He stood before a mound of pictures and beamed. “Yes!” he said to an empty room, deciding he liked the one of her jogging along the waterfront best. Her sexy body was perfectly silhouetted by the early morning sun. He sighed again. MMM, it was too right! So perfect, an enlarged life-sized photo hung on his bedroom wall. It was the first thing he saw every morning and the last thing he saw each night. It brought a smile to his face, and song to his heart; filling him equally with excitement, joy, and desire. She was his, if not in reality, then soon!
Today, he would tell her. He would mail her one photo, just one, to let her know he was thinking about her; that he always thought about her, that she was the centre of his universe. The picture was only a stop gap – a means of having her near at all times so he could gaze upon her lips, her eyes, her smile, for as long as he wished, without interruption. Hesitantly, almost reverentially, he traced the outline of her face. Although a poor substitute for the reality, it kept him going until he was able to see her again. A smile that could only be described as unadulterated satisfaction lit his face. Decision made, he headed to the mailbox. Yes, he would mail it to her today! She would be as delighted with it as he was, he was sure!
. . . . . . . . .
Eilea finished her early morning run, ending where she’d begun. Ahhhh summer, her favorite season of the year, bringing with it, the spectacular sunrises she so enjoyed. This morning, as with most summer mornings, she sat down on one of the park benches situated along the waterfront anticipating the spectacle. The glow of an early morning sunrise touched her soul as nothing else could. No matter how many times she watched, nothing diminished the gleeful expectation and complete joy she felt upon its arrival.
Eyes trained upon the hill-tops rising on the far side of the bay, she patiently waited. Soon the early morning sun would extend loving arms in warm greeting, inviting everyone around the world to join in the adventures of a new day. As always, it was worth the wait. It was breathtaking!
The Queen of the North backed out of its berth at the dock on the far side of Hardy Bay, just as it had at this exact moment, that fateful day, five years ago.
How quickly time had passed she thought with a simple shake of her head. Having stood at this very spot, she’d witnessed the ferry’s departure, and along with it, a once important part of her past, forever! A part of her life, no longer missed, decisions no longer regretted because her life had long since refocused.
As usual, after donning her walking gear and grabbing her keys, she locked the apartment door behind her, headed down the elevator and out through the front door. Stopping momentarily, she checked her watch, preparing to time her run. It was exactly six-fifteen. Tucking the leather oval strap attached to her keys, securely inside the elasticized waist band of her jogging pants, she started across the street, turned left and continued a half a block. Altering her course, she hopped down ten cement steps situated at the top of the cul-de-sac, descending the slight incline that carried her a further block to the waterfront. Her pace quickened. Crossing Market Street, she skipped across the gravel parking lot, hopping up onto the sidewalk.
Halting for a moment, savoring the intriguing shade of hazy morning sky promising another hot day, she noted calm waters. One did not complain about hot weather on the coast. Days such as these were rarer than most. It rained! On average, 69 inches of precipitation fell per year, hence the area was considered a rain forest.
The rain assured spectacular lushness. The combination of verdant green lawns, massive trees, combined with fresh fragrant sea air, seemed designed to invigorate the soul. The coast was in her blood. She could never leave it now.
Jogging between the first and second lamp standards, before walking briskly between the next two, she carried on, pacing herself. With each breath, she felt even more rejuvenated. The air was cool as yet, adding a fresh salty sharpness to its piquancy.
Her early years were spent on the Canadian Prairies, a measureless flat expanse of land reaching as far as the eye could see. As a result, when she had caught her first glimpse of the Rockies and then traveled through them, she had been terrified!
As a child of six and a half, she half expected those massive, imposing peaks might fall from their exalted heights to come crashing down around her. Before long, she’d fallen madly in love with those majestic mighty pinnacles.
Moving to the coast twelve years ago hadn’t diminished or replaced that love, but simply added another dimension of splendor to her existence. The coast had its share of spectacular mountains and rolling hillsides, but with an added advantage of its own. The freshly scented sea air, with its refreshing moisture and constantly changing oceanic scenes, adding immeasurably to her pleasure.
The course she ran, carried her past Carrot Park, the Chamber of Commerce, and on around the Seagate Hotel. Early morning joggers were the only other residents about as yet, nodding their acknowledged commitment to one another as they passed. The completion of her twenty-five-minute run would bring her full circle with just enough time to witness the early morning splendor that made her jog worth-while.
This must be the morning for reflections, as they were hitting hard and fast. Curling her legs beneath her, never once taking her eyes off the panoramic vista before her, her musings continued.
What was that famous saying, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger?” Most clichés held truth, even if it grated, so she’d added “I am strong!” It was a saying that was to come to mind endlessly through the turmoil of the following months.
Several months before her ex’s departure, their relationship had stalled. She had no idea why, then. They simply weren’t talking, weren’t intimate and it seemed, weren’t connecting on several levels. Neither she nor her husband seemed capable of bridging the cavern which had started small and grown so imperceptibly large so quickly.
The situation was unbearable. If they were to make it together, they would have to make it apart, first. What was that other old saying? “If you love it, let it go. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” Essentially, it’s what she’d done. Therefore, she suggested a trial separation with the hope it would offer each time to ponder over where they were going, what they wanted, and whether-or-not they still wanted each other. When he’d agreed, she was relieved, albeit unprepared, even a little astounded by his extremely enthusiastic approval.
As the months passed, they spoke with a larger degree of honesty and sincerity than they’d managed recently. Meeting for coffee one night, Eilea nonchalantly suggested they begin dating to refresh the newness and excitement they’d once had. Again, he readily agreed with her proposal. While she had meant with each other, he had not. Although she had known for some time that divorce was inevitable, she was non-the-less, numbed by the reality of it all.
While she had been trying to make sense of her life, and come to terms with what was happening, he had been using the time to live the life he felt had been denied him by marriage and responsibilities he obviously hadn’t been prepared for.