1 The beginning

On returning home that warm afternoon, I had a premonition. I had not had one of those in a while. I received what my mother liked to call "the gift" when I was nine years old. She always said I was born fortunate, and that I should never doubt my fortune. She did warn me of the dangers one possessing such a gift could encounter. And thus I was to keep it a secret. One only known to my mother and I. And that day the premonition I received could be likened to a warning. The only interpretation I was able to give to it was that danger hung on the horizon. Something terribly catastrophic was going to happen. I ran home. A very unladylike thing to do, but who cares about etiquette and poise when faced with such senses of danger.

As it happens, my premonitions are never false. I did find the source of that chillingly negative feeling. Once I entered my home, I felt a ripple go down my spine. I sensed death, and despair. Immediately I felt like weeping, but I knew what I had to do. I went to my mother. She heard me come in and called out to me. "Lilly?? Is that you??" "Mama, how do you feel?"i knew death was imminent yet I had to be strong for her." I feel tired my dear." she was in so much pain. Some could argue that I should have been grateful that she'll finally be released from this pain in death. But the pain of her death could not all be taken away by that little thought. She held unto my hand, hers felt so cold an evident sign of what was imminent. "Love comes to those who deserve it", she said. "It just hasn't come to you yet. You'll receive a love so passionate, your love story will be told for generations and will bring tears to the eyes of whatever audience comes upon it. And my dear girl never go for anything less." Those were the last words my mother whispered to me on her dying bed. She lay there so weak and pale. I couldn't keep myself from crying any longer. I was eighteen years old at the time. My father died when I was two years old, I had no memories of him. All I know of him are the few stories my mother could bring herself to tell me, when she was not in one of her melancholy moods. Those words remain with me, for who wouldn't keep the last words of their dying parent who was practically the only parent they knew their whole life?

I wept for my mother, but I also wept for myself. Who was going to protect me from then on?? Life was never fair. I had thought at the time. I just never knew the depth of truth embedded in those words and how many times those same words would come back to haunt me.

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