|Equinox (standard:fantasy, 1874 words)|
|Author: Cyrano||Added: Apr 13 2012||Views/Reads: 4477/1312||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Love survives everything, even death, on a certain day and within a certain time. 12 hours.|
Equinox If this is to be the first day of my new life, the weather is not recognizing this fact as a brush of brooding gray clouds sweeps in from the west carrying the threat of early rain. I'm just doffing a heavy jacket when I hear the noise of wheels crunching up the driveway. It's Dr. Chapman. In another moment she's greeting me as I'm just about to make my way to the mailbox. “I was passing, so I thought I'd pop in and see how you were doing,” she says. “When you last came to see me you were having difficulty sleeping. I wanted to come by, check you out, James. Are you sleeping well and eating sensibly? How are you coping generally?” I'm grateful for her concern but talking about it doesn't make it easier, nor go away. Fact is I'm unable to describe how I feel, the nagging, dark, unintelligible doubts in my mind. “Well...” I begin, hesitantly, pulling my collar up as the first drops of rain splatter on the windshield of her car, “...you know she went so quickly.” I pause, gritting my teeth, finding sudden difficulty in breathing. “Surely...surely, I should have spotted something, some clue I should have noticed. She couldn't have gone just like that...” I can feel my voice becoming crumbly. Dr. Marsha Blakeman has been a longtime friend, more to my wife than me but she and her husband were regular golfing partners whenever they could find free time. “James, I'm not keeping anything from you; there is nothing you don't know. You must try and convince yourself that you have nothing to feel guilty about. What happened could not be predicted...by you, me, or anyone. You'll miss her, of course you will, so will I; we'll all miss her, but don't burden yourself with unnecessary guilt for the rest of your life. She wouldn't have wanted you to do that. That's really all I can tell you.” She concludes with a resigned shrug of the shoulders, visibly getting wetter by the moment. “Thanks Marsha, I appreciate it. It's just a question of believing it. Come inside out of the rain, if you have time, I'll make you some coffee.” “I must be going James, if you need me just call. Anyway, you look like you're heading out, do you want a ride?” “No thanks, just to get the mail. Walking feels good.” She jumps back in the car and reverses into the stable area before heading back down the drive. How long will it be before time becomes forever? The rain is increasing in its intensity. Walking really is good for me, each time I do it I'm able to think clearly, very clearly, as if everything is brand new again. Katherine is smiling. It's the first time I've seen her in the pub, though Sandra Talbot, who owns the only dress shop in the village, had told me about a young woman moving into the Larkin's old property. I didn't know her name, nor minded that the smile sent my way had not lingered. In fact, I recall she was doing her best to disguise the fact she was a very attractive woman. The dull baggy clothes were unflattering, and Coco Chanel would have suffered financial disaster years ago if women in general spent as little as her on toiletries. I don't know what possessed me but I made it through a minute or two of uneasy conversation, welcoming her to the village. I certainly didn't feel I knew her when I left the pub that evening. I was right; the clouds have a grudge against the day. I could care less. The water running down my face disguises a deeper issue when remembering. A week later I was aware of a rapping at the door. I open it to find Katherine standing there in the rain. She's wearing a trace of a smile, an unsure expression signaling uneasiness, I suspect. Whatever the reason for her standing there, it is obvious to me it has not been an easy decision for her to make. I'm just glad to see her. Click here to read the rest of this story (142 more lines)
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