Be Happy With Who You Are

GIRL IN TWO WORLDS

Metamorphosis smiled and said, “Be happy with who you are, Julia Wainright. You already have the priceless gift of helping others. You possess a forgiving nature, the ability to forgive others. When you learn who you really are, to love yourself and nurture your inner being, your soul, that which sits in the center and knows, you shall live in eternal bliss.”

“But, I feel like a failure,” I said. “I made the wrong decision coming here.”

“Nonsense. Your quest to bring Hunter home has not ended in failure. All things happen in perfect order. There are no accidents in the universe. Believe me, there is a divine reason why you are here, sitting with me, at this exact moment in time.”

“I want to believe you.”

“Believing is Seeing,” the sage said. “When you discover who you are, Julia,  you shall see the truth, the light.”

The door opened and Hunter walked in with Nyx.

My brother said, “Here’s your stuff, Morph,” setting a leather backpack on the floor.

The sage patted my hand, “Julia, you have noble work to perform on Earth. People desperately need your positive energy and your unconditional love.”

Thanking Metamorphosis, I couldn’t take my eyes off Hunter as he stepped toward me.

I jumped up and ran into his arms.

Girl In Two Worlds

We hugged and he said, “I drew something for you.” He opened the flap to a red leather satchel hung over his shoulder. He pulled out a piece of parchment paper and handed it to me. I stared at the illustration. Hunter had drawn me standing in my Millennium outfit, holding my sword. I looked like a comic book heroine. A superhero.

“You always asked me to draw fantasy characters for you,” he said. “This time, the fantasy is real.”

Tears ran down my cheeks. “I wish you’d come home with me. I’m going to really miss you.”

Hunter squeezed me tightly and said, “Please tell everyone they are always in my thoughts. Give them my love. I hope to see you again, Julia. Be safe.”

With tears in his eyes, he kissed my cheek, slung his leather backpack over his shoulder and hurried out the door, down the hallway.

Gone.

My brother has left me, I thought.

I don’t think I’m ever going to see him again.

If he doesn’t come home, the family will have to stare at his useless, comatose body for years to come. Decades.

His brothers and sisters won’t ever get to know the Hunter I grew up with.

How am I going to tell Momma?

She’ll go crazy.

Looking down at my Triamulet, I wished I had never seen the gold medallion.

Girl In Two Worlds

I wished my father had never visited Planet Millennium.

I wished Hunter and I were kids again, sitting on Daddy’s lap in his library, laughing and giggling while he read fairy tales to us.

Nyx patted me on the shoulder as she told Metamorphosis, “I shall take good care of Princess Julia.”

Morph slipped on his robe, smiled and hugged me with all four arms. “Be good to yourself, young lady.”

I wiped the tears from my eyes as the Sage of the Ages closed the door behind him.

Staring at the smoldering fire, I thought, Let’s get out of here, now. I need to get home. I’ve seen enough of Millennium to last me a lifetime. 

“We shall stay here tonight,” Nyx announced, opening the door. “Your room awaits you.”

Her words shocked me.

I felt so lost.

So alone.

Millions of light years from Earth and I had to wait another night to get back home.

“I want to leave, now!” I shouted.

“Princess Julia, calm down,” Nyx said. “The black sky has arrived. It is too dangerous to fly. We shall get an early start in the morning and have you back to Time Island tomorrow, Daynight of the Jaguar.”

I hung my head as Nyx escorted me down the stairs, past the crowded tavern and into a narrow corridor. I had lost all track of time as I followed the sage, trying to make sense of my journey.

Girl In Two Worlds

Maybe a good night’s sleep is what I needed.

But Dreamtime would take me back to Earth in a paralyzed body.

I wanted to wake up, get out of bed and hug my family.

Talking myself into staying up so I wouldn’t experience Dreamtime, I thought, Just stay up all night long. You don’t need sleep, you’re a teenager!

Stopping in front of my room, she gave me a brass key and told me, “I’ll be next door. If you need something, knock on the wall.”

The kind sage offered to bring me dinner but I refused to eat.

I was too upset to be hungry.

“Please, lock the door and do not leave,” she said. “Get a good night’s rest, we have a long flight ahead of us.”

Locking the door behind me, I stood in dim light.

The drab, musty-smelling room had two oil lamps hung on the wall and a burning black candle setting on the night stand next to the tarnished brass bed.

No fireplace.

Across the room, a porcelain wash basin and white towel set on a dressing table.

The oval mirror mounted above the table beckoned me.

The oak floor planks squeaked with every step I took as I shuffled across the room, stepping over a round throw rug embroidered with two crossed harpoons that formed an X.

I opened the red velvet curtains to the only window in the room.

Iron bars greeted me.

Girl In Two Worlds

At first, the black metal barrier upset me, but I realized that no one could break into my room.

You know, one of those weird creatures from the tavern.

I felt safe.

Rubbing the sleeve of my chemise against the foggy glass to look through the window pane, the empty courtyard revealed a two-story plastered-stone wall standing stark white against the pitch-black sky.

A gloomy grey fog crawled over the wall, drifting in from the Sea of Esteem. Three moons hovered above Escalot, illuminating the misty landscape with a ghostly blue haze.

Closing the red curtains, I stepped to the wash basin and stared at myself in the oval mirror.

Self-critical, I told myself how bad I looked.

No makeup.

Red eyes from crying.

Tangled hair.

I wasn’t feeling very good about myself.

I found a pearl-handled brush in the dresser drawer and combed my black hair.

Girl In Two Worlds

Staring at my reflection, my thoughts turned to Earth.

You’ll be home tomorrow. You’re going to wake up and your world will have changed forever. The advice Morph gave you sounded really good. I need to take better care of myself.

I wonder if Momma has stopped drinking?

After washing my face, I sat on the edge of the bed, drying my cheeks with the towel.

Chilled, I crawled under the beige wool blanket, leaving the oil lamps burning.

Holding the handle of my sword, I focused on the flickering candle flame next to my bed, trying to get Hunter off my mind.

Although I had promised myself I would stay awake that evening, my eyes grew weary as I listened to the muffled sounds of the tavern’s drunkards and gamblers and braggarts and, as my mother would have called them, “party animals.”

Emotionally and physically exhausted, I closed my eyes.

I don’t remember falling asleep.

Girl In Two Worlds

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