“Phillip!” Raw tears streamed down Aidelle’s porcelain face, “If you really loved me, you would stay!”
Phillip sighed, his heart crying out for her too.
“Let’s not bring love into this…” said he, slowly and sadly.
“Oh, because, of course, love counts for nothing!”
“Aidelle, I do love you-”
“No, you do not.”
“Please, just listen to me. I am trying to do what will be best in the long run for you and I. All I need is your promise that you will be with me in spirit, as we cannot be together in body. The war will be over before you know it, and I will be back to protect you.”
Aidelle was not convinced.
“If you walk out that door now, I will not come to see you off. I will stay here, in this house, forever and will not put my support towards anything you do. If you choose to leave me now, you will never get me back.”
“Aidelle Masters…” Phillip tired of the argument; it was not in his veins to keep such things going.
Aidelle turned away from him and gazed firmly at a golden flower decorating the wall. If her mind had not been clouded with fury, she would have marvelled, deep in irony, at the little family that was supposed to bloom in that house, just like the way the flowers all bloomed so wonderfully over the wall.
Phillip reached out with his hands, lost for words to explain the situation, or to apologise to his lover. What more was to be done?
Suddenly, Aidelle whipped back around to him, just as Phillip’s hands would have touched her cotton cream-coloured jacket. Her face was fury personified, but she had no words to say. All the person, Aidelle, was now, was the uncorked pain and sorrow that she experienced from having not only her ties with a rich family sliced, but also, the only man she had ever loved running hastily into war and far away from her.
She reached out to the mantelpiece and grasped the nearest heavy object that she could reach easily: the silver and gold clock. She lifted it high over her head and brought it, singing, down through the air. Wide-eyed Phillip, knowing what she was about to do, stepped away in time not to be struck but, even so, he still tried to reach for her dainty wrists.
“Get out!” Aidelle screamed, lifting the small clock and preparing to bring it down once again.
“Get out! I never want to see you again, Phillip!”
Phillip gasped like a fish out of water, his mouth opening and closing, filled with silence. For him, it was now or never.
So, he turned away from Aidelle. It all felt like slow motion as he watched the face of his young fiancée become part of the background in his vision. He took a couple of steps forward, but then turned back; he could not bring himself to turn away from her.
“Just leave and never see me again,” she screamed, finally gathering the strength to throw the timepiece in Phillip’s direction.
He leant to, tried to catch it, but it skimmed his fingers painfully and came crashing to the ground with a musical reverberation. Momentarily distracted, Aidelle looked at it, perhaps shocked now at her actions, but when she looked back up, Phillip had gone. He had chosen to leave her, his one-true-love.
Aidelle knelt beside the clock, she fingered the silver hands, easy to touch now through the shattered glass face, and she tried to pair up the broken cogs that poured from the body, its blood, its essence, gone.
Aidelle knelt beside the timepiece and cried.
The wind outside the house trembled in awe and ceased to exist and moan; everything was so placid for a moment, waiting with baited breath for what was to come.
Through her tears, Aidelle did not see the sliver of silver light that passed from the clock and up, like a gas, into the atmosphere. The energy of time shook with its burning power and revelled at, after having been kept confined in the clock for years, it was finally free to dance in the stream of other time that may be.
With a shimmer it was gone.
Everything that Aidelle and Phillip had known was gone.
It was the end. And, yet it was only the beginning.