Kasin's Real, I Promise
Author: Kassandra

Chapter 13
Looking at things differently.

I am back in the beautiful field with Leumas. I get a strange feeling like I don’t belong here. A gentle wind tousles my long brown curls. He says, “Hello again Roseline.”
“Why do I keep coming back here?” I demand.
He smiles slyly. “Seems you just can’t stay away from me, huh?”
“Oh stop your bullshitting.”
“It’s a dream, Roseline, don’t read too much into it,” he mutters with a secretive wink.

I roll my eyes. “You’re ridiculous,” I tell him.

He laughs and responds with, “You love it. That is if you want to hear the rest of the story.”
My eyes widen slightly. “You have my attention, Leumas. Go ahead.”
“Mmm, that’s what I thought.” He studies my face briefly. Then he says, “So the Last time we left off, the older brother was banned from ever entering the Kingdom of Light ever again-”
“Wait, the Kingdom of Light? It has a specification now?”
Leumas looks at me, pretending to be miffed that I interrupted. “Yes, I am giving out names now, Ms. Impatient.  So let’s call the older brother... Uhm, I guess we can call him Nicolas. And the younger will be Adam. Now Nicolas wanted to get back at Adam somehow, for ruining his life and forcing him to live alone. He tried for years and years to get even, but Adam never left his Kingdom, so he was protected.”
Protected? Something about that word strikes a chord with me, but I can’t decide why, my brain isn’t working right.
“But word got out to the Kingdom of Darkness that Adam would be leaving his kingdom to rescue a beautiful maiden. This was Nicolas’ chance. So he waited until Adam left, and then he imprisoned him, somewhere close where he could be sure that he wouldn’t escape. He then disguised himself as Adam, then met the maiden himself.”
He pauses for effect and I smack his arm. “Well get on with it,” I prompt.
“And she was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Her long hair thick and soft, her lips red and plump, her cheeks round and rosy, her body perfectly sculpted, and her eyes large, dark, enchanting, and mysterious. He was planning on destroying her once he got there, but the moment he saw her, she had stolen his heart. He could not destroy her. So he spent some time with her, posing as Adam. She had no idea he was a fake. The longer he spent with her, the more he wanted her to live in the Kingdom of Darkness with him. So he decided to meet her as himself, as Nicolas. He would leave certain days and when she went out into the city, he would be there.”
I nod. “So it was like she knew him but she didn’t.”
“Exactly! So Nicolas was living a double life the whole time, trying to get Alexandra to fall in love with him so she would want to go live with him. And then-”
“Oh I know what happens next. Adam breaks out of his prison and rescues Alexandra. Then they live happily ever after in the Kingdom of Light together-”
“No,” he interrupts sharply, intensely. “Not in this story.”
I draw my eyebrows together in confusion. “So then what happens? There’s a specific dynamic to stories like these, Leumas, no matter what happens, no matter how much is lost, no matter how bleak things look, good always triumphs over evil in the end.”
“But who decided Nicolas was evil, Roseline? Who decided that he was the bad guy? What if Adam is really the bad guy? He refused to let his brother come back to him; Nicolas humbled himself in front of Adam, and Adam stepped all over him.”
“Well Nicolas turned against his king-”
“Nicolas made a mistake, Roseline. Everyone makes mistakes.”
“And he imprisoned Adam and planned to kill an innocent woman.”
“God, you look at things so black and white, don’t you? You have to learn that not everything is about right and wrong, it’s about justice and getting even. And the beauty of this story is that Alexandra wasn’t killed. Nicolas fell in love with her so he didn’t kill her.”
“He was going to.”
“Ah, but he didn’t. And let’s say this whole “happy ending” spiel were to happen. Adam gets the girl, brings her back to the kingdom, they get married, blah blah blah lots of kids. What happens to Nicolas?”
I take a moment to let everything sink in. Leumas has got a point. In all stories, the hero wins and their legacy moves on, but the villain is forgotten about and left in the dust of the hero’s triumph.
“In this story, Nicolas gets the girl,” he says. “And they lived happily ever after.”
I look down at the grass and feel the need to pull it out, I don’t know why. “Not to seem rude, but why did you tell me this story?”
Leumas looks at me with those fathomless black eyes of his. They’re quite amazing actually, it’s almost like they don’t reflect the light, but absorb it. He doesn’t say anything for a long time; he just sits there studying me. He suddenly tucks a piece of hair behind my ear and whispers, ”I just want you to be able to look  at things differently.”

I awake to someone stroking my forehead. I swat at the hand and mumble, “Kasin, go away.”
“Kasin? What the hell’s a kasin?”
I open my heavy eyes slowly and see my mother’s blurry face hovering over me. “Oh, hey Ma. Wha - what’s up?” I greet her groggily.
“I could ask you the same thing, you’ve got scratches on your face, what happened?”
My brain snaps awake in a millisecond. “Uhm, well I went downstairs to let Brutus out to pee and he ran into the woods and I had to go chase after him.”
To my great relief, Mom seems to believe the lie. She’s going to have to; I mean after all, what am I supposed to say? Hey Ma, my spirit guide needed me to do something for him so we drove out to Lunden Pond where I fell off a cliff and into this guy I just met who can see the future, but don’t worry, everything’s fine.
She nods and puts a hand on my forehead. “You feeling up to going to practice?”
Man, am I eager to get back into that pool. “Yes, I’m feeling much better.”
She smiles and pats my leg. “Alright, well you better start getting ready.”
She leaves and Kasin and I are alone. I sigh and look at him. “I can’t lie to my mom anymore, Kasin, it’s weird. I never lie to my mom, and now I can’t even keep track of how many times I have in the past three days.”

He studies me closely, those multicolored eyes so fascinating. “Would she believe you if you told her the truth?”
I shake my head, seeing his point.
I get up from bed and shake out my hair, strewn with knots. I look down and realize I’m still wearing Ash’s pants. And that my knee hurts like a bitch! I carefully roll up the pant leg, shifting my weight to my uninjured leg. It looks swollen.
“Kasin, should I be worried about this?” I gesture to my knee.
He crooks a finger at me and I sit next to him. He handles my knee with care as he examines it. He gently pushes the side and I suck in a sharp breath in pain. “Ow, yeah, hi, that hurts.”
He smirks faintly. “I think it’s sprained.”
I look at him with widened eyes. “Then why the hell are you smiling?!”
He disappears like the Cheshire cat. Suddenly I feel a pop in my kneecap. A very painful pop that causes me to gasp loudly. But then the pain is over as suddenly as it began. I open my eyes and look at my knee. After removing the bandages I see that the scrape is gone as well as the swelling. Kasin materializes in front of me. I look at his amused expression.

“How did I do that?” he asks for me.
I nod in utter wonder.
“Perks of being a demon, baby,” he responds with a quick wink.
I stretch my leg out tentatively. It is slightly sore, but not painfully so. “Kasin, that’s unbelievable. So when you’re in your true form, you can basically do anything?”
He nods and I get up and start grabbing my stuff. A fresh bra, underwear, my swimsuit, cap, goggles, and my water bottle take a seat in my backpack. Once I’ve got everything packed, I exchange my dirty white tee shirt for a clean red one. It’s funny; I no longer feel embarrassed or shy around Kasin. I suppose he doesn’t really count as a boy.

I look down at the left leg of Ash’s sweatpants; golden yellow letters surrounded by a royal blue border spell out the word Pathfinder. I had guessed Ash went there. The school really is a mouthful. Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School. Why can’t they just call it Pathfinder Regional High School? Why do we need to know vocational and technical?

Kasin interrupts my meaningless thought process by telling me he has to go; he has things to do.
I pause to look at him. “Things?” I ask. “What ‘things’?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Well come on, just tell me. You’re always disappearing mysteriously.”
He gives me an odd look. “In time, Rose.”


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