I carefully stood up and carried my body that felt heavy to walk into the hole. Once thru, I looked at the surroundings. At the other side of the wall was like a new world. There was a clear blue sky, green fields and colorful scenery, unlike the hazy gray world I was just in.
I looked around having a huge familiarity with this place.
"It’s like I have been here before." I said.
I walked around and saw houses in the horizon. My mind was registering the place and then thought of something.
"This place... it looks like the village where mama and I used to live when I was young." I realized.
I slowly walked towards the village entrance, looking around as I go. Once I arrive at the entrance, I see villagers bustling around. It was as if this place truly exists. I see familiar faces here and there. That just validated my suspicion from earlier. This truly is my village but it should be from years ago.
The familiar faces I am seeing right now has the same age as the day when I was still young. Many years have passed and so they surely aged by now but the people here has the same age years ago.
I look at a familiar bakery at a corner of the street where I frequently buy our bread. The mister there was old and before my father took me with him, that mister has passed away. But now I can see the mister happily placing the bread he has baked on the counter.
While I was walking around the people were moving about like normal but they don’t seem to notice me.
"Um, excuse me." I talked to a young woman walking by but she didn’t reply let alone even look at me. "Hello." I tried again but to no avail.
Then a group of children run pass me and I mean literally passed through me.
"What the...?" I was dumbfounded. I tried to touch the little boy that was running but my hand went through. "Projections or illusions?"
The people here are only illusions. Maybe this was some kind of memory that was being played over and over again. I also tried to touch the houses but like what happened earlier, my hand just went through.
"This village is just a memory from long ago." I concluded.
If the people and houses here are only projections, I am the only tangible here and maybe my mother as well.
I tried to remember where she would be at this hour of the day. I recalled that my mother worked as a waitress at a tavern located at the center of the village. I quickened my pace and walked towards the direction of the tavern.
Not long, I saw the small tavern. By this time she would be working in the kitchen at the back. I made my way there when I heard the voices of children giggling and playing. It caught my attention and I quickly looked where the children were.
And there I saw my younger self, playing with my friends on the streets near the tavern. My heart was thumping fast seeing my younger self, I cannot explain the feeling I am feeling right now.
My younger self was giggling happily while playing. I can see in her eyes the carefree me of the past. I remember that I was content with our simple commoner life back then. It may not compare to the grand life style of royalty, but we were happy. My mother worked diligently at the tavern and the villagers were kind towards us. My mother’s wage was just right for us to eat three meals a day and for the rent of our little house. If my mother has some extra money from tips, she usually buy clothes and simple hair accessories for me. Our life was simple yet we were content.
Seeing my younger self let me remember my happy childhood that was over shadowed by the life I lived inside the palace. I had forgotten how happy I was living with my mother.
I walked towards my younger self and tried to touch her. And like the others, my hand went through her.
’So she is just an illusion as well.’ I thought.
My younger self was running around happily while I was in a daze watching her play. A smile crept on my face.
’How I wish I lived like this until I have grown up.’ I thought.
If my mother didn’t get sick because of the poison, then she wouldn’t have given me to my father. Then I would have lived my life until now in this village. I would have grown up to be a normal commoner girl and not a princess.
’But, I would have not met Leon.’ I thought sadly.
My life inside the palace was nothing great and it was full of sadness but when Regaleon came it became different. It was as if Regaleon brought the color to my life which was black and white before he appeared.
’I wouldn’t want to change anything in my past.’ I thought. ’Well except maybe trying to prevent my mother being poisoned by the queen.’
I was so engrossed watching my younger self playing around when I heard a familiar voice.
"Alicia!" The voice called.
My heart thumped rapidly after hearing the voice.
"Alicia, its lunch time. Come in and eat first." The voice said. "You can play again later."
"Yes mama." My younger self replied happily and ran towards the tavern.
I slowly turned around and looked where my younger self ran to. And there at the side of the tavern, my mother was standing. She was wearing her waitress uniform with her hair tied in a bun. My younger self ran towards her and my mother caught her in her arms.
"Mama, I’m hungry." My younger self said.
"Then let’s go to the kitchen. Wash your hands first oaky." My mother said to my younger self that was now running towards the back of the tavern,
"Yes mama." My younger self replied while disappearing from my view.
I walked towards where my mother was. She was standing with her back facing me. I was reluctant at first.
’What if she was also just an illusion?’ My heart was thumping fast.
I was feeling nervous but I need to know if she was real. And so I stretched my arm towards her and grabbed her shoulder. I felt the heat radiating from my palms. Her body was solid; my hand didn’t go through her.
My mother was surprised with my gesture and turned back to look at me. Our eyes met one another, her silver eyes to mine. She was more surprised when she saw my face. I am not certain if she recognized me.
"Mama..." I called out to her.
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