Chapter 9



Sophie usually wakes up and gets ready first thing in the morning. However, on this particular morning she decides to go downstairs. 

Half asleep, half awake, Sophie slowly makes her way down the stairs. Mother is holding a coffee mug and car keys as she is ready to leave for work. Sophie is stepping down and yawning when she finds her mother talking to Damien. Both Damien and her mother look up to Sophie, wishing her good morning. She cannot respond to any one of them. “Look who is here to pick you up, your new friend,” her mother remarks and grins at her. Sophie did not understand why Damien was there. “Yes, mom; I did not realize why someone would come to your house this morning,” says Sophie sarcastically. “Sophie, please be kind. I will leave you two by yourself and walk myself out for work; I do not want to be late. See you both later,” Sophie’s mother waves as she leaves. Sophie is standing next to Damien, not looking at him and being completely full of sarcasm, “you know I don’t get why people cannot keep away from me. Someone did warn me to stay away and never see him again, not only him but his sister too,” Sophie looks at Damien and continues, “but as you see people cannot stay apart from good people like me.” Damien does not say anything in return but smiles, and after a few seconds of pause, “Sophie, let’s go out somewhere,” Damien offers. “Oh! So you are asking me to go out now, wait, is it a date?” asks Sophie shockingly. “No, it is not a date. I just need to talk about last night. If you want to stay here, then I don’t have any problems,” Damien says. Sophie is gazing at him and thinking how insane someone could be, “okay, so tell me, what was it about last night?” she asks.

Damien does not want to say, but he had no choice, “Sophie, it was nice spending time with you yesterday. Take it as a one-time thing. It cannot be; you and I cannot be,” Damien says. He is feeling awful about it, but Sophie, on the other hand, seems like she is done with him for pushing her away and then bringing her close simultaneously. After listening to Damien, Sophie is devastated. She is feeling stuck in some kind of loop. She yells upon him like a fire, “Please get over with Damien; I do not have time for this. You said it last night already, then you took me to this lake and walked me home. Why would you take me to that place? You had a car then why did you want to walk all the way? You want me as much as I want you. But you think that you are handsome, bad like a devil in the form of humans who can hurt people, then yes, you are right. I did not call you here, you came and had coffee with my mom, and you wanted to talk to me. I never wished for you to be here. It was clear that we were not going to see each other ever again,” Sophie cannot say anything ahead, she stops herself. She is breathing heavily and realizes that she might have spoken something that she should not have. She continues, “And, yes, I am okay with not seeing you anymore, but I do not think you should decide for your sister. I would like to hear from her. If it comes from Diana that she doesn’t want me around, then you both will never see my face again.” She is still breathing rapidly and asks Damien to leave. 

Damien is feeling sorry, “you are right; you are true about everything, and I wouldn’t bother you again, I promise. But, I will be there if you are in trouble, I will be there to protect you,” Damien says. “I do not want your protection; I will be safe on my own, thanks,” Sophe responds. “I will still be there,” Damien says as he bids Sophie a goodbye.

Sophie makes an utter promise to herself that she would never talk with Damien and Diana. It is the last week of the holidays, within no time Sophie will join her new college and new friends. It is nighttime, Sophie and her mother are sitting in a hall beside the fireplace. Sophie is not feeling herself and decides to go outside and get some air. “It is dark outside; it is not the right time to go out,” says her mother. “Mom, it is just 10, I need to go out; I will not go too far and will not be too late. I will be just around,” Sophie says. She walks out on the road, thinking about Damien and Diana. It has been a week since Sophie did not see any of them. While she is walking down the road, she hears some heavy breathing at the roadside behind the bushes. It is scary, but Sophie thinks that it is just her faddism. She makes her way back home, and something very fast like a blink of an eye, passes her. Sophie ignores and starts to walk at a pace. She is walking, and now about to reach home. At a distance, she sees an old man standing and looking at her. It seems like he was seeking help. Sophie stands where she is, “Hello, can I help you. You should not be out at this time. I felt something was out there. You should go back home,” Sophie shouts out loud. Sophie is still standing there and looking at the man. She, for a second, looks away and then back at that man, and finds him disappeared. Sophie thinks there is something fishy, and she needs to reach back home as soon as possible. As Sophie is walking, somebody grabs her from behind. It is huge and monstrous. In his demonic voice, he asks, “I can smell them in you, where are they and how are they protecting themselves from us.” Sophie could not understand what and who it was talking about. “Whom are you referring to? I don’t recall,” shouts Sophie. “You will take me to them, I know you have some belongingness to those beings you call humans, you take me there, or I kill you,” says the monstrous figure. Sophie is fighting to free herself, trying to call for help, but unfortunately, she is not able to move. After a few minutes, there is like a thunderstrike approaching them.

A bolt of lightning strikes the monster-like figure, and within a second, that thing whatever it was who attacked Sophie bursts and gets apart. Sophie cannot resist the bright light and falls. Unconscious, Sophie is straining to keep her eyes open and look at what or who saved her life. She sees Damien breathing heavily and proceeding to Sophie. Sophie watches him emerge from the bright white light. Damien is running to her and picks her up onto his lap. Sophie is still unconscious. In an attempt to stay awake and to speak, Sophie laughs, “I knew you and your sister had a direct relationship with electricity.” “What are you?” she asks as she faints.

The next morning, Sophie wakes up in a hospital. She looks around and finds her mom and Damien standing beside her. She asks her mother to give her and Damien a moment. Her mother shows herself out of the room, and Damien was standing right there looking out of the window. “Look at me, and tell me what on earth is going on?” Sophie asks. Damien comes closer and asks Sophie,” what do you remember?” 

Sophie starts to memorize, “I remember some monster grabbing me, and you saved me from it. Who are you, and what was that?” Sophie asks. “You need answers, and you deserve to know, but for now, I need your help,” Damien begs. He continues, “Police will come and question you. I want you to tell them what happened. However, just say that somebody tried attacking you, and I was passing by and saw you struggling to get rid of his grip. I ran towards you. After the attacker found that I was coming, he pushed you to the ground and ran. You fell and passed out, then you know nothing about what happened after that.” Sophie keeps gazing at him and does not respond. “Sophie, can you do that?” asks Damien softly. Sophie is just staring at him and trying to digest what she actually saw and what she just heard that Damien wants her to say to the police, “well that’s the truth, this is what happened. Somebody seized me, I was trying to get rid of that thing but could not, and then somehow you appeared from nowhere and you saw us. Then you came running and set me free. The difference is you came running like a flash of thunder lightning, and my attacker was not somebody, but it was something,” Sophie says with a question mark on her face. “I will tell you everything, but for now, I request you to skip that thunder and a thing part,” Damien replies. They are in the middle of a conversation when two giant police officers enter. Damien is kind of worried now. Police commence by asking Sophie what happened. Sophie looks at Damien, and then the police officer asks Damien to go out. Now Sophie is all by herself in the room with the police. She says everything Damien has requested her to tell. “Ma’am, you are saying that you did not see the attacker. It might get challenging to find him. But as you are saying that you can recognize the voice, we will see what we can do,” says the officer. Seeing the officers leaving, Damien gets up and walks to them. The policeman tells Damien that Sophie did not see her attacker’s face; all she remembers is you running towards them, which made the bad guy escape. Police appreciate Damien and exit. Damien and her mom go inside to see Sophie. Sophie’s mother works in the hospital as an administration clerk, which is why she quickly prepares the documents to discharge Sophie. Damien offers Sophie’s mother to drive Sophie home safely and will be with her until she returns. 

Damien takes Sophie home; he thanks Sophie for the statement she gave to the police. “You do not have to thank me. Even if I tell them the truth there is no chance the police will trust me, or anyone for that matter, so your statement was reasonable. Now, I really want to come out of this drama and want to know the truth,” Sophie says. Damien smiles, “you are smart,” he says. “Yes, and you are not, so why don’t you tell me what is going on?” Sophie asks strictly. Damien takes her to his place and asks her to stay there unless her mother returns. Sophie, without any question, steps inside. Sophie is stunned as she looks around the house. “Your house is beautiful,” she says. 

She hears Diana running from upstairs, “Sophie, you are fine now,” cries Daina. She runs to Sophie and hugs her tightly. Sophie hugs her back. “It’s been so long, I did not see you,” Sophie says. Diana looks at Sophie wistfully. 

“Anyway, I want to have some time with your brother,” says Sophie. Diana passes a kinky smile to both of them, “oh! well, I am heading out anyway, so I will leave you both alone,” Diana says and leaves. 

Damien takes Sophie up to his room. Sophie keeps asking him to start with the story. Damien makes Sophie settle in bed and leaves to get something to show her. After a few minutes, he comes back holding an album in his hand. He is showing Sophie his family album, which appears ancient. When Damien opens a collection, the light in the room begins to dim. Sophie is surprised. “What just happened?” she asks. 

“You asked for it,” says Damien. Damien shows his ancestral pictures. 

She finds out that all of his grand-grandmothers were really graceful. They had some kind of spark in them, followed by his grandmother and his mother. An album consists of all of his family members, his ancestors, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and friends. The friends she saw in the parking area, including Kristen, were also there.

At last, he opens up a blank page where she sees something written in an ancient language. That writing appears on every page. “What are these writings?” she asks. “These writings are my great-grandparents and grandmother’s names. And this last empty page has my sister’s name on it. Later, when she is married to someone, she will have an individual picture with her husband here with her husband’s name next to hers,” Damien explains.

It is too much for Sophie to digest, but there are many more shocks yet to come. 

“In our family, this has been the custom for decades that the females are placed before the men, that is, the females are the ones who give birth and increase our number. So, they are given more importance than men; you can say female dominance,” Damien says. “Wow, that is huge. What about you as you are an heir of the family, you don’t have your name here like Diana does?” Sophie asks. Damien turns to the page where his uncle and aunt’s picture was. “See here, he was the son of the family. His name was never there unless he married my aunt. My aunt’s name precedes his,” he explains. 

“You mean it does not matter if you are a daughter or a daughter-in-law, women are first?” Sophie asks. Laughing, Damien adds, “yes, you got it. In my case, I am not married, so I would still be in these pictures, just like some of the group photos I have here with family or friends. It may have my individual pictures as well, but not the carved one. The same is the case with Diana. Her name will be taken off if she does not intend to tie the knot until a certain age. For example, thirty or so. Then if she gets married after, she can still have her name carved back on with her husband’s name,” he says.

“I got this, you have to have a tag which represents the growth of the generation, an heir,” Sophie remarks. Damien nods his head. “Exactly,” he replies. Sophie still has questions. “What if someone could not give birth? Their names and photographs would be erased?” she asks. Damien gives her a detailed look. “That is a good question, but I do not have an answer for that. There has never been a situation like this in this family, and it’s said that it will never happen,” Damien replies. 

Sophie stands up. “You never know, you cannot be so sure,” she says. She turns back to look at Damien and continues, “now how is this explaining the entire situation here, what happened to me, what are you and all that?” Sophie asks in anger. She looks around the room and folds her arms like she is cold. “I do not understand, the lights are dim when we open the album and turn bright when we close it. Is there a switch in there?” She asks while Damien giggles.  

Damien gives her a long look. He is looking at her, seeing how innocent and adorable she is that he cannot take his eyes off of her. He is ready to tell her everything because now he thinks Sophie has become a part of their lives. Now, he thinks Sophie is in trouble because of them and that it is his responsibility to protect her. He wants to start it by telling her the truth.

“How much do you believe in something supernatural?” Damien asks. Sophie does not reply, she stands still looking at Damien. Damien continues, “What if I tell you that we are not from this world?” Sophie comes close. “Now you are starting to freak me out. I mean, I can believe you because I have felt certain unusual things, and after what I saw yesterday, but what does not from this world mean?” Sophie asks. 

Damien holds her hand and asks her to settle down beside him. Damien tells her everything about his family history from decades ago. He opens the album and the lights go down. “What just happened?” Sophie looks around the room. In an album, the elder lady, who was the matriarch of the family, is prominently displayed on the first page of the album.

“Sophie, we are not from this planet,” he says.

It is unbelievable for her. “Damien, I always wanted to be an actress, and supernatural and thriller are my favorite genres. Listening to you is like I am in a movie right now,” Sophie says. “So, what you are saying is that you do not believe me?” Damien asks. “No, I do believe you. I can’t imagine that it’s actually happening. I am actually sitting with someone who is not a human. Pardon me, I did not mean that,” Sophie says.

“It’s okay, I understand, it will get overwhelming for you, but that’s true. At the same time, we belong to this planet and do not belong to it. Earth has been our home for centuries, but our origin is entirely distinct. Despite being from a different planet, the earth has given us a sense of belonging. Today, science says there are nine planets, but the universe is vast. We were from a different galaxy, a totally unknown planet. The lady I showed you who first landed on earth herself did not know the name for her world, so she gave that planet her name, June,” Damien explains. 

“So you are from The June planet, [pause] hmmm! that is interesting,” Sophie says. Damien leaves Sophie and walks out of the room, Sophie following him. “Where are you leaving me in suspense? I need to hear everything.” Sophie keeps shouting for Damien to tell her more, but he does not reply. She gets upset and retreats to the room, thinking about how jackass Damien is. 

Still, she believes what Damien told her was a joke and what happened to her was a dream. In her mind, she is now connecting all the dots as to why the family in the plaza claimed Diana and her family were cursed. She also understands why she got electrified upon touching Diana, and what she saw when she was unconscious. She now wants to know more but Damien left her all by herself. 

After a few minutes, Damien comes back with a giant ancient book; its cover looks the same as that of an album. Damien hands over the family book to Sophie. “You have the entire day to read, it has our story. It’s our family book,” Damien says. After handing over the book to Sophie, Damien leaves the room. “I will be outside in a study area if you need something just call me,” he says. 

Soon after he leaves, she looks up to the light and opens the book. The light flickers and dims. She grins as she stares at the light and closes the book. The light turns bright. Then she opens the book again, closes it, then opens it. She keeps doing that for a few seconds and laughs. She looks back at the book and thinks, “am I dreaming? I just found out something new. Is it even real? I mean it came from Damien, he is as serious as a dead man, there is no way he was bugging me.” 

Sophie starts reading the papers. 

Understanding their history, Sophie was getting excited, but she had no idea what it would bring to her. Damien, on the other hand, regardless of everything, was determined enough to not let anything happen to Sophie.

Well we have come so far, now we know the half truth. We want to find out more about it, don’t we?

What attacked Sophie? What is in that book? Who is June? How did she come to earth?

Let’s find out in the next chapters.