She was taking a shower as he lay in bed. When she’d come out he’d tell her that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. "No. Why wait!" He knocked on the bathroom door. It was partially open but he didn’t go in. “What?” her voice came from behind the curtain. He hesitated, then mumbled something stupid like “...nothing I’ll tell you when you come out”. He sat on the sofa facing the box but not watching it. She came out, gift-wrapped in a white towel and sat on his lap. She kissed him and asked him what he had to tell her. He held her close and worshiped the smoothness of her fresh and milky skin. He never said a word. Days later she was gone.
16/11/2006 3 Love Songs
She was gone for 22 years.
A twist of fate perhaps, a crook in a branch, a broken twig, a fallen leaf. After a hundred weeks, rarely out of each other’s eyesight, seldom beyond earshot, they just floated apart like un-buoyed ghost ships. They forgot to say goodbye. They’d shared their lives and melted them into a beautiful solo. They’d gone places hand in hand, they’d lazed around head on shoulder, they’d shared every waking moment, every toss and turn of endless nights… always as one.
She was a beautiful woman, a pleasure to look at like a Greek goddess, a delight to the senses like morning dew. She was bright and vibrant, unbelievably talented, a prolific artist, a painter, a sculptor, a stunning ballerina. Despite his support and his unbending belief in her, she was stifled.
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea. *
She needed to break free.
He was an apathetic stranger in a strange land, a runaway, a young veteran of failed love. She filled his heart with light yet he was coy to let her sweep him away. He shunned from making new promises for fear of breaking them, again. He escaped to high summits and tough terrain, alone, always alone, as he had nothing to prove all along.
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.*
Seasons flowed in spells as she watched her children grow up in front of her wide brown eyes... within her warm and tender heart. She stifled her dreams, gave way to her kids and mainly lived through them, for them. Then she proudly watched as they fluttered their wings and took to the air on their own. Perched high on a hill facing the emerald sea, and for the first time since she’s been alone she could finally rekindle her latent talent.
I Hope your life is as beautiful as your artwork, he wrote.
He’s been to hell and back. His children helped him as much as he helped them. They brought him focus and purpose. Without as much as giving away an inch of his convictions, without ever accepting the winds of change, he stubbornly persisted head on, supported by the unbending love of a devoted and fierce wife, lover and friend who had succeeded in making his life worthwhile.
I hope life has treated you well, she wrote back.
Over and over, perhaps once a year when a light breeze from the sea assaulted his senses he would be reminded of her. He would wonder where she is, what she’s been doing, how come he didn’t hear of her. She was an aspiring artist and he was so confident of her gift. He was certain that her work must’ve found its way to art galleries sometime, somewhere. Finally, a routine Google search provided him with the biggest surprise of his life. There she was, on the first link of a list of 347,000. Her own chic website displaying what he knew all along… that one day the whole world will find out about her, an artist of the highest caliber.
“I'm delighted that you look happy with your husband and children”, he commented at the family picture she sent him, “you still look as beautiful as ever”.
“It is a wonder to hear from you. Your children have all very intense features, I bet they are as smart as their father and lovely as their mother looks. I'm really happy that life is treating you well. You deserve it.” She replied.
Life goes on, Que Sera Sera.
* from: The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, by T. S. Eliot