Sunday, August 13, 2006

A short story about a relationship that ends before it begins.

She was beautiful, a vision, long coal black hair, dark frosty eyes and a complexion so pale and so perfect that every china doll in the western hemisphere cracked with uncontrollable jealously.

They had met at an office Christmas party of all places. He was from one of the regional teams; she was head office staff, something in finance. They had hit it off immediately. They talked intensely until the lights came up the following morning and even the hardcore ‘party animals’ (middle-aged married at twenty one, fathers of three) had finally staggered off the dance floor and into an alcohol induced coma.

Nothing had happened that evening, other than immediate mutual attraction, so nothing physical that is; no, it was not until a week later and a secret liaison that things had gotten heavier.

He liked Kate, adored her even if he was honest. She fascinated him, he felt utterly bewitched, yet as always there was a tiny part of him which held back, a cautious fifth that said, ‘wait man, you hardly know this chick, it’ll end badly, just like last time’.

It was not that Johnny was a Lothario; he really was not. He was as fragile and as sensitive as we all can be at times. The truth was he did not need another failed relationship; he did not want to twist up another woman inside and then stamp all over her. He could not cope with anymore regret, anymore remorse, anymore guilt. Always having to wonder what could have been, rather than what could be. He just wanted to love. As hopelessly pathetic as that sounded.

Then suddenly out of nowhere the possibility of happiness had appeared, the moment had come; they were together and alone in her secluded cottage. Booze consumed, their favourites tracks playing in the background like a committee-arranged soundtrack to accompany their lives.

He held her in his arms and he felt complete. Her milky smooth skin so much warmer to the touch than one would imagine. They kissed and it was like the first kiss he had ever had, he was on fire inside, he lit up and woke up. He felt hope.

The kiss came to its natural end and he pulled away very slightly so he could look into her beguiling eyes just to assure himself that she was real, that this was actually happening.

He saw blissful moments there, plans being made, futures discussed, long evenings spent on themselves. Holidays and dinner parties, pub trips, gigs and decorating. All vital components of a wonderful and successful relationship.

However, as he held her loving gaze he saw more.

Because as he looked deeper, he saw what he most feared, he saw reality he could never escape.

He saw the slow inevitable atrophy of another relationship he could not give himself to, no matter how desperately he tried, or how honest his intentions. He saw months and then years dragging on and on as any notion of love, however tenuous cracked and fell away until all that remained were two bitter husks of the people they once were.

He knew it was not a premonition; it just was what it was, just as he was what he was. Unable to love, unable to form a lasting bond, not just with Kate, but with anyone.

It was not that he didn’t deserve happiness, companionship, peace and love, it wasn’t about deserving; it was that he simply didn’t have the capability to ever feel love, peace, contentment, whatever it is that everyone else around him seemed to find and feel as easily as the wind on their faces. For Johnny it would be like trying to decipher the most cryptic language imaginable without a Rosette stone to guide him.

He let go of her, pulling away from their passionate embrace. The sudden violent realisation of what the future held horrified him. He staggered back wide-eyed panic gripped him.

“What’s wrong”, Kate asked, confused by the abrupt sea change in Johnny.

“N…n…nothing’s wrong”, he replied, “Look Kate, I’m sorry okay, but I’ve really got to go, I can’t be here.”

Kate tried to take his hand but he pulled farther away from her. He looked at her one last time, and then left.

They never saw one another again.


Ma xx said...

Nice and uplifting for a Sunday - thanks, darl!

edwaado said...

Once again you cheer me up for the week ahead.

Sniffy said...

She probably had really bad teeth or a glass eye or something. Can't blame him really.

pissoff said...

It was her gingivitis - it had to be. There would be no other reason to pull away from someone like that at that very moment. Well, periodontal disease would do it too. Body odour might also be a reason.

pissoff said...

Oh... is that you lying naked with your bush hanging out Herge?

Rowan said...

At first I was going to ask if you were seeking hits by succombing to pure titilation tales, but then the about depressing?

You really are a positive bloke ain't yeah? :)

Which all translates into: I liked it.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.....Oddly similar to a real situation I'm in, so reading it made me feel a bit weepy - can you do another happy fluffy story please?

Ship Creak said...