The first thing I see is white. It is blindingly pure and I have to raise a hand to shield my eyes. When the light fades, I blink 8 times, trying to grasp my surroundings.
The room I stand in is warmed bởi the flames dancing in the fireplace. A burgundy đi văng sits on the flowered Persian rug, accompanied bởi two arm chairs and a glass coffee table.
The câu hỏi "Where am I?" leaves my mind in that glance. It is replaced by "Why?" and thêm urgently "How?". I walk cautiously phía trước, chuyển tiếp and run a hand over a bookshelf crowded with thick encyclopedias and vibrant fairytales.
This house were I lived as a young child, where my father taught me to ride a 2-wheeler in the driveway and my mother filled with the scent of baking Sô cô la with an lò nướng full of brownies.
This trang chủ had burned, been consumed bởi angry red and trái cam, màu da cam and yellow, greedily reducing little thêm than mournful grey crumbs. I saw the feasting with my own eyes, watched it again and again in haunting nightmares.
And suddenly, a woman enters the room. She is me, twenty years from now. Though her hair is straighter, shorter than the waves that cascade down my back. Her eyes are a clearer, bluer sky than my storm-clouded greys. And something else. Something about the way she holds herself says she has seen too much, but her warm smile suggests she has learned to forgive and accept unchangeable memories.
"Mom?" my voice cracks as I speak a word beyond my vocabulary, stolen from me bởi those hungry devourers from Hell.
"Aryess." The voice, the way she speak my name, so familiar, so living, ringing every note of the measure, sends a shock through my body and freezes me where I stand. It's her. It's impossible. It makes sense to me in only one form.
"Am I dead?"