"The morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness."
William Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST
A thunderous applause rose from the people congregated in the auditorium. The graduation ceremonies were going very smooth. Ambrose had finally graduated.
Ambrose stepped up to the podium, took the diploma from the distinguished gentleman, shook hands with him, then moved off the stage. A grin adorned his face as he walked.
As he walked off the stage, several of his friends came up to congratulate him. Patty stepped through the throng of people and kissed Ambrose on the cheek.
"There were times when I felt I might never get this," said Ambrose, holding his diploma aloft.
"I never had any doubt," said Patty as she hooked her arm in Ambroses'.
"So, Mrs. Stewart, I assume that you're properly proud of your husbands' accomplishment?" Madam Savna was standing next to Patty.
"Well, of course," remarked Patty. "What type of wife would I be if I wasn't?"
Ambrose and Patty had been married just over a month. Ambrose was happier than he'd ever been in his life. And Patty never felt alone. They had a special bond between them. More than love; Patty knew things about Ambrose that few wives ever learn about their husbands.
After his fight with Amaryllis, Ambrose had returned to Madam Savna and told her the entire story. He had to tell someone about what had occurred and he felt that he could trust Madam Savna.
Ambrose had resisted using his powers except in situations where he felt it was absolutely necessary. One such situation was breaking his ties with Peter Stewarts' family.
He had thought long and hard about the decision. In the end, he decided that they should be allowed to bury him. He had also given much consideration to how he would accomplish it.
He had been able to locate a body about his size. An unfortunate wino had died of exposure in Dallas. After reading the mans' mind to make sure there would be no relatives to mourn for the poor drunk, he had used his powers to change the body into an exact replica of his. Then, he preserved the body until the right moment.
That moment had come soon after. A fire had broken out in one of the large office buildings in downtown Dallas. Several people were trapped inside and the fire department was incapable of getting them out.
Ambrose knew he could get those people out without much risk to himself. He made it very conspicuous that he was rescuing the people. He was able to bring out all seven people, and was witnessed by dozens of onlookers. Then he simply caused a section of the building to appear to collapse on him. He teleported the remade body into the building and got out with only minimal injuries to himself.
Peter Stewart died a hero. He saved many lives and was buried with great honor. Ambrose Stewart quietly entered the University of North Texas as a Freshman the following week. He had reformed his image and taken back his true form. This made it appear that he and Patty were about the same age.
In the past four years, he had thought about Amaryllis many times. But it wasn't the evil, distorted creature that he had tracked for so many centuries. It was the sweet, loving girl he had grown up with.
He had returned to the cavern shortly after his talk with Patty. Using his now reduced power, he had pulled the memories from her mind.
It helped to explain a lot of things. Although his amnesia had blocked her attempts to locate him, she had eventually broken through. When he had gone to Walter Johannson, she had known.
She had hoped to keep him in his state of amnesia for as long as possible. So she had killed Walter, hoping to thwart Ambroses' attempts to restore his memory.
The book had been only the beginning of Walters' information for Ambrose. Walter had discovered who Amaryllis was and suspected who Ambrose, under the guise of Peter, was. That had been the reason for his call to Peter. But Amaryllis had gotten there first.
He had finally decided on his major. World History. As a teacher in World History, he was able to describe many events from a different perspective than any other teacher. He had lived through most of them and was able to describe, in great detail and from memory, things that other teachers could only relate from books.
Patty had already graduated. Ambrose had to begin from scratch, which put him about six months behind her. As yet, they hadn't decided where to make their home. Ambrose was teaching at a local high school, but they were still discussing where to make their permanent home.
Sometimes, on cloudless nights, Ambrose would walk outside staring up into the heavens. His mind would wander over the events of his life. He would then imagine what life would be like in years to come.
Although he was no longer immortal, he wasn't aging as rapidly as other people. He had been able to slow down Patty's aging as well, so they would grow old together.
He would smile, return home, and give his wife a kiss. She would ask what the kiss was for, and he would simply respond, "just for being you." Eventually, she stopped asking and would just kiss him back.