When I was a child, I was murdered by my mother. In many ways it was a mercy killing. I thank her. Where I began, in this world, is a bleak place. My first beginning was so close to my first end. I am a kind of failed abortion of the universe. I was never meant to be exist here.
My parents and my twin brother were almost all I knew, my first life on Earth. I knew my mother in colors. She was Red, Blue, Silver, Black. My father, I knew by instinct, was an angel. My brother, I knew by sound alone. What my parents must have felt couldn't have been easy, being so unsure as to what they were giving life. A boy built of resonance and a girl made of reflection. My name was Lily and he was Kurios.
Our living situation was remote. Even then, I knew the wilderness was not where I belonged. On a beach was the only place I ever felt halfway comfortable. I was an unhappy child but I kept a smile on my face and a song at my lips, until the day came when a song was the undoing of our quiet life.
"It doesn't matter, Bethy."
Dean is the name of my brother in this, our newest life. He has a habit of calling me every shortened version of the name Elizabeth. I don't mind it but I only call him Dean. He’s got blonde hair and a blonde face. The way his small eyes sit, retracted behind their surroundings, anyone who really looked would know he doesn’t feel fear. They are smoked blue, his eyes and always on the ball.
I’ve stopped asking him to recount the beginning, for me.
"Buffy, why is it important to you? You know what happened. Why do I need to tell you?"
"I don't know why you have to rehash all that, Birdie. You didn't know any better. Leave it at that."
"I think of it as a kind of false start, you know? We had a lot to look forward to, Liz, it just began all wrong. You know?"
I know, Dean. I do. I really do.
A thought doesn't feel the way the word 'think' sounds. They seem to have no beginning and certainly no end, their echo is a kind a permanence that has always reminded me of sin; something that cannot be washed away as often as it is always being washed away. Before I was a human, I was a thought. Before I was a thought, I was a reflection. Before I was a reflection, I wasn't anything at all.
My name is L. My brother is 7. Before we were born human, our name was a symbol- the cross. This was known to only one man. Nahash, the Interloper of Eden, was the only entity to come from nothingness, when God created this universe. I was the tool used to split the dark with the light; to split the nothingness with the everythingness.
Jonathan had been Nahash. There have been many unintended outcomes of God’s creations. The first oversight was the birth of Nahash. I was the first thing he saw, Nahash- the diamond that would evoke the first thought to be had by something born of nothing at all. He loves Nitzsche and it isn't difficult to understand why that is, considering his best philosophy was: What? That simple, vague question was his first thought.
Kurios would whisper rhyming words to me and low tones. I would sing them for my family. We played a game where he would bring me objects and run their frequencies through me in currents and waves like the edge of the tide and I would sing them back to him. My brother is Orpheus and I am the siren. He is made of the maths of the universe, which combined are music. I am a mirror in the dark.
We didn't encounter many people, where we lived, by the sea. While I didn't live past the age of six, my favorite thing about life was people. I could hear them the way I heard my brother and it made me feel so close to them. Chasing Kurey on the beach, I could hear people in the distance. A song of men, across the vast ocean. A hundred songs beginning different ways, becoming one song in the middle and dispersing again, at the end. Pirate song.
I sang to Kurey, as I always did. I sang the Pirate song. I forget what it sounded like, now. But days later, on that same beach, I would hear the first sound I would never forget.
“Lily!” my mother screamed, running toward me. Calm ocean, gray morning. The sound of bare feet whipping sand beneath panicked footsteps.
I stood transfixed on the giant ship speeding toward the black, rocky cliffside. My mother collided with me the instant the boat hit. That sound. It was as if I heard every bone, in each body, all around the world, breaking at once. I was whisked into the air. She ran with me, in her arms. Kurios ran ahead of us. He called out for our father, who emerged from the green edge of the beach.
I clawed, climbing my mother, to look back at the water through her hair. Where there had been a ship before, there was a shipwreck. The first of thousands I would witness. The site does not do justice to the sound. It just looks like a ship. Sometimes, you can’t tell anything is wrong with it, at all. I never saw any men but I knew they were there. The pirate song that had been loud before disintegrated with the sunlight, behind welling storm clouds.
I fell in love with the pirates and they died because of it. Most of them were dead before the ship reached me. It would happen just that way, every time. There was a period when, so distraught, I let myself fall in love with anything- everything. It was easy to do. I spent thousands of years destroying with that love, so uncaring. During that time, Clyde hunted me with seven ships, hundreds of years apart. He even caught up with me a couple times, never able to stop me from killing just because I could.
To this day, I wonder why it's imperative I keep being reborn, having not been ushered into this world with the permission of God. My only conclusions are drawn from the fact that a real artist makes their mistakes into art and he's the most talented artist I know.
What was his mistake?
He couldn’t have predicted that Nahash would be born, just on the outside of his new world. He couldn’t have known Nahash would fall in love with his prismatic catalyst. But he had. And because he had, he decided to take me with him when he traveled to Earth, to ask the questions for which he didn’t yet have words. Interloper. Snake. That was my Jonathan. He wasn’t a tool of the devil, he was a five year old.
“Why?” he asked Eve, Adam, Joel and Nicodemus obsessively.
God’s third oversight, where Jonathan and I were concerned, was that when Nahash brought me to Earth, he would find a way to make me human. And he did. And when he did, the power I possessed was to call people to me- to reflect their sounds, colors and thoughts against myself. The Diamond became the Siren and madness itself was born.
JD loved me before I was made human. Before I could love him back. A beautiful, inanimate object. My edges cut his hand as he held me but he held me, all the same. He brought me here and though the lives we’ve shared can be counted on one hand, they were full of meaning and love. I have always belonged to him.
When I called him, unable to love me, it was easy to see he’d taught me how to love him. He instilled some instinct in me. That was our way; Love without being loved in return. It’s not the same for us.