16 - Remember Me

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I had to think rationally about this. What was I going to tell him?

Pacing my bedroom, my ideas went round and round like a circle and I genuinely did not know what to do. A part of me, a huge part of me wanted to warn him, tell him that his cousin would ruin it all. But if I did that then were would that leave me? Would I come to the Ashford estate? Would Uncle Johnny ever get his hands on this place? Would my home ever been on fire?

Having read my fair share of science fiction and time travel, knowledge taught me better not to interfere with it. But before then I thought it was all mere fiction, not real. The reality - I knew that Oscar was never going to make it in his real world and strangely enough I had the power the stop it.

But was this meant to be part of his destiny. What if this was written for him? He wasn't meant to live past twenty three.

I slammed my hands onto the table, the pain shooting up my palms into my shoulder blades. In rage I wanted to flip the table over, but the darn thing was so strong I kicked the bedpost. It shook a little, yet my anger wasn't over.

The last thing I wanted was to face him.

I had made sure that Dad was out and Ryder was at school. I took a deep, meaningful breath and wrote Oscar a note to meet me. Then all I could do was wait so I bided me time with eating a sandwich. I know it wasn't something I would have done when waiting around but I couldn't just fiddle with my thumbs.

As I munched the last of it, the walkie talkie made a screeching sound and my food nearly got stuck in my throat. I managed to choke it down before I got to the little device. My hands sweated from pressing the button

"You sound ill." He said. "Is everything all right?"

"I think it might be better if you came over to my side."

It was a flawless routine, even thought it was performed twice. Pulling him out was easy enough and as he stood fixing his suite I had an overwhelming urge to hug him and tell him it was all going to be ok. But I just sat at the edge of the bed and tried to breathe.

He placed his hand on my forehead.

"I'm not ill," I said, taking his hand from my face. "It's worse than that. It's about you, about what happens to this house."

He sat next to me, holding my hand tenderly listening as I unravelled. It just flowed out of me and my brain told me to stop talking, but my mouth was like a motor, never ending as I told him in detail of what I knew.

The worst part was his unmoving expression. A slight frown from his thin lips, but his eyes never left mine. But they held something, something I didn't expect – knowledge.

"Why do I have this feeling that you already know?"

He bit his lip, looking away. "Because I fear such events are already in motion. Victor has a gambling problem. And my father wants me to settle down, fairly soon to a girl who's more suited to my cousin." His eyes glistened, a tear forming. "I think this is my future and I should accept it."

I shot up and walked towards the centre of the bedroom. "How can you be so calm about this? No one knows if you've been killed. You go missing in 1860."

"Freya, please look at me."

I obeyed and his sad smile couldn't hide his tears.

"All men must die. My time would be sooner than expected." He placed his hands on my upper arm. "We shouldn't interfere with time and our fate."

Our fate. "I'm not ready to let you go." My voice broke in a horse whisper.

"If you love – care for me then you will ignore this knowledge of my fate and let it be."

"Love," I repeated. It sounded like foreign concept to me. I couldn't explain it. He said that word aloud, felt it echo our room like a chime. It was silly. Love? I barely knew him, yet our time spent together could not amount to measure. I touched his face, dry, delicate. "I can't let you do this."

"I hate to bid farewell. But I must know. Do you love me?"

A lump wouldn't budge in my throat. Oscar said those words which no man has ever uttered to me. He searched my eyes, down to my lips, settling there. My throat, parched like the Arabian Desert found his quenching lips. Lips locked, his taste upon my tongue, consuming passion. If feeling alive felt like this kiss then I was feeling something, sorrow when I pulled away, denying, shaking my head, tears free falling.

He drew my closer, her arms clutching my back, my face buried in his shirt. His rosewood and pine scent forever seeping into system. A drop fell on my forehead as he pulled away, wiping my cheeks with his thumbs, his forehead against mine, his tears becoming mine. I kissed him on his cheeks, kissing his tears and I held him close.

"You must be brave Freya Telford." He whispered in my ear. "If you don't then how will I be fearless?" He looked at my face. "You must forget all of this now and move on."

"Don't you dare say goodbye to me." My teeth gritted, clutching his hands. "I – I –"

"Say, I will be brave," he told me. "I will move on in life and never glance back. Promise me."

Reluctantly nodding, he kissed my lips, walking away, his hands leaving mine like ribbon drifting in the wind. Before opening the vault he touched the piano top. He didn't look back when he disappeared to his world.

Why didn't he look back? It stabbed my heart, triggering a ball of melancholy that I had bottled away. It daunted on me all the things that had happened since mum left.

My life was shit. I felt like shit.

Knees wobbling, I crawled to the vault and slammed it shut. Rage filled my rib cage and this room suffocated me. Bringing my knees to my chest, I heard a creak under my right foot, a loose floorboard near the piano.

Smearing my tears I smacked the heel of my boot on the edge and the other end flipped up. Peering down I pulled out a grimy tin box. Letters, stacked within the bow of a navy blue ribbon. It was my handwriting. He kept all of my letters.

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