It was the morning after her night in his gazebo. It was dark and rainy, but the weather outside did not compare to the storm raging in her mind. Kate was not thinking straight as she rode out into the woods. Her guilt and anger overpowered every other sensibility. She wanted to ride out as far as she could. She was not scared, she often rode during Indian monsoons which were far more fearsome than this one. And she wanted to escape the storm raging in her mind. Then, she heard Anthony call out after her, “Miss Sharma!” She was not ready to face him, or anyone else. So she kept riding on, trying to get as far away as possible.
Suddenly, lightning struck a nearby tree and loud thunder boomed. She instinctively knew, how to sooth her horse so it would not be afraid. But then she heard a frightened neigh and turned around in horror to see Anthony’s horse throwing him off and galloping away. Kate galloped back to where Anthony lay, repeating “No, No, No, No, No” over and over, as if that could change, what had just happened.
She dismounted and ran to Anthony. He was not moving. She tried to wake him by patting his cheeks, rubbing his hands, crying “Anthony, Stay with me!” She briefly saw him open his eyes and then pass out again. She was terrified! They were too far out in the woods in the middle of a storm. There was no help coming and she had to try to save him herself. She quickly tore open his riding jacket and shirt and put her ear on his chest to listen to his heart. She could not hear any heartbeats. She started chest compressions following the instructions she remembered from Dr Tossach’s procedure. She had learnt it for Edwina, for when she took her swimming in the river as a child. Anthony was still not responding so she started mouth to mouth resuscitation.
The last thing Anthony saw, as he slipped into darkness were her haunting eyes. He had seen those eyes, many times, over many lifetimes and his subconsciousness started recalling every time he had seen those eyes. Starting with this life, when he first saw her at the park, at the ball, when they argued, when they danced and last night when she looked into his eyes with love.
Then his subconscious went to earlier lifetimes. Different times, different places, different names, different cultures but her haunting eyes remained the same.
He was the Spanish scout for conquistadors who was captured by Incans as an offering to their gods. She was their high priestess who spared his life. He would have willingly sacrificed his life for her eyes.
He was the Crusader, who led the siege of Jerusalem. She was the Jewish beauty who laid a siege on his heart.
She was the queen of Egypt and he was the Roman general who defied his own country for her love and her haunting eyes.
He was the general of the Qin dynasty, building the Great Wall. She was the Mongol raider who always escaped on horseback, until he laid a trap for her. He surrendered himself to her once he stared into her eyes.
He was the Spartan warrior. She was the Persian commander who had captured him as her prisoner of war. He won her heart in the end.
There were countless other memories, of each lifetime they shared. He would always be drawn to her and she would always succumb to his love.
And then his earliest memory, in a time before history, when his people roamed hunting and gathering in the wild. She was his wife and they led a simple life. Until the day a sabre-tooth tiger attacked their tribe. She flung herself on the sabre-tooth’s path to save him. He killed the beast and retrieved her, barely clinging to life, staring into his eyes until she was no more. He refused to part with her body, even though the shaman said he had to. The shaman said “Your souls are entwined, she will be your wife in every life, do not cling on to dead remains. Let it burn, so her soul may have peace and she can ready herself for finding you again."
He remembered the pain he felt of losing her, that pain remained in every life when he lost her. She always died before him and he would follow soon after. The shaman’s voice echoed in his mind “You will always find her. She will be your wife in every life.”
“Anthony, you cannot leave me. You must come back” He heard her voice calling out to her. Then felt her lips on his as she blew air into him and her hands on his chest making it beat once more. Then, he felt her head on his chest, trying to listen for his heart. He couldn't stop himself from bringing his arms around, to hold her tightly in place. And he whispered in her ears “I could never leave you.” She looked up and he saw her haunting eyes again. She was overjoyed and started kissing him passionately.
Then almost immediately, her guard was up again. She struggled and freed herself. “No, this is all wrong” she muttered. Anthony tried to hold her hand, saying “Wait. Don't go.” She looked upset “Why did you come after me in a storm, when you cannot even control your horse?” Anthony smiled “You were always the better rider, hunter, warrior but I always won you over in the end.”
Kate didn't understand. She looked more worried and ran her hands over his head looking for bumps “What are you saying?” And then held up four fingers “How many?” Anthony took her hand and gently kissed each finger “Two sons and two daughters, Edmond, Miles, Charlotte and Mary. I would love more if you would agree.” Kate blushed and started staring at the ground, not willing to look up at him.
Rain had stopped and morning sunshine brought a beautiful rainbow. Anthony knew, he must declare his love to remove any doubts in her mind
“I love you. I've loved you from the moment, we raced each other in that park. I've loved you at every dance, on every walk, every time we've been together, and every time we've been apart.
In every lifetime before this and every life we will have after this one. You must know it, in your heart. You must feel it because I do. ”
Kate looked at him and said “I do not think there is anything to say, other than I love you too” and started kissing him passionately.
Kate and Anthony eloped to Gretna Green and returned as husband and wife to their surprised families and a shocked Ton. Anthony was not going to let gossip affect his wife, they had faced much harder struggles in their prior lives. Their families and the Ton eventually came around.
Kate and Anthony led a happy life, until the day came when Kate died. Anthony mourned her loss and knew his time would shortly end as well. He was determined to write his story, so that his future self would know what to do and not waste any time finding her again.
The viscount’s journals were published by his loving children in his memory. They were proud of the love their parents had and wanted to share it with the world. Over time, the stories faded, but the books remained desirable for collectors.
Tony Bridger found one such copy in a New York bookstore. The store owner vouched for its authenticity and Tony bought the book. He was a script writer currently working on a period drama, the journal would be valuable for his research.
He started reading it at the airport, as he waited for his flight to Los Angeles. He was fully hooked! He wondered, if people lived multiple lifetimes? If souls truly connected over those lifetimes? or was this all just the ramblings of an old widower grieving his wife. He was distracted, as he made his way to his seat in the airplane. He took out the book again and decided to take some notes during his long flight.
“Excuse me, I believe you are in my seat” he heard her voice. He looked up and saw those haunting eyes.