Lucy sits at her desk in her little room that fits her like a glove. She has turned on the garland of light, giving a Christmas mood to her surrounding even if it’s still September, albeit a slate grey day. The dormer window produces a depressing grey light of a sun gone diffuse behind clouds. She is wearing red today, and this colour somehow warms her. She is thinking of something, but she can’t place a precise word or thought on it. Something underground that is coming up. She places her face in between her hands to focus. She speaks to herself aloud, nervously. It’s worrisome this thing that is coming up, but it’s also very important.
It’s about the past. The far past. That large chunk of information that is missing from her memory. Somehow since she has met Enzo, it is coming back to the surface. Things that she thought forever lost, forgotten, buried, she starts to remember.
For a moment, there is only blankness. But then she sees Enzo’s intense eyes, his face. He looks at her with love. He tells her to follow him and takes his hand. She trusts him. Even if he scares her, she would trust him with her life.
She sees herself again as a kid, playing happily in her room. Bringing her games upstairs to the bright attic room where her parents usually spend their time home, as it’s warm and cosy and she feels surrounded by their love.
There she can do all sorts of things, and it is the place in the house she feels the most safe in when her parents are here. In fact it’s not truly about a place, but about being surrounded by her parents. During the week she doesn’t see them much as they work all day long and she goes to school, and so weekends are very precious for her, very reassuring, very warm. With her parents nothing bad can happen. They laugh and chat together and she listens to that joyful hum that fills her with contentment. This is the place where she would like to be in all her life. This bubble of peace and love. Of course, she also likes to take walks in the forest with her father, or to spend time with her mother, but the moment she feels the most complete is when both are here, surrounding her with their affection.
Time passes. Things are not anymore as they were. There is a shadow cast upon the bright attic room. Expressions are less free, less spontaneous, gloomier. There is less laughter. A weight is heaving. A thunder blackens the sky in the distance.
The explosion. One day, her father starts shouting at her mother. She has never seen such an outburst. It all happens before her. She tries to hide, not to see, not to listen, but how can she when his voice resonates in her. Where is her perfect love? Where are her mother and her father? They are shouting and fighting with one another, and Lucy feels her heart and the walls of the house trembling. Her father is so angry she feels he’s going to beat her mother, or he could do it. She feels the fear and the sorrow of her mother. The despair and the anger of her father. What is happening, what has happened. Why is that happening. She tries to come, to stop it all, but they shout at her too, tell her to go to her room. That shatters something in Lucy’s heart. It is her fault, her fault, if they are fighting. She did something bad to them. It is her who has brought this woe upon her parents. She has not been a good girl. It is all her fault if they are fighting. What will happen? Later her mother comes to console her, but something has been broken before. She has understood she could not trust the love of her parents anymore, that something was driving them not to be their loving selves. And she has understood that she could not trust herself, because it all was her fault.
The fights become worse and worse, until a divorce is demanded, a trial is set, and her parents have stopped living together, moving each to a different house, than to a different city. There is no bright attic room any longer. No moments of happy togetherness. She gets to see her mother on her own, and her mother seems sad and depressed and heavy-hearted. And she gets to see her father on her own, and her father seems angry and sad and heavy-hearted even if he tries to hide it. Her parents almost become a weight for her, and her less favoured moments of the week when she went to school become the more reassuring moments, as there she can forget for a while her pain and her misery, forget about her parents, play with her friends, learn new things. She feels safe and warm in her tiny school. Or at least safer and warmer than in the places she now call home but keep on changing all the time, as both her mother and her father move several times, and she loses there all her habits, as she doesn’t anymore has her beautiful room that fit her like a glove and where she had all her games, but she keeps on changing and moving to anonymous places that feel cold and distant and alien at first, with the big big sorrow in her parents heart, and the lack of love from them toward her. Of course Lucy tries to do like her parents, to pretend all is fine, she is alright, she is already seven year old, a big girl right, and she cannot cry. But deep down her heart is in complete misery. She is in pain for herself, in pain for her parents. She cannot understand how such a beautiful and perfect and warm love could have been shattered so horrendously. And she feels guilty too because it’s probably because of her her parents have split up. She had seen some of their pictures before her birth and they looked very happy. Yes she definitely had something to do with it. And during the divorce she spends some time at her grandmother’s place, but when she returns home she learns her grandfather has fallen in the garden never to rise again. And again, Lucy feels despair and guilt. Despair to see her grandmother completely despaired, despair at having lost the gentle presence of her grandfather, guilt because again after she touched people, catastrophes happened. And so Lucy understands she needs to make herself very discreet, very quiet, very small, and share what happens in her heart only when asked. Somehow she feels she has caused the divorce of her parents and the death of her grandfather. How she doesn’t know exactly. But this guilt, this sadness, this despair, this anger, this incomprehension are eating at her, and she is forced to try to push them away, to try to contain and repress them, and try to behave as if she’s perfectly fine. And to a certain point she manages to do it.
At the same time her paternal grandparents move house, abandoning the beautiful garden with water lily ponds they had, close to a forest where she went to look at mushrooms and leprechauns with her father, to move to a boring house inside the city, and again life strikes Lucy at a time of great vulnerability. In a couple of years, all what she thought stable and unshakable is lost. Her parents, her house, her grandparents’ garden, and her maternal grandparents. Everything has been shaken. Life can definitely not be trusted. Life is cruel. All what Lucy can do is making herself small and surviving and paying well attention to love everyone around her not to cause other catastrophes, and be a quiet and good girl. And so she does. She is studious, she obtains good results, she never creates troubles with anyone, she refrains from crying or shouting. Her mood is in appearance balanced, and she dives herself entirely in book reading as there at least she can feel entirely free, she can express her sadness and her anger and her joy through the characters. Fortunately she has a few friends at school who also like reading and storytelling and that makes her a bit of company, as the atmosphere at her two homes is far from being merry, since her parents are still under shock by what happened, still trying to reconstruct themselves, and Lucy is taken by their turmoil that is too burdensome for her young age.
She discovers writing and love at fourteen years old. It is then that love strikes her for the first time. A brilliant flash. A smiling boy. She wishes she could make him smile and laugh. She starts to admire and cherish him from afar. And she discovers her lust for poetry and storytelling even more, as this boy inspires her to write. She never dares to go speak to him, but she makes a character out of him in her mind and she loves that character of a true, perfect love, and this character inspires her many beautiful pieces of writing. She discovers that through writing and drawing she can express some of the emotions, some of the pain, she had buried, and some of the magic she wished existed in the world. For three years, her heart beats for this character, until she discovers the boy is not the character she has made up in her heart, and she understands he will never love her as she loves him and so she lets go entirely of him, and also of true love, as life disappoints her again. If that character of her dreams doesn’t exist, then there is no true love in the world, and everything can be attributed to biology.
Time passes and Lucy slowly grow into a young adult. She discovers relationships and attraction and physical togetherness, that for a moment bring back the feeling of magic in her, for a moment inspire her again to write. But soon that feeling fades and her passion with her boyfriend grows colder, less inspiring. As her flow of words decreases, ceases, her love also extinguishes itself. Unconsciously she knows already both are related. When she is truly in love, the object of her love inspire her poems and stories. And when her heart dries up, her outflow of words become very poor. However the relation between the two is still not very clear to her, and she doesn’t know how intimately both are related, and that she will understand who her true love is once she will always discover her muse, the boy who can inspire her to write at all times and in all places, the boy who is behind each of her poems and her stories, this character she had made up in her mind when she was fourteen years old. Lucy still doesn’t know this character of hers truly exists in the world. That he breathes too and walks and speaks and writes, and that his heart already beats for her. That she cannot guess, she cannot dare hoping.
And one day the unexpectable happens, as Lucy meets the character of her dreams. She doesn’t recognize him as such immediately. They have a special, intense, connection, but he also scares her a lot, preventing her from coming too close, from exploring him as she would have wished to. He possesses a rare lyricism she had looked for everywhere and never found, a lyricism she didn’t even know she was looking for. He possesses the brilliancy and the smiles she looked for to some degree, but he also has a darkness, an intensity and an awkward honesty that are troubling, scary. Very fast, he shakes the outermost walls Lucy has built around her heart, and she shows him sides of herself she had never revealed to anyone. But as the wall is shaken, oppressions and memories of the past come dangerously close to the surface and Lucy is forced to reinforce the wall and to push away the boy. This boy is dangerous for her, he puts her ill-at-ease. And yet, he fascinates her and one part of her longs to know him more, much more.
Lucy is at a loss now. She has somehow found the character of her dream, but he’s way more multidimensional than she could imagine him. He has something perfect in him for her, but he is not yet perfect. They both need to heal beforehand. But she sees all that through a thick haze, as she’s not very connected to her deep emotions. Sometimes the boy triggers her and brings her to depth she had not been to for a long time, but afterwards she tries to repress again these emotions that scare her, and so she alternates moments of closeness with him and moments where she’s more distant. She knows she confuses him, but she is confused himself. And no matter what she does and how confusedly she acts and how much she pretends within herself not to care, he always overcomes his pride and talks to her again.
It is only when he becomes clearer in his intentions and expresses his love for him, shyly the first time, much deeply the second time, that she starts seeing the truth through the mist. She understands that with this boy she has touched something she had never found elsewhere. Unconditional love. He makes her weep, he makes her feel, and after a long moment of silence, he stirs enough her feelings to make her write poetry again. Poetry does not flow as easily as in the past as Lucy is more closed emotionally than she ever was, and despite knowing internally there is something very special at act with the boy, she is still in denial of her love and her feelings, she still sees them through a thick mist and doesn’t well know what to do of them.
But the boy grows bolder and bolder and he showers her with poetry and stories that bring Lucy to her depths. Each time, they trigger strong feelings in her. Each time, she tries to resist, to prevent herself from being dragged again in trusting love, and being hurt and disappointed and betrayed yet another time. And worst of all, she doesn’t want to hurt again, she doesn’t want to be the cause of the end of love. And so she resists her feelings, resists him desperately. But her love for the boy is too strong and too deep, and so she alternates moments of surrendering and moments of resistance, hurting him greatly each time, as she creates hopes and expectations in him she is not able to meet afterwards. That creates a great turmoil in Lucy as she feels in pain, she feels guilty for hurting him, and she feels anger toward herself, but she represses those emotions, tries to stifle them, as she has done all her life since she was a kid, and she has some success in that. And afterwards she can just pretend for some time to live a normal life, have new relationships, go out with her friends, study, continue to be the quiet, studious, fun loving, uneventful girl she strived to be since the divorce of her parents. But the stirring are still ongoing deep down in her chest. A sharp longing has been awakened, and the boy grows out the hurt and he writes her again with even more strength, even more love, even more beauty, and again he opens breaches in Lucy’s walls. And yet another time she surrenders to him, she surrenders to her tears, she surrenders to her love, to then push them away in fright when she feels how deeply they go, and how the roots of her love for this boy touches the roots of the wound of her childhood. And again and again she opens her arms to the boy, even acknowledges for the first time she loves him and can love no other one like him, to push him away afterwards with even more strength and violence, as Lucy grows more and more comfortable with her deeper emotions. Through his writings the boy helps her become familiar again with her own emotions. She realizes he can somehow feel her emotions and read her mind in the distance, and she can do the same with him. It is a fascinating magical bond they have, but it is also very scary because it endangers the character Lucy has spent years to build, this studious girl who likes to please her parents and her friends, and it drags Lucy into emotional depths she had sworn to herself never to touch again. But the love of this boy is stronger than any obstacle, stronger than any hurt, and each time he confronts his fears of heights and come back to knock at the door of her heart, and each time after some hesitation she lets him in for a while, because he brings her so much light and beauty and warmth, and she longs to have him there forever. But it is too scary, too painful, and she pushes him down from the tree into the emptiness he fears, thinking she has gotten rid of him forever, glad and mournful at the same time. However by God knows what miracle the boy falls on his feet unharmed, and he finds a way to climb back on the tree and make his dwelling close to that of Lucy. He doesn’t knock on her door anymore, but he chants his words, and for the first time Lucy opens her door and listens to him enraptured. Oh how she longs to go knock on his door herself. How she longs to sing again with him. How she longs to embrace him again, and write him and cover him in her words of poetry and her smiles. She has realized by now this was the boy she was in love with when she was fourteen. For three years of her life she loved him desperately without knowing he truly existed. That was why he felt and sounded so familiar. She knew him already so intimately in her heart. And now she has found him at last.