Body

Following Your Heart--Epilogue

*Here it is..... the final chapter. I hope you've enjoyed it. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sari Zendar sat at her desk, her head throbbing with a dull ache due to the myriad of projects still needing to be graded before the end of the term. Lately, she hadn't been able to keep up with her school work like she had been before....... before him.

As the all too familiar knot began to form in her throat at the very thought of him, she struggled to hold back the tears. She was beginning to wonder when they would ever stop. All it took was for one student to ask if she'd heard from Jedi Kenobi, and the floodgates would be on the brink of bursting open. She'd reply, "Not yet," and then scurry off into the hallway until the feeling of despair was bearable again.

Wiping her eyes, Sari picked up her carry bag and carefully pulled out the most precious possession she owned--- his letter.

Not a day had gone by that she hadn't read it at least three times. During the first few weeks, though, it had been much more than that. The paper was pitifully crumpled and worn from all of the folding and unfolding, in addition to the few tears that had landed on it during the hundreds of readings. She kept hoping that by reading it again, she would find something new--- wishful thinking, she knew deep down, but each time she opened the paper, her heart lurched with the possibilities.

She began to read.

Her stomach turned as she realized how close she had been to absolute happiness. He had sensed her inner turmoil and loved her enough to give her up, keeping her from having to make such a hard decision. He had held her in his arms and thought of all they could have had together. Not a day had gone by since his departure that she didn't think of the same thing. While she had been sleeping on that fateful day, a dream had come to her, clearing her mind and showing her the path she should take. Only when she awoke, he was already gone leaving one handwritten letter in his place and no choice for her to make.

She had been devastated, angry, sad, depressed, and all of those other desperate emotions over the last two months. //Two months?// she asked herself. //Has it really been so long already?//

Sari had not tried to contact him, or rather she had not followed through with an attempt to contact him. She was too embarrassed or proud-- depending on how she felt that particular day. Several times she had thought about it-- even gone so far as to begin punching in the code number from one of Anakin's old messages-- but could never force herself to press the last key. She assumed that Obi-Wan probably preferred to forget all about her and Teemar... and their bond.

Again the tears began to flow. Was she destined to be miserable for the rest of her life? Surely not--- she hoped-- but how could she be anything else without him in her life?

A sudden surge of clarity rippled through her body and she straightened in her chair. This had to stop. She absolutely could not continue on like this. She must forget all about Obi-Wan Kenobi and get on with her life. He was nothing to her anymore.

//Then why are you still wearing that necklace and holding on to that ratty piece of paper?// her own inner voice questioned. She sighed as her finger moved to touch the glitterstone pendant around her neck. If she tried to insist that he meant nothing to her, then she was lying to herself. She loved him with all her heart.

"Oh well," she sighed again as she put the letter back into her carry bag. It was getting late. All of the other teachers were gone, and she was getting hungry. Maybe some dinner would brighten her outlook. She turned off the classroom lights and started down the hall.

Sari stopped abruptly as she remembered a question she needed to ask Chairman Calder. The man had been so kind to her since her return, at times much to the chagrin of the other staff. She had been labeled the 'principal's pet' by her teasing colleagues, but part of her felt he owed it to her after all she had done. However, she was trying not to take advantage of his kindness.

Upon nearing his office, she noticed that his door was slightly ajar and a light was sneaking through. //Good! He's still here.// she thought. She was just about ready to knock when she heard him mention a familiar name.

"... -Wan Kenobi, my lord."

Sari caught her breath and stood deathly still. Who was Calder talking to that he would mention Obi-Wan's name? Maybe it was impolite to eavesdrop, but no way was she moving until she heard more.

"Him, again?" another voice spat with contempt. "He has been an obstacle to my plans too many times before. I grow tired of his meddling. Rest assured that I will take care of him.... once and for all."

The unfamiliar voice sent a shiver down Sari's spine. It seemed to resonate with pure evil and hatred. Who was this? She had to know.

Carefully, she peered through the crack in Calder's door, and her blood ran cold. Calder was kneeling in front of a hologram figure who was robed and hooded all in black. Even though she couldn't see his face, the dark feeling he emanated made her tremble. Surely he was from the dark side, as Obi had called it. But what was he doing talking to Calder? Before she had time to think, the men continued talking.

"Now... about the girl," the dark man said.

"Yes, my lord. I have kept her close at hand. She knows nothing," Calder replied.

"She knows too much already. She could be a hindrance when we begin our operation again. I want her gone. Understood?"

A few seconds of silence passed before Calder nodded in agreement. "Yes, my lord. I will take care of Sari Zendar. You can count on me."

Sari's hand flew over her mouth to contain her gasp at hearing those words. Suddenly, it was all crystal clear.

Calder had been in on the child kidnappings the whole time, working in league with this dark man, whoever he was. Obi-Wan had been right in thinking someone else besides Jaik Rafe was involved. Now the kidnappings were going to resume, and Obi-Wan was in danger-- not to mention she was at the top of a hit list, too! What was she going to do?

Without hanging around to find out what Calder would do next, she hurried quietly out of the school building to her speeder car. Like it or not, her life was just about to make a complete change. Once behind the wheel, she glanced back up at the ancient school building that had been her life for several years now. Deep within, she knew she would never see it again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please review if you have the time. I'm also working on a sequel, so stay tuned! :)