Harvest Moon


*This is just a part of a story I am trying to write. It's not edited yet. 

The moonlight shone upon the courtyard. Down below, I could hear the sound of laughter and music made by the villagers as they celebrated the harvest moon. I have no idea where Colt and Maia were. Perhaps Colt was among those laughing people, enjoying the festivities with his friends and Maia must be with Merlin, sharing all of our encounters in the Forest of Death. I traipsed silently around the yard, the hem of my dress trailing on the grass. It was so refreshing to be in clean clothes again, fully bathed and fed. It was even more wonderful to be in the Empress's hanging garden. I have always admired this place and I still couldn't quite figure out how the water from the River of Lethe could flow up without the use of magic (at least that's what Merlin told me) The flowers are now in full bloom. The stargazers and the hydrangeas shone in the moonlight and the trees emitted a faint silvery glow, once again confirming my suspicion that moonwisps could be inhabiting in their branches. 

I inhaled deeply, not being able to remember the last time I was in a garden as beautiful as this one.  I could smell the sweet scent of moonlace in the air.  Their aroma gave me some sense of serenity; comfort and relief as if I was at home, reminding me of happy thoughts and childhood memories. 

"You look beautiful, Chloe" a voice from behind me spoke. I tensed. It was a voice I dreaded to hear now that I am at my most vulnerable. My chest tightened as emotions flooded my gut.  I turned around and saw Jake standing under the tree, his face glistening in the moonlight.  He was wearing his usual tunic, a knife hanging on his side. He was smiling and I couldn't help but fall even more in this bottomless pit that I knew was my doom. "White does suit you."

I felt the blood rush to my face as he spoke. It felt so surreal. I never imagined him complimenting my looks. I stared at him, mesmerized at the smile he so rarely wear on his face and I knew that this was the moment I was waiting for. All of the unsaid words I kept bottled up inside me were screaming to get out all at once. I wanted to run and hug him but my foot kept me rooted to the ground where I was standing.

I smiled back at him, trying to find my voice and mustering up the courage to say the words  that I've been meaning to tell him for the past six months...but how could I tell him everything when words would not even suffice to describe how I feel.  I knew that I also had to steel myself; prepare my heart emotionally for the inevitable because for sure that the worst is yet to come. 

I know I should say it now or my chance will be forever lost. 
A tear rolled down my cheeks as I finally took the plunge. "If I am lovely Jake," I began "...then why don't you love me?"

The smile faded on his face as he tensed and avoided my eyes. There was a silence between us, broken only by the soft hooting of an owl perching on top of a distant tree. I did not know what to do and I just stared at him waiting for an answer that I did not really want to hear. 

"Why can't you love me Jake?" I cried in desperation, all dignity forgotten. 

Then he looked back at me again with that pained expression he always wore. His eyes tried to tell me something but I could not figure out whether it was pity, disgust or sadness and then he spoke and I knew his answer even before I heard his voice. I could feel every word shatter my body into a million pieces. 

"Because you are not her." 

I fell to the ground, feeling all of my life energy sucked out of me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to beg. I wanted to just float away and leave this pain that is slowly enveloping me. 
 And then he walked away , leaving me kneeling on the ground crying my heart out. I would have called his name but I knew it was a hopeless case. I knew it right from the start and I just refused to believe it.  Jake made his meaning clear. 

I am not her.

 I am not Kashme Defriss, the only woman he has ever loved...

...and he will never love me. 

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