Comfort Zone: K'alia and Andrea
- Comfort Zone: K'alia and Andrea -
A very personal journey and revelation based on true events from my life...
Note: The woman named K'alia in these writings is myself. The events in these writings are based upon things that actually happened to me in this life... some upon this world, this Earth, and some upon other worlds, where the fantastic and the otherworldly are laid bare and allowed to coexist with the reality that is most visible to the physical senses. This is a mystical rite of passage, a deep journey into the realm of Faerie and into the realms of the dead, and into other worlds and planes of existence beyond the understanding of science. And into the heart of deepest grief and bitterest loss! It begins very simply... with me confronting my pain, my loneliness, and my occasional lack of self-esteem. It begins on a precipice. But where could it hope to end?
She was just plainly pretty rather than what men often like to call beautiful, and although not great in height she stood tall upon the ledge of the cliff overlooking the great valley below. Her skin had a slightly ruddy tint to it, and her hair was short and dark auburn, cut and styled in a pageboy style with short bangs. Her blue eyes were that kind of deep blue that if it were a shade different it would have been gray. Those eyes were slightly reminiscent of the eyes of certain Asian peoples, and their long lashes people often found exotic, if not seductive. Her small lips were adorned with black lipstick, and her eyes were decorated with dark makeup in a very deliberately Gothic style. Those lips smiled, and those eyes appeared thoughtful. The wind had been blowing gently on that day, and the woman was dressed for the spring weather. She wore a long black skirt that reached her ankles, and a black peasant-style blouse with full, baggy sleeves. About her waist was a black leather belt with metal studs, and around her neck was a black leather choker decorated with sharp metal spikes. The air was cool, and her sandal-clad feet felt very comfortable. She was built very slender, with athletic legs that were very graceful even in the rough terrain in which the woman now stood. Her legs were the strongest things on her, although she could often muster from some unknown place tremendous strength, in other respects, when so needed. She had small breasts, small hips, and her hands were what they call artist’s hands: long and slender. In fact, slender was really the best word to describe K’alia. That was her name: K’alia. And K’alia was a very unusual girl. She always had been, and she always would be. Small and slender K’alia… how often men ignored her and women judged her as not being their idea of perfection. She smiled wider, for she knew that somewhere in that valley below, perhaps there she would find some measure of peace and happiness at last. It was said that one had to sing a certain song in order for the path into the valley to be opened. And so K’alia began to sing! Her voice was light, and very much like that of a teenager even though she was an adult and had been for many long years now. Forty-seven years, in fact, she had lived in all since her mother had given her birth. She was still young at heart, and so when her voice rang out in song… the sultry edge and tone to the lightness of her voice blended to create an uncanny harmony that was simply unique to K’alia. She knew of no one else who sounded like her… only her mother had, when she lived. The song K’alia sang was about love, and about her deep and passionate longing for it. The song called out to the azure blue skies above, and to the wispy white clouds that ran like strands across that lofty expanse. The sun on the far horizon did seem brighter for the melody, and even a solitary hawk stopped to hear the words of it. The path would be opened, for K’alia. She knew the magic to call it forth, and the magic was in the music. “I am beautiful!” she thought to herself, as she sang. “I am beautiful!” the magic echoed back throughout the mountains and down into the valley below. The scent of roses greeted K’alia’s nose. It was very much her mother’s nose, long and noble. It was the scent that told her the spell was cast correctly. She could see the path forming before her, the rocks near the very farthest borders of the ledge turning into the steps down which she would be walking. There could be no turning back now. Her future awaited her, and she descended. No one in that valley below would remember that once she had been a man. No one would care, for they would see K’alia and see the woman she was now and forever. She smiled one final time before bidding farewell to the mountains, to the sky, and to the solitary hawk. She had a lot of living to do in life. But who had ever understood what she wanted, what she craved, what she needed, from the life that she felt was most ideal? No one... save only one. A girl named Andrea, who had died a long, long time ago. When she and K'alia were both young and in love! Now... it was a distant but most dearly held memory.
Within the valley below, K’alia ventured through beautiful woodlands filled with the singsong of the wind blowing through the pleasant trees. Mighty oaks, great old yews, and a diversity of pines and other trees made her journey a lovely one. Here and there, the ghostly white of birch trees could be seen, and the droop of lofty willows, where neighboring marshlands gently nestled against the forest floor. The chirping of birds filled the air, and the sound of tiny insects made harmony with the song of those avian guardians of the greenwood. Wispy motes floated up here and there between and betwixt the trees, and the rays of the sun cast a dreamy sort of atmosphere to these wild surroundings. K’alia felt very peaceful here, but also very lonely. She knew that somewhere within this valley there did dwell a people who were perhaps her own kin, at least in spirit. All she had to do was find them, or perhaps let them find her. And so she walked along ever so softly, her sandals crunching grass, underbrush, and the leaves left over from autumn… hidden by the long winter, but now clearly visible in the spring season. She was as quiet as any human being could be when traveling through such diverse terrain, and she was not exactly trying to remain hidden as it was. A dragonfly flew past, and her childlike nature made K’alia marvel at its’ passing. “How lovely!” she remarked aloud, and she felt caught up in the rush and whirl of life all around her. So much life was in the greenwood, and she could feel it pulsing in everything, including herself. She began to hum a familiar song, not so different from the one she had sung to gain her entrance into this magical place. And she could hear someone just beyond sight humming it with her. She stopped, looked around, and saw no one. Then, when she did begin to hum the tune anew, the other voice did the same in time with her melody. “Is someone there?” she asked as loudly as her voice permitted her. And the humming voice began to sing an ancient lullaby that K’alia did not recognize, but which captivated her. When the song was over, a woman stepped forth from the trees to the right of where K’alia was standing. The woman was about her height, perhaps a head shorter, with long light brown hair that hung about the stranger’s elfin face, reaching her shoulders. And elfin that face was, with sharp features but not unpleasantly so! There was a grace to that sharpness, a softness unspoken but fully understood by all who looked upon her. The elf woman wore a brown jumpsuit with short puffy sleeves and long baggy legs that were pleated like a skirt. Her eyes were a rich brown not unlike wood, and she seemed wholly one with the trees all about her. Her skin was pale, and had a slight greenish tint to it. She was clearly a creature of the forest, and her pointed ears were keen and could hear K’alia’s humming when it had been but a whisper. “Who are you?” K’alia asked the elf woman, who then responded in a strange lilting language that was totally alien to her understanding. The elf saw this, and then very suddenly moved forward with a catlike grace and embraced K’alia, much as a lover might do… kissing her passionately and lovingly upon the mouth. Their tongues played together, and the kiss was savored: by both women in a very sapphic, silent understanding that this is simply how people are greeted in this place. With an embrace and a kiss! And when this pleasurable greeting was ended, K’alia could fully understand the language the elf woman was speaking to her. “Now you see!” the elf said. And she did see, and nodded her head to show the elf that this was so. The elf then took K’alia’s hand and led her along paths that only the folk of her race knew and so kept from those mortals who were not deemed worthy to be shown the way. “My name is Diane Moonbeam.” The elf confided, and K’alia told Diane her name as well. “K’alia! What a very pretty name for a mortal woman.” And this made K’alia blush, which was not entirely unpleasant for either woman to notice. The day was slipping on, and it was impossible to tell how many hours had passed as the two walked along the secret paths of the elves. There was fey glamour all about those hidden ways, and it made the forest in those places almost timeless. Neither woman minded this, for the company of one another was also of a timeless quality. Diane was used to timelessness, for she had been deceased for a very long time... ever since she was a college student studying Wicca, trying to fathom the mysteries of the Goddess; ever since the night she committed suicide, because of the ridicule and bullying that she had been subjected to at the hands of those who preached love but practiced hate instead. Her roommate was not there that night... and it was her roommate who had found her dead, with her wrists cut, even as Diane had knelt before the sacred pentagram that she had drawn upon the floor of her dormitory room. Did anyone mourn her... had anyone truly loved her or cared to get to know her? Not that she knew of. But in this realm... she could be loved. She could be complete!
At last K’alia and the elf lady came to a place where the woods opened into a clearing so magnificent that it met one’s eyes like the images in dreams meet the mind of the dreamer. It was illuminated not by the light of the sun or that of the moon, but by something else entirely. For within that clearing was a great domed palace of smooth stone and polished marble, with slender pillars, soaring towers, and pointed minarets of such delicate finery that no mortal could possible have constructed such fantastic architecture. The domes were three in number, and had been crafted of smooth, transparent crystal. The crystal domes pulsed, each with a different colored light. One with an amethyst glow, one with an emerald glow, and one with a ruby glow. It was this, then, that brought an uncanny radiance to this forest clearing… and a strange haze was about the trees that obscured time itself in such a fashion that one could not truly be certain if it was day or night, or dawn or twilight. It was an eternal now, in which things existed perpetually and without the decay that so often comes with the onslaught of time’s passing. K’alia drew in an amazed breath at the sight of this opulent and unearthly sight. Diane wrapped an arm around K’alia in a tender manner and whispered into her ear: “Welcome home!” and K’alia smiled, delighted that this grand place could be offered as a home to her. “Oh Diane, I feel like I truly could belong in a place like this.” And Diane smiled sweetly, kissed K’alia on the cheek and said: “Then come! It is even more splendid on the inside.” Which sparked K’alia’s vibrant imagination like wildfire. The two women walked up the ten steps leading unto the palace’s great porch, which itself was circular and encircled by massive pine trees with an odd bluish hue to them. In the center of the porch was a beautiful cherry blossom tree, as pink and lovely as the gown of a young princess. Past that, the façade of the great building rose up to meet the high roof and its’ three great domes. Stately columns with a serpentine design lined the entirety of the façade, from left to right. Beyond the columns, amid the shade of delicately soaring archways, was: the massive set of double doors that functioned as the main entrance into the palace. Diane placed her hand upon a hand-shaped indentation in the doors, and they opened of their own accord. “Follow me, K’alia!” she intoned with a whisper that bespoke of secret and curious things. And K’alia did follow the elf, on into a magnificent series of indoor gardens filled with every kind of beautiful plant, flower, and tree that could be safely grown indoors. The air was warm in the gardens, and the ceiling open to the sky to allow light to reach the green things within. The floor was tiled with black and white square tiles, covered with rich red carpeting trimmed with gold, complete with ornate tassels at the corners. Servants in gowns of flowing white or pale blue hurried about the business of maintaining this magnificent place. K’alia marveled at the gardens, and at the way water was conveyed to them from fountains and other devices of cunning design. Waterfalls nurtured small streams, and waterwheels brought water from those streams to gardens both high and low, depending on the height of the wheel. Songbirds could be heard amid the gardens, and a dove alighted upon the ledge of a high archway. “We live in total harmony with nature.” Diane explained. “Yet with comforts few could dream of: and delights many could scarcely imagine!” K’alia whistled to show her pure amazement at all about her. Leaving the grandeur of the gardens behind them, the two women moved into hallways containing great works of elfin artistry, and many wall-sized murals depicting histories unknown to human records. Doorways led off into kitchens, dining halls, and other practical chambers. The two women moved swiftly past all of this and into a magnificent circular hall, which lay directly beneath the great amethyst dome that was at the direct center of the entire palace itself. Gemstones were sacred here, and revered for their magical properties of which the ancient secrets were kept and adored. These were the old, true ways.
To describe this chamber is no small feat. For the purple pulse of the dome high above sent cascades of purple, lavender, and violet down from that great height, touching all corners of the room but with such subtlety that it met the eyes naturally and with much ease. Statues of beautiful elfin men and women lined the outer circumference of the hall, and lovely paintings with a very classical look to them decorated all of the walls. The windows as the ceiling rose up to meet the base of the dome were made of stained glass, and depicted events from the history of the people who dwelt here. A veritable rainbow of colors issued forth from those windows, and shone upon the walls and floor in places. Hanging plants could be seen here and there, whilst ivy clung to every pillar and column. The carpeting of the chamber was a rich purple, with the same gold trim and tassels that was the dominant style of all the palace’s carpets. In the exact center of the room, there was a raised dais of marble upon which was an ornate wooden throne painted with a silvery color. On either side of the throne sat a guardian sphinx, a statue of course, but of such realistic carving that one might at first take them to be real creatures… were it not for the cold gray color. The throne itself was carved with ancient and mystical runes, the meaning of which was unknown yet which was kept in the oldest traditions of elf lore. And seated upon a pile of cushions heaped about and upon the throne’s seat, was a beautiful woman indeed. Pale blonde hair with a soft, silvery sheen to it cascaded about her shoulders and down her back. Her face was slightly rosy in color, and her skin a soft shade of pink. She looked upon K’alia and Diane with violet eyes, and her elfin features were ageless. This woman had a full, hourglass figure with ample breasts and generous hips. She wore a pair of full, baggy white pantaloons gathered at the waist and ankles with drawstring. Pink lace, like the petals of a flower, decorated the ankles of that garment, and when the woman shifted upon her throne, the fabric made a slight rustling sound. The pantaloons were paired with a loose white blouse with long billowing sleeves, which itself was belted with a purple sash and had pink trim. The woman wore silver earrings and a silver ring upon her left pinkie. The ring itself was decorated with a many-faceted amethyst gemstone. Silver bangles hung about the woman’s wrists and ankles. Her feet were covered in soft-looking white shoes not dissimilar to those that dancers favor. She had those kind of full lips that went well with her oval face, and which could promise much to a lover. She was, in short, magnificent. Her manner was not imperious, but rather casual. One would not know that this was the queen of an entire race. Diane called out to her: “My Queen! I present to you this one whose name is K’alia. It is she, whom you heard singing the song that permits entry into our valley. I heard her likewise humming an old tune that only one who is of our own kindred could possibly know.” And the queen responded by saying, in a voice that was as clear and delicate as wind chimes: “Yet she is mortal, and not possessing the blood of our people. Even so, I cannot turn aside one whom I have heard sing the Song of Entry! Have her approach me.” At which Diane motioned for K’alia to draw near to the queen’s throne, which she proceeded to do. K’alia stood before the queen, neither bowing nor curtsying. Just regarding the beautiful noblewoman with the kind of reverence reserved for works of art so glorious that one cannot help but stare in wonder at them. The queen smiled at her most kindly. “Welcome, K’alia, to the Tri-Hue Palace. My name is Dana.” And Dana was truly divine! “I could possibly be more welcome, your grace...” K'alia stated, adding: “Not even had I found that I now stood before the Throne of God in all its' heavenly glory!” and then K'alia did bow, tears streaming from her eyes. Dana was moved by such a display. “You bear a great deal of pain, my child.” the queen noticed, remarking: “Come with me, and I shall see what might be done to cure whatever ill it is that causes your heart to be so close to the breaking point.” And then K'alia rose, seeming somewhat nervous, stuttering a bit as she replied: “Oh no, no your grace! It is not that my heart is near to breaking... it is just that I have never known anything so close to pure joy before, and this place seems built from joy.” but Dana was very perceptive. “I know what it is I sense.” Dana explained... “And in you is deep pain that runs perhaps deeper than you have ever realized. Every pain has a source! Every pain has a cure. Let us discover together, how we might rectify the wrongs that have brought you so close to death's embrace, that you found the way unto this realm here.”
Dana took K'alia by the hand and led her through the Tri-Hue Palace by secret and hidden ways, through passageways only the queen knew. The sound of mourning doves could be heard occasionally outside, through the palace windows... it could not be known what the hour was. It seemed that time stopped in the hidden hallways through which the two women walked. Dana noticed that although slender for the most part, K'alia had a somewhat enlarged abdomen and rather strong muscles for a woman of her age... most evident in her legs, but also a bit in her arms, such muscles. She knew that K'alia was stronger than even she might realize. “How often has she sold herself short in life, denying her own strength in many ways... not just physical?” Dana mused in her thoughts. “Or perhaps... just perhaps... she fears that being strong would make her less of a woman! She needs to learn, that strength too can be beautiful methinks.” And soon they reached a dark and ominous-looking archway with a high vaulted ceiling overhead, like the corridors of some Gothic cathedral from bygone times. K'alia was afraid to go a step further. “What do you fear, child?” Dana asked of her tenderly. K'alia replied: “I fear the dark.” and then... quite suddenly... Dana pulled the woman along with her into the dark archway without a moment's hesitation or a second's thought. All was pitch black for a long time, and in the distance there was a tunnel at the end of which was a bright white light. On both sides of the tunnel, terrible things lurked with claws and red eyes and horns and mandibles and forms grotesque and unspeakable. “How can such a place as this exist?” K'alia whispered, terrified. Dana kept her hand tightly grasped in her own, and led her forward. “It exists... because men sin.” Dana explained. “Those creatures... they cannot touch you, or I. We are of the Light and it is thence we are bound. Be ready!” and then they ran as fast as their legs could carry them, through the bright threshold at the end of that forbidden darkness. At least one errant soul was caught by the fiends, who carried the man... for a man it had once been when he was alive... off into a fiery glow, where the man was devoured by flame and fang alike. All was bright, all was white and featureless at first. But then, gradually, a place formed out of the featureless vastness. An eternal place, beyond space or time. It was a columned, walled garden filled with blood red roses. The walls and columns were of pure white marble. The skies above were blue and perfect... and white doves soared across those skies. Dana plucked a rose and gave it to K'alia. The scent of the flowers was like a perfume that seemed to be everywhere... and it carried upon it the scents of other flowers as well. But only the roses could at first be seen. Suddenly... there were multitudes of flowers of every sort, of every color. Like a vast rainbow born of the natural world. K'alia wept tears of joy at the sight. “Oh my goodness! This... this is... beyond my wildest dreams.” she exclaimed, showing an evident joy the likes of which only a small child might. Dana smiled, caressing the left cheek of K'alia's face as she said lovingly... much as a mother might... “That is because this is your true home, the place where your soul and spirit were first born. This is the center of all reality, as it is also beyond all reality as well.” And all that Dana explained, K'alia understood, remembering things long forgotten. The two each looked into the other's eyes, affection growing strong mutually between them. Dana... who had also often been called Diana Lucifera to those who kept her ancient traditions sacred and holy... had once in a bygone era before recorded history been K'alia's sister. And though K'alia was mortal now, she had not always been so. She had once been like Dana herself... and was now awakening to this truth and coming to accept it. She had known, deep down in her heart and soul, all the days of her life. But she had never truly came to terms with the totality of it and the enormity of all it represented, until this very moment. And then the two women embraced passionately, touching and caressing and feeling with their hands every curve, every pleasant and pleasurable thing that lovers share with each other of themselves. Their lips locked in a kiss that was beyond physical love. Their eyes closed, and they gasped in ecstasy. Dana discovered the reason why K'alia's body was so unusual, in the course of what transpired next. For they made love!
K'alia had, for many long years of her life been forced to live as a man, having been born a hermaphrodite with fully functional male genitalia and internal female parts. Her condition was very rare, very unusual. Those who had engineered her birth... shadowy individuals with a dark agenda, some of them all too human and evil, others alien and without a moral compass as humans understand such things... had combined a male and female fetus, twins, in the womb of their mother. The result of this experiment was K'alia. And Ka'lia bore within her a single soul that was an amalgamation of those two twins... and that single soul, was in reality two. A boy named Paul, and a girl named Christina. Each twin was a single half of what made up all that K'alia was. Each twin had lived many past lives in countless ages of history, and on other worlds as well, even going back to the dawn of time and beyond. Sometimes the two twins had even been lovers. Sometimes friends. Sometimes enemies. But now... now they were one... and perhaps this act was the most evil ever undertaken by human or divine beings since time began. For now they could no longer embrace each other, or comfort each other, or express any displeasure at whatever the one might have dislike that the other had done. They were trapped together in one form, in one body. Even death would not release them, for they were not just melded in body, but in soul and spirit as well. The part of K'alia that was Paul was aroused greatly by Dana's beauty and made love to Dana as a man might his dearest love. The part of K'alia that was Christina was so taken with Dana's beauty that she almost felt jealous of her, wishing she herself could be that beautiful. “Maybe then I might not have always been so lonely.” the female twin mused. While the male twin thought: “I have not known this much joy... since Andrea.” and K'alia had voiced the male twin's thoughts aloud, without realizing it. Dana and K'alia reached the climax of their love, and after that for a long time they lay together in the heavenly garden looking up at the sky, the grass beneath them like a soft green cushion. Dana looked over at her lover and asked, though knowing the answer already: “Beloved... who was Andrea?” and in that moment the sky was blue no more, but turned dark as if it might storm at any moment. K'alia hurried to her feet and dressed herself. Dana did the same, fearing rain or lightning. “K'alia... child... beloved! Who... was Andrea?” Dana called out, her voice loud from having to yell over the howling of the fierce winds that were descending upon the garden. K'alia answered, crying as she did so, weeping terribly: “She... was my first love.” And then lightning flashed and thunder roared. The winds decimated the flowers, blowing their petals here and there. The rainbow colors of them formed a rainbow whirlwind that whipped about ferociously. Dana's long, pale, cascading hair was blown about in a frenzy... her eyes wide, her mouth appearing frightened. “You lost her when you were only sixteen years old... she too was only sixteen!” Dana shrieked, and K'alia remembered. She remembered everything about Andrea... who was never distant from her heart. Darkness was descending upon the heavenly garden, and all was black before long. Out of that blackness... old memories began to return, of the night when tragedy had struck.
Andrea was slim and slender, with an elfin figure and a pleasant oval face. Her eyes were hazel, her hair light brown, her lips small but inviting. She had freckles and her skin had a somewhat dusky tint to it, though it was otherwise light in coloration. She was wearing a pair of loose pants with yellow and black stripes that ran vertically down them, paired with a brown camisole-style top and a brown leather vest. The girl's hair was very short, almost boyish in style, but very wavy on the right side, which swooped down a bit over the right side of Andrea's face. She spoke with a bit of an obvious accent since her family was of Romani heritage... gypsy blood running through her veins... and they had come from Romania. K'alia had a different name that she went by back then, and lived as a different gender as well during that phase of her life. K'alia was born and raised in the United States of America, and was at that time living in a small town on the East Coast, in her family's house where she lived with her grandmother, her grandfather, and her mother who was divorced at the time. K'alia's female cousin Carey had introduced her to Andrea through their mutual friend Crystal, who lived at an apartment complex just one street over. Andrea lived at a house on one of the streets past those apartments, with her little sister and her father. K'alia had never met Andrea's sister, nor her father, and all she knew of them she had learned from Andrea, who had loved her little sister more than anything in the world other than K'alia. From the instant they met, K'alia and Andrea fell deeply in love and knew each other to be soulmates. After some time, they began to make plans for their future... K'alia planned to get a job working at a fancy hotel in a nearby city, where her mother and cousin Carey were themselves working at the time. The hotel was often frequented by royalty, politicians and rock stars... their staff was paid very, very well. The two lovers planned to get a house of their own, have a couple of children, perhaps a boy and a girl of their own since twins did after all run in K'alia's family through her biological father's side. As stated previously... though a hermaphrodite, K'alia's male genitalia was fully functional, and there was nothing about it that prevented her from getting someone pregnant. She... he... was always very, highly unusual and in school never really fit in. He... for we shall use that pronoun at the moment for simplicity's sake... had quit school earlier that year, and planned to start work at the hotel very soon. On their most recent date, he had bought for Andrea a music cassette that she had been wanting for some time, and they were playing it in their boom box radio that night. He had been playing on an arcade machine that was set up in his bedroom, where the boom box also was. The game was about a barbarian warrior fighting monsters and demons on a quest to slay a dragon and rescue a princess. The classic Hero's Journey. The day previously, he had also bought for Andrea a copy of a book that he felt best exemplified a lot about himself, and asked Andrea to read it so that she might better understand him. The book was about an elfin prince in ancient times whose family was killed by humans, which drove the prince to think that all humans were monsters. Until he met and fell in love with a human noblewoman, and came to see that not all humans were sick, vicious and cruel. It was a metaphor for K'alia's whole life. He had been abused throughout his life, and bullied in school by teachers and students alike. He grew up introverted and distrustful of people. Except for Andrea! She had reached him, touched his heart, and her love showed him that humans were not all out to hurt him. Until he had met her, he had never known before what true love was. They had not been together long, but it was forever and they both knew it. The music playing on the boom box that night was old school rap, which Andrea had a fondness for. The girl watched K'alia playing that arcade game as she sat on his bed, smiling. She walked over, put her arms around his waist, holding him tight and close, whispering: “I love watching you play that game! You are so good at it. I could never be that good at video games. I just don't have the patience for them, I guess.” And K'alia turned around, putting the game aside, looking deeply into his beloved's eyes. She began to cry. “What is wrong, honey?” the boy asked his girl. She then replied: “It... it is my father. He... he has killed my little sister!” And in that moment, both of their worlds were shattered... for a dark and terrible moment was come, and there was no turning back from it. Fate had ordained a horror.
Andrea could not stop crying, she was holding on to K'alia as one might hold on to a life preserver when lost at sea on the ocean. “I saw him do it! He beat her to death... she was only thirteen. He just kept beating her and beating her. There was so much blood, and then she stopped moving and she was dead! Just like when he killed our mother, back in Romania. I want you to protect me. Keep me safe... do not make me go back home to him again. He will kill me too! Promise me... that you will keep me safe, and find a way to stop him so that he can never kill again.” and K'alia was crying too, for he was an empath and could feel other people's sorrows and make them his own. “I will protect you.” he said. “No one will ever hurt you, I won't allow it! Let us go and speak with my grandmother. She will not allow your father to hurt you, surely.” But first the boy held his girl tightly, and they kissed passionately. It would be their last kiss, though they could not know this at the time. And, they went to K'alia's grandmother to whom Andrea told everything. “He really is going to kill me! Please, please protect me!” she begged the grandmother. But K'alia's mother was standing nearby and the woman was cowardly to a fault. The mother screamed: “No! We can't get involved in this! What if he comes here and tries to kill us all? I won't allow it.” and she and the grandmother fought over it, the grandmother screaming at her daughter, saying: “We have to do something! We cannot let that girl die. Your son is in love with her... what will happen to both of them if we don't act! We can call the police, we can...” and still the mother's heart was hardened and she would not listen to reason. “I won't hear it any further. I will have Carey and Crystal come and take Andrea back home. As for my 'son', let that freak just pretend he never met the girl. You hear that, freak? You never met her! Just forget she ever existed.” and K'alia screamed: “No! I love her! I won't allow her to die... I will protect her myself if I have to.” and the boy's mother sneered through grit teeth, her face red with anger and hate as she shrieked: “You two haven't known each other long enough to call it love! And you can't protect her if you can't get out of the house.” And with that, the mother ordered the grandfather to drag the boy off to his room, where the two of them proceeded to lock the door from the outside. Previously, they had nailed the windows shut as well. So K'alia was literally made a prisoner in his own room, in his own home, by his own family who had not only betrayed him, but they had betrayed his beloved Andrea as well. Carey came over, with Crystal, and the two girls took Andrea away. They drove off in their car to take her back to her father. Back to her death! K'alia screamed and cried and shrieked, but it was all in vain. He could not escape no matter how hard he had pounded upon the bedroom door, seeking to break the lock. He was, at the time, so skinny, pale and sickly that people said he had a skeletal appearance. “If only I was stronger!” he screamed, lamenting that he could not break out of the room that had become his prison cell. Two years later, he had learned from his cousin Carey that Andrea had died. She had died the very night they had taken her back to her father. He had beaten and strangled the girl to death. The police were called to Andrea's house, where they promptly arrested her father for the murder of herself and her little sister. But nothing came of it! It turned out that the family did not yet have their green cards, were not yet American citizens, and so the father was sent back to Romania to face justice there for his crimes. It turned out he was Muslim and swore that his wife and two daughters had been “corrupted by the decadence of the West” and so he had murdered them because of that sick excuse. Romania was a communist nation at the time... they had no tolerance for religious excuses for murder, and so the man was said to have faced a more harsh and brutal (but just given his crimes) fate than ever he would have in America. K'alia always hoped that they put the evil man to death painfully for what he did. The boy often fantasized about finding that evil man and cutting his skin off slowly, making him feel the same pain and suffering that he had inflicted upon those two poor innocent girls. To make up for being so skinny, he had practiced with knives so that he could protect himself and those he loved. He was quite good with them too, though he had never until now actually wanted to use them to take a human life. Andrea had been the boy's one true love. He would never forget her... even if he had to keep her alive within himself! He wanted justice... for her sake. That was how it began, for K'alia... the path that led the boy, now a girl, unto that distant valley.
The blackness dissipated, the memories ending as time returned to the present. K'alia was crying piteously on the floor of the garden, being held like a small child in the arms of its' mother; being held by Dana. K'alia was older now... so much older... than she had been when Andrea died. Older, stronger, and bigger too. She was no longer weak and sickly as once she had been, though she still had her fair share of ailments. But in her heart, she was only a scared and terribly frightened child who was lost and lonely.... seeking to find its' way back home. To wherever home truly was! Memories were returning to her in a great flood now. She had met Dana once when she was seventeen years old, at a local park near her family's house. One year after the terrible summer in which she had lost Andrea forever. She remembered how it had been in July when Andrea was taken from her, and one month later in August she had made a pact with the spiritual powers and old deities of the land up at that park. Since she had turned fourteen years old, she had begun by practicing the mystical arts of the ancient Dark Druids... and she had trained herself in the magical arts both light and dark alike. She had found certain groves that held sacred powers, and she went there to tap into those powers in order to make them her own. She had practiced other arts as well... communing with the spirits of the dead through necromancy and various rites and rituals of the Voodoo faiths and traditions. She had carved her own staff, created magical wands, and experimented with crystals in order to discover their mystical properties. But that one, singular year when she was sixteen, in that August of which was spoken previously... she had been visited by something other. From her fourteenth year onward, K'alia had drawn the attention of the ancient dark goddess Lilith... and Lilith had appeared not only to her, but to her mother and to her cousin Carey as well, often when they went for walks in town. Finally... during that darkly auspicious August... Lilith came to K'alia's house in order to awaken her fully. Earlier that month, K'alia took a hammer and smashed the lock from her bedroom door. She then took hammer and pliers and removed the nails that had kept her room's windows from being able to be opened. It had been a terrible year for her, all in all... in which she had suffered many things more than just her beloved's death. It had all led up to this night! It was very late in August, nearly September, when Lilith came to K'alia by rapping upon one of her two bedroom windows until K'alia opened the window and let her in. Lilith was pale, with bone-white skin and jet black hair with large black eyes that had no whites in them at all... wearing a black jumpsuit that seemed to sparkle and shimmer in the light. What transpired between them, cannot be spoken of! But out of it, K'alia had been changed in countless ways. She had gained unnatural physical strength, had all of her past-life memories fully awakened within her, and she knew both her own true name and that of Lilith as well. The alien blood K'alia had inherited from her biological father, who was not of this world... it activated through what Lilith did to her. Lilith had been K'alia's soulmate once, in bygone ages of history, back when K'alia was known as Samael... and now, there was nothing that K'alia could not remember. “One year from now, you are to go to the park. And there... someone will be waiting to speak with you, and to awaken you the rest of the way further.” Lilith had thus instructed K'alia. And for three nights after that first evening... Lilith returned, each time rapping at the window and asking to be invited into the house. On each of those successive nights, she continued to change K'alia, to make her like herself. Something... other. Something far less human than what K'alia had been up until that point. Something... more, than human! One evening, during the winter months, K'alia awoke during the night to feel a presence in her room. Turning on the light next to her bed, she saw Lilith standing by the closet door. Then, quite suddenly, Lilith took the form of a half-woman and half-wolf creature, who came over to the bedside and licked K'alia's hand as she lay there too frightened to move. Lilith bit her on that occasion, and the bite hurt and drew blood. The next day, it was still there, proving this had been no dream, but real. Then came the following year... the following August, the time of which Lilith had spoken. A fateful month indeed! There are certain moments that change a person not just in small ways, but in every way. Once changed, there is no way back... and sometimes that can be good.
For that was the year, and the month, in which K'alia walked up to the local park and there... in a place where all was sandy like a tiny desert surrounded on all sides by vast pine forests... that she met with Dana. Dana had appeared to her only once before, when she was fourteen years old during a Druid ritual that she had conducted at a pond not far from those pine forests. On that occasion she took the form of a water elemental that took the shape of a woman made of water, who emerged from the waters of the pond to grand K'alia a blessing. It had been at sunset when that occurred. And on this occasion, it was sunset once again! K'alia had turned her back on Christianity earlier that day, jumping out of her mother's car on the way to church and running to the park instead. She had wandered in those woods for hours, getting quite hopelessly lost as sunset came on and it seemed as if night neared. When she first arrived at the park, she came to a path that wound through the woods near the park's entrance and led to the local middle school nearby. It should have been difficult to get lost there... but the woods were bewitched that day, and led to still more woods. The sound of crows and ravens off in the distance someplace rang out... and off the trail, in a thick grove of trees, K'alia beheld a being of light standing there, pointing to a trail that she had never seen before. The being had no gender, wore a long white robe, and its' face was covered by a hood and a reflective metal mask that looked like a mirror it was so bright and well-polished. The being did not speak... it merely pointed the way. And K'alia followed the path that lay before her, following the directions indicated by the being of light. It was getting later and later... the girl (for female is what she saw herself as now) had passed through a series of increasingly frightening, otherworldly places as she made her way through those strange woodlands. The first place was an old wooden plank bridge across a swampy stream in between two massive hills deep in a dark forest. Beyond that, she came to an even darker stretch of woods in which she could head behind her the sound of a wolf, and yet when she turned around there were only ghostly paw prints forming in the dirt and mud of the trail. Past that, she saw a familiar sacred grove, one that she had been to before in the enacting of her Druid rituals and witchcraft. How had it come to this forsaken place? She could not even begin to speculate! There was a massive tree in the center of the grove on this occasion, and it was bleeding a kind of reddish sap from its' trunk. Then... there was a terrible place, all darkly wooded with only shafts of golden sunlight poking through here and there. There were what looked like mounds of leaves and earth, and from out of one lumbered forth the apparition of a woman's decayed corpse. It shrieked like a banshee from ancient Irish Celtic legends, before returning to the earth to rest once again. “Where am I?” K'alia wondered, thinking she must be in the afterlife. Finally, beyond there... she came to the desolate region where nothing could grow, for there was only sand everywhere, in great mounds and all upon the ground, so that it seemed like a tiny desert in the middle of the surrounding forests. It was hot, and it was nearly nightfall. The girl sat down on a log to take a brief break from all the walking. It was then, that Dana came to her. She was impossibly tall, and dressed in a black gown with a black hooded cloak to hide her face. She came forth from out of the woods, leaning heavily on a walking staff she carried as she did so. “Greetings... may I speak with you for a moment, sibling dear?” she began. And K'alia replied: “You may speak with me, but you are mistaken... I am an only child.” And the giant woman stated: “It was not in this life that you once called me sister. But you did call me such of old, all the same!” and then she leaned over towards K'alia and cast her hood back to reveal her face. She was pale white, like Lilith, but with long platinum blonde hair that was almost white. Her eyes were all green, with no white in them at all... and they seemed to glow unnaturally. The girl was quite frightened, and gasped. Dana cautioned her, stating: “Be not afraid, but calm yourself! I am here to awaken you... fully... to yourself.” and with that, she picked K'alia up and kissed her passionately as a lover might after throwing her walking staff to the ground. A strange green flame enveloped the pair at that moment, and K'alia was changed by it still further. The tall woman finished the embrace, setting the young girl down... as sparks of green flame still drifted from both of their mouths. Dana then placed her palms upon the girl's temples, on both sides of her head, and in a flash more ancient memories returned and K'alia remembered her sibling well after that. Knowing Dana's true name as well! Once this was done, and they spoke at length for some time thereafter... Dana went back towards the woods, where she turned into a flock of ravens that flew away into the forests out of sight. K'alia tried to follow after them and went into the pine forest for some time, until early night had fallen. She came at length to a place where countless ravens and crows lined the trees on which they were perched. There were so many there... more than was natural, more than the girl had ever seen before in her entire life. The birds swarmed all about her like a cloud of insects... and did not harm her. After doing this, the birds flew back up into the trees and were lost to sight once again. Taking this as an omen, K'alia turned around and upon leaving those woods she found her way back to the familiar paths that led eventually out of the park. When she got home that night... she was like a totally different person.
Back to the present, K'alia had stopped crying at last and stood up. The garden was beautiful once more, the red roses and other flowers in full bloom as if by magic. Beautiful Dana was holding her in her arms as one might a cherished child... and the queen was wiping the tears from the sad woman's eyes. They each got to their feet, adjusting their clothes, and trying to just breathe, taking in the air without thinking about the darkness that had descended only just before. “Where is Andrea, sibling beloved?” asked Dana, and finally K'alia understood the meaning of her question. “I have been keeping a part of her alive... through me. Through choosing to live as a woman, and choosing to be as good of a woman as Andrea would have grown up to be, had she lived to the age that I have lived to.” Her once-dearest love had become, over time, K'alia's role model. The pattern of femininity that formed the very blueprint for the woman K'alia became, later in life. And then, suddenly, Dana reached out and touched her one-time sibling's chest. A faint emerald green light was there, much like a heartbeat. “It is more than that, sibling beloved... for I sense Andrea's spirit within your body. She loved you so much, that even after death she could not bear to be parted from you. She has become not only your spirit guide, should you come near to death, but she has also taken refuge within you.” And the irony of that was not lost upon K'alia... she who had walked the path of a necromancer once, and who had sought to learn from the dead. She who was now host to the deceased soul and spirit of the one person in all the world whom she had loved more than life and living itself. How much of K'alia, as a woman, was still she herself... and how much of her was in reality Andrea this whole time? She would never truly know, she could never be truly certain. All she knew, was that she wanted to be happy, to know peace. To go home, at this point. And then, Dana stood to her full height, seeming to grow to gigantic proportions. Wings of light emerged from her back, six in all, and out of K'alia's back emerged six wings of shadow as if in response to this. Dana smiled serenely, saying to K'alia: “Be not afraid!” and put a finger to her lips as she said this. There was a flash of light intermingled with utter darkness, and there was lightning and thunder. When the storm cleared, when K'alia could see clearly once again as the light and darkness dispersed... she found herself at the familiar park near her old home. But it was only a memory, for she lived someplace else now! Walking towards her family's old house, she could smell he scent of lavender and lilac in the air... Lilith's perfumes of choice. Lilith came out of the cemetery that ran from the outskirts of the park all the way to the pond in the center of town. But it was a very different Lilith than the one K'alia remembered. This time... the ancient goddess had taken the form not of a beautiful woman but of instead a beautiful child of twelve years of age. The little girl was wearing a frilly black dress which appeared Victorian in style, and her black hair was curly and frizzy rather than straight as once it had been. Black bloomers peaked from the bottom of the girl's skirts, and matching black shoes adorned her small feet. Her skin was still bone white, her eyes still black with no trace of white in them whatsoever... and her lips and eyes were adorned with black lipstick and black eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara... very Gothic in appearance. The overall look of this little girl was, for the most part, what is popularly termed “Gothic and Lolita”. She ran up to K'alia, skipping playfully as she did so. “What are ya doing here, K?” she asked, and the woman answered the child, saying: “Looking for a way back home, to where I live now. Can you help me, Lilith?” and the child smiled, sang a silly nonsense song for a bit, and then said cheerfully: “Sure! Why not? I'm kinda bored right now anyway. It gets boring escorting dead people to Heaven and Hell all the time. I need a break once in a while from all that depressing stuff. There are others who can fill in for me when I just wanna come down to Earth and have fun for a bit!” And she reminded K'alia that this was because Lilith was the current Angel of Death, though there were many others of lesser stature, and it was they she spoke of when she talked about those who could fill in for her. She then reached out her hand, indicating for K'alia to take her hand into her own, and the two walked into the cemetery like that, hand in hand. “Do you still love me, K?” Lilith asked the woman, and K'alia replied: “Yes, I do. Although, I do wonder why you chose this form to appear to me with, rather than something more... of age.” And the little girl giggled, blushed a bit, and explained: “Geez, K... you should know by now that Death is not about being in your comfort zone. It is about sometimes going outside of it, into the realm of the taboo, the forbidden, even the frightening.” and she said this with all the innocence and playfulness of a real child. Eventually, they came to a place near an old mausoleum that had never been in that cemetery before.
Then, the little girl began to dance and spin around, and there was a flash not unlike lightning but blue in color... and when the flash subsided, Lilith was adult in form, but with her face a bleached white skull around which her hair formed a dark mane of ebony night. She touched several nearby tombstones and they broke and shattered apart at her touch... before a violin appeared in the embodiment of death's hands. Lilith began to play a sad and mournful tune on the instrument. “Is this more what one expects Death to look like?” she asked of K'alia. “What a joke!” Lilith exclaimed before taking the violin and shattering it upon the hard stong of the old mausoleum. “This... is not... the real me.” she cried, sounding sad and dejected. K'alia could sense Lilith's despair. “I never did see you in such a horrible and frightening way.” K'alia explained, trying to console her beloved goddess. Lilith sighed, and then snapped her fingers after which she was the beautiful little girl in the pretty dress once again. Little Lilith tried to wipe the tears from her eyes, but only seemed to succeed in smudging her makeup quite a bit. “I am just a child at heart, you know.” Lilith explained plaintively. “Just like you, even though you try to act all grown up most of the time!” And K'alia could not deny this, admitting at last: “It is... how I try to keep myself safe from those who would otherwise seek to prey on my innocence and hurt me.” And with that Lilith stated: “So what really is the difference between us? I mean... I look like a little girl right now. But inside your heart, your mind, your soul and spirit, K... you are a little girl. Like silly Peter Pan, you never truly grew up. Not fully! You can't.” Then the child goddess came over and caressed K'alia's face tenderly, whispering: “That... is why I always did love you so very much, K. In all your lives, in all your forms, in every flesh you ever walked in! Because deep inside... you are still innocent, despite your darkness. And so... how then is darkness evil, if the light of innocence yet dwells within its' heart?” Then, somehow, the conversation turned towards a discussion about fear. Black faceless wraith-like things flitted between the trees in the deep, dark forests beyond. They made no sound, but they were there and K'alia saw them and felt a strange, unusual sense of dread that she could not explain. “I am not usually this... ill at ease... in such surroundings, Lilith. Why do I feel this way here and now, when I have seen such sights before, and was unmoved by them!” and upon hearing this, Lilith sighed deeply while looking up into the older woman's eyes. She then started to talk about fear. “Fear... is a natural thing to feel, K. I used to feel it a lot too, a long, long time ago. When I looked... pretty much like I am looking right at this moment. A little girl, maybe not a very smart one either... who just wanted to fit in, to find where she belonged. Do you know what made me stronger, what taught me to not be afraid any longer?” and K'alia shrugged her shoulders. “No... what?” she asked. Lilith replied: “You. You were my strength... you were what changed me and made me able... to face anything really. Back in the beginning... the first beginning, at least for us. Let me... let me be your strength now, K. Let me see... the old you. The original you.” And K'alia gazed deeply into Lilith's black, featureless eyes in which no light was reflected. In them, the older woman felt endless comfort. “I am here, Lilith. I have always been here.” she said. Lilith smiled, nodding her head in agreement. “I know, K. I know everything about you and that is how I have always been able to help you to learn everything about yourself. I just... wanted to see you acknowledge your divinity is all. To be done with pretending to be mortal just because your flesh is mortal. To no longer sell yourself short.” K'alia smiled, nodding in agreement, before admitting: “I have... for a lot of years now... been doing that, haven't I? Selling myself short... settling for less than what I deserve out of life. Lilith... what do I deserve the most out of life?” And the child clasped the older woman's hands in her own, shaking them as she said eagerly: “Love! You deserve to be loved... because you have loved others so much and so selflessly, and yet so few are those who have loved you. You deserve to be loved and adored! You have said, and I've heard you say it too... that love is the birthright of all who live. Well, K... you are among the living, are you not? Then let me... let Death... show you how to realize that you are more truly alive than you have ever realized before.” Lilith then drew in very close... K'alia could smell the sweet scents of the girl's perfumes, and found them intoxicating. The child's eyes then seemed at last to sparkle with a mysterious inner light... like stars in the void of space. She smiled broadly, her perfect features like a porcelain doll's in their magnificence. “We are soulmates, K. Soulmates! You are still Samael, and you always will be. I know you more deeply than even Andrea did... and that girl saw more deeply than even she ever knew. She was sweet, she was love itself... but she is gone now. Long gone, for many decades now... you need to stop mourning her and move on. She wanted you to do so! I know... because I am Death. Who better knows the dead, than I?” K'alia began to weep a bit, her lips quivering with sorrow. She muttered: “Lilith... I... you are right. I... have been trapped in the past for so long now. But you... you are right!” at which Lilith was glad in her heart to hear. “Come on, K! Let us... do something, anything, to change this heavy mood. Embrace me, my love... hold me close and tight in your arms. Let old thoughts of old losses and lost loves pass from your mind, if only for but a brief moment! Honey, please... let me help you. Dana herself had intended this!” And then, a strange sensation came upon K'alia. It was familiar... the stirrings of a love older than any she had ever known in her present life, in her current incarnation. Lilith was that love. Death herself. What did it mean, if Death was one's soulmate? What did that make K'alia! But she knew, and she realized that she had been afraid of accepting this fully for all the years of her life until now. Those stirrings led to other stirrings, and the chill of the night seemed more apparent in that hour.
“Are you scared, K?” Lilith asked, and K'alia confessed that she was not. “Are you afraid to kiss me... like you and Dana kissed?” she then asked, and K'alia's mouth dropped open in shock. “But Lilith... you are a little child now. It...” and the little girl giggled mischievously, blushing as she did so. Lilith then said: “But it's still me, K. I'm still the Lilith you remember! The Lilith you loved, and who loves you. There aren't any laws in this domain... we are between life and death right now. No one's going to know, and no one's going to tell on you if you kiss me like I want you to.” And K'alia could see errant souls and spirits and ghosts here and there all throughout the cemetery and in the woods beyond. “Am I dead, Lilith?” she asked, and the child answered mysteriously, saying: “Maybe... maybe not. I couldn't say either way. It's against the rules!” and she starting humming some song or another. She then bent down and rained childlike kisses upon K'alia's hands. “Kiss me, K... and I will take you home.” Lilith said, this time in her adult voice, but still very much in the form of a twelve year old child. K'alia struggled to find the right words to say, not wanting to offend the very embodiment of death itself. But she could think of none. A weariness was upon her from her long journey. She knelt to the ground in exasperation, her hands on her face, sighing. Lilith sprung forward, and wrapped her arms about her in a big hug. “I love you, K. More than anyone else in the universe, I love you. My Samael. My soulmate.” and it was the child voice again when she said those things. “Even Death gets lonely sometimes. Don't leave me alone in this darkness, K. Kiss me! Please...” and Lilith began to tenderly kiss K'alia on the arms, the hands, the face and the head. But K'alia did not sense the presence of a child as this was happening. She sensed the woman who had come to her when she was sixteen years old. The woman she had made love with and who had changed her into... what she was now. She was like someone with sleep paralysis just then... she could not move, as Lilith's kisses grew more intense, her tongue licking here and there on the older woman's face, nibbling the older woman's ear. The child's demeanor became more and more insistent and demanding. “Kiss me!” she kept whispering, her voice taking on seductive tones. “Who will ever know? It can be just our little secret!” and finally K'alia felt ready to break down, to give in to whatever Lilith wanted, if only to get home again. Sensing this, Lilith became an adult suddenly... of about thirty years of age... with large breasts, full hips, and a generous figure. But she was still dressed in the “Gothic Lolita” style she had been wearing as a child. This was far easier for K'alia to give in to! And give in to Lilith, she did, allowing the male part of her to indulge in every forbidden lust that Lilith had to offer. They made love for some time in the cemetery, the crickets chirping, the night birds and night insects making their sounds, and the moon pale above in skies black save for the stars. “I love you, Lilith! I have always loved you.” K'alia spoke, and Lilith replied: “And I, you.” and for a moment the two ancient lovers were happy. They closed their eyes, and they fell asleep. When K'alia awoke, she was back home again... to her current home, where she lives today, in the American Midwest. “Andrea... forgive me.” she whispered on waking from the out of body experience she had just been through. “I was near death, and in Death's embrace.” But then she realized, she had nothing to be sorry for. Andrea understood, and K'alia could sense this. “Lilith was your soulmate long before I was.” Andrea's voice spoke in K'alia's mind. And it was true. It was not long after this transpired, that K'alia was diagnosed with a rare condition whereby it was discovered that she had essentially a mind that was stuck at about the level of a child herself, due to childhood abuse and trauma. That was why Lilith had appeared to her in the form of a child... because she sensed this about K'alia. K'alia's mind would never totally ever reach full adulthood, no matter how intelligent she was or how much she had studied. Even a child can be smart, she realized one day. “And I am! I am smart, and I am beautiful!” and so she began a path toward healing. She was still strong, she was still confident, and she could still help others. All of this had happened exactly one full year before she reached her forty-seventh birthday... though in her out of body experience she had been precisely forty-seven years old. “I think I saw my future, in a way.” she mused one day as her forty-seventh birthday was upon her. Oh, she had been helping people even long before moving out to the Midwest! Long before she knew fully about her childlike condition. But now, she did so with more fervor, more zeal, and more compassion than ever before! One day... someone told her that her spiritual teachings somewhat unnerved them because they were not what the person was raised with, or what they expected. K'alia replied to that person, saying: “Truth is not about being in your comfort zone. It is about sometimes going outside of it, into the realm of the taboo, the forbidden, even the frightening. The truth does not require your belief, or your faith in it either. It simply... is. And it will still be, whether you choose to believe me, or believe in me, or not.” And it was in that moment especially, that K'alia realized she was very much like Lilith indeed.