A Tear for Eternity.com

PROLOGUE

 

A timeless energy encircles the world, drawing humanity into its grasp, eternally swirling, pulling souls together, tearing them apart in the eternal struggle of love, life and loss and amidst this cacophony there are thousands, who every day opt to open their computers hoping and believing that there is someone out there for them.

 

Simple and easy, the internet is here to stay. At the click of a button, you can waste time from talking, flirting, playing games and gambling to researching, reading, listening to music and watching movies; it has made the world a much smaller place.

One of these pastimes is online dating. Similar in many ways to long distance relationships, it has both benefits and drawbacks, but it has become a household word in the past years and whether you actually date or merely enjoy the thrill of the chase anonymously from behind a computer screen, it does have its appeal.

Dating aside, I do enjoy time online, talking to friends, filling my time with a few mindless games and generally surfing the net between the chapters of my latest novel.

Spending much of my life, hoping that somewhere out in the universe, there is someone whose square peg will fit into my round hole, who will embrace my insanities, which seem to drive themselves round the bend if truth be told, I am a wild gypsy spirit, a child of the earth who is just winging it through life.

The quote ‘Be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind when six years ago, through an online game, I met Kip. Now here is a man who gives my insanities a run for their money but I trust what I know of him and that which I do not know, is better left that way.

His consistent inconsistencies have a life of their own, however; through this, he is the oxygen that inflames the lust in my soul. He has an innate ability to fire my imagination, amongst other things, with a few words and although we have never met, if simply through talking we are good at this sexless foreplay, imagine if you will, what ecstasy waits in our first kiss.

Alternatively, I have considered that maybe he is just a liquid dream. Seeping into my soul in the dead of night when everything sleeps apart from my memories from another life, another electric, terrifying, lasciviously greedy time, when his lips touch my body while mapping the skincape unfolding beneath hot breath leaving a ripple of mesmerizing carnal pleasures, lingering in my veins.

Whichever it is, I have had him in my life for so long, I want to know when the dream ends and the fairytale begins.

CHAPTER 1

Petunias

 

Sitting with a glass of wine in one hand and a threadbare old baby rug clasped tightly around my neck, which I refuse to dispose of due to the memories it holds, I gaze at the black clouds rolling above what promises to be a bleak October evening.

The leaves rapidly donned their autumnal coats this year. Too quickly, the hot summer days turned into iffy, unpredictable dull daylight hours and with winter just a breath away, I want no more than to curl up and hibernate until warmth gives rise to the snowdrops heralding a new spring.

This was going to be a long winter, I can feel it in my bones and that is quite apart from those, which ache occasionally with the damp and cold.

Where am I going? What am I doing? Over the years, I repeatedly asked myself the same thing, and now, I am standing at a crossroads in my life, which due to varying unfortunate circumstances has me perched at the top of a mountain gazing at several paths, knowing one wrong move will take me tumbling down to certain demise.

Other than a few expectations imposed upon me from varying sources, one being a house for sale without a prospective buyer in sight, I have nothing major to do apart from writing the odd book and at this rate, I could manage two before the New Year; yes, it was going to be a long winter.

The chilly breeze picks up and what few leaves cling perilously to life, on the otherwise bare branches, fall and do a little dance before settling on their final resting place. I am well beyond raking any more of the rotting vegetation into piles, only to hear the wind taunting me with the words “Let the dead rest where they fall,”  and then scatter them across the thriving grass, greener now from the autumn downpours.

Therefore, now I do just that although Mr. Jenkins from across the road might just make me feel guilty enough to tackle the gathering fall colored carpet at the weekend. The guilt trip seems to be his ongoing mission in life and year in, year out; he keeps a strict watch on my garden, ensuring that it conforms to certain standards. Not being much of a gardener with my scant knowledge of plants and even less enthusiasm, I certainly keep him on his toes.

Our Mr. Jenkins is a kind old soul and I use the word ‘old' reservedly. At the ripe age of ninety-four, he has more energy and enthusiasm than most in the area, including me, and puts this to good use by heading up the Neighborhood Watch for his patch of Homestead. His hearing has obviously not suffered with age and seems tuned to my door latch. This makes stealth runs difficult. I have even tried the back door, but without fail, he sits waiting for me when I emerge from the side gate. The alternative is to climb over the fence, down the steep incline to the river and follow along until it intersects with the main road. But that is hazardous even in the summer, so I steel myself daily to face the eyes of a hawk that peer from behind a pair of large, black rimmed, bottle bottom glasses. Perched on the end of his nose most of the time, he slowly and deliberately pushes them up until they rest on the bridge and then stares unflinchingly at his prey, which would be me. Swearing blind that it is due to his ever constant vigilance that there has been no skulduggery on his patch, we, the nearest to his ever watchful eye, placate him by keeping our lawns neat and flower beds tidy. Well, apart from me, I seem to be a bit of a fly in the ointment. This probably accounts for his constant tutting at my every move.

Earlier in the year, I found some trays of brightly colored Petunia's at the local supermarket and my first thought was that it would please Mr. Jenkins to look out upon something other than dull grass and struggling plant life due to lack of water. No, I do not often use the hose either. My ideal garden is a yard laid out with stones, paths, and lots of cactus with no upkeep involved. I made the mistake of mentioning this shortly after I moved in and Mr. Jenkins immediately impressed upon me that this was not the dessert, but a suburb with beautiful tree lined avenues and well-kept gardens. That quashed my idea of never having to look at a lawnmower again. So back to the dull grass and struggling plant life and there I was on a sunny Saturday afternoon on my hands and knees digging holes in the damp earth. Damp only thanks to the downpour the previous day, which I had to admit made the job easier. Mr. Jenkins was, of course, out watching, and looking up, I waved cheerily.

"Good morning Mr. Jenkins."

“Good morning dear. You are not putting those there... Are you?” He asks pointedly.

Looking down at the flower bed, now riddled with holes and some drooping Petunias, I wondered what I had done this time.

“Er...Yes...Something wrong?”

“No, no.” He shook his head and tutted.

"Damn the man," I muttered under my breath.

Surveying the area, I thought maybe I should put them elsewhere, hence saving me constant disapproving glances for the rest of the summer. Crawling a few feet further on, I dug another hole and looked up to see him still shaking his head. The only place remaining was the rock hard borders that lined the path. I swear that ground was impervious to water, which was obvious as even the straggly weeds refused to grow there.

I looked up again to see him staring at me. Crawling from the flower bed with its soft, malleable soil to the path with its borders filled with what might as well have been volcanic rock, I jabbed my trowel at the impenetrable sod. Tentatively looking up in the vain hope he would still be shaking his head, I was not entirely surprised when I saw him smile, nod in assent and return indoors.

A selection of choice, unladylike words gushed beneath my breath, however, for the sake of peace, I spent the rest of the afternoon digging into the arid, desert soil, only fit for cactus of course and moving said Petunias, which were already giving up the ghost.

As the last of the sun’s rays emitted an orange hue across the sky, I stood back, filthy, perspiring and with an aching back, to survey my work. The path at least had some color along either side; however, this was fading fast. No matter how much water I poured onto the resistant soil, it refused to soak in and merely ran away.

Mr. Jenkins was sitting on his porch, nodding his head approvingly. It did not take long to discover his cunning plan. Apparently, he disliked Petunias and sure enough, within a few days, the brightly colored plants joined the straggling weeds in their dry and dusty graves. So ended my enthusiasm for gardening and now, I have a virtually flowerless garden, other than a few hardy blooms, in which weeds rule, ok.

***

The sun has given way to the night by the time I gather my thoughts and retire indoors to forage for supper. The fridge holds very little inspiration and after closer inspection, the freezer is not very forthcoming with its ideas either. Looking at the bottle of wine and back at my glass the thought is tempting, but knowing I still have two chapters to finish before the night ends, I wisely decide to exchange the glass for a mug of tea and some chocolate biscuits then worry about sustenance later.

***

A word about tea here. Having spent time in Britain over the years, I developed a liking for tea. Not the wishy-washy European tea that looks like tinted water and tastes like gnats pee, but the kind of builders brew that forged an empire.

In polite society, tea has its own set of rules. One may drink it before or with breakfast. It is also acceptable to have a cup mid-morning with cookies but in many circles is unacceptable at lunchtime. The next tea break is around four o'clock in the afternoon and referred to, by the higher echelon, as ‘high tea'. The rich and famous usually serve black tea or earl gray, in porcelain cups with cucumber sandwiches and petit fours, while the peasants enjoy drinking from mugs with slabs of cake. Bedtime is the final time in the day when tea is enjoyed, however, tea is a great British institution and is the standard relaxant for any incidents that include births, deaths, accidents and bad news, for a cup of tea can fix even the most disastrous of situations, if not for the unfortunate, it certainly does for the onlookers.

***

Knowing very few people in the area and not being one for ‘joining in’ with crowds, I guess I am a bit of a hermit. At the ripe old age of fifty something, life taught me that if I do not wish to mix with those I do not particularly like, making small talk while looking at my watch and wishing I were elsewhere, I am not required to do so. Especially when I can slop around naked should I wish in the comfortable confines of my castle, venturing out occasionally to brush the cobwebs from my nonexistent love life.  Therefore, I accept the odd offer of dinner or coffee with friends and spend the rest of my time happily tapping away on the computer, engrossed in a land of romance, fantasy and fairy tales, the latest of which is set in the heart of Texas. Romance, cowboys and rodeo’s, and every blade of grass, every brick and board on that ranch fills my head with what I could term as a ‘waking dream’. Well, it is a lot more exciting than the mundane existence I abide in this retirement suburb, full of crutches and diapers and where the most exciting conversation is usually centered around the walking dead reveling in their ailments from the latest hospital visit.

***

After glumly staring at the words on the laptop for approximately fifteen minutes, re-reading a couple of paragraphs and changing a few, I see that the tea has done nothing for my inspiration. Looking at the wine again, I consider downing the bottle, as there seems little else to do, so pouring a glass; I save the work and open the internet.

Now for someone like me, the internet is a bit of a lifeline I guess. Always someone there to share a laugh and with no strings attached, I enjoy time surfing the web every day. Then there is Kip, that special someone with whom, for about six years, I have been enjoying a deeply passionate affair, for my part anyway.

It is a strange relationship overall. I have never met anyone quite as laid back as this gent. Private and unforthcoming to a fault, he seems to be hiding from the world. It is as if he has surrounded himself with high walls and shut love out of his life. It has become obvious over the years that he does not trust women at all and I constantly surmise, from snippets of conversations, that he has been hurt at some point.

 This makes his consistently inconsistent behavior ok? Well, actually no, it does not and I have spent far too many hours holding back the tears because of his innate ability to make me feel unwanted and unnecessary in the whole scheme of things, which does not sit well with me.

So the long and short is this, here is a strong, beautiful and may I say, sexy, desirable and passionate woman with a bit of intimidation thrown in,  who has saddled herself with the one person who seems hell bent on trying my patience at every turn. He seems to revel in irking me, then sitting back; waiting for my rant to subside, denying all knowledge and that, in itself, is laughable. Over the years, I got used to it and unable to stay angry with him for long, so have learned to just smile and move on.

I think, like most men, he has no idea why women are what they are and do what they do; they are simply emotional beings whom life has deemed ‘necessary’ to keep men on their toes. Seriously, apart from sex, which has its many benefits, the male and female of the species are incompatible and even then, sex can be a slippery slope; sometimes two people get lucky, but far too often, inexperience and opposing peaks in sexual drives can ruin that!

However, here we are, after so many hours of hopes and dreams, still hoping and dreaming. So how did this all come about? How did two souls meet across the vast expanse of the internet and find comfort in each other’s fantasies and dreams? Good question and not even certain if I know the answer.

What I do know, is that I want this man. There is something so alluring and intoxicating about him that has endlessly driven me to the brink of insanity and back on countless occasions.