A Story In Time, New Year’s Wishes. PART THREE>

Everyone in their life falls in love.  Whether it’s once, twice, three times, early in life, late in life, at the very last moment.  For John, John had been in love with Lily since they were little brats.  And even though Lily had acted tough all throughout their childhood, she had become weak very quickly by the time it came down to it.

They’d started dating before she’d gotten worse, so it wasn’t until later that he’d learnt about it. And there’d been so much pain in so little time.  But in the end, John couldn’t give Lily up.

Now he sat next to her in the hospital room.  She was quietly dozing.  Not long ago, not many hours ago before, she had been angry with him.  It was probably his fault that she was here.  No, not probably, definitely.

Aeon watched this scene impartially.  She realised early on that she should have felt sad.  But somehow, seeing spirits every hour handed to her by the Lady of Death, it was hard to be sensitive.  Death was natural.  Sickness was natural.  But still, seeing the process was a surprise for Aeon.

Aeon couldn’t remember the last time she had experienced this feeling.  Sympathy was it?  Indeed it was the Lord of the Earth who always visited her, when he was not looking after his realm, and who told her, most often crying, about the stories of many of the people whose souls he had passed to the Lady of Death to take away.

And then the Lady of Death would come and complain to her sometimes complaining about how the Waverers (souls that were not ready to move on and hung about life until a medium or an exorcist finally got rid of them) were the worst.  It was the Lady of Death who haunted those that haunted others and gave them just one other reason to move on.

But Aeon had always stayed in her throne room in her realm not really going anywhere, not really coming into contact with any humans.  Just souls.  If she was only in contact with souls, souls that by the time they had come to her were like unborn foetuses, then, how would she know the pain that humans felt in parting?

This had been Lord Earth’s reasoning.  Even Lady Death’s.  But for Aeon, she hadn’t come here on their suggestion.  Their reasons had been well placed, but she hadn’t come here for them.  She had come for her own selfish reasons leaving behind the throne, knowing that Hour Glass would be fine for the short time she was on Earth.  Both Earth and Death had been charged temporarily to turn the time.

John stayed beside his precious Lily.  Aeon watched by his side day and night for three nights.  Aeon learnt that Lily, despite looking well, had actually still been very sick.  The day Aeon had met John, she had been having one of her better days, who would have thought it would only last briefly?

Although John was primarily watching over Lily, he also had shifts with her parents and siblings.  But mostly, even though he was just a “boyfriend”, he stayed by her side most of the time.

It was during one of his breathers that Aeon spoke to him again for the first time in a long time.

“What is it that you love about that girl?”  She asked him.  He had taken out a cigarette and started smoking.  “Why are you smoking?”

“Lily is brave.”  He puffed out smoke. “Because…I want to smoke.” He coughed.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she reached forward and plucked the cigarette out of his hand.  He looked at her in surprise but he didn’t have to words to speak.

Ignoring him, Aeon put the cigarette to her lips and inhaled.  It was though her body had done this before.   Many, many years ago she had inhaled tobacco and she revelled in what her body now could not handle.

She coughed and coughed until all the smoke was expelled from her lungs.  “This is foul.  I cannot understand how you handle it.  You do not seem like a person who smokes.”

“I don’t usually.  Usually, I prefer not to,” he said slowly.  His eyes were wide as he watched Aeon.

Aeon passed the cigarette back to John.  He took it, still he was stunned. “But you still smoke.”  She paused, thinking, then looked at him.  “Only when Lily is in the hospital.”

“What are you implying?”  He asked.

“It stresses you out that much?”

He shrugged.  “What would you know?  You’re just a ‘Time Lady’.  Non-human.”

“SO you acknowledge my status, do you?” Even though Aeon had been out of touch with reality for so long, she still had an understanding.  “Isn’t she the one you love the most?”

“She is,” he admitted.  Then he looked at Aeon carefully.  “Time Lady huh.  You really must be.”

Aeon said nothing.  It was indeed a little insulting to be mistaken for a soul or a Waverer.  But she could hardly expect him to believe she was a god-like figure, such as though ancient Greek gods.

“Like I said before, what else can I be?”

He pursed his lips.  “What can you do?”

“Huh?”

“I asked…what can you do?”

“This is the first time you’ve asked.”

“It’s the first time I’m willing to believe.”

Aeon stepped close to him, as she did, she began to glow.  Her gold glow fell on him.  “I read time, turn time, count time, endlessly.  I take the souls to be reborn and I give them to the sands of time.  This is my job.”

He didn’t look at her when he asked.  But Aeon was not a fool.  She knew what he wanted to ask before he asked her.  But yet she still waited for him to ask.  She couldn’t refuse if there was nothing to refuse.  No matter how much it would hurt.

Finally he looked at her, and said, “Can you save my Lily?”

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