Catherine was in a car, sitting on the passenger's seat. Mark was driving. The windows were open and the cool sea breeze was on their faces.
Mark's hand was on hers. "How are you feeling?"
Catherine looked at him before replying, "A little nervous, I guess. But I am not afraid…I'm ready." She squeezed his hand and Mark held her firmly in reply.
"Don't worry…Everything will be alright…They love us…" he tried to assure her.
"I love you, Mark…"
Mark smiled at her. "I love you, too."
It was the 40th day since the accident.
Sunshine was streaming through the blinds. Catherine was in her room still asleep. Though her eyes were still closed, it can be easily seen that they were swollen. The skin around them was dry and sore. She cried all night and refused to speak to her father.
Christopher didn't understand. He hadn't told her the last bit of information he has been keeping from her. But he decided to give her some space.
He was downstairs in the kitchen. He had showered early and was wearing a black polo and trousers. He sipped his coffee quietly and slowly. He was waiting for Catherine to wake up. They needed to go somewhere…to a place he also dreaded visiting. He didn't doubt that Martha was already there. After all, it was the 40th day.
And it has been the longest 40 days of his life.
As the last drop of his coffee went down his throat, he made up his mind. It was time. Catherine had to face it, now. He made his way up the stairs…his conversation with Josie playing in his mind.
"I guess we would be finally heading home, Josie," he slowly made his way to the door. Josie followed him outside, getting the message.
When they were slowly out of earshot, Christopher said, "Thank you very much again, Josie. You don't know how grateful I am for all the help you have given us. You don't even know us."
Josie shook her head, "You really don't have to thank me for anything, Christopher. It's my job," she joked. But her face took a more serious tone when she next spoke. "Well, I trust you wouldn't be keeping any secrets from her, would you?"
"Yes, I know. But how could I possibly tell her? A whole month has passed since it happened…I just can't. I want us to just forget about it. Start anew..."
Josie looked at him sympathetically. "Look, I realize your reasons for wanting to do so but I have to remind you. She has a right to know."
Christopher shook his head. "Even if it would break her heart?"
Josie didn't reply. They both knew the answer.
Yes…the words he was about to say to Catherine that day was surely going to break her heart. But there was no other way for her to find out. He didn't want her to know from other people. It would only double the pain for her. Besides, it was the 40th day…there wasn't a better time.
He was now standing in front of her door. He raised his hand to knock, but found out that he was incapable of doing so. Seconds and minutes passed. He suddenly realized that he was already hearing movement inside. Catherine was awake. He sighed.
Catherine showered just as her father had asked her to but she didn't feel the water as it ran down her body. Her tears were disguised and were washed away.
As she swept through her room to change, her eyes fell upon the pictures on the wall. And she remembered how Mark had called himself once.
"You don't have to thank me for anything. I'm your Batman…remember?" He had said, but she never fully understood. Now, as her eyes scanned the pictures, she did. She removed the picture from its place. In it, she was wearing a bunny costume beside a small boy who looked like Batman.
It was him…He had presented himself to her and she never realized. He was, indeed, her Batman, the one who always came to comfort her…save her…and hold her.
She dressed into dark clothes, again, just as her father had instructed her to do. She tied a black ribbon on her hair and looked at her reflection in the mirror one last time before heading to the door. The skin around her eyes still stung and she decided to put a little powder to hide the redness. But she couldn't do anything for her eyes.
Her eyes were the mirrors to her soul. She knew that she can never hide what she really felt inside. And so she didn't try.
"Let's go," Christopher led Catherine to the car.
A beautiful diamond ring was on her finger and it was the first thing that Christopher noticed but he didn't ask and pretended to not know.
It was a short ride. They went past the park and Martha's house. Neither of them spoke, for they both didn't know what to say. Catherine just stared out the window. She didn't know where they were going. But she didn't care. She didn't care if she died today…she didn't care.
The car stopped by a large gate, but Christopher didn't show any signs of climbing out. He started to speak.
"It is the 40th day after the accident."
For the first time, Catherine looked at him.
"You didn't run away alone, Catherine…You ran away with Mark…We told you that day that Martha and I planned to marry. You both didn't want us to get in the way of your relationship…so you ran away.
"You went to a small town on the coast. Mark had stolen some money from his mother. Martha didn't mind, just as long as it meant you were both safe. We both don't know what happened to you two there. Only you can ever tell us the answer. For some reason, you both decided to come back…and that was when it happened."
"I know why, Father…" Catherine replied. "I was pregnant…"
Christopher nodded a bit awkwardly. "The doctor wasn't able to save him…There was very little chance for his survival."
A tear slipped out of Catherine's eye. She didn't know what made her say it…She only understood now…That was what was in her dream not too long ago…She remembered clearly how lovingly and gently she had caressed her womb. How could she not have realized?
Christopher climbed out the car and went round to help her out. They both entered through the gate quietly. Catherine didn't want to look on the ground, on what was all around her…She recognized the place not because a memory had returned but because of the sight before her.
She saw Martha not too far away. She was on her knees staring at something before her. Catherine knew what it was. They reached her in a few moments. Catherine closed her eyes, refusing to look.
Martha stood on her feet. "It has been 40 days," she started. "Remember the saying?"
Christopher answered for her. "The soul of a person does not leave the earth entirely when a person dies. It lingers for 40 more days to finish whatever business it has left. Afterwards, it goes to the heavens where it would stay for all eternity…"
Catherine opened her eyes. The gravestone before her bore a name that she dreaded to see.
Mark Anthony Drew
"Our angel has gone from our midst but not from our hearts."
A statue of an angel stood beside it. It was in a kneeling position and its hands were forever clasped in prayer.
Catherine pulled something from her pocket, the very thing that Mark had given him. A small replica of what was before her. She clutched it tightly, knowing that it would always remind her of Mark.
Mark had always been right. He knew it all…He had planned it.
Slowly, Catherine raised her eyes to the skies. The sun was hidden behind clouds and a cold wind met them. Tears came and went with a silent prayer…A drop of rain came down on Catherine…
Somewhere Mark was watching her. The heavens cried with them.
Catherine didn't need memories to remind her of their love…She will forever wait for him…and Mark will forever wait for her…
"I'm the one who wants to be with you
Deep inside I hope you feel it too
Waited on a line of greens and blues
Just to be the next to be with you…"
Sorry guys...It has officially ended. Say your goodbyes to Catherine and Mark...Please don't kill me. Hahaha. I really want to say thank you to all those you reviewed. THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH...You guys inspired me to write more...I love you all. May God bless you. If you still have questions, just add them to your review and I'll edit this note to answer you.
MyStories---You won! I need a girl and boy's name...Give me your e-mail add and I'll tell you how you can help me...God bless you.
Euphorictragedy---I hope I have explained it well...
Mishca---You guessed it right. Mark was with her in the accident. They were driving home. We all have different interpretations of ghosts...I wouldn't call Mark a ghost...It gives him a creepy air. He's just a soul who was made to stay to finish what he left undone. He tried as much as he could.
La-balm---I'm going to read your story after my exams. I'm really just busy now. Guys pray for me! My exams are just around the corner! Thank you...
CookieMonsterLover---The last song is To Be With You by Mr. Big...Earlier in the story I used Anna Fegi's song Closer You And I...
Polka-Dotted Bee---You're right. Thanks for being such a good and faithful reviewer.
I love you all, guys. THANK YOU AGAIN. I hope you enjoyed this story, even though it had a rather sad ending...Okay, it was a sad ending...But's that's really how I planned it. If I changed it, you wouldn't have liked it. It could have turned into a more pointless cliche story. Well, it is...But it's mine and I haven't heard of a story like this. It's mine please don't copy it! Hahaha. Please pray for me guys...That's all. Thank you. God bless...