Alway and Forever  

nontoxicmale 65M
132 posts
3/30/2006 11:16 am

Last Read:
4/18/2006 6:42 pm

Alway and Forever

Autobiographical Fiction
[post 290740]

Always and Forever

David stood at the edge of a quartz outcropping that was a natural guard rail. Beyond it was at least a sixty foot drop to the forest floor below. The view of the mountains in the distance was at once spectacular and depressing. The sun was just coming down on the far off peaks turning them deep purple and blue under the gilded clouds. Somewhere out there he knew that there were people who were going about their everyday lives unaware of the beauty and unaware of his torment. It was on this remote outcropping, in a time that now seemed almost a life ago, he met Tricia.

~ ~ ~

At twenty four years of age, David was full of vigor and spent whatever free time he had exploring out of the way places; places he could raft, hike, or climb. He loved natural surroundings and it was there that he found inner peace. Somehow God never seemed present to him in the cities and towns. But out in the wilderness it was as if God was standing close enough to feel His breath. David's backpack was stocked with several small cans of Dinty Moore stew, some utensils, a bedroll, and two changes of underwear, a bar of soap, a small towel, and a canteen. Along with his Swiss Army knife and the compass in his pocket, he had all he needed to survive for weeks in the wild. As it was, this was a three day hike that he been had planned to relieve the tensions of his job managing a small computer service center in Atlanta.

It was still early in the day. David had started on his solitary hike two hours earlier at about six in the morning. He was headed up a grassy incline with the morning sun at his back when he saw that he was not alone. After a momentary feeling of disappointment at the loss of solitude, he reached the rocky edge of the small cliff. On one of the larger quartz boulders, looking away toward the Smokey Mountains, a beautiful young woman, maybe in her early twenties, was sitting perfectly still. Her dark brown hair fell past her shoulders halfway down her back and shimmered with reflections of the morning sun. He was sure that she had heard him trudging up behind her but she made no indication that she was aware of his presence. David stopped about fifteen feet away, waited a moment and then spoke.

“I wasn’t expecting to find anyone up here,” he said with a hint of surprise in his voice. She turned toward him and smiled. David could not help taking in a quick breath. This was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had dark eyebrows set at a slight angle inward toward the bridge of a perfectly straight nose. Her long dark lashes shaded eyes that were the color of honey. Her slightly parted lips revealed a line of straight white teeth that could have been right out of a toothpaste commercial. And that smile just radiated warmth. Her skin shone in the sunlight; perfect unblemished alabaster.

“I come up here sometimes to clear my head,” she said, never breaking her smile, “It’s just so serene and majestic; it just makes me forget about everything else.”

David stared at her for a moment, a negligible grin on his face. Then he shook his head slightly, blinked his eyes, and spoke again, “I’m sorry, my name is David. I came up here for the same reason. Are you here with anyone else?” As soon as he asked the question, he was embarrassed. If she was alone, why would she tell a perfect stranger? If she was not alone, would she think he was inappropriately trying to come on to her? She sensed his uneasiness and smiled all the more. He had an air of honesty about him that engendered her trust.

“I don’t know that I could clear my head if I had to drag someone else up here with me,” she laughed, “I’ve set up camp about half a mile from here. My name is Tricia. You can call me Trish.”

“Well, I don’t want to bother you, Trish. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet…,” he started to turn.

“Oh no, that’s okay,” she laughed again, “I didn’t have to drag you here. So you can stay.”

They walked along the cliff’s rocky edge talking about their lives and dreams for the future. Occasionally they would stop and turn toward the distant hills, commenting on their changing colors, the clouds that hung beneath their peaks and the joy they felt at being able to experience nature. She told him about her childhood, growing up in Winston-Salem, the middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. He spoke of leaving his home on Long Island in New York and how he never wanted to go back there. Nobody there, including his parents, ever seemed to have time for him. He had an older sister that he fought with for as long as he could remember. Trish held out her hand to him. He took it in his. Nothing had ever felt so natural, so right.

~ ~ ~

Twenty three years had passed since then. David did not want to cry but he could feel the knot in his throat. The sun was almost gone now and there was a chill in the dusk air. Nothing had changed here. It was remote enough that industry and civilization had not encroached upon the land. How many times had David and Trish come back here to find that peace and to recall the innocence and hope of those first years together?

“I’ve lost count,” he cried to the darkening sky, “and I miss her so much.” David hung his head and the tears came. The wind had picked up while the last rays of light faded behind the blackened mountains. He wiped away the cold tracks of his weeping. Being alone now was not peaceful. There was no solace in the chill of night. He rolled out his sleeping bag a few feet from the rocks at the cliff’s edge. Though he had cans of food available, the hunger he felt was not for food. He would not eat until morning. Alone with his grief, David prayed for dreamless sleep.

~ ~ ~

Their lovemaking was like nothing he had ever experienced. The first time they made love, Trish had cried out in surprise, “Oh my God, this is fun!”

“What did you expect?” David was laughing.

“I don’t know,” Trish was out of breath, “I just never thought this could be so much fun; so good!” She grabbed his shoulders and rolled him onto his back, “I’m gonna ride you ‘til the cows come home! Hiyo, Silver!” She laughed and bounced on top of him. David held her breasts in his hands as she moved. They were full and round. Her nipples stood out; the skin of her areolas tightened in excitement. He could feel the tensing of his shaft as his excitement started to peak. Trish wasn’t laughing now. Her eyes were shut tightly. That long brown hair dancing in the air as she undulated on him faster and faster. He knew that he could not hold off much longer when suddenly Trish let out a yell and then another and another. The skin around her neck and shoulders down to her breasts began to flush. Her yells turned to squeals. That was it! David began to pull her tightly to him, slamming his pelvis upward as Trish moved downward. He could hear their bodies slapping together. His teeth were clenched as he let a moaning breath escape. It was as if they were coming down the steepest rollercoaster. His heart was pounding and he cried out as the intense, sweet electricity coursed from his loins.

“Oh my God, yes!” Trish cried out one more time and finally came down upon David’s chest. Both of them spent and breathing hard lay in each others arms enjoying the warm softness of their love.

~ ~ ~

Over the years, Trish and David had gone through the ups and downs of marriage. They had two children, both girls. Trish had wanted a boy but the doctors had said having another child would be too dangerous for her. At thirty eight, she had to have a hysterectomy. David sat and cried with her then. It killed him inside to see the woman he so adored hurting so badly and there was nothing he could do to fix it.

When David was forty five he was laid off from his job. He tried going into business for himself but there just was not enough business out there to keep solvent. He and Trish resorted to eating beans and pasta so they could afford to feed the girls and pay the mortgage. Eventually, he was offered a job back in the Atlanta area. So they moved back to the city. David hated all the traffic but it was worth it to see Trish happy in a new home. She had been so excited about moving and had plans for writing a book about her life experiences. Everything was getting back on track again. There was that innocent hope and wonder in her eyes that made David’s heart leap.

~ ~ ~

“Come on, Honey,” David called, “You know the Brooks always show up early.” David was finishing mopping the kitchen floor.

“All right, all right! I’m going as fast as I can!” Trish yelled from the bathroom. David was squeezing the last of the soap from the mop when Dana, his oldest daughter called from the bathroom.

“Daddy, Mom says she has a real bad headache!”

“Okay, Sweetheart, I’ll be there in just a minute.” David placed the sponge mop back in the utility room off the kitchen.

“Dad! Mom says that she’s seeing double!” David felt a shot of adrenaline. His heart started to pound. He ran to the bathroom. There he found Trisha naked and leaning over the sink with her head down.

“Is it a bad headache, Trish?” he asked. She nodded slightly and slid off the sink. David caught her in his arms and slowly laid her on her back on the bathroom rug. Dana stood behind him.

“What’s happening?” Dana asked in a shaky voice. Trish’s breathing was becoming rough and erratic. Her eyes were closed.

“Trish! Trish!” David cried. He opened her right eye. It appeared unresponsive. He opened the left eye. The pupil was completely dilated.

“Dana, call 911 immediately!”

“What do I tell them?” Dana was crying.

“Just tell them to get an ambulance here! Now!” She left for the kitchen phone.

Trish had undiagnosed chronic hypertension that resulted in a brainstem hemorrhage. Her heart had stopped once in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The EMTs revived her but it was already too late. Trish’s brain had shut down and, without life supports, most of her autonomic functions had stopped. For five days, Trish languished in the ICU while the attending doctors kept doing tests and giving David vague information that kept his hopes up. On the fourth day, one of the ICU nurses took David aside.

“I’ve been an ICU nurse for over twenty years,” she said, “I’ve seen lots of these types of cases and I have to tell you in all the twenty years, I’ve never seen anyone recover. I’m really sorry but you should know the truth.”

David’s parents had come from out of state to help him through this tragedy. They had been sitting in the ICU waiting room waiting for the results of yet another useless test. David got up to go into the hallway. His mother followed him. He leaned against the wall, sobbing.

“Oh God, I just want to die. I don’t want to live anymore. Please, God, take me.” He wept bitterly.

“Don’t say that!” cried his mother, “You have two girls who need you! You have to be strong for them! What would they do without you. David, come back to the waiting room.

That evening, the doctors confessed that there really was little hope and if he signed papers, they would remove the life supports. David was numb but knew that Trish would not want to be kept alive indefinitely to waste away in the hospital. They had spoken about this sort of thing but David never imagined that he would really have to do this. He was supposed to die first after they had lived into old age together; after they had seen their daughters married; after they had grandchildren; even great grandchildren. It was never supposed to end like this. That evening not knowing how he would survive it, David signed papers allowing life supports to be removed.

The next morning David arrived at the hospital early. In the ICU he sat next to Trisha’s hospital bed where she lay hooked up to a ventilator and IV bags. There was a monitor hanging in the upper far corner of the room indicating her heart rate and blood pressure. He stood, took her hand in his and whispered in her ear. Tears poured down his face.

“Trish, don’t be afraid. Where you go can only be a wonderful place. You have been the true joy of my life. Please don’t be afraid. I love you. I love you.” David nodded to the nurse who was attending to the ventilator. She reached over and turned off the switch. Trish’s chest dropped slowly for the last time. There was no stress or struggle. David watched the monitor. Her heart rate slowed from 60 to 50 to 40 until it finally stopped. It was the end of hope. The end of everything David had ever dreamed. He stood up and turned to leave the room. Trish was not there.

~ ~ ~

David awoke with the sun. He unzipped the sleeping bag, got up and stretched. It was a dazzling morning. There had been some moisture in the night air and it had left dew on the ground and in the trees. Everything sparkled in the morning light. David stood and looked out to the mountains. The ridgeline poked through billowy clouds. They were royal blue against a lighter blue sky. He could feel the warmth of the sun on his back. After cleaning up and getting dressed, David bent down to pick up his knapsack. He reached inside and took out a small manila envelope. Ripping off the top of the envelope, he poured the contents into his hand. A jeweler had his and Trish’s wedding rings joined together; one ring linked to the other so that they could move together loosely. He walked a few feet to a crevice between two large granite boulders. The one to his right was the boulder on which Trish had been sitting on the day they first met. With the sun shining directly on it, the quartz rock appeared to glow. David dug in the dirt beneath the crevice and buried the two rings. He stood up wiping the dirt from his hands. The air was warming rapidly. He rolled up the sleeping bag, hiked the backpack on his shoulder, turned toward the sun and walked slowly down the incline.


rm_WickedFemale 63F
401 posts
3/30/2006 1:37 pm

excellent, but sad story...thank you for sharing


caressmewell 54F

3/30/2006 8:26 pm

I'm glad that you entered this into the writers challenge


rm_titsandtires 52M/42F
3656 posts
4/6/2006 9:17 pm

very good. very good writing.


ProtonicMan 49M

4/9/2006 3:49 pm

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

Great story.

TJ


nontoxicmale 65M

4/11/2006 5:18 am

Thanks. It was an emotional rollercoaster writing it.


angelofmercy5 60F
17881 posts
4/11/2006 5:20 pm

This story was incredible. I realized at the end that I had been holding my breath! My sister died of a brain anyuresm very suddenly...and it changed so many lives. I still miss here even now almost 11 years later. This was a beautiful story...thank you for sharing it. I'm just sorry I didn't see this before the voting ended!


nontoxicmale 65M

4/12/2006 7:17 am

Thanks, angel. Winning in the vote was not my goal. I just wanted people to read and comment. This is based on something that actually happened in my life. It is the first time I've been able to write about it without coming apart completely. Thankfully, over time, I've learned that love never ends and that we have the capacity for overwhelming joy even after the worst that life hands us. I believe that is the grace God gives when we are strained to our limits.


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