Chapter 65
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A peaceful, but lonely, month passed. Sadik was getting cabin fever. He found himself swimming in the pool more often than he used to. He had tried to get in the sauna, but his claustrophobia showed its ugly head again.

Which was ridiculous. The sauna was huge. Half of the second floor. Still, he couldn’t stay in the house for long periods of time. Nikola seemed to like it here, however. He spent his days playing with Eric and homeschooling him.

Which was good, Sadik thought. Maybe the boy wouldn’t ever need to find a job, considering they were never going to leave this place. But that didn’t mean he had to grow up ignorant.

And, Nikola had gotten access to the internet in here, somehow. It showed the news and everything until the twelfth of March, the day when they left. That was fine, Sadik supposed. It would take him an eternity to go through everything accumulated thus far.

He swam another lap in the pool and went out. Shaking his head like a dog, he stretched. Eric didn’t go in the pool. The near-death experience of Jake had given him a healthy fear of big bodies of water. At least, he wasn’t so afraid he made a fuss during bath times.

Sadik went back inside, grabbing the towel he had left by the door. He put on fresh slippers when he entered the changing room and quickly dressed. In his tight-fitting shirt and form hugging jeans, he felt like himself again.

He almost wanted to go outside to see if someone had made it to their house, for, Nikola had told him there were no barriers between territories, but he was sure that no one was out. Just like there hadn’t been yesterday. Or the day before that.

This couldn’t continue. He was slowly being driven to madness. He marched to Eric’s room, where he knew Nikola would be giving him a math lesson during this time of the day, and knocked on the door.

Furthermore, he heard footsteps, and Nikola opened the door with a wide grin. Nikola, Sadik now knew, had always been a bit of an introvert. For him, this must be like a little personal Heaven. But for Sadik, Purgatory was truly a Purgatory.

“We need to talk,” Sadik grabbed Nikola’s hand and tugged him out and towards their bedroom. Nikola was silent all the way, having fallen into step with Sadik when he realized that there was no getting out of this.

“Invite the others here, around the house,” Sadik begged and Nikola shook his head.

“The whole point of us being here is to protect Eric. I can’t account for the good behavior of vampires, werewolves and what have you,” Sadik’s eyes narrowed.

“For the good behavior of monsters like me?” Nikola’s expression wavered, having realized what he had said.

“All of them have a kill count,” argued back Nikola. Sadik looked around the room desperately.

“I feel like I am dead, these days,” said Sadik, and he put all the frustration he had been feeling for the past three weeks in his voice. “Like I am in a limbo.”

“But, you are,” answered Nikola, confused. “We are in Purgatory.”

“I don’t need you to remind me of that. You took over this place. Turn it around once more,” pleaded Sadik. Nikola’s eyes softened.

“I suppose I can interview some of the more peaceful people to see if they want to come. Let me just make a program for that,” Nikola sat on the big desk, where there were two laptops. He booted up his and began to type.

Sadik went out of the room without a word. He went and picked up Eric’s lesson where Nikola had left off. He was just adding the numbers now. Using his fingers to help himself. Sadik checked what he had so far and corrected the 13+18 one. Eric still had trouble with numbers bigger than ten.

Sadik busied himself with thinking up new combinations that Eric could solve and writing them down, as they boy mumbled his answers before writing them down. Nikola wanted to make a programmer out of Eric, one day. And so, the math lessons were the ones he spent the most time on.

When Eric counted his fingers for the second time and huffed in frustration, Sadik patted him on the back and the boy turned around.

“Dad, can I go play?” Sadik smiled, and he pointed at the boy’s coat.

“Dress up. We both need some rest,” Eric ran to his coat and his pen fell on the floor. Sadik picked it up and placed it on the paper. He stood up. His coat was downstairs.

Sure, it was warm outside. But Sadik felt improper playing in the snow in only a T-shirt.

“Dad, when is the snow going to melt?” Asked Eric as they moved out. He made a beeline for a ball that was lying on the ground. It was a volleyball one. The snow didn’t allow for soccer.

“Your papa doesn’t want it to,” Eric pouted and picked up the ball. He picked it up and threw it to Sadik.

“And, when are we leaving? Why is there no one around,” Sadik grinned. Whatever it was because most of Eric’s day was spent studying or because he had gotten tired of the snow, he had the same feelings about Purgatory as Sadik.

“No time soon. Perhaps never,” the boy fell down on the ground and his bottom lip trembled.

“I want to see Jake again! To visit grandma’s grave! To go to kindergarten!” Screamed Eric, and Sadik’s eyebrows rose. Was Eric throwing a tantrum? Well-behaved Eric?

“Niki is working on getting more people here, in this patch of land,” as Sadik spoke, the snow cleared and a road appeared. Houses sprout like mushrooms, and Eric looked at them with wonder.

A man exited the house next door and waved. Eric ran to him and hugged his legs.

“I am Eric and I like cotton candy and Ivar the bear!” Exclaimed Eric and the man chuckled.

“I am Harriell and I like this place even more now. Say, are my eyes deceiving me or are these roses?” Sadik grinned. Nikola hadn’t gone back on his word.   

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