And So It Will Be

Prologue

She walked into the darkly lit tent tentatively, her hand wrapped up protectively in the hand of the man she would never leave. She knew this. She would not leave, even if it killed her. But, there was a reason she and this man she would never leave had come out to the middle of the woods and into this darkly lit purple tent. It was to see the slight, black haired woman with a bandana around her head and large hoop earrings who was sitting on the floor on top of a mass of blankets in front of that dark blue table with the translucent sphere there in its cradle. She could feel her skin prickle at the sight of that little woman. The woman looked hardly more than fourteen, yet she knew that she must be older. She took a slight step forward, tugging on the hand of the man that she would never leave. He kept his grip firm, trying to keep her from moving forward anymore. He thought she was afraid. Silly boy, she thought, but that thought was tinged with love. She was not afraid of this fourteen-year-old-looking woman. She was fascinated and mesmerized. She wanted to see what was floating in that ball of hers sitting on that dark blue wood table. She wanted to hear what kind of voice would come out of that slight mouth from below those dark eyes, between those earring adorned ears.

"It is all right now," spoke the woman. The woman's voice was airy, yet incredibly hearty, and low, as if she hadn't spoken for some time. The girl standing with the man she would never leave took in a gasp, sensing that they were about to see what they came for. She squeezed her man's hand, trying to convey, silently, those exact thoughts. He misread her action though, and thought her to be afraid. He pulled her close to him, protectively wrapping her slight form in his torso. But she shook her head No, broke free from his grasp gently, and went to kneel on another blanket opposite the woman.

The woman stared at her from beneath a curtain of dark, rough hair. Her green eyes gleamed like gems. "You are Dahlia." How did she know her name?

"Yes," Dahlia breathed. Her heart rate picked up. How did this small woman know that?

"And you," the woman said, now staring at Dahlia's beloved. "You, my dear, are her destined partner. You are Sterling."

Dahlia heard Sterling gasp as well and knew that he was wondering just the same as she. How much more could this woman tell us?

Without looking away from the woman, Dahlia knew that Sterling came to sit by her, and, a moment later felt his warm, calloused hand slip into hers. She squeezed his and felt him squeeze back.

A moment later, Dahlia's eyes adjusted to the dark lighting in the tent. The only lighting came from a candle lamp in the back of the tent, hung from a small hook dangling from the iron bar holding the tent up. The shadows danced on the walls of the tarp, casting everything else in an eerie darkness. The lights flickered on the woman's face, making her features more mysterious, more intriguing. Neither Dahlia nor Sterling could look away for a long while.

The woman spoke again. "I know the reason for your coming."

Dahlia unconsciously moved her hand to her abdomen where a hard, defined bump was forming. The woman must have seen the movement; she smiled.

"That's right. I know why you came. You wish to know the futures available to you. I can't blame it. The future does lure the most curious minds." Her features softened for a moment, becoming regretful, sorrowful. "I would know almost more than anyone." Dahlia wondered about the meaning behind her sorrowful expression, but she didn't have the chance to analyze it, for the next moment, the expression was gone. Her face was once again mysterious and alluring.

"Firstly," said the woman. "I must give you a fair advantage. I know your names, naturally, but you know nothing of who I am. I am telling you now that my name is Keria. And that, my dears, is all you need to know.

"Now," said Keria. "Let us see what the future holds for you and your daughter."

So it's a girl, thought Dahlia. My beautiful baby girl.

Keria moved forward slightly so that her gnarled hands were now resting on the translucent globe sitting in the golden cradle.

Dahlia looked forward and saw her face framed in her black hair. Her blue eyes flashed back at her, betraying wonder, curiosity, and wildness. Those flashes have always been there, but now she began to wonder if her daughter would have those eyes. Or, would she have Sterling's? Those beautiful, steely gray-bluish eyes that ran chills down her spine. How much of herself would be reflected in her baby?

Her thoughts returned quickly to the sphere itself when Keria began to murmur words that were incoherent to her own ears and moved her fingers caressingly across the smooth surface of the sphere. Its contents began to swirl, and smoke over. It resembled a demonstration of how smoke fills your lung cavities more than it did a vision of the future; it seemed much too much filled with smoke to see anything clearly. But alas, the smoke was clearing, and there, in the center of the sphere, was the figure of a girl.

A girl with long, black hair. A girl with piercing steely gray, bluish eyes. Her baby, Leila. Dahlia's eyes suddenly overflowed with hot, salty tears. That was her girl? Hers? And Sterling's?

Sterling. What was Sterling thinking? Dahlia turned her head to the side and saw that Sterling was just as awestruck as she was. She knew that the same thought that was galloping at the fastest pace through her own mind was doing the same in his. That was their baby. That was their beautiful little miracle. She felt Sterling's hand come to slide into hers, making a flash of electricity flow through her veins and shock her heart. Color warmed her cheeks. Dahlia, even after what she had been through already with him, could not believe that he, her own treasure, was really hers; that he wanted to be here with her. But she was living it, her own disbelief, and she didn't want to miss a moment of it.

Which was exactly why they were there. Sterling and Dahlia both knew that to keep Leila, not get an abortion in other words, they would need to leave each other. Sterling couldn't provide for her, and Dahlia's parents could. Dahlia's parents didn't approve of Sterling, especially not now that he had gotten her pregnant. They were trapped with no loophole. The only other option was giving up Leila, which neither of them wanted to do. She already had both of them wrapped in her developing little fingers. She was theirs. Why would they want to give up what was undeniably theirs? Why would they want to give up the one thing that no one could possibly disagree was theirs? They loved her. She does not deserve to die before she had a chance to live.

And so they sat there across from Keria watching what was happening, what was going to happen, to their daughter in the crystal ball.