We shall cling to this…
And it was in that painful moment that she realized that she was doing it again; she was saying goodbye. Despite both of their repeated statements that this wasn’t goodbye, that they would keep in touch, it still felt like goodbye. Before, despite the troubles, the mad men and deadly artifacts, they were linked by what they did, the artifacts they hunted, the secret of this world that they shared.
But that was not the life they shared anymore. She had made a choice to stay away from the Warehouse, away from artifacts and a life of danger, away from the person she came to care for most of all. And in that moment, despite the incredible warmth of Myka’s embrace, Helena felt a chasm growing between them, one of her own making.
“You know, they aren’t looking,” Myka said with a smile as she pulled away from Helena’s hug. “It’s not too late to sneak you into the back seat and get the heck out of dodge.” They both laughed, and Helena was sure her eyes betrayed how truly tempting an offer it was. It was this unexplainable pull that she felt towards Myka. For as much as she held a cherished place in her heart for the other woman, this pull also terrified Helena. It was strange force she’d never felt before, had no explanation for, and was often very poor at resisting it. In the face of that pull she found it difficult to form her words as she watched Myka climb into the car.
The engine hard started and the car was rolling out of the drive when she realized that she and Myka had yet to break eye contact. Myka waved, Helena waved back. And as the car disappeared around the curve, Helena felt a part of herself leave. It seems as though Myka had just left, as though her car just disappeared with her in it, smiling to Helena in the side mirror, when she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Nate. She hadn’t realized that she had walked to the very end of the drive, just barely keeping from walking further, and that she had been out there for half an hour. So she went inside, kissed her boyfriend, tucked her surrogate daughter into bed.
Sleep wouldn’t come to Helena. She spent more time pacing around the house than lying down. She stayed downstairs so as not to disturb Nate. She wandered past every window that looked out onto the street, and found herself staring, her thoughts chasing each other one after another down the highway. It was 2 in the morning when she sat down at the sofa and rubbed her eyes.
What was she doing, staring out the window like some love-sick puppy, entertaining thoughts of escaping down the highway, calculating how fast she would need to drive in order to catch up to Myka. It wasn’t until just moments ago that she realized that she had been considering it an escape, as if she were a captive in this loving and trusting man’s home. Helena shook her head. These feelings, this gravity that compelled her away and to Myka’s side were difficult enough to fight off the fist and second time they were separated. And now, in just one day, the work of six months had nearly been erased and Helena was finding it difficult to find a reason for staying away. But then she remembered Myka’s words.
“Stay. Have a normal life.” It had been a lifetime since Helena had experienced anything one may consider normal. It was a noble goal to strive for. She hadn’t realized right away that she was handling her phone, moving it from one hand to another as she had paced around the living room and kitchen. But now she stared down at it, at the one number she had kept from her life at the Warehouse.
“Coffee?” her text said, and she’d sent it before she could talk herself out of it, before she realized that it was 2 in the morning and there was no chance she’d receive an answer. She knew it was time to time to go to bed, or at least try to sleep. She chuckled softly at herself, thinking on how silly she had been. But then her phone beeped.
“A little late for coffee, isn’t it?”
She could hardly believe she’d gotten a reply, and barely a minute from when she’d sent her message. Instantly Helena loved how Myka spelled out every word, and actually used punctuation in her text. The trend among texters was to abbreviate as much as possible, and to see a full sentence was quite refreshing. She typed a reply quickly.
“By the time I reach South Dakota, it will be morning, and just in time for breakfast.”
What on earth was she thinking? She couldn’t possibly … well, she just couldn’t … that would be so reckless of her, to just leave. Could she? If she had meant to leave, she’d have done it hours ago. She’d have gotten in the car and driven away with Myka, but she didn’t. But she couldn’t stop smiling, and her phone beeped again.
“How could I say no?”
This wasn’t leaving, not really. She wasn’t running away. That’s what she told herself as she moved about the house as silently as a shadow, getting dressed and packing a simple overnight bag. This was just coffee. A day away, to spend with her friend without the stress of an artifact getting in the way. That’s what this was. Nothing more.
She wrote a brief letter and left it on the night stand for Nate to find. She would be gone for three days at most. It would be good to see Claudia again as well, and see that Artie was recovering well.
This was a good idea, she was sure of it as she closed the front door behind her. As she made every step to move closer to Myka, she could feel the pull growing stronger, like two magnets that only grew more desperate to connect the closer they became. Just a short visit, just a couple of days she told herself. But in her chest she could feel a relief settling in, like she had been holding her breath until now, and knowing soon she would see Myka again, she could breathe again.