👣🚶 Left behind👣🚶
Meenah writes ✍️
They say, the darkest part of the night, is just before dawn
With my arms swung tight around the guy I love, I took a look around the city.
So beautiful, so transformed.
Everyone had smiles on their faces, as they hugged and danced with love ones lost, but found.
I smiled too and snuggled deeper into the hollow of Ewan’s shoulder.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered into my hair, the action sending tingles to awaken the butterflies in my belly.
“No, it’s all OK,” I whispered back.
We pulled away, staring into each other’s eyes, and then he chuckled, looking away.
I felt bad as I remembered; I’m the one who loves Ewan, but he might not do so too.
At least he apologized, even though I’d already forgiven him from the start.
“So, you really had to go all heroic…nearly giving me a heart attack,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
I giggled a bit, reaching out to him to help me stand up. My body still hurt, and it felt like there was a permanent taste of smoke in my mouth, and sand in my molars. I turned to Juliante behind me and gave him an appreciative smile. He’d woken me up, drawn me fully back from entering completely into that cold, dark room that was strangely beckoning to me… that felt like the perfect resting place from all the pains I was feeling.
I’d hesitated because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a dark room, with no one to warm my heart.
Juliante told me later that if I entered that room, I’d’ve died, and he wouldn’t have been able to do anything.
I shuddered at the thought.
“I’m a sucker for heroic deeds,” I joked back. “And why would you have a heart attack? It’s not like I’m residing in your heart or something,” I added on a more serious note and looked slightly away.
He used a crooked index finger to turn my face back to him and kissed my forehead.
“Harriet, you’re always in my heart—YOU’RE my heart. Never doubt that.”
He was so sincere that all I wanted to do was to throw my arms around him and kiss him.
But we were interrupted by shimmering lights about us, to look up and see the spirits.
All smiling, looking so gorgeous in flowing robes that vaporized at the hem. They were all male, with one female who stood in the fifth position.
Juliante had told me that the six spirits of Amazon made up A.M.A.Z.O.N.
That the first was Adolphus, who was like the leader and spirit of the sky and protection, of men.
Mirage, Spirit of Light;
Aquaria, Of water,
Zuba, spirit of the land and supply,
Orphene, spirit of women and children,
Narcissus, spirit of love, and beauty.
But right now, looking at them all standing arrayed in radiance that emitted power, I felt humbled.
I watched as everyone bowed, and Jean and I bowed too.
Adolphus said, “Great people of Amazon, you have all proven today that you can do anything, and that you are faithful to a cause. Because if it weren’t for your dedication, we wouldn’t be here.
” And now to you, Ewan, Hornblower, ” he said, pointing to Ewan, whose eyes were trained on them, “You risked your life countless times just to protect the Horn. We are all grateful.”
They made a slight bow of their heads to him, and he did same.
I turned back, and when my eyes met Jean’s, we shared a look that said, “Can you believe this?”
The spirits went on and on, praising people for their bravery and courage, and appreciating them; I tuned out that I didn’t notice they’d mentioned my name, until Ewan nudged my arm with his elbow and craned his neck upwards.
“Oh,” I said.
The spirits smiled (I wondered if they were in sync that they made most gestures at the same time).
“Harriet Anderson, despite being a stranger but with a deep connection to Amazon,” I saw their eyes land on Ewan and away in a second. I wondered if he saw it too.
“You sacrificed so many things and put your life on the line for a city you barely know. For this, we’re grateful.”
They did the nod-bow thing again, and I smiled.
Then the first spirit stretched out his hand, and I knew that it was for the Horn.
I placed it there.
“We really appreciate you and your friend, Jean Norman,” they motioned her to come closer.
She did, all smiles.
“So therefore we–”
“Excuse me, please,” I cut in with a raised finger.
They motioned me to continue.
I strode over to where Rex was, away, by himself, propped up against a rock as he held his chest with a death grip, slowly bleeding out.
He’s human after all
I’d noticed him crawl over there when Juliante had woken me up, and after I’d blown the Horn, I had my eyes trained on him.
He struggled, I could see, between wanting to live, and wanting to die. So, I decided that he should be given a chance too.
” Well, you said people should always be given chances to mend their ways…. so, what about him? ” I questioned and pointed, as they all turned to the direction.
I saw the spirits exchange looks, before they floated over to him.
“Wow,” I heard him chuckle slightly, “Thought I was left out of the party.”
They listed out the same procedure they did for Elton aka the Master.
Against my expectation, Rex didn’t accept the chance.
Ewan and I went over to him.
“Why, you could turn your life around,” Ewan said, while I nodded my agreement.
He chuckled slightly. “And be seen as the guy that was once evil? I’ll pass,” he strained to say. Then he became serious. “I’ll have no one to change for. No mother. And despite how ambitious father was, I still loved him. But he’s gone now. There’s nothing left for me.”
“I’m sorry about your father Rex. But you’re wrong. You have people waiting for you. You have us. Everyone. No body’s against you.”
He laughed softly.
“Still trying to convince me that I could be good, eh? Which is one of the things I love you for. But it’s OK.” he said with a friendly smile to Ewan, who chuckled.
I gripped his hand.
“Just one more chance at life, Rex.”
He sighed. Closed his eyes for a while. Then smiled.
”Bring it on.”
All said and done. Rex was alive, and we were all happy.
But before the spirits left, they said to Jean and I,
“There is a way for you to return to your home. The question is if you chose to go. Or to stay.”
And here it was; the thing I’ve been dreading most.
I’ve come to love Amazon. It’s strangeness and craziness, it’s people, Ewan.
But I missed my parents, my home. I wanted so bad to see them.
The look on Jean’s face told me she wanted to go home too, but as if she knew how conflicted I was on the matter, she waited for my reply.
I looked down, thinking.
Then I felt a hand on my shoulder, and looked up into Ewan’s trusty hazel eyes, and his handsome face.
How could I—–
Unable to contain the emotions any longer, I threw my arms around him and sobbed, choking and tasting the salt of my tears on my lips.
“Oh Ewan–Ewan I don’t want to……”
“Shhhhhh,” he said, patting my back calmly and slowly.
He pulled me away and looked into my eyes.
“You want to go, right?” he asked calmly.
“I do, but I don’t want to.”
He chuckled. “That’s not an answer, and you know it,” he said with a sad smile.
“You know, it doesn’t matter whether you’re here. Or there. Amazon, or Creole. What matters is that you had been in my heart from the beginning. And you’ll always be. No matter where we are. Apart, or near. You’re me, and I’m you.” he gave me a wry smile. “Like it or not, were stuck together.”
I smiled at this.
“I’ll miss you, all of you.”
“I know, its impossible not to miss me.”
Then before I could give a comeback or him for being so proud, his kissed me. Or, rather, we kissed, slowly, passionately, longingly, despite the audience we might have had.
Then we leaned against our forehead.
«I love you, » he said without moving his lips.
Mind talking. We could mind talk now without any qualms because the Master was no more to infiltrate our thoughts.
My heart leaped when I wrapped my finger around what he said.
He loves me!
«I love you too.»
And that was it.
That was enough to keep me even though were apart.
I went around, giving hugs to the people I’ve come to care about as a family.
“Stay safe, child,” Juliante muttered.
“Be cool and don’t get carried away by the fanciness of your home to forget us so soon,” Denyse said, with the other girls making parting comments to Jean and I.
“We won’t,” Jean said with a laugh.
“Hey,” Zoe said. “Thanks for everything. And I’m really sorry….” she smiled, then enveloped Jean and I in a group hug.
“Bye guys, I’ll miss you.”
“Yeah Zoe. Me too,” Jean replied.
“And don’t worry about Ewan. I’ll pull his reins.”
“Thanks Zoe,” I said sincerely.
You might be wondering…. but the rule was that once you entered Amazon, there was no going out. And once you got out, you’ll have no memory of all you experienced. It’ll be like you never went there.
But the spirits had decided to grant us that, as a form of appreciation, although we were also going to forget soon, as time went on.
But I highly doubted that.
I gave Ewan one last hug, before Jean and I stood before the spirits.
“We’re ready,” Jean said excitedly.
The spirits made some chants, and Adolphus blew the Horn, softly.
Gold light oozed from the bottom of the Horn, enveloping Jean and I, until we’re completely covered.
And then, it vanished.
I lost balance and stumbled and fell into the dirt.
“Jean?” I called.
“Over here. I think I twisted my arms. Ugh,” she groaned.
“Come on, get up. Let’s go!”
We got up and ran about looking for a trail that would lead us to the road.
“Look!” Jean pointed at a vehicle. Meaning, someone’s here.
“Hello, anybody!” we yelled, prancing about.
Then a voice came over the speaker; “This is the CCPD (Creole City Police Department). SRT (Search and Rescue Team) Division one. Looks like we’ve spotted our missing persons. Do you copy?”
“SRT D2. Stay where you are, we’re coming to get you. God bless America.”
As the center of activity zoomed in on us, Jean spotted her parents and ran to them.
I saw my mom and dad too, looking tired and hassled.
“Mom, dad!” I ran breathlessly and hugged them.
It felt good to feel their protective, loving arms around me.
It felt good to be home.
To be continued