Behind You Chapter 19
S is for Saviour
Something that never ceased to amaze me were those moments where Lilah and I would intertwine. I don’t mean just sexually, but also on the dance floor. The music pumping endorphins through our system, one heartbeat syncing everyone together. It was during those magical moments that I’d feel her engulf me in her protective feathers. I don’t really know if others could see her the way I did, but it didn’t matter; I liked feeling like I was the only one she chose to be vulnerable with.
Life had its ups and downs like normal, there were days where we cruised in comfort, and other days where toddler tantrums and anxiety took over. Overall, everything felt like it was finally falling into place. Maybe this is what adulthood was actually supposed to feel like.
BitchTart: Ok so I have 2 tell u about this new chick I met omg - 1 min ago
I felt the vibration of my phone in my back pocket, distracting me from the one-Uri talent show. Lilah was working late again and I was trying to find ways not to miss her so much. Uri offered to display his wide variety of talents as a distraction. From hat-balancing, to front rolls, to singing songs in various funny voices, Uri was trying it all. If it didn’t distract me, at least it would tire him out!
Even though I didn’t have to raise Uri since infancy, and I worked at a daycare, I didn’t quite think about all the responsibility required to be a parent. Not to say I didn’t love it, I do, I just didn’t realize how extra tired I’d be on the long days.
BitchTart: obvs she has a pink bob cut, n the way she moans my name omg, she might be the ONE! – now
Erin had been doing this a lot since the shit-show at the bar with her mom ages ago. I hoped it would die down by now, but she had been bouncing from person to person like a pinball machine. A part of me wanted to just shake her senseless and smack her upside the head, but I also knew that wouldn’t solve anything. Though to be honest, I maybe have been neglecting our friendship a tad since I’ve been busy being an adult (and also engulfed in all things Lilah).
Noa: what happened to the blue haired girl? R u just trying to date the rainbow now?
BitchTart: naw she wasn’t my vibe anymore – now
Noa: you mean you didn’t want to commit right?
“Noa are you waching me? I can make a egg disappear!” The egg in fact did not disappear, it just changed form- into a raw omelette on the floor. I guess that serves me right for being busy on my phone.
“Uri! Raw eggs go in pans or bowls, not hardwood floors.” I groaned as I threw my phone to the side and helped Uri get a kitchen towel to clean the mess up. Though it would definitely take more time for him to do it, it was important to me that he took responsibility for his actions. Luckily Lilah was pretty much on the same page with me on that.
Speaking of Lilah, I finally heard her car pull up in the driveway. I totally did not tell Uri that the egg incident never happened, as we both quickly got rid of the evidence before Lilah’s key turned the front door lock.
“Uri sheli!” (My Uri!), Lilah lifted him up into a big hug and covered his face with kisses.
“Don’t forget to leave some for me.” I came over to give her a quick squeeze as well, planting a kiss on her lips. I picked up her bag off the floor and hung it on the hook near the door. Jeez her bag is heavy; I’m glad I’m not in PR sales.
“And then I did a hat trek, and we has pasgetti for dinner and Ryan had cool shoes today and Noa shirt was backwar’ in the morning!” Apparently, a detailed summary of the day was in order, including my early moment brain fart. Like I mentioned, being a parent is… tiring at times, though it has been getting easier. I’ve always admired Lilah for all that she’s done as a mom.
“That’s so great cha’mudy (cutie),” Lilah stifled a yawn and put Uri down, trying to massage her shoulder subtly. “I’m glad you had such a lovely da-“ another yawn.
“Babe go sit down on the couch, I’ll reheat some ‘pasgetti’ for you and come rub your feet in a sec.” She had been working long hours and coming home like this too often for anyone’s liking lately. Luckily, she had the coming weekend off, and I was looking forward to taking her out. Hopefully Gal would be able to take Uri for a night without any complaints.
As I finished heating up Lilah’s food, I turned to bring it over to see Uri lying on top of her as she lightly snored on the couch. Uri lifted a finger to his lips to shush me; mommy was out like a light.
“The clock is starting to tick daughter of the dark”
“Please, I need more time! I’ll do anything, give anything!”
“You have nothing left to give.”
Another night of twisting sheets and panicked gasps for air woke me up before sunrise. Lilah was having a nightmare, again.
Who needs an alarm clock I guess?
“Lilah, love, wake up, it’s just a dream,” I rubbed her arms and tried to bring her back to reality. With her eyes still shut tight, she clutched a fistful of my shirt and burrowed her face in my neck. “I got you love, don’t worry.”
Sipping on my second cup of coffee before the morning shift, I let my gaze settle on Lilah who was gently brushing Uri’s curls. The bags under her eyes probably mirrored my own, but she was already working so hard all the time that I tried to pretend they weren’t there. Any time I tried to bring up her nightmares (and quite frankly my night scares), she brushed them off as if they were nothing. Just "stress".
But truthfully, I was worried.
“Hey UrUr, don’t forget your dad is picking you up from daycare today.”
“Okay” He mumbled with a mouthful of Honey Chex, milk dribbling down his chin. Lilah came over after for her mugful of energy and laid her head on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry for keeping you up the last few nights…” I laid a kiss on her forehead as an acceptance of her apology. “I can’t wait for our date night tonight, are we going dancing?”
I shook my head and placed our both now-empty mugs in the sink. “I thought maybe we could do something different. I hope that’s okay.”
“Sure! I’m always up for a surprise date.” She planted a nice big smooch on my cheek, seeming renewed and turned towards Uri. “Ready Freddy?”
“My name is Uri, Ima, not Freddy”
We both rolled our eyes and laughed, grabbed our stuff, and headed out for the day.
The day flowed by smoothly, and I was glad to be done early, which allowed me to prepare for date night adequately. A relaxing hot shower and a change of clothes refreshed my spirits after a long shift with a lot of crying toddlers. But that was in the past. The present, and my present outfit was much more of a priority. There was a Lights Festival happening this weekend in the downtown, with art installations, interactive galleries, and street shows. I literally could not wait.
Once I had my lucky pair of ripped black jeans on, along with a plain white tee, I grabbed my collection of rings and bracelets and adorned them as I headed towards the kitchen. I double checked my phone to see that I had the tickets saved in my email for this one gallery I really wanted to see, and then got a quick snack. Mid-milk chug I finally heard Lilah call out from the front door that she arrived, then a heavy bag drop, and her head peek into the kitchen.
“Grew a moustache just for tonight, eh?” She came around the counter to kiss away my milk moustache before I had a chance to even say something.
“If it buys me kisses then sure, why not?” I wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her back. Though her eyes twinkled, the dark circles underneath spoke no lies. She looked exhausted.
“You sure you’re up for going out tonight? We can always dine in and just keep it simple?”
She laid her forehead against mine and sucked in a deep breath. “I just need a quick shower and then I’ll be ready.” She rubbed her nose with mine lovingly, “I really want to go out tonight.”
“Well then get that cute butt in the shower, need help with your clothes?” As soon as I tried to lift her shirt, she slapped my hand away playfully and started to run.
“Come back here milk moustache stealer!”
I love date night.
The whole evening was spent in bliss and laughter. When we got downtown, the area was already packed, but still so beautifully decorated. Brightly coloured lights were strung up everywhere, along with different art installations. Some areas were filled with strobe light effects and changing colours filling the night sky, while other areas had a more somber lighting effect. Hand in hand, we explored the giant light up cubes, the floor piano, endless funnel cake food trucks, and even checked out this gallery exhibit featuring an artist named Nashid Chroma. I was really impressed by his skillful way to make colour pop out so vividly.
It felt like time just flew by, and suddenly we were back home peeling off each others’ clothes as we tried not to stumble into furniture. Even with an incredibly busy day, we found renewed energy to love one another. And love we did.
Without much care, our clothes mapped out a path to the bedroom where we played a game of “who’s louder”. There were no losers in that game. Okay, maybe the lamp on the side table near the stairs lost a bit. And maybe one of my shoes probably went missing. But no real losses, I would say.
After a glass or two of Chardonnay naked on the couch, and lots of just tracing one another’s skin and reflecting on everything, the perfect night was coming to an end. We returned to the bedroom albeit a bit tipsy and settled in for the night in one another’s arms. We were out like a light.
Tick tock, goes the clock, soon the night shall pass
“Stop taunting me! Stop laughing! I know my time will end soon, why must you torture me so?”
Tick tock, goes the clock, accept your fate with class
“You really are an asshole, ripping me away from all dear to me”
Tick tock, goes the clock, I love the sass
“I hate you for thi-!”
“Lilah? Lilah wake up, you’re hitting me.” I held her arms down by her sides, trying to tame the violence that rocked her sleep. What on earth was she even saying?
“Babe wake up”
“You can’t take me away from them!”
“Love, please,” I rolled on top of her and shook her by the shoulders lightly, caressing her cheek with my other hand in an effort to calm her. After a moment, her body sort of slumped followed by dimmed brown eyes fluttering open.
“What’s going on?” Her eyes darted from side to side, as if looking for the asshole she was screaming about in her slumber.
“Who’s taking you away from me?” It barely left my mouth, but the sound of those words rung too loud and too clear.
“What?” She avoided my eyes still.
“Lilah… look at me… what aren’t you telling me… who is taking you away?” Her constant nightmares had to mean something at this point. And this wasn’t the first time she had tried to avoid the subject. Enough was enough, we couldn’t keep doing this every night.
“I don’t… well like, you see, um… like you know our connection is sacred and um… like how when you were born and stuff… like…” I huffed impatiently and tried to stay calm.
“Stop dancing around the issue and spit it out Lilah.”
“But… I mean it’s probably better if I didn’t and um-“
“Okay, okay! I’m living on borrowed time! Okay?!” She immediately shut her eyes tightly and covered her face, afraid to see the look on my face. And I have to admit, I doubt I had a pretty face on.
“What does that mean?” I carefully held her hands in mine and moved them away from her face so that she would have to look at me. My back started to heat up and I had a feeling I was walking into something I’d never be able to back out of.
“Remember? How I was born and stuff, well it was because I had to come find you! All this, my whole life, it’s for you. There’d be nothing without you. But I can’t live with you forever… it was part of the deal… and time is running out…” She paused at the end and cast her eyes downward. I got off of her and sat on the side of the bed, my head in my hands trying to process.
After a few moments of my brain going ‘error’ trying to understand what she said, I inhaled a shaky breath. “What do you mean live?” I turned back to her, “You’re going to die? Because of me?”
Lilah let out a sigh so deep, you’d think she had held it in her entire lifetime. Lifetime. A lifetime that would be over because of me. How did we get here?
“I’m sorry Noa. The only way I could be reborn in this reality to be with you, was if… it was on borrowed time. I had to-“
I stood up, feeling dizzy and anger and a flurry of other emotions that I didn’t care to identify in the moment. “But you’d leave in the end? How much time did you even bargain for to be with me then?!”
I could see her shrink at my raised voice, but I was starting to see red. How could she play a game like that? How could she implant herself in my life so deeply just to yank herself out after as if it was no big deal?
“I have two years once I make contact with you.”
“So, what is that? Like,” I tried to do the mental math but my brain was fizzing, “a little over a year left?”
“Four hundred and twelve days left on the clock, as of today.” The number barely registered in my mind. Reaching for clothes on the floor dressed in a hurry. I was not going to let her just die because of me.
“Where are you going Noa?” Lilah scrambled behind me to keep up, unsure of my intentions. “Noa, please!”
“I’m getting as far away from you. Stop this fuckin’ clock or whatever. I’m not going to let you just die like that.” I hopped down the last stairs, grabbed my wallet and Lilah’s car keys and got out of there, the door slamming behind me. I didn’t care that it wasn’t even dawn yet, I was out of there.
As I turned the car engine on, I sped off without thinking where I was heading to. I had to go somewhere far and fast, just drive. If I can separate myself enough from Lilah, maybe she could keep on living. And Uri… crap, I didn’t even think about him. But he needs his mother more than me, I can’t just let her call it quits on everyone. She has to live.
She just has to.
She just has t-
I can feel so much and nothing at the same time.
How can you be so heavenly, so angelic, yet so cruel simultaneously?
I can see the metal and the smoke and the blood, but I don’t think I feel it anymore.
I’m sorry I couldn’t be born right.
As the smoke of the collided vehicles started to rise, I could feel a coldness take over. I couldn’t really orient myself properly and trying to hurt too much. I could hear my heartbeat louder than my breathing, and when licking my lips I could taste metallic-y dirt. I opened my eyes briefly but got immensely dizzy and nauseous, I didn’t really even know where to look.
I closed my eyes again, my breathing getting shallower, I just wanted to rest. Maybe take a quick nap. That sounded nice. So why was there something tugging at my shoulders? It really hurt.
My eyes flickered back open and I saw a hooded winged figure, she had such soft looking lips. Lilah.
There was a sudden glow, and my back start to feel as if it was being scorched by a flame, I wanted to scream but no sound ever emerged. That glow came from the winged figure, from Lilah, why is she here?
Warm hands touched my chest like a feather falling; gently. And then, my whole body lit up like fireworks on New Years. I felt and saw and heard everything at once, it was unbearably overwhelming. The cars honking, beeping, engines roaring, the early birds and the traffic light changes, the screech of tires on pavement, crying sirens; everything.
Nothing but the inaudible sound of the gentle falling of feather, after feather.
I hope you enjoyed this intense turn of events, and if you’re crying in a corner like me about it, then bring over some snacks.
I have reached the point where I am actively writing the rest of the chapters, so posting will become weekly. I will be aiming to have chapters published for your lovely weekend-reading-material time.
Feel free to leave a heart, some insights, comments, or even a tip; anything is appreciated!