Stories for grown ups

This is how it all started for me, about two years ago as I sat and contemplated how life had changed and that I was actually a real grown up now. I’ve always wanted to write more, but never had a good enough story to completely consume me... and then came George (more about him soon).

In a slightly cracked nutshell: I write from life, but in total fiction; I pour obscure parts of myself in to the words; and I write stories that are completely made-up reality. Got it? Me neither, but I'm trying.

Memories Made, Chapter One

By V R Heal

As I opened the front door I don’t know who I thought had rung the bell, I had just blindly walked down the hall and turned the latch. Was it shock that I felt when I saw my visitor or was it pure joy? Did the fear come straight away or did it creep in just too late?

My heart skipped a beat, several beats. My breaths faltered and my stomach leapt as I inwardly cried out, only silenced by the dry tightening of my throat and chest. I was frozen. My legs had lost all feeling and I felt faint. How was he here?

The right words never come when you want, on your tongue or in your head. You want to skip forward to script the perfect reaction, cool calm and collected.

"Oh", was the word that came out of my mouth.

An anticlimax to the intensity and magnitude of this moment, but nonetheless that was it. My reaction to a ghost of the past: the past that had shaped my future; the past that I had yearned for, re-lived, dreamt of; the past that had somehow found me; and the past that now stood in front of me.

"Hello Sarah."

Almost sixteen years ago, sixteen lost years ago, entranced, enthralled and wrapped in the magic of a young senseless freedom, I stood on the sands of time watching the sunshine illuminate the ocean. An island, a beginning, a love imploded and a death divided.

I was beautiful then, my legs didn't end and my hips curved into my flat bronzed stomach. I covered my limbs and let my dresses drape my willowy shoulders. I was beautiful, I knew it, but I was afraid of it. Men would stare, undressing me and mentally caressing me. Women would stare, criticising me and belittling me. I didn’t carry myself with pride, I didn’t dress to embellish my body, I stumbled and shrank, I ignored and hid, I didn’t want to be aware. I wanted to be confident enough to not care and to be strong, but I wasn’t.

I'd never understood the expectations that were bestowed upon me, like a prize to be proud of. Public eyes made me curl into my shell, bury my actions to the back of the room and lose myself in the crowds, my eyes shielded by dark glasses and my ambitions hidden.

I'm not ungrateful, I just shy from paths already set, destinies foretold. I go out of my way to shock and fight the expected and I deliberately push through the fear and the warnings of the unexpected. I yearn for comfort and stability yet I wrapped my life in uncertainty, detachment and barriers.

I would travel, escaping down old cobbled streets, disappearing in to churches, exploring hidden doorways, markets and ruins. I would immerse myself in unknown surroundings, hiding from the fear of my own being, the cracks in old stone war-ridden walls mirroring my own self made cracks.

I travelled, I searched and then I found myself there, standing alone, full of fear and breathless with anticipation. The beautiful ocean stretched out beyond the bottom of the sky, the sun dropping behind the water’s endlessness. The beauty astounded, the peace flowed through me and life was about to start, I could feel it, I was ready for it and I wanted it.

I felt him before I saw him. I felt a shift, a change in the air, in the moment. He was walking along the sand without purpose and without care, his face full of life and living, a deepening in his skin from the saturation of sun, his cheeks shaped by the wisps of his unruly hair. I watched without thought, but intense with feelings inside me, deep inside me.

He looked up. He stopped. And we began.


Three weeks we lay in his house with nothing but our secrets and passions disturbing the stillness of that late summer month. Our limbs entwined, we were bound by our intensity and lost beyond our beliefs. We were in love, hard gentle crushing love.

The very thought of moving from our creation was too much, speaking it out loud would let reality take us away from our wants and our needs. We were in bliss, not ignorance. It was natural, like we had been forever and we would be forever.

We spoke of who we were and why we were. He widowed, his daughter travelling, his heart scarred. His intensity frightened me, but his passion consumed me, his love for his daughter like nothing I could grasp or feel. I was envious, to know of such love that outstripped such pain.

I’d look in to his eyes and see every vulnerability and need laid bare and I’d see his complete and utter love look back. A love I only ever felt once again after I lost his.

I felt insignificant next to this man, next to his emotions and next to the life he had already lived. He pushed me, urged me to talk, to tell of loves and lives gone by and passions that lay ahead. I felt bruised by honesty, but released from inner fears. I felt safe. I felt happy. It all made sense.
The phone rang. 

It rang again.

It was two in the morning.

It rang again.

I felt like I hadn't even blinked before he was gone, the door rattling against its hinges in the pre-dawn breeze, not even a glimmer of light to break through the long echoing empty darkness. He had left me without knowing he was leaving me, but there was no decision to make, he had to go. I understood and I grieved for him and his already shattered, broken heart.

A death of a child. There is no meaning, there is no sense. He would not cope, how could he. He would not want to live, why would he.

I returned home to start a new life. He was the reason and he was the cause for me to start again, nurturing what was new and building on what was old. If I had ever felt unsure or uncertain of who I was, if I had ever needed direction or meaning and if I had ever faltered in my own body and mind, then that had changed. He had changed it.

Now he stood in my doorway, all these years later. No warning, no time to prepare, no way to stop the inevitability of what was to come. I’m sure the questions were there, the whys and the why-nots flickering through my mind, but they weren’t important. Nothing else mattered in this second, this small fraction of time that would impact us forever. He was here, I could smell him, I could feel him and I could see inside him.  

From the corridor of shadows behind me my daughter stepped into the frozen moment and before a word or movement could prepare him, he looked into her eyes. He looked in to her eyes and he knew.

His daughter had been killed.
He had left and been lost.
Now our daughter stood before him. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting Stories and Stuff. Have you sneaked a peak at my Doodle Diary Blog? No... well no time like the present!