Once upon a time, that's how fairy tales began and ended with a happily ever after. As I write this story sitting at the corner desk in my bedroom, my fingers flying across the keyboard, I found it hard to believe that happily ever after did happen to me. But it did, in its own way it did.
My world came crashing down the day Link decided to reveal his secret identity and end the repeatitions of our lives (Mike's, Link's and mine). It was hard to forgive someone trully but that was what I had to do. For the sake of our lives, I had to forgive Link, who I'm certain is flying as we speak to some lost soul and trying to save it from the devil he used to be.
Mike... I had wondered what happened to him? Surprisingly, we lost contact after the Big Night. I had stayed there huddled in Mike's arms, we both had began to drift into our own separate entities, cutting of the bond that so attracted me to him, and him to me.
It was only ten years ago when I had cried my heart out for the man who only wished to be forgiven. I still thought of him and saw him in my dreams.
Life began dancing to a steady rhythm after. Finishing my senior year was no hardship, giving up my dream to realize what I wanted was harder to accept. My ambitions knew no bounds before and would have sacrificied my happiness. So taking heart to all Link had taught me before, I looked into teaching during my final year as an undergrad. It was no hardship that I had been accepted into a teaching school. I always wanted to share my delight in chemistry with others. Belle and Jordan, my best friends during high school, had moved away. After a year or two we became too involved in our own lives; weekly calls turned monthly to once a year until we finally cut of all contacts. Soon, they became a distant memory, and we all went on with our lives. I eventually had gotten married, had a daughter and then became a widow.
True, sometimes I did feel as though I sensed a disturbance within a room or a house, (just like I do when my muse irks me to write, just like it had six hours ago) but I had learned how to mask my power, and in the end, different beings stopped bothering me. All in all, I lead a very peaceful life.
Then a stranger from the past decided to knock on my door yesterday.
It was cold. The snow whipped past my already red nose, and I looked around for a place for warmth. Seeing the familiar sign of Tim Horton's, I shuffled in. Grateful for the sudden heat, I sighed. It was crowded tonight, and the noise here was magnanimous. Standing in line to order a cup of coffee to battle the cold, I fidgeted with my wallet. I recognized a few of my students and shared a smile at them. Some were obviously embarassed to see me, after all, who would have guessed that teachers too are humans and have a life?
Normally, as I had just mentioned, I did from time to time feel eyes burning into my back. However, I refused to glance back and counted down until whoever was staring looked away.
The feeling persisted.
Agitated, I turned to look around, only to find a pair of familiar blue eyes staring down at me.
"Mona," he whispered. My hungry eyes stared at his, as though imprinting the image of this once magnificent man. Though I remembered what he looked like, it was nothing like seeing him alive, out of my head. His dark brown hair was much darker, almost black, and longer. I noted that the arrogant smirk was gone, and instead he held a genuinely friendly smile. He seemed broader, and I could tell that he had gained a lot of muscle since his days as a teenager.
I saw his eyes glance down at me, appraising me from the tip of my boots to the my highlighted blond roots. He reached out to touch the edge of my hair, "You've changed."
I replied, only when I felt steadier, "I don't have glasses. You look beautiful."
His grin broadened, "And you're gorgeous."
"Can I help the next person in line?!" the salesclerk yelled. I turned to give him my order, and waited as Mike had gotten his meal. As I looked around for a place to sit, I was surprised when Mike touched my elbow. I jumped away from him.
His lips tightened and his eyes narrowed as though I had offended him, "Let's go sit over there."
Michael didn't wait for me, expecting me to follow in his wake. He hadn't changed all that much, ordering around had always been a horrible habit of his. For a moment, I wanted to turn around and walk out, just to spite him. Then I sighed, and scolded myself for acting so childish and jumpy. I was twenty eight years old, but around Mike, I still felt like that lost sixteen year old.
Just then he turned to look at me and raised his eyebrows in a gesture that clearly said, 'Are you coming or not?'
I tried to control my heart palpitations and tried to regain my breathing, but to no avail. There was no doubt about it, Mike had the key to my heart. I had to accept that years ago, when no other boy had caused me to soften towards them, or held only a slight affectations. Still, that didn't mean I had to blurt that out to Mike. He had hurt me all those years ago, how could I trust him not to do the same now?
And that was more than a decade ago.
All I had to do was hide that fact from him. Easier said than done.
So clipped clopped to him, and slid into the seat across from him. I mixed the sugar, and stirred it until I was ready to glance up at him.
He had a slight smile and the way his gaze had softened at me made his eyes appear slightly a little less harsher. Before I could drown into his eyes, I cleared my throat, "So, still hunting wild animals?"
He drank his coffee, "I'm actually a vegetarian."
I had to grin, "A vegetarian werewolf? What a grand idea. How come?"
His smile dimmed a little, "I'm a cop. I already see so much violence. It's just turned me off from blood. Anyway, what are you doing in a small town like this one?"
I sipped some of my coffee, "I'm a chemistry teacher. I was hired here."
"I'm not surprised you're teaching chemistry. But I always thought you wanted to go into medicine."
"I did," this time I took a bite from my cookie, "But then when I was teaching a high school student the La Chatelier's Principles of Equilibrium and then later math to another student, I realized teaching was my true passion…besides chemistry."
"Good for you," he sounded genuinely caring that I grinned at him. His hands trapped mine, "What have you done in the past ten years to forget about our chemistry?"
My lips parted, and I couldn't think of a suitable reply. I had forgotten how blunt and to the point he was. He flipped my hand over so that my palm were up. He touched it with his fingers, making random patterns.
"Mike," I whispered, "We can't."
"You've haunted me, you know that?" he whispered, but with a lot more urgency, "In these past years, my parents passed away, my brother became an alcoholic intent on ruining his life, my sister had become the local prostitute after she had been brutally raped."
I slid out of my seat and slid into his. I reached out to touch his arms. He turned around to look down at me, "My life was hell. I shouldn't have been thinking about you at all, if you were okay, if you were loving life, if you missed him. I should have been completely focused on my problems, but still…you were all I could think about."
By then he was looking away from me, as if he couldn't stand me looking at him with pity. I shuddered in a breath, before turning to him, "I was married until two years ago. My life was really good, I have a three year old daughter Rose, and my husband was really good to me. But you're right. Although I was blissfully happy, I could only think about you. You were in my dreams. I always tried to forget about you, especially when I found my husband in the arms of his best friend and later dead in a car accident. You're right, life has dealt with us separately harshly, keeping us apart. You've haunted me as well."
His hands by then were cupping my cheeks, and he wiped away my tears. I was surprised to see him crying as well, so I reached out to wipe away a few tears. I whispered, "You're beautiful."
He smiled at me, and his forehead rested against mine, "And you're gorgeous."
When we both had gotten in control of ourselves, I showed him a picture of Rose, while he told me stories about the various hooligans on the street. He confided in me his quest in becoming a detective, and I equally told him about my daughter's latest clash our cat. We kept talking until our coffee became cold, and then we ordered some more.
When it was getting dark and the last customer of Tim Horton's left, I knew it was time to leave. I didn't want to, but it was time.
Mike stood up as well and followed me out. By then, it was beginning to snow. There was almost no wind, and I felt a moment of peace that the wind wasn't slapping me about.
"So, uh," he started, before stuttering, "What, er, um…"
Was he truly blushing?
I smiled, "Wanna see my cat?"
His eyes darkened, and though I hadn't meant it sexually, he was evidently taking it that way. I then began to stutter, "Not that…um…I meant it that way…but you know I have this…cat and…"
"Where's your daughter?"
"Rose is staying over at my brother's place for the night. She gets along fantastically with my niece. Erm, I guess that would be her cousin."
Mike smiled, "Let's go to my place. I had cooked lasagna last night, but I think it's really good."
I now glance at the sleeping form of my daughter in my bed before taking a look at the leather jacket Mike had forgotten last night. My life was finally coming back to its order and I finally believe in happily ever after. My fingers of their own accord fly across my beloved computer, typing finally...
And they lived happily ever after...