Ghost Of A Love Affair

” Love me but do not own me: Celebrate but don’t possess me” I see her smiling as she said it;  the last words I heard spoken by her face to face. Off on an adventure, never to return, crushed by a lorry in some freak accident, and silenced for my eternity. A girl who made being fearless possible in my life: who faced down any challenge but intimacy.

I dared to love her but not to use the word.  To thank the stars this girl, who lived for wilderness and open ended questions,  had used me as her anchor and her reference point: “Conclusions” she told me, “Are only for the elderly,”   and yet she would always return to me: we all have contradictions and perhaps I was hers. She would live in any moment, in any life, as long as she was free to leave it:  now she had , and I was left to live without her interest.

“If you want to understand something, never try to own it:”  That was her mantra, She, who loved the wilderness above all things , loved me because  I left her free to wander through it, but without her noise and cheery exhuberance, the stillness that I dwelt in, the place she called her sanctuary, had now become a silence, experienced without mercy.

“Oh Charlie” she had told me, “I stood among the elephants, and they just let me, and we watched the sun rising together, species joined with species,  can you imagine such a moment” and I could, because the image was printed in her eyes, bright with life and joy, but fearful of possession: That was my gift. To love her, but just for who she was and in the moment only. I, an ordinary man from normal points of view,  was made extraordinary by her presence, and won her trust by not seeking to control her.

That face remains with me  fifty years later, as all around me life seeks to find my measure, but they will not find me here. I am living in her sunshine, and in those eyes which still smile at me from  a treasured photo. Now eighty-seven, and long past the time when people take an interest, I sometimes  catch the excitement when she returned, and smile to myself, and to the puzzlement of strangers: become a man who nods to himself, and, without warning, when lost in reverie, talks out loud to a girl he loves, as she walks through his memory.



About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, fiction, Life, Love, old age, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Ghost Of A Love Affair

  1. Cay says:

    What a beautiful post this this…


  2. katpersephone says:

    Absolutely lovely. It’s really rare to find people who enjoy life like she does, but it’s so rewarding to know them.


  3. Ina says:

    Charlie’ s beautiful memory… Intimacy is the biggest adventure perhaps.


  4. catterel says:

    That moved me to tears – than you.


  5. rumadak says:

    So touching!!!


  6. Oh gosh this is wonderful! Its a poem and prose all rolled into one, and a very moving one too.


  7. “Love me but do not own me: Celebrate but don’t possess me” – the highest maturity an individual can reach is to possess the confidence not to own or posses – but to love.


  8. Lovely. Wonderful imagery.


  9. I sometimes think that this is where we really live: inside the eyes of another. A beautifully written tale of true love.


  10. Marian Green says:

    Beautiful… so touching…


  11. DCTdesigns says:

    OMG if I hadn’t already posted twice already today this would demand a reblog. Beautiful!


  12. saxtoncorner says:

    Beautiful words and imagery. Just thought I’d stop by and share the bloggin’ love after you stopped by mine, I’m glad I did. This is a touching piece.


  13. gwpj says:

    A beautiful, memorable bit of a story, Peter, one that stays with a person for a long, long time.


  14. Al says:

    Ducks, you have to stop blogging now because I’ve run out of superlatives.


  15. Jane Thorne says:

    I’m with Al…this piece is so moving Ducky. Xx


  16. Desire says:

    This is so powerful and so touching! Thanks!


  17. b e a u t i f u l.
    as usual, Peter. XXXXX


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  19. Poprice says:

    This!! 👏👏👏👌👌👌👍👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

  20. araneus1 says:

    wow, that was touching.


  21. araneus1 says:

    I read it to my lady, and she cried


  22. nelle says:

    What a lovely and wonderful sentiment to read!

    As happens too often when I read, it conjures up a song.


  23. Just beautiful, Peter. It touched me deeply because of its lovely expression and, also, into the depths of my understands. I know what it is like to have “… dared to love … but not to use the word.” and be inspired and moved and certainly made braver by “a ghost of a love affair”.


  24. Beautiful and incredible, this is.


  25. homeflair says:



  26. susanissima says:

    Precious, and a great example of what can be accomplished in a handful of paragraphs. Bravo!


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  28. Sue spear says:

    Great piece of writing. Loved it!


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