192 The Stubborn Little Guardian
Another thud sounded out into the empty void, disturbing the ash on the ground as the sound passed by.
The sound continued, almost rhythmic, but injected with a stubborn refusal to quit. The sound was Max, smashing his fist into the barrier that had confined him to this place.
How long had he been trapped here in this dead void? He did not remember. Days? Years? Time all seemed to blur and meld together in an indecipherable mess that got worse the longer he was here.
All Max knew was that Zoey was in danger on the other side of the barrier, and he had to get through it to help her. So no matter how long he had to smash his fists into the wall, he would never give up.
He smashed his fist into the wall again, but then realized his hand was no longer obeying him. Not even fazed, he simply switched hands and started punching the wall again, every time hitting the same spot.
The wall was already stained with his blood, his every punch splattering more across the surface until it dripped down and stained the ash below. He kept punching, ignoring the pain until his hand stopped responding, then he switched back to his other hand and kept punching some more.
He had repeated this cycle endlessly, the clothing that Zoey gifted him slowly healing the hand that was not in use while he punched the wall with the other. He barely even noticed it though, as his mind was solely focused on breaking through the wall that had trapped him here.
"-ax... Max… MAX!"
There it was. A voice, deep and heavy, drifting through his mind as if it came from the deepest depths of the ocean.
Max had only started to hear it since he had been trapped in this place and started working on tearing through the barrier. It seldom spoke, he did not recognize it, so he had simply ignored it. For all he knew it was a trick set upon him by this place to prevent him from leaving.
"Not a trick. If you paid attention, you'd know I've been here with you since the beginning."
If that was true, then why had he not heard the voice before?
"Maybe you could hear me, but suppressed the thought, choosing to ignore me instead."
Unlikely, Max could not think of a reason to ignore a voice in his head, especially if it had been there all along.
"You didn't want to know the truth."
What truth could that be?
"Even though your mother, Naomi told you herself, you tried to block me out because remembering me brought back the memories of her death."
Ridiculous! Max would never choose to forget anything about his mother!
"You tried to forget about me, not her. But my existence and her death are intertwined. Forgetting me, means you forget her death."
Never! Max could never forget about her! Even the bad things!
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"Then try, try to remember the moment of her death and what she told you that night!"
For the first time since he started to hit the wall, Max stopped, his arms going limp at his side. Then tears started to roll down his face as he realized that the voice was right.
He could not remember his mother's death.
That moment in his memories was shrouded in fog, suppressed and forgotten, just like the voice had said. He loved his mother, and had promised himself never to forget a single moment of her memory after she had passed.
But now he felt like he had betrayed her. He had forgotten the memory that contained her last words to him, a memory that was their last moment together as mother and child.
How could he have allowed himself to forget that moment?! What secret had been revealed to cause him to want to forget a moment that important?
It was time to find out. He could not allow himself to suppress those memories any longer.
It was time to remember.