It’s finally 8pm and darkness overtakes the little light left over the mountains and inside the house, alone in the dark I wait as every other night.
“I’m here.” I hear the voice. I take a step back and fall on the chair behind me. I get back up and arrange my skirt. I am alone I remind myself.
“I’m back” the voice says. I close my eyes and try to calm myself down. I take a deep breath and repeat in my head. I am alone; there is no need to fear.
I take another step back towards the chair and I suddenly feel a gust of air; cold air that makes my hair stand, in satisfaction.
I open my eyes and I answer back. “Yes...finally.” I sit on the chair with relief and wait for him.
“Are you by yourself?” He says with anger.
I stand up. “I’m alone.” I reach out in front of me, but it’s just empty space. There is no way he would let me touch him.
“I promise, there is no one else but me.” I tried to reason, but more cold air filled the room. It made me tense, but I knew he wouldn’t harm me.
“I trust you.” I said and sat back down and the room slowly started getting back to its normal warmth.
“I’ve been received.” he said serenely. It’s been almost a month since his last visit.
I sighed of relief and smiled.
I remember the morning he came into my room. It was early morning. I had wakened to visit my mom and dad at the hospital. I was taking a bath and I had just turned the light off when I heard someone telling me to close the door and to not turn the light on. I thought someone broke into the house and I was being held hostage, but I was far from the truth. I tried to scream but when I tried, I couldn’t. My lips were sealed shut, I couldn’t move a muscle; I was paralyzed. I fell like a block of cement onto my bed.
He told me to calm down and all of a sudden I felt the room’s temperature drop a few degrees and I started to get cold and the more I tried to move, the colder the room got.
“If you calm down, I won’t hurt you.” He said to me. I was terrified.
“My name is Arson.” He said. All of a sudden I felt my lips part and I knew I could talk. I still couldn’t move, but I could speak. “What do you want?” I asked nervously.
“I need you; your trust, and I need you to not be afraid.” He said.
Not be afraid? I was terrified, I felt like screaming, but I guess I was too scared to do it. I could feel my blood pumping harshly against my chest and the tears running down my cheeks.
“Don’t cry; I won’t hurt you. I need you to trust me.” He said and I believed this invisible person.
The room’s warmth came back, “Now, listen to what I say and do as I say.” My whole body felt as I had been electrified. Then, slowly I started to regain feeling through my legs and I was able to sit down and take a deep breath.
“What are you?” I asked him. “Light manipulator.” he said and the room got darker than what it was. It was as if the light that was peeking through the windows disappeared.
“I am a light manipulator. We live atop the highest mountains on earth.” He explained further who he was.
He had been removed from his colony, his family and vanished forever because he came in contact with a human, and when he found my house, he didn’t expect to encounter another human. This was an old cabin. No one else but me lived here.
As he explained that no one is supposed to know about their existence and the human who knew was now dead, I got worried, because I now knew about his existence, but he assured me no one knew where he was, that he was a rogue unless he’d bring a sacrifice in less than a year to atone for his sins.
A human who would willingly, without a family, become a light manipulator.
At first I was scared I’d become that sacrifice, but as weeks went by, I started forgetting about it and soon I completely forgot and started enjoying his presence.
Ever since that day I looked forward to his coming, to our conversations. Our conversations took place in my room, in the dark of the night and alone. He told me about him. He’s the son of the chief light manipulator. They lived at the top of mountains, where the sun’s rays shone brightly without any disturbance of pollution. They controlled the sun’s rising and they took away the light of day at dawn. Many times I asked him why I couldn’t see him, or even touch him and he just told me it was as dangerous as touching a burning house and if I ever saw him, I would surely die. I got curious and asked him to just let me see a glimpse of how he looked, but he just ignored my requests and left. He said he was reckless for using me and gaining my trust that easily.
Ever since that night, I wanted nothing else but to be with him and no one else. I longed for his touch every day, I longed for the coldness of his company in my room, in my house, everywhere I went I would yearn for his presence. Slowly but surely I fell in love. I fell in love with a man I’ve never seen or even touched.
He always came, but one month ago someone came into the room while we were talking and he fled.
Every night I would wait, every night I would call out, but no one answered back. I was devastated. Every night I would say I was sorry. Every night I would apologize, but as weeks went by, I knew I would never be able to get to hear the voice that made me dissolve inside.
Tonight I sensed was going to be different. I got ready in advance. I locked the room. I took a warm shower and hoped he would come. And I was right. He was here and he wanted to talk.
“You’re back.” I said in relief. I relaxed and took a deep breath. His smell made me feel sick, but I was in love and I didn’t care about the smell. I had gotten used to the smell.
“Do you want to talk?” I asked hoping he would. I had missed the engaging sound of his voice. I missed the stories that made me want to be not human; that made me be like him, dead.
“It’s been a few days.” he said.
“It’s been a month!” I complained. “It’s been 31 days and I thought you would never come back. I thought you cared about me.” I argued.
He stayed silent until I finally let it all out. “I have been waiting for you every night, I haven’t slept well, I haven’t been able to eat, and people think I’m crazy. I started believing them. I started convincing myself you weren’t real.” I cried. But he didn’t respond. I wasn’t done yet. I kept yelling at him. And when I thought I was almost done I wasn’t. “I missed you. Don’t ever leave again. I love you.” I finally said.
“Are you done?” he asked me. I could feel his coldness surrounding me. I nodded knowing he could see in this darkness even when I couldn’t.
“I am sorry.” He said. “I shouldn’t have left, but I might have been exposed.” He confessed. He could see my tears, he could see that I was sad, but he couldn’t touch me, he couldn’t hold me. Many times I begged him to, but he said it was dangerous, he said I would become like him. Dead, lifeless, not being able to feel. Many times I would try to reach out to him, but he wouldn’t let me touch him.
“Did you hear what I said?” I asked him.
“That you love me.” He said nonchalantly. He knew and he didn’t say anything.
“Don’t you care?” I asked him. I wanted him to.
“It’s against the rules. I have told you many times I can’t love you.” He said. He left my side. I could feel the coldness that was usually close to me leave the room.
I stared into the darkness of the room. I could see nothing and this made me cry.
“Don’t cry. I’m back, I’m not going anywhere.” He said with a soothing voice.
“Make me like you and it won’t be against the rules. We have been through this a lot of times. Make me the sacrifice you need.” I told him. Many times I’ve threatened to kill myself, but he would stop me like he did one night. He could control me. Even when he wasn’t around he would stop me from doing something reckless as he liked to put it.
“Don’t say that. You do not want to be like me. I’m dead, I can’t touch you, I am not able to love humans, and I’m not able to even walk in daylight. I’m part of the darkness and it’s not a life I would have chosen.” He argued with me.
“Okay…” I said in defeat. I knew one day I would be dead and he would be allowed to love me.
“Where did you go?” I asked. Not knowing where he would hide kept me up every night.
“I can’t tell.” He answered. “You already know too much and it’s not safe.”
“When can I finally see you?” I asked. He promised he would reveal himself one day and I have been waiting patiently.
“Soon.” He said.
This surprised me. He had never said this before. He always said not now or he would immediately change the subject. I was excited.
“When will that be?” I asked giving away my excitement.
He left the room; I could feel the coldness dissipate. “Why do you leave?”
“Come back. Please, I’m sorry, I won’t ask again.” I pleaded. I knew he could hear me.
The warmth of the room made me feel indifferent. I stood up, went to turn the light on when all of a sudden I couldn’t move.
I smiled. He’s back. “Don’t you dare.” He said and I could feel the ice cold air surrounding me again.
“Are you afraid?” he asked dispassionately. He always asked me this when he was in control of me. But as years passed, I came to fully trust him.
“No.” I said with a chuckle. “We’ve been through this millions of times.” I reminded him.
“We have been through this about 454 times.” He pointed out
He kept count.
“The day is sooner than you imagine.” He said coming closer. My hands were numb from the cold, but I had gotten used to the coldness that came with him. “Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Of course I do. With my whole life.” I laughed. But he didn’t laugh back. He never laughed, or chuckled or anything. He was always deadly serious.
“Close your eyes.” He ordered. So I did. I closed my eyes.
“Walk to the bed and sit.” And I did. I had memorized where everything was in my room. I had to keep it clean and organized or else I would fall and hurt myself when I couldn’t see.
I sat down and I waited for his next demand.
We played this game several times before. He would tell me what to do and I would have to do as he said or he would freeze the room. He once froze the bed I was sitting on.
The trust or consequences game I called it.
“Do you trust me?” he asked again.
“Yes. With my whole life.” I repeated.
I could feel the coldness all around me. I wanted to reach out to him and touch him. But when I tried, he would immediately leave.
“Don’t move.” He said. I did my best not to move. “Don’t move no matter what, trust me.” He repeated.
And as I sat there waiting for his next command I felt as if someone took a torch and lit my hand on fire, but the coldness of him made it feel like hundreds of lightning bolts ran through my entire body.
I flinched when all of a sudden I knew he was gone. I could no longer feel my hand on fire; I could no longer feel the coldness around me and I could no longer feel the electricity running through my body.
“I’m sorry. Please come back. I won’t move.” I promised. He had never done that before.
“Please come back.” I said out loud. I know he wouldn’t hurt me. I checked my hand and it was fine. Why did I get scared? I’ve been waiting almost all of my life for this moment; the moment when he finally touch me.
“Please.” I sobbed. And then I felt the room get cold again.
“Will you trust me now?” he asked.
I searched through the black room but I couldn’t see him. The room was too dark.
“Close your eyes and don’t move again, or I’ll leave again.” He advised me.
I closed my eyes and smiled. I will not move; I will not move I chanted in my head.
Then, I felt it again; the fire that swept up my fingertips up to the palm of my hand; the tingling sensation of being electrocuted. While the rest of my body felt the almost ice burning cold. It did not hurt me. It was just my imagination I reminded myself, he would never hurt me.
“What do you feel?” he asked and I felt the torch rise up to my arm. I started crying. My body wanted to cringe away from the burning sensation, but I knew the fire wasn’t hurting me.
I remained calm, I took deep breathes. The coldness of the room assured me I was fine.
“I feel like I’m on fire.” I said honestly with tears running down my face.
We kept no secrets.
“Are you touching me?” I asked hoping it would be his touch what I was feeling.
“Yes.” He answered as I felt the fire recede in my arm.
“Don’t stop.” I demanded when he stopped. I wanted more of his touch.
If this is what it felt to be touched by him, by the man I loved, I would take it. I would swallow the pain and endure anything.
“Open your eyes.” He said. I immediately did and was blinded by a bright light.
“Oh no!” I panicked. I stood up and ran to the door. It was closed. I felt my way to the light switch and the lights were also off. How can this be? I made sure there was no way light could get in the room.
I couldn’t see a thing. The bright light filled the room and I didn’t know how to make the room dark again. I slumped on to the bed as I sadly thought this time he would never come back. I closed my eyes and hoped this was all a dream.
“Don’t go.” I pleaded to him as I felt the room get warm; too warm for my taste.
“I’m not going anywhere.” He said.“ Just open your eyes and see.” He told me. As I did, I could see a dark figure in front of me; the bright light still inside the room, but a dark shadow stood at my feet. I froze in place. I could not see well because of the light.
“Are you afraid?” he asked as I felt the room fill with his coldness once again.
“No.” I said.
“Do you trust me?” he asked again.
“Yes, with my whole life.” I repeated.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“yes.” I answered.
“No matter what?” he asked.
“Yes. No matter what.” I nodded with a smile.
“Do you want to become the sacrifice and become one of me?” he asked.
I have waited for this moment. I wanted to be with him. I didn’t care if was dead. This is what I’ve longed for, to die and be with him.
“Close your eyes.” He said and I did.
I suddenly felt the torch of his touch on my lips. He was kissing me. As he did, I felt millions of bolts run through my body and I was frozen.
I could not move, my whole body felt numb, I tried to breathe, but I couldn’t. I felt myself vanishing away.
When his lips parted from mine, I gasped for air. I fell to my bed and desperately gasped for air.
I trusted him. How could he do that to me?
“I…I…” was all I could manage to say while gasping for more air.
“Welcome to my world.” He said and the dark figure in front of me took off its cape and revealed a man of light skin, red eyes, with a smile showing teeth that made me cringe in fear.
For the first time in my life I was scared. I felt terrified. All of these years I wished I would see him, all these years I kept deluding myself I was in love with him. I have waited for this moment and now I wished I didn’t as I looked into the eyes of the monster in front of me.
“Are you afraid?” he asked shyly.
“Yes.” I shrieked and blacked out.
My head feels like it’s about to explode into a million pieces. It started in the nook of the back of my head. It slowly made its’ way up to the roof and now it’s throbbing all over.