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| Category: || General Fiction |
Posted:|| October 23, 2020 Views: 68|
Chapter 18 of the book Learning to Swim
by Raffaelina Lowcock
In the midst of an unresolved marriage Anna is magnetically drawn to a stranger.
Fiction based on a true story
I couldn't believe what I was going through and what I was doing or why? I was on my way to meet my dance partner from the recent wedding I attended. This was not a rational act. Maybe it was the fact that someone was interested in me and that someone was drop-dead handsome.
Since Les and I had married, almost two years ago, we had NOT consummated our marriage. Yes, I was technically still a virgin as we hadn't been able to make the last hurdle. Who was at fault? Who knew?
We had discussed the fact that though we both loved each other we may have married too young. We were both dedicated to solving our problem at one time, as we read the book on sex like we were studying for an exam. Yet now it seemed Les had accepted failure, and that hurt me deeply. I am a Roman Catholic, and I believed our vow was sacred: deviating from that Is not where I was heading.
There were some mitigating circumstances. Firstly, Les fainted at work, the week before our marriage. It was determined at the time to be because of stress and also the doctor discovered he had a hernia that needed surgery. This, of course, slowed our love-making down, considerably. The surgery took place a month after our marriage and was successful. There was then a period of healing. Very shortly after, Les had a tonsillectomy. Another time for healing. A little later, he was in the hospital under surveillance because of some mysterious pain in his thigh.
There was definitely something amiss!
Our first home was the worst environment regarding privacy, and even though we were now in an ideal apartment, we had not resolved our problem. One thing after the other had the effect of blatant excuses for the situation in which we found ourselves.
Now here I was thinking about another man but in a different way. What was it? I couldn't get his face out of my mind, and I conjectured that maybe he was the one I was supposed to meet and marry. I mused He is probably a Catholic too. Also, he's European; more compatible. Not so opinionated and bossy. Some really provocative thoughts went through my mind.
I was extremely nervous. I couldn't believe my boldness and wondered what in heavens name he would be thinking of me.
When I saw him walk down Yonge St. toward me, I couldn't believe I was doing this. He looked down at me with a smile and took my hand. " Zap" Oh my God; the electricity! I took my hand away and he opened the door for me. He must have felt that current! We entered the restaurant as he said, "Hello again." His soft brown eyes never leaving mine.
When we were seated across from each other, I started the conversation by being very honest with him. I said, “This is rather odd, but we don’t know each other’s names.”
“Nicholas Tolman,” he said.
I said, “Roseanna Jackson.”
"Roseanna, how beautiful."
“Thank you, everyone calls me Anna. I know phoning the Café and leaving a message for you to call me, was very bold, but to be frank, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. Though heaven help me, I tried very hard, believe me. Somehow, I feel this rapport between us. I have an innate feeling that we have many things in common. I know that we were meant to meet.”
At this point, I recited part of a poem I had recently read that went… “Two shall be born the whole wide world apart And speak in different tongues, yet…etc. There is another factor involved here, the date, July 11th is a very significant date in my life.”
He said, “That is interesting, may I ask what the date means?”
“Actually, Nicholas, I would rather not say at this time, perhaps another time.”
He said, “At your discretion.”
“The only reason I requested we meet is, I would like us to become friends as I really do not want to lose touch with you. "
He arched his eyebrows and said, "Really! You're pulling my leg."
"No," I said, "I'm not, I mean it."
He said, with a broad smile, "I thought this meeting would be about arranging a clandestine affair."
"Oh no!" I flushed with embarrassment even though I wasn't surprised at his conclusion. " I can assure you I am referring to a platonic friendship."
He smiled. He shook his head and stared right into my eyes. My return stare was implacable. He was amused, I could tell. He looked over my head for a moment, nodded his head a few times clamped his lips tightly and returning his gaze to me he then quietly said, "Are you being perfectly honest with yourself?"
This caused a great deal of turmoil in my stomach, but I placidly said "Of course. Why do you ask?"
"I just feel you're not being honest, just as you say you feel that rapport."
I hesitated as I thought my answer through and then I said "Okay, I know what you're saying. I am quite aware of my feelings, I should forget we ever met; I can't do that. So, 'honestly' believe me, I need and want us to be friends and when I say need, I mean that there is a specific reason that I have this friendship with someone unattached to my social environment. Perhaps later I will confide in you as our friendship develops,, but please trust me now when I say this."
"Well, when you put it that way, I am certainly intrigued so I will agree. Sure, why not, but if it resonates with you as well, what I'm feeling, why the subterfuge?"
"It is not subterfuge. I simply cannot and will not break my vow. I admit I am totally attracted to you but I'm trying to use common sense in order to defuse a situation that is extremely dire to me. By getting to know you I am sure I will survive the trauma of a missed opportunity." And, as I felt my body relax, I said, "Thank you for agreeing."
He kind of bent his head down and peered at me and said, "Are you for real?"
"Yes, of course, I am," I stated, emphatically.
I had ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, which I hardly touched.
He seemed to be mulling something over in his mind, and then he began to speak about his travels from Hungary to Cuba. He told me, "My father works for Thos. Cook Travel Agency and he and my mother will be migrating to Cuba. I’m hoping that will be soon. I have a girlfriend in Cuba. Her name is Julie.”
He showed me a picture. She was beautiful... Liz Taylor type features and lovely dark curly hair. I could tell he was crazy about her the way he seemed so excited when he talked about her. That kind of defused my feelings.
He said, “I’m studying Journalism at the University of Toronto and I’m hoping to become a writer. Now it’s your turn, tell me about yourself.”
“I am of Italian descent. My maiden name is Emelia. My husband is of English descent and his name is Les Jackson. We have been married for two years, this August. I work for a Customs Broker, I’m a part-time student and a part time artist. When the Canadian National Exhibition opens in August, I will be drawing portraits.
“I was there last year. What building will you be in?"
“The Coliseum. Can I call you Nick?”
“Yes, everyone does.”
Time was up. Even though I had asked for an extension of my lunch hour, I only had a limited time.
We exchanged phone numbers. I gave him my business number.
After he paid the bill, we left the restaurant. It just seemed so right when he took my hand.
I thanked him and turned south, wondering if he, too, felt the electricity when we touched. I turned just once and watched him walk back up Yonge Street.
I couldn't believe what I had just done. For the first time in my life, I felt selfish. But then I placated myself and thought, "Without rain, there are no rainbows."
To be continued...
Roseanna Emelia is not in control of her emotions.
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