Approaching Phoenix

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Epilogue

My dazzling blue eyes that Blyth had given me stared straight into the small mirror. Tomorrow was my eighteenth birthday and I would be turning for the last time. I needed to find some amount of peace inside of my heart as I faced everything the world was throwing at me. I was a phoenix pregnant at seventeen with a child that would also be a phoenix just like his brother. I didn’t know if my mother knew that getting pregnant before turning would create such a thing, but the fates I learned are whimsical things.

I sighed in relief and closed my eyes as my thoughts were washed away as his hands found their way over my every expanding stomach. The mirror fell onto the bed I had no need for it anymore as Blyth’s words found their way to my ear. “I told you I would always be here.”

“Stay with me tonight. Let me feel your arms around me once again.” Blyth wrapped his arms around me and I snuggled in tightly. The music started without me and I knew that he was truly there. I tried to keep him with me, but sleep took over. When I woke in the morning he was gone.

My heart nearly seized as I found someone out of place in my mirror. I fear turning around just in case he might disappear and I would never find him again. As he stepped closer I kept my eyes keenly adjusted on him. His lips fell against my neck causing tears to release from my eyes. I felt his touch and I knew that he was there with me.

My hand reached for him without turning away from the mirror, but when Anthony began waking up in the other room Blyth left my side. I watched as he walked out the door and into where his son was. A beautiful melody echoed not only in my heart but throughout the rooms. The strings on the piano vibrated so wonderfully and majestically that it would calm anyone’s soul.

I had seen Blyth several times while I was alone, and his music filled my home constantly. There was only one night out of each year where the music would cease, and that would be when I found him right there beside me. Just like that night we never broke the silence. We laid their together until the sun rose and then the last song he played would ring throughout the rooms.

I wasn’t alone in seeing him. Anthony would occasionally mention speaking with the man in the mirror. Not one of his other sons would believe me. They thought I was a witch gone mad until one day when they saw him for themselves.

Anthony and I spent all day at the park learning to ride a bike without training wheels. While we were on our way back something clicked for him it seemed and I watched in amazement as he started shouting, “I’m doing it. I’m doing it. Call them. Call them, Mum.”

Without a second thought I pulled all three of them to where we were. Once Anthony heard them all cheering him on, he lost control. As I rushed towards him I stopped suddenly as I realized Anthony was staring into the image in the store front. Blyth was kneeling in front of Anthony consoling him through the reflection. My heart leapt forward until I saw that Blyth had wiped away the blood from Anthony’s knee and it was beginning to go through his skin.

Quickly I ran to him and poured the water from my bottle over top of his fingers. His eyes went down to Anthony and he held out his hand. After he lifted Anthony up Blyth touched my face so gently and then vanished. Anthony began pulling on my shirt, “Mummy, Mummy, was that him?”

I knelt down and hugged my Anthony. My eyes went straight to Michael, Marcus, and Matthew all standing awe struck. “Yes, baby that was him.”

Tomorrow is Anthony’s eighteenth birthday and we all decided to go camping on his request. He had invited a few friends from school so the plan was to have no magic at all. As I watched them all packing everything into the car I smiled at the courage of them. Michael was complaining about it, Marcus thought it would be fun to try, and Matthew just laughed at them all.

“Mom, do you have everything ready?” Anthony stood at the edge of the porch almost a mirror image of his father. He was now a man with a mother no older than he was. “Mom?”

“It’s already in the car.” I assured him. “Why don’t you play some football with your brothers while we wait for everyone to get here?”

“Look, if you don’t cheer up some before we leave I’m going to call up Scott and invite him to come along.” Anthony started laughing, “I could just see you now trying to find any excuse to use your magic to send him away.”

My glare was ultimately overcome by the grin on Anthony’s face. “I swear I’m happy. I’m just relaxing before this big adventure of yours of going through the woods without any of my powers.”

“Swear?”

“I swear. Now go.” I pressed him to have fun with his brothers who were now playing without him.

I followed each one of their faces trying to find any similarities of when I first met them. Michael was almost the same, but kindness swelled so deeply inside of him that it was almost upsetting knowing he wasn’t the same man that I once loved. Matthew, he was mostly the same. Marcus showed the greatest amount of change. He was on his last life and had started to age as soon as the spell was broken. He looked as though he was in his early forties and more of a father than a brother to all three of them.

Marcus’ eyes met mine just briefly and then he glanced towards the edge of the woods away from the game that he was playing. My eyes followed only to fall upon him. My bottom lip quivered trying to hold back my tears. Blyth watched his sons enjoying life as a simple family. Slowly his feet brought him closer to them, and I watched as they ran right passed him without noticing. Marcus did. He stopped just in front of him and nodded in respect then he let his eyes lead him towards me.

I held my breath as Blyth’s eyes came into mine. I had been waiting for this moment for eighteen years now and it was hard to stop myself from leaping out of the swing towards him. When Blyth’s feet started bringing him closer to me Anthony ran directly in front of him completely oblivious of his father’s presence. Blyth watched him run through the yard momentarily and then continued to me.

Blyth ran his hand down my cheek with the tears. I sighed and leaned into him as his arm wrapped around me. Blyth’s chest rose as he inhaled the air deeply. As he exhaled I relaxed into him just wishing that it could last forever.

“Hey dad.” Anthony’s words caught me off guard. I looked up as he sat down next to Blyth on the swing. Blyth wrapped his other arm around Anthony’s shoulders and squeezed him tightly. With the look in Anthony’s eyes I knew what he was about to say and I shook my head to stop him. It didn’t work as I had hoped. “Mum’s working on a surprise for you.”

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