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A short story of…

It was a glorious day. The early Summer Sun had risen clear of the horizon, and spilled its rays across the Earth. I held my face high to the sky, and breathed deeply, allowing the air to seep through my body. As I felt my senses awaken I knew that this would be a day to surpass all others.

I climbed into the car, and wound down both your and my windows, wishing only that the car was a convertible, and that we would both be able to feel the freedom of the wind rushing through our hair. The engine eased itself to life, its voice sounding almost as expectant as mine. It whispered to me in hushed tones as we moved off, a shimmering ray of hope across the blackness, striking out determinedly on our journey. I sang myself to your door, caressing each tune with my voice, as I soon would your mind, body and soul. When, at last, I stepped from the car; you were waiting, a vision of smiles and beauty, and a vision that had flown into my life, like an unexpected windfall, a victory unforeseen.

“Hello, you.” Your voice sounded out, as clear as a crystalline mountain stream.

“Hello, you,” I could only reply, stunned to silence by your presence, before my body reached yours and we embraced. As I stepped back from you the sunlight glinted, like a winking friend in the diamond on your finger. It smiled at me giving me a sign, a silent portent of fortune to come. I smiled back.

“Are you ready to go?” I asked.

“Oh, yes! You bet I am! I’ve been up for hours, checking and rechecking everything, making sure that I have packed all that I need. If I haven’t got it now, then it’s not worth taking!”

I laughed then, stretching forward to lift your bulging cases. You tried to help to lift them, but I beckoned you back. This was the beginning of our life together, a life where two souls would become one, and I wanted everything to be just perfect. When I returned from packing the car, your parents had joined you. Your mother was crying, her tears a mixture of sadness at her loss and joy at the prospect of your future. Your father held his usual reserve. His one arm was wrapped around your mother’s shoulders, whilst his other rested casually in his trouser pocket, as if it were an appendage that he did not know what to do with.

“Now then. Kay,” He began, “You take care of yourself, and remember that we will always be here for you, for both of you, and we will never be too far away. And Jonathan,” He said, shifting his gaze from his daughter, “I hope that you will look after our Kay for us. And make sure that you invite us down to stay soon. The sea air would do wonders for Margaret.”

Your mother looked up at her husband, and, as the tears came again, flung her arms around you. She whispered into your ear, before your father eased her from you.

“Now then, Margaret, Kay and Jonathan will want to be making a start now, I’m sure. They’ve got a long journey ahead, and some settling in to do too. I’m sure that we will see them both very soon, won’t we.” But his voice was already beginning to falter.

It was mid-afternoon when we finally arrived at our new home, our first home. We sat awhile, hand in hand, gazing up from the car at the blue and white board, across which was now emblazoned the near magical word ‘Sold’.

“It’s no good looking at that, my love, it’s been bought already.” The voice had shaken us from our reverie, and we noticed the woman who had drifted into our line of vision. She looked slowly from the house to us and then back again. “Bought by someone from the city, no doubt. You mark my words, my dears, there will be no room left for us locals soon. No room at all.”

With her words still ringing in our ears we watched her move off, dragging her two dwarf-like dogs along behind her. Their bemoaning yelps disappeared into the distance, falling beneath our laughter. I can still see every inch of the flat in my mind as clearly as if it was yesterday. Its high bare white walls seemed to rise endlessly towards the ceiling, and you talked endlessly about your canvass. Your eyes had pictured each surface, and I was in awe of your vision, your touch and your sense of colour. But then I always was, and am to this day, and, after all, wasn’t this just one of the many qualities you possessed which had attracted me to you in the first place? I was swept along by your drive and your sense of purpose, and in the end it was always you who guided me through my life. I can always hear your voice, and your enthusiasm carries me to remember your words.

“And here we will have the bed, in the centre of the room, a table at each side. And candles. We could have candles across the old mantle, even a mosquito net, suspended over the bed, like a canopy. We could stay, cocooned here forever, entwined together like one soul.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh with your passion, or to cry with joy, so I held you, feeling your heart beat in time with mine. I kissed your lips, your face, and your eyes. I could not find the words to express the depth of my feelings for you. I don’t think that I ever could, or can even now, I always hoped that you could read something in my eyes that was only meant for you, an emotion that only you could sense. Sometimes, when I looked into your eyes, I could see myself reflected in them, and I knew that you felt everything that I myself did.

That first night was truly magical. We watched the moon grow fat as it rose slowly across the ocean, its silver light dancing across our naked floorboards. The sound of the waves lapping gently towards the beach echoed in our ears as we toasted our happiness. The salt tasted of the sea and the tang of the vinegar smacked our lips as we shared our first meal, real fish and chips, washed down with welcoming wine.  The hum of the distant town centre began to fade, and I watched you glide across the floor to close the window to the cooling air.

“Are you happy?” I asked you.

“I couldn’t be more so,” You had replied. “You have made me the happiest woman alive. Just being with you makes me come to life. I feel like I have grown so much in the last few months since we met each other, and now this, to be here in our own home, beginning our own life together. I can barely believe that this is real. My life is so complete, so full. So filled with you.”

I remember the joy on your face, and felt that if your emotions were running as high as mine were, then what we had started was truly magical, and important to an almost universal level. I had kissed you then, before lifting you from the floor, and leading you from the room.

As we lay down on the mattress, the sheets spilled across the boards, and we held each other as if it was for the first time. Your body was warm; your fire always burned from deep within, and was always enough to ignite my passion. Your touch was soft, gentle yet insistent, and I knew that this moment would stay with me forever. We had the rest of our lives to live, and right now, as you lay in my arms, our future stretched out before us as an open road, crossing the expanse of a blank page. We cuddled together, our love enough to keep us both warm, and drifted into deep sleep.

And now, as I stand on this windswept hill, cold and alone, I am once again together with my thoughts. There is no one else here but me, and I am back, with you, on our first night together. You were always more than a part of me, and no matter how carefully the epitaph had been chosen, it could never reflect my true feelings for you. I stared at the marble and stone. I wanted to talk to you, explain the torrent of emotions that were racing through me, but knew that I couldn’t. You and I and our love were always, and always will be, more than words.

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