Rob’s silence holds more than just wisdom and sombreness. It holds his memories of his past, his present and his future.
A high buzz drifted incessantly in and out of his dreams. Bright flashes blinded his closed eyes. As he felt himself falling back into sleep, the buzzing lowered to a dull hum and the lights became darkness. He felt his body float in some unseen liquid. Slowly. Floating. Down the invisible stream in darkness. He couldn’t see what was before him or around him. He could only feel himself floating. Soft, unseen fingers carrying him, moving him along. Down? Or up? Where? How? Who? Who am I? As questions stabbed in his mind, low whispers in his ears, he felt himself spiraling downwards. Further and faster until he felt his back hit something soft, taking his breath away. He gasped as he opened his eyes, blinded by the sudden brightness.
“You’re Rob Bourdon.” He looked at the unfamiliar face by his side blankly. A flicker of frustration passed the person’s face. “Drummer? Linkin Park? Rob?” As the questions escaped the person’s lips, frustration grew in the eyes. He shook his head, furrowing his brows at the unfamiliar words that hit his ears.
“Play him some songs, maybe he’d remember,” he heard another voice say. He felt something soft envelope his ears. A soft click and a sudden rush of loud music. Fast paced guitar rhythms, scratching, low sultry voice pouring out words in a fast pace. Another smooth voice crooning and sudden screamings. Constant low bass and drums. Someone said something about drums. He closed his eyes, letting the music fill him. Mesmerising. Captivating. Familiar. And then, silence. He opened his eyes to see faces around him. Hopeful gazes at him. Blinking, he removed the headphones and returned it to the person closest to him.
“Do you remember anything?” He heard the first voice say. He shook his head, turning to look at the speaker.
“That was you on the drums, Rob,” he heard a new voice at the end of the bed. “Wasn’t it awesome?” the face that met his gaze grinned.
“C’mon, Robster. Try. I’m sure you can remember SOMETHING,” someone rested a hand on his shoulder. He looked down at the tanned hand, his gaze trailed down to his own, bounded in white, his body stretching in front of him under the pale blue blanket.
“What happened?” the words escaped his lips in a hoarse whisper. He searched his mind for some memory, but found the same blackness he’d just woken up from. The faces around him turned to look at each other, their eyes saddened. One head shook slowly, in a resigned manner.
“You were in an accident, Rob. You were in a bus coming up here to meet up with us when it happened. The bus you were in crashed into the ravine. You were one of the five survivors, man,” he heard a voice telling him.
“You’re one lucky bastard!” The first voice exclaimed. He recognized it. It was the same voice that was crooning in the song he just heard.
His brows furrowed as he tried to remember. The familiarity of their words were distant and vague, like the low tides beating against the beach. He slid his body down the bed, resting his head on the softness of the pillow again. Comfort. It felt different. Sleep. He let his lashes fall as sleep enveloped him again, shutting him against the questions and voices he felt were so familiar but at the same time strange.
Rob sat by the window, the late afternoon sun casting a deep orange light against the room. He watched. Life outside the window. Things that are so familiar yet so strange to him. His mind churned with thoughts and emptiness that set him in confusion. They had told him about Rob Bourdon. But who was Rob Bourdon? Certainly not him. But they could be telling the truth. They looked sincere enough. They didn’t seem to be lying. He focused his gaze on his blurred reflection in the glass. Dark hair, deep dark eyes, high nose. Just like the pictures they’d shown him. So why don’t I feel like a Rob Bourdon? Why don’t I feel like I fit into the picture they’ve created for me? Where am I now? Who am I? What am I?
The second day he’d been Rob Bourdon. The second day he’d came from the darkness. Returned. So Brad said. My best friend? Could I be a figment of their imagination? Their very own creation? Or are they my creation? He frowned deeply as he watched them file into the room.
“Hey Rob!” The one who claimed to be Chester grinned. Rob smiled in return. If that’s what they’re going to call him, then he’s stuck with Rob. It doesn’t sound too bad either.
“Feeling better, bro?’ The one with deep blue hair asked. He was friendly, funny, open. He seemed to know him well. Rob nodded. “Yeah,” his own voice seemed strange to himself.
“Great! We got you dinner.” Brown paper bag rustled as it was placed onto the table. The smell of food wafted into his brains. Can he remember? Chinese food. Fried rice. That he remembered. He ate, letting the taste and smell revive his memory. Still dark. Still black. Nothing. But his hunger had disappeared.
“....back home tomorrow morning...” words caught in his thoughts as he reverted back to the room where his friends were. “That’s cool, isn’t it? Then we can really get you around so you can remember stuff,” The one who called himself Joe said. Rob nodded as he finished his food. Satisfaction. A familiar sense of satisfaction.
He looked around the room. Small. Posters lined the left wall. Low window letting sunlight onto the bed and floor, casting long shadows. deep blue sheets. Bookshelf. Books. Utopia. Tropics of Cancer. Dracula. Metallica. The Doors. Linkin Park. Def Tones. Do all these make up who Rob was? Were these what Rob Bourdon liked? He wondered, letting his fingers trace the spine of the books and CDs.
“That’s your favourite.” He looked at the book where his fingers had rested upon. Poe? Who? He nodded, flipping the thick used book, the familiar smell of print and old paper greeted him. Colored lines under the words. Did they mean something to Rob Bourdon? He placed it back in its space, snuggled beside the other books, fitting right in. It’s not that simple. He still couldn’t find his space among the others.
The woman who said she was called Mom slipped out, leaving him alone in Rob’s room. He felt lost, afraid. Picking up the deep brown leather-bound book, he sat on the bed. His bed. Poe. He traced the gold embossed lettering on the cover. ‘Rob Bourdon’ was etched in smaller letters on the corner. Again. He flipped the pages, glancing at the prints and black handwritings on the sides. A small piece of paper fell on his lap. He picked it up, looking at the face staring back at him from the picture.
He had no recollection of the image on the photograph. The long brown tresses, the dancing eyes and sweet smile. But he felt his heart beat faster as he stared on at the face. Who was she? He turned the picture in search for clues. In tiny prints at the edge of the picture: my Lenore Lee. It made no sense to him. Those three words. The name. He reached for the thick book where he had left it, opened. Lenore rose up to greet him. Those words danced in front of him, decked in a poem by his supposedly favourite writer. He read. Letting his eyes run through the words before him...
‘It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radian maiden whom the angels name Lenore.’
He need not read on. It was haunting. He felt he knew the girl in the picture now. His Lenore? Who was she? Where was she? He moved around the room, searching for clues. A notebook. A diary, lay at the bottom of his drawer. A woman’s diary. deep red, green blue and purple motifs decorated the cover He turned the hard cover and the name again greeted him. What was it doing in his drawer? He flipped the pages, the book mostly filled with flowy handwriting in purple ink.
November 16th 1997
You are a gift from mother. My birthday gift. A place to keep my secrets, a place to share my thoughts. You are every a woman. Like I am. For you will be me. And I shall name you Annabel... After one of Poe’s women. Just like me. ~how shall the ritual, then, be read? the requiem how be sung?~ Don’t you think that’s beautiful? How he lets the words dance and twirl in it’s own song, Annabel? I shall sleep now. I am happy. I am a year older and a year wiser. I’m all but 17! And tomorrow? Tomorrow shall be a new gift to unwrap!
Spirit beauty and love
November 18th 1997
Tis the second night I meet you. Our sacred meeting place, under the covers of the soft eiderdown and the blanket of silent stars. In the warmth of my bed and the edge of my dreams. We meet again. Father is mad tonight. I had told him that I wanted to explore the world and see the people. He wanted me to get an education. The things we learn in the world cannot be confined to a classroom, isn’t that true Annabel? It saddens me to think that he will never understand my heart. My own father has become my fear. But I love him. Let me tell you about him, Annabel. This I will only whisper in your ears. I love my father. Even though the winds sweep through the nights and runs against my skin, the chill digging into my bones and soul, he is my father. And I, his daughter. What he is and what he is not, he only lets me see. Annabel. Long after we speak, darling, he slips amongst the shadows. The black fingers that fall upon me, he is there. Long after all that, he is there... and he will always be there. He is my father and his blood runs in me. I cannot escape the prison he has built around me and in me. My cries for help will not be heard. My lament’s are silent and dead. Annabel, I shall see you again, with better news and prayers, perhaps.
Silent prayers shall be heard
The long weeks have seemed like centuries. Stretching far beyond my liking... far beyond my comprehension. But the weeks were filled with beauty and hope, my darling. It has been a long time since I last saw you, since I last held my pen. And today, I shall create for you another purple masterpiece. The visit down to the beach was a dream. Autumn was playing in the sea, tossing the water in fierce waves. The color of the water was a divine blue with green ripples and white white foam. And it greeted me with a friendly touch as I stood by it and watch Autumn at her game. You know what it told me Annabel? It told me that I didn’t have to be afraid. That it will welcome me whenever I felt like visiting. And I wasn’t. The cool sand felt like tiny crystal grains under my feet, rubbing gently as the sea washed over it playfully to welcome me. And the sky? Annabel, there is nothing in this world that can match the beauty of it at that moment. The golds and the purples and the blues... and the low amber light dancing on the sea, I was awed. By God’s exquisite taste and talent. By His masterpiece that no one can ever copy.
Beauty beyond beauty
Rob looked up from the pages, a frown on his lips. He could not understand the words he had just fed on. They seemed familiar. He knew that he had heard them uttered to him before. Back before he woke up in the room where he couldn’t remember anything. He could almost hear the haunting voice in his head. Lenore’s voice. But he couldn’t make out what she was saying. He had only the picture he’d just found to remind him of what Lenore looked like.
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|