(clues for this chapter)
George Orwell wrote a book call Why I Write, I presume I could put a title call Why I Live? If the memoir ever get published… I day-dreamed as I typed up the interview content, obviously I have done my seminar work and made some progress for my essay first. Ada wasn’t able to go home to her family in Christmas, they lived far away and tickets were expensive for her to fly back and forth. I persuaded my dad for a while to let her stay throughout the Christmas and New Year, since she was being so good to me in helping me through the situations so far. Ada was anxious about the idea, “Are you sure he is ok with it?” She asked. “At least my sister was keen on the idea, she has been dying to see you!” I exclaimed, Ada met my younger sister Lizzie when I moved in. Apart from the Christmas day and New Year, my days at home had been very much split between my escort work, essays and typing the transcript of the interviews. In the interview before I got back home for Christmas, I told Mr Greene I would be away to spend time with family, he looked at me sadly and told me he would think of me in Christmas. I smiled as I said thank you, we then talked of the first time he was aware of the changes in him. It was the dawn when it all began, he said. He woke up to the emergence of sunlight as if nothing had happened at all, but as the sun grew closer he realized something was wrong. He could see smoke and slowly he could feel a sensation of burn, he screamed as he ran into the shadows. The signs of changes became increasingly visible when he instantly spited out the food he normally adored, literally anything but ones with liquid in red like red wine. He took it as one of the signs for the magic he adapted to protect his family indeed turned him into something horrible, his temper he was told changed drastically – especially a craving for violence and feeling blood. He couldn’t help smiling when he slayed his enemies dead with sword (or those sharp wooden sticks), he could not deny the fact the vibe he felt through the sword was addictive as any drug addict would find in heroin. He had to have these addiction under control from his family, he spent so long to protect them and they would be the very last to be harmed he swore. He did everything he could to keep it wrapped, but family could not throw off their suspicions when evidence of his changes were growing. He knew he had to go, he knew he had to do something to avoid any possible regrets. And so it goes, he died in a war – he escaped and the enemy found someone’s head and assumed to be his. He was lucky as the dead man looked just like him, the head eventually was exhibited with voices of triumph from the enemy, while the actual man they ran after were deep in the woods. There was a sense of rejection in his way of describing that part of his life. “Even my family tried to put up with my transformation,” he commented with sadness overflown his eyes, “the people in my country was getting freak out by my transformation, they were growing suspicious over my change of routine.” I could imagine that very well, faces of family and friends gone blank in horror of his change, all those people he cared deeply ran off in fear as if he carried a disease. The rejection was so painful my nose was having this sensation of soreness, it would be a sign that my eyes were close to throwing bucket of water into the air. “My army knew my condition,” he said calmly as if it didn’t bother him at all, “They knew what was going on and they devise a plan for me to go, without any nasty endings.” The army was so loyal to him, they even prepared the scenes of his death with a head of an enemy who happened to look like him. “Then what happened?” I asked with curiosity, referring to his post-war life. “I was in the wild, in the forest and soaked.” He recalled, as he looked up the ceiling of the hotel room, his eyes fixated onto the yellow light. He didn’t seemed to be in pain at all, as if the wires inside his eyes seemed disconnected from each other – he didn’t blink or turn away from the light. He stroke the polished table in wood as if caressing the skin of someone, I couldn’t help feeling aroused just by watching its movement. My brain began to imagine with his description to the scene: Everywhere was green with moist, he woke up to the sensation of droplet fell onto his face, his mind was hazy as a maze as he looked around the place. He couldn’t entirely remember what happened, there were scenes that he vaguely remembered, such as how one of his loyal servant covered up his escape from the enemy who tried to get him killed. For a very long time he stayed in the forest, he felt a sense of peace, even he had to admit it was lonely as he had no family to share with or anyone to talk to. He worked his way to set the fires, make shelters and hunt with the weapons his servants gave to him. “But obviously if you are really dead…” I asked, suspicious. “You shouldn’t feel a thing should you?” “No I never was able to feel a thing,” he commented as he gave a sigh of relief, “I used words such as cold just to describe the situation.” “How do you mean?” “For you the meaning of words like cold and hot was about the weather wasn’t it?” “They can also extend to feeling,” I pointed out, “the feeling of things.” His face darken.
“GET OFF ME!” I was sure I never managed to scream this loudly as before, well not in the town centre of my hometown for sure, not when I was at work for sure – my experience was normally very much opposite from the current situation. People passed by glanced at my direction with contempt, some thought about coming to my rescue but no one did – or they were freaked out by my client, who was way too huge for them to fight over. I wished there was someone to get me off this man, anyone I prayed. Then a man in long black coat emerged from the dark corner, the only light thing on him was his green scarf, where on earth did I see such silk green scarf? As he came closer, I would be more than happy to just dig a hole and hide… How on earth knew I live around here at holidays? I thought to myself, I was quite certain (double checked many times) that I said absolutely nothing about my background at all! He walked to the client, the client let go of me and prepared to fight him. He moved swiftly like a wind, always able to escape when the client tried to throw a punch, the client ended up got too many punches and he fell on the floor. He was conscious for sure, but definitely walking like a cripple when he got up and gave me an unfriendly stare. The bystanders left as soon as the show was finished, “How the hell you found me?” I hissed at him as soon as I dragged him to the entrance of Alice’s Shop, I did not know why I pulled him there but I did anyhow. He looked at me confused, as if he was expecting me to be grateful in some ways. “I…”he stammered, “You mentioned about going to Oxford in passing last time we met, remembered the dates you would be staying with your family.” My left hand seemed to have a mind of its own, it slapped right on the face of the handsome man in front of me, the sound was so loud and clear everything stopped. He replied with a hurtful gaze, as if questioning my ungrateful attitude to all that he did. “You STALKED ME,” my voice was growing louder, “You stalked me all the way from Leeds! What’s going on with you?” “I thought you would appreciate the surprise…” he looked down guiltily onto the floor, “Bella Swan seemed happy with Edward Cullen when he did it.” At that very moment, I wanted to slam my head onto the table so badly – Ah yes! He has been reading romantic novels that were born in recent years (range from the 1970s til now), in hope of understanding the current trend of love and relationship under the media’s recommendation. He felt that he would then be able to understand my structure of work, when he understand the current logic applicable on love in modern world. He might’ve been a great ruler, but definitely nowhere near getting a good grade on understanding how to please a woman rightly. I cursed myself secretly for not reminding him that what Edward Cullen did was beyond romantic in a bad way. “Vivian!” A man shouted to me from afar, I wanted to hide more than ever – my dad stood in front of the entrance toward Christ Church College, he placed a suspicious gaze to first Mr Greene then to me, he waited patiently til the cars gone by before he crossed to greet us. I looked at Mr Greene sternly, making sure he said nothing. “What on earth you are doing here?” “I bumped into a friend,” I lied quickly, “This is Ladon Greene, dad.” My dad shook hands with Mr Greene, “This is my dad, Philip.” I wished Ada would be here at this very moment, she has been brilliant at dealing with awkward situations – or Lizzie, she was also good. “Well you are more than welcome to come over for dinner if you like?” I looked at my dad as if he was a volcano mountain which just erupted, what on earth was he doing? “If it’s not a problem at all?” Mr Greene looked at me as if asking for my permission, I thought for a little and decided to give Mr Greene a chance, I normally would slap straight away, but somehow I found myself liking the presence of Mr Greene. Dad instructed Mr Greene and I sit at the back and away he drove, throughout the journey, our fingers touched many times and each time I felt a small sense of being electrocuted.
Ada was in the kitchen when we came home, Lizzie was helping her preparing some dumplings from a small Asian supermarkets we went in London a while ago. They were stunned to see Mr Greene came home along with my dad and I, but they both greeted us warmly and escorted Mr Greene to his seats in the dining room. I ran into the kitchen as dad settled himself and Mr Greene a glass of red wine, “Vivian, that guy was proper handsome!” Ada rejoiced as soon as I walked into the kitchen, the steamed dumplings were close to ready with the vegetables. I smiled to her word, yet something was unsettling in my mind. “You know, Mr Greene had asked me many times if I was certain about inviting him in as dad walked in.” Ada looked up at me as she was cooking, often this would mean for me to continue. “He seemed doubting my decision and –” “You did tell him that he has to leave as you requested right?” “Of course, just because he was my client he yet get to the level of VIP, come on!” “That’s good, that’s good.” Ada commented quietly, her nodding left me feeling uncomfortable. “The reason I asked was what you said remind me about a strange tale about vampire, apparently once you invited the vampire into the house it would be pretty hard to kick it out –” I flinched and almost dropped the plates, thankfully Ada caught them with quick reaction. She nudged me to put the plates down, as I sat myself next to Mr Greene. I tried to remember the times that Mr Greene ate in my presence, but of course I found none, Ada scooped some dumplings and hand a few of them on the plate to Mr Greene. Mr Greene received the plate with a smile of discomfort, but took a bite of the dumpling. “It’s delicious!” He smiled earnestly at me. Mr Greene and my father had been chatting about politics and current affairs, while Lizzie scoff the dumplings into her mouth, Ada and I talked of our plans to be back in Leeds three or four days after the New Year for our exams in mid-January. As Lizzie went to wash her dishes, dad went for a shower, Ada, Mr Greene and I watched television. Mr Greene’s speed of consuming the glass of red wine seemed growing faster, as he sat anxiously next to Ada and I, as if he was going to have something blow-up from his mouth in any minute. Funny thing was, Ada and I were perfectly fine. “Excuse me!” He ran into the downstairs toilet in an instant, Ada and I looked at each other with suspicions. He came out from the toilet few minutes later, looking pale. “Oh if you are not feeling well you might as well stay.” Dad spent minutes to persuade him from going back to the hostel, he looked at me as if asking for my instructions. “I mean if you are not well, no point trying to set off as there would be a distance before any toilet available from here.” I said, Lizzie already on her way to get the sleeping bag and pillows. “Very well then, if no trouble at all.” He smiled weakly as Lizzie laid out the black sleeping bag and pillows in all kinds of colour onto the big sofa in caramel white. Minutes later, Ada and dad had gone upstairs after bidding him good night, Lizzie went to lock the doors, I sat with Mr Greene as he got himself ready for the night. “Oh the sleeping bag is so warm!” he exclaimed with joy all over his face, “I wish they invented it in my days.” He squished himself into the black sleeping bag as I watched. “Tell me about your diet,” I said quietly, “Were you not supposed to have human food? You seemed looked as if Henry the eighth got a gout.” “Henry VIII…I remember him, he was a good lad, but very bad temper for sure.” Mr Greene commented, as if he knew the king all his life, did he really as he claimed lived through all these centuries without anyone knowing? “I guessed my organs deteriorate so much over the years, it did make me feel very uneasy.” He smiled to me as if he made a good joke, before his expression gone serious, “You should’ve been more careful about letting strangers into your house.” “How so?” I questioned, puzzled, “Aren’t you trustworthy enough?” “Even trustworthy people can be disappointing, my dear, so always have reservation to everyone you know.” He spoke with great deal of caution in his voice. “Tell me about your life, have you met anyone since you exiled from your own countries?” He smiled at me as if a father smiling to a child, “I met a girl during the 1780s, her name was Mary. She was very different, if you ask me, not very conventional…” He claimed he was a painter, at the time with a false name fell in love with a girl call Mary, who shared a very different idea about women’s role in society. He was living with a wife, so he couldn’t do anything but to turn Mary away. He knew very little of what happened to her after she left, maybe she lived happily with a man and happy family or she never made it to true happiness. “You guys are very lucky,” he concluded, “Less and less restrains from the social standards.” “But more and more chaos, as some would be struggling to find their purposes.” I replied without knowing why, we looked at each other without words. “Good night, Tippi.” He whispered as I got up. “You caught me, you caught my dad calling me Vivian.” “I wouldn’t call you Vivian unless you allow me to.” He lay down thoughtfully as he spoke, “why Tippi though?” “My mum loved a film call “The Birds”, the gold hair woman in the film was call Tippi Herden.” We then bid each other goodnight, I walked up to my room through the not-so-spiral stiars in white walls and brown carpet.