• The moon had risen to its full height, casting its calming glow down on the crisp air. A shrouded figure stood motionless at the center of a cemetery. To anyone, the person could have appeared a statue except the slightly visible rise and fall of his chest, and the hardly audible beating of a heart, thrumming in the silent air. For chilling moments, nothing. Then, in a dream-like trance, the person lowered the cowl of his cloak and a tousled haired man morphed his title from statue to mysterious person.
    For an even longer time he stood there. His gaze rested on a single rose, which was slowly beginning to open, revealing it’s deep red color. It sat regally on a pile of soil, bursting into full bloom. Oh, how it matched the color of her lips. Her soft, perfect lips. How they parted when she laughed, flashing her square white teeth, how they felt against his when they kissed, how they pursed when she pouted. The beauty of a rose was well compared to Elizabeth, but she was much more. She could never wilt like a rose, she could never p***k him when he held her, she stood for herself and needed no nurturing. But in other ways she was just like that rose. She was delicate and he always feared she would break, a rose could look fine but could be in the process of dying and you’d never be able to tell. That was what happened to Elizabeth.
    If only she had mentioned it! The man’s fists clenched slightly and pain flashed in his eyes. She never told him. Elizabeth was sick. She had always been sick and he’d been to selfish to notice! He let her slip through his fingers like sand, and too soon his hands had been empty.
    “Why Elizabeth? Why couldn’t you tell me this?”
    The man’s voice rang out into the silence, filling it with remorse and grief. It was his fault. But it is hers too, he thought, she never told me. Only a month ago, his sweet Elizabeth was taken my God. She left painlessly but there was so much she could’ve done. She was too young. She had so many dreams to fulfill and they had been damned by death. He could still hear her quiet voice in his head.
    “Do you love me, Daniel?” she had asked.
    “Of course I do! I would do anything for you, love. I want you to know that.” he had replied.
    She had remained silent, though a smile crossed her face and she gave that breathtaking laugh. The laugh that had covered her façade so well. It was something that had manipulated him so easily, that Elizabeth was fine. But she had still been sick. He should have noticed that her blue eyes had darkened to that dull grey, how she had the distant stare, how he always had to call her to catch her attention. And then on that night he received word that she was gone.
    A chilly and strong wind cycled around Daniel, though his expression didn’t change. His cloak billowed around him and his hair stood on end, blown up by the force. Whispers and silent screams filled the air around him, giving him bumps on his skin. Haunting words echoed in the air.
    “You are to blame!”
    “Why didn’t you see?”
    “I thought you loved me!”
    “I didn’t know! Elizabeth I’m sorry! Please forgive me!”
    Like magic, the winds ceased abruptly and the eerie shrieks were replaced with Elizabeth’s caressing voice.
    “Why do you call on the negative spirits?” her voice asked, causing Daniel to jolt with surprise.
    He whirled around, as if looking for a visible sign of her presence. “Negative spirits? They were you, love. They were the thoughts in your head!” he shouted to the air..
    Elizabeth’s quiet laugh calmed his nerves and his angry shaking subsided. A warm breath of air licked at his clothes and her sweet scent washed over him. Silent tears cascaded down his face.
    “Why Elizabeth? I could have helped you.” he murmured, his breathing deepening.
    Her laugh soothed him again and she said, “No, my sweet. Those are what you think you should hear. I would tell you that it wasn’t your fault. What happened to me was merely meant to be. There was nothing that you could do. But I want you to know that I’m happy. I’m very happy. I was able to love you and that was all I needed in life. And I want you to know that I still love you and I always will.”
    Daniel’s heart swelled and he felt an aching inside his chest. “But I could have. I could have taken away any negative feelings. You always seemed so desolate before you-” he stopped, choking on his words.
    Elizabeth’s voice laughed again and another breeze rustled his hair. A light glowing to the right made Daniel turn quickly, his eyes wide. “Elizabeth?” he whispered, not finding words. The light brightened and Daniel was able to catch sight of almost transparent looking wings. They had a bluish tint to them, darkened towards the tips of the feathers.
    Daniel’s breath was taken away as an image of his dear beloved formed before him. She was as beautiful as ever, her long golden hair tumbling elegantly down her shoulders and stopping toward the small of her back. Her rose-red lips were parted in a small grin, one that lifted his spirits. Her crystalline blue eyes sparkled insanely, driving Daniel to mentality.
    The entire image of Elizabeth appeared and Daniel took a few shaky steps forward. She was slightly transparent, like the wings that adorned her back, and he was afraid that she’d disappear. But when he came close enough his fingers felt the warmth of her cheek as he brushed them along her face. “How?” was the only thing he could ask.
    Elizabeth smiled, tilting her head into his hand. “I told you, I am happy. Feeling this gives me the ability to make myself visible to you.” she said, her voice sounding as gentle as a violin tune.
    Daniel couldn’t believe this. Was he going mad? That thought slipped in his mind but he pushed it away. No, it was their love for each other that brought her to him. It was love that gave them this moment to be with each other again. “But you’ll leave again.” he said quietly with hurt.
    Elizabeth shook her head. “No, love. You know I’ll always be with you. I’ll always be there, laughing at your side. But I won’t be able to share them with you physically. But my presence will follow you, it will fill your heart and soul when you’re in doubt.”
    Daniel felt more tears sting his eyes, though this time they were tears of happiness and pure joy. “I want that,” he said, “very much. I want to feel you. I want to know your there for me.” He caressed her face once more before his fingers melted into her skin and she was nothing but an apparition.
    She gave a sad smile. “Alas, these moments will be brief. I cannot become visible for long, and I will return to the invisible. But I’ll still be here.”
    Daniel didn’t want her to disappear before his eyes. Not again. A solution came into his head. “Elizabeth, I could join you!” he said, a large smile splitting his face.
    Surprisingly, Elizabeth took the moment to consider. She then gave a quiet laugh and she slowly began to fade, her wing unfurled, casting a short breeze towards Daniel. They were enormous, almost reaching a span of twenty feet. They were simply amazing. At full sight Daniel could now see that the very ends of them were a dark midnight blue. It was hard to see the color of her wings since they melted into the darkness of the night. “Darling, it would please me greatly but is it worth your life?” she asked, tilting her head.
    She was almost gone, dissipating into a smoky image. Daniel’s dark green eyes held the answer. “Yes.” he replied steadily, easily, instantaneously. “Elizabeth, I have nothing now that you are gone. You were everything. You are worth the pain. You are worth the love. But I can’t prove that if I’m still alive and you are dead. I want to take the pain for you. I would die for you. For us. It’s worth everything.”
    Elizabeth remained silent and her slow disappearing seemed to slow down, or stop momentarily. Like she was hesitating. Daniel felt a flicker of hope that she would fully agree. She gave a distant smile to him. “I don’t want to make you do something foolish. You should do all of this for me, Daniel. Is it really worth it?”
    Daniel couldn’t believe what she was saying. “Of course it’s worth it!” he shouted, a bit angrily. Did she not see that she was his world? “I would gladly plunge a sword through my chest for you, Elizabeth. I would slowly poison myself for you! It would deprive myself of food and drink forever in order to be with you again!” Was that…sadness in her eyes? Was that damnable feeling swimming inside her crystal colored eyes? It’s not supposed to be there. He felt his fists clench and he ground his teeth. “It’s worth everything.” he said, this time more coolly and quietly.
    Elizabeth smiled at him. “You wouldn’t have to endure pain for me.” she said quietly. She saw that he was going to open his mouth again and she silenced him with a gesture. “Please let me explain. I’m saying you wouldn’t have to. You could voluntarily give yourself to me. I could separate your soul from your body. It would be painless and you wouldn’t have to sacrifice yourself for it.”
    Daniel blinked slowly, staring at Elizabeth steadily. “Really? It can be done that easily?”
    Elizabeth nodded. “You just have to say yes.”
    Daniel gave a slight smile and he dipped his head. “Yes. Dearest I give myself to you.”
    Elizabeth’s apparition stepped forward, wrapping her arms around his neck and bringing her lips to his. Daniel felt his entire body fill with a loving warmth and a slight tug. He broke away, gasping. The warmth turned to a flaring heat across his back, especially around his shoulders. What he couldn’t see was that he had sprouted wings. They were larger then Elizabeth’s, almost reaching a forty foot span. They were transparent, like Elizabeth’s, but instead of a midnight blue his wings were fringed with red. A lush, deep colored red. He remained speechless. The heat didn’t hurt at all. In fact it felt good.
    Then it all stopped. Elizabeth was no longer an apparition. She was real again, and felt warm in Daniel’s arms. He gave her a breathless stare, unable to comprehend the magic that had worked here. Instead of the graveyard, they were in the sky. Thousands upon millions of stars shone around them, some of them sparking and some of them flaring. Everything he had felt was gone. The remorse, the grief, the sadness. All of it melted within the heat.
    Elizabeth smiled, at loss for words. “My sweet Daniel. You are mine again!” her words were practically a song. They sounded like a symphony to his ears.
    “And you are mine.” he murmured lovingly to her.
    And on that night, Daniel was reunited with his once lost love. Together they danced with the stars, living ultimately, extremely, and happily in love. They became a legend, a story told to children for their bedtime stories. They’re love is an example to everyone everywhere. They showed that not even death can separate them, that happiness is an understatement. For the love shared between Elizabeth and Daniel there are no words to describe it. Only the love they feel itself.
    And not even death can stop it.