My life starts thousands of years ago. As a child, I was left on the doorstep of a family, well a hut-step... doors hadn't been invented at that time. I never knew my real parents, or if I ever had any. Someone left my there, and that was the end of it. As I grew, everyone knew that I was never going to be normal. I always looked beyond, trying to find answers to everything. But it really started to show when I didn't age. I never looked past the age of 25, and overtime, as everyone continued on their journey through life, I... stopped. When I continued looking the same, everyone started growing suspicious. People back then were very superstitious, and I was quickly exiled from the group.
I wandered the world, making it as far as the eastern coast before I came to a village. The asked me to be a part of their society, and I accepted, however I wondered how long it would be until everyone threw me out once again, convinced that I would be the end of them and their families. It was shorted than I expected, only about 15 years. By this point I was 76, but only looked a third of that.
I continued forwards through life, searching for a group of people who would accept me into their world. I finally found a place. It was a single city within an empire, big enough so that no one would get to know me or my secret. I thrived in this place, cautious to not let myself get too close to people, for fear that they might find me out. I met many great people, who considered the world that they lived in to be both dangerous and beautiful, their existence both fragile and solid. I would have liked to stay there, however the figurehead had seen me over the years, never changing. I caught wind of this and left. No one was the wiser to where I had gone.
Once again, I travelled, relentless to find somewhere I would fit in. However, the world began to hit a dark period, and now more than ever I had to be careful. People were on their guard, and were wary of strangers. On numerous occasions people chased me away without even asking my name. Until I met him. He greeted me with a warm smile, and for the first time, I finally felt like I belonged. One day, he even shared a secret with me.
"Brother" He started. We called each other this because of how alike we looked. "I have something to tell you." He continued, and deep down I think I knew what it was.
"What is it?" I responded, and we both paused in our journey across the landscape.
"It is something I have never told anyone else before."
"Yes?" I asked, now even more eager to know.
"I have lived for truly a long time. I cannot die by natural means." My face went pale, and my mind exploded with both joy that someone shared my struggle, but also sadness that another felt as I did.
"I too have experienced this. People don't trust me because of it. They think I am a creature without heart or feeling, old enough to surpass these things."
At this, he smiled and sighed.
"I am glad to know this. The world feels too hollow when no one else is there long enough to experience it with you. Maybe we are brothers by blood then."
And so we continued, for another hundred years. Climbing mountains and crossing plains. As the world advanced, we advanced with it, keeping with the times in order to not look out of place. We reached yet another civilisation, along the seashore. It was quite large, yet not as large as the one with the people who considered the world. This one had ships, made of wood that would travel great distances to other places. Before this point, I had not known there were places over the water.
One evening, as we stood along the shoreline on some large, flat rocks, a storm approached. The waves crashed over us before we had time to run, and I found myself swept up among the fish. I do not remember much of that night, but when I awoke the next morning on a sandy beach, I was alone.
I continued to go alone, but as the world got larger and people claimed land, it was more difficult to continue than before. So, I ended up stuck on a peninsula, with nowhere else to go. Not that I would have wanted to go anywhere else, I had explored the entire world by that point. I had seen multiple wars, ages, and discoveries. So, I finally decided to stop journeying.
I came to a forest, lush with colour and plants, filled with hope and emptiness. It reminded me of the original people, and my first family. And so, I started to build. I built from the rocks, and the wood. And, I continued, until many years later it was finished. An ancient piece of architecture among modern society. It held my last memories of the old world, and even if I looked modern (Jeans, Sneakers, and a hoodie) it was where I belonged in this new world.
And so, if you go to the forest, filled with hope and emptiness, and find the building of ancient design, you might find me, an old soul in a young body, still waiting for answers after all this time.
© Xan, 2019. All rights reserved.