One True Love


A lifetime ago, when I was still at school I met Maria, bookish like me, and awkward, and in her company I found a companionship I had not known before and in the end, under a tree in the local park, as dictated by custom, we shared our first kiss: we were sixteen at the time.

There was an understanding that we would go no further and even holding hands was not discussed because both of us were private about feelings, and much else besides, but I’m sure the way we sought each other out and left the school gates together was dually noticed by those who take an interest in such things.

As time progressed we became more open and love was mentioned more than once and there was a sense we would share each other’s lives. All was wonderful until her father, who served in the Royal Airforce got posted abroad and naturally took Maria with him. In those days there were no mobile phones or emails so letters were exchanged and then with decreasing frequency until contact was lost: I believe she went to university in the States.

Life moves on, there is no other way, and I explored it awkwardly until at university I found other people as odd as me and made friends with them. Through one of them I met Emma, who was a nice girl and tolerant of awkwardness and generally at ease with things. She seemed to like me and one day she goaded me into proposing to her: it was Valentine ’s Day and I think she thought of me as reliable, something her father was not apparently. I admit I had slept with her and in those days that signalled an understanding I could not walk away from: at least she seemed to love me.

That singing feeling, the warmth and the simple pleasure of watching someone you love go about their day was not present but she was comfortable and seemed very happy to live a conventional life: in time we had two children

I cannot say I am an unhappy man, or happy for that matter but I live an ordered life, leaning on the compensations brought by a solid home, shared memories and the excitement I get from collecting rare books and so it might have continued until!

No 24, the house across the road, which had been for sale but now was taken and, you’ve guessed it, there she was, older of course and slightly thinner with greying hair and something in her walk which spoke of hard times but definitely Maria.

I went inside, panic mixed with curiosity but I was a man who was known for being boring, who hated uncertainty, so reliable and predictable must continue: that’s what I told myself!

I managed to avoid her, never leaving without checking all was clear and lived on tenterhooks but was otherwise alright. Alright that is until on the Saturday morning my wife, who always reaches out to people, walked in with Maria by her side saying “This is Maria, our new neighbour” and I said “How lovely” and shook her by the hand and looked as if I did not know her but Maria could always read me and I nodded awkwardly. Things passed off without incident, discounting raised blood pressure; Maria got the picture and played along with me.

After she left, my wife looked at me curiously and said “Are you all right, you look a bit flustered” and I said, I’m fine, but I was going out and now feel off-track.” She shook her head and said “Don’t be so boring” but she was smiling as she said it because boring is what she loves about me after a childhood filled with trauma.

Because I had to, I left the house, first checking the road was clear, and set off briskly towards the shops and a coffee house where I sometimes went to relax. As I turned a corner and neared my destination I felt a tap on my shoulder and turning round saw Maria, eyes filled with emotion, and before I could stop her she reached up and kissed me with the passion I remember from my youth. I stood there frozen as she said “I’ve never stopped loving you,” and before I could collect myself the door to my heart opened and chaos flooded in.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

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

46 Responses to One True Love

  1. Jack Eason says:

    Beautiful Peter. Loved it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written, Peter. I think that your story holds up really well because it is those feelings, those connections that we make in our formative years, that are the strongest and mold us into who we are. A bit of a conundrum for your lead – head or heart? I’d say heart, but probably end up going with head!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. catterel says:

    Heart-wrenching – again! I was going to ask for more, but of course this is the perfect place to stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A lovely comment as always from you. As I said above, a large scotch might not solve the problem but it might calm his nerves and allow him to collect his thoughts a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You make everyone feel you’re writing about them – different details, but passions all amuck at some stage. A great gift you have!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mikesteeden says:

    You know, Peter you have the gift of painting a picture that is complete. Nothing to add, nothing to edit. Perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Cheynoea says:

    My head and my heart go out to all three of them. I want to know more, but am afraid to know more at the same time.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. delphini510 says:

    Beautiful story about “normal” life that yet is filled with such strong undercurrents and feelings.
    As I got to like both women I don’t want either to suffer.:)
    miriam

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Its what we call “A mess” isn’t it, which was sought for by none of the parties but what will happen who can say. What we can say is that nice people will get hurt and that is always a sadness 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ksbeth says:

    i love how you paint your characters all as imperfect people, as people are in real life. lots of gray areas, no black and white, lots of wondering what to do next, what will happen, no clear path, no right or wrong. lots of lost and found / missed opportunities – again, more life real life. no concrete endings. wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Such a nice thing to say. I had a an amusing conversation with an old friend of mine and he was discussing some business and then he said “Do you think I am difficult to live with?” and I said “Yes” because he is as well as being lovable and interesting, and he is not the only person who could be described thus, which is what always makes life such a compelling thing to observe. Always love you comments 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Al says:

    Chaos, bedlam, pandemonium, call it what you will. One thing for sure, he left boring in a heap on that street corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lifeinkarolingston says:

    Amazing! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. trishina says:

    Oh I love this story 🙂 Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Norma says:

    Ooops! Now the flood will sweep him clean.
    Is there more! Or that’s it. Or we know where it will go….down the hill.
    Love reading your stories, Peter.

    Like

  15. Is this meant to be a happy ending? I can’t quite tell…

    Like

  16. araneus1 says:

    “before I could collect myself the door to my heart opened and chaos flooded in.” love that ending. Like many of your readers, my mind was busy building possibilities — excellent. Terry

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sue Vincent says:

    I agree witht he comment above, Peter… those last three words perfectly encapsulate the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Scarlet says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr Ducks!
    I hope all your beautifully written characters have a wonderful day 🙂
    Sx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Marquessa says:

    OMG. That last line though…wonderful post! I was holding my breath…

    Like

  20. Colline says:

    Oh dear! He is in for some trouble. I don’t think his life will be boring in the next little while!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ASH says:

    These characters live in my heart

    Like

  22. lovinmyself says:

    wonderful! it is so beautiful and the title is so apt for the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. BubblyMeee says:

    I’m in awe! Beautifully written and so effortless ❤ I’m so glad I found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. nelle says:

    It didn’t play out that way in that it was at the beginning of things rather than later, but whew… been there. Chaos, indeed.

    Like

  25. Rose Wine says:

    Beautiful and nice story.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Janni Styles says:

    Such a story master you are, very poignant.

    Like

  27. Peter – I’m beginning to get a picture of you, sitting at the train stop, observing all the milling crowds and picking out one person, or another, and building a whole story of their lives based on what you see in their face. It is a pleasant bit of insight.

    Like

  28. You seem to be able to capture the most beautiful moments in life in your words.
    Somehow the idea that Time does not change a person’s feelings, seems impossible, yet something many of us wish for.

    Like

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