"Or I may have to kill you."
The single line of harsh warning repeats itself menacingly in my ears for quite a while, yet all my body is capable of doing is stare. His calm strides resonate to the empty room as he left for only God- knows- where. His affairs has been hidden from me, and there is no person I know who exists to know what are his activities.
He is a young man of 17, only few months older than me. But the way he handles things and speaks to me of minding my own business, he seems forty or so. Endless wars and battles have probably turned him to something as that. His slender body is well built , his thin lips only smiles whenever his skilled hands acquire a weapon to shove deep into somebody else's heart, and his bronze eyes gains the color of a canon with this familiar gleam which can be only seen at any moment he gets the upper hand of a battle. Which is not seldom. This, nevertheless, lasts only for some seconds, and in a blink of an eye, it vanishes.
Daniel Stanford is his name. The first time I hear it, I can't have it out of memory. He gets pretty popular in school as the quiet guy with no friends. Many girls are nuts about him and went on flirting with him, but he notices them hardly. Too consumed is he in his own thoughts to care about the world. Often, this makes me wonder of what other thoughts that a young guy like him should be so occupied with that he didn't notice the pretty Annie Lawrence clutching his sleeves. Most guys can ask for nothing else. But Daniel is different. Irritably upon noticing the girl, he pulls his sleeve off Annie's tight clutches and walks off. Of course, he should know better than to do that. Embarrass Annie Lawrence, the daughter of the Duke right on front of everybody ? Walk off from her like that? After turning red and getting all that speechless, Annie runs after Daniel, spinning him around and no three seconds could have passed, Daniel has received a slap on his face. Yet, as always he remains wordless. Annie runs, her face on her hands as if she had been slapped instead. She has this blonde curls and sapphire eyes which her clan has prided themselves with. Most guys appreciate it and would have ran to comfort her, but right then, I was aware, and so was everybody, that Annie only wants Daniel to console her and apologize. Most guys do just that. But Daniel was and is different. He spun on his heel and continued walking off.
I ran after him. Annie isn't my friend, but neither is she my enemy. I
don't like seeing her like that. But, in truth, I am more worried for Daniel.
Annie is the type if girl who never stops until she gets what she wants,
and she can turn this little walking off to some kind of harassment to
spice up the story to her father. This can be really serious and Daniel
can end up guillotined. In short, he has to apologize for getting slapped,
and I swear, I did my best to make him do it and see my point, but he shrugs
and ignores me.
The second time I implored about his life and offers to help him, he holds my wrist and squeezes it hard, until I thought it will burst. His eyes focuses on mine and a resolute line forms on his lips. He looks very deadly right then, but my strength seems to have melted and my voice dissolves in the cold air to be of any help. He could have killed me and I just don't know what stopped him. He has showed great annoyance on me ever since I first spoke to him. Then, he drops my wrist and looks meaningfully at the door. Great shock and fear fill me that I can not make myself move to the door. He has never stared at me like the way he has just had. I am lucky to have survived.
That, however, taught me little to almost no lesson at all. I dare talk to him over again, just a minute ago. I have told him I want to be his friend. But he seem to have not heard me at all, since he goes on walking. I , getting annoyed as well, tries to stop him in any way I can, and I end up almost getting killed. Once again. I have managed to trigger his bad humor once more, but maybe way too much to the extent of pointing a knife at my neck. It feels bad that he doesn't trust me at all, as I had assumed. In my mind and in my heart, I have it that he has begun to trust me as a friend. But I believed and thought wrong. Trust isn't in his vocabulary, and he have never known a word such as friend. For times, this mysterious guy sends me thinking about lots of things. I have heard his background and am completely aware of what he had been through, that it is a lot and have in fact, so much enough as a result of his life in war. He has been born in war, lives the war and will die in war. He has it in his bloodstream , in his mind, in his digestive system and in his heart. As a lesson, he may have thought that trust isn't such a rational thing to do. Is that really unrational enough that let alone distrust a poor girl like me? I have thought I can change him, as he has assumed he can change the world by means of his gun. But I guess not. I overestimate myself and him. War is stubborn, he has to know it. But somehow, it got to me that he had become as stubborn as war. In vain, I strive to make him see it. But he was blinded by his motives, and , by some ways, I am, too.
Maybe that was why Daniel consider me so different from him. He have seen, known and felt all what about war , all what my dad have hidden from me, all the damages it can cause and what it really is. And I guess we are indeed two different creatures. From two different worlds.
Again, all I could do that time was watch him walk away. If I attempt to stop him one more time, he will definitely kill me . He have pointed a silver dagger at my neck and that is enough to stop me. I am not ready to die, just yet. I am afraid of death, that is the truth. At least, I don't want to die without knowing half the truth which this world has to offer. His world has to offer. True, my father may have a been a general of the Imperial Army, but that helps little to nothing at all in my quest for the truth, since my dad has done his best to give me a normal upbringing. I know I should be thanking him for that, but somehow, I am doing otherwise. All that filled my sight are the nicest things about life, and all the things that make it worth living. Ignorant of my surroundings, I enjoy everything, without knowing that it is a mere mask to hide the sinister face of reality. Perhaps that is why Daniel considers me different from him. And, hell, he is right.
For some time, I have found some answers to the questions I have frequently asked myself. Why did Daniel not kill me when he had the chance to? Sadly, I know Daniel hasn't yet considered me a friend. But I am thankful enough that he have spared me long enough to know what I have to know. I can't die ignorant. I am not ready to die. Not just yet at that time. I deserve to know at least a fraction of the truth about this world. And somehow, I realized Daniel may have spared me for that reason.
I strode away from the spot of my near death experience. Days, weeks, months passes by that I have not seen Daniel . Often, I find myself watching the scene before my balcony, wishing I can see him at least on more time again. I have found what I was looking for ; I have seen the most sanguine mark of blood ; I have heard the most vulgar of all oaths; I have tasted the most bitter edge of a rusty sword; I have smelled the most rotten odor ; I am ready to die.
The fourth time I saw him , everything was much different. When I learned he was in the same hotel as I am in, I immediately ask the front desk of his room number and head there directly without no bodyguards whatsoever. His voice sounds bored as he asks me to enter. I can't be sure if he recognizes my voice by the way he responds to it dimly, since his voice sounded pretty the same, without any difference when he was mad or happy . It sounds the same when he threatened to kill me. Nothing has changed with Daniel.
I greet him pleasantly. Busy something on his bed, his back is turned to
He doesn't greet me back. I know better than to count on it anyway. "What do you want?" he asks.
"I want to help you --"
My sentence is cut off by his sharp interruption. That is usual too. So usual. "I don't need your help," he cuts in.
"But I --"
"You nosy girl!" He spins around, pointing a pistol at my face. So that is what he is busy with.
I bow before him. What I can trust Daniel is to do what he threatens to do, but I hesitate not a bit. I am ready to die. I have learned many things. I have known all that I wanted to know. To my surprise, he drops the pistol and crosses his arms over his chest.
he says. "What do you know?"