When I left and returned to my time, opened my eyes and saw Dommi by my side I was not surprised to find she was wiping tears from my cheeks.
Previous PALNet Post 085
“I’m sorry Robert, it must have been traumatic.” Marian reached out to touch me and instinctively I shrank away from her. I immediately apologised.
“I’m sorry Marian, it is still all too fresh in my mind.” Dommi enfolded me in her arms as I let her share my mind and try to soothe my pain. Her eyes were bleak as they looked at Marian. Marian understood.
“You heard what I said to Cherine…Dommi, I would not have done that now, as I am.”
I moved away from Dommi and as she let me go I took hold of Marian and pulled her into an embrace.
“We know Marian. That woman no longer exists. I may have wept for Cherine, my poor baby love, but I did not hold it against you. Let it go, there is no blame attached to you now.” I sent her my love. Cherine who had not been told what was happening felt the sorrow in her mother and the love I sent her and wondered. I sent a burst of love to my baby and asked her to be patient for a few more minutes. The surprise is nearly ready.
The protector warned me that Eric, her father, is here in his new body.
“Marian, be brave. I need you with me, he will be very confused and need to see a familiar face.”
He was dressing, donning the clothes left there for him. He was in shock and staring around wildly, till he saw Marian.
“Cherine, what happened to her?”
“She is well. Eric, do you remember the car crashing into you?”
“Yes.” He shivered as the memory of his pain hit him.
“Eric, this will be a shock, but I do not know of any other way to tell you. You died in hospital nearly six and half years ago. Our daughter had remarkable powers that have grown and the man with me, who shares her powers and her heart brought you back to life.”
He ignored me, I don’t think he really heard what Marian told him. “I heard her call, felt her pain and tried to return to her. I could not bear to feel it.”
“My name is Robert. Eric, I have blocked Cherine so that she does not know I brought you back. It is very difficult blocking her, this moment is too emotional. Can you please try to pull yourself together so that I can bring the two of you together? I promise everything will be explained afterwards. I just need to kill the guilt she has carried about your death as soon as possible. It hurts me to feel her pain - as it was for you.”
He swallowed and nodded, “Yes, I can hardly wait to see how she must have grown.”
“I’m afraid you will be disappointed.” I smiled at him. “When she shared her gift with me it opened doors in our minds and we have many new gifts. The result of them is that she is only ageing one year for every ten she lives. She only looks a bit older than eight. Look at Marian for proof of what I say.”
He had noticed and now a sense of awe flooded him.
“Eric, keep your love for Cherine as the strongest feeling for now - she must feel that when she sees you.”
I left the room. I went straight to Cherine, putting my arms around her.
“Do you remember your dream during our visit to the past? I was the man in your dream, even though you saw me as your father. Cherry baby, I made you a promise. I’ve kept it…” she cried out and I ended without needing to. “He is here my love. He is waiting for you in the blue bedroom.”
She ran to the door and then stopped. She turned and looked at me and I saw she was afraid.
“For him it was today that he died so his memories of you are still filled with love. Feel him love and go to him.” I waited and she opened the door, stood staring at him a second and ran into his arms.
Marian came out and we left the two of them alone.
We were having a big party for all the Cherinians to celebrate the new year together. Caterers were handling the food and drinks, furniture for the garden, chairs tables, tents and so on. The girls with help from Claire, Marian and my mother were getting ready all the rest. Even as they did so, we all shared with Cherine her emotions and there was not a face that did not beam. When I felt the guilt drain away, leaving her heart free and light as it should have been, I broke down and wept. The caterers who were in and out of the house were startled to see all of us crying and discretely left us alone, concentrating their work in the garden.
Alki was holding Marian who was sobbing her heart out when Cherine and her father came out. He was holding her tightly to him. He took one look at Marian and Alki and understood the situation immediately. Bravely he went to Alki.
“I am Eric, as I’m certain you know. I am still dazed at the miracle that has happened so forgive me if I am not articulate. I see you are the man in Marian’s life now. I understand, so please do not feel uncomfortable, I just feel grateful to be here.”
Cherine left him and came to me. She wrapped her arms around me so I leaned down for her to kiss me. I saw Eric was watching.
“Now you know why you did not find his soul, love, I had grabbed it. It would not have been good if you had brought him back to a broken body.”
“It was you?”
“The feeling you got in the void? Yes, the void was eating at you so I had to protect you - I could not help trying to soothe you. I could not bear to watch your grief.”
“That is why it was as if I recognised you the first time I felt you in your flat! Robert? Thank you.”
“Just a New Years Eve gift for our love, from all of us.”
Eric came over. “I have not thanked you properly yet, but there is one question I need to ask. Marian said you hold the heart of my daughter. Exactly what did she mean?”
“Rosie, come here please. Eric, I am her husband and this lovely girl is your granddaughter Rosie.”
He staggered and Alki was already moving and caught him.
“I think you better sit down. Robert has no tact, he tends to just blurt out the truth.”
They tried to explain to him, but it was in disjointed pieces. I put my hand up and shushed them.
“In about two hours all our guests will be here. Eric, we have a way of telling our story, the story that starts with Cherine. Soon as our guests are here the storytellers will begin. Please do us and yourself a favour, do not make any judgements, wait till you hear them. After that, if you still have any questions I will answer them.”
Cherine of course was not expected to help and she sat with her father while we all got things ready. I was aware of him trying to quiz her about her relationship with me, but she refused to answer, saying only, “I love him dad. Please wait like Robert asked you to.”
At last the caterers left and we all went for a quick shower and dressed for the party. I pulled Claudia to me and kissed her tenderly. “Keep alcohol to the minimum my love, I think the way I’m feeling we are going to make our baby soon as the guests have left.” Oh dear, the way I wrote that, it sounds as if I talk like a typical human male! I should have mentioned that I was reacting to her need and worry that I had forgotten.
I don’t know how the girls do it; their storytelling ended with the return of Eric, including my seeing Cherine in the void. I’d nearly stayed away, the last time they had affected me too strongly, but knowing they would include my two weeks with Cherine, I stayed. I was put through an emotional wringer but I should not complain, there was not one person there who did not feel the same. The worst hit was Eric. If the story had not started with Cherine he might have not believed it, being forced to, needed so many radical changes in the way he thought that he could not handle it. I used my healer to calm him, almost like drugging him with tranquillisers. We put him to bed and Cherine sat with him until he was fast asleep.
It is touching watching Themi with his brother. I think he is beginning to think of him as his son. He watches out for him all the time and to tell the truth he pampers him. I guess he needs time and to give a lot of love, to get over his feelings of guilt. The little boy is still at that plastic state that toddlers are at, and is, if you squint, a sweet looking boy, but I can see he will look fairly much like Themi - maybe an interesting face, but definitely not handsome.
The party took off slowly, they had too much to talk about, but with time and the help of Socrati it turned into a rip roaring success. Just after midnight I found myself bemused and thinking I had never kissed so many people before. I may be a Cherinian, I may love all of them, but I am a family man. I drew my girls, my mother, Alki and family together and we concentrated on each other. A party within a party you could say. We opened up to each other and shared and spun a fine filament of love that bound us even more tightly together.
It was nearly dawn when the party broke up and we were left to survey the mess. I decided we would leave it as it is for the next day and called my girls to bed. They asked me to sit outside alone, maybe have a cigarette while they get ready. I sensed they wanted this to be a special occasion so I complied.
When they called me in I could hardly believe my senses. I felt Solomon as he left and realised he had helped them.
There was no bedroom. Where my bed should have been there was a white sand dune and the rest of the room was the beach and the ocean. Behind the dune were coconut trees and palms. A soft breeze stirred, making a ‘shh shh’ sound as it blew through the palm fronds. On the flattened dune was a blanket and in the centre was Claudia laid out with flower petals strewn all over and around her. The golden hair had been carefully fanned out and she was beautiful enough to make my heart skip a few beats.
Some of the girls were playing in the water, others lying on the beach, all of them in the nude. Even Lucy was there, Theresa sitting with her, using a pail to make little sandcastles that Lucy promptly would demolish with a giggle. By the side of the blanket were a few green coconuts, straws sticking out.
Although the horizon was unnaturally close, the sky looked as if it were as high up as a normal sky with the odd creamy cloud drifting slowly by and I wondered whether Solomon has found a way to twist space, so that we are actually sitting on a beach somewhere far from our home - or if this part of the beach has been brought here, what of the place it was taken from, what does it look like over there? That made me wonder about our bed and so on, where has everything gone to?
Willing hands rid me of my clothes and I climbed over the blanket to lie alongside Claudia.
“What a sight! I’m scared to touch you and mess it up. God, but you are lovely, like some adorable Aphrodite come out to share your love with some poor mortal man.”
“If all poor mortal men were like you, all the goddesses would abandon the gods on mount Olympus.”
I smiled. “Have you been reading up on Greek mythology?”
“All of us have; Dommi talked to us about it and we got interested.”
I grinned at my memories and told her, “When I was about twelve I went around claiming that I was not a Christian, that I believed in the ancient gods of Greece. They called me a pagan and I got teased, but I did not care, I loved the idea of gods who would interact with man, copulate with their women and so on.”
Claudia sat up, spoiling all their painstaking work, her face alive with excitement.
“Robert, would you do it for us? Become a twelve year old, block your memory so that you really are twelve. Just for a few days?”
The reaction of all my loves left me no choice. “Since you all want it so much I’ll do it. Just remember, it is not the same as when I assume a different age. Even though my mental age seems to be of the age I assumed, I am still there. If we do what you want, I really will be twelve - this Robert of today will not be with. I’m not so sure you will like me, I could be quite obnoxious and withdrawn. It also means no sex and no Cherinian powers. You all become a group of normal girls. We build in a memory to explain why I am here, for instance Elia arranged for a holiday and brought me to stay with you. Dommi, that means you have to be extra careful I do not recognise you. We will do this after the old guy comes and I’ve tried to fight his will or if he does not come and he was only a dream.”
The girls agreed and I knew they would not do anything to change the boy I was.
“Don’t listen to him. I knew him when he was a boy - he was sweet.”
“I think you must be getting senile Dommi, if that is how you recall me.”
Just as an aside, I see now that the comment is true. As I write the conversations we had, I see that I am not actually writing what was said, but what was meant. This diary would not be legible, not even to a Cherinian, if I write only the half spoken sentences we so often use. There is no point in fighting it, for I have noticed that our courtesy and sense of empathy usually prevents us from doing this when normal people are with us.
I decided to treat Claudia as if this were her first time. I sat chatting, a little teasing, a little wooing, gentle touches meant to heighten her awareness of her body, which gradually developed into soft caresses and long kisses that made our hearts begin to race.
I massaged her back, arms and legs, teasingly taking each finger and toe into my mouth. I returned to sucking at her lips, nibbling and breathing into her ears, bit just hard enough at her nipples, while my lips trailed all over her tummy.
I had already during this checked with her healer and found she had prepared herself, the ova was in place and I learnt she had asked her healer to choose the one that will have the best chance of having all the qualities of intelligence and looks she wants. It was with interest I noted that she also checked that it will not have the genes that lead to alcoholism. The word intelligence covers a lot of meanings and can include such things as character traits, stubbornness, ability to love and commit, tendency to be honest and be truthful. She had sketched out a number of traits she considers important.
To be honest, I’ve never take such pains to get the child I want. For me all that matters is that it enjoys maximum good health, is reasonably attractive and has a good mind. For the rest I have been willing to depend on our Cherinian lifestyle. I think Claudia is correct to a degree, but I did not agree with some of it. I am glad she has not the ability to ask her healer to manipulate the genes to get what she wants.
This matter of genes, are we really saying that the soul has no influence? Does the soul choose the body while aware of the limitations and strengths it will have, so as to experience or learn what it needs to? As our science moves into genetic manipulation and all parents look for the best characteristics, does that imply that all the souls have developed to the point that this is what they need? What about the souls that come to be Cherinians, are they highly evolved souls or do souls take pot luck and hope for the best? Perhaps as Cherinians evolve, those of the future will be able to answer some of these questions, since I am not a scientist, just an artist, I have no intention of even trying. I enjoy the fact that there are certain mysteries to life.
Next PALNet Post 087
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)
19th October, 2019
* posted : 19th October, 2019