Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lillia and Treize I - And so the Two Left on a Trip (Part 1)



My name is Lillia Schultz. Lillia is my given name, and Schultz is my family name.

Everyone calls me ‘Lillia’, but my full name is ‘Lillianne Aikashia Corazòn Whittington Schultz’. It’s ridiculously long. That’s why I only end up using the whole thing once a year or so. In Roxche—the Roxcheanuk Confederation—not many people have middle names, so everyone who hears my full name asks me what it all means.

I always explain that it comes from an old custom in the West—the Allied Kingdoms of Bezel-Iltoa—where you put the names of both parents and your grandparents into your name. People either get it or look surprised. Some people are astonished.

I was born and raised in the Special Capital District (Capital District for short).

I’ve lived in the same apartment building and room all my life. Our place is at the very top floor of a cluster of five-story apartments filling the Capital District’s residential district.

Until the Historic Architecture Protection Law was amended and elevators were installed in even the oldest apartment buildings, apartment buildings were extremely cheap because climbing the stairs was such a hassle. That was why they were so popular with young people.

“That’s why we rented this place. We’re still crashing here because moving is such a hassle.”

That was what Mom said. She’s asleep right now. That crash just now was the sound of Mom chucking the poor, hardworking alarm clock against the wall.

So, as usual, I decided to go wake her myself.

I turned off the electric toaster, put breakfast on our plates, and left the kitchen. The bricks lining the hall were chipped everywhere, showing signs of age. I went into Mom’s room. I didn’t get permission to enter. I couldn’t get it even if I wanted to, since she was still asleep.

The room faced east and the window was installed with thin curtains on purpose. The morning sun was bright. But Mom was lying face-down on her bed, still in her pajamas. She was sleeping with her golden hair covering her face. As usual, her blanket was crumpled on the floor and her pillow was on
top of her feet. If she weren’t sleeping in a double bed, she would have fallen by now. Her right arm, in fact, was already dangling off the side of the mattress.

First I picked up the poor, abused alarm clock from by the door and put it back on the shelf. It was the latest model—the hands and batteries were impact-resistant—and expensive to boot. But it was lasting a surprisingly long time for a clock in Mom’s room. It really is a miracle.

“It’s morning, Mom. Wake up.” I tried saying, glancing at the clock on the wall. If Mom woke up just like that, it would rain cats and dogs and hell would freeze over. And I’d stay bundled up inside.

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