Author: Carly Carter
Fandom: Guiding Light
Pairing: Olivia and Natalia
Rating: PG for now
Disclaimer: Don’t own anything
Summary: 'Help me, save me.' You silently plead. You hear her voice inside your head, weary, exasperated. 'Save yourself, Olivia.'
AN: We don’t get GL in
Seeing is believing
And in my arms I see her
She's here, really here
Really mine now
She seems at home here
You watch the sunlight dancing in the trees, the leaves glistening with the rain from the previous night, the branches swaying in the cool breeze. Everything seems so calm, so fresh, so new. And so very wrong.
The sun disappears suddenly behind a cloud casting dark shadows around you. The air chills for a moment. The world is dulled somehow compared to just a moment ago. It seems like something is gone, something is missing. And you realise, something is.
Then as the wind picks up, the clouds shift and sunshine floods you again, making you ache. You squint your eyes, looking up in disbelief. Disbelief that the sun is still shining, that the world is still turning.
It seemed the heavens opened last night, it had been the greatest downpour of rain you’d seen in many years. As if God himself was grieving right along side you. You’d sat all night in this place, in the dark. The moon and stars obscured by the dense clouds. The cold, hard rain relentlessly falling. Somehow you felt untouched. You sat still, waiting, just to see if the sun would really rise in the morning. Because you couldn’t imagine the sun really shone in such a dark place.
Minutes after you had left the farmhouse on your search for Olivia, you had received the phone call. The police had found Olivia’s car abandoned. Here in this very place you now sat. Hours away from your home, in the middle of nowhere. On this steep cliff top, surrounded by dense trees and nothing but the cold angry ocean waiting below. It was here they told you they had found her car. And inside it all of her possessions. Her phone. Her purse, complete with a photo of you and Emma inside it. But they had found no sign of Olivia.
You wondered if this place was significant to Olivia, had she been here before? Why had she come here? How would she have found this place if she had not been looking for it? You never would have found it on your own.
You sit now, perched on the very edge of that cliff top as the sun rises. You cast your gaze down, wondering where she is. If she is down there swallowed up by that vast, angry ocean? If she is at peace? You close your eyes, remembering the last time you had seen her.
You had found the tickets quite by accident while you were cleaning.
“What’s this?” You asked her
“What does it look like?” She replied. It was getting harder and harder to have a civilised conversation with her.
“It looks like plane tickets.” Tickets to
“Going on a holiday?” You asked, unable to hide the disappointment in your voice.
“No.” She answered.
“I don’t understand.” And you didn’t understand. Anything. First you had been so confused by the cold way she was treating you. And then, suddenly, your eyes had been opened. You had figured it out. So you thought. She had hardly spoken to you since interrupting you and Frank. She had heard what you said, heard you as you told Frank you couldn’t be with him because you loved her. And yet she was even more cold and distant towards you. Had you been wrong?
“Emma and I are moving. Permanently. ”
You were speechless. “You can’t.”
“Emma loves it here.” It was true of course. But why did you always hide behind that excuse when there was so much more you wanted to say.
“I told you Emma and I would be moving out.” She reminded you.
“But Frank and I...” Your voice trailed off. She knew already that you had broken it off with Frank. That he was gone. You had thought somehow that would be the end of all this. You couldn’t believe she was walking out on you. And you realise how she must have felt when you wanted to move out with Frank. But that was just around the corner. Moving across the world was something different entirely. And you just couldn’t make any sense of it.
“Emma and I are starting a new life. I am her mother, And I’m taking her to
You look back to the tickets in your trembling hands. “Tomorrow?” You asked in disbelief.
“There is nothing keeping us here.” She responded bitterly.
‘What about me?’ You want to ask. But the fact you even had to ask indicated to you that you weren’t a factor in the decision at all. “What about Emma, her school, her friends?”
She just shrugged again. Smiling. Not truly smiling in that happy way you knew she was capable of. Smiling instead in that bitter, resentful way.
You stand, shocked. “You haven’t even packed anything.” You told her.
“We’ll just buy new things when we get there.” She told you brightly.
It sounded so crazy, and for a moment you were sure she was playing games with you. But then you’d seen the look in her eyes.
“Have you told Emma about theses plans? Because I was just upstairs with her, and she never mentioned….”
“Don’t tell me how to take care of my daughter!” She ordered you angrily.
“I wasn’t.” You protested. “I was just wondering...”
“I am her mother, and I decide what’s best for Emma.”
“Were you even going to say goodbye to me?” You wanted to know.
“Goodbye, Natalia.” She waved at you. She is still smiling that condescending smile. But there was something else in her eyes that you didn’t quite recognise. Was it just too late? Had you done too much damage? Shattered her so completely that its impossible to make things right? Was she deliberately trying to hurt you? Had you just been so completely wrong about everything?
“Have you been drinking?” You asked her, for the third time this week. Because you just couldn’t make any sense of the way she was behaving lately.
“Have I been drinking?” She repeated, taunting you. “Just because I don’t agree with everything you think, you decide that I must be under the influence of alcohol?”
“I just don’t understand any of this.” You told her honestly.
She stopped for a moment, and for the first time in days she looked you straight in the eyes. “I can’t be around you anymore.” She said simply, sincerely.
She meant it. You didn’t understand it, couldn’t make sense of it, but you did believe it. So much so that you were afraid to ask her ‘why?’ Had you really misread the signals so completely? Had you frightened her by your declaration to Frank?
You needed to do something fast. To bring her back to earth, give her some perspective. Because this was crazy. You needed to reach her somehow, you needed to stop her from doing this. Destroying your family. You felt certain you could work things out somehow, but not if she was on the other side of the world.
“It’s a bit late to decide that, Olivia. This is Emma’s family, you can’t just drag her halfway across the world when it suits you.”
“This is Emma’s family?” She challenged you. “That didn’t seem to occur to you when you were going to marry Frank and leave Emma behind. When did you decide this family was so precious to you?”
“That was different.” You began, before realising that it was pointless to argue with her. Before realising that maybe she had a point. But Frank was gone more. What more did she want from you?
You knew it wasn’t fair to drag Emma into this, to use her and undoubtedly upset her by bringing her into the conversation. But you could think of no other way to get through to Olivia, to make her see the impact of what she was doing. You couldn’t bring yourself to break in front of her, to beg her to stay, to plead with her that it would kill you to be apart from her and Emma. Let Emma be the one to do it.
“Where are you going?” She asked you as you headed for the staircase.
“To get your daughter. You can tell her all about your plans.”
“No.” She protested. And it almost made you stop. You wanted to believe this was just a game. That she had no intention of taking Emma just like that, leaving you behind. That for some reason she was trying to elicit your attention, to get a reaction out of you. But you just didn’t trust her anymore. You didn’t understand her. You didn’t know how to connect with her. She was standing right there in front of you, and yet she was so untouchable. Connecting with her so unobtainable. It was as if she had already disappeared. And it frightened you.
“Natalia, Please don’t…” You thought you heard her say as you climbed the stairs to fetch Emma.
But you didn’t stop, didn’t look back. Why should you stop? You were about to lose everything.
You didn’t know what you had been expecting when you led Emma down the stairs that night. But what you had not expected in the least, was to find her gone. That was the last time you had seen her.
It is almost silent. There is only the waves crashing below, and the sound of your own heart beating. It is peaceful. Isolated. Your clothes are soaked from the rainfall last night. You’re cold even now that the sun has risen. The warm rays don’t touch you. Your blood has turned to ice inside of you.
When you close your eyes you can feel her breath against your skin. You wrap your trembling arms around yourself tightly and breathe in. You can smell her here. You can almost taste her she is so close.
You stand to your feet, calling her name. It echoes far into the distance. Over and over again you call her name, your cries becoming louder, more desperate each time. And you wait for her to answer you. But no answer comes. Finally, as no more sound comes from your mouth, you fall to your knees in the mud sobbing. And realise that she is never going to answer you. She is gone.
Looking into the vast ocean below you realise you’ll never be able to find her. Never see her again. Never touch her. You can see it. You believe it. And you long for that time back when you had precious hope.
Looking into that vast ocean below, you want to jump. Badly.
You understand it in that moment, in a way you never did. How someone could long for death so desperately. You just want the pain to go away. You want to be with Olivia. You don’t know how you can live with the grief, regret, guilt, loneliness.
You understand it completely, Finally. The dark hideous thing that had pulled her over the edge. You wanted it badly. You stood there, leaning forward. Longing for the ocean to swallow you too.
You want it, you imagine it, you understand it. The pain you feel outweighs any religious arguments against jumping over that edge. But you still can’t do it. You’re stronger than that. You have more integrity. More compassion for the people you’d leave behind. The waves crash on the shore below you and a wave of resentment washes over you again, why couldn’t she just fight a bit harder? You don’t know if you can ever forgive her for this.
“Coward.” You scream over the edge. Hating her for taking the easy way out. And then you start laughing. Because you realise you were the coward. The one too scared to admit your feelings to her.
You failed her. She needed you to guide her, to help her. You let her down. You always thought of her as strong. Not necessarily good, or smart, not honest, not open, not easy to get along with. But strong yes. She had this way of making it seem that she was the strong one, and you the one needing protection from the big bad world. But you realise now that it’s always been you the stronger of the two.
You’re a freakin super hero
You were supposed to be able to save her. Maybe Rafe was right, you never could have saved her. You never should have tried. Rafe told you that too. Even Olivia told you that in her letter. But you hadn’t listened. You were so sure that you could make things right. So sure that she had changed. You both had changed. Who would have thought you’d have so much to offer each other?
You look back over all the obstacles. All the things that stood in your way of telling her how precious she was to you. The things that prevented you admitting to yourself how desperately you wanted and needed her. It had all been such a confusing, guilt laden mess in your mind. Now it was all so clear. That she was the most important thing to you. That all these religious constructs about forbidden love were nothing to do with the God you had faith in, a God of compassion and love. How could God have wanted things to turn out like this?
You nervously run your fingers over the phone. In your right hand your phone, and in your left Olivia’s that the police had retrieved from her car. Last night you had sat ringing your phone from hers. Just to see her name flash up on the screen. That brief flicker of hope before reality came crashing down around you. You would give anything to have that last phone call back.
You had lost track of the number of times you had rung her number, over and over the night she had walked out and left you standing in the living room with Emma by your side. Innocently looking up to you and asking “Where is mommy?” Even way back then, your anger was intense. How could she just walk out on you, on Emma? Moving to
You were almost surprised hours later, when she had answered her phone. She didn’t speak at first, but you knew she was there on the other end of the line, you could hear her breathing.
She had been gone only hours. It was before you’d found her note. But you had a feeling that something was very wrong. And a desperate need to talk to her, to see her, to touch her.
“Olivia.” You breathed. Lost for words. Confused. Overwhelmed. Not having the first idea where to begin.
Still no sound from her, and instantly your relief gave way to frustration. And fear. That she was going to hang up on you any second if you didn’t say exactly the right thing she wanted to hear. And you were lost. You knew that arguing with her was counterproductive and pointless. And you felt this sudden compassion for her. Felt it instinctively that she was in trouble, even though you had not yet found her letter.
“Olivia, Please talk to me.” You pleaded with her gently.
“What makes you think I want to talk to you?” She finally threw back at you.
“You answered the phone, that’s a good start.”
She doesn’t respond to that. So you continue. “I think you do want to talk to me. I think we can sort this out Olivia. Our family is the most important thing to me. We have to try. But I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what the problem is.”
“You can’t help me anyway Natalia. You never could. That’s the trouble with you, you think you can fix everything. You can’t accept the truth- that some things can’t be fixed.”
It wasn’t her usual petulant tone. She sounded sad, sincere, tired. And you want to assure her ‘Yes I can fix it, I can fix everything just come back to me.’ But you’re not really sure you can give her what she wants, what you want to give her. It was true you loved her not Frank. She and Emma were your family, and you wanted it back. And you believed she wanted it too, in spite of the way she had been acting of late. But it still frightened you. It still went against everything the church taught you. Everything you thought you believed in up until she came along re defined the very essence of love.
“I’m sorry.” You told her. You meant you were sorry for hurting her with Frank, Sorry that you didn’t understand what she wanted from you, sorry you couldn’t fix everything. Sorry it had taken you so long to realise how much you cherished her, and even now that you knew it you were still holding back. You meant it, you were sorry. But at the same time, somewhere in the back of your mind, you asked yourself this question- ‘Why am I always the one apologising?’
“I know you’re sorry, Natalia.” She said it so sincerely that the following bitter words shocked you. “I bet you’re sorry. You have been ever since you made that decision let me have your dead husbands’ heart. I told you you’d regret that decision. Didn’t I?”
“No!” You answered forcefully. No you didn’t regret it, far from it. This had nothing to do with Gus, with the heart. This whole issue had been wearisome the first time around. It was long behind you. Why was she trying to bring it all up again? “I’m not going to go there with you Olivia. I’m not getting sucked into this. You know that isn’t true, Why are we even talking about this now?” Why when there is so much else I need to say to you?
“You want him back so badly, don’t you? ” She asked you. And she wasn’t taunting you in that angry way you had become so used to lately. She sounded so small and lost. But it wasn’t enough to prevent your frustration getting the better of you. What a stupid question! “That’s why you broke it off with Frank.” She announced matter of factly.
“Does it matter Olivia? Really, does it matter? Can I have Gus back? No.” You don’t want to answer her question. Because guilt rips through you when you realise how much you love her. That given the choice, you’d gladly sacrifice Gus to save her. It frightens you how much you love her. More than you ever imagined possible to feel for another human being.
“Because of me.” She said finally.
“Everything is because of you.” Is what you’d said to her in that moment. Your voice shaking because it frightened you, the intensity of your feelings for her. It frightened you admitting it to her aloud finally. It frightened you to imagine how she would respond.
You meant that you had left Frank ‘because of her’. Meant that your world turns ‘because of her’. You realised only later how she may have interpreted that as ‘Gus isn’t here because of you.’ You should have been more careful with your words. But the truth was, Gus had been the furthest thing from your mind, and you couldn’t comprehend that the thing bothering her had anything to do with Gus. You hadn’t realised she was on an entirely different wavelength, having a completely different conversation to the one you were engaged in.
Then you heard the click as she hung up the phone. The lonely silence. That was the last time you’d heard her voice.