DISCLAIMER: The brilliant creations of Will and Lyra are Philip Pullman's; therefore I don't own the story or the characters. Kayleigh is my creation though.
A girl with a black ponytail, a somewhat pale skin, brown eyes and a small smile on her face was walking towards a house. It was Midsummer's Day.
The small smile on her face, however, didn't really fit in with what she had just heard.
The name of the girl was Kayleigh Smith and she was quite popular among boys. However, she was really bad in holding a relationship. She had had a lot of boys in the past as boyfriends, but it never really lasted long, three months at best.
Then, a brown-haired guy entered her life. His name was William Parry, Will for short.
And somehow, this felt different. Will had been through the same things as Kayleigh, he said; he had also had lots of girlfriends, but never lasting long. And somehow, Will did what all the other boyfriends couldn't do.
They were together for almost three years now and she loved him, she loved him still. But she was walking towards the house to meet a friend of her boyfriend's, wanting to have confirmation. It was about a subject that possibly meant Kayleigh's breaking up with Will. She thought about how she found it out…
Three hours ago. Kayleigh and Will were together for three years and quite some months.
There was something strange about Will, though, something he didn't want to tell her, no matter how often she asked him.
And, the longer they were together, the more Kayleigh got concerned about him, about his strange elusive behavior, the more she got to notice it.
Every Midsummer's Day, Kayleigh noticed Will sneaked out of the campus to go to some strange place. The first time, she noticed it but she ignored it. The second time, she noticed it and remembered he did the same thing the first year. Now, she was even more concerned.
It wasn't all curiosity that lead her to what she was about to do, but it was quite close. There was also some worry about his well-being, but not much. Kayleigh's curiosity was easily awoken and somehow, she knew following him to where he was going would give the answer to his behavior.
So she did. When Will left the campus that day, Kayleigh sneaked out as well, following him, making sure not to be noticed. She wasn't, fortunately.
Will finally went to a place Kayleigh recognized as the Botanic Garden. She wanted to follow him, but she noticed he went sitting on a bench. Kayleigh turned around and sneaked behind the hedge, behind the bench, making sure she could hear him saying anything. She could even see the back of his head through the hedge.
But, as she listened, she didn't believe what she heard.
"Lyra, it's the seventh time now I'm sitting here, and I can only think of you more. In my head, you're becoming more beautiful every day: I'm trying to imagine how you grew trough the years, but I can only think of some kind of younger Mrs. Coulter."
All this new information overwhelmed Kayleigh. Who was Lyra? Who was Mrs. Coulter? These were Kayleighs first thoughts; what was this all about? Or, more importantly, to whom was he talking?
She looked at Will, and saw he was sad, even though it was hard to say, since the hedge was behind the bench and all she could see was the back of his head; but she knew Will and knew his habits, his feelings.
"I'm so sorry for us to be apart, Lyra. We still live in two parallel worlds, since all the windows were closed between us. We saved all the worlds together! All the worlds owes all to us! Why can't we get anything in return?"
She saw Will wiping a tear away with the back of his hand.
If thoughts made sounds, Kayleigh would've betrayed herself already. Fortunately, though, thoughts didn't make sounds.
Saving the world? What the heck is this all?
Was Will mad or something? Or... was he cheating on her?
That's impossible! I can't... no... way... he can't be cheating. There must be some good reason.
"I remember, in the world of the mulefa... when you put that fruit in my mouth, my heart went on and on, even though we were only thirteen back then. That feeling never went away, I still love you. However, I can't be with you and nor can I continue to love you, while you're on an unreachable place."
Even more information and it made Kayleigh dizzy. Who were the mulefa? A fruit? And, again, who was Lyra? The more Will said the less everything made sense.
"I already told you about Kayleigh, but I know you can't hear me, so I will do it again. Kayleigh is a beautiful girl and I love her more than anything in this world – I'm saying this world. I love her and she loves me, but at the same time, you're so much better than her... I'm torn apart between the two girls I love. She doesn't know about you now, and I'm not planning on telling her. If only you could come to this world... I'd choose you straight over Kayleigh. But it's impossible, so I have to do with her. I hate to say it, I do, but she's a second choice."
Saying this hurt two people; Will himself and of course, Kayleigh. She sighed of relief. Will wasn't cheating on her, in fact, if it was true, she'd even understand why she was a second choice.
But it couldn't be true. Will had to be mad. Why couldn't they be together? It was very much possible an old girlfriend died, and Will couldn't forget her. So, he filled in most details and made things prettier; the mulefa must have been some kind of club or something. The parallel universe was a way for him to make sure she was still alive. It must have been like that.
Will was silent for a while, but continued. He looked sideways; Kayleigh was afraid she got noticed so she ducked. But, fortunately, she hadn't been noticed yet.
Will did something odd. He stroked something – a cat? – who she couldn't see. Apparently, the cat was sitting on his lap.
Then, Will continued. Kayleigh started to see him differently; as someone who was insane, and had to be locked up for the sake of Oxford.
"Mary Mallone…" the moment Will said those two words, her heart jumped in recognition. Mary Mallone was someone who was a friend of his mother and was also a good friend of Will. At least, that was what Will told her. "…is still working. She got her license back, there was no proof of anything she did wrong. The police started looking for you as well, but they couldn't find you, and because of the disappearing window, they made their own conclusions."
This was too much for Kayleigh to take. She heard enough, and ran away, straight to the exit, without being seen by Will. She had to go to Mary Mallone, for proof. But this just couldn't be true...
This was the reason Kayleigh walked towards the house. Mary Mallone lived in that house. Will mentioned her in his visit, so Kayleigh knew Mary was where she had to be for confirmation. She couldn't be mad as well, she just wanted to be sure.
Something in herself told her she had to try, at least.
She finally reached the door and rang the doorbell. Some time passed until finally, Mary opened the door.
"Hey, Kayleigh! Come in!" Kayleigh smiled and walked in the house Mary owned.
It wasn't a big house, but it worked for Mary. She wasn't home often, loving her work and the things she did there. Besides, she was single, so she hadn't anyone to share it with.
"Need coffee?" Mary asked. Kayleigh replied she'd love coffee, without sugar or milk. She liked her coffee pure. Mary made coffee.
They were good friends, together. Mary knew her through Will and they knew each other pretty well, they liked each other, Kayleigh passed by a couple of times.
Mary walked back to her.
"Why are you here? Shouldn't you be at the campus, now?" Kayleigh nodded guiltily. "What are you doing here, then?" Mary didn't seem angry in any way, more concerned. Kayleigh swallowed.
"I just found out Will was a madman." Mary looked at Kayleigh's face in confusion, but then, she seemed to have figured out what Kayleigh meant, because her expression changed from confusion to understanding.
"Listen to me, Kayleigh, Will is not," she emphasized the word 'not', "a madman." Kayleigh interrupted her.
"He is. I followed him to the Botanic Garden and…" Kayleigh told Mary her whole story, everything she picked up when following Will. Mary didn't interrupt her once and just listened. When she was done, Mary nodded.
"And he mentioned me, you said?" Kayleigh nodded. "Listen, Kayleigh, Will is not a madman." Mary repeated. She took a deep breath. "I want you to listen to me and not to walk away, no matter how strange the story might sound. Okay?" Not understanding, Kayleigh nodded. Was Mary just as mad as Will?
"You know of the concept of parallel worlds?" Kayleigh shook her head. She was studying maths, not physics, unlike Mary, who had studied it. Mary had her reply.
"Let's say I roll a dice right here and it lands on six. When the dice is still rolling, every side is still possible, right?" Kayleigh nodded. "But now, I roll the fictitious dice and it lands on six. With that dice, I just created a parallel world, in which the dice lands on say – five, and yet another one in which it lands on four. Do you understand?" Kayleigh nodded, still not understanding what this had to do with Will being strange in the Botanic Garden.
"The same counts for decisions. If I'd ask you if you fancied ice-cream and you would reply no, you just created a parallel world in which you actually replied yes. Do you understand?" Kayleigh still nodded, wanting to interrupt Mary, but she silenced her with a gesture of her hand.
"Now. Let's say a boy and a girl left their parallel world. Let's say they met each other through openings between all the worlds. Let's say that together, they saved the worlds, but they were forced to part afterwards. Do you understand?" Mary asked again, for conformation if Kayleigh still followed her. She just nodded.
"Now, let's say Will is that boy and Lyra is that girl. Let's say they visited me in the meanwhile in their quest to save all the worlds – how is not important. You probably want proof now, do you?" Kayleigh nodded in confusion, still not daring to say anything.
"I thought you would. Lyra comes from a world where everyone has a dæmon. A dæmon is a reflection of your soul in the form of an animal, and in her world, it is visible to everyone. But we have it too. Stand up, please." Kayleigh reluctantly stood up. Mary held her shoulders and turned her around as she taught her how to see dæmons. When she was finished, a scream came from Kayleigh's mouth, followed by: "No… no way… this is just not possible…" At the same time, unfamiliar thoughts entered her head of which she was sure they weren't hers.
Nice to meet you, Kayleigh.
It was still Midsummer's Day. Will had to be back at the campus now. They were roommates, so they met each other often. Kayleigh walked back from Mary's house to the campus.
Everything seemed to fit now, after she could see dæmons; the cat he stroke was his dæmon. Mary told her the name of his dæmon was Kirjava.
She also saw her own dæmon, a lion. She called him Boromus.
Boromus was her dæmon and it was strange for her to get used to that fact, to the fact this 'Boromus' was her and she was 'Boromus' and he had been with her all her life.
Now you've seen me, what are you going to do? Kayleigh was afraid, afraid to say anything, knowing others would hear her. She didn't dare to reply to Boromus.
Listen. I know it's scary for you, but you don't have to talk. Just think about the reply, that's all you need to do.
Just thinking? This Boromus could read her mind? Great, that would mean the end of her privacy.
No, it's not. I am you, keeping secrets from yourself is more fooling yourself than respecting your own privacy. Don't be afraid, just think of a reply. This was getting scarier by the moment. He really could read her mind.
Finally, she thought of a reply.
You're scary. It's strange for me. I think I'm going to tell Will and break up with him. It was silent for a moment. When Kayleigh tried, she could see Boromus walking next to her, looking at her. He replied.
Are you sure you want to do this? Kayleigh replied with a 'very sure'.
She searched all of the campus, wanting to see him to talk to him. Finally, she found him, about to enter a college of maths.
"Kayleigh? What are you doing here?" Will asked Kayleigh. She replied shortly.
"No time to talk. Follow me, leave that maths guy. We need to do some serious talking." Confused, Will followed her.
Kayleigh told him everything she knew, everything Mary had told her. About the parallel worlds, about Lyra… about how she was disappointed in him he kept secrets like this from her. About why she had followed him to the Botanic Garden.
When she was done, it was silent for a short while. Will shook his head.
"So… you know everything now?"
"Everything I need to know." She replied in short. Kayleigh tensed again, repeating what Mary had taught her, and she saw a black cat walking around Wills feet…
"But then, what's wrong? You know my secret now, and hopefully, the reason why I didn't tell you as well." Kayleigh's answer contained just one word.
"But... I'm not cheating on you! I love you! I..." Then he realized what he said in the Botanic Garden. At the same time, Kayleigh replied.
"Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But you've been in a dilemma for…" Kayleigh stopped, sobbing, feeling the tears streaming over her face. She hated what she was going to do.
Just take a deep breath, Kayleigh… you can do it. She wasn't sure whether this were her own thoughts, or the thoughts of her dæmon encouraging her.
"…for a long time. From what I understood from Mary, you saved the worlds. Now…" Kayleigh had decided to lie to make what she was about to do look better. "…I'm going to put you out of this dilemma. You deserve to love Lyra. I…" Again, a sob, "…I'm breaking up with you."
The tears were now over Wills face as well. Kayleigh walked away, out of their shared room, about to go to the headmaster to ask if she could live with somebody else. Will called after her.
"But... I love you! I want to be with you! It's just..." He stood up and stopped her, grabbing her by the left shoulder with his left hand, forcing her to face him. He took a deep breath and said just one word.
The words she replied weren't nice. They were hot; they came out like fire that was meant to burn Wills face. She didn't want this, she wanted to be free. To find someone who loved her as a girlfriend and her only. What came out was the true reason why she had broken up with him instead of the lies she had told him.
"Stop this! Let me go! It's over between us! I don't want to be a second choice!"
I hope you liked it, don't forget to review! Rewritten at 2-1-2009. Do you want to read more? I recommend you check my profile page or my writer's website of which you can find the link in my profile page, there are loads of other stories there =)