"While I have written many stories and have had numerous books published over the past twenty-five years, occasionally I come across a few opening paragraphs of a story I planned to write at a future date, but never finished. I included one such example three days ago and got many requests to repeat the process. Please allow me to share a few snippets of a story that I once intended to write, but never got around to doing so.
'I will never forget the day I fell asleep in the cornfield after a traumatic break-up with my first love. I was feeling sorry for myself and all I could see ahead of me was the unlikeliness of ever meeting someone again who I would love. My dreams for the future had been shattered and my feelings remaining were raw with a grievous sense of loss. The woman who I loved had betrayed me. We had planned to marry, the wedding and the reception had been booked along with the vicar. Four days before the wedding, I found her in bed with another man! There was no show of embarrassment from her, she offered no excuses and didn't even appear stunned to have been caught in the act!
I couldn't stop caring despite her unfaithfulness. However hard I tried, I couldn't erase the three happy years we'd spent in courtship and the things we'd done together. For my part, I couldn't pretend they'd not been real.
I cried myself to sleep, not knowing that a few yards away to my left, another person was crying and sleeping away their loss for similar reasons to those of mine. I must have been asleep for forty minutes and when I awoke, I heard a rustle in the corn nearby and then saw a dark-haired woman in her twenties stand up. It was as though fate had decreed that we both stood up at the same moment. At first, the shock of seeing another person so close stunned us both into silence, After realising that we had both been resting in the cornfield, we instantly laughed. Little did we know then that similar circumstances had brought each of us there on that fateful afternoon.
After any initial embarrassment we felt had passed, we went for a coffee.Within a matter of half an hour in each other's company, it felt so natural to be talking to each other as freely as we were. I'd never met a woman like Bess before. Being total strangers, we discovered this innate capacity to talk and tell each other things about ourselves; things so personal that we wouldn't dream of telling anyone other than a best friend. Within half an hour of sharing a coffee break, we shared our worries and woes with the new stranger across the table from us.
There were so many similar experiences we'd had, and far too many coincidences in our lives to make us strangers in any sense of the word. We were both Scorpios, we each had six siblings and had both attended university, reading Sociology. For occupation, we each had chosen work in the caring profession; she a nurse and myself a probation officer. Ironically, we discovered that we'd always lived very close to each other and had no doubt passed each other on the street from time to time or even brushed together as we travelled on a crowded bus. Further conversation between us revealed how close we were in values, interests and characteristics; much more than any two strangers were ever meant to be and still remain strangers.
That day we met was to change our lives for the better and forever. Two years down the line we married. It was the happiest day of our lives and we remained blissful and content in each other's company in all we did together thereafter. For over forty years we talked across the table as we had first done upon meeting, telling each other everything that mattered to us and which we'd experienced that day. For any stranger observing us from a distance, they would see two friends, brother and sister, sweethearts or man and wife as we interacted lovingly and affectionately with each other. Although we each wanted to parent children, it was not to be, due to medical circumstances. The love we would have given a child was simply given to each other and there wasn't one night we slept apart or one day we weren't happy throughout our marriage.
One dark Tuesday in the month of January, at the height of our happiness, I learned that I'd contracted a terminal illness. To tell my Bess the bad news was the hardest thing I'd ever had to do in my life. Over the years, we'd come to depend on each other as only true loves and soul mates do. Upon hearing of my illness, Bess momentarily broke down. She cried on my shoulder and although I comforted her, inwardly I felt angry to have been the bearer of such unhappiness. I felt robbed of years of future life together we'd believed to be remaining.There were also all those precious plans that had been spoken of; places yet to go, sights that remained unseen and things for us yet to do before we retired gracefully into old age and resigned ourselves to the comfort of our rocking chairs.
We managed with some difficulty to positively apply ourselves to the months ahead prior to one of us sadly having to leave this life. The night before I died, we cuddled in front of the open fire in the sitting room with a blanket draped around my shoulders and we just talked and talked into the early morning hours, of happier days when we were much lighter of foot and heavy with earthly desires. Though we both knew that death was an imminent visitor to all in our lives, neither of us feared it any longer and only resented it because it would temporarily part us.
On the day I was destined to depart this life on earth, Bess and I made our way back to the cornfield where we had met forty-two years earlier. My body had grown very tired that morning and I found the brief journey arduous. With it being the month of May and the warm sun promising a glorious day, the cornfield where we first met was the most natural place to be. When we got to the cornfield, we found the approximate spot where I'd first seen Bess and we lay down side-by-side and cuddled.
My body was warm and as we looked into each other's eyes, we both knew that my time was near. I could feel it harder to draw breath each time I exhaled. Then, as my final breath softly left my body and touched the tearful cheeks of Bess in a final kiss, I sensed a sad stillness of loss reign in her heart and soul, as her bright eyes watered up and started to sink in pain.
Mere minutes after my passing, although all of her emotional strength had been drained from her body, Bess knew that she'd need to organize certain things during the immediate hours and days ahead. So she thoughtfully put all her remaining crying to one side until these things had been done. Funeral arrangements swiftly followed my earthly departure and two days before my planned burial, Bess was found dead in the middle of the cornfield where we had seen each other for both the first and final time.The only suspicious aspect of Bess' death was the words that the doctor wrote on her death certificate; 'Cause of death: a broken heart.'
One week later, Bess and I were buried together in two grave plots adjacent to each other; not one above the other as is usually customary for man and wife. Bess had left specific instructions to be buried on my left-hand-side and that we both be laid on our side in our respective coffins, facing each other. At the tombstone head of the grave sites, a joint headstone was constructed that simply read, 'I remain at your side, lost in the spin of loving you.'
In the years that followed, a great storm rocked the land and pelted the earth forcefully as the heavens poured down rain for three days and three nights, producing an underground landslip in the cemetery where Bess and I were buried. The landslip resulted in our two coffins colliding with force and bringing the contents of each closer together. Fate had brought us together once more, offering us an eternal embrace. We had first met side-by-side in the cornfield and had moved closer in our affections every day since.It was only fitting that we would enter heaven side-by-side.
Beneath the ground, we now embraced as we had always done at the start and end of every day; once more reunited in spirit and soul, trapped within a heaven of contentment for the rest of eternity.'" William Forde: September 29th, 2017.