When Sarah's mother, Cindy gives her an age-old book that once belonged to Sarah's grandmother, she had no idea that someday, they would learn of the Legend of Adelaine Alandrali that was eternally trapped between the pages of Passage Of Time, and their bookstore, Fine Books.
Can Sarah alter her fate before time runs out?
Or, was it all destined to end exactly the way it once did?
~ First Chapter ~
She cast down her eyes and bowed her head just as her legs became shaky underneath her. Sarah was convinced that the ground beneath her feet were cruelly giving way below her before she fell to her knees and collapsed onto the ground.
She was thoroughly vanquished by the grief that had begun as subtle waves, before it created a continuous ripple and began drowning her. She was wholly defeated and effectively beleaguered by the unanticipated devastation she had come home to, only a few short hours ago.
She unabashedly allowed her tears to gush from her eyes before she wrapped her arms around her stomach and made no apology for falling apart in such a public place. She was overwhelmed and frazzled by the severe pain she was exposed to; a torment that struck into the inner core of her soul.
As she gasped for the breaths that were beginning to evade her, she was sure that her heart was being mercilessly ripped out from inside of her, and when the pain turned physical, she was certain that her lungs were being ruthlessly crushed by two strong, invisible and malicious hands.
Her breathing had become an automated fight for survival, as she clung to each breath she managed to inhale, when her entire body began to shudder violently.
She shouted out through the last of the gasping breaths she was only just able to muster up.
The tears had begun to inexorably flood her face, and when she looked up one more time, she knew that what she had seen written in stone only a moment ago, was something she had never expected to see. It was something she could never have anticipated coming home to someday.
The name that was so coldly written in stone was a name she could in no way at all, accept as his name and ultimately, his destiny.
It could not have been what fate had in store for her; it could not be so cruel and heartless.
As she waged an inner battle with her heart and her soul, she closed her eyes and cursed the universe for plunging her into a limitless well that was spilling over with severe misery and acute agony.
She was flung into a kind of despair, she had never known before; one she could not predict or see coming as she reflected on her childhood.
The affirmation that was staring back at her, of what she could hardly abide to be true, was imprinted in a boulder right in front of the eyes. A confirmation that had not quite yet reached her soul, but that was callously blinding her eyes by the tempest that had begun to surge inside of them.
As she desperately scrutinized the gravestone in absolute incredulity and downright horror, she damned to hell all that was revealed to her only a few short breaths ago.
She condemned the haunting words that were engraved on that tomb stone into a kind of hell that she had only just been introduced to, and unwillingly became acquainted with; one that had heartlessly paralyzed and wholly shattered her heart into a million fragmented shards.
It was a kind of anguish she had never known before, or could barely imagine she could feel, and walk away from, leaving her heart intact.
It had pitilessly spilled over from her heart, and into the very center of the innermost core of her. It had crept up on her like a dormant parasite, and physically debilitated her when she least expected it. It consumed her from the inside out, until she could no longer identify or distinguish between any part of her body that had escaped the severe, brutal and immobilizing torture.
She rubbed ferociously at the tears that were continuously blinding her, as she frantically tried to unclutter her face that had begun to disappear and hide behind her wild and unruly hair.
She took in a deep breath, desperate to swallow back on a callous, yet narrowing lump in her throat, as she slowly read the words that were to be eternally engraved on the tomb stone in front of her.
She read it out softly repeatedly, as she frantically pleaded with her eyes to deceive her, if only just once. Just once, she wanted to let out a sigh of relief that what she had seen was all one enormous mistake and breathe without restraint.
Just once, she wanted to close her eyes as she shut off the murky puddles of salty tears that were spilling from her eyes, and onto her face.
Just once, she wanted to laugh out loud, and lightheartedly criticize her eyes for misleading her.
But, each time she read his name out loud, she was harshly reminded of his leaving.
The date was there, right in front of her, and it was viciously taunting her.
The permanent imprints before her, verified the fact that Daniel Kingsley had left their world, and exchanged it for another, only a few short months ago.
Two dates were imprinted on that very stone; one to indicate a beginning of a man she would love for the remainder of her life, and another to bring her to her knees, and rip a part of her away with him.
She was not prepared to walk into Hazel Creek’s only cemetery and find him lying in the ground beneath her.
Her heart was not yet ready to understand, and it was in no way at all, equipped to let him go.
It was an end date that showed to her, a moment in time that simply stopped a once beating heart.
A heart she had clung to and yearned for, for almost all her life.
A heart she was so sure, would continue to beat for her, as it waited for her to come home.
A date that signified a day where his world had ended, and her love simply ceased to exist, almost as though he never was.
A heart that did not need her permission to die, and certainly did not ask for her approval.
His heart, Daniel’s heart had died, and left hers behind, battered and bruised, and to carry on beating without him.
If not for the date impressed on the exact same stone that reminded her that his heart had in fact, begun beating for the very first time almost a lifetime ago, she could swear that that same stone was horrifically taunting her, and cruelly cleaving at the splintered pieces of her already shattered heart.
“Daniel Kingsley 18/5/1966 – 21/3/2000”
She was too late. Sarah Swanson had returned home almost eleven months too late. She was a lifetime apart and a universe removed from the only man that once made sense to her own thumping heart.
She lay her head down on his grave and pulled her knees up to her chin, before she gently rocked herself back and forth. She cried out in anguish when the pain became almost too much to endure.
“Danny … don’t leave me here without you …”
She closed her eyes and could clearly see the haunting vision of his eyes, looking back at her.
She had safely kept the image of him burnt in her mind and scorched in her heart from the moment she had left him behind.
She folded her arms around her legs and sobbed fiercely as she lay on the final resting place of the man she had loved for entire life.
The man she had promised to return to once she had found her own worth. Once she had found a reason to justify his love for her; a validation she so desperately sought. She had made a decision to someday, come home to him, deserving of his love.
The man she had pleaded with to wait for her, while she built a diamond-studded ladder to the stars and stepped on everyone.
The man she had adored with every single beat of her now aching heart.
The man that she thought was larger than her, larger than any functioning human being; larger than life.
The man she was so sure would never leave her. The man she never once considered, could die.
“Give him back to me …”
She pleaded desperately, as she lay sobbing on the ground that had coldly separated her from him.
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