Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dreams Of A Love Indestructable (Part One).

How could it have come to this?

He had the world at his feet, a life that was the envy of all those around him. He was handsome, athletic, he was warm and funny. He had a loving and proud family. He had many friends. He was young and, seemingly, indestructible. Approaching the end of his university degree he had a bright future to look forward to and could put his name to just about any architectural firm he wanted. It was said that he had wanted to draw buildings since he was six years old.

For this was his great love...

He loved complex problems, raw ideas that could be assessed and developed and turned into a real thing - a building, a tower, a house, a home...

He was in love with a beautiful woman who was his kindred spirit. He had secretly held a desire to ask her to marry him once they had graduated. wasn't so much a secret between Denny and Soneya than something that they wanted to wait for, once their respective degrees were out of the way and they could celebrate with their families. They had fallen in love through the guitar. He played for her, the most beautiful pieces - classical pieces, lyrical pieces, soulful pieces.

For this was Denny's passion...

He played for her songs of love, of travelling, of life, of living. Denny had the most exquisite fingers which were able to dance across the guitar as though they were floating on air. Soneya had once joked that Denny had cast a spell on her for his music was the most exquisite she had ever heard. It had hypnotized her.

Their conversation was truly synchronous. They had similar values, beliefs and viewpoints yet each of these differed just enough so that they challenged one another. Also, Soneya was studying law so Denny knew very early in their relationship that in order to be a good lawyer, Soneya had better be able to deliver a damned good argument. Denny and Soneya's debates were the stuff of legend amongst their friends but they all knew what it was all about.

For Soneya was Denny's life...

They dreamed of travelling around the world together. Of visiting obscure galleries in Prague. Of making love in a villa on the shores of Lake Como. Of skinny dipping in the Mediterranean Sea near Valetta, Malta. Of growing old together in the house they hadn't even bought yet on a hillside overlooking a quiet valley.

Now it was all about to be lost.

Denny lay in the bed now - a mere shadow of what he had once been. The life, that vibrancy that had so drawn others in had gone from his sunken eyes. His once strong and proud and face was skeletal, the skin bruised and pasty. His beautiful hair was almost gone now; a few faded tufts were all that remained. Those fingers which had once danced across the guitar, which had translated onto the page complex algorithms and intricate equations, which had held the fingers of Soneya's own hands. They are limp now, cold and barely useful. A warm feminine hand is entwined in them but he can but feel them. He no longer has the strength to even lift one digit.

It had taken mere months. A few days of feeling unwell, swollen glands in his neck. Denny had passed it off as the flu. Even though he had gotten better the lump in his neck had refused to go away. Still he ignored it for a time until it began to bother him. In what seemed like a matter of moments it had become all too serious.


Normally treatable with a good chance at cure, this however was a particularly aggressive one that had already metastasized before Denny had seen the Doctor. Lymph nodes, liver, one kidney, four ribs on the left side and most cruelly of all his brain. He was doomed from the start. Treatment was a stalling intervention only and not a very good one. All it really did was halt the spread of his dementia and rob him of his hair. Denny was 25.

The room was nice. As far as hospice rooms go. There was a pretty rose garden through the single window. Denny had looked through there sometimes but hadn't been able to venture out to appreciate them. Today, the sky was dark and brooding. A thunderstorm threatened.

A Simon Marty guitar stood on its stand in a corner of the room where Denny could see it. A gift from his parents on his 21st birthday. Just having it there was soothing. In his fractured mind he could hear his favorite pieces and it helped him to block out the pain. Now the only thing that helped was the morphine that slowly dripped into his body from a pump via a needle in his arm. At the end of the bed lay his puppy, a black and white cross breed called Simon. Curled up and fast asleep. Denny's lovely nurse had allowed Simon to be here.

Soneya sat beside him; her head lay on the bed near his arm. He could smell her lustrous auburn hair, freshly washed. Rosemary and mint. He could hear her soft breathing, even and steady. He could feel the warmth of her skin, the touch of her fingers. Soneya had been there for days...or what had seemed like days. Denny was no longer sure of time anymore. All he was sure of was that she was still there. Occasionally she would stir, lift her head and gaze at him through those wondrous eyes. Though their world was falling apart her face kept him anchored. She kept everyone anchored. Throughout their ordeal Soneya had never fallen apart. She tended to Denny's needs unfailingly. When others were losing their emotions she was there for them too with an arm around a shoulder, a hand in a hand, a loving, comforting hug.

Now, in these final hours they were all here. Denny's mother, father and younger sister, Soneya's mother and older brother. All sitting quietly, waiting...

Denny flinched suddenly causing everyone else in the room to do the same. He grimaced and attempted to move himself but was prevented from doing so. His abdomen was so distended from fluid collecting inside that it made simple movements impossible. The catheter which drained urine from his bladder frequently caused him intense pain and it had done so now.

Soneya squeezed his hand and slid hers up his right forearm, her gentle touch soothing him. Her fingers passed over a faded tattoo on the inside of his forearm - an inscription in a cursive font - Ancora Imparo.

'How could it have come to this?'

The single lucid thought punctured through his narcotic haze. The pain in his penis settled and he blinked, looking up at his family who were all gathered around his bed.

His mother and father, eyes reddened and tear filled. His sister, all teen angst and stony faced 'trying to hold it together'. Denny knew this must be ripping her apart. Soneya's mother, her brother - his best mate, similarly wooden with barely contained grief. Soneya...

Denny turned his head slightly towards her. Soneya met his eyes with hers and held them. She stroked his brow gently and smiled warmly. Oh how he wished to kiss those lips...

His breath caught in his throat, suddenly and his eyes rolled upward towards the ceiling. The room began to spin and Denny's heart thumped noisily in his ears. He was overwhelmed by a sense of panic and with a great effort he grasped Soneya's hand as firmly as he could. When he looked back to her Soneya's had swollen with tears and a single drop trickled down over her porcelain cheek. In that moment Denny knew.

It was time...

He focused on that single tear and was reminded of a line from his most favorite film of all time, Bladerunner.

'All those moments will be'

The tears fell freely from his eyes now and his emotions overcame him. Fear, anger, sadness and, curiously, happiness, love, peace and finally determination.

As another line from that most favorite of films entered his head Denny turned his head towards Soneya.

'Time to die...'

In that last terrible moment, when all else was spinning out of control, as lightning crackled ominously outside the window, Denny gazed firmly and deeply into his beloved's eyes. When he spoke, his voice had never sounded more clear.

"This is not over..."

And with an abrupt finality the eyes fluttered closed, the body sank back, the life dissipated. Denny was dead. Simon the puppy let out a grief stricken yelp, leapt from the bed and disappeared down the hall outside the room.

Soneya sat there stunned, the grip of his hand relaxed in hers. The warmth disappeared quickly. As their family gathered around her and held her collectively she let go of her crumbling stoic facade and sobbed uncontrollably.

Everything seemed to stop. Time, space, air, life. And nothing would ever be the same again...

Copyright © 2009 Dean Mayes

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