Chapter Twenty Seven

‘Jamie,’ I called as I walked inside the house, ‘Jamie, can you hear me? Are you home?’

I walked up the stairs and peaked into his room, he was not in. I guess he was probably still at school.

Skipping back downstairs, I went off in search of a lamp. I planned to go back down the passageway, into the room, and sit there to do my research. Lighting a candle, I pushed it into a candle case, or would one call it a tray? I did not know. However I did know one thing, I had more confidence this time.

Pushing the door open, I moved to the end of the room and proceeded down the stairway. I had this strange smile pasted on my face. I did not know what to expect this time round. Although I did know one thing, I did not want to see another scene where the lady was abused. I wanted to see Derek in the scene, or rather, his relatives. I just hoped that if I was pulled into the painting, then if there was a scene with the Duke, it would be innocent.

The walls were yellow, and it was covered in layers of dust. Being careful not to inhale the dust, I walked into the room.

Everything remained as I had left it: the burnt table; the chairs tipped and thrown across the floor; and the dusty lamps on the wall. Derek was coming over this Sunday, should I show him this room? Laughter filled the room. Clamping my mouth, I realised that it was coming from me.

‘No way,’ shaking my head, I said to myself.

I placed my candle on the table and moved over to the painting. The little boy’s eyes weren’t closed today, midnight blue. Jamie’s eyes turned dark when he was angry, or was feeling some sort of emotion. I never really noticed my mum’s eyes. Were they dark blue?

I placed my palm on the painting and waited to be pulled in. Nothing happened. I smothered my palm on the painting this time and again waited. Nothing.

Slightly frustrated, I slumped on the chair. I hadn’t realised how tired I was. Exhaustion took over and the next thing I knew, I felt my eyes close.

I jumped up at the sound of something being smashed. Turning around to locate the sound, I found myself at a desk. The little boy was there. He was dressed up and seemed like he would be going to some event. His dark blue suit brought out his eyes. It was truly mesmerising. But, there was also fear in his eyes. His back was up against the wall and knees pulled up to his chest. He dragged the blanket to his face. It felt as if he was trying to leave this world.    

Then there was a scream. It was coming from the next room.

‘Argh, no!’ I shouted and ran to the next room. I began banging it but there was no sound coming from each bang. Was I wasting my energy?

The door suddenly pushed open and I fell backwards. Out walked the Duke with a smirk on his face.

I jumped up and tilted my head slightly to look into the room. She had the counterpane covering her. It was not the state of her dress that got to me, it was her tears. There were bits of dark blue velvet fabric around the room, a torn sleeve with pearls stitched along the side. The dress would have been matching with the little boy’s.

‘We’ll be married in no time Marie,’ the Duke stated over his shoulder. ‘I cannot wait for the day that you will belong to me,’ he said.

I wanted to do something to him. Injure him with all my might. Shaking my head, I noticed a shadow in the background. I walked towards the shadow and realised that the little boy was hiding behind the corner now.

The boy was smiling now. He was staring at the Duke with look of revolt. If I was to analyse his looks, I would say that he was planning something. I looked back at the Duke. Yes, Derek’s features resembled the Duke’s. I started to dislike the librarian now. It was not fair, I know, but it made things so much easier.

The little boy looked at me. I looked down at my satchel. It wasn’t with me. I had already started the job.

I knew I was wasting my time in this place. What was I supposed to do here? I sat down in the middle of the hallway and closed my eyes. It was time to go back to reality.

‘Ahh,’ I groaned. Pain spread throughout my body. I tried stretching, but that seemed to cause more pain. Now I was back at the table.

 Rubbing my eyes, I pulled out my paper and pen and began writing. Derek will come to my house. He will meet my mum and I will show him this room. Earn his trust, and then I’ll take it from there. I wrote all that down in my notepad. If I was going to accomplish anything, I needed to write it down. Maybe keep a journal? I had a really nice one in my room. Yes, I guess it was time to start writing ‘Dear diary.’ But wait, how did I get my satchel? And why hadn’t my candle extinguished yet?

Standing up, I shook my head and walked back to my room. My journal was probably at the bottom of one of the many boxes that I had yet to unpack. But rather than pursuing the job of searching, I decided to slump onto my bed. I was exhausted. Mental exhaustion was just as exhausting as physical exhaustion. If that even made any sense. Does it?

‘Is talking to oneself mentally the same as talking to oneself verbally?’ I asked myself aloud, as I gazed up at the ceiling.

Our house was truly beautiful. I tried to follow the patterns on the ceiling. Did the original occupants ever marvel at its beauty? That was my last thought before I allowed my body to do as it pleased.

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