With the outburst I had shown within the mind of Cai proving to have as little effect as anything else I had tried, I became rather willing to 'sleep' the days away. He had fallen into routine which was, while good for him, most definitely uninteresting, and when compounded with other factors... a bit tiresome. Because of that I spent a considerable amount of time between that day at Chell's house until the winter break out of touch with the world... If only the little slice I could see.
The winters on the Island were hardly anything different from the home in Washington, and in the four years since we had arrived it proved just as rainy. October through December were hardly the winter wonderland idyll of Canadian stereotype since more time was spent under an umbrella than anything else. I would tune in before the kid woke up on those days and listen to the sound of rain against the roof and the sidewalks just outside his window, the odd car passing-by breaking the monotony.
It was one of the first times I understood what the feeling of cold was, one of those October mornings. I did not know what the feeling of most things were actually was aside from the explanation of qualia. Cold feels blue, red feels hot, so on and so forth which were the childlike designations of faucets before they could determine letters. Without any light aside from street lamps filtering through the window it was calm serene. I always considered my abode one of the few places that was truly tranquil because of the nothingness it contained. In the rain, however, the fullness of it all was soothing but also very unique. The freshness of the sound, the darkness of the room...
I had been meditating as I had been during the times Cai was otherwise occupied (mostly during sleep periods), resting on my table with my legs crossed and the palms of my hands pressed into the slight ridges in the wood. Deep breaths of simulated air took a few moments to get used to (having to 'work' to breath is an odd sensation to fake) but once I had mastered that it was simple to transplant the noise. At first, at least.
With my eyes open and the sound of rain filtering through the columns it was... Odd. Off. In the great hall there should have been more echoing but with the much more reserved and muffled sound of the rain from the kid's ears it wasn't working well. The feeling, the sound of it all was off. So I tried to think of a few ways around it though at the time I was not particularly adept at complete visualization. I had managed to create tangible objects but the thousands upon thousands of them that would fall and splash were still beyond my reach.
Instead I put the great hall on hold and bringing my hand above my head I compressed the entire thing into a rubix cube so I could remember it much more easily later. With silence and again the abyss around me I instead focused on the Kid's surroundings. I had seen his room many, many times and despite the current amount of clothes and books hiding it, I still remembered what the mythical carpet looked like so it was a simple matter of getting an adequate visualization of his room and then...
No longer was I resting in darkness but now standing in front of the window in Cai's room. Well, not the real window but a fair replica of it based on how I saw it. The room was almost empty compared to the normal clutter without clothes and a bed taking up floor space. Instead my collection of memories lay in their normal wall unit and in place of the bed was my table. It was a perfect recreation as far as my eyes could see though I had yet to add in the sounds.
I creeped over to my table and with a wave of the hand shifted it over until it was against the opposite wall. Leaning against the wall I let the back of my head rest against the smooth plaster before closing my eyes. I counted to four and when I opened them let the sound of rain permeate the air.
Suddenly, the sound was given dimension which had been completely lacking before. With my eyes wide open and ears measuring the sound I could tell that the rain was outside, that it was falling on a roof above, that it was increasing in volume slowly... And it wasn't knowledge. It was experience. Which was the first time in my existence I had been able to do such a thing. Experience. Even if it was just the mockup of a kid's room, even if it was solely based on memeory and the things outside weren't even there.
I could still hear water outside. I could hear the rain on the roof. I could hear the passing cars. I knew where they were relative to me. And that was insanity to me.
Until that point I had knowledge of what was occurring around the kid. He would hear something and I would know that he heard it. It was not a matter of hearing it myself but instead a much more detached style of... Understanding what reality was. Not experiencing it. This was the first time she was 'experiencing it'.
And that's why I shivered. I finally understood what 'cold' was. Or maybe the concept of 'cool' itself. That you can be surrounded by things which you do not see, cannot hope to count, and will never touch you: But all the same it is there, and you will never know. It was the realization that this rain was all around me in its singular cacophonous lyric and permeated everything which made me 'experience' cold, if someone could call it that. It was convoluted. It did not make sense for reasons I could come up with for myself. It was what I had to live with, and was my first true fantasy of existence. I had wanted it for years but never truly, honestly, tried to grab hold of it.
That morning from some silly hour 'till the sun rose I lay there against the wall and listened to the sound of rain. My mind was empty and my body curled around this impossible prospect and drunk on the illusion. I could have wasted days in an infinite loop of that fake existence. But the rain, as it is wont to do at times, stopped.
The imagination was enough of a tide though. It pulled me back from the constant irritation and created a completely new hobby for myself which was independant of the child's acceptance or lack there of. I began to start a game of modeling the world at different times.
Despite that... There are more important things to discuss. While I did enjoy the task and challenge of creating carbon copies of the world there were some events in the life of the Child which were of importance. The first was an awkward schism between the kid and his new friends. The second was the discovery of some extended family far on the father's side.
The schism happened sometime in late October or early November when the kids were working in their classroom on something or another. They had been puttering along with their scholastic endeavours about as well as anyone could expect from the kids. They were forced to memorize basic maths or reading skills in between bouts of entertainment to maintain their focus. I was particularly impressed that teachers were able to force anything into their minds between the threats of puppet consequences to ill behaviour. Probably the only thing which surprised me more was the fact it worked with enough of the students to be effective. I had overestimated the maturity of my... 'Peerage'.
The issue at hand for these kids was myself, oddly enough. I had remained by far out of the range of acceptable conversation for a while so when K brought up dreams I hardly expected to be called on as evidence of something. That was the machination of kids that I never truly grasped until much later though... They may forgive, they may accept, they may learn, but the things they remember as children will for as long as they are willing to remain close at heart.
And dreams are some of the closest.