Now, and Forever

A few months after John Smith left the New World, word came back to Pocahontas that he had died from his wounds.  Several years after that, it was said that Pocahontas was married and then died of pneumonia on a voyage to England. They grieved each other's losses and never stopped carrying the memory of their love for one other.
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Rebecca looked at herself in the mirror and slowly turned around to make sure every aspect of her dress was perfect. She smoothed her hands over her black hair that had been neatly pinned up and decorated with delicate butterflies ornaments. Her dark eyes glittered against her powdered skin. The pale gown she wore accented her dark skin tones perfectly. As a finishing touch, she put a chain with an gold heart hanging from it around her neck. She knew she had to look absolutely perfect for the ball tonight at the palace, for it was expected of all the well known ladies of the court to be utterly flawless and beautiful.

She especially wanted to make an impression, preferably a good one, since this ball promised to host many new and interesting people. As she descended the staircase leading down to the front hall to meet her carriage, she had a feeling that this ball would be more special than any she had ever attended.
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Every window in the palace was lit up, making it shine like a candle in a dark room. Each moment, a new carriage would pull up, and its regal passengers dressed in their best ball gowns and most elegant attire in every shade of the rainbow would step out and make their way up the fine red carpet to the palace doors which had been flung wide open for this special occasion. It was a most joyous occasion. The sounds of lighthearted laughter and music could be heard everywhere.

A horse came galloping through the palace gates. Its rider, a tall, strong man, dismounted gracefully and handed the reigns to a palace servant. This stranger had only just arrived, and already he was the focus of everyone's attention. Men were turning to each other and making low comments, and the ladies were whispering behind lacy fans. The stranger, with a commanding yet gentle profile, deep blue eyes, and golden hair, just pretended he didn't know he was being spoken about, and made his way up the steps and into the palace.

Just as he went in, another carriage arrived. It came to a sharp halt and stopped. The footman opened the door and helped Rebecca step down. Immediately, she was surrounded by her lady friends from court, telling her how lovely her gown was, or how nice her hair looked, or which gentleman they promised would get to dance with her. Rebecca responded to their compliments graciously, and she said that she would dance with every man that wanted to dance with her, even though she did not care for many of them at all. Slowly, the bustling crowd made its way up to the palace and into the ballroom. Inside, the stranger was in a corner of the ballroom, speaking and laughing with several men.

"New world, it doesn't suit you then?" Laughed on of them.

"It's not that." the stranger said seriously. "Not at all."

"Ah, I see. So, there really is no gold?"

"No, there isn't. It's not that either."

Their attention was drawn away by the entrance of the ladies into the room. They quickly excused themselves from the conversation and went to ask the ladies for dances. Stranger just shook his head and headed for the opposite side of the room. He was standing there, when he spotted a familiar face in the crowd.

"What's wrong, Thomas? Don't care for dancing?" he said to him. Nothing could ever match the look of shock on Thomas' face at that moment.

".................I....I..thought... you were.... dead! We... all did...I...I.."

Stranger smiled his charming grin. "Have a seat. I'll tell you about it."
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"My lady, you dance divinely!" said Lord Whinberg to Rebecca.

"As do you, my Lord." said Rebecca with a pretty smile.

In her mind, she was calculating the number of times he had stepped on her foot. She had danced with an uncountable number of gentlemen, and all she wanted to do now was go outside to get a breath of fresh air. "I'm afraid, my Lord, that I must rest awhile now. I am quite exhausted."

"Think nothing of it, my dear."

Rebecca curtsied hastily and made a dash for the door. She was happy to see that no one was out there so she could be alone. She sat down under a tree and gazed at the stars in the crystal clear sky. She clutched the heart pendant in her hand and felt the tears starting in her eyes. Stars always made her remember things she didn't want to think about. She sighed deeply and listened to the faint sound of music coming from the palace.
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"So it was just a rumor?"

"Yes," replied Stranger, "I don't know who started it or how it spread, but that's all it was. My wounds did get infected, though, and I came close to death. I was sick for a long time after returning to England. I didn't even know what was happening most of the time. When I did recover, I heard about what...happened in the New World. So I left. And I haven't come back until now. Most of them just think I'm a settler returning home. They don't know who I am."

"Well, aren't you going to tell them?"

"Maybe. I don't know. Might be fun to cause an uproar," he said and he laughed.

Thomas shook his head. "I just, I can't believe it. There's even a tomb for you in Jamestown."

"Yeah, funny how things turned out isn't it? Thomas, is to hers?"

"No. Rolfe, her husband, had her buried in England."

"Oh. Well, if you'll excuse me, I want to go get a breath of fresh air."

"All right. See you later."

Stranger headed for the doors, greeting the people he passed with a few polite words and a nod of his head. And when he had his back turned, they would whisper about him, how good looking he was, and how there was something so familiar about him.

He sat down on the stairs leading to the palace and sighed. As he rested, he closed his eyes peacefully and then opened them quickly when he heard a soft noise. He realized it was coming from his right, on the palace lawn. Curious, he went to see what it was. As he descended the staircase, he saw a colorful bunch of skirts, and knew it was some poor girl crying into her dress. As he walked towards her, she did not look up. He knelt down besides her and touched her shoulder.

"There, now, what are you crying about on a beautiful night like this?"

Suddenly, she stopped moving at the sound of his voice. They sat in complete silence until she lifted her head up to look at him. Their eyes locked. Something in the universe changed at that moment. The world stopped turning. Every noise was silenced. Movement ceased to exist. There was only these two standing together, alone, looking into each other's eyes. Everything they had thought for the past five years was turned upside down and now they knew and their eyes did not betray them.

A tear slid down Stranger's face and Rebecca reached up and gently brushed it away.

"Don't cry love, I'm real." she said without realizing that she was crying herself. They collapsed into each other's arms, sobbing, for themselves and for each other. They just sat there, holding each other, crying, hoping that this was real, that it would not wake up and find that it was only some beautiful dream.
    * * * * * * * * Rebecca and Stranger entered the palace. She was holding her heart pendant in one hand, the one he pressed into her palm so many years ago before they carried him away on a stretcher, and the other hand was around him. They looked at Thomas as if to tell him they wanted him to know. He saw them together and immediately knew what had happened. He started telling people about it and soon everyone in the whole place was shouting to each other as the story was revealed. Rebecca and Stranger-or John Smith and Pocahontas, were able to slip out without much notice. John Smith lifted her up onto his horse, and he got on behind her. They rode off into the night, happy in each other's arms. After a while of riding in silence, John spoke.

"I thought you were married."

Pocahontas laughed. "Oh, that, it meant nothing. We were divorced."

"But the rumor....about you being dead."

"Just a rumor. Only I tried to make it real and changed my name."




"Do you want to marry me?"

He stopped the horse and kissed her deeply so that she felt the kiss in every part of her body.

"Pocahontas....all I want to do is be with you, now and forever."
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    The End

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