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  • Catalina

The Villain Part Two

When Diana returned home, the station was getting ready to switch on its daylight mode. Shapes were getting clearer and angles were more easily distinguishable to the naked eye. Legacy was running on a twenty-four-hour cycle, for the sake of maintaining an optimal circadian rhythm for all beings. Since the station was built inside the Kepler crater on Earth's moon, the alternation between twelve-hour daylight and twelve-hour darkness had to be fabricated. Since it was still quite difficult for the human body to deal with the 14 days of darkness-14 days of light course which comprised a lunar day, an Earth-like rotation around its axis had to be artificially imposed.

Diana sat down at the dining table, her head buried in her hands, pounding like a drum. She was suffering from a severe case of too loud music and too much alcohol. She quickly realized she was hungry and her lips were as dry as parchment paper. She got up with the intention to head towards the kitchen, but the door was open. That door, the door that was never open, the door to her father's study. It had never been left open, ever before. Diana knew her mother used to spend time in there at night, she had very vivid memories of hearing her sobs travel up the stairs when she was younger. But she was never allowed in, the room was locked at all times.

'But why, why? He was my father, I miss him just as much as you do!' Diana would shout at her mother in their most fiery arguments.

'There are things in there that are not for your eyes to see, you would not understand. You are but a child and you know so little of the world around you!' her mother would reply, stern and cold, in low, eerily calm voice. At times Diana felt like her mother's feelings towards her were bridging contempt, like in truth she begrudged her for something, but did a very good job of hiding it most of times. Nothing would move her, nothing would make her reconsider allowing Diana inside her father's study. Not her daughter's longing, not her begging or her tears.

'Who are you to decide? Why is this your decision? You are cruel and have no heart! If I were dad, I'd never come back to you either!' Diana screamed in frustration, anger making the veins on her forehead protrude.

Standing in front of the open door now, Diana could see the ghosts of her younger self standing up to her mother, the slap that reduced the little girl to silence, the expression of hurt running deeper than the physical sensation. She could see clearly now her mother's resentment spread all over the woman's face, her green eyes burning with it like fire.

Diana took one step over the threshold.

Her father's study was a mystery finally revealing itself. Under the pale light of the synthetic morning, her father's passion for wooden floors and old, heavy and dark pieces of furniture came to life, and so did a rather poignant smell of cigarette smoke. Everything was different shades of brown, different leather and wood textures, all natural and so very strange to see. Diana imagined they would have had to cost a fortune, but the truth was they were brought back from Earth, from the house of her father's father, after the man passed away. A dusty looking piano was stood in the upper left corner of the room like a bored old man crouched over next to the overcoming bookshelf that stretched across the entire wall. There were a few paintings on the walls, all things Diana had never seen before in real life, fields of green grass and trees bending under the heavy blowing of the wind. All creating such a sombre atmosphere, strangely comforting and snug.

Diana went round and touched the leather settee placed wisely next to a window that made the place feel a little less claustrophobic. She looked at the decanter on the small table besides the settee, smelled the contents and tried to taste it, but it felt harsh and burning to the tongue. Since she'd had a whole night of that already, so she lost interest in the drink immediately. She moved past the settee and the table, past the floor lamp that reminded her of an octopus and finally reached her father's desk. She touched the rim of the table, she sat on his chair. She took the whole room in, inch by inch, with a sigh.

'This whole thing feels so weird' she said to herself then giggled. 'I wonder what you'd do if you were here?' she spoke aloud, looking at the ceiling. Her dad was still out there, somewhere. 'I wish you'd find your way back home'.

She leaned back in the chair; the leather made a bizarre squeaky sound under her weight, but seemed to support her in a very comfortable way. She looked at her father's pen holder, and spent a few good minutes looking at the photo of his father's first ship and wished he was in that photo as well. She'd only seen him in photos, but she felt such a connection to him, such longing that she only wished she'd see more of him everywhere around the house.

She noticed something reflecting the growing daylight. It was her mother's necklace, forgotten next to a glass that held one last sip of the same drink that was in the decanter. Diana reached out for it only to realise that it had been used as bookmark. She opened the book and leafed through it.

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