He sounded firm and yet sweet at the same time. How could it be possible? Still, his words were threatening her. She had just entered his room, but all she could see was endless darkness.
His strong voice still echoed in her ears.
She could not help but wonder what she had done so wrong in her past life to deserve such punishment again.
Does the king not know she is supposed to help him?
So far, things have been going well for her. Despite her anxiety, she decided to keep trying her best.
On the way to the market, while walking slowly in the cold and enjoying the feeling of snowflakes melting on her face, it made her think how pure everything looked under the white snow.
Like everything dirty and unclean was cleansed by it. Af if the city was cured by it.
Between the grainy snowfall, a familiar face appeared in front of her. Squinting her eyes to get a better look, she noticed her mother staring back at her with a terrified expression on her face.
Her mother ran away from their home and It has been a long time since they last saw each other.
It was as if when she saw Rizzie, all the bad memories she was trying to escape from came back to haunt her.
“Mother! Where have you been?! Are you ok?” Rizzie said while trying to approach her.
Her daughter's touch burned her. She already escaped from her husband and teen once.
Why is Rizzie even here, having the audacity to say words of concern to her?
The mother felt so much rage that all she could do to save herself was to push away Rizzie while blaming her daughter for her demise.
Rizzie felt gravity embrace her with open arms. She was falling and there was nothing to grab to until a heavy truck took her away with it before she hit the asphalt.
When she opened her eyes, there was a commotion around her.
“Don’t touch her! it's dangerous for her... I called the ambulance!”
She heard a voice of a stranger concerned for her. The other person who was on top of her moved to her side and grabbed her hand, but everything was too blurry. She could not comprehend anything anymore.
While laying on her back, her long hair was covering her face and her eyes started to feel heavy. The snow was not taking its time to clean her away.
She could hear rabid screams. Wails were resonating in between cries of relief and endless guilt. Those agonizing sounds were coming from her mother. Hearing her like that made her feel miserable for them both.
Even in her last moments, the pain lasted forever.
"I feel very tired..."
Her eyes screamed of desperation and neediness.
She felt somebody touching her face, caressing her warmly.
“Hung in there, the ambulance is almost here”
Finally, the caring touch she always longed for. It felt soothing, making her want more.
Who was that nice gentleman comforting her? She could not see him.
She wanted to return his kindness, yet her aching body wouldn't let her no matter how much she tried.
Her despair was taking her away, despite that, there was no one to accept her love. Even in her last moments, she longed for such sentiment the most.
She felt so tired and weak, her eyes slowly closed.
The snow no longer covered her dying body. It was the spring that folded her into a brand new life.
Her dark chestnut hair glowed under the sun and the pinkish tones of her cheeks were turning red after being sun kissed... The warmth of the day felt like a comforting blanket that chased her nightmares away, letting her dream to her heart content.
Rizzie started to notice that the surface under her was actually hard and bumpy, but still wasn't ready to wake up and investigate her whereabouts.
What if she slept in a shady place in the middle of the city? How did she get there in the first place?
Was it grass tingling her left ear?
She could not resist it anymore. Her curiosity was taking over.
As soon as she opened her dim grey eyes, they became like two shiny little diamonds for a gorgeous scenery appeared right before her. It was a garden that seemed to be snatched right out of a fairytale, with the most beautiful and delicate flowers that could grab anyone's attention. It had cute, tiny, little green shrubs like clouds scattered around the place.
Seeing such a big grassland was unusual for her since she always stayed in the city. She could not help but be delighted by the view.
Am I in heaven? Rizzie wondered.
Suddenly, a voice startled her.
"Oh, sweet dear! What is it you doing sleeping on the grass!? Don't go lazing around and put your bum to work! Be happy it's me who found you here!"
“Work?! Right! As if I’d go to heaven...” Rizzie said to herself.
She instantly got up, as if it was the most natural thing to do when someone calls for you.
With cheery patting motions, she cleaned the grass that had been clinging to her dark dress, and without even thinking about her new situation, hurriedly tried to follow the figure that had called for her. The constant running did not allow her to take in nor pay attention to her new surroundings. Her gaze and legs were too busy trying to keep up with the chase.
Wait... Is it a castle? Rizzie stopped and wondered. But she quickly shook out her curiosity, the woman who called for her earlier was walking faster than a fleeing rabbit. By the time she caught up to her, she was already inside.
The endless pursuit was starting to make Rizzie short for breath.
Until finally, they arrived at the entrance of a room.
Her hand on her chest was calming the lack of oxygen in her lungs. Yet once again gasped for air when she entered inside. Never before she has seen that kind of interior, at least not in real life. The historically themed kitchen looked as big as the entire apartment she used to live in.
The lady she chased was now beside her. She seemed to be around her mid-30s, had brown hair under her cap, and a friendly face. She was also wearing a maid costume, a uniform that looked just like the black dress she was wearing herself.
She unconsciously followed her, and as they approached a big table, the maid started making weird gestures towards Rizzie.
Was she trying to signal her to stay put?
But Rizzie already stopped moving, quietly wearing the blankest of expressions. After all, it was her life expertise.
Is this some kind of special maid's cafe? Rizzie wondered.
Another maid was approaching with a quick walk. She seemed slightly younger than the other lady. She had blond hair and was pretty tall, but she also appeared to have a very strict demeanour compared to the one that led her here.
Rizzie was standing still, holding the sides of her uniform. Maybe her grasp was too rigid because it made her palms painful from the push of her fingers.
"What is your name again?"
"Eh? Rizzie" she responded with a tiny voice.
"It's not Elisi it's Rizzie thought." But her plea got lost in the cacophony of orders that the strict maid was now giving.
Rizzie, now perhaps Elisi, didn't find the chance to correct her name.
In the end, it did not matter. It was for the best to let it go. Life had taught her that.
She had read somewhere that new beginnings called for new names, and this one was much better than those she had been given before.
That's when she decided to let it be and enjoy her new start. After all, it was the first time in her 22 years of life she got to do so.
"Hey, Marry! Bring young Elisi here. I require a pair of helpful hands."
While completing the tasks assigned to her, Elisi finally began to examine her new surroundings. She should have questioned such a thing from the very beginning, but self-preservation was indeed a thing she possessed very little of inside her mind.
What is this place? Was I sent back to the past?