There is no explicit sex in this story. I wish to thank the people who helped contribute to and edit this story, per their wishes, they remain anonymous. This story is totally fictitious; any resemblance the characters might have to any person living or deceased is purely coincidental. No part of this story may be published at any other site without the express permission of the author. © December 26, 2006
He thought, 'Funny how the current does that,' as tiny whirlpools formed behind a tree limb hanging in the water. Spinning out into the main stream, they quickly got smaller and smaller. A final swirl signaled their surrender as their brief existence was squeezed out by the surrounding pressure.
'Just like life,' he reflected, 'different things flare up for a brief period of time, then get swallowed up and lost in the bigger flow.' Picking up a smooth flat stone, he skipped it across the top of the water with a strong side arm snap.
'Nine skips... doubt if I'll ever get another fourteen, let alone beat it.' Another painful memory, 'She was here that day, jumping up and down in excitement as she counted off the skips. Hell, life seemed so simple then.'
Part of the rock embankment he was standing on formed a natural flat ledge jutting out into the water. With the creek flowing around the front and a beautiful stand of trees providing privacy behind, it had been one of their favorite spots to while away the hours.
'First night we spent together was right here on this rock, curled up in my sleeping bag. God it felt so right, holding her in my arms all night. I truly believed our love was special, the kind most people spend a life time searching for.
'We got away with it because she told her parents she was spending the night with a girlfriend. The friend backed her story and covered for her. It wasn't until after she left town that I finally figured out the truth behind that night... and her life.'
He recalled they had been exclusive to each other through their junior and senior years of high school. 'Many of our future plans were hatched right here on this rock.
'She wanted five or six kids, "Five or six kids?" I declared in shock, but with a smile. "Yes," she said, "I want a big family." Even though surprised, I had readily agreed and the thought she wanted to have my children made me extremely proud.
'Half of the town had mentally made plans to attend our wedding, a wedding which hadn't even been announced. Hell, most already knew what they were going to get us for a wedding gift. That's what's nice about being raised in a small town, everyone seems to know what you are planning before you do.
'I'll never forget the night she told me about being accepted to try out for that nationally televised talent show. She was so happy, I thought she would absolutely bust.
'I also remember that was the first night she couldn't seem to find time to be alone with me. Up until she left, we were never alone again.'
It didn't surprise him she was one of the finalists. Not only was she the prettiest girl in four counties, but had the most beautiful voice that anyone could remember hearing. With her talent, she had been in great demand, singing at weddings, church, parties, even doing the national anthem at the home football games.
When they were alone at the rock, their special place, she seemed to sound her best. She loved to sing and would sing to him for hours. He believed she was putting extra effort into her songs just to show her deep love. The power of her voice made the rock with its natural beauty feel like pure heaven.
Needless to say, she won the talent show. 'I wasn't surprised to hear about the recording offers pouring in before the contest was over or the winner decided. It didn't matter if she won or not, she was headed for the 'big time.'
'The day she left, I was supposed to drive her to the city to catch her flight. Was I ever shocked to find out she had left an hour earlier.
'That day I drove here to the rock, searching out its solitude, wanting to understand what was happening. Nothing made sense. I concluded... no, I prayed it was just a matter of giving her a little space. Let her go do her thing, get it all out of her system.
'It was all new and exciting to her, hell she didn't have time for me at the moment. But she was a small town girl who was raised right and I was sure, would land on her feet when she got her bearings.'
After half a dozen unanswered letters and several desperate phone calls that never reached her, he gave up. A card did arrive a week after his birthday, he waited for the solace of the rock before he opened it. He seemed to know that being alone would be better.
It was nothing special, just a plain off the shelf card. There was a hand written message. 'Hi there, wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Miss you bunches. Sorry about not writing. Between the tour, the TV shows, and the new record deals, there just never seems to be any free time. Love ya.' It did have OXOX at the bottom, but no promise of anything more.
'I cried that day, not from receiving the card, but because of the card. It wasn't her handwriting. She had dictated it, didn't even bother to sign it.'
That was the day everything finally started falling into place, making sense. Now he understood. It was all over. If she ever loved him it didn't matter. She wasn't coming back.
Reality can be a bitch, but it has to be faced. And face it he did, that afternoon on the rock.
'It's been almost five years since I received that card; there hasn't been another word from her. I only know what's happened in her life through the local paper and the tabloids.
'She is still big news for the town paper. They didn't print the dirt, that's what tabloids do.'
The paper covered the news about all her big shows, concerts, awards, and her successful records. 'Yeah... her successful songs and albums... there have been so many, I lost count long ago.
'I remember sitting here on the rock many times, my heart aching for her as I read the tabloids. Understanding she wasn't coming back didn't lessen the pain of knowing the woman I thought I loved was paying the price for her new life style.'
There were several stories about drugs and rumors of drugs, the multiple boyfriends, actors, singers, playboys, all famous and high rollers. He knew this was the life she not only chose, but evidently desired even when she was with him.
Almost three years into her career, she got married. Her new boyfriend and then husband was a Rock Star. It actually struck him as being somewhat humorous, she was a country and western singer. Just seemed like an odd mixture. The marriage lasted less than two years.
'The local paper said she had a miscarriage, the tabloids said she had an abortion, guess we'll never know the truth. Does it really matter?
Standing at the rock's edge, he had been palming another flat smooth stone. With another side arm snap, he sent the rock skipping out across the water, 'One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eig....'
"Only eight...?" came an old familiar voice from behind him. "I seem to recall back in the day, you could do better at your worst."
It was a voice still so sweet he could feel the goose bumps rise in a wave as they started up his arms and ran across his back. "Yeah... but quoting an old cliché, I was younger then."
"I see you still come here," she stated.
"Occasionally," he replied.
"Do you hate me so bad that you won't turn around and look at me?" she asked.
"Occasionally," he replied.
He stood silently staring at the whirling water as it flowed by.
"Aren't you going to turn around and look at me after all this time?" she asked.
"I know what you look like. The paper prints your picture at least once a week." Chuckling, he added, 'And the tabloids, at least a hundred a week, of course most of them are not very flattering."
"Fucking tabloids, they're the scum suckers of the earth," she spat.
'Kettle and pot,' he thought, shaking his head. 'No one seems to mind the tabloids until they find themselves pictured on their pages and blasted in their print.'
"Why are you here? Specifically, why are you here at the rock today of all days?" he inquired.
"Well, I was hoping since it's your birthday, you would be here. It's still my favorite spot too. I sure have missed our hang times on this old rock," she said.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because... will you at least do me the courtesy of turning around so I can talk to you?" she pleaded.
"After you left... and in such an unexpected way... I tried to talk to you several times. At the time, I would have given anything just to talk to your back. Instead I got, who was it, one of your secretaries?
"Compared to that, I think my back is much more considerate. So anything you have to say, my back is listening."
Contritely, she replied, "I deserved that. Ok, I'm not so full of foolish pride, I can't... because I still love you."
"Hmmm... when did you reach that conclusion? Was it before you left town without saying goodbye, after you arrived at the big city, before or after you hit the big time, during the drug use, before you fell in love with the rock star, or after you figured out you didn't really love him.
"Maybe it was after you lost your baby, that had to be depressive. Tell me, am I supposed to be the cure for all your problems or a help mate to further your career?"
In a slightly exasperated voice, she replied, "Every bit of that is true. It all happened. I made a lot of mistakes, but I never lost my love for you. Through it all, you have been right there in my heart...."
His laughter caused her to stop, "I'm sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you, but I couldn't help thinking that was one trip I wish I hadn't taken." Still laughing, "Next time, tell your heart to leave me at home."
"Very funny... I'm serious, I still love you," she firmly stated.
With a deep breath..., "Do you remember the first night we spent together here on the rock?"
"Of course," she said. "How could I forget one of the most memorable nights of my life?"
"Remember how you pulled it off, by lying to your parents?"
Giggling, she replied, "Yeah, I wanted to spend the night with you. I'm glad I did. I will never forget that night."
"Did you ever feel bad about lying to your parents, betraying their love and trust in you?"
"Well of course I did, but I wanted to spend the night with you, that was more important to me. I have never regretted it, even though I did feel bad about being dishonest with my parents.
"It was such a wonderful night, I would do it all over again and if you remember, we did. I had to lie a few more times to get to spend a few more nights with you."
His voice saddened, "Exactly, that's what I finally came to understand. That's all you are here for, the equivalent of another night out."
"Oh you're so wrong. I want to recapture our love, I need you back. You were the best thing I ever had going in my life.
"This is your rock, but you were my rock. It was a big mistake leaving you behind. I know that now, we should have gotten married before I left."
He asked, "Did you happen to ever watch the movie 'Coal Miner's Daughter?"
Irritated she replied, "You know I have. We used to watch it together. It's one of my favorite movies."
"She took her husband with her, she never considered leaving him behind. Now that is real love," he said.
"But they were already married. If we had been married, I would never have left without you.... The truth... it was my love for you that scared me and made me leave you behind."
"Oh, and why is that?" he inquired.
"Because... I was afraid my love for you would hold me back. Not allow me to dedicate myself to my career."
"You're wrong about the movie. She took her husband because they were a team. Without him there would be no need for a career. She built it with him and around them. No way it would have worked if she had built the career, then tried to fit him into it."
"I'm still building mine. We can still do it together. I need you to be a part of it."
"Haven't you come to realize yet that life doesn't work that way, we can't just go back and start over," he said while watching another little whirlpool slowly disappear as the surrounding water sucked it up.
"No, of course you haven't.... I forgot, you've never experienced the word 'no.' You've always gotten everything you desired.
"I finally realized it wasn't me that you were trying to make happy that night or any of the other nights. Your only concern was your own happiness.
"Neither your parents nor I mattered. You lied to us then and it's no different now, you would lie to us again to get what you want.
'You lied to me because you were afraid I would hold you back, that I wouldn't fit in, and I would keep you from getting all the things you wanted. Now you're a big success, so to speak, lying to get what you want all over again, trying to have it all.
"The first time you desired someone or something new, I would be nothing but a burden. You would sacrifice me all over again.
"The girl I thought you were never existed... I was in love with a lie....
"This isn't your home anymore, I truly doubt it ever was. You wanted something more, it was your choice.
"I'm happy for you. Very few people get to have their dreams come true." He could hear her crying, but it didn't move his heart one iota.
"You're wrong, I want you, I need you," her voice pleaded.
"I know," he said as he turned to leave by another trail.
"Wait... don't leave," she begged.
"I did wait... and I didn't leave... you did," he said, never looking back.
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