Suffering is almost universal in this dimension – save for the most fortunate beings. However even the…
This is the beginning of a short story that I am currently writing. I felt compelled to share it with this group. I hope you like and I will post more chapters as I finish them.
There was a time when Sam didn’t like to be alone, when he didn’t like to think. Now his thoughts consumed him, sending long dark tendrils deep into his mind relentlessly tormenting him. He had hoped to leave the worries and voices behind, but no matter how far he traveled they were always there, mocking him. The Atlantic Ocean now lay between him and the hell he had endured at the hands of his previous wife. The pain of the relationship had left him a shell, cold, hollow and empty.
Time is what Sam sought, time to think, understand, and heal but most importantly, time to forget. At first, he tried to focus on the good times, but deep inside he knew it had all been a lie, a lie that he had told himself to justify his own weakness and shame, a lie that Allison had fed into perpetuating the false reality of their love and devotion. The road ahead was what pulled at Sam, the rolling hills and lush green pastures of this foreign countryside filled him with the strength that he needed so desperately.
It had only been six months since Sam decided to run, he was left with no choice. Allison had made her decision and so had he. Everything was clear and lucid during those times, now his thoughts lay hidden behind a veil of doubt and self deceit.
How could I have let this happen? Why couldn’t I have prevented this hell? His mind was racing again, dancing dangerously close to the edge of insanity; the same answerless questions bombarded his awareness, obfuscating reality behind a colorless fog of self-lament.
Everything had been perfect between him and Allison, perfect until he accepted the promotion. They had been like any other newlywed, young, eager and very naive. They thought their love would last for an eternity, they thought they could handle anything. As most dreams tend to do, theirs transformed into a nightmare fueled by lies and misplaced trust.
The promotion gave Sam new responsibilities which required him to spend most of his time in China and the Middle East fixing computers and training staff to use the new equipment. The money was too good for couple to pass up; they both agreed that this was just what they needed to get a break. A “stepping stone” they called it.
For the first year after the promotion, they were like any other young couple, their discussions of children and raising a family became more and more frequent, but they ended as that, only words. As time passed, Sam found himself away for longer periods on his business trips. The distance between him and Allison grew wider forcing a wedge between them. Their house began to feel more like her house, with him only stopping by for a visit, sometimes at her apparent inconvenience.
Their old friends were still there, but they too felt like strangers always asking the same questions and repeating the same feeble attempts at small talk. She had new friends now as well, all of them were young and attractive they hung around her like gnats around bare flesh, giving her words of comfort and encouragement. Sam however, was always in a new city surrounded by uncaring strangers, who saw him as an outsider there do his job before disappearing forever. No one understood how difficult it was to be alone all the time, alone with the dark and twisted thoughts of his cruel reality.
Sam’s reoccurring dreams became more vivid and pronounced. In his dream Allison was in the arms of another man, she never looked back at him no matter how much he yelled and cried. Her laughter taunted him, her happiness enraged him. It would always end with him standing on a black sand beach with a red ocean expanding off into the distance, its crimson waves lapping gently at his ankles.
The more time Sam spent thinking, the more he convinced himself of what Allison was doing while he was gone. The need to have her burned in his soul, but every time he closed his eyes he could see her pressed into the arms of another man, her face shining with joy and happiness, fueling his rage and jealousy.
A distant rumble woke Sam from his thoughts; a large thunderstorm loomed over the horizon, threatening the land below. The dark thunderhead flashed and rumbled across the sky, sending its cool, clean breath rushing across the pristine landscape. Bolts of lightening jumped from cloud to cloud lighting up the darkened countryside below. The world grew quite around Sam as if it held its breath waiting for the onslaught that the tempest ensured.
To avoid the brunt of the storm Sam took shelter in an old barn which sat atop a hill not far from the narrow road. The red paint had long since washed away leaving only traces of its former glory, though Sam doubted if anyone cared to remember. To his relief the wooden pole barn was relatively clean, and dry. In the morning he would try to find the owner, thank them for the accommodations, and offer some sort of service as he had no money to pay for the lodging.
The wind slammed into the sides of the old barn, its grey weathered boards creaked and moaned under the strain. After writing an entry in his journal and eating a small meal, Sam laid in his sleeping bag, listening to the raindrops pelt the tin roof high above. As sleep began to settle in he noticed movement out of the corner of his eye, a small grey mouse skirted through the loose hay followed closely by a small cat whose green eyes were wide and wild with the hunt.
With half open eyes, he watched the cat stalk its doomed prey, its little head occasionally poking through the loose straw only to disappear again moments later. Slowly he drifted off to a restless, uneasy sleep, only to relive his previous life repeatedly. Sam hated sleep.