An Ambiguous Dream

Thirty years ago we promised that if life took us in separate directions, we would meet at this place, the corner of Trafalgar Square in London if destiny had not joined us in the meantime, and I can tell you it had not.

Still, I am drawn by agreements, pacts or call them what you will so on the date and hour agreed I took my woman of the moment, Katherine, to the spot where we would have met if life was less chaotic.

It was an interesting tale, as Katherine told me, and would have remained so if, out of the corner of my eye, I had not spied a lady in a wheel chair, grey haired and slightly plump but somehow as I remembered her: is not that always so?

I paused in mid-speech and, leaving my date on her own, walked over to that sedentary person and said; “Samantha” and she turned her head to me and said “Yes.” In those eyes was the angel I loved before I discovered complexity, and the memory of my first kiss!

I walked back to my bewildered partner and said brusquely, it must be said, “Let me get you home, I have business here” and I almost pushed her towards the taxi-rank and gave her address to the driver at the head of the queue. We are not always kind or mindful or faithful towards another’s feelings, I am not anyway, and I failed on that day to be civilised, but Samantha was my centre and imperative, and to leave her now could not be embraced: that’s how I felt anyway!

At the time we parted, I loved her as only the young can do, but she was engaged to a man who was shaped to be a hero and served as a pilot in the RAF; a sportsman to boot, and I had nothing to offer her apart from those “insights” writers trade for drinks.

When young, she was in a place where “Insights” have little value, but somehow she loved me despite all that. She called me “Unemployable” and so I was: an “adventurer without budget,” but her beauty, inside and out, made me want to be a normal man, and so I became a journalist with a daily paper but by then she was gone: transported off to another space in the arms of her hero who, I now learned, had died in a motor accident which also left her paralysed.

Here she was, and here I was, almost by coincidence: I as a matter of sentiment, and she because she wanted to connect with her past I presume, but did that matter in the end?

Looking at her, still with elements of that beauty I remembered, I raised her hand to my lips and dreamt that we were both young again and brought together by destiny.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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33 Responses to An Ambiguous Dream

  1. Tender and poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ksbeth says:

    this is so beautiful and sad, but then again, happy looking to the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This has a melancholic beauty to it, Peter. If I were in your lead’s shoes, however, I would not be able to stop myself wondering whether Samantha would be there if her own life had panned out differently – if her husband, her chosen one, had not died.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good story, countingducks. I liked how the raw emotion was conveyed by your protagonist’s inconsiderate behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Al says:

    Sounds like Samantha was an anchor in a very unsettled life. This is a sad tale.


  6. I love your stories, Peter! They are like snapshots, photos framed by time, capturing the essence, the raw emotion, the potential and regret of an entire life. So much said with so few words; so much felt with so much still left unsaid…

    Truly brilliant writing, as usual!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. gotham girl says:

    oh…sweet. I too wonder like one of the other commenters if Samantha would’ve been there had her life been different. You always leave us wondering! Which is a very very good thing!


  8. Well – that has made me tearful and has ruined my morning coffee… Brilliant as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. araneus1 says:

    I’m on the mailing list (is it still called that?) for my year 12 reunion — 50 years this year. Old class photos and chatter about ‘what happened to?’ have been flooding into my inbox. Inevitably, there are a few ‘deceased’ notices against names who were with us ten years ago. I had very little in common with my year twelve classmates, but a photo from year eleven got included and these were my friends — almost all of whom left at the end of the year leaving me with a bunch of vaguely familiar strangers to spend my final school year with.
    Your story had me in mind of a couple of ladies who came and went the year after I matriculated. I know one has died (because she came through in a mediumship reading — imagine my surprise!). The past is truly a foreign land, full of people and places half-remembered.
    Thank you for the chance to ‘half-remember’ them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Scarlet says:

    You are such a gentle romantic, Mr Ducks. Quite special.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. judithhb says:

    As a romantic, I am sure Samantha would have made her way there, whatever the obstacles. As always, Peter, a story well told with a little poignancy thrown in for our delight.
    I hope you had a good Easter.


  12. nelle says:

    Love this one… I can almost picture myself in this encounter with the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a hauntingly beautifully tale have you woven. Brilliant writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a glorious story. Isn’t that what we all dream, that those we love see what we are inside?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice piece of writing. All too often, life gets in the way and we stub our toes on the lintels of existence. “Unemployable” indeed: that was me too … destined to live the life of a poet, penniless, in a shabby garret or a dark basement room, sublet. Luckily, I found someone who believed … and we changed all that, in spite of all the stubbed toes along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ASH says:

    A fractal novel in a few elegantly succinct passages


  17. Ah, Peter. Sometimes the memories are richer with tests of time.


  18. Oh Peter! This is such a beautiful piece, and so believable too.
    In a fragment of a dream, or perhaps a snippet of a memory that once existed, I seem to recall a pact once made. Only, I can no longer remember.


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