A warm shiver made its way up her spine as she grasped the handle on the wooden chest, undecided as to the good of opening up the past. Again. It had been some time since the dreams haunted her and Kara even believed them to be done – that was, until last night. What triggered it, she knew not; only that its message was too clear to ignore this time. She heaved the heavy lid and sat back, waiting.
Many times in her life’s travels, she found the pathway before her blocked. It would be cluttered with feelings and obstacles she was unable to distinguish or determine or defeat. Decisions gone bad – there were too many to count so Kara just quit trying. She’d made a choice often regretting the results and would be unsure of how everything could go so wrong. Damien left her just because she believed she wasn’t ready to accept his proposal although being together felt right. It was like they were made for each other but met in the wrong place and time. She wasn’t ready to settle down and conform to society’s expectations of family, home, and two point five kids. She felt the compromise did her part to preserve the relationship as she relented and accepted the white picket fence and dog, all the while knowing, in the back of her mind, you can always sell the house and take the dog with you.
Three years was like a magical number – magical in the sense of black magic – because as it approached a three year mark in anything she did, she also knew it was only a matter of time before it failed. The negative vibes shook for weeks afterwards, relegating her to the confines of her apartment, her epic period piece movies and a block of comforting, albeit fattening, mint chocolate chip ice cream. The phone calls would go unanswered, text messages ignored, email jammed her inbox to the point of deletion and it would only be that inevitable knock on the door from a concerned close friend that would pull her from her self-inflicted ‘poor me’ mood. She’d pick herself up and go forth again to get another dead-end job, another go nowhere boyfriend, and an even more ill-fitting life. Three years. Just three more years to go.
The dreams brought her back to reality with a force she could not ignore – they overpowered her sleep with visions of success and positivity and well-being, so much so, she desperately wanted that reality. Rolled up in bed for days on end, she would revel in her new-found happiness, afraid to wake and face the world; she did not want to lose what she had even though she couldn’t even grasp it in her hands. He was daring yet dashing, so gentle – bold and loving. He’d hold her close and tell her all the things no one else ever did. Her life seemed so happy, but only in her dreams. Waking was like death – over and over. His voice finally told her with such conviction that her dreams could be real if she chose to make them so… She resisted, knowing her history. Three years… if she did not make a choice she knew he’d move on. Kara couldn’t risk losing him.
Inside the chest, there lay letters wrapped in tattered tissue paper, tied with faded ribbons. The words, however, warmed her heart as she read them over and over again. They were addressed to “My Dearest Love, Kara” and she traced his signature with her finger where he signed in dark ink, “Always, Diavolio…” His voice reminded her and echoed through her head, so loud she dropped the letters, startled by the sound as if he were right there beside her, pulling her to his chest, stroking her hair. In the satin wrapped pouch beneath the letters, was the solution to the three year curse he promised in his whispers to her nightly. She pulled the dagger from its leather sheath and drove it deep into her heart – no more three year disappointments because now his love would stay with her … forever.