Leila was standing on the front porch staring out into space. It was as if she was entrapped in a dream. Her eyes blinked as I shook her.
“The car is ready for us,” I said.
I was excited to take a journey down to the village. Being locked away in the house was a bit more than I could stand. A moment to spread my wings and experience something else was all too delightful. I grabbed a satchel out of one the spare bedrooms to carry my book in. I was determined to find it.
“You shouldn’t be associating with that man Liza,” Leila said to me as we got in the car. We buckled our seat belts and with the push of a button, the car knew what to do as it carried us away and down the winding roads.
“What do you mean? I’m not associating with him. It’s just I saw him kissing the mermaid who tried to kill me and I had some questions,” I responded.
“It’s just that, I think he may be dangerous. Blane doesn’t like him, but he doesn’t do anything about him living down there in the cove either. They’ve had their differences, but if Blane thought for a single moment that he might take you away, he’d go ballistic.”
“Let’s not worry about those things now Leila. I can deal with Stark, Blane, or any other man I meet here. I have a great deal of experience dealing with men and their silly games. This is a piece of cake. I’ve got it all under control okay?”
“Okay. Whatever you say. I’ll trust you. Now, what shall we do first when we get to the village?” she asked in wide-eyed wonderment.
“Well, I need to go to the library and pick up a book. After that, we can go look at anything you want to look at. Are you okay with that?”
“A book? What book?” she asked.
“The Story of Us. Have you heard of it?” I responded.
“Um, no I haven’t, but I fear it’s something you ought not be reading.”
“Nevermind that Leila. We’re both in too deep at this point. Wouldn’t you agree?” I asked.
She nodded, holding my hand and giving it a tight squeeze. It was as if the thought it all was too scary to conceive alone. I empathized with the child-like reaction to it all. To hold hands with another was a small comfort in a world where there were questions and uncertainty. The car screeched to a halt.
“I’ll be back in three hours. Have a good day,” a computerized voice said from the car as it’s doors lifted and opened.
Leila and I moved out of the car as it slammed the doors behind us and drove away. I had hoped I could find the book by then. I had to. I didn’t know when I would again find myself with the opportunity to go to the village.
The villagers were buzzing about town, smiling and skipping along in the streets. They were busy with their tasks, yet hollow in their souls. They all wore smiles as they greeted one another. Their cherry red lips and rosy red cheeks were as adorable as Christmas elves. It felt like a wonderful, happy time here where I could enjoy the pleasure of the company of others. I danced around in circles on the sidewalk with Leila, enjoying the sweetness and comfort of it all. The people of the village didn’t seem to mind, as they encouraged our silly behavior.
It was frustrating at the same time, because although the times there were merry and bright, nobody had any real sense of who they were. There was no direction. It was like organized chaos randomly firing off and finding pleasure in nothingness. It was pleasant, yet empty. I couldn’t understand how such an existence could be fulfilling. Who’s to say that if you’re painfully ignorant that it isn’t the most desirable state of bliss? Perhaps what Blane did was a service and not a dishonor, but I couldn’t settle for it. My mind was too entangled in the end result. My only option was to get my kids back and that was that. So, down the roads of the town we journeyed, looking for the library when we stopped in the town square.
Like a beacon of hope it almost appeared to be shimmering in the sunlight. The beautiful words ‘Library’ adorned the door of the tall building in the middle of the square. I was brimming over with happiness, skipping towards its doors. I looked back at Leila. She was kneeling down in the grass. A yellow puppy’s red tongue was dragging on her cheek. Her fingers intertwined into his golden fur. His tail was wagging with delight.
“Leila,” I said.
“Yes,” she giggled as the puppy slid his sloppy tongue against her face.
“It’s here! I found it,” I said pointing at the building.
“Go on Liza. I’ll be here,” she laughed. She gestured with her hand to excuse me from her companionship.
With that I pressed both hands on the brass handles of the double doors, pushing them open. The shiny floor had a black and white checkered pattern. There were high ceilings with wooden beams. The shelves of books went on for days. I turned to the front counter. A beautiful, blonde librarian woman was sitting there. She was wearing a pressed button up white shirt and a straight black skirt down to her knees. Her hair was up in a french twist. Not a hair was out of place. Her blue eyes peered at me through her dark-brimmed glasses.
“Shhhhhh,” she hissed at the patrons. She then turned to me and smiled.
“Do you know where?” I started in a low voice.
“Shhhhhh,” she hissed at me. “This is the library. It’s a quiet place.”
“I know, but....” I started.
“SHHHHH,” she started again waving her arms in front of her.
I shook my head, careful not to make a sound. I turned on my heels as I began to look at the tall shelves. They twisted and turned around the large building. Where would I start? The card catalog? Did such a thing exist here? Perhaps the books were in alphabetical order, or no order at all. What order did this place have? There was nothing other than oblivious happiness here.
Down the first row, I started looking at the titles of the books. There were no labels for genres or anything like that, so I pulled out the first book I saw. It was titled Little Women. That was a book I was familiar with. I opened the book, but to my surprise there was nothing written on the pages at all. Again, I pulled out another book, blank. I repeated the motion several times. Blank, blank, blank. I wandered around to the tables and chairs where the villagers were reading the books, but their books too were blank. They were reading nothing with an intent acknowledgment. I don’t know why this surprised me as everything in this world was off kilter. Would The Story of Us also turn up blank? Was I supposed to imagine and draw my own conclusions about it? I continued looking up and down the aisles, but still, I turned up empty-handed. I couldn’t find the book. I knew it would be counterproductive to ask anyone where I could find it. Turning a corner, I saw the back of the head of a man with blonde hair. He too was looking down at a blank book. As I approached him, I realized who it was.
“Stark!” I said out loud.
“Stark, what are you doing here?” I whispered.
“I thought you could use some help finding the book,” he whispered back. “Blane would be pissed if he saw us here together, but I felt sorry for you losing your kids. So, I came over here to help you.”
“You have a car?” I asked. “No offense, but you seem to be living a bit primitively down there in the cove.”
“Well, actually. I stowed away in your car,” he whispered back with a mischievous grin. He grabbed my hand to lead me away to the back of the library. There was a red door leading into another room. There was a brass sign on the door with an inscription. Do not enter.
“Let’s go look in here,” he coaxed.
“We probably shouldn’t,” I replied. My finger pointed the brass sign. I gave his hand a tight squeeze and pulled him away.
“Come on. Don’t be chicken,” he said. The corners of his lips turned up into a boy-like grin.
He gave my hand a tight squeeze back as he opened the red door. It was a very small room with no windows. The entire floor was made of wooden planks. His knee came up in front of him as he stomped down with the heavy thud of his foot. The plank came loose. His fingers pried beneath it, revealing a trap door. He gave the trap door a careful tug. There was a black, wrought iron staircase that spiraled downward.
“You’ve been here before?” I asked.
“That’s not really important. After you,” he said gesturing for me to take the first steps on the staircase. My feet marched against the iron steps as I held the guardrail. Stark followed close, shutting the trap door behind us.
We found ourselves in a dark, dimly lit room with rock walls that climbed higher above us as we made our way down. There was a small bookcase in the corner of the room with a green leather chair and a floor lamp next to it. I tried to be light on my feet as I approached it. I pulled out the first book. Blank. I tossed it behind me with one hand as I grabbed for another. Stark joined me in the search. As we tossed away the final book, I noticed a single red book sitting at the very top of the bookshelf on its side just out of my reach.
“Stark, look!” I said extending my arm up and attempting to reach for it.
“I’ll get it,” he said pressing up against me from behind and extending his long arm over mine to reach it. As he pulled the book from the shelf, a cloud of dust tickled the inside of my nose.
“Achoo,” I let out a sneeze.
“Bless you,” he said rolling his eyes as he cracked it open, and there were words written in it ‘The Story of Us’.
“That’s it,” I exclaimed throwing my arms around his neck. The strength of his arms hugging my body felt amazing. There was a surge of desire that began to overtake me. I could feel him sliding the book down into my satchel.
“Ahem,” he said clearing his throat and moving away from me. “Here, you ought to take a few in case Blane gets suspicious.”
He turned to look at me in silence for a moment. His dirty, blonde hair fell in his face just a bit as his green eyes dazzled in the dim light. His handsome face looking down at me, melted me to butter.
“Thank you,” I whispered looking at him. He touched my face, brushing the hair back out of my eyes. Coming close to me, as if he wanted to kiss me, he leaned in to whisper in my ear.
“You’re welcome. Now, let’s get the fuck out of here before someone sees us together.”
His other hand was still on my waist and the urge to hug him once more was ever present. I abstained from showing him any affection, turning away and looking down at the floor. As I walked up the spiral staircase, I wondered in secret hope if he was looking at my butt.
“What?” he asked as I gave in to my urge to look over my shoulder.
“Nothing,” I said as I climbed to the top step.
Leila was just as I left her, playing with the puppy. His long, red tongue made tracks across her smiling face. I waved to her from afar as if to motion that I had accomplished my goal in obtaining the book. She seemed a bit nervous as she ran up to us. Her eyes narrowed at Stark as she grabbed my hand.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she said to him. She gave my arm a firm tug.
“Well, well, look who’s finally woke up,” Stark said to her. His tone was quite condescending. “You better hope your buddy Blane doesn’t figure it out, or you may find yourself serving up fish breakfast to me in the cove.”
“Shut up Stark,” Leila responded. “Blane loves me and he loves Liza too. Thank you for whatever help you’ve offered, but I can take things from here.”
“You know what Leila, I didn’t want anything to do with her. She came to me for help. She stole my boat. I just figured if she needed the book, she wouldn’t be smart enough to find it herself.”
“Excuse me?” I interjected.
“Come on Liza, we don’t have time for this,” she said, leading me away from him once again.
Stark made fish lips at her as we separated from him. Her eyes rolled up toward the back of her head. He was kind of a jerk, but it was sweet that he had taken it upon himself to stow away in our car to help me find the answers to my questions. It was quite a risk considering that Blane had promised to deal with him later.
As I turned around, Leila on my arm, I ran smack dab into a man who smelled of pleasant cologne wearing a three-piece suit.
“I’m sorry sir,” I said, looking up at him.
“Liza? Leila? What are you girls doing here?” Blane asked. I quickly looked behind me, but Stark had disappeared from sight.
“Well, what a pleasant surprise,” I said in a high-pitched, giddy voice, wrapping my arms around him and planting a kiss on his lips.
“It is indeed. How is your day going ladies?” he asked.
“Oh, it’s great!” Leila said with her voice cracking. I elbowed her to quiet her down as not to blow our cover.
“We were just bored and I wanted some books to read at the house,” I said holding up my satchel. I had hoped our behavior wasn’t all too suspicious, but he seemed to buy it.
“Well, that’s alright I guess, but next time you ought to ask me first,” he said.
“I...I know. I’m sorry Blane, but you left the key to your other car and I didn’t think you’d mind,” I stammered.
“Liza, relax. I don’t mind. I have to get back to work now. Love you,” he said giving me a small kiss on the lips.
“Love you,” I said.
Turning Leila around, we began to walk away from him. He patted my bottom as I departed and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t arouse excitement. I wondered still if he was on to me.
It was odd that he suspected nothing, but I suppose love has a way of blinding us even when betrayal is staring us straight in the face. This certainly seemed so with Blane who was so clearly smitten with me that he was practically dripping with it. A small victory in this foreign place was certainly enough to give me hope that I may truly find a way over to Issiryth to reclaim what was rightfully mine. I had hoped the book would offer me some answers and I was truly grateful to Stark for his willingness to help me despite his childish attitude.
Leila and I re-entered the car. This time, I was careful to pay attention to what may be lurking in the trunk. I did observe Stark sneaking back into our car. I said nothing however because I knew that without him over there in that cove, my search for clues would be a bit more difficult to obtain. I wasn’t prepared to find answers alone and I knew Leila’s knowledge was a bit more limited despite her best effort in assisting me. We made our way back around the mountainous island and up to the grand entrance at Blane’s house. We didn’t say much on our ride home. I felt Leila disagreed with my recent friendship with the brave man from the cove. When we re-entered the home, I went back to my room where I felt a bit more comfortable even though it had also been my prison. There was something eery, yet pleasant about having my own space at the same time, almost like a dog in a crate. It could be shut and locked, but my space with my own bed served also as a refuge. I piled up the pillows to form a backrest as I pulled out ‘The Story of Us’. I cracked open the large, red book and began to read.
The Story of Us
Across the universe in the ith dimension, beyond the far reaches of time and space, was a star. There were four small planets and a moon orbiting the star. The Goddess who ruled over this small galaxy Issiryth, found herself all alone gliding along on her most valued planet made of only ocean water. She enjoyed the beautiful ocean planet where she was surrounded only by her own presence. This kept her occupied for a time, but she often envied other deities who had envisioned and created planets with inhabitants. She thought perhaps one day she would do such thing if only to further propel her vision for splendor and beauty.
After many years, Issiryth decided that she wished to use her powers to make creation. So, beneath the ocean’s surface, she caused a volcano to erupt many times over, creating a single island full of lush vegetation, trees, mountains, and waterfalls. Issiryth was pleased with what she had created, but after a time her heart started to long for something more. She filled the planet with mermaids, unicorns, trolls, fairies, dragons, and many other creatures of all shapes and sizes. Issiryth loved her creation and walked amongst her new family every day, but none of the creatures were actually made in her own image which was something she had always thought about.
Again, for many years, this fulfilled Issiryth and the creatures adored her just as she adored them. One day, as she was looking upon a pool of water in her forest, she saw the water morph and change, revealing a window into another planet from a distant galaxy. This planet was called Earth. Issiryth was infatuated with the creatures of this planet because they were made in the image of their own deity but constantly found themselves in turmoil and mishaps. Her fascination with human beings grew every day as she continued to look into the pools of water in the forest that revealed different aspects of human life. She had decided that this human life was tragic and misguided, however. It was in her sadness and intrigue for them that she found cause to take a personal interest in keeping them company.
She knew that indulgence would surely lead to their shortcomings, but that didn’t stop her from giving in to her desire to be around them. So, she would take them in such a manner that nobody ever knew they were gone in the first place. In their sleep she would create a portal in which their soul could pass through to her world, but each time they awoke, they would find themselves back on their earth planet where they belonged. Issiryth made things this way by design as not to disrupt anyone’s lives, but to observe and enjoy the pleasure of human company. She met many human beings this way and became accustomed to having them visit her frequently. She observed their behaviors and desires, designing a world that catered to them. On her island, humans were free to experience their dreams, shaping and shifting into anything they wanted to be. She would allow them to live out their fantasies and she would create beautiful visions for them, knowing that they always had to return.
It was her way of easing their sorrows and pain, while also sending them back with a renewed sense of what life should be. She would often send them with blessings; when upon their rousing from sleep, all their hopes and dreams would fall into place once they got back to their own lives. Her one and only rule was that a human could only visit once. Many human beings benefited from Issiryth’s kindness, but she always held true to her sense of obligation. That’s to say until one man changed everything.
Her delicate, porcelain hand pressed up against the stubble of his face as she looked down at his sleeping body. The raven, black hair against his white skin gave him a glow of wonderment as he slept. He was quite possibly the most handsome human-being Issiryth had ever laid eyes upon. His breath was heavy and rhythmic as he tossed and turned in the crumbled white sheets of his bed. Her plump, cherry red lips kissed the sweat from his forehead while he moaned with discomfort.
“Shhhh I’m here now,” she said quieting him from his nightmare.
Sid became still with her words as his dark, almost black, eyes popped open to behold the sight of Issiryth looking down at him with her golden, silken hair, plunging down around his face. He couldn’t quite fight the urge to take her in his arms as she was quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes upon. Her slender arms wrapped around his neck as the grip of his large hands tightened around her small waist.
“Am I dreaming?” he asked in the embrace
“No,” Issiryth giggled. As the audible sounds of rushing water filled their ears. Her body jolted upward.
“It’s time to go!” she exclaimed.
Her tiny hand tucked away into his much larger hand as she led him away and down into the darkness of his room. Turning the doorknob carefully she exposed the source of the rushing water, a waterfall that had appeared in the closet.
“We have to jump now,” she said looking up at an astonished Sid.
“Yes,” she replied. “One, two....”
As he sprang from the rock, plunging into the steep waterfall, his hand never parted from hers. It was in his curiosity and sense of adventure that he trusted her hazardous request, making the first leap. Hand-in-hand, they moved down through the waterfall which felt more like bubbles now fizzing and tickling against the skin. This is where he traveled to a place beyond his wildest dreams. It was a place where the clear blue ocean water shimmered with a magical luster along the long ribbons of golden beaches. The palm trees stretched up into the beautiful sky, adorned with colorful birds of all shapes and sizes. It was a tropical paradise only created within the imagination of a beautiful Goddess with mystical powers. As their feet touched down on the warm, golden sand, Sid looked over at the beautiful deity.
“Where are we?” he asked.
“This is Sedania. It’s my island...well, my planet,” she shrugged.
“You know,” he said leaning in close to her. “Sedania is a beautiful place, but there’s nothing as beautiful as you.”
The rush of red heat flushed across Issiryth’s cheeks. She had met many humans before Sid, but there was something different about him. He made her feel special.
“Thank you,” she responded with a bashful blush.
“You’re cute when you’re blushing,” he said, pulling her in for a surprising kiss.
While she may have been familiar with the feelings of love, this passion was not something she had ever experienced in such magnitude. The feel of a human man against her body evoked an unfamiliar arousal. As their kiss ensued on the beach, Issiryth found herself caught up in a moment she really never wanted to end. Soon, the heavy sound of galloping hooves of wild horses could be heard approaching them, interrupting their small fit of passion. The assortment of black, brown, and white colors shone through them as their long, silky manes bounced about with their trot. A single black steed stood out from the pack as he nuzzled himself close to her, prompting her for affection. He whinnied in satisfaction upon her agreement to oblige him. Sid stood back, observing the exchange.
“Come on Sid, he won’t hurt you,” she said, gazing at him with her inviting blue eyes.
She offered her hand out, allowing him to approach slowly. Taking his hand in hers, she placed it on the steed’s neck and encouraged him to feel the smoothness of his coat. The blackness of the horse’s eyes met that of the blackness in Sid’s, when all at once its as if both the animal and the man became one in a trance.
“That’s right Sid. You’re doing it. You’re connecting with him. Do you feel it?” she asked placing her smooth, gentle hand on his chest over his heart. Sid wasn’t certain what he was feeling, but as he looked deeper into the horse’s eyes, he could feel something, something special. The horse stood still, allowing Sid to peer deep inside of his soul when something strange began to take over his human body. He felt himself begin to transform into a solid, heavy mass with long legs, a tail, and mane.
“It’s working!” she exclaimed with an illuminated expression.
He had become an animal in the image of the steed, rearing up on his hind legs and letting out a whinny. As his front hooves buckled down into the sand again, his black shiny coat shimmered in the sun like those of his wild counterparts. She could tell Sid was pleased with his transformation while he trotted and played in the sand.
“Very good,” she cheered, clapping her hands together. Taking a fistful of his mane in her fingers, she lifted herself up onto his back while she hugged his neck with an adoring embrace.
“Ride on, sweetheart,” she whispered as she dug her heels into the side of his large belly.
His hooves marched against the ground causing the wind to blow her long hair, tossing it behind her shoulders. His heavy march soon quickened into a gallop, taking off along the sand, away from the pack. As his strong, swift gallop along the sand became faster and more removed from the wild animals behind him, his body began to shrink down once more. Soon the wild horses were distant from him. His long black legs shortened as his hooves turned back into human feet. Issiryth’s small, slender body was bouncing around like a backpack on his back as he continued to run. Out of breath, his knees buckled beneath him, sending him billowing down with her arms still around him. Together, the two tumbled along, rolling out into a place where their eyes met one another in an intense attraction. As he pressed his hand against her face, he found himself mesmerized in her glance.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Issiryth,” she responded.
“Izzy,” he said moving in to kiss her. As their lips met one another, her heart leaped out of her chest, again arousing an unfamiliar passion.
“What happened to me, Izzy? Am I dreaming?” he asked again.
“No,” she giggled. “Well, sort of...”
“Can I stay here with you?” he asked. She only smiled, giving him a gentle kiss, then rolled onto her back. Her eyes fixated in a stare at the blue sky with a sparse amount of white, wispy clouds floating about like weightless cotton balls. Grasping onto to his hand, she met him a quiet acceptance. She wanted only to savor this moment with him. The thudding of her beating heart rattled her like a bouncing ball in a tin can as their connection intensified.
“What is this that I’m feeling?” she asked in a soft, breathy whisper.
“It’s love,” he said, rising up to prop his face on his hand. His black eyes looked down at her as she lay there. She looked up at the outstretched sky with her eyes still fixated on the puffy clouds.
“Maybe you’re right,” she responded, finally allowing her eyes to drift over and look him in the eye. “But....”
“But nothing Izzy. You’re in love with me and I’m in love with you. That’s all we need to know,” he interjected. Issiryth hadn’t the heart to tell him that she would have to send him home again, so she pursed her lips together in an effort to prevent herself from spilling the truth.
“What do you want to do first?” she asked.
“Isn’t it obvious what I want to do first?” he responded, cupping her left breast in his right hand.
“No,” she responded with a questioning gleam in her eye.
“I want to make love to you,” he said.
“Make love? How do we make love?” she asked.
“Don’t worry, I’ll show you,” he said.
As she felt the heaviness of his body on top of hers, the passion intertwined in her heart like a clinging vine on a chain link fence. How could she send him away now? She knew that in never waking him from his sleep, he would surely perish from his earthly being forever. It was in his sleep that he was able to dream and it was in his dream that he was allowed to exist in her world. Without him though, she knew her heart would be broken. This conundrum sunk inside of her conscience like a large, heavy rock being heaved into the depths of the ocean. This is precisely how she hid away though, deep within the recesses of her subconscious mind where the line between right and wrong was blurred by the heart’s desire. Even a deity such as she had her weaknesses, so she indulged him.
Many days passed that Sid was still on the island and with each passing day she knew it would soon be necessary to heave him out into the ocean that beckoned his return, eventually rousing him from his earthly sleep. The large ripples of the ocean water extended up into the sky like a skyscraper, as it soared down and crashed against the shore.
“Wow, the waves are rather big today,” he observed. “Probably bigger than I’ve ever seen them.”
“Yes,” she whispered with a tear forming in her eye.
“Izzy, you’re crying. What’s the matter?” he asked, pulling her close to him. She attempted to pull away, doing her best to conceal the unbearable emotion. Another giant wave again crashed against the shore with more ferocity than the last, warning her that his time was near.
“Nothing,” she said with a sharp tone.
“It’s nothing, Izzy? Tell me!” he said, placing his hands on her shoulders and forcing her to look at him.
“I can’t Sid. I can’t!” she yelled as another wave rose into the sky. It was so high that it cast a shadow on them as it roared into an intense curl and smashed up against the warm sand.
“Maybe we should go inside,” he said, placing his arm around her and leading her away.
“Sid---” she started. “Sid, there’s something I have to tell you.”
“You can tell me anything Izzy,” he said. “But let’s go inside. The waves are getting too big.”
“Sid,” she started again, with tears welling up in her eyes. “Please, forgive me.”
“I’ll forgive anything,” he said tightening his grip on her hands.
The waves were relentless in their approach, coming closer and closer to them. It was apparent they would soon engulf him, taking him back to his earthly form.
“I...., I...., I love you, Sid,” she stammered.
“I love you too Izzy,” he responded, kissing her stiff lips that hesitated to kiss back.
“Just promise me you won’t ever leave me,” she said as another wave rose even higher in the sky, warning of its eminent wrath. Dark clouds began to form over them with a strong and heavy wind.
“Make it stop Izzy. You can make it stop!” he yelled, trying to raise his voice above the noise of the churning ocean and strong winds.
“I can’t Sid. It’s coming for you,” she cried. “It’s coming for you!”
“Izzy, please! Make it stop!” he pleaded, becoming panicked as the waves seemed to draw closer to them no matter how many times they attempted to move further away.
“Promise me you’ll stay Sid. Just promise me!” she cried, unable to bear the thought of losing him.
“I promise Izzy. No matter what!” he exclaimed. As the final syllable escaped his lips, the howling wind let up, calming the ocean water back to its original state of to and fro. She fell to her knees in shame, knowing what she had done as she clutched her abdomen.
“What is it? What’s wrong Izzy?” he asked. Her piercing blue eyes, looked up at him with the shimmer of freshly produced tears as she stammered out her confession.
“I...I’m pregnant,” she responded.
The confession surprised Sid as he stood at attention with his hand against her smooth cheek. He hadn’t fully grasped what she had done.
“Are you sure you’re pregnant?” he asked.
“You can never go back Sid,” she began to cry. “Oh, what have I done?”
“Izzy! Tell me!” he commanded. The reflection of the rising moon against the ocean water began to morph into a scene of Sid lying in a hospital bed. His mother was sitting at his side with a fist full of tissue in her hand. Her head was bowing down in the soppy tissue. She appeared to be crying.
“Hey, look! It’s my mom!” he exclaimed as his expression lit up with excitement. “Can she hear me, Izzy?”
Issiryth only looked back at him with a desperate glance, unable to confess.
“Mom! Mom! I’m okay! I’m right here! This is Izzy! I love her! We’re going to have a baby! Don’t cry. Please don’t cry,” he said. His face turned sullen as he observed his mother. “Why can’t she hear me, Izzy?”
“Because... well....” she sputtered.
“Why Izzy?! Why can’t she hear me?” he asked. This time, his tone was harsh.
“You can never go back, Sid. You have to stay here forever,” she explained.
“You mean I’m dead? I’m dead?!” he exclaimed.
“No, not really dead. I mean....your soul is here,” she explained.
“I don’t know what to say. I just want to tell my mom everything’s alright,” he said.
“You can’t. I’m sorry,” she cried. Sid fell to his knees, placing his arms around her small, trembling body.
“It’s okay I guess. At least now we can be together,” he consoled. She looked back up at him, meeting his embrace with reciprocation.
“I’m sure I’m pregnant,” she said.
“Okay...Okay, no problem. We can take care of the baby on the island. It’ll all be okay,” he said.
“Yes...” she smiled. “It will be.”