The ground began to fade away from beneath your feet. You felt an icy mist covering your bare legs. It made you feel vulnerable, the exact opposite of what you let on to others. You felt exposed, left in nothing but a simple white gown.
Your arms, face and legs began to get encompassed by the strange mist. It had no origin and simply existed out of thin air. Your hands waved at your sides, trying to cast the mist away. As you moved your left hand, a gentle tug followed. The hand pulled itself back to its original position at your side.
Quickly, your head snapped to said hand. Your eyes widened in disbelief at what you saw.
A red string was tied to your ring finger. It was wound around the slender digit tightly. However beyond that, the string continued away from your hand. Its single thread jutted into the distance.
Your mind was fogged and beginning to slowly drift away. A nagging voice in the back of your head urged you to follow the peculiar red cord, nevertheless.
Your movements were slow at first. The right leg inched forward, followed by the left. It was a difficult process that required an intense amount of concentration. The chilling water vapor also did not help in your efforts. It rose in the air with each passing moment.
“No.” You exclaimed defiantly at the mist. You were to reach the end of the string if it was the last thing you ever did. Something within you knew that whatever was on the other side had to be extremely important.
Eventually, your journey led you to a grand oak door. It floated in existence before you, having no attachment to a wall or home. Its square design was plain and not intricate enough to steal your interest. Your mind was too focused on the red thread.
It trailed just beneath the mysterious door, perhaps even ending behind it. Your eyes scanned the entrance. You had no strength to shove your way through. In a second of logical thought, you reasoned that since it was a door someone else must be at the other side of it.
With that being concluded, you reached your left hand out to gently knock. The sound echoed throughout the vast open space, hopefully reaching an attentive ear.
You had no choice but to wait patiently for an answer. Each passing moment beat along with your heart. You felt its roar in your ears and pound in your chest. A sweeping dizziness was slowly catching up to you.
The doorknob then made a slow turn. You felt something resonating throughout your left hand. A proper look would reveal that it was glowing a faint rosy color. As the door creaked open the vibrations picked up, getting stronger and more frequent.
“You know you never have to knock. My door is always open for you, mi tesoro.” A familiar Spanish accent flooded through your ears. It sounded smooth and insanely addicting. You wanted to hear him speak again in that rich voice that you adored.
As you turned your head to set eyes on the owner of the accent, you could feel something within you break. This was no longer a dream, but a cruel and twisted nightmare. But as you tried to fight the urge to scream, your balance was taken away.
You fell forward into the arms of your once lover. His emerald eyes danced merrily as they fell upon you. He always said that you made him smile the greatest.
“I can’t.” Your voice came out to nothing more than a whisper. Your breathing slowed down, your chest rising and falling at a deteriorating pace.
You can’t what, exactly? You can’t love the man that had done nothing but love you? You can’t go back to the times where the two of you would be together in pure bliss? Or was it that you can’t stand being even a centimeter apart from him because your heart begged for him to say those simple three words to you? I love you.
You woke up with a startling jolt. Yours eyes were wide, wildly scanned your bedroom. Sweat made the sheets cling to your trembling frame as the dream, no, nightmare’s events retold themselves in your mind.
How foolish your actions had been. Surely you couldn’t still be feeling any sense of compassion for that dense man you, by law were required to call your husband.
A small child shifted at your side. He poked his head out from underneath the sheets with a worried expression covering his face.
“Momma,” Your one of two adopted Italian sons whimpered. “Are you alright? You screamed in your sleep and began to say papà’s name.”
You sighed, trying your best to compose yourself in front of the young boy. Your hand soothingly ran through his auburn hair, steering clear of the gravity defying curl sticking out from the left side.
“Don’t worry, my little Feliciano. Your mother is just fine. It was only a nightmare.” You whispered softly in response.
On your right was the eldest of the Italian brothers. Lovino slept soundly, curled towards the end of the bed. His breathing was low and relaxed which told you that he had not been startled by your shouts.
You leaned down to kiss the top of the worried boy’s head. You were then overcome by a pang of guilt. Your son shouldn’t have to listen to your own anguish. Both of them had been through so much over the past few months.
At first, the fights had been nothing more than a misunderstanding. They were easily patched up by the next day. Then, you began to scream at him. It occurred at least once a week until you had decided that you have had enough. You took your two children and moved into your mother’s house until you sorted yourself out. Unfortunately, your mother only had one spare bedroom. The three of you shared it each night with you in the middle and the boys at your sides. They were still in elementary school so the king size was able to fit the three of you quite well.
It has been a week since you had moved out of the home you shared with Antonio. He would call each day to talk to the boys. While Feliciano was quick to pick up the phone, Lovino refused to speak to him. He resented his father and seemed to blame him for making his mother cry.
At the end of every phone call, Antonio would ask you to speak to him. He sometimes begged, saying that it was urgent. He wanted to fix things. He wanted you back.
Each time you would sharply decline saying that you had two perfectly strong men right beside you and that was all you ever needed. The line would go dead on the other end and the same process would repeat the next day.
The morning light filtered through the paper blinds of the room. Your eyes fluttered open, still groggy from the lack of sleep. You had stayed in bed staring at the ceiling after finally pacifying Feliciano enough to sleep.
A cold sheet of panic swept over you as you noticed that the boys were no longer at your side. You were normally the first to wake up to promptly start the day. Although it was a weekend and you didn’t have to go to work, the internal alarm within you never let you sleep after nine o’clock.
You rubbed your eyes in an attempt get the sleep out of them. The digital clock on the cable box read that it was a quarter past twelve o’clock. You couldn’t believe you had slept in so late! Could it have been the dream last night that caused so much fatigue?
Your movements were speedy as you jumped out of bed to get dressed and tidy up the room. You always made it your mission to keep everything clean and in order. Your mother was kind enough to let you stay for as long as you needed, you didn’t want to inconvenience her in any way.
“Feliciano? Lovino?” You called as you exited the bedroom. Your attire was simple, a plain red cotton t-shirt and a pair of jeans. In your hurry you had no time to put on any makeup or do you hair. A messy bun was placed upon your head, with two pieces of hair outlining your naturally beautiful face. You were only in your mid-twenties, having married young and adopting the boys soon after.
“What are you doing here, idiota?” You heard Lovino’s voice scream from the front of the house. From the tone of his voice, there was only one person he could be referring to. The hatred dripped from his words slicing through the air like a blade.
Your legs couldn’t bring you to the front door fast enough! You entered the atrium only to see your husband already entered. A key swung from a keychain on his right index finger.
You wished you hadn’t, but it was far too late to turn back once your head was lifted. No matter the warning signs your brain was giving you, your heart alleviated them all. Your cold gaze met with a lively bright green.
“Lovino is right. What are you doing here, Antonio? Breaking and entering is a crime, you know.” Your arms folded over your chest, displaying your annoyed attitude.
This meeting would be different than your nightmare’s. You wouldn’t be so easily charmed by his handsomely clear cut facial features. He could grovel to your feet at this very moment, pleading that you come back to the house. You would not be swayed.
“I’m not trespassing, querida. Your mother let me borrow a spare key.” He took a step closer to you, showing the small piece of metal in his palm. Lovino ran in between the two of you with a scowl etched across his face. He was just as stubborn as you were and planned on protecting his mother.
“Get away from her! We don’t want you here!” His tiny hands balled into clenching fists at his sides. Lovino closed his eyes and shook his head madly at his father. Without warning, tears sprung from angered boy. It broke your heart to see his young body arch forward in a sob. This was all because Antonio had to stop by for an unexpected visit.
“Go home. Don’t you see what you are doing to the children? You make everything worse.” You spat at the man.
Although, your heart knew that you truly didn’t want him to leave. No matter the amount of loathing you put in your voice and posture, something within you was drawn to the Spaniard. You couldn’t escape your nightmare after all no matter how hard you tried.
Your arms protectively wrapped around your crying child. You placed your chin on the top of his head and hushed him softly.
At the same time, Antonio advanced and placed his arms around the Italian boy as well. Your arms touched briefly before you tried to pull away. His touch was mesmerizing, more powerful than his voice.
His hand trailed up the child’s arm to your spine. A single finger ran along your back, causing you to shudder involuntarily. You looked up to see the man smirking victoriously at you.
“We can still work this out, querida. Just tell me that you still love me. I can tell that you do. I’ll apologize for everything that I made you go through. But you have to understand something.” His eyes closed momentarily and then opened to be glassier than before.
You didn’t want to hear his peace making proposal. It wouldn’t matter. The two of you would end up fighting once again. You would end up hurt and crying once more. It was how it always would be. Sometimes love just wasn’t enough to save a relationship.
“I don’t think so. And I don’t want to hear another “querida” out of your mouth. Did you really think you could come over here and undo all of the damage that you have done with a few words of endearment? Unbelievable. You never change.” The volume of your voice rose with each word. The anger within you could not be contained. It bubbled to the surface and demanded to be set free. Your face felt feverish as your emotions turned to pure heat.
You had completely forgotten about Lovino still being in between the two of you. His own cries let your anger fade away. More guilt filled your insides.
“Lovi, my little boy. I’m so sorry.” You hugged the child tightly. He thrashed and struggled to get out of his parents’ grip. You and Antonio released him only to have the Italian run away. Your hand stretched out for him, silently wishing he would return.
“We aren’t the only ones here, mi amor. I’ve always known that. Why do you think I’ve never fought back?” He explained. A small smile still graced his lips. How could the man still smile after all that has happened? You could not comprehend his words at all.
“You’re speaking nonsense. I want you to leave this house immediately or else I will call the police.” Your voice shook at the end of your threat. You had never gotten the authorities involved in your normal spats with your husband.
Antonio took a final step towards you, closing the gap that Lovino had left behind. He was taller than you and placed his chin atop your head just as you had done for Lovino. His arms wrapped around you, refusing to let go. Your initial instinct was to twist and try to break out of his grip. He was too strong for you to break free. Your struggles ceased after a few short moments.
“Now,” His breathe was warm against the skin on your neck. He had moved to speak directly into your ear. “I don’t want to fight with you. I only want you to stay with me. I…” He paused. It was similar to what he had done before. You knew there was something he wanted to say, but simply couldn’t.
“You what? You finally understand that some things are impossible. We can’t live in a place that we can’t afford, Antonio. I know the house that your parents grew up on is special to you but it is just too costly to maintain. I spend most of my time home from work cleaning the giant place while you’re playing outside, carefree with the boys. How do you think I feel? I manage all of the bills. Sooner or later we are going to end up on the street, but you don’t care. It’ll be your fault and you just grin as if everything is all fine and dandy. This is real life! Wake up to it or else I won’t be the only thing you lose.” Your breathing quickened. You gasped for a long breathe of air. It was maddening to have so much to worry about.
You had voiced these problems to Antonio over and over again. Of course, he would always try to change the subject. This was usually how all of your fights began. He didn’t understand the long term consequences of his desires.
A shaking hand stroked your back, soothing you slightly. You wouldn’t cry, not in front of him. You couldn’t let him think you were weak.
A lukewarm drop of water dripped onto your shoulder. You couldn’t help but look up to see the source of the tears. Silently, Antonio cried as he held you.
Soundless silver beads rolled down his perfect olive toned face. You noticed that his hair, although normally a stylish mess, was now greased and unkempt. You were confused. Why would he be crying? He always smiled and seemed to let the brighter side of every situation shine above anything else.
“I-I want to put the house up for sale.” He announced, finally opening his eyes. They widened as they met your own, shocked that you would finally face him. “And I already found a much cheaper one not too far away. The boys would still be able to go to the same school. I had a friend of mine help me figure out all of the costs with all of the other bills we have to cover. We would have enough money to buy it and not have to worry about going into debt. I’m sorry I never realized all of this until it was too late. Te amo, ________.”
You were astounded, to say the least, by his powerful confession. In the week of your absence he had changed so much. Was it really his love for you that caused it?
“What…” You trailed off. It was a great deal of news to so bluntly blurt out.
Antonio, however, took your lack of response as you disapproval to the idea. He nuzzled his head into the crook of your neck and whispered quickly. “We can keep looking. My home is wherever you are.”
Your hands slowly trailed up the man’s sides until they found his handsome face. They looped around his neck and pulled him in for a deep kiss. With it you poured all of your regret and love for the kind Spaniard.
“Te amo, también.” You replied in his native tongue when you broke away. He quickly pulled you back to initiate it himself. Your lips melted into it, taking pleasure from each second of it. He was soft and gentle yet still able to kiss passionately. Your hands rose higher into his rich chocolate tresses.
He was the first to break away in need of a silly little thing known as “oxygen”. His smile was once again prominent on his face and looked fully renewed. He took your hand and kissed it. His lips tickled the bare skin causing you to giggle slightly.
You couldn’t help but notice how powerful his affect was on you. You knew not another soul that could rip your immovable and severe demeanor away so quickly.
“Now, remember what I said to you before about us not being the only ones?” He stated calmly, glad to have you back in his arms.
“Yes, but I still don’t understand…” Suddenly a sharp realization hit you. “Where is Feliciano?” You asked worriedly. You traced back the events from when Antonio first entered the house. You thought only Lovino had been there but his younger brother couldn’t have been too far behind. All of the screaming you had done. Your grip tightened at the thought.
“Follow me, querida.” He said. The man interlocked your hands with his and led you into the bathroom.
Behind the shower curtains a small Italian boy with tearing honey eyes. His older brother sat by his side, trying to hide his own saddened face. Feliciano glanced from you to his father. He didn’t know what to make of the two of you together again. He wanted the fighting to stop but there was always the possibility that they would start again.
The young boy only wanted to see his parents love each other. He was frightened by the shouts his mother made.
You bent down to pick up your youngest son. Antonio followed your lead and held Lovino in his arms and the darker Italian surprisingly allowed him to do so.
“A-are you still fighting?” Feliciano asked between his sobs. You cradled him slowly in your arms and repeatedly kissed the top of his head.
“No, mio bambino. Momma and papà are not fighting anymore.” You whispered to your child. He hugged you tightly and nodded at your words.
“No more fighting, ever.” Antonio added in.
“But, if we do happen to disagree.” You began softly. Your eyes shifted from one child to the next. “There will always be a red string of fate linking us together.” You held up your left hand, showing the boys your sparkling wedding ring.
In truth, you had never taken if off throughout the entire week. You could never bring yourself to do so no matter how angry you became at the Spaniard. You loved him, it was as simple as that.
“Un hilo rojo del destino. I remember hearing stories about that when I was younger. Where did you hear about it, mi amor?” He asked teasingly.
“It’s just something I believe in.” You said, shrugging innocently and thinking back to your dream.