The above realisations caused me to think of something and I asked Solomon to request from the governments whether they have any children in prison instead of juvi, because of them being tried as adults.
I know, anybody reading our diary will be astounded by how stupid I can be, but I keep forgetting to try and think like a politician. They assured us that they do not and Solomon continued with other matters, while I took a few hours to wake up. I asked for volunteers
We went to Earth and rushed through the prisons and found over four thousand! Some were as young as seven years old! What almost sent me into a murderous rage, was that we saw that they were being removed from the prisons. Those that were being transferred to homes or prisons for juvenile offenders, I controlled myself, but a couple of governments had secretly given orders to their ‘agencies’ that the children be disposed of as quickly as possible and the guards were taking them to areas where they would not be seen and we sensed they were going to kill them.
Cherine, my eight year old little Cherine, must have been more cynical than me (or wiser) and had ensured her soul is with me, so I could not react as I would have, had I been alone. Still, I did not feel I could allow them to go unpunished, so I and my helpers made a switch and then Solomon announced what we had discovered and informed the leaders of those countries that we have switched their own children for those their guards have orders to murder.
“It is obvious that children are of no importance to you, so we trust you will not mind that we replaced your victims with your own children, as we are taking those about to be killed to another world where they will be offered a chance to grow up as decent human beings. I also regret to announce that those governments which lied about holding children in adult prisons are no longer welcome to be part of our negotiations, since they have shown their lack of good faith.” Solomon then announced which are the countries and I removed them from the conference, only allowing their citizens to listen to the advantageous terms we were offering everyone else. We might be causing some de-stabilisation again, but I am determined to ram through the idea that all aliens consider children a sacred duty and deserving of our loving care (we did not allow the children of the politicians to be murdered, but we kept them for a week, hoping their grief for the loss of their children will teach them some empathy).
Our ‘alien government’ were feeling uncomfortable with my watching over them, listening to every word and sometimes emoting my dislike of what they are saying (they don’t seem to mind having all the other Roberts watching them, so I guess it is just me who is a problem), so my Cherine insisted I leave them alone and made me take her to the beach near Dar, for her and her alternate to go for a swim.
I took some money from the local Alki and we also went to the alternate of the village we go to for our lobster or tiger prawns. It was much nicer for me and I think this is the kind of leader they all want - a man who goes off to play with children while they deal with serious matters.
In the end, I was asked to allow Rod to return to the reality of Laura and Themi. When I learnt that the students are getting through to him, I decided I was lucky when I asked Themi to help, for obviously I haven’t a clue when it comes to helping young teenagers. I hope Rod does change, for if he ends up living in Greece, he’ll find life a lot nicer than it was in the States.
Robert: Your message appeared in our diary, which was at our home. As soon as Samantha read it, she made a copy of your message and the History article and had the protector deliver it to me, rightly guessing it is urgent.
In a sense, your message was weird for me, as I have not written anything in the diary since leaving with Cherine for our anniversary trip. You have written from our future and when I return home, I’ll have to guess where it was intended to be inserted.
I did as you asked, providing copies of your history for everyone and Sam wrote she is sending copies to all the realities Cherine and I have previously visited, but will not do so with those she learns we have not visited. She has taken the initiative as she considers the history of your reality an extremely important document for our own realities. She said that people, even in a hundred million years, will want to know about you and your reality.
I have deleted the history article from the diary, as it would bore your readers, but I’ve kept your note, as we consider you a part of our story. In case it is not obvious to everyone, everything written here is written long after the fact, as I’m writing, bringing the diary up to date, now that I am back in our own home and Athens.
You are curious as to the reactions of Feizal and his group to your message?
I waited, wondering whether your lack of response indicated that you are angry with me for some reason and then I felt very stupid when I recalled that when I am back in Athens, you cannot answer until much later - not that I understand why. Are you doing the opposite of what the girls claim I do? As I think something is possible, so it becomes possible, whereas, with you, it sounds like you decide something is impossible for you and it becomes impossible.
I got told off for saying the above. Sam says that it works out that way for me because you assumed it would when you first began writing, but you do not have anyone nice to write for you and make what you want, possible.
Okay, I’ll write of Feizal and his group as if I am a reporter, instead of just giving you the end result.
Your note and History article had a bad effect on them. They decided that this is a deliberate attempt by me to destroy their faith in Allah and they reduced our communications to the minimum. Despite themselves, they could not help noticing that Solomon, Ordinx and all the other aliens believe in you.
They had thrown away the copies I had given them and I did not want to place them in the difficult situation of having to ask for another copy should they decide to change their minds, so I made copies and left them everywhere, in piles on the tables at the taverna for instance. They discretely took a few copies and returned to the homes I have provided for them.
Amr came to my table the next morning and I got to my feet and asked him to take a seat. He did so and waited for me to sit again.
“You have talked of this one you call Arthur and I need to understand what he is. Does he claim to be our god?”
“I need to ask you a question first. Do you accept that the void does exist as a separate dimension?”
“Arthur not only does not claim to be a god, he goes to great pains to stress that he is only an unsuccessful businessman who wrote a story and fell in love with some of his characters - I presume you can guess he is mainly speaking of Cherine?
Our existence is thanks to two facts, as he explains it. First is that there is a dimension where thoughts and ideas become matter and fact. For instance, in that dimension, if you think of a camel, the thought will become a camel, with all the parts inside it that a camel should have, even if you have no idea what they should be. His second explanation is that because he had nothing else to keep him sane and he spent all his day and night writing of us or else, just thinking of us and imagining our conversations, our existence in that dimension of thoughts became a reality.
It sounds more complicated than it is, if you are able to accept the existence of that dimension, but it does not mean that the idea of us being alive and sensing ourselves thanks to his imagination is not shocking. It even depressed me for a time…as I hate the idea of anything having such a claim on me.”
“Ah, he makes demands?”
“I apologise, I expressed myself badly. He makes no demands and as you saw in his note, feels embarrassed about intruding and reading and writing in our diary. He is aware that he does not receive all the facts as we write them and what he writes, if it is different from what we wrote, the facts of our lives change so that what he writes is what is true. If for instance, he writes in a few weeks this part of your visit and he makes a mistake and writes that it was Feizal who came, though we will recall that you came, we will also recall, more clearly, that it was Feizal, for the new truth will be that it was Feizal sitting here with me.”
“You are only confusing me.”
“Welcome to the club. Amr, I feel I should mention something else. As we have discussed, my wives belong to more than one religion, some are Greek Orthodox, one is Catholic and some are Protestants and Church of England. Arthur has been asked about Jesus and the god they believe in and he told them that he does not know whether they exist or not.”
He shook his head. “You are telling me that he is a god who does not believe he is a god?”
I smiled. “When I write what you said, he is going to get upset with me for not making it clear that he is not a god - he seems to think in a similar way to me, for I too have fought to stop everyone thinking of me as our leader. I guess both of us will have to accept that people come to their own conclusions and we are wasting our time fighting it.”
Amr considered what I’d said and I was aware I had not done much to make it easy for him. Looking troubled, he then told me, “One question Robert, and I must have a straight answer. Do you trust him?”
“Not only with my life, but also with the lives of my loves.”
He nodded. “It shall be done. Make clear to him that we do so because a man asked us, a friend of a friend - not a god of any kind.”
“It will please him.”
He came to his feet and then he paused. “Do not ask my son for any details. We do what we have to, but this is not for Cherinians, this is for Arab justice.” Before I could even think of an answer, he walked off.
They have asked to be returned to our Earth at a time earlier than Cherine and I will return. Arthur, I don’t even want to think of what we have unleashed and I only hope you were right to ask this of them.
Our alien friends wanted to make available to this Earth some new, to us, technology which they say will help them improve the damage to the ecology. I could not help thinking of it as being like smacking a child for being naughty and then immediately giving it some sweets. I feel it is important they first show they are worthy of our help by a number of changes. For instance, their birth rate must plummet and I want to see that all the rights taken away from their citizens over the last one hundred years are returned and steps taken for making it impossible for what happened to ever happen again. Just because we know that with a growing number of Cherinians in this reality, no government will ever by so totally in charge again, it does not mean we should not demand proof that they have learnt their lesson.
Cherine has been following my reasoning from inside my mind and she agrees with me, even though the local Cherinians think I am being overly harsh. It seems Cherine has shared with their Cherine, for I sense she is not so strongly against my decision. I hope it means I am right.
Our negotiating team has made it clear that apart from helping with the food, they will not be providing any other help, as they need to see that Mankind is maturing and the individual is taking responsibility for his future, that of his descendants and that of all children, over all the world, before we allow them to become part of our family.
When agreements were reached with the governments, we ‘materialised’ written copies of the agreement at the offices of the government leaders, newspapers and as many libraries we could find. We urged the people to each take a copy for themselves, for when the time comes for us to return, the terms of the agreement will be our guide for deciding how seriously they have taken their responsibilities and we do not want anyone claiming they had misunderstood us.
My lovely friends then surprised me and asked the television stations whether they would be willing to host a question and answer session with the public, two questions from each country being the limit. They need three days to make their arrangements and, I suspect, they want to vet the questions before choosing the two permitted to each of them. I hope they realise that this is also a test, for if the governments feel they should decide what may be asked, then it means they are still determined to remain dictators, even if it is under the guise of being a democratic dictatorship.
Robert asked his wealthier Cherinians to speak out, warning their governments that they should view this as a test of their commitment to allowing their citizens full freedom and respect of their rights, while he is also anonymously making hundreds of posts on the web, informing everyone of the possibility and urging them to make it known to their own governments.
I’m going to spend this time exploring our spaceship-world with my Cherine. I’m so conscious that our time together is running out, that I almost feel the finest edge of panic creeping into my heart.
The very first question, by a teacher from New Zealand, was a stunner!
“Mike Lefar, do each of your…species…have a democratic style of government? If so, is it true of all the species you know?”
I sent to Cherine, *I think we should have brought Goldi to be our spokesperson so that they are not too critical of us, since I know our friends are only going to tell them the truth…whenever they can.* She grinned at me and I knew she is going to pass it on to Goldi.
“Welcome Mike, I am named Solomon, a rather grandiose name borrowed from your history, but meant to indicate that the Terran who named me thinks I am wise. Species is the correct word to use. As for your question, no, it is not the typical form of government - no single type of government can exist for the entire universe, for the differences between the species are more than just the superficial ones of appearance.
I presume your question indicates that you are wondering why we are insisting you return to living under true democracies. My answer will be a bit vague, but I am making an effort to answer you. When we examine a species, we take into consideration their instincts, culture or cultures and traditions, and then we examine the various forms of government they have experimented with. If we are able to identify which is the best suited for them, we then try to encourage them to use it as a universal system…at least until they are able to evolve a better for them system.”
“Louise Bird, Antigua. I hope you visit us next time you come to our world, Antigua is a beautiful island. How did you develop faster-than-light travel and can we do the same, or must we wait for you to help us?”
“Louise, I am Ordinx, of the species known as the Anadir. We have seen your island and it is beautiful - but then so is almost all of your planet, or it will be once again, when you learn to care for her. I will not answer your question in quite the manner you were hoping for. Louise, much of what you will think is advanced technology, is actually available to us because of our learning to use our minds more efficiently. You can achieve the same, if you are more open-minded about evolving your mental abilities.” I was pleased with his answer, as he has helped make it easier for the Normals of this reality to accept their Cherinians, when they learn about them.
“I am Ken Richards, from Kansas. Can I speak to the one who looks like a funny man and horse in one?”
“Hello Ken, I am called Sharipya and my species are called the Elipian. Do you think I am funny looking or am I beautiful?”
“My mother just told me I must tell you that I am eight years old. I think you are beautiful, but in a weird way if you know what I mean. I am not supposed to talk with you, just to ask my question…”
Ordinx cut in, “You can talk with him Ken, there are no hard and fast rules. As long as Sharipya wants to talk, go ahead.”
“Sharipya, I am not beautiful and I look stranger than you. I have always wished I could ride a horse, but when I was little, I had an accident and broke my legs. The doctors cut them off - without asking me! So I cannot ride. I was thinking, if I am still small enough when you come back, I promise I won’t eat much, can you carry me in your arms and run really fast for a little?”
I whispered, “Ask him to get permission from his mother to visit. If she agrees, get the name of his town and the street address.” I turned to everyone else, “All us Terrans must either vamoose or else, we must project as one of the other species. Who wants to be a Sparkler?” Solomon grinned at me as they floundered, afraid of insulting him.
The mother, we heard her in the background, was extremely anxious, but with the eyes of the whole world on them, I suspect she realised they’ll be able to sell the story for a lot of money, so she gave her permission…after we had to tell her that no adults are allowed to visit, so she can’t come with. I pulled the platform out of the garage (kidding) and with Sharipya at my side, and me as one of the more exotic aliens I saw being killed by the fire-world, we collected Ken. He really does not have legs, he was not exaggerating. Seeing his beaming face and eyes when Sharipya walked out to pick him up in his arms more than made my craziness feel it is something to be proud of.
Once we were back in our spaceship-world and Ken was transferred to the hall where the television interviews were continuing, we let his world see Ken and then we interrupted the next questioner.
“Would you please wait a moment? We have Ken from Kansas here and we want everyone to witness his presence among us.” Sharipya turned to face Ken. “We will be going for our run, as you asked, but before we go, I wanted to tell you what is going to happen, so that you do not grow afraid.
While you are here, we are using our power of healing and you are going to feel very uncomfortable for a few hours. It will feel as if red ants are biting you, but when it happens, I want you to keep it in mind that what you are feeling is because new nerves are being grown as you grow new legs. We are going to go for a run now, but then I’ll bring you back here for some delicious ice-cream, for it would be better you sit for a few hours while your legs grow. We are preparing some delicious food for you as you will need to eat a lot, your body cannot make legs out of thin air. Once you have legs, remember, at first the bones will be new and soft, so we must be careful we don’t hurt them again.” He gave him a wide grin. “By tomorrow morning you’ll be able to walk and soon you will be able to go horse riding on a real horse.”
The people continued to ask their questions, but every hour or so we would interrupt the show for everyone to see Ken. Apparently people had expected our ecology to be really alien and were disappointed to see it looks like it has been copied from their Earth. Seeing Sharipya running with Ken in his arms touched many hearts and we recorded all the messages we intercepted where people made comments about Sharipya. I wonder which he will enjoy the most, those about his beauty or those about his big heart?
We soon realised that the nature of the questions were changing. More and more people changed their question so as to ask why we are not healing more people, especially those in a lot of pain. Since I still looked like an alien, Solomon decided I should be answering these questions and without warning me, introduced me to everyone as ‘Robert’ (he told them it is my ‘Earth’ name) and he asked me to take over.
Thank god I have grown a little bit more comfortable at speaking in public, so I did not make a complete arse of myself.
“Solomon comes from a species who existed long before your solar system solidified and the sun and planets were formed. They are, in an entire universe of species, as far as we know, the only species who have never murdered and have never had a war, whether of a political or religious nature. They are the sweetest and most loved species of all - but Solomon himself? I’m not so certain. He knows I don’t like public speaking and make a fool of myself when I have to speak, yet, here we are, he calls for me to speak to you!”
I paused so that the audience of the television stations can hear the laughter of the others, so that they can work out that I only spoke that way because I love Solomon.
“You…or should I say, Ken, has placed us in a very difficult position. We were succeeding in fighting our sense of empathy and we told ourselves that we will heal everyone once you have shown that you can act responsibly and lower your birth rate. We were forced to do it this way, instead of doing what our hearts demand of us, because of the very real possibility that you do not control yourselves and those we heal, whose lives will be considerably extended as a side benefit, could end up driving your population to the point where all your systems will fail and billions will die of starvation. What others had planned to do to you, if you do not grow up and behave like adults, you will do to yourselves and your children.
Having said that, we allowed Ken to get the better of us and like a dam which has burst open, we cannot fight our gift of empathy and will be sending millions of healers to help those in need. We will not be extending the lives of the elderly, for them all we can offer is a painless ending when their time comes, if we are here.”
I chuckled. “Don’t bother trying to see or sense the healers, for they are as invisible as souls are - for they are a part of our souls. Just be glad and celebrate the reduced levels of pain…for even though you cannot sense it, pain does affect everyone for a distance around the person suffering. Oh, I did not mean to suggest that those who are in pain should be shunned, for then I can tell you, when we see how hard your hearts have become, we will leave and never return to help you again. After all, if we can come to your world and share your suffering, then so can you share the pain of your own people.”
I keep telling everyone that I should not be allowed to speak and nobody wants to listen, but then they get upset with me when I say what is on my mind. I will not say that at least my Cherine is not upset with me, for with her it is worse - she is laughing at me!
Just briefly, a few of the more interesting questions:
<p># Will we ever be allowed to visit your planets?<br> # How did you find us? Surely our radio signals have not arrived at any of your solar systems?<br> # Do you really believe there is hope for us, that we will mature?<br> # You say you are a Federation of different species - have any of you ever gone to war with
# * How did you survive the pollution stage?
The asterisk (*) is my way of saying I give top marks to that question.
As we kept on showing Ken, with his excited consent, every hour upon the hour, for the public to see that his legs are growing, we found that half the world stayed up all night to watch. Somehow this ‘miracle’ is what opened a lot of hearts and reminded them that they are supposed to be human beings - and maybe for some of them, they were reminded that by giving up their rights without a fight they were sending the worst kind of message to their own children, teaching them that they should endure even slavery and the loss of having children of their own someday, rather than risk fighting for their rights.
During that night, about a billion Sparklers and Anadir arrived. None of them bothered to create a body, since they would be needing to visit the ill, as souls.
This was potentially a very special moment and I knew just how much it will mean to Cherine, especially as she is now, so I took her with and we chose at random, though we often reacted to the emoting of an Anadir and thus went to the healing of those suffering the most. As I had known, my sweet Cherine returned to her body feeling that all her suffering was worth it a thousand times over.
The healing lasted five days, by which time, Cherine and I were gone, leaving Ordinx and Solomon in charge of the spaceship-world.
After all we experienced in the last reality, I had worried that my love will have burnt out and lost her enthusiasm for our trip through the alternate realities, but her voice as she asked, was coloured by interest and some excitement, “Which world is this one?”
“You’ve met our baby Cherine. The Cherine here is the one she was part of. She is not crippled anymore, but still has a special empathy and weakness for those who suffer any disfigurement or are crippled.”
“They are living in our flat?”
“When I met them they were not. I suggested this flat and they loved it.”
She gave me a mock frown and mimicked the way Coral talks to me, “I see my Robert loves interfering in everyone’s lives.”
I stopped and sat down on a short wall that fronts the building. I pulled her to me and kissed her brow, my fingers running through her long hair.
“I do not know if I am what you made me, or whether it is something in me. Soon as I see a way to help or improve the lives of those I love, I cannot rest if I do nothing to help them. You are right my love, I do not ask them and it is wrong.”
“Would your asking make them see what is wrong?”
“I keep forgetting how perceptive you were…are. I guess there is no choice. Asking them would only make them aware and I do not want them to have to ask me to help.”
“Maybe sometimes they can do it themselves?”
“Perhaps. Usually when I think so and leave it to them to deal with their problem, I get told by all of you that I am being heartless.” I sighed. “I really can’t win.”
She giggled, but then she pulled back and stood before me deep in thought. “Do you think of them as if they all are your children?”
“Yes. I have often said so. All Cherinians.”
She nodded. “I also see that you tell us, your wives and children, that we have to learn so as to grow up.”
“You are rebuking me?” I asked softly, a small smile on my lips. She did not answer me. “You are right.” I sighed. “It is so hard to watch and not help. Often I get the feeling I just have to kick-start them when they settle into a way of life and stop growing.”
I think she felt the conversation was becoming too complex for her and she took my hand, shaking it impatiently. “Let’s go. They are waiting for us.”
They were standing on the grass and as they saw us they emoted their pleasure at seeing us. I saw that Cher is expecting and I was thrilled at the idea of there being another baby from a Cherine. The baby felt me and I felt it opening to me. Hastily I sent it some love and withdrew.
“Sorry about that. Cherine, explain that I do not want her bonding to me.”
They both laughed. “She is already bonded to me, you came too late for that Robert.”
Soon as we were seated, Cher dashed off into the kitchen to make us sandwiches and coffee. Cherine and I were starving, but it was only three in the afternoon for them. Cherine went to be with her while Rob and I talk.
“Sorry about us listening in to your conversation. Why didn’t you explain to her that it is part of your protector instincts?”
“If I use that as the reason too often, it will sound like an excuse. I also have to be careful that I do not see it as a licence for me to do whatever I want.”
He grinned. “You were wrong you know. She only wanted to make you think about it, she was not about to argue with you about it. Even though she is only an eight year old, you still underestimate your Cherine.”
“That is not difficult to do - though she must be the equivalent of a nine and ninety year old by now - especially after the last reality we visited. We’ll talk about it later on.”
“So, what changes are you preparing for us?” I knew he was only teasing, but then his face turned serious. “I don’t believe it, you have something in mind!”
“A couple. Should I obey Cherine and keep quiet?”
Cherine shouted from the kitchen, “Tell him.”
He smiled and nodded. “You might as well, or else I’ll sit here torturing myself.”
“I want to find your Aganthi. We should have looked for her before, every day we delay is another day of suffering for her.”
Cher and Rob agreed. That is one great advantage they all have. Meeting my girls, they can all see the potential of every girl I have and will not be blinded, if that is possible, by their present circumstances. After all, there is so much misery on every single world of Normal humans and we see or meet children who are suffering all the time. It makes us feel helpless, because we cannot help or save all of them - even I, at times, still have to struggle with that stupid way of looking at life.
“I have looked for Wendy and Marita. I found Maria, but I am not convinced I have the right to interfere - she is as yours was, but she lives with her family.”
I have worried about this over a long time without coming to a decision. Knowing the alternate of our Earth is suffering has worried me. I have tried to surreptitiously send in my healer to at least relieve her suffering, but it had left quickly when it realised she was aware of it and saw it as an attack on her. Having our Maria and the never ending problems we have been experiencing, I’d allowed myself to postpone making a decision. His question was now forcing me to deal with the problem and whatever my decision, I knew, I would have to bear the guilt.
“Robert, we must bring her to us.” Cher said and Cherine agreed.
“Have you thought it through? In this world, as in ours, her parents are alive. Let us say we decide they will be relieved when she dies. How do you think Maria herself will cope with the knowledge that her parents are close by? Won’t she be desperate to show her mother that she is now whole? I think it will eat away at her until it becomes an obsession.”
Cher stared at me with eyes filled with her amazement. “Since when has anything been more important than the child itself Robert? You know the life she is living now is pure torture!” Even my Cherine looked at me with disappointment, as if I had let her down.
“Is the empathy of both of you only for the child?” Rob asked. “Do neither of you consider the guilt Robert will have to bear? Has there not been enough guilt to darken his soul that you must now accuse him because he is troubled about issues that are real? If Maria at some stage contacts her parents and we are exposed, to whom will we turn for help?”
My Cherine stood before him, her hands on her hips and her whole stance almost comical because of her age and yet proud and dignified because of who she is. “You will call on my Robert and he will help you. If we do something bad, then we will share the guilt, but we cannot let her suffer so as not to feel guilty. That would make me feel worse!”
Cher added, “Psychologists say that a bit of guilt is necessary for us to remain human beings. Isn’t it also true for Cherinians?”
Rob asked me, “Do her parents love her?”
“From what I saw in our Maria I would say they do not. I would have to check, on the mother especially. This is an alternate world and she may feel differently. Robert, I think there may be some sorrow, but they will also be relieved that her suffering and theirs is finally over. That is not what worries me. Maria herself sees her mother as some pure and lovely creature, she will have a deep need to let her mother see her as she is. Yet the parents must not learn about us.”
His voice gentle, he asked, “What will you do?”
“I will have to bring her, there is no question about it. I will also have to go to all the worlds she exists in and do the same. Robert, I must not be involved. Maria is a fiercely loyal girl, if I save her she will not bond with the two of you. I will have to lend you my healer.”
“This is the scariest thing I’ve ever been asked to do. If I do not handle it correctly she will not love us.”
“I have no fears on that score. You and Cherine, you both have the same hearts we have. Listen to your heart and she will love you.”
I could not sleep that night. I lay there with my sweet girl lying on my chest, her breath slow and deep and tried to find a solution. I did not, but I did leave my body and returning to the past found our dear Wendy. She had died, alone and in pain. Her father still lives! That was more than I could bear.
“Cherine, wake up love, I need you.”
She was already wakening, even in her sleep having sensed my distress. I let her look in my mind. “Yes, do it Robert.”
“I’m going for the father first.” Our bedroom door opened.
“What is it?” Both of them came in. I let them also see.
“You want to take the father to the penal world? I agree Robert.” Rob was most emphatic.
“I’ll bring your Wendy also, but I have to get him first. The bastard has been spreading his disease all these years. God knows how many he has infected. I need my Cherine along for the link, but I would prefer you both come with. Robert, when we get her she must only sense the two of you.”
His hands trembled. “Cher baby, we will have our Wendy tonight!” She hugged him and then they both lay down next to us and we went to the void.
I took them with as I became the void and we shot back to Earth. I went to a time when he was alone in his apartment and grabbing him with my energy I took him without a word. We all felt his terror, but I would not speak to calm him. We jumped.
“This is where you will live for the rest of your life.” Rob spoke sternly and I watched, seeing what my girls spoke of; they are right, I had never realised I look so much like my father at his coldest. The other prisoners gathered on the beach, curious about the new prisoner joining them. Rob spoke to them, told them what Richard had done and when they did not react, he opened their minds to the pain Wendy has been through. Two of them doubled over, retching. I did not interfere, even though I knew that Richard will not find life easy here, plus he will be ostracised because of his illness.
I returned to the moment of death and collected her soul, letting Rob hold her while my healer took a cell and returned home. We returned to the normal void and Cherine and I withdrew so that Rob and Cher can hold and give of their love motes to her terrified soul. Soon as her body was ready we returned to Earth and attached her soul. The others returned to their own bodies to welcome her, but I stayed a short while in the void alone; I had to first rid myself of the need to have my love for myself. My love for my Wendy goes far too deep within me for me to easily bear parting with even this alternate. Cherine did not need an explanation and gave me this time on my own.
When I opened my eyes, it was to the sight of Cherine’s face over mine. Her lips softly touched mine. “I think I should have stayed with you. I never realised I would love her so much.”
“She needs a Dommi to give her that special love of hers. I don’t think we will be able to sleep now.”
We were both linked in to Rob and Cher and were in a way present as they talked and soothed Wendy. At least they have been able to mend her soul a little before bringing her home, but she is still in most ways in the same condition we had found her in. Having a new body that is in perfect health did help though. Cherine and I spent the night clinging to each other as we participated second hand in the bringing of Wendy back to life. It was stupid of us, for it made us both love her, but there is no way we could have avoided it - not our Wendy girl!
They took her to bed and Cher tried to hold her, but Wendy turned away from her and she slept in the arms of Rob. Cher did not mind, for she had seen many times in our storytelling how our Wendy had reacted and knows that soon Wendy will be flooding her with love.
In the morning Cherine and I jumped to another world and immediately returned three months later. Cher came to me and taking my hand placed it against her cheek.
“Thank you. Every Robert and Cherine should have their Wendy. She is so special!”
“So is your Dominique and many others. I know how you feel about Wendy though, I’d die if I lost her.”
Rob came and hugged me and then Cherine, while Wendy sat watching us. When she saw my eyes on her she stood up nervously. I grinned at her. “Have they been telling you stories about us? I’m not really that scary.”
“They showed me your Wendy. How can I be like her!”
“You are my love. Are you worried about the music?”
“A little,” she answered shyly.
“It will come by itself with time. Robert will share with you the part of himself that makes him an artist and that will help. Wendy, are Cherine and I not going to get a hug and kiss?”
When she came to me I swung her off her feet with delight and she giggled as she felt the love in me. With Cherine she cried when they hugged and my girl had tears in her eyes also, but I felt a fierce joy in her and there was a blast of love from her for me that took my breath away. My hands were shaking as I covered my face. For the first time I’d felt what my loves claim to feel. Her love for Wendy has made her love for me grow. I almost dread what is still to come.
“What is the story with your Dominique?”
“She is not married. From what I found out she has just come out of a love affair that went wrong. Robert, Cherine felt her, she is not the same as yours is. She is not as any of the other Dominiques. There is something hard and selfish about her.”
I shook my head, not willing to believe it. Even though this is an alternate world and different experiences could have hardened her, the potential remains the same. We will have to break through her shell.
“You are going to make me cry Robert.” Cher was upset. “She did not harden because someone hurt her. She has been badly spoilt by her parents. Nicko is the same as her. How can we undo her whole childhood?”
She was not insulted when I turned to my Cherine. “We have to meet her.”
How different it was from my loves who had been hardened through suffering. I saw (thanks to Cherine) how her parents in this reality had not employed women to look after their children. They had pampered them, often making adult friends listen as their little brats expounded their opinions on matters they had no understanding of, and the parents would then gush about how clever they were. They not only bought them whatever they wanted, but also gave them the right to demand. I saw that Elia had at times been upset, but had not wanted to go against his wife. Nicko turned into a playboy, thinking of himself as a jetsetter. Dominique has gone from one bad love affair to another, seeming to instinctively choose men of no character. She is mostly drawn to good looks and the popularity of the men.
I would have despaired, for I know what to do to help open the heart of a child that has been abused, but it seemed an impossible task to turn this creature who is the opposite of all her alternates back into a normal human being. The only ideas I came up with are impossible for me - how can I teach her about suffering? One tiny detail that I almost missed made me decide that if I have to suffer it will be worth it. Her best friend is Natalie. A Natalie who has the same sweetness and character as ours.
“I thought of seeing to it that Elia loses his wealth. It would be good for all of them, the whole family needs to suffer. I have a feeling that though it may help the parents get their feet back on the ground, the son and daughter will only become bitter. Whatever I do must not include the parents or even the society they live in.”
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
10th November, 2019
- posted on Steemit: 10th November, 2019
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