|Imagine (standard:drama, 2445 words)|
|Author: Cyrano||Added: May 04 2009||Views/Reads: 1673/850||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Fletch Christianson is unable to come to terms with grief. After years under the guidance of his father, under the celebrity of the media darling, he turns his back on his father, on the company, to find his own calling. His calling leads him to Bulawayo,|
This is South Africa. The town is Bulawayo. A place where you screw up your eyes, your shirt sticks to your back, the cattle are thin and it hasn't rained for eight months. There is nothing to do in Bulawayo except pray for your life, copulate, and drink yourself thirsty. Fletch Christiansen, after ten months working on a farmer's dam, weakened with hard and cracked earth, enters his apartment intent on drinking a cold beer. The ceiling fan shakes and vibrates, wafting hot air about the room. He pulls a bottle out of the fridge, flips the cap away, doesn't matter where, puts it to his mouth while unbuckling his belt, letting his pants slide down his legs till they were round his ankles. There he stood, white jockey shorts, unbalanced, heel to toe, forcing shoes from his feet before slumping onto a worn out settee and shrugged his pants away. Grimacing at the odor he reached down and peeled away his socks, filling each shoe and, without looking, or caring hurled them out the door. A dog yelped and runs off across the shimmering tarmac road, searching elsewhere for shade. Wearily and with some effort he managed to strip away his shirt, sodden with sweat, and let it drop like a mop head to the floor. He walked back to the refrigerator door, opened it and took out another frozen bottle of beer. His day was done, till tomorrow, when he'll work and choke in the dust of the flatlands, under a fiercely hot fire burning in a merciless blue sky, surrounded by bush that crackles and cries out. He is far from his land, his town, and the mountain under which his home is sheltered. He is far from grief, but even so the memories remain warm underfoot. He thought the heat might melt those memories, sweat them away, a fever. He is far from water, from sea, from yachts. He is lost. What he remembers is Scotland, the snow on the window, Katherine sitting in the passenger seat, feeding him chocolate down country lanes. Stopping at inns, ordering bitter and bangers, joining in the singing of bawdy Christmas songs and afterward, in the evening, climbing the rickety stairs to their bedroom. The bedroom never lost the smell of her or her things. Happiness has its own odor. During summer he would walk to where the early mist would sit on the water before the gathering heat of noon, smell her suntan lotion, feel the heat of her lying next to him wearing just her panties and black bra, the sweet clean taste of her wide mouth, long golden hair flying over green grass. The last time he saw her she was wearing shorts and her legs were long. She stood looking at him and then she cried, “Fletch!' She rushed across the threshold, slamming the door behind her. He'd been away several weeks, on the ocean, silent and vast, surrendering that side of him to the mystery of leviathans. The glisten of tears in her eyes but she was laughing...laughing...and neither of them knew what to say...only what to do, which was to hold on... No woman was flawless perfection; no man ever met every woman's need. Fletch Christianson could not afford to brood or feel discontent. She had entered his life knowing his task, stood the whole way with him, fought everything at his side, now she was gone. Also gone were the simple words, the delicate words of love when there was so much cruelty and conflict going on? All his life he'd been allowed to think, to write, to dream, have friends who asked nothing but that he showed courage in his fight. Now challenged by the greatest force known to mankind. Grief. He had been born to love Katherine, to be loved by her. It was their time but little did he know what was out there, waiting. The dream is over, like the loss of a child, a mourning never properly explained. Fletch Christianson was no ordinary man and such an extraordinary love kept him from flinching at his quest. Love for him was never about what one might have to pay, for this would mean the best love was the most expensive. No, the kind of love he felt was the love freely given, born of human tenderness, born fragile and delicate yet so resilient to loss, so responsive to courage that no force on earth can ever defeat it. Love, he knew, was either born in the pit of your stomach or it floated on the air, and if you could capture its beauty then it is yours just so long as you can find the courage to let it go. Love cannot be conditional, for if it were the most reliable would be that of a woman in chains. Love is a creation, a fulfillment. It can push you sideways, bite your lip, make a mockery of you but love is all. Click here to read the rest of this story (156 more lines)
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