HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT YOU? by LP
Chris rode up to the house, embers still burning; but nothing left of the house except for the stone foundation.
Chris jumped off his horse running for the burning frame, crying out for Sarah and Adam. Whirling and spinning around, hoping to find Sarah and Adam hiding in fear from the flames.
Buck ran over to his friend trying to comfort him from the inevitable news that his wife and son had perished inside the home.
Chris' soul felt empty. His whole life seemed so uncertain; how would he go on without his wife and son. Sarah was his heart and soul; his son Adam encompassed his whole world.
Chris looked up slowly, as if to follow their spirits to the more peaceful and tranquil place they would now call home. His eyes lingered on the somewhat parted clouds. He whispered, almost as if to offer a prayer in honor of their memory. He promised he would remember her and Adam, protecting their sacred bond.
Buck placed his hand on Chris' shoulder, squeezing it in a silent effort to grieve with his friend.
Chris wept and cried out "How will I live without you, Sarah my love?" Probably the first time Buck ever witnessed his friend in such despair...
“Mommy, Mommy look! Look down there! See? The otters are playing today. Can we climb down and see
closer? Please? Oh Please?” The little girl could hardly contain herself as she pleaded with her mother.
“No Munchkin. The rocks are too slippery, we might slip and fall in the water”, the woman tells her daughter as she gazes out over the ocean waters. She is standing at the edge of a cliff at Otter Cove, California.
Behind her is a large home made from giant rocks, wood and boulders, built to blend in with the natural surroundings at the cove. Facing the ocean, the front wall of the house is made of special glass windows. From the floor to the top of the second story, the windows were built to withstand any type of weather and provide one of the most beautiful views in the world. The main living area is located on the first floor behind the wall of glass. It’s open and large. No need to build a lot of rooms in a home like this. Just a few spacious rooms with the perfect decorating made it cozy and warm.
Directly above the main living area is the master bedroom. Smart. Building the two rooms most often used facing the ocean. Two large overstuffed chairs face the fireplace. A telescope faces out to toward the sky above the ocean. They would sit together in one of the overstuffed chairs, while he told her stories of the stars they had just looked at. She never knew if he was making up the stories, or if they really were the stories of mythology. She didn’t really care. His stories were wonderful and the sound of his voice would make her dream. There was a skylight above the bed for those perfectly clear nights, and not-so-perfect nights. Actually those stormy nights were better. She would always pretend she was afraid the skylight would break and he would pretend to protect her from the danger.
The kitchen window even faced the ocean. She would watch her daughter playing with the dog and laugh at their antics. There was protective fencing along the cliff edge. And she knew the dog would always protect her from any other danger. There’s a large fireplace located on the wall between the kitchen and the living room. On cold nights she and her daughter would make hot chocolate, curl up in the big wooden rocking chairs in front of the fireplace in the kitchen, tell stories and giggle.
The little girls’ room was located on the top floor at the back of the house. The rest of the bottom floor contained a utility room toward the back of the kitchen. There was a library and an office behind the stairway at the back of the main living area. The library contained several large comfortable chairs for reading and a large sofa. Lately, she found herself coming down more and more and sleeping on the sofa. She found it too lonely to be in the master bedroom. It had been a long time now. She wondered when she would be able to sleep a full night in the bedroom again.
“Mommy please can’t we climb down? Look, oh look there are even seals down there today!” The little girl sounded desperate now. She wanted so much to climb down and watch from up close.
“Munchkin, I told you, it’s too dangerous this time of year. You’ll just have to be satisfied watching from here. Go over there to your favorite rock and watch them play. We can only stay out for a little longer. It’s starting to get cold.”
The little girl went over to her special rock where she would sit and watch the otters play and make up stories to tell her mommy at night.
The woman looked down at the otters and the seals. The seals were bobbing up and down in the waves, and then they would dive down and bob up again. They were playing their own game of hide and seek with each other. Seals. All they ever do is play. She laughed lightly to herself. How ironic. As she continued to watch the seals at play she started remembering that day eight years ago. The day that changed her life forever.
She was standing in a cold dank, dark smelly room. She and her friend had been travelling and their last stop was Kauai before coming back to the mainland. They had decided to go hiking up at the end of the main road. They had read there were many places to hike, at different levels of difficulty, and many beautiful sights to see. Even caves! They had even heard that Captain Cook’s ship had recently been discovered by some island archaeologists. Maybe they would be lucky enough to be allowed to see it. Being very experienced hikers, they headed off on the toughest hike on the map. The hike that led to the ship.
After about four hours of hiking, they came to an area they couldn’t identify on the map. Being the adventurers they were, they flipped a coin and turned left. How lost could you get on this small island anyway? But they suddenly realized something was terribly wrong. Something didn’t feel right. As they turned to go back the way they came, three men stopped them with automatic weapons. They did not know what language they spoke, but the weapons answered their questions. They did as they were told and were taken to a sheltered area. They were separated.
It had been five days now. No one had hurt her, but she was terribly afraid. No one communicated with her. They just gave her some food and let her use the facility twice a day. She had no idea what happened to her friend. She heard a commotion outside. She looked out the window to see them carrying something large out of the sheltered area. Oh my God! It was her friend. He was dead.
Now she was truly afraid. She feared for her life. She walked around the room crying, pacing, and trying to think how to get out. But her fear and the shock of seeing her friend’s lifeless body wouldn’t let her think straight. She cried herself asleep on the floor curled up against the corner of the room.
Suddenly three men entered her room and quickly grabbed her. One placed his hand over her mouth. The other grabbed her arms and held her tight. It was dark and they were dressed and she couldn’t see who they were.
The third man looked into her eyes with a steel cold expression and very quietly said, “Navy SEALS miss. We’re here to get you out.”
She almost fainted. She thought this only happened in the movies. But then she thought being captured at gunpoint only happened in the movies. Your friend being killed by terrorists only happened in the movies. The men held her up and the third man again looked at her again.
“You must be quiet and you must be strong. We need your help to get you out. You must do exactly as I say at exactly the moment I say it. Do you understand?” He said it in such a commanding tone, she knew she had no choice.
She nodded. He motioned for the other men to let her go. They carefully let go of her, but were watchful just in case she faltered. She did not. The leader motioned for the men to cover the door.
“Stay right with me”, he said as he held his hand out for her.
She took his hand. He quickly looked back at her at the touch of her hand. Then he turned and went to the door. The four of them left the room quietly under the dark of night.
They made their way out of the area. As they approached the trail that would lead them down the side of the cliff to the ocean’s edge, two terrorists suddenly appeared from behind the trees. Shots were fired. The two SEALS shot back, while the leader took her down the cliff. It was dark and dangerous. This trail was dangerous in the daylight and only for very experienced hikers, but at night it was almost impossible. The SEAL seemed to know exactly where to step and she kept right in step behind him.
The firing continued and just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. Silence. Only the sound of the ocean and the slight breeze in the coolness of the night could be heard. It began to rain.
He held her still against the side of the cliff while he listened. His body was pressed tightly against hers, keeping her protected and out of sight. His dark clothing could not be seen. He looked at her. He looked at her hard. Her face, her hair, then he looked into her eyes. It frightened and excited her at the same time. This was a dangerous man. He didn’t move for a very long time. He never took his eyes from hers, yet she knew he could hear every little sound. All she could hear was her blood rushing through her veins and her heartbeat getting louder and louder. She was trying to breathe slowly, but her face was now pressed against his shoulder. His body was hard and strong. She felt the intensity of this man, each breath taking in his scent. She felt she would faint if they didn’t start moving again.
Without a sound, he took her hand and started moving down the side of the cliff again. They reached the bottom and moved along the beach, keeping to the rocky area. After a short while, the came to some caves and went in. She started to speak, but he motioned for her to stay quiet. They moved in and around three or four different caves. She couldn’t keep track, but he moved with such confidence, she knew this was familiar territory to him. She was so tired she just blindly followed him. Step after step it became hypnotic. She was too tired to think and really too tired to move, but she must keep moving.
When she awoke, she was covered in blankets. She opened her eyes, startled at what she saw. She had not been dreaming. She was in a cave. There was hot coffee on a small stove.
Suddenly the SEAL was standing in front of her with scuba equipment.
“Have you ever been diving before?”
“No”, she said.
“Well, looks like your gonna have a very quick lesson in diving. It’s the only way off this part of the island.”
“Aren’t there any tour boats around here?” she asked.
“No. They stop a few miles down. The water at this end gets pretty rough this time of year; too dangerous for tourist boats. Get some rest and some food. I’ll teach you how to use this equipment later, and we’ll head out after dark.”
“Food?” She looked around and found enough food for 10 campers for several weeks.
He laughed and said, “Well, you know, we like to eat. We keep supplies hidden in many areas, for emergencies. And if some other divers do accidentally find this place, they just think it’s the friendliness of the island.”
She tried to question him about her friend and why they were captured. He would only respond that he was under orders to find her and bring her out.
After she had eaten and rested some more, she looked around the cave. Straight above there was a large hole allowing the sunlight to pour through into the cave. The sunlight hit the water and in certain areas you could see the bottom. The water was so clear and beautiful. Deciding to step into the water, she discovered the bottom wasn’t as close as it looked. It was very deceiving. It looked to be about four or five feet deep when in reality it was more like twenty or thirty feet deep.
“Oops!” she exclaimed, embarrassed at the miscalculation.
“Well, I guess your ready for your diving lesson” he laughed.
He carefully went over instructions on how to clear the mask under water, how to breathe and how to clear the mouthpiece just in case they ran out of air and had to use the buddy system. He showed her how to clear her ears from the pressure of the water. They practiced in the cave diving down a few feet at a time, getting used to the equipment and breathing. When she was a little more comfortable, he took her just outside the cave area and around to the other side, where there were tunnels. They swam through the tunnels and he pointed out different fish to her. She had no idea the fish would be so brilliantly colored. It was as if a painter had come down and just gone crazy with his brushes and colors.
They came to a clearing within the tunnels. He stopped and turned and held his hand out to her. She took it, not knowing what he was doing. He pulled her slowly towards him then took her other hand in his. He brought them slowly together so they were facing each other as in a waltz, their bodies almost touching. His movements were slow and sensual allowing them to feel the natural erotic movements of the water. As he held her hands out to the sides, he let them float gently. The current of the water gave them a slight drifting movement. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to dream. They danced this unusual waltz. It was so intoxicating she didn’t want it to end.
She felt something soft moving along her back then move along her leg. She opened her eyes. He was staring at her, eyes twinkling, when she realized there was a family of small sharks, swimming around them. She started to move away, but he held her and looked into her eyes. She calmed immediately and realized they were not in danger.
They returned to the cave. She was exhilarated. She had never experienced anything like that before. He had removed his tanks while she was still reeling with the excitement. He helped her remove her tanks and laid them against a rock. Then he turned and removed her T-shirt. He placed his hand on her back and drew her to him and kissed her. He laid her back down on the dry blankets and made love until nightfall.
They left the cave that night, eight years ago. They were able to make it down the coast without any problems. The weather had held, so the water remained calm and it was easy for her to swim.
When she was safely in a room at the hotel, she thanked him. “No need to thank me ma’am, I don’t exist.” That became a running joke with them. He took her to many places and a new adventure each time. After every new adventure she would thank him and he would always respond the same way.
Standing there looking out she began to shiver. Not so much from the cold as from her fears. It had been so long since she last heard those words, and saw that smile that made her giddy every time.
“Come on Munchkin, let’s go in, it’s getting late”.
As she turned and held out her hand for her little girl, something caught the corner of her eye. Cindy turned and faced the house. Standing at the window watching her was James. He was home.
You step into the cryo-chamber. You sink into a smooth satiny nest, not
unlike that of a coffin. The lid is closed over your body and is locked
closed. The sound of the lock clicking shoots straight through to your
heart like an electric jolt. Your heart starts beating rapidly as you
realize there is no way out. You start to scream. “Wait! Someone has made
a mistake. This is wrong. I’m supposed to be on a fun ride! Let me out!
How can I get out? I’m not supposed to die! This is not supposed to be a
coffin! This is not real! Not death! Help me! Please! Where is Hicks?
Somebody help me!”
No one can hear you. Again, you find yourself screaming, “I can’t get out! Help! Please Help! I don’t know what to do!”
Soft, soothing music floods the chamber and fills your head with memories. The melodies are yours and yours alone. Remember, as a child, they would come to you in your dreams to calm and make you feel safe. No other living being in the world can hear these sounds. They are the most beautiful sounds one can imagine. Sinking deeper and deeper into the comfort of the music, your heartbeat settles into a slow relaxed rhythm. Waiting. Where’s Hicks? This is after all, the Hicks ride, isn’t it? Something is wrong. I ’ve never felt this way before. I’ve never felt such peace and calm in my life. How can this be? There’s a slight rumbling beneath you. The rumbling gradually increases; but it feels disconnected; somewhere else maybe and you remain within the calmness of your music. You begin to feel as though you are floating on a soft breeze.
Suddenly and without any warning, your body is gyrating rapidly. So rapidly you begin to lose consciousness. You cannot open your eyes, yet in your mind’s eye, you see fire all around you. Hot burning fire engulfs you, then suddenly lights, flashing bright colorful lights, flying past you, flirting, toying with you, dancing lightly over your body. Laughter overtakes you. You slide across Saturn’s icy rings. This is wonderful! Your mind sings with ecstasy! Flying through the outer regions of the sky you skirt past Neptune and Pluto. Darting in and out and around the comets of the Oort Cloud, the chamber adjusts its velocity and takes you smoothly yet with great exhilaration safely into the outer regions of space.
The feeling now is slow and rhythmic; your mind begins to wanderÖcould it be over? The chamber turns quickly and heads toward The Horsehead Nebula. As you skip off Betelgeuse, like a rock skipping water, you fly through the Nebula at unbelievable speed. Faster and faster you begin to laugh like you ’ve never laughed before. The colors are so beautiful they seem to explode in your mind. The music has changed. It has a sensuous beat. The blues, greens, purples, all the colors of the rainbow, more beautiful than ever imagined on Earth. Your thoughts; wonderment, fear, music, love, all moving like a tornado through your mind. Your heart is beating quickly, pulsating to the rapidly changing music. You feel as though you’re being lifted higher and higher, faster and faster, spinning until you’re out of control.
Earth. Oh sweet beautiful Earth. Why must we destroy it? You turn and start moving back towards the Pleides, the diamonds in the sky. Your eyes open ever so slightly as you gaze at the beautiful vision so close to you now. Closer than ever before imagined.
As you approach the Pleides, your heartbeat slows. Your skin feels as though water has entered the chamber. Soft, smooth sensual water. It slowly seeps in filling the chamber. The water feels like warm hands caressing your body. It soothes and makes your heart flutter. It overwhelms you. You cannot tell where you skin ends and the water begins. There is a delicious scent. It makes your head spin with wonderful dizziness. You begin to enter a black hole. It’s so peaceful and quiet. This must be what heaven is like. And then you know.
Hicks was always here.