CHAPTER NINE ~ WALKING ON WATER
I am never going home
'Cause I'm having a good time
I am never going home
'Cause my time has come
Brian was breathing deeply, an aroma of wild hawthorn flowers lightly scenting the warm air that brushed against his skin while mingling in with the tingling sweetness of the cherry blossoms.
He stared about him watching the leaves swaying in the breeze and the soft petals that tumbled in an ecstasy of flying confetti from the branches. No matter how many fell, the colour in the trees never seemed to diminish or fade.
He ducked beneath the low hanging elder leaves and then swept aside the weeping willow branches to reach the quiet pool beyond. As usual he could see the stars glittering down more beautiful than ever in their celestial realm of darkness and flickering lights.
At first he could not see Karine and his eyes narrowed in puzzlement as he scanned the moonlit glade for her. A slight giggle drew his attention to a cluster of oak trees and he could not stop the smile from spreading across his face as he caught sight of her sat beneath them watching him with amusement.
“Hiding?” Brian commented as he folded his arms and leaned against one of the trees to look down upon her.
She raised her head to meet his gaze, the celestial light lovingly bathing her in the rich milky white of the moonlight, illuminating the curving smile of the rose hued lips and the dark eyes that burned with a fire that was forever filling him with the flames of longing.
“No, just waiting.” Her eyes smiled brightly at him. “For you.”
“Well here I am,” Brian said gently as he knelt down beside her, his knees tickled by th grass and daisies that secretly concealed themselves in folds of soft leaves.
They stared at each other for a moment, their eyes finding the far reaching clouds of heaven in the other’s. He saw her smile and watched her eyes widen as if to absorb every part of him into her own soul. He leant closer just as a few drops of summer rain began to gently patter on the ground in a harmony of life giving warm richness. He rested his lips upon hers, sucking lightly before drawing away.
They stared at each other again and he saw Karine’s eyes dazzle in longing and he only just had time to anticipate it before she was dragging him to her again for another kiss. He smiled against her mouth, loving the soft way they seemed to be able to melt into each other. His hand reached up to touch her cheek and he softly caressed the pale skin, his entire body now alive with tingles of excitement that he always felt when he was with her.
Here he did not have to be a perfect pop star in a world where eyes were watching his every move, just waiting for him to slip up and fail miserably as he reached the target line.
They drew apart again and Karine backed away from the tree to lie down upon a bed of grass and petals. Silently Brian lay beside her, his body pressing close to hers. He trailed a hand down the softness of her bare arm until it met her own where their fingers entwined tightly.
Nestled safely beneath the protective cover canopy of the blossom trees they watched as the rain fell lightly about them. They could see the ripples upon the surface of the pool and hear the excited rushing of the waterfall as it gurgled to be heard over the rainfall.
The silence was never uncomfortable between them, both were equally at home with their thoughts and loving eyes as they were when they were talking or touching each other with gentle caresses.
“Tomorrow night, you’ll be here to stay forever,” Karine whispered after a while of just breathing in each other, her fingers caressing Brian’s. She held his hand to her mouth and kissed it.
“Yes,” Brian murmured absently. For a brief moment the others flickered into his mind, the images more vague and fuzzy than ever before. He closed his eyes, clinging onto their names. If he remembered nothing else, he would remember their names. “Will I forget about them completely?” he asked faintly. He did not even know them now, he knew he had once known them but he couldn’t remember that time now and all there was to remind him of it was a strange emptiness in his heart.
But he knew it would be even emptier without Karine to fill it.
Karine smiled sadly, knowing Brian well enough to know who he meant by ‘them’. She reached out to stroke his face with her hand as she rolled over to face him. “I won’t let you forget,” she whispered.
“You promise?” Brian asked. “Even though I’m leaving, I don’t want to forget… Not completely…”
“It’s not too late to change your mind,” Karine said. “You’re losing a lot. I want you to be sure.”
Brian turned to stare at the canopy above them. He could see the raindrops sliding over the leaves and sneaking through to reach the lovers below. Nick called her a witch, but he could see nothing beyond his own limited mind. He had not met Karine and was only making assumptions because of what was happening to Brian. He knew he was dying in his own world but as the days had gone but it was no longer frightening. What he was gaining in return was paradise and love.
“I am sure,” Brian replied certainly. “Tomorrow, I’ll say goodbye to them… forever.” It would hurt but… “Just don’t let me forget them.”
Karine shook her head. “I won’t. They’re a part of you.” She leaned close and caressed his lips with a light kiss.
Brian sighed and wrapped her in his arms. “I love you,” he murmured. He smiled secure in the knowledge that she would keep her promise to him. He knew she would.
She responded with a soft kiss against his neck, the very touch of her lips bringing him out into shivers. He reached out and clasped her hands in his own. He could feel his heart hammering hard as he thought of tomorrow. Tomorrow night he would sleep forever in this realm of beauty and peace. He would have Karine forever.
He had never believed that he could ever feel like this. Every time he had been happy it had always vanished to leave him crying with nothing. Now though his perfect future was in sight and he loved what he was seeing.
“What happens tomorrow?” he asked excitedly.
Karine pressed her back against his chest and rubbed his hands. “When you fall asleep tomorrow, you’ll die and then you’ll be able to stay here with me. You have to be certain it’s what you want though when you sleep or it won’t happen.”
“Believe me, I know exactly what I want,” Brian replied, allowing a teasing smile to caress his lips as his eyes gazed at her longingly.
She turned to him, bright happiness dancing in her eyes. “I want to show everything in my world. We could live anywhere you want. I just want to make you happy.”
“I’ll be happy wherever I am,” Brian replied as he leaned his head against her neck to deliver a kiss. “As long as I’m with you.”
Brian watched her lips curve into a smile and he mirrored the movement. He could not help but smile when he was with her. There was nothing melancholy about the world that weighed upon his mind. He could forget everything here.
“Come on,” Brian said as he jumped to his feet, pulling her with him.
“Where are we going?” she asked, straitening her pink dress. “It’s raining!”
“So?” Brian laughed as he led her out into the rain, loving the way the warm droplets dribbled through his air and tickled his skin. “I want to dance.”
Karine giggled as Brian clasped her hands and pulled her close to his body to lead her in a slow dance in the rain beneath the canopy of fuchsia and dripping clematis. He sang lightly to her and she smiled and blushed at the serenade.
Brian found the words just coming to his mind as he held her damp hands and watched the raindrops running through her dark hair. He gazed into her eyes, seeing every emotion that he felt himself watching him there.
“White circles play within my mind
Ices over and freezes life
Time will come, time will come, time will fall
Bringing the world to its feet
Bringing the world to her hands and her feet
I am never turning back
'Cause I've come this far
And I'm lost within my tracks
I will follow the north star”
“That’s a nice song,” she whispered.
Brian smiled and brought her hands to his mouth to kiss them. “It’s true. I’m not turning back now. I won’t throw what we have away.”
Karine had tears in her eyes as she looked down at the flowered grass beneath them. Brian frowned as he saw a tear sliding down her face. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he said.
She shook her head. “I was scared you would choose not to stay.”
He tilted her face up to look at his. “How could I choose anything else?” He leant forward and captured her in a delicate yet passionate kiss. “Don’t worry. After tomorrow night, I won’t have to leave you anymore.”
She smiled as he wiped her damp hair from her face. “I can see you in sunlight,” she murmured. “She must look so beautiful with the light on you.”
Brian bit his lip shyly but was suddenly shocked by a cold shower of rain as leaves in the canopy decide to dribble their contents onto his head.
Karine burst out laughing as Brian gasped, looking down to see himself now completely drenched. “Aw, that spoilt a romantic mood!” He looked up and a mischievous smile caught his lips. “What are you laughing at?”
“Really?” Brian seized her arms playfully and began tot tickle her, his hands knowing exactly which of her spots were the most sensitive. “That’s not very nice Karine!”
“Brian, no!” she laughed as he tried to pry his exploring fingers away.
Brian grinned, relentless in his attempts to make her fall over onto the wet ground. He lid his leg in between hers and she gave a playful scream as he finally managed to send her tumbling to the ground, but she grabbed his hand and pulled him down on top of her.
“Hey,” Brian said.
“Hey,” she replied.
Brian bowed his head to hers and eagerly claimed her lips in his mouth for a long moment. He sighed as he pulled away and then turned his head to see several juice filled berries waiting to burst upon a red leaved plant. He extended his hand and plucked one of the purple berries before holding it to Karine’s mouth. She smiled up at him before accepting his gift, making sure she kissed his fingers in the process.
Brian smiled as she sat up and reached for a handful of berries herself, delicately picking them so as not to squeeze out the tantalising juice. She traced his lips with a purple juice stained hand before placing the first berry into his mouth. Brian closed his eyes tasting the juice as the berry burst against his tongue to flood his mouth with sweetness. He licked his lips but Karine was already trying to feed him another one. Brian laughed slightly ass he helped him to lick the juice from his mouth and then they were tangled in another kiss, each tasting of the purple berries they had just shared.
Brian allowed his hands to wander over her body, caressing her skin and loving the softness beneath his fingertips. “Just think, soon we’ll be able to do this all da and night,” he whispered seductively.
“Only if I let you!” she replied playfully as she pushed him away to leap to her feet.
Rising to the challenge, Brian jumped up after her and followed her out into the soothing rain. The light breeze tugged at his shirt and wet hair and he felt light and airy as he jumped over the pungent lavender plants to reach her, eagerly pulling her into his arms and trying to kiss her, despite her playful and teasing attempts to push him away.
“No, bad boy!” she giggled as he locked his arms around her waist and began kissing her neck.
“You’ve known me long enough to know that I’m never a good boy,” Brian replied with a grin as he claimed her as his own. “Especially with you!”
“You’re just cruel,” she murmured. “Always picking on me…” She suddenly sighed as Brian began sucking her neck and tiled to allow him better access.
“You don’t seem to complain,” he said in between kisses. He drew apart form her, but still held her hands. “I can’t wait until tomorrow night. I won’t to know what it feels like to be here all the time.”
“We’ll soon find out,” Karine sighed. “I’m going to be counting the minutes until we’re together forever.”
Brian leaned into her arms, not caring that both of them were now thoroughly dripping wet from the soft sprinkling of rain. True love… he had never dreamt that it would ever feel like this. It always seemed to happen to other people, but never to him. When he was with a woman none of them had ever had his heart beating so fast in his entire life. With her it was all easy and simple and they had a life to look forward to in a beautiful world where there was no critics or harsh onlookers greedily lying in wait to snatch up every single detail about him. He had never felt so content in his life ever before, nothing mattered when he was beneath a midnight sky and a thick canopy of blossoms and leaves with Karine. What else could he ever need?
Brian released her hands and slowly stepped out from beneath the canopy and the slight protection it offered from the rain to walk out into the soft falling droplets. He raised his head and smiled up at the stars that watched them through the tiny cracks in the clouds. Perfect. No one else mattered except himself and Karine… that life was a vague dream now and nothing else.
He smiled invitingly at her and held his hands out. She followed him and accepted his hand. “Let’s walk,” he said.
The ground was damp with the rain but it was soft as it nestled between his toes. It was like the scene of a sweet fairy tale with the whispering rushing of the waterfall at the end of the pool and the trickling of the rain as it danced on the huge leaves and the fragranced flower petals.
He led her over to the pool as the falling rain slowed from the cloudy sky. He raised his head and watched as the billowing clouds began to thin and allow the pinpricks of starlight to rule the night. He leaned down on his hand and knees and peered into the water to see his shimmering reflection watching him. It looked so different to the mirror image he saw in his own world where a weak, ghost haunted his looks. This was the right place for him.
He smiled as Karine rested her hands on his shoulder and her face appeared beside his own in the water’s reflection. He stretched a hand back and pressed it into her own, loving the way they fit so perfectly together.
“What do you see?” she whispered, her lips brushing against his ear for a brief moment.
Brian stared out into the centre of the pool. He could see the moonlight creeping into view and spreading the quivering surface with a wash of honeyed whiteness. He leaned over his shoulder to see Karine again. “Everything I ever wanted,” he murmured.
Karine rose to her feet and, a sparkling and teasing smile resting on her lips while her eyes gazed at him adoringly.
“Watch,” she whispered. She kissed her hand and then pressed it to Brian’s mouth before walking backwards towards the water. She smiled at him and then closed her eyes. He waited for her feet to dip into the water, but instead she stepped out onto it as if it were a smooth surface of glass. He watched in awe as she took another step, now bathed in the light of the midnight sky.
“How do you do that?” he breathed.
She smiled and opened her eyes again. Slowly she opened her arms out and beckoned to him. “Come here Brian. I want to see if you can do it.”
Gulping nervously in the warm air he tentatively stepped towards the water, but stopped a few inches away form where the water lapped at the ground. He looked down at his own feet and then up at Karine who was still standing perfectly upon the pool. “How do I …?” he murmured nervously. The rain was still falling lightly and making little circles upon the water, showing him that it was liquid and not glass that could be walked upon. The rain mingled with the stars and moon only made Karine look like an enchanted princess.
She reached out and took his hands. “Close your eyes,” she breathed. “I’ll show you.”
Brian nodded, almost breathless as his heart sighed inside of him. Softly he grasped Karine’s hands and closed his eyes obediently. Slowly she began to lead him forwards and his breathing became harder as he prepared himself for the rush of cold about his feet, certain that he would fall straight through.
Strangely though he felt nothing yet and he braced himself as he took another step forwards. He could feel something cool and wet beneath his feet and tingling excitement was electrifying his body.
“Open your eyes,” Karine whispered.
Slowly Brian did so and he gasped as he realised how far out he now was in the pool. He looked down and then instinctively grasped Karine tight to him as he saw that he was upon the water.
Karine laughed and her hands entangled about his back. Brian’s eyes flickered open again and he looked at his feet. He could feel the water rippling beneath his bare toes and heels. He smiled up at Karine and his hands clasped her shoulders. “Wow,” he whispered. He laughed as he realised that he could move his feet quite easily. “This is amazing.”
Karine’s eyes were bright and overflowing with love that as she placed a light kiss upon his mouth. “It’s happening,” she whispered. “You’re becoming a part of my world.”
Brian wrapped his arms about her as the rain grew heavier to splash the water about their feet. He smiled and his eyes closed in beautiful bliss as she pressed her face into his shoulder. He rocked his body against hers. Tomorrow night would be the beginning of forever.
“I love you,” he whispered. “So much.”
And tomorrow night that love would be eternal.
Lyrics used: ‘Home’ by Erasure