Chapter 1

Chapter One

2011, Georgia , US

She was his last hope. He was her last battle.

The topless Mercedes that drove them to the bar for drinks was a great match for that

deliciously warm southern evening in late July. The breeze on her bare skin felt like silk

wrapping her all over sensually, like she was the most precious gift of the season. The mystery

and magic in the air numbed her senses, making it impossible to live in her skin. “Is this how

people feel when they get high on drugs?”. She could’t tell. Drugs remained forbidden all her

life. She felt like Tinker Bell lost in a golden fairy dust. A fairy dust that saturated the container of

space and time holding them together. She couldn’t realize though that she herself was the

source of all that golden dust.

Her predetermined pattern of throwing herself into a relationship never failed to wrap her up in a

blanket of despair and reproach shortly into the affair. Like the swinging move between the

waning and waxing crescent; depressing, hope inspiring, predictable and never exhausting. The

first date was always initiated fearlessly. Revealing her essence explicitly; bold, intriguing, sexy

yet selfless and kind. Her wild spirit claiming her independence and her nonconforming

personality with the first firm hand shake and warm smile. As if this identity was her only means

of proving her dissolved existence. The only chariot that allowed her passionate joyous self

shine through. A “self” that was lost amid the heartbreaking stories of generations of women; her

grandmothers who were forced into marriage before they were even teenagers at nine years of

age, her mother who played around the yard with her in-laws on her wedding at twelve, her

sisters who had silently obeyed and sacrificed their lives, her youth that was vanished from the

pages of her unwritten diary during war and revolution, her faith in love. No, the chains of this

redemption tied her soul up much stronger than that. There was no time or Physical distance

harnessing those flames that burned inside her, steering her life and restricting her choices,”

Let’s spend the night at a hotel.” She said compulsively yet assured.

He was speechless, confused, aroused and a bit scared. “ you are a bit drunk, are you sure?”.

“YES!”, she confirmed, Strong yet seductively.

It was not in his power to decipher this ravishing wild brown-eyed middle eastern he had just

met. There was mystery in every lock of her long dark hair curling over her naked shoulders,

revealing two tiny white straps just enough to tease the eyes of the beholder: there’s more to be

explored. Her wide carefree smile generously promised warmth and support. A warmth he had

been aching for since cancer robbed his embrace and left it cold and hollow, without his wife,

seven years ago. At least that was his version of the story.

“ I remember being in the hospital for all three of them once. She was getting her chemo, my 6

year old daughter had a broken leg and my 2 year old son was under the ivy for flu. The

helplessness strips you from every drop of faith, leaves you barren, no light in your eyes to look

ahead any more.” He murmured as if talking to himself.

“ I can’t even imagine what you have been through. Maybe I am just your healing angel. We’ll

take it as it comes.” Her mother’s kindness that lived through her spoke those words from her

mouth, softly and almost involuntarily.

Maybe. Maybe she was the answer to a warmth he had been yearning for before he could even

remember, before his adoption, before he joined the marine, or when he tried to be drafted as a

sniper. A yearning that always walked hand in hand with the fear of being abandoned again. His

two angels, two demons that led him through life and ruled his choices; yearning and fear, his

two best friends. It was long since he had given up the struggle to free himself. In their shadow

he was powerless. And yet in the comfort of their arms he felt safe. Wasn’t it true that they

provided him the security blanket he needed to survive? Isn’t that what habits are for? Should’t

people accept us as who we are? Isn’t this all true love is about?