In 1153BC Nakia went into the temple of Hathor, insulted the goddess and was punished through immortality... doomed forever to be chained to the Earth and on February 23, 1999 we met her.
We've had the extreme blessing of meeting very incredible people over the years and up until that point and since we've not met anyone more intriguing or mystifying than Nakia.
The morning was brisk but exciting as Ash and I traveled nearly an hour to the location where Nakia was staying at that time. We arrived at a home best simply described as a sprawling estate, the house alone covering more than an acre of land. We pulled to a shut gate where a security guard asked our name, checked it from a list and wrote down the license plate number on our car. The gates opened and we pulled up a long, long driveway winding up a slight hill. The front doors stood well more than 10 feet tall and the man who opened them rivaled their height at less than 3 and a half feet shorter. Feeling much like Alice falling down the rabbit hole we walked into a foyer; gilding and marble at every glance. The lanky man directed us to a room that was presently empty and we took seats in chairs that were made of rosewood and red velvet. We couldn't keep our eyes still as they looked over the room; books, statues, paintings, ornaments and a grand piano gracing a corner of the room surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. We were slowly becoming intimidated when our anxious nervousness was interrupted by the host, his wife and Nakia entering the room.
You could not miss Nakia, her black hair was wavy, falling around her waist and her skin was perfectly olive obviously not tanned that way and her eyes were a strange shade of brown, they were so close to gold. She was striking and almost angelically attractive. We have met other immortals before but what Nakia had to say was the first time we ever heard it.
It is difficult to describe what it is like to meet an immortal. They have no sense of "newness" even when you meet an immortal who is severely aged they do not have any shade of humanity. Nakia was no different in that way. She was there but not in the way we or the hosts were there.
She looked at us for a few minutes before she spoke and when she did she said "There is nothing I have not seen, do not know or cannot predict and it is not because I was given power but because I have lived so long there is nothing that can happen I don't see. After more than 3,000 years I can look at any person and tell you what they are like, what they'll be when they grow up, what they'll do in life. I can tell you where the countries are headed, how many ways the human race will destroy themselves and I have nothing to do but watch, no escape, no relief." She had a look that could vaguely be described as indifferent but it was so far past indifferent.
I asked her, if it wasn't too personal, what happened that made her an immortal. She said after 3,000 years there were things she could not remember but that day was one she would remember for another 3,000 years as clearly as the day it happened. She said she was born into a family of stature and Nakia was a beautiful girl who blossomed into a ravishing beauty. Her hand was competed for by not only men in her home of Timna but by men in surrounding areas. She was so consumed by vanity and the power of beauty that she stormed into the temple of Hathor and blasphemed to the goddess that no one, even the goddess herself was more powerful and that her beauty alone would shine into the heavens and forever change Ra. She ripped the temple apart vandalizing it by spraying it with damaging oils and pelting it with heavy stones. It was within moments that Nakia said she was pinned to the floor of the temple, paralyzed and unable to move even an inch. The goddess Hathor appeared above her so close that Hathor's anger burned Nakia's face.
Hathor acknowledged Nakia's beauty and said Nakia would be bound eternally to her vanity, it would be all that Nakia would ever have. She said she felt like there was a burning sword plunging into her stomach for what seemed like hours and the pain was so great she passed out and when she woke she was curled in a ball still on the temple floor. She wasn't sure anything had really happened, maybe it was just a dream, but she felt different, as if she had lost a part of herself. She thought about it over and over for days and even went to the temple to give offerings. Slowly, with time she convinced herself that it was all a dream, nothing had happened. She went on to marry, live a life, have children but nearing her 101st birthday she began to feel as though this life would never be over and barely remembering what had happened in the temple of Hathor 77 years prior she stabbed herself through the heart to end a long and nearly painful life.
She said being immortal didn't absolve her from health problems, emotions, entanglements with relationships and not even death; she could die but she always came back and not in the sense of reincarnation. When you reincarnate you have attachments of the lives you've lived before and you may or may not remember them at all, most of the time you only remember a few lives. What Nakia went through is completely different, when she died she didn't leave consciousness. She felt mortality slipping away, the mortal body she was in died and she felt detached from everything only for a few seconds before becoming reattached to a mortal body and she remembered from being a speck in the womb all the way until her dying day.
She said over the years she has died hundreds of times. She was Nakia whether she was in a 6 month old baby's body or she was in a 90 year old's body, she was always herself. When she died in her original body after stabbing herself she lived a whole other life from being a fetus and she knew when she entered the fetus exactly who she was and lived for 9 months growing as a mortal. It wasn't a possession because she was the only soul in the body. She said the first time this happened as soon as she could walk she walked into a body of water near her new home and drowned herself at 2 and a half years old only to be reattached to another fetus within seconds of feeling her mortal body die. To those parents they lost a two and a half year old daughter, to Nakia it was confirmation she was an immortal.
She said she's killed herself every way imaginable and even lived out a long life but if she didn't intentionally kill herself she would live until the hour of her birth on her 126th birthday and immediately die from what was always ruled as just age and the process would start all over again. She said sometimes if she was born into a good life she'd live out her 126 years but most of the time she ended it one way or another and she said for a few hundred years finding interesting ways to die was entertaining but soon anything and everything lost its luster. She said the will to live, even if she was born royalty with every whim catered to, was gone and after more than 500 years on Earth the true and devastating realization of immortality sunk in.
To sit and listen to her was enthralling; it was tragic and intriguing. You always think you would like to live forever but as she described what immortality is really like I soon realized it was a prison and hell of the worst magnitude.
Nakia said that if Hathor had taken her emotions, her ability to feel and become attached that immortality would be more tolerable, but living life after life became more a chore and betrayl of trust and each new life she felt guilty and more guilty because she knew who she was and these mortals she was living with had no idea. They assumed, naturally, that they were sharing a life with someone unique and new as themselves, not an immortal who was chained to the Earth forever. She said it was really bothersome when she met someone she really liked and fell in love with because she wasn't the person they thought she was (a nurse, housewife, student, etc) instead she was Nakia the daughter of Ohebar who lived in a beautiful home in Timna.
She said the times she felt most guilty was when she was sick. Not being absolved from illness Nakia has died from consumption, pneumonia, cancer, even AIDS and the times when she was sick and her relatives and loved ones came around her to support her were the worst because of their sincerity and her insincerity not being human. She knew that she would die and go on to another life but they thought she was dying to go on to heaven and they would comfort her by saying "We'll all meet in the afterlife"... she knowing full well there would be no one for them to meet.
She told us about her third life. She had decided that she was going to see how long she would live. She was about 9 years old when she went to a stream that was clear enough she could see her reflection and when she leaned over the bank to look in the water it was her face, from her original life as Nakia at 9 years old staring back at her. She was so shocked she fell into the river. Every single life she has lived she has had the exact same face, Nakia, every time. Even when she was born into an Anglo-Saxon family she has come out the same every time, as Nakia. She said parents in those times would be confused but excuse it as being "somewhere in family down the line". She has lived with the same, beautiful face for more than 3,000 years.
Over the years and many lives lived she had at time felt close enough to a few to tell them the truth and she said none of them believed her; they thought she was kidding or became angry or truly concerned she was possessed or losing her mind. Eventually she stopped trusting any spouse or lover to tell them and confined herself to sharing only with the people who could understand. It was well into the 11th century AD before she found others who truly understood her plight and welcomed her.
She has lived around so many humans for so long that we are like blueprints to her, she knows you, exactly who you are, just by looking at you.
We talked for hours with Nakia about every subject imaginable and it was into the next day by the time we left Nakia. She had spent lives living normally just as though she were any other person and lives like this one where she spends it among those who can appreciate her and understand who she is. She is obviously tormented by her punishment and in several lives she did nothing but spend every day apologizing to Hathor and asking forgiviness to be made mortal again but without answer or redemption.
Nakia has become someone close to Ash and I both. We know a few immortals and each of their immortal punishments are different in ways, always stemming from a great act of defiance. I believe that someday mortals will be able to understand the now immortal mortals that live here but not without some real soul-searching and understanding.Tags: creepy hollows, immortal mortal, nakia, real immortality