Chapter 1: Forgive Me!
(Last installment of The Witch’s Pirate! Book 3)
If I had to give something back to the woman in front of me, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Crystal voice seems to go dry as she spoke.
“I did it to protect you, I remember now. I remember what really happened. I..” She swallows hard, not sure how to say it. I shook my head.
“Tell me,” I insisted. She lowers her head.
“The King and your cousin were the ones that killed your mother. I took the blame because he cast a spell on my eyes to make you believe you did it, a brainwashing spell or something,” she explains. I went still, as though a bucket of cold water is being poured over me. Trying hard to process her words.
“Forgive me, I was only trying to protect you. I couldn’t let you turn. Not in such a young age. Your mother begged me to protect you, and I kept my promise. I rather take all the hits, then let you suffer. I feel like the day my father sold me, but worse,” I couldn’t move too much. I fall back, looking blankly at nothing.
“Bayou?” Crystal wipes her eyes, looking straight at me. Remembering some pieces of it. I remember that it was her last day of the visit, that she told me that her mother told her that she can marry me when she’s sixteen, and she told me she loves me. Then she went out to do her business. I remember how worried I have gotten after a long period she left me. I remember when I finally found her, she was staring at my dead mother. I remember that she said she was the one that killed her. More memories start to surface in my mind. When we first met, when I gave her our first kiss. How I marked her to be my witch. When she would come to visit, I would get so happy. That she is my only friend that understood me. Every time we played, every day that we spent together, I slowly fell in love with her, even though I didn’t understand it back then.
Two things I can’t seem to remember, one, why did we lose our memories, and two, about my real father.
“I.. I remember the first day we met, I remember every single moment we spent together,” I told her, feeling my heart race. How much I loved her, and how she always brighten my darkest days. I remember each day we spent it with my mother and Max. Embracing each loving memory.
“You do?” she asks surprised. I nodded at her.
“You took the blame so I wouldn’t turn,” she nods at my words.
“In doing so, the spell backfired and caused the illness of my eyes. I don’t know why I haven’t gone blind earlier, but..” my heart’s thumping harder, filled with so many emotions. I couldn’t even name it all. This woman in front of me sacrificed her eyes for me? She sacrificed our friendship so I could continue to be that innocent boy I was once, for the next two years. She sacrificed her life so I can be happy. In doing so, she became miserable and thought of herself as unworthy.
“But I would have done it all over again,” she added.
“It was useless, I already killed, and will keep killing until my last breath or until we break the curse,” I told her. Trying to suck up everything at once. I finally lifted my gaze and stare at her.
“No, it was not pointless, you would have lived with a lie, a lie that would have eaten you and I for the rest of our lives,” she said honestly.
“I...I..” I had no words to say to her because her words are true, how is this fair?
“I’m.... Sorry, I couldn’t save your mother. I..” She starts her voice shaking, even more, remorse passing through her eyes. I shook my head.
“Stop it, please just stop it,” I begged her, she gasps at my sudden demand. I felt fresh tears roll down my cheeks. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I finally cried.
“Don’t apologize any longer,” I gasp, wiping my cheeks.
“What do you want me to say? I feel horrible for lying to you, but I couldn’t let you... I..” She groans, lowering her head down. I stood up, and dusted my pants, shaking my head. Crystal looks up at me. I ball up my hands, digging my nails inside my flesh.
“Bayou? What are you doing?”
“I’m going to kill my cousin, that’s what I’m going to do, You will not stop me in this one, I don’t care, but he will die, no wonder he named his daughter after my mother. He did it to mock me, to remind himself that his first victory to gain the ass king’s approval. First, I will go and confront Max, and get the stupid secret of my parents. What the hell did they do the King to anger him off this much.”
I can feel my curse pulse in me, my blood boiling even more.
“Think about it before doing anything. Even if you kill him, it won’t bring your mother back at all. Soon, we will learn the truth,” she pleads with me. I look down at her, undoing my hands, I can feel my curse slowly going away.
“Hate me, please just hate me, don’t forgive me. Throw me away, but think it through before killing again. You are stronger than any curse. I have faith that you will make the right decision. So far you have been doing so well,” she implores me, catching me off guard that I blinked rapidly while she stood up.
“Just say those words, okay. I’m ready. Say you won’t forgive me, as you told me the other time. Say that you hate me. I would. I hate myself right now. I think papa made the right choice to sell me. I deserve everything that happens to me. I couldn’t even protect you right. I couldn’t protect your mother,” she covers her face with her hands in shame. I stare at her with large eyes.
‘How can she? She didn’t do anything wrong,’ I gently took a hold of her hands, and place it down. She looks at me, with her bloodshot eyes. Grieve overshadows her eyes. I bend each knee down in front of her and lower my head down in shame.
“Forgive me, because of me, your childhood was ruined. Because of me, your eyes suffer. Because of me, you had your memories erased. Because of me, you took the blame for my mother’s death. I’m the one that you should hate. I am the one that you can’t forgive. Not I. How can I hate you? How can I not forgive you? You gave me so much, and all I did is acting like an ass towards you. I..” I didn’t even know how to progress this or say anymore. I feel so ashamed of myself.
“I don’t deserve you at all. Just walk away, please.” I begged, my heart breaking even more. My head starts to hurt as though it is ripping into two.
“You idiot,” she cries out, cupping my cheeks, and bending halfway.
“I can’t hate you, you didn’t do anything wrong. I told you already. It’s the king’s fault. Not yours. You didn’t know anything. How can I turn my back on you?”
Two broken souls, trying to take the blame, blame that the King caused in the first place. I felt my heart pound harder and harder. How can I do that? She did so much for me.
“I loved you so much in the past Bayou, and now I am in love with you in the present. My heart only and will always choose you. You have always been the owner of my heart. I would do anything in my power to protect you,” she tells me. I wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her stomach. She wraps her arms around me, kissing the top of my head. I can feel myself shaking with grief. She held me tighter.
“Once I told you, I don’t deserve you, and I repeat it. I don’t deserve you at all. Yet you keep staying by my side. Knowing now that you love me. I don’t know how to return everything to you.” I told her.
“You don’t have to owe me anything,” she replies. Bending fully in her knees, she cups my cheeks once again.
‘What the hell did I do to deserve her?’ I thought, closing my eyes.
“Then what can I do to repay you?” I asked her.
“Just don’t throw me away. Let me be by your side. Let me make up for those years we stop seeing each other.” she tells me.
“I’m a very selfish man,” I told her. She nods, smiling at me.
“Good, be selfish. As well, what a relief,” she gasps out, placing her forehead on my shoulder.
“Relief?” I asked, surprised.
“That you won’t hate me, I am scared. This is too much for me to handle. My head and my heart hurt already, but I can’t imagine what you are going through.” she said. My heart pounding harder. I lower my gaze.
“Emptiness is the understatement. I wish I couldn’t feel any longer. Life, sometimes stabs you right in the heart, when you aren’t expecting it. Since you came into my life, that emptiness has been filled with dread, ” I admitted to her, and I added in my head.
‘And hope, that maybe, I can stay by your side.’
“My poor pirate,” she whispers, brushing away the tears from my cheeks, using her small hands.
“I will stay by your side, even if you betray me, I can handle it,” her voice is so tender, feels like a soft mothering voice, trying to ease her child.
“I wish it was that easy,” I told her. She shakes her head when a hiccup escapes her.
“Life is not easy, but we take a step at a time.”
I stare at her deep, profound green eyes, watching determination play in her. I wiped my cheeks and we stood up once again.
“Are you sure?” I asked one last time, to make sure.
“Aye, I am,” she sweetly smiled at me, as she stands up and takes my hand. I lower my head and capture her lips with mine. She smiles sadly and kisses me back. Then we let go, and I straighten up.
“Why do you love me so much?” I asked her. She wipes her cheeks and blushes.
“I simply fell in love. My love for you isn’t a fairy tale. It is not filled with butterflies and sweetness. It’s so different from any fairy tale I have ever read. It's hard, and complicated and now is bitter. It gets me scared. I don’t even know if you love me back, it frightens me that you can leave me. I don’t want to run away either. I don’t see you as a pirate, but a man with a hard and painful past, that sets me on my toes. You stir in me so many emotions, which I never felt before. I want to protect you and make you happy. For the first time, I feel like a real woman, and not a silly girl, that hides behind fantasy romance books. You made me stronger and gave me lots of courage to overcome anything. Not once have you thought of me as an ugly woman, like most has been saying to me. Not once have you put me down. How can I not love you? I be a fool not to,” she said proudly, but her cheeks won’t stop burning red. I took a breath and pushed my emotions down.
‘Later, later I will come back, to ask for forgiveness,’
“Well, this isn’t a fairy tale love. Love does hurt, and it has its perks, and ugly? I never thought of you as an ugly person, not beautiful, but never ugly. Now you’re stunning, your true heart is beaming out of you, which makes you shine in the most beautiful way. You’re a unique kind of woman, I ever met.” I paused and gave her a embracing warm hug. She huffs, and pats my back gently.
“If you are willing to keep going into the hell I dragged you into with me, then we will face it together.” Crystal looks up at me. Her eyes are soft and full of determination.
“Together? If so, then, what am I to you?” she asks. I sadly smiled.
“Aye, together, and before we go to battle before we go through hell,” I paused, looking down at her eyes, that I can easily feel at ease.
“Now that we know the half of the truth, you are...” I suddenly felt a peace, not completely. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s an emotion of regret, yet, being next to her, she gives me peace, even though I’m hurting on the inside.
“Yes?” she urged.
“You’re the owner of my own heart love, and that bloody scares me.”