Today I did nothing too strange. It was not a bad day.
Now the priority is to keep strange things happening to a minimum. They were always present in my life, however much I ignored them, but for a month now, it is impossible to do it.
But today I did not miraculously heal any wound, I have not split anything that I had not touched, nor did I see anyone that others did not see. Indeed, it was not a bad day.
In fact, I no longer really care if something strange happens. I no longer have an interest in trying to live a normal life, at least not the one I had planned.
When you lose your only safe haven, your life loses its meaning as well. My safe haven was Ray. My brother and I had recently moved to Lain when the tragedy occurred: he died.
Ray was the whole family I had. Now there was no one.
I was totally and utterly alone in this world. I had no friends. No one wanted to be friends with a person prone to have strange things happening around them, I suppose.
The “strange” word preceded me.
In Lain, I had only made a few acquaintances, a hope of a new beginning that has now gone out.
"I'll go outside and get some fresh air," I told Aile, not sure whether my voice had been heard over that loud music.
Everyone knows it's "out there" that people who feel displaced at a party will. Well, there, or some less busy corner, preferably with some alcohol as a company. I chose the first option.
I should not have come. Celebrating the end of classes at nursing school was now a sacrifice rather than a fun one.
If I had not been invited, I know that a part of me would feel left out, the same part that is used to getting people away. But being invited is actually worse.
I was not in the mood for a party, especially this one where I barely knew anyone.
The university was not my favorite spot. It was not that I was a bad student, on the contrary. I knew I had some talent for nursing, to take care of others.
And it was helping others that gave me pleasure, that's what I've been working on forever.
First in the place where I grew up, a Catholic convent of nuns, where this was a daily practice for everyone, and now here in Lain, where I completed my last months of nursing after moving.
At the moment, I had no idea what to expect in the future. My plans? They were, until a month ago, finding a job as a nurse, in a job market already struggling, with some luck.
Now I could see no future. There was nothing to celebrate for me. All that remained was my brother's mourning and memory.
There was the feeling that I would change my life for his, if only that were possible. To continue was too inconceivable. But still, there you are, Lara.
Dragged to a party by people you do not even know!
"Hey, Lara, we are going to the pool, if you want to join us ..." said Aile, who had appeared at the door of her house with a vacant look and a voice drawn from the drink.
She leaned over the threshold for support.
Aile was, like everyone else at this party, a finalist at the nursing school, and one of the few acquaintances I did.
The party was at her house and, being the hostess, I suspect she only invited me as a matter of good education., because we were never very close.
However, I owed her my current source of income, which enabled me to pay for the course and to stay in Lain.
Aile, knowing my need for work, quickly recalled that his brother, Zeck, needed a model. He was a portrait painter.
Faced with the opportunity and having no other option, I was forced to consider the offer, but certain that I would not be the kind of girl he was looking for anyway.
I do not consider myself beautiful, I'm not six feet tall, I've always been thin, without many curves to be proud of.
I suppose my brown eyes would not turn blue, and certainly my long blonde curly hair would not stop being wild twenty-four hours a day. Smooth and silky? That's not my type.
I did not exactly correspond to the ideals of beauty, but above all I did not feel at all comfortable to be observed for an infinite period of time.
But as much as the idea displeased me and it seemed absurd to me, Zeck came to think that I was the right person to offer a good pay.
That's how I ended up accepting the job, staring at it as something temporary until I found something else.
"Thank you, Alie, everything was great, you have a fantastic house! But I'm going. Your brother ... "Zeck, he had been picking me up here at eleven o'clock in order to combine a new portrait.
It was already ten minutes.
A car had just stopped by the house gate. Finally.
"…just arrived. We have things to match tomorrow. "
Zeck lowered the glass.
"Hey, Ali, I see you're excited as ever. Good thing Lara survived her first party at your place. Something unexpected." He shot, raising his voice in a sarcastic tone.
He and his sister had their conflicts from what I realized.
Zeck was a tall, heavyset boy, the result of time spent doing physical exercise.
His straight brown hair, long at the top, was tilted to one side, giving him a bad-boy look that made him popular with the girls.
In fact, there was nothing urgent to arrange, but a ride home was welcome.
Aile, however, was in the mood for celebration, and did not seem willing to break too long.
"She's hardly arrived, idiot.
And you're already taking her back, "she says lazily, trying to sound uncomfortable, but failing, as words wrap around, and her body tilts unconsciously on the threshold of the door,
because standing is beginning to be difficult at this point.
Then a look of understanding takes her glazed look, which oscillated between me and Zeck.
"Hmm ... I know what you two are doing, perverts."
Aaah ... I did not understand exactly what Aile was referring to, but it was not at all to the purpose of this meeting. I could not help blushing a little.
Great that the darkness of the night concealed the blush.
"Better to have fun too."
And with these last words Aile takes off the threshold and staggers, in her high heels and mini dress, until she finds her way back and disappears into the crowd.
What was I thinking when I accepted the invitation? I would never fit in there. I was the girl in jeans and T-shirts. I had to buy a black, basic dress, purposely for tonight.
But the discrepancies did not end in the clothes.