I felt so guilty as I lay there, my eyes dry and my skin cold. I didn't mean to force Mune out of the house. I didn't want to hurt him with talk of Lune. I almost wished that it wasn't possible for Lune to be returned to me. But wait, what was I thinking?! Saving someone's life wasn't an opportunity to pass up on and Lune had been the love of my life.
I was just repeating the points I had made while Mune was here.
I wanted Lune back. So badly. And maybe I should do it to save his life if for no other reason.
I sat up.
‘I'll do it while I'm feeling decisive,' I thought.
I may love Mune but I couldn't let Lune remain dead knowing I'd allowed it.
I stood up and left my house.
I ran into the forest.
"Mune" I called. "I'm sorry! I love you! Please don't hate me."
He turned to me, a unicorn horn protruded from his head and he looked into my eyes. "What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry," I panted. "For asking you to leave. For being angry."
"It's fine. Catch your breath first."
I took a few, steadying deep breaths.
"I've made my choice. But before you know, you should know that I love you. Adore you! I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
I held him and kissed him. My hold on him tightened and the kiss became stronger.
He pulled back, stopping the kiss short. He looked away. "You want him back."
"Mune, listen!" I cried. "It's more to do with the fact I couldn't miss out on the chance to save his life."
"No. It's fine. I'll... It'll be done." There was a blinding flash of light and a sound like a thunderclap. I closed my eyes as it looked like stars were exploding in the air in front of me. When I opened them, Lune was standing there, bewildered.
"Corelle?" he asked, confused.
"H-hi Lune," I stammered.
Lune looked at Mune. He seemed to guess that Mune was involved in his sudden appearance in the wood. "Who are you? Where am I? What am I doing here?"
"I am...I am." Mune steadied himself. "I am Mune, the God of Time. I brought you back from the dead for you to be with your lover.
"You are in my town of Coldstone."
"What?! I'm not dead! And I live in Coldstone too - it's just I've never been here."
"It's the forest outside of Coldstone and it seems I went back a little too far. Corelle, you will have to explain to him..." He sat down at the base of a nearby tree, closing his eyes.
I looked at Lune, into the face of the one I had loved but who had been taken from me so cruelly.
I choked back tears.
"Corelle, what's wrong?" he asked, stepping forwards to hold me. "What's this man being saying to you? Has he hurt you?"
"No, no. It's just... I can't believe ... you're really here. Really ... alive."
"The man sad that too - what does he mean, Corelle?"
In the barest of whispers, I said "You died. This is the future. Mune brought you back."
Lune held me tightly. "Oh, Corelle," he whispered.
"Corelle?" Mune asked, from the floor.
I was crying into his shoulder. This couldn't be real. This just couldn't be happening. I didn't reply, couldn't.
"Oh, I know you're busy but. I don't want to be left in the woods... please put me somewhere safe. Hopefully, Death will be here soon. Ask her to wake me." His words surprised me - I couldn't process them at first. But then intelligence clicked as if a lever had been pulled.
I turned. "What?!" I asked, horrified.
"When a- a god uses too much power, he/she must be awoken by another god from their slumber. I asked Death to come... here. She. Needs. To. Help... m-m-"
"Mune! Why didn't you say?! Oh, I wouldn't have, if... Why didn't you tell me?" I let go of Lune and ran over to Mune. I collapsed on my knees before him. "Why?!"
He didn't respond. He was very still and his eyes were shut.
I hugged him, sobbing him. "No!" I lifted my head and kissed him, full on the lips. "Mune, please!" I wept.
He still didn't respond.
"Mune!" I cried, my tears splashing freely on his face. I heard Lune step forwards behind me. "Corelle," he said gently. He touched my shoulder, but I screamed out "No!"
I sat down and cradled Mune in my arms. "Mune, I'm sorry; I'm so, so sorry."
"Excuse me, miss. This is extremely warming but..." A woman stood behind me, she pulled down her hood to reveal her thick wavy blonde hair and her pale grey eyes. She smiled as I looked at her. "I believe I'm early."
"No," I gasped. "It can't be..." I threw my arms around her and started sobbing more heavily. "I'm sorry! I'm so, so sorry. I killed him! I killed Mune.
"Please don't take him! Please! I beg you!"
"Didn't he explain? We gods do not die. We merely sleep; I am here to wake him up. You don't have to be afraid my child. It's okay," she knelt down beside me, pushing my hair out of my face and wiping my tears.
I suddenly realised this was Death I was talking to. Death I had hugged.
I shook with terror and the chill. "You took my Lune," I whispered, backing away from her.
"Lune is standing behind you and I do not choose who dies. I merely help them get to the Netherplane."
"I'm sorry," I murmured, feeling like a told-off child. "It's just ... it hurt so much."
"I try to help the bereaved as much as I can, but I can talk later. For now, I'd like to wake up Mune."
"Of course," I murmured, standing up and backing away to give her room.
She sat beside him and pushed back his hair and kissed his cheek softly. Her warm breath making Mune blink slowly.
"Good morning, Prince," she smiled and Mune threw his arms around her, "Oh, Death. I've missed you so!"
I swallowed hard at the affection in his tone. I turned to Lune. He was watching me with a closed expression on his face. "I missed you," I murmured.
Lune nodded slightly but he didn't look very convinced.
"I love you," I heard Mune murmur.
What? What was going on?"
I turned away from Lune and watched Mune's embrace with Death.
"I love you too," she whispered, kissing his cheek and helping him to his feet. Mune turned to me. "Corelle, meet death. The softest, kindest god there is."
"Hi," I murmured. And in a low whisper, I asked "Can I talk with you? Privately?"
"Sure," she replied.
I had seen something interesting and was starting to formulate a plan.
I walked with her a little way into the wood, leaving Mune and Lune alone. "How does Mune love you?" I asked bluntly. Up close, I noted how beautiful she was.
"We have known each other for thousands of years. We are very close. We all are," she answered in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Could you love him as a lover?" I asked. "I apologise for my directness, but I have caused him great pain."
"I have," she replied.
"It ended?" I asked, unable to hide my disappointment at the fact that this plan might not work before it had even been put into action.
"It lasted about one thousand five hundred years. Then the second world war happened which tore me away from him. I hadn't seen him since."
"Oh... That's so sad," I murmured, instantly sympathetic and feeling guilty for being so insensitive. "Is there anything to stop you loving him now?"
"Why all on love? You sound like Aphrodite."
I hung my head. "I love Mune. But I love Lune too. I'm probably going to break Mune's heart. If there were a way I could maybe ... distract him from some of that pain..."
"I am not taking part in such a thing. It's mean! Tell him straight. Don't play around with both of them. Talk to them both. Although, I'd talk after the gathering."
"What?! I wasn't going to ask you to go and play with his affections! I was just asking if there were a chance you two could be together if I ended my relationship with him. If there wasn't, I'd have to find out who I wanted to be with."
"You should really talk to him." Her words were comforting when my mind was in such chaos.
I nodded. "I should. But I'm scared. There's my lover out in the clearing. He saw me kiss Mune. I don't know what to say."
"Tell him the truth. But, wait till after the gathering tomorrow. Love may be of help."
I was confused for a moment before I remembered Love was a god.
"Thank you," I murmured, hugging Death tightly. I didn't hate her anymore. Mune was right - she was lovely.
She took an intake of breath - I had caught her by surprise - and then she hugged me back. "No need to thank me."
I let go and stepped back. "What should I do for now?"
"Enjoy having Lune back."
I nodded. "Thank you."
She walked off back to Mune, she kissed his cheek softly and held him close.
I returned a little later.
"Mune, there's still a place available at mine tonight if you want it," I called.
"May Death stay too?"
"Oh sure," I called. "Me and Lune will take the sofa."
Lune protested "You shouldn't give up your bed."
I looked at him reproachfully. "They're guests, Lune. It's not fair to make them sleep on the sofa."
"It's okay," Mune said. "We'll take the sofa."
"Oh no," I said. "I wouldn't have it." I gave Lune a look as his mouth opened. He hastily shut it. Then grinned at me.
"Just like the old days, eh?" he whispered, nudging me. I couldn't help but smile.
"Yup - I always made the rules," I replied.
He laughed. It sent a throb of pain through my heart. How much had I missed that laugh!
Mune's face twisted a little, then he nodded. "Thank you."
"Corelle," Lune murmured, ignoring Mune. His tone was one of concern. "You're crying." He held me tightly. "It's okay, baby. I'm here now. Oh, I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you. It's so strange to think, though."
I turned to Mune. "You were saying earlier... That you could make me forget."
"Yes?" he murmured.
It struck me that I could forget him. I swallowed hard.
"I'd like to forget Lune died." Lune held me and squeezed me slightly as I choked out the last word. I looked down. "But ... I'd like to remember... knowing so that this evening still makes sense."
"But what of Lune? He will know he died and you wouldn't..."
"He wouldn't ... remember it," I whispered. "That's what's important."
Death stepped forwards. "Please wait. I know this must be hard for you and I'm sorry but, Mune can only do so much."
"Oh of course!" I glared at Mune. "I am not having you die on me again! How dare you let me think you can do these things without telling me they hurt you."
Death snarled, her eyes darkening and her face falling into the look that you would have thought typical of evil Death. "Do not blame Mune."
"What?!" I asked frightened, shrinking back. "I'm not blaming him - I'm telling him he should warn me. I felt like I was killing him. Surely you want me to be aware of the danger too?"
"I know. I know how much it hurts, I know how bad it is to lose the one you love as well. Think of what he's going through."
I swallowed. "I'm sorry." I looked straight at Mune. "I'm sorry. I ... I just don't want to see you hurt. And ... if it were my choice, I'd love everyone I could." In a whisper, I added "I'm sorry for hurting you by bringing back Lune."
Mune was silent and he shrank back behind Death.
Lune turned to me. "Oh, Corelle," he murmured. "What have you got yourself into?"
I burst into tears. "You were gone! I didn't know you could come back. It hurt so much. I didn't mean to betray your memory but it happened. I fell in love again. And of course I still love you but Mune is a consideration now. Even though you were the first, even though my heart should solely be yours."
Bang goes Death's plan, I thought.
Death took Mune into her arms and sighed. "The gathering is tomorrow. You are both welcome to come." Her expression softened and she took off her cloak, revealing a long white dress, rimmed with silver. "Do you mind if I leave my scythe down here too?"
"No, of course not," I murmured. No one said anything as I turned back and ran to my house. As soon as I got there, I went straight to my bathroom. I locked myself in and once again burst into tears. However was I going to make this choice!