DISCLAIMER: Guiding Light and its characters are the property of Proctor & Gamble. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For the "Foundations" challenge. I opted for a more metaphysical interpretation of the word. From Olivia's POV. Unbeta'd, so all mistakes are mine alone.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Tenets of Faith
By Fewthistle


She's never believed in anything she couldn't see.

Santa. Angels. Politicians that don't lie. God. Life's too full of uncertainties as it is to embrace some specious figment of collective imagination. She's barely able to cope with all the dangers, the real dangers like Phillip or an imperfect heart or an even more imperfect past.

Why the hell would she ever want to contemplate the mysteries of faith when the complexities of the human condition leave her floundering for a foothold on a landscape that shifts with every passing moment?

So, she doesn't believe.

Not in anything she can't hold in her hand, can't weigh, like grain or gold. She can't hold faith in her hand, can't turn it, examine it, ferret out its strengths and its weaknesses. Can't offer it in trade for anything worth having.

She can't measure hope, can't pour it into her martini glass and find its volume, can't see if it displaces gallon upon gallon of gin and vodka and broken promises.

So she doesn't believe.

She's never believed in anything she couldn't see.

Especially not love.

Fairytales and hokum, stories for children, those insidious happily-ever-afters. She knows that's all it is, a well-crafted fake, a fantastical Faberge egg with the gilt wearing off and the colors flaking. Because she never been able to hold it, to keep it, no matter how hard she's tried. In the end, it's always slipped away from her, a shadow on a fog-clad avenue.







All real. All flesh and blood. And yet, they'd vanished in her embrace like vapor. Like smoke.

So, she doesn't believe.

Not in love. Because despite strong arms around her, despite sturdy walls, and golden bands, and flimsy vows disguised as iron-clad commitments, none of it had lasted.

She wonders sometimes if her inability to truly trust in love, to trust it to linger, to last, is what makes it fail. Like a bumblebee with wings too small and frail to lift its robust body into the clear summer air, she wonders sometimes if only ignorance of the laws of aerodynamics, the laws of gravity and propulsion and love could ever make her take that leap of faith and hurl herself into the sun-dappled freedom of the sky.

She wonders if she could ever forget what she knows to be true. If she could ever forget that the world is harsh and the ground is unforgiving and there is far too much that is real and terrifying to risk for a few ephemeral moments of flight on insubstantial wings.

And then she looks into Natalia's eyes, brown as a fawn's, honest and open, a transcendent glow shining out from them, a glow of such simple faith that it lights the dark places where she's stored up all her fears. And she feels a moment of doubt in all her doubts.

She feels the substance of Natalia's hand in her own, a steadying, comforting weight that she would stack up against its equal in grain or graft or gold. She feels the slender strength of arms that offer far more than affection or friendship or security. And she begins to question every question she has ever asked about faith.

She tastes the sweetness of Natalia's lips under her own, an unrestrained impulse shabbily disguised as a lesson. In that transient, fleeting touch of softness and warmth, she savors the heady, subtle pinch of hunger, of desire. And she knows, she knows, with a sudden, innate certainty, that it is a flavor that would quench every other thirst she has ever known.

She's never believed in anything she couldn't see. In anything she couldn't measure. Couldn't prove.

But she can see the truth and the faith in Natalia's eyes, as clear and substantial and certain as the first pale rays of morning sunlight. And she can measure Natalia's love in every pill she's forced her to take. In every time she's helped her off the floor. In every meal she's cooked. In every bedtime story she's read to Emma. In every Friday movie night and every banana pancake. In every smile meant only for her. In every touch and every unspoken promise she's kept.

Natalia proves what she is, and what she believes every time she says, "I love you."

And maybe that's something that Olivia can finally believe in.

The End

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