Celeste had tears in her eyes as she listened to the soothing voice on her voicemail, lulling her to a fantasy world. ‘My beloved!’ the voice whispered, ‘I missed you this whole morning, at lunchtime, at supper time, and now I’m having my nightcap before turning in: the ultimate conversation with you, my beloved!’ Celeste moved from her left side to her right side on the couch. She wanted to tell him how she couldn’t function all day for thinking about him but the words would not come out of her mouth. Maybe it was because she was sucking on a huge lolly while listening to the voicemail message but perhaps it was senseless talking to a recorded message? She sucked with abandon in any event and after a brief silence, the voice on her cell phone resumed, ‘I bid you goodnight, my beloved; sweet dreams, and know that you are in my heart. Your face is the last face I see before I close my eyes, and it is the first face I see when I open them again at 5:30 in the morning.’ A sound as of a blown kiss blew into her ear before the message came to an end.
Celeste, a petite brunette, once married, then divorced, and now widowed, as her second husband passed away after having drunk himself into oblivion by managing to swallow gallons, nay barrels of whiskey in many a drinking bout, with whiskey emerging as the victor, was apprehensive about the future and full of self-doubt concerning her abilities in attracting another potential husband. Getting on in years she felt scared of being alone and unloved. Her great fear was that no man would find her attractive enough or love her enough to spend the rest of his life with her. She craved a friend, someone to talk to about these fears and share her insecurities with. She had several boyfriends in the past, some rich in worldly goods and some rich in spiritual goods but she was looking for a combination of both. And up to now she had not found that ‘combination-man’.
She stretched her arm to the coffee table and picked up a box of valium. She popped in a couple of pills and then carried on sucking the lolly; her tears began to abate but she stayed up into the early hours of the morning. It was very late or very early depending on how you looked at it, when she asked these questions of the Universe: ‘Why can’t I find a man to love and cherish me, and spoil me, and do things for me? Why do I fall in love so quickly and after a few days I realize that the guy is a jerk? I get so bored with them that I want them out of my space, pronto. What do I want? Do I know what it is I really want?’
Had she been capable of listening she might have heard, ‘Sometimes, if not often-times, in life, when we concentrate on ourselves alone, we don’t see the bigger picture; which is to let go of ‘you’ and incorporate ‘others’. So let go of ‘me’, breathe and be thankful for this moment.’
Rosa, a vivacious blonde, once married to a basketball player now deceased from a drug overdose, looked into the brown eyes of her new love and purred like a cat. After six years of loneliness, heartache, financial strain (her dead basketballer had squandered his earnings on drugs, fast cars, gambling and lavish parties). The cars had been repossessed as well as the house but now that was all about to change for she had met the generous owner of a sports store and one thing led to another and now a wedding was being planned.
Rosa said, ‘A hundred people is a large crowd to invite to our wedding, honey; let’s just have family, hmm? Mentally she was calculating the members of her own family on one hand but when it came to her darling’s family, she had to use both hands and ten toes, and because the number exceeded her ability to count on her own appendages she resorted to counting matches. There were 20 matches left in the box and so she had to stop at 40. Her counting efforts frustrated she raised her blue eyes to her fiancé and asked him why there weren’t more matches in the matchbox? ‘Eh!’ he uttered a little fuddled. A familiar frown appeared. Even though he knew what was coming he was still surprised when she exploded with rage, ‘Matches!’ He bolted like a deer after a missed shot. A frantic search concluded with the fact that there were no more matches in the apartment only lighters.
Having failed in his mission to procure matches for Rosa he decided it would be wise to placate her. He turned on the charm and in a soothing, soft voice he said to the angry woman on the couch, ‘Rosa, you are the love of my life. I have never in all the years of my miserable adulthood come across such warmth and affection that you’ve showered on me.’ Rosa’s frown abated. He continued, ‘I love you so much that I – I have to leave you. I’m sorry; I’m incapable of giving you what you need to make you a contented woman. Even though leaving you hurts me more than words can tell, I have to go now.’ With that he ran out of the apartment and into his rented classic car and bolted back to whence he came from, having thus freed himself from marrying a harridan.
Rosa, her anger evaporated, had slid from the couch and onto the carpet – she was doubled up as though suffering from severe stomach cramps. The coffee table was nearby and she reached out and grasped a container of valium pills. She poured a handful of pills into her hand and threw them into her mouth. After about 5 seconds she spat them all out, got up and walked calmly to the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee. A strong espresso in hand she went back to the lounge and found 2 valiums still in the plastic container. She swallowed them with a gulp of espresso. After the third sip of the strong coffee, she asked the Universe, ‘What just happened? Am I going to find any happiness after 6 years of hardship or am I destined to be left alone again? Is it me? Is it my temper? Did he love me at all? Is there no true love?’
She felt she could almost hear, ‘Sometimes, if not often-times, we mistake love for infatuation, and we do not see the bigger picture. Infatuation is like wildfire. It burns quickly and is reduced to cinders. A slowburning love outlives all. Let go of yourself, take a deep breath, and be thankful for the coffee.’
Melinda complained for the umpteenth time about what her boyfriend had done to her.
Her eyes blazed with the fire within as she went on with her litany: ‘For 4 and a half years I gave him my heart, my body, my soul, my home. I paid for his studies. I even paid for the engagement ring! I gave him everything I had and this is how he repays me – by running off with an older woman! But I found out she’s only 2 years older than me, if what she said on Facebook was true – her belly’s plastered all over her Facebook pages with his name tattoed there on her belly! I ask you - after he dumps me he declares his love for this woman the very next day! He refuses to work on our relationship but he’s more than willing to work on this new one.’
Melinda, a petite brunette with blonde streaks in her hair, was happily divorced and had endured several relationships that all ended in tears and rage. She began rummaging around for the incense to change the energy in the house she said. While she was conducting the search she kept on repeating in mantra fashion that she was a strong woman; that she would get over this; that she would find the right man. ‘And he would be on a par with me financially; he’ll be my equal in mental and physical attributes. He’ll want to spend time together and do ‘things’ together, and forsake all others,’ she explained more fully.
As the incense enveloped the lounge in a cloud of white smoke, she posed these questions to the universe: ‘Why did all my relationships end in disaster? My marriage and all the other live-in lovers, who for one reason or another, after I’ve set them up financially, and after becoming independent, kicked the hand that brought them to that successful stage in their lives and bolted out of my horizon to find better pastures. Why, oh, why, is this pattern repeating itself over and over again? Am I looking at the wrong end of the male chain? Are these younger males not mature enough to commit? Are they only with me to take all there is on offer and then leave?’
And a deaf person but not Melinda would have heard, ‘Sometimes, often-times, love comes in small doses, in all ages, shapes and sizes. But when the age gap shows the first signs of a thin crack, the writing is on the wall; no amount of money will plaster the deficiencies. The diverse thinking and common purpose is lost amid the fighting and verbal abuse. This is the end and a new beginning.’
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
© 2014 ‘O.M.C.’ and R.W.