It was very cold and dark on the roof of the skyscraper. And the bright moonlight seemed to deepen the shadows. Bundled in two layers of shirts and a thick sweater, I rubbed my arms back and forth to stimulate warmth. But I could manage… I endured it for him.
I wasn’t as sleepy this time, however. Having to stay up until two in the morning was becoming easier and easier as time went by. But even then, I still didn’t stay up at night as much to get enough ‘practice’. It would have been more comfortable during the day for me, but it was the only way for us to meet. There would never be a meeting between us, in daylight.
I shivered slightly and watched the misty vapor exhale from me as I breathed out, when I finally heard his voice behind me –
“You are tired, once more…” his voice was, as ever, deep and resonating. Calm and collected, with a hint of wisdom behind it all.
I quickly turned on the spot, and my heart skipped a beat as I took in the sight. No matter how many times we spoke, it was always the same jolt in my heart, and his sheer presence was enough to leave you in awe for a moment.
Unfathomable darkness surrounded him, like tattered cloth billowing gently in the cold wind. If the dark above the Chicago skyline was deep enough… his shadows surpassed that. There was a sense of sadness, if you lost yourself in the misty shadows around him. But it was a beautiful sadness. Yet it was his eyes that captivated you the most. They commanded your attention, as they softly changed from a golden glow, to blue, to green, to brown… but I’ve never seen them red, in my presence. Possibly the most beautiful thing about him, and the rest of his… iluminirae as he calls them. But I’ve never seen another.
“Heh… I dunt feel tired…” I replied with a small smile.
“But you look it,” if one could see his face, you could say that he gave a small grim smile. I blushed.
We stood there for a long moment, before I mustered up the courage to slowly walk over to him and reach out for an embrace. You could never truly feel the embrace… it was as if we were embracing from across a vast distance. It felt more like a memory of an embrace, at the very moment of it. But it always astonished me that his shadows would almost kiss my skin with a soft warmth. ,p> “I missed you…” I looked up at his tall figure, towering above me. He looked down at me, I knew he smiled down at me, though I could not see it. He didn’t need to respond, his eyes said it all.
“Tell me of your day…” he said as he pointed out an arm indicating for us to sit on the edge of the skyscraper. I was no longer afraid of sitting there, not when he was around. Especially after all he has told me about what… they… are capable of.
I chatted happily about my day as I swung my legs back and forth, and he stood and listened on the edge, next to a large gargoyle statue that was perched on the side of the skyscraper. He would never interrupt, and I always had to pause long enough for him to give a comment.
“So… how’s your… er… life? How’s your friend?” I asked, looking up at his bright eyes. He looked out at the skyline as if in deep thought, as if he had not heard me. But I knew better. He always listened to me.
“The Mimic has much to learn… there is an ancient saying… “erente treo velarte-”
“Heh heh… Comsie…!” I giggled.
He paused for a moment, as if to apologize without actually saying it, then continued, “There are three ways then, that one gains wisdom. The first is through study, which is easiest. The second is through contemplation, which is the noblest. But the third is through experience… which is bitterest,”
I looked down the many stories of the skyscraper below me, as I thought of what he said, then looked back up at him.
“I fear he takes the latter path…” he paused, and looked right at me with his piercing glance, “I marvel at you,” I blushed and looked down again, “for you have wisdom, yet you have not suffered the sufferings of most, to have gained it,” he said. It was at these times when you could almost hear a hint of awe in his voice… when at all other times there was little change in his voice.
I looked back up at him and gave him a shy smile, “It is a blessing,” he finished.
We were silent for another long moment.
“I marvel… at you,” I said. He continued to look out at the skyline below. But I continued as I stared at him, “That you have suffered so much… yet you are still here, it’s a strength I dint know I’ll ever have…” I said.
“But with a price,” he replied. I glanced at his shadows, billowing sadly in the wind, now slightly obscuring the Moon behind him.
“Will I ever see you…?” There was a long pause.
“Perhaps…” he said, now softly. I stood up and reached out to touch his arm. He looked down to where he felt my touch, then at me. I leaned forward and on my toes and gently kissed his cheek. It lingered softly, before I slowly parted. His eyes now glowed a bright golden hue, and did not waver from it.
“I never thought I would feel the touch of the warm Sun upon me again…” and with lightning speed he jumped on top of the grand gargoyle statue, his figure a majestic image of some lost angelic being, “Yet the ancient saying is all too true…” he finished.
It was the cue that our meeting, ever brief, had come to an end, for that night. I stood on the edge of the skyscraper as I stared at him, savoring every last moment. He glanced down sadly.
“I watch over the Mimic at times…” I was a bit confused at first, before he continued, looking over at me and locking eyes, “But I watch over you, Erick, every night,” with that, he jumped, and was gone.
A misty tear welled in my eyes, as I stood there all alone by the gargoyle and looked out into the skyline. I turned, and made my way back into daylight.