I convinced Charles to swim with me. There is a secret place on the northern side of the island. It’s deep and deep in shadow. The water pulls at your feet but the current is not enough to pull you under. Getting from the shore to the water is not easy but well worth the privacy. I can dive from the small cliff without problem. The climb up is tiresome but Charles was more than willing to change to return us to the land.
Ah, his lips, strong, forceful. He does not hold back with me. I can take the abuse the beast offers. In the water, the act is so primal, aggressive. My release is so much better even though his mouth does not explore my flesh.
My body is slowly changing. I love it and I love that Charles also loves it. No one knows what we are doing. I lock my door at night but he is there in the room with me. My cries are just sound in a noisy place. I could spend every moment of every day in his arms. I need nothing else.
Reading Muriel’s journal proved to be difficult. I could only read a page or two before my own physical frustration kicked in. I have never read anything so graphic or taken so many cold showers. Flat surfaces took on completely different possibilities.
I was careful to avoid contact with anyone and I had Rose swap out my evening glass of wine for a cup of tea. I could still see it in their eyes, the hunger. I hoped I was imagining. Thomas avoided me. He’d come close but his eyes would go dark and he’d be gone. Picturing what he was doing was something I struggled to avoid.
I spent my time amongst the trees. I was five years old again. The world too overwhelming that the only thing I could do was sit in the apple tree in the back yard. No apple trees here. The pine trees were heavy with vines and those sweet smelling purple flowers. They were wilting, their jobs nearly done. I sat against the cedar trees. They were significantly fewer than the pines but I could find one in nearly every grouping.
I didn’t want to think this much. I cursed Muriel. I envied her. Even at thirteen, she knew what she wanted. As time passed, I discovered a woman who never held back. She reminded me of Emile and even Marian. These were women who didn’t flinch about what they were. But they knew what they were.
While I understood my father’s lineage, my mother’s was a bit more muddled. Even if I did understand what she was, that wouldn’t explain me. Halflings are something all together. They are outsiders, misfits, destined to nothingness. I didn’t want to be nothing.
I remembered the first time I met another Halfling, Rael and I were at “monster school”. I hated that nickname. Saturday school was hard but imagine my delight at that young age to discover a Halfling in the lobby. He told me my parents would have served me better by not letting me live. I was condemned to a life without love. It haunted me, those words. I was reminded, often, that I was loved – my parents, Nona, Rael. I was not condemned.
I had been developing normally, nothing too unusual. My parents thought the ghosts were a figment of my imagination and my need to be in the tree just shyness. They didn’t know that the world suckled on my energy. That it was painful to be surrounded by people but I was willing to suffer. Just everyone hated me. I wished I could say I didn’t know why but I knew, I knew from the very beginning that I exhausted them as much as they exhausted me.
Then it came, like the devil to sweep me off my feet. I can tell the story but I don’t remember it, not the early part. I lost consciousness, right on the sidewalk. Rael pulled me up against a neighbor’s tree and ran to get Nona. I spent days in a coma. I woke one night with a man standing over me. He could smell me, that’s what he said. I untangled myself from the bed and went into the bathroom. I locked the door and waited for anyone to rescue me. I was still waiting to be rescued.
I stood, no more moping. I had a job to do. I was a strong, capable woman. I didn’t need to be rescued. I had survived it with my dignity intact. So Muriel’s book gave me feelings that I didn’t want to deal with. That was bound to happen. I wanted something with bite.
Tomorrow was another day of rest. I had a job to do and I was done avoiding it. I returned to my room and let Muriel’s words pour over me. I let the heat bubble and burn through me. No more would I be a victim of circumstance.
Adelaine Day 25
Okay, so I think I am in love with Muriel. This was a woman who had it all figured out. Why can’t I have it figured out? She had no problem asking for what she wanted, let alone what she needed. It’s my time and I have been wasting it waiting for life to happen. Maybe I need to take the bull by the horns and find some more cliches to share because I am out.
Oh, Nona, if you could see me now. I miss you but I miss mom too. It’s been nearly a month since I’ve talked to her. She would love Muriel’s stories. Muriel reminds me of my mom in a strange way. How can I be raised by a woman unafraid of what the neighbors think and become this mouse of a woman?
Now, how do I take the next step?