As Saevus and Lethe stared at one another, in their heads ran different streams of thoughts and unanswered questions. The two seemed to want to say something to one another, something that their mouths were not used to speak. A certain sequencing of words that had meaning but meant nothing in their world; perhaps a thank you, perhaps an I am glad you’re alright. Such a strange and unfamiliar re-ordering of words; such a strange choice of vocabulary. These words felt ancient, used an eternity before where language and feelings coincided.
In Inanis, though, there was barely a language; and barely a feeling. For that reason, Saevus and Lethe only stared at each other until the Hourglass began its ritual turning. Appalled by its deafening rusty noise, Lethe reflexively covered her ears and ran as further as she could from the relic. Saevus watched her quietly, then, with her out of his sight, glanced at the wound at his side. His blood ran thick and dark, staining his bandage. Sighing, he stepped towards the Reses. He let his coat fall off his shoulders and dropped his club onto the sand. Then, he slowly unwrapped his bandages, glancing every now and then behind his back, quite unsure who he was watching out for. Underneath the crimson-stained bandages settled a blood-oozing wound on his side, and a messy stab scar across his stomach that Saevus doesn’t remember getting. Kneeling down, he watched as the Hourglass tormentingly turned itself while he reached his hand into the Reses. The water was lukewarm and moldy against his skin. He hated the sensation, but it was the only way to heal his wound. Once placed on the hurt area, all his pain was suddenly benumbed, and the bleeding stopped instantly as well. Saevus also let his bandage soak into the Reses, and watched with disgust how the blood stain dissolved into nothingness, as though the Reses had devoured it. When he got the cloth out, it was completely dry. He wrapped it around his lower stomach and waist, where it originally was. Saevus then draped his long coat on his shoulders and picked up his club. Finally, he turned away from the Reses and the Hourglass; and waited.
It was only a little while after the Hourglass had marked a new day that Lethe reappeared. She was standing atop a wall with her hands in the pockets of her jacket. She looked down at him in a way that Saevus could not understand, and he looked back in a way that she did not understand either.
“You’re a fucking weirdo, you know that right?” He shouted so that she could hear him from that distance. Little did he know, however, Lethe had very good hearing, and would have been able to hear him perfectly even if he had whispered. As such, his shouting only served to make her eyebrow twitch in annoyance. She effortlessly jumped down the wall and walked towards him.
“And you’re too loud.” She replied nonchalantly with a hint of irritation.
“Nah I ain’t. You’re just too quiet.” He responded in a similar tone, then walked towards her as well, meeting her halfway. The two then came to a stop, a few inches away from each other. With their eyes interlocked, they were silent for a moment, before Saevus added:
“So what was your name again?” He had his hand at the back of his neck as he spoke.
“Right. Weird name.”
Then the two fell quiet again. The silence combined with undecipherable gazes from both ends was almost insufferable, though more for Saevus than for Lethe. It was to the extent that in that moment they both thought exactly the same thing:
They found themselves wanting to do something in an island where no one does anything. The idea of it was extremely uncomfortable and bizarre that they simply stopped thinking about it and looked away from each other. While Saevus started walking towards a random direction and took out a toothpick that he started chewing on, Lethe took to pulling at the strap of her eyepatch and started following him.
“Hey.” This time, however, Lethe could not resist the intrusive urge to strike a conversation.
“Whaddya want?” He grumpily replied without turning to her.
“How did you manage to calm down so quickly earlier? I was a little surprised.”
“What, you jealous?” He glanced at her with a triumphant grin, then, seeing that she looked utterly indifferent, frowned at his unsuccessful taunt. “I just thought of something calm and shit, like you told me to.” Saevus turned back ahead. “Is your memory crooked or somethin’?” He mumbled angrily.
“Yeah, but it was too quick of a change. Considering your overly loud and emotional personality, it’s a little shocking.”
Saevus turned towards her with a fist up. “Huh? You lookin’ for a fight?” Lethe shrugged nonchalantly. “I am just stating facts.” She liked it when he would face her like that, not because she was looking for a fight as he suggested, but because it allowed her to see his eyes so closely. There was really something about them that attracted her.
Suddenly, Lethe remembered her words from last night. She really said them so naturally too, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. Then how come she couldn’t say what she wanted today? Maybe the atmosphere was off somehow? Her dark blue eyes glanced at Reses, lurking behind her like a warning. The atmosphere never changes though, she told herself.
“Fuckin’ creep!” Saevus exclaimed then turned back ahead and resumed walking, knowing fully well that were they to actually fight, he would lose miserably.
The atmosphere is always off, Lethe thought to herself. It’s always wrong. She looked now at her hands. Her palm that had been scratched by Saevus’ bat had healed back to its usual pale hue. Her fingers looked back at her, unmoving, as though there was no heart beating life into them.
Alive. That’s how his eyes made her feel. Lethe found herself watching his hands as they rested behind his head, fingers entangled. If she were to somehow… Lethe could not find the right verb that would describe this itch swelling inside her. It was on the tip of her tongue, lurking like a ghost, present yet forgotten. If she were to… somehow put? her hands on his? No, she looked down pensively with one hand on her chin. That made no sense. It was close, but not the word she wanted. Not the right word.
“Are you not comin'?” Saevus’ suddenly voice made her glance up. Noticing that she was not following him, the man had stopped to see if something was the matter. For the first time since he had met her, Saevus had the impression that she looked rather small, no not small. With her lonely eye, depending and pleading, and her hands held up before her, shaking slightly, Lethe looked vulnerable.
He had looked at her again and she found it. She found the word.
If she were to somehow touch his hands, to touch his skin, to touch his fingers with the tips of hers, would she feel alive? Would she feel her heart beat, her blood run through her veins? Would she feel her lungs breathing air? Would she feel the texture of her hair, the shape of her nose, the caress of her eyelashes?
Lethe wanted to know.