FINALLY! ...the final chapter is now here. Sorry to all those who've waited so long!
I've had an overwhelming amount of support and reviews for this story, all of which have helped me work on it and become a better writer.
So a big thanks to all those out there who have read this story and took the time to review.
Once again, read and review... they're so important, expecially on final chapters because then you can tell me your honest opinion of the entire story.
Enjoy! And be on the lookout for my newest Jeff and Trish story, "On Your Porch"
(( Chapter 12 ))
Night was fully fallen now, it's darkness cascading over the empty house and the hills around it Trish hadn't seen in what felt like far too long. She had arrived an hour earlier, after her plane had landed, and crept slowly into the quiet, dark home that somehow didn't feel the same. Granted, she rembered its smell of warm vanilla that'd always lingered in the walls of her home, and it swormed her senses the moment she'd entered the house. The furniture was all in the same position, no one had lived within it in the weeks she was gone.. but it was different.. cold and seemingly unwelcoming.
She threw her bags into her bedroom before taking dust sheets of expensive pieces of furniture, and despite the chilled breeze, opened windows to liven up her usually warm home. Her fridge had been empty aside from some liquids and random items, and she gladly poured herself some juice before unpacking all of her bags, and vaccuming, and starting a fire in the fireplace, and wiping off mirrors and shelves...
It had only been a short 2 hours later when Trish finally realized she had no idea what to do with herself. She was numbed, breathless, hungry for something no food in her cupboards would diminish. Pushing her comfy chair closer to the fireplace, she put down her juice and tried to settle herself down.. somehow, her mind flooded with thoughts of her unborn child. She was frightened, despite the fact that the reality of it all had yet to hit her... how far was she along? Two weeks? She would have to see a doctor soon... what would she tell her family? Oh, God...
Taking a small pillow from the couch beside her, she stuffed it under her sweater..then sighed at the pathetic sight. It was square and unattractive, and did nothing to calm her nerves nor did the reality hit her. She then lifted her legs over the arms of the chair, trying to imagine what it would feel like to actually deliver the baby in the hospital... after a moment she felt ridiculous and curled up into a ball, legs hugged safely against her chest.
The window behind her was giant and overwhelming, revealing the small patch of woods outside that seperated her from her neighbors. It was overbearing and as she walked around her livingroom topless, she often wondered why she'd requested to have it put in.. She hated that damn window. Moving slowly up the long stiarcase, she walked down the hallways a few times before settling into her bedroom, crashing on a fluffy chair and leaning against the window. This window revealed a brighter piece of her world, the hill that rolled down to the river, the few trees and the piles and piles of golden leaves that she knew would not last much longer. She could see the sky in this window, the gorgeous never-ending sky, so dark and full of stars. Subconciously, the thought of Jeff slipped into her mind and her heart fluttered. She wondered if he was looking at same sky she was.
Although she shook him from her mind as soon as he'd entered it, there was no doubt in her mind he was. He was probably wondering where she was, why she left him...and felt the sky would tell him some sort of answer. The sky spoke to her in many volumes, and she'd often listen... but tonight she'd wish it would shut up.
Exhaughtion took over her body in crashing waves, sending her eyes fluttering and body to become sluggish, and yet she couldn't fall asleep. She laid her head against the back of the chair, still gazing longingly out the window. She thought about her tomorrows, wondering what they held in store for her... and tried sorting things out. She'd have to shop for baby clothes and items soon, she'd have to schedule some doctor appointments, and also set a date to tell her family.. write up some lame excuse as to why she was pregnant in the first place.
Trish sighed a long, sad sigh... she finally understood what her mom used to tell her as a teen when she'd said children take over your life.
But she wasn't ready to give her life up to that child... expecially at this point. Her life was complicated and pathetic, loenly and eventful, and soon enough she would be jobless and fat. Oh, Lord...what had she done? She'd always imagined having children with her husband after a small wedding and a blissful honeymoon.. they'd live in a wonderful house with a wrap-around porch and a dog and a pool in the backyard. She'd bear the child of a man she actually loved.
...Was that a statement, or a lie? She shook her head, emotions of frustration and sadness taking over. She felt like a teenager, a confused, helpless teenager.. pregnant after having sex with a boyfriend she thought she loved. And now where was she? As childlike and stupid as that teenager would be, and most of all, afraid.
Damnit, why hadn't either her or Jeff thought about protection? Why had she been so stupid? ...as angry as she was, Trish couldn't seem to mask the fact that she didn't regret her decision to make love to Jeff that night. It was perfect, heated and passionate.. an act of love... of impulsive, careless, young true love. It'd made sense not to fear pregnancy at the time...they had the world at their fingertips, why should they have worried?
Her eyes opened to soak in the enchanting sight of the dark sky... her mind floated to deep thoughts of Jeff, but her heart willed it.., and she was too tired to battle what she knew she would have to face sometime. Jeff... there wasn't a doubt in her mind that she loved him..that she truly, deeply loved him. But it was a love she knew she would eventually leave behind her over time, a love her child would live without.
She remembered so clearly the first day when she'd laid eyes on Jeff at his brother's home, he was wearing a shirt that flattered his gorgeous eyes.. eyes that she began to realize had trouble leaving her much at all. And it was in those eyes that she could see him, see the true him.. past the crazy hair and tattoos and into the real soul of Jeff Hardy. It was a beautiful place, one which he welcomed her into with all the love within him, along with open arms and that charming smile. And not long after he walked with her into the front door of the beautiful home, they fell in love.
Her heart began to pound wildly, a flutter alive in her abdomen, as sudden simple memories of their time together encased her. The little words he said to her, the secret nights of love-making, the paintings and the hugs and the laughter... she remembered them all and oh so very clearly. They were burned into her mind like a scar, and something inside her feared they would never leave.
..but did she really want them to leave? Did she really believe she could convince herself not to love Jeff anymore? Did she really want to leave him behind?
Her eyes fluttered closed, darkness flooding her mind... No, no... no no no...
Trish jolted with a gasp, complete darkness encasing her and choking the breath within her lungs.. she reached behind her and flung open the window, a chilled gasp of air screaming through. She whimpered, reaching out her hand, unable to find him.
But there was no answer emitted from the darkness... she looked around the unfamiliar room, she was alone.
She began to gain control of her breathing, her numbed mind tripping its way back to coherent thoughts. She was in her room, she'd fallen asleep... Her eyes flew to the digital clock besides her bed; 10:49. She'd only been alseep for a half hour. Flicking on a small light beside her, she ran a trembling hand through her hair... Jeff, she'd called for him... The memory of the dream suddenly hit her.
She had been younger, a teenager wandering through the empty hallways of a darkened school, feeling her way along the aged walls. She'd called a name, but heard only her own whisper of an echo in reply. She reached the end of the hallway and tried to open the unmarked door; it was locked. She tried a few more..they were locked, too. Where was she? Why was she alone? Beside her, something rustled...her heart began to tremble. She was afraid.
"Trish... Trish, sweetheart, where are you?"
She'd heard that voice from far away, its melodic tones soothing her so.. but where was he? She turned, he was at the other end of the hallway.. so very, very far away. But she did not answer...she didn't want him to see her so afraid. She looked down at her belly, it was growing...she wrapped her arms around it. Instead of finding him, she ran in the other direction..not knowing where she was going nor why she was going there. She ran up a staircase, one which only lead to another hallway, and bolted down that... it was getting darker. Soon, she would not be able to see.
She ran back down another staircase, darkness falling rapidly now, when she suddenly tripped. The fall seemed to last forever, she screamed, fearing for the life of her child.. but she never hit the ground nor tumbled down the stairs. When she opened her eyes again, Jeff held her safely in his arms... she could see his eyes, but his features suggested to her she was angry.
She feard he was going to drop her, or push her, or beat her in an angry rage... she whimpered, wanting to tell him about his baby yet fearing for her life. She did not speak, nor try to escape, and waited for him to hurt her in the worst possible way...
But instead, when Jeff opened his mouth to speak, a sad, helpless whimper fell from his lips... "Why did you leave me behind?"
It was then she had awakened in a fearful gasp. Within the memory, Trish felt overwhelmed, trapped... and turned in her chair to get at the fresh air flowing in from the window.. but instead she felt as if she were breathing in thick smoke or toxic fumes, her hand flew to her neck, and she felt as if she were choking. After a while she finally regained control of herself, and collapsed in a crumpled heap on the ground.
The words from the man in her dream still lingered in her mind... why'd you leave me behind? She began to weep uncontrolably, tears falling from her cheeks as she battled with her heart. She wanted to answer his question, jump back into her dream and run down the hallway into his arms and tell him she loved him. She hadn't meant to leave him behind. And in her heart, she never did.
Her eyes scanned the room around her, then outside at the unfamiliar winds and trees and leaves...where was she? Why was she here? This wasn't the home she once knew, this wasn't where her heart belonged.. she brought her small, tear-filled palm up to settle against her chest. She could barley breath here, let alone live.
Her body was here, her mind and clothes and things were here... but her heart was elsewhere.
Trish remembered so clearly sitting next to the open window of her bedroom high up in Matt's house, either watching Jeff wander in the fields to his cabin or just admiring the skyline and beautiful nature around. She would open the window and breath in the crystal air, wishing the winds that rushed by would just take her away...
And they did, they did... they took the heart and soul she gadly gave them and wisked them away to places far off in the distance she'd only dream of touching. They brought her to Jeff, and flooded his veins with her own self. Thats where she was then, and it was where she still remained now; within the winds of the North Carolina distance. She was the air that Jeff breathed, she was the very thing that he danced within wild in the open fields, and sang into while she was near... They were what kept eachother alive.
She could not live without him.
Bolting from her crumpled heap, Trish ran through her house and haphazardly gathered the few things she needed...credit card, shoes, keys. She diminished the fire and turned off the lights, stumbling through the darkness on legs that were trembling and numb along with her thoughts. Desperate and to the point of tears, she burst through the screen door and flew into the rainstorm..
and ran straight into the arms of Jeff Hardy.
She hadn't seen him, but she knew exactly who he was the moment she felt his arms bound around her shaken form. He brought her to her feet again and cradled her against him tightly while she sobbed into his chest. He cooed soft nothings into her ear, his hands trembling as they traveled all around her form until they settled behind her neck. She looked up at him, and brought her fingers up to trail along the side of his scruffy cheek.
"Jeff.. you're here... how'd you... why'd you...?"
"Because I love you." He answered simply in a strong whisper, his eyes joyful and tearfilled as his lips laid a small kiss on her forehead. He wrapped his arms around her again, tighter this time, as if to show her he was for real..as to prove to her he'd still loved her as much as ever before.
She looked up at him.. at the strands of purple hair that clung to his handsome face, at the scruffy facial hair and soft expression, into the eyes she loved, and sobbed. "Oh, God... I'm so sorry, baby... I never meant to hurt you... I never meant to leave you behind."
He simply smiled that childlike smile, his hands fisting her wet mass of blond hair.. seriousness seemingly taking over him. "Sweetheart, if I did anything to hurt you... please..." He trailed off into a whisper, unable to finish.
She shook her head furiously, choking out a quiet "no" as her fingers ran down his cheek. "I know you would never hurt me... I - I was just afraid." Her lip slipped between clenched teeth, noting the lack of confusion in his eyes.
"Because of the baby?"
Her heart sunk to the pit of her stomach, noting the way the word 'baby' seemed to have caused him pain. She nodded as tears fell from her eyes and mixed with the heavily falling rain. "Oh, God... I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm so sorry..." The woman held him close, somewhat unable to believe he was real..unable to believe he wasn't upset with her. She looked up at him, their eyes clashing in the most perfect way. "...please, know that I love you... I always have."
His tears matched her own, and, unable to speak, he simply nodded. His hand found his way to the back of her neck and he brought her lips to his, kissing her passionately, yet gently. She thought her heart might pound right out of her chest, her insides afire as she whimpered and melted against him. Their lock began deepen as she began to kiss him in return, her tongue invading his mouth and entwining with his own.
Slowing the kiss, Jeff slipped his hand beneath Trish's sweater, before letting it settle upon her stomach. It was warm, soft, alive.. the thought of his child within her almost bringing him to the point of tears. His lips fell to Trish's cheek, his mouth whispering against her ear. "C'mon, Trish... lets go home."
A kingdom is not a glorious essence of a building, it's walls of cold stone standing tall within the world beneath it. It does not have secrects of lust and betrayal seeping between the bricks, nor screaming whispers of murder and woe soaring down the cold hallways. A kingdom is not adorned with magnificant statues of fallen heros, nor paitings of the mere shell of what some ancesters used to be. And it does not stand tall amongst all else, even when it's very enhabitants have fallen around it.
A kingdom, in all it's beauty, lies within.
It is a forever burning ember inside the soul, a whisper of a passion that grows within the greatest, darkest most depths of one's heart. It is love, it is passion, it is fate.
A kingdom, although beautiful, is trapped within. It battles in a constant mission to search for that one soul that wanders within 6 billion others to match its own .. hoping, needing, wanting. It cries out into the darkness, praying that God will carry the echos to whoever was meant to hear them.
And only then, when it is found by the very soul who was meant to embrace it for all time, can it be free.
"Thy kingdom come, I will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven."