LanternWord Count :
“Please don’t go.”
“Mohinder I have to, or we won’t eat for a week. I’ll be fine.” Gabriel shrugged on his coat and shoved a flashlight into his bag.
“I just have a bad feeling about it, can’t you just wait until…”
“Mohinder!” Gabriel gripped his lover’s shoulders and smiled at him kindly. “Stop worrying, I’ll be back by morning, leave the light on for me. Same as always. And I’ll be back, same as always.”
As they parted,Gabriel tried not to notice when Mohinder gripped him extra tight, and held him for a fraction longer than he usually did. “I love you”, Mohinder said sadly, holding on to Gabriel’s lapels as if that would make him change his mind.
“I love you too. Don’t forget, leave the light on for me.” And then he was gone.
When dark fell, Mohinder went to the porch of the cabin and lit the old lantern which hung in the centre. They had been on the run for three years and eight months. Every day Mohinder prayed that they would give up. He rubbed the scar tissue on his arm which reminded him that even after a year they hadn’t. He looked at the missing tip of his finger which reminded him that after two years and four months they hadn’t. They had to eat, which meant Gabriel had to break cover once a month. Every month he left, and Mohinder lit the lantern. Every month so far he had come back, but this time felt different.
Mohinder went back inside and curled up on the sofa. He would sleep here tonight, he wanted to see Gabriel the second he returned. Even the time it took to get from the door to the bedroom was too long to wait.
Mohinder opened the glass panel of the lantern and lit the tealight. He took one last glance into the dark, impenetrable forest which surrounded the cabin. It had been twelve years, but he would continue to light the lantern. When his Gabriel came back, he wanted him to be able to find his way in the dark.