Wednesday, 15 June 2016
The Forgotten Life
It wasn't so long ago that life had been so right for Emma Dern. True, she had gone to the boating lake to break up with Steve; she needed to go somewhere public where he couldn't make a scene. But he had surprised her.
For months he had made promises that would change with his mood, like making a go of his life away from his stoner friends. She wanted more from life and there was no way she would let him drag her down.
Emma had aspirations, wanted a family, a steady job and a house… like her parents and grandparents before her. It could still be done, even in these days. It wasn't square to seek stability.
Steve seemed to that too at the start of the relationship, had said all the right things and had never pushed her when it came to sex. She wanted it to be right, for the right reasons and so did he. When they finally consummated their relationship it was everything she had ever hoped for and more, so much more.
The words came so easily from her: “I love you.” and though it surprised her when she realised that she meant it, she was even more shocked when he said them back with the same conviction. She felt something click in her soul, something eternal.
But that had been weeks, maybe even two months ago? And though they had screwed and had fun, nothing had reached that nights passion.
Were her friends right? Had she been just another conquest and no longer worth the effort? Well, no more. They'd argued a few nights ago; she'd had enough of him and told him exactly what she wanted from him. She wasn't just another cheap screw, she was worth far more. If he really loved he then he would change, make a go of his life and take responsibility for his life. She hadn't heard from him since and Emma had now decided that enough was enough, for sure!
He seemed surprised by her phone call and genuinely pleased to hear from her; said he was looking forward to seeing her again. She felt a little guilty about what she was doing, so much so that she nearly cancelled the meet twice.
Came the day and she was listening to the transistor radio he'd bought her, lying on the blanket by the lake. It was a beautiful day, hot and sweet, people were out in droves. 'For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon & Garfunkel played on the radio.
Steve pulled his bike next to her Dodge and they hugged, but she was stand-offish. They sat down and she led straight in, not giving him a moment to gather his thoughts.
“I've had enough.” She said, ready to let loose, but he never gave her the chance.
“I know, and you've every right to feel that way. I've got something I want to say and if, by the time I finish you still feel the same way, then I don't blame you. Will you give me the opportunity?” She nodded and he sat down next to her.
“I gotta admit that I was more than pissed by what you said that night.” He laughed. “But then I thought about what you said, and thought about why you said those things and about how I really felt about you.
“I think I scared myself when I said that I loved you back, because it was so true.” Was, Emma thought… here it comes. “So I did everything I could to forget it, to pretend it didn't happen. That way I didn't have to think about things like responsibility. But when I realised that meant losing you, I couldn't bare thinking about that either.
“The reason I haven't seen you during the last week is 'cause I've been cleaning up my act. I'm no longer wasted and no longer smoke (and boy, that's a bitch) and hardly even drink! I've even gone for a few jobs, gotten accepted as an intern in one of the local offices… It don't pay much to start but I think I got good promotion prospects, if I stay out of trouble.. which I fully intend to do.”
Emma couldn't believe this was happening, that this was the same stoner she had spoken to before. He'd made such a change.
“Y'see, I've realised something… I still love you, and I want exactly the same things you do. I don't expect you to take my word for it… I got a lot to prove, but I'm willing to give it a go if you are.”
She was willing, boy, was she ever! It had been the most romantic thing she had ever heard and that it came from him made it even more amazing. They hugged for what seemed like hours. When they finished it was almost two! They were both thirsty as hell.
Steve offered to go get a couple of drinks but Emma went instead, needing to go to the john as well.
Her head was still all over the place, she was so happy. So much so that she never saw they guy with the bandage until she almost walked into him.
“I'm sorry.” He said.” I wonder if you could help me. I need to load my suitcases into the van and can't manage it.”
He seemed really sweet and her heart went out to him. It didn't even occur to her to wonder how he'd managed to unpack the van.
It was the last thing that she ever did.