Vincent was telling a story to the children when he felt it. Panic rose within him as he realized that soon she would be destroying all that was left between them. All the things he had gifted her with. His copy of “Great Expectations”, William Shakespeare’s book of sonnets, the notes and letters. She was wiping him from her life.
“Vincent,” Kipper called. “Are you okay?” The children all stared at their friend. His eyes were wet with the tears that threatened to spill. The boy pulled on Vincent’s sleeve.
“Perhaps we will finish this story later, children,” the man told those gathered at his feet. “Go see if William has finished preparing the noon meal.” As soon as the young ones had left his chamber, he closed the book he was reading and concentrated on what he was feeling. Could he open his side of the Bond without Catherine realizing how deeply he hurt? Could he send her a message through the Bond?
Realizing that his chamber wouldn’t give him the privacy for such a message, he stole out into the passage and quickly ran toward the Chamber of the Falls. Once there, he settled himself on a rocky ledge and closed his eyes.
“Catherine,” he called through the Bond. “I am here. I am with you. Always.” He waited for a response from her. “Please tell me you are well.” His breathing changed as he sat in a trance-like state. Behind his closed eyelids, he was emerging from darkness into light. The images were blurry so he focused harder on the Bond. There she was. She hadn’t noticed him. Once more he called to her. “Catherine! I am here for you.” Her head turned toward his voice. He saw that she was crying.
“Vincent, it’s so dark. Why is it so dark?”
“Concentrate on my voice, Catherine. On the Bond. Allow it to open for you.”
“Are you really here?”
“I am in your heart. I am a part of you just as you are a part of me.”
“Vincent, I can’t find you.”
“Catherine, open your eyes and focus on me.” Vincent grew increasingly concerned as he felt her anxiety worsen. “Feel the Bond.”
“Why are you here?” she asked.
”I felt your sorrow. I needed to be there for you.”
“It’s dangerous!” she exclaimed. “You need to stay away from me. What Father always warned you about will happen. I care too much for you to allow you or your community be in danger.”
“Catherine, I am with you through the Bond.” He wanted her to understand that there wasn’t any danger since they weren’t together in the physical sense. “Why are you destroying all traces of our dream?”
“It’s the only way for me to move forward.” She was crying uncontrollably. “Vincent, don’t you understand? I love you too much to allow you to be hurt.”
It was the first time she expressed her feelings – even through the Bond – and Vincent was moved beyond words. He saw the darkness enveloping her once again and he struggled through the Bond to regain the light. “I can barely see you, Catherine.”
“The light is fading, Vincent. I need to let you go, my love.”
And then she was gone and he opened his eyes. Tears fell from them as her words rang in his ears. She loved him. She called him “my love.” The anguish was too much to bear and a roar poured forth from deep within him. The sound echoed throughout the cavern and the adjoining tunnels. “Catherine!”
Several moments later when he came back to himself, he realized that he had not told her why he had come to her through the Bond. Now she would never know. Slowly he rose from where he had perched himself and began his journey back to the home tunnels.
“Vincent!” Catherine cried upon opening her eyes. Had he really been with her? Why did the darkness envelop her when she was trying desperately to get to him? Questions she couldn’t answer. All of the gifts were spread out on her bed before her. The strength she had found had disappeared. She wouldn’t dispense of these items today. For now they would just go back into her box.
After she had put everything away, she went to the wardrobe to choose something to wear to the concert. She took her black silk shift and hung it on the hook on the closet door. Then she looked for something to keep her busy. Still several hours away, she went ahead and fixed a pot of hot water to brew some tea. Even that didn’t ease her melancholy as she remembered the time she was healing Below and the special herbal tea that Vincent had given her. Almost everything she did reminded her of their time together and of the dream that was dying.
As she sipped the tea, she found herself daydreaming about what the future would have been like if there hadn’t been the risk of exposure. She saw herself ensconced in Vincent’s chamber – their chamber. She had agreed to become his wife in a joining ceremony Below. Her father would give her away to a man that he had been all too pleased to come to know. Father would be brimming with happiness that his son had fallen in love and would begin a wonderful life with her. Her friends, Nancy and Jenny, would be her attendants. Even Joe was there. When Vincent met him the two had been as close as brothers. The Helpers she had met would arrange to attend. She would take a leave of absence as she began her new life with Vincent. Then there would be a child – no – lots of children. And she would be so proud of them – especially the ones who took after their father. They would find a home – hidden in the city with garden walls so high that Vincent and the children could walk in the sunshine without any fear of being seen. Life would be wonderful. Just perfect.
Her reverie was broken by the clock chiming. It was time to begin final preparations for her evening out with her father and his companion. She showered, did her nails and make-up, fixed her hair back, and then dressed. She studied herself in the mirror. She wondered what Vincent would say if he could see her.
“What does it matter?” she moaned. “It will never happen. We’ll never see each other again. All of that was just a dream.” She fought back the tears in order to keep her make-up in place.
All characters are the property of Ron Koslow, Republic Pictures, and CBS. No infringement is implied or intended. Story is purely for entertainment purposes only. "The Bond" copyright 2002 ® Wendy Littrell
"The Bond" copyright 2002 ® Wendy Littrell
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