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Old 06-20-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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Earth, Sky, Fire and Rain - Chapter 46 (21/6/08)

Second-last chapter... Thanks again everyone!

Disclaimer: You know the spiel by now.... It hasn't been true for the last 45 chapters, and it's still all bollocks now.

end of chapter 45:

My own memories, however, were not so easily conquered. Putting aside all the second-hand trauma that Mag had suffered, I had come close to death that night. Glen had been far more conscious of that at the time than I had been, and he had been traumatised as well. I had nightmares of my own, and he had his. We fought and argued, tempers shortened by fatigue and stress. I applied for several jobs, but was unsuccessful. The longer I was out of the workforce, the harder it would be to get back into it. More stress. Our finances were no longer quite as comfortable as they had been a few months before, but I found myself back in Dr. Collins' office. Fortunately, Andrew was more able to help with these problems than he had been with the other dreams. But it was hard. Sometimes I felt like it was too hard.

Months passed, and there had been no word from Ed. I hadn't made any attempt to contact him, either. I wasn't ready for that, yet; perhaps I never would be.

Chapter 46:

I pulled up in the driveway late one afternoon, fresh from what I was sure was another unsuccessful job interview. I'd barely slept the night before, having banished myself to the couch after a particularly spectacular row with Glen. They weren't very frequent, but very now and then things just blew up. So, I'd mumbled through the interview like a zombie, my mind still dissecting the argument, and preoccupied with morbid thoughts about the future of our relationship. And now I was home, unsure what mood Glen would be in when he got in. I would have to tell him that I'd probably screwed up another interview. We'd talked about selling one of the cars, but how would I get around if I did find work?

I wanted to obliterate my thoughts with some loud music before I had to deal with all that again.

Once inside the house, though, I heard faint music coming from upstairs. I stopped in my tracks, halfway to the stereo in the lounge room. What sort of burglar would break in, then put on a CD? I hadn't parked in the garage this time, so I didn't know if Glen's car was there or not, but he wasn't due back from work for at least two hours.

I went to the foot of the stairs, and saw candles on every other step, lit and releasing a spicy scent. The music, something acoustic that I didn't recognise, was definitely floating down from upstairs.

"Glen?" I called.

No reply.

Visions of creepy stalker home-invasions dancing uncomfortably in my head, I ducked into the kitchen, picked up a knife, and went back to the stairs. I crept up them as noiselessly as possible, pausing again at the top. Our bedroom door was ajar, and flickering light came from within. Gliding past the bathroom, I caught sight of my face in the mirror. White, taut, forehead drawn into an anxious frown. With the knife in my hand I looked psychotic. I almost laughed. More hysterical than psychotic, perhaps.

I reached the bedroom door, hesitated a moment, and pushed it open with one foot, knife held before me.

Warm, fragrant candlelight filled the room; the curtains were drawn, but dozens of candles crowded every surface, except for those covered in roses and jasmine. Red petals on the bed. A CD player was emitting the music, behind a cascade of flowers.

My mouth gaping open, I took it all in. I had the presence of mind to place the knife on the beside table, rather than drop it on my foot, at least.


A step behind me, and Glen was there, outwardly calm. Something about him spoke of roiling currents beneath a smooth surface, however. Wordlessly, he guided me to the bed, and we sat down, my heart pounding. A small, black velvet box appeared in his hands. The candles made his brown eyes seem to glow with warmth as he set it in my hands, wrapping my fingers around the lid as he opened it. His eyes held mine, and I barely saw the flash of gold.

"Lisa," he said thickly. "Will you marry me?"

The lump that had been rising in my throat robbed me of speech, at this of all moments. I nearly shook my head in confusion, but stopped myself, not wanting to make Glen think I was saying no.

"But..." I finally managed, blinking and forcing the lump down. "But... why now...? After all this time... All the fights... I... I don't know what I thought. But.. this?"

"I'm sorry for everything I said, love," Glen said. "And I'm sorry for everything I will say..."

"Most people just buy chocolates, they don't propose," I said, sniffing. Still utterly gobsmacked. Shocked into a poor attempt at humour.

One corner of Glen's mouth twitched upward.

"This isn't just about last night," he said softly, accent thickening. "We have never been through such a rough patch as we have this year. And even at the worst moments, I do still love you. I still want to spend my life with you. That's the most important thing; I know we can work the rest out. I know it will take time, but it's time well spent."

That lump came back again, and tears spilled from my eyes. I bit my lip.

Glen began to show his nervousness. I looked down at the ring – it was beautiful, and looked as if would match the necklace perfectly. How long had he been planning this?

"Is this why we're running out of money, then?" I teased.

"Answer the question, woman," he replied gruffly, smiling. And nervous.

"Yes," I said, and saw a radiant smile transform Glen's face. Maybe mine looked the same, maybe we were just reflecting each other.

There was a very long kiss, then.


I don't know why it was such a big deal. We'd essentially been married in everything but name for over eight years, after all, but for some reason, being engaged was subtly different. And that ring on my finger served as a constant reminder. I needed reminding, at times, to show him more clearly what was going on in my head and my heart, among other things. If Glen was water, water could be absolutely transparent at times, but do nothing but reflect at others, giving no clue as to what was under the surface. But it was even harder for him to see through earth and rock.

Gradually, we found a new equilibrium. There was no point trying to make things exactly how they had been, but when things settled down again, we still loved one another.

My friends had squealed and exclaimed and congratulated us, of course, and made many admiring noises over the ring. Glen did have good taste in jewellery, I had to admit. And they all wanted to know when the wedding was, what our plans were.

By the time we got around to considering dates and plans, it was getting rather late in the year. There was Christmas to think about, and a swag of family birthdays. Some of these wedding-y things had to be booked months in advance. We finally decided on May of the following year – that should give everyone, including ourselves, ample time to prepare.

Even a small, relatively simple wedding took an unbelievable amount of planning. More than once I wondered if it was really worth it... we'd gotten on okay without one so far. But we persevered, and things began to come together. I wrapped up my sessions with Andrew, as well, who had been delighted to hear about the engagement. He politely declined a tentative invitation, however.

"If you want it to just be close family and friends, best to leave it at that," he said, smiling. "Although I'm flattered, of course. I wish you both every happiness."

There was one other person, who didn't strictly fall into the category of close family or friends, who I was considering inviting. I very carefully broached the subject with Glen one night.

"You've not heard anything from him since it all happened, love," he said. I couldn't tell for sure how he felt about the idea at all.

"Never mind that for the moment, just tell me whether you would object if he was there. I won't even ask him if you don't want him there," I said, rubbing Glen's hand between mine.

Glen thought about that. He thought for so long that I started to worry.

"Forget it," I started to say, but Glen interrupted.

"No, it's okay. I don't mind."

"Are you sure?" I was a little incredulous.

He smiled. "Yes, I'm sure. None of what happened was any more his fault than it was yours. If you do want to invite him, then that's okay with me. I'm not sure how he'll respond, given that he hasn't emailed you in all this time, but you know him better than I do."

I scanned Glen's face... his agreement hadn't been effortless, I saw, and it was things like that which made me love him. "Thank you," I said, kissing him on the cheek. "You're probably right – I don't know many people who would go to a wedding in a different country anyway. But it can't hurt to ask."

Glen just nodded.

I didn't have Ed's postal address, I realised, as we were sending out invitations after the New Year. So, I dragged drevans39 out of the depths of my email address book, and sent off a short note that took entirely too long to compose.

'Greetings Ed,
'I'm sorry I haven't written sooner. Things have been a bit weird this last year. To be honest, I needed some space from everything that happened – perhaps you still need the space, so feel free to ignore this.

'I was really just wondering if there was a postal address I could reach you at.

'Hope you and the others are well.
- Lisa'

A fortnight passed before I got a response, and I had started to suspect that I wouldn't get one. But there it was.

'Salutations Lisa,
'I must offer my apologies as well – it was good to hear from you. We've been very busy since April, I'd barely had a chance to sit down and let it all sink in until the holiday break. We'll be off again in a few weeks, it seems the circus never stops sometimes.

'There's an address below which will reach me – if we're not in the country when the post comes, someone will contact us and let us know what it is. So don't send anything you wouldn't want someone else to see!

'We're all well, thank you for asking. I trust you and Glen are the same.
- Ed.'

The address provided was for some company in Dublin, Principle Management. That must be the place Ed and the others work for, I mused. Still didn't give much of a clue as to what they actually did there, although it seemed it involved a lot of travelling as well as skylarking in the office. Didn't sound like a bad job at all.

I sent off an invitation.

And speaking of jobs, I'd finally got one. Three weeks of mapping in Cornwall during March, better than nothing. But it did wonders for my self-esteem, and I knew it would be that much easier to find another one with recent employment on my resume.

"Hey guys, where are we the last week in May?"

"Germany, I think. Somewhere in Europe."

"Whatcha wanna know faw?"

"Gawd. You're not supposed to speak with your mouth full, you know. I really didn't need to see that."

"I'm curious too...?"

"About what he's chewing on?"

"No, spare me. About why you need to know where we'll be in May."

"I've been invited to a wedding."



"Here, take a look. This must be why she wanted a postal address."

"Heheheh. 'Ed Evans plus partner/friend'..."

"Lisa and Glen? That's wonderful... Have they been together long?"

"... I honestly don't know. We never really spoke about that sort of thing."

"Do you wanna go?"

"Well, it all depends on whether it's a show day..."

"It's not, I just checked. Rest day between shows."

"... and I should probably discuss this with my partner/friend, as well."

"Fair enough."

"If nothing else, I think I should at least send a gift of some sort..."

"There's that look again."


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Old 06-21-2008, 12:49 AM   #2
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Now this sounds like a lovely way to bring this story to a close. I really love this story.

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Old 06-21-2008, 01:34 AM   #3
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Is cute an okay word to use?
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:20 AM   #4
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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good way to begin to end it. Don't be too long now.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by zuropa_fit View Post
Is cute an okay word to use?
Sure... feel free to use any word(s) you like.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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I like it

Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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