“Reaching Across Worlds”
Faces cave in all around me. Everywhere I look, I see the same thing. Me. Everything. I wanted to see my parents, but all I see is me. My head spins, my hand retracts from the wall. Frost bites at my finger tips and something shocks me to my core.
What do I do now?
I stagger backwards and find myself falling to the ground. Then it comes to me. My muscles relax and my breath finds its way out of my mouth again.
I know who to talk to. I know who will know the answer to this.
I rush out, slipping and sliding on the wet slabs below. I don’t even really know how to get out, but somewhere I manage because here I am, flying like a star destroyer to the hut I’ve been sleeping in. The wind is rushing with me, as if it’s pulling me along and helping me get to the hut even faster.
I can’t stop smiling.
I’m so lost and I need answers, yet I’m smiling. I don’t understand it. Maybe I’m excited to get answers. Maybe I’m excited to talk to someone who finally understands me. Maybe…
I push my way into the hut and fling onto the bed I’ve made my own. I lie there, catching my breath and gathering my thoughts.
The dread hits me again. I feel it weighing on me like the hut has just collapsed onto my chest. The images from that bleak grotto. The images of me. Not my parents. My parents aren’t…
I swallow a lump in my throat, pushing away the dark thoughts threatening to creep inside even deeper. The truth is…I’ve known all along…but…
I close my eyes and reach for him, through the Force. It doesn’t take long. He’s been waiting for me.
I open my eyes.
There he is. Sitting so close to me, his face washed with concern.
“Ben,” I say, both a whisper and a plea. “I need you.” Salt and grime are mixing down my face in a murky stream of tears. I don’t notice until now that my hands are shaking. I wonder how long they’ve been doing that. Pulling my blanket tighter around my shoulders, I continue, my eyes searching for Ben’s understanding, “You’re the only person who will understand…” I wipe my face. Dirt smears onto my fingers. “You’re the only person who can help me.”
Ben is shocked, but he’s hiding it well. I can tell, though, by the way he moves and how his eyes dart away for a moment. His eyes, so dark and alluring, come closer as he moves toward me. His knees nearly brush against mine. What would happen if they did?
“I’m here for you Rey,” he says, “What’s going on?” Tears are about to break through the floodgates once more when I hear him speak my name, but I hold them back.
“I went into a cave,” I started, Ben’s long face hanging on my every word, “I went searching for answers…about my parents. Who they were, what they looked like…what happened to them…anything.” I looked up, shaking my head slightly and nearly holding my breath. “But…I got nothing. I saw me. Just me. I was so alone. I never realized just how alone I am in this galaxy until that moment.” I looked up at him and his head was shaking, his body inching even closer to me, his black-cloaked body a shadow over me. “I’m so alone.” I barely get the words out of my mouth. I don’t want to admit them. I’d spit them out if I could.
“No.” Ben says, his head stops shaking and he is so close to me now. His face is the only light in this room, and we are here together. “Rey,” he says, his head now leaning close to me, “You’re not alone.” My heart speeds up and my muscles tighten. His voice intoxicates me and draws me to him.
For the first time in my life, I don’t feel alone.
“Neither are you. It isn’t too late.”
The white of Ben’s eyes redden, and I can tell his breaths are sharpening as mine are.
My face burns, and my legs turn to water. I wish I could just leap onto Ben, throwing my arms around him, wrapping my body onto his, and never letting go. Never going back to this stupid war. Just the two of us. No longer alone.
“Ben,” I say in a hushed tone, my blanket sliding off my shoulder, “It isn’t too late.”
His body, so poised and rigid, is a world I want to discover. A place where only I hold the map. I want to know if we can touch. I want to know if the Force is allowing us to really be together. I want to feel his fingers intertwined with mine–to know what would happen if our we collided through this bond.
Slowly, I lift up my hand and raise it for him to see. He watches it with wanting eyes, gently pulling off one glove and reaching out to meet my touch. We lean in closer, never taking our eyes off one another. Our fingers are so close now. My shoulders shift and my lips fall apart. His mouth, whether consciously or not, is doing the same. Our hands hover together as we close them on the other. They don’t disappear. I don’t go through him. I feel him. Inside and out, I can see his mind and I can feel his desires. We touch and it’s as though I’ve become the target of every strike of lightning in the night sky.
I want to hold on forever. I want to lift my other hand and clasp it onto his and fall onto him, disappearing into the universe.
Electricity is flowing through me and it’s like I’ve been jump-started into a new version of myself. Ben’s face is soft and alluring, but his eyes are looking at me like I’m his prey. The electricity spikes.
It all ends as soon as a voice comes booming in and shaking everything away. “STOP!” Luke shouts.
Ben’s hand is still clasped tightly in mine, but when Luke hurls a blast of stones our way, everything ends. Gasping, I look at the empty space where Ben was just sitting. The man so close to me a moment ago is now galaxies away.
Read the rest of the chapters of ‘The Madness that Binds Us’ here.