The characters below are all mine, mine, mine and yes mine. They come from my warped imagination and I control their strings. If you'd like them to resemble a certain bard and warrior who am I to deny you your fantasies. The contents of this story in no way are meant to offend and I hope with all my heart that it doesn't.......
I must now warn you that this story contains relationships between women. There are a few kisses and hugs and references to the loving act.....Be warned. So if you are under age or find the above distasteful please move on to something more suitable.
The muse of creativity I again bow down to and offer my first born or a cookie, as for the muse of spelling and grammar I am still learning and beg her patience.
This is for all those who have lost someone close to them to show there is always light at the end of the dark tunnel......
Also for all the fans who have let me know how much my work has touched them and offered a way ahead for me. I cannot thank you all enough. J I think I have to add here, this is very high angst....Get your tissues now!
With that said let the show begin....
The voice was deep almost rumbling as I listened to it.
'' Yes I want to know... Wait. I need to know please.....''
I didn't know why I did. I knew that the answer that would be shown to me would be my worst nightmare, but over time I had torn myself apart seeing the visions in my mind. Replayed images of things I knew my heart couldn't take when I would finally be faced with them.
'' It will not be easy to see... you do know this? It might have been better if I'd never told you.''
I nodded, feeling my insides wanting to hide away and lock a door around my heart and soul so that they couldn't escape.
I heard the sad sigh. '' Very well I will show you where she is... After that you are on your own.''
I swallowed and waited.............
I didn't know how I had gotten there. Neither did I remember the journey or route I had taken. But here I was standing high on the cliffs hearing the gulls above my head, I knew this place, it was our place. I turned my head to the small cove letting my eyes trace the inlet as it snaked along the lip of the sea. I could smell the salt air now as I walked towards the path I followed downwards onto the sandy beach. My soul sighed as I saw the sun dipping low as if taking a drink from the azure blue of the water, faintly hearing her sigh as she touched the edge of the world.
Then I remembered why I was here, I searched the whole beach, holding my hand up to my eyes to cut the glare as I looked directly into the sun. I could feel the knot beginning to build as I began to make out two figures hand in hand walking towards me at the sea's edge. Even swallowing didn't clear the claw I now felt at my throat, one that was trying to squeeze out the air of my heart. I changed direction, quickly heading for the rocks that had fallen in last year's storms, keeping low so not to be seen.
I knew the smaller of the two immediately, how could I not. I had mapped every inch of her, my senses knew her, it was as if some force had tied a knot interlaced between us when we had become lovers, it tugged me whenever she was near. It was screaming Laura now, the vibration of her name was like the chord humming loudly within me, to the point I could feel it start to shatter parts of my soul in its volume. My eyes took in the play before me, watched as they smiled and laughed. As they neared I moved to the other side of the rock that was protecting me. They stopped not far from me, now I could hear her voice.
I closed my eyes as I felt the first tears.
'' Thank you Karen...'' I watched my lover smile as she looked up at the woman.
My gaze misted for a moment as I turned my attention to the woman. Karen? I knew that name. Then it came to me, Karen was the partner in Laura's law firm she had started a year ago. Was this how long this had been going on?
I felt the breath leave my lungs and I couldn't help the gasp, but they didn't seem to hear it. I was losing some of their words now as the breeze picked up. I shuffled nearer. I couldn't leave, I knew that I didn't want to hear more, parts of me knew that they wouldn't be able to take it, but at the same time the pull towards her was stronger, I yearned to touch her to kiss her.
I listened again, my fist clenching as I watched them embrace and stare into each other's eyes.
'' Thank you for what?''
Karen was smiling as she spoke, I wanted to hit her so bad right then as I watched her arm encircle my lover.
'' For being here, for coming with me, for being a friend... where do I start.''
I blinked as I heard the sorrow in my lover's voice, not understanding it. It surprised me it was so filled with pain.
Karen smiled knowingly, then wrapped both her arms tighter around. '' Hey come on, that's what good friends are for right...''
I bit my lip when I saw her drop a kiss to Laura's temple, feeling the jealousy growing.
Laura pulled back and cupped her hand to Karen's cheek. I felt like she had just slapped me just by that action. As I watched I could feel my mouth fall open. When she started to caress her face I nearly fell back, she did that to me how could she do that to her....
'' You are a good friend to me.... I don't think I would have survived this last year if you weren't with me.''
Her voice carried on the breeze and was so sweet to my ears, but what she was saying was tearing me apart. I blinked again. Last year? Had this been going on for that long? God was I that stupid to trust her? To give everything to her? This wasn't making any sense, were they lovers or not? Friends? Then why here at our beach, this was ours. No one came here, only us. Now she brought this woman here?
My head started to pound with all the questions inside it. My heart, well I couldn't feel my heart but I could feel what was left of it as the pain spread throughout it. My soul, god my soul was crying. But there was also rage now, bubbling and twisting like a serpent of lava through me, I felt alone and I ached. My jaw clenched so hard I could feel my teeth protest as my eyes took in the image of Karen reaching down and placing a long drawn out kiss on my lover's lips. I felt my knuckles pop as my fist dug my nails into my palm, as I saw Laura respond. I hung my head feeling my soul whimper away, felt my heart exhale its last breath.
'' NO.... Sorry ..... god Karen I can't....''
My eyes shot up as I saw Laura push her away, she stumbled backward, tears springing to her eyes.
I wanted to cheer, to yell, to run out and throw my arms around her. She hadn't betrayed, she was caught somehow. Yes that was it, somehow this woman held a power over her, and she was here because of that... But I didn't run out to her, something kept me rooted there. The not understanding, the what if this is the moment she has to choose our love or this woman's, and what if I run out and I spoil that, push her into a corner where I'd lose...So I stayed where I was and I watched, inside my soul was willing her to fight the temptation and to come home to me.
Karen stepped back quickly her face filled with shame. '' God I'm SO sorry..... I didn't mean ....it's just you're so god damn beautiful and I have wanted to do that for so long....''
Laura looked at her, wiping the tears, taking a long breath. I watched as she turned her gaze to the sunset, her arms wrapped around herself. When she spoke her answer was a whisper almost lost in the wind.
'' I know....''
They were silent for a long while, my eyes were locked on Laura's face, a face I loved with everything. The sun started to lose its light now and still they stood there, until Karen moved forward.
'' I am sorry.....All I can say is that I won't do it again until you want me to.''
I narrowed my eyes at her, then turned them to Laura as she turned.
'' What if I never want you to again Karen, can you handle just being my friend?''
Karen's head lowered for a moment, then she took a long sigh. '' Honestly I don't know... You know how I feel about you?''
My eyes played back and forwards between them as they spoke, my insides were a turmoil, half of me wanted to run out and kill Karen stone dead, the other half was holding up the hope believing in my love.
'' Yes Karen I've known for a while, but what I'm saying is that I'm not ready, I can't, I'd feel like I was betraying Ash.....''
That was it, I heard my insides yell yessssssssssssssssssssss, she hadn't betrayed, she was tempted but she didn't. God I loved her more that moment than I deemed possible, all those visions my jealousy had thrown up were wrong, none of it was true. I heard the small sob come from Karen and I felt a small spark of pity rise up for this woman. I know Laura is an amazing woman, compassionate, loving, beautiful, funny, I know how easy it is to love her. It had only taking me a heartbeat to fall in love with her.
I watched Laura step forward and take Karen's hand, making her raise her face to her, smiling as she brushed back her hair.
'' It's ok, I'm still your friend if you want me Karen, I'm sorry I can't offer more right now. Please come with me today.....I need you. Can you do that?''
My brow furrowed. I heard the pleading in my lover's voice as it almost broke at the end. What did she mean by ' Right now?' and 'Needed.'? I felt my heart slip down a notch to land like a lead balloon in my stomach.
When Karen hadn't replied I watched as my lover dropped her hand and sighed heavily.
'' I'm sorry I hurt you and I understand ok....'' She turned to walk away and Karen's hand grabbed her arm.
''Wait... I'll come.''
I saw Laura nod and wipe away the tears, a thankful smile coming to her lips when Karen reached down and took her hand, squeezing it. I didn't understand anything that was going on, I was so lost right then.
I watched them take the path up the cliff and I began to follow, I had no idea where they were going, I was so confused. All I knew was I couldn't let her out of my sight, I trusted her now, she had proved to me that she hadn't betrayed, but why was she here. I had tried to move forward and catch them up and just surprise the hell out of her and wrap her in my arms. But they always seemed to be just in front of me. So all I could do was follow for now until they stopped. They came to a stop under the big oak tree that we used to sit together and make love under. I felt my body hum in a different way as each sense replayed that beautiful moment when we gave each other fully under the night sky.
My gaze went back to them, they were standing together. Karen's arm had gone around my lover's shoulders, both their eyes fixed to a spot just behind the tree. My lover was crying, big heavy cries that raked her body as she knelt. Karen stayed standing, a look of utter sorrow on her face as she watched Laura, tears falling from her eyes as she stood.
I was so confused I had to see, even if they saw me I had to. They didn't seem to see me as I approached, I stood right next to both of them and they didn't respond at all, then my eyes fell to the area where she was knelt. I felt the kick to my stomach as I read the small stone.
Here lies my beloved Ashleigh Jane Marsh.
Stolen from me on September 11th 2002.
You will forever own my heart and soul until death.
I miss you Ash.....XXXAlwaysXXX
I couldn't breathe, this wasn't true, it was a lie, it had to be...I tried to touch her, to gather her into my arms and tell her it was a big mistake, but I stumbled back as my hand passed through her. Then I remembered as my mind showed me the truth. The smoke, the fire, the explosion, all of it, people's cries and a scream of knowing that the horror was real. The smell of fumes then finally the pain and the darkness. I remember screaming her name and begging her to forgive me for breaking our promise of always.
The sobs took me now, I fell right next to her on the grass, looking to her to make it better. Then a cool touch fell on my shoulder and I felt a light go through me that seemed to ease my pain. I looked up.
'' I warned you the truth would be hard Ashleigh.... But you have been tormenting yourself to the point it has affected her.'' His gray eyes turned to my fallen lover. ''It's time for her to let go and move on....It's time for you to let her go.''
I swallowed, standing turning my face to this shimmering light that seemed to know everything. '' I can't I love her....I need her.....'' my voice broke.
He nodded understanding, sympathy and sadness in his eyes.
'' I know and that love will be together again, but her life here hasn't finished and it is your choice whether she lives it alone or with someone who will love her and care for her. She isn't strong enough to let go on her own.....''
I wanted to run to the edge of the world and take time back, I looked at her seeing all the pain and sorrow now that I had missed on the beach. Then my eyes moved up to Karen's, part of me still wanted to rip her apart for looking at her the way she did. But I saw into her heart and there it was, she loved Laura with everything, she would never hurt her or betray her.
I looked at my lover again and I understood why I was really here. But the realization still made my whole being cry in torment, but the choice was to let my lover rot in her pain of sorrow and never to get on in life, to stay alone. I inhaled her scent, letting it move through me and from it I found the courage.
I'd always wondered about that question. Do you love someone enough to let them go? I had the answer, I loved her with everything....Yes.
'' How do I let go?'' even asking the question sent a sword through me.
He smiled and took my hand. '' Touch her heart....''
I knelt down her face only inches from mine, I traced my fingertips along her cheek and she looked up, question in her eyes as she looked around. Slowly I moved my hand inside her chest, watching as it became transparent, I felt the love there, god I felt it on my fingertips, it was so strong so full, yet I felt the sadness too that was spreading through her to consume her. So I gently cupped my hand around it and drew it to me, it glowed in my palm like a magical orb pulsing strength, moving outward expanding into my own love and merging. God I could feel her.....
I cried as I felt her love mould into something stronger within, filling my veins, moving into my own heart and soul. I felt the deep sadness I had carried as a burden that wouldn't let me move on ebb away as her love quenched my thirst of not knowing.
She gasped, looking directly to me as if for one moment she could see. I smiled then lowered my lips to hers. She closed her eyes for a moment, then when I pulled back her fingertips moved over her mouth as if searching for something that had touched.
I moved my mouth to her ear.
'' It's ok she loves you...... be with her. I love you my Laura and I will be waiting..... I will have your love for me kept safe until then......''
Although her ears couldn't hear my words, her heart did. I saw the new tears come to her eyes as she sobbed bowing her head.
I watched the shimmering light move behind Karen and whisper something in her ear I couldn't hear, then Karen knelt down and pulled my crying lover into her arms and I watched with a moment of utter sadness as my Laura returned the hug, knowing it was her first step to letting me go.
I stood feeling Laura's love pulsing through me, lowering my gaze to the offered shimmering hand as his voice rumbled through me again.
'' It's time to go back Ash....''
I gravely nodded, and as we walked towards the now open glow of the sunset I took one last look back. My soul froze as I saw her eyes lock onto me as she sat straight up, her hand going out to mine. I smiled back at her, when she sobbed I felt the pull of my soul string to hers and as the glow engulfed me I saw her smile and I knew she felt the same thing within her.
Then I finally let the light take me..........
I waited, and I watched the souls pass into the light around me, my smile showing them that there was nothing to be afraid of. Someone was always there to welcome them, so many yet someone will always be there when you arrive.
I knew why I was here this time, I had watched my lover's life unfold in front of her through the years. I had seen her join with Karen and move on, repairing the part that had died when I had. Saw their life in all its glory and happiness. Then when the time was right I watched her leave Karen after ten years simply because they didn't need each other anymore, a love that had passed beyond and into deep friendship. I had watched with my heart bleeding, as she pushed others aside from anything serious but she seemed to want that and I knew now it was her choice to make.
Finally I had watched her die, the cancer had spread through her quickly and her last heartbeat had sounded like a bass drum inside my own like a chime warning me of her arrival. Now I was waiting, I knew she would be here soon, I felt that string tug on my soul and I grinned, I knew who it was before I turned.
There she was as I remembered her. Her age of death at sixty-five didn't follow her into this realm, she came through as my memory of her age forty, nothing had changed to me. She looked lost for a moment, searching the vast clear blue area around us then she saw me and I saw the tears as she ran. I gathered her into my arms and just pulled her into me, and I felt her love inside that I had kept safe and warm for more then twenty years move back into her. We kissed and I could see the fireflies spreading around us and finally after all the time of being lost I found myself again as I felt the first touch of lost souls rejoined.
Thank you for reading, all comments welcomed. :)
Copywrite k.savage 26 July 2004.
''Lost souls.'' By Ladyhawke...