The Eternal

Symptom

“Nothing in the world is... immutable.—— If there exists immortality, it would be the sin...the sin which your soul remained in a previous incarnation,” A gaunt old woman muttered in a neurotic tone as I passed by.

“What ..., , my words were interrupted abruptly by Eddie, my best friend ,a straightforward, undaunted boy whose father was a local rancher.

“Don’t be too sensitive. Every time I have seen this woman; she is always murmuring to herself the same words like a maniac. My mom told me to keep away from her.”

“But, I still think...” I mumbled while watching the woman’s back thoughtfully till the sound gradually died away.

“Please...Eric. What‘s wrong with you? Since you have woken up from that coma you always lose yourself in thinking such unnecessary things. I almost doubt whether you are the Eric that I knew before or not,” he said in a distrustful tone ,with a little bitterness.

Wait...that coma. His words reminded me of something I had a dim recollection of. And actually, I couldn’t remember anything about the things which happened in the past from the moment I woke up, even my name; I thought it was Eden. What was remarkable was that I always had a headache, especially when I accepted or listened to words of praise.The only way to make me calm down was to deny that praise from the bottom of my heart.

“Well, Eddie,” I didn’t have the heart to disappoint him, “of course I am Eric, your dear friend; who else could I be. I’m just absent minded. You know I read a lot of mystery novels these days,” I said with a pleasing tone and a great smile.

“That’s fine. Let it go... Anyway, my father’s friend caught a fox with smooth and beautiful fur. Do you want to go to see it with me?”

“Amazing! But I ‘m afraid that I have to keep shop for my father... ”

“It’s a pity! Hope you can see it next time! Be careful on the way home. Bye~” ,he suddenly ran swiftly over the corner of the block. I chuckled at the sight of his back, “What a slap-happy boy!

Then I walked alone with a light and slow pace. In fact, keeping shop for my father was just an excuse to refuse the invitation from Eddie. I just wanted to escape from closeness between people out of instinct. I didn’t know and didn’t want to know what jad caused those to happen. Hence, I faintly realized there must be something hidden behind my present life.

 

Rebirth

When I arduously opened my eyes, a harsh light burst through a distant door. Gradually, a miserable cry spread out in the distance; the back of an old woman flashed before me. With the cry becoming louder and louder, the light from the distant door was too dazzling for me to open my eyes. It was just at the moment of my calling the old woman that the door closed, leaving a dead silence.I wanted to stand up but I failed, and I fainted on the ground again. When I woke up, there was still a darkness which eroded my spirit. Suddenly, lots of ghosts floated in the air, and then they screeched and dived. I struggled to drive away those ghosts which climbed over my body. However, I found that chains wrapped around me, leaving me unable to resist. At this time, a ghost with an open mouth floated toward me...

 

“Please don’t...Help me...” I cried and opened my eyes immediately while clenching my fists. However instead of the ghosts, the familiar ceiling was in my sight, which made me let out a sigh of relief. I rushed into the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror. My bottom lip quivered and big tears rolled down my cheeks. My body was intact, wearing the disordered pajamas. I couldn’t help pinching my cheeks till I felt a real sense of pain. How real the dream was! I stumbled downstairs, smelling an aroma of the roast pork.

“Eric” said by my mom, with a big smile, “Supper is ready. You can wash your hands and eat.”

“OK, mom. By the way, what time is it?”

“Eight o’clock. It’s evening, my dear.”

But.... Evening?! Have I slept the whole day without doing anything? What have I done? I remembered that I had been supposed to go to Eddie’s home to watch the latest film he borrowed from a friend this morning! But I had missed it. Why didn’t anyone wake me up? At that thought, I dressed myself as soon as possible and snatched my bag.

 “What are you going to do? Supper is...” Regardless of my Mom’ s questions, I left home to find Eddie.

When I arrived at Eddie’s house, Eddie was just leaning on the door with a small knife in his hand. He seemed to be surprised to see me.

“Sorry, Eddie.” I panted for breath with a red face, “I...I forgot our appointment.”

 His expression looked funny and interesting from his initial confusing. “Which appointment? I don’t remember? ”

 “The film you borrowed from your friend.” I answered in a certain tone

 Hearing that he told me with spasms of giggles, “You’re like a goldfish, which has only seven seconds of memory. We have already watched it this morning.” He looked at me ridiculously, “Are you kidding? I mean...uh...we just spent the whole morning and afternoon together, and you said you had a headache and had to go home.  That was no more than two hours ago. ”

 Oh my god! What’s wrong with my memory?  “Well, I’m just joking with you. Aha, I’ve come back to borrow the book you bought yesterday.” I gave him an excuse for prevarication to let him dispel any doubts. Fortunately, his careless character made him not think more about it and he dismissed with a laugh.

As soon as I went back home, I began to think back about the day. But it seemed as if it had been erased by someone. No matter how hard I tried to recall it, the memory rested on what had happened on yesterday. I gave up. A few minutes later, the pictures of today’s dream flashed back in my mind. I realized there must have been something implied in my dream. Not the ghosts, not the door, not the...it must be......the woman! That’s right, the woman; the woman who I could only just see her back.Then a strong feeling swept away my mind and made me firmly believe that the woman was the anchor of the strange things happening these days.

The next day, I was on the way to the school. I saw that old woman again at the corner of the street. As I expected, she was muttering and wandering as usual. I passed unnoticed at first, but then stopped abruptly. Even from behind in silhouette, I recognized the figure, which overlapped the back of the woman in my dream. I ran towards her and stood in front of her. She wasn’t surprised at seeing me. It was like a moment she had been waiting so long for.

She led me to the place where she lived. Though I had lots of questions to ask, I followed with her without saying anything. Entering the house, she made me sit down on the chair and poured me a cup of tea. After a long time, I found she had no plan to talk with me from the beginning. I left impatiently. Like an idiot, I had cheated! Just as I was going out, a ghostly sound came to my ears, “Rebirth, you are the rebirth of your obsessions.”

 

Recall

Things went back to that coma. I vaguely remembered I was playing with someone. For some reason, someone then had left me alone. When I was ready to go back home, someone had pushed me, and I lost my footing and slithered down the bank.....at the thought, my head was suffering from a sharp, irresistible pain, which prevented me from thinking more.

But one thing can be ensured——I was not Eric.

The woman had said that I was the rebirth of my obsessions. My obsessions, I think, were something which happened in the last century. After all, the body of that boy named Eric was just a junior middle school student, who wasn’t equipped with the conditions to stick to one thing deeply.

Now here came the question: Who on earth was I?

That night, I dreamed about a man who was a devotee of God. He went to almost all of the churches in the world in order to find the real God. He believed that God was hidden in the corner of somewhere, watching the whole world silently. And he also died on the way to a church because he slipped into a nearby lake, which was remote and deep. The only clue to know who was he was to find every paper he had wrote, which was buried under the ground in front of the church. But when he wrote his name at the bottom of the paper, I couldn’t see clearly about the words he wrote. I had a strong premonition which this man had a link with me......or, he was me in the last century.

I had to find out who he was.

The next day, I went to the nearest church to seek for evidence about him. If the dream was true, the paper that he had he left buried underground must have still been there. However, searching for that paper must have worn me out. I would find it anyhow. The church was remote and sparsely populated, surrounded by lifeless vegetation. Fortunately, I found a shovel nearby. I took it and began my “digging engineering”. With time elapsing, I was just going round in circles without digging anything, even a corner of that paper. I sat on the ground weak and limp, drinking the water fetched from my bag. The sky was gradually becoming dark. I spent almost the whole day digging but I had found nothing.

Going through these things, I lost my patience and decided to give up eventually. As soon as I uncoiled slowly up into a standing position, a small paper floated in front of my eyes. I wiped my eyes again and again until had I made sure that paper was the paper I had dreamed of. The butcher looked for his knife and it was in his mouth.I deftly caught that paper and saw the name clearly.

Eden......He was Eden.

 

Truth

I was Eden.

In the last century, I slipped into the deep lake. I thought I was dying. Hence, as soon as I sank to the bottom of the lake, my soul was separated from the body and floated among the lake. My soul was floating in the lake for years until one day I saw a boy losing his footing and falling into the lake. I wanted to give him a hand but my soul was entering his body which I had no idea about that.

So the body was Eric’s while the soul was mine. Maybe it was time to return this body to its rightful owner. I should let go of my obsession with the God.

Everyone has a home to return to. Nothing in the world is immutable. If you are filled with the desire for something which does not belong to you, that can be called “Obsession”, even “sin”.

Obsessions can be eternal, but humanity can’t.

The End

Arrietty  2nd year  150110924

                Chinese name:许丽娜