She has done it again. For the third night this week she has just spent another evening in his arms. His touch was so strong, so firm and yet so gentle. And his kiss, his lips just felt so right when pressed against hers as if he was giving a piece of himself to her. And she could not help but do the same, to let herself go and fall, fall into his arms, fall into his promises, fall to his feeling.
And yet, as she drove back home thinking about the time she’s just spent with Tom, she would eventually have to arrive back to her husband Kyle. And she did.
She had met Kyle while they were still in university and they fell in love…very quickly fell in love. They fulfilled each other’s hopes, dreams and promises. They were able to build a fairy-tale, every young girl’s dream, the happy-ever-after.
When they first met, Kyle was so reckless, yet so passionate. The love they shared had helped him give up his urges for the nightlife and bar-lights. When he met Elizabeth, he had tasted the drunkenness, the loudness, the pretty girls and the exotic drugs. He had lived what he thought was an exciting life. To see and be seen. But when he met Elizabeth, she brought him something that he had never known before, she brought him peace, and she definitely gave him a piece of herself. She taught him love. She taught him how to love, how to care for somebody other than himself. And with her he became a man that he could never have dreamed of becoming. He had now allowed himself to learn the ways of love, through experience. For Elizabeth he allowed himself to become vulnerable. For her, he began to wear his heart on his sleeve. And every time he lay by her side as they retired for the night he was grateful.
But there she was, thinking about Tom, about how and when she shall see him next. Yet slowly…guilt began to creep. Why was she doing this to Kyle? He had been her best friend and protector. With him they took late night walks, while everybody else avoided this in fright, she always had him and it was a delight.
Picnics, movie nights and afternoon naps. She asked herself as she put her head down on the pillow that night, “Why have I thrown this away? the purity of our love. I could stop with Tom, but I have tainted this love”, she thought to herself as she fell deeper into her mind before she eventually slept for the night.
In the morning she called in sick, the thoughts of what she had done to her husband had been building up and had now become too big to ignore. So she stayed home from work and had her cup of coffee in the garden that morning, the garden that she and Kyle had made so beautiful together, a place that was proof that their love could produce a beautiful and colourful life outside of themselves.
She sat there in the garden and closed her eyes. She…she could not believe what she was about to say – but she said it. She called out into nothingness and said, “Narrator, why?” then she paused, but continued, “Why can’t I just love Kyle as I have always done”?
“Why can’t I defend his heart now as it has always been my first priority? why have I allowed myself to dethrone my husband and catch another man’s glance and fall into his trance”?
“How have I experienced love and life, and yet looked at death and stuck my hand out for a dance?”, she asked.
And I answered. knowing very well that she would not hear it, at least not with her ears. I said, “Dear Elizabeth, you know I love you. I love you so much. You are my story, you are my expression. And I want the best for you. But this is a story…
“I am writing this for an audience, I want your story to be felt. I want your story to mean something, and I want to enjoy your story.”
“You see Elizabeth, your story is your story. I am watching your story as it develops in my mind. And as much as I am writing your story down, telling your story to the world…I am watching your story in my mind.”
“You are in my thoughts, you give me joy. When I am alone, I have you for company. And I wait on you to tell me, to show me what I can put down into words.”
“Liz, you have the free will to do with this story whatever you like. And I want you to enjoy your life, I want you to teach me how to love. I want you to show me the depths of my goodness, and the dangers, and evil that I am capable of creating.”
“So go on Liz, you’re in my mind. Show me the story.”
And Liz will not hear this. Not the way that you and I will. But she went to bed that night, and as she sat there, thinking about her marriage, she closed her eyes and prayed to the great Narrator.
“Narrator, as I go to sleep tonight, I ask that you fix my tomorrow, help me into a better future. I ask that I may find the change, to begin to love and respect my husband once again. To respect him even when he is not watching because I can feel that I have thrown it away”, she prayed softly.
And then continued, “I want to respect him in his entirety. I want to love him in his existence, not just his presence”…then she slept.
Then she woke up, and time went and days came and left. She had free will. I awaited her story to tell itself, of how she began to look at Kyle and he seemed so naive, seemed to believe that he had always had his wife. Still believing that he had a wondrous life. And she looked into his eyes and he caught her stare…
And she could see it so true. Then she closed her eyes and thought to herself, “He loves me, and I am under his love,I am surrounded by his love.”
And as she said that, she began to feel the muscles on her back begin to…to relax, and she said, “I have failed him. But he has not failed me. I am going to learn from his love. Take it back to basics, I’m simply going to learn.”
“I’m going to watch what he does, how he touches, how he laughs. And I’m to compliment, and supplement that love, and if that can get me back to even the slightest experience of love with him, that will be my foundation to build on.”
And she did so. She laughed when he laughed, she began to listen to him – not just his words, but his actions. Not just his jokes, but the fears that are hidden within. And she knew that she loved this man and therefore, she is willing to do anything to make sure that he does not live in insecurity. That he should always feel as if he has everything like it’s nothing.
And she did. Slowly she began to learn from the inside-out, she began to feel that she loved him. Taking care of his deepest fears and nurturing his wildest dreams gave her a joy that reminded her of a joy that she had never felt before…and maybe this is what love was all about.
She had held on to a love that she had first fallen into. That same love that so closely resembled the infatuation and rebellion of youth, the same love that brewed her attraction and excitement for her affair with Tom.
But now she realised that she had to grow with love. She had to grow in love. She had to allow Love to take over. To give and to take love. and she did.
And she sat down again that night and prayed, “Narrator, I thank you. Thank you for writing my story.”
Then she slept. goodnight Liz.