Some Enchanted Evening Chapter 5
I sat up with a start.
My body gave a shiver as I suddenly discerned where I was. I was back in Figaro Castle, dripping wet in a tub of lukewarm bath water. It was as if I had never left in the first place, that all of the events that occurred over those two fateful days in some distant corner of the galaxy never happened. Had I strayed into a dream without my knowing it?
I sat stone still for what seemed a long time afterward. It couldn't have been a dream, I kept telling myself. It had been so real, so lucid. I could still hear the battle cries of frantic Rezonia, could still feel the harsh desert wind of the planet raking at my face. And Indalecio. No, there was no forgetting 'that' little confrontation, not even if I wanted to. And then there was . . .
I stared slack-jawed as a shadow crept across the far wall of my room, followed by the sound of a door being opened and closed. On impulse, I leaped out of the tub and threw a towel around me. It was deja'vu all over again. Would things really come to repeat themselves as they had the first time around?
I was at my chamber door in a heartbeat, tearing it open without giving a second thought to any sentries who might have been on duty. I looked around the corner down the corridor, but there was nothing. Even Edgar's room for machines across the way was undisturbed. The sentry at the top of the stairwell gave me a sheepish look.
"Something I can do you for you, Miss Chere?"
I was too preoccupied with finding Rena to give a second thought to my attire. "You didn't happen to see a young woman with blue hair down on this floor, did you?"
The sentry only shook his head. "There are only you and I on this level at this hour. But I could comb the castle if you'd like."
"That won't be necessary, but thank-you anyway."
I sighed and went back to my chamber. It was then that I saw it, propper upright at the head of my bed, resting in an ornate silver scabbard and gleaming as though it had never before experienced a battle.
The Sacred Tear.
And there was something else as well. Wound around its curved golden hilt was a green ribbon with a note affixed to it. On it, in every conceivable language in addition to my own, it read simply as 'Thank-you, signed Rena Lanford'.
Relief. Happiness. Gratitude. They came at me all at once. Everything was the way it was supposed to be now. I had returned finding everything as I left it and the same, I assured myself, went for all those other people whose homes and families had been taken from them. It was a good evening, a wonderful evening. I felt like doing something to celebrate . . .
A knock at the door stirred me from my revel. "Celes?"
The voice was Terra's. Had she come back for some reason, to put into perspective what we had talked about earlier?
"Just a minute, I'm undressed!" I pulled on my white fleece robe again and answered the door with a genuine smile.
"Long time, no see, Cel!"
"I'm sorry I-" I was taken aback. Had she forgotten about our conversation that quickly? "What did you say?"
"Uh, long time, no see?" She let herself in. "I didn't mean to disturb you. It's just that, we never got a chance to talk earlier."
This didn't make any sense. "What are you talking about? We spoke a little while ago. Didn't we?"
She frowned. "What? When?"
I smiled. How could I have not seen it before? I was back in the same time and place I was in before this whole thing started. Despite myself, I laughed and embraced the esper girl, who was probably still wondering if I was delirious or something.
"I can't believe it!" I whispered. "I'm back!"
She broke away. "Back from where?"
"Oh, nothing." Would she have believed me if I told her? "Just a dream, that's all."
She at least seemed willing to accept this as fact. "Well, I bet I know someone who'd like to hear it."
I knew who she was referring to, even before the sentence had completely left her lips. I very quickly jumped into an outfit and raced back upstairs and into the main foyer, where Edgar and Sabin stood hugging and shaking the hands of guests about to depart for home. At a glance, I found him, back on to me, adjusting his bandana and ready to venture out into the darkness.
Everyone turned to look at me, but they all faded into the background save one. I ran to him and hugged him, forgetting everything I had said and thought about never being able to find a place in the Here and Now. In fact, Here and Now was suddenly the friendliest, most inviting place in the world for me. I never wanted to let him go.
"Cel, what is it?"
I looked him in the eyes and found myself at a loss for words. "I was thinking . . . that is, I had some time to think it over. And I want to go with you on your expedition."
He brightened considerably. "I think my troupe can squeeze you in. But what made you change your mind?"
I sighed. "It's a long story."
He placed an arm around my shoulders and we both walked back with the Figaro brothers into the castle. "Well, you'll have to tell me all about it when we make our way east. We'll have to get ourselves some decent weapons if we're gonna stay ahead of all those cave dwellers."
My thoughts suddenly went back to the blade resting down in my chamber, the one I had used to slay a gigas. "Somehow," I told him cryptically, "I think we'll be just fine."
* * *
I still don't know entirely what to make of it all. Clearly, it must have been real. Sacred Tear is a testament of that. Yet, if I were to try and relate such a tale to any willing to lend me an ear, it would sound ridiculous, farfetched. I suppose this anecdote serves, if not to entertain, then to demonstrate that absolutely anything can happen out of the blue. It was, after all, on some enchanted evening long ago, that an adventure began with my doubting everything and ended with my finding a place in the universe.
Remember - anything is possible.