She looked at me and sighed: ‘Farewell my heart. You are free now.’ I was too shocked to reply. I did not want to say goodbye or ever be away from her. I was numb and frozen. I could not react or move when she returned to her Throne to slowly take the steps that would lead her back to her seat on top of it. She turned around and sat down.
The sword, still in my hand as if it had been an extension of my arm, started to glow and get hot. It vibrated wildly as some life of its own started to awake. It was torn from my hand and flew high up into the air. It flew towards the throne, which it circled a few times, before arriving in the lap of ‘her’ and coming to rest like a tired man who arrives home after a long journey. She looked at me, her face a mask, no emotion left on it. She lifted her hands into the air one more, yet her eyes remained on mine.
After a few moments roaring thunder resounded across the land. Dark, black clouds drew a curtain of darkness over the sunshine that had warmed us only a few moments before. Lighting flashed in the sky and struck into one of the big oaks on the edge of the meadow. Heavy rain started to fall from those dark clouds and after a few moments the both of us were completely soaked. My eyes never left hers when the world around me started to crumble and fall apart. I noticed that the rain was getting ever heavier and the winds that had started to blow across the meadow had turned into a wild storm that threatened to blow me away. Thomas grabbed my arm and screamed: “We have to go!! Quick! We have to go!”
The urgency on his face was visible and desperate and that intensity somehow brought me back to reality. I looked into her eyes a last time and turned around, knowing that I would never see her again. Suddenly I could hear her voice in my mind, as if I was wearing headphones and her voice the song that arrives through it.
“In cloudy or stormy skies, from me you can’t hide yourself”, she said, before the experience ceased. Shaken and touched by it, I followed Thomas. He was running back towards the bus I realized. The storm was getting stronger and stronger. We had to stop sometimes to be sure we would avoid lighting that was raging through the forest like a rapist. The storm was so heavy now that running was not possible anymore. We were limping, crawling, and forcing our way through a non-natural storm that would destroy this land like an avalanche would destroy a mountain village. We moved, walked and ran for a long time. If it were only hours I could not say for sure. Eventually we arrived.
We moved inside the bus and forced the doors shut. We fell to the ground, exhaustion and weariness after the long return and escaping the horrible storm had taken its toll on us. Just when I started to think that we would not be safe in this bus for long, I could see white light shining through the windows. It was so bright that it stung our eyes and we had to turn away from it to avoid being blinded. Just when I thought I could not take it anymore, that my eyes would burn from their sockets…..it was gone. Before I was able to open my eyes a rough voice demanded: “Hey! Hey! Get up!”
I opened my eyes to see Thomas and me still lying on the floor inside the bus that was meant to take us to work. A crowd of worried-looking passengers was standing around us. One older Lady holding a handkerchief to her mouth , while a crying girl asked her mother why the strange men where lying on the ground. The bus-driver looked at me, concern and worry plain on his face: “Are you alright, son?”he inquired
“I ..aeehmm…yeah, I guess” was all I managed to say, while Thomas merely grunted and touched his chest to make sure the cuts inflicted on him where truly not there anymore. I slowly got up and looked around at worried faces and the land outside the window. We were back in Galway, the houses right there outside and a few people walking on the streets. I helped Thomas up who gazed around big-eyed, taking in the sudden change of events. I said:
“Yeah, I am alright”, and strangly, I meant it. I felt good despite the fact that I had just gone through what seemed like the most weird experience someone could go through. The crowd slowly dispersed when we moved for the seats. We looked at each other, yet nobody spoke. We were silent while the bus driver returned to his seat, turning his head a few times to inspect the both of us. I looked outside, my mind empty, no thoughts manifesting inside. When we arrived at the final stop we slowly left the bus. The eyes of the crowd that left the bus together with us, still on us as they walked towards their various destinations. When the bus had left we still stood at the bus-stop.
I looked at Thomas and said: ‘ I don’t really feel like working’. He smiled at me and replied: ‘ Me neither’. The sun had been starting to rise, a rare occasion on a winter’s day in Galway. We looked at it, its weak energy not driving the cold away. We started to walk towards it. We did not speak. The experience that we had shared had made words superfluous.
I started to understand slowly while I walked towards that glowing disk in the sky. To understand what it had meant. Whatever it was, it had changed me. It had driven all fears and doubts out of me and had taught me that this life was meaningless. There was something out there…something I had gotten a glimpse of and this life that I had been living would never be the same again. There was no need to be afraid of anything, to hesitate or question yourself. The sword had merely been a reflection of something that had already been inside of me and its power had been nothing else that a power that had come from inside my heart. When it was taken from me, it was not. It was transferred to some deeper part of my existence. The monsters had been nothing else than all those fears that had held me back, back from what I want to be and had done nothing else but feeding the monsters in my head that strove to hold me back from discovering that strength that had always been there. And it was ‘her’ to show me the way. To show me that I can reach whatever I want, if I only believe in myself and overcome my suspicion about myself and for that I would love her forever. Thomas seemed to have made a similar experience, since he did not look like some fat guy anymore, but like a man with a mission. So we kept on walking towards that sun, starting something new and leaving the old behind. We had found ourselves.
Nothing would ever be the same again.