AN: This chapter tells the tale of Lapis Sikes and Chastity Lilly, Leon’s ancestors. This story is told in third person, though it basically covers the same thing Leon is reading. (Though, it does end in first person with Lapis’ final diary entry). PS: It was written using speech to text and I cleaned up any mistakes I could find. Hope there aren’t any other mistakes, but if there are I apologize! Anyway, Enjoy!
Lapis kneeled down in the front of his small house given to him by the man he worked for, Chastity’s father. It was by no means a large abode, but it served it’s purpose. All Lapis could really ask for was a place to stay. Anything else was a luxury. After all, he was working off the years of money his father owed. There was a light tap on his door, unlike his usual visitors. This knock was gentle, hesitant almost. Lapis pulled open the door to reveal the object of his affections. “Chastity? What are you doing here?”
“My hair,” She replied, reaching up to touch the now short ends of it. “Do you like it?”
“You cut all of your hair off…” Lapis replied in shock, as if just noticing it for the first time. “Why?”
“That didn’t answer my question!” Chastity cried. “You hate it, don’t you?”
“No, of course not!” Lapis cried in return, coming to his senses. “You look even more beautiful than you did before. I am just shocked is all. You’re not wearing your typical gown and hair style. What must your father think?”
“To hell what he thinks!” She exclaimed, raising her voice. “I do not live under his thumb any longer.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Lapis asked, stepping forward towards the girl. “Please tell me you did not abandon him.”
“And what if I had?” Chastity challenged. “Do you think I would simply allow him to parade me around as his trophy daughter for the rest of his days? No! I refuse to be a Lilly any longer. I wish to be a Sikes.”
“You’re making a mistake!” Lapis cried suddenly, stumbling backwards towards the door with a hand on his heart. “You have disgraced your family.”
She frowned, feeling a tear bite at her eyes. “Is that what you care about?”
“Yes, my love!” Lapis cried. “Of course it is what I care about. What of your inheritance and your fortune?” Realizing what he said, he let out a strangled noise. “No! I do not mean it like that. I am scared for you. Why would you give up your means of survival for someone like me? What can I provide for you aside from my love?”
“That is all I need,” Chastity said. “Your love. No fortune can sustain me as well. Please, have me. Say that you will.”
“Are you sure about this?” Lapis asked, eyes widening. “Is this but a dream?” When she threw her arms around him, he knew she was not joking. She had given up her life for him, stripping away even her hair and luxurious gowns. For, she believed in true love over status and wealth. “Then yes, I will take you as my bride. I shan’t care about anything else.”
But following love blindly, the pair learned, was not the way to live one’s life. Following one’s heart was a noble pursuit, but it didn’t cover everything that needed to be resolved. Chastity realized that quickly when Lapis was given an ultimatum. He would be fired from his job working for her father, and not having been able to pay back the money he owed to the man, Lapis would be imprisoned. It could be avoided if she chose to marry Reginald, but it wasn’t what she wanted. She loved Lapis more than life itself, and she wanted a life with him. But not if that dream would cause the love of her life to spend the rest of his days in a prison cell. She just couldn’t do it.
“I knew you’d be here, my love.” She heard Lapis’ sweet voice, but she was unmoved. She couldn’t find the will to rise from the ground she was lying on. “You will get sand in your dress, my sweet. Please sit up.”
“No, I cannot,” She mumbled. “It is truly not fair. Lapis, you must allow me to marry Reginald. For I love you, and there is no other way out of this.”
He was shocked to hear her admission. “Out of what, dear? What is the matter? Are you worried about my work?”
“You will be imprisoned! Besides, no one in town will marry us so we cannot use the dowry I am owed. We are stuck, and I cannot allow you to lose the only freedom in life that you do have.”
“There must be another way,” he cried, falling to the ground beside her. “We will do this together. We will face it.”
“Please. I beg of thee. This was a mistake. You mustn’t go to jail for me. Find a wife who you can marry and have a family with. Please, you deserve it.”
“So do you!” Lapis cried, taking the girl into his arms. “Is there no other way? There must be.”
“If you are in prison, I will have no choice but to marry Reginald anyway. My father has made it clear that he will no longer be providing for me. I shall need a place to stay, and I will have to be a wife to earn that.” The tears fell from her eyes as her whole body rocked with sobs. “At least if I marry Reginald now, you can continue working for Father until you pay off your debt.”
“We can run away together,” Lapis said. “It is possible to live a life free from obligation.”
“I do not wish to live on the run. It is not fair to you, Lapis. It is not fair.” She shook her head violently. “You cannot change my mind. I will marry Reginald if only to protect you, and when it is opportunistic, I will take what I can from him so that you may pay back your debt to my Father. After that, we can run away together when you have nothing holding you back.”
Lapis had no other choice but to agree with her, because he knew Chastity to be determined and strong willed. She would do anything to protect him, even marry a man she didn’t love. Divorcing him would be blasphemous, and she was willing to tarnish her name. All in the name of love. “My love…”
“Do not worry. I have eyes only for you. Reginald cannot stop that. He won’t ever.” She pressed her lips to his in as passionate of a kiss as she could muster. As if it was the last that they’d share together.
Today was the day that Chastity would marry Reginald. The thought of his beloved becoming betrothed to another man made Lapis’ his heart lurch. He had only excepted it because she had insisted so. Chastity insisted that it was everything she had wanted, and that in the end it would all work out. He did not think that to be the case. Why would she return to him, the indentured servant? Reginald was a valued member of society with high status. He could take care of her better than Lapis ever could. Reginald had money, he had a large enough estate to house the family, and he had the support of Chastity’s father. Even if Lapis had found some out from the money to pay off his indentured servitude, he would never get the approval of Mr. Lilly.
As the days had gone by, Lapis found himself thinking more negatively. Surely Chastity did not have feelings for someone of his status. Surely, she had abandoned him. While he was sure of her intentions early on, the time spent away from her and made him doubt. Even though he had not lost his job or faced any negative consequences of his passion for Mr. Lilly’s daughter… The dark thoughts would not stop.
“You know that she is better off without you, right?”
“Even so,” he mumbled. “I cannot simply give her up. It hurts too much.” The voice in his head got louder and louder until finally he could no longer take it. Lapis stood up on shaky legs, reaching for the wall behind him when suddenly his vision began to blur.
Lapis’ mind was filled with the image of the woman he loved. She wore a white wedding dress that left him feeling breathless. How could she look so beautiful for another man? It was dark around her as her heels dug into the ground. It looked as if she was in some kind of forest, lifting her dress as she ran. He knew that look on Chastity’s face all too well. She was frightened.
Lapis tried to speak, but no words left his mouth. He wanted to call out to her and let her know that he was there for her. But, where was there exactly? “Leave me be!” She shouted at the top of her lungs. “I owe you no explanation!”
“Oh? You don’t? You dirty wench! How can I marry someone carrying another man’s child? You have some nerve trying to trick me! You’re going to have to pay.” The other man’s voice was unfamiliar, but Lapis knew from the context that it must’ve been Reginald. What did he mean when he said that Chastity was carrying another man’s child?
“You know very well that you are only marrying me for my father’s money.” As Chastity ran farther into the forest, Reginald’s voice had seemed to disappear. Though, she was worse off now. The forest at night was no place for a woman, especially not a pregnant one.
“Well, hello there.” A sultry voice called out, stepping from behind a tree. “What is someone like you doing out here alone? I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re carrying a child.”
Chastity Reed stop the white for prying eyes. She took a step back cautiously. “I was actually just on my way. My fiancé is if you step behind me…”
“Oh…please stay and have a chat.” The man’s voice wasn’t quite menacing, but Lapis could tell that nothing good would come of it. But, before he could see anything else the image began to dissipate, and Lapis found himself back in his front yard.
Lapis’ heart beat began to quicken. Though he was safely in his own home, he couldn’t help but feel like something bad was going to happen. Chastity was wearing her wedding dress, and her surroundings were dark. That scene had to have been from her wedding night, which didn’t happen yet. He shut his eyes and tried to think of what forests were near Reginald’s Estate.
“Voice,” Lapis spoke aloud to himself. “Is it you that has done this to me?” He knew he must’ve sounded crazy to any onlookers passing by, but what else is he to believe? The vision he had just had seems so vivid, it left him shaking where he stood.
“You see the future, but it is not of my doing. The divines have chosen to gift you that power, but I do not understand why. You don’t seem very special at all.”
For the first time the voice is responding back to the questions he posed, rather than simply sneering at him. “This is no joke? Chastity will be in danger tonight? I must stop the wedding!” Though, he knew it would not be so easy. He could not simply march up to Mr. Lilly’s estate and demand an audience. He could not go to chastity herself either, as that would put her in a terrible predicament on her wedding day.
“Go to the forest, then. You seem to think you know where she will be.”
And go to the forest, he would. He didn’t know if he believed in the voice speaking to him, or he was simply crazy. But if there was even a small chance that his beloved was in danger, he could not sit back. Quickly, he ran back inside of his house and gathered a few supplies that he would need for his journey.
My hand shakes as I write this final entry. Though Chastity had wanted me to keep a journal in order to fill her in on everything she has missed while she was married to Reginald, I see no reason to continue. Without my beloved around whom this journal was meant to entertain, I have no one else to share my words with. Though, I feel as if I must give our story a proper conclusion. If not for my closure, for hers.
To be quite honest with you, I do not know what happened when I entered the forest that night. It had already begun to become quite late when I was finally prepared to leave my home. Though, it was not late enough for it to be as dark as it was in my vision. Which is why, the next part confuses me so much. When I entered the forest, I felt a heavy pressure on my chest. It was as if eyes were on the back of my head as I maneuvered through the thick grass. Each step I took made it seem as if the sky was getting darker and darker. I kept traveling through the forest, but I never heard Chastity’s argument with Reginald. By the time I stumbled towards a clearing, it was already too late. Chastity lie dead on the floor with blood splattered on her beautiful wedding dress. There were marks on her neck as if she had been bitten. But even curiouser, was the pool of blood around her stomach. I knew that they had taken the baby. Our baby.
And so, while I wish to end this record on a happy note, I simply cannot. Anger fills my bones and despair darkens my world. I have lost the only person that cared about me in this dreary world. I have been robbed the opportunity to raise a family of my own. And by whom, I do not even know.
I will not wallow in pity on the page. I shall keep those feelings of negativity furled within myself, because I am sure that is not what Chastity would want. But I will end this recollection with a simple promise. I will find the monster who did this, and I will take my child back.
The power of the divines pulses through my veins, and the voice of power speaks to me. I shall not fail in my quest.