This is how I first pictured the ending to Closer. When I wrote this, I had planned a different "twist" to the story:
Bella finds Horace's "lab" and finds out what the secret ingredient to Red is. Furious, she confronts Catherine about it and it ends in a fight, and Bella runs away. Catherine makes Airi (a character that got cut from the story – she's the one with the ability to erase people's memory) and the guards follow Bella, but when Airi tries to delete Bella's recent memory, Bella pushes her with her "invisible arms" and Airi accidentally erase Bella's entire memory. Bella "wakes up" surrounded by strangers. She pushes them away and runs. She spends years and years not knowing who she is, with only a few memories that she doesn't know the meaning of. This is the ending to that story.
I looked out at the sea, just a vast space of blue and yellow and pink, of nothingness and everything, and I didn't believe anybody in the world felt as lost as I did. There was nothing to hold on to, nowhere to go. There was nothing I wanted to see because I didn't know if I had seen it before or ever desired to.
And then there was my heart. My heart that was missing. And I didn't know how to find it; because I couldn't remember when or where it was that I lost it. Maybe it was the same day I lost everything else.
I watched the beautiful sunrise, but it held nothing for me. There was no feeling of hope in watching a day fade away and turn into a new one, as it always would. There was no comfort in knowing that time passed, even for me. It was all just as empty as my hollow chest. And then the lion fell in love with the lamb… Just some meaningless words stuck in my head like an old tune I couldn't remember the name or melody of.
I didn't weep or scream. I just sat there, even as my body didn't need the rest. I sat there, not waiting, not looking, not searching – just accepting. This was my life. I was nothing. I was nobody. I had nothing to give and nothing to take. I was an echo of a person. A shadow perhaps, that had lost the feet it was supposed to be attached to.
Then the whole world turned upside down.
I felt him before I heard him.
I felt a strange tugging, like something deep inside me was telling me to turn around. It was such a strong need, that for a moment I didn't because it almost frightened me.
Then I heard the soft footsteps. Then I heard someone breathing unsteadily.
I rose from the bench and slowly turned around to see a young man standing quite far away from me, his hand on his chest and his mouth slightly open, like he wasn't sure whether he was supposed to speak, cry or scream.
In that moment, everything in me changed.
My chest swelled up as the hollow space there was suddenly filled with warmth. I mirrored his pose, holding a hand where my heart should be. Where my heart now suddenly was, in that place that had been so empty, still unbeating but very definitely there.
The world stopped. Time stopped. He was a stranger in my mind, but my whole body recognized him at once. My skin, my heart, my eyes and my mouth – they all recognized the man. And I knew that he recognized me to.
He fell to his knees, and I wasn't sure if it was from pain, relief or exhaustion.
I know you, stranger.
And I knew what I'd been looking for. I knew it in such a way that it felt like I'd known all along.
Of course I've been looking for you. Of course I love you. Of course I have a heart.
I love you, I love you, I love you. I was as sure of it as the sun is sure of the moon. It was just as certain as the fact that night will always fade into day.
I love you, I love you, I love you. You are no stranger.
And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.
Bella, the man whispered. I could hear him so clearly, and his voice was like velvet to my ears. It was such a relief to hear it. Bella. The name sounded familiar spoken from his lips. It sounded right.
Bella was the lamb. I was Bella. I fell in love with the lion. How could I ever forget it? Even as I still didn't remember it, I still knew, like there was a difference between knowing and remembering.
I love you, I love you, I love you. I know that I love you.
I don't know how or why, I just know.
And so I ran to him, and it didn't even take me a second to reach his arms. I had everything wrapped around him – arms and legs, fingers and toes, head and hair. He was mine and I was his, and I felt so stupid for not seeing it sooner. "I know you," I whispered into his neck, where I left a trail of kisses all the way up to his mouth.
When his lips finally crashed into mine, I felt my heart swell again, something I had thought impossible. Bella, Bella, Bella, he whispered between the kisses. You found me was my answer. While my lips were busy kissing him, it felt like my whole body was smiling where it was wrapped around him.
And then, like I didn't already have everything I knew I would ever need, a memory, and I knew very well it was a memory, flashed before my eyes. Suddenly, in my mind, I was in a beautiful meadow with this man. He was sparkling in the sun and blood was still pulsing through my beating heart. I looked at him in wonder and love. And so the lion fell in love with the lamb. What a stupid lamb. What a sick, masochistic lion.
And then the memory stopped, but it was okay. I knew he was the key to everything. I knew he could unlock the rest of them as well, and even if he couldn't, that was okay too. Just as long as he was with me, everything was okay.
"I love you."
"I love you."
"I have been looking for you for so long."
"I've been looking for you too."