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Dying to be with Sylvie (standard:romance, 2994 words)
Author: Alan WilloughbyAdded: Oct 12 2015Views/Reads: 2416/1825Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An old man remembers his life and his lost love
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

leaving her frustrated.  Still, it was a start and once the dam is 
broken, the water continues to flow. 

He remembered the shock, horror and devastation he felt a few days later
when he withdrew to find the tattered remnants of a broken condom on 
his deflating penis.  Together they lived the imagined future of a 
child so early in their relationship, of the shame brought to both 
families, of the hardships that would be endured, of being ostracized 
by society.  The joyful news that Sylvie's period arrived two weeks 
later brought welcome relief. 

He remembered the joys that their relationship brought as they grew
closer.  The leap that their hearts gave when they unexpectedly saw 
each other during the day; the stolen moments in the back corner of the 
office for a kiss and cuddle; hitchhiking 300 miles back from a course 
for a weekend of being together, hitchhiking back for the course on the 
Sunday afternoon;  of the weekend in a local motel, in which they made 
love seven times one night despite the bed collapsing under them; of 
Saturday night's dancing in another town, sharing a motel unit for the 
night afterwards; of their week-long road trip, being together all day 
every day, making love all night, every night, well, maybe not quite 
all night; of their decision to leave their work and chart their course 
through life together. 

Sometimes life-changing decisions are made on the spur of the moment. 
Such was their decision to change the course of their lives and train 
in a new vocation.  They applied and were accepted into the same 
college, studying many of the same courses together.  They shifted 
hostels, once again having to deal with finding moments of intimacy in 
single beds.  He smiled again as he remembered the generosity of 
friends and the nights of spent in their houses in a double bed with 
Sylvie. 

He remembered the final few weeks of the course that first year, which
they spent completing practical requirements, staying in an old 
farmhouse, together, alone.  The sheer joy of waking in each other's 
arms, every morning, of feeling each other close and naked in bed, of 
being able to make love together when the mood arose, which was 
frequently.  Would life have been bliss if it had continued that way 
forever?  Probably not, he thought, even when the situation is 
blissful, humans need challenges and changes. 

He remembered the following year moving into a rented house together,
finally confirming the intimate nature of their relationship to friends 
and families; his divorce coming through, making their relationship now 
legal.  He remembered their marriage. 

“Hi Dad,” a voice said in his ear, “Are you awake?” 

He slowly came back from the past and opened his eyes to see his
daughter standing beside him. 

“Yes, I'm awake, sweetheart.  How are you?” 

“I'm fine thanks, Dad,” she replied, straightening the cushion that was
so comfortably behind his stiff shoulder.  “How are you?  You look a 
bit pale to me.  Aren't you eating enough?  Should I bring some snacks 
for you?  Don't they feed you enough?” 

“I'm fine,” he replied, “Just bored, I guess.” 

“Oh, you should join in with the others and play cards or draughts or
something.  Do you want some books to read?  I feel really bad having 
you stuck away here.  Maybe you need to come home with us.  I'd feel a 
lot better if I knew you were eating some lovely home cooking instead 
of institutionalized food.” 

“No, I'm fine thanks.  I know you guys are flat out and that you're
really busy with your kids as well as work.  I'm Ok.  You've got your 
own lives to lead now.” 

“Ok, if you insist, Dad.  But remember there's always a place for you at
home if you want it.  It must be very lonely here, but I guess there's 
lots of people around so you wouldn't really be lonely, would you?” 

“There are two types of loneliness.  The first is when you're alone and
lonely.  That is easy to deal with because you have yourself and the 
environment and you can establish a rapport with that.  I have never 
felt lonely when I'm alone.  The second, and most common these days, is 
being alone and lonely when surrounded by people.  I have felt that 
often, and certainly I feel it here.  Oh how I miss your mother, my 
darling Sylvie.” 

“Yes, Dad, that was sad but really there's nothing anyone can do about
that.  Anyway, it was good to see you.  Oh, I've brought some cookies 
for you.  I know you enjoy these.” 

“Thanks, sweetheart.  You look after me so well,” he replied. 

“Now, I've really gotta go.  I've got a meeting in a few minutes on the
other side of town and then I have to organise dinner and stuff like 
that.  I tell you, you just wouldn't know how hectic life can be.  
You're certainly in the best place here being looked after by all these 
wonderful staff.  ‘Bye, Dad.  See you next time.” 

“'Bye, darling.  Love you.” 

She gave him a peck on his bald head then hurried out the door. 

He watched her leave, thinking how great it is for her to spare the time
to visit.  He tossed the cookies on the table, thinking that the one 
thing he would like is time, time spent with loved ones instead of 
endless reminiscing.  Now where was he?  He closed his eyes again, not 
because he wanted to sleep or was tired; just because there was nothing 
worth looking at.  That's right, his marriage. 

It was a lovely ceremony, pretty radical for that era.  They had written
their own vows and made them very seriously.  He was proud of the fact 
that he had honored them and, as far so had Sylvie; of that he was 
certain.  It had been a wonderful marriage.  Nearly fifty years 
together.  He remembered their honeymoon, paid for by tips from the 
restaurant they both worked at during weekends and holidays, camping on 
a deserted beach for a week.  Again a bliss that was best not to last. 

He remembered their first house, the joy of renovating and extending it;
their first child, now a grown woman with children of her own.  Tears 
appeared in his eyes as he remembered the sheer pain, panic and 
helplessness he had experienced when he had accompanied his beloved 
Sylvie to the operating theater after nearly 30 hours of labor and 
watched as the doctor sliced open her belly and removed her first born 
daughter.  Sylvie had healed and went on to have two more wonderful 
children by normal childbirth.  However, he wondered if he had fully 
healed the emotional scars from that experience. 

He remembered the joys and struggles of travelling to work in various
areas of the country, uprooting the family with each change as the 
children grew bigger, needed more guidance and love, had their own 
personal traumas, which to them always seemed so huge, so 
insurmountable. 

Then came the nudges out of his complacency; two nudges from workplace
accidents to push him into different work areas, requiring many weeks a 
year away from home, away from his beloved Sylvie and his growing 
children.  He remembered with deep regret all the times he wasn't there 
for them; of returning from a few days away working to find his 
youngest daughter was in hospital without her appendix.  It is said 
that without the pain of parting, there cannot be the joy of reunion.  
For those years, when his children were developing into adults, he had 
much pain and much joy. 

Before he knew it, the children were leaving home, then returning, then
leaving again, several times over.  He remembered the emotional traumas 
of their relationships, the highs as they progressed, the lows as they 
failed.  Learning by experience is the most powerful and most difficult 
of all modes of learning.  His children seemed to choose that as their 
primary learning mode. 

It seemed only like yesterday that his children married and then most
had children themselves.  He reduced his workload, well, tried to, 
hoping to live a peaceful life with his beloved Sylvie, once she 
stopped working.  That had been only a few years ago.  When she stopped 
working she became ill.  He nursed her through her illness, knowing 
that it was terminal, and was at her side as she passed on. 

At the funeral all the usual platitudes were said, it's for the best, at
least she didn't suffer, etc, etc.  It didn't alter the fact that she 
was gone.  He would walk through their house, look at everything she 
had done, paintings, craft work, the bed where she had slept, the 
pillow on which she had lain her head.  He lost all energy, all drive, 
all will to live.  He stopped looking after himself, would go for days 
without getting out of bed, without eating.  He ended up in hospital, 
dehydrated and mostly starved.  His children had their own lives and 
didn't need the extra burden that he would be.  He didn't want to be in 
this life anymore. 

Many years ago he had read a book which said that everyone is able to
choose how long they will live.  In his arrogant brashness of healthy 
middle age, whatever that is these days, he had chosen 120 as being a 
good age to live to – but without his darling Sylvie that was torture – 
cruel and unusual punishment. 

“Here's a cup of tea, love,” said a voice at his shoulder.  “Oh, I see
you've had a visitor.  Lucky you to have some cookies to go with your 
tea.  Would you like me to open them for you?” 

He opened his eyes and looked up into the woman's kindly face.  Her name
badge said “Luci” although he always thought it used to end in ‘y'. 

“Thank you for the tea.  I'm sure I can open the cookies but right now
I'm just not hungry, thank you.” 

“Ok, love, let me know if I can help,” she replied as she turned away. 

Why not go to her now?  He knew she was there, knew she was waiting for
him.  He had sensed her presence many times, knew she'd been there to 
try to help him, try to comfort him, but he needed more, needed to be 
able to hold her, touch her, make love with her once again, just one 
more time, there should always be just one more time. 

He closed his eyes again and pictured her in his memory, as clear today
as it had been all those years ago, in those halcyon days when they 
were young, virile, sexy and together.  In those later halcyon days 
after the children had left when they had time for each other, time to 
share each other's joys, achievements, challenges, pain and love.  He 
pictured her, feeling her presence, smelling the perfumed oils she 
always wore.  The smell was very strong today, her presence felt very 
near, she seemed so close, so very close, almost as though he could 
touch her. 

He moved towards her. Saw her getting closer, then he was in her arms
and she in his, kissing her lips as she kissed back.  He held her away 
from him, looking at her, seeing her as she was when they had first 
married, when he had so proudly walked down the aisle with her on his 
arm all those years ago.  She was beautiful wearing her wedding dress, 
the one she had sewn, the one his youngest daughter had worn when she 
was married.  He looked down at himself.  The old slippers and tattered 
clothes were gone and he was dressed in formal jacket and trousers. 

“Look at you.  You haven't drunk your tea.  Are you alright,” asked
Debra with some concern in her voice. 

There was no response from the body in the chair. 

“Are you Ok?” she asked, shaking his shoulder, becoming increasingly
desperate for a response. 

Still no response. 

Panicking, Debra ran to press the crash team button.  They arrived in
seconds but found no response.  The being who had lived in the body had 
departed. 

He hugged her to him, communicating soundlessly. 

“I've missed you so much, darling.  Thank you for waiting.” 

“I've missed you too, sweetheart.  I'm so sorry for causing all the pain
that you've experienced these past few years.  I tried to tell you I 
was there, that I was waiting for you, but I don't think you really 
believed and trusted the thoughts I placed there. 

“You're right, I didn't.  Thank you so much for waiting,” he repeated. 

He picked up her sylph-like body in his arms and carried her towards a
beautiful white palace, somehow being guided to enter a room decked out 
as a bridal chamber with a Roman bath in the corner, gently steaming 
from the warm water it contained.  He slowly and carefully stripped her 
of her wedding gown as she removed his suit.  Hand in hand they stepped 
into the bath, luxuriating in the warmth of the tepid water.  They 
kissed and cuddled in the bath, exploring each other's youthful bodies 
as they had so long ago when they were young lovers. 

After they had soaked for long enough, he again picked her up and
carried her to the bed, laying her on the clean white towel so she 
could dry.  He dried her, then himself on another towel, then lay 
beside her, kissing and caressing her beautiful body. 

“This place is like paradise,” he communicated to her lovingly.  “I
could stay here with you forever.” 

“This is paradise and we have forever together, my love.  Please make
sweet gentle love to me forever.” 

They kissed again, sweetly and gently.  “Hmmm, maybe forever isn't long
enough,” she murmured, “Could we make that forever and a day please?” 


   


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