*Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction.*
What does it mean to be in love, really? What if having feelings for someone and being in love are actually completely different?
Why do people fall in love several times in a lifetime? Then why make up the concept of ‘soulmates’?
When Dahlia looks at her life, it feels wonderful, almost perfect. One year ago, the world was on the brink of destruction. One year ago, she had almost lost her sister. Today, she can walk outside without the fear of being attacked. Today, humans have accepted and welcomed her race to live on Earth.
One year ago, her mentor, ally and one of the two most powerful Masterminds, sacrificed herself for peace.
Today, Dahlia can live and love, and indeed she found the latter, in the eyes of a human, named Kieran. Together, they have never been happier. Holding Mother Nature’s powers, she created a garden on their balcony, filled with roses of different colours for him, while he, being a professional cook, baked her beautiful pastries every weekend. They have been together for almost a year now.
“You guys are lucky,” their best friend, Ash, would say when he would come over.
Ash was also a Mastermind. Being as powerful as Dahlia, he held full power over the moon. It might seem useless, now that the war was over, just like many of their race out there, but Dahlia would forever remember his hair glowing in a bright silver in the moonlight as they would fight side by side.
“It’s time to find yourself a girlfriend,” Kieran would tell him teasingly.
Dahlia would say nothing.
“Nah, I’ll pass,” Ash would reply. “Just going with the flow. If it happens, then it happens.”
Although Kieran knew much about the war thanks to his endless list of questions, he would not be able to grasp how painful everything actually was. Ash had found love. He had been in love with another Mastermind for years.
Not only had his love been unrequited, but she had been the cause of the war in the first place. She had been younger than all of them, yet she had been the other most powerful Mastermind. She had been the target of Dahlia’s mentor. She had been the threat to everyone’s happiness.
She had been a friend, before.
But pain changes people, and she had been hurt.
When Dahlia’s mentor had died at her hand, she had died as well, at the mentor’s hand. The perfect give-and-take; maintaining the balance of the universe.
Ash was still not over her.
Of course, only those who were there at that final battle could grasp what he was going through. Kieran hadn’t been there. Therefore, Dahlia always made sure to make the subject drop.
“So what time do you have to go tomorrow?” Ash asked Kieran.
Because his job demanded it, Kieran had to work on a cruise ship at least once every year. He was much respected for his baking skills and was paid very high for such excursions. Thus, there was no excuse to skip those opportunities, though it meant that he had to leave Dahlia all by herself in their apartment for a few weeks.
“I have to wake up at dawn and be on the ship by seven,” Kieran said. “My crew is heading off to Java’s coastline this time…”
Dahlia was only half-listening to her boyfriend’s tale; she knew exactly where he would be travelling to and she was dismayed and heartbroken by the fact that she was unable to go with him. She tried to focus on her meal instead and thinking about what dessert they should have. One of Kieran’s favourite for sure. She had bought ice cream earlier…
The reason why she had to stay was her job. She was currently part of a Survival Gym, a type of organisation that has become very common since the end of the war, that mainly taught martial arts and other sports, along with providing a usual gym space with all the necessary equipment. In fact, it was just like a school. She was mainly an archery trainer, but also taught a few muay thai classes. Exams were coming soon and she could not afford to let her students down.
She was also highly respected in her workplace, having been an upfront participant in the war.
Ash, on the other hand, had decided to lay low to forget about the past; he made his living out of acting classes. He is even one of the project managers for the theatre he works at. Dahlia was surprised at his choice at first, but he was actually very good at it.
“Take care of Dahlia when I’m gone,” Kieran said to Ash. “Don’t let her have dinner alone.”
“Don’t you worry about that,” Ash said.
Dahlia laughed and kissed Kieran on the cheek. “Just enjoy your trip and come back to me quick.”
“As simple as that, buddy,” Ash said with a grin.
However, it was not simple. Whenever Ash and Dahlia spent time together, memories would resurface; these would either be too painful… or beautiful.
Beautiful. It was beautiful when they would lie under the stars after an exhausting battle against Soul Eaters. It was beautiful when he held her back and told her to be strong before she could break down on the realisation that her sister had turned her back on her. She would not have survived if she had shown even a glimpse of vulnerability at the enemy’s lair.
It was beautiful when she comforted him as he cried after the love of his life had died, while everyone else was cheering victory.
Dahlia realised only too late that she had feelings for him. In any case, to her, he seemed blind, even today, as he would always look out to the distance, at a ghost that would never come back to him. Besides, she did love Kieran. She had found security and empowerment at the same time in her new life and with her lover. She was happy.
Then, what is the meaning of that other feeling in her heart? What is the meaning of that re-opened wound of the past?
*Might be continued…*
For years, I have been dying to make the most fitting love story for Dahlia and Ash, two of my oldest Mastermind characters (yes, it’s all original, all of those details are out of my own stories, if any of you remember the 2011-2012 days of this blog); I created them when I was 14! So this is it and I obviously wanted to add some spice to it, which might lead to more pieces of fiction…
It feels like it’s been forever since I wrote any story; I hope you enjoyed it 🙂
An Evil Nymph.