As The Door Closed

Lost in the bleak wilderness of life and love....

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1. Pooh Sticks

As the door closed the silence arrived; engulfing her like fire! A silence, that consumes you, from within and rips you apart. And with it the tragedies and pain from the distant past flood back along with the fears of what tomorrow will bring. The loneliness of nightmares, all arriving in seconds, all too much to comprehend!

She ran to the open window; the voile curtains are moving in tune to the breeze as she gasps for air in the humidity of the hot summer night her thoughts drift to his smile and their last embrace, she can see the bridge where they used to stand together watching the cool waters below, talking of the future and what it might bring as they played pooh sticks and laughed together; where was he now, how could he have done this to her, to himself? One minute to be holding her in his arms, and then to discard her?

“My love I must go now, not for wanting to but for necessity you will understand one day. You and I are special but my life must be in another place; this is too difficult to explain for the moment. But I trust very soon because you love me so deeply you will understand that my reasons have value” These words were delivered with a kiss which sucked the life out of her in seconds, and left her so alone!

She landed on the bed and curled herself into a tight ball; pulling her legs to her chest, as if to protect her from it all. Her tears stained her face and her pain was too much too bare as her thoughts drifted to a time long gone when she and her brother played pillow fights, laughing and giggling loudly as children do taking it in turns to fly their pillow in the direction of the other until the feathers appear covering the faded and rather tatty carpet below their feet and as their game got livelier and louder as did their mothers footsteps on the stairs and landing, the door opened and their game came to an abrupt halt. Just like her relationship which had apparently ended this evening!

Her brother had been such a huge part of her life, and he left her as well, one day in the month of November without warning or meaning, he was gone forever! The phone call that informed her of his tragic demise felt like an unreal dream leaving her lonely confused and uncomforted; as did tonight!

So here she was with her memories and her thoughts of why and where and what and if and where was her love now? She turned over on her bed pulling her blanket towards her for comfort or warmth, she wasn’t sure which, but it didn’t really do either! Like a lonely child she lay their looking around her room glancing at one object after another, sobbing and waiting to be held, but nobody came to comfort her, so their on her lonely bed she lay, just waiting and thinking and crying and praying to anybody who may be out their to help her. Consumed with the constant question of where did this all begin and how did it come to today?

“Why oh why sweet price could you leave in such a fashion when our love was so real, and my belief in you so eternal”?

If I could live a dream today I would be standing with my man on our bridge, his arms wrapped tightly around me, our hearts beating as one, As it should be! She closed her eyes, just for a second, and when she woke the sun was shining and the hustle and bustle of the busy street outside encouraged her to walk to the window to enquire about the people outside. She pulled a chair to the open window, leant her elbows on the sill and dreamt of days and months gone by! The sun glistened on the river waters and her tears began again, as she wiped them away with her sleeve her attention was drawn to a couple on the opposite side of the street, they held each others hands as they glided along together chatting and just being one! “Oh my god, where is he?” she jumped up pulling the curtains closed and pushing the chair over as she ran back to her bed; sobbing into her pillow calling his name and shaking with pain she drifted again to the past in her mind to a time so much happier than today!

It was a chilly winters day as she sat reading her lecture notes sipping her coffee and trying to comprehend exactly what she had written as the boring lecturer had gone on and on at his audience and she had lost interest, because he was just full of his own importance, and boring! The door of the café opened bringing in a burst of cold air, she looked up and there he was; short spiky blond hair blue eyes, black leather jacket and a smile to die for. She didn’t realise that she was staring at him until she heard his voice “well, well is that a personal day dream you’re having or can anyone join in?” that was all it took, she was in love and he was sitting down next to her ordering tea and a plate of egg and chips with daddy’s sauce!

He seemed so full of life and energy, constantly interrupting their conversation to answer his mobile phone to have brief conversations about things she didn’t understand then returning immediately to the banter that had sprung up between them. She found herself talking about her thoughts ambitions and herself so comfortably that it felt like she had always known him. Thinking about it now though he didn’t really say much about himself at that time, he just seemed to have a magical way of opening her up, and that smile entranced her. Then when she asked his name he asked why it was important for her to know and laughed loudly, and funnily enough, she couldn’t think of an answer!  “Your trouble little girl, I can see it in your eyes” and that was that he pushed his empty plate away from in front of him gulped the remainder of his tea and as he was leaving he looked over his shoulder with a smile and said “see you around sweetheart, keep up the good work” the café door closed behind him as she heard his phone ring again and his laugh as he walked down the street. And that was how she fell for her handsome stranger!

And now he was gone again, no compelling loud laugh to fill the air, or beautiful smile to make her melt, or strong arms to comfort her, or him to make her life worthwhile. And why, she accepted him for what he was, didn’t really question him about his activities. And he made her feel so alive! He told her that he loved her too much. But maybe that wasn’t enough for him?

As she rolled over on her bed looking around at the emptiness of her new world, she glanced at the wardrobe and noticed his leather jacket hanging on the door. She ran to it cuddling it like a baby in her arms, his smell was there and for a moment so was he again!

What am I going to do? She picked up the phone to ring him, dialled the number and then disconnected quickly “what if he won’t talk to me?” as her words left her thoughts the phone rang; it was him!

She tried to pull herself together in the few seconds that it took her to press the answer button, but with little success! “Hello” her voice was obviously shaky as she fault back the tears “Hello sweetheart you rang me?” what was she to say now? Yes because my heart is breaking, or, where are you, you bastard, or, Why did you walk away from me? So instead she just said “Hi how are you?” and waited an eternity for an answer “You sound tired” avoidance was always one of his traits “Yes I am it was a long night” she heard her words and regretted them as soon as they were delivered. Why did he ring her back if he just wanted to make small talk? Because that was how he did things, she should know that by now. But knowing it made this so much more difficult to deal with. Couldn’t he hear the pain in her voice? Didn’t he want to run back and comfort her? The silence between sentences was intense and clumsy. This was nothing at all like their first meeting in the café, nothing like their happy long nights of banter, and sharing stories. Nothing like the way they were at all. But why?

Finally he broke the silence, but it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. “Darling I’m busy right now can I ring you later?” How many times had she heard that sentence before; too many! She started to cry uncontrollably “I need to talk, can’t you give me five minutes?” why was she begging him for his time, why should she have too? “Not now, I have people with me, go for a walk or something and make sure you eat. I’ll ring you later I promise” As she disconnected her loneliness was too much too bare; she just didn’t know what to do with herself except stare at the wall and remember yesterday, she felt like she wanted to disappear, but to where? What she didn’t know was that as he put the phone down he wiped a tear from his eye!

If I could just hold you one more time my love, hear you talk to me as you once did and hear you explain to me why I’m now so alone. Maybe then I could move on, or maybe not. I just simply don’t know anymore? Did you ever really care about me?

A short time later she found herself on their bridge staring into the water, the sun was beating down on her back and the ducks where playing hide and seek, bobbing their heads in and out of the water as if performing some type of ritual. It made her smile for a while, but not for long!

“Hey, where have you been hiding?” The voice was familiar and soft and welcoming; and as she turned around so was the smile that greeted her! “I haven’t seen you for ages, since you dropped out of lectures, and then you stopped answering our calls.

We all wondered what had happened to you, where did you go?” She looked into her old friends eyes and the tears started again “What on earth is the matter with you, come here” as the arms were wrapped around her she felt safe and sobbed like a child in a dark room, not being able to talk, but thanking god for this person from the past finding her today!

When she had composed herself they walked arm in arm along the river bank in silence until they found a quiet spot to sit on the grass! Her friend held her hand “Now tell me what’s been going on this past year with you” “it’s such a long story, I don’t know where to begin” “What’s happened to you, you’re just not your old self, you’re a shell of the girl I knew” The words hurt and cut to the core but deep down inside she knew they where true! She looked from her friend to the river and back to her friend again; and so the story started to be told, starting with their first meeting in the cafe!

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