This is Installment Two of the novel Rose and Justice. It includes Chapters I.iii and I.iv. It is 3,951 words long. As other installments are posted, links for each will be added under the tab labeled “The Novel” at the top of this page. Enjoy!
It took Hal several hours to tell Juliet about Romeo. She was trying desperately to remember. She told Hal about the pain in her chest and he explained how she had killed herself by plunging Romeo’s knife through her own heart. As Hal explained, self-inflicted wounds took longer to heal, and a blow to the heart was the most tragic kind. That was one of the reasons she needed 300 years of sleep. She asked what Romeo looked like, but Hal was too far removed from the physical world to give an accurate description.
“How do I know you’re telling me the truth?” she asked.
“You obviously don’t right now. But, you will. You’ll remember any moment now. Besides, the truth is all I know.”
“Why did our families fight?”
“No one remembers. That’s the way it is with most arguments. The passion of the fight lasts a lot longer than the injustice.”
“Why are you telling me all of this? I still don’t want to go back.”
“You will. And I’m telling you because you need to know it, and you need to know it sooner than you will remember it on your own.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Juliet was getting frustrated.
Hal looked at her for a long time. He really preferred that she stay. Even this perfect world could use all the extra beauty it could get. But he knew that he would tell her what she needed to know. On this plane, the truth was not an option; it was the law. Arguing against truth was a futile exercise entered into only by those on the earth-plane. Despite Hal’s personal desires, he was incapable of considering anything else.
“Romeo is looking for you.”
“What?” Juliet didn’t understand.
“Romeo is looking for you.” Hal didn’t want to continue, but he did. “He’s been looking for you for these 300-plus earth-years. He’s already gone back three times, just to look for you. He didn’t have to. It wasn’t required. But, he won’t stop until he finds you.”
“He’s . . . looking for me?” Juliet asked.
“Yes,” Hal whispered. “He traveled to the new world, he fought in two wars, he pioneered the American west, all in an attempt to find you. When he was there, he didn’t know that was what he was doing. But, it’s worth saying that he has never married in those three relatively recent adventures. Even those who go back for love often take misguided paths along the way.”
“Is he back there now?”
“No. He’s Here.”
“Well, take me to him!” Juliet was excited.
“You have to remember first. And I have to help you.”
“Why do you have to help me?”
“Because,” Hal paused, “he’s due to go back within an earth’s day.”
“He’s going back?” Juliet became frantic. She still couldn’t remember, but at least she was starting to feel a love in her heart like she had once known. Her pain had eased with the beginning of this remembrance. “Well, take me to him. I’ll go with him!”
Hal laughed. “Oh, my dear, you’re still quite young. A long sleep needs a long awakening. You won’t be fully aware for another 50 earth years at least, and you can’t go back until you have awakened completely.”
“Well, let’s find him. We’ll tell him to stay.”
“He can’t stay. Once a decision has been made to return, it’s irreversible. He’s leaving within 24 hours and nothing can stop him, not even himself.”
Juliet became silent and then felt a tear fall down her cheek. It felt strange to cry in such a perfect place, but she was losing a love she didn’t even have time to remember fully. Not only was she losing this love, she wouldn’t even have the chance to know it fully before Romeo would be gone again. If she could have awakened sooner and remembered, Romeo wouldn’t have to go back to the world of pain. “Why did you tell me this?” she asked between weeping breaths. “What am I supposed to do now?”
Hal was almost sorry he had said a word, but he knew that he’d had no other choice. He had to get Juliet to Romeo before Romeo returned to earth. “Juliet, we must find him. You have to tell Romeo where you’ll meet him in the life after this.”
“Why can’t I just wait for him to return?”
“Because unrequited love can only be completed back on earth. You have to fulfill your passion in the physical world before you can live with it forever in the spiritual world. You and Romeo must find each other again on earth. Now, we must hurry. We must catch him before he leaves.”
“Why? If I won’t be fully awake for another 50 years, then we can’t find each other on earth until he returns Here and then goes back again. We can tell him when he comes back from this next incarnation.”
“No, Juliet, we must tell him now.” Hal took Juliet’s hand and lifted her to her feet. “You need to trust me. Let’s go.”
Hal held Juliet’s hand as he led her swiftly through the woods. He had been aware when she heard the thoughts of the panther. He only hoped against hope that she could not read his thoughts now. It was always easier to read the thoughts of the animals. They didn’t try to cover their feelings or control their mental output. With any luck, Juliet could not yet hear the thoughts of spirit beings. If she could, she would know that Hal was thinking about the possibilities that existed; the possibilities that were always present when a lover returned to earth. If they didn’t get to Romeo in time, he might return to earth and find someone whom he believed to be Juliet. Granted, it wouldn’t be Juliet and it wouldn’t be his soul-partner, but the distraction could keep him off track for centuries. And Juliet couldn’t take that. Not once she remembered.
As they dance-walked swiftly through the forest, Juliet noted that the touch of Hal’s hand on hers was indeed electric, more electric than touching herself even. She wasn’t reading his mind because she had forgotten that it was a possibility. She was just watching everything around her – the trees growing out of the light, the mossy ground giving off the radiance of the light, everything everywhere simply being the light. She watched Hal dance-walking quickly in front of her. He had once been only a distant figure, shapeless and colorless. With each passing moment, he was becoming more vibrant to her eyes. He wore a yellow tunic like nothing she had ever seen, if she had actually ever seen anything; she still wasn’t sure. The tunic was formless and without a single stitch anywhere. However, it seemed to fit the form of his being perfectly – loose, yet contoured to his body. His tunic was the color of the sun and she remembered then that she knew what the sun was. There was no sun here. The light did not seem to need a source. It was everywhere. His pants were of the same form – perfectly fitted in a loose, flowing way. They were purple. He wore no shoes, and she noticed that neither did she.
Now that she could see colors besides the green of his eyes, she looked down at her own clothing. She wore a gauzy shift which stopped at her knees. It was a creamy white and so soft that she was not able to feel it against her skin. And her skin, her skin was almost the same color as her dress – just a little darker and a little more vibrant. Her skin glowed and she decided then that she must indeed be a light source just like everyone and everything else in this place. The light came from deep within her and suffused her with energy. With each step she was growing stronger. The pace was not tiring to her at all. Rather, it seemed to invigorate her. Her breathing was still deep and slow, even with the briskness of her movements.
As her breaths increased her energy and color came alive around her, she began to regain an awareness of her broader knowledge. Concepts were becoming a part of her understanding as if they had always been there, just asleep, but she still had a lot of questions. She thought that it might be possible to talk while they moved so she asked Hal the question still on her mind.
“Why must we hurry? Can‘t we wait for his next return?”
“No, Juliet,” Hal replied. He hesitated, then decided she should know at least one of the reasons for their haste. “When a being chooses to return for reasons of passion, they only have a short span of time after they have fully awakened to make that decision. Once that window of time has closed, they may never return again. That is why Romeo has kept going back. If he hadn’t, he would have been stuck here forever, never able to find you in the world where passion must be fulfilled. He knew you were Here and would awaken eventually. And he knew that you would come looking for him just as he has looked for you. So he has always requested the return trip as soon as he was fully awake. Your window of time will happen when you completely awaken. And, Juliet, you may have to return to earth before Romeo returns to this place.”
“But, I feel awake now. How will we know when I am fully awake?”
“You will hear from the light.”
Juliet mulled this over for a moment. “I don’t understand. What do you mean, ‘hear from the light?'”
“The light is the source of all life. Most humans have created a being to represent it. It’s very sad that they have placed the light so far away from themselves. It is in you and around you all the time.”
“Even on earth?”
“Everywhere. The light will speak to you when you have awakened.”
“Can I speak to it?”
“Of course. You can speak to it now. The light is always with you. But, in order to hear the light, you must be fully awake and aware of your role in the system of love.”
Juliet thought quietly for a moment. She had forgotten that Hal was reading her thoughts constantly and was unaware that he was smiling privately at her musings. “So,…we have to get to Romeo and tell him where to meet me in the life after this. Is that right?”
“How long is my window of time?”
Hal smiled. “About nine months, earth time.”
“Oh, like a pregnancy.” Juliet noted.
“Exactly like a pregnancy.”
Juliet stopped. Hal felt her energy stop moving forward and instantaneously stopped beside her. “Wait,” she said. “There’s so much I need to know.”
“You will know it all soon.”
“Is that coincidence? The window of time and pregnancy being the same length?”
“Of course not. There is no coincidence,” Hal explained. “When a being fully awakens, the choice may be made to return. The time that you are in right now is the learning period where one contemplates options and makes decisions. That decision is what initiates a new life on earth.”
“What about miscarriages?”
“Early in the pregnancy, or window of time, you may reverse your decision. Of course, when you do this, you may never return again. That’s why relatively few ever make that decision.”
“All right then, what about an aborted pregnancy?”
“Oh, my dear, you will know all of this very soon, and now we must hurry.”
“Just that one more question. Answer that and we’ll continue.” Juliet insisted.
“All right, I’ll explain it very quickly, but you still may not understand until the answer comes to you later. I wish you would just trust me. You will know everything very soon. But, as for your question, it involves a concept that very few people on earth understand. You see, there is nothing that can be done to you without your acceptance. On earth, many do not realize that they accepted their destiny long before they were born, or even conceived. Many beings agree to go to a life that will be aborted for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps a young mother needs a lesson. Perhaps a family needs a challenge to help them learn what they have returned to learn. The reasons are many and very complex, but trust me, there is always a reason. The light has an infinite number of ways to teach people. Now, can we go?”
“All right,” Juliet replied, looking at Hal warily. She wasn’t buying all of this yet. However, she was receiving information now faster than she was aware. She was already cognizant of so much more than she had ever known as Juliet. Perhaps she should trust Hal. It seemed as if, for the time being, she had no other choice.
They continued their fast pace through the woods. The browns of the tree trunks and the greens of the leaves were growing more vibrant with each passing minute. What had once seemed a palette of true and solid colors was melting into subtle shades and an infinite number of hues. Juliet asked one more question as they ran.
“How big is this place?”
Hal looked back at her and grinned. “Oh, my dear, big is not the word for it.”
They were running now. They had stopped the dance-walk and were simply running, like racehorses going from a canter to a full-speed gallop. They were moving at a speed unattainable for a person on earth. The forest whizzed by, and yet Juliet was conscious of every plant and every animal that they passed. She tried to hear their thoughts. When she did so, the sound was a cacophony. A rabbit said hello. A squirrel asked if they had seen any nuts around. A parrot asked if anyone had seen Richard. Ants marching were chanting “hup-two-three-four” in a chorus. And Juliet could swear that a philodendron told her to have a nice day. She soon realized that if she focused on one being only, thoughts from others would disappear. However, they were moving at such a clip that her conversations along the way were reduced to small talk.
She tried to focus on Hal. There was nothing. She wondered if she just couldn’t hear him yet. She tried calling to him in her mind. Still nothing. She had almost given up when suddenly, as if he had sneaked up on her in her own mind, she heard Hal’s voice in her head.
“How are you?”
“Fine.” She thought back. “Have you been listening to my thoughts the whole time?”
“Of course, my dear. By the way, Richard is a skunk who lives in the valley we just passed through. He and the parrot are very close friends. After we complete our task, I’ll go back and tell the parrot that Richard was sent back as a lawyer. By the way, I’m glad we can talk this way now. Welcome to my mind.”
“Me, too. I didn’t think I could do it at first.”
“You couldn’t,” Hal’s thought answered back. “This takes a lot of concentration. When you are first awakening, all of your mental capabilities are concerned with simply figuring out what the hell’s going on Here.”
“Should you cuss in this place?”
“Why not? Do you think I’ll be sent to hell or something?”
“Is there a hell?”
“Yes. But only on the earth-plane. And no one gets ‘sent’ there. Beings send themselves by making choices not in line with truth. Trust me, cussing won’t send you there. Anger and bitterness will.”
“About Richard . . .”
“Can humans go back as animals and animals as humans?”
“And plants as fish and reptiles as arachnids. All of life is interchangeable.”
“Was I ever an animal?”
“Of course, my dear. We’re all animals, if you want to get technical. However, in the human way of thinking about animals, yes, you were a rabbit to start off, then a calico cat, and then you moved right up to chimpanzee, a very impressive leap if I must say so myself. From chimp, you went right to human.”
“Is there anything above human?”
“We don’t think of one life form being ‘above’ or ‘below’ another. There is no above or below. There is only Here. Every being serves a valuable purpose and is involved in personal and universal evolution. But, most highly evolved beings tend to select reincarnation as a human. Humans are the only beings on the earth-plane with a highly developed language system and, having forgotten that they can communicate perfectly well with their minds, spoken and written words come in handy. Language assists in the evolution and therefore returning as human is preferred. But, of course, when humans evolve completely, they come Here and live forever as spirit beings.”
They were silent for a few moments as Juliet pondered all of this. Hal listened in on her innocent ponderings and chuckled inside.
“Stop laughing at me.” Juliet thought.
“I can’t help it,” Hal replied. “You’re precious.”
They came out of the forest into a large meadow. On the far side of the meadow, Juliet could see many other human-type beings dance-walking around. When they arrived at the gathering, Juliet saw that they were on the edge of a town or village. There were small huts and large meeting places.
“Why are there huts? I would have thought that everyone here would have a castle.” Juliet thought to Hal.
“Everyone has everything they need here. On earth, people need large houses because they are consumed with the idea of possessions. Here, no one owns anything and therefore, everyone has access to everything. Evolved life is always the simplest life. Besides, what is wrong with a hut?”
They reached the crowd and slowed to a dance-walk again. Hal said hello to everyone they passed. Juliet smiled and nodded. Many looked at her as if she were a new spectacle, which she was. They were all friendly and made nice comments to her.
They dance-walked through the village. On the other side was a sparse-looking field.
“How much farther?” Juliet asked.
“We’re almost there,” Hal replied. “The tunnel is on the far side of this field.”
“Yes,” was all Hal offered.
“The return tunnel. The giant birth canal in the sky, if you will. That’s where we’ll find Romeo.” And then he added, “If we’re not too late.”
Juliet felt his urgency and increased her pace, coming up beside Hal. The field was expansive and it seemed they would never reach the other side. In the distance, Juliet could see a large hole, like the entrance to a great cave, and around the entrance the wind was swirling like a small tornado. Walking towards the tunnel was a being.
“That’s him,” Hal said. “Call to him. Call loudly.”
Juliet opened her mouth.
“No, call with your mind. It’s much stronger than your voice,” Hal interjected.
Juliet began calling in her mind, not even fully aware of what she was doing any of this for. “Romeo! Romeo, wait!”
The figure kept moving toward the tunnel entrance. The swirling wind was beginning to block him from view.
“Call stronger!” Hal said firmly.
“Romeo!” Juliet willed. “Romeo, please wait! I have to talk to you!”
The figure kept walking. In a moment, it would be too late.
“You must call out stronger. If you don’t reach him now, he will be gone.” Hal warned.
“Romeo! Please stop, Romeo. It’s Juliet!” Juliet focused every bit of energy she had on the willing of her thoughts.
The being stopped and turned around slowly. He was slender and strong. He had brown hair that fell around his face in wavy curls. His eyes were gentle like a doe’s, yet piercing like a hawk’s. He was so beautiful that Juliet gasped. When she gasped, every memory came rushing into her being like a flood. She was a Capulet again and Romeo a Montague. She remembered in an instant that he had been the god of her idolatry. Their love had been forbidden, yet could not be denied. She remembered the words that had been spoken. Had she said them to him or him to her? It didn’t matter; they had both meant them. “I will but love thee better after death.” It was true. She remembered now the love they had once shared and also knew that she loved him more now than she could have dreamed in Verona. She also knew that his love for her had grown in the same way. She was stunned by the onslaught of pure emotion created by this perfect connection, for in the moment of her recognition she felt no distance between them. She stared at him as the winds whipped his tunic and pulled him into the tunnel. He stretched his arm towards her. The light from this world was behind her, sending only a silhouette of her to him.
Romeo fought the wind and tried for another look at her. He could see nothing but her shadow, but knew it was her. It was his Juliet.
Hal whispered to Juliet, “Now, Juliet! You must tell him where you’ll meet him! Hurry, tell him now!” Hal had not even considered that he should have helped Juliet determine this. He assumed she would choose a spot in Verona that they would both know, a place familiar to them and already charged with the energy of their love.
Before she could respond, Romeo spoke, his arms stretched out, reaching toward her against the powerful wind. “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
“Tell him! He’s going. Tell him now!” Hal insisted.
But all that Juliet could do is smile, and all she could say was, “The east, the east.” And then he was gone.
Juliet stood perfectly still, staring at the entrance to the tunnel for a very long time; perhaps moments, perhaps hours, perhaps days, she wasn’t sure. Hal stood just behind her, as motionless as Juliet. As her teacher, he would wait there with her as long as it took.
She was staring at the tunnel, but in her head she was seeing visions of a different time. As the memories kept cascading through her soul, she saw each one clearly and had absolute recollection of each moment. Every memory held Romeo; every feeling, every heartbreak, every passion she had ever known was Romeo. She remembered the party where they first met. She remembered that he courted her unashamedly. She remembered the tomb and the knife she plunged into her tender breast. She remembered how it hadn’t mattered; Romeo was dead and no pain could ever be more immense than that. Releasing herself from a life without Romeo had not been a choice, it had been her destiny. There was no life without Romeo.
Seeing him leave her again left her almost as empty as holding his limp body in her arms. At least this time there was hope that they would be together again. She turned slowly to Hal.
“You remember,” he said softly.
“Yes,” she whispered.
“He’ll be back,” Hal said soothingly.
Juliet looked down timidly at her clasped hands, then back up at Hal, sheepishly, like a child. A tear came streaming down her cheek. It shone like a diamond in the light. She asked quietly, “But, where will I be?”
© Deborah E. Moore – 2011