Chapter 17

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I wake in the middle of the night. The windows are still dark, so I know it is late. If Felix was awake, he would have told me how early, (or late) it is. He is finally getting sleep. It isn't that I did not trust him when he says he sleeps sometimes, but occasionally I got the thought of him only sleeping lightly or only hours at a time. Felix worries me that he thinks he needs to always be on his guard to save me. My wish is that someday he will have the same feeling of safety I have when I am with him.

I sit up from the bed and yawn. I had lain in the bed for at least ten minutes to see if I could go back to sleep. Of course I couldn't because I was too busy thinking about Felix. I smile and think that it is okay I laid in bed thinking about Felix. I know he has done the same thing about me; lying in bed watching me sleep.

As I stand, I feel a hand grab my arm. I turn around quickly t see Felix's hand where I was grabbed. "It's okay" I begin to say in a whisper.

"Where are you going?" he asks.

"I'm not sure, but I will be right back. I promise." I say. His grip loosens and his hand slides down my arm and lands on the bed. He is fast asleep; I think. I wait for a few seconds...yes he is sleeping. Otherwise he would have answered no if he were awake.

I slip on my silk robe and decide I need fresh air. As I fall silently out of the room and down the steps, not knowing where I will end up, I pass the parlor. Something I hadn't noticed before was two big windows on either side of the painting of Frances.

I walk into the parlor and lightly run my fingers across the piano as I did earlier. The moon from the windows makes the room a sort of blue color, and the white and black piano keys shine like water. They are so clean, so- they shine like water.

I turn my gaze on the window. I walk towards it, when reaching it I place a hand on the glass and stare at the veranda.

The view is absolutely breathtaking. The moon, like I said earlier, leaves an impression of blue. Beyond the gates and stone walkways, there is the water. The ocean, with its grandeur way of flowing melodically. I close my eyes, wanting only to hear the sound of the waves. But the window makes it very hard to hear anything.

I am tempted to go outside, but should I? If I were caught by anyone, what would they do? Oh gracious, I sound like a thirteen year old again when I wanted to play in mother's flower garden at night. I was always frightened I would get caught. But now, I can d anything I wanted. Couldn't I?

I open the door leading to the outside. When it opens, I feel a cool wind that makes me smile. Just what I needed; fresh air, I think to myself. I walk around to the back gate that leads to a set of steps that end up at the sand. I push it open, hearing a creaking noise from rusty old hinges.

I descend the steps faster then I ought to have, but the extra wind in my hair felt wonderful. The last step comes in a flash, and I find myself perched on the last step. What will sand feel like? I have forgotten since it has been years for my last visit to the beach.

One toe touches it and then the rest of my body finds the soft sand. I run my hands through it until my attention turns to the crashing noise of the water. I walk towards the ocean with such dignity I feel stupid because it is just water. But I haven't seen it or felt it in such a long time.

And just like with the sand, one toe touches the water. Actually, all five of my toes touch it. I laugh as it felt refreshing. I want t run back with a laugh...why is this familiar?

I look over in the distance and I see a woman standing with her hand over her heart. Her hair is being blown by wind that is not really there even though there is a slight breeze. I see the familiarity of her...who does she remind me of? Her head cocks to one side and I see her profile. Oh yes, mother! That is where I have seen her before!

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