Chapter 9 – Disconnection (2)

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Disconnection – Part 2

      The thought of my actions bringing death to others, strangers or not, terrifies me. But even further still, I didn’t say any of that out loud, so I can’t help but question Gee.

      “What do you mean when you tell me I’ve practically ordered their execution? And how did you know that I did? I didn’t say anything out loud.”

     “People have unique shadows, did you know? Much like their faces. Well, their faces if you ignore twins,” she shudders, “Evil things they are.” she jokes.

     I give Gee a glare and she holds her hands up in surrender. “All I mean to say is, you wear your feelings deep down, and it makes it easy to guess what you’re thinking.”

     Her words are so confusing that I drop my head into my hands.

     With my hands massaging my temples I say, “Alright. If you say so. I’ve given up trying to understand you people.”

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     She tilts her head at me and quizzically says, “Now that’s interesting. I don’t know what you mean by that.”

     I shrug my shoulders. “But, again, what do you mean I’ve sentenced them to death?”

    Gee takes a moment to study me before replying. Eventually, she takes on a condescending tone and replies, “I know more about the Zeroth than you do, do I?”

     My brow furrows and I pull myself up. “Gee. You’re making me mad.”

     She chuckles and says she’s aware, while sliding herself up closer to me. I give up trying to run away and press for an answer. She simply lays her arm around my shoulders and leans her head on my right one.

     Never, and I mean never, in my life have I ever been in this position with someone. This is so intimate that I don’t even feel good about it, despite seemingly every point of contact feeling good since I’ve arrived in this world. After a moment she seems to pick up on it, and in an act of kindness I wouldn’t expect from her, she removes her arm. She keeps her head leaning on my shoulder, however, but at least she isn’t holding me now.

     After I am done steadying my breath, she asks, “Are you good now my Zero?” Her possessive tone reminds me of the others. This woman really is one of my “wives” isn’t she? That’s quite possibly the only thing they all have in common. They’re all weirdly possessive; even Kay. After that thought, I feel a small pinch on my arm that hurts just enough for me to jerk away.

      “Ouch. What’s that for?”

     She huffs out, “At least only think about me when it’s just us. Why’s there gotta be another woman on your mind? That’s rude.”

     “I, uh, what? I-I wasn’t thinking about another woman. I wasn’t even thinking about a woman in any significant capacity,” I say while rubbing my arm, forcing her head to bob up and down. “I was only thinking about-” I turn my head towards her and interrupt that line of thought for another, “Can you really read minds?”

     She stares upwards at me, into my eyes, as if thinking about something. She adds, “Not exactly. It’s more like, every feeling in this world comes across differently based on the thoughts associated with them, and they bleed into the other side of this world, the shadows. The deeper the feeling, the secret, the more rooted they are in the darkness. Once you know what each kind of feelings is associated with what thoughts, it’s easy to understand people.”

     “So, you could tell I was thinking about a woman, but not what I was thinking verbatim. And because I had been thinking about women, my feelings came across a certain way. Then you extrapolated that to me having been thinking about the other women. That sound about right?” She nods her head, “Roughly” she says.

     “Well, you need some fine-tuning because, again, I wasn’t thinking in any significant capacity, let alone about a woman.” I clear my throat and continue, “What I was thinking about is, how the only trait I can see that all of you share, is how every one of you is possessive and jealous.” I tease her.

     Gee lifts her head completely and again, looks into my eyes intently. I was hoping to hear what her laugh sounded like, but to no avail. Did I just learn that I suck at people?

     “Is that how you try and differentiate a lie when it doesn’t wholly match with what you were thinking?” I stare back unflinchingly; and that’s probably a bad idea. Her eyes shift to a golden and are absolutely stunning and they pull on me. Against my better judgment, I lean in some and before I know what I’m doing, I’m moving my lips towards hers. But much to my surprise, it’s her that pulls away.

     She makes no acknowledgment of what just happened, and I feel unbelievably embarrassed and awkward. I have no idea why I just tried to kiss her. I am objectively not into women. Literally not into women on a level that has been genetically modified to be as such. I am scientifically not into women. Then why? Why, why, why do these women keep causing these urges to flare up? This is ludicrous and needs to stop. Now.

     Gee, seemingly completely unaware of my inner turmoil, keeps looking at me with her eyes locked on mine. “Yes, I suppose you could say it is.”

     I can only reply, “Huh?” because I had completely forgotten about what we had been talking about due to the turmoil inside my mind.

     “The way I try and get a feel for something if it doesn’t align with what I’ve been experiencing from their feelings. Granted, I’m almost always right. I’m easily right eighty percent of the time. But yes, it happens occasionally. It’s happened several times tonight, just with you. And that’s amazing considering the odds.” I know I’m blushing, and yet she still doesn’t make any comment. This is driving me absolutely insane.

     “Yes yes. That’s fine. But I try and kiss you and you pull away from me? And you don’t even take the opportunity to even tease me about it? What the hell?” I said while shifting halfway off the seat.

     Gee looks at me with confusion in her now-white eyes for just a moment before taking the chance to adjust her hair and replies, “I’m a lot of things my Zero, but I am not foolish enough to truly force myself on the Zeroth Knight. Even I couldn’t escape from that.”

     “What does that mean? I tried to kiss you. How the hell is that you forcing anything on me?” I near shout. Only the thought of waking up the others, and the shitstorm that would follow if they caught us this close together reminds me to keep my voice down.

     “Furthermore, why the hell am I even bringing this up? This is insane.” I say while putting my head into my hands again.

     “Indeed, why do you act so contradictory to your feelings? When you wanted me, you denied me. When you were denying me, you tried to want me. You’re able to keep some feelings so hidden that it’s remarkable, but then you’re not able to hide your most basic of feelings at all.” Gee says her piece, then shifts back to an earlier topic, “But to get back to a much earlier question. Why do I want you Zero? Because you are linked to it all. Were that I could, I would show you the colors of your being, but I cannot.” Gee shifts in her seat and continues, “And beyond that, you found me in the auditorium, in the room where you first met the others.”

     I tilt my head at her, urging her to explain what she means. “No one finds me, not unless I want them to. I’m aspected to Shadows. I can, and frequently do spend time away from the world, lost in that darkness. I can come and go as I please, essentially free from any form of repercussions for my actions; for who can catch their shadow?”

     She’s just unloaded so much information on me that I don’t even know where to begin. So much of what she said makes little sense, and much more, makes none. Seeming to sense my confusion with her… magik? She simply shrugs and says, “You knew there was another person when you met the group yes?”

     I nod and she continues, “No one finds me like that. And I mean no one. No single individual has ever found me. You don’t know how remarkable that is. How remarkable you are.”

     I sigh into my hands and decide that today has been overkill and that continuing this conversation won’t benefit me. I’m just too drained. But she still hasn’t answered my main question. “What do you mean I’ve sentenced them to death, dammit?” I say with rising anger.

     “Basically what it sounds like. They’ve each spent their entire lives pining to be your wife. Their entire goal in living is to be your servants and wives,” she tells me.

     “And if after everything, they’re deemed to not be good enough by the very same person, what do you think would happen to them, hm? Do you think the powers that be would simply shrug and move on to the next set of women? No. The shame alone would force them onto the chopping block; and were they to even bother staying alive after your rejection, there’d be nothing left for them in this world. No one would associate with people whom the very Zeroth Knight themselves disavowed.” Gee finishes her explanation, and I feel even more drained than before.

     “This whole situation is unfair. It’s basically like I’m holding them hostage without even trying. Even if we pretend for a moment that this really is what they all wanted, and I have a hard time believing this kind of life is one that anyone would choose, what about what I want?” I ask.

     Gee stares off into the distance but says, seemingly to no one in particular, “You don’t have a choice in things. None of us do really, but especially not you.”

     “Why? Why would I of all people not have a choice in anything?” I ask in near desperation.

     “That’s simple.” Gee says before closing her eyes and continuing, “You’re the Zeroth. You may stand above and beyond everyone else in this world, but you’re still bound by the title and all that the title comes with. You have no choice in your life because from the moment you came into this world you were given an order. And from that very first moment on, you’ve been given even more orders. Your entire life is just a series of orders.” She opens her eyes and turns towards me to meet my mine.

     After she sees I’m paying attention she continues, “You’ve never been free. You have obligations to life. And with the Transcendence, you have even less of a free will than you thought you had before.” Her news is completely disheartening, but in a way I get it.

     I’ve been given a title and there are certain responsibilities that come with titles. There are certain ways to behave and certain ways I’m now expected to be. That’s the power of titles- they define us, and so they control us.

     Assuming that’s what she meant, I feel mostly satisfied. Yet at the same time, I want to know so much more of her thoughts on the subject, and indeed, the thoughts of others. I feel like there’s something missing, but I don’t have enough pieces to figure it out. I’m basically dead to the world and decide this is probably where things should end.

     “I’m going to bed.”

     She gets a small, hopeful look on her face and it almost pains me to have to shoot her down. But that’s exactly what I do, “Alone.”

     She shrugs her shoulder and just says, “Fine,” while getting up from the seat. While she’s storming out I call her name and she stops.

     “Goodnight, sleep tight.” I tell her. With a small smile, a nod, and a, “You too,” she’s gone.

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     I make it back up to my room and the exhaustion takes me. Before I even touch the mattress, I’m out. I don’t even dream.

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