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To be continued..

by Layla Nelson 11 months ago in Love
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Somewhere in time

Oh what a wonderful day I was having. I could hear it. The music. The drums so close I could feel the vibration in my chest. The heat and the feel of the first raindrop in months. I felt a hand, soft, with long fingers, grab hold of mine and I smiled so big. " She's smiling!, her hand is moving"! , I heard. What was that!

I look up and he's smiling at me. His big chocolate eyes. I thought his eyes to be the most beautiful , even though 99% of people in this country had the same color eye. His were the only ones I had ever wanted to look in to.

His black hair, wavy and perfect, was blowing in the wind. The sky behind him matched with the blue in his plaid shirt. Sky blue. He was smiling, showing his one dimple and my heart was so full. I inhaled a full breath. "She's breathing on her own"! I felt confused over another American voice speaking but I quickly let that thought go when he kissed me. I felt the rain on us and I heard music and laughter. " I love you so much Gloria .” I had to look down shyly. " what is it"? He asked, tilting my head back up. He knew how in love I was with him. How long I had waited. He knew. He took both of my hands. " Let's do what we talked about. Let's be kids". He looked out past the tree we were standing under.

The rain was getting heavier. The sun was out ahead of us. It will be setting very soon. People were dressed in bright colors, dancing. I thought if this is what heaven is like, I will be the luckiest soul to ever exist. He was right. We had talked so many times about being like kids when we were able to be. When we were finally together. And here we were. It is time. I smiled up at him. And he took that as a yes. "LET'S GO!" he whispered and we ran out from under the tree, into the sunny rain. We ran all over the field, laughing and dancing. He picked marigolds and handed them to me. Placing one behind my ear before kissing me. I couldn't stop laughing. I was so happy. So happy to be with him.

"She's laughing, look!, she's laughing so hard" . There was that voice again. I opened my eyes. Where did he go? Where is Raja? His eyes were no where in sight. Instead, a bunch of strangers eyes were upon me. A lot of white. No colors, or dresses or flowers

No sound of music. Just beeping. Where was that coming from ? I looked over and seen a machine with lines and numbers. It started beeping faster.

" She is panicking, should we add something to her IV "?, I heard a woman next to me say. " Not yet", a man's voice said. I looked to the man who had just spoke. He was older , and smiled gently at me . Mrs.. Collins, do you know who you are?" , he asked . I sat , looking down at the blanket of white that was my bed. What is going on I wondered.

" Gloria are you able to speak", a woman to the left said. Oh, I recognized that voice. Yes, she was talking while I was with Raja. " Raja"! , I yelled. They all looked very confused at each other. That brought absolute fear to my heart. " Where am I? Where is Raja? Please tell me he is okay? Where is he? Please let me see him. Go get him! Please , go get him"! , I cried.

" Where is Raja"? I asked again. I was afraid but I had no control over my mouth right now or what came out of it. " Who is Raja, Mrs . Collins ?”, the doctor asked. I am convinced I am in hell at this point. " Raja is my fiancé .” No noise for a very long time. He took the two women who claimed to be my daughters and spoke with them in a circle , “He was my pen pal from India . We finally met in person last week and I was having the best time of my life when you all rudely interrupted . “Mrs. Collins, what year is it "? , he asked. " 2004" , I answered . I heard a gasp come from both girls mouths. And the doctor nodded his head.

" And how old are you"? , he asked . " 25 . So see, there is no way these are my daughters, we're nearly the same age, I laughed. There must a mixup here. “ Mom . “ She looked at me with watery eyes. This hurt me to see. What have I done ? " I am Josie", she said. As in Josey Wales , Outlaw". " oh yes, I smiled , I love that movie". She grabbed my hand . “ And Jasmine, as in your favorite flower .”, Jasmine smiled. That day changed my life. And what I seen in the mirror made me scream. But life went on.

Four months later , here I am. Learning all about my two daughters. They are the most wonderful beings on earth. I am so lucky to have these young women in my new life.

I've had to grieve not one but two losses. I found out that my husband was killed overseas. An honorable death but somehow to me, it seems inhonorable. He was quite a beautiful man,very strong looking but gentle looking . I see why I fell for him after looking through all of our cards and letters. How very lucky I’d been.

I wish he were here. Even though my heart is confused I know from the pictures and videos that we loved each other very much. It seems I was in love. It is hard for me to imagine now that I'd be in love with anyone else. But it surely seems that way.

I feel so bad that my daughters have had to mourn over us both. On my phone was a picture of him and the girls as my background. I can't change it. He took such good care of us that I feel guilty for thinking of Raja. I wonder if he'd understand. I wonder if he knew about Raja. I wonder how my girls feel about all of this. I just realized I have called them my girls . It makes me happy.

What if somehow I start to remember everything again ? Can I fill my life up with enough good ones now to make up for what I've lost ?

I decided to talk to Jasmine and Josie about my feelings on finding Raja and see how they feel. I don't think, without their blessing, that I could go look for him. They have been through too much.

We sat down and with a very mischievous grin, Jasmine smiled. " Mom should not know about this .” " Know about what ?" , I asked. “ Yes, but first dinner and wine", Josie smiled back. An hour later we were laughing and playing music. Rebel Yell was my favorite right now. “ Is this new?” I asked. . You used to play this a lot mom", Josie said.

" Well, I had good taste , I winked . " Speaking of taste, where's that wine at ?", I asked. " No more for you mom", Jasmine said. " You never drank before and I don't think it is a good idea for you to have anymore, even if you're a lot of fun", she laughed. " Yes, you might be right. You've been a bad influence Jasmine. But boy what fun we've had . I do need to talk to you about something very important though ." I suddenly looked up and seen the picture of my beautiful husband in his army uniform. I smiled. This was a coming to terms with my emotions.

Both girls were so understanding and intelligent. . They both felt I needed to make sure I'd worked through any emotions before trying to find Raja. They were right. It has been 20 years. " What if he is the D word ?" Josie asked. " A dick ?", Jasmine said. Josie rolled her eyes. " No, d,e,a,d ", she said in a whispering voice. " I know that word!” I said, my heart sinking lower and lower . Two months later, of wondering about Raja during my therapy sessions. “ Two months of getting in shape, mentally and physically. “Mom is a butterfly who needs a whole new wardrobe", Jasmine said.

" Mom doesn't need a whole new wardrobe. She just needs a new life", Josie answered knowingly. " Gee, when you put it that way ", I looked at them both. " Work your magic, I know you've got it."Insert really hip music here. Two months flew by and I didn't expect it. Every weekend I went out dancing with my girls. They “Upgraded" me . I wore dresses and make up. Learnt to walk in heels, that was another story. Though I was 45 , I did not feel it. I felt 25 . As a matter of fact I felt sexy. A word both girls said I never used. I liked me very much.

Those 8 months in a coma really was some beauty rest I suppose. I felt great! " Oh mom, you remember Toby from the club the other night ?", Jasmine asked. I was looking in the mirror putting on my lipstick. " Yes, isn't he adorable and sweet ? Did he ask you out ?" , I asked excited.

She smiled at her sister who had her face in her palms. " No, he wants you mom ."My lipstick went up over my top lip and across my cheek. , I looked at her in awe. “ It is true. He couldn't stop talking about you and has texted us both, asking if he can take you out", Josie said . “ I think you should go have a mind blowing time", Josie smiled.

" The answer is no., I told her. " If this stupid accident never happened, and his stupid accident never happened, I'd be very happily married to your father. There is no reason to go sinking my teeth into a 20 something, no matter how cute he is .” Mom, the stupid accidents did happen. And dad had been gone for over a year. You never even looked at anyone else. It is okay", Jasmine said.

" It is not okay. She is in love with someone", Josie said. We both turned to her. She hesitated, then stood and began. " I think she always has been ." “ Why do you say that", I asked.. They told me about trying to find my will and instead finding letters from Raja and letters I’d never sent him. They told me the hardest part. He'd been married for years now. I told him to obey his parents wishes and go to Australia to marry. I didn't feel I’d ever be enough. Finally he did leave and he had an arranged marriage. My heart was on the floor. I spent over an hour reading through mine and his letters. “ Mom, you are enough. Whether you go looking for him or find someone else or stay single, I hope you know that you deserve whatever makes you happy. “, Josie smiled. Maybe it was too late for Raja and me. I hugged Josie. “ Jasmine, what is Toby's digits?” , I asked with a grin that my daughter got from me.


About the author

Layla Nelson

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