I tossed and turned for over an hour before I stumbled into a restless sleep, my mind raging against the thoughts and feelings that had overwhelmed my entire being…
My bare feet were chilled by the wet grass beneath them as I felt my way through the dark woods. Tree branches came down, scratching my face, and the cool breeze caused goose bumps to rise across my naked skin. I didn’t know where I was or how I had gotten there, but for some reason I didn’t try too hard to think about it. I just let my legs take me wherever they thought I needed to be.
I came to a small pond surrounded by trees. There was a glow that settled over the small body of water, illuminating the landscape. I raised my eyes to the sky in curiosity, but no moonlight was able to permeate the thick curtain of tree branches that crisscrossed over my head. My confusion was quickly deserted as the source of the light slithered out from behind the safety of a large tree trunk.
The wings were the first thing that caught my eye; a fairy. Her silvery-blue skin was made ethereal by the glow of her pale blue wings. Her body was mostly bare but for a few strategically-placed vines that were woven across her limbs. Her softly curled hair flowed down over her plump breasts, all but hiding their familiar shape. Familiar…
“Pacifica,” I whispered in a surprised tone. She was here, before my eyes. A fairy. Beautiful and delicate, a mysterious smile touching her lips as she fluttered into the air before me.
I stood transfixed, unable to tear my eyes from the dazzling creature before me. I was amazed to see her there, standing in front of me like nothing had happened. I felt a sense of happiness that I hadn’t felt in a month. It was magical.
“Edie!” She squealed with excitement, fluttering high into the sky, doing a little dance over my head. I laughed at her innocence and her beauty. She was a truly magnificent being, her hair floating around me as she swooped down once or twice. She was a little tease, but for this moment, she was for my eyes only. No one else could come between us; take away the love we shared. It took my breath away and I never wanted it to end.
She came down before me, not allowing her feet to touch the ground. She pressed her lips into mine, gingerly, with hesitation. I ached to kiss her back, but something stopped me. I could feel no sensation. I could not taste the sweetness of her kiss. It was as if she were an apparition, taunting me with what could never be.
“Pacifica, I…” I started to speak.
The scene changed before I could finish my thought. I was now on a beach, my booted feet sinking into the soft sand of the shore. The moon was bright in the sky, brightening the horizon and creating delicate sparkles in the water as it ebbed and flowed. I could smell the decay of fish and the sting of salty water as the wind tickled my nose. I shivered, wrapping my arms around me to ward off the cold.
I saw a figure in the distance, but I couldn’t quite make her out.
She came closer. Pacifica. Her silhouette was unmistakable as she moved along the edge of the water. She wore a beautiful, gauzy dress of light blue, which tangled around her legs as she moved against the breeze. Her hair brushed against her shoulders, the strands around her face flying wildly, without restraint. She was intoxicating; every essence of her being. My mouth dropped at the sight of her.
She moved toward me with painful slowness, the heels of her flowered shoes leaving small indentations in the white sand. I watched each step she took, unable to move, but wanting more than anything to reach out and take hold of her. But my arms wouldn’t listen to my heart, no matter how badly I needed her, needed to touch her…to feel her heart beat against mine.
“Do you remember the last time we were here?” She asked in that soft melodic voice that I loved. “I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so happy as I did that day.” Her smile was wistful, but her eyes seemed sad.
I frowned. “You left me,” I said pathetically, unable to find any other words to describe the pain I felt inside. She said she was happy here with me, so why would she leave? I couldn’t understand. It didn’t make sense.
She threw herself into my arms and my hands reached across her back of their own accord.
“Oh, Edie,” she said, her face stained with tears. “Why couldn’t you see it? Why didn’t you understand what was happening?” Her voice broke on the last sentence and she began to sob softly into my shirt, her tears ice cold against my skin.
I was confounded by her words. “What do you mean?” I asked desperately. “Tell me.” But she was gone.
In another moment I found myself standing in a glittering ballroom. I looked down to see myself dressed elegantly in a tuxedo. I hadn’t worn such nice attire since my senior prom. Is that what this was? Prom? No, it felt different than that. More formal. More…important.
And there she was. Pacifica. Breathtaking in a satin ball gown. No…a bridal gown. Her hair was knotted in a bun at the back of her head, with a few rebellious tendrils coming down around her softly-lit face. The necklace I had given her was perched between her breasts, which were lifted up seductively by the hard boning of her corset. She smiled at me uneasily.
“I was afraid you wouldn’t come,” she said, biting her lip. “I thought maybe you had gotten cold feet.”
“Cold feet?” I asked in confusion. “About what?”
She laughed aloud, her voice echoing across the elegant room. “The wedding, of course,” she said. “Silly Edie.” She came toward me.
“Wedding?” I asked dumbly. A marriage, between us. I couldn’t imagine it, even in my wildest dreams. It was too good to be true.
She grabbed me by the hand, pulling me toward the dance floor. “Waltz with me, Edie,” she said with a grin. “It’ll be good for you to loosen up before we say our vows.”
I said nothing, taking her into my arms and spinning her around with ease. She glided like an angel across the marble tile of the ballroom floor, her shoes making only a slight clicking sound. I don’t know how I knew what to do, but somehow the moves came naturally. I led her around the floor, twirling her into circles and bringing her back into my arms. She sighed with contentment.
“This is how it should have been,” I said, before I could catch myself. She looked up at me suddenly, her eyes filled with sadness.
“I’m afraid I’ve grown tired, Sugar,” she said, pressing her forehead into mine. “I believe I need to lie down for just a moment.”
Before I could answer, her legs collapsed beneath her. I caught her around the waist, laying her gently on the ground as she struggled against each breath.
I looked at her face and saw bruises and blood. Her breath was raspy, and she coughed in pain.
“It was never supposed to happen this way, Eden,” she said. A few years slid down her cheeks as her eyes closed. “We were supposed to be together.” The last words were spoken barely above a whisper. I was unsure at first that she’d even said them.
“Pacifica,” I cried, my voice quivering. “I’m so sorry.” I didn’t know why I was apologizing, but something in me told me that this was my fault. That I had let this happen. I loved her with every fiber of my being and here she was, lying broken and bruised in my arms. I should have saved her, I should have stopped him, I should have…
The image of Pacifica as a bride faded and was replaced with the Pacifica I had known; her flowing hair, her overly made-up face, her daring clothes. It was the Pacifica I had fallen in love with…and the one I had lost. I broke down, sobbing at the image of my dying love.
Her chest ceased to move and I knew that she was gone. My one true love. “Oh, Pacifica,” I said, pressing my lips into her hair.
I rose suddenly, the sun burning my eyes. I didn’t know what time it was. It was clearly hours after I had fallen asleep, but my body ached with grogginess and I felt as though I had achieved no rest. The images of Pacifica were vivid in my mind, and I rubbed my eyes to try and chase the memories away. All I had wanted was a night of dreamless sleep, but the pain was more palpable this morning than it had been in weeks.
She had run from me, into the arms of a monster. He had raised his hands to hurt her and somehow, in spite of everything, he was the one she wanted. How was I supposed to compete with that? I couldn’t make her love me, and I couldn’t save her. But the fear and the guilt filled my soul; feelings I hadn’t realized before were even there.
My legs could not seem to hold me up as I brought them to the ground. I crumpled to the hard floor with a sob. Broken and beaten down, I cried out, letting the tears spill down like they never had before. All of the pain, the anger, the pure anguish, came out of me in waves. I sobbed in agony, not caring who heard as I let every ounce of hurt and frustration burst from within me. I cried for Pacifica, for the danger she had placed herself in. And I cried for myself, for the loss I had experienced. I cried for the newfound love that was gone before it ever had a chance to grow. I cried because I didn’t know how I managed to breathe, or how my heart continued to beat. I ached in every inch of my soul, with such powerful misery that I could feel it in my pores. I could not comprehend her choice. How could she leave me for him? I would have given her everything I had, even if I hadn’t known it at the time. She was my chance at happiness, and I had lost her.
“Pacifica,” I said, her voice tearing from my throat with a pitiful wail. “Why?” I asked, as I continued bawling. Why?