And though it hurts me to see you this way
Betrayed by words I’d never heard.
Too hard to say them
Oh it’s the last time,
Each way I turn
I know I’ll always try to break the circle
That has been placed round me
From time to time I find I lost some meaning
That was urgent to myself I do believe
And I’ve never met anyone quite like you before
Oh, up, down, turn around; please don’t let me hit the ground.
Tonight I think I’ll walk alone; find my soul as I go home.
Newcrest Connor & Keira's home
With disbelief, as if living an out-of-body experience, Connor stood there like a statue, watching the taillights of Keira’s car disappear into the distance, carrying her further and further away from him.
When she was out of view, clearly not coming back, he turned around and went back in the house, shut the door, then punched the door frame until he felt pain.
At least he felt something again, he had been numb ever since she had told him she was leaving. That’s when the flashbacks started, and now they were killing him. The same scenes over and over again, on loop but out of order, jumbled in his mind along with the rest of this thoughts.
‘Leaving why? Leaving what?’ he had asked, their conversation now resounding in his head as if someone had hit the rewind button on a movie.
‘Everything‘, she had told him. Newcrest, their house, him.
How could she leave him? They had been together since birth, literally born the same day at the same hospital and lived in the same home with both sets of parents like twins born to different parents. It was always clear that they would always be together. That they SHOULD always be together. Just as their sisterly and brotherly love evolved into something romantic. It just was meant to be. At least he had thought so.
Once he had been able to find his words again, he had tried to argue with her, discussed, reasoned, begged, pleaded. All in vain.
Keira looked at him through the tears, kissed him, but it wasn’t the same feeling her kisses gave him normally. This kiss tasted distant, of a goodbye. It didn’t feel good. It was a tragedy, as clearly, she was hurting too, if tears were any measure, just as much as he was. But her mind was made up. She was leaving, she had to leave, as she insisted, and she did.
And now she was gone.
The following minutes turned into hours, the hours somehow turned into days, all a blur, he just functioned like a robot, he knew he went to work, but couldn’t recall a single thing.
Days came and went, all but a blur, until he realized he was talking to his parents, both looking at him, concerned. He couldn’t recall if they had just shown up or if he had called them, couldn’t recall letting them in. Total blackout, but they were here now, they took care of him, like they always had, still he just couldn’t feel anything but the throbbing pain or deep and utter numbness when everything around him turned fuzzy and blurry.
His mom had tried to talk to him, but he couldn’t even think coherent thoughts, let alone relay them to anyone, so instead she made him shower, which eventually he reluctantly did, but only when she threatened to drag him into the bathroom and wash him. He didn’t care how rank he stunk, didn’t care about anything anymore, but gave in to his mom’s pleading, only because he didn’t have any fight left in him. Knowing her, she might’ve made good on her threat, headstrong as she was.
Just like Keira.
Where was she now?
He had asked his parents, who had been living with her parents since long before he and Keira had even been conceived, but they didn’t know. He believed them, the way they spoke, it was genuine. Which probably meant Keira’s parents didn’t know either … or kept it from his parents.
Would it really matter anyway if he knew?
What was he gonna do?
Go to her, beg her? It hadn’t changed her mind so far, hadn’t kept her from leaving. Her being gone, just like that, without a warning, had left him feeling strange, destitute, abandoned, unlovable, broken, and many other things impossible to describe.
Naturally everyone who heard about their break-up asked what happened. That very question quickly became the bane of Connor’s existence.
He didn’t know why she left, nor what to tell anyone. Something must have happened, but he honestly couldn’t say what that might have been. There had been no fight, no argument, no discord, no cheating, no accusations, no distrust, not even money problems, no unplanned pregnancies. Both were so paranoid about that, despite of being adamant about birth control, they took tests every so often. The most recent time after the vacation. Just in case. Nothing. So that wasn’t it either. Aside from some bickering here and there, there had never been anything but harmony. Until there wasn’t.
What was most likely the root cause of the beginning of the end had started out so very harmless, as such things usually did. The day after Connor’s parents had bailed the two of them out of jail for that public indecency charge. After Blaine’s lecture, when he and both sets of parents had gone home again, Connor had told Keira about his grandpa’s idea of a vacation, if only to get away from all the humiliation, at least for a while. Keira liked the idea. So, they booked and left not long after, the first few days in Selvadorada were so much fun.
Originally, they had planned jungle excursions, adventures, but both were so exhausted from all the drama their moment of carefree lust had caused, not to mention the sudden headlines by the cruel and relentless media they weren’t accustomed to.
Both of them were children of very famous parents, their fathers’ band 2Dark 2C had been a very successful act long before Connor and Keira had been born and still was, but their parents had always kept the kids out of the spotlight to afford them a regular life, practically hiding them, never truly releasing their names, only ever referring to them publicly as ‘plumblossom’ and ‘heartbreaker’, codenames given to them as infants to refer to them in public without using their real names.
Ironic now that his codename used to be ‘heartbreaker’, yet it was ‘plumblossom’ who would go and break his heart. And for no apparent reason at that.
Anyway, instead of exploring and thrill-seeking, Connor and Keira had chosen to lay around the rental home and poolside, taking in the views, enjoying each other, some days were spent entirely in swimwear, other days they never even bother to get dressed at all.
It wasn’t even so much sexual, but more about the feeling of freedom it gave them. It was different, unlike them. They wouldn’t sit outside in the backyard of their Newcrest home without a thread of clothing, but here, aside from exotic birds, nobody ever saw them.
On the days when cabin fever hit, they would go down to the village, fully dressed of course, to enjoy the zest for life of the locals, dancing, singing, drinking until the morning sun started to rise again.
One day while exploring around a scenic waterfall, they caught glimpses of some ceremony of the natives, probably an ancient ritual for something. Mesmerized, they both watched until some of the young men death-defiantly started running only to jump straight off the waterfalls, cheered on by what appeared to be the entire village.
Somehow, something changed in Keira that day.
Connor could tell, but never said anything, thinking she was just impressed or taken aback. She just became quieter, even more brooding than she always had been.
And then the dominoes started to fall, when his phone rang with a call from the hospital he worked at.
Just like Blaine had predicted, they were hurting without Connor there. They had been short-staffed to begin with, but without Connor there, everything was falling apart, as a vampire he did not need much rest, so he could take double-shifts without losing accuracy, and also being the genius he was, his knack for quick and accurate diagnosis was legend. Connor often picked up on tiny hints, indicators of issues others had missed, making him an integral part of the triage team, where seconds could decide over life or death for a patient.
The story went as you probably expect, they begged him to return to work ASAP, Keira begged him not to. Connor knew his absence was hurting actual people, who had to wait for treatment much longer, and maybe even in some cases longer than they had left. He felt it was his duty to go help, like the oath he had sworn demanded him to.
This may have become the pivotal moment that triggered the last bit of change in Keira, even though she said nothing, just quietly packed her bags alongside Connor. She was unusually quiet on the flight home. Connor went to his shift the next morning, by the time he returned home he found Keira waiting for him, bags packed and already loaded in her car, ready to tell him goodbye. She was cryptic about her reasons, all she said was that she realized she needed to break free from the gilded cage and knew she couldn’t do it with him. She said she loved him, more than anything, and probably always would, but that her staying would not be fair to either of them, so she was setting him free.
He told her he didn’t want to be free, that he wanted HER.
She shook her head at him, closed her eyes, swallowed the tears welling up her eyes.
“Keira – no – wait! Don’t go!” he begged quietly.
“I have to, or I won’t have the courage anymore. I need to do this, Connor. For me, for you and for us. One day you will understand.”
“Keira – we belong together! It has always been Connor and Keira. Is this because I turned you? I was afraid you would end up regretting it and hating me for doing that to you.” Connor speculated.
That’s when she pulled the ring off her finger and placed it on her vanity. A powerful statement in itself, the final strike of the final chapter. Their engagement, over. Staring at the ring on the table, Connor felt as if someone was suffocating him. Invisible hands around his neck, pushing together harder and harder.
“Turning me was the greatest gift anyone could have given me, it meant everything to me that it was you who did it. Yes, Connor and Keira, always Connor and Keira, that’s the problem. Are we Connor and Keira because we want to be, because we chose to be, because we are in love or are we just following a pattern? If I stay, we will never find out. I am setting you free, and I am setting myself free. Live a little, Connor. You deserve it. We both do. Without each other. We are both drowning, suffocating each other without meaning to. I am drowning in you; Connor and I think you are drowning in me too. We just didn’t know any better. We need to find ourselves, at long last, Connor, and like conjoined twins, we have to do that alone or it wouldn’t be real. I can’t wait to meet myself, whoever she really is. Even if that means letting you go. If Connor & Keira is meant to be, then it will be again, eventually. If not, I am doing both of us a tremendous favor right now.” Keira said, her words washing over Connor like an acid wash, painful, burning, festering.
“What?” he mumbled, completely confused.
And then she was gone. Without another word, she headed for the door, Connor was completely speechless and could do no more than follow her and watch it all happen as if in slow motion.
4 thoughts on “Chapter 441) Disintegrate”
Ouch. When I read the beginning poem, I had a bad feeling. But things aren’t always rosy in a relationship and I kinda understand why Kiera felt the need to figure herself out. Everything has always been sort of preplanned down to being with Connor and even being turned. It’s like she lived in a cocoon her entire life, but now she needs to break out, spread her wings and fly and be sure this is truly how she wants to spend eternity.
My heart breaks so hard for Connor who was totally blindsided by her decision, although he saw the change in her.
I think getting going to Selvadorada was like breaking out of her cocoon and she saw what she’d been missing her entire life. Then when they had to leave early for him to get back to work, well it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back and she had to get away. Maybe, if they’d stayed a bit longer, she could have talked to Connor about what she was feeling, but I think with his decision, she felt trapped.
I hope they both survive this. I know Connor is a talented musician, but I don’t see him ever leaving his chosen profession, he’s so passionate about it, or perhaps he feels responsible for letting people die when he could’ve saved them and simply can’t live with the guilt.
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Blindsided is right. Connor had no idea what had been brewing inside of Keira.
It all does feel predetermined and predictable, even her getting turned, although that is something nobody wanted to do. Since she was a teen she had been begging her parents and Connor to do it, even her grandparents and Caleb, nobody would. And now it makes her rethink eternity.
Obviously, this chapter was only the beginning, of course we will follow Connor’s journey onwards, as well as Keira’s, but for now, it seems they will be going separate ways, even though neither fell out of love.
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I feel like Connor getting called back made Keira realise that she doesn’t have that calling in life, that purpose. With Connor, he has this dedication to medicine that transcends everything, but Keira doesn’t have that, other than her love for Connor. And that can’t be the only thing she has driving her in life. And she’s wise enough to know that she won’t find that inner spark if she doesn’t learn who she truly is separate from Coneira!
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Very true. Sometimes one has to step away from everyone and everything in order to find oneself and Keira is there now. It took a lot for her to realize it, but now she has to hurt the person she loves most in the world.
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