By Cassie Clark
She stands on the edge of the cliff, watching the wave's crash below her. A gentle breeze flicks her long blonde hair catching the last of the rays before the sun slips into the sea night. What does she looks for? He wondered. Every day, he sees her standing on the rocks staring out into the sea as the sun sets. Jake was beginning to arrange his day just to watch her ritual with the water. The lady with golden hair and her faithful dog, sitting patiently at her feet. Where does she come from? Who is she waiting for? Was it a ship bringing her lover that was lost? He wants to ask her, wishes he could go and talk to her, but there was something about her, like she was in a prayer a sacred trance that no one should disturb only admires from afar, he felt she was fragile and for some reason he an overwhelming urge to protect her.
There was a chill in the air as she climbed her cliff. Winter was coming, you could smell the change of the season; this was her favorite place and time of day, she loved the sun setting and watching the colors of lavender and gold bounce on the water. Even the tides slow down, almost as if preparing for the stars to reflect off them as the night set. This is where she spoke to her angels. She knew the calming of the day they would hear her, and she was with one with them. But not today; today she was anxious, the sea was restless and the breeze blew harder. She couldn't concentrate, she knew he was watching, she's never saw his face but she could feel him. She hated he was here, for so long this side of the island was hers alone. For years she walked freely, connected with the each part earth, tree and rock. She could walk in the deep dark of night and knew her way. But today, she felt him, it caught her off guard, it has been too long was someone able to speak into her mind. She can hear him, his thoughts as though he was standing right beside her. She wished he would go away; it unsettled her to have this connection and invade her; she was used to being alone, to never give herself to anyone unless she chose them; and there have not been anyone since her younger years she allowed her guard and heart to be open. Despite herself she was slightly curious of who he was. A shiver ran through her, a chill deep within, yes winter was coming.
As he slept he saw her. She was running g; her eyes were wild with fear, he can hear her breath as she ran, a scream was stuck in her throat ; she ran and fell against the ground, little gravel caught in her hand and scrapped her knees, as she tried to pull herself up a hand caught the back of her hair, she was flung into the air; she was tired, hopelessness drained out of her, the man dragged her she half walked half allowed herself to be pulled behind him, slowly she was led to the water, this massive hand held her down underneath the cold dark ocean waves, she felt her body drain of life, she was seeping into the darkness and in a way grateful for the dark. She slid deeper and deeper, the hand held her for what seemed to be an eternity, and then she was released and slid down to the bottom of the ocean floor…
Jake woke up, a burning inside his lungs, sweat poured from him and he was frozen. A nightmare he told himself, yet he knew better, he felt it, he felt it all , and as he dragged himself awake, he mouth was had the taste of salty ocean water.
Kara woke screaming; hair wet with sweat and shaking she crawled to the bathroom; her head was pounding with the room spinning out of control. Laying her head on the cool tile, praying the feeling of vomiting would subside. This time was worse spell she's had in a long time. She couldn't figure out what brought this on, she has learned in the past years to control and push the nightmares away.
She lay for a long while before forcing herself to the kitchen for a cup of tea. Chamomile would help calm her stomach with a hint of ginger. Still shaky, she took her tea to the front porch; the cool air felt well on her body, the time was early so the sky was still dark with only the full moon to provide light.
She could smell the wild jasmine and verbena that grew in her yard. On the porch were pots of lavender and rosemary and lemon trees she groomed for her patio. She reached down and plucks the leaves rubbing them between her fingers to smell the oils and inhale the fragrance. Sleep wasn't going to happen tonight so she decided to change her clothes and go for a night walk.
She could hear the ocean in the distance, she knew the danger of the water but also the beauty and the calming affects it has on her. She walked towards it remembering her nightmare, wondering why the past of death is coming back to haunt her.
Jake decided to take a run. Shake the uneasiness he was feeling. He liked the early morning runs, no one around and had solitude with his thoughts. He liked the way he could push himself beyond the point of exhaustion. He liked the freedom he felt, just him and the outdoors, no gym no crowds, just him and a good pair of shoes. He was so tired this morning, and took all his effort to relax and clear his mind. His body wouldn't cooperate the night dream was replaying in his thoughts creating questions he would rather forget.
Jake was t 52 easily passed for early 40's, his six foot frame, He wasn't considered skinny , his broad shoulders and large build was the reason he was a starting linebacker in high school and his incredible size and agility landed him a full scholarship to college. He was large but mild mannered, his easy going ways inherited him friends wherever he went. In school, he was popular jock, handsome and girls loved his deep voice, blue eyes and were told the deep scar on his chin was added sexiness. Both men and Women told stories of that scar, some made Jake laugh and he never corrected them. It was fun to hear the rumors of his exploits of how he got this scar, men said it was a fight in a bar taking on 10 men alone, defending the honor of his team, women said it was action of bravery standing up to thugs defending the honor of his love. But either was right, it was a bone head move at the age of 10, trying to win a bet that he could make wings to fly off his parents two stories home.
Likeable giant, jock and extremely bright. His professors loved debated him and exploring analytical sides to the most complex issues that most people would not even entertain. As soon as graduation day came, he hung up his cleats for the sea and never looked back. His passion was sea life and for the last 30 years Jake was well known around the world as best marine biologist.
As Jake ran, he forced his thoughts to his life. It was passing so very fast. He can't imagine how quickly his days from college to now have flown by. His life has been good, great even. He's touched every part of the globe and seen things that only a few lucky people ever had a chance to. He battled storms, chased poachers, rescued whales and healed dolphins, but one thing was he could never fix was that lonely but never alone. The sea was his mistress, there have been women, but none ever touched his soul like the ocean. Until six months ago, when he landed on this island and found an abandoned two story house with views of the ocean. He felt a connection to this house, for lack of a better word, he felt that home needed him and it him; So, Jake decided to take some time and become a land lover. He bought the house, and immediately began to repair it. That was when he first saw the girl on the cliff, standing there almost weeping with her white dog at her feet. She began to become his habit, he look forward to watching here each day.
Over an hour had past and Jake found he circled the island a good ten miles and yet he didn't feel settled. Standing on a cliff, he watched the waves of the ocean, calling him, trying to soothe him, without a second thought, Jake dove, flying into the air and slicing through the oncoming waves. The icy water stung him, chilling thru the bones and knocking the air out of his lungs. For a moment, he was disoriented, the shock to his system, but in a fleeting moment, he flipped over and began to kick his way back up to the surface. Or at least he tried, something pulled at him, sucking him deeper down, he kicked harder and he fell deeper, the water was dark, darker t hand it should be, he was in a hole of blackness and Jake began to panic. Logic wasn't letting him comprehend his situation, he was in the ocean, he was so familiar with these surroundings than his own home, yet he couldn't see, he couldn't swim and for whatever reason, he was being swallowed by the ocean. Deeper and deeper, he was so cold then numbness sat in, he was fighting but his movements were slower and it was harder to move the water nothing above him, nothing underneath to give him leverage to push off and get back up, his lungs were on fire and he knew he was running out of oxygen. One last push with all of his might, and nothing he was pushed down and then there was nothing.
Kara went to her garden, clipping fresh herbs of rosemary, chives, thyme and a bit of sage.
A nice sweet potato stew would be good simmering today. Comfort food she thought, she needs a bit of comfort. She planned to make some fresh bread too, smells of warmth and goodness to fill her home.
She would brew some cinnamon tea, all of her senses would become alive and right now the thought of baking was lifting her spirits.
With pot of stew on the stove, she went to mix the dough for her bread, the joy of simple measuring and cutting in yeast making soft dough. This was life for her. Simple, joyous, she began to hum as she rolled the dough on the counter to knead. A slight breeze came up, and played with her chimes,
Candles, she thought, this setting needs the soft glow and smell of vanilla, she turned and with a glance, three candles sitting on the window sill glowed, that's better, she smiled. With dough, resting, a cup of hot cinnamon tea, she went outside to say a welcoming prayer. She decided her having a moment of being off balance by the new neighbor was just a sign she needed to renew and strengthen protection around her home. She needed to do a cleansing. Gathering big bundles of dry sage, lighting to create a soft vapor of smoke. Walking the outside of her house, counter clock wise, she held the sage and while saying a silent prayer of thanks, and asking ever politely to her angels to protect what was hers and to keep her safe to enjoy her little haven. Feeling she did her best, she sprinkled salt in the doorway, and under the windows again asking for no evil to come thru her home. Satisfied, she looked up to the heavens gave a thank you to the universe, and watched a hummingbird hover just above her. Kara smiled, taking the hummingbird as a sign that the universe was answering her prayers.
Feeling so content and almost back to normal, Kara felt a nice salt bath would finish her protection and balance her energy. She filled the bath with hot water, sprinkled in lavender and raised petals, then slipping into glorious fragrance. Peace was washing over her, blessed be she sighed….letting all tension wash out of her. Closing her eyes, she breathed in the lavender, soaking in light and energy, when
She began to gasp and struggle she slipped under the water and visions of the neighbor came to her. With all her might, she bolted out of the water, grabbed her clothes and ran toward the ocean.
She could see was his face, white, pale, life floating out of it. Full of fear, She ran her until her lungs burn her throat was raw and dry .Making it to the water's edge, she leaped in only to be blown back and slammed against she shore, a large wave rose up, 10,20 feet into the air and crash down upon her soaked and trembling she tried to stand, She couldn't do it, on her knees , she saw him, a vision of a dying, lifeless body being pulled deeper and deeper to the bottom . She had to save him. As she tried again, only to be knocked back. Something wasn't letting her, a wall of cold black energy encase her,
Something was making it hard for her to breath. She could hear hissing, evil taunt echoed all around her, she could feel the pulse of the ugliness and the heart of the man slow to almost to nothing, she has to go in but as she tried again only to be pushed to her knees,. Cursing, she summoned her strength to crawl then stand, she was so scared, and had to channel energy to not to give in as now her life was in jeopardy too. The evil darkness seemed to laugh at her, shivers ran up her spine. She could feel the evil energy touch her speaking to her in inaudible words, showing her pictures, flashes of her own self drowning so many years before. But Kara didn't waver; she was determined to stand her ground. , Raising her arms above her head, she started her chant,
Seeing the man in the sea in her mind's eye, "Goddess light ruler of the moon, send me strength please do it soon, to save a life lost in the sea, as I will so mote it be.
Throwing her head up to the sky, Kara's words tumbled out of her, the wind blew so loudly she barely could hear her own voice. The waves rose up and crashed down violently splashing her, knocking her from side to side. Kara dug in; .she swore she could feel the evil energy touch her speaking to her in inaudible words, showing her pictures, flashes of her own self drowning so many years before. But Kara didn't waver. She scream louder Goddess help me, my faith is with you…and in an instant, lightening shot out of the sky and as Kara's arms began to shake and tire, she saw, a white flash move passed her and dive deep into the sea, moments later, the man, half dead, unconscious, was being dragged out of the sea by a big white dog.
It took all of her might but she got the man to her home. She tried to revive him but he remained unconscious. He was wet, cold, burning with fever. She undressed him, built a fire and coved him with warm blankets. He shivered and his lips were a light shade of blue. Kara knew that in normal cases she would let his body fight off a normal fever, but in this case, his fever was too high, she had to try to use herbs that support the immune system and enhance other cleansing processes of the body. She knew which herbs would help to lower body temperature by promoting perspiration; but they also help to detoxify his body. She ran out to her garden, gathering herbs such as willow, meadowsweet, black hawk, cramp bark, birch, black cohosh and Indian pipe are all called "herbal aspirins". Taking them she made a poultice, thick and black, rubbing them on his body, chest, working quickly and efficiently she covered him in this dark ooze. Then she ground the herbs making it into a tea, slowly she lifted his head and poured a little at a time, nursing the liquid down his throat.
Days, went by, she tended to the man. He would have fits of dreams, thrashing about, sometimes mumbling something she couldn't quite make out. She fed his broth and water, teas of herbs, changed his bedding, washing him down by cool water. His fever seems to be getting better, but he still was unable to come to. She placed healing crystals on his forehead and at the end of his bed. She lit candles and burned lavender. She felt patience is what she needed but agreed to herself that if he didn't get better in a day, she would go into the town and find help. She didn't like to interact with the local people and really wasn't sure where she would find the local doctor, but to save a life, she would. Kara filled her time with gardening, canning her last of her tomatoes from the vine. Winter will soon wither the rest of her vegetables, so for now, she stocks up by drying and canning. She didn't go to her water, she was afraid to leave the man. But the her soul was becoming restless and felt a brief moment at the water's edge wouldn't hurt, the man seem to be doing ok, the bruises were beginning to fade from bright purple to yellow, his fever is all about gone, and he seem to just be sleeping.
Creeping away she walked to her edge, the cliff seemed to be waiting for her, just lonely and serene. The dog was waiting; he always waits, at the top of the mountain. Sitting patiently, so still, just watching her as she made her climb.
Jake awoke. He was disoriented and sore. It felt as though a thousand pounds of sand was on top of him. He could hear soft music playing and the smells of candle wax and lavender.
He had no idea where he was. His last memory was of the water and being pulled under. Maybe this is heaven, he thought. Forcing his eyes to open, the room was blurry, and then slowly came into focus. The room was of pale cream and soft blues. It was sparsely furnished, but yet it felt warm and homey. Candles of all colors filled the room; incense was burning in stone bowls that lined the perimeter of the bed.
Pushing himself up, he realized he was naked. He grabbed the linens to wrap and tried to stand. The room spun and swirled, Jake fell back onto the bed. "Whoa" he groaned
Closing his eyes, gritting his teeth, he took a big breath and tried to stand again. He was still dizzy, but able to stand this time. Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked around the room. He found his clothes neatly folded on a chair and began to dress. It took a lot of effort, but he finally managed to be fully clothed. The room was definitely female, fresh flowers, sliver brush and mirror on a dressing table. A patch work quilt of pinks and reds hung over the wrought iron bed foot board. The room was tidy. He began to adventure out of the room to the rest of the house to see who lived here and to thank for helping him.
The rest of the house was as small as the room. One bedroom is what he made out, the kitchen living room and dining area all were in one large rectangle area. The stove was old and cast iron. Copper tea pot sat on top, above on the ceiling hung bunches of dried herbs all neatly bounded by red ribbons. Cast iron skillets sat on open shelves, mix matched ceramic plates of reds, blues and yellows were on an old white hutch.
The living room housed a brown overstuffed tweed couch, too small for him to lie on, but looked inviting and comfortable. A green oval rug lay in front of a fireplace. There was and old scarred wood table with two chairs sitting beside a large picture window showing the view of a beautiful green garden and pine trees. 'The place was like snow white lived there, in her little cottage in the woods". He thought
.Jake realized he was completely alone; he looked and found some parchment paper and a pen, and wrote his savior a note.
"Dear wonderful person, I don't know how you found me, or how long I was here. But I am grateful to you for all of your care. My name is Jake Connery. I live Heather Lane, the two story white house. Please come to see me in person, so I may properly thank you in person for saving my life. I can never repay you, but I will like to help you in any way I can.
With that, he left the note on the table and walked out the door to make his way to his own home.
Kara stood looking at the ocean, breathing in the salty air and filing her senses with the freshness of the breeze. She reached down with her right hand and laid it on the top of the dog's head. Mindlessly she stroked him, feeling the softness of his fur. After a moment, Kara knew it was time to leave. She needed to check on the man, to make sure he was ok.
As she became nearer, she sensed he was not there. A flutter of panic came to her heart as she quickens her pace. Thoughts of him passing without her in the house man her mad and she cursed herself for being so selfish and leaving him alone. But as she neared, she knew he didn't die, but that he left.
Opening the door, she felt overwhelming of sadness. He was gone. She could feel his presence was in the room, that he touched her things in her house. Normally that would have angered her, maybe even frightened her, even know she should be afraid, she hadn't had human contact in years, but it didn't, she was sad. Lonely.
"Stupid' she thought. Weak minded, she scolded. He was a human she helped, nothing more.
But when she found his letter and read it. Tears began to flow, covering his words on the paper.
His name was Jake. Now she knew. And something inside her heart began to ache.
Weeks past, winter winds blew every day. The last of Kara's garden was withered over.
Kara. Was restless, her thoughts of Jake was taking over her time. She replayed countless arguments as to why not to go and see him. But in reality, she missed him. She missed the touch of another and caring for someone. The endless chats she had with him as while tending to his needs. She re read his note a thousand times, so much so the ink had now faded. In a pure moment of shear boldness, she went to her cabinet, gathered can preserves and tomatoes, bushels of dried herbs, and homemade teas, packed them up, she was going to introduce herself to Jake.
Her hands were knuckle white as she gripped the basket, standing at the end of the porch trying to take a deep breath to knock. Apart of her wanted to just leave the basket, the other wanted to see him,
Just make sure he's fine, she said, no big deal, a quick hello, howdy do and leave. But even as she quietly knocked on the door, she knew as soon as he answered she wasn't going to want to leave.
Jake heard the knock, at first he thought it was a bird or something; it was barely loud enough to hear from his hammering on the wall. He was feverishly working on this house. It seemed since his near death experience he took a new lease on life and didn't want to waste another moment. At least that is the bull that he recited to himself because it was better than to admit that when he closed his eyes he replayed his drowning over and over again.
Sitting down the hammer he opened the door. Seeing her was like seeing a ghost. He wasn't sure at first if she was real or not. He stood like an idiot staring at her, not saying a word, this beautiful lady, with eyes the color of the sea, hair as blond as the sun, staring at him holding a basket too big for her little frame.
Hi she said. Her voice was soft and almost lyrical, Inside his head he was screaming, say something you idiot, say hello, Jake mumbled something that sounded close to hello, but to tell the truth he couldn't swear to really what he said.
She reached up, touched his face. Hello she said again, my name is Kara. I wanted to see you, see how you were.
Jake stood, he didn't breath. He didn't move, all he could feel was her eyes, being lost in her eyes, and the sound of his heart beating loudly in his ears.
Kara, said I am the one who found you, you must have questions?
Can I come in? Something snapped in Jake as he finally heard her, and opened the door further, please he said. His voice cracking, his throat was raw and he realized he was suddenly parched.
Please he said again, Please come in. I want to talk to you, I want to know how you found me, and I have so many questions, but please come in. Let me make us some tea.
Kara entered his home. At first was taken aback about how neat he had it. It was very manly, with rich browns and dark woods. The house smelled of pine oil and manly musk.
Jake led the way to his kitchen. There wasn't any appliances, no pictures or
Just a table made out of a piece of plywood on top of two sawhorses. Jake reached under the cabinet and pulled out a pot and filled it with water.
I'm sorry for lack of furniture he said, I am still renovating and I find living alone I don't need much. ..Jake felt he was babbling and suddenly nervous. He thought it best to keep his hands busy and making tea would be a good start.
Kara was standing there, staring at him.
"I brought you some herbs and veggies I canned, she said. I thought being winter you might like fresh tomatoes and make soup etc.
She went to put the basket on the kitchen counter, and stumbled, tripping and falling right onto Jake. Tomato jars tumbled out and crashed splattering the kitchen floor, counters, cabinets and worst of all, JAKE…. Oh. She gasp, I am so sorry. Kara was mortified, she looked around for a rag, anything to help clean the mess.
Oh, she said. I .I I…she couldn't think of what to say, all she could see was the tomatoes squished and smashed everywhere.
All Jake could do was Laugh. He started laughing and found he couldn't stop. He was covered in tomatoes and sauce, and the more she tried to clean it the more it slipped everywhere, he move, she fell and as they did the dance of tomato sauce they both fell right on their butts.
Stung, a bit sore, sprawled out on the floor, covered in sauce. Kara was beyond embarrassed. But she began to laugh too. She laughed he laughed and from that moment a friendship was born.
Jake helped Kara up; they both cleaned themselves up and went to go outside to talk.
Who would have known after being so nervous that they now were talking easily, effortlessly, and long into the night. He told her of his time on the ships, his football college days, his family, friends, he didn't want to stop, and he found little to nothing important to talk about anything to keep her there. He didn't want her to leave.
Kara was enjoying herself too, too much. At each passing tick of the clock, she was finding herself needing him more. She was falling for Jake Connery. She knew it was impossible, she shouldn't, and actually she couldn't. But with all of her might, she was. She reached up and felt the amethyst around her neck. Fingering the stone, she said a silent prayer of protection, and ended with a little spell for her heart to be strong. She was so aware of him. His smell, the warmth of his skin exuding from him. She wanted to touch, she wanted to reach over and just inhale him. She closed her eyes; she listened to his voice, waffling over her, lulling her into her peace and comfort. Then he touched her. The heat of his hand caressed her face. He was gently moving her hair to behind her ear. She let out a little cry, it escaped her, she looked at him and as she recited the prayer in her head, he leaned in and kissed her.
It was a deep and soft kiss, tender and undemanding. He explored her lips, he touched her face. He drank in the deep pools of her eyes. He fell for her in one kiss. Crazy…but it wasn't a time for logic. He felt he knew her all his life. He was smitten, he was in love. If he said this out loud he would be committed, but Jake was in love with a woman he just met. A woman that saved his life, it was more than that, and she took his heart and captured him. He wanted to tell her he would lie down and stop time for her. He was gone.
Kara was scared, but for one brief moment in her life she allowed herself to feel. She wanted that feeling of warmth and hunger deep inside never to end. She felt alive. She felt loved, she felt beautiful and she knew this had to end. She allowed herself to linger with him. Taking him deeper into a kiss. She heard him sigh, she felt the beating of his heart and it matched hers. Magically, they floated, she didn't know how or when, she wasn't even aware of the time, she fell into step with him as he guided her to his room, she couldn't tell what the décor was or even where the room was, she was with him, just him that is all that mattered. She took, she allowed him to take her, to ravish her. He carried her into his room, laid her on his bed. She fell back and allowed his kisses to take her to another plane. He slowly undressed her. She was aware of him and how his hands felt rough, callous yet gentle on her skin. Each place he touched it burned. Her skin was alive; it tingled and buzzed with every movement. He was slow but yet there was impatience in his hunger for her. They didn't speak, yet there was a humming in the room, the air was thick, it was hard to breathe, yet neither wanted to stop. They took each other to heights of passion, never known before. And thru the night, as they devoured each other, the white dog stood outside, waiting.
Dawn's light broke thru the window and awoken Kara. She heard Jake slightly snoring and felt the guilt of the night. She knew she crossed a line that she was forbidden to do. She felt more for this man than she ever thought it was possible to love a human being. She touched his face; he moved a little but still remained asleep. Moving out of the bed without waking him, she tip toed out of his room and quietly slipped out the house.
The dog was waiting. He stared at her, and bowed his head. She was ashamed. And before she could speak, the dog turned and left.
Dreams of joy floated in Jake's head. He dreamed of the sea but pleasantly, relaxing on a boat with Kara at his side. He was happy. Fully and completely he felt joy. A sensation he hadn't felt in years. He woke, ready to begin the day with the love of his life,
Reaching for her, he was startled to find her not there. He rose, thinking she was in the kitchen, he went to find her. She wasn't there; she wasn't outside or upstairs, no note
No sign of her even being there. She was gone. Jake quickly dressed, not to read anymore into her being gone than just she needed to be somewhere and didn't want to wake him.
He would surprise her, go and see her at her home. Maybe make her dinner. Take a walk to the beach. As his plan, he ignored nagging voice inside his head. With that he headed for the door. He needed to shop for their dinner. Then he would go and see her.
Loading the cart with flowers, potatoes for roasting, and steaks for grilling, strawberries and chocolate. He was a bit rusty with romance, but he felt this dinner, candle light and a nice bottle of wine would be nice. The uneasiness he felt before seem to melt as he planned the night. He was being over anxious, they really didn't know each other, and it was a lot to take in,
He was new to being really in love, and the whole in love at first sight was after all a myth until 24 hours ago. He was better; he ran some more errands, purchased some lumber for the house, made a few calls and then headed to see Kara.
Kara's home was situated nestled between a mountain walls and surrounded by pine trees. There were no paved roads or trails big enough to drive on. The only way to reach her was to hike. It's been a little over a month since his accident He was fully back to health; there was a little lingering cough that didn't really bother him that much anymore. Other than the occasional night mares, the sign of the incident was gone.
Jake reached Kara's door. Bag loaded with dinner, the flowers of mixed lilies, sunflowers and roses. All out of season for this time of the year, colors of yellows, pinks, and whites, tucked under his arm. He knocked. And waited. It took a full 10 minutes before he noticed the house was dark. It seemed alone. Not full of her energy or life as it was before when he was there. He waited a little longer before picking up the bag, leaving the flowers at her door, he turned to go home.
Days tuned into a month, he didn't see her. He went to her home, he left letters. He waited at the cliff. He didn't see her. He told himself there was a family emergency, she couldn't tell him she had to go in a hurry, and he made up stories, each more plausible then the last. She was a medicine woman and traveled to heal others as she did him, she was hurt and didn't know his number and would come to him as soon as she could. He told the stories, he made them up, and all awhile he worked endlessly on the house. He couldn't sleep, he waited for her.
In the end, when the last piece of the house was sanded, painted nailed and plastered. He decided that the one wonderful night he had and lost his heart was all a dream.
Kara left the Jake's house that day full of bittersweet feelings. She was happy sad mournful and in love with a man she couldn't have a future with. She wanted to go back into the house, run back to his arms and pretends that she didn't have to go. But when she saw white dog, she knew. She knew the hardest moment of her life was upon her.
For days, she cried, curled up on her bed, smelling the blanket she used to cover Jake when she nursed him back to health. She never washed it. She was glad she didn't, at the time she didn't understand why she didn't want his scent gone, but now, in the midst of heartbreak, she was glad she had it to comfort her.
Breathing him in, she wailed until her heart couldn't squeeze another tear. When she was done, fully exhausted and empty, she knew she had to prepare the home, the cottage by the sea, the other true love of hers to leave it. She packed each loving trinket, rock she collected by the water's edge, sea drifts, into a crate. She folded her quilts and silver brushes laying them gently in boxes. Outside she scattered her seeds of herbs she harvested for so long.
Letting the earth take what she sowed to allow someone else to enjoy. She thought, and with that she said a blessing as the seeds touched the ground. She walked thru her home, touching every wall, window sill, burning the memory of its soft feel of wood in her mind. She lit a fire in the fireplace and slept near it. Soon she would be gone, and she wanted to soak up the feelings of this house. Keep it inside her.
Kara had to wait for the third day of the next full moon for her leave. On the calander she circled the days of how many she had left. She was down to one. She decided to spend the next hours she had remaining on cleansing her home, sprinkling salt around the outside, saying blessings for the next person that finds it, sending wishes of protection and love this house will bring them. She lit her candles and said her prayers and after all was done that she needed to do she had one last task. To write to Jake, for he deserve to know, with that was completed, she went outside to join the white dog and was gone.
Spring came. Flowers were sprouting between the rocks, insects, birds, animals that were asleep during the winter, now came out to stretch and find what newness the sun was going to bring them. Jake house was complete and he was growing restless. He loved his house, but not as much as he did, it became his therapy he used to overcome the grief of Kara.
Now the house was a reminder of her. And though the pang of his heart wasn't as strong as it was, but from time to time, a glimpse of someone with blonde hair, or a smell of lavender, would interrupt his day and his thoughts would return of her, he would replay his night with her, and he was then right back there, feeling her kisses and the touch of her.
For while , he wouldn't walk near the ocean, he stopped re arranging his day for a chance that maybe she would return to her cliff, he cursed himself for being selfish and wish he could go back to the day she showed up at his door. He replayed that moment, and knowing what he knows now, he would have thanked her and shut the door. Just to know she would be still around and keeping watch over her ocean.
Today, Jake was meeting with a realtor. He decided to go back to the sea. The land was a curse and only gave him reasons to be sad and missing her. It was a quick meeting the local guy already had a couple in California ready to buy at full asking price. Fell in love at first sight from pictures on the internet. It was only a formality of signing and moving out quickly wasn't a problem for him. A quick handshake, the deal was done. Jake walked around his house. Not stopping at the room that gave him the only joy of love he'd ever known, he shut that door as he did his heart and walked out of the house.
Backpack in hand, keys given to the new owners; Jake had no other reason to stay, so he headed to the dock to find the nearest ship to catch. He was going to the coast of Italy, the final destination for a long stretch on a rescue boat research expedition to save orcas.
Walking not thinking, he found himself on the path to Kara's home. Much trepidation, Jake decided that taking one more look at this house, ok who's he kidding, he chided, he was hoping that one last time, he would see Kara.
The cottage stood. Empty and lonely. He could smell the lingering of lavender and on the ground, bushels of tomatoes grew wildly. Some plants with ripe fruit ready to be picked.
He reached down, inhaled the smells of the bright tomato, picked on red ripe one and bit into it. The juice trickled down his chin and onto his shirt. He smiled. This was fitting. To end a love as it began. Jake wiped the mess, and continued to walk around the house.
The life of this home was gone, only faint echoes of Kara's heart and feeling of her was around. He could feel her energy outside the window and her door. He felt so empty and the wound was feeling like it was opening up again. The questions of how and the why's screamed in his head. Just one more instant with her, just one, he wanted to have that chance. He leaned his head back against the door, the front porch had her window boxes and flowers were sprouting but needed some water. He felt she would have wanted him to take care of them, not to leave them dying so He looked around for a watering can, and near the door, a rusty blue can laid on its side, cobwebs covered the opening. He bent to pick it up, blew away the webs, and inside he found folded neatly, a yellow envelop. He pulled it out, and to his shock, it was addressed to him.
Jake, ran his hand through his hair and sat down on the porch steps. The envelope was in his hand. Anger, frustrations, fear, all rolled into one emotion ran thru him. He knew he had to open it, he knew he had to read it. But a part of him wanted to just tear it up and walk away.
It tears my heart to write this to you. But as I know you felt the same for me as I do for you, you deserve to know why I left you that morning and why I am gone now.
First, it wasn't easy. My heart was full of joy having found a love I didn't know existed. This overwhelming emotion that I never imagine possible to have and wasn't looking for. You had asked me on how I knew you were in trouble, how was it possible?
On that day, I felt you drown. I saw you in my mind's eye and went to save you.
we have a connection you and I, long before our meeting here, I knew you. I don't regret helping you, as you see, you've helped me. You've helped me and my family years and years before. This may be hard for you to understand, and as I write this it is even more difficult for me to say. Many years ago, off the coast of Scotland, a large boat of whalers shot and harpooned my family. Death of them, cries of their anguish filled the air and in my mind I still see them. Your clipper came, I saw you from the water above, you were so brave and fearless, you chased the poachers and saved so many many of my kind. I too, was injured, and before my spiral down to my waters grave, our eyes met, you looked down at me from your boat , I saw the sadness and fear was in your eyes. I knew then, humans could be kind, that there are those that are protectors and loving .Willing to risk themselves to save us. As I floated down, I asked the sea angels to change me. To take me from dolphin body and to give me one wish, to live among the earth, to have one moment of feeling free and not hunted. I woke, lost and disoriented, with legs and human form, my guardian white dog by my side.. I had only two rules, I couldn't go back into the water, nor could I interact with the human let alone love them. I was happy, but yet mournful, I missed the sea, my kind. I missed the freedom and the feeling of the blue water washing over my body.
But with every action comes a reaction. I wished, no I begged to be something I wasn't, and to have that freedom, I must embrace another kind of prison. Until karma brought us back together, your karma. You showed me the light, you showed me that love is possible in whatever form. And to take risks not letting fear stop me. You showed me to treasure the moments as they are fleeting. And when you keep your heart open, possibilities find you Our journey in life is to find what the universe has for us to do. To listen, to seek guidance, and to be brave enough to follow the path laid before us. I am going back to the sea, I have no regrets, It is my destiny and where I belong, I embrace that now. As the wise angels said that the greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are and being happy with what you find. I didn't understand that then, I do now. I will never forget our time, and how to be open and love another. I will follow you and protect you, you on your ship me in the sea. Look for me you will know.