Where Rainbows End!
                                                                                       Sharon Holtz


Chapter Three

Catherine awoke, and after finally focusing her eyes on the clock, she couldn’t believe it was only 6 a.m. And so after rolling back over, she thought about how Vincent had left her last night. He seemed to have so much on his mind, and it bothered her he left without a promise of seeing her tonight, or without an invitation to come visit the tunnels over the weekend.       
Catherine’s disappointment brought tears to her eyes, and she cried softly as she laid there alone, not knowing what the future would bring, under the guise of a woman named Lisa.
Meanwhile, Vincent stirred from his sleep, and was struck by the sadness he was feeling from his Catherine.
Though he couldn’t see it last night, he now could see it very clearly. He realized how let down, and disappointed Catherine was he didn’t stay last night.
And it greatly disturbed him, for the first time since he found Catherine injured in the park, he was distracted from her. Vincent never would have believed this could ever happen, but it has.
As Vincent paced in his chamber, he lamented on how, Catherine was not on the forefront of his thoughts, and because of that, he had let her down terribly.
There she was, holding their novel in her arms, as she dozed off waiting for him. He recalled now, they were supposed to read to each other. How could he have been so thoughtless, so distracted from this?
Vincent laid back down, and as he closed his eyes, he scolded himself on how he could let Lisa disturb him so? Now there was this letter from Lisa, confusing him even more! What did it all mean?
Just as he contemplated his state of mind, Lisa came to his chamber, seductively standing at his threshold, and queried, "You never came to me last night Vincent, didn’t you see my note?”
Turning to look at her, Vincent thought after all these years, she was just as beautiful to him now, as she was back then. And as her soft elegant voice invaded his troubled thoughts, he responded by saying,  "Lisa…”
Rising from his bed, he welcomed her inside, before confessing, "I read it.”
Lisa sauntered inside as she scolded, "I mean so little to you, that you didn’t come to me as I requested?”
Bowing his head, Vincent shook his tousled head, as he explained, "Please Lisa, do not take offense.”
Turning her back to him for affect, Lisa searchingly asked, "Was it because you arrived home too late Vincent?”
Hesitantly Vincent stood, weighing his words. How does he tell her what to expect from him, as his heart now belongs to Catherine.
Suddenly turning to face Vincent, Lisa bluntly asked, "Vincent, are you and Catherine lovers?”
Stunned, Lisa would come right out and ask him this, he then thought twice, realizing even as children, she often talked of sexual matters. She would purposefully bring up the subject, knowing it unnerved him so. She seemed to get a wicked delight out of embarrassing Vincent back then. Of course Vincent would never participate in any of the conversations concerning the subject, he was too much a gentlemen, even back then.
Nervously he spoke, "Lisa, I…”
Smiling at Vincent, she broke in, saying, "I forgot how private you are Vincent. You would never reveal anything so personal, would you Vincent?"
Slyly she then continued, "However I could guess. My guess would be that you and Catherine are passionate lovers, and you didn’t come to me, because your thoughts are only of Catherine, and your night of wild unbridled passion!”
With a pleading tone, Vincent said, "Lisa, please…”
Turning back once again, she hid her smile, knowing without actually telling her, she received the answer to her invading question. No they were not lovers, not in the physical sense of the word anyway.
She then pondered to herself, "Just what is Catherine to Vincent, and what is he to her?"
With a bit of a frown, Lisa turned toward Vincent to say, "I can forgive you for not stopping by last night. Though, I do wonder why you didn’t come see an old friend.”
Vincent wondered why he found it so hard to talk to Lisa about his feelings for Catherine. Yes, he had to finally admit to himself, Lisa's return, had awakened feelings, he thought had long ago died, and his new struggle to kill those feelings again, once and for all.
Not wanting to give up yet, Lisa asked once more,  "Vincent? Tell me, why didn’t you come to me?”
He could not look at Lisa as he spoke, so he instead looked downward shyly, as he told her, "I felt it would have been a betrayal to Catherine, had I fulfilled your request.”
Raising Vincent’s chin, she forced him to look at her, as she told him, "The things I wrote you, are all true, but I can see you are not ready to talk about it now."
Determined, she patiently implied, "Very well, I can wait. Meanwhile we must decide what am I to do with myself while I am here. What will be my role in the community? I do have a few ideas, would you like to hear them?”
Vincent feeling relieved, the subject for now had changed, answered, "Yes of course, won’t you sit down?”
As Lisa sat down, she folded her hands on Vincent’s writing table, and after taking in a deep breath, she excitedly relayed, "I thought I could teach the children, teach Dance that is. Did you see how Samantha’s eyes sparkled, as she asked me of my training?"
Excitedly, she added, "Yes I believe that would be so very worthwhile, and I am more than ready for worthwhile. I am so tired of thinking about myself all the time. And now since my professional career is on hold, well this would help me keep in shape for my career as well."
Leaning forward on her hand, she intently asked, "Tell me, what do you think?”
Nodding an approving nod, Vincent cautioned her. "You realize this must be approved of by Father, no matter what I think of it?”
Reaching across the table to touch Vincent’s hand, she replied, "Yes, of course. I can’t wait to go tell him."
Hopefully, she asked, "Will you go with me when I propose my idea?”
Vincent looked down at her delicate hand on his, and felt so very nostalgic at the site of it, for Lisa was the first girl to ever touch him in a gentle way such as this. He remembered when they were perhaps 12 or 13, Vincent helped Lisa with her English lesson, and Lisa was so totally bored with it all. She sat looking at his hand and as she stroked the softness of it, she told him she secretly had wanted to hold hands with him, and so as Vincent read Hamlet aloud to her, she sat holding his hand.

A small grin crossed his lips, as he thought of that gesture Lisa had bestowed upon him all those years ago.
Seeing him smile, Lisa inquisitively asked, "What is it Vincent? You are smiling.”

Softly he replied, "I was taken back in time for a moment, back in time to a very sweet memory.”
Anxiously she asked, "Tell me Vincent Please!”
Vincent looked at Lisa, and asked, "Do you remember the first time you touched my hand like this? I don’t know if you realize what that meant to me.”
Lisa closed her eyes, and said, "Yes I remember, you were reading Shakespeare to me, because I needed your help to understand all the symbolism going on.”
Vincent was silently pleased she did remember, and replied, "Yes.”
Lisa sat quietly for a moment, before she said, "You were always there for me Vincent.”
As they shared the silence together, Vincent pulled his hand back, and lowered his eyes. Feeling the weight of the unspoken long ago wound, that still has yet to have been healed, or forgotten.
Meanwhile, Catherine went about her morning trying not to let her disappointment grow, and cause her to jump to any unfair conclusions.
Yes, it was true Vincent was affected by Lisa’s return. This was a fact Catherine couldn’t deny, but she had to keep her faith in the bond she and Vincent shared. She was sure nothing, or no one could ever destroy it.

To be continued