My mother used to say only those being able to find their greatest joy in the smallest of things would ever know what true happiness felt like. Thanks to her, I learned early on to find serenity wasn’t something that could be bought or given but rather a state of mind. That’s why smiling was something that had come as natural to me as breathing. There was always a reason to smile, you just had to open your eyes and make an effort to see it.
The fresh smell of grass and flowers and trees. The sweet chirping of a bird sitting in a nearby tree. The soft feeling of a flower petal under my fingertips. The warm rays of the sun caressing my skin while a breeze played with my long hair… I still remember them vividly, all the things that had made me smile in those blissful last minutes before my life had become a living hell, before tragedy had struck fast and mercilessly.
I was on my way to our neighbors to bring them a jar of marmalade I had just made together with a bouquet from our garden when the tormented voice of John suddenly invaded my mind and pain exploded all over my body. The flowers and the jar fell to the floor, accompanied by a loud crash. The jar shattered, red jam splashing all over the place. Whatever had happened to him was bad, really bad.
I love you, Maya.
My mate shared his memory of being hit by a car. He was gravely wounded and could barely open his eyes, every breath causing him excruciating pain.
Don’t move! I am sure help is on the way and …
I am sorry. I am so sorry, Maya.
He grew weaker each passing second, I could feel it. The bond connecting our souls … it was already fading.
No! No, don’t say that! You are a werewolf, you will heal! You will heal! You will heal! …
Like a chant, I said it over and over again, unable to accept the truth. John couldn’t be that badly wounded, he just couldn’t!
P-promise me … Promise you’ll stay with our son. ... Promise me ... you’ll live.
I just shook my head, tears streaming down my face and blurring my vision.
Maya, please … I could never leave in peace know … knowing I dragged you with me into the darkness. Your …
He coughed, blood flooding his mouth.
No, you have to fight! Fight, John! Do you hear me? Fight!
Your time … hasn’t come yet, he continued, his words nothing more than a faint whisper by now. There is still … much for you ... and our pup … needs ...
Even though he was in so much agony, the only thing he cared about was my wellbeing.
Please, Maya … P-promise …
I fell to my knees, not caring about the glass splitters on the ground. Not able to feel him suffer anymore, I finally set him free.
..ank …u … e … ppy ...
Then everything went quiet. My mate was gone, and I knew he had taken my smile with him.