◄ ON THE WIND, CROSS THE SEA, HEAR THIS SONG AND REMEMBER
"I'm sorry, what was your name again?"
"Yes, Robert, hi, I'm Dimitri, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd tell me where it is I am and what I'm doing here. That would be fairly helpful."
The man called Robert seemed to scribble his name down on an official looking form.
"Tell me, Dimitri, where is it that you're from?
"No, no, no, I asked the questions first."
"I can't tell you anything until all of the paperwork is filled out. Standard procedure, you understand."
Exasperated, Dimitri sighed heavily before replying "St. Petersburg, Russia." He felt just as he did as a child during the siege, being questioned by the men who had overthrown the palace. His hand instinctively went to the side of his head, feeling the scar that the butt of the rebel's gun had left when he struck him.
"Good. Who are you traveling with?"
"I'm traveling alone"
"No, you misunderstand. Who were you last with?"
The question was confusing, but Dimitri racked his brain for the answer. Traveling...he had been traveling for days, starting from St. Petersburg...then to Germany...then finally France. Vlad , Anya, and her stupid mutt had been with him the entire time.
"My associate Vlad, and Anya, well Anastasia as it turns out"
The man called Robert rubbed his eyes in a tired fashion, before scribbling more down upon the form, before ripping it off the clipboard and holding it out to Dimitri.
"You'll want to take that to the main office and ask for form RG4. NEXT!"
Taking the paper that was held out to him, he scanned it over quickly.The form had a lot of quick writing upon it, but none that Dimitri could really make out.
"What is this? Is this some sort of joke?"
"Please, to the main office, Sir. NEXT!"
"Unbelievable. UNBELIEVABLE! I just wanted to take a train from Paris to St. Petersburg, and I get this!
His expression was one of confusion as he sat there, watching these strange men and women arrange things for him. Furniture and appliances, things Dimitri had never seen or dreamed of before, were being placed and installed in an apartment that they told him was his. He'd never owned anything in his entire life, and now suddenly he had food, shelter, and papers that he didn't have to forge. True, they were for someone called "Caleb Dimitri Abagnale", but it meant him.
He ran his tongue over his teeth as the commander of the small group of people approached him, holding out a simple leather wallet to him, as well as a manilla folder.
"Everything you need is in there, Sir. Official documents, transcripts, a pension to get by. The relocation office has taken the liberty of setting up a few job interviews for you, so be sure to follow through with those. If you need anything at all, please dial this number here." He gestured to the number on top, before nodding and heading towards the door.
"Have a good day, Mr. Abagnale"
He placed all of the papers upon the nearest counter, catching up with the gentleman.
"Has there been any word from Anya or Vlad? Sophie? The Dowager Empress? Anyone?"
He had been in New York for a little over a week, and had heard no word from any of the others from his world. He had no idea if they were still there, or if they were in New York as well, or if they were even alive.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Abagnale. We don't know..."
"Hmm, Russian history...I wonder if it covers the siege..."
He began to thumb through the thick tome, looking through the years that he remembered...and then he found it. Rasputin...the Romanov curse...and then he saw it.
Rumors that Anastasia survived the great siege have circulated for decades, however, her possible survival has been conclusively disproven. Forensic analysis and DNA testing confirmed that the remains are those of the imperial family, showing that all four grand duchesses were killed in 1918.
He had to read over the passage several times before the information truly sunk in, and afterwards Dimitri felt incredibly numb. Dead...Always dead. The real Anastasia, anyway...it felt as though his entire life was a lie. Was he even real?
◄ ATTRACTION? RIDICULOUS!
"Hey, HEY STOP!!"
His arms wrapped around her thin frame, pulling her back up onto the curb before the rogue taxi came speeding by. It would have killed the young woman had Caleb not been there to pull her back.
"...and to think that could have been you" Caleb said, vaguely remembering someone tell him that once.
The sunlight caught in her dark hair, illuminating the auburn undertones that the deep chestnut hid. Her deep blue eyes sought out his, looking grateful as her fingers brushed down her sides.
"Oh my god, thanks! I'd just...OH MY GOD!
"Hey, just a helpful citizen doing my duty." his smile was kind and genuine.
He had lived in the city for over a year now, and felt that it suited him. Sure, it was loud, but it was warm, so much warmer than St. Petersburg had ever been. He found, overall, he'd become a better person again, much more like the small boy that he once was.
"Watch where you're going next time, alright?" he made to turn away, but she called out to him again.
"I'm Norah! Norah Harmon. I'm a real-estate agent...you know...if you're ever looking. Here's my card."
He took the small bit of paper from her, looking it over. There she was in a perfectly professional portrait with her name and number all printed neatly.
"Thanks! I'll definitely give you a call if I feel the need to get a change of scenery. My name's D-I mean Caleb, call me Caleb."
As he readjusted his tie for what felt like the fortieth time, he couldn't help but wonder if he was doing the right thing. He loved Norah, he did, but was she the one? She was funny, smart, beautiful...but she didn't feel the same way to him. When he held her close as they waltzed, he didn't get lost in her eyes. He didn't feel dizzy. He didn't find the words stumbling stupidly out of his mouth with her...but maybe that was a good thing? He could say to her that he loved her, he never could with Anya...but then...was that even right? Hadn't he been on his way back to her when he had somehow found himself in New York?
"Am I making a mistake?" he asked his reflection.
He heard the music start up, and realized that the ceremony would be starting soon. Could he back out now? Would he? He couldn't.
With a heavy sigh, Caleb sat himself down and withdrew a piece of paper. After searching for a working pen, Caleb began to write.
It's been over three years since I last saw your face, and it is still as vivid in my memory as if you were standing before me. I still have the rose that you gave me, that first night in Paris. It isn't nearly as beautiful as it was when it was freshly cut...but I still have it. I think you knew at one time that I loved you, that moment on the boat...do you remember? When we danced? I loved you then, and I still do very much...but princesses don't marry kitchen boys. You have everything that you were searching for now; you know who you are, you have your family, you can have a happily ever after now...just without me in it. I just wanted to let you know that I wish only for the best of you.
Giving the paper a tri fold, he tucked it within the breast pocket of his tux, and got back to his feet. He let out a deep breath as he left the room, determined to meet his bride at the altar. She wasn't Anya...she would never be Anya...but he would love her.
On that day, Caleb took Norah to be his lawfully wedded wife, as well as began writing letters to Anya(ones that he could never deliver to her). No less than six months later, their first child was born, a girl that they christened Alexandra. Three years later a son, Roman, was born.
◄ NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO HER
"Mister Abagnale, I know this is difficult for you...but can you think of any enemies your wife might have had? Anyone who might have wanted to hurt her?"
"What? No! Norah was practically a saint. No one wanted to hurt her!"
The detective sighed, signaling to the other officers who began to depart from the apartment.
"Listen, my guys will be out there looking for her. Just try and stay positive, and call us if you hear anything from her."
Caleb nodding, hugging his children close as they watched the detective depart. Roman began to cry as the door shut behind them, leaving the small family alone.
"Alex, take your brother to bed, please."
"OK Daddy" the five year old replied, taking her two year old brother by the hand and leading him back into the nursery, leaving Caleb alone with his thoughts.
He ran his hands over his scalp several times, almost wanting to draw blood. How could this be happening to him? How could his world be falling apart all over again? He thought he'd had it all; all he ever deserved. He'd had a family that loved him, a job that paid decently enough, and lived in a home that he wasn't squatting in. He had found a legitimate place for himself, a happy place, and now it was slowly dissolving. The first time he had fallen in love, someone had done nothing but try to take her from him. From the sabotaged train, to the near death experience on the ship; another force had done everything to take Anya...and now Norah? Maybe he was the one cursed and not the Romanovs.
"...please be alright...please..." he whispered as he sank down into the nearest chair, staring at the door until he fell asleep.
Norah has been missing for over a year. The police have stopped looking as they have deemed the case to be cold. Heartbroken, Caleb has been doing his best as a single father, taking care of the couple's two children. He still hopes that Norah will come home someday, but his hope of that is starting to wear thin. He writes letters to Norah, just as he writes them to Anya - they all reside in an sold hatbox in his closet.