I'm so exhausted, which actually considering the circumstances, I'm pleased to feel.
I've not felt tired since I returned from the other side when a lot of my physical feelings were taken away from me, emotionally yes I'd been able to still feel happy and sad but physically nothing, maybe it's because last night was such an emotionally draining time but let me start at the beginning.
George came over just after the sun had gone down, I was waiting outside by the front door, the Daddies and River were all watching some singing contest on the TV and it was irritating me and I just wanted to get going and so moved myself to the front step so I wouldn't get caught up in what was going on inside and miss him, not that I think he would have gone without me, no that wouldn't have happened but we couldn't put this off any longer for any reason.
I could tell he wasn't looking forward to it, his weepy eye was blazing and his whole posture was slack and lack lustre. I smiled at him and asked him if he was ready and he nodded. It must be so exhausting for him not being able to talk, in many ways I understand as so many around here just can't hear me not matter how hard I try to let them know I'm here.
As much as this wasn't going to be a pleasurable experience and neither of us knew exactly what to expect he couldn't go in there with this kind of mood and it's part of my job, the reason why I am joining him this time, to get him geared up, so as nervous as I was I took a deep breath and forced energy to every part of my being. I felt the mix of adrenaline and a touch of raw anger moving throughout every part of my body and actually felt my mass increase, and my bones stiffen.
Come on then, I said, let's get this done!
We both stood up and started walking the only light on the road from the streetlights and the odd shaft that peeked through peoples curtains as they enjoyed their evenings inside.
The Lane of Bells is a physical place for us cats but it can only be accessed through a certain state of mind that only us cats can get into and George's state of mind tonight as it was wasn't going to allow us access so as we walked I began to talk. I needed to get him to focus but first I needed to get him to stop thinking about the possibility of the impending doom. My master plan, maybe not the best but the only one I could come up with in the circumstances, was to tell him how I felt about everything that had happened between us when we were getting close and then he went off with Sarah.
Now I know this might not seem like why bring this all up now and to be honest I didn't care anymore but it was good to get some things off my chest and put all that finally to bed for me and it was certainly a topic that would take his mind off what we were about to do.
I wasn't going to have a go at him but there's no subject closer to the heart than one about the heart but it was important for me to let him know how I felt without him feeling that I was having a go at him so he didn't feel bad, it wasn't about that, this wasn't the blame game.
I started by talking to George about everything that had happened between Mogsie and I over a long period of time and how I had developed feelings for him that I hadn't expected and then how upset I was when he spurned me for the lighter Naughty Twin and how he came along and started paying attention to me. Oh how I enjoyed just hanging out with him and how he showed me so much care and was thoughtful to my feelings and how out of his pure care and friendship those feelings had started growing inside of me.
Occasionally I turned to look at him to see what his reactions were but his head never turned towards me, facing forward only but I could tell he was listening, his ears were up and a certain tension around his mouth was obvious.
I explained how I began to trust him which was why it was so hurtful when he suddenly stopped coming around. I didn't just miss that warm feeling when you begin to fall for someone but that I missed our friendship as well and felt pain and confusion when it was all taken away from me and I didn't understand why or what I had done wrong.
It felt so much better to get that all of my chest, I didn't even realise that it was still bugging me but as I spoke I felt a rainbow of feelings of anger and disappointment and nausea and love all mixed together taking turns to shout boo in my face and pump my heart.
By this time we had reached the bottom of the road, we'd been walking really slowly, it must have taken up half an hour to get there. Neither one of us was in a hurry, we knew where we were going and our pace wasn't to put off the inevitable. It's important to get your body into a relaxed rhythm and although our conversation was a little emotive this was a more manageable kind of emotion than the fear he'd been experiencing when he first came over.
We turned towards the tunnel. Oh that tunnel such an important place for me, the place that I'd been so scared of and the place that Troy had shown me could be a portal to facing my own fears and beating them over the head and banishing them, coming out the other side stronger than I'd entered. It felt appropriate for the tunnel to be used again tonight for much the same reason and we turned left and headed towards it.
I had no more negative thoughts about the past with George and as we walked I started to tell him about how glad I was that it was George that was the first one who was able to see and hear me and that how reassuring I felt that no matter what, we had come out of that situation the other side with a stronger bond than we had ever had before. I explained how grateful I was to him for persisting with trying to make contact with me when I went and came back from the other side and how lucky I was to have the privilege of calling him my friend and how now above everyone else I trusted him and believed in him.
I turned again to look at him, his ears and jaw seemed a little more relaxed now, I think he realised that I hadn't been having a go at him. He needed to feel my love and care and support like I had been feeling his this past couple of months. All that had happened to me had brought us closer, much closer than ever before and I wasn't lying telling him these things, they were spoken from a place of honestly and love.
We'd come out the other side of the tunnel by now and we were walking in total unison. We knew we were getting nearer to where we could access The Lane of Bells and now walked in silence. We both needed to focus our mind on the rhythm of each other, the rhythm of the night, the rhythm of the universe, the rhythm of The Lane of Bells. If we were both to travel there together we must think like each other, join our souls, join our intuition, move as one or we would surely be separated which was something that must not happen at any cost!
We turned right at exactly the same time, the rhythm was beginning to happen and we knew where we were heading. About 500 meters from the end of the pathway was a field where the rabbits lived, to the left was the lakes where Troy had taken me the first time and where the Gooses lived. That lake that had proven to me that if I faced my fears all would be OK, this field would, we hoped, prove the same thing to George.
The moon was up and the field was illuminated, silence was all around. We reached the middle and stood, our bodies lightly touching each other. We closed our eyes, our bodies beats as one and we started to unlock the door between this place and The Lane of Bells.
Umm, umm, umm, umm, umm went the rhythm louder and louder in our minds, both as one, two stronger than one then in the distance...
Dong, Dong, Dong
We could hear the bells, slowly moving closer.
This was the time to manage it the most, a single deviation from the rhythm no matter what was going on around us or from within us and no entry would be permitted. Us cats are never taught how to enter The Lane of Bells, we're born with the knowledge, just like the instinct to breath.
Dong, Dong, Dong
The Lane of Bells moved nearer, getting louder and louder our bodies swayed around and around together.
Dong, Dong, Dong
Louder and louder our eyes closed our bodies swaying, the wind started to pick up and the bells moved closer. I could even chance trying to control my fear, the link between George and I would be broken and the link to The Lane of Bells would be too!
In my ear, millimeters away, the rush of wind now very loud itself, our eyes tightly shut, part of the the ceremony, part for fear of what might be seen if opened.
Not just in our ears, now in our bodies, in our blood, in our breath, in our souls
And together we leapt...