Crossroads
By The Lady In Black

Chapter Two
Kiara and Matt lived their life together now. Matt had moved to Kiara’s place and now they were living together in her flat. She also ordered him to close his tavern for one day a week. Firstly, because they would have more time for each other then, and furthermore, because Matt’s wound was still in the process of healing. He needed plenty of rest, at least once a week and Kiara was determined to give him the possibility to get it.

At one of their days off, Kiara realized, that she hardly knew anything about Matt’s past life. So she decided to find out about it. They were just sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee, when she decided, that the time to ask him out, had come.

"Matt," she started hesitatingly.

"What?" he answered and once again he gave her one of those smiles with his dimples popping out.

"What did you do before you opened the "Crossroads" tavern?" she tried to give him the most insuring smile, she could force to appear on her face.

"Well, I was kinda a new Robin Hood, fighting for the poor and for justice. I used to live in the forests of Sherwood, but soon everything became boring and I wanted to do something different." He looked down at Kiara and found her looking at him with the most unbelieving eyes, he had ever seen.

"Hey, just kidding." He started to laugh loudly. "No, I was doing everything that was worth doing it. When I was around 20 or 25 I traveled a lot. The USA had become to small for me. I don’t know how to describe it, but I had a feeling, as if I would have been able to enclose the whole world in my arms. I spent three years in Nepal and Tibet. These countries were just fascinating to me. There was a strange magic laying in the air, everywhere you were going. And then I was in Vietnam. It was horrible to see the poverty there, but the people were glad with what they had. They never complained. And after making a little sightseeing trip through Europe, I came back here and worked as a taxi driver in Manhattan. But soon I left NY again and landed here. And three years ago I opened the "Crossroads". The name of the tavern has a lot to do with my journeys. Did you know that in Ireland, the crossroads are the places, where villagers meet to talk and also to celebrate? That was fascinating me and I wanted my tavern to become such a place." He paused and Kiara had a hard time to catch her breath.

"That’s amazing," she whispered and somehow she knew in that moment, that she had missed a lot in her life. There were still so many things to do, so many places to be seen and discovered, so many days, full of life and love to be lived and experienced. In her mind she went to all those places Matt had told her about. She saw the sphinx in Egypt, the Acropolis in Athens, the Skagerak in the North of Denmark, that mysterious place, where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were meeting, where the ocean waters fought, to become one. And one day she was sure, that she would go there too.

One year had passed and neither Kiara nor Matt had found out, who the criminal had been, that had shot Matt. Meanwhile it wasn’t important for them anymore who had almost killed him. As a matter of fact they were very grateful, since obviously it was him, who had brought them together. After three months Matt had fully recovered from his wound and soon he did his work the way, he was used to do it. And strange enough, Matt’s "Crossroads" had finally become, what it always was supposed to be – a place for people to meet. And it was a fact, that many people came there to meet, so many, that Kiara and Matt were busy with serving them through the entire night. Finally at around five in the morning, Kiara and Matt could close the door behind their last guest. They sat down at one of the tables with their cups of coffee and sighed out heavily from tiredness and relief that the day was over. They were both hungry, but too tired to get something to eat and they were also too tired to go home.

"You still have your furniture here, don’t you?" Kiara asked Matt. He nodded.

"Why don’t we just sleep here then? I’m just too tired to go home now."

"Let’s go home. It’s better," Matt told her.

"Matt, please. My feet are aching and I’m afraid, I cannot take another step," she pleaded with him.

"Kiara. Let’s go home. Our bed there is much more comfortable. We’ll be better going home."

"Matt..., please. Let’s stay here for the night. I can’t ..."

"No!" Matt yelled and jumped up from his seat. Kiara was surprised and shocked. She had never seen Matt that enraged before.

"You can stay here if you have to, but I’ll go home." Matt had become nervous; he couldn’t stand still anymore. Kiara was stunned and first she didn’t know what to say.

"Matt, what is wrong with you? Did I say anything wrong?" she asked him, though she had no clue, what she probably could have said to upset him like this.

"Nothing. I only think, that we have our home and that we should sleep there and not at our job."

"But you used to sleep here too, before we met. What’s the problem now?" she wondered.

"I don’t want to and I can’t stay here over night anymore."

Kiara had listened very carefully and she knew that something was wrong with him.

"Why can’t you stay here anymore?" she asked him

"What would happen, if this one guy will come back one day? Maybe he kills me then and I’m sure that he hasn’t forgotten about me and that I’m still alive. If I’d see him, I would remember his face and he could be sent to jail for what he has done. And now tell me, who really wants to be in jail?!" Matt was enraged, his breathing was heavy and his heart was beating so strongly against his chest, that he was afraid, it would explode within the next moment.

"Matt, why have you never told me about your fears?" Kiara muttered. "I had no clue," she tried to excuse herself.

"You couldn’t know, since I have never told anybody. Just guess what it would look like, when a grown up man almost dies of fear."

"I would have understood you," Kiara tried to convince him.

"Are you sure?" He came closer to her, so close that she could feel the breath coming out from his nose. "Are you really sure, Kiara Nivens? Look into my eyes. Do you know now, what I mean? There’s fear in them, something which doesn’t belong there. And do you want to know what this fear is about?" He kept staring into Kiara’s eyes, as if he wanted to find her soul in them, as if he wanted to see the true Kiara. To his disappointment he couldn’t find anything in her eyes, which told him that she wouldn’t be on his side. He saw it in them that Kiara would really understand him, but he just couldn’t believe it. And so he ignored it.

"Don’t you think, that a man of my age should be able to take care of himself? I used to think so, and still do, but to me it seems, as if I couldn’t take care of myself. Get my point? ... No? Alright, then listen to this. If I had died that one night, it would have been my own fault. I should have grabbed that guy and killed him with my bare hands. That’s what I should have done and not giving him all my money and to hide behind the bar until the guy would get me. And see what has happened? He got me and well, you know the rest." Matt now had a hard time to catch his breath. He hadn’t recognized, that this fateful event was still that present and real deep inside of him.

"Matt," Kiara stood up and went towards the door. "I don’t know what it is, that you just won’t trust me. And if you don’t want to trust me, then it is okay. But it is not okay, that you’re treating me like this, plus you’re talking bullshit. I’m sorry, but if you think of it this way, then you are not the one, I supposed you to be. You want to be hero? Then let me tell you something, I’ve learned in my job as a doctor. Heroes die first. And that’s the plain truth and you won’t change anything about that." Kiara stopped for a while to catch breath of her own.

"If you don’t want to stay here, then it is okay. If you want to be a hero, then it’s not. That’s the wrong kind of a hero. And let me get something different straight. If you had done it the way, you’ve just told me, you would have died for sure. Believe me. I know what I am talking about." They kept silent for a while. Then Kiara started to speak again.

"Goodnight Matt. I’m going home." With it said she turned around on her heels and left the tavern.

Matt was stunned. He would have never thought, that Kiara would leave him like this. He knew, that it had been wrong, what he had done before, but now it was too late anyway. He never wanted to hurt her, to hurt his only love. With her he had found something, he had lacked all his life. He needed her and she was supposed to know that. But she was gone, and Matt was not sure, if she would ever come back to him. If not, he would have lost the sense of his life, the spa of his soul which had kept him alive all the time through. Suddenly he had a strange feeling in his gut, a feeling as if something would have been wrong with Kiara. Of course he knew, that he had hurt her only minutes before, but there was something else, that made him worry, something he couldn’t define. Something very dangerous. Matt couldn’t help it, but the fear, Kiara could run into something bad, defeated him and his pride and so he simply had to run out into the dark night to find her. He had no idea if she had gone home indeed, but he put trust into her words and so he walked quickly towards their home.

Soon he found out, that he had been wrong. Kiara hadn’t gone home and Matt realized, that already one hour had passed, since Kiara had left the "Crossroads". Meanwhile it had even started to rain, a circumstance, which didn’t help Matt with his attempt to find the woman he loved. The more the minute hand of his watch mercilessly made its way around it, the more Matt was bond to the thought, that something had happened to Kiara. It was impossible for him to stay in their apartment any longer. He just had to find her, but he had no idea where to look for her indeed.

"Where to go, where to go," he kept on mumbling, as he slowly left their apartment in deep thoughts. She couldn’t be at the harbor for sure. Kiara had always been afraid to go to the harbor alone late at night and early in the morning. And she certainly couldn’t be at the hospital, for some good reason. She didn’t work there anymore. Wait, the hospital! That’s it!! Sam! Probably Kiara was at her place. Matt prayed to the All Mighty, that he would find her there. And in case he wouldn’t find her there, he was sure, that Sam knew, where to look for her.

Quickly he made his way through the streets of the city until he had found Sam’s place. He rang, but no one opened. Again and again he tried it, but obviously, no one was at home. Probably Sam was in the hospital? Yes, she just had to be there. If not there, where else? So he went back on the street and took the next cab he could find to drive to the hospital. Ten minutes later he arrived there and stormed out of the car into the hospital, and then up to the ward, where he knew that Sam was working. He kept on looking around, watching out for Sam, but couldn’t find her. Suddenly somebody tapped shyly against his shoulder and asked him, what he was looking for. Matt told the woman, that he was looking for Nurse Samantha Crowns and that it was really, really important for him to find her. But the friendly young woman had to disappoint him.

"I’m sorry," she said. "Sam is on her day off today."

"Damned. Do you know where I could probably find her?" he tried to get more information. The little woman seemed to think about it and then shook her head.

"As far as I know she always used to go to a café near the central park called ‘Susie’s’, but it is too early for her to be there. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you," she smiled at him. Matt sighed out.

"Okay. Thanks anyway," he mumbled and left the ward and the hospital.

Matt was already about to give it up. He really cursed himself, for him being so harsh at times. Eventually he decided to go to her flat, to go home. He would close the tavern for the day and night and wait for Kiara to come back home. Quickly he went, no almost ran, home and opened the front door. Looking around in the apartment, he found no Kiara, but a note, left on the table in the kitchen.

"Matt, I’m sorry about the argument we’ve had last night. And I would really like to ignore it, but I can’t. Darling, I’m so sorry, but I need some time for myself. It’s not that I wouldn’t love you, but I’ve been disappointed by too many men, too many times, and I don’t want this to happen again. I hope you’ll understand. I’ll be gone for a while and I can’t tell you, where I’ll go, because I need to keep my distance. Please, take care of the apartment and first of all of yourself.

I love you. Kiara."

Matt could hardly believe what he had just read. Kiara had left him and it was his own fault. Matt broke down, collapsed onto the floor. Curled up like a baby child, he lay on the floor, heavy sobs leaving his throat and hot tears running down his cheeks.

************

One year later

************

Matt was cleaning up the mess, he had left the last night. The night before, he simply had been too tired to clean everything up. After sleeping too long and coming to his tavern too late, he started one hour before he had to open the door for his guests. The night before had been a good one for him, since he had had many guests, celebrating a birthday and so they really drank a lot and Matt made some good money. He was so involved in his work, that he never heard Louis knocking against the door, slowly becoming angry. As the old man had almost destroyed the door, Matt finally recognized him. A smile appeared on his face, when he saw Louis, who had always been like a father for him. They hugged as Louis finally came in.

"How was the party last night?" Louis asked.

"It was okay. It was just too much work for only the two hands of mine. I think I’ll have to get someone to help me."

"Did you find out anything about her whereabouts?"

Matt sadly shook his head.

"I haven’t heard anything from her in a year. No sign that she is still alive, no letter, no call, not even a postcard."

"Do you think she’ll ever come back?"

"I don’t know. I hope so, if she’s still alive. At least she promised to come back ... one day," he added, knowing that he was hanging onto dreams, that probably never would come true.

"You know, that one year is quite a long time...." Louis muttered half to himself, half to Matt.

"I know, I’ve almost given up hope for her to come back. I guess she has left me forever." Louis now found his friend in a very depressive mood. He knew what Kiara meant to Matt, how much he had loved her ... and he still did. But Louis knew as well, that the younger man couldn’t go on like this.

"Matt, you can’t live in the past and if you do, it’ll break you down. I know that you can’t forget her, but she is gone and you have to accept it." Louis knew that his words couldn’t convince Matt at all, but probably they could give him some comfort. Matt didn’t look as if it would have worked. Indeed, he stood up and left Louis back alone. His sad eyes said more, than any spoken word.

During the next months, Matt suffered more such moments. He felt lonely at nights in their bed, sometimes he woke up from a nightmare, just to find himself hugging Kiara’s pillow tightly. In the mornings his hand wandered onto her side of the bed, in a hopeless attempt to find her laying beside him and feel her warm, soft skin under his touch. During the days he tried to forget her by spending time with a new friend ... Mr. Jack Daniels. And at nights, when he was at home, it wasn’t any different. Spending his time on the couch, watching TV, the bottle in his hand, sipping from it and sometimes even eagerly swallowing the brown, fiery liquid in huge gulps. His feelings and his actions confused him, though he did know why he was acting this way. He missed her, he missed her so terribly that his life, didn’t make any sense to him anymore. Matt felt lonely, lonelier than he had ever felt before. He needed her. Else, he wouldn’t survive, he was sure.

***

Kiara’s head was aching terribly as she opened her eyes. Slowly her vision cleared and she found herself in a strange place, where she had never been before. In the bed next to her an old woman was sleeping. Kiara had absolutely no idea where she was and, worst of it, she had no idea who she was. She tried to remember, but it seemed as if a heavy black cloud would cover her mind. Since she didn’t know what else to do, she stayed in bed, waiting for someone to come to clear her blurred vision of mind. Hours and hours passed, every minute seemed to be a little eternity itself and no one came. No one. If she would have only known, who she was. The only thing she knew was, that she was missing something besides her memory, something she needed more than anything else, but yet she didn’t know, what this special thing would be.

A few hours later, eventually a strange man came, wearing a green shirt and green pants. Obviously he was a doctor, which would mean that she was in hospital and also explain, why she was with the old woman.

"Young lady, you awakened," the young doctor smiled at her. Kiara forced a smile to appear on her lips.

"I am Doctor Thomas Grant. And you are?" he asked Kiara, still smiling. Kiara’s smile faded away immediately. Sadly she closed her eyes and shook her head.

"I don’t know, who I am..." she whispered, a hot tear rolling down her pale cheek. Dr. Grant slightly nodded his head.

"Well, that’s what I thought. You’ve lost your memory. I’m sorry. But I hope, that it will come back. I’m quite sure indeed," he tried to comfort her.

"When, doctor? When will I get my memory back?" Kiara asked him, hope shining through her deep brown eyes. But she couldn’t find any sign of good news in the doctor’s eyes.

"I’m afraid, I don’t know. Probably it’ll even come back today or tomorrow, probably in a month or a year." He hesitated. "Or probably never."

"Do you at least know my name?" she asked him, but Dr. Grant shook his head.

"You had neither an ID, nor a license or anything with you. I’m afraid, I can’t help you with this." He smiled down at her. "Well, I guess it’s better for you, to get some sleep now. You need to rest. It will help you heal and regain your strength. I’ll come back soon," he smiled down at her, softly caressing her hand with his. She was just such a beautiful woman and it hurt him to see her like this. Though, he actually didn’t know anything about her, he felt a strange kind of love for her, a love which wasn’t allowed to exist. Certainly, there was someone out there, waiting for her, waiting to give her the love, which was hers and which she deserved. The strange woman soon fell asleep, but Thomas discovered himself still holding her hand in a tight and loving grasp. He just couldn’t help it.
 

**************

Three weeks later

**************

Eventually the day of Kiara’s release from the hospital had come. But there were problems, which seemed to be overwhelming her. She had no idea where to go, what to do, where to live. She had no home, no one who was waiting for her. At least, she couldn’t think of anybody. The power of doubt that inflicted her very mind and soul, seemed to tear her apart inside. She would need someone to help her to get through this, but who would that person be? She had no clue. Kiara was just packing her few things into a small bag, when Dr. Grant entered her room.

"How do you feel, young lady?" he asked her. Young lady had become her new "name" during the last three weeks, she had spent in that hospital.

"How would you feel, if you didn’t know who you are and what to do?" she answered his question with another one. Thomas smiled.

"Well, since you don’t know where to go, I wanted to ask you, if you want to stay at my place. It’s not big, but you would have your own private space. It’s not a solution forever, but at least you won’t have to sleep under bridges." Kiara was surprised by his offer and grateful for it.

"Thanks Dr. Grant. I gladly accept." Only then she noticed, that he didn’t wear his usual "uniform".

"Can we be off right now?" she asked him in surprise.

"Yes. I’m on my day off and so I can help you to get used to your new place." He smiled at her and offered her to help her with the luggage. She accepted and soon they were gone, heading for Dr. Grant’s place.

Fifteen minutes after they had left the hospital, they arrived at his small house in the outskirts of the city. Thomas showed her the bedroom, which would be hers from that day on. It was not really huge, but big enough for her. Flowers were placed on the nightstand and a box of chocolates was lying next to them. The room was bright, illuminated by daylight shining through two huge windows, of which one appeared to be a door, which lead to a small balcony. All the furniture was held in a soothing cream color, making the room even brighter and friendlier. Kiara liked it, though she still felt uncomfortable with all her doubts about her past.

"I might leave you alone now," Thomas interrupted her in her thoughts. "You might want to get some rest and become acclimated with you new surroundings." Kiara smiled at him. Suddenly a strange feeling overwhelmed her, confusing her even more. As Thomas looked at her with his deep soulful blue eyes, she felt something, much more intensive than sympathy or friendship. It was certainly some strange kind of love and even if she would never get her memory back, she knew, that she could probably love that man one day – and maybe he would love her back. But then something came back to her mind. She had never found out, what had happened, why she had lost her memory, what the reason for it was. When Thomas was just about to leave, she held him back.

"Thomas?"

"What is it?" he asked her, with the most beautiful smile on his face.

"What did happen?" she asked him.

"What do you mean with what did happen?"

"I mean, why have I lost my memory?"

"You don’t remember, of course." Kiara shook her head.

"You’ve had a car accident, or better the car had an accident with you. Early one morning you ran into it. You were unconscious for six days and when you woke up again, you couldn’t remember anything. That’s what happened."

"And I really didn’t have anything with me like an ID or a license?"

"No, I’m sorry. But it’s possible that you were robbed, while laying on the street. The owner of the car fled and you were laying there for a while. You had nothing than your clothes to wear."

"But I can’t stand it always being called young lady! I need a name! And it doesn’t matter which name, just a name."

"Well, that’s easy. As long as you don’t get your memory back, you can chose a name and live with it. Think about it." He paused. "By the way, I think that Beauty would fit you perfectly," he smiled. Kiara blushed into a deep red. Gosh, he was just so cute.

"Okay, then I’ll think about one," she grinned back at him. "But Beauty doesn’t suit me, you know." Thomas smiled at her and then left the room. From outside she could hear him yell. "I’ll get you something to eat later!!!" Kiara smiled and looked around in her new room. She went towards the bed and let herself fall down on it. It just suited her fine and was very comfortable, much more comfortable than the one in the hospital. Only then she saw, that there was also a TV standing in one corner of the room.

She grabbed the remote from the nightstand and switched it on. Kiara zapped through the channels, not knowing, what exactly she was looking for. Suddenly she stopped, when she saw actors in ancient costumes making their way over the screen. She laid the remote aside and kept on watching it. As far as she could find out, the story was about a young man fighting for the poor, by robbing the rich. The story fascinated her and somehow the face of that young man reminded her of someone, she thought, she’d known in another life. Probably this man had been a part of her life before the accident? She didn’t know. Eventually she found out the name of the handsome young man on TV – Robin Hood. Yes, Robin. It was such a beautiful name and besides it just fit. He was a haunted man, just like she was sort of a haunted woman. And he was an outlaw and in some way she was one too. Robin. Yes. From this day on, it would be her name…Robin.

********************

A couple of months later

********************
 

Robin was wandering through the streets, stopping here and there to look through the windows of the huge stores. There were so many things in this world, that she had a hard time to believe it and there were such wonderful things like love. For her, Thomas was her first love, and her true love and she knew that he loved her back. He was always there for her, when she needed someone, and he gave her the love that she needed so urgently, for he gave her strength, when she had none. And though she considered herself the luckiest woman in the world, Robin still missed something, but didn’t know what. There actually was nothing, for her to miss, since she had everything, that she wanted. But it didn’t seem to be enough. Suddenly Robin was disturbed in her thoughts, by a deafening sound. Instinctively she turned her head around, only to see, that a man was laying unconsciously on the ground, surrounded by pieces of broken glass. When she looked up the house on the other side of the street, she saw a broken window up in the third floor. Not caring about her own wellbeing, she ran to the other side of the street, towards the lifeless form on the ground. Robin knelt down and felt for his pulse, when she saw that blood was streaming out from a small wound on his throat. She pushed her fist against it to stop the bleeding. And at the same time she checked, if he was still breathing. To her relief he did, but his breath came in very light streams of warm air out of his nose. But he was breathing. Robin cried for help and somebody must have heard her cries, since ten minutes later an ambulance arrived, taking the man with them to hospital.

Thomas had to work at night that day and so Robin spent her evening alone at home. She was unable to forget, what had happened only hours ago. Although she knew, that every human being on the surface of their planet had to help one another, she knew that there was something different about the help, she had provided the man with the afternoon before. The strange thing was, that she had known perfectly well, what she was doing, just as if she would have done it many times before. And she was sure, she had done it before.

Robin spent the evening on the couch in the living room, still thinking about the events of the past day, when she eventually fell asleep. She dreamed about a man, she knew she used to know once. His long sable hair fell down on his shoulders, his deep soulful brown eyes stared deeply into hers. Robin knew in her dream, that he was the one, she needed, the one who could bring her peace. Certainly the stranger she saw now in her dream was her soul mate. Robin woke up. She now knew, that she couldn’t go on with her life any longer like this. But she couldn’t tell Thomas about her dream, that was for sure.

She owed a lot to him and she didn’t want to betray him. Heavy, hot tears welled up in her eyes, but she wouldn’t allow them to take their way down her hot burning cheeks. She had always known, that there was something missing in her life and that was the purity of real love, something Thomas probably felt for her, but Robin didn’t feel the same way for him. On the other hand, she had no idea how to tell him about her feelings, without to hurt him. Finally she decided to keep her peace. With that thought in mind she quickly drove off into a land without dreams and any pain.

Soft kisses against her cheek and collarbone brought her mind back to reality. Slowly Robin opened her eyes and whispered a hello, when she saw that it was Thomas, inflicting the sweet pain on her. A small smile kissed her face, when his kisses became more intense, telling her, that he wanted more, than only sweet caresses and innocent kisses. Slowly Robin started to get his idea and panic washed over her very soul and body.

"No!" she shouted out and pushed Thomas’ body away from her. Surprised by her actions he only gave her a confused smile.

"What’s wrong?" he asked her.

"I’m sorry Thomas, but I can’t!" she said, not able to hide neither the determination nor her own confusion in her voice.

"I guess it’s better when I spend my nights again in my own room," she stated and ran upstairs into her own bedroom, throwing the door closed behind her and turning the key around in its lock. A heavy sigh of relief left her throat. Robin had no idea, why she had panicked like that. She knew that Thomas would never hurt her. Again Robin let herself fall down on the bed and tried to sleep. But there was no hope that she would find any sleep that night.

After a two hours of trying to find some sleep without success, she took the remote and switched the TV on. Zapping through the channels she found that one series again, that had given her, her name. The New Adventures of Robin Hood. And again, the face of the Robin Hood on the screen reminded her of someone, she obviously had loved in another life. To her it wasn’t just a strange feeling anymore – she was sure that there was someone, waiting for her. Suddenly a knock against her door interrupted her in her thoughts.

"Robin?" Thomas asked from outside. Again he knocked against the door. "Robin? Please open the door. We need to talk."

"I don’t think so," she shot back. She really didn’t want to talk to anyone right now.

"Robin! What’s wrong? Don’t you want to tell me?" From inside he could hear heavy steps coming towards the door; then he heard a key being turned around in the lock. When the door finally opened, Robin stood in front of him with from tears red swollen eyes. When she saw him, she started to cry again and collapsed into his arms. Thomas caught her before her limp form hit the ground. Tenderly he lifted her up in his strong arms and laid her down on the bed. Thomas now knew what was wrong with Robin. She missed something in her life, and he knew that he couldn’t give her what she really needed. While she was laying so pale on the bed, he decided that he would do everything to give Robin her real life back. There would be a way and he was determined to help her.

After another three weeks, he still hadn’t figured out, how he could help her. She had told him, that they would still be friends, not more. Thomas couldn’t do anything, but to accept, although it was hard for him. He really loved Robin. But she had returned to sleep in her single bedroom and spent most of her days alone, trying to avoid Thomas’s presence. But sometimes she couldn’t stay away from him and in such moments, he confronted her with her strange behavior, because he thought, that she would be treating him unfairly – especially after all that he had done for her. One special evening, they had a really bad fight about the whole thing, although it had started out as so many nights before. Thomas had come home from work, and Robin’s dinner was waiting for him. Exhaustedly, Thomas let himself fall down on a kitchen chair.

"Looks good," he said, pointing his finger at her dinner.

"Thanks," she replied, not showing any change of attitude.

"Robin, why have you changed so much?" he asked her, while munching.

"I haven’t changed," she said, trying to ignore, what he was talking about. Thomas accepted it for the moment and they finished dinner.

Later in the evening they sat together in the living room and watched TV. Outside the weather was great, it was a warm summer’s night. An idea welled up in Thomas.

"Robin, why don’t we go out?"

"You think you can get me back with this? Forget it."

"Come on, Robin. I know a little nice tavern near the harbor. I haven’t been there in a long time. Why can’t we just go out and have some fun? It won’t hurt, I promise," he smiled at her.

"Okay, Thomas. But dare and touch me and I’m up and away," she said in a threatening voice.

"Okay, I promise I won’t lay a hand onto you. Now, will you come with me?"

"I will."

Robin and Thomas had made themselves ready for their evening out and headed out into the dawning night. They drove down to the harbor. Thomas and Robin left the car back in a save parking lot and walked the rest of their way to the tavern.

"What is the name of that tavern? Probably I know it," Robin said, wrapping her arms around her body to protect herself from the cold.

"I don’t remember it exactly. Let me see ... I think it was ‘Crosswinds’ or something like that," he said. "Does that ring a bell?" he asked her.

"No, can’t remember it," Robin replied.

***

Matt sat together with Louis at the old mans usual place. They talked and laughed, even Matt did, but Louis knew very well, that Matt was far from being happy. He still missed Kiara and the old man knew, if there wouldn’t happen anything soon, the young man’s heart would be broken forever. But Louis was wise enough, not to say a word about Kiara, though he knew that the young woman was always on Matt’s mind.

They talked on and on, when suddenly the sound of an opening door disturbed them. Matt’s look wandered to the door and he almost couldn’t believe what - who he saw there.

"Kiara," he whispered and wanted to run over to her, but Louis held him back, seeing that Kiara neither recognized Matt nor explore the area, looking for him. Thomas and Kiara sat down at one of the tables, exactly the same table, Kiara had chosen, when she first had come to the Crossroads.

"What shall I do now?" Matt asked Louis nervously.

"Your job. How about that?" Louis simply said.

"You’re kidding? How am I supposed to go over there and behave as if she would be a complete stranger to me? I still haven’t forgotten what has been between the two of us," Matt argued.

"I know that, laddie. Now listen. Do you really think, that Kiara would just come in here, sit down with another guy in front of your eyes and pretend to not know you?" Louis shook his head, answering his own question. "You can’t tell me that. Look, I might be an old man, but my eyes and my instincts work still pretty well. So listen, go over there and try to find out what’s wrong with her."

"I guess you’re right, old friend. Now, I’m off to the struggle of my life," he said and nervously and incredibly slowly he went towards the couple at the table next to the huge window. Neither of them recognized him.

"Hi! Um, want a drink or something?" he asked them. The woman he knew so well and the strange man turned their heads and faced Matt.

"Oh, um, yes, I guess. Some white wine would be nice," the strange man said. "What do you want, Robin?"

"I think a cup of coffee and a glass of whiskey would be ..." suddenly a glimmer of nervousness, confusion and probably a slight thought of a memory appeared in her eyes. For an endless moment she stared at poor Matt, all confused by the feeling that she probably had once known that man very well. VERY well.

"Yeah, I think that’s it. Some coffee, some whiskey," she stuttered. Matt nodded and left them back alone.

"Are you alright, darling?" Thomas asked her. Sort of surprised to hear his voice, she stared at Thomas and nodded.

"Yes, I think so. I just feel a little uncomfortable around here, that’s all." She paused and continued quietly. "Don’t call me darling."

"Do you want us to go?" he asked her. The idea, that she probably remembered something, didn’t even cross his mind.

"Oh, um, no. I kinda like it here," she smiled. Then Matt came back to their table with their drinks.

"Your wine, Sir. Madam, your coffee and your whiskey." Matt had to bring up all of his inner strength and self-control, to oppress his feelings, to oppress his need to hug and kiss her. He neither recognized himself standing there, staring at his love for at least two minutes, nor Thomas confusedly watching him.

"Is there anything else you wanted to tell us?" he asked Matt. Matt looked down at him and shook his head.

"Um, no. No. In case you should need me, you’ll find me over there," he said, pointing towards the table in the darkest corner of the room.

Matt sat down again at Louis’ table and stared out of the window on the other side of the room, close to where Kiara and the stranger were sitting.

"What is it, Matt?" Louis asked.

"She doesn’t know me," he simply said.

"She doesn’t know you? You mean she doesn’t want to know you, or she doesn’t know you."

"That guy called her Robin."

"Has she ever told you anything about a twin?" Matt gave him a quizzical look, but Louis was serious.

"No, she hasn’t. It must be her. C’mon, Louis, I know her. It definitely is her."

"Then how comes, that she doesn’t recognize you?" Louis asked, but Matt only shook his head.

"I have no idea."

"Listen, laddie. I’ll go now. It’s late and besides I am an old man and not good in matters of love." Matt nodded.

"Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow?"

"Sure."

Kiara and Thomas stayed for quite a long time, while Louis had left the Crossroads and Matt had returned to his work. It was a quiet evening, not many people came into the tavern, most likely because it was a national holiday and people rather stayed at their homes.

Later that evening, a stranger entered the tavern, looking really burned out with dirty hair, dirty clothes, dirty face. He sat down on one of the stools in front of the counter and ordered a beer. When Matt turned around, the thought crossed his mind, that he probably had seen that face before and when he turned around again and faced the man, he knew he was right. The man was sitting there, pointing a gun at him.

"You made a big mistake, laddie," the stranger snarled. "You did not die!" And then he shot. Thomas whirled around to see what was going on, but Kiara jumped up from her seat and ran towards Matt and the man who had fired the gun. Thomas tried to hold her back, but it was too late. It took Kiara only a moment to reach the guy and to swing her leg into the man’s most sensitive part of his body. Crying out in pain he fell down to the floor which gave Kiara the chance to knock him out. Then she ran around the counter to check on Matt. There she found him sitting on the floor, holding his arm.

"Are you alright?" she asked him.

"I guess I am. At least I won’t die. The bullet has only scratched my arm, I think," he said through gritted teeth.

"Let me check," she said softly and helped him out of his shirt. "You were right. A scratch. Nothing serious. You’ll be alright, Matt." She watched him with a certain look in her eyes, that told him, that whatever it was, that she had lost, had returned in that very moment. Kiara couldn't believe what she had just heard herself saying. All of a sudden everything had come back to her. She knew who she was, and first of all she knew who the man sitting in front of her was.

"Matt," she whispered.

*****

"It’s an incredibly wonderful feeling to have you back in my arms again after such a long time," Matt whispered into Kiara’s ear in a loving voice. "I’ve missed you so much. Kiara, I’m sorry about our fight. It was just so unnecessary."

"No, it was not your fault. I should have known what was wrong with you." She smiled at him and they kissed. "But now it’s over. The man’s in jail and he won’t see the light of day again all too soon. And I have you back."

"And I have you. I really missed you. This year was the most horrible I can remember. And then the moment when you entered my tavern ... I could feel my heart break," Matt said in a low voice.

"It’s over and I’m the one, I used to be. Kiara Nivens and no longer a Robin Hood wannabe."

"What if we would change something about that?"

"What do you mean?"

"Would you like to become Mrs. Kiara Logan?"

THE END

Chapter One
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