Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin
The flow of worldly thoughts and needs came through Terra’s mind in a steady stream. As she searched she felt an urge to linger over certain thoughts and inclinations; she found herself intrigued with the sensation of falling in love. As she realized the pattern that accompanied love, the memory of her first touch with Liam was drawn into the forefront of her recollections. When their hands had met a certain tremor akin to a living vibration had emanated from their connection. Terra had no explanation for this occurrence, yet her mind kept drawing her attention back to that moment, as though there was more she should glean from this odd experience.
Terra’s mental wanderings had led her full circle to reinterpret her meeting with the unusual individual who seemed so intent on getting to know her. Liam’s first informational session had not gone as Terra had planned, although she could claim some success: she had explained many aspects of the transition to Liam. Conversely, he had awakened more questions and sensations in Terra that she had not previously been aware of. Brand-new charges were usually a bit docile; not Liam. Terra had never had a charge that seemed to be so drawn to her; and for some inexplicable reason, she was just as drawn to him.
After their first session had ended, when Liam had gone for the day, Terra was left alone. This was noteworthy because, in all of her existence, she had never experienced what it was to feel alone. Of course, with the thoughts of her charges always interspersed with her own, she never really experienced true silence, but this version of alone was a different experience altogether. With Liam, being separated suddenly felt as though something that she valued and needed in order to be complete had been removed. It was quite some time after Liam had left before she could acknowledge that his absence was the feeling of alone and that it felt foreign and uncomfortable.
Now that a second meeting with Liam was imminent, Terra was determined to be objective. For a few moments, she even convinced herself that she could go on with the work that she was meant to do normally. It was then that Liam drew closer to her, and she once again experienced the strange sense of attraction, as though she longed to propel herself towards him and hold on for dear life.
“Welcome back Liam.” Terra heard her own voice take on a tone that she did not recognize.
“Good Morning Terra.” As Liam said her name, he smiled; a warm expression that seemed to radiate from him in a gesture of welcoming. He approached her as he spoke, and the allure intensified.
“You are looking radiant as usual,” he commented. Terra grasped her seat with one hand to steady her resolve. She was determined that she would not waiver.
“Err, thank you. Have you been reflecting on the matters we discussed when we last met?” she asked. She forced her mind to do a quick check on the inner-monologues of her other charges to keep it all balanced.
“Let’s see. We talked about how I will be sent to Earth on some sort of mission that I will not recall, but not to worry because you will be stacking the deck in my favor, and that I will probably never encounter you again once I live out my life with some degree of success.” Liam’s tone sounded strange to Terra. She stood and walked to the window in an attempt to break the spell of the awkwardness she felt in his proximity.
“Yes, I see that you have understood the basics. If you don’t have any questions, then we’re ready to move forward.” She tried to keep her response professional and curt.
“I do have a question,” stated Liam. “Will you come with me to Earth?”
Terra had no way to prepare for that kind of question.
“I’m afraid that is just not how things work,” she answered. “I was never intended to be born into a mortal world. It’s quite possible that it would not work at all. Even if I could make it through the transition, there are other concerns that have to be considered.”
Liam smirked slightly as if he intended to cover up his disappointment with Terra’s response. “Don’t you think that you could better guide me if you were there in person, taking an active role in my fate on Earth?”
Terra pictured the arrangement that Liam was describing. She could not deny that it was appealing. She could easily envision them walking together along the shores of an ocean, appreciating the beauty of Halle’s art as they strolled in the porcelain white sand. They could take on whatever Liam’s purpose would be directly and together. He would not have to feel alone in the world because he would always have her, and know that she was there especially for him. Terra would not have to keep him at arm’s length. It was a lovely image that she could not afford to entertain, and dispelled as quickly as she could. She realized that she needed to keep her distance.
“You are not seeing the danger in that request.” Terra tried to quash the appeal by keeping herself rational and in the moment. “On Earth, I would not be able to see your situation with as much perspective and objectivity. I would be helpless and powerless there, if I could survive the transition at all. There is a good chance that a guide attempting to become mortal would be destroyed during the process.”
“I would never want any of those things for you Terra. I’m sorry that I brought it up.” Liam’s voice was solemn.
“Don’t be. You had no way of knowing these things. I know you meant well,” she answered.
“So our time here in The Tweens will have to be sufficient to prepare me for the world. I’ll have to accept that.”
Terra knew the truth of his words, but strangely they felt like rejection, and instantly she felt a need to resist. However she spoke the truth, even as part of her wanted to deny it.
“You will be prepared; I will make sure of that. You won’t need me physically because I’ll be there with you every step along the way. I will hear your every thought and your every need. Every success you have, I will celebrate; and every hardship I will bear with you. You have to believe that I will not abandon you.” Her words sounded like a plea.
“I’m sure that you will be there for me. I believe you, and I trust you to do your best for me, but I think that I’ll feel your absence,” said Liam.
“You won’t. It doesn’t work like that. You won’t even remember that I exist. If I am successful, some of my training will come through and help you to be more in tune with your purpose, but as for detailed memories of your time here, your mortal mind won’t be able to process them.” Terra felt a pang of sadness when she reminded Liam that he would not remember her, which made no sense. What was he but one charge out of many?
Terra moved across the room and peered into her portal with the intention of adding some physical distance between them, but Liam approached with a kind expression on his perfect features. He positioned himself squarely in front of her as she turned to regard him, and placed his hand lightly on her arm as he gazed into her eyes with a look of resolve.
“You may rest assured that I would know you in any plane of existence, Terra. I know that you don’t believe me, but every fiber of my being tells me that I will never erase you from my existence. You are indelibly etched upon my memory.” As he spoke, Liam’s arms encircled her, and she felt herself completely lose her resistance. His inner light co-mingled with hers as they held one another. In the most sensual gesture she had ever allowed herself to encounter, he carefully smoothed an errant strand of fine blond hair from her forehead. His fingers traced her high cheek bones and followed the delicate curve of her jaw to her refined chin. There his fingers rested as they drew her lips to his, and she lost herself in his kisses.
Over the next few days, Terra found that she looked forward to her preparations with Liam much more than she did with other charges. In fact, she was having a hard time dividing her focus equitably. This worried her; she began to question whether she could be objective with Liam. The truth was, she could not regard him in the same manner she regarded her other charges because, on a basic level, she would have been content to spend the majority of her existence exploring this new attraction. She knew that it was time to walk away, that she should request Liam be assigned a new guide. That way, her whole attention could be returned to her very deserving group of charges, who all needed her just as much as Liam.
Terra rejected the concept with every fiber of her being. She would just have to make it work somehow. Besides, Liam would be moving on to his mortal placement soon enough, and then her existence would go on as it always had.
To Liam, the attraction towards Terra seemed so much more natural and more permissible because he had never known another way. Terra was entering a whole new world that left her mind in a constant state of flux. On the one hand, she was elated. Liam’s every touch, glance, and comment captured her undivided attention. On the other hand, she was horrified by her own distractibility. When Liam was not in her presence, it was incredibly difficult not to give herself-permission to think about what he might mean to her and why he was so different.
Before Liam was a distraction, Terra had been glad to focus her entire attention on her job and its transcendental consequences. Somehow her new perception of Liam altered that at a fundamental level. She could not completely shift her focus from this intense sense of attraction that she had for him. This was especially unnatural because her innate purpose as a guide was selfless giving and to provide help for others. When she was in Liam’s presence, she had to believe that her sense of attraction was a positive thing. It encompassed her and helped her to understand mortal emotions that she had only observed in the past. When Liam was away from Terra, she had major trepidations about the appropriateness of their relationship. In truth, she could barely keep her mind off of him. Everything changed with him. Everything about the way the system worked was irrevocably altered, and no one seemed to notice but Terra.
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