It had been exactly one year since Lucas had died. Cait sat on her bedroom floor gently plucking the petals off of a daisy with Deefer at her side. She could smell the dust in his fur and feel the warmth of the thin ray of sunlight that trickled in through her closed window. She sighed as she watched the last yellow petal fall to the ground and not far behind it was the first tear of many.
The yellow mass of petals, the green stem-everything reminded her of Lucas. The ocean air, cigarette smoke, the color green, the rain, even emotions. It was impossible to live without remembering him. Deefer looked up at her warily with concern behind his deep brown eyes.
"I'm ok, boy." She said as she patted him on top of his head.
He licked her in response and then rolled over on his side.
"Am I?" She thought out loud.
The question had bubbled in her mind for almost a year. Did she lose a friend or someone she was in love with? It wasn't so much the grief that she cried over anymore, but the confusion. She didn't understand how she could love someone who she had only known a few days, it was impossible. But Lucas made everything that was impossible seem possible. With him in her life she could see new colors, hear new sounds, and feel things she had never felt before and now those feelings were gone and she wanted them back so badly.
She looked out her window and looked out at the lane where a biker had waited, watching Lucas. The memory was all too much for her. His smile, the way he smelt, a knife pointed at Jamie Tait's face, the ray of light that shined on Lucas before he jumped into the mudflats…
Cait shed a few silent tears. She knew staying in the house was too much for the day. She walked with Deefer loosely at her side. A few people were out and she was sick of all the whispers. She could hear the people whispering "Isn't that the girl who-" "I heard the gypsy was in her house-". It was like being a cursed celebrity. She couldn't go anywhere without someone recognizing her as the girl who was in some way affiliated with the gypsy.
When she was at the beach there was solitude…and so many memories. She slid off her shoes and walked through the waters, gently lapping up against her feet. She watched Deefer bark at seagulls as she remembered the horrible night with Jamie and shook her head to get it out.
Jamie and his gang spent about three weeks doing community service. Of course his marriage with Sarah Toms fell through but he didn't care. He wasn't as well liked the way he used to be If anything he was feared and despised by the townspeople but no one ever said anything about that, he was just like any one of his other thugs. Everyone was two faced.
Cait looked out into the ocean the same way she looked out into the mudflats when Lucas jumped in. Not even the beach was the same. There would be no escape, so she went home where there was more her than Lucas. John was out on some book tour and Dom was spending a few days with some friends on a house boat. She read a little as the sun sat and eventually fell asleep. That night she had a dream, it was wet and raining, thunder crashed in the sky and a mob raced behind her. She wasn't alone; someone was holding her hand-Lucas. They stood in the colored air as Lucas looked at his impending fate.
"Lucas, please don't jump. Don't hurt me again!" She whimpered as she wrapped her arms around his waist. Her tears began to cloud her vision but she could smell him, the fish, the sand, sweat, and smell of the earth. Just his scent was enough.
He raised her chin up to meet his calm deep blue eyes. They were the only calm thing in her dream. "It's going to happen Cait. It has to, it already did." He sighed. "I've ran for so long Cait, I'm tired." He explained.
"We can fix it, Lucas. We can go to the police and-"
"We already tried that. I wish I could stay and I never ever wanted to hurt you. You know I wouldn't do that."
"But you did." She tightened her grip around his body, like that could stop him. "You did so much. But you're here again, please don't do this again." She begged as she let go and sunk to her knees.
Lucas looked out at the approaching mob, the wind tossing his honey colored hair around like a wild fire. He got on his knees too and looked her in the eye. "No one will ever mean more to me than you have." He hugged her, tight in his arms like he wanted to stay more than Cait wanted it. "You have to do one thing for me." He said into the hostile night air.
"Anything." Cait replied as she swallowed the lump in her throat and tried to remain calm to soothe Lucas.
"Do you remember where my thicket was in the woods?" He asked so serene it made Cait smile a little.
"Go there. You'll have every answer you've ever needed."
Cait's lips turned up into a full smile as she nodded. "Ok, Lucas." She looked out at the crowd. They were so close she could make out the faces now.
Lucas abruptly stood up and Cait struggled to match his speed. They both looked at the furious swarm that was beyond reason.
"There is no other way is there?" She asked without looking at Lucas.
"No." He shook his head. "There isn't." He turned his back and sighed heavily as he braced himself.
"Lucas, wait!" She caught up with him and grabbed his arm.
He met her with sad tired eyes. He knew what else had to happen. Lucas held her in his arms, so close she could feel his heart beat against hers. Cait's eyes widened as she noticed they were on the same beat. They both moved their faces closer and closer.
"I love you." Cait said as she pressed her lips against Lucas's. He didn't kiss back at first but eventually his lips warmed her up, like it was a beautiful spring day after a long dark winter. It felt like nothing could tear them apart and nothing ever would again. Even when Lucas gently pried himself away and even when he sunk into the depths of the mud Cait still felt closer to him than ever.
She woke up on the couch with optimism and rolled over to feel Lucas but nothing was there. Her tears almost extinguished the flame that had been relit in her.
"Not this time." She said with fierce determination.
She grabbed a flashlight, put on some thick jeans and hiking boots. Deefer looked up at her, obviously wanting to go with her. "Sorry, boy, but you gotta stay here." She said as she slipped out the door and made her way into the darkness.
The night was warm and the full moon and flashlight were all she had to guide her way. A few thorns managed to tear through her jeans, mud and dirt climbed up her legs, and the sounds of invisible animals running through the forest definitely scared her and made her want to go back. But he was worth it, Lucas was worth the blood, the dirt, and the fear.
She looked all night and just as the sun's light was beginning to shine though the leaves she saw it. A place that looked untouched by humans, the grass was soft and luscious green like a carpet, Cat was home.
She looked around for anything. A shell, fishhooks, a blade, the thought of Lucas being back from the dead even crossed her mind. She almost gave up but when she saw the oak tree she knew it was worth it. She rubbed her hand across the engraving on the bark and crystal tears flowed from her eyes. But these tears weren't sad, grieving or confused. They were the happiest tears she had ever cried. Carved into the tree by the end of a knife the words "I love you" were engraved. Cait spent what felt like forever by the ancient oak remembering Lucas and all the emotions she had experienced over the year. All the pain, all the suffering, all the sadness, was now all worth it.
It would probably be her last time seeing the tree so she savored her time with it and when it was right she turned to leave. She looked back at the tree when she walked away and turned her gaze back on the path to find someone else on it. She took a few quick steps back. "Oh no, not Jamie!" She thought. But she looked harder. It wasn't a body. She could see a figure in a ray of sunshine, like dust through a beam of light. His eyes weren't electric but like an ocean, his smile wasn't crooked but pure, his face wasn't lustful but full of love. She stood face to face with the ghost of Lucas.
"I Love you too."
There are no endings.