Winds of Change!

By Sharon Holtz

It had been a very long recovery for Catherine. And since the day of her attack, she had to deal with many issues. And because she was such a trusting soul, Catherine's main issue, was finding a way to accept the cruel assault she had endured, does indeed happen in human society, and unfortunately this happened to her.

Catherine also, needed to find an affable response to how people treated her now since that fateful day. She knew her close friends and family were well meaning, but Catherine hated she was looked upon as fragile now, and was treated as such too, fragile and very carefully.

How she wished someone would argue with her...or get mad at her! But Catherine's loved ones had set new parameters for her now, parameters they had not extended to her before.

Yes, and it is true that Catherine realized it wasn't just the people around her who had changed...she knew she had changed as well...and changed in ways she would never, ever be able to share with them or tell them about.

And so, Catherine kept up a brave front, as she picked up the pieces, sparing the loved ones around her, the sordid details of her ordeal.

For you see, before the attack, Catherine's life was an easy, opulent one. She was a beautiful, stylish single girl, living in New York City. The daughter of Charles Chandler, a rich, successful corporate lawyer, and following in her Dad's footsteps; she went into corporate law too.

And so after passing the bar, she practiced at the law firm with her Dad, but not quite with the same dedicated gusto he did. Deep down Catherine knew, she became a lawyer, only to carry on the family tradition, knowing it would please her Dad.

And pleasing her Dad was all important to her, because since the tragic day Catherine's mother had died, they were all each other had.

Sadly, when her Mom died, it was such a heart-wrenching time for them. Catherine had lost her doting Mom, whom she cherished and loved, and Charles...lost the woman he loved and adored.

And during the aftermath of this tragedy, Charles knew he could never come close, to his wife's parenting skills. Yes, his wife had a natural gentle insight on raising a child. And though Charles was a kind man, being a parent did not come natural to his career driven nature. However, despite Charles' heartache, out of love and necessity, he rose to the occasion, and single handedly, took over the parenting reins, to raise little Cathy, whom he loved so very much.

Eventually, the sad times, turned into bittersweet memories for both Charles and Catherine...and served to be a lesson in life...teaching them to deal with whatever fate had in store for them. And as a result of this common bond, Charles and Catherine became closer than most fathers and daughters.

And because they worked side by side, Charles naturally assumed Catherine would someday take over his partnership.

And, actually, Catherine always thought she would too...not because she loved what she did, but because she never considered doing anything else.

But the truth was, even before the attack, it seemed Catherine was changing, and she tried to suppress her feelings of being bored with her profession, and other aspects of her life style. And though Catherine couldn't put it into words then, but somehow everything was beginning to seem shallow to her. Even her relationship with her boyfriend Tom was waning. He was becoming so materialistic and career different from her sweet nature. Catherine even began to wonder if she was merely a steppingstone for Tom, as he pursued a successful career of his own.

But now, since her recovery, Catherine's feelings about how her life was going, could no longer be ignored. Her heart had shifted, and Catherine felt as though she was missing something, and was not fulfilling what she was meant to do in this life. And though leaving the firm was difficult, she followed her heart, and followed a new path which lead her to the D.A., where her talents as a lawyer, could help people in need.

And besides her career change, there was one other issue which needed to be dealt with, and Tom was that issue.

Yes, the last straw had been broken, on that fateful night of her assault. You see, Tom had gotten angry at Catherine, because instead of mingling with the elite at the cocktail party, she chose to lend a kind ear to a needy old friend.

Needless to say, because Catherine had been witness to just how heartless Tom could be, with absolute certainty, in her heart, their relationship was over.

So, after Catherine's face had been restored to her original beauty, Tom assumed to pick up, where they had left off. But because Catherine had emotionally moved on long ago, now she was happy to tell him so too, and broke off all ties with him.

And so as she contemplated all these changes in her life, Catherine conceptualized that nothing was as it used to be. What was once important to her, no longer is, and the little things she used to take for granted, she now cherished. What used to be black, is now white and white now black, and she privately bemused, that her life now, is like a negative exposure of what it used to be.

In fact nothing was the same anymore, nor would it ever be again, because Catherine's life had been forever changed, since the day her destiny crossed with Vincent's.

And as fate planned, it was on the night of Catherine's assault, that Vincent found her injured in the park. He had rescued this broken beauty, and took her to the tunnels to mend.

And being bandaged and sightless in this mystic echoing place, all the while, being tended to by this gothic sounding man, well, at first, it was a bit frightening. But as time went by, Catherine came to feel guarded there with him. And quite unexpectedly, Catherine felt safe in this captivating underground world.

But the day had come when it was time to return, and step back into her old life. And ever since her homecoming, the tunnels were now an enchanting memory for her, and Vincent was ever present on her mind.

Even after the plastic surgery Catherine endured to repair her facial scars...her immediate thoughts were not on the success of the surgery, but rather, when or if, she would see Vincent again. Whereas "The old Cathy" would have been consumed with her looks, and of how people saw her, but this was no longer so...

It was true; Catherine was beautiful again, in spite of one stubborn scar, which had not healed properly. And even though she could have surgery to fix it, she opted not to. Catherine felt it was an important reminder of the most crucial time in her life. A time which served her to grow strong in spirit, and also when she had met Vincent.

And so, after healing, beginning a new career, and taking some self-empowerment courses, Catherine felt strong enough to fully face life now and ready to see Vincent again.

And because she did not know at the time if Vincent ever came above into her world, Catherine thought she would have to go see him in his.

Yes...Catherine would go to Vincent, because she had some things to say, and share, not to mention wanting to properly thank him for all he had done for her.

Although, Catherine did try to convey her gratitude as they were saying goodbye at the threshold of her apartment building. Carefully, she had stepped up, to give Vincent a sweet sort of hug, to which he brought his hand up so tenderly, to reciprocate in kind...and the power of this simple gesture had touched Catherine so much, that perhaps this was when she gained the courage, to be able to make all the changes that her heart would soon be calling for.

And even though their embrace may have lasted for only the briefest of moments, for Catherine, it was a sweet memory that would last her lifetime, because while she stood within Vincent's embrace, she remembered feeling a familiar sensation and it felt like being at home.

And as Catherine thought about this moment, she was certain Vincent felt a connection too. But because their parting was cut short by some top-sider chatter, causing Vincent to stealthily vanish from her side; they never had the chance to say all they would have liked to have said.

And so now, after some additional soul searching, Catherine admitted to her-self, that it was not only to thank Vincent for all he had done for her, but also because she missed and wanted to see him again.

Catherine longed to hear his gentle voice once more, the voice which calmed her while she laid injured, with her eyes and face bandaged. Vincent had filled the endless healing hours, by reading lovely stories and poetry to her...providing the only comfort she knew during that time.

Catherine also knew it wasn't only Vincent she wanted to thank, but she wanted to thank Jacob too.

And because Catherine noticed how scarce Jacob was after his initial medical care, she couldn't help but feel, that Jacob didn't like her being there.

And because of this foreboding feeling, Catherine wanted to reach out to him, so Jacob would know he could trust her, and had nothing to fear from her.

And unfortunately, much to Catherine's dread, there was one other reason why she needed to see Vincent...a reason which weighed heavily on her heart. And the reason was to make sure Vincent really did understand, that her reaction to seeing him the first time...was merely because she was startled by his unexpected arrival, not because of what he looked like. Even though...admittedly, Vincent was like no one she had ever met before.

But instead of being frightening to her, Catherine thought of how beautifully captivating he was. And the tenderness she saw in his eyes drew her in, and she couldn't bear to let another day pass without seeing him again.

And so today, as Catherine made her way down the rungs of the ladder at the basement's threshold, her thoughts traveled to how frightened she remembered being, as she climbed up those same rungs back into her world, returning to pick up what was left of her shattered life.

So, many months have passed since then, and now she was re-entering the hidden world below the city. And as Catherine stepped down onto the tunnel floor, and walked to the broken bricked archway, she realized, she wasn't sure how to get back to the tunnel main.

Originally, when she was guided by Vincent, she was in such awe of this world below, that she did not really pay attention to any landmarks. And so, with her best guess, Catherine ventured out into the tunnels.

And after a bit of a trek, she rounded a familiar looking corner, and off in the distance, she saw Vincent! Yes she saw Vincent all right, but the problem was he was not alone! He was embracing someone, and Catherine recognized her to be Rebecca! And so because Vincent and Rebecca were in, what appeared to be, a loving embrace, Catherine assumed, they must be a couple! Upon feeling stunned by this revelation, Catherine suddenly felt like an intruder, as she thought, "What am I doing here?"

And so Catherine turned and ran...blinded by her tears, she climbed back up the rungs, feeling so thankful, Vincent did not see her.

Catherine then asked herself, why was she this upset? Why couldn't she have just approached Vincent, even though he was with Rebecca? Yes, Catherine had admitted a few things to herself already...she does miss him, and also has an immense appreciation for all he had done for her, but still wondered why she was affected so.

All she knew, was she wanted to go home! Even though home meant something different to her now...yes, even despite the fact she had a lovely place, it only felt cold, and very empty to her now.

And so as the elevator doors opened, Catherine entered her apartment, where she began to understand, the source of her anguish was because of the fact, Vincent had someone else in his life.

And so now too, it was all quite obvious why Vincent had not checked on her since her return above, and it was because he and Rebecca were together.

And so wrongly, Catherine conjured up these assumptions, when in all actuality...the truth was, firstly, Vincent and Rebeca were NOT a couple, and secondly, Vincent DID secretly check on her! Yes, Vincent would bravely climb up to her high-rise balcony, nearly nightly to check on Catherine.

Vincent would go, whenever he felt her "state-of-mind" was in disarray, or a fearfulness emanating from her. And so, with care, he did check, only to find Catherine safe at home in her apartment, restlessly sleeping, dreaming another one of her dreadful nightmares.

And during those times, when Catherine would awaken, shaken from her dreams, Vincent wanted to make himself known, so he could hold her, and push back the ugly hurtful images. But he knew in his heart, he would be interfering with her inner struggle to become stronger and more self-reliant.

And because Vincent actually felt what Catherine was going through, well, this made standing by even more difficult, because he didn't just commiserate with her...he knew her turmoil was immense. And unfortunately for Vincent, his pain was two-fold, as Catherine's feelings were mingling, and coupled with his own heart ache.

At first...all these amplified feelings confounded Vincent, until he put it all together, realizing he actually felt all Catherine was feeling...and although the revelation of being this connected with someone, was quite perplexing, Vincent ultimately understood, that because of this bond which formed between Catherine and himself, they were a part of each other now. And since the day she left to go back home all those months ago, he missed having Catherine in his much.

And although Vincent missed and longed to talk to Catherine again, he resisted the temptation, wondering if he had any right to.

What would Catherine say to him if he did call on her? Or even more significantly still, tell her how he felt about her? After all, what kind of life could they possibly share? The only thing he had to offer and give her, was what was in his heart.

Vincent then thought that perhaps Father was right. Maybe it would be best to forget her.

But Vincent couldn't forget the sweet connection he felt between them. And like Catherine, he too remembered the embrace they shared when they said goodbye. The memory of their parting still burned deep in his heart, and ever since that day, his arms felt so empty.

As time passed, their parting embrace seemed like a dream to him now. A dream Vincent didn't want to fade away into some vague sensation, where he could no longer conjure up, or touch again.

And as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, Vincent came to believe there never would be anything more between them...and this memory was all he could ever have of Catherine...and he believed this was true, that is, until that day.

Because as it turned out, Vincent did see Catherine in the tunnels earlier! But why did she run away without speaking to him? And why was she upset? If only Vincent could have acknowledged Catherine! But he was consoling Rebecca, who had just gotten word from a helper, that her Grandmother had died, and Rebecca was in a grieving state of sorrow.

Rebecca's grief was both heart-wrenching and complicated. She felt so guilty she was not at her Grandmother's side at the time of her death. But the fact was, her Grandmother lived in California, and there was no way Rebecca could have gotten there in time.

And now, Rebecca was faced with the dilemma of trying to find a way to attend her Grandmother's funeral.

And because Rebecca was desperate to come up with a resolution, Vincent took her to see Jacob.

And so after Jacob consoled Rebecca on the loss of her Grandmother, he then told her the Tunnels did have some resources and all was not as hopeless as it seemed. So plans would be made, via a Helper, for Rebecca to fly out in time for her Grandmother's funeral.

So with Rebecca's issue resolved...Vincent stayed behind to tactfully inform Jacob, "I am going above Father... "

To which Jacob, in a hard tone, asked, "Above? For what reason?"

With an enigmatic demeanor, Vincent replied, "Please trust me Father...just know that I must."

And though he did trust Vincent, he was also worried about his son, and so Jacob challenged, "Vincent, it is not a matter of trust, it is because of the unpredictable calamities which can occur when you are up there! And I do know, you have been frequenting the city quite often lately too...and I believe I know is because of THIS it not?"

To which Vincent in reply, humbly admitted he was right, it has been because of her, and then explained the urgency to go again that evening, by saying, "You see, Catherine was here today and..."

Stunned to hear this, Jacob asked, "Here? She came back here? Why? Was she followed?"

In an effort to assure his Father, Vincent replied, "No she was not followed...Catherine understands our world must be kept secret, and as far as why she came, I don't know! What I am trying to explain is, Catherine came when I was lending comfort to Rebecca. And I could not pull myself away to speak to her, even though, I could see Catherine herself was Father, I must go and ask her why she was here."

After listening to Vincent's excuse, Jacob waved his hand in a poohing sort of manner, as he wryly replied, "All this comforting, consoling and counseling! Well I must say between Rebecca and Catherine...I do believe it is time for you to hang a shingle!"

But because Vincent needed Jacob's support, more than he needed his sarcasm, he stressed, "Father, please try to understand."

To which in reply, Jacob ominously said, "I DO understand! I understand this whole situation surrounding THIS Catherine, is bound to be nothing but heartache for you. Heed my words Vincent, it is best to LET HER GO before its too late!"

Tortuously, Vincent in reply, said, "I can't...not yet...I am feeling so much anguish from her...I MUST go and see her."

As Jacob shook his head out of frustration, he shouted, "Do what you will Vincent, however know nothing good can come from this alliance. NOTHING! And you best watch yourself, and not get any more attached to her, so you don't end up with heartache over this whole matter, because of doing something foolish like falling in love or some such rubbish."

Humbly, Vincent put his hand on his Father's shoulder, expressing his appreciation for his caring. And even though he did not have his Father's approval, he would be going anyway. Because it was too late. Vincent realized he was attached to Catherine, and had fallen in love with this sweet woman and his heart already ached for her.

So tonight, there was no stopping him from going, and after Vincent left his father, he prepared himself to go above, and before he left his chamber, he picked up the book, Great Expectations to take with him for Catherine.

Meanwhile, Catherine shook the heartache from her mettle, and gathered her self up to make a cup of tea. Yes, even Catherine's daily coffee ritual had changed since her time in the tunnels. And so, a cup of tea instead of coffee, now provides her warmth and comfort.

And so as Catherine stirred her tea, she thought of how earlier, she was looking forward to seeing Vincent again, and how her joyful anticipation had flipped, and it broke her heart to find out he had someone else in his life.

And feeling this heartbroken way, caused a guilt trip of sorts, as Catherine knew, she should rejoice in knowing Vincent has someone to share his life with.

But this information she had gathered today, instead, made her sad and empty. Catherine had hoped, that maybe this time, she would get to know Vincent under lighter circumstances, and he her.

However, what Catherine already knew about Vincent, was enough to know what kind of person he was. She knew Vincent to be a brilliant man, as his knowledge was quite expansively diverse in all areas, especially in areas she adored, such as in the arts, literature and music.

And aside from his brilliance, Catherine also sensed his tender side, as he cared and read to her.

And thinking about it now, it surprises Catherine that while Vincent read to her, when her eyes were bandaged, that she never wondered what he looked like! But at the time, putting a face to his voice was not important! And in fact, the reason it never occurred to her to do so, was because it was the heart of this man, she had connected to, admired and fallen in love with...What? FALLEN IN LOVE? And it was then, Catherine suddenly thought, "Oh my!" In the midst of doing all this rationalizing, she let her guard down, and actually admitted how deep her feelings were for Vincent...and she hadn't realized it...until just now! And so she berated herself, "How did this happen? How do I manage to fall in love with someone, without my usual caution?"

In the past, Catherine had always been so careful, so picky! But in meeting Vincent, she had been caught off guard, and unintentionally, gave her heart.

It's obvious of course, that Catherine was aware of their differences...but somehow, this factor was secondary. It didn't matter they were different, because his tenderness, compassion and brilliance made him stand out from any other man she had ever known.

In fact, perhaps Vincent being different was exactly why falling in love with him unwittingly occurred.

And as Catherine began to ponder her future, without the hope of seeing Vincent again, she felt broken hearted, and wondered where she would go from here.

So tearfully she sat, never feeling more alone, because Catherine had absolutely no one to confide in, no confidant to tell her tale of woe to.

After all, who could she talk to? Catherine had promised Vincent that she would never betray his trust, and she never would.

And so, upon deciding she needed some fresh air to clear her head, Catherine stepped outside. And after she lit a few candles to illuminate her balcony, she saw a book next to her threshold, and as she picked it up, she knew it was from Vincent! And so she inexplicably turned to the darkened corner, and with question, asked, "Vincent?"

And so as Vincent stepped out from the shadows, and they came face to face, Instinctively, Catherine hugged him, as she said, "Vincent..."

Savoring the moment of being greeted so sweetly, Vincent found himself humbled in Catherine's presence, as he said, "I hope I didn't frighten you..."

And because Catherine was overcome with emotion, she simply shook her head no, and found, although she had so much to say, she was speechless.

It was then Vincent with awe, looked down upon her, and breathlessly said, "Your face, you are beauti..."

But Vincent was unable to continue, as his voice left him, feeling stunned and silenced by Catherine's restored beauty.

To which Catherine humbly replied, "My scars have healed..."

And so, on this star filled night, the flickering candlelight sent shadows dancing all around them, creating an enchanting moment for them to behold, as they were reunited once more.

And then with care, Vincent asked, "Are you well?"

And because Catherine was still assuming she came and went undetected to the tunnels earlier, she softly replied, "Yes Vincent. I am, and getting stronger every day."

In reply, Vincent unintentionally nodded, because he already knew this, and then he moved on to carefully ask, "Why didn't you stay today?"

To which Catherine, with embarrassment, hesitantly asked, "You saw me?"

With concern, Vincent replied, "Yes...

And so self-consciously, Catherine said, "Well, I guess there is no denying it then..."

And because he could tell this was embarrassing to Catherine, Vincent considerately asked, "Please tell me, why didn't you stay?"

Resignedly, Catherine then released a sigh, as she replied, "Well, when I saw you with Rebecca during a private moment, I realized I was intruding, and so I left. But, at the time of course, I didn't think you had seen me..."

With a subtle nod, Vincent said, "I saw you Catherine..."

And because she was unmasked by this revelation, Catherine then tried to inject some humor, as she added, "All I can say then is that evidently, I am not as stealthy as I thought I was..."

Vincent with a smile in his eyes, acknowledged Catherine's joking, and then thoughtfully asked, "What if you had stayed..."

With regret, Catherine replied, "Yes, well had I stayed, there is something on my mind, that I wanted to talk to you about, although, I really hate bringing this subject up again..."

To which Vincent with an understanding tone, said, "Please."

As Catherine gathered her thoughts, she began, "Well...I have been worried that I DID hurt your feelings with my reaction when I first saw you. And I wanted to make sure you really did understand it was because of the combination of events...I mean, I had just literally seen my face for the first time, with all these black threaded stitched up wounds..."

To which Vincent informatively said, "Yes, unfortunately black thread was all Father had on hand at the time..."

And because the color thread was not actually the issue, Catherine continued, "...I only mean, seeing how badly injured I had been was what was alarming, not the color of the thread...but now I am off point, what I wanted to say was when you came up behind me, I was startled, not by your appearance but rather, more so by your arrival."

But because Vincent thought they had moved passed this awkward moment, with a bit of humor himself, he replied, "I felt you understood I was not hurt by your reaction Catherine, however the dish you threw at me is another matter..."

And because Catherine had felt so badly about the "dish throwing" incident too, she embarrassingly replied, "Yes...about that...I really AM sorry I reacted that way..."

It was then Vincent moved on, as he noted, "So because we spoke through all this; I thought perhaps you had another reason..."

Realizing Vincent could tell she was only telling half of the story, Catherine hesitantly revealed, "Well...I sincerely did want to talk to you about that in particular, but you are right, there are other things I wanted to share with you too...and well, I wanted to thank you, properly I mean, for all you had done for me. And..."

It was then Catherine felt open, and ready to tell more, and so she continued, "...and, well I wanted to tell you since I have been back home, I have changed. Everything has changed, and life is so different for me now. I no longer work with my Dad, but am working at the D.A. where I can truly help people who are in need. And...I wanted to tell you, that I find myself missing the tunnels, I miss the sound of the tunnels, and I miss the sound of the city from below in the tunnels. I miss the constant clanging of the pipes, I miss the refuge of your chamber, and the smell of the burning candles. I miss all the books, and I miss you reading to me, I miss all the talks and moments we shared, and I miss the sound of your voice, but mostly Vincent...I have realized...I missed you."

Feeling bolstered to hear Catherine missed him, but not yet understanding the depths of her affections, Vincent found the courage to press further, by mentioning, he also could see and sense she was upset, when she left earlier that day.

Knowing she had to own this too, Catherine shamefully confessed, "Yes, I was..."

And so because he wanted to know what was wrong, Vincent requested, "Please, tell me why."

Pitifully, Catherine looked back at him, wishing he had not asked this of her. However, because of the wanton searching in Vincent's eyes, well this was all it took, to open up once more.

And so Catherine shared, "I suppose I was upset at the time, thinking I was intruding, and wrong to come back uninvited, and felt so very silly thinking, we could pick up where we left see...I thought there was...when we last parted, I felt there was something between you and I...and hoped that maybe you felt it, and missed me too...but obviously...I was wrong, as you have Rebecca in your life...and now, well now, I think maybe, I have said too much."

And even though Catherine tried to hold back her emotions, her quivering chin gave her away. And because Catherine's vulnerability, broke Vincent's heart, he knew he needed to explain away her misconception, clarifying, "Rebecca is a dear, dear friend....she is like a sister to me. You see, Rebecca had just received word, her Grandmother had died. And so when you saw us today, it was when I was comforting her."

Sympathetically, he then noted, "And because of the state Rebecca was in; I could not call out to you, though I wanted to, so badly."

Upon better understanding the relationship between Vincent and Rebecca now, as well as the situation earlier, Catherine with hope, replied, "I see..."

And so Vincent continued to reveal, "Catherine, I have felt a connection with you since the day I found you injured in the park, or perhaps, it was because of this connection which enabled me to find you...whichever came first is unclear, however, I do know, since you left the tunnels, I have become aware of this bond between us, there is a tie which binds us..."

Carefully, Vincent then continued, "I know this to be true, because I feel what you feel. I sense your pain, your joy, your strength and your fear. Since we met, you are a part of me. And now, to hear you reveal some of the same feelings, I too am feeling...I know I am a part of you..."

Upon hearing Vincent say he felt the same way, Catherine tearfully clarified, "So it was not only one-sided, or just my felt something too?"

With a subtle nod, Vincent softly replied, "Yes, and since you left, it's as though I am missing a part of myself now..."

To which Catherine with a thoughtful tone shared, "I haven't been able to define my feelings before, but the way you put it, is exactly right...I feel like I am missing a part of myself too."

And then Catherine tearfully said, "But you are here now, and maybe we don't need to feel that way anymore..."

In reply, Vincent tragically said, " must know, as do I, this can only be a dream...a dream which only our hearts can we could never share our lives..."

Grievously, Vincent then bent his head, hoping to hide his emotion as he spoke the words that tormented his heart, and fragmented his soul, saying, "Our story can really only have an ending..."

Tenderly, Catherine lifted his chin so he would look at her, and as she brushed the hair from his eyes, she asked, "Why Vincent? Why must there only be an ending for us?"

To which Vincent answered, "Because Catherine...I have nothing to offer you."

With emotion, Catherine replied, "How can you say you have nothing to offer, when you already gave me everything. You offered your time and kindness to me when I most needed someone. What you have given me, is the most precious gift you can give another person, and it is priceless. So since you value kindness same as I do, I don't understand why you say we can only have an ending, when there is so much life yet to share."

Although Vincent would love to live in this dream world of Catherine's, he knew that he needed to shed some realistic light, by saying, "It's because of who I am! I do not dare to hope, or expect anything more between us."

Catherine was now sorrowful too, but this time, it was for the pain in Vincent's heart...knowing she could never imagine what life must be like for him.

And then Vincent's voice quaked, as he admitted, "When I told you, I never regretted what I was before I met you, well, what I said was true...but Catherine...there had been times I wondered..."

With compassion, Catherine asked, "Tell me..."

Vincent thoughtfully paced as he shared, "There was a day, when I became aware, and saw myself as different, and that was when I began to wonder about a different kind of life."

Vincent then stopped to look at Catherine, and enforced, "Please know Catherine...I am not telling you this so you will pity me. I live a good life, a life filled with family and friends, all of us helping each other...and it has been enough for me. And though I wondered and dreamt, I never expected there could be more happiness to be found for myself...until now."

With hope, Catherine looked back at Vincent, and tenderly she asked, "You mean until now...because of me?"

As Vincent stepped forward, he admitted, "Yes Catherine, because of you."

But though it pained him, Vincent added, "However, we both know, the here and now, is where things must end, before parting becomes any more unbearable for me. Father believes it is best this way."

Suddenly Catherine's tears subsided as Vincent's words stunned her, realizing she had been right about what she sensed from Jacob! And so she then asked, "Your Father talked to you about me...about us?"

Explaining that he did, Vincent then added, "Because Father understands how I feel about you, he fears what could possibly transpire..."

Vincent's voice then broke away before he said something that might frighten Catherine.

But his ominous comment was enough to cause Catherine to question, "Possibly transpire?"

Sadly, Vincent nodded, as he realized there was no turning back, and had to explain his dark side to Catherine. So slowly, he began to lay it all out before her, and began by saying, "It is only fair you know everything about me. Catherine...there are times when I am alone, that it is unbearable for me. It is difficult to live with the unpredictable darker side of myself. You see in the past, there had been times, when I lost myself, and I would exhibit a rage, from an unknown origin from within! And when this has occurred in the past, it was frightening for those around me. And because of this, I could not bear the thought of ever revealing this side to you. I would never want to do anything to frighten or harm you, and would hate for your fear of me, to be our demise..."

After listening to Vincent, Catherine kindly reconciled, "There is not one of us on this earth without a darker side, and Vincent...I DO know everything about you, I know your heart...because your eyes have revealed your soul to me, and I know you would never harm me."

Upon hearing Catherine, Vincent felt frustrated he could not make her understand there really was a part of him to fear! And Vincent knew there was, because of Jacob's well-meaning intention, of reminding him so! Jacob would always hold up the incident with Lisa, which happened during his adolescence. And Vincent could still hear his Father's warnings ringing in his ears, saying, "Vincent, you must not let your feelings out of control...remember what happened to Lisa? You must never lose control!"

How those words have stayed, and haunted Vincent, and now somehow he must reveal this ugly part of his life to Catherine too. So with a voice full of turmoil, he said, "Catherine there is more to tell you."

With a pace to his step, he began, "Once when I was a boy, I cared very much for this beautiful girl named Lisa, who also lived in the tunnels. She was so beautiful, and I wanted to dance with her. However, a simple thing such as dancing is not simple for someone like me."

Painfully, he continued, "Lisa came up to me, and when I tried to hold her, she suddenly and unexpectedly pulled away, and I hurt her...and now, when I look at these hands, I am so ashamed. At times, I try to imagine what others must think when they look at them."

Gently, Catherine took his hands in hers, and sweetly looked up at Vincent, and told him "Vincent, these hands picked me up when I laid injured, they patiently held a spoon so I could eat; they tirelessly turned pages of novels for me, but my most beautiful memory is when you brought your hand up so tenderly, to return my embrace. I knew then, although we were parting from one another, it wouldn't really be goodbye."

As Vincent took in all that Catherine had to say, he in soft reply said, "You make me believe there is only good left in my heart..."

To which Catherine said, "You should believe it Vincent...I know it to be true..."

And so Vincent replied, "Because of this new found truth, a different kind of life is possible..."

As Catherine gifted him with the warmest of smiles, she said, "Anything is possible; life is ever changing for all of us. Living allows us a chance to learn...and life, offers us time to forgive ourselves for mistakes we have made..."

As Vincent stood accepting all the things Catherine said to him, he then in agreement, said, "Yes..."

To which Catherine smiled, and offered, "We can get to know one another, this time, under different circumstances..."

And then Catherine added, "...after all, I have another side only knew me when I was injured, and weak. I want you to know the stronger side of my nature too..."

To which Vincent with admiration said, "Weak? I never viewed you as weak exuded such strength the way you fought back to get well..."

With admiration, Catherine replied, "It was because of you. You helped me find the strength I needed to face the world again. Strength I didn't know I had...but you said you felt it within me."

Because Vincent had felt the strength Catherine possessed he simply nodded it was true, and then reciprocated, saying, "And because of the good you see in have given me hope..."

With a smile, Catherine replied, "Hope is a powerful thing. And you have given me hope too...hope that perhaps our story will have more than just an ending."

And as Vincent tipped his head, in a thoughtful manner, he replied, "Perhaps so Catherine...perhaps so..."

Sweetly Catherine returned Vincent's heartfelt gaze, and then it struck her that she had just told Vincent everything she had been holding tight in her heart, everything. And then realized that in Vincent...she not only found the missing part of her heart, but she had found her "Confidant" too.

Catherine then stepped into Vincent's waiting arms, where she felt at home once more. And so it was there, under the star covered sky, they accepted, and understood, they were a part of each other.

And as Catherine referred to the book Vincent had brought for her, she thanked him, and then hopefully asked, "Shall we pick up where we left off?"

With a nod, Vincent said yes, and as they settled in, Vincent bent his head to rest on Catherine's, feeling so very thankful, that somehow...through it all, Heaven seemed to have heard his bootless cries...