‘It’s getting a little chilly’
Lying with my back to the floor, my head on my two hands using them as a pillow, and my eyes looking up at the ceiling, I noticed that the temperature in the room had dropped a little. Although, I didn’t feel very chilly, as the hairs on my body warmed me.
Still, it was uncomfortable to be like this, so I began to wander in my mind to ignore such an unpleasant feeling.
With slight nostalgia, I thought about how I have returned to the site where I started this life. That is, to the cave, dark, narrow, cold, and wetter than usual. It’s just that, this time, it is not only the boys and women who reside inside, but the adult males also lie here.
Using one of the rooms, which had no doors and was empty, as lodging, they spend hours and hours sleeping, as if imitating the behavior of a furry beast in the winter season, as if hibernating until the storm passes.
They look so comfortable as they rest their legs and arms on those beside them, but unfortunately, I cannot mimic their attitudes.
I don’t have that innate ability to spend at least twenty hours lying down and only wake up to eat the food made by the women, which they had stored up who knows where in preparation for a situation like this.
‘I have to agree that I envy their lack of brains a little’
To make matters worse, I can’t sleep as much as they do, and I also can’t get in my training like I used to do usually since there is now no set time to go to lunch.
The cooks or their assistants are the ones who come to the room to let us know that the food is ready. Therefore, because everyone wakes up and prepares at the same time to eat, I no longer have the opportunity to get ahead of the adults to take as much as I want.
Not to mention that as a regulation measure and taking advantage of the fact that the appetite of these guys is lower than usual due to their passive behaviors, the portions they serve are smaller than before.
All of this means that I can’t get enough energy to sustain my workouts, and the one I do get, I prefer to keep it in reserve, just in case I need it someday down the road.
In the end, prevention is better than cure.
So what I do to endure the passage of time is simple. I sleep as long as I have to sleep, wake up, and stare at the ceiling while I recall the happenings of the last few months. After that, when I get bored, I get up from where I’m lying, and trying not to make too much noise, I leave the room to walk for a while down the hall.
Just a simple walk I do to stretch my muscles and joints as well as get out of the monotony of being cooped up in one place.
At first, I had no destination to aim for. I walked everywhere, only trying not to go too deep into the cave, to places where I had never been, because I did not want to meet the old man, or worse, the giant. Although, to my chagrin, I saw the latter wandering around the corridor several times, just like me.
‘I’m beginning to think the bastard is imitating me’
Anyway, now I usually walk until I find an unoccupied and relatively clean room where I can rest without having to smell the foul odors of the pigs in the other. Although I can’t stay there for too long since if I miss the notice of mealtime, my stomach will be the one to suffer the consequences.
Besides that, I also tend to go to the cave entrance, where a huge rock has been placed to block the passage of the wind and the torrential rain. However, because of its irregularities, some of it filters through, allowing me to use the water that slides on its surface to clean my body, which I had not cleaned for a long time.
I cannot deny that keeping such a habit of coming and going has brought me a certain peace that I had not felt for some time, but with such calm came discomfort.
During some episodes, I have felt a terrible urge to move my body freely, to throw kicks in the air, to punch against tree trunks, or even to experience a fight again against a live opponent. Hints of savagery that I keep under control by force but that are still present inside me, even if I don’t show them.
Talk about not show. It’s a pity that in all the time I’ve been here, I haven’t seen that slim, young girl even once. I know she must be here, as I have met several of her companions, but still not her.
In fact, in my eagerness to find her, moved a little by curiosity but mainly by the urgency of fulfilling a planned objective, I eventually discovered the location of the room where the women rest.
At the time, I briefly considered sitting around that place, forgoing a mealtime, in order to wait for her to get out of there. Fortunately, I still had enough sanity to understand how repulsive that would be. So, I refrained from doing so.
Even so, during my walks, I try to pass by that place both on the way there and on the way back, although it is situated in the opposite direction to the cave entrance.
I’m aware that it’s still a bit creepy, but that’s as much as I can hold myself to avoid going over the line, as not going there is not an option.
I felt and still feel a strong need to meet her no matter what, for since I remember having been fed by small, slender hands when I was unconscious, I assumed that they were hers in response to the friendly attitude with which I treated her. Therefore, her act of helping me amid my suffering deserved at least a thank you from me.
As always, I wanted to offer him a smile and, in addition to that, something beyond the usual.
Imagining her surprised reaction, even though I didn’t know her face, and hopefully, a bit of joy at seeing me, I was excited enough to get up from where I lay in preparation for the day’s walk.
Carefully and paying attention to each of my steps so as not to step on the others who were still sleeping on the floor, I walked towards the entrance of the room to then reach the corridor, where, after doing some light stretching exercises, I began to walk deeper into the cave.
After a few minutes, as I was about to reach the room where the women were, I was surprised and frightened to see the giant walking in my direction.
Although I knew he wouldn’t do anything to me even if he met me, I still hid in one of the nearby rooms, waiting for him to pass by. A useless action since surely he also saw me in the distance.
Once I stopped hearing the sound of their echoing footsteps, full of relief, I came out of my hiding place, and after that, I continued my advance toward my destination.
Having passed right next to the door, which I expected to open, it did not, so I continued walking for a few minutes before I stopped. Then, surrounded by stone and soil, I stood there for a while staring at the ceiling or tapping on the walls in slight frustration, all in order to kill time.
When I got fed up with it, I turned around to go back the way I had come while I thought about going to the cave entrance to take a bath and sit by the rock listening to the rain fall.
I didn’t think that after failing once, I would see her on my way back. However, contrary to my little or no expectations, I found her.
There she was, coming out of the room together with that old woman I had seen before with her long white hair. They were talking to each other, in a language that, of course, I did not understand, but to my eyes and ears, none of that mattered.
Like a thirsty traveler in the desert, I ran towards her as if she were that spring water I longed for. Slightly unconscious, I did it, but I still controlled my speed and expression, as I did not want to scare her again, just as I did during our previous encounter in this hallway.
I was happy to see her because I could finally give her what I wanted. Besides, it would help me relieve some of the stress that weighed on my shoulders. It would lessen it with her by giving a smile, not forced, but from the heart, as well as the first physical contact I would have with someone else that was not violent.
I wanted to hug her. Hug her legs, and I would also like to cry a little, but since she was accompanied, it was something I would leave for another time.
Not only that but what I wanted most of all was, for the first time since I fell into this world, to show someone that I was intelligent. As much or more than anyone else, and that, along with my intelligence, I also had feelings. Good feelings, and not just hate, sadness, or anger.
I wanted, in words, to thank them for taking care of me when I was hurt. Whether she understood me or not.