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Love Never Fails - Part 3
She found him again, his group larger then before and more powerful too. They put fear in the hearts of anyone that laid eyes on them. They roamed about like a cloud of black smoke, devouring every innocent and weary soul.
Annalise joined them again, the hands of hate clutching her heart, allowing herself to be imprisoned yet again…yet, she didn’t know why, but she held hidden and protected close to her heart, the silk rose from the bouquet of promises that he had given her. She had wanted to crush it, wanted to destroy it, but had found that she couldn’t, had needed to hold it close to her heart.
She looked at the darkened faces around her, sullen and deathlike. She had known how it was to live, to be free and happy. He had given her the taste of something so sweet…but he had hurt her, and she hated him for it.
Hadn’t he been faithful? Hadn’t he loved her, cared for her, guided her, even when she failed? Hadn’t he picked her up every time she stumbled? Hadn’t he reminded her daily that he loved her? …But didn’t he deny her of the healing she knew he was so capable of?
Breathing in the scent of death, Annalise looked out on the group, it was taking over. But, within the smell of death, the lightest scent of roses could be smelled, it was from the single rose that lay against her heart, it had taken the scent of the many real roses of her bouquet so many years ago. Never fading.
“You don’t need him, Annalise, you’ve got us. You know, he doesn’t like us, thinks he’s too good for us. It feels good, doesn’t it? To do as you want. So much easier then walking the strait and narrow…you don’t need all that stuff. We’ve got it all right here.”
Annalise looked into his eyes, they were haunting and sent a shiver up her spine. “It is easier.”
His smile was horrid, making her heart shutter. “I let you do what ever you want, there aren’t no rules here. Anything you want, you got. It’s as if we hold everything in our hands, it’s all ours.” He held has hand in front of her face, clasped tightly, as if he were holding something.
She looked at him. “Can you keep my mother alive?”
He sneered. “If you do as I ask.”
She shrunk back from his unsettling gaze, and she found herself nodding, and then saying, “Anything.”
“First, I don’t like life, most of all new life.”
Her heart jolted. No! Tears came to her eyes. “Wha-what do you want me to do?” She licked her lips as she tightened her arms about her stomach.
“You know.” He hissed.
“Alright.” She found herself saying.
The little life that was just beginning to grow inside of her was so precious to her…but she didn’t know it, didn’t have to love it just yet, she couldn’t see it, couldn’t feel it, so how did she know it was real? It wouldn’t hurt, wouldn’t matter.
“Is that all?”
“Forget about that promise. Forget about him. You serve me now, and there’s no room for him.” His words were spoken with such force and coldness. She trembled in his presence.
She pressed her hand to her heart, she could feel the rose, his promise. Did it still hold its promise?
She turned from him and made her way down the dark street, one hand over the rose of promise, the other over the life that grew ever so near her heart. Could she destroy his promise, forget about him, kill the new life that grew within her?
She looked to the sky, it seemed dark all the time anymore, the sun hadn’t shone for so many days, she missed the warmth of it, the feel of it against her cheeks. But if it shone again, could she feel it? It seemed that all she could feel anymore was coldness. Could only see blackness.
Turning the corner, she made her way towards the one single streetlight that shed its light into the darkness. A single light in all of this darkness. It puzzled her, and then she saw the dark figure of her beloved. Her beloved!
“I’m still here, Annalise, and I still love you.” He said from the light. She stood just at the edge, the toes of her black shoes right on the line that separated the dark from the light, her eyes on his outstretched hand, the tips of his fingers on the line of darkness and light that separated them.
“I asked you to save her.” She began to cry. “But you wouldn’t.”
“Annalise, please, you have to understand that even if I hold the power to do whatever, it doesn’t mean that I can do as I want.” His own eyes filled with tears. “I don’t want to deny you, Annalise, but sometimes you have to let go, for reasons beyond what we could ever understand. He has a purpose for us, Annalise, for all that He allows to happen. We can’t question Him, can’t try to change His plans because they don’t fit with our own.”
Annalise glanced up at his face and then to his hand again, she then looked to her own hand, wanting to reach for his, but all the time aware of the hold that the black figure in the darkness behind her had on her. His dark fierce eyes could be felt on her back, and she knew he was angry.
“It’s all about love, Annalise, if you love me then you must love Him. Love suffers long, love is kind, love envies not, love vaunt not itself, love is not puffed up, love does not behave itself unseemly, love does not seek its self, love is not easily angered, love does not think evil, love does not rejoice in iniquity but in truth, love bares all things, love believes all things, love hopes all things, love endures all things, love never fails.” He looked into her eyes, so gentle and kind. “All of that is what it means to love. You must believe with all your heart of all of those things, because if you don’t, then your heart can not fully love.”
Annalise looked over her shoulder, could see the dark figure, and she knew, that no matter what, she had given her heart away. Looking back, she opened her heart once again to the love that had never really left. She believed with all of her heart this time, that all was forgiven, that he really did love her, and that all that he said was true. She accepted it, with all of her heart this time. She vowed her heart to him, it was his to keep forever more. No matter how difficult, she promised to never loose hope, to never stop believing, because loving him was all she ever needed.
She reached out her hand into the light, and found his scarred one. She was pulled willingly into the light. The blackness fell away from her, and the breath of life filled her lungs. Her heart beat wildly as the tiny life within her gave a gentle kick. Life was so beautiful, love made it possible, and it was all because of him.