Monday, May 11, 2015

Short Story: Loved, Part 15 of 15 (AKA The end!)

This is it!!!!!!

The end.

I, you have to read it first. Then I can write "the end."

(Although if you need to read the beginning first, you can do so by clicking here.)

Hand trembling, Rebekah raised the mirror to her face and looked in. The painted man’s words filled her head, and the shriveled flower filled her eyes. But another voice whispered into her heart. The voice that wanted to be a flower on the hillside, dancing in the wind. The voice that said she was a flower, that she was precious. That she was wanted, just as she was. Rebekah concentrated on that voice for a moment. And the flower in the mirror grew. Its brilliant white petals spread their wings and flew out of the reflection and into her heart.
            It was Charlie’s voice she heard. Charlie’s voice assuring her that it was worth the risk. Where had this man come from? This man who searched for her when she disappeared. A man who came after her, even after seeing the failure she became. A man who cared for her enough to give in to her will, instead of forcing her to live a life she didn’t want.
            She looked deeply at the white rose in the mirror. She saw her reflection, and she knew who she was. Confidence in her dreams filled her soul. But then she looked past herself. She looked for the people whose lives were touched by the white rose. She thought of how they must feel and what they must want. And she decided what to do. Life was not meant to be lived alone, after all.
            “I am going home to my mother,” Rebekah stated. “Because I love her and I need to reconcile with her. But,” she smiled at Charlie. “I want to care about more than just myself. I want to encourage people, so they do not feel as desperate as I felt.” She looked at the three beaming children. “I want to be able to care for Lucas and Collin and Polly. I want them to know that they are, and always will be, loved.” She paused for a moment, taking in the grandeur of what she had just said.
            “I want to learn how to love. To put somebody else before myself. To care for them, even when I’ve lost the hope to care for myself. To pour out myself as a drink offering, and see the other flowers grow! I need to learn to love.”
            The room remained quiet for a moment. Then the gremlin spoke up, more seriously than anyone had ever heard him before.
            That is what ‘Love’ is,” he said. “All I am is ‘Lust,’ but that, that is ‘Love.’” He turned to the painted man. “And you sir, do not understand what love is. All you can do is lust after what you want; you pay no heed to anyone else’s needs.”
            The painted man shifted on his feet, not sure how to take that.
            “You are exactly the kind of person I need to serve me!” the gremlin giggled. “Come along boy, we have a deal to keep.” He disappeared in a puff of smoke, which started to spread and surround the painted man. He backed away, terrified of the blackness, but the smoke shrouded him and covered him from sight. As it slowly dissipated, there was nothing left of the painted man to be seen.
            The children blinked. Rebekah breathed deeply. Charlie looked to her, then to where the painted man had just stood. Outside in the doorway, the short man groaned. Nobody said a word.
            After a while, Rebekah spoke up, “Maybe we should take him home,” she motioned to the short man.
            Charlie shook his head in amazement. He couldn’t believe the girl would be so caring toward someone who had just been hunting her.
            “Rebekah?” he said softly. She turned to look at him. Charlie swallowed.
            You, Rebekah, you are beautiful. You are special. You have something amazing to offer the world. You have big dreams, and I admire that. I respect your dreams, and I want to help you achieve those.” he smiled at her.
            “And you, Charlie,” she answered back. “You are an amazing man. You risked your life for me. You have shown me what true love really is. It is not heart pounding emotions. It is giving up your emotions, your wants, your desires, for the other person. You have shown me true love, Charlie, and I truly love you.”
            He grabbed her hands and pulled her closer. “Come here, beautiful,” he whispered. And although love is not simply flitting butterflies in your stomach, they went flying up anyway as he drew Rebekah into him and pressed his lips to hers. The children in the corner shrieked.
            “Ewwwwww!” they cried together. But Polly secretly hoped it would happen to her one day.

            The children returned to Mrs. Peers, despite their best protests. But Rebekah encouraged them to see her as somebody special, and to treat her that way, too. Surprisingly, they found that after a while, they did think of Mrs. Peers as somebody special. And after a while, Mrs. Peers seemed to think of them as somebody special, too. But a few years later, they said goodbye to her and went to live with Charlie and Rebekah, who had been married two years earlier. Rebekah had moved out of her mother’s house to live with her husband, but she did go to visit her often.
            And every night, after the children were in bed, Charlie and Rebekah strolled through the rose garden in their backyard. On certain nights, when the moon was bright, the ocean of white reflected the light and cast a soft glow onto the lovers’ faces. They looked into each other’s eyes and saw themselves for who they truly were: beautiful, valuable, loved.
The end.

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