Vincent sat deep in thought after Lena left his
chamber. Her question echoed in his head. “But she isn’t here. Why isn’t
she with you?” A direct question, to the point; guileless even.
… She was Catherine.
She who was the drumbeat of his heart.
Vincent closed his eyes and she appeared in his mind’s eye, so lovely,
so loving, her eyes meeting his and pledging to love him always. And how
had he answered Lena’s question?
It was far easier to explain to Lena how
much he loved Catherine. “With all that I am, with all that I can ever
become.” Of that he was certain.
Yet, he had let Lena touch him, his
skin, as she felt his heart. Catherine had yet to have that privilege.
Lena’s ready acceptance was a balm to him, a soothing thought that
perhaps he was not so outside of everyone else as he thought himself to
be. She looked at him as if he were the gift she was hoping to receive
under the Christmas tree, her eyes filled with hope, with love as she
knew it, and with longing.
He tried to tell her of the impossibility
of her dream. He, who had only recently come to fervently believe in
dreams, had to dash those of this young girl. His heart was already
And then that question! “Why isn’t she
with you?” He’d been annoyed, having to answer to this young girl when
he had no clear answer, not for himself, and certainly not for
Catherine. He finally told Lena that Catherine had opened the world to
him through her love only to hear Lena claim the same for her – that he
had opened the world for her.
She loved him. So he began again. ”I can’t expect
Catherine to …” And stopped. He knew about expectations. He had
expectations thrust upon him all too often. Did he have expectations of
Catherine? No, not expectations. Little hopes, spinning around his heart
and yearning to be spoken. Yet he was hesitant to rise above the fear
that these hopes were too impudent to be coming from such a beast as he.
He had no real answer to her question. Why wasn’t Catherine with him?
Vincent leaned back in his chair. Catherine had
almost left him once … to move to Providence. He gave feint memory to
his incarceration by the scientists. Instead, he recalled his rescue by
Catherine, and her being there in his chamber, looking at him with the
realization that she felt far more for him than he dared hoped she
could; looking at him with commitment to stay and see it through.
His mind sped forward to that fateful night when
he set her free, ending the relationship that was causing her so much
pain. It nearly killed him, except he had to believe that it proved the
depth of his love to set her free to find her happiness Above. Yet his
heart sang at her return, and her avowal that what they had was worth
everything caused his heart to swell and nearly burst with happiness,
Still, the question mocked him. “Why isn’t she with you?”
To be with her, always, was his deepest,
unspoken desire. He feared he wished too much. To utter those words
would be to invite the gods to break their Bond, to sever their
She was like a gem that was meant to
sparkle in the sun. To pull her Below – how could he deny her the world
Above when it so plainly suited her? Vincent hung his head. These
thoughts always led him to the same conclusion. What had he to offer her
that could even begin to compensate for her sacrifice? How could his
love for her ever be enough? This thought
compelled him to consider, just for a second,
that Lena might be a possibility for him, just as she saw him as a
possibility for her. But he knew it for the fleeting ramble that it was.
His heart was bound to Catherine, and ever would be.
“Why isn’t she here with you?”
Vincent raised his face to the skies Above.
want you here with me. I pray that time will come, that we both will
recognize the moment. But … not yet. I am as certain of this truth as I
know of my love for you.
His rebuff had
How odd it was,
To think I once believed love was not meant
for me. Now two women profess their love for me.
One whose I heart I treasure, and one who I wish to keep as a dear
friend. He hoped that a friendship
would be possible.
He stood up, resolving to go see Father. Perhaps he would have something wise to say that would make everything clear, or at least quiet his thoughts. If nothing else, he would feel Father’s love, and like the child he once was, Vincent knew he would feel better after talking things over with Father.