This is a possible ending to DG Hear's story "Zoea: My wife." It is written with his approval. Please read DG's story first! This will not make any sense unless you do. This begins before he posted his ending with Zoea committing suicide.
DG and I share the same editors: techsan and Lady Cibelle and we have the same high regard for them. They have really great editing skills and are both first rate authors in their own right!
A tip of the hat for the inspiration over the years from the great music of Hank Williams Sr. His is a sometimes sad telling of stories but his songs are just that: a telling of the life and loves of our great country. People might hear his songs or read the lyrics and think them not plausible but they are stories/songs from the heart of a people that tell more of a reality than many of us want to know. This story is not based on that great but painfully sad song, "Alone and Forsaken" but it owes a lot in the way of mood, the mood that I felt that Eric and Zoea would have in deciding how to go on with their lives.
DG HEAR'S ENDING
Now I had to decide: Would I be happier with Zoea in my life or better off to never see her again. I now had to make that choice.
Well, readers, If you were Eric, what would you do?
THE DARKNESS IS FALLING
"The darkness is falling, the sky has turned gray.
A hound in the distance has started to bay."
- Alone and Forsaken, Hank Williams, Sr.
During the dinner with Zoea, we didn't talk much. She certainly looked upset and her makeup was stained with what I could believe were real tears. Random thoughts kept coming to me; bits and pieces of remembered thoughts and conversations, remembered now with the bitter clarity of my too good memory:
When I met Zoea it was love at first sight — I had never truly felt that about any woman before.
I thought back to the night I explained these feelings to Zoea, telling her she was my life and that I had total faith and trust in her. Her so definite response: "I feel the same about you, Eric. I don't want any man but you!"
One night after some great sex, I asked her teasingly if she ever thought about sleeping with another man. Her forceful reply, "No, Eric! My body belongs only to you. I never want to lose you; the love we have could never be replaced by another guy having sex with me."
On the cruise ship after one of our most satisfying love sessions: "Eric, I love you so much. There will never be anyone else for me but you." I remembered thinking at the time that she was my woman. I would just as soon die if I couldn't be with her. She was everything to me.
Then, as we finished eating, Zoea broke into my train of thought, "Eric, do you want me to undress and we can start over and make love, or do you want me to leave and never see me again?"
A painful flash of the bodies of Zoea and those two jerks on the shining white beach came to me — making me stagger a little as I rose from the chair. I could hear the gentle sound of the surf; feel the pain bursting in my chest with each stride as I ran to the sweaty bodies in their grotesque embrace. My body felt clammy with a sudden coldness gripping me. I knew that we were both too wrought up in the intense emotions to deal with it tonight.
"Zoea, I do believe you love me. Can you understand I have had too much happen too fast? I need a day or two to slow my life down a little. I feel like a train running out of control and knowing the bridge is out. You don't know how close I came to just ending it. You can't know the pain I felt. What those two assholes did to me on the beach was nothing compared to the damage to my heart. Something did die in me at that instant and I'm not sure if it will be back.
"I'm trying to be honest with you, Zoea. Please don't pressure me now or you might not like what I say. Meet me at the Veranda Bar in two days as the sun goes down. Can you do that, Zoea? Please?"
She looked upset, incredibly even a little hurt! With a tentative smile she replied, "Okay, Eric, I understand. I'll stay out of your way. Please believe me when I say I love you. Please choose to stay with me!"
As she walked out the door, I filled my glass with the now warming wine and looked at myself in the large mirror on the wall of the largish dining room and held up my glass in a toast, a toast to a lying son-of-a bitch! With a sardonic smile to my reflected self, I considered that the key to a good lie was a straight face and lots of details. I'd even told Zoea what kind of cocktails we would have.
I was totally surprised... and caught out by Zoea showing up so fast. I guess I wasn't nearly as smart as I thought I had been. Looking in the mirror again I promised myself to plan a little better. I knew there was no way I would ever be able to get over the incredible betrayal of her lust for others. I had trusted her, given her that inner core that defines a person. If only her actions had matched her words!
I did still love her — she had been my life. Love isn't like a switch that could be turned on and off. But I remembered reading from a book years ago by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "I know a love may be revived which absence, inconstancy, or even infidelity has extinguished, but there is no returning from a dégoût given by satiety." And that's what I kept coming back to: the excess of men and women that my presumably faithful love had consumed left me with such a disgust and weariness that I couldn't possibly overcome it. Whenever I would close my eyes I saw such a perverseness of sexual transgression that my heart had turned to an icy stone.
I thought about revenge - more than those two assholes — revenge on Zoea, Brad and Amy but my heart wasn't in it. I just wanted to escape. I had read a story not too long ago by a surprisingly erudite writer, Joesephus, called "The Best Revenge Is A Life Lived Well." Thinking about it now I had to decide which way to go, whether to succumb to the forces of darkness and night or to live a life of pride, a live of love and giving.
Saluting that sad faced guy in the mirror once again I committed to move forward and not be shackled by the shallowness of others. I thought about the free spending, freewheeling life we had been leading. The grey-faced man in the mirror had the grace to look embarrassed.
"Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk."
- Jean-Paul Sartre
I went to bed late - the bottle of dark rum my bedtime companion - and woke early to the brilliant sunlight streaming in the forgotten-to-close shutters. Staggering to the bottle of aspirin I grabbed a handful and got a cold one from the fridge and washed them down. With a sudden resolve I pulled on my swim trunks and blinking at the intense rosy light shuffled through the sand to the empty beach. There was a cool breeze with a faint hint of the heat to come as I dove into the softly breaking waves and swam out a quarter mile or so. Taking a right turn I swam parallel to the hotel grounds for about twenty minutes and then back to the brush covered dunes that offered such a contrast to the manicured grounds that the four hundred a night paid for.
Lurching out of the water feeling nauseous for a moment, I cursed the demon rum. Steeling myself and offended by the soft bulge around my waist, I jogged in the firm wet sand at the edge of the surf feeling an aliveness that felt somehow alien. The thought surprised me but it wasn't something I wanted to analyze yet. I slowed to a walk and rejoiced in the sheer beauty of the scene. I kept a sharp lookout for Zoea, hoping she was keeping her word about giving me some space.
Getting back to the room I called for a light breakfast. I started thinking about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go. I liked the Bahamas a lot and remembered with a stab of pain the shared dream Zoea and I had about moving here. I know I wanted to go to an island somewhere - a remote island - but nowhere near here. After breakfast I took a taxi into Nassau to the library on Shirley Street. I grabbed a couple of large atlas and sat with a pen and paper making notes.
I wasn't exactly trying to hide; I was the only one in this farce with a 'pure' heart. I didn't want the hassle of my past life intruding on a hoped for peaceful new life. I finally decided on the Azores, or Açores as it showed on the map. I stopped by a travel agency and made a reservation only for the first leg, a redeye leaving at 9:30 that night for London on British Airways. I went back to the resort and after a nice lunch packed my bags and took a long nap. When I awoke I wrote a letter to Zoea. On the way out, I left it with the bartender. She had flirted enough with him I was sure he would remember her!
I've never done that before: start a letter to you without the dear or dearest at the beginning. I think that's a hint of my feelings towards you at this time.
At odd times, a flash of real or imagined 'encounters' of yours flash into my heart, my very soul. Picture a pastoral scene: springtime, lambs frolicking on the intensely green grass, dawn's pale light filtering through the soft pink and white buds on the trees surrounding the meadow.
.... There is more of this story ...