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Musemuggers Challenge From Week 90: Option 4 --- Everyone list in the "option 4" titled comment and leave as many random phrases as they want. Everyone pick as many random phrases as they want and include them into their story. (The words used from the challenge are in bold and a list of the words and phrases used are located at the end of the story.)
Title: If You Looked Down, You Could See Forever
Words: 1,965
Author: Mylia ([ profile] not_from_stars)
Warnings: Maybe some language
Notes: This challenge was tough, but I enjoyed trying to use as many words or phrases as I could
Summary: Sometimes in life the answers you get are to questions you have forgotten to ask.

If You Looked Down You Could See Forever

"If You Looked Down You Could See Forever"

However great the darkness, one face had always managed to continuously stand out in her mind's eye. His face had always been her beacon of light when she would lie awake at night, wondering how she was going to make it through this world alone. The face that had long been her intangible mist of hope was now standing on her doorstep.

"Oh dear God," she whispered and she sank against the doorframe and felt the blood drain from her face.

"Hello, Ciaran," he said too calmly for her liking. "You might want to sit down. You look as if you've seen a ghost."

Without waiting for her permission to do so, he grasped her elbow firmly and directed her back down the hall of her house and say her on the couch. "Don't you dare move," he said as he turned and walked back down the hall. She heard the door shut and the click of the lock. Then she heard him return to the living room. He sat across from her and they just stared at each other for a few moments without saying a word.

"So," he finally said. "What's new in your life, Ciaran?"

He must be joking.

"Well," she said in a shaky voice. "It looks like a spectre from my past has suddenly wandered back into my life again." She took a deep breath. "I'm thinking that I would kind of like it if he would find his way back out of it."

He shook his head. "So not happening, Ciaran."

She sighed. "How did you find me, Keith? I was pretty sure I covered my tracks pretty well and left no sign of where I had gone."

He ran a hand through his hair. "It wasn't easy, I'll give you that." He smirked slightly. "However, I was very determined to find you."

Ciaran swallowed and clenched her hands at her sides. She was shaking. "Why were you so determined to find me? Why, after all of this time?"

"Because my heart is a pain in the ass and it wouldn't let me rest until I knew what had happened to you, or why you had disappeared."

Before Ciaran answered, a young girl came into the room. "Mom, I'm going to Carol's. I'll be back in an hour."

The heated look Keith gave her made her entire body turn into a pile of quivering leaves.

"All right, Donavan, behave yourself."

The girl gave Keith a cursory glance before kissing her mother's cheek. Once the door latched shut behind the girl, Keith glared at her. "Mom?"

Ciaran lifted her chin, fire showing in her eyes. "Yes. Donavan is my daughter."

"Our daughter."

"My daughter," Ciaran said again. "Donavan is my daughter."

Keith stood up and started pacing for a few moments. "You know, for years I waited and I wondered. I waited for any word from you. I sat back and waited, thinking that one day you would find your way home." He pinned her to the couch with a heated stare. "You never even sent a postcard to let me know you were alright, Ciaran."

"I didn't think it mattered to the two of you if I was doing well or not."

"That's not fair, Ciaran. I loved you. We both loved you."

"Then how come when I needed you, you didn't say a word in my defense? You just left me and my heart hanging out there and twisting in the wind." Her voice was rising. "You condemned me to loneliness and left me to sink deeper and deeper into the hell that my life and my mind was becoming." She stood up. "You made it perfectly clear how you felt so why in the hell should I have stayed around or let you know what was going on with me?"

"Were you pregnant with Donavan when you disappeared?!"

Ciaran considered lying but instead glared at him. "Would it have mattered?"

"Damn you! Whose is she?"

Ciaran sighed, looking down at her hands. She felt like she was one of those targets at a shooting range and the glares coming from Keith's eyes were the bullets tearing through her. "I have long dreaded this conversation," she finally said. "And I thought that I was prepared for it. Apparently, I'm not."

All of Keith's anger drained away as he took in Ciaran's pale face and shaking hands. He moved to sit beside her on the couch. "For the last several years, I have felt that my heart was always searching---but for what I didn't know." He sighed and reached out to take one of Ciaran's hands. "I guess I now know."

Ciaran had tears in her eyes as she looked at him.

"Does she belong to me or to Mark?" he asked her gently.

Ciaran shook her head slowly. "The only thing that I know for sure is that she belongs to me." She looked at him. "She's my heart's blood, Keith. Her security and happiness have always been the most important things to me. She keeps me living."

"Why didn't you tell us?"

She stood up and started pacing. "I was scared and I was confused. Mark and I had that huge fight and then you..." she hung her head and sighed. "You didn't say a word in my defense."

"That was wrong of me."

"I had just found out that morning that I was pregnant, and by that night I felt as if my entire world had been ripped apart. I sat alone in room afterwards, feeling like I was falling slowly, slowly into the most painful realm of Hell that could be conjured up." She swallowed hard. "When I didn't hear from either one of you for the next two weeks, I began striking out randomly, trying to plan my actions and decide what my next move was going to be."

Keith lowered his face into his hands and took a ragged breath. In all of his thoughts and planning about what had happened to her, this had been a scenario he had never imagined. "Why couldn't you have told either one of us?"

Ciaran stopped pacing and looked at him, desperately needing him to understand. "Mark was angry at me and you weren't speaking to me. I needed you guys to want me around because you wanted me. I was hoping the two of you loved me enough to need me to stay, too. It would have destroyed me if you guys just tolerated me being around because you felt responsible for the baby."

"Ciaran, both Mark and I bled for months after that night---especially after we had discovered you had vanished. We were very aware of what we had done to you and we were terrified..."

"...that I had disappeared and killed myself," she finished for him softly. She shook her head. "Oh, the thought crossed my mind more than once after that, but I couldn't do that to our child. You guys may not have wanted me, but I wasn't going to let my child suffer because of it. I was determined to make things better for the two of us. Oh, it's been a hard road, and a long journey, but I survived---we survived. I survive every damn day."

"Does she know?"

"About you and Mark?" She nodded. "Yes, she knows. It wouldn't have been fair to keep something that important away from her."

"Mark and I have searched for you for the last ten years."

"Then why didn't you ever call?"

Keith looked confused. "I beg your pardon? What do you mean?"

Ciaran walked over to her desk and rummaged in one of the drawers. She retrieved something and returned to stand in front of him, tossing something into his lap. "You never once tried to call me. Neither one of you did."

Keith felt as if he were placing his hands on cold stone as he picked up the cell phone she had tossed at him. It was the same exact cell phone that he and Mark had given to her a month before her disappearance. He looked up and watched Ciaran move away to the side of the couch. He stared into her sad blue eyes and watched as they turned darker than the ink in a bottle. She had always had very expressive eyes.

"I've kept it active all of these years," she whispered. "Just in case."

He didn't know what to say to that. It had never occurred to him or to Mark to dial that once familiar number. "Ciaran, I..."

"In a way I have kept my promise and I have been always with you." Ciaran sat back down across from him and she held out her hand. "There's never been anyone else, Keith. I have never looked to anyone else since I left the two of you. No other man could have managed to even begin to compare to the passion you always made me feel when I was with you."

Keith knew without a doubt that she was telling him the truth. When it came to emotions and to her feelings, Ciaran had always had one honest heart. "So what do we do now, Ciaran? Where do we go from here?"

Ciaran shook her head. "I wish I knew, Keith. However, the one thing I have learned is that life isn't something you can plan. You cannot draw real life on a canvas, and you can't write it out, either. It doesn't matter what artistic instruments you have, or what artistic license you try to use. Some can't plan for and you can't always write out the endings, either."

She had changed, he admitted. Before that last night, Ciaran would have believed she could create or maintain anything. He wasn't sure what to say when she took the logical approach. "What if I asked you to come back home?" He asked softly. "What if I asked you to come, to take both Mark and I back into your loving arms where we belong?"

She stared at him, her eyes sad. "I'd say that I didn't know if I could do that."

"Why not?"

"I love you too much, Keith. I don't know if I could take the chance of even a partial rejection again. How do I know you want me to come back because you love me, and not because you want to take responsibility for Donavan?" Ciaran looked at him, her eyes filling with tears again. "I was born to do this, born to love you, but I couldn't handle the thought that I was just excess baggage that you had to deal with in order for you to get to know the girl that could be your daughter. I couldn't live like that."

Keith was shocked that she would even think like that, but then realized that he couldn't blame her for her fears. "Ciaran, I came to find you to bring you home. I didn't know about Donavan when I started out on this mission. I just wanted to bring home the woman that I had never stopped loving. Finding out about Donavan, well that's just extra icing on the cake." He went to her and brushed a thumb over her cheek to wipe away a tear that had fallen. "I love you, Ciaran. I have never stopped loving you. Please...come home."

heart's blood; fire; passion; shooting range; loving arms; one honest heart; falling slowly, slowly; striking out randomly; searching - but for what?; a long journey; twisting in the wind; oh dear god; he must be joking; darker than the ink in a bottle; quivering leaves; lie awake; move away to the side; hands on cold stone; sink deeper and deeper; draw real life; find your way home; however great the darkness; born to do this; always with you; she held out her hand; if you looked down you could look forever


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Touched By Seshat

May 2007

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