| "It is said that the blue dragonfly is the incarnate of a deceased friend or family member. Should one find you, they bring good tidings from the other side. But sometimes, they bear a different, deeper message..."
Vikki was all grown up now. In about two weeks, she would be walking down the isle, hand in hand with her father, who would give her away to the man she loved. Roses would adorn the wooden pews and a white lane would lie delicately beneath her feet. In two weeks, she would no longer be Ms.Vikki Strakowski, but instead, become the beautiful Mrs. Vikki Wilson. In two weeks, she would be married.
Yet reservations siezed her every once in a while, and Vikki thought about Ben. What if he was still alive? What if it was a mistake to marry Brandon, and Ben came back? But she knew the answer to all of this nonsense. Ben had been MIA for over a year now, and it was time she got on with her life. Ben wasn't coming back, and she knew this. Still...his body was never found and he hasn't yet been declared dead to her. She would not give up on him. She could not.
Her and Ben had been high school sweethearts. They decided to attend the same college and get a dorm together. He had promised her they would get married and settle down one day. They had even gone so far as to look at rings. All of that changed when the draft came. Ben was whisked off to war, leaving Vikki in shambles to cry and worry over him for the next six months. She will never forget the day she received that dreaded phone call. It was his mother; she was hysteric.
"They can't find him!" she cried over and over again. Vikki dropped the receiver and collapsed upon the floor. He was gone...he was gone...
Not much of the events taking place afterward could easily be remembered. A soft spot on her heart still ached when the thoughts arose. Pushing them aside, she decided to work on what was at hand; her wedding.
"How's it coming?" a strong, masculine voice beckoned from behind.
"It would go better if I could focus," Vikki said, standing up from her photo heap and stepping over to Brandon. She put her arms around him, "how have you been?"
"I have a surprise for you, come on," Brandon said with a smile, the kind Vikki knew, meant he was up to no good.
"Where are we going?" A blind folded Vikki asked as Brandon ushered her into the car.
"You'll see," was his only answer.
The couple drove for about a half an hour, and Vikki's blind fold was beginning to irritate her face a little bit. Just when she thought she could take no more, she heard, "We're here. Take off the blind fold,"
Upon doing so Vikki was surprised to see they were in the mountains; her favorite place. Yet what she did not notice until she stepped out of the car, were the two horses, saddled up and ready to go, tied to a tree by a big boulder. Behind them lie a winding path, secluded and private; for just the two of them.
"Are you ready to go?" Brandon asked, rejoicing in the light that emanated from his soon to be wife's face as she approached the beautiful animals. He knew she liked horses, she had mentioned riding a lot when she was younger.
What she had not mentioned was her experience with horses was tied to fond memories of Ben. He was one of the best riders she had ever known, and they rode often on his parents farm in Ohio. He had taught her to ride, and everything she knew about the animals she respected so much came from him. A tear came to her eye as she patted the strong neck of one, and she quickly brushed it away before Brandon could take notice.
Brandon helped her up, and as she took the reigns, much of her riding technique came back to her. "I haven't done this in years," she told Brandon, who was busy trying to look confident on a horse he had no idea on how to ride. "I'm probably a little rusty," she explained as they descended the mountain trail.
"It's ok, just relax, " Brandon assured her, "They are very gentle, and know the path. Nothing is going to happen." Yet he spoke too soon. For just as his last word entered the air before them, something spooked Vikki's horse and took off at a terrible gallop down the treacherous path. Feeling helpless, the best Brandon could do to catch up was a slow trot, as he screamed, "Hang on! I'm coming!"
The sight would indeed have been comical had it not been such a serious threat to both. Vikki soon went out of ear shot and out of sight, beyond where the path forked. She had taken the left, but mistakenly, brandon chose the right.
Vikki regained consciousness and found herself lying beside a quiet waterfall, in a bed of wild flowers. Surrounding her were dragonflies of the oddest color; blue. Never had she seen them in such a dark, metallic hue before, and not in quite so many numbers.
Glancing around, Vikki saw no sign of Brandon or her own horse. Sitting up wearily, Vikki placed a hand on her throbbing forehead. She decided something hard had hit it and knocked her out. Looking up, she saw a very sheer rock wall covered in ivy. It stretched for what seemed like miles in both the upward direction and to the right.
Something seemed to suddenly startle all the dragonflies, and they quite rapidly took flight. A swarm of them began to encircle her, and at first she was afraid. Covering her eyes and ears, Vikki tried to block out what seemed like an attack on her. Yet, just as suddenly as it had began, it stopped. When Vikki opened her eyes, all the dragonflies had disapeared, except for one, which had found its perch upon the back of her hand. This one was exceptionally blue, and quite beautiful. Vikki was mesmerized by it, and lifted a finger to stroke a wing just as it flew away.
"Vik," a familiar voice called.
Startled, Vikki looked up. She hadn't been called Vik since....Ben was alive.
"Do not be frightened," the voice said.
Vikki stood, "Who's there?"
"It's me," the voice said as a figure began to emerge in the distance. Vikki blinked and winced, double taking, "It can't be," she whispered.
"Vikki, I want you to know that I love you," Ben said, as he approached her. He appeared to her as she last remembered him. He was tangible, not ghost like at all. His face held a smile and his eyes seemed just as full of life as the day he left.
"I love you too," she said, tears welling in her eyes, "I've always had hope that maybe...maybe,"
"Sh," he said, taking her hand, "It's ok, I am fine here. This is where I belong." Vikki began to cry, and Ben wiped away her tears, "I have come with a message for you. What we had was something special, and no one can replace that. But Brandon loves you, and he will make you happy. It is my wish that you marry him. Do not forget me, but please, hold Brandon as dear to your heart as you have held me. It is time to let go of what once was, and embrace what is."
Vikki nodded, and whispered, "Ok," as Ben kissed her one last time before leaving forever. And as he vanished, he told her one last thing, "I am always with you; look to the blue dragonflies,"
"Vikki! Are you ok?" Brandon called as he raced toward her.
Vikki found herself once again on the ground. She stood, "Yeah, I'm fine."
"I was so worried about you! What happened?"
"I think he was just spooked. But I'm fine now. Can we go?" she asked.
"Yes. I found your horse. Would you like me to lead you back on him or do you want to walk?"
"I can ride, I'll be ok," she said, "Somehow I don't think it will happen again."
Brandon looked at her funny, then Vikki leaned in and kissed him, "I love you," she said.
As they left, Vikki wondered if it was all a dream, or some figment of her busted up imagination. Yet when she looked back and suddenly saw all the blue dragonflies dancing around the wildflowers; she knew.