I enter through the tall, heavy doors of my home, my safety place. The stone statue seems to change every time I come in, but mostly is a robust medieval knight in armor holding an axe.
I walk up the stairs to round the pillar behind the statue and find myself in a display room, with flower pots and various undefined paintings.
Wasn’t there a bust against the wall last week? I can’t remember. There are two doors at each end of the gallery. One leads to the dining room; the other, to the main hall.
I follow the way to the hall, watching carefully as my boot sheathed feet step on the black and white pattern of the floor.
The hall is immense. There are four doors here, plus the fit of stairs that connect the library and the right and left sides of the second floor with the first one.
It is always daytime in here, as the ceiling is enchanted to look like glass, letting the light come through the leaves of the threes on the rooftop. Always a mild cloudy sky.
I pass the doors as I adjust my heavy fur coat on the shoulders. I turn left at the top of the stairs and enter the dark corridors. Jacky is on her way down, right in the same corridor as me.
“Hey! How are you?” She says.
“Fine, thanks,” I smile back at her. “With some things to do, though. Gotta find a nice room.”
She looks confused, but seeing every sign my face shows with her expert eye, drops the subject and goes on her way. I’m sorry, I think, and compliment her discretion silently.
The deepest corridors are utterly dark since I hadn’t explored these places enough to have imagined the windows. I like them like this.
I turn into a very narrow hall, which curls in on itself, hiding the way for anyone who doesn’t already know it exist. Then, I see light coming from the corner ahead.
It’s a small terrace with a little fountain, white benches and vines. The roof is made of glass and the light of the day filters again through the crystal.
There are two doors here, one of them closed by a thin chain and a locket. No knob on the outside.
I take the left one (which looks plainly normal) and find a long corridor illuminated by the sun that comes in through tall windows. There’s another door at the end.
I follow the red carpet to it and come in.
Inside’s a study. It has a chimney and several shelves. There are a lot of different crystal bottles, none shaped as another. They’re all empty, waiting for me to put things in them.
I take one that’s almost spherical; the base is made of a golden metal. I look bellow the base.
It says “Sentiments." in nice italics, not lacking the capital at the beginning or the period at the end.
I take it and sit on the red couch in front of the cackling fire. There’s a pile of wool blankets here. I remove my shoes, put a blanket over my head and hug my legs.
The sobs that I have been containing the whole time begin to emerge from my throat. I make my best to keep them inside, clutching my teeth.
The thoughts are silent, the voice, unhearable, the echo, strident.
The shivers come down my spine and I bury myself in the coat, hiding below the wolf hood.
My hair sticks to my tear smeared cheeks, and the bottle, tightly held to my chest starts to fill with a blazing silver liquid.
Once I react and get a hold of myself, the bottle is almost full. The base now says a name. I’m sorry, once again. I won’t hurt you anymore. You’re far too important to me.
This secret is going to the grave with me; which won’t be too soon, I’m afraid. I’m sorry.