I’ve written many stories about our other selves, some of which come very close to home, some of which are far more reality than fantasy, buried in the words. There are some moments when the Queen needs her King, and it is a lot more than …
There is a day which is important most of all to two of those that live in the Realm. They do not expect anyone else to celebrate it, mark it, or do anything special for it. The day is their own, even if the entire Realm knows what day it is, and how much it matters.
Tera would thank anyone that offered to have a party on that day, give a speech, or otherwise spend time and effort upon them, but then say she simply didn’t want a fuss made over them. In the same way, Keith would chuckle, thank whoever it was, and explain that they were quite fine and not to worry about them, thank you.
Sometimes their subjects would wonder about this, being that everyone knew what day it was and was sure that some sort of fuss was warranted. Sometimes the two Eternals would relent and allow something to be done on this day. But that was a rare thing.
However, in this particular year, something different was afoot, even if the two Eternals weren’t prepared for it in the least.
The evening before their special day, when they would normally just be resting on their couch in each other’s arms, things were a little bit different. Tera was curled up on a sofa by the fireplace, Keith across the way on another. Life had been overwrought for some time now, the needs of many others, of course, being put ahead of their own. They were drained, and, for the first time in a very long time, they had both put the significance of the next day out of their minds.
On the other side of the fence that marked the boundary between their Realm and that of their closest, dearest friends, however, a certain soul and his love were pondering their neighbours beyond the koi pond. They were resting in their own living room, sharing a bit of apple pie together, and talking about their neighbours, the light from their dear friends’ home being just visible from over top of the fence from where they both rested.
Pondering, or rather, perhaps, the more accurate term might be “scheming.”
“Holiday trip to Bora-Bora?”
He chuckled: “She’d never go. That place sounds boring, even if it wouldn’t be. Furthermore, she’d be … miffed … at anyone spending that kind of money on them.”
She tapped her fork against her plate: “It’s not about the money. But yes, I know, she cares more about everyone else than herself and I know he is exactly the same.”
Hugging her, he continued: “Yes, yes for both of them. As for giving them a gift, that’s not going work, either. Oh, she’ll be overwhelmed, in tears, but then she’ll be spending the next six months trying to figure out a way to repay it.”
“You know, I shudder to think what her husband goes through finding her a birthday present.”
He smiled, knowingly … and knowing his friend, Keith, was not alone in this: “He’s figured out that the giver is more important than the gift.”
Enjoying a bit more of the pie, she mused: “Hmm …”
“The pie is lovely.”
“That wasn’t the ‘Hmm’ of liking the pie. I know that ‘Hmm’ and you’re thinking of something.”
Pointing her fork across the room she noted: “I have a thought.”
He chuckled: “Oh? I’ll guess that, whatever it is, it’s an excellent thought.”
“Of course it is,” she smiled, winking.
Wisely, he just smiled and nibbled. Whether on his love or the pie, or both, was their secret.
The following morning dawned upon the home of the two Eternals whose day had arrived. It dawned like any other day one might imagine in the Realm, save there was a slight difference in this one.
Within the home, two souls awoke, kissed each other good morning and began their days. Tera gathered her things, checked her phone’s schedule, making note of the things that she needed to do. Keith finished making their breakfast before glancing at his own list of things to do. This was how they were: it was important for them to be there for their families, for those that called on them. It wasn’t time meant for them; they felt it was their place to give to others well before themselves.
At least, that that was their place on a normal day.
“I don’t have anything on my schedule today.”
“Oh?” There was a pause … a rather long one. “Seems like mine is the same.”
Tera shrugged, pocketed her phone, and made her way to the front door.
“It’s probably a mix-up at the Palace. The Receptionist will straighten it out for …” There was a pause as she opened the door, then called out: “Sweetheart? Could you come here for a moment?”
When Keith approached, he noticed that Tera was looking at a long red ribbon that had been thumbtacked to the top of the doorframe and hanging below was a small white envelope with their names written upon by a familiar pair of hands.
Keith carefully plucked the card from the ribbon and considered it.
“What do you think it is?”
“I know who it’s from.”
“So do I.”
Removing a card from within, Keith read the card, then gently took Tera’s hand and pulled her away from the door before closing it.
To Tera’s quizzical look, he explained: “You know, we forgot what today is.”
Her eyes became larger as she looked at the calendar they had pinned to the wall beside the door: “Oh, Goddess! I’m sorry …”
Hiding her close, their tails wrapping about them. He smiled: “Me, too. We both forgot something that we never should.”
Tilting her head to the right, she wondered: “What’s that card say?”
“Something about our friends giving us a gift.”
If there is one look that Keith cannot resist, it is when Tera’s bemused smile appears, and as it had been some time since he had last seen it, there was no hesitation.
Tera found herself cradled in her Eternal’s arms and being carried through their home. Passing through the kitchen, his tail snagged a can of RediWhip along the way. This was another thing that they hadn’t done in a while.
Then came a giggle that was long missed by them both: “I’ll bet that note says nothing about that.”
Soon after, the neighbours across the yard heard a laugh from within a certain bedroom, as two souls that were always one celebrated that oneness again.
Later, entwined in each other’s arms, their love rekindled, the light about them brighter than it had been for some time, a small card rested upon their end table.
To our friends:
Sometimes finding you a gift is impossible … this took a whole Legion of help to manage it.
Sometimes the best gift is one of time.
Sometimes the world can wait … but your love never can.
Sometimes being together is the best gift of all.
Now take the day off, you two.
And you’d better not make this a sometime thing.