I died yesterday.
And every day before that.
I die so that Danielle can live.
But yesterday was different. I didn’t just die for her to live. I died for her to be loved. I died for her to have peace. I brought chaos into her life by making myself known to her three years ago. But never again. I will remain in the shadow and protect her from a distance so that she can live a life of tranquility.
“Yusha.” A male voice.
My body tenses. What is Shar doing here?
“Come to kill me so early?” I ask, maintaining what I hope is an air of calm and unconcern.
“Yusha, do you remember anything?”
What is he talking about? “From yesterday? Of course. I remember it all.”
“No. From before.”
“The days before yesterday? Yes, I remember those, too.” Why is he asking these ridiculous questions?
He shakes his head. “You don’t have a clue. No wonder you’re so devoted.”
If he won’t make any sense, I’ll ask a question of my own. “Why did you attack the whole village yesterday?”
“Because I’m weary of this hopeless game we’re trapped in! It must end, Yusha, you can help me end it.”
He really has lost it. “End what?”
Shar takes a step forward and I match it with a step back. “You can set us both free, we don’t have to be their slaves anymore. All it will cost is Danielle’s life. The life of one inconsequential girl.”
What trick is he playing? “Danielle is my life.”
“You pathetic fool!” Shar snaps. “You’re nothing but a pawn, can’t you see that?”
I feel my face bunch up in confusion. “What?”
“They offered me power, immortality,” Shar continues as if he didn’t hear my question. “And I took it.” He shakes his head. “I took it and it cost me everything.”
“Shar, what are you talking about?”
He only stares at me. “You remember nothing? Nothing of the ones who did this to us?”
“Did this to us?” I spread my arms. “This is all there is, Shar. If you want to end it, just leave Danielle alone.”
His shoulders drop. “As long as one of the Bunitheor line lives, it can never end.” The words sounds threatening but his voice is hollow, broken.
And then he is walking away, leaving me to wonder what strange insanity had been birthed in him by his constant pursuit of death. Perhaps his mind can no longer handle the strain and he’s clinging to long forgotten myths to give him some sense of purpose.
Whatever drives Shar, I know that for me, there is nothing more important than Danielle. My entire life, all the centuries it has filled, has been about her. Every person I protected, was all so she could be born. Protecting her from Shar is all that matters, I don’t need to know anything more.
As I told Shar, Danielle is my life, my love. Though I know now that I will never be hers, not truly. She may remember me fondly as the man who saved her one day. I will be a story, a memory, but never a lover.
It’s insanity, but it’s my life.
I am Yusha and I am a Zazti.