Absence, Abandonment, and Lost Love

In the time that Vadiim spent away on his mission, Keinah visited the isolated beach only to find herself alone. She searched the seemingly endless aisle for her lover in vain. Her feelings of abandonment and despair drove her to contact a doctor who prescribed medicine that kept her seizures under control. She resumed her roles as a nursemaid and housekeeper to make money. Keinah’s life thrived like never. She was encouraged by a wealthy employer to attend school with his daughter so she could learn how to read. She even found companionship with the shopkeeper’s nephew, who suffered from hay fever as an infant and had a weak heart.

Vadiim was dedicated to defending the Emerald kingdom and completing his assignment, though he longed to see Keinah. He resented Lord Bilal for tricking him, knowing that her condition had been unstable before he left. He feared she would perish and go with The Reaper without him having the chance to reach her. The thought of eternal separation nearly caved him in. Fortune turned when the Emerald emissaries located the Sapphire bandits, and they waged a long, gruesome battle to disarm them.

Vadiim forwent reporting at the Emerald capital but made haste for Keinah’s beach. To his dismay, it looked desolate, as if no one had been there in ages. He relentlessly combed the beach for any traces of her. At one point, he stumbled across a small sand mound. When he uncovered the sand, it revealed Keinah’s book of fables rolled inside her sleep mat. Vadiim cradled the cherished articles to his chest and shouted in grief so loud that his voice echoed throughout the beach. All kinds of crushing thoughts raced through his mind. He wondered if she was indeed dead and that he was too late, after all.

Vadiim began going mad, trying to decipher what had happened to Keinah. He broke another decree and visit the realm of living humans to solve the mystery. He shape-shifted into a small cloud, making himself hardly perceptible to the human eye. In no time at all, he reached the province. He remembered every aspect of Keinah’s village as she had described it to him. His first stop was the hut that she used to live in. It had long been torn down, but there was a makeshift gravestone in what used to be the backyard. The notches on the stone showed the deceased had been buried for two years.

This gave Vadiim quite the terror. His worst fear had been confirmed. Just then, he overheard a group of children approaching while laughing and humming a familiar tune. His interest piqued when he realized it was Keinah’s song. He followed them towards a raggedy building that looked like it was their schoolhouse. Inside, he saw a very good and grown-up Keinah writing on the chalkboard. The children entered the room and greeted her warmly. Vadiim marveled at how lively and well she appeared. He knew right away that it must have been her grandmother’s grave back at their old hut.

The Far Side of Hereafter, Ch. 6

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