Chapter Thirty-One ~ Here Lies…
Today was the day.
The day I was going to get the injection that would forever change my life. Odysseus' suggested that I still get the injection. To say I was nervous would be to say the least. I was a wreck.
Odysseus places a hand on my thigh, maybe I was being paranoid. Maybe this is a bad idea. Why did I even agree to getting it? God I'm so nervous.
"You'll be fine," a voice in my head tells me.
In my heart I knew I wanted this, and apparently my brain was telling me the same thing. But why was I so nervous?
Is it the syringe I'm nervous about? Or is it seeing what my life could have been like had I not been stolen by my village? Or is it facing my father? The man who could be behind all of this.
His mate was a human. It didn't make sense for him to want human slaves. Regardless of the outcome I was hell bent on asking him. I needed to know.
I wasn't sure. But what I was sure of, was visiting my mother in her resting place. It hurts that the first time I get to meet her would be at her grave.
I look down at the bouquet of flowers that I had picked for her out of our garden. I had hoped she would like them, they were my favourites.
"We're here," Odysseus says as we arrive.
The car comes to a slow stand still as the driver talks to the guards, the car rolls forward a little and Odysseus' winds down his window and gives confirmation.
The guard nods at our driver, signalling we can go ahead. Odysseus winds up his window as the car starts driving again.
"Are you ok?" Odysseus asks me looking at me gently.
"I don't know," I chuckle truthfully.
"I think I'm scared," I say frowning, I knew I was scared.
Truth is, I wanted to see my mum, but I'm not ready. And I don't think I'll ever be ready. But I know I'm going to regret it if I don't do it.
The car comes to a stop as we arrive. Odysseus gets out and comes around my side. He opens the door for me and offers his hand, I smile thankfully and take it.
"Thank you," I say to him.
"You're welcome beautiful," he says to me giving me a soft smile. I look up to the stairs and see my father come down, people following him.
"Hi princess," my father greets me, giving me a hug. My heart thumps in my chest, he looked so innocent, how could he be so guilty?
"Hi father," I say, he shakes Odysseus' hand out of respect. They greet each other and I stand there shifting my feet, I was nervous. I didn't know when I was going to ask him yet.
"Tatum, our King. I have some people I'd like you to meet," he says addressing us.
A man my fathers age comes forward standing next to him.
"This is Xavier, he is my current Beta," my father says. We shake the Beta's hand and introduce ourself.
"And this is his son Dylan," he says, a handsome guy around my age comes out from behind my father.
"Hi, I'm Dylan, pleased to meet you, my King," he says and shakes Odysseus' hand.
"And I've heard so much about you, your majesty," he says to me, grabbing my hand and placing a delicate kiss on it. I giggle at his playfulness, eager to forget what awaits me. Odysseus growls at him.
"Watch it pup," he says wrapping his arm around my waist. Dylan let's go of my hand.
"Sorry, no disrespect my King, just making a joke," Dylan says keeping his eyes on his feet.
He's a smart boy.
I hold the flowers tight in my hand, itching to go and meet my mother.
My father sees this and smiles at me.
"Did you want to see your mother now?" He asks me, I nod my head, tears threatening to spill.
Odysseus rubs my back in comfort as my father leads us to my mum's grave. I look at all the trees as we pass by. Autumn was my favourite time of the year, it was when the trees leaves turned a beautiful orange. It's when the kids in my village had the most fun. I shake my head free of the thoughts of my village. They were just fighting for their freedom and Odysseus killed them, but neither of them knew that they weren't the enemy.
We walk in silence until we reach the graveyard. It was beautiful, there were freshly picked flowers for each grave, signally no one has forgotten them even after all of these years.
"Your mother's grave isn't here, there was a special spot for her... and you," he says causing my heart rate to pick up.
I follow silently behind him as he leads us down a pebbled path. After a minute we come to a stop. I look up and my breath gets caught in my throat, my mother's grave.
It was covered in orange leaves by it didn't matter. She was here.
"Can I have a moment alone please?" I ask both of them. My father nods and tries to keep in his tears. Odysseus kisses my head before leaving along with my father.
I wait until they leave before approaching her grave. I kneel in front of it before wiping all the leaves away. Tears blur my vision as I try reading her headstone.
I let them fall before wiping my eyes.
"Here lies Ava Anne Barlowe, she was a loving mate, mother, Luna and friend. You will be missed. May she Rest In Peace. 12-9-1982 ~ 20-10-2002"
"You would be thirty-nine," I cry to my mother. Not knowing if she could hear me right now or not.
"You were so young. You didn't do anything to anyone. You were innocent, they took your life for no reason," I say, sitting down on my bum. Not caring if I got dirty. My mother would have sided with the humans if she knew what my father had done.
"I always wondered what my life would have been like if I were with you guys. I used to think you gave me up... I'm sorry I thought that. I was hurting, I had thought you two passed away but it never really hit me... it was so much easier to be mad at you than to be sad, grieving the loss of both my parents. I thought it would hurt less knowing that you have been deceased for so many years. But it feels like yesterday you were taken from both father and I," I cry, string my hand on the pile of leaves next me.
I flinch feeling cold concrete beneath my fingers. I move some of the leaves and discover a smaller stone of concrete.
I get onto my knees and start to clean it frantically.
I let out a sob upon seeing another tombstone. I start to read.
"Here lies Tatum Anne Barlowe," I stop reading and cover my mouth as more sobs come.
That was it. The day my life ended. The day my father thought he lost all of his family.
It was also the beginning of a new chapter. I was angry. At my village, angry at myself. Angry at my father and life for not being the way it was meant to be.
I scream in frustration. My screams turn into cries as I break down completely.
"Don't be sad my baby," I hear a familiar soothing voice.
Except this time it was different.
It wasn't in my head.
I look up through my blurry vision and see someone standing there. I quickly wipe my eyes, afraid the person will disappear.
"Mum?" I ask looking at her for the first time.
Father was right, I looked like her.
"Yes sweet angel," she says. Confirming my thoughts.
"I-I thought you were dead," I say, scared.
"I am angel. The moon goddess let me come and see you," she says.
"She did?" I ask.
"Of course she did," I say, my mum smiles at me.
"I've been watching over you," she says making my eyes snap up her hers.
"You have?" I ask feeling comfort.
"Of course. You've turned into a beautiful young woman and I'm so proud of you. Look at you, my Luna Queen. The moon goddess knows you are destined for great things, she saw potential in you," my mother says, her eyes swelling with pride.
"I couldn't be more proud of how you turned out," she says making me cry.
"I love you," I say to her.
"I love you too my sweet angel. Can you do me a favour?" She asks me.
"Anything," I say to her with wide eyes as my tears leak from them, running down my cheeks and down onto my neck.
"Never give up... times will be tough but you've gotta keep it together. We're rooting for you," she says to me as I wipe my cheeks free from the tears.
"Thank you," I say to her with a smile as tears stream down my face.
"Also can I ask another favour?" She asks me.
"Yes," I say giving her an encouraging smile.
"Tell your father I love him and I'm watching over him as well," she says giving me a sad smile.
"Why? He has caused all of this mess with this dumb treaty," I say sadly causing my mum to laugh. My head quickly snaps back up as I watch her humorous form in confusion.
"My dear, your father is not the one behind this nonsense," she says causing me to let out a breath of relief.
"That doesn't explain why he kicked Rose out of the pack to protect it," I tell her only to earn a tsk in response.
"Your father was stunned by it, repulsed. He didn't want Rose telling anybody about what she had saw, he was afraid that she would tell people that it was him who had created it," she says to me, helping me put the pieces together.
"Do you know who put it there?" I ask her.
"I cannot tell you my dear, you are strong, it is up to all of you to figure it out, I know you have it in you," she says causing me to nod my head.
"Another thing my dear," she says to me coming closer.
"Yes?" I ask.
"Don't be scared. Take the injection," she says smiling at me.
"I will," I say in full confidence, I wasn’t going to let her down.
"Can I ask for a favour?" I ask her.
"Yes my dear what is it you desire?" She asks, tilting her head.
"I want a hug please. I need a hug from my mother," I say crying, my emotions were getting the best of me. So many things were happening and I was getting overwhelmed.
"Ask and you shall receive," she says holding her arms out. I gasp and quickly scramble up off the ground before running into her arms.
I hug her tightly and cry, afraid she'll slip away.
"I love you, remember my dear you can achieve anything," she says to me, wrapping her arms tightly around me.
"I love you too," I say and hug her. So this is what a mother's hug felt like.
I cry in her arms.
"I will never forget you," I say to her as I sniffle.
"I will never forget you my child. I will always protect you. I will look out that king of yours. Also tell your mate his parents love him and are proud of him, Diana was adamant that I tell him," she laughs. I smile and hug her tightly.
"Ava?!" I hear my fathers voice ring through the air. I feel her turn to smile at him.
Before I can say another word she disappears into dust in my arms.
"Mum?!" I cry, falling to my knees trying to pick up the dust particles she had vanished into.
"Tatum! Tatum! What just happened?!" My father asks me hysterically, kneeling down next to me.
Odysseus places a comforting hand on my shoulder.
"It was mum," I say confirming his suspicions.
"She told me the moon goddess let her come down so she could meet me..." I cry.
"She said to tell you that she loves you and she said that she's watching over us," I tell my father. He grabs me into a hug and cries. I feel Odysseus move the flowers from the ground onto my mother's grave.
I pull away from my fathers hug as he composes himself.
I look down at my mother’s grave when my eyes flick to my own. I pick a flower from the bouquet and put it on my grave.
Rest In Peace Tatum Anne Barlowe.
Odysseus helps me stand and hold my hand as we walk away. I look back at my mum's grave.
"Rest In Peace, mum."