Yesterday’s Promise

Those early years: the morning coffees taken when the day was full of promise vanished in a fog created by that sense I was not to be relied upon or trusted by any life I touched. Those words you said to me before you left me, “Where is your centre?” have never been answered. Doubt hates to be recognised but you saw it in me and gently left the room.

Those seminars where I apparently shone, master of the risk free insight, glib of phrase and careless of consequences proved the essence of what made me admired and a disaster. Beyond the telling phrase I lacked a strategy and the “Moment” proved to be all I could command.

Bravado is not courage, and making an entrance is not the same as walking with a purpose. I had no sense of moral worth but just of those pyrotechnics which prevent others gauging our inner life. Only you saw into that space they call a soul and stood by me for a time at least, but patience I discovered, is seldom more than finite, and so it proved with you. Your laughter and gentle tolerance gave way to disillusion: all I offered you was gestures, I have no faith in anything else, and then there were the girls.

Weak though I was, when faced with temptation, you forgave me twice, but each time less willingly. When you first looked in my eyes love poured from you and wonder lit up your face, but with each transgression, and with my failure to recognise truth, that light dimmed and then I saw you look more often over my shoulder than at me, at other possibilities where my crippled presence could not affect you. That was thirty years ago. Now you live a thousand miles away smiling at faces I will never see; rich in experience I will never share, surrounded by a family I cannot touch. You live a life free of me. Your photograph is all I hold.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in creative writing, Fiction, Life, Love, morals, Peter Wells, Relationships, Romance and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Yesterday’s Promise

  1. The point being, I feel, that our ‘centre’ is within us and unique to us, and following the dictats of others will never lead to personal fulfilment. A failure to live up to the expectations of others is not necessarily weakness.
    A quite profound piece, very though-provoking!


  2. fictionalkevin says:

    This seems to me a powerful look at narcissism. Good on you. Thank you for writing it and being so forthcoming.


  3. L. R. Palmer says:

    Wow, this is powerful! I’ve reread it 3 times already, and know I will read it at least 3 times more to try and catch every nuance. There is so much wisdom in this painful reflection, it moves me… Thanks for sharing this!


  4. L. R. Palmer says:

    “Bravado is not courage, and making an entrance is not the same as walking with a purpose.” This line, especially calls me back, time and time again. Profound insight that I would dare to name Truth…


  5. Sad, but I am glad the woman he is talking to managed to get away.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love that line, “Where is your centre?” How many of us suffer the same malady? Well-written, Peter.


  7. “…making an entrance is not the same as walking with a purpose…” So many fall for the former and resent the latter – perhaps because they do not understand.


  8. genusrosa says:

    Another brilliant character sketch in few words, Peter! You’re amazing! ‘Bravado is not courage’…well said…nor, I would add, is regret to be confused with remorse. Not that I’m sure this snapshot of humanity holding his snapshot of a memory felt anything even as strong as regret. So…dreaming here…if fiction had a conveyor belt…I would trundle this guy off to the Agatha Christie Department, where ‘she’ would dispose of him efficiently by any number of people who had Motive and Opportunity. I might bring Miss Marple in for this job, with her kindly, steely gaze that misses nothing. Oh, yes, I’m in the mood for a good whodunnit! 🙂


  9. Al says:

    Only two transgressions? Some people just don’t know how to take a joke, do they?


  10. tiostib says:

    eI am a great admirer of your exceptional writing eloquence and humble humor.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nelle says:

    I love this, a perfect perfect lament so well framed. It’s worth a second read through. It digs deep, it flows so well. Special stars for this one.


  12. Wow… just wow. This phrase, “You live a life free of me” WOW. You should write a book about this particular topic. I actually went through this when I had to leave a relationship and boy, this would be a book I would read. Happy Holidays my friend.


  13. Regret is a hard pill to swallow.


  14. Do we all feel this particular pain? Was first love always the best, and was it always sacrificed on the altar of experience? This is a poignant piece: it fills me with those same regrets. Beautifully, whimsically written.


  15. “Bravado is not courage, and making an entrance is not the same as walking with a purpose.”
    “then I saw you look more often over my shoulder than at me, at other possibilities…”
    Food for thought.


  16. Pingback: Quote on purpose. | lifehomeandaway

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