Aftermath


I’m confused in my troubled mind;  still weak, malnourished and shaken

What did I witness before my very eyes; why was your little life taken?

If only I’d known the truth from the start, perhaps I could have prevented the end

Must I deny that you ever existed, do I have to pretend?

Jenna guides me to rest back on my pillow, as she speaks words of comfort to me;

Places a tender kiss upon my lips and reassures me that you are finally free

I cry for you, dainty Cordelia. You were as fragile as glass

As fairy-like as a little imp, yet for a human you somehow passed

I can only hope that your soul is at rest and you are as content as can be

I was too selfish to ever love you. You shouldn’t be dead; it should be me.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Grandma; I miss you


Missing you is like a summer with no sun, or an autumn without its coloured leaves

Your chair sits empty, I expect to see you sat smiling but you’re no longer here

Next Boxing Day there will be a part missing; like a vital piece of a jigsaw, or an empty square in a crossword. You won’t be there.

Most days I think about you, spare a thought for you or recall a precious memory; one which I will cherish in my heart forever.

I hope you’re content in your little section of heaven, or wherever your free spirit lies.

-Grandma, I miss you.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Azure – Chapter 82


Azure novel shell

“You must slip away now and not tell anyone where you are going Cordelia.”
She sighed. She had to say fair well to the people who she cared so much about?
Cordelia waved, blew a kiss, turning to walk in the opposite direction.
“Where are you going?” Nikolai frowned, raising his head a little. “Please don’t go, you’ve just saved my life. Please don’t leave like this.”
She had no choice, how Cordelia wished that she could explain.
“Where ever you’re going, I- I want to come with you.” Tim whispered. “I don’t want you to be alone any more.”
Cordelia hesitated and turned, contemplating his offer.
“Please. It’s the least I can do.”
“I’d come too if I could. Where are you going, you’re not going away for long are you?” Nikolai whispered.
Cordelia smiled and pointed to Tim, holding out her hand. He took it gladly. With reluctance, she agreed. She glanced at Nikolai and Jenna with their anxious faces. Cordelia kissed both of them on the cheek. They would make such a lovely couple. They were perfect together.
‘Please don’t worry about me.’ She thought. ‘I wouldn’t want you to.’
“Nik? What on earth is going on?” Jenna gasped. “Shh, please don’t cry, but you’re going to have to..”
Nikolai sniffed, wiping away a tear.
“Nikolai?”
He cleared his throat, still holding Cordelia’s hand in his.
“I still don’t fully understand myself.” But he did.

Cordelia took Tim’s hand and led him outside into the humid atmosphere.
“Where are we going?”
Cordelia pointed to the horizon, with a heavy heart. It was time. They sat on the beach together and waited, listening to the sound of the waves lapping at the shore.
“Cor-de-lia!” A voice called. She shuddered, rising to her feet as her long blonde hair whistled in the soothing breeze. She took a couple of steps into the water. Tim grabbed her hand, pulling her back.
“What are you doing?”
Cordelia paused, kissing his hand and stroking the cheek of the most loyal man she knew, her eyes filling with tears.
“Please don’t go.” Tim whispered, somehow he knew. Tim sensed a hand on his shoulder, a wrinkled one, aged by time. Cordelia’s Grandmother. Cordelia smiled, relieved that she was beside her again.
“I’m afraid she must Tim. She cannot stay mortal forever.”
“Oh God! But what about us?”
“She’ll never forget the three of you.” She whispered.
“I wish Nik and Jen were here. How on earth do I explain to them that you just…died?”
“You- you don’t have to.”
Cordelia’s Grandmother pointed to Jenna, Nikolai  and Franco who walked arm in arm towards them.
“How on earth was he allowed to leave, how is Nik strong enough to walk? He had a drip and..” Tim gasped. “Oh, I’m so glad that Franco is here!”
“So many questions. Don’t ask. The truth would only confuse you. I have means and ways. I can assure you, the staff won’t notice. I may have meddled with timings a little.”
“O-ok.”
Jenna adjusted the blanket tucked around Nikolai’s shoulders, as she assisted him to sit down. He wiped away his tears as Cordelia crouched down beside him, lifting his chin a little.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered. “I always have cared you know. You were like the little sister I never had.”
There was no sign of Kesakitan, what had become of her? Cordelia’s Grandmother held out both of her hands to Cordelia, she took them; wrapping her arms around the dear old woman.
“Kesakitan is not here.”

Cordelia paused and looked to the sky, it was changing; filled with a stunning orange glow.
‘Cordelia, you must come with us now. You sacrificed your mermaid’s tail for legs.’
Cordelia nodded as Tim held her, unable to hear them. Nikolai and her Grandmother were fully aware.
“My wonderful Granddaughter. Oh darling ! Don’t be afraid. In a year or so; I will join you.”
‘Wait’ Cordelia thought as she paused, taking a moment to embrace the three of them and kiss their confused, saddened faces. Only Nikolai understood. He looked up at her as she kissed him upon the lips once more.
‘I’ll look after you all forever, all four of you.’ She thought.
“I know you will. Like an angel.” Nikolai sniffed.
Cordelia’s little heart skipped a beat. Somehow, he had read her mind.

“We are the spirits who look after those who no longer have an eternal soul. Like you, Cordelia. You have performed a selfless act. Your friends will always be safe and Kesakitan cannot touch you now, she can’t hurt you any more, Cordelia. You will all be far from her grasp.”
Cordelia pointed to Nikolai.
“Especially Nikolai Capri. You have chosen to save his life, kind young woman.”
Cordelia’s Grandmother smiled and nodded, she understood. Cordelia tried to speak and…
“Nikolai, I’ve loved you since the day we met. I was obsessed with you, I know and it was foolish type of love. I’ll never regret saving your life that day.”
Nikolai shivered, hearing Cordelia’s ‘voice’ for the first time. Her lips did not move.
“I saw Jake push you. You were right. But that doesn’t matter, you’re going to be safe and well from now on. You and Jenna are going to be very happy and I am so glad. Time will pass and you will forget little, mute Cordelia who acted so foolishly and..”
Nikolai hugged her to him.
“No, you are an angel sent from heaven. I was cruel and immature. I wish I could rewind the clock, you saved me in every way that I could have been saved. I’ll never forgive myself if..”
Cordelia wiped away his tears, kissing his structured cheekbones.
“Please don’t cry, don’t waste your tears. Everything is as it should be, Nikolai. I was a silly little thing. I don’t think I was ever destined to live long. Perhaps I was supposed to bring people together, just like this.”
“You were never silly.”
“I was, Jenna sees you as you are. I know that now. I was so stupid.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re beautiful Nikolai Capri, the most beautiful human that I have ever seen. I didn’t see the Nikolai inside like Jenna did, or the Nikolai who just wanted to be loved and not judged.”
“But we judged you, if only we’d known.”
“No-one would have believed it.” She smiled. “Can you just imagine? Your life was saved by a mermaid.” Cordelia kissed Nikolai’s forehead.
“Heal now Nikolai Capri. You’re already on the road to recovery.”
“You’ll always have a little space in my heart, Cordelia. I promise.”
“Cordelia, Cordelia you must come.”
She nodded as she followed the voices into the sea, expecting to disappear. All of a sudden,  Cordelia felt herself rising above the clouds, as she gazed down at the four of them for one final time.  At last, she was at peace.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

No Sense


heart-broken_wallpapers_9056_1280x1024.jpg

Cast me aside; unloved, unwanted

Deny I was a part of you

I saved your life, take it for granted;

My time is almost through

I’m a foolish thing; no sense, no heart

At least that’s what you insisted

Your harsh words will tear me apart;

Pretend Cordelia never existed.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Azure- Chapter 81


Azure novel shell

“Dying?”
“H-how.”
“It was inevitable.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I don’t think anyone ever will. Sometimes in life we make transitions. In this instance, more often than not they are irreversible.”
Tim frowned as Cordelia smiled at his kind face.
“That’s awful! You probably wish I was Nik. I’m afraid I’m not much next to him and..”
Cordelia tried her best to nod, her pretty complexion changed.
“Tim, you should know that Cordelia made a sacrifice for Nikolai Capri. The biggest of them all. I cannot tell you the full truth, because you would never believe me, but you must know that he did unintentionally break her heart. Cordelia and I can never return to the sea.”
“You’re fishermen, um women?” Tim placed his arm around Cordelia.
“Mermaids dear.”
“What? That’s impossible!
“Why?”
“Well, because they only exist in my-”
In myths, legends and fairy stories? Yes; apparently so. Nikolai Capri is now fully aware that Cordelia saved his life, but I’m not sure if he would believe the full story.”
“I don’t know what to do. You’re not strong enough to go and see him, but…is there any where I can take you or anything I can do?”
Cordelia nodded, holding out her hand to him and pressing her index finger to his lips with tears in her eyes.

“Jen, I need to see Cordelia. again”
“Tim is with her, she’ll be okay. I don’t trust her; I don’t know what to think, except I’m so glad that you’re safe.”
“I missed you. Oh my God! Dad!” Nikolai gasped his face lighting up as Franco darted into the room.
Franco’s mouth spread into a wide smile.
“Thank God!” Franco whispered.
“Dad, I’ve missed you so much!”
“I’m so sorry Niko!”
“So am I. It’s so good to see you, how long have you been here?”
“Five days.”
Franco sat on Nikolai’s bed, placing his arm around Nikolai’s shoulder, holding him close, tears falling down his cheeks.
“You’re cold, Nik.”
“Oh.”
“Here’s another blanket, there. Hopefully you’ll warm up soon. Do you remember anything; I mean what actually happened at the time, just before hand?”
Nikolai shook his head. “What , about the coma? Not a great deal.” He did now, but this was not the time to explain.
Franco looked saddened.
“Sorry.”
“Hey, don’t apologise. I caught a glimpse of Tim, he looked a little upset do you think he’s with Cordelia?”
Jenna kissed Nikolai’s forehead. “He’ll be okay.”
“Jen.” Nikolai whispered. “Please would you just check? After all the support he’s given me, it’s the least I can do.” He glanced at Franco. “I’ll be fine, I’m in good company.”
“Baby, I don’t want to go.”
“Please?”
Franco nodded. “You should. I’d like to chat with Niko.”
Jenna sighed as she gazed into his glassy, sultry eyes, her expression softening. “Okay.”

Jenna went off in search for Tim. She walked along the nearby corridor, peering to see if any of the side room doors were open.
“In here.” Cordelia’s Grandmother beckoned.
“What’s happened?” She glanced at Tim’s tear streaked face.
“She’s fading.”
Cordelia opened her eyes a little, gazing up at Tim, who smiled at her.
“I’m really sorry.” He whispered. “I wish I could get Nikolai for you, I know how much you adore him. I’m sorry I’m not him and…”
Cordelia shook her head and kissed him tenderly. He reciprocated the kiss.
“Cordelia, there’s one thing I have to know. Perhaps your Grandma could answer. Did-did you poison Nikolai?”
“Not intentionally.” The old woman stated. “It was a mistake, partly my fault and also her sisters. Cordelia wasn’t to blame, she only did what she thought was right.”
“What was it? The poison I mean.”
“Deadly nightshade.”
“Shit!” Tim gasped. “Cordelia, I don’t know how the hell he survived that! What did you think you were doing? It’s toxic, deadly!”
“She didn’t know, the dosage she gave him was too high. Had it been watered down like I told her sister Athena, Nikolai would have been no worse off than he had been, then again he might never have known the truth.”
“Where did she get it?”

Jenna coughed loudly.
“Jen, what are you doing here?”
“Franco is still with Nik. Nikolai insisted that I came to find you, he’s worried about you.”
“The coin has flipped. This has been the scariest week of my life.”
“And mine.”
“Cordelia, don’t be scared any more. Tim, I have an idea.”
She fetched one of the red leather hospital wheelchairs, putting on the brakes.
Cordelia, do you feel strong enough to sit?”
She didn’t, but she felt she had no choice. Tim lifted her with care, placing her in the seat, placing a pillow behind her and tucking a blanket around her knees.
“We’re taking you to see Nik. He keeps asking for you.”
The thought filled her chilled, malnourished body with warmth.

Nikolai held out his hand to her. “Hey beautiful.”
Cordelia forced a smile as she glanced at his thin face.
“You are an angel in disguise; you saved my life not once but twice. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you, not properly. It’s a shame that I’m so stupid. Common sense has never been my strong point. You know, when I was in the coma I had a dream about you; I was lying on the beach. You put me there that morning and looked after me until help arrived. I owe you my life; you gave me a second chance to sort things out. Without you, I would have died and no-one would have cared.  Cordelia, you saved me. You’ve made me realise that… I had to stop being so selfish, fickle and heartless. It was high time that I grew up.”
Cordelia placed her hand over her eyes and wept silently.
“Shh, shh. It’s okay.”
Tim rubbed his eyes as Jenna patted his shoulder. His chest ached from within.
“I knew it!”
Nikolai nodded.
“What can we do, Nikolai?”
“I- I’ve remembered something, from one of my nightmares, um dreams.”
“Oh?”
“Cordelia isn’t human, are you?”
She shook her head.
“Did you see everything that day, be-between Jake and I, I mean?”
She nodded again.
“He caused my accident. I’m sorry about your voice.”
Cordelia shook her head, she wasn’t. Not any more.
“I know that there’s so much that you want to say. I see it now, every time I look into your eyes; they’re the most expressive eyes I’ve ever seen.”
Cordelia stroked his cheek with all her remaining strength.
“I’m going to be fine now, thanks to you, but Cordelia, you’re not well. I’m glad that you’ve had someone to support you, though.”
“Cordelia?”
She glanced up to look at Tim.
“I care about you, you know. I always have.”
Cordelia felt a little surprised, but the news seemed to bring a little life back to her.
“You’re such a sweet girl and um, I like you. I like you a lot. I’ve just never really had the guts to say it properly. Like I said, I know I’m not Nik, but…”
She shook her head. Tim had been the one all along; he’d been there for her just like he’d been there to support Jenna. Nikolai smiled and nodded.
“I knew it.” Nikolai laughed. “You’re both so lovely together.”
“Cor-de-li-a.”
Cordelia sniffed. It was almost time.
Nikolai looked at Cordelia with great concern, holding her petite hand in his.
“You look really anxious Cordelia, are you okay?”
She nodded, but it was a lie.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

I Will Break


Why are you so smitten when you’re with her?

It’s Jenna you tell everything, with her you confer

Here I stand forgotten in my quiet little way

As you two grow closer together; every single day

I have a heart too, it’s breaking down inside

Must I conceal my feelings, why are her remarks so snide?

If only you knew the risks I took; the sacrifices I had to make

And like an unwanted doll; I will crack, I will break.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Azure- Chapter 80


Azure novel shell

“Heaven’s above!” Kesakitan screamed. “He is awakening!”
Cordelia jumped, the familiar sound of Kesakitan’s strange voice ringing in her ears. She had left Nikolai’s mind.
“He has broken it, he has! But not so fast, I will have one of you.” Cordelia nodded, pointing to herself.
“You?”
She nodded once more. Cordelia kissed his forehead, resting her head beside Nikolai on the pillow as his eyelids flickered again. She nodded, willing him to wake up. Cordelia’s Grandmother paused.
“I- I think it’s working.” She placed her hand onto his shoulder. “Wake up young man, I know that you are trying very hard, and..”
‘Cordelia saved me from the sea.’
Something clicked; Nikolai gasped , tilted his head back and opened his eyes. Where was he? He glanced at his surrounding and panicked as two faces surrounded him, their appearance blurred. The noise in the room was still muffled. Nikolai panted, trying to get up but he was still too weak, the last few drops of poison lingering in his system. Cordelia smiled, the tears rolling down her cheeks as she slipped her petite arm underneath his neck to support his head. She stroked his hair, wishing that she could speak again. She couldn’t , but her Grandmother could.

Cordelia’s Grandmother sat next to him in one of the chairs.
“Nikolai? I realise that you will have no clue who I am but..”
“Am I dead?” He muttered.
“No of course not!” Cordelia’s Granny exclaimed. “No, no you’re quite alive Nikolai.”
“Cordelia saved me.”
Cordelia nodded, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him.
“I’m sorry.” He sniffed.
She shook her head.
“You-” Nikolai recalled the majority of what Kesakitan had said to him. “You saved me the day I nearly drowned.”
Cordelia nodded, forcing a smile.
“I thought it was Mikalya. I should have been thanking you the whole time, when in fact I was just being horrible and selfish. I didn’t love you when you cared so much about me and…”
Cordelia placed her index finger to his lips.
“I am Cordelia’s Grandmother. You do not know the full truth, not yet; only the important parts. Now, you must calm yourself and rest. I will go over and tell the nurses that you are awake; Nikolai. Try not to talk now.”
“Nurses? I thought…”
“You’re in hospital, Nikolai.”
“Wher-where’s….”
“Jenna? She and your other friend Tim both needed to rest.”
Nikolai glanced around again, trying to make sense of the unfamiliar surrounding.
“Excuse me?”
“Yes?”
She did not say anything, but pointed over towards Nikolai.
“Oh my goodness!” The nurse gasped, placing her notes back into the filing cabinet. “He’s awake!” She patted a nearby doctor on the shoulder, willing her to follow as they dashed over to Nikolai. There was no doubting it. He had come out of his coma.

Tim’s mobile rang; he rolled over and glanced at his clock. 5am.
“Hello.” He muttered.
“Hello, is this Tim?”
“Yes, of course.”
“I’m calling from the hospital.”
“Oh God!” Tim gasped, sitting bolt upright, still half asleep. “Is Nik okay? Has something happened to him?”
“Tim, you’d better come in. Nikolai Capri is awake.”
“What, really?! O-oh thank God! I-I’ll be half an hour, please ring his Dad, Franco.”
“Yes of course, naturally, we tried him first, but he didn’t answer.”
“Please try again!”
Tim darted out of his cabin, shaking Jenna.
“Holy shit! Don’t do that! Oh God! Is it Niko? He’s not- he hasn’t die-”
She sensed Tim’s trembling hand on her shoulder.
“No.” He whispered. “Nik’s awake.”
Jenna placed a hand over her mouth, sobbing with relief as she wrapped her arms around Tim’s neck as he cradled her in his arms. She pulled away a little, bouncing out of bed.
“I-I’ll leave you to get dressed.”
“I’ll be ready in five.” Jenna gasped, washing quickly; shoving on some clothes and pulling her hair into a top knot. She brushed her teeth, catching sight of Tim who was just re-emerging from his room. Without saying so much as a word, they ran hand in hand to the hospital.
“When they said Nikolai’s awake, what did they mean?” Jenna panted.
“Conscious!”
“How conscious? Like talking, aware or…”
“Jen, we’re going to find out.”

Nikolai still held Cordelia’s hand and smiled; too weak to do anything else.
“Cordelia, do you see that little plastic bag of sponges?”
She nodded.
“Get some water from the water cooler and dab it on his lips using the sponge.” She whispered.
“Am I safe?”
“You are now,Nikolai.” Cordelia’s Grandmother smiled. “You will be.”
He nodded as Cordelia returned, stroking his hair.
“Hey.” He croaked.
She kissed him again.
“What happened, do you know?”
Cordelia stood there, eaten up by guilt. How on earth could she begin to explain to him that she had tried to bargain with a sea witch and accidentally poisoned him? Cordelia’s Granny put her hand on her shoulder.
“They think that it might be linked to your head injury and…”
“It was Jake.” He whispered. “I know that for certain now. I hadn’t been well since I almost drowned and, well one thing is for certain. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you Cordelia, I thought it was Mikayla all that time. She was a liar.”
Cordelia pressed her index finger over his lips, sensing his slight agitation and adjusted his pillow. She dipped the mouth care sponge in the cool water and held it to Nikolai’s lips as he drank, just as Jenna and Tim raced arm in arm into the unit. Cordelia saw the anger burning in Jenna’s eyes.
“Nik!” Jenna’s whispered. “Oh my God, baby!”

Cordelia took one last look at Nikolai, before taking her Grandmother’s hand and tiptoeing from the entrance. Cordelia wept, trembling from within. She was so pale and thin.
“Cordelia? What’s the matter?” He Grandmother whispered.
Cordelia didn’t know, but something inside her was changing, altering too fast. Her legs gave way and she crumpled to the floor. She tried to prop herself up on one arm, but she was too weak.
‘I will take you, Cordelia.’
“Cordelia, what do you want me to do? Shall I get someone?” Her Grandmother whispered. Cordelia shook her head but then…
“Shall I get Tim?”
Cordelia wept and nodded; tasting something metallic on her tongue.
“I-I wont be long.” She helped Cordelia sit in a wheelchair , taking her into an unoccupied doctor’s side room; tucking a blanket around her knees. She hugged Cordelia to her. “You’re my brave girl.” She whispered. “I love you my dear.”

She darted back to Nikolai’s bed where the trio sat, smiling quietly as Nikolai lay in Jenna’s arms, gazing up at her face. Tim looked up at Cordelia’s Grandmother and hugged Nikolai again, before standing up and walking with her as she beckoned. Jenna didn’t notice, too enraptured in the fact that Nikolai was awake.
“Where-where’s Cordelia?”
“Just follow me.”
Tim did, pacing after Cordelia’s Grandmother.
“She’s just in here, Tim.”
Her voice sounded choked. Tim took one glance at Cordelia, who sat, slumped; just as Nikolai had when his pain had begun to take hold of his body. She was fading fast.
“Oh my God! Cordelia, you look awful. We need to fetch someone! I- I’ll ring for assistance!”
Her Grandmother shook her head. “We cannot help her. I think she might be past that.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Die Alone


Are you really there, or is my mind playing a game?

I lie alone in darkness; do I appear the same?

Have I died or slipped away, is my soul in the in-between?

Must I cling onto life, so my actions can be redeemed?

Whose voice is there in the shadows, is it someone that I know?

That tells me I’m no longer wanted, orders me to let go

Perhaps Jenna never did love me and Tim doesn’t care

How will I ever know the truth, if I can’t feel that you’re there?

Please hold my hand with tenderness, or speak comfort to me;

As I sink deeper into the darkness, must I cry so you can see?

Perhaps I really am dying, but don’t let me die alone

I’m scared beyond explanation, terrified of the unknown.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Azure- Chapter 79


Azure novel shell

Nik? Are- are you crying? Oh gosh. Nikolai um, I know that your Mum is looking after you. I’m so sure that you can hear parts of what I’m saying.” Another tear fell, Franco placed his hand firmly on Nikolai’s shoulder.
“Don’t be scared.” Franco whispered. “Know that Tim, Jenna and I care about you so much. When you wake up, we’ll be here for you; okay. I uh, wish there was something more I could do. Instead, I’m just sitting here like an idiot. I only hope whatever is in your system, hasn’t damaged your brain. I-I’m going to try something.”
Franco placed his hand in his pocket, pulling out a small shell. With care he placed it into the palm of Nikolai’s upturned hand. It nestled there, sitting next to his skin. Franco closed Nikolai’s fingers over the shell.
“I wonder if you can feel that. It’s very pretty. I happened to find it yesterday. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before Nik, it’s almost like a sign. Its white you see; the colour of peace. The heart itself is very symmetrical and has a crack down the middle, very much like a broken heart. The crack is wider at the top and-and the shell is ribbed. Here, feel. I’ll put it on your bedside table. I think someone up there loves you very much. I cannot stop thinking about your Mum, Nik. I’d like to think this shell was from her. I’ll see you again very soon Nikolai, I love you.”

Cordelia peered around the glass once more as Franco left.
“There now dear. It’s our chance, the coast is clear.”
Cordelia shook her head.
“What do you mean no? Come.”
Cordelia sat down and glanced at Nikolai, the man whom she had unintentionally poisoned. She hesitated, before placing a hand in a fan on his chest. He was still breathing.
“He’s still alive Cordelia, but not for much longer if we don’t intervene. Now then dear, this is what I want you to do. First, let him know that you’re there. I’m certain that he can still sense people around him.”
Cordelia frowned.
“Take both of his hands in yours.”
Cordelia did, sensing his soft skin underneath her fingertips.
“Don’t worry about his plaster cast dear, you won’t hurt him. It’s a great shame that we cannot talk to him. This is what we need to do. We must take the antidote and inject it. Don’t look so puzzled. Just do it Cordelia, he cannot swallow a pill, he’d only choke. Now we must find a suitable vain.”
She checked Nikolai’s arms.
“Gosh, they’re buried deep. But here.” She pointed to the vain on the inside of his elbow crease. “Do you see the blue thing?”
Cordelia nodded.
“That’s what we’re aiming for. I have the antidote in a little container; we must draw it up in a syringe and inject it into his arm. If it works it may help. If not; I’m not sure. Do you want to take the chance, Cordelia? Surly he wont be any worse off than he is now.”

Cordelia frowned, rubbing her forehead ,deep in thought. She envisaged Nikolai Capri, when he was well. Not completely, but as he was when they first met, that day when he carried her from the beach. Cordelia recalled the delicious smell of his aftershave and his smooth skin as she had rested her head against his bare shoulder.
“Cordelia, you must stop this! Focus now. Take the ribbon from around your plait. Now then tie it around his arm tightly, just before the crease in his elbow. It will make his veins stand out.”
Cordelia glanced around the bay, looking for nurses. They were sat at the nurses station with their backs turned to Nikolai, their faces highlighted by the night lights. Cordelia sniffed and kissed Nikolai’s lips.
‘Please don’t die.’ She prayed. ‘Please let this work.’
“Take the needle, Cordelia. On second thoughts, your hands are shaking, let me do it.”
Cordelia let her, she was far too afraid. As quick as a flash, her Granny had drawn up the liquid.
“If it works, then we will see a change soon.”
Cordelia nodded. She ran a hand through his hair, sensing the waves underneath her fingertips and kissing his dark curls.

Cordelia’s Grandmother frowned. “I- it seems stuck. I cannot inject it. I must try his other arm. Untie the ribbon and do exactly what you did before.” She did, but with little avail. Cordelia shook her head. Was it too late?
‘Goodness me Nikolai Capri, they’re trying hard aren’t they?’ Kesakitan laughed. ‘What fools, how on earth did they think that they could..’
Cordelia’s Grandmother changed her position with haste, as she did so, her leg accidentally caught the bed sheet , causing it to be pushed a little to one side. Cordelia’s eye widened and heart fluttered as she noticed the similar, small blue line on the top of Nikolai’s right foot. She placed her hand on his slim ankle, somehow she knew what to do and did not hesitate; injecting the antidote into his foot.
Kesakitan screamed from the depth of her cabin, pacing backwards and forwards.
“The antidote is in his system!”
“Cordelia, quickly! Grab some more blankets; ensure that he is kept warm. His body temperature might drop suddenly.”
Cordelia ran over to the linen trolley, grasping two green, knitted blankets and draped them over Nikolai.
“Hold his hands in yours and let him know that you’re there.Well done dear!”
She nodded, sitting by Nikolai and kissing his face, he looked ever so slightly different as if some life had been returned to him.

The tears fell down Cordelia’s cheeks, dropping onto Nikolai’s face. She kissed him again, willing him to get better. His eye lids fluttered a little, his chalky lips parted a tiny fraction as if he was trying to speak. She stroked his cheek, placing her head upon his shoulder just as she had done on the beach that day. Cordelia pushed the wavy strand away from his face. He seemed to unlock a little.
‘Who is that?’ Nikolai thought. ‘She is familiar; her touch is so gentle. I-I remember it. Who is this, who is she?’
Cordelia kissed his hand, massaging his fingers with great care.
‘She was the girl from the beach that day.’
Suddenly, it happened. The memories came flooding back. Nikolai saw Jake’s furious face as he screamed at him, forcing him back. Nikolai fell, sensing the initial agony as his body struck the side of the boat with great force. But wait, someone was helping him. He saw Cordelia’s dainty little face in a clear vision. Those huge, expressive blue eyes that had met his on the beach, just before the pain had seared through his ribs.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Azure- Chapter 78


Azure novel shell

“Jenna!”  Tim looked on, horrified. “Yes we would! Two of us would have been exactly in the same position. Nik would be just as worried if it was you lying there in a coma. He’s a good guy Jen and…”
“I know he is.” She whispered. “I’m just being really stupid I suppose. I feel like there’s nothing I can do to help Niko.”
“There’s lots of things. Perhaps he can feel it when you touch his hand? Even the murmur of people’s voices will probably bring him some comfort.”
“I’d like to think that.” Jenna nodded.
“We could try reading to him again?”
“You can, I don’t think I could hold myself together.”
“It does feel odd. I think I’ll just try talking to him again. Nik, you’ve done enough sleeping. Hopefully you’ll feel really refreshed once you wake up. Jen and I really miss you; it hasn’t been the same having you around you know. We were a great trio, we still are. You have a bit of a six o’clock shadow appearing; unless you want to keep it and attempt to pull off the designer stubble look, I’m going to give you a little shave. Would you like that?”
Jenna shook her head. “He’s not responding in the slightest, no twitching. No nothing.”
“Give him time Jen.”
“Tim, he’s been unconscious for days.”
“I know, but he isn’t going to magically bounce back. I’d give my left arm to find out what really happened though.”
“We know it was Cordelia.”
“No Jen, we don’t. You just assumed that it was.”
“What? You don’t?”
Tim took Nikolai’s electric shaver from its charger and proceeded to shave him.
“I don’t know what to think. I’m not going to lie; I am really worried about her. She said that she had no close friends, family or…”
“Stop talking about Cordelia!” Jenna snapped. “She’s out of our lives.”
“Jen, you’re getting snappy. We have to get back to the boat to pack, just give me five minutes to finish this.”

Cordelia and her Grandmother waited and watched. They hid in the background with the main entrance of the hospital in view, waiting for Jenna and Tim to depart. At long last Cordelia caught sight of them, Cordelia grabbed her Granny’s arm and nodded. She looked up and listened to the conversation.
“Tim, how on earth do you stay so strong? I feel like I’m going to pieces here, but you… well you always manage to hold it together in awful situations. How do you do that?”
“Umm well. I don’t know. People have different ways of coping don’t they? For example, you’re good at letting it all out by talking and crying if you need to and..”
“Yeah, I’m embarrassed about that.”
“Why? It’s good to. Don’t keep your emotions locked up; it’s what Nikolai used to do.”
“I know. He got better at talking though.”
“Oh yeah, he really grew up on this holiday; a hell of a lot actually.”
“Hmm. What do you do Tim? I’ve never seen you get particularly upset.”
“Believe me, I do. But erm, I have a little cry in private.”
“Really? About Niko?”
“He’s a friend Jenna, I’m bound to be hurting inside!”
“I know. You’re like an older brother to him Tim. You mean a lot to Nikolai, we both do.”
“Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. Hunger I think. Come on you, I’m starving. Franco will be back soon.”

“I hate to say this, but they seem sensible, Cordelia.”
Cordelia nodded.
“They care about Nikolai very much, don’t they? Now then we will go in now that the coast is clear and we can sit with him for a little while. Don’t you worry, I will think of a good story to tell the nurses.”
She rang the bell; Cordelia stood two steps behind her Grandmother.
“Cordelia, come on!”
She tiptoed behind her as a tall, raven haired nurse answered the bell.
“We are old friends of Mr Capri. We’ve travelled from quite far afield and..”
The nurse smiled and let them in.
“Yes of course, there are some chairs by his bed.”
“Thank you.”
Cordelia shook her head and held back.
“Cordelia, in this life we must face the consequences of our actions. Come along now.”
Sheepishly, Cordelia followed, holding onto her Granny’s arm. There, in the quietness of the room Nikolai lay on his back, his head elevated a little to assist his breathing. He looked deathly pale. She eyed his collar bones which had become more prominent of late underneath the smoothness of his skin. Cordelia darted towards him, but her Grandmother shook her head.
“Cordelia my dear, you must stay composed. Here now, let’s sit by him. I must tell you that he looks absolutely dreadful.”

Cordelia rubbed her eyes, placing her head on her Grandmother’s shoulder.
“My, he is handsome though.”
Cordelia nodded.
“But is that all you see?”
Cordelia tilted her head.
“My dear, I fear that you barely know the man. Tell me truthfully now, do you like him because he is exceedingly good looking, or do you genuinely love the man inside?”
Cordelia shrugged. She wanted to say yes, but…
“Perhaps you did not have enough time to know. How about this other girl Cordelia? Does she love Nikolai for who he is?”
Cordelia recalled Jenna; caring, loving Jenna who was always there when Nikolai needed her the most. She was his rock and they understood each other. Cordelia nodded.
“Then, I would say that they are suited. Oh gosh, there is someone coming! Quick Cordelia, let’s go and sit over there in the waiting area.”
They darted through the double doors as Franco returned after going to fetch a bottle of sparkling water. He turned his head to the left as the door slammed. Behind the safety of the door, Cordelia and her Grandmother stared through the glass.
“Is that his Father?”
Cordelia shrugged.
“Well, they look very alike. Handsome pair aren’t they?”
Cordelia nodded, wishing that she was still sat with Nikolai.
“Oh don’t look so sad. His Father will be gone soon and then I will see what I can do for the young man.”

“Hey Nik.” Franco whispered putting his water down.
“I- I’ll try talking to you Nik. Um, do you remember your Mum? Of course you do, you two were so close, like two peas in a pod. When you wake up, you and I will need to have a decent sit down chat wont we and decide where we went wrong. We’re both a little bit too stubborn I think. Do you remember the time when you were about 15 and you refused to get out of the car and have a photo with us? It-it would have been the last one of the three of us together. Luckily we’d taken one of you, your Mum and I about a week prior to that and..”
It was then that Franco saw the glistening tear in the corner of Nikolai’s eye. A tiny one which  rolled over his cheek bone and soaked into the cotton pillow.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014