The night Charlotte stayed over to help care for the puppy was a watershed in our relationship. It was my beginning in a coloured world I only knew in dreams.
Caring for something precious and helpless as Heart brought the two of us together because the focus wasn’t entirely on us.
I have no idea how far my ghostly guardian's vision penetrated in that regard but his idea of learning to love by caring for animals was brilliant.
Within a month, Charlotte and I were engaged. I adopted Heart and the dream had finally come to stay.
“I have a surprise,” I told her, one Friday afternoon. “There’s someone I want you to see.”
“Well okay,” she laughed, “but it can’t be your parents because you’re an orphan just like me.”
“It’s my uncle, Love—he’s been with me through all my hard times.”
She hugged my arm and leaned in close to me. “Then, he’s someone I really want to meet.”
I didn't tell her he was rarefied—a spirit in the form of a man.
We rode the elevator to the top floor of Chamber House.
When we entered the oak paneled office, Charlotte’s jaw dropped.
Basil crossed the room to hug her. “Hello, Child. I’m glad you’ve come to visit.”
My head was swimming. “Uncle—I don’t understand.”
“I think you both better sit down,” he smiled.
“Why does Cain call you Uncle?” Charlotte demanded.
“Because I am,” the old man sighed, “not by blood, but by love.”
Charlotte looked perplexed, but I reached out and grasped her hand in mine.
“I came into both your lives when you were nine—when you lost your parents, and I’ve been watching over you all this time.”
“But why?” I moaned. “I still don’t understand.”
“No, I suppose you don’t, my Boy, but suffice it to say, it’s because you both were fated to meet—to unite two houses and begin a new line.”
“You arranged for us to meet?” Charlotte asked incredulously.
“I wouldn’t exactly put it that way. I allowed you to come together and let nature take its course.”
“But why us?” I asked.
He chuckled softly and then said matter-of-factly:
“I chose you both because you’re tender, loving souls and your offspring will make a difference in the world. Besides, you’re soul mates—born in the core of the same star—your atoms mixed together an eternity ago.”
“But wouldn’t we have found each other anyway?” I asked.
“Not always, my Boy—sometimes people fail to meet and live tragically apart. I just helped things along.”
It’s a strange business this law of fate—I don’t comprehend it, but I do see why it exists.
Charlotte feels the same and is glad Basil is there to assist.
We have our own little family now in our house beside the park. Sometimes Basil visits and occasionally helps things along.
There’s a baby on the way and Charlotte’s due any day.
And there’s a welcoming fire to cheer and warm us on those cold, bleak days when the sun doesn’t always shine.