Tedious chores always cause my thoughts to act like hummingbirds on speed - flitting from topic to topic and back again. Laundry, washing dishes, mowing the yard and raking leaves all ranked up there in high tedium.
Late one day in the third autumn living at my home, I'd been raking tree droppings from the two oaks in the backyard and one of those random thoughts popped its head up, flooring me. I came slowly out of the daze it'd sent me to, my mouth opened in shock, seated on a pile of leaves.
Memories of what I'd lost flooded my mind; Solo, my family, my childhood, Father Maxwell, Sister Helen and G. And memories of what I'd almost lost; Hilde, L2, Quatre, my sanity, and Heero. Like sound bytes from across a great distance, I heard whispered clips of voices as they told me how it was all part of the big plan and that it's supposed to happen.
Affirmation followed as from where I sat it saturated my senses and confirmed the thought. There on the roof was the spot I fell from last July, landing on the barbecue grill and breaking an arm. Up the street, the scent from my neighbor Jim's smoker wafted in the slight breeze, teasing the neighborhood in his weekly game day event. I felt the dry crispiness of the leaves beneath my hands. Shrieks of laughter rang out from across the street as Mary, Janice, and little Tommy played. The half-taste of snow hovered in the air, promising more to come and creating a chill.
For all these affirmations were my neighbors. My neighbors' kids. In my community and my town. Here I sat on my leaves. That I raked. From my trees in my own back yard. And it was my home…
What I had now could never replace what I'd lost, or what I perceived I'd lost. Hope and a chance, that's what it offered.
Heero rounded the corner of the house, having finished raking the front yard, and stopped. Tossing his rake to the side, he hurried forward. And I watched as his eyes assessed me for physical damage. Finding none, he raised a brow and waited.
"It's gone. I lost it." The words stumbled out as I stared up at him.
Concerned, he knelt before me and picked up one of my hands. He held it, watching my expression. "What?" his voice came out even and low.
Wonder, faint and joyous, released itself. "The fear," I whispered, as if saying it aloud would negate the feeling. His face softened and a knuckle brushed my cheek in understanding. "I'm never going to be alone again, am I?" I asked leaning into his hand.
He smiled and shook his head slowly. "No, you won't."