Chapter 3: Transformation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 92

EPISODE 16

TRANSFORMATION

Victoria entered the room. I followed close behind.

“There…is Ayumi” she pointed to the farthest end of the room.

I looked in the direction she was pointing to. At the opposite end of the room, there was a bed. Beside the bed, there was a drip feed and other medical devices. I opened my eyes in horror and felt my heart race. I walked slowly…approaching the bed cautiously. When I was close enough, I looked at the bed. In the bed lay a girl. She looked lean and sick and she seemed to be on life support. I stared closely at her and recognized her almost immediately. It was Ayumi!

“WHAT IS THIS?!” I screamed in horror and felt my entire body begin to tremble.

My heart ached terribly and I felt dazed. My legs gave way and I fell to the ground.

“No! No! No! No! NO! It can’t be!” I screamed and felt tears flow down my face.

“On the day you were attacked, she tried to escape the scene and got ran over by a hit and run truck driver. It is a miracle she survived. I happened to be at the scene with my father. We rushed her to the hospital. It was horrible. She was in so much pain. She kept repeating your name. ‘Zan, Zan, Zan, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you’. She repeated that sentence over and over again till she lost consciousness. The doctors managed to save her life but her brain was extensively damaged. She has lost almost all her higher brain functions except those that keep her alive” Victoria explained.

I stood up and stared at the bed again trying to make sure it really was Ayumi. It really was her! Her eyes were open but it didn’t look as though she was conscious of her surroundings.

“Ayumi, can you hear me?” I called but she had a lost look on her face, a painful look, a look of great inner pain.

“Ayumi!” I called again.

She didn’t respond. She didn’t even blink.

“How can this…be? How could this…?” I thought as I remembered the strong, arrogant girl I once knew.

“HOW CAN THIS BE?!” I screamed as I ran towards the window and leapt through it, shattering the glass in the process.

I landed smoothly on the ground. I heard Victoria calling to me but I ignored her and kept running.

“This can’t be happening! All these months I’ve carefully planned my revenge! And for what?! I discover that…Ayumi is pretty much a vegetable! I can’t even carry out my revenge now because it won’t even hurt her!” I growled angrily and kept running.

I was in such a rage that I could have killed anyone who was foolish enough to cross my path. My senses were screaming, blinded. I was infuriated but I was also in pain. It almost felt like madness. I don’t know how it happened but I somehow winded up in Northern Dream City, the most religious place in all of Dream City. I walked on and on till I reached a hill. I climbed it and came to a chapel. I smirked.

“It is said that this is the only place to find real answers right? Let’s find out how true that saying is” I said as I entered the chapel.

No sooner had I walked into the chapel than I crashed into one of the altar boys.

“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” I yelled angrily.

“Oh, I’m really sorry. I’m really, really sorry. I didn’t mean to” he offered profuse apologies.

I don’t know why but this boy seemed different. I couldn’t feel any animosity from him, not even the faintest. Somehow, it calmed me down.

“It’s okay” I said.

“I haven’t seen you around in over three months” he said.

“Have we met?” I asked him.

“Yeah, we have. The last time I met you like this, you were in as much turmoil as you are now” the boy said.

“Hmm, I don’t remember. But maybe I can tell you my problem” I said.

He smiled.

“I am always ready to listen” he said.

When he uttered those words with that smile, I felt a shock pass through me. It all seemed strangely familiar. It felt like I had forgotten someone very important and that person was trying to enter my heart again. It felt really strange. I don’t know whether I did it to shock him or drive him away but I told him everything I had been through. E-ve-ry-thing.

“I see. So you can’t carry out your vengeance against this girl because of the condition she is in now” he said thoughtfully.

“Yeah, and what makes me even more confused is that when I saw her in that state…I couldn’t help shedding tears” I said.

“I see, but can’t you just forgive her? Try to put yourself in her shoes. Besides, I think she has already received her punishment and I believe this is far worse than what you originally planned to do to her” the boy said.

“So what do I do?” I asked him.

“Is it peace of mind you seek? Do you wish to calm your troubled spirit?” he asked me.

“More than anything in this world. Since I saw her, I’ve been completely torn between loving her and hating her and all the memories I shared with her keep popping up in my head” I said.

“Then the answer is simple. Return to that girl and show her love. Help her recover with constant kindness. It’s definitely going to be confusing at first but I can assure you that when all of this is over, you will find your answer” the boy said.

“What?! You want me to love someone whose entire existence revolves around killing me?!” I roared angrily.

“Precisely!” the boy said firmly.

“Why?! Why should I care for someone who has only hurt me?! It’s because of her that this curse of darkness is upon me!” I refused.

The boy smiled.

“Is it any different from what you do to me?” he said as he pulled his long sleeves back.

I saw deep wounds on his hands. He took off his shoes and removed his socks. I saw more wounds on his feet. He pulled up his shirt and I saw a terrible wound at his side. All his wounds were still bleeding, constantly. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t noticed them before.

“What are those wounds?” I asked him for the wounds were terrible.

“I’ve had these wounds for a long time but they’ve refused to heal. Sometimes, they look as though they are about to heal, then something happens and they open up and become fresh again. The pain is unbearable but I’ve never regretted having these wounds…I know it’s definitely worth it. It’s definitely worth the wait” the boy said with a smile on his face.

There were tears in his eyes.

“But…how? Who gave you these wounds?” I asked him.

“These wounds open up whenever an evil deed is committed or whenever an evil thought is conceived. They offer forgiveness. I take the main brunt of the punishment the sinner is supposed to suffer” the boy said.

I opened my eyes in surprise.

“Are you trying to say…?! Could you possibly be…Nana Nyankopon Jesus Christ?!” I asked.

“Yes, but don’t tell anyone. I’m here to oversee your development” he said with a wink.

“But…you’re just a kid!” I exclaimed in disbelief.

“It’s for your own sake, because you all see me as an all-powerful being who holds the power of judgement, many Christians are afraid to go for confession. I just wish they could see me as a friend, a kid, a teenager if it helps them feel any better. Besides, you wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to me if I came to you as an adult now would you?” the boy said with a deep sigh.

“All this…just for me?” I wondered.

“Not just you, I go this far for every person. It’s just that you were one of the few that noticed me” he said with a sad laugh.

I felt confused.

I smirked.

“Heh heh heh! Perfect chance! I have always waited for the day you would appear before me like this…!” I said as I pulled a pair of scissors from my pocket.

“Let’s see how the creator looks…in a Mohawk! Heheehee!” I laughed maniacally.

“Stooooop!” Jesus screamed and began to run away.

I chased him around the chapel. Hmm the chapel, so this is what it’s supposed to feel like huh? A true home? Jesus was really quick. He evaded me with godlike agility. Huh? Did I just say godlike? He is God. He evaded me with godly agility! By the time I finally caught up to him, I was totally beat.

I dropped on the ground and sighed.

“You sure are quick” I panted.

“Maybe one day you will see me with a modern haircut but today is definitely not that day” he laughed.

I sighed sadly. Meeting him was killing my desire for vengeance. I sighed.

“I’m not you. I can’t just let it go” I said with a frown.

“Okay, tell you what? Try to be kind to Ayumi. Help her recover. What you do after that is entirely up to you but remember…I’m watching you, and I’ll be protecting Ayumi as well” Jesus said as he walked away.

“I’ll try. Just until she recovers. After that…I will carry out my revenge!” I said as I left the chapel.

I walked back to Lower East Side Dream City.

“I’ve got to sort out my feelings. I feel so confused right now. I guess I’ll try to live a normal life for now. I’ll attend classes…probably. Father! I need you now!” I called.

The Nightmare King appeared to me as a shadow only I could see.

“I need you to register me at my former school and pay my fees as well. I’ll be attending classes tomorrow…probably. That is until I can carry out my vengeance” I ordered.

“I will. Although I don’t like your tone and you even sound like…YOU ALREADY INTEND TO SLACK OFF!” the Nightmare King scolded me.

“I see you know me very well indeed. Well then dad, I leave it to you” I said just as I arrived at my apartment.

I dreamweaved the door open and entered. I wasted no time in resting. It was almost nine in the evening. When I finally drifted into sleep, I had another strange dream. This time, Ayumi was hugging me tightly.

“Zan, please come back home with me. I’m sorry Zan! I’m so sorry Zan! Everything’s going to be alright, I promise” Ayumi said while crying bitterly.

 

 

 

When I woke up the following day, there were tears in my eyes and dried tears on my face. I washed my face and sighed.

“What was that about?” I asked myself.

I looked in the mirror and saw for a moment, the reflection of Ayumi’s tear stained face. I raised my fist to smash the mirror but I couldn’t. My fist was trembling uncontrollably.

“Jeez! Now she’s haunting me! I should be the one haunting her!” I roared as I sat down on the ground. “That sly Jesus! I’m sure this is his doing to prevent me from carrying out my vengeance!” I complained.

“Ayumi…” I murmured as I recalled the joyful and annoying moments I had once shared with her.

Then the image of the paralyzed Ayumi appeared in my mind. I felt very sad.

“Ayumi” I repeated her name and burst into tears.

Then like a blow from the blue I suddenly realized how pathetic I was acting and wiped my tears. Then I headed to the bathroom. It was still quite early. The sun had not even risen yet. By the time I arrived in school, Victoria was waiting for me at the gate.

“You again?! Are you stalking me?!” I yelled angrily.

“That’s an interesting thing to say considering the fact that you were the one looking for me yesterday” Victoria said with a slight chuckle. “Besides that, you don’t need to be so full of yourself. I’m a student of this school starting today” she said.

“So you are stalking me! What will your fiancé say when he finds out that you’ve enrolled in a rival school!” I scolded her.

“Fiancé? You mean that blockhead?! All he thinks about is becoming the top delinquent in all of Dream City. I’d really like to see his reaction when he finds out” Victoria said with a sinister smile.

(Da-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r-k!)

“I also found out something very interesting. You are the Dreamweaver aren’t you?! You were the one that attacked the Kirisawa family, weren’t you?!” Victoria growled angrily.

I smiled.

“Yes, it was me. I will do the same to you if…you intend on getting in my way” I threatened Victoria calmly.

“How could you do something so cowardly?!” Victoria scoffed.

“Oh, so it was brave of them to attack an unarmed boy who had no idea of the reality of the Dream World as well as its endless wars?!” I yelled angrily.

Victoria’s frown turned into a sad expression.

“It’s not something we want to do. It’s something we have to do” she said.

“But no one forces you. You choose to do it…to hunt me down like an animal since the day I was born. If you want to kill me, I dare you to try but don’t expect me to just stand around and get killed” I warned her.

“Right now, I want to kill you…but if I do that now, Ayumi might never recover. I want you to help Ayumi recover but I guess I already know your answer” Victoria said sadly.

“I’ll do it. I do intend to avenge myself but I can’t do it with Ayumi in her current state so I’ll help her recover…and then I’ll kill her” I said with a sly grin.

“Now I see why your execution has been ordered. You are extremely warped” Victoria said.

“Thanks for the compliment” I said with a chuckle.

“Don’t think I’ll let you hurt Ayumi after she recovers” Victoria promised.

“We’ll see about that” I returned her challenge.

 

 

 

After classes, I followed Victoria back to her house. When we reached the door to Ayumi’s room, I sighed. Victoria opened the door and my confusion overwhelmed me when I saw Ayumi. She was in exactly the same position she was in the previous day except for the fact that her eyes were closed this time. I just stared at her. My heart was pounding so fast and hard that I thought I was going to faint.

“Do you think your dreamweaving powers can help her recover…even a bit?” Victoria asked me.

I walked to Ayumi.

“I can probably cure her physical wounds but there is nothing I can do about her psyche” I said as I stretched my hands over Ayumi and shut my eyes.

A fiery red energy burst from my hands and engulfed Ayumi. I reweaved her spine and repaired her damaged organs. After I was done, Ayumi let out a deep sigh but she didn’t look like anything had changed within her…maybe except for the fact that she had a more peaceful look on her face. I could tell she was sleeping. I dropped to the ground, panting wearily.

“Why are you so tired? I was under the impression that you were much stronger than this” Victoria teased me.

“I only get this exhausted when I use my evil powers for good” I said with a laugh.

“Hey Vikki. Could you bring Ayu some food? She no longer needs this” I said as I detached the drip feed and removed all the life support systems.

“What the heck are you doing?! Are you trying to kill Ayumi?!” Victoria screamed in horror.

“I want to test her resilience but if she dies from such a simple thing as this, well…too bad for her” I said nonchalantly.

Victoria had a shocked expression on her face.

“Hey hey, you are saying some really scary things nonchalantly” she said.

“Go get some food for Ayu” I instructed Victoria.

She smiled and walked out of the room. Before she left she muttered, “You may not have noticed Zan but you’re already calling her Ayu”.

She was lucky I didn’t hear that or I would have levelled her entire house on the spot. I sat on the bed beside Ayumi.

“How can I help her regain consciousness? What should I do?” I wondered.

“Show her love. Help her recover with constant kindness” Jesus’ words rang in my head.

I felt sad.

“Ayumi, can you hear me? I’m going to try my best to help you recover…I promise” I said as I held her hand.

Her hand was limp and lifeless. I didn’t know why but at that moment, I wished I could feel even a light squeeze from her but nothing happened. I didn’t notice Victoria watching me.

“I guess love and hate really do go hand in hand. It’s sad how fate has toyed with you both” Victoria thought sadly and walked into the room carrying a tray containing food and water.

Heh! She had no idea but this wasn’t planned by fate but some psychologically warped, spiritually demented being called Chaos. When I lay my hands on him…!!! Well, no spoilers!

“Are you sure she’ll be able to eat?” Victoria asked me.

“Ayumi, wake up” I called in a kind, yet commanding tone.

Ayumi opened her eyes slowly but she still had a blank look in her eyes.

“She responded!” Victoria exclaimed happily.

“Victoria has brought you some food. I’ll help you eat” I said as I helped Ayumi sit up.

“Are you going to feed her?” Victoria asked me.

I had a look of embarrassment on my face.

“Y-Yeah, it does kind of feel awkward though, me feeding a girl” I said shyly.

Victoria giggled.

“It’s not funny!” I yelled angrily.

“I don’t find ‘it’ funny. I find ‘you’ funny” Victoria said.

“Jeez! I guess it can’t be helped” I said as I fetched some of the rice with a spoon.

“Eat Ayu” I commanded and Ayumi opened her mouth.

I gently placed the food in her mouth and she began to chew.

“How are you doing that?! She listens to you” Victoria exclaimed in awe.

I smiled.

“I guess part of her recalls the strength in my voice” I said as I fed Ayumi.

Soon, her plate was empty.

“You really can help Ayumi recover! I’m counting on you Zan!” Victoria cheered me on.

“Sure, I’ll live on that tree outside from now on. I’ll call you if I need anything. Help Ayumi to rest. Tomorrow is going to be quite exciting” I said as I leapt through the glass window.

“Jeez! Must you keep doing that?! The window was repaired just this morning you jerk!” Victoria yelled angrily.

I climbed a mango tree in the Arthur’s compound. It had wide branches. I smiled and plucked some mangoes and lay on a branch. I stared at the sky for a while before falling asleep.

 

 

 

In my dreams, I was being carried away by a great wind. Ayumi held on to my hand tightly.

“Zan! I’ll never let go! Hang on! No matter what happens…there is no way I’ll ever let go of your hand!” Ayumi promised me.

“It’s pointless. The historical timeline has already been altered. You cannot stop it” a stranger with silver hair said.

My hand was forcefully torn from Ayumi’s by the wind and I was carried into the sky.

“ZAN! NO MATTER WHERE THE WIND TAKES YOU! I WILL FIND YOU!” Ayumi swore.

I smiled.

“I TRUST YOU AYU! I ALWAYS HAVE…AND I ALWAYS WILL!” I called back as I was carried higher and higher.

 

 

 

Ayumi watched me from within Chaos’ sigil. She had been in Chaos’ sigil for less than two hours though it seemed quite longer than that to her senses. This was because Chaos’ sigil was a dimension beyond time.

“It looks like Zanfar wants to help you recover just so he can have his revenge. What do you think? Strange right?” Chaos continued to taunt Ayumi.

“I don’t believe Zan will hurt me” Ayumi said as though she was trying to convince herself of her own words.

“You are a strange girl. Don’t you call eliminating your family ‘revenge’?” Chaos asked.

“I’m leaving this dimension! I don’t know how I will do it but I’m going to reveal the truth to Zan!” Ayumi declared.

Chaos applauded her and even opened a portal for her to leave.

“You seem to be a very forgetful person. Perhaps you don’t believe me when I say you will be assimilated by the other Ayumi. Well then, let me explain it to you. There is a side effect to leaving my sigil and entering an altered timeline. People that dare to do that cease to exist. Do you know why?” Chaos said.

Ayumi opened her eyes in shock and then she slowly frowned, biting her lip angrily.

“You’re lying!” she yelled.

“No I’m not. Why would I need to lie when I’m clearly at an advantage? Wouldn’t that be rather strange?” Chaos laughed.

“You’d clearly be at a disadvantage if Zan discovers the truth. You know he has the power to defeat you” Ayumi said.

“Maybe what you’re saying is true but think about it carefully. A timeline was altered and the original timeline ceased to exist. If you have retained memories of the previous timeline, memories of a non-existent life…” Chaos paused.

“Then it means…you can’t be serious!” Ayumi exclaimed in shock.

“She finally gets it. Humans are so slow” Chaos muttered. “Thus stepping into the present timeline will erase your existence. The only you left will be the Ayumi without your memories. I love the strangeness of it all” Chaos chuckled gleefully.

“You are a sick twerp!” Ayumi insulted.

“I don’t need to argue with a non-entity” Chaos replied.

 

 

 

I woke up the following morning feeling confused yet very cheerful. I used my Dreamweaver powers to refresh myself and leapt down from the tree.

“Today marks the beginning of Ayumi’s therapy” I said with a mischievous grin.

I was lost in thought and hadn’t noticed Victoria approaching.

“Why the mischievous smile Zan? I hope you’re not planning anything dastardly!” Victoria warned me.

“Not really but that would be a really good idea, I think I should add something like that to my to-do list. Thanks for the idea Victoria” I taunted her.

Victoria sighed and led me to Ayumi’s room.

“I think she needs a wheelchair. Being in here for so long isn’t going to aid her recovery process. She needs fresh air and sunshine” I said.

“You make her sound like a plant” Victoria grumbled.

“Heh! I hadn’t thought of it that way but that’s an interesting way to put it” I laughed.

“But unfortunately, we don’t have one. She was in so much pain she could hardly sit up so I didn’t think she’d need one for a long time” Victoria said sadly.

I smiled.

“Don’t worry, I’ll dreamweave one!” I said as I slapped Victoria on the back.

And by that I’m not talking of her derriere so stop getting wrong ideas!

She frowned angrily.

“Okay, allegro presto!” I called as I waved my hands.

A spiky wheelchair appeared.

“What’s this?!” Victoria yelled.

“Kekekeheh!” I chuckled evilly.

“ZAN!” Victoria glared at me.

“Oops, sorry. What about this one!” I called and the wheelchair transformed into a wooden one with cowbells hanging all over it.

“ZAN! IT’S NOT FUNNY!” Victoria roared but I was having the time of my life.

“No? What about this?!” I asked.

In the next instant, the wheelchair became a flaming chariot.

“ZAN! STOP IT!” Victoria yelled.

“Too much? How about…” I was about to transform the chariot into something outrageous when Victoria landed a heavy knock on my head.

“Enough is enough! Can’t you just create something normal?!” Victoria yelled.

“Jeez! Why do you have to be such a spoilsport! I think I should call you ‘Ogu agor’ from now on” I said.

“What’s that supposed to mean?!” Victoria yelled angrily.

“Spoilsport” I muttered.

“STOP REPEATING THAT!” Victoria ordered.

“But you just said you wanted to know the meaning of what I said” I said coyly.

“You’re just too much” Victoria sighed in exasperation.

“I’ll try something else” I said as I focused on creating a wheelchair that would fit Ayumi’s personality.

I shut my eyes, stretched my hands, took in a deep breath and let my emotions flow. I felt a light breeze, then a strong wind. I could see flashes of light though my eyes were shut and when I opened them after the elements calmed down, the wheelchair had been transformed into something that resembled a flaming sigil befitting of Charles X Xavier! Heheheh! Now use your imagination to think of what it could possibly look like ‘cos describing it would be troublesome. I’ll give you a clue though, it was customized in flamin’ style!

“Zan! It’s magnificent!” Victoria said but I was wheezing and coughing.

“Tell it to the guy who had to use his evil powers for good” I panted.

“Is it that painful? I thought you were pretending the first time” Victoria asked curiously.

“This was actually nothing. Anytime I use my Dreamweaver powers for good, it’s torture. That’s because I only learnt to use them for evil” I said.

“So are your Dreamweaver powers evil?” Victoria asked.

“No, but I only learnt to use them for evil so they took on an evil nature. Now when I try to use them for good, they torture me ‘cos it’s not really my intention to be good. I feel like I’m being forced” I explained.

“He’s definitely got a few screws loose” Victoria thought to herself.

I took Ayumi outside for some fresh air while Victoria busied herself with a book. There was a cool breeze blowing the trees and the sky was clear. It was quite sunny and a few clouds moved across the sky. I took in a deep breath.

“There is nothing like a clear sunny day with a cool breeze” I said as I let myself drop like a log on the lawn beside Ayumi. I had placed her on the grass so she could stare into the sky. Part of me did it to help her; the other part secretly hoped the sun would hurt her eyes. Ayumi stared at the sky without blinking.

“What do you think Ayu? Don’t you just love a day like this? If you were better, it would have been the perfect day to exact my revenge” I said and looked at her as though I expected some kind of response.

“I want to hear you tell me the reason why you chose to abandon me” I said as I recalled that terrible day.

“Family comes first. I’m sorry Zan” I recalled her words.

“Family comes first huh? Isn’t human life more important? Back then, I was prepared to defend you from everyone, and everything…even if it was against my own family. When I look at it from your perspective I guess you just wanted to protect humanity. You wouldn’t care about an abomination like me…is that what you also thought of me…Ayumi?” I said sadly and stared at Ayumi.

Though she was unconscious, I could see tears building up in her eyes. She had a sad expression in her eyes, almost of regret. It almost made me cry, then I noticed the tears begin to stream down her eyes. I suddenly started feeling terrible.

“It’s okay though. I did survive so you have no reason to be sad anymore and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you of such painful memories” I said.

Ayumi didn’t reply. I wiped her tears with my thumbs.

“You know, for the past four months, I’ve only been dreaming of you and your family. It’s weird but…my dreams are the exact opposite of what actually happened to us. We were…happy. You know what? I want you to see my dreams so I’m going to turn them into a reality” I said as I carried Ayumi on my back.

“Hey Vikki! We’re going out for a while. Do you want to come with us?” I called to Victoria.

“Of course I’m coming! There’s no way I’m going to give you the chance to hurt Ayumi!” Victoria called back and came out of the house.

I grinned.

“Can’t trust me huh? Well that’s understandable. I am evil after all” I said as we left the house.

 

 

 

From that moment onwards, I took Ayumi to all the places I had dreamt of. We went to Y3 w) biribi k)t)k) chop bar first. I ordered fufu and ap)nkye kakra as usual. Maame D)kon was so glad to see me that she decided to serve us for free. Victoria couldn’t stand the peppery soup but Ayumi ate all of hers with my help.

“Hey Vikki, if Ayumi can manage this in her present condition, isn’t it a bit insulting that you can’t endure it?” I played reverse psychology on Victoria.

She became so infuriated that she finished the fufu and drank all the soup. But after that, she had to drink a whole jar of water to calm the burning sensation on her tongue. I laughed at her and only ended up making the entire situation worse. Next, we headed to the roof of a storey building. I took out a box of stones from my secret hiding place. Victoria looked into the box and saw the stones. Then she looked at the buildings around. Most of them had glass windows.

“Don’t tell me you’re planning to…?!” Victoria exclaimed in horror.

“Well I’ll tell you even if you don’t want to hear it. We’re here to play a little game called ‘Smashin’ Mayhem!’” I declared.

“Wow, what an interesting name for vandalism” Victoria said with a bored look in her eyes.

“Here I go!” I called as I hurled a stone at a building.

“SMASH!” glass windows were shattered.

“ZAN YOU IDIOT!” Victoria screamed.

“Try it. Look, even Ayumi is doing it” I said as I placed a stone in Ayumi’s hand and used her hand to throw the stone.

Another window was shattered.

“Taking advantage of a sick person, you are absolutely twisted!” Victoria scolded me.

“KWASIA! 3P3D3 EWU ANAA?!(FOOL! DO YOU WANT TO DIE OR WHAT?!)” an angry voice yelled back.

“Zan! Stop this!” Victoria warned me.

“If you don’t throw at least one stone, I’m not going to stop and you know I can weave more stones if I want to” I said with a sly grin.

Victoria sighed in defeat.

“Fine, only one stone” she said as she picked a stone, aimed at the closest building and…

“SMASH!” she shattered a window.

“There now, I did it. So can you please stop now?” Victoria pleaded.

“Heheh! Heheehehehee!” I chuckled mischievously.

“What’s with the creepy laughter?!” she asked angrily.

“Victo-ria? I don’t think you can stop now” I said with a smirk.

“Why is that?!” Victoria growled angrily.

“THE PERSON WHO THREW THAT STONE IS AN EMPTY STUPID FAT FOOL WITH A PSEUDOPODIC BODY!” a voice yelled angrily.

Victoria frowned angrily and picked two stones.

“WHO THE HECK ARE YOU CALLING AN EMPTY STUPID FAT FOOL WITH A PSEUDOPODIC BODY YA TWERP!!!” she roared and hurled stones continuously at all the buildings.

“Heh! When it comes to their bodies, girls are so damn predictable!” I grinned slyly.

Victoria seemed to be in so much rage that she didn’t seem to notice what she was doing till the box was empty.

“ZAN! WEAVE MORE STONES!” she threatened me.

“Just give me a second to carry Ayumi” I said as I carried Ayumi on my back.

“What has carrying Ayumi got to do with weaving stones?! DON’T MAKE ME DECORATE YOUR FACE WITH QUADRUPLE SLAPS!” Victoria threatened.

I stared behind her.

“Wow, that’s so beautiful, I didn’t think I’d see a comet streak past Dream City” I said dreamily.

“A comet? Where?!” Victoria turned to look and in that instant…

“SAYONARA! BYE BYE! ADIOS! SEE YA LATER!” I called as I sped off.

“I’ll kill you Zan!” Victoria roared as she chased after me.

 

 

Ayumi watched the scene from within Chaos’ sigil. She had a smile on her face.

“Looks like you’re out of ideas. That’s unfortunately strange. Are you giving up?” Chaos teased her.

Ayumi shook her head.

“I just realized how much of a fool I’ve been. I underestimated Zan. I may not be able to help Zan physically but there is something equally great that I can do for him” Ayumi said.

“And what is that equally great thing? I’m sure it’s equally useless” Chaos taunted.

“I can believe in Zan! I believe in him. He may not realize it now but he has a good heart…and I will wait for him. Even if it takes him an eternity to find me” Ayumi declared.

Chaos smiled.

“Congratulations. It looks like you’re actually beginning to learn however…don’t think I will make it easy for you. I will crush your love even if it’s the last thing I do” Chaos said.

Ayumi smirked.

“It will be interesting to see how this plays out” she thought.

 

 

 

By then, Ayumi, Victoria and I were lying in a sea of lunar flowers. It was night time and the stars sparkled so beautifully. A full moon illuminated the sky and the lunar flowers responded with their beautiful light and fragrance.

“They are beautiful Zan. You’re doing so much for Ayumi even though you say you hate her. It’s almost as though…you actually love her” Victoria said.

“I refuse to talk about my feelings” I said painfully.

I tried to sound as indifferent as I possibly could but somehow, the words came out sounding painful and regretful.

“I’m sorry for intruding” Victoria said sadly.

“It’s not because I don’t want you to know about my feelings but because…I don’t even know what I feel for Ayumi anymore. I don’t know whether what I’m feeling now is love or hate” I said.

“Maybe it’s because you are refusing to see the truth” Victoria said.

“Truth? And what exactly is the truth?” I asked her.

Victoria smiled.

“I’ll let you figure that out on your own Mr Dreamweaver” Victoria said as she stood up.

I remained silent.

“You know, it will be exactly two months tomorrow since we began Ayumi’s therapy a.k.a showing her the dreams of the Dreamweaver” Victoria said.

“Two months already?! Wow! Time really does fly…!” I exclaimed and stopped myself from saying more. “What? Did I really have so much fun taking care of Ayumi that my concept of time became so drastically disoriented?!” I wondered to myself.

Victoria noticed the shocked expression on my face and smiled.

“It looks like you have a lot to think about” she said.

“Some therapy huh? All we’ve managed to do is help her eat solid food and even with that…we have to feed her. I’m not saying it hasn’t been crazy fun though but…we’ve gotten nowhere near to helping her regain consciousness” I said sadly.

“Perhaps she doesn’t want to wake up but…don’t give up on her. Tomorrow is another day” Victoria said.

“I’m not giving up on her!” I roared and stood up.

Victoria stared at me and smiled.

“I mean…I’m not giving up on my revenge…yes, that’s what I mean!” I said with a look of embarrassment on my face.

“Whatever!” Victoria laughed.

I could tell she wasn’t convinced.

“It’s gotten quite late. Let’s head back home” Victoria suggested.

I looked at Ayumi. Though she still seemed to be unconscious of her surroundings, there was a peaceful look in her eyes.

“I guess we did do her some good after all” I thought silently and carried her unto my back.

We walked all the way to Upper West Side Dream City. By the time we arrived at Victoria’s mansion, Ayumi was fast asleep. After laying Ayumi down to rest on her bed, I wished them both goodnight.

“Don’t worry Zan. We might gain some progress tomorrow. Get some rest. Goodnight” Victoria said.

“You make it sound like I actually care about Ayumi. Heh! You’ve grown insolent enough to talk to me as though we are friends” I said as I turned towards the window.

“Whatever! You’re such a dishonest guy. You say one thing but your feelings clearly show the other. Oh yeah, and one more thing, stop jumping…!” Victoria was saying when…

CRASH! Too late, I had already leapt through the glass window.

“Jeez! That jerk sure has some nerve! At least I know how it feels to have your windows shattered” Victoria thought as she remembered her rampage. “Today sure was fun…” she thought to herself.

I climbed my mango tree and lay on the big branch I was used to lying on. I stared at the sky. The stars were sparkling so brightly, the infiniteness of the sky filled me with wonder, then I recalled the peaceful look in Ayumi’s eyes.

“This world…is mysterious. It is terribly flawed…yet at the same time…it is mysteriously wonderful. Do I really want to destroy this world? What do I want to do? What do I really feel for Ayumi?” I wondered.

Then I smiled.

“I already know the answer to that. I just refused to accept it. I love Ayumi” I said and then I laughed. “I think that’s what Jesus wanted me to discover, that I don’t hate her. I can’t actually hurt her even if I wanted to…so what do I do now?” I wondered as I fell asleep.

I had the same dreams I usually had since the day I first met Ayumi. They seemed so real. More like memories than dreams.

When I woke up the following morning, I noticed Victoria bringing Ayumi towards me. I quickly teleported myself to Lower East Side Dream City, freshened up and returned to my tree in Victoria’s mansion. Victoria called to me repeatedly.

“Hey Vikki, what’s up?” I greeted in a deliberately nonchalant tone of voice.

“I’m heading to town for a bit. It’s Dream Knight Business but don’t worry. I’ve not ratted you out and I don’t intend to” Victoria assured me.

“Am I supposed to be grateful? Sorry to disappoint but I don’t need your protection. I can take care of myself” I said with a smirk.

“You really have an attitude problem you know? Anyway, look after Ayumi while I’m gone but I’m warning you, no funny business!” Victoria threatened me.

“Hmmph! Is that supposed to be a threat? I don’t intend to hurt Ayumi if that’s what you’re worried about” I said seriously.

“Okay, take care!” Victoria waved as she walked to her jeep, entered it and drove out.

I leapt down from the tree and crouched in front of Ayumi.

“Hello Ayu. How’re you doing today?” I greeted cheerfully.

There was no response.

“So Ayumi, what do you want to do today? I’m all out of ideas” I said cheerfully.

Ayumi didn’t respond. In fact, her gaze seemed fixed away from me. It was as though she was looking at me but not really seeing me. I don’t know why but today, it felt particularly painful knowing that her mind was so far away from me.

“Hey Ayu, do you remember the time I gave you my notes? You returned them to me totally burnt. I was so angry then…but we became friends…” I said as my cheerfulness slowly became sorrow.

There were tears in my eyes.

“I’m sorry. All these months, all I’ve wanted was for you to recover so that I could have my revenge. I was so selfish! I was so angry that I forgot the most important thing that happened on the day I was attacked…” I said as I shut my eyes and recalled that fateful day.

 

ON THE DAY I WAS ATTACKED…

This is what humanity is…this is the true nature of humanity. Those who love are forsaken. The world of humanity is ruled by hatred! That is what I am…that is who you are” the sinister voice rang in my mind.

“Shut up!” I yelled angrily.

Ayumi stared at me in surprise.

“Stop talking as though Ayumi is some kind of trophy to raise your reputation with! Ayumi is a person! She has feelings!” I yelled at Ai and Mr Kirisawa.

“Ayumi…will you side with your family…or with the Dreamweaver?” the man asked.

Ayumi bowed her head in shame.

Humanity is a circus of misplaced loyalties” the voice said again.

“Shut up!” I scolded the voice.

Ayumi walked to me and slapped me!

I was shocked!

She was trembling. She held me by the collar and pulled me close to herself, and then she said to me…

You once said I shouldn’t suffer alone, now I want to ask you…to beg you…please do not suffer for me. I really had fun with you, you were my first friend, the only friend I’ve ever had. If there was a time in my life I ever felt loved since the death of my Mom, that would have been, the moments I spent with you. I’m sorry for being so weak. I can’t even protect you from my family. Please live on Zan, even if what drives you…is your hatred for me…please live on. I promise to live and wait for the day…you can punish me for my weakness…” Ayumi said.

Her voice was trembling, her hands were trembling. I could tell that it took all of the courage she could muster to say those words.

I opened my eyes in surprise!

“What are you saying Ayumi?!” I asked in shock.

Ayumi backed away from me.

“It’s okay Zan. I am really sorry…family comes first. I really am sorry Zan…I really did have fun with you” Ayumi said as she ran away.

“AYUMI!!!” I called but she ignored me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESENTLY…

Your words protected me Ayumi. Thanks to my hatred for you…I lived on. I became strong. Without realizing it, I acquired the strength you thought you lacked. I became strong enough for the both of us” I said as tears flowed down my eyes.

I cried for real, for the first time since the attempt on my life.

“At first, I only wanted you to recover so that I could have my revenge…but now…now I’m asking you to recover for me because…because I love you!” I confessed.

I looked at Ayumi and sighed as the tears flowed down my face.

“You win Jesus, I can’t kill her! I can’t hurt her! I must sound really pathetic right now” I sighed in absolute defeat.

Ayumi had a painful look on her face but her gaze still seemed far away from me. It hurt me so much…thinking that my feelings couldn’t reach her. I stood up and approached her. I was heartbroken. My feelings turned into a song of sorrow and yearning;

I always thought that love was sad

I always felt that life was unfair

But then I met you and you turned my life around

But then you left, and you left me all alone.

 

I always felt that love wasn’t real

But you showed me just how real it could feel

And I was happy when you were around

But then you left and you left me with a scar.

 

“Would it be possible to be with you again?

To see your smile, to hear you laugh,

To hold you close to me?

Would it be possible to feel your breath again?

And would it be possible to be with you again?

 

Would it be possible, would it be possible,

Would it ever be possible to be with you again?

Would it be possible, would it be possible,

I hope it would be possible to be with you again,

And I pray it would be possible to feel your heart again”

I sang. Singing from my heart made me so tired that I dropped to the ground after the song was over. I sighed hopelessly and placed my head in my arms. I began to weep once more. As I wept, I slowly became aware of answering sobs.

“Z-Zan, Zan, Zan, Zan, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry” I heard Ayumi’s voice and looked up.

She was staring at me with tearful eyes.

“Zan, I’m sorry, please forgive me” she apologized.

“AYUMI! Y-YOU’RE AWAKE!” I exclaimed in joy and actually leapt into the air.

“Zan, please forgive me” Ayumi repeated.

“Don’t worry Ayu, there was nothing to forgive. It took me six months to realize that” I said, but then guilt began to creep upon me.

“You don’t need to say that. I’ll understand if you hate me and want revenge” Ayumi cried.

“Revenge huh? To tell you the truth…I only wanted you to recover so that I could execute my vengeance” I said sadly.

“I see. I don’t blame you…I deserve your hatred” Ayumi said.

“Hatred? I couldn’t bring myself to hate you Ayumi. I tried but I was merely deceiving myself. I love you Ayumi. I always have…and I always will…though saying that now…sounds quite insincere” I said with a laugh.

I walked to her and reached out to her.

“Can you stand?” I asked her.

She nodded and attempted to but her legs were not quite used to standing yet and she nearly fell down but I caught her in time.

“I should be the one asking for forgiveness Ayu. You sacrificed so much to protect me and I…didn’t even realize your true feelings till just now. I attacked your family and almost killed them” I suddenly confessed.

Ayumi seemed surprised at first but she didn’t accuse me.

“I see, you had every right to…but…you didn’t kill them…did you?” Ayumi asked me.

I shook my head.

“I spared them. When your father pleaded with me to spare his daughters and attacked me to defend your sister…I realized that there was love in his heart, even if it had been shrouded by a profound sense of duty so I spared them. I’m so glad I did” I said happily.

“Thank you Zan. I’m glad to know that you love me even after all the pain I caused you but I’m not sure I deserve your love” Ayumi said.

“And I don’t deserve yours but that’s what makes it even more precious” I said with a slight chuckle.

“I do forgive you Zan and…I also love you” Ayumi confessed.

Don’t forget Zan…humanity is weakness. Embracing your humanity and rejecting true strength will only lead you down a path of regret” the sinister voice said to me.

“Thank you Zanfar. Your hatred for humanity kept me alive. For a while, I sympathized with you. However…I DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE! I WILL FIND MY OWN ANSWER AS I WALK DOWN THE PATH CALLED LIFE! I DON’T NEED YOU TO FORCE YOUR WILL ON ME!” I declared.

Do not forget Zan…you are me. I am you. No matter how much you deny it, a lion eats meat, a sheep eats grass, stars shine in the sky and dust covers the ground. A demon will always be…a demon! No matter how much you deny it…you will one day yield to me…after all…the very thing you fight to protect is that which gives me life” the sinister voice said.

I shut my eyes.

“You may be right Zanfar…about everything, but now is not the time for me to worry about such things. When that time comes I’ll deal with it but, I’ll take each day as it comes. I’m not going to agonize about the future; neither will I keep reminding myself of the painful past. Tomorrow will always be tomorrow. When tomorrow becomes today, when that day comes that I must confront you, hopefully by then, I will have an answer for you but for now…DISAPPEAR!” I ordered as I opened my eyes.

They had reverted to their original golden colour. I felt a very unbearable pain in my head and heart. I let go of Ayumi and clutched my head in pain. Ayumi fell to the ground.

“AAAH! WH-WHAT’S THIS PAIN?!” I screamed as I shook my head painfully.

“ZAN!” Ayumi called worriedly.

I was surrounded by dark flames. They were escaping from my body and it hurt like hell. I screamed in pain. There was a sudden burst of energy from my body. Slowly, the black flames turned brownish, then orange and then they became a bright gold. I was beginning to feel warm. The flames turned yellow, then silver, then silvery white. By then, I was feeling much cooler. The scar on my face caused by Ai’s sigil, the mark of my hatred, slowly closed up till it was completely gone.

“Zan? Are you okay?” Ayumi asked worriedly.

“I feel fine. In fact, I haven’t felt this good in ages. I feel so happy!” I smiled reassuringly and took in a deep breath, and then I helped Ayumi back to her feet.

“I’m glad you feel happy” Ayumi smiled.

I smiled at her.

“And I’m glad you’ve finally recovered” I said.

“It was all thanks to your song. Until now, it felt like I was in a dark place, unable to break free. When you began to show me your dreams, I began to see a faint light but I still couldn’t break free till you told me that you didn’t hate me. When you began to sing, I could see the pain you had endured all these months. It made my pain seem like nothing and I finally managed to break free” Ayumi said.

I laughed.

“What’s so funny?” Ayumi asked me inquisitively.

“Nothing. It’s just that…six months ago, I never would have imagined the two of us in love with each other and you’ve changed quite a lot; from a proud and arrogant girl to someone sweet” I said.

Ayumi laughed.

“And I never would have imagined that the goofy clueless kid who sat next to me in class would actually become this strong…and sensitive” Ayumi teased me.

“It looks like we bring out the best in each other” I said.

Ayumi nodded in agreement.

 

Meanwhile…someone wasn’t very happy with how things were progressing. Someone called Chaos!

“It looks like your plan is starting to fall apart. For someone who was so confident of his abilities, this is kind of a let-down. I actually feel sorry for you Chaos because in the end you didn’t change a single thing. The original timeline might have been more advantageous for you. Isn’t it…uh how do you put it…strange?” Ayumi mocked Chaos.

“Typical! It’s just typical of that damned Zanfar to be so damn unpredictable!” Chaos roared angrily.

“Too bad for you” Ayumi laughed.

“SHUT UP! IT’S NOT STRANGE AT ALL YOU HARPY!” Chaos screamed angrily.

It almost looked like he could cry at any moment.

“I’ll have to think of a way to aid Zanfar’s awakening. I can’t kidnap the other Ayumi since that would adversely affect my sigil” Chaos said.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Victoria had returned from town. She was quite surprised to see that Ayumi had completely recovered. Victoria introduced herself to Ayumi since they had never actually met prior to Ayumi’s accident.

“How did it happen Zan?” she asked excitedly.

“I dunno” I pretended to be ignorant.

“And your scar is also gone!” Victoria exclaimed in surprise.

“Zan sang” Ayumi said.

“We-ell, that’s a surprise, isn’t it Zan? Who would have thought that behind that cold, indifferent, warped personality lay a powerful singer” Victoria teased me.

“Who are you calling cold, indifferent and warped?!” I yelled angrily.

“Wow, that was easy. To think you’d change this much in just one day. At first, that would have actually been a compliment for you” Victoria teased me.

“Besides, it wasn’t my plan to sing. It was actually a spur of the moment kind of thing” I confessed nervously.

“So what are you planning to do Zan?” Victoria asked me.

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m sending those souls of evil back to where they belong. I also need to rescue the Key Of My Heart from Chaos!” I declared with absolute determination.

 

“I sense trouble for you Chaos” Ayumi teased Chaos from within his sigil.

“I sense it too but…I am very well prepared for Zanfar, isn’t that right…brethren?” Chaos said as he laughed sinisterly.

“You’re absolutely right, Chaos” Enslavement’s voice sounded.

“That voice! It can’t be!” Ayumi exclaimed in horror as the other five souls of evil stepped out of the shadows of Chaos’ sigil.

“It is. With your sigil out of the way, none of my brethren have been slain, except for Ziri. Do you think Zanfar can defeat us all…on his own?” Chaos laughed.

“No, how can this be?” Ayumi muttered in shock.

Chaos stretched his hand towards Ayumi. In the next instant, Ayumi was trapped within a transparent crystal orb.

“Now if Zanfar proves to be a problem for me, I will simply erase you from existence. I must commend you though Ayumi Kirisawa, to think Zanfar’s love for you could withstand so much. But it all ends now!” Chaos declared.

“You coward!” Ayumi insulted.

“Hmmph! You call it cowardice, I call it a contingency plan” Chaos replied indifferently.


Submitted: July 14, 2017

© Copyright 2022 Edwin Mwintome Bozie . All rights reserved.

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