The Shore of Dreams!
By
Sharon Holtz
Chapter Eight
As Peter looked at his watch and realized it was time to say good night, he
addressed Jacob, and said, “Well, I better be heading home.”

To which Mary disappointedly said, “Oh Peter, I hate thinking about you
running around the city so late! It will be so nice when you can retire to your
own chamber here.”

Mary turned to Jacob and said, “Oh Father, don’t you agree?”

Jacob shakily smiled at her, and sincerely said, “Yes, I do.”

He then turned to Peter, and asked, “Tell me have you had a chance to pick out
a chamber yet?”

Pursing his lips, Peter said, “In fact...I have! Mary knows the one, but that can
wait. I’ll be back Tuesday night for Mary’s meeting, and I will talk to you about
it then. Until then…goodnight everyone.”

As Peter turned to leave, Jacob hurriedly hobbled to his friend and said, “Thank
you for all you have done for my son today?”

Expelling an anxious breath, he shook his head, and said, “He may be your son,
but I love him too.”

Jacob looked humbly downward, and said, “Yes of course…I know you do
Peter.”

As he patted Peter on the back, he said, “Good night, and God’s speed.”

Warmly, Peter nodded and said, “You too Jacob.”

With an emotional tone, Mary dreamily noted, "Vincent seems to bind us all
together doesn’t he?”

Jacob turned to Mary and said, “Yes, I suppose he does.”

He then put his arm out for Mary to entwine, and asked, “May I walk you to
your chamber?”

Shyly, she put her arm through his, and answered, “Of course Father.”

Meanwhile, the flickering candlelight danced around Catherine’s reading room
alcove, with the light from the Tiffany lamp, illuminating the pages Vincent
read. His velvet voice carried her to another place, and as Catherine leaned her
head against Vincent’s shoulder, she closed her eyes and thought back on their
day. She felt so blessed to be sitting here with him now, safe and warm within
his embrace.

Catherine looked up at Vincent and thought he was so beautiful, and as she took
in a deep breath, he smelled so good, she was sure this must be Heaven.

Catherine listened a minute more, and then she thought this may be a good time
to tell him about the journal page she had found of Anna’s today. Inexplicably
she took the book from Vincent’s hands, and smiled sweetly at him.

Vincent lowered only his eyes, and looked questionably at his love, as he
inquired, “Catherine?”

Coyly, Catherine smiled, and snuggled closer still, as she said, “I want to tell
you about something very important I found today. I was just about to show
you, when you fell sick earlier today.”

Gently she asked,  “Do you remember I started telling you how I felt so much
love within these walls?”

In reply, Vincent said, “Yes I remember...you said you had a sense of Anna’s
love for me here.”

Catherine nodded as she rose from the couch they were sharing, and she walked
over to her chiffonier, and picked up the journal entry of Anna’s.

Attempting to present this treasure, as casually as she could, she said, “Vincent,
earlier today, after Samantha left, I went back to look at the desk. I wanted to
determine what type of a varnish I should pick up at the hardware store. Well,
when I pulled on the unlocked drawer, it came out of the desk.”

As Catherine held the page in her hands, she softly said, “And, I found this
taped on the bottom of it.”  

Catherine handed the page to Vincent, and said, “I am sure you will treasure
this. Here, it is yours.”

Vincent took the note, and shook his head in amazement, and asked, “Have you
read it?”

Catherine nodded and in reply said, “Yes I have."

Vincent returned to the lighting by the couch, and as he sat down, he read:

January 12th.  Thank you Dear God, for letting me find Vincent this day.
I walked the city streets tonight searching and looking for something!
It had even crossed my mind to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge.
Yes I felt that distraught and I felt that alone.  
I have had so much despair since I lost my baby,
and though the others have tried to help me and have tried to understand
what I was going through, nothing made a difference.
I missed my baby so much, and I didn’t think that anything
or anyone could help me find my way.
Then like a miracle, I heard a cry!  
A helpless cry and as I searched through the refuse, I found a baby!
He had been left inside the dumpster at St Vincent’s hospital.
As I scooped him up in my arms, I felt his helplessness and his pain,
and I knew that he needed me.
God, I don’t know why his Mother left him there,
I don’t know how she could’ve done that to this beautiful little boy,
not when I would’ve done anything to save my own.
Nevertheless, for whatever the reason, you led me to him.
Many say that I saved his life tonight by finding him,
but in truth God, he saved mine.
As I sit here within my chamber, and I watch him sleeping in my arms,
I feel my heart swell with love…so much love.
Already, I love him as if he were my own, and I named him Vincent…
in honor of the place he was found.
I shall cherish him, and love him for all of my days,
and I thank you for this miracle on this very sweet, bitter cold, cold night.
As he looked up from the words he had just read, with wonderment, he noted,
“Anna never once mentioned anything about my looking different.”

Catherine agreed, and said, “No, she never did.”

Vincent dreamily said, “It was as if she had not noticed, or that it did not
matter…”

Catherine softly said, “A mother’s love is absolute…besides…I can only
imagine  you must have been a beautiful baby.”

Thoughtfully Vincent answered, “The only depictions of me throughout my life
are by Elizabeth in the painted tunnels.”

Catherine smiled as she looked at Vincent, and said, “Yes, and you were such
an adorable little boy.”

Shyly, he looked downward and changed the subject as he said, “Anna sounds
as if she felt quite distraught the night she found me.”

Breathlessly, Catherine agreed, saying, “Yes, it sounds as if Anna needed you as
much as you needed her.”

He nodded, and said, “My birth mother leaving me there…then there was a
reason, there was a  purpose.”

Agreeing Catherine replied, “Anna admits finding you saved her life that night.”

Prolifically, Vincent added, “And she mine.”

He then looked down at the letter, and said, “This letter serves to cut a pain
from my heart, a pain I could not name until now. So many questions...so much
hidden shame...”

Vincent,  then started to sob so hard, it created a trembling though out his body.

Catherine bent down to take the letter from his hands, and she lovingly said,
“Don’t you see, you are not perceived by those of us who love you as different.
We do not see you, as you see yourself. The differences they simply don’t
matter.”

Even though she didn't agree with how he felt, she did understand what pained
him, and so Catherine laid her head against his heart, and cried along with him.

As Vincent smoothed her hair, Catherine looked up and said, “There is
something more I need to tell you.”

Looking into his questioning eyes, she said, “The other two drawers are locked,
and, I found the key."

With a hesitancy, Vincent asked, “Will you walk with me? I would like to go to
Anna’s desk.”

Vincent stood, and helped Catherine to her feet, and silently they walked to the
restoration chamber.

Vincent looked downward much of the way, and Catherine was quiet too, she
did not try to disrupt his private thoughts, and she allowed him his silent
moment.

As they stepped to the desk, Catherine lifted the key from the wooden box that
slid open in the middle. As she handed it to Vincent she explained, “I found this
taped beneath the desk. I don’t think anyone ever knew it was there. You may
be the first to look inside, since Anna herself had locked it.”

As he looked down at her, Vincent thoughtfully took the key from Catherine’s
hand, and turned to the desk. He knelt down in front of it, and slipped it into the
keyhole. As he turned it, he tripped the lock.

To be continued
Chapter Nine