Excerpt from Portal to Love
Langley climbed the outer stairs to Ivan’s apartment. If Ivan were Peter, he would be thinking she wanted more than a look at his archeology collection. How many women went home with someone they met over dinner—plenty? But this was not college anymore, and she was not experimenting with relationships. The Langley of the past would have had the “savvy” to handle this situation smoothly. However, letting go of her illusion of power three years ago had given her the opportunity to grow, but had also exposed to her her vulnerability to the world.
Right up front, she’d make sure he understood this wasn’t going to extend past friendship. The memories of Peter were still fearsome shadows preventing her from exploring the rugged terrain of intimate relationships. Based on her recent phone conversation with Wanda, Langley needed to do some deeper release work. As she gripped the banister, her fingers twitched. Uneasiness rolled over her. When her hand had touched Ivan’s this evening, the current running through her had suspended her in time. Even though the day had been long and she was tired, that particular moment had been real. She was too knowledgeable to deny the movement of energy.
Ivan opened the door and turned on the lights. Langley hesitated for a moment before she walked in. What did she have to lose?
Ivan gestured. “If you’ll have a seat here by the window I’ll go to the bedroom and get the piece.”
He disappeared down the dark hall. A few minutes later, he returned to present the small clay model to her. He cradled the piece as if it were a scepter inlaid with the finest jewels. She tilted her head and studied the writing on the side. Hmmm. From her limited expertise, some sort of early cuneiform sign. From her graduate studies in classics at the Sorbonne, she had limited exposure to Greek and Latin and nothing in ancient texts.
With her index finger, she pointed. “This side appears to have clear symbols, but the notation between symbols seems blurred or incomplete. What does the clear part say?”
the first symbol. “Some would say the cuneiform translates, ‘For
love, power fails.’”
He looked into her eyes with intensity. Then he blinked, breaking the connection.
With professional ease, he rotated the object. “That is how the early Egyptian and Sumerian scholars would decipher it. But notice these two configurations on the side that look like cracks? This particular configuration changes the phrase entirely. It’s not the language that it seems.”
Langley leaned forward. “But what does this mean here, between the symbols?”
He shook his head. “That’s the place where I had to stop. I’ve only seen this notation one other time and it was on a stone plaque found at the site.”
He went to retrieve his key ring, which had been placed on the kitchen table. Carrying both key ring and clay fragment, he walked back to her. He set the clay fragment on the coffee table and handed her the key ring with the metal disk attached. As her hand touched his, an electrical charge shot through her. She became immobilized in its refreshing warmth. Through a haze, she could see Ivan as if he were frozen before her. She forced her hand to take the item and pull away, breaking the energy flow. Her breath came in short gasps.
She looked at him. Had he noticed? He had a furrowed brow, his eyes lost in contemplation. The disk attached to the key chain had an etching identical to the fragment with the cuneiform on both sides. The metal, which didn’t appear to be silver, held an unusual vibration. Excitement and curiosity coursed through her blood. Her mind filled with questions. She bent forward and retrieved the clay fragment. With the disk in one hand and the pottery fragment in the other, she stood and moved closer to the lamp light.
An eerie fog descended in front of her and the center of her forehead vibrated, this time deep into the bone. The room was suddenly cool and dark with an earthy, moist smell. Like a cave or something with walls, but so expansive. Shadow moved toward her. Another human? Someone, reached out. A hand took her hand. The face. The eyes. If she could only see into the eyes. A hum. No, a voice. A soft familiar voice.
“So you’ve returned at last.”
“Langley, Langley, are you all right?”
dissipated. She saw Ivan’s face and his familiar eyes just inches
from hers. She blinked and stared at him.
Ivan lifted the afghan from the couch and laid it gently over her. She looked at her exposed forearms and hands. Her fingers appeared translucent against the white of her arms.
Ivan fidgeted with the afghan. “You were about to stand, and then you closed your eyes and seemed faint. I laid you back on the couch. Everything happened so quickly.” He ran his hand through his hair and rubbed the back of his neck. “Do you need anything?”
She closed her eyes, trying to remember something. “My purse.”
She removed a small amber bottle and with an eyedropper, squirted the liquid into her month. “Just give me a few minutes. I’ll be all right.”
Ivan hovered. “Can I get you something to drink? Some tea maybe?”
She nodded. He went to the kitchen. From the other room, water ran and cupboards opened and closed. Instantly, she could feel the drops Wanda had given her transform the energy. Her racing heart slowed to normal. A few minutes later Ivan walked in and set down the teapot.
She shifted, perched on the edge of the couch.
He sat next to her. “Can you tell me what this is about?”
Langley shook her head. “Do you believe in higher powers? Energy that can be used to find and understand the soul? Energy that is so pure that it transcends the universe?”