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Jun 01 2018

Two Years Hence By TeraS

It is two years now since Goddess called my Eternal’s mother home. A story then today, one that reflects something of reality and something of hope when time has marked the passing of …

 

Two Years Hence
By TeraS

 

Time passes; it is a foundation upon which the universe itself is built upon. With the passing of time there is the hope, if not expressed outwardly, that the pain might lessen, the hurt will ebb.

Noon comes far too soon on this day. Not that the coming of noon isn’t welcome as such, more that, on that day, the time and the moment all come together to bring the hurt to be sharper, the longing more acute.

In spite of all that pulled on her, the Queen of the Realm had asked for something that few could remember her requesting before. She could well have demanded it, proclaimed in parchment her will. But this was Tera, after all, and that wasn’t how things happened.

The Receptionist was the first to know. It was almost an offhand comment as Tera put it: “I’ll be away for one hour tomorrow … around noon.”

Simone regarded her niece through her silver, horn-rimmed glasses: “One hour?” The question wasn’t harsh or pointed; it was more that Tera’s Aunt wasn’t sure that was going to be enough time. Tera’s reply was mixed with some hesitation: “I … think so; we’ll see.”

The discussion faded away then, a note being made in the ledgers marking out that Her Majesty was not to be disturbed during that time. But the note about the absence kept nagging at her thoughts through the afternoon. It was about tea time—well, it was Simone’s tea time, at least—when a very familiar voice drew her attention: “Is the tea any good?”

She regarded the red-tailed King of the Realm: “It’s missing something.”

Keith considered that for a moment before stepping into her domain and placing three oatmeal cookies on a napkin beside the tea cup: “Can’t hurt.”

Her smile was almost as bemused as her niece’s legendary smile: “We shall see … won’t we?”

She watched as Keith paced around her office, examining bookshelves that he’d seen many times before, paintings that he’d discussed with her—over breakfast, mind you—hundreds of times before. But he wasn’t seeing the office, and she knew it.

Picking up one cookie and nibbling upon it, she mused: “Two years tomorrow.”

He’d stopped by the window overlooking the Palace’s courtyard: “It is.”

They didn’t say anything for a time, he continuing to look out the window, the tea and cookies being enjoyed from afar. She’d picked up the second morsel when she continued: “Tera’s taken one hour off tomorrow.”

His surprise at her comment was reflected in his tail which had twisted around, the tip looking at her as much as he was: “One hour?”

The tea cup had found its way to her lips: “Well, she did. Mind you, the Royal Appointment book has found itself clear for the day.”

He was leaning against the window sill: “I’m sure that will make her happy.”

“Sarcasm does not befit you, young man.”

Keith smiled, bowing his head in reply: “Yes, Simone.”

The tea cup found its saucer as the Receptionist leaned back in her office chair: “Keith … are you …”

He waved his hand: “I’m … doing better. I’m not great, I’m not sure I’ll ever be that. But … I’m working on it.”

Drumming her fingers on the edge of her desk, Simone asked: “Do something better this year. Give yourself a reason to be better.” She paused, for a moment, as the inner door opened, then added: “Both of you.”

Tera stood there, framed by the passageway, her eyes only for her Eternal: “We’ll … try … Auntie.”

He took in the moment, seeing his love’s concern, the worry that he knew, clearly, that they all needed to find a path forward, a way to feel better. It wasn’t about him alone, or they alone, it was the need for their family to find the way onwards. He smiled lightly: “I understand you took a bit of time off tomorrow.”

Tera looked a bit embarrassed: “Yes.”

His smile was a little brighter: “Good.”

The following noon, the moment that was two years hence, was the start of something new, something that mattered. A red blanket spread over green grass, Eternals together in the glow of their mother’s love, forever.

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