by Spark 187
Lying here, restless, worrisome, but happy. These passed two years, living free for the first time in my life. When I first arrived here, hurt, bleeding. In this desolate place. War was hell. I chose this ghost town of a paradise for my death place, but she would not allow it.
My first impression of her was a terrible scene. There I was on my knees, unable to even stand. I told her to kill me, but she didn't. Now, I wished she had. What was she thinking, nursing me, caring for me? I hated her for it, and loved her for it. Never in my life had anyone been so cruel or so kind. Those first few weeks were hazy. I don't remember much, just her. The vision with the strawberry hair, soft tender palms blotting my forehead with the cool sweet water of the falls in attempts to slow my forever rising fever.
I don't even know how long I was out of sorts. When confronting her about it. She simply remarked, "Long enough." She was a remarkable woman. I fear for her. The hardness I saw in her when simply asking her name. She quoted, 'I am no one. Who are you?' Why she chose those words I don't know. At times I feel as if we are one, and others, she is simply a stranger passing through the darkness.
I lay here next to her, hoping this life would end, and if it must, wishing we both would perish before the enemy rears its ugly head into our paradise. It is a world that has no beginning, no end, a world that just is and always will be. It has accepted us and cradled us in its arms. We are its children, but like all children, we must leave the safety of its warm protective nest to face the most frightening reality. Destiny.
Soon, morning would come. My beloved and I live another day in this fantasy.
"Rodney," her sweet whisper looms.
Her eyes open. I see her contented smile. It frightens me, so young, so beautiful, and so happy. With war all around us, our peaceful perfect paradise exists.
One thing I know. Whatever events transpire, we will always be together. We are woven together, the threads strong and steady. Love, being a delicate thing. How many times I've said it, but when did I ever mean it?
With her I can not say it; it would be a dead word, meaningless. With her, the unreal became real. The inconceivable became conceivable. Facing that ugly world out there, frightened me but we will do it together.
"It's morning," she said, looking out the window of our hut. The sun shone on her like a beacon. The real world can wait; this time, our time, is ours alone. "Time to get up, lazy. Things to do." She laughed.
"What things?" I said as I wrap her in my arms. We kiss, again, and again. The passion rises in us once more.
She stops me to my surprise. "Now, Rodney, we just did that. If we don't stop now, we're not going to make it out of this bed today."
"Are you complaining?"
"No, silly, but there's a time and place for everything. "She sounded so proper at the moment as she rose out bed and walks to the window. I fellow her. I could tell something was on her mind. Something was weighing heavily on her soul. But what? She was so distant as I held her by the open window. Looking out at out world brought a sense of peace to both of us.
"Look at it out there," she said with a sense of sadness. "In the world of Tarra and Rodney, all things are beautiful."
She was so right, and in some ways, wildly naïve. In our world war did not exist; death had no meaning. I just wished it could always be this way.
Finally after much coaxing Tarra lured me out of our hut high on the hill. From the tall cliffs she jumped into the water, diving fifty feet from the top. It used to terrify me the first time she made that feat. Now it was common place. Sometimes, I would even dive with her.
We laughed and frolicked in the waters for hours, only I knowing the end was near. If indeed Tarra had this knowledge, I was not aware of it.
When she emerged from the waters all was revealed. Her naked wet skin glistened in the sunshine. There was no sight more beauteous than that of Tarra.
"Are you going to stay in the water all day?" She teased.
"Yes, perhaps, I stay in here all day until you join me, my sweet."
"Am I the hunted?"
"The hunted you are, and I the hunter. There is no escape from me."
Knowing Tarra, she would make me chase her. Like she did a year ago. I told how she made me feel. I told her I loved her without using the word, a vile word it was, meaningless. Dead. But Tarra, she was alive, real, yet a fantasy. I made a pursuit of her on a regular basis. She called it my punishment for never daring to utter the word.
My fear embedded me. Feeling as if this would be our last game.
"Tarra," I called. No answer. "Tarra, please, answer me!" No sound, my fear came full circle. If she were lost I'd be lost. Then I heard a rustling.
"Rodney," she shouted behind me. She ran to me, clinging for dear life. "Someone's hear…on the Moonscape."
"Tarra, don't be frightened. It will be fine." I lied. I knew what was about to happen. Our life here was about to end. I welcomed death. If I am to die let it be with her. We shall haunt the Moonscape for all eternity.
The fear left her eyes as the quietness of the forest rose.
"I want to see the cliffs now!" she commanded, adamant in her plight. I could never refuse her even if I tried. We made our way through the plush trees to the soft grass. We had a small boat made from bamboo. We loved sailing in the deep waters, taking our daily tours. We never tired of the Moonscape. I was our world.
Climbing up the high cliffs I felt the exhaustion overwhelm me, but Tarra seemed more determined with every step.
"I must reach the top!" she shouted.
My second wind set in at the merely the sound of her voice. As if in reaching the top it would make everything the way it should be. The way it had been these past two years, peaceful, serene, and perfect.
"I made it, Rodney; come see."
That child-like excitement shone in her voice. Her exhaustion quite apparent as was mine. Returning to our sweet little hut for some rest was our only course.
"Come, Tarra, let's go home."
She leaned against me as we walked hand in hand. I could see how happy she was as we entered the cabin. Things still looked normal, as they should be. In fact, one of Tarra's great ideas came to light.
"I'm a little tired", she said. I paid no mind to what she was really saying.
"Maybe you need a little rest," I said, not really paying attention.
"Care to join me." She took my hands in hers, leading me the way I so many times led her.
Sitting on the small cot we slept on, she gave that ever-adoring innocent look. At first I had no idea what she was doing. I was speechless at the feel of her kisses on my lips, my neck and chest. Now she had become the hunter and I her pry. I was the little bird, and she was king.
As I looked into her eyes, I saw a tense urgency. "Make love to me," she said in a whisper.
I obeyed her command. She dominated me the same way I did so many times before. I wondered where this aggressiveness came from.
As I lay naked before her and she stood over me, I felt helpless to her charms. I could not move. I felt that if I did she would vanish. She was not fantasy; she was ecstasy. As she came towards me I studied her every move, her every glance. Her touches were like the air, giving me my very breath to live.
Her kisses fierce but tender. I could feel her quiver as I touched her. As I fell inside her, my great fear diminished. Hearing her screams of joy made it vanish. Everything vanished, the wood, the hut, the Moonscape was gone in an instant, all that remained was her.
As I entered her the second time, she felt the force as I did. "Rodney," she said sweetly. "Say it. I want to hear you say it." Her climax was even more fierce this time as I felt it, too. "Say it," she said once again. "Tell me."
I could deny her no longer. "I feel what I always felt," I said in a whisper. "I love you, Tarra." I said it without flinching. The word was no longer dead but alive and as real as Tarra. We lay spent of energy on a joyous horizon of our newfound closeness.
"Promise me something," she said later that night. I looked confused at her request. "Don't ever leave me. I would die if you did."
"I never will," I said, hoping I would be able to keep that promise.
In the morning breeze I can smell the wild flowers growing on the cliffs. Here I stand in the hue of dawn while my lover slept. All my life I had one thing to seek, one thing I was lacking. I was not ever aware of it until at last it found me. I, Tarra, is it just a name or a person? The meaning is simple: earth, dirt, the place where things grow proper and naturally. Am I that rocky hill…and what of Rodney? He was simply the man who wanted to die. I could not let him. His satisfaction in that would have been too great.
I wanted to hate him and blame him as I did my father, Montague, the great, but not the great. Do great men not show compassion to those in need even if it is not for their own profit? I say yes to all those questions but not the great Montague. Not one who was so cold. He could not see that war only destroys. He says we fight for freedom. Who's freedom? Are we not slaves of ourselves? Even in freedom, we are captives. The free man is the ignorant man. The knowledgeable is a captive of himself.
The great Montegue lies somewhere in between. To have knowledge or ignorance, which is better? One who has the knowledge and ignores it, or one who has ignorance and does not know it. That is me.
Than I am my father's daughter, so much for being the opposite of him. I have indeed become him. Rodney knows nothing of these dilemmas. I fear of his knowing. He speaks of my people abominably. I fear his looking on me with that same contempt. To speak of the past is to speak of death, therefore I am no one.
I hiked down from the cliffs wondering if Rodney had awakened yet. I see him through the window of our hut, peaceful, soundless. Like a thief in waiting, no movement or hint of simple sway fills the room, but a thief he is. He stole my heart and my soul and fills me with joy, peace and contentment.
Together we created a world others could never dream of. I imagined our children laughing and playing by the stream, dancing in the woods, resting on the soft grass on warm summer days, and us, children of the Moonscape, a place as mystical as the name. I fear our time here drawing short. I knew yesterday, perhaps from the very beginning. No one escapes their bandage forever… not him and not I. The knowledge devours us until we are no more, just shadows of who we want to be.
Now it was morning and with morning comes despair. I hear him now as I sit near the cliffs. Our time has ended even if he is in ignorance. I am in knowledge.
His inviting footsteps shower over me. My dear Rodney is close.
"Tarra? It's early. What are you doing up?"
"Did I wake you?" I asked, feeling my lover's concern.
"No," he said, wrapping his arms around me. "Maybe it was the sweet dew of the air or maybe the beauteous songs of the lark. I opened my eyes to find you gone. I was worried."
"Don't be. I am here as you are." I stood up to face him. I beheld the strength of his body, the concern in his face. "We are serious today." I used my sardonic dexterity to bring a smile to his face. "Are you not happy?"
He looks horrified by my allegations. "Happy? Why ask such a ridiculous question? What I told you last night. The words I uttered."
"I never said them with meaning until now. I used to shutter at the words. Now I say them without fear. I love you, Tara. Whatever happens never forget."
"How can I?" In my heart I didn't want to believe, because it would hurt too much when I finally lost him.
We held each other for what seemed like an eternity. Time stopped on the Moonscape. There was no world outside this utopia. At that moment I was glad to join the ignorant.
Later we traveled down to the woods, playing our chase games were a daily ritual, but not today. Today I felt an overwhelming need not to be separated. Rodney understood. Something told me he did.
Sitting under the large coconut tree, something was preying on his mind. So I asked, "What's wrong?" It wasn't the answer I expected.
"Everything," he said. "In the world outside there were so many deaths. They're all looking for redemption, and we are alone in our own world."
"Yes, "I said. "Where no one can touch us."
He didn't believe me when I said it. I didn't believe it either. There was a certain heaviness in the air. I knew I had to do something to break it. Getting up from where I was seated, I threw a question that shocked Rodney quite a bit.
Sneaking around the back of the tree trunk, I said, "Do you love me?" He had said earlier, but I made myself not believe it. It was toying with him, wanting to hear those words come from his lips again even if they were a lie.
"What?" The looked on his face was beyond shocked. He was mortified. "What kind of question is that?"
"An easy one," I said laughing. Dancing around the forest always gained me my lover's attention.
This kind of behavior always puzzled Rodney. He called it my precariousness. Looks of fright came about his face as I ran from his sight.
"Tarra, wait," he shouted after me.
"No way, lover-boy," I said, continuing to run from him.
There I went playing our little game again. I made him chase me as I always did, but letting him catch me was the real fun, which he finally did after much work.
"Do you give up?" he said, pinning me down.
"Never," I whispered. "Do you?"
"I'll not be the captive," he said as he kissed me.
"Oh, yes you are," I said laughing at him.
He became playfully agitated with me. He gave me that look of animal magnetism as if he wanted to make love that very minute, not that I would have protested.
Before either of us knew it, footsteps lay beyond the trees, coming closer. For a time, we paid them no mind. I looked into the eyes of my lover, seeing a bit of fright in his eyes.
"What is it?" I asked as he looked up at the trees.
"Nothing." I could see he was lying.
I had to do something to change his solitary look. Something playful overcame me. I wrestled him to the ground by tickling him into submission.
The footsteps came closer, until I saw a familiar face of a man standing over us. Oh, no, not him, I said under my breath. I couldn't fathom how they found me. The desecration of the world that was our own had begun. The Moonscape was now tainted. All I could do was scream.
"No!" I shouted. "Why are you here?"
The man in the armored garment spoke, concerned but forceful. "Princess, we thought you were dead."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Garth," I fired at him.
I didn't notice the horrified look on Rodney's face, but I didn't have to see it to know it was there.
"Who is this man?" Garth flared. "A Kordovian, I presume," he continued, looking to my lover. The anger in his voice infuriated Rodney. To his men, "Arrest him!"
"No, Garth, leave him alone. He hasn't done anything."
"He's a Kordovian," Garth said, pointing a finger at Rodney. "That's enough. Kidnapping the royal princess is punishable by death."
"He didn't kidnap me," I insisted. "I left."
"Why?" Garth asked, trying to pull me away from Rodney's side. I shoved his hand off my arm.
"You know why," I flared at him, still staying close to Rodney.
"I don't think I do," Garth said, pulling me away. This time he was successful. "You can explain it to me on the trip home."
"Forgot it, Garth. I'm not going back."
"You have no choice. Either come back with me now, or he dies." I looked to my lover seeing no fear in his eyes. I felt it enough for the both of us.
I knew I couldn't be responsible for Rodney's death, but returning to Orann was the last thing I wanted.
"I won't let you kill him," I said. With a heavy heart I agreed, but I knew there was no way Rodney would ever forgive me.
We reached Orann in a matter of hours. The first face I saw was that of my father's. At that moment I wanted to strike him down. I did not wish to be here at this time, this place.
On entering the castle, Garth did not even allow me to look on my lover's face. My perception of his actions was quite simple. His love-hate for me and the jealousy for something he could never have.
As for my father, the great Montegue was something different. A man incapable of love, or so I thought. His daughters were merely his possessions and his people his captives.
I saw the contempt in his face as I approached the man who drove me from my home.
"Father," I scowled. "Are you happy now?"
"To have you home safe, yes."
"Sure you are. I'm not stupid, father. You know I never wanted to come back here. I told you if this insane war didn't end, you would never see me again."
"But, daughter, here you are?" To Garth, he motioned. "Take the princess to her room. She must be exhausted after her long trip."
There it was. The great Montegue was acting as always. His pretending things were perfect. I hated him at that moment. In fact, I can't remember a time when the two of us had true affection for each other. This was a loveless world. Moonscape was a thing of the past.
Later, I stay in my room or rather my cell. It didn't bring any profound knowledge. That is until my little sister came knocking at the door.
"Tarra, is it really you?" she asked, looking at me as if she saw a ghost.
"Yes, Marra, it's me," I said with a fake smile.
I looked upon my baby sister. I can't believe how tall she had grown, taller than me, and I was much taller than the average woman. She figure was that of a woman's but her eyes still held the optimism of youth.
"I thought I would never see you again." We embraced for a time. I didn't want to discuss my ordeal or even the reasons why I left, but Marra made it her business to pry. "Where were you? Did the Kordovians capture you?"
"No," I said, sitting down on the edge of my bed, "not exactly."
"What is that suppose to mean?" she asked, sitting in the red velvet footstool that rested at the end of my bed.
I realized I had made her a little angry. I've always has a way of answering questions without really answering. That alone irritated her more than anything.
"So I answered her the only way I could. "It means what it means." She groaned at me, which made me smile a little.
"Then who's the guy?" she inquired. "Is he the one who captured you?" The look on her face told me she didn't actually believe that he actually did.
"Yes," I whispered. My enigmatic look was a dead give away to Marra that I wasn't telling her truth.
"Oh, no, don't tell me." I looked at her shocked as she said, "You love him, don't you?"
"What makes you say that?" I said rising from my seat on the bed. I walked over to my window and looked, pretending that it was scenery seen from the little hut I shard with Rodney.
"Because I know," walking over to join me. "I have the same look every time I'm near Garth." I looked back at her to see her face all aflutter.
I was shocked to hear her confusion. To think, my own sister could love someone like Garth, the emotionless captain of the guard, but then most soldiers were like that. At least all the soldiers I knew.
"Does he feel the same?" I asked.
"No, at least I don't think he does," she said, a saddened frustrated look on her face. I thought I spotted a tear coming out of her brown eyes. "He barely notices me. He's too busy pining over you." I saw that old animosity she always felt for me coming back. "The question is, what's the deal with you and this guy?"
"Well…we're lovers," I said, reluctant for the direction she was leading the conversation.
"What?" she shouted, sounding horrified. "He's Kordovian. How?"
"It's a long story. I never had any intention of coming back here. We were happy, until…"
"Until Garth," she said, finishing my question. "Answer one question, Tarra." Her eyes possessed a coyness I remembered of her all too well. "Do you love him?"
"Yes," I said without a flinch. "He's everything to me."
"Then go to him," she said, a warmness coming to her voice.
At that moment I felt like the younger sister receiving advice. I had no choice than to see Rodney even if he hated me for lying to him. Even so, I had to try.
Sitting here wondering how I got here, I ponder the days that came before. Those days Tarra and I were free. Now, I find out that what I thought she was not to be the truth. Now I know what she meant when she told me she was no one. She wiped her past away, fearing my wrath. How I wished I hadn't said those terrible things about her people. The thing I fear most is her hatred. What we once had and the life we once led will never be found again. It's now gone. I just hope her love hasn't died. I would gladly go to my death, possessing that knowledge.
As I sit here, I hear footsteps coming near me, faster and faster, louder and louder. Who could it be?
"Rodney," an voice echoed from the cell doors. It was Tarra. "They haven't hurt you, I hope?"
She nodded to my question, giving some assurance. "No, are you alright? I'm sorry this happened."
"Me, too. Please don't be angry with me," she said, a tear forming in her eye.
"For not telling you who I really was," she said, looking away from me. "I was afraid you would hate me. I couldn't stand that."
"I don't hate you. I could never hate you. You saved my life."
"That was two years ago," she said, looking in my eyes, "and you would have survived anyway."
"That's not what I mean. You gave me back my will to live. I was dead until that day I met you. Don't you understand. Without you I'm dead. So, please, don't hate me."
"Never. Do you know there's no way that could never happen? In fact, I wasn't even going to come here today, because I thought you wouldn't want to see me."
"So, why did you come?"
"Would you believe my baby sister told me to." We both burst into laughter at the thought as she said, "I can't believe for the first time in my life I actually took advice from my sister."
"She sounds like a wise woman."
"Wise? The last time I saw her, she was this wild irresponsible child, and now she's a woman in love with a man that doesn't deserve her."
"Kind a like her big sister."
It shocked her to hear me say that. "What do you mean? The fact is I don't deserve you. I lied to you."
"Only because you were afraid. I can't hold that against you. I want to, but I can't."
She smiled at me, and for a moment it was as if the bars that were now between us didn't exist. For a moment I fooled myself into thinking we were back on the Moonscape, happy and free. We reveled in our fantasy. Even though we were unable to physically touch, somehow our souls could, and the restraints of reality no longer mattered.
We talked well into the night. It was like getting to know her all over again. It was exciting and fearful. This was the woman I had spent so many nights with. In our time together I felt as if I knew her, but I was wrong. She had a whole other life here. One she walked away from and now returned to, but there was no place for me in it, even if she would not admit to it. Seeing her here in front of me, even in this darkened dungeon I never saw anything so beautiful, with her strawberry curls falling loosely on her shoulder, and her green sparkling despite the darkness. Her face was all I could see, all I wanted to see, and it filled the emptiness in my heart.
As she walked away no longer in my eyesight, I felt the emptiness return, a coldness at her departure. Now I sit here once again with a new despair as the death of our old life reached its end.
Now in the shadows I hear footsteps, but not those of my lady. Who it could be, I'll soon learn. There I see him, the man who put me in my present position, the same man who threatened Tarra. He is my enemy in the least of all things.
"What do you want?" I say. My hatred for him burns. I've killed many men, but none I had feeling for. The only thoughts I have for this man are hate. It burns a whole in my heart and in my soul. When my love was taken away it left an emptiness inside me. This man filled that space with rage.
He spoke with the same fierce hatred I had for him. "I'm only going to tell you once. Stay away from Tarra. She is mine."
"Yours?" I said, reveling at his stupidity "That is something she will never be. You don't know her… not really. She has a heart and a soul that you can never touch. No matter what you do. No matter how you try. She will never be yours."
"Are you finished? You are the one who will never have Tarra again. Tomorrow you will be dead, and in time, just a faint memory. You see, anyway you look at it. I win, and you lose."
"I would be proud to die for my people, but don't fool yourself into thinking that Tarra will forget. The heart never forgets. You can not compete with a ghost."
He knew what I said was true. I could see it in his eyes. He walked off knowing I had angered him. It seemed to me he thought of Tarra as a prize to be won. As I saw her as a person with feelings and ideas. Her visit this night meant everything to me. Now I could die in peace.
My fears about Rodney's fate finally saw the light as my younger sister, Marra, conveyed them to me. The armed guard outside my room was there to make sure I could not go anywhere.
"Why is he doing this?" I shouted, while pacing the room.
"Why does he do anything?" Marra said, slouching down in one the chairs.
"No matter, Marra," I said, my eyes stared intensely at the door. "I'm going to him, but I need your help."
"How?" Marra said, suddenly sitting up straight. Her face contained a horrified glare, as she looked directly into my eyes, knowing the answer to her own question.
"Distract the guard, so I can get out of here."
"Are you crazy?" she asked, rising abruptly from her seat. "What do you think you're going to do?"
"The only thing I can."
Marra didn't like the sound of that. I looked on her as if it were the last time. I could hear her from the outside. She didn't seem nervous or unsteadily. At that moment she impressed me like never before.
Father was a fool to think I could be stopped so easily. As he himself has said, I am my father's daughter.
"Hey, handsome," came Marra's voice. "How 'bout you and we have some fun."
"I'm sorry, princess, but I can't leave my post," he said, trying to sound authoritative but pointed a sly smile at Marra.
"Oh, don't be a prude. Sister Tarra's not goin' anywhere, not with the dose of Valium I gave her. Real good, Marra, entice him some more, I thought. "What do ya say?"
That moment, I opened the door to see his back to me. Marra dared not look at me for fear of the burly guard standing between us. On impulse I picked up my treasured glass lamp and smashed it over his head.
"Is he dead?" was the only words Marra could think of to say.
"No, just grazed. Thank you, Marra. I'll never forget this."
"Be careful," she called as I raced down the hall.
I had little trouble getting to the amphitheater. I knew I had to save Rodney, but I wasn't sure how. I saw my father's face at the high chamber box. My other two sisters sat with him all smiles. I couldn't understand how Daza and Serra could think this was entertaining. Returning home was the worst thing that could have happened.
Hidden in my gray cloak, surveying all that was around me, made me realize why I left in the first place. The people roared, shouting obscenities. They were aimed directly towards Rodney. I knew whatever I intended to do, I needed to do it quickly.
I heard my father speak. "On this day, a day of redemption, Orann will rise. This enemy, a Kordovian shall be an example for all his kind. We shall punish our enemies, starting here. You, Rodney of Kordovia, we find you guilty of such crimes against our people. Prepare to die."
I saw the firearms click to ignition. Great fear raced through me. In a matter of seconds I pushed my way through the crowing crowd of the amphitheater, screaming in terror. Father rose from his seat.
"Who is that?" Serra said innocently.
"Who do you think?" Daza answered.
I looked to my father then to Rodney then the soon to be executioners and screamed, "Stop! I will not allow this madness." Father had a look of chagrin about his face.
"Madness?" He questioned. "The only madness I see is yours. Show yourself."
"It is me, Father," I said, removing my cloak. His heated temper, intimidating everyone including me, but I would not falter. I had to save Rodney. My father must understand that.
A silence filled the air for what seemed like an eternity. For the great Montegue and I, eyes locked, my stance unwavering.
He finally spoke with idle words I was quick to ignore. "This prisoner will die by our law."
"No!" I shouted, "if you wish to kill him you will have to kill me first."
"Tarra, no," Rodney said. One of my father's minions held him back. "I won't let you."
My father's eyes were unfaltering. "Guards, take my daughter away from here."
"No, Father, you will listen. This war has no end. Day after day, all you think of is new ways of destroying human life. I will have no more of it. If you plan on murdering someone today than let it be me."
"No, Father, don't let her," came the words of Serra.
"Do it, Father," I said. The intensity of his face made my will that much stronger. I would not be subjugated by the fear I felt towards him. A fear he once called love. This was an ultimatum he would have to answer. No more could he hide behind his throne. It was time for truth. Time to see if he truly was the great Montegue, a great leader of even greater compassion. "Your answer, please."
Montegue hesitated but finally spoke, his voice crackling, "What do you expect of me? He is an enemy."
"By who's admission?"
His anger appeared to be flailing, although he did not give that impression. I could always see things in him others were blind to. Did I love father? No, this isn't a question of love, more of control. I had it, and he craved it. I would gladly hand it over to him if it meant Rodney's life to be spared, but submission was not an answer. This silence tampers with my sanity, unhinging my anger.
"Answer the question, Father."
"Kill him!" He shouted, pointing to the executioners.
"No, me first." The guards halted at my words. It seemed I had more authority at this moment. Montague wasn't happy about the defiance on my part or the guards. "Ask yourself, Father, are you willing to sacrifice the daughter you claim to love?"
"You will not win, Tarra."
"Wrong, Father, either way I win. He dies then I die with him. He lives then I live. You can't stop destiny, Father. Try as you must."
I saw the submission in my father's face. Looking on Rodney, seeing the fear in his eyes, his strength baffled me. Only when my life was in question did he show fear.
"Your answer, Father."
Seeing the hesitation he finally said, "Guards, release him."
I felt a tear run down my face. My love was saved for now. But what of the future? It pains me to think of never looking upon him again. Never again to walk in the morning mist, or hearing the beating of his heart, but whatever the future held we always had our memories. They would never become faint or be condemned to living in the distant past never to be reflected upon again.
On the high mountains overlooking their Moonscape, Tarra and Rodney looked on it one last time. Feeling the pangs of separation came over them. The realization that this would be the last they would ever look on each other. Terra took much time observing everything around her. Her strawberry locks her blowing in the wind, her semi-flawless features stained only by the pain she felt. It all seemed like a dream, the life they led here. Their two years together flashed by too fast. Their binding souls never to be parted from one another. They were all they ever needed during that time, but circumstances conspired to tear them apart. What was to be lost? Innocence?
War had brought them together, and now it was tearing us apart. The irony of their fate would almost be funny if it not for the tragedy of the circumstances.
His voice possessed a low cracking sound as he looked to her seeing her face redden. "You know, we could always run away together," Rodney said, trying to cling to one last hope.
"They would find us."
"So what do we do, jump from these cliffs and embrace the thought of death?"
"We can't. It wouldn't change anything."
"We would be together."
"But there's another to consider. Our deaths would mean nothing."
"What other? I don't understand." Tarra took Rodney's hands in her, tears filling her eyes. He wanted to hold her forever, but fate denied them that allowance.
"Rodney, our child now grows inside me." She put his hand on her belly. He was speechless as she added, " Our child must live. This war needs to end. Perhaps with his birth it will. Don't you see, our love will never die. They may separate us, but we will always be connected."
"Tarra, how can you expect me to go off and leave without you after this news?"
"But you have to. Don't you think this isn't killing me too? I don't want to say goodbye, but there's no other way."
He held her close to him not wanting to be torn away from her. Soon, it would be dark, and with the darkness would come his hollowed heart. He would always wonder about his love and hate her for taking the heart he so freely gave. No longer would he smell the sweet scent of her skin. No longer could he touch her the way he had in their years of freedom. Only in his dreams, whether day or night. The memory of their love would always be with him.
As for the child he did not want to leave the innocent baby without defense and honor the child deserved. It would be up to Tarra to love and care for him. Montague would not be the doting grandfather. The child would only be a threat to him.
Tarra's tears burned in his heart. The emotion they both felt overwhelmed both of them.
Her whispers were like a knife cutting into his heart. "It's time. You must go."
"I can't leave you."
"You must. When the time comes when next we meet we will never be separated again." Taking his hands in hers, she added, "This is my vow. You are my husband, and I your wife, for now and for always. Do you accept this vow?"
"Yes, I vow to be true until again we meet."
She traveled down the mountain, Rodney not moving, frozen where he stood. Still seeing her silhouette in his mind. Would he ever see her again? He didn't know. He just knew that she was gone, stolen from his life. The future seemed bleak to him. Without her what was he but a shell of a man with nothing but memories to cling to. Someday, yes, someday they would find each other again. He would live for that day no matter how long he must wait. Destiny would see to it.
Author's Note: I wrote this when I was sixteen for a girl who just loved tragic romance. She told everyone in school about it, so everyone asked for copies. I went to the print shop and had a few dozen copies printed out and sold them for 2 each. I hadn't read over this story in twenty years. I found a copy in box, while cleaning out my closet. I hope you all enjoy.
Please, let me know if I should write a sequel.