FOLLOW YOUR HEART
By Carolann Brady
As he slips her pale, slender hand into his strong manly grip, and looks down into her pale blue eyes. She is caught in his gaze and can only breathe in his breath. It encompasses her being deep down to the core of her womanhood; she tingles.
Does he realise the effect his breath alone has on her. His eyes so blue, so deep, so infectious, she finds it hard to look away from them. But she wants to concentrate on his face, to read his thoughts, his intentions. Is he real, is his love real, or has he just captured her in an emotional snare. Has she fallen for a trap not only of her making but an escape plan of someone else’s life?
Her marriage was over, all bar the fighting that must come when life throws you an unexpected upset. Not everyone see’s eye to eye in these situations. And the ending of her marriage had been her final decision. A decision that had taken many years to finally admit was the right decision, the right choice for her. Not that she didn’t love the man she had spent so many years with, but it was not the love that a married couple shared. A love to share through all times; from the beginning to the end of life, from love’s young dream, to walking the promenade hand in hand, old and grey.
There had not been enough substance to sustain the marriage and with every passing month and year the gab between their lives widened, leaving only a false friendship and guilt treading their remaining time together. But now the fighting, the arguing, the threats had rip even what could have been a respectable relationship to shreds. There was nothing left.
She was alone; the world a darker, lonelier place. She had not survived this war intact. Her soul was beaten, her heart broken and yet she lived. She drew on the history of her maternal grandmother. The strength she had shown when she had suffered hardship and distress. She was able to continued to love and care for others. She knew too that she would get through this, in time.
Medicated and sedated she lay on the hospital bed. Constantly watched through a window by the nursing staff who didn’t think she would recover from such depths of despair. But she had hope, she had faith. She knew all things happened in life for a reason: but what was that reason. What could break her so hard? Leave her so distraught and lonely. She had to look inwards, deeper than she had ever gone before. She had to understand who she was, what she was. She knew that today, especially today, July 4th was to be her first day of the start of her independence, where she looked on life from a place of strength and not of need. She would have to learn that she could depend on no one else but that it was alright to want companionship, to want love and friendship, but that sometimes there was a cost involved, a price to pay, that may not be worth paying. And that, only she could know, but that would take time.
He looked into her eyes. He could see her pain, her loneliness. How could someone so beautiful be so sad? He knew in this moment she loved him, a real love that he had known only once before. He wanted to be there for her, to hold and protect her, to take her sadness away, forever. Yet he knew that this was not possible. He wasn’t free to do so. Even though he wanted to be the one to rescue her, his life did not allow it at this time.
At home his life revolved around his two younger children. Protecting them, caring for them; school drops to dinner time; from homework to childcare. Whilst in constant battle with his two older boys, their age, their angst, their struggle with their Mothers illness. A struggle he found hard to deal with himself.
His wife hated life, the cruel twist that the cards of life had dealt her. The same cards her father had been dealt before and had caused his death. She knew it was going to take her life that way also and it embittered her. It was not a fact, no one knew for sure how her illness would progress, act. But she took to the negative and became harsh with her husband. Blaming him for all her ills because they had gone ahead with her pregnancy and this in her mind caused her illness to hasten and digress. Leaving her in pain and depressed. The thought of leaving her children behind, the existing and yet to come pain that she saw her father suffer, now her future. No cure, no choice, just time to wither and die.
He did everything for her, carrying her, feeding her, protecting her from herself. How many times did she try to end it, how many times did he have to find her foaming at the mouth, or at the bottom of the stairs from another failed attempt at ending the love of his life. For that’s what she was; his one true love, the mother of his children. He would do anything for her but it didn’t mater. She now hated him. Warped in her sorrow and sadness she couldn’t see with any clarity how much he hurt for her, for his family, for himself. How lonely his life had become. So busy with caring and work, so poor of love and companionship! What was to become of his heart?
They finally met. It wasn’t the sunny day the weather man had promised. In fact it was one of the wettest days on record. And Silverstone was a wash out. They agreed to change their plans of meeting their other internet friends and spend the day elsewhere away from the rain. A theme park was within an hours drive or so from their rendezvous point and they drove there chatting and laughing.
He was much more handsome than the photo he had sent her and was very much the gentle man. His eyes were so blue, so deep; she found it hard not to stare into them. It was wonderful to finally meet her friend of the last four months. They had shared so many thoughts and memories and were very supportive of each others troubles. Unlike with a pen pal which took months, year to get to know. Their friendship had grown fast via constant internet contact, emails, game sites and chat rooms, all allowing a friendship to grow, faster than what had been possible in the past. But it was a deep friendship one of understanding and mutual respect.
He was amazed to meet her. She was fun, exciting, and intelligent. Her eyes smiled like none he’d seen before and yet she was reserved; embarrassed to have been caught starring into his eyes. She blushed when he starred at her beauty. She had a funny way about her that made him laugh. And as the day and time travelled by he found that he felt more than friendship for her; did she feel the same.
The sun had come out again and he had persuaded her to get on one of the rides. She hadn’t enjoyed something so much in years. The day continued spiralling upwards with fun and chatting the main focus. They ate, they played. They walked and talked. To have someone to listen and to consider that what she had to say important was wonderful. They shared and cared for each others words and thoughts and as the day rolled on it was obvious that this was not just any meeting of just any friends. Neither of them expected anything more than to enjoy a day out and to finally meet a new friend.
She had linked his arm half way through the day whilst walking through a garden and now the afternoon was drawing to an end and they were both staring out across the lake. She thought of how the day had become so unexpected. Nothing had prepared her for this moment in her life. All at once her life was clarified and her decision confirmed. This is what it was like to be loved and this was just a friendship. What lay at home was not love. And she had to end it.
He must have seen something in her eyes for at that moment he leant across and wrapped his arms around her body. And for a moment, life felt good; life felt right. As they both stood with their backs to the world, looking across the lake, feeling the love and warmth of each others company, each others body. They knew this was no ordinary friendship. But their lives were not their own.
She looked out the window of the transport that was to take her away from her happiness and bring her back to the life she had left only hours before. How could one day change a person’s perspective so much? How could one moment in time result in such a torment’tous clarification of a situation? She cried. The tears rolled down her soft pale cheeks, her hair barely concealing the redness of her eyes.
Her heart felt so low at leaving him behind. She did not want to be separated from him, but he belonged to another. And her life was also in turmoil, and she had to make changes. Changes that affected more than just her life but were important for her to be real to herself!
How do you make decisions? How do you alter life knowing that it’s right for you but will cause so much pain to others? Do you consider their feelings, at all or do you weight up all first? Or do you, just, follow your heart…