can't move," I cried, tears rapidly flowing from my eyes. "It hurts too much."
"It only hurts as much as you make it hurt," She said.
"What?" I asked, gasping in pain.
"If you look you will see," The girl said, her fingers slipping further. "And the source of your pain will be revealed."
I forced my head downwards, the marks on my body revealing everything I once knew, everything I once felt. All of the pain, the tears, the happiness, and the smiles came flooding back to me.
"Do you remember?" She asked.
"I remember everything," I faintly whispered.
Her fingers finally slipped from my grasp, her body disappearing into the never ending abyss of time and pain. She disappeared but I remained, my body immobilized with fear. I remembered the change and I remembered what happened. The marks, cuts, and bruises on my arms and legs told me everything. They reminded me of a story that I had once forgotten.