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The March of Time
This story came to me through a rather pushy character, Sebastian – but now I'm waiting to see if he'll tell me his story. So far, he's been rather quiet...
Ms. Huggle woke in the morning in pain. It didn't surprise her as it had begun to happen more often of late. Her joints and back ached as she tried to get up; finding it too difficult to stand straight just yet, Ms. Huggle toddled to the bathroom.
She contemplated things as she went through her daily tasks of washing her face and preparing for the day ahead. She'd been ignoring the signs for some time she decided; perhaps that was one of the problems of growing old. Not wishing to acknowledge that you were getting old.
As she dressed, slowly due to her stiff and painful body this morning, she began to assess the changes that had occurred over the last few years. Many changes often went unnoticed till she'd begun to assess her current situation. Over her tea she began to come to a rather unpleasant result; that her life clock was running out of time.
"Oh dear, I had so hoped that this time would not come. But that was foolish of me, wasn't it Sebastian?" Ms Huggle glanced over at the black tomcat that walked into the room just then. He looked at her with large green eyes that seemed to say, "What did you expect, to live forever?" He gave her a look and she took the bowl of kibble off the table and put it down slowly on the floor. "Sorry it's not liver or chicken my friend, but our funds don't go far enough for those treats anymore. I needed to finish things up these last few years." Sebastian sniffed his food then gave her a soft meow before he began to eat. "Thank you for understanding dear boy." Ms. Huggle said to him, then sat back to finish her tea which had cooled. She tsk-tsked and lifted her little china teapot to add a bit more hot tea to warm her cup up.
The sun was beginning to peek into the kitchen window as Ms. Huggle finished her breakfast of tea, toast and jam. She'd been going over the many changes that she'd made, disturbed that she'd made so many without thinking about why she'd actually done them. Like her little table here in the kitchen. It used to be clear of clutter with a vase of flowers on it which she changed out every few days. But now her tea set sat to one side, the toaster on the other. Now one side was against the wall, so that she had everything within reach and plugged in if needed. But when she had done this, she couldn't recall, only that it had not always been so.
As she cleared up the breakfast things and made everything neat, she realized many more things that had changed in her life that she'd not really been aware of being changed. Like her walks that she loved had gradually, over time, become shorter and less frequent. Her baking and cooking that used to be traditional and seasonal events, slowly became occasional instead.
True, when her children were about, her life was far more busy and filled with activity and the sort of energy only children can bring to a household. But those times we're long behind her. Ms. Huggle had been on her own for many years now. Her children had grown up ages ago, eventually their visits became fewer and calls came only during the holidays for the most part. But that was just the way of things she mused. They were all busy with their own lives now and she was not close enough to be involved. She felt no bitterness or remorse, though a bit wistful now and again as she'd have liked to know her grandchildren better.
But she understood that life was very consuming when you were young, it filled you up and overflowed to those around you. Then when you were older with children it became a whirlwind of chaos, no matter how you planned it. It was like being at sea, you never knew when a storm would suddenly pounce on you from out of no where. But it was an exciting and confusing time to experience she thought.
Now Ms. Huggle's life was mostly quiet, her only companion these last few years was the black tom who'd adopted her one stormy night. He was a skinny little drowned rat then, cowering on her back porch, miserable and frightened. She'd let him in, dried him off and set him some food out which he managed to gobble up without getting sick. She had no need for a little box, as he would slip out a window or when he found it later, the old doggie dog to do his business. He grew quickly into a fine black tom, independent and regal as most cats. But he never forgot her kindness. He was often affectionate and always seemed to be around when she needed him.
Ms. Huggle walked slowly into the living room, with its small sofa, her rocking chair and the coffee table all neatly waiting. Her knitting basket sat beside her chair, but she couldn't recall the last time she'd worked on any of her projects. The baby blanket and booties she'd made the last grandchild had been many years ago. She'd made a set for each one, just as she'd made a set for each of her own children while she was pregnant. It was sort of a tradition for her. But it had been some time since the last baby had been born. Her grandchildren where growing up so quickly it seemed.
She opened the curtains to let in the light of the day, it seemed very nice and mild out. Perhaps a walk would help loosen her aching joints and give her a bit of exercise. She'd become a bit rounder in the last few years, not fat really, but plumper. It had been rather distressing to her as she began to wear house dresses more than pants. But the dresses did give her a bit more freedom of movement and didn't pinch like the pants did. She'd never been fond of dresses and had been a tomboy most of her life. It bothered her that she was stuck wearing pull up elastic pants when she chose to wear pants. She often would only do so if she was going out, as she really didn't like to be seen in a dress. But going out to run errands and maybe stop to have a bite to eat out had slowly tapered off these last few years. Mostly since she could now do everything she needed to do online.
Ms. Huggle prided herself on that skill, that she could be tech savvy and manage her affairs online with little effort. But it also brought into view that she had been putting off some very important matters that needed to be finally addressed. The aches in her bones and the lessening of her energy all warned her that time was no longer something she could ignore. Papers had to be filed, her will needed updating and she needed to check all the information about her accounts, the house so that everything could be tended to when she was no longer there. Sebastian needed to be taken care of also she realized, or most likely he'd be sent to a pound or be left on the street to fend for himself again. As Ms. Huggle looked out the window, watching the morning creep by, she knew that she didn't want to leave, but that it really wasn't her choice. In the end, the time comes for everyone, ready or not. At least she'd not gone before, she'd not been cheated out of a full life, her's had been a very productive and adventurous time. Her children and grandchildren would continue on and with them a part of her would live on.
She went into her little computer room, it had once been her youngest boy's bedroom. But here is where she tended to the paperwork that was life. There were two file cabinets and a printer on top. The bookshelf was filled to overflowing, but she knew where every book was that she needed. In the closet were the memory boxes, plastic containers that held the past in safety. Each was labeled and organized, she couldn't recall when she'd done it, but Ms. Huggle was glad that she'd accomplished that task. It meant less that she had left to do. Each of her children had a box that she'd stored the treasures of their young lives. She still added things to them as she received them, a baby's birth announcement, a drawing...they all were lovingly preserved.
Sitting at her computer, Ms. Huggle felt time slip away from her as it always did when she worked. Quickly, her mind still sharp in this area, she tapped away on the keyboard bringing up files, sending off emails and making arrangements and appointments for later in the week. Within a few hours, Sebastian came in to ask for his lunch and Ms. Huggle smiled at him. "I'm sorry my dear, have I forgotten things again?" He bumped up against her legs and she realized they'd gone a bit numb. Best to move around a bit to get things moving again she decided. Used to the dull pain, she brushed it aside as she went out to the kitchen to make something for them to eat. The clock said it was just after noon, so she put down Sebastian's moist beef cutlet cat food, while she went to the frig for something for herself.
As she finished making a turkey sandwich, the phone rang. It was such a rare thing that she didn't notice it at first. But Sebastian gave a loud meow, swatting at her dress, letting her know that what she heard was the phone. Ms. Huggle reached into the deep pocket in her house dress and opened the cell phone. "Hello?"
"Hi there Molly, I just got your email. What's this all about?" the man's voice over the phone. It was her cousin Frank Morgan, he was also her attorney. "Nothing wrong with you is there ol' girl?" He seemed jovial and light, but Ms. Huggle knew he was worried and trying to make light of the situation, but it was only because he cared for her.
"For now, I'm okay Frank. But that's just it, isn't it? I want to make sure everything is taken care of so that there's nothing left that needs doing. I don't want to wait for the last moment, that time may not be so far off you know.." She said it plainly and with no nonsense. Frank seemed to sense that she was being serious.
"Molly, everything was updated about four years ago. Besides, I'm sure that you'll be around for some time yet. You've been doing okay, haven't you?” She heard the stress in his voice, though he was good to try and hide it.
“Now Frank, you know we all have to prepare for that time, though none of us truly like to think about it. Besides there are just a few things that I want added that I've forgotten to over the last year.” She paused, then added. “See, memory is starting to go already.” she chuckled.
“What changes do you want to make? I'll get them done right away if that's what you want." he asked. Her humor hadn't fooled him, he realized that she knew better than anyone about such things. “I can bring the papers by for you to sign them tomorrow, if you like.” Mrs. Huggle smiled, it was just like Frank to figure out a way to come see her.
"I want someone to be sure that Sebastian is cared for after I go. I don't want him being taken to the pound or such. He's been a great comfort to me these last few years. And I need to add that property I purchased a couple years ago. I want it to be held in trust for my youngest grandchild, Courtney, for when she's older. That would be the last one now." Ms. Huggle had sat down with her sandwich and had already gotten a glass of milk while she chatted. But she was feeling tired and wanted to eat.
"Okay, I'll have every drawn up and bring it by tomorrow.” He paused, waiting. She knew that she would have to nip this visit in the bud. There were too many things she still needed to do.
“Frank, just attach them to an email and I'll print them out here. I can sign them and send them back to you. That way you can be sure that everyone that's supposed to have a copy has one.” She was hoping that would be the end of it so she could finally eat and get back to work. But Frank wasn't going to give up that easy.
“Okay, but who's going to witness for you?” Mrs. Huggle almost laughed. He was good, which is why she was glad he was her lawyer. But she was ready for that question.
person that witnessed last time Frank, Mrs. Reece's daughter, Julie.
She lives just two minutes away and I have her number. So you can
stop worrying and just send over the papers.” She could hear Frank
sigh in defeat with some relief.
"Fine Molly, just sign the papers and get them back to me. I'll take care of everything on this end. But you take it easy and get some rest." Frank was still worried, but Ms. Huggle knew he couldn't help it. Frank had always favored her, even as a young boy, because she'd always listened and encouraged him to follow his dreams.
"I will dear, now I must go. I'll talk with you again soon." She hung up and slipped the phone back into her pocket. She disliked feeling so tired after such a simple conversation. Maybe she should go lay back down and take a nap like Frank had suggested. But Sebastian pawed at her dress and meowed at her. "Okay, don't fret so my dear. I'll eat up and get back to work. I'll have plenty of time to nap later. There's still a few more things that need doing today, before I take another break."
Once back at her computer, Ms. Huggle silently fretted that she'd not had the energy to wash her few dishes from lunch. But she had to complete the file she was working on and she didn't think that she enough energy for both. The program had neatly arranged all of her bank accounts; the name of the bank, passwords, safety deposit box info as well as all the other info that would be needed to enter into her accounts online with the utilities, her emails and her various groups and clubs so that they could be notified after she was gone. It also held were her insurance policy was, were different items where kept and the location of any keys needed. She updated the information about her will and saved the file. She reviewed her list and then checked her email for Frank's message. She found it, saved the attachment and set it up to print out. Mrs. Huggle made a note to call Julie in the morning, she hoped that Julie wouldn't mind taking it over to Frank's office.
It had been a productive day, she thought. Years ago she'd decided to get her files organized and labeled everything so it would be easy to find. Copies of the mortgage papers, deeds to all the properties and her insurance papers, stock certificates, notes and such were all inside her file cabinet, ever labeled. The original documents, plus birth certificates and other important documents were in her safety deposit box at the bank. Of course, she also had duplicates in her own safe beside the bookshelf. It also held her jewelry and some rare coins, plus some sentimental items in a small box and a ring of keys. She smiled at all that she'd accomplished over the years, all her plans, everything was worth it. Especially now that her time was winding down.
To the world, in all appearances, Ms. Huggle seemed to be comfortable financially. She lived quietly and modestly. But she had been very wise and had bought up several properties over the years. One for each of her children, who had been surprised when they'd been given their gifts of land. Ms. Huggle had deemed the right moment for each of them. They had never guessed that she'd purchased them one at a time over many years holding them in trust. Once the grandchildren started to arrive, she'd done the same for them, though she'd had more time to purchase and set them aside. A very shrewd investor Mrs. Huggle had built up a rather impressive portfolio for herself that was worth a good sum of money. She received a dividend to live on monthly and the rest supplied other funds that she'd set up over the years. None of her children knew the extent of her worth, which she had preferred. It allowed her to tend to the unpleasant business of death without having to worry them. Of course, she'd long ago established a living will, her eldest son and daughter knew her wishes also. Dr. Andrew knew too, so that worry was also taken care of too.
Life had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for her, with lows and highs and a few curves that almost derailed her. Losing her husband had been the hardest blow, especially when her last child, William had been so young. But she'd survived it all and despite the hardships, there were times of happiness too. Mrs. Huggle felt the years flow over her like a warm breeze, knowing that these last few years were slowly slipping away. She could feel her own inner clock running down as well.
There were so many wondrous things in her life she hadn't wanted it to fade away when she was gone. So she'd taken the time to record her life in her journals, from way back as a young girl she picked up the habit. Even as an adult it was something she'd kept faithful to most of the time. Her thoughts, dreams and memories were all carefully preserved in many books that had been put away in an old trunk in the attic. They where sealed in a special plastic bag to keep them safe from water, bugs, air and maybe even time.
But Mrs. Huggle was always fond of back up plans, so they'd also been scanned, then saved to CDs a few years back, when she'd learned about it. It had been her granddaughter, Lynn who'd suggested getting a computer. No one had believed that she'd actually get one, let alone learn to use it. It was another feather in her cap she mused, to be able to take on the challenge. So she was able to continue writing her daily musings on her computer, taking the back up file and saving it to CD every year. But she had the last few months already burned onto a rewritable disc, safely tucked away in her safe.
Ms. Huggle realized that by starting to backed up her current journal on her hard drive to a disc had started only a year or so ago. She'd begun doing it almost every week lately, though she'd told herself she was just being careful. The rewritable CD drive she received in the mail from the grandchildren one birthday had been a wonderful surprise. It wasn't like she didn't think that she'd make it to the end of the year, or at least she didn't admit it to herself. With all the things that could happen that would wipe away all that she'd written, it was foolish not to back it up. But either way, she felt more at ease saving more often than not.
As it was getting dark, the lights automatically came on since she'd had a timer set up a few years back. Too often she'd come out of the computer and her daydreams to realize it was rather late and she'd been sitting in the dark for many hours. So it was best to have the lights turn on and alert her to the evening hour. Glancing at the clock she wondered where all the time had gone. But then, that was one of the things about time, it was continuous. No matter how much you would want to stop it, it marched on.
She closed down things and set her tasks up so everything would be ready for the tomorrow. Then leaving her little office, she went to tend to nature's needs. It had been some time and she only noticed now that she had to go. Sebastian was waiting for her when she came out. "Now what do you want my little furry friend?" she asked him. He replied with a soft meow and headed into the living room. Ms. Huggle knew he was reminding her to close the curtains, which she proceeded to do. Then she turned on the television and found the weather channel. She listened to the report as she headed into the kitchen to make some dinner. The music between reports was soft and soothing.
"Come on Sebastian, dinner time." she called. She'd chopped up part of her own Salisbury steak and gave him some in his bowl with a bit of kibble. The gravy made it look rather yummy she thought. Sebastian gave a pleased purr as he ate it. She ate slowly, more due to thinking than to planning. It was quiet except for the soft music in the other room. Ms. Huggle thought about her children and grandchildren wistfully. It had been some time since she'd seen any of them. Except for the occasional photo or phone call, she was on the outside often peeking in at their lives. She sighed as she finished up, drinking her milk and relishing the cold fresh taste of it.
She put the dishes into the sink and rinsed them. They sat with the lunch dishes and she felt a bit guilty at leaving them yet again. But she just didn't feel like doing them right now. She rinsed out the teapot and set it up to make a fresh pot. Within a few moments she poured herself some fresh tea and turning off the television, carried it out the back door to the porch. Setting it down on the table there, she settled into her padded rocking chair. The night was clear, as the weather channel had said it would be. The stars twinkled above, the breeze was soft and had a nice cool edge to it. It felt good and Ms. Huggle felt very peaceful as she sipped her tea and just rested, watching the early evening's flicking of fireflies from her porch.
So much of this she would miss she thought to herself. There were so many more things she already did miss. But there was nothing to do about it, she'd complete her plans and then she wouldn't have to worry about things once her time was up. She didn't want to cause her children any added distress. Besides she wanted them to celebrate her life, not dwell on her death.
The appointment she'd made for Thursday would be to finalize and confirm all of the arrangements she'd made years ago with the funeral parlor. It was a very nice and respected business and she'd already paid for what she wanted done. It was all written out in her will also and in the file that she'd finished today too. Once the appointment was over and her Will was signed and filed tomorrow, everything would finally be done.
Granted it had taken longer than she'd thought it would to do everything. But now that she was nearly finished, she felt a bit sad. She didn't want to just go on waiting, as if it was the final appointment, though in many ways it was.
Ms. Huggle wanted to feel alive and feel that she was still a part of life. But she didn't know how to get back into the stream. Part of her wondered it there was any time left to even consider doing so. Perhaps this was what being old was all about. She'd seen it happen often enough around her most of her life. So many elderly people just sitting around waiting for their last moments, some even seeming to long for it. She'd never understood why they didn't live while they were still alive. But she thought she understood a bit better now. It was the weariness, the numbness and the desire to just rest and not have to worry about anything any more. There was an attraction to it when you felt hollow and abandoned, when days tended to blur into one long fuzzy moment that you couldn't remember clearly what day or month it was. She'd had only a few moments like that, thankfully. But having had them, she could better understand those who longed for release from that kind of life.
As much as she understood now, it didn't mean that she liked it. Nor was she ready to just give up the ghost as they used to say. But she was unsure, it was hard to think of the future. Her body told her things she didn't want to accept. Perhaps after she spoke with her doctor and visited with one or two of her friends that were still alive, maybe she could come up with something. Meanwhile, it was time to go to bed as Sebastian reminded her by jumping on her lap and meowing. He watched her closely as she took her things to the kitchen sink.
“You are such a good friend to me Sebastian. I don't know what would have become of me if you hadn't washed up on my porch.” Mrs. Huggle sighed, then took a small can of potted meat out of the cabinet. “I was saving this, but I want to thank you for staying with a silly old lady all these years.” She opened the can, dumped it into a small dish and put it down for him. Then she rinsed the dishes and set them to soak in some hot water till morning.
Once her nightly routine was done, she lay in bed with Sebastian at her side. He purred and let her pet him slowly. He seemed to be there most nights lately to make sure she went to sleep. Then he was off to patrol the house, then off to the backyard to make sure all was safe and go prowl about on his own. But he always returned to the foot of her bed where she would find him in the mornings. But tonight he seemed reluctant to leave and settled down at the end of the bed as she drifted off. Her thoughts where on her family and how she wished that she could see them again. The grandchildren must have grown so tall by now, maybe she should give her son or daughter a call this weekend. She smiled as sleep slipped over her and dreamed of happy times.
But as it happens, time goes on and the days pass by in a blur. Appointments are kept, made and there's meetings with old friends and things to do. There's not much time for quiet thoughts except in the evenings, but Mrs. Huggle finds she's far too tired to think then, only sleep. But the whirl of activity of the last few weeks finally ends with a quiet weekend at long last.
Sebastian, it has been so wonderful to see my friends, talk to my
children and do some of the things I've not done in so long. But it
is such a restful evening tonight after all that rushing about.”
She strokes his fur and smiles as he purrs. “I have felt alive
again after such a long time. Free to not fret or worry, it's a very
liberating sensation.” Mrs. Huggle sighs, she smiles down at
Sebastian. “I do hope that you will be happy with my arrangements.
I would have asked you but I'm afraid I don't speak cat.” She
laughs when the soft black paw reaches up for her cheek to pat her.
“My dear little friend, there is such a great adventure for you yet
ahead. But I'm afraid that I'm rather tired tonight. So it's off to
bed for me dear one, a new day awaits tomorrow.” Sebastian jumped
down and watched her head to her room. Mrs. Huggle moved slowly and
set about her nightly tasks.
She knew that something was going to happen, she could feel it. All evening there was the smell of Old Spice in the air. If was her husband's favorite cologne, but it was more than that. Something was waiting, she could feel it calling to her. If only there was a little more time, then she gave a small laugh. We always wanted a little more time, but sometimes we have none left.
Unknown to Ms. Huggle, this weekend held a surprise, but unfortunately, it has come too late; for in the early morning hours, her journey here ended. Another one began...
"Grandma, grandma are you home?" came several voices calling out. Then older voices joined them. "Mom, hey Mom where you at?" but they go unanswered in the shaded darkness within the comfortable house. A black tom cat comes slowly into the living room where they are gathered. Their eyes adjusting to the dimness within, he gives them a sad and mournful meow, his green eyes seem to gleam with tears. Then he turns and walks away out of the room and back down the hall.
One of the men, tall and handsome even though he is past his prime, calls out with concern. "Mom..." he heads down the hall in the wake of the cat and enters the room that is lit with soft yellow light filtered through the curtains as the sun peeks in. His breath catches in his throat, as he sees her lying there on the bed so peaceful, so still. The others come up from behind, his siblings and the children. So lovely she looks now, the lines made from pain bore without complaint, smoothed away in her final sleep. The light glitters among the silver strands of hair that fan out around her like a halo. There is no sound within, but at the door where her brood stands, there begin the soft sounds of sadness as the truth before them sinks in.
There at the end of the bed, the black tom sits watching them. They avoid his accusing gaze as he stares at them. "Where were you when she was alive?" his eyes seem to ask them. "Why weren't you here when she needed you?" Some of the women take the children away and into the other room. The tall son looks at the cat and whispers, "I'm sorry." Sebastian walks towards the still form and puts his paw on her hand, then meows softly. There in her hands is a letter, waiting with the words - 'to my children' written on it.
The man takes a deep breath and slowly goes over to the still form, he slips the letter from the stiffened fingers as tears fall unnoticed down his cheeks. A younger brother comes over and puts his hand on the older ones shoulder. They look at one another, then in silent agreement, they leave the room with its dark guardian watching over Ms. Huggle, their mother.
The men return to the living room where the others are gathered, to open the letter. The oldest starts to read it, but his voice falters. So his teenage daughter, Lynn, takes it and begins to read it aloud.
“If you are reading this, then I've gone from this world. Please don't be too sad, as my life has been filled with love. I've had a rich life, filled with many adventures and it is my time to move on. It comes to us all and oddly, I'm unafraid. I welcome the rest and peace that await my spirit.
I do wish that we could have spent more time together, but that is the way of things. You will find all that you need on my desk. Everything has already been taken care of, you only need to call Frank so that he can get things started.
I always tried to take care of all that I could, so you could all have the opportunities that life could offer. So as it is my habit, I've done so with this as well. Please do not dwell on this moment, I'm not in it any more. Think of all the memories, all the years that I was there and living. If you need any help, my journals can fill in the blank spots I'm sure.
My dear grandchildren, I will miss seeing you all grow up so very much. If there is a way to peek in on you from time to time, I'm sure I will find it. Thank you for all of the love and dreams you've shared with me. As I'm proud of my dear children, I'm also proud of all of you and what you will achieve in the future.
Don't be too surprised in the next few days. I've made some changes to my Will, which Frank shall let you know about soon enough. I hope you understand, it's just my way of taking care of my family. I love you all so very much and wish you only the best in the years to come.
Goodbye my dears, take care of one another and stay safe.”
All are silent as their grief and sadness overflow, at the end of the letter even Lynn can't stop the tears from falling. Her father hugs her as he takes the letter from her. They all move closer together, their loss lessened by the comfort of one another.
There in that room they had to face the reality that their mother was no longer going to be around for them. But what was worse, was realizing that they had long ago forgot to be there for her. Life had caught them up, the idea that she would someday be gone, never seemed to be real. But now they had to face that reality and it hurt. They spoke softly, deciding to take the children back to the hotel. The eldest said he'd make the call and wait there at the house. So many memories washed over each of them as they glanced about the small living room as the sun peeked in through the curtains. Then it was time to go, leaving just the eldest son to call cousin Frank.
In Mrs. Huggle's room the black tom sat beside the still form, waiting. Then as if he'd heard a sound he looked over to the mirror of her vanity. A young woman with long blonde hair and bright shinning eyes smiled at him from within it.
"Come Sebastian, you can come home now." But the black cat looked down at the body of Mrs. Huggle, a stranger that had become his best friend. "Don't tell me you wish to stay?" the woman asked. Sebastian put his paw on the hand that had stroked him since he was cast into this world. His body skinny, young and fragile. He felt it had been the hand of Fate that had led him to her door on a stormy night so long ago. He looked at the cold, still hands that once washed, fed and loved him in a harsh alien world. The young woman stared at the tom confused and asked, "Have you forgotten who you really are Sebastian?"
He made no reply, but slowly the black cat blurred and grew till a young beautiful man with bright green eyes and skin the color of rich earth stood beside the bed dressed in a silky black robe. He looked at the women with sadness in his eyes.
"I know who I am, but I can't leave yet." He looked down at Ms. Huggle's body and a tear fell silently down his cheek. "She was a most agreeable woman, her heart so generous that she even tended to my care for after her passing. I can't leave just yet, I must see that she is tended to." The woman in the mirror nodded solemnly.
"It is your choice Sebastian, I'm glad that you found such a dear spirit to befriend you. It is your loyalty and caring for her that has made it possible for you to return home. It was decided that you were judged too harshly. Your sentence has been recalled." She added softly, with a small smile "You are no longer exiled to this harsh world. You can return to your rightful place here." Sebastian just sighed and looked up at her.
"It was right to send me here. I needed to learn the truth, I took so much for granted. There were so many things I didn't understand.” His eyes glitter with tears, closing his eyes, he shakes his head. “I choose to stay here. I will not return to what I was before. There is more that I can do here, that means more to me than returning home with you." He opened his eyes and looked at her, his gaze firm. Then with a blur of darkness he shrunk back down into his large tom cat form. But his eyes still shone green and defiant at the young woman in the mirror.
She did not missed his meaning either as she bowed her head. "So shall it be, Sebastian. I wish you well on your journey. Your abilities are reinstated, be sure to use them wisely and well." She seemed a bit sad, “I hope that someday you will return home. Until then, goodbye my brother.” She faded from the mirror and Sebastian curled up against his the lifeless form of his friend, Ms. Huggle and cried, unlike any other mortal cat, for he was much more than that.