Ten minutes later I thought I was seeing double – another Cherine appeared, her face gaunt but smiling. “Give me your hand and let me take you my love. We know the exact time of her soul arriving.” I quickly first pulled her to me and kissed her, the present Cherine watched us with a bemused expression, and then we jumped. I was there when the soul arrived and greeted it. It was still too new, but I left a taste of me within it so that it will know that I love her. I gave all my girls a kiss and hug, especially Claudia who is creating this miracle for us and returned home.
“Thanks Cherine, that was thoughtful, it has taken away a regret I would have carried forever.”
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Alki, Elia, Themi and their families are joining us for supper, which is meant to last until midnight at least so that they can wish me happy birthday. I worked out we have at least half an hour to spare, the girls all wanted to join me and we took Eric with.
We landed at the farm, met my father and from there jumped to the home of little Cherine, where Rob was. Our Cherine warned her father what to expect.
The welcome was warm, though it got confusing as both Eric’s were the same age. Having been dead and brought back about seven years later had got rid of the difference in ages they should have had. We all sensed his surprise when he saw how this Marian and Eric love each other. He is also attracted to little Cherine as he can identify with her, she is now the age he had last seen his daughter before dying. I let him feel the fear in his daughter and he quickly changed, contrite at his insensitivity.
I explained our dilemma.
“We need you there to keep my family protected. Can you come?”
“Why not. Even if we have to stay there for years we could return to our present here. It will not be a problem Robert. Why do you feel you will have to go?”
“Because there is a reason for all this. We will know soon enough.”
The parents and little Cherine and Wendy agreed to come with - there is no way they can do otherwise, with Rob stuck with us for an indefinite stay, there is no way he can last if he does not have his Cherine with. We all jumped to Greece and found Dominique and Nicko with his wives. They also decided to come with. It pleased me, with the house so full it might help make my absence be felt less acutely. I was playfully slapped or pinched by a number of them for that thought, but I hope I am right.
Since we had so much spare time while in their world we all went to the void and danced, melding. We have not done it for some time and with so many of us becoming one we became a beacon of life that must have been visible from afar. The Sparklers sent us a welcome and we sent them news of our Sparklers. I saw they were spread out and checking found the energy levels in the area were thinning out. I became the void and twisted and strained at the energy currents until I had secured them a steady source. I must do this back at home also.
It disturbed me to see that Rob and his family have not formed their own World yet. I set my protector over them, to help them break apart if needed and then showed him how to do it. And so it was that we were present at the birth of another Kaleidoscope world. There was a sort of wild exultation with even the Sparklers joining in, for though Solomon had explained about us and our Worlds, this was the first proof they have had of the possibility for our species. I added a twist to the current so that their World can become permanent. I took Rob with me so that I can be certain he knows how to do it with the help of my protector.
“Rob, check on the Sparklers of both realities every now and then. You can use the protector to make you part of the void if they need more food while I’m gone. Talking of food, I’m hungry.”
Nicko has a large house and we put mattresses together for us to sleep on, while the others of this world jumped back home. After such a powerful dance we did not get much sleep and my healer was kept busy keeping my energy levels high so that I can love each and every one of my loves.
I became aware as the days passed that the main reason we were staying here was because we were all wanting to avoid facing the next day back home. I had to make it less of a nightmare for my loves, so I began to talk about it as an adventure, wondering what could I be expected to learn, playing guessing games with all of them and by making them think of it that way it helped reduce the fears in their precious hearts.
“Cherine, even when I took all those honeymoons with our brides, without you, jumping between realities to move back into our past, our link was never strained. Where could I be sent that our link would not survive? As long as you want me in your life and heart, I think we will stay linked.”
“You don’t know for sure.”
“Actually, I do. This is a certainty within me.”
We are back home and this is the last time I will be making an entry here as I feel the certainty that ‘he’ will be arriving and I know that though my heart rebels, he will have his reasons and I will leave.
Dommi my love, it might be you writing here so that when I return I can read of all the little things that filled your thoughts and days, or it might be you Meli or perhaps a mixture, each of you entering whatever you have to say. Whatever, use this diary as you would if it were just your own, there are no rules I expect you to follow - except one, that you always use it to bare your heart after you have faced yourselves and the lies we tell ourselves so as to justify ourselves.
I do not need to leave any last messages of how deep my love is for all of you, for every single precious heart. You are my family and each of you carries a part of my soul, even my darling daughter still to come. This entire diary is nothing more than my testament of love for all of you.
My thoughts will be with you and my heart will stay here, living within the love in your hearts.
PART TWENTY FIVE
Chapter One Hundred Nine
The eve of his birthday.
We returned home, settled the others in their rooms and Pappou (I know he is my father and Marian our mother, but Bernie and I also call them pappou and Marian) came over with Marian (why is she not Yiayia (grandmother)?). We pretended for a while that it was a normal evening, went out for supper and at midnight they brought champagne and we toasted Robbie. We must have been a very strange group; so many of us as kids and all sitting quietly, no giggles or kids jumping up and running after each other - we made a good impression on the other customers for a while, but our mood affected everyone and a number of the other tables ended up with all of them drinking too much.
Dommi, our Mother, listened to Cherine as she whispered in her ear and then she spoke to us, in our minds.
*This will not do. Are we here to think only of ourselves or of our Robert? Do you think that by sitting here with long faces we are making him happy? Is this to be the memory he takes of us when he leaves?*
She did not need to say more. It was impossible for us to be gay, but we pretended. I saw Robbie was watching us, but he did not comment. Slowly, without us realising it the pretence became real, our smiles genuine and we went to the other extreme. Suddenly the taverna was filled with our energy and wildness. We all felt Robbie relax, his heart understanding us and glad we were able to be happy, even though he knew of the tears that hid behind our playfulness.
After the toast he asked pappou Alki to come with him while he has a cigarette and some fresh air. I do not know why the pretence, since he did not give the privacy sign and we all listened with our hearts hammering within us.
“Alki mou, I know that I do not need to ask, but I will. Please take my place and look after all my loved ones for me. Knowing that they are under your care will ease my heart.”
“You did not need to ask, they are my family. Roberto mou, you are so certain you will leave?”
“Yes, Cherine returned from the future for me to share the moment the soul arrived in our new baby and I went forward to visit on the day of her birth. My future self was not there Alki.” He tossed away his cigarette. “Alki, please, do not spoil them, though, a little bit now and then when they are sad, might help them. I know that I leave it to Dommi to discipline them, I find it difficult to bear their hurt or tears, but will you help her; they will obey you as if it was I who spoke to them.”
Pappou smiled at him, a sad smile. “There is not one of them that would need my discipline, but I promise to do as you wish. They will be my daughters, all of them, till the glad day you return to us.”
Robbie shuddered. “When I return I have the feeling I may not be as I am. Will they all still be able to love me as I will have become?”
“You must never fear that.”
Robbie cut it short by embracing pappou and they returned. Robbie knew we had all been listening, but he never said a word about it to us, so, neither did we, not even just among us girls.
When we returned home we felt, as we closed our bedroom door, that Robbie needed to feel all of us within his arms, but we had made up our own minds. Cherine is to be our strength and it is her love for him that we will all draw our strength from. This last night belonged to her.
We all opened ourselves as fully as we could and shared their hearts, bodies and minds. Their lovemaking started off as being incredibly tender, but soon the needs within our Cherine drove them into a wild searing rough lovemaking. All of us were crying out as our own bodies felt the bruising and the keen edge of their overpowering lust. The orgasm drove us all frantic as our own bodies slammed against each other.
They made love three times, only the last time soft and gentle, an exploring tenderness and sweetness to it. A few of us then went to their bed and lay to either side of them, holding our darling Robbie and Cherine as they and we drifted into a slumber that still echoed in our dreams with the love we had felt.
“If the Irish can drink, dance and tell jokes at a wake then you can also turn this into a party. It is not as if I am going to be harmed, I’m just going off to school. So please stop your moping around and let’s give some life to this party.”
He knew what a difficult thing he asked of us, but he was right, we must send him off with every possible happy memory that can fill his heart, for when he is alone. Things improved after that. We had forgotten that the alternates did not know about the imps, so when Smaragda suggested it, they played along and gave little Cherine a shock. She was absolutely thrilled by them and Dommi made them turn back to the ages of about five so that little Cherine can understand they are not for her to play with - a fear which is totally unnecessary with a Cherine. It pleased all of us to see both Mansfield families, the adults with their children, present and part of the celebration for our Robert.
At about four in the afternoon the cake came out for Robbie to blow out the candles and make a wish. After he had, a small group of Cherinians caught him by surprise by performing a small ceremony.
“Roberto, can the cake wait a minute. We have something to say to you.”
The party came to a standstill and we watched Socrati, Themi, Keith and Jonathan as they stood waiting for silence.
“You say you are leaving and do not know for how long. We know that Alki and Elia will not abandon your family. However, we come to you on behalf of every single Cherinian to make this vow: We, Cherinians and friends vow to you that your family is our family and as you would protect and be there for our families and loved ones, so do we promise to be there for your family. There is not one of us who would not give his or her life for your wives and children. If you must go, then at least leave with a light heart knowing your loved ones will be cared for and loved by all of us. At times when you are lonely, do not forget that we too are all missing you and waiting for your return with love and gratitude for all you have been to us.”
Our hearts ached seeing him stand there, doing it for them, relaxed and casual, a sweet smile for all as he thanked them.
“It is strange how even after so many years we still need words. I had felt from all of you all you said all along, and knew exactly how you feel. Hearing you say the words though did lighten my heart and you all, as always, have filled my heart with joy. By the way, do each of you realise what a marvel this party is?
We have a woman who is dead visiting from the void, our much loved Josephine, or as fondly known, either Jo or Mama. We have two alien races represented by friends who have proven themselves over time and during crisis. We have our families from an alternate world. Has there ever been a gathering as magnificent and of such portent to the human races as this one?” He turned and his eyes bore into those of Lua. “You will please tell Daniel that we knew his heart was with us today. We all hope the day will come when he can come to visit us too.
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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)
27th October, 2019
* posted : 27th October, 2019
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