Saturday, September 4, 2010

0 1.13 Reunite

"I really missed you."

And he wrapped his arms around her.

Feeling the warmth of his body just melts all her worries that she had been having since the previous night. She really needed the hug. She really needed to feel that everything was okay. And that nothing about Connor would break her heart to bits.

"There is something I've been meaning to tell you," he said.

Ashton felt her heart skipped a beat. Had Cyclone actually told him what had happened? Even so, she wished none of her negative speculations about what lies behind the truth were right. She braced herself to what she's about to hear.

It can't be that bad, she thought. Connor is acting normal.

"Okay," she said. It was the cue Connor was waiting for before he could continue.

"I've been in love with you... for a long time, Ashton," he confessed. "Since the day I saw you on the ship."

"What ship?" as if she didn't know what ship he was talking about, but she just had to be sure. It can't be Thelma Aria.

"Thelma Aria," he told her as though she had no recollection of the past. She was a little shocked to actually know he was actually on the ship too. "Four years ago..."

"But... I don't remember we've met..." she frowned. Not at him but at the fact that there were no survivors of Thelma by the last name Frio. "Or did we?"

"No, cause I... Uh, I was a stowaway," he was a little hesitant to explain. "My mother got on the cruise with her new boyfriend, and... He wasn't much of a noble character. - I was worried, so I snucked in the cargo."

"I would have said hi to you," he went on. "But I was scared to get into the crowds. I wouldn't know what would have happened if my mother had seen me on board."

"But... how did you survived the storm?" she asked curiously. If his mother had the last name Frio, then it was an unfortunate experience for Connor to lose his family too.

But then, it was new to her to actually meet another survivor (make that unlisted survivor), it was one thing to be a stowaway, but it was another thing to get rescued from the raging sea.

"The same way you did," he replied with a puzzled look. Had Ashton forgot?

Ashton had a blank expression, "I don't actually remember how I was rescued... I only remembered waking up in the hospital."

"It's okay," he whispered in assurance. Knowing how it must have been a traumatic experience for her. "You don't have to."

They were silent for a moment as they lovingly gazed into each others eyes. The feeling of finally meeting each other after a distant memory was beyond words.

The truth seemed nothing compared to how they felt like they were meant for each other. Knowing how he was already into her for such a long time was the most beautiful thing she had ever known.

But as breath taking as it may be, Ashton still had something bothering her mind.

"Are you sure we never met before this?" she looked at him questioningly. Connor seem to be holding back on something, as if to protect her from knowing the whole story. "Cause I had been having this feeling that I've known you way before this...

There's just something about you I can't describe. You're disturbingly familiar to me, Connor."

"Well, like I mentioned," he smiled. Seems like there is no hiding anymore. "We were saved the same way. - Thanks to this little friend here."

Connor pointed at her shoulder.

"What friend?" at first, Ashton wouldn't have guessed that he was pointing at Vingcanti. Not until she saw that he was looking straight above her shoulder. At the fluttering being that had been floating by her side ever since the tragedy.

"You can see Vingcanti?!" she exclaimed. "Nobody could see it! How on earth could..." She turned speechless.

"It appeared to me during the storm," he explained. "And it led me to you. - But by the time I saw you, you were already knocked overboard. I thought I was crazy when I jumped to catch you."

"And?" she was getting anxious. Was this how it all happened? Vingcanti didn't appear to her first, but to Connor?

"Apparently, all those who did survived were the ones that had jumped or fell overboard," he reasoned. "It was unfortunate for the hundreds that were trapped in the ship... they sank with it."

"You and I were drifting for awhile on the surface," he continued. "Plus we were quite far from the perimeter, and the rescue team almost missed us. - They finally saw us when this little friend beamed like a flare."

"So... that's how we survived?" she questioned the obvious.

It was all too surreal for her. She had never remembered anything after the storm and to finally hear it from someone who was there with her during the worst of times, filled her with so much joy.

"Yes, Ashton," he reached out to hold her close to him. "That's how we met."

She wanted to cry for joy, but she had enough tears shed for the tragedy. This was the first time she was ever happy about the pieces of memory that was missing from her dark past.

"Oh, Connor, you're my hero!" Ashton leaped into his arms. "I love you!"

"I love you too," he replied to her lovingly, though caught by surprise by her sudden action. "I love you very much."

Ashton find herself giggling like a little girl. She liked what she heard. She like that it was real and heartfelt. Connor was like the biggest missing piece to the puzzle that she can never complete without. And now that everything had fall into place, she felt whole again.

"Hello, little buddy," Connor whispered. He finally could greet Vingcanti after all these years. "It's good to know you're always there for her."

"Thank you," Connor said again. Ashton just held him tighter, gushed in bliss.

Vingcanti glowed. Answering him in a rhythmic brightness.

It was happy to see them both together again.

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