“You heard their accent so you must have realised that you are in Cyprus. If you want we can jump to London from here.”
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“What are you trying to prove?”
“The two of you took the wrong path. Both of you became bitter, but the pain was mostly yours. You had to endure years of loving him while you watched him make a fool of himself and turn into the shallow person he is today. You loved him too much to turn away and hardened your own heart so as to be able to accept the way he is. You amputated your own heart Cherine. You shut the door and threw away the key. That was shortsighted of you. Why didn’t you use your gifts to open his heart instead?”
She cried out and it was a cry we all knew was straight from the pain in her heart, “I tried to!”
“Then we shall try together. Just look at that sunset, isn’t it beautiful!” He raised his glass to the sunset and then clinked it against hers. She looked at him with her fear nakedly open to his eyes.
“You will lose me the only man I can love.”
“You do not have him. When you do you will know - I promise you. Keep in mind, for him to be without you is just as bad. You cut your link and he will probably die, if he is anything like me.” He grinned at her, a sly grin that brought a slight smile to her lips and she raised her drink for a sip. Robbie sat quietly enjoying his sunset.
# An argument broke out, those who thought Robbie is tackling the impossible and those who believe in him. Basically it was Eric, with a few half-hearted followers. Cherine gave her father an exasperated look.
# “If Robert has decided to do this, he will succeed. I do not know how, but he will. Only if the old man takes him away first will he fail.”
# “Then he will have raised her hopes for nothing.”
# Most of us disagreed.
# “Eric,” Alki said. “Even should he be taken away this second, he has shaken them both up. They will be forced to re-examine their relationship and themselves. He has already succeeded; we are just waiting to see to what extent.”
“Cherine, will you trust me enough to do something that terrifies you?” She quickly understood.
“I will not let you walk through my mind, but you may enter to take a look at why.” She half closed her eyes and entered. She stopped in wonder as she felt him, felt the love that his soul is made of. That alone was enough for her to feel what she has lost through unfortunate twists in their reality. Gently Robbie drew her in and she saw the void with our Kaleidoscope World. He had edited the picture, removing the aliens. He appeared next to her and took her in to see our World from close up. She stared in wonder even as she felt how it welcomed her.
Robbie squeezed her hand and her eyes flew open.
“The first time I saw it in a vision, I thought it was the soul of my Cherine, it was just too beautiful to be anything else.”
“What was it?”
He explained. He spoke of the dancing, of exchange kissing, melding and forming the World out of three souls. He told her about his protector and there was a sadness in him.
“I do not understand, this is the third world I have visited and no other Robert has a protector. Perhaps in the second alternate, his feeling that I am available took away that cruel need, but why in no other world?”
Sadly she answered, “Perhaps no other Robert has loved his Cherine as much as you do.”
“I cannot believe there is such a world.” His assertion brought a tiny flutter of hope to her.
They finished the fruit and wine and the first stars had come out when he gave her his naughty grin ( I think it is one of the things I love most in him). “Do you think we’ve let him stew long enough?”
She put her hand over his. “Whatever happens, thank you for caring Robert.”
“It seems I have become Robert so you must be Rob now.”
He started as they appeared. He rushed to his Cherine, but she pulled away.
“He is the real Robert, as a Robert should be. He let me look in his mind! Rob, I’m sorry, but I will be cutting our link - I cannot link to both of you.”
He slowly sank to his knees as he felt her withdrawing from him. He was not looking at her face, for he would have then seen how pale she was, her eyes two dark circles as she fought to obey Robbie.
Robbie sat close to him watching, pleased to see how he was suffering.
“Robert, if I offered you the choice, you can have her back but I blind you, which would you choose.”
“I need her back.” he cried out.
“You cannot have back what you never had. Robert, you never had the real Cherine, you only had a shadow of what she is. You forced her to lock away all the wealth of her heart so that she could bear to live with you. Can you possibly imagine how much she must love you to do that to herself?”
“But she left me!!”
“You can have her back if you are prepared to suffer the shame of seeing yourself for what you are - what you allowed yourself to become.”
“Robert, what is wrong?” A pale young girl of twenty ran in. She stopped, her fist jammed into her mouth. She turned to Cherine. “What have you done, I can’t feel him?”
“I cut the link.”
Robbie stared at her and whispered softly to Robert, “You must be fucking crazy man - she is far too lovely to share with anyone.” He spoke to Cherine. “Return the link.”
The four of them sat with Robbie doing the talking. He told his story while keeping his mind open so that they could feel all he felt. At the end he gave a self-depreciatory laugh. “So you see Robert, in one way at least you are more mature than I. At least you love grown women.”
“The Sparklers, we must check if they are here!”
“I’ve looked, but I agree we should go to the void. The first times you meld you may need help to separate again. Once you are used to flowing from a meld into the implosion that creates your World, the danger will have passed. Robert, before we do anything else; you have heard about my Dommi. That is not enough, you must come into my mind and meet her, see what you have been cheated of through no fault of hers. If that enables you to release the bitterness, transmogrify it to an openness of heart and love then you can begin to be the Robert your Cherine and Pamela deserve. The risk is all mine and I demand that you respect my wishes. You will only see what I offer.”
“You think it will help make Cherine love me again?”
“Definitely not - but it may help you love her. If you are a true Robert, that is all that is needed.”
“Why are you doing this, you could have taken her away from me.”
“You said it at the beginning - one Robert for this world is enough. You are at a dead-end as you are, even if I had not come here. That is not as it should be. What are all these things if you have no friends and you are not able to love? At the moment Cherine is a tool - as any tool empowers you, so does she. Cherine deserves more than that, so does Pamela. Come in Robert.”
He entered filled with resentments and fear. He found nothing to resent, nothing to fear. He felt himself enfolded within a blanket of love and acceptance. While held like this he was shown some of the most magical moments of Dommi and Robert wept. Robbie held him till the grief subsided and then explained that as he will meet many traumatised souls he may need to learn a few tricks. He showed him how he found Wendy and his method of playing puppy. He showed him how he attacked Richard her father and wept in turn at the memory of his becoming evil himself. I think he forgot himself for he continued to show Robert so many parts of himself that we would have expected him to keep secret. Finally Robbie sighed and let him go.
This Robert will never become a Robbie, but he has grown and will with time come to understand how he does not deserve the love of Cherine and that will be when he does deserve her.
Days passed with Robbie teaching them, not how to open doors to gifts, but how to open their hearts and give their love unselfishly. What gifts they acquired were directly related to their ability to feel the love. They danced in the void and created their own World. Robbie imparted his own knowledge to the World-mind, hoping that it will help it to mature faster.
This evening he took Cherine by her elbow and led her out to the verandah. They leaned on the balustrade and stared at the lights of Athens as they sparkled and shimmered.
“I have seen the green leaf and will be leaving I think.” He sighed. “It seems the old man thinks that to stay longer and enjoy the little good I have helped create is superfluous. Cherine, you have felt how desperately I love my Cherine and that love extends to all the Cherines that may exist. Whenever you feel tempted to shut away your gift think of me and know that you are loved - and be strong. Be his fierce cub. He will respond.”
He put his hand in his pocket and handed her back the roll of bank notes. “I nearly forgot.”
“Please keep them, you may need them in the next world.”
“I probably will. If I was meant to have them the old man would have told me to bring them with.”
“Maybe this is his way of telling you now.” She replied with a smile.
He leant over and kissed her forehead. She closed her eyes and when she opened them again he was gone. She leant back against the wall and stared at the lights and whispered almost sadly to herself, “I was his green leaf.”
# (Sorry, that last bit was me taking literary licence, it just seemed to be such a fitting ending to her story.)
# There was speculation what Robbie was meant to have learnt from this experience. He had his usual powers, far more than the other Robert had, and was able to almost bulldoze his way. We did not all come to an agreement, but on something else we did all agree. Feeling Dommi and Cherine we were glad for their sakes that he had this experience.
Robbie arrived in the next world deep in the night. There were no lights and he could not walk as he did not know where to go. Without worrying about it he sat on the ground and withdrew into himself, taking stock of what powers he has been allowed this time. Search deeply as he did, he found only his healer with him. He grinned, telling himself that he has already been through this in Italy. Without a care he lay on his side and slept.
As dawn broke and he opened his eyes, surrounded by the sounds of nature, he recognised the kind of scrub he is in. He is in Africa, probably South Africa, he guessed. He noticed his skin is very dark and wondered how could it have happened, he has never tanned like this before. He saw the palms of his hands and asking his healer, his suspicions were confirmed. He is in appearance of native African descent and his clothes are different, of very cheap quality. It is not a matter of concern for him and he lost interest in the subject.
With no signs of civilisation he chose a direction and walked. Three hours later he saw a tar road in the distance and a tiny village. He checked his pockets and found the money was gone, in place of the roll he had about ten rand in change. He was thirsty by now and walked over to the grocery shop. He walked in and a tall thin woman screamed at him.
“You stupid kaffir, can’t you read? Use the other entrance.” She looked sour and mean and he decided not to cause a fuss, better he get a lay of the land first. As he walked out there was some laughter behind him from the two customers there. Robbie turned and looked at them and walked away, their laughter now stilled.
“Fock! Man, did you see the way that kaffir looked at me? I’ve got a good mind to go teach him…”
“Forget it Piet, I’m running late already.”
Robbie took the smaller, dirtier entrance and found himself facing an old man. He smiled genially at Robbie, as if they were sharing a secret joke.
“The missus doesn’t like blackies, better you come to me. Me, I get on with you lot, as long as you know how to smile at my jokes.” He grinned and Robbie smiled back.
“I love jokes. I can even smile at those made at my expense, as long as they are funny.”
That got the old guy chortling. “What can I do you for?”
“A coke? You got money?”
“Yes.” Robbie watched as the old guy moved to the fridge, pulled out a bottle, opened it for him and brought it back. Robbie put on the counter the money asked for, careful not to make a noise. The old guy waited.
“The money is on the counter, next to your right hand.”
The old guy chortled again and put the money away after feeling it. Robbie stood there drinking.
“You finish the coke, I’ll give you back the deposit for the bottle.”
“I know why you like blackies.”
“I’d like to find out.” Everything seemed to amuse him.
“Because you can’t see us.” That got the biggest laugh yet.
“You do not speak like a blackie. What accent is that?”
“British. I lived there a while.”
His face turned serious. “Shh. Boy, you lose that accent and don’t speak of it. You want to be picked up as a terrorist?”
“Me? A terrorist?” Robbie was now amused. ”How long you been blind?”
Next PALNet Post 096
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
3rd November, 2019
* posted : 3rd November, 2019
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