He gave a small smile. “That will not happen.”
“You want me to meet your Wendy.”
“I only spoke from the point of view that you are too trusting Luigi. I will not be just healing his cancer, any problems or potential problems will be fixed. He will live a long time, barring accidents of course.”
“You are far too trusting.” For some inexplicable reason I found I was angry.
“You are far more trusting than I am. Is it because you feel you are so powerful that nothing can harm you? I think you need to mature Robert, you never know what may come to you.”
“I have died five times Luigi. My girls, my Cherine will not allow me to stay dead.”
“They sound remarkable, I would have liked to have seen them.”
“Regrets already? You will see them, they will teach you how to see through their eyes.”
As he had said, his family arrived within minutes. I heard the happy voices of the children and the deep voice of a man. I sent the healer to him and before they could enter the house I jumped. I was not in the mood for their reactions.
I slept that night lying on my back looking up at the stars. I picked out Mars and smiled as I recalled our trip there. This day has reminded me of my previous visit to Italy, the woman on the farm, the father who made the sacrifice for a son he hated. The brother of Luigi had cancer, it had spread throughout his body, but by this time he was almost completely cured. Luigi would wake up with his sight in the morning. I too had gained something out of this. A man who willingly gave away his sight to save a brother, this was something that touched me deeply. As the moon crept over the horizon I fell asleep.
I cannot swear that I woke up, nor that it was a dream. I suddenly felt a presence and raised myself on an elbow. A very old man sat on the ground staring at me.
“Is it a Cherinian thing to do?”
“What?” I was confused, still trying to understand whether this was a dream or not.
“Luigi. You have given him a night of misery.”
“Nonsense. He will have a night of pride in himself. Not many people are ever called on to do something that makes them proud of themselves.”
There was silence for a time. “He was right. Robert, you may have this time for yourself and your family. I will come for you the day of the fota.”
“You…” I had half angrily risen and saw that there was but a shadow where I had seen an old man. I laughed, turned over and went back to sleep. An hour later I was up and walking about, cursing this Cherinian memory of mine. I went back over the visitation again and again. Whether it was real or a dream, I did see and talk to an old man. His last words were spoken and they still echoed within my mind. I gathered my things and walked till the sun rose.
Suddenly this trip of mine seemed pointless, a romantic effort to re-live an experience I’d enjoyed. Now I needed to be with my family. I took a last deep breath of the crisp dawn country air as I looked around and then jumped back home.
Chapter One Hundred Four
We have grown into such a large family that it is difficult to travel. How are we supposed to all go on a honeymoon? Where can I find accommodation that will allow us to be together? The girls had not given it much thought either.
“We can find a five or six bedroom chalet, but how do we get all of you in one room for our honeymoon night? One other thing puzzles me. How do you welcome the brides, does each bride get to make love to eighteen girls? I think that would not be pleasant for any of them.”
“You are thinking like a male Robert. We do not all expect to make love with each of the girls. I, for one, do not expect to make love five times within one night. What if we spend four nights, one night for each bride - Cas can wait until she is born. What we really need is to hold, kiss and welcome with love each of them as our wife.”
Our practical Claudia spoke, “Dommi, you said Cassie was due in about two weeks. Since you spent nearly half a week in Dar, that means she is now due in one week? If we go for a honeymoon for another week that means she will be due as soon as we return?”
“I think you are right Claudia. That means she could be born today!”
“Cassie love, how would you like to have your birthday on the same day as your mother?”
Dommi smiled with pleasure at my suggestion and even I felt the pleasure from Cassie.
“We have to time it right then. For Cassie to be born in three days means we can only spend four days in the past, is that enough Cherine, girls?” We all felt Dommi’s anxiety not to be the one spoiling it for the others. They all wanted to hug and reassure her. Aganthi alone was staring at me and when I gave her a grin, she did not respond. I lifted an eyebrow in query at her, but she turned her face away. I sent a gentle enquiry to her mind and felt fear in her. The room was suddenly silent, all eyes on Aganthi.
“You better tell us love, what is it?”
She did not answer me, turning to the others. “Did none of you see what happened to Robert in Italy?”
“No! The old man. He is going to leave us.”
“But that was a dream!”
“He is going to leave us.” From her it was a flat statement.
Tina began to cry. “She is right. He is going to leave us and go to other worlds where he will be hurt again and again.”
We all know Tina can sometimes foresee events, but this was the boldest foretelling yet and it chilled their hearts. I felt a small shiver of fear. How can I be hurt, who is this old man? What other worlds? I did not ask Tina, I knew she had spoken of all she had seen, has no conscience way of finding out more. I felt the probing by all the girls as they entered my mind.
“I do not know anything more than you girls do. Until now I had also dismissed it as a dream. We have a couple of months so how about going off on our honeymoon and we worry about it later?”
Dommi spoke for all of them, “No Robert, not now. Maybe tonight.”
“In that case we better get dressed as people are starting to arrive.” Whenever the girls get afraid or very upset we invariably have guests jumping over. It pleases me that they are so sensitive to my loves and watch out for them.
The two Eddies and wives who were staying with us were already in the living room chatting with the first arrivals. There was relief on all faces when they saw us come trooping out.
“We did not disturb you Dominique?”
“No. It was time for us to have breakfast. Can I make you all some coffee?”
Marian and my mother went through to the kitchen with Dommi and Aganthi while we sat and chatted, interrupted by further arrivals. I had my coffee and then they asked their question.
“We sensed the girls were distressed Robert, what is wrong?”
“I think it may be better I let you all see, it is not something I can explain.” They came into my mind, saw and sat silently.
“It felt like a dream.”
“Perhaps, I too thought of it that way, but Tina has prophesied that it will happen, that I will be made to leave.”
“Who could that old man be, who would have the power to force you to leave?”
“I don’t know Rob. There was a certain calmness, a stillness about him that left no opening for me to sense his identity. Eddie, when you called to me, making me leave my family, you did not use force, it was more as if you placed a sense of need within me. Perhaps that is how I will be forced to leave?”
Cherine shook her head. “No Robert, he was not asking or demanding. I have been trying to feel him, but he is as if he does not exist or is blocking himself from me. There is something about him that almost makes him feel a part of me, like a shadow of someone I know.”
“I do not sense any threat, that is why I had decided to ignore the visitation, at least until he does show up. Tina has forced me to change my mind. She foretells I will be hurt. She cannot explain whether the hurt is physical or mental, when she speaks, the words come to her without any knowledge beyond the words.”
“What is this day of fota?”
“It is the sixth of January, a Greek holiday, the day of lights.” Alki explained.
Cherine grinned with delight. “I knew there was something special about my Robert! You were born on the day of light. That is why you have been the light in my heart.”
I grinned back at her. “I thought one of you would make some kind of comment. I think I chose to be born on that day because my life would be lit by so many hearts.” I still refused to treat this seriously, not because I doubted Tina or what is to happen. I did not see that there was any point in worrying from now.
My mother sounded very determined. “I’m going to be here when he comes and he better explain himself before I allow him to take my son away.”
“Rose, he will. I think he will make me see I have to go. I just wish I knew the reason from now. This is worrying and frightening my loved ones and I resent that.”
“Robert, we were thinking of returning to our own world, but perhaps we should stay until this is over.”
“No. If needed you can return. Rob, if I do leave, I may need you here to control the protector. In the meantime I suggest you all return home. Dominique, your dress is ready for you, we will return you to within half an hour of your departure.”
She shook her head. “The dress will not help that much. I have changed too much.”
I did not need to speak, we could all see how she has blossomed, her perfect health, her happiness in becoming a Cherinian and also her growing love for her Robert and Cherine. Her happiness is a tiny flame that warms all our hearts.
Alt-Nicko had his arms around his Alexandra and Pearl. “You have done well Robert. My sister and I came here as two lonely and cynical people and return as part of a family. I do not know how I will explain my beautiful wives.”
“That reminds me. Robert, if the rest agree, I think we should also move to Greece. Maybe we can find the same house to rent.”
“Alki, how do we get their Alki to join them? You are too important a part of us for them to remain without your counterpart.”
“Take me there. I will not need too many days to arrange it.”
“If the other Alki is anything like you, maybe. If he is different you may have problems.”
Edward offered, “I will go with, perhaps I can help.”
Alki looked at him with surprise. “How?”
“I am well known amongst the wealthy and powerful of my world. Most of them are part of my organisation. If I confirm to him that you are really who you say you are, it may help.”
“He will feel it. I thank you Edward.” Alki still has not warmed to Edward, but he is practical enough to recognise the power of the man on his own world. The Cherinians will benefit by his friendship and being a part of them. Rob saw my thoughts and nodded his agreement. I looked across at my ‘father’.
“I’m going to miss you.”
“Perhaps it is time you find your real father and mend some fences of your own.”
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)
24th August, 2019
* posted on Steemit: 24th August, 2019