The Island of Xaynms

|The Island of Xaynms| Story Eight: Ashton’s Past

It’s a common saying that you never realize what you have until you lose it. Ash had a bitter taste of this.

It shocked her that her older brother was a xaynm, an abnormality. To Ash, Treyvian had always been the perfect idol, she could brag about him all day. Look, my older brother is that famous celebrity you all love, and he loves me! Look, my older brother is perfect, and I’m his family!

When he showed her what he could do, she was horrified. The idol she loved and looked up to so much, was an outcast undercover, one that Society didn’t accept. He was no idol. He was a xaynm.

She didn’t report him, because it would bring shame on her. She loathed him, because he had deceived her. His appearance was too deceiving, and he even fooled Ash herself……

When Ash grew cold to Treyvian, she noticed that Treyvian also grew cold to everybody else. The ice of their silver hair extended to their hearts, slowly but surely. The day he was taken away, Ash didn’t feel a thing. He was a xaynm, he ought to be taken away to the school.

However, two days later, she already felt the difference.

The house had one less albino. There was one more unoccupied room with her brother’s belongings mostly still inside. At times, Ash would find herself passing by his door to stalk him and see what he was doing, only to remember that he was gone. Loneliness crept up from inside of her. She realized that all she ever had was Treyvian, and that, even in the period of time she ignored his existence, he had still existed somehow.

And now, he was gone.

Ash began to darken…yes…turn into ashes, just like your name… she would think to herself. “Ha…” at times, she laughed in front of the mirror. “Why, Ashton? Why did you not defend him…he’s the only company you’ve ever had……” an eerie grin would conclude the one-sided conversation. Sometimes, she sat on Treyvian’s bed and wept silently. These familiar scenes would cross her mind–

“What’s wrong?” a gentle voice came from the front door. Ash was kneeling on the floor of the living room, crying over a dead bird. She looked up when she heard salvation.

But she couldn’t speak. She was sobbing. Every time she opened her mouth to tell him what happened, she would choke back.

“Oh, the bird? It’s okay, Ash. He’s in a better place now.” Treyvian dropped his bag on a random chair and knelt beside her, embracing her tightly and stroking her hair in rhythm until she fell asleep.

It dawned on Ash that she needed him. And if he was never coming back, why did she still need to exist?

One night, Ash sat by the river, gazing at the glimmering surface of the clear water. It was full moon that night. To her sorrow, the moon reminded her of the night Treyvian showed her the sky, and her own reflection on the water overlapped with his face. She wanted to reach out and tell him she was sorry.

So she reached out, into the river.

When Ash woke up again, she was in the arms of a blonde girl with green eyes. They were in the hospital, and the other girl seemed to be a visitor, since Ash herself was on the bed. The girl with wide eyes was the first thing she noticed. The next thing she noticed was the pain in her left eye. She lifted her hand to touch it.

“No!” the girl with green eyes spoke so suddenly it made Ash jump. She glanced at the stranger, who blushed in embarrassment at her sudden action. “S-sorry for startling you. Uh…I’m Cecilia. I saw you jump into the river last night…I thought you were going for a swim, but you didn’t come out, so I went in after you.”

“And…my eye?”

“I didn’t see what happened, but the doctors say it’s probably because something stabbed into it when you were underwater…there was blood when I got to you…”

The girl named Cecilia spent many days with Ash. She came to the hospital every day, she was there when Ash got her first eye patch, she was there during the day, and she was there at night if Ash called her.

Cecilia learned about Treyvian through Ash. When she did, she took both of Ash’s hands in hers, and said, “Look into my eyes.”

Once again, Ash found herself flying in the night sky, with the moon right in front of her eyes.

“Hmm…” Ash said to herself through the mirror one day, a crooked smile on her face, “I’m not going to make the same mistake…again. And, perhaps…we’ll meet again soon. But…” Ash studied herself in the mirror. Eye patch, an icy look in her eyes, skeleton rings around her fingers…she knew she was no longer the little sister Treyvian had known. “I might disgust you…Treyvian.

“Most importantly, I don’t want you to reject me the same way I rejected you.”

← Story Seven: Cecilia & Ashton
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