“Pain can kill, all on its own: the body goes into shock and shuts down.”
Never before had Adeline noticed how time was so much like water; that it could pass slowly, a drop at a time, even freeze, or rush by in a blink. The clock said it was measured and constant, tick-tock, part of an orderly world; the clock lies. The past three days had passed like thousands of camera frames per second shown one at a time. In this slow time-bubble, the birdsong was louder, the coldness was colder and colours were brighter. All the while her insides felt as if there was nothing there, nothing to need feeding, nothing to require anything at all.
In this life, before the death of her grandfather, everything made her stable, then everything got pulled away from beneath her feet and were indifferent to the fact that she could no longer stand - until her fear of being alone.
Only too late did she ever realize the power of inspirational words. They strike out like a tank at a child's building blocks, never realizing the imbalance that exists; then they are shocked at the outcome, the devastation.
The first time when the world did that she was shaken to the core, now she just knows to tense up when it comes, mitigates and deflects before she discovers the cause and effect of a solution. To have great love brings great responsibility, one she has willingly taken on for her family. In a way, it was their shock that saved her life.
When Adeline was five, she had the brilliant idea to jump into Michaela's pool when she had absolutely no idea how to swim. She spent a few moments frantically struggling underneath the water, trying to fight her way to the surface. When she finally made it, she was gasping for air as she had never breathed before, it was like she was introduced to the action of breathing for the very first time in her life, and her lungs felt like they were about to burst.
That was how she felt when she heard Ace speak, heard him say those words that she never, ever expected to hear from anybody she knew.
It took her several seconds to actually comprehend what Ace had said, and when she finally managed to get her composure back, it felt as if a lifetime had just passed her by.
“What?” Adeline gasped.
Ace looked over at her, a scowl etched on his face, and for the first time, it suddenly seemed as if he was so much older than he actually looked like. Instead of being around twenty-seven, it seems as if Ace was actually a middle-aged man who had seen the horrors of the world in ways that most people couldn’t even imagine or begin to comprehend.
A mid-twenties guy hiding from the world, taking care of a girl he did not know- well, he had known about Adeline much more than her own self. Ace wasn’t anybody you could exactly call normal, that was for sure.
Right then, she wanted to heal his own wounds, and forget everything else in the world that had ever given either of them trouble.
“Ever heard of Robert Wyatt Jonathan?” Ace asked dryly, staring down at his feet again.
Shaking her head, Adeline said, “No.”
Blowing out a sigh, Ace leaned forward on his knees so his head was resting in his hands. “Well, that asshole of a man was my grandfather. And because of my asshole of a grandfather, you never got to meet your mother and father.”
Adeline was fairly certain her jaw hit the ground as she stared at Ace in horror.
There were a lot of things in this universe she knew to be crazy, unpredictable, and awful.
What Ace had just told her? That had to be one of the worst things to ever happen to somebody.
“E-Excuse me?” Adeline croaked, gripping her jacket sleeves tightly. “Did I hear that correctly?”
Ace jumped to his feet and started pacing in front of her, his hands clasped behind his back.
“Your mom, Rose Martinez, met your dad, Jack Martinez, in Dublin University, Ireland. They both had a profound interest in astrophysics and were pretty good in that subject, along with that your mother always loved history, she always had ideas like, if that wouldn’t happen then what could be the present would have looked like. So, they started their research on combining the physics and time-line with history, which ended up being a total disaster, because, as I said earlier, my grandfather was an asshole, he was also their Professor at the university and supported them with the idea.”
Her heart was starting to pound erratically against her chest, and there was a buzzing noise in her ears. Just how was she supposed to react to this? She had never exactly been told anything like this before, hell she did not have any idea about her mother’s interests!
But, how does Ace know all of this?
“How is the death of my parents connected to your grandfather?” Adeline muttered, taking a deep breath.
Turning around, he looked deep into her eyes and asked, “What was your mother’s maiden name, Adeline Martinez?” He asked in a steely voice.
In the absence of truth, comfort was her delusion.
Yet was that delusion good or bad? Well, that depends on if the intention that produced the "comfort" was emotionally indifferent or well-rooted in true love.
Let us expand on this point a little more...
As with many ethical and philosophical points, the output or result has everything to do with the quality of the input. When we looked at the relationship of truth vs. delusion we could ask if the intention was rooted in love and emotional indifference.
Because they respectively gave rise to either virtue or vice. If the truly loving thing to do was the truth, then you tell the total truth, nothing hidden. Yet if that would cause pain for no purpose, then the loving thing to do was to provide comfort even if it contained elements of delusion (or lie).
In short, we all need a firm grounding in the truth, yet the kind truth that took account of love and comfort rather than the brutality of a life without cooling shadows. For in that truth was the way of peace for all. It was a peace born of a more mature standpoint.
And, Adeline, at last, chose truth over delusion to get her mind cleared and make space for a lot of truths that were in the line waiting to get revealed.
Digesting the random question, Adeline thought for a few moments and when realisation dawned, her eyes widened in shock when she mumbled:
What was more hidden from Adeline Martinez?
Will she be able to digest the upcoming revelation?
Will the truth strengthen her or weaken her?