Winds of Change!
By
Sharon Holtz


It had been a very long recovery for Catherine. And since the
day of her attack, she had to deal with many issues. And
because she was such a trusting soul, Catherine's main issue,
was finding a way to accept the cruel assault she had endured,
does indeed happen in human society, and unfortunately this
time...it happened to her.

Catherine also, needed to find an affable response to how
people treated her now since that fateful day. She knew her
close friends and family were well meaning, but Catherine
hated she was looked upon as fragile now, and was treated as
such too, fragile and carefully...so very carefully.

How she wished someone would argue with her...or get mad
at her! But Catherine's loved ones had set new parameters for
her now, parameters they had not extended to her before.

Yes, and it is true that Catherine realized it wasn't just the
people around her who had changed...she knew she had
changed as well...and changed in ways she would never, ever
be able to share with them or tell them about.

And so, Catherine kept up a brave front, as she picked up the
pieces, sparing the loved ones around her, the sordid details of
her ordeal.

For you see, before the attack, Catherine's life was an easy,
opulent one. She was a beautiful, stylish single girl, living in
New York City. The daughter of Charles Chandler, a rich,
successful corporate lawyer, and following in her Dad's
footsteps; she went into corporate law too.

And so after passing the bar, she practiced at the law firm
with her Dad, but not quite with the same dedicated gusto he
did. Deep down Catherine knew, she became a lawyer, only
to carry on the family tradition, knowing it would please her
Dad.

And pleasing her Dad was all important to her, because since
the tragic day Catherine's mother had died, they were all each
other had.

Sadly, when her Mom died, it was such a heart-wrenching
time for them. Catherine had lost her doting Mom, whom she
cherished and loved, and Charles...lost the woman he loved
and adored.

And during the aftermath of this tragedy, Charles knew he
could never come close, to his wife's parenting skills. Yes, his
wife had a natural gentle insight on raising a child. And
though Charles was a kind man, being a parent did not come
natural to his career driven nature. However, despite Charles'
heartache, out of love and necessity, he rose to the occasion,
and single handedly, took over the parenting reins, to raise
little Cathy, whom he loved so very much.

Eventually, the sad times, turned into bittersweet memories
for both Charles and Catherine...and served to be a lesson in
life...teaching them to deal with whatever fate had in store for
them. And as a result of this common bond, Charles and
Catherine became closer than most fathers and daughters.

And because they worked side by side, Charles naturally
assumed Catherine would someday take over his partnership.
And, actually, Catherine always thought she would too...not
because she loved what she did, but because she never
considered doing anything else.

But the truth was, even before the attack, it seemed Catherine
was changing, and she tried to suppress her feelings of being
bored with her profession, and other aspects of her life style.
And though Catherine couldn't put it into words then, but
somehow everything was beginning to seem shallow to her.
Even her relationship with her boyfriend Tom was waning.
He was becoming so materialistic and career driven...so
different from her sweet nature. Catherine even began to
wonder if she was merely a steppingstone for Tom, as he
pursued a successful career of his own.

But now, since her recovery, Catherine's feelings about how
her life was going, could no longer be ignored. Her heart had
shifted, and Catherine felt as though she was missing
something, and was not fulfilling what she was meant to do in
this life. And though leaving the firm was difficult, she
followed her heart, and followed a new path which lead her to
the D.A., where her talents as a lawyer, could help people in
need.

And besides her career change, there was one other issue
which needed to be dealt with, and Tom was that issue.

Yes, the last straw had been broken, on that fateful night of
her assault. You see, Tom had gotten angry at Catherine,
because instead of mingling with the elite at the cocktail party,
she chose to lend a kind ear to a needy old friend.

Needless to say, because Catherine had been witness to just
how heartless Tom could be, with absolute certainty, in her
heart, their relationship was over.

So, after Catherine's face had been restored to her original
beauty, Tom assumed to pick up, where they had left off. But
because Catherine had emotionally moved on long ago, now
she was happy to tell him so too, and broke off all ties with
him.

And so as she contemplated all these changes in her life,
Catherine conceptualized that nothing was as it used to be.
What was once important to her, no longer is, and the little
things she used to take for granted, she now cherished. What
used to be black, is now white and white now black, and she
privately bemused, that her life now, is like a negative
exposure of what it used to be.

In fact nothing was the same anymore, nor would it ever be
again, because Catherine's life had been forever changed,
since the day her destiny crossed with Vincent's.

And as fate planned, it was on the night of Catherine's assault,
that Vincent found her injured in the park. He had rescued
this broken beauty, and took her to the tunnels to mend.

And being bandaged and sightless in this mystic echoing
place, all the while, being tended to by this gothic sounding
man, well, at first, it was a bit frightening. But as time went
by, Catherine came to feel guarded there with him. And quite
unexpectedly, Catherine felt safe in this captivating
underground world.

But the day had come when it was time to return, and step
back into her old life. And ever since her homecoming, the
tunnels were now an enchanting memory for her, and Vincent
was ever present on her mind.

Even after the plastic surgery Catherine endured to repair her
facial scars...her immediate thoughts were not on the success
of the surgery, but rather, when or if, she would see Vincent
again. Whereas "The old Cathy" would have been consumed
with her looks, and of how people saw her, but this was no
longer so...

It was true; Catherine was beautiful again, in spite of one
stubborn scar, which had not healed properly. And even
though she could have surgery to fix it, she opted not to.
Catherine felt it was an important reminder of the most crucial
time in her life. A time which served her to grow strong in
spirit, and also when she had met Vincent.

And so, after healing, beginning a new career, and taking
some self-empowerment courses, Catherine felt strong
enough to fully face life now and ready to see Vincent again.

And because she did not know at the time if Vincent ever
came above into her world, Catherine thought she would have
to go see him in his.

Yes...Catherine would go to Vincent, because she had some
things to say, and share, not to mention wanting to properly
thank him for all he had done for her.

Although, Catherine DID try to convey her gratitude as they
were saying goodbye at the threshold of her apartment
building. And it was when she carefully, stepped up, to give
Vincent a sweet sort of hug, and as she did so, Vincent
brought his hand up so tenderly, to reciprocate in kind...and
the power of this simple gesture had touched Catherine so
much, that perhaps this was when she gained the courage, to
be able to make all the changes that her heart would soon be
calling for.

And even though their embrace may have lasted for only the
briefest of moments, for Catherine, it was a sweet memory
that would last her lifetime, because while she stood within
Vincent's embrace, she remembered feeling a familiar
sensation and it felt like being at home.

And as Catherine thought about this moment, she was certain
Vincent felt a connection too. But because their parting was
cut short by some top-sider chatter, causing Vincent to
stealthily vanish from her side; they never had the chance to
say all they would have liked to have said.

And so now, after some additional soul searching, Catherine
admitted to her-self, that it was not only to thank Vincent for
all he had done for her, but also because she missed and
wanted to see him again.

Catherine longed to hear his gentle voice once more, the voice
which calmed her while she laid injured, with her eyes and
face bandaged. Vincent had filled the endless healing hours,
by reading lovely stories and poetry to her...providing the only
comfort she knew during that time.

And unfortunately, much to Catherine's dread, there was one
other reason why she needed to see Vincent...a reason which
weighed heavily on her heart. And the reason was to make
sure Vincent really did understand, that her reaction to seeing
him the first time...was merely because she was startled by his
unexpected arrival, not because of what he looked like. Even
though...admittedly, Vincent was like no one she had ever
met before.

But instead of being frightening to her, Catherine thought of
how beautifully captivating he was. And the tenderness she
saw in his eyes drew her in, and she couldn't bear to let
another day pass without seeing him again.

Catherine also knew it wasn't only Vincent she wanted to
thank, but she wanted to thank Jacob too.

And it was because Catherine noticed how scarce Jacob was
after his initial medical care, she couldn't help but feel, that
Jacob didn't like her being there.

And because of this foreboding feeling, Catherine wanted to
reach out to him, so Jacob would know he could trust her,
and had nothing to fear from her.

And so today, as Catherine made her way down the rungs of
the ladder at the basement's threshold, her thoughts traveled
to how frightened she remembered being, as she climbed up
those same rungs back into her world, returning to pick up
what was left of her shattered life.

So, many months have passed since then, and now she was
re-entering the hidden world below the city. And as Catherine
stepped down onto the tunnel floor, and walked to the broken
bricked archway, she realized, she wasn't sure how to get
back to the tunnel main.

Originally, when she was guided by Vincent, she was in such
awe of this world below, that she did not really pay attention
to any landmarks. And so, with her best guess, Catherine
ventured out into the tunnels.

And after a bit of a trek, she rounded a familiar looking  
corner, and off in the distance, she saw Vincent!

Yes she saw Vincent all right, but the problem was he was not
alone! He was embracing someone, and Catherine recognized
her to be Rebecca!

And so because Vincent and Rebecca were in, what appeared
to be, a loving embrace, Catherine assumed, they must be a
couple!

Upon feeling stunned by this revelation, Catherine suddenly
felt like an intruder coming back after so much time had
passed. And wondered, what was she doing?

And so Catherine turned and ran...blinded by her tears, she
climbed back up the rungs, feeling so thankful, Vincent did
not see her.

Catherine then asked herself, why was she this upset? Why
couldn't she have just approached Vincent, even though he
was with Rebecca? Yes, Catherine had admitted a few things
to herself already...she does miss him, and also has an
immense appreciation for all he had done for her, but still
wondered why she was affected so.

All she knew, was she wanted to go home! Even though
home meant something different to her now...yes, even
despite the fact she had a lovely place, it only felt cold, and
very empty to her now.

And so as the elevator doors opened, Catherine entered her
apartment, where she began to understand, the source of her
anguish was because of the fact, Vincent had someone else in
his life.

And so now too, it was all quite obvious why Vincent had not
checked on her since her return above, and it was because
he and Rebecca were together.

And so wrongly, Catherine conjured up these assumptions,
when in all actuality...the truth was, firstly, Vincent and
Rebeca were NOT a couple, and secondly, Vincent DID
secretly check on her!

Yes, Vincent would bravely climb up to her high-rise balcony,
nearly nightly to check on Catherine.

Vincent would go, whenever he felt her "state-of-mind" was
in disarray, or a fearfulness emanating from her. And so, with
care, he did check, only to find Catherine safe at home in her
apartment, restlessly sleeping, dreaming another one of her
dreadful nightmares.

And during those times, when Catherine would awaken,
shaken from her dreams, Vincent wanted to make himself
known, so he could hold her, and push back the ugly hurtful
images. But he knew in his heart, he would be interfering with
her inner struggle to become stronger and more self-reliant.

And because Vincent actually felt what Catherine was going
through, well, this made standing by even more difficult,
because he didn't just commiserate with her...he knew her
turmoil was immense. And unfortunately for Vincent, his pain
was two-fold, as Catherine's feelings were mingling, and
coupled with his own heart ache.

At first...all these amplified feelings confounded Vincent, until
he put it all together, realizing he actually felt all Catherine
was feeling...and although the revelation of being this
connected with someone, was quite perplexing, Vincent
ultimately understood, that because of this bond which
formed between Catherine and himself, they were a part of
each other now. And since the day she left to go back home
all those months ago, he missed having Catherine in his
life...so much.

And although Vincent missed and longed to talk to Catherine
again, he resisted the temptation, wondering if he had any
right to.

What would Catherine say to him if he did call on her? Or
even more significantly still, tell her how he felt about her?

After all, what kind of life could they possibly share? The
only thing he had to offer and give her, was what was in his
heart.

Vincent then thought that perhaps Father was right. Maybe it
would be best to forget her.

But Vincent couldn't forget the sweet connection he felt
between them. And like Catherine, he too remembered the
embrace they shared when they said goodbye. The memory
of their parting still burned deep in his heart, and ever since
that day, his arms felt so empty.

As time passed, their parting embrace seemed like a dream to
him now. A dream Vincent didn't want to fade away into
some vague sensation, where he could no longer conjure up,
or touch again.

And as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months,
Vincent came to believe there never would be anything more
between them...and this memory was all he could ever have
of Catherine...and he believed this was true, that is, until that
day.

Because as it turned out, Vincent did see Catherine in the
tunnels earlier! But why did she run away without speaking to
him? And why was she upset?

If only Vincent could have acknowledged Catherine! But he
was consoling Rebecca, who had just gotten word from a
helper, that her Grandmother had died, and Rebecca was in a
grieving state of sorrow.

Rebecca's grief was both heart-wrenching and complicated.
She felt so guilty she was not at her Grandmother's side at the
time of her death. But the fact was, her Grandmother lived in
California, and there was no way Rebecca could have gotten
there in time.

And now, Rebecca was faced with the dilemma of trying to
find a way to attend her Grandmother's funeral.

And because Rebecca was desperate to come up with a
resolution, Vincent took her to see Jacob.

And so after Jacob consoled Rebecca on the loss of her
Grandmother, he then told her the Tunnels did have some
resources and all was not as hopeless as it seemed. So plans
would be made, via a Helper, for Rebecca to fly out in time
for her Grandmother's funeral.

So with Rebecca's issue resolved...Vincent stayed behind to
tactfully inform Jacob, "I am going above Father... "

To which Jacob, in a hard tone, asked, "Above? For what
reason?"

With an enigmatic demeanor, Vincent replied, "Please trust
me Father...just know that I must."

And though he did trust Vincent, he was also worried about
his son, and so Jacob challenged, "Vincent, it is not a matter
of trust, it is because of the unpredictable calamities which
can occur when you are up there! And I do know, you have
been frequenting the city quite often lately too...and I believe I
know why...it is because of THIS Catherine...is it not?"

To which Vincent in reply, humbly admitted he was right, it
has been because of her, and then explained the urgency to go
again that evening, by saying, "You see, Catherine was here
today and..."

Stunned to hear this, Jacob asked, "Here? She came back
here? Why? Was she followed?"

In an effort to assure his Father, Vincent replied, "No she was
not followed...Catherine understands our world must be kept
secret, and as far as why she came, I don't know! What I am
trying to explain is, Catherine came when I was lending
comfort to Rebecca. And I could not pull myself away to
speak to her, even though, I could see Catherine herself was
upset...so Father, I must go and ask her why she was here."

After listening to Vincent's excuse, Jacob waved his hand in a
poohing sort of manner, as he wryly replied, "All this
comforting, consoling and counseling! Well I must say
between Rebecca and Catherine...I do believe it is time for
you to hang a shingle!"

But because Vincent needed Jacob's support, more than he
needed his sarcasm, he stressed, "Father, please try to
understand."

To which in reply, Jacob ominously said, "I DO understand! I
understand this whole situation surrounding THIS Catherine,
is bound to be nothing but heartache for you. Heed my words
Vincent, it is best to LET HER GO before its too late!"

Tortuously, Vincent in reply, said, "I can't...not yet...I am
feeling so much anguish from her...I MUST go and see her."

As Jacob shook his head out of frustration, he shouted, "Do
what you will Vincent, however know nothing good can come
from this alliance. NOTHING! And you best watch yourself,
and not get any more attached to her, so you don't end up
with heartache over this whole matter, because of doing
something foolish like falling in love, or some such rubbish."

Humbly, Vincent put his hand on his Father's shoulder,
expressing his appreciation for his caring. And even though he
did not have his Father's approval, he would be going
anyway, because it WAS too late! Vincent realized he was
already attached to Catherine, he had already fallen in love
with this sweet woman, and his heart...his heart already ached
for her.

So tonight, there was no stopping him from going, and after
Vincent left his father, he prepared himself to go above, and
before he left his chamber, he picked up the book, Great
Expectations to take with him for Catherine.

Meanwhile, Catherine shook the heartache from her mettle,
and gathered her self up to make a cup of tea. Yes, even
Catherine's daily coffee ritual had changed since her time in
the tunnels. And so, a cup of tea instead of coffee, now
provides her warmth and comfort.

And so as Catherine stirred her tea, she thought of how
earlier, she was looking forward to seeing Vincent again, and
how her joyful anticipation had flipped, and it broke her heart
to find out he had someone else in his life.

And feeling this heartbroken way, caused a guilt trip of sorts,
as Catherine knew, she should rejoice in knowing Vincent has
someone to share his life with.

But this information she had gathered today, instead, made
her sad and empty. Catherine had hoped, that maybe this
time, she would get to know Vincent under lighter
circumstances, and he her.

However, what Catherine already knew about Vincent, was
enough to know what kind of person he was. She knew
Vincent to be a brilliant man, as his knowledge was quite
expansively diverse in all areas, especially in areas she adored,
such as in the arts, literature and music.

And aside from his brilliance, Catherine also sensed his tender
side, as he cared and read to her.

And thinking about it now, it surprises Catherine that while
Vincent read to her, when her eyes were bandaged, that she
never wondered what he looked like!

But at the time, putting a face to his voice was not important!
And in fact, the reason it never occurred to her to do so, was
because it was the heart of this man, she had connected to,
admired and fallen in love with...What? FALLEN IN LOVE?

And it was then, Catherine suddenly thought, "Oh my!" In the
midst of doing all this rationalizing, she let her guard down,
and actually admitted how deep her feelings were for
Vincent...and she hadn't realized it...until just now!

And so she berated herself, "How did this happen? How do I
manage to fall in love with someone, without my usual
caution?"

In the past, Catherine had always been so careful, so picky!
But in meeting Vincent, she had been caught off guard, and
unintentionally, gave her heart.

It's obvious of course, that Catherine was aware of their
differences...but somehow, this factor was secondary. It didn't
matter they were different, because his tenderness,
compassion and brilliance made him stand out from any other
man she had ever known.

In fact, perhaps Vincent being different was exactly why
falling in love with him unwittingly occurred.

And as Catherine began to ponder her future, without the
hope of seeing Vincent again, she felt broken hearted, and
wondered where she would go from here.

So tearfully she sat, never feeling more alone, because
Catherine had absolutely no one to confide in, no confidant to
tell her tale of woe to.

After all, who could she talk to? Catherine had promised
Vincent that she would never betray his trust, and she never
would.

And so, upon deciding she needed some fresh air to clear her
head, Catherine stepped outside. And after she lit a few
candles to illuminate her balcony, she saw a book next to her
threshold, and as she picked it up, she knew it was from
Vincent!

And so she inexplicably turned to the darkened corner, and
with question, asked, "Vincent?"

And so as Vincent stepped out from the shadows, and they
came face to face, Instinctively, Catherine hugged him, as she
said, "Vincent..."

Savoring the moment of being greeted so sweetly, Vincent
found himself humbled in Catherine's presence, as he said, "I
hope I didn't frighten you..."

And because Catherine was overcome with emotion, she
simply shook her head no, and found, although she had so
much to say, she was speechless.

It was then Vincent with awe, looked down upon her, and
breathlessly said, "Your face, you are beauti..."

But Vincent was unable to continue, as his voice left him,
feeling stunned and silenced by Catherine's restored beauty.

To which Catherine humbly replied, "My scars have healed..."

And so, on this star filled night, the flickering candlelight sent
shadows dancing all around them, creating an enchanting
moment for them to behold, as they were reunited once more.

And then with care, Vincent asked, "Are you well?"

And because Catherine was still assuming she came and went
undetected to the tunnels earlier, she softly replied, "Yes
Vincent. I am, and getting stronger every day."

In reply, Vincent unintentionally nodded, because he already
knew this, and then he moved on to carefully ask, "Why
didn't you stay today?"

To which Catherine, with embarrassment, hesitantly asked,
"You saw me?"

With concern, Vincent replied, "Yes...

And so self-consciously, Catherine said, "Well, I guess there
is no denying it then..."

And because he could tell this was embarrassing to Catherine,
Vincent considerately asked, "Please tell me, why didn't you
stay?"

Resignedly, Catherine then released a sigh, as she replied,
"Well, when I saw you with Rebecca during a private
moment, I realized I was intruding, and so I left. But, at the
time of course, I didn't think you had seen me..."

With a subtle nod, Vincent said, "I saw you Catherine..."

And because she was unmasked by this revelation, Catherine
then tried to inject some humor, as she added, "All I can say
then is that evidently, I am not as stealthy as I thought I was..."

Vincent with a smile in his eyes, acknowledged Catherine's
joking, and then thoughtfully asked, "What if you had
stayed..."

With regret, Catherine replied, "Yes, well had I stayed, there
is something on my mind, that I wanted to talk to you about,  
although, I really hate bringing this subject up again..."

To which Vincent with an understanding tone, said, "Please."

As Catherine gathered her thoughts, she began, "Well...I have
been worried that I DID hurt your feelings with my reaction
when I first saw you. And I wanted to make sure you really
did understand it was because of the combination of events...I
mean, I had just literally seen my face for the first time, with
all these black threaded stitched up wounds..."

To which Vincent informatively said, "Yes, unfortunately
black thread was all Father had on hand at the time..."

And because the color thread was not actually the issue,
Catherine continued, "...I only mean, seeing how badly
injured I had been was what was alarming, not the color of
the thread...but now I am off point, what I wanted to say was
when you came up behind me, I was startled, not by your
appearance but rather, more so by your arrival."

But because Vincent thought they had moved passed this
awkward moment, he replied, "I felt you understood my
feelings were not hurt by your reaction Catherine, however..."

And then with a bit of humor himself, Vincent rubbed his
noggin, and teased, "...unless you are referring to the dish you
threw at me...well then, that would be another matter..."

And because Catherine had felt so badly about the "dish
throwing" incident too, she embarrassingly replied,
"Yes...about that...I really AM sorry I reacted that way..."

It was then Vincent moved on, as he noted, "So because we
spoke through all this; I thought perhaps you had another
reason..."

Realizing Vincent could tell she was only telling half of the
story, Catherine hesitantly revealed, "Well...I sincerely did
want to talk to you about that in particular, but you are right,
there are other things I wanted to share with you too...and
well, I wanted to thank you, properly I mean, for all you had
done for me. And..."

It was then Catherine felt open, and ready to tell more, and so
she continued, "...and, well I wanted to tell you since I have
been back home, I have changed. Everything has changed,
and life is so different for me now. I no longer work with my
Dad, but am working at the D.A. where I can truly help
people who are in need. And...I wanted to tell you, that I find
myself missing the tunnels, I miss the sound of the tunnels,
and I miss the sound of the city from below in the tunnels. I
miss the constant clanging of the pipes, I miss the refuge of
your chamber, and the smell of the burning candles. I miss all
the books, and I miss you reading to me, I miss all the talks
and moments we shared, and I miss the sound of your voice,
but mostly Vincent...I have realized...I missed you."

Feeling bolstered to hear Catherine missed him, but not yet
understanding the depths of her affections, Vincent found the
courage to press further, by mentioning, he also could see and
sense she was upset, when she left earlier that day.

Knowing she had to own this too, Catherine shamefully
confessed, "Yes, I was upset..."

And so because he wanted to know what was wrong, Vincent
requested, "Please, tell me why."

Pitifully, Catherine looked back at him, wishing he had not
asked this of her. However, because of the wanton searching
in Vincent's eyes, well this was all it took, to open up once
more.

And so Catherine shared, "I suppose I was upset at the time,
thinking I was intruding, and wrong to come back uninvited,
and felt so very silly thinking, we could pick up where we left
off...you see...I thought there was...well, when we last parted
I felt there was something between you and I...and hoped that
you felt it, and maybe missed me too...but obviously...I was
wrong, as you have Rebecca in your life...and now, well now,
I think maybe, I have said too much."

And even though Catherine tried to hold back her emotions,
her quivering chin gave her away. And because Catherine's
vulnerability broke Vincent's heart, he knew he needed to
explain away her misconception, clarifying, "Rebecca is a
dear, dear friend....she is like a sister to me. You see, Rebecca
had just received word, her Grandmother had died. And so
when you saw us today, it was when I was comforting her."

Sympathetically, he then noted, "And because of the state
Rebecca was in; I could not call out to you, though I wanted
to, so badly."

Upon better understanding the relationship between Vincent
and Rebecca now, as well as the situation earlier, Catherine
with hope, replied, "I see..."

And so Vincent continued to reveal, "Catherine, I have felt a
connection with you since the day I found you injured in the
park, or perhaps, it was because of this connection that had
enabled me to find you there...but whichever came first is
unclear, however, I do know, since you left the tunnels, I have
become aware of this bond between us, there is a tie which
binds us..."

Carefully, Vincent then continued, "I know this to be true,
because I feel what you feel. I sense your pain, your joy, your
strength and your fear. Since we met, you are a part of me.
And now, to hear you reveal some of the same feelings, I too
am feeling...I know I am a part of you..."

Upon hearing Vincent say he felt the same way, Catherine
tearfully clarified, "So it was not only one-sided, or just my
imagination...you felt something too?"

With a subtle nod, Vincent softly replied, "Yes, and since you
left, it's as though I am missing a part of myself now..."

To which Catherine with a thoughtful tone shared, "I haven't
been able to define my feelings before, but the way you put it,
is exactly right...I feel like I am missing a part of myself too."

And then Catherine tearfully said, "But you are here now, and
maybe we don't need to feel that way anymore..."

In reply, Vincent tragically said, "Catherine...you must know,
as do I, this can only be a dream...a dream which only our
hearts can share...as we could never share our lives..."

Grievously, Vincent then bent his head, hoping to hide his
emotion as he spoke the words that tormented his heart, and
fragmented his soul, saying, "Our story can really only have
an ending..."

Tenderly, Catherine lifted his chin so he would look at her,
and as she brushed the hair from his eyes, she asked, "Why
Vincent? Why must there only be an ending for us?"

To which Vincent answered, "Because Catherine...I have
nothing to offer you."

With emotion, Catherine replied, "How can you say you have
nothing to offer, when you have already given me everything.
You offered your time and kindness to me when I most
needed someone. What you have given me, is the most
precious gift you can give another person, and it is priceless.
So since you value kindness same as I do, I don't understand
why you say we can only have an ending, when there is so
much life yet to share."

Although Vincent would love to live in this dream world of
Catherine's, he knew that he needed to shed some realistic
light, by saying, "It's because of who I am! I do not dare to  
hope, or expect anything more between us."

Catherine was now sorrowful too, but this time, it was for
the pain in Vincent's heart...knowing she could never
imagine what life must be like for him.

And then Vincent's voice quaked, as he admitted, "When I
told you, I never regretted what I was before I met you, well,
what I said was true...but Catherine...there had been times I
wondered..."

With compassion, Catherine asked, "Tell me..."

Vincent thoughtfully paced as he shared, "There was a day,
when I became aware, and saw myself as different, and that
was when I began to wonder about a different kind of life."

Vincent then stopped to look at Catherine, and enforced,
"Please know Catherine...I am not telling you this so you will
pity me. I live a good life, a life filled with family and friends,
all of us helping each other...and it has been enough for me.
And though I wondered and dreamt, I never expected there
could be more happiness to be found for myself...until now."

With hope, Catherine looked back at Vincent, and tenderly
she asked, "You mean until now...because of me?"

As Vincent stepped forward, he admitted, "Yes Catherine,
because of you."

But though it pained him, Vincent added, "However, we both
know, the here and now, is where things must end, before
parting becomes any more unbearable for me. Father believes
it is best this way."

Suddenly Catherine's tears subsided as Vincent's words
stunned her, realizing she had been right about what she
sensed from Jacob! And so she then asked, "Your Father
talked to you about me...about us?"

Explaining that he did, Vincent then added, "Because Father
understands how I feel about you, he fears what could
possibly transpire..."

Vincent's voice then broke away before he said something
that might frighten Catherine.

But his ominous comment was enough to cause Catherine to
question, "Possibly transpire?"

Sadly, Vincent nodded, as he realized there was no turning
back, and had to explain his dark side to Catherine. So slowly,
he began to lay it all out before her, and began by saying, "It
is only fair you know everything about me. Catherine...there
are times when I am alone, that it is unbearable for me. It is
difficult to live with the unpredictable darker side of myself.
You see in the past, there had been times, when I lost myself,
and I would exhibit a rage, from an unknown origin within
my nature...and when this has occurred in the past, it was
frightening for those around me. And because of this, I could
not bear the thought of ever revealing this side to you. I would
never want to do anything to frighten or harm you, and would
hate for your fear of me, to be our demise..."

After listening to Vincent, Catherine kindly reconciled, "There
is not one of us on this earth without a darker side, and
Vincent...I DO know everything about you, I know your
heart...because your eyes have revealed your soul to me, and I
know you would never harm me."

Upon hearing Catherine, Vincent felt frustrated he could not
make her understand there really was a part of him to fear!
And Vincent knew there was, because of Jacob's
well-meaning intention, of reminding him so! Jacob would
always hold up the incident with Lisa, which happened during
his adolescence. And Vincent could still hear his Father's
warnings ringing in his ears, saying, "Vincent, you must not
let your feelings out of control...remember what happened to
Lisa? You must never lose control!"

How those words have stayed, and haunted Vincent, and now
somehow he must reveal this ugly part of his life to Catherine
too. So with a voice full of turmoil, he said, "Catherine there
is more to tell you."

With a pace to his step, he began, "Once when I was a boy, I
cared very much for this girl named Lisa, who also lived in
the tunnels. She was so beautiful, and I wanted to dance with
her. However, a simple thing such as dancing is not simple for
someone like me."

Painfully, he continued, "Lisa came up to me, and when I
tried to hold her, she suddenly and unexpectedly pulled away,
and I hurt her...and now, when I look at these hands, I am so
ashamed. At times, I try to imagine what others must think
when they look at them."

Gently, Catherine took his hands in hers, and sweetly looked
up at Vincent, and told him "Vincent, these hands picked me
up when I laid injured, they patiently held a spoon so I could
eat; they tirelessly turned pages of novels for me, but my most
beautiful memory is when you brought your hand up so
tenderly, to return my embrace. I knew then, although we
were parting from one another, it wouldn't really be goodbye."

As Vincent took in all that Catherine had to say, he in soft
reply said, "You make me believe there is only good left in
my heart..."

To which Catherine said, "You should believe it Vincent...I
know it to be true..."

And so Vincent replied, "Because of this new found truth,
then...living a different kind of life is possible..."

As Catherine gifted him with the warmest of smiles, she said,
"Anything is possible; life is ever changing for all of us. Living
allows us a chance to learn...and life, offers us time to forgive
ourselves for mistakes we have made..."

As Vincent stood accepting all the things Catherine said to
him, he then in agreement, said, "Yes..."

To which Catherine smiled, and offered, "We can get to
know one another, this time, under different circumstances..."

And then Catherine added, "...after all, I have another side
too...you only knew me when I was injured, and weak. I want
you to know the stronger side of my nature too..."

To which Vincent with admiration said, "Weak? I never
viewed you as weak Catherine...you exuded such strength the
way you fought back to get well..."

With admiration, Catherine replied, "It was because of you.
You helped me find the strength I needed to face the world
again. Strength I didn't know I had...but you knew...you said
you felt it within me."

Because Vincent had felt the strength Catherine possessed he
simply nodded it was true, and then reciprocated, saying,
"And because of the good you see in me...you have given me
hope..."

With a smile, Catherine replied, "Hope is a powerful thing.
And now, I have hope too...hope that perhaps our story will
have more than only an ending ..."

And as Vincent tipped his head, in a thoughtful manner, he
replied, "Perhaps it shall Catherine...perhaps it shall..."

Sweetly Catherine returned Vincent's heartfelt gaze, and then
it struck her that she had just told Vincent everything she had
been holding tight in her heart, everything. And then realized
that in Vincent...she not only found the missing part of her
heart, but she had found her "Confidant" too.

Catherine then stepped into Vincent's waiting arms, where she
felt at home once more. And so it was there, under the star
covered sky, they accepted, and understood, they were a part
of each other.

And as Catherine referred to the book Vincent had brought
for her, she thanked him, and then hopefully asked, "Shall we
pick up where we left off?"

With a nod, Vincent said yes, and as they settled in, Vincent
bent his head to rest on Catherine's, feeling so very thankful,
that somehow...through it all, Heaven had heard his bootless
cries...

                                  
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