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Aftermath

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The window was opened with a click, wide eyes went narrow at the sky as the sun provided her with warmth, the feeling of the cool breeze brushing against her skin giving her some relief. Being in the outside was wonderful, she soon discovered after gaining her freedom. It was a pity not many appreciated the outside like she did. Who would ever want to be trapped inside closed walls? No matter how comfortable others thought it to be, she was sure it was far better to roam with free reign.

To think that she could do so with little restrictions, she could stay all day outside if she wanted. If she didn’t know better, she would say it was nothing but another dream.

One glance at her hands -- such small, yet rough hands worth hours of work; unlike her weak, fragile ones were -- was more than enough to make her remember it was not. Everything she had pleaded for, now was hers. Vitality, she was free from sickness, this body was strong and plentiful of energy. Freedom, there was nothing preventing her from going outside anymore, no illness obstructing her to say in those cold walls unlike before; and maybe, to some extent Love too. She was loved -- No, it was Viola’s share, he loved Viola. The man never saw the difference. But she was her now, what did it matter? -- by a father.

The smile had gone unnoticed by her, but soon it didn't matter as it was dropped a second later.

Everything was perfect, as it should had been from the start… So why? Why did she feel so lonely?

No matter how much she time she spent outside, no matter the time she spent with father, no matter how grateful she felt when she remembered no sickness had befallen her. . . There was always a pang of something digging painfully into her chest whenever her mind finally went across the fact that yes, she was outside, she could finally play and stand up and run and talk without a sore throat, she could actually see right—

Yet there was no one she could share these feelings with. Whenever she turned around, there was nothing but the greenery keeping her company.

How pathetic must she look playing by herself? The abrupt change from high spirits to the thunder strike at her chest when realizing there was no one else with her was just ridiculous.

They rarely had any visitors in the small piece of land Father owned, and when they did it was for business rather than anything else. It has been a long time since she had played with anyone at all, not since that night in the forest… She missed her toys, walls, riddles and theatrics of her house, the screams of wandering children, adults, who came to play once in a while. She missed her.

Was it time to find some new company? Father had been insisting on traveling onto the city, for her to know others; maybe even enrolling her on a school of her choosing given her grades were high enough. Attending to a school rather than being kept home schooled was much more appealing.

Although, would she be able to make friends? It was unsettling knowing how the word itself was so foreign to her.

How can you make friends? Was she even capable of making any?

"Viola?" A voice broke through her thoughts, it was Father. She absently turned towards his general direction. A pair of green eyes much alike her own, if a few shades lighter stared with a concerned expression.

"Yes, father?" Never would she get used to this soft, shy voice now hers.

"Just checking on you. Finished packing yet?"

One, two, three blinks "Oh…" cheeks painted a rosy color in embarrassment. Apparently, between her musings she had forgotten the date. Later on the day, they would finally move to the city. With a slight turn, she spotted a mess of clothes atop her bed, the forgotten luggage disorganized next to another change of clothes bulging under the pillow “It will be done in a minute” she agreed with a nod, hiding a grimace while standing and oh so carefully shoving a stray pair of socks away from his view.

"Good, we’re leavin’ in half"

". . . Midday?"

"Half hour, Vio. Time marches on" — tilting her head to look at the raised wrist told her it was already… 11:30 a.m.

"I see. Could we leave say, an hour after midday?”

"No can do, already got ‘em tickets— half hour, Vio"

And with that, he was gone with a turn of heels and the click of the door.

While rummaging through her clothes, her mind began to wander again. Would the city be any different from the forest? She knew of the polluted air and the people being noisy; but would there be those places filled with stuffed bears and candy? The colorful machines of the amusement parks and music she never had the chance to hear — had she seen them? Did Father take her on trips to the city? Had she known the city before her?-- It almost seemed too much, to think it was just minutes away…

Dazed eyes found their way to the nightstand, Viola carefully tugged the first compartment open.

Beneath her clothes lay a small knife.

"Don’t worry; I’ll make friends for you… Ellen"