Third June Blog.
My last hurrah for this month.
This is a part of my unprinted novel, also not completely edited, as yet. Been a long time. Good old FB, reminded me.
Small part of chapter 5 of my novel,
Those Tangerine Hills.
David gunned the Ute into action. He felt as if he were on a high, his mood was so happy. He had Laura, all to himself for a couple of hours and no one to say nay. The miles were eaten up by the
shiny vehicle. “Rented,” he told her.
Plenty of wonderfully coloured leaves clung to the trees as they passed. The sky held that Fall blueness which was not the blue of summer skies, but the paleness of a bird’s egg. As a breeze began blowing, the leaves twinkled where the shiny surface caught the rays of the sun. Then for a few miles, they were within ‘tunnels’ of conifers, tall sentinels that hid the sky. The low sunshine failed to enter and Laura felt a sudden chill.
“I can put the heater on,” David said.
“No, no. Don’t bother. We will be out in the sun again soon.”
But they weren’t. As soon as they left the pine trees and were back with the deciduous trees, the sky clouded over and the horizon grew dull and grey. Soon David turned off the main road. They came to a spot where the road ended and David parked.
He helped her out of the Ute. “Can you manage with one crutch?” he asked.
“I’ll try.” She put the crutch under her left arm.
“No!” He positioned the crutch under her right arm. “The plaster is supporting the broken ankle but I am worried about the right ankle.”
She made few steps in this way but the ground started to ‘give’! It was sandy. David had an arm around her but at the next step she stumbled. Suddenly David was in front of her, grabbing as she began to fall. His quick thinking arrested her downward movement. He had her in his arms, holding her up. The moment was right. He bent his head and kissed her soundly on the lips.
Laura, surprised, but delighted, sank into his arms. He was like a huge solid cuddly bear. The crutch fell away to the sand. Her arms encircled his back. It was so easy to slip into this bliss.
How long they clung together, neither knew. It was a timeless moment for them both. But finally, lack of breath broke them apart. Laura gazed with wonder into David’s eyes.
“You don’t know how long I have wanted to do that,” David stated breathlessly.
“How long?” Laura asked, equally breathlessly.
“From the moment I first saw you when I knocked at your door,” he answered.
He was tall, thought Laura, coming down to earth. She had not noticed that before. Even at the door, she had failed to register his height. So many aspects to take in. Then, without warning, embarrassment overcame her. She pulled away slightly, her head looking down at his half open jacket zipper.
“Surely you don’t regret it?” David queried.
“It’s ….it’s just too soon.” Laura did not know where to look.
His right hand moved up to clasp her face in a gentle embrace. “No, never too soon! We connected that very first time at your door. I know we did.” He was breathing heavily and Laura heard it like the soft soughing of a breeze.
“That is as may be but… I have a sick Pa and well, you know nothing about me, nor I about you.”
“What’s to know?” he replied, a grin creasing his face. “I’m thirty nine years old, a doctor who travels. The rest is here in front of you. Healthy, tall, not bad looking if I say so myself. Yes, alright. Shouldn’t have said that last bit, but it’s true, isn’t it?” He whispered the last few words.
“I’ll give you all those things David, but you just cannot roll up and a few days later it’s all lovey dovey. Life doesn’t work like that.” It was a defiant statement. Peter always said she was ‘down to earth’ in her ways, but he liked that in her. Damn! She was thinking about Peter again.
“Look,” said David, “I am not going to be so churlish as to ask how old you are, but we are both old enough to know that time is slipping away. You want happiness, don’t you?” His eyes sparkled at the hope within them.
All the while he had her face in his soft, strong hand. Now he tightened his grip. “Don’t you?” He was imploring her, nay willing her to say yes.
“I’m forty two. Too old to act like a teenager, saying yes to something just because you want me to say yes.” Laura raised her head and looked him straight in the eye. “Yes, I did feel a ‘connection’ and yes, I do want a life that is filled with love. I had it once, then it slipped away like water down a drain all muddy and brown…and….”, she almost said red!
Tears started to drop down her cheeks. David loved the way her eyelashes sparkled in the wetness of her tears. What sorrow had gone before, he had no idea. Sis was right, he didn’t really know anything about Laura. But he Hell as would find out!
Sobs racked Laura’s body. It was something that David had not really had to deal with before. There was only one thing he could do. Gently enfolding her in his arms, he hugged her with all his heart. Her stiffness gradually melted as the sobs became less ragged. She clung to him. It was as if he would fade away and she could stop him by holding on tightly.
He kissed the wet saltiness that splodged the very little makeup she was wearing. He kissed her neck, her eyes and her little red nose.
“Oh David!” she cried.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered as he nuzzled her ear, dipping his face into the soft brown hair at her neck.
“It isn’t you,” she told him.
“Are you O.K. now?” he asked.
“Come on, there is something I want to show you. The real reason I got you down here. Then we will go back to the car and talk. O.K.?”
“O.K. I’ll be fine.“
David picked up her crutch and helped her down the soft sand to a spot by some small trees, several yards from the edge of the lake. There was a bowl-shaped depression. Within the depression were rivulets of sand curling around in all ways. Little ridges that followed an erratic pattern that no human hand could have traced. Tiny broken sticks and here and there odd elongated leaves were caught up in this geometric sand picture.
“Oh,” gasped Laura. “Isn’t that beautiful! How did that come about?” She was entranced by the geometry, the style. So perfect in every detail, yet he said it was Natural.
“Sis tells me it is the wind that makes these patterns. I suppose little whirlwinds form and toss the sand about in a controlled area. I don‘t know how to explain it,” he said a little exasperated that he could not give her the information she wanted. Then he looked up at the lake just in front of them.
“Look! The colour of that water.” The lake was softly rippling in the breeze. Scudding clouds, that were a lighter grey than the high cloud cover, shone out in relief.
“Turquoise, a kind of turquoise blue,” she gasped. “Why have I never seen this before? It is beautiful. I never went far in my younger days. Then Peter and I moved away. Such treasure and almost on my own doorstep.” There was wonderment in her eyes and in her voice.
“We have to make the effort to look to see beauty under our very noses sometimes,” he said. They were at the top of the gentle slope that led down to the waters edge. It was firmer here and Laura managed to hobble down the few yards, with David’s help, There was no tide, as can be on the big lakes, but the water slid onto the packed sand a little causing a shiny wetness. The sand changed colour.
The wind had dropped and she felt warmer. Or was that because she was close to him?
Thank you for reaing and, as always, ‘ be careful, out aming the English’.