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Destiny Takes Me by the Hand (standard:romance, 1616 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: Sep 23 2008Views/Reads: 1735/996Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A man meets a boy on the shoreline, and together they start on a journey.

So this is it. 

Hell I'm dying. No, don't ask me how or why. 

The doctor had news, he said, damn him, and shot me between the eyes
with it. So I made the decision right there not to have friends and 
relatives shelling out their cash to come and find me, tell me their 
sorrow.  No, I'll make the farewell tour myself, shake hands, have a 
few drinks, stay no more than one day in each place. Then leave them in 
a state of half graceful joy so that I can kick up my heels and fall 
dead with a good heart. 

Maybe I'll just set a few things down. I mean, don't we all become
philosophers when death looms? Strange ideas that we merely borrowed 
this hair, these eyelashes, a borrowed smile going back to its rightful 
owner before the tenant leaves to solve the deeper mysteries of life, 
of time and of existence. I worry that it will come in the middle of 
the night, like a thief standing on my bed, and with a yell he will 
steal my last gasp breath. But right now it's just a feeling in the pit 
of my stomach and the back of my head. I don't want to die. I really 

Sleep comes in fits and starts; sometimes I'm not sure if I'm in a dream
of life, or simply on a journeying. I peer into the dark, wondering 
where I am. Then I see the pictures on the walls taking shape, the 
upholstered chair, the lamp and the rug. Jesus, I put my hands over my 
face trying to massage wakefulness back into my eyes. Maybe we have 
four or five lives, or a dozen, or perhaps our spirit is immortal, yet 
we never find ourselves again. 

I take myself to the bathroom and wash these tears away, but even as I
do so more happen. First light slits a slither of a path in the sky. I 
look out the window and can just see the raggedness of the shoreline 
where I've settled to live out my life. I'm brushing my teeth, 
uncertain as to why. Would a condemned man worry about the purity of 
his breath on that fateful morning? Habit, though, is comforting and 
reassuring. Habit is hopeful. I look in the mirror to see heavy eyes 
staring back at me. Did I get it right? Did I do for others? I bury my 
face into the towel and feel my heart bursting. I need a cup of tea.  

Coming to my study, dawn has risen into a yellow light. There's no fog
bank out to sea, only calmness. I can make out the form of a running at 
the edge of the waves, he dances and jumps and I'm unable to take my 
eyes off him. I feel a strong urge to go and join him, but sip at my 
tea, picking through a few papers on my desk. Still, my eyes keep 
peering toward the boy. Though he's young I see no parents, no friends. 
He's quite alone. I watch as he challenges each wave to grab his 
ankles, but he is nimble. 

As I leave my home I'm thinking about the boy I saw dancing at the edge
of my ocean. Such a boy, I thought, running wildly along the ragged, 
softly surging waves. I began to remember how much I loved the sea, its 
aloneness, wildness, its hugeness, the mystery, and how one day I knew 
I'd sink into it to learn more.  I recall my twelfth birthday, falling 
in this week in late summer......think...think...earlier, what about 
earlier? Think, God, think, born, living, people going away. A child, 
unnamed, a child creeping across the shore, being picked up by the 
tides and weather, weather so sweet it turned me sad because I knew it 
would go away.  Think. Living, lives, there was a mother, a father, and 
a girl, a tinkers caravan set up camp by the sea, and this boy who came 
running by the tide alone, perhaps in need of company, or strangers; 
his hair blown wild, blue of eye, needing a holocaust of attention. He 
might have been born on that very day; he looked so new and fresh with 
the staring blue eyes of a hungry animal pursued along the shorelines 
of the world. He danced and laughed to the sounds of the mandolin, a 
boy, a beach, the universe and the rarest wind you ever heard. 

Then, from nowhere, or from the waves, the boy I'm thinking about is
stood before me, and the first thing he says to me is laughter. He's 
glad to be alive and announces this by the very sounds he makes. I must 
laugh in turn, for his spirit is catching. He shoves out a wet, sandy 
hand. I hesitate. He gestures impatiently for me to take hold of it. 

'Com'on, friend, there isn't much time.' He says. 

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