By Carol Sandford


Part 3


The Last Teardrops - Chapter 6


"Are you sure there are no messages for me? I'm expecting to be joined by Lieutenant William Riker" Deanna tapped the desk nervously as she waited for the receptionist to check the guest lists, and communiques. Her heart fell as the pretty blond woman looked back up to her, her apology falling quietly from her lips.

"I'm sorry, Miss Troi, we have nothing from a Lieutenant Riker. He hasn't checked in yet and there are no messages. I'm sorry."

Deanna turned away from the desk and simply stood, lost, alone and frightened. Her mind raced through every possible scenario that might have occurred, and she had an answer for all of them, except one.

Is he dead?... no, I would have sensed it

Has he gone on another mission?... no, Tang would have told me

Has he had an accident?... no, I would have felt his pain

Has he fallen out of love with me?... No of course not, we are Imzadi

and the one remaining question came to her mind over and over.

Has he changed his mind? She couldn't answer it. She refused to answer it.

Deanna eventually found herself at the docking bays, waiting for the final ship of the day to come into land. At ten minutes to midnight, an announcement echoed throughout the arrival's area, "The shuttle craft from Sector 2148 will be arriving in five minutes at gate 4. This is our last arrival of the day. Thank you.".

Without even realising she had moved, Deanna found herself standing in front of the glass window which overlooked the landing pads. Moments later, she heard the distant hum of the approaching craft, her hands were flat against the glass as she watched the ship's descent. But even before the ship had powered down and the hatch had opened, tears were running freely down her face. Deanna had known Will was not on board.

Turning her back away from the sympathetic stares of the arriving passengers as they searched the crowd for their own loved ones, Deanna pushed her way through the throng. By the time she had reached the doors, she was running, and she didn't stop until she had reached her room...Their room.

As she slammed the door shut behind her, her back fell against it and the sobs finally came. Dredged up from the very bottom of her soul, they shook her body and forced her to her knees.

Eventually, her tears slowed as her misery melted away into anger. Deanna's eyes fell on the dress that hung on its hanger, new and sparkling on the bedroom door. Her wedding dress. It had taken her hours of pouring over computer images of Earth's bridal dresses to choose just the right one. But as soon as she'd seen it, she knew that it was the one.

The garment was made of sheer white satin, plunged low at the front, the back laced with thin shoe string straps. But it was the bodice which had captured Deanna's immediate attention. Hundreds and hundreds of miniature pearl teardrops hung all over the tight intricate webwork of fabric.

Teardrops. Deanna stared wide eyed at the breathtaking creation as she walked slowly up to it, and then began to painfully laugh at the irony. Teardrops. All she had done since she had met Will Riker was shed teardrops. But no more.

Approaching the dress, Deanna reached out to caress the gossamer material, her mind imagining floating up the aisle in the tiny chapel here, the heavy scent of the roses following her. And Will...Will clinging to her as he escorted her up to the planet's equivalent of a minister, looking down into her eyes, a proud, happy smile upon his face, his love for her emanating from deep inside of him.

Deanna's bubble burst as she found herself still staring up at the dress in front of her. Thankfully none of the wedding plans had been arranged, they were supposed to be doing it together.


Her heart grew heavy with misery, shame, disappointment, and an overwhelming feeling of loss which made her clutch at her chest; the pain indescribable. It was then that the anger flared.

Before she had realised what she had done, Deanna yanked the dress off its hanger, fingered the beads once more, then gave several of them a sharp tug. It was enough. A thousand tiny pearls scattered like raindrops, clattering into every corner of the room. Deanna watched them fall as new teardrops of her own began to cascade down her face. Bitter and totally alone, she screamed at the emptiness which surrounded their suite.

Though devastation and humiliation threatened to overwhelm her, Deanna made up her mind instead. Choking on her own sobs, she howled into the hollow enclosure: "No... more... Will Riker. These are the last teardrops I will cry for you... no more. Not now, and not ever again."

The following day, a brand new, very grown up, resolute Deanna Troi took the next available shuttle craft back to Earth.

  Book index   Previous chapter