Maybe we're not meant to meet our soulmates. Not immediately, at least. Sometimes, it just takes a few trys... Or a few lifetimes.


1. Bellamy and Renée


Watching as she danced through the snow, Bellamy couldn't help but sigh. Stray ebony hairs flew from the rim of the hood of Renée’s infamous emerald cloak as she tiptoed through a world of white. Her scratchy red hands struggled to carry the clutter of wood which her swollen shivering fingers clutched to their death. Her olive skin seemed parched as her nose’s tip was painted almost entirely red and the curves of her nose paled, with dry flecks peeling at bridge.

The fire crackled from behind Bellamy, his hands boiling in the flames’ wake. Was it too forward to invite her in? He hadn’t talked to her in what he supposed was a very long time. He took a sip of his wine as a smoke-like breathe escaped her mouth. He felt intrusive; stalking what appeared a private moment as the thought occurred that he very well may be watching her die, a thought that pooled in his stomach and not long turned sickly. Bellamy’s eyebrows furrowed as Renée suddenly froze. Her form jerked and shook, as her head bowed to rest upon the logs. A clot of blood fell upon the snow, killing the ice’s innocence and coating it with her illness as the liquid continued to drip from the scarlet logs and the – once jewel-like – ruby tinted cape. Bellamy winced. Was that his cue? He thought so as he set down his wine and marched confidently towards the door.

‘Renée?’ He spoke slowly, suddenly doubting if that were even her name, despite knowing for certain that it was. She paused, her feet planting as she glanced up at him silently. Bellamy chuckled nervously, ‘Do you – Hi’, he stuttered, treading cautiously towards the girl. She blinked at him as he offered an awkward smile, awaiting a response that didn’t seem likely to come.

‘It’s cold out’, he stated, slipping his hands out of his gloves and cramming his frosty fist into his coat pocket. She shrugged, turning her head away from him, ‘I suppose it is. You should go back inside’. Readjusting, her hold on the logs, Renée began to move again, speeding her pace as she went. ‘I- um, here. You need them more than I do’, Bellamy said, jogging to her and laying the gloves out in the palms of his hands. She glanced at the gloves, her eyes narrowed into slits.  

‘I think I’ll survive’, she deadpanned gingerly.

‘Not if you’re hypothermic. Please, take them’, Bellamy pushed, possibly more forcefully then intended as he placed them on top of the wood. She watched him sceptically before thrusting the logs toward him, ‘Fine. Hold these’. Bellamy scrambled not to drop them, ‘Of course. And if–’. Eyebrows raised, she shook her head, a signal which Bellamy took to shut up. Picking up the gloves she slid them onto her hands, ‘There. Happy?’ Bellamy forced a grin, half regretting this converse and yet not at all at the same time. ‘Very’, hurriedly she snatched back the materials and offered a lip-tight, toothless grin, ‘Thanks. I’ll get these back to you later…’ She tailed off, expecting it to be the end of their interaction as she took a step forward, a memo Bellamy obviously didn’t get as he took this opportunity to reintroduce himself.

‘Bellamy. Sorry, that’s my name, Bellamy’, he spluttered, the thought never occurring to him that she might, on any level remember him.

‘Moulin, I know.’ She smiled in recognition, ‘We’ve met before. Several times. Your neighbour she –’ Renée bit her tongue, feeling her words get harsher. He was only trying to help. Not that I asked for it, she thought bitterly. No. Polite. She was going to at least try to be polite. ‘– it doesn’t matter. It’s fine’.

Bellamy blushed, nodding, ‘No, yeah, of course. You’re Renée’ – he felt he needed to use her name. An ‘I remember you, I promise’, sort of gesture – ‘You’re Mrs Sexton’s daughter’.

Her face fell, but she quickly recovered, ‘Foster daughter. And I was. Not anymore. But that’s okay. I’m not –‘, she sighed and tried to contain the supressed anger she’d been trying to fight for years, ‘How is she? Mrs Sexton?’

‘I don’t know. She… I don’t… Uh… The old house, I moved out. But I’m sure she’s fine’. Renée pursed her lips, shamefully hoping the word ‘funeral’ would arise in that sentence. Not that the bitch deserved one.

‘That’s good’, she shrugged, glancing at her shoes and internally groaning as she noted the layers of blood they were drenched in. An awkward silence arose as Bellamy’s eyes floated onto her cape, ‘That’ll be hard to get out. I can – I mean, I can get that washed for you’.

‘That won’t be necessary. It’s old anyway’.

‘I know. You’ve always worn it. It was your sisters’. She never took it off.

Renée’s eyes twinkled with surprise, shocked that he could remember that but not who she was. ‘Uh, yeah. But, it’s fine. I’ll just… Figure something out and yeah... Oh wait, shit!' It was only now that she acknowldged the dampness of the gloves as her eyes scanned the blood the were coated in. Dropping the wood to her feet and biting her lip at the slight pain, Renée began to apologise profusely and yanked the blood-soaked gloves off her fingers. ‘Sorry I- I’m so sorry. I completely forgot. If they’re ruined I’ll find a way to replace them I’m so sorry’. Arms outstretched, Renée sighed and fixed her gaze sombrely at the wool in her hands.

‘Renée, it’s alright. Like I said, I’ll wash it. And your cloak, if you’d let me’.

‘I told you I’m fine. I best be going now anyway’, she spat, leaning down to collect the piles of logs at her feet, ‘It was a nice gesture, but if you don’t mind I think I’ll have to decline’, she said in monotone, referring to the gloves as she crammed them into his pocket. Her head suddenly snapped up, her eyes dead as they met his, ‘Thank you’. And with that she ran off, the logs jumping and twitching in her arms. Bellamy stood stupefied as he obtusely waved at her back.

He stayed for a while, watching as she shrunk to an emerald speck on the pale canvas around them. And then she was gone. And Bellamy went back inside.   

It wasn’t until hours later that Bellamy’s attention was captured again. He had returned to the window, perching on the wide window ledge, when a small child ran into his view; Logs in hand and on their back…

Bellamy rushed outside, calling at the child, ‘Hey!’ The child froze, slowly turning to Bellamy and a little girl’s face was revealed. ‘Yes, sir?’

‘That cloak. Where did you get it from?’ She hesitated, digging her feet into the snow. Bellamy noted her bare feet. ‘It’s mine’.

‘And the logs?’

‘I cut them’.

‘All by yourself?’

‘Of course’.

He leant down to her level, ‘Are you sure it’s all yours? I won’t tell if they’re not’. She bowed her head, ‘They weren’t always’.

‘Did you get them from the forest?’


‘Did you steal them or were you given them?’ She didn’t respond. He glanced down at her feet, ‘You must be freezing’.

‘Very’. Bellamy pursed his lips, ‘Do you have shoes?’


‘Would you like some?’ Her face lit up as she nodded furiously, ‘Yes, please’. Bellamy smiled, ‘You don’t have to come in, but you may if you want’. She shook her head, ‘I’m alright waiting here’.

Fleeting back to his house, Bellamy charged upstairs. From the first room on the left, Bellamy grabbed a box, filled with little shoes and dresses and shirts and trousers, previously owned by his nephew and niece who had long since grown out of them. The box was light, to which Bellamy was thankful for as he carted it downstairs and placed it in front of the fireplace. Bellamy took the roll of string placed on his mantelpiece a tied up a batch of logs before placing them in the box. He ran towards his cloakroom and grabbed his niece’s old fur coat. He glanced out the window, happy to see that she was still there. Bellamy toddled to the door, box in his hands with the coat jammed inside.

‘Here’, Bellamy smiled, presenting the box to the girl. She frowned, confused by the size of the box as she set the logs down and opened it. Her face beamed as she dug through the box, ‘I- Thank you!’ She laughed, pulling on the shoes and flicking her feet back and forth, ‘Thank you, sir.’

‘That’s alright. But, I would like that cloak back, if that’s okay with you?’ She nodded slipping it off and handing it back to him, its gemstone colouring muted by the blood. ‘And the logs maybe?’ She handed them over immediately and thanked him one final time before heading off.

He twisted the cloak in his hands. She must be frozen.

Bellamy set off, heading towards the path he was sure he saw Renée follow. He wasn’t long on the trek when he saw something that caught his eye; a set of blood soaked shoes under a blanket of snowflakes. Bellamy’s eyes travelled left of the shoes where a stray log lay, a single hand above it. His eyes ventures upwards where they found the tip of a nose and frosty set of cheeks. His heart sank as he leant to uncover the body. Bellamy’s hands turned stiff as they dug through the snow, his thoughts pleading that it wasn’t her. Locks of ebony hair were sewn within the snow, flecks of white merging with the black. Her olive skin was finally revealed and Bellamy could only freeze.

He sat silent, defeated and unmoving for a long while before her death registered. He breathed slowly, his face numb as he undid the string around the logs and began to dig with one that had been split.

It took almost an hour, but finally the grave had been dug. He rolled her onto the cloaked, dragging it over the grave to let her body fall in. The soil was returned to the grave and Bellamy slowly stood, watching as the snow engulfed the terrain. To the right of the grave were a pair of roses, previously intertwined but slowly starting to repel each other. Bellamy noted this, a sickness in his stomach as he picked himself up and went home.

It wasn’t until days later that he returned, cloak in hand, once again its pure emerald shade. Alongside the gloves, he folded the fabric carefully and placed both next to the roses, one of which, he noticed had shrivelled up and decayed. Snow was falling at this time also and a single speck of white fell upon the green. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the cloak was covered and the last bit of Renée was gone. Bellamy wasn’t sure he wanted to watch that.

So he stood and he apologised and then he left, his blood cold, though with guilt or algidity, he could not disclose. 

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