Josh sat up with a start, sweat drenching his body as he fought to keep his breathing under control, his stomach knotting, threatening to show its last meal. He gripped the wet sheets underneath him, and leaned his head back against the wall behind him, closing his eyes, only to be bombarded with the dream that had been plaguing him since Lydia's execution, and he gasped, shooting off his bed and fumbling towards the bathroom. He turned on the light and stumbled towards the sink, turning on the cold water and began splashing his face with the cool liquid.
After a few moments, his stomach finally settled enough that it wasn't threatening to come back up, and he turned off the water and gripped the edge of the sink, the droplets falling off his face and into the sink. Geez, would he ever get over this? He slapped his palm on the counter and growled, leaning back over, his mind full.
He'd retreated to his cabin the moment he regained consciousness. Gideon had warned against it, saying that he needed to be with other people until he was less emotional, but Josh wouldn't hear it, and had left anyway. He'd been there for almost a week, and every time he closed his eyes, the horrific images replayed through his mind.
He looked up in the cracked mirror hanging on the wall and stared at his sunken face. His eyes had dark circles underneath them, and his cheeks were beginning to look lean. He hadn't eaten since Lydia's execution, couldn't find an appetite.
He pushed himself off the counter and stalked back to his bedroom, looking at the ruffled bed for a moment, then decided against sleeping; it would only bring the nightmares back. He walked into the living room in his boxers and t-shirt and went at stood at the large bay window in the dining room area, and stood looking out at the snow covering the landscape. He didn't care that he didn't have a fire built, that the room temperature was a good fifty degrees at best. He only wrapped his arms around his chest and rubbed his arms, staring out at the first light appearing in the forest.
His mind wandered back to Lydia, the only place it wanted to be lately, and her last few days with him.
"God loves you so much more than I do." The words came to his mind unbidden, and he inhaled sharply through his nose, and grabbed his head with his right hand. That sentence especially had been plaguing him every day and every night. His throat constricted at her last words as the flames engulfed her.
"God, forgive them all!" Her scream echoed in his head, and he felt his throat constrict. Even as she was dying, she was loving others.
"Geez!" He shouted, slamming a palm against the window, the tears starting to flow down his face. He slid down the window until he reached the floor, and leaned his head against the pane of glass, his mind now miles away instead of the snowy landscape in front of him.
"Lydia, I miss you." He sobbed, the tears falling freely down his face, his whole body shaking with each breath. He ran his hand through his short hair, his other hand fisting at his side.
"God loves you so much more than I do." She'd loved him, and he loved her. Why the hell did her freaking God have to take her before they could ever show each other that love?
"Oh, Lydia." He moaned, closing his eyes as another hot torrent of tears fell down his face. He sat there for a long while, crying, remembering, talking to himself, and eventually reigning his emotions in. Every morning he'd woken up crying about her, and every morning he was able to gain control of his emotions and carry about his day, until another nightmare stole him from his false security of peace.
He thought back to her days in the prison cell, and suddenly a thought popped into his head. He had promised her something. What had he promised? His mind raced as he brought his head back up and away from the window. He sniffed, wiping the rest of the tears from his face, wracking his brain for the memory.
"Her dad!" He shouted, jumping to his feet. He'd promised to rescue her dad from the prison. His lips formed a thin line as he thought about it. It would be hard, but he might be able to pull it off, considering the soldiers didn't pay much heed to him anyway.
"Please promise me!" He heard Lydia's voice tight with tears say in his head, the last promise he had made to her.
"I promise you, Lydia." Josh said out loud in the empty cabin. "I promise you that I will get your father out of that prison, if it's the last thing I do."
AN- I can't believe it's done. I never thought I would see the day when the first book of 2034 would be done, and yet, here we are. I appreciate every one of you for sticking with me and reading this until the finish, and of course for all the amazing comments. I don't know where I would have been if it hadn't of been for all of your encouragement to keep it up, and of course for the things you had to say about the book. It all meant a lot to me.
As I have mentioned a few times, this is the first book in a set of three, so there is still more to come! Keep your eyes out for the next book called "Joshua, God is My Salvation", and I have already started writing the book! I will also be going back and tearing this book apart and editing it, so if anyone wants to BETA "Lydia", I would gladly take the help and listen to your advice.
God bless to you all, and I pray that He goes with you, and that you can all be strong as Lydia, standing firm in your faith.