Chapter 26: The Right Path
Pocahontas looks at the path laid out in front of her. It is covered with flower petals. Her family and friends stand on both sides of this path, smiling brightly. At the end of the path stands Powhatan looking proudly at his daughter, and John Rolf eagerly waiting to be wed. Nakoma, wearing a straight-somewhat solemn facial expression, stands further behind Rolf. Pocahontas begins to slowly walk down this path, lightly stepping on the flower petals at her feet. A drum is beaten in a slow and steady rhythm. She begins to think to herself, "should I choose the smoothest course, steady as the beating drum." Her heart beats with intensity to the rhythm of the drum. As she walks, she wonders if the path that leads to John Rolf is truly the right path for her. Is this really what she wants? She reaches the end of the path and Powhatan begins the ceremony. However, she cannot hear a thing he says because her thoughts distract her. She begins to remember fondly the times she shared with Smith. She remembers the pain she endured when she had to let him go to England to heal his gunshot wound, and the pain he had caused her when he never returned. But, then again, he did return. He came back for her. And what did she do? She pushed him aside for a man who she knew she could never love the way she loved Smith. The path that leads to Smith certainly is not as smooth as the path that leads to Rolf, but does that mean it is not the right path? She silently thinks, "Since when have a ever chosen the smoothest course? Since when have I ever ignored what my heart was telling me?"
"Well?" Powhatan impatiently stares at his daughter.
"What?" Pocahontas is snapped out of her daze.
"My daughter, will you take John Rolf to be your husband, your protector for as long as you live on this earth?
"I-I-," Pocahontas looks out at the villagers, who are all focused on her. She inhales and exhales deeply. "I can't."
"What?" John Rolf's smile quickly disappears.
"I am so sorry John." She reaches for Rolf's hand. "But I cannot marry you. I love someone else."
The crowd gasps and begins chattering. John Rolf looks soberly at his fiancé. "I know." The crowd suddenly quiets to listen to what Rolf has to say.
"Wait, You kn-"
"You don't think I can tell by the way you look at him? The way he looks at you. The way you two act when you're around each other." He sighs. " I guess I just didn't want to believe it." He looks into her eyes. "But it's no use. Pocahontas, I'm not the one you should be marrying today."
Pocahontas is taken back by this. She then smiles and whispers into his ear, "Thank you."
Nakoma suddenly yells, "Pocahontas! Hurry! You don't have much time!"
Pocahontas, realizing the urgency of her situation, takes off running. She goes down the flower-covered path again, but this time, in the opposite direction. Her heart beats faster and faster with excitement. Leaving the wedding is difficult, but doing it feels so right, feels so freeing. She runs as fast as she can, tearing and dirtying up her dress, but she can care less about the dress. What she really cares about is seeing the man she has never stopped dreaming about, never stopped thinking about, never stopped loving. She cannot wait to hold him and tell him how sorry she was for not taking him back sooner. She cannot wait to run her hands through his hair and feel the electricity rushing through her body as their lips meet.
Pocahontas reaches the shore where the ships are supposed to be, but she sees no ship. She sees no Smith. In an instant, she collapses to the ground and screams an agonizing sound, a sound that only comes from those who are suffering from the deepest of pains, comes only from those who have lost everything. For Pocahontas, she did lose everything. John Smith was her heart, and now, he was gone for good. She was too late. "How could I have been so foolish," she cries, "I love him." She looks into the clear blue water, "I have always loved him."
After hours of lamenting by the shore, Pocahontas looks up at the night sky and realizes how late it has gotten. She decides to go talk to Grandmother Willow, for she knows that Grandmother Willow always knows what to say in order to help her through difficult situations, though she doubts the wise tree could say anything now to make her feel the slightest bit better.
"Hello, my child." Grandmother Willow cheerfully greets as Pocahontas approaches.
"Grandmother Willow, I've done something terrible."
Grandmother Willow notices Pocahontas's teary eyes. "My dear, what is wrong?"
"I pushed him away."
"Pushed who away?"
"The man I've always loved."
"John Smith is no longer here?"
"He's gone." Pocahontas sits down.
"What about John Rolf? Wasn't today your wedding day?"
"I didn't marry him."
"How could I?" Pocahontas looks seriously at Grandmother Willow. "I do not love him."
"I ran out of the wedding to stop John Smith before he left, but I was too late." Pocahontas looks down. A tear falls from her eye. "He is on his way to England as we speak."
"You really love John Smith, don't you?"
"Grandmother Willow, he is my heart. He is a part of who I am. I have never stopped loving him. When he left and never came back, it deeply hurt me. I tried to move on, and I thought I did with John Rolf." Pocahontas pauses to reflect, then continues. "But when John Smith came back, I realized that my love for him had never died. It instead grew stronger. I was just too stubborn and afraid to act on my feelings, to follow my heart, to go down the right path, the path that always led to him. And now, I have paid the price for it."
"Oh my." Grandmother Willow looks down at her heartbroken child.
"He probably hates me now. And who could blame him?"
"He could never hate you." This was not the voice of Grandmother Willow. Pocahontas looks up, trying to figure out where this voice was coming from.
"He has always loved you and will never stop loving you." Pocahontas turns around. Her eyes widen. Her heart pounds. Could it really be?
Yes, it was! Walking towards her with his piercing blue eyes, golden hair, and warm smile was no one other than John Smith, her John Smith. Grandmother Willow transforms back into a faceless tree. Smith takes Pocahontas's hands in his and gazes deeply into her chestnut eyes.
"This must be a dream," she stares into his eyes, then lightly touches his cheek to see if he is real. "How long have you been here, listening to me and Grandmother Willow?"
He smiles. "I heard all of it. I came to talk to Grandmother Willow a few hours ago, when she told me to hide behind something. I guess she knew you were coming."
"But, how are you here right now? I thought-" Pocahontas's voice is soft, overwhelmed with emotion.
"The others left. But Pocahontas, I couldn't leave you, not again. I knew you were marrying Rolf today, but still something deep within me was telling me to stay." He softly brushes her hair behind her ear. "And now I know why."
Pocahontas softly touches his cheek. "I am so sorry. I should have come back to you sooner."
"None of that matters now. All that matters is that we are together, just the two of us, like I've always dreamed." John Smith caresses her face with both hands.
They share a long hug. She smiles as they embrace. He smiles as well, and they release from their hold. Pocahontas then gently pulls him in. His hands move to her waist. Their lips meet, moving slowly, passionately savoring the sensation of having each other at last. After years of longing and yearning for one another, a current of electricity that is long overdue rushes through their bodies, awakening their senses to the highest level. Smith smiles as he lightly nibbles on her bottom lip. He finally has her back in his life and wants to hold on forever. Pocahontas runs her fingers through his hair as she slowly kisses him, making sure to cover every crevice of his mouth, letting him know that she is there for him and will never leave him. Up and down their lips gently move in harmony with one another, orchestrating a symphony that only the two of them could create.
John Smith and Pocahontas get married soon after this, and spend the next few years together exploring the world, going on several adventures. They then settle down in the village to raise the family they always wanted. They tell their children this grand tale of how they met, of how Smith had to leave, of how he returned but was pushed aside for Rolf, of how Pocahontas almost married the wrong man, and of how they eventually followed the right path-the path that led them to each other.
"This is why it is important to always listen to your heart. There will be distractions, and your heart won't always lead you down the easiest path. But it will lead you down the right path." Pocahontas concludes.
"Is that the end of the story?" their children usually ask.
"Of course not. It is only the beginning. Tons of adventure await us in the future." Smith responds.
"Your father is right" Pocahontas smiles at her children, picking up the youngest and sitting him on her lap. "It's not over yet."
And they lived happily ever after.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story and it is something I am very much going to miss. It was so much fun to write and I really hope you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for reading! :)