Inconvenient, that is what it was. Living a century in not only his own head, but in everyone else’s too. Gossip of the grave, he half-jokingly called it. Because God was spiteful, and any creature that dare go against his perfect creation needed not only to be eternally damned but burdened as well.
The russet leaves layering the forest floor stretched out before him. Their brilliant colour disturbed only by the wet verdure, moss covered rocks, and fallen branches. Edward breathed in through his nose. A great swelling breath that lifted his ribs and forced him to relax his shoulders. The smell was intoxicating. Like the colour brown had lifted from the soil and now rolled with the fog, collecting other earthly and redolent scents.
Here, there were no thoughts to suffer but his own. Which were the hardest ones to bear. For what does one think when they have thought every thought, argued every opinion, and entertained every possibility? Travel? He had done that too. He was constantly doing it. Even now he was miles north of his home, the home that he and his family deserted and returned to every other decade, and he was tracing the grooves of the boulder he sat on to distract his brain. He had seen the world, the seven wonders, the different cultures and civilizations. He had read all the books he came across, pondered the meaning behind every painting he saw, studied philosophy and science and the meaning of it all. He had nothing left to do but think.
It was a monotonous and repetitive practice that he greatly despised. One would assume that after one hundred and sixteen years he would have had an original thought. But alas, all he had was noise. Boring white noise that, unlike other people’s thoughts, he could not suppress or distance himself from. His thoughts were not a faint humming in the back of his brain, they were a many great winged beasts ricocheting off the inside of his skull as if trying to escape from a cage.
Common remedies to his problem had proved fruitless. He could share his thoughts, but only some of them, and only with Carlisle. He could meditate but he had nothing left to meditate on. And exercising was a laughable idea. Even if he did not look it, he could not improve himself physically, and pretending that he was would be just as boring as sitting in the forest scratching at a rock.
Journaling was the closet he had come to peace. A corner of his room was adorned with a mess of journals. Each one filled completely, sentences ending abruptly on the last page of one and continuing on the first page of the next as if they were the same piece of paper. However, by his fiftieth year, even his words were repeating themselves.
Somewhere the low bellow of a moose turned Edwards head. Was he hungry? No, not enough to trouble a moose.
He wondered what it would be like to not have any thoughts, to be totally compos mentis. Or even if he had never developed the ability to hear anyone else’s. Would there be peace in the not knowing? If he had only ever had his own thoughts would he have figure them out by now? Would he have found a way to free them without risking his secret or his safety?
The rock finally cracked under his unremitting finger. A friend would be a welcome solace. A friend whose mind he could not read. He needed noting more from them, just friendship.