My Proof Of Life - Chapter 1 (Prologue) - Forever Starts Today
There was once someone who told me that immortality was the greatest sin of all. Maybe she was right. Maybe I was a fool.
All these thoughts run through my head as I lay here staring at the ceiling. What would have happened if I had done my life differently? Would I still be here in this place? With the curtains closed and the lights off, making the room very dark as it always was? Many times I wonder. Why did I do those things in my past that made me end up here? I had a reason, but I often can't seem to remember. Was there a good purpose to my actions up till now? Did I... Do the right thing?
It has been exactly three years since that day. That day my life was thrown into the endless cycle of sinners. It was something that could not be avoided.
I rocked back and forth in my chair, uncaring who saw such a lack of attention coming from the son of a noble. Soon enough, my father slammed his hand down on the back of the chair and glared fiercely at me.
"Demetri Takari! You will show respect and sit down flat in your chair, do you understand young man? You're embarrassing me!" He said harshly into my ear.
Annoyed by his scolding, I pushed his hand off the chair and turned my attention back up at the platform at the very front of the large room filled with people all sitting attentively with eyes focused at the front of the room. On the platform, there was a fairly young looking man who was speaking with pride coming off him in waves. He was a tall man with a muscular build and ash black hair that went well with his strikingly bright mint green eyes. He wore a kindly smile as his gaze passed slowly over each of the many members of his audience, fading into a scowl when he rested his eyes on my father and I. The two of us tensed and raised our heads at him, to show that we noticed the challenging look in his eyes.
That man was Hugh Kuru and the head of the esteemed Kuru family, as noble if not more noble than my own family. We normally stay away from each other, but at this gathering it was important that all the noble alchemist families attend. Hugh Kuru took his eyes from us and cleared his voice, getting ready to speak.
"Everyone! I thank you all for coming to this grand party. Today we all celebrate the eighteenth birthday of my eldest children, Shasta and Shiki Kuru!" He announced.
I turned my head away, I had heard of those two. They were the eldest of Hugh Kuru and his wife's many children and, being twins, were both heirs to the title of head of the family. Unlike the Takaris, the Kurus had a very large family. This is due to the fact that they were one of the very few alchemist families who use what's called the immortality potion. All future heads of the Kuru family take this potion on their eighteenth birthday, so that they stay looking forever young.
I shook my head, I couldn't force myself to look at the two brand new enemies of my family as they walked onto the platform and accepted the audience's applause. I too was heir to my family as my father's only son, making the three of us rivals even though I had never really seen them and was now denying myself from looking at them. I heard the sound of clapping as I continued to avoid looking at the Kuru twins, the blessing must be over and everyone was being allowed into the ballroom for the main part of the party.
I picked up my head and stood up to follow my father, making sure to grab my coat which I had been sitting on for the whole time we were sitting there listening to Hugh Kuru speak of his newly named heirs. I was small for a fifteen year old boy standing at an awkward height of 5'1". I ran my hand through my slicked down black hair and blinked my light brown eyes sleepily, it was so tiring having to sit there listening to the head of the Kuru family's rambling on and on. I slouched as I walked from the theater room to the ballroom where nobles from many cities in the empire were already settling down. I sighed and stuck my hands in the pockets of the suit I had borrowed from my father, it was his from when he was my age. It had been pretty big on me at first, but luckily we had it tailored into a smaller size for me. I glared at the ground and cursed my body for being so short.
I stepped into the ballroom and looked around for my father in the crowd of people, panicking silently when I couldn't see him anywhere. I was about to throw away my pride and call for him when I heard a soft 'hello' coming from behind me, it was so soft and quiet that I wondered if it had just been my imagination. But when I turned around to get a good look at where the soft voice was coming from, I saw a young looking girl smiling at me brightly.
She stood only a few inches or so taller than me and had short brown hair that went down to about just brushing her shoulders. She looked ever so kindly at me with her pretty pale blue eyes. She was wearing a simple yet lovely purple dress that had pink rose designs near the bottom of it and she wore elegant white gloves on her hands that went to about half way up her wrist.
"If you aren't too busy, would you like to dance with me?" She asked sweetly as the music started to play and she extended her hand to me.
"S-s-s-sure...." I said as I gently took her hand, forgetting all about my separation from my father. All I could do was stare deeply into her eyes as we held each other's hands and I blushed so much I could feel my cheeks burning like they were on fire. I was always so nervous around girls, especially pretty ones, so I couldn't help but appear as if I was afraid of her.
She didn't seem to mind though as she moved closer to me and gently placed her hand on my shoulder. I nervously brought my hand to her frail feeling waist, quite surprised by the feeling of her in my hands. She felt as if I squeezed her any tighter she may very well break right there in my arms, which just sent even more shivers down my spine.
I wasn't the best dancer in the world, so my steps were quite heavy and awkward as opposed to her soft footing and graceful steps. She again didn't seem to mind as she giggles softly and smiled reassuringly at me.
"Don't be afraid to dance, silly~ I won't bite you. Here, I'll help you. Listen to the sound of my voice and follow my movements, one two three. One two three, one two three." She said softly as I smiled awkwardly at her. I thought for sure she would yell at me for being an awful dancer, but she was so kind about it that I found my heart melting and I tried very hard to keep myself from blushing. I closed out everything else and just listened to the soft and rhythmic sound of her voice, and soon enough I was getting better and better at dancing.
"See? You're very good once you set you're mind to it, Demetri." She said. My heart skipped a beat when she said my name and from then on I could no longer stop myself from blushing. The sounds of the violins, pianos, and other elegant music echoed throughout the room. But I was so focused on the sound of her voice that I didn't even notice the people around us whispering to each other as they looked at us with anxious eyes.
"Is this some trick? A small surprise that Hugh Kuru planned perhaps?"
"Do they realize who they are?!"
"What a sly girl she is! What does she think she's doing?!"
The music soon came to a close and the two of us pulled back so we could perform the proper closing to a dance, she curtseyed and I bowed. She smiled softly at me again, making my knees feel weak.
"Thank you for the dance, it was fun! So long, enjoy the party." She said to me as she turned and walked away into the crowd.
Still completely star struck, I watched her leave and the crowd that lingered around me left when my father pushed through and grabbed me by the wrist tightly.
"Son, we are leaving right now. I won't stand around and put up with Kuru jerks messing with my head, nor will I tolerate them to mess with yours." Hesaid as the two of us made our way out of the mansion, "I want you to stay away from that young lady, you hear me!?" He snapped once we were outside and out of earshot from the other guests of the Kurus.
I buried my chin into my coat as a chilly December wind hit me in the face and blew my hair back as it stung my eyes. We got into the carriage driven my our household butler and I let out a sigh of relief to finally be out of the breeze. But as we drove away, I realized that I hadn't even asked her name!