Chapter Four

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The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me
Two several times by night : at Sardis, once;
And, this last night, here in Philippi fields.
I know, my hour is come.
~Julius Caesar, 5.5 (William Shakespeare)



Lucy locked her bedroom door, her tiny arms carefully wrapped around what seemed like a ginormous bronze vase. On the vase were carved probably the strangest animals and birds Lucy had even seen. Some appeared to have biological structures similar to humans, while the others seemed to be in a lot of agony with cords tightly bounding their nape. It was a disastrous sight for a child but Lucy was fascinated by it, her fingers tracing the vase as skilfully as an archaeologist's fingers tracing a map. After hunting for a perfect hiding place and failing miserably, Lucy shoved the vase under her bed, vexed.

Her visit to the basement had been a captivating one. At first she had been skeptical about unlocking the purple lock, but after the twenty nine thrilling minutes she spent there, proved her decision to go in right. She had made sure to lock the door behind her as she ruefully made her way to her room, prancing about in her brand new boots, studded with rhinestones. She had seen things, she had touched things, she had felt them. Felt him. His crinkled, youthful smile had been imprinted on the canvas of her mind just as gracefully as a newly developed polaroid photograph. She was perfectly familiar with the fact that nobody would believe her if she told them what she had seen. Whom she'd seen.

**********

Julian woke up to the sound of his mother calling him for dinner.

"Coming!", he shouted back as he tried to analyse his current situation.

He slowly raised his head as he grabbed the bed for support while his vision returned slowly. Bit by bit, the rain of his memories poured over him as he frantically examined his hands and feet, hunting for any trace of blood. As luck would have it, he didn't find any. Emitting a huge sigh of relief, he gently felt around his head until he discovered a bumpy spot on his temples that throbbed painfully on being touched.

He walked towards the mirror to examine the bruise. His temple was painted a witty concoction of blues and reds, which to a colour blind person would appear as a delicious brew of coffee. The bumpy, colourful blend of pain was the perfect depiction of the beauty of the human body which gratifies the need for physical allure in perplexing ways.

Screwing his eyes shut and rubbing the bruise slowly, gusts of pain hit him as he made his way towards his bed. The photo album was placed impeccably on the edge of his bed. Julian stood transfixed, his blood turning cold as the camera of his mind played the footage of the events before his blackout, which reminded him that the last location of the album was under his bed.

He gasped loudly as the sound of his mother calling him downstairs filled the void in his ears again.
He leisurely made his way down the stairs, still dazed.

"I've been calling you over and over for the—oh my gosh, what's happened to your head, Julian?"

"I...I don't remember mom..I—I slipped and fell."

"Be careful, darling. Come here, let me look at it. Poor you!"

"It's just a little bruise, mom. I'm fine."

"Yeah, that's right. It is just a little bruise. I don't understand why you have to make such a huge deal out of it," echoed Olivia's voice as she entered the kitchen.

"You seem so upset, darling. What's the matter?," enquired Avery, disregarding her harsh words.

"It's because her boyfriend won't text her back, I heard them arguing last night on the phone."

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