We Must Go With Courage

A Classic Mosaic Story

by Alyssa G., JoAnn Baca, and Debbie H. Bluerose


PART SEVEN 

The next day Catherine waited anxiously at the airport, the note Mouse had delivered held tightly in her hand. Vincent had written beautifully of how rare and special her love was and how he has treasured her sharing such a precious part of herself with him, but he had ended the note with saying they “needed to talk,” which Catherine knew by now was code for “I’m going to try to push you out of my life for your own good again.”  Devin exited the plane and did not get three steps into the terminal before Catherine bear-hugged him.

“Devin! It’s so good to see you.” The moment was short-lived as, before he had a chance to respond, she was nearly dragging him down the corridor to her car outside.

“Whoa! Where’s the fire?” He chuckled at her haste.

Tears threatened to fall down her face as Catherine continued racing along till they were sitting in her car with the doors securely closed. Then her anguish came flooding out. “Vincent is going to try to leave me, I just know it. It will all be encased in lovely reasons why I would be better off with someone else, I know; but I don’t want anyone else. I love him and only him. I…”

“Slow down…take a breath.” Devin laid his hand on her arm to calm her rapid speech and tears.

With effort, Catherine brought her emotions back under control. “I’m sorry, Devin. I just don’t know what to do at this point.”

Devin spoke softly. “Let’s start with what happened to spark all of this.”

“I asked if he wanted to kiss me,” she admitted as she ducked her head.

“That’s all?” He tried to keep the amusement out of his voice and off his face.

Anger started to rise up in Catherine to cover the hurt. “That was enough!”

An edge crept into Devin’s voice. “Let’s get going. I have a few things long overdue that I need to say to my brother.”

Catherine swiped the tears away and began to drive.

Catherine and Devin continued their drive mostly in silence, as every attempt to lighten the mood on Devin's part was met with single syllable answers at best, and silence at worse.

"Catherine...Catherine...hey, Earth to Chandler, you there?"

"What?" Catherine looked at Devin in embarrassment. "I'm sorry! I know you're just trying to make me feel better, but I guess I'm just not in the mood for chit-chat right now."

"I get it, don't worry. Look, you can just drop me at the next corner; there's a Tunnel entrance through that alley. I’ll just go down there, have a quick word with a certain someone, and have this all fixed by dinner, guaranteed!"

Catherine shook her head in disbelief, but did as he asked. Once the car was parked, Devin leaned over, kissed her on the cheek, and flashed her his best rogue's smile. After slamming the car door behind him, Devin poked his head through the open car window, winked, and asked Catherine, "You sure you don't want to come along and join the fun?"

Catherine considered for a moment. “I’d better not.” Tears threatened to begin again.

“Hey, it’s going to be all right. Have a little faith.” With a quick wave, Devin was off and headed Below.

*             *              *

The entrance from the street placed him a couple tunnels over from where he’d anticipated being, but having spent more time Below in the last year than in the twenty years before, he was able to navigate back to the home tunnels with ease…well, almost.

“Devin!” Mouse’s flashlight helmet flashed lights all around the tunnel, bouncing up and down with the head it rested upon. “Big project. Almost done. You come help now.” It did not faze the boy that Devin was suddenly there in the tunnels, as Mouse took much of life at face value rather than questioning how it could be.

“In a bit; gotta talk to Vincent first.” Devin tried to toss off as he walked past the youth.

Mouse grabbed his arm so fast and hard, Devin nearly fell over.

“FOR Vincent! Catherine too!” Mouse insisted, pulling on Devin’s arm, not taking no for an answer.

Devin decided to at least take a peek at what was in store for his little brother, as Devin remembered from his last visit Below that Mouse could get carried away at times.

As they entered Mouse’s chamber, Devin gasped then burst out laughing. Mouse’s face scrunched up, not understanding what was so funny. Mouse had seen these at carnivals and everyone seemed to be grinning from ear to ear. The old wooden sign hadn’t been easy to find, but Mouse had looked a long time, and he had found the crate that was just the right size only yesterday. Mouse had altered the sign from its original message of “Kissing Booth $1.00” by marking out the price and scribbling in big letters “Caterine FREE.” Devin didn’t have the heart to tell the lad that he had left a letter out of Catherine’s name. The shipping crate had been turned on its end and would come just above Vincent’s waist.

“Put sheet over. Take to Catherine’s.”

Mouse’s face was serious as he slowly nodded his approval of his plan.

An idea began to form in Devin’s mind. “Mouse…I have a better idea. We will still need the sheet.” Devin explained to Mouse the new location he had in mind, and Mouse beamed with pride that his gift would be used after all.

Upon leaving Mouse’s chamber, Devin set out to finally find his little brother.

 

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