I’ve written about love before, both times in stories set in a science fiction world I created over twenty years ago. Actually there was a third story set in the same world that dealt with love, wanted and unavailable, and getting through that novel was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because in pulling that story out of whatever crevasse of my mind held the damn thing, I also pulled out a lot of feelings that I’d not touched upon for a while.
You may have noticed I’m doing the same thing here, only . . . it’s a different kind of love.
The new scene I added to the novel was finished last night, with only a touch fewer than six hundred words needed to bring it to a conclusion. After Annie’s profession of undying love, there weren’t a lot of places Kerry could go in his mind, wondering just what the hell this Girl From Bulgaria meant. If I can figure it out, I’m sure he can . . .
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“As would I.” Annie smooched Kerry on the right cheek, very near his lips. She lingered there for a few seconds, savoring the kiss. “Goodnight, my love.”
He folded his hands across his lap. “Night, Sweetie.”
She paused at the curtain. “See you in the morning.” She blew him a kiss, then departed.
Now alone, Kerry thought about the things Annie had said. He wasn’t all that interesting in her apology, or the information about her father—he continued going back to her talk of her love for him, and how she would love him—
He wanted to say “forever”, but it was more than that. And every day, as long as you live, you’ll hear me say those words to you. That was what she said. She wasn’t talking forever, not like someone would if they were talking about a long, indefinite period of time for which they didn’t know the end.
Annie said as long as I live. As long as I’m alive—
From now until the day I die.
Yeah, dude, you’re getting it. It’s easy to say, “I’ll love you forever,” because it’s a bullshit expression that runs out when the love does. When you say, “As long as you live,” you’re setting a time frame for the object of the affection, saying you’re going to be their one and only until they kick this mortal coil, naturally or otherwise. (Kerry needn’t worry that Annie’s gonna go all Dark Witch and plant his ass in the ground with some black magic–yet . . .)
Basically, she just set the limits for how long soul mates should exist.
And that brings out something else in Kerry . . .
But her saying that he deserved love—no one had ever said that to him before. Sure, his grandparents said they loved him, and when he was younger his parents told him the same, but it had been a long time—since leaving San Francisco—that he’d had anyone say “I love you, Kerry.” He’d not heard it from his father or mother. He’d not heard it from anyone else, because in all of Cardiff no one else was close to him.
The only person in the last five years who’d told Kerry they’d loved him was Annie. She was the only one who thought him worthy of her love—
Have I ever returned that love?
He lowered his head and a few stray tears dripped into his glass lenses. Why hadn’t he? Was it because he was unsure of his feelings? Was it because he didn’t know his feelings? Or was it because he knew his feelings, and he was afraid to express them? He’d told Annie he had trouble expressing his feelings, but there was a feeling deep within his self that told him . . .
There was a knock on the bay support. Kerry looked up and saw an outstretched arm reaching across the open curtain space. “Kerry?” Nurse Gretchen’s voice was soft, concerned. “Are you all right?”
It’s a kick in the brain pan when you finally realize that someone is madly in love with you, and you’re still uncertain about what you feel for them. So what does he do? Well, this is the event I called “First Night,” which means there are two other nights ahead, and during that time he’ll figure out what he should do–