Late Saturday afternoon, Kieran fetches me from my home.
My mom has gone away on a girl’s weekend with her girlfriends from work, and I am glad she is not going to be sitting at home alone, brooding or feeling sorry for herself, although I doubt she ever does feel sorry for herself.
He takes my hand in his as we walk away from my home, and after we have walked a while, I say casually, “I have figured it out, you know?”
He looks at me confused.
“I know the girl you were talking about in that story you told me, is me. I know I am the one who has to choose between you and Jayden and that if I choose the right one, the curse that forever holds you and Jayden here will be broken.”
He asks quietly, “It doesn’t bother you I have lived this long?”
“No.” I frown briefly. “You have explained magic and I have researched witchcraft on Google. Curses are real, and that old witch probably hated me with all her heart and soul, for such a powerful curse to have been cast upon me, and for it to have worked. She altered the very fabric of the universe with her curse, to have you and Jayden live so long and for me to keep coming back each time after I died.”
He walks quietly beside me, staring into the distance, while he strokes his thumb against my thumb nervously.
“So, the dark haze and shadows I have been seeing since I met you, are the witch or whatever waiting for me to choose, and if I choose wrong they will kill me.”
He nods his head in solemn agreement.
“At first I only saw these shadows when I was with you, but now I see them all the time. In fact, they are swirling about us now.”
“I know. I can see them.”
Quickly I turn to look at him. “You can see them?”
He nods his head gravely.
“Then how am I supposed to know who is the right one to choose? How will I know which one of you is the one who really loves me and has honestly loved me forever?”
He stops walking, and I stop abruptly as he pulls back on my hand. I turn toward him and he looks at me forlornly. “Does it really matter who loves you more? You are supposed to choose the one whom you really love, the one you have loved forever.” He hesitates for a moment, and then he looks at me seriously. “I have loved you since that first day I saw you. It will probably seem unfathomable to you, but I even remember the dress you were wearing. It was dark grey, and came in around your waist with little gatherings. It fell down to your small feet in layers of material. A small white frill peeked out from under the dress around your neck. You had a daisy, which Jayden had given to you earlier, stuck in behind your ear, and your brown hair escaped from the white bonnet you were wearing on your head, little wisps and strands were curled on your forehead. You were sitting next to your father on the church bench, and as I walked past you, I looked into your eyes and it was as if everything suddenly came together.”
“Then it must be you I am supposed to choose? So this can stop?” I ask expectantly.
He looks away from me, and apologetically he says, “I am sorry, but I am not supposed to tell you. I cannot say whether I am the one or if I am not the one.”
I start walking again and he falls into step next to me. Pensively I say, “You know, I have always dreamt of love, of finding the one who is only meant for me, and when I found him we will never fight and argue to the point of screaming at each other. I never actually thought having to find someone who loves me could possibly have dire consequences. I have also always believed when I find someone and I grow to love him, I would not be able to hesitate to tell him I loved him, because it would just bubble up out of me, but having to choose someone so a curse can be broken, just does not feel the same.” I laugh derisively. “It’s funny how you can have this idea in your head, and then it does not turn out that way.”