The world sailed past him in brilliant colors as the pink and orange sunrise reflected on the building windows. His glassy eyes caught the hues and it filled him with the same warmth he always felt when gazing at the horizon. Though his mind registered the colors, there was only one image embedded in his heart; the girl's face, gleaming against the sun, her soft cheek smooth and sparkling with the tears that were trailing a path to her chin. Her eyes shone like the stars, so infinitely blue that he always found himself pierced by their gaze.
She was crying for him.
He wanted to hold that image forever, to somehow keep it in his hands like a treasure. Perhaps there was some way to capture beauty that he was too much of a brute to understand. He could only gaze at it, afraid of its delicacy.
Who would have thought that in a land so alien to his native island, so strange and greenless, that he would once again see the sunrise? Those same colors dazzling the sky?
Kong flew through the air, slipping from life, from his hold on the building, and from the beauty that sat crumpled in tears for his loss. Peacefully, he descended into the street below.
Someone screamed. It was a melancholic cry wailing through the city, sad and alone and haunting. The sound echoed through the sky and through darkness finally awakening Ann. She had been dreaming again, the same dream she had since that day on the Empire state building. It was only rarely that she awoke screaming, usually it was with tears that she greeted the dawn.
Jack cradled her immediately in his arms, knowing how exactly to soothe his wife. 3 years and still she was plagued by nightmares. He shushed her softly and stroked her pale golden hair. She was still as tragically beautiful as she had been the first day they met.
Ann's breath soon became even and calm and her heartbeat steadied as she melted into his embrace, resting her head beneath his chin and her fingers lightly tracing his collarbone. How she loved his silence and the quiet way Jack could comfort her. There was an unspoken understanding between them that mirrored the wordless moments she had shared with Kong. Although Jack was a writer, somehow he found himself at a loss of what to say to Ann, forced into becoming a shy boy once again when he was in her presence. But his love for her was now such that it needed no explanation or gaudy, adorning words. He simply showed her, and she gladly accepted him.
She closed her eyes and breathed in his scent, her mouth parting slightly. Her lips traced his neck up to his jaw and gently she kissed him.
There was no memorial. No statue built in his honor or fountain bearing his name. The streets and buildings of New York had been reconstructed and Kong's enormous body had been left to scientists and museums. The world had noted his significance and then simply forgot about the giant creature that had terrorized New York. More curiosity was spent upon the land from which he came and expeditions had been sent, though all returned in vain. Without a map to guide them, there was no hope of reaching Skull Island, and the few that remained of the previous successful voyage dared not venture there again no matter the sum offered.
Ann did not know where to go today on the anniversary of his death. She walked through the icy streets watching her breath come out in puffs and listening to the slow click clack of her heels. The building upon which she had last seen her dear Kong loomed above her wherever she seemed to be. It stood tall and lonely and she could not escape its sight. No, she could not go there today.
She walked with her face seemingly full of concentration and her eyebrows furrowed as if she knew exactly where she was going. It were her legs that guided her of their own accord to the frozen lake where she had shared her last laughter with Kong.
She sat on a bench overlooking the deserted area. Had it been this silent on that day when he had held her in his gentle grip? It seemed as if they had danced together on that ice, and it seemed that there was music playing all around them.
Absently she fingered at the necklace she wore. Carl had known of her deep connection to the beast and had the mind to offer her Kong's body. Of its entirety, she took a snippet of his tough hair, placing it in a small glass case which she wore around her neck always. She could not help but be reminded of the way wedded couples in the historic past had kept lockets of each other's hair, bound in necklaces. No, she was no lover of Kong's, not some bride of the Skull Island King, nor the mistress of the savage beast. She had simply been his dear friend, the woman which he treasured, the girl he protected, and the only creature he had ever cared for.
Jack heard her reenter the apartment they shared. He sighed, bracing himself for the sight of her sad eyes, so wide and upset. Whenever she stared at him, begging him with her eyes for solace and empathy, he could only furrow his brows in worry and take her in his arms. How he loved this gentle woman.
Still, he could not forget the sight of her cradled in the hand of the dark beast the night he retrieved her in the jungle. She had been sleeping so peacefully, curled up against her protector. He had felt a stab of pain back then, emotions swirling in his mind. She was safe and he was the happiest man in the world for it. But she also seemed somewhat content, and he stood, her knight in shining armor, gazing at his princess in the clutches of the dragon. Was that a smile he saw upon her lips as she slept? Jealousy panged curiously inside of him, grasping at his heart. It only lasted for a moment, however, as she soon woke up and he saw the love in her eyes, the love meant only for him.
How could he have known the bond that had formed between the gorilla and the girl? It would be some time later before she had recounted the story to him: how the creature had become amused by her, valued her, and fought for her life at the risk of his own.
Kong had seemed at first a petulant child, throwing tantrums at her refusal to dance for him again, but his emotions soon proved more complicated. When he battled the dinosaurs for her, he seemed to be telling them, "She is mine. You cannot have her." But his feelings were beyond mere ownership and as she understood his intentions, she backed up into him, choosing to stand by this beast over facing the other one who wanted to eat her. Her decision ultimately filled Kong with a renewed strength. Finally, the girl had realized his power and her innate need of him. He was validated by her choice, by her acceptance. Yet when the battle had finished, he did not claim his prize, for she was no prize to him. She was a freestanding creature, able to follow on her own, and he wanted her to want him too.
She had run after him when he began walking away and he lost no time in accepting her and he threw her over his shoulder. After decades of loneliness, his heart had finally been softened.
Jack knew his wife would be going to the window. She often did, when she was reminded of Kong. She was thinking of the creature now, but she would be his again by tomorrow. There was always something to do, and life moved on, especially in New York city. His newest play was going into its fifth showing and she was to star in another production next week, so she had rehearsals to attend. But Jack knew that only for today, the anniversary of Kong's death, that Ann would sit still and quietly lose herself in memories of the friend that had imprinted itself so deeply in her heart.