Chapter 1: Endings
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Seneca
A dark figure sat before a glowing orb, staring intently at it. The only light around him emanated from this tiny object, a lone star in the vast darkness of the unknown. The mysterious figure, darker then the shadows it lurked in leaned away from this light, keeping its face concealed as it observed the orb with great intent. Upon its surface rippled a picture of an unnamed young women. She was standing beneath an umbrella, an older man at her side, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. The figure hissed quietly with delight at the scene before him.
The picture changed, focused on what she was standing before, a coffin being lowered into the ground, a man dressed in black standing before it. The name upon the grave had great importance to this figure, and it had been watching for some time now. Once again the orb focused on the women, hazel eyes clouded from the tears that streaked her cheeks. Her dark brown hair was tied out of her way in a black silk ribbon. The figure leaned in closer toward the picture, revealing some of his face in the light.
His features were sharp, angular, handsome even. His mismatched eyes held power and hatred in them, as well as a small seed of curiosity. Blonde hair framed his face, complimenting though disordered. Everything about him seemed chaotic, dark, terrifying, yet alluring in a peculiar way.
A smirk of recognition suddenly dawned upon the stranger as his gaze fell upon the man beside the women. Hatred was thick on his tongue however as he uttered a single word:
The room was once again shrouded in darkness as his hand wiped the picture and light free from the glistening star. Two pinpricks of light shone from his eyes where everything else turned to the darkest pitch of night.
"Ms. Williams? I'm Dr. Fairfield please follow me to my office."
A young women turned her attention away from the political drabble on the waiting room TV screen. Her short pixie-like hair was disheveled and she brushed it away from her eyes as she stood. Her movements were very sinuous, as if she were dancing rather then moving. Her hazel pools shifted wearily about the room before coming to rest on the elderly women. She offered no smile, no warmth, she did not so much as raise her hand for a normal greeting. No, she'd not waste time with formalities.
The therapist offered her a warm smile before leading her up the stairs, taking her time. She was well dressed, modern but professional. Her salt and pepper hair was tied in a fashionable bun, not a strand loose from its confines. Her blue eyes were full of wisdom and a shield. The younger women behind her imagined without the shield she would see years of sorrow and pity for those she'd treated. The pity was not wanted by the new patient however, if anything she'd tried to avoid that since the day her life had begun falling in shambles around her.
"If you'll just have a seat Ms. Williams, make yourself comfortable." Dr. Fairfield waited for the women to oblige.
"Call me Andrea, please." Was the reply as she picked out a blue rocking chair, away from the sunlit couch.
The elder women closed the door and sat in her office chair, shuffling a few papers around on her desk before straightening them out with a few gentle taps and turning to face her client. Carefully she adjusted her spectacles and began reviewing the information before her. She'd gone over it several times, but double checked in order to begin the conversation properly.
"You're here for grief counseling, is that correct Andrea?" Dr. Fairfield's eyes moved to take in the girl's reply, assessing every movement, deciphering the secret language of the body.
The girl shifted her position before responding, "I suppose we can call it that."
The doctor nodded and jotted a few things down before continuing. "Your mother, Sarah Williams, passed away recently, is that correct?"
"She died in her sleep?"
"That's what the doctors told us, yes."
The women shuffled her papers out of habit. "Do you believe otherwise?"
Andrea shrugged, not really caring to reply. If she explained everything she thought about the strange case it could get her put in some psych ward she didn't have the time or mentality to deal with. She knew to keep her mouth shut, she had to. Though deep in her heart she knew it was something other then sleep that killed her young and lively mother.
"We can get to that later," the women replied, jotting down her observations carefully. "How have you been dealing with your mother's departure?"
Andrea was quiet for a moment, she didn't really know how to answer her question. She didn't understand what there was left to deal with that she hadn't already dealt with. She'd been doing the best she could, living alone. Her hands grazed the soft texture of the chair and she silently wondered how many people had sat in the very same spot, being asked similar questions. The room smelled of mint and lavender, an odd mix but not exactly unpleasing.
"I work, I sleep, and I have my friends to help me through the rest. It's hard but...life goes on." There was a bit of sarcasm in her voice that confused the doctor. The scratching of pen indicated more notes.
"How is your father dealing with this?"
"My father has been out of our lives for several years now." She paused, "the day of her funeral was the first time I'd seen him within that period."
"Do you wish it would have been different?"
The women shrugged, "well, my mother had a tough time being a single mom, but she made it through. I think she was happier, I was in a way. I was kind of insulted that he came to the funeral at all."
"Why is that?"
"Well, for one he brought along his new young fling for the ride, for two, he hadn't contacted her in that time span either. Only thing she got from him was a monthly check for child support."
Dr. Fairfield nodded her head in understanding, she'd worked with a lot of divorce cases and the victim children of those cases. Most were devastated, some, like Andrea were better off with the change. It was the years of torment beforehand that they usually needed counsel with, but the doctor knew these things would be saved for a later date. Today's session was to be focused entirely on the thing her patient needed to get off her mind.
"Is there anyone helping you financially?"
"My uncle Toby has been very supportive financially and mentally. He covered the cost of the funeral and took care of all of the legal stuff. He's helping me with this too." Andrea focused her attention on the carpet, boring designs meant to look more appeasing then they actually were. They were tacky and generic, an off white with an assortment of colors scattered at random.
Her therapist wrote down a few more things before continuing, "what was life like just before your mother passed away? Was there anything odd about her? Anything she did out of habit?"
"No, not that I can recall. She was a very happy person, didn't take anything for granted and over all enjoyed life as much as possible." She said, "though she was having nightmares more frequently."
"Have you ever heard the theory that people who die in their sleep are dreaming of falling?" Dr. Fairfield asked gently.
She couldn't meet the women's gaze, "yes, my mother did."
"Have you ever dreamed of falling Andrea?"
The young women drew her gaze to a motivational picture on the doctor's wall. It was a picture of a bluish-white light house atop a craggy cliff, a rampant surf crashing around it, sending spray shooting like arrows towards its massive bulk. Its light shone brightly over the raging tempest and a single word was printed at the picture's base.