17 Forever is Such a Short Time
Jim and Stacy walked with their arms around each other, toward the dock. “Wonder if we’ll see any falling stars?” Stacy asked, looking up at the sky.
“If we do, you know what I’m going to wish for?”
“What?” Stacy said, looking at him smiling.
“Well,” Jim said thinking about it, “could it be . . . I don’t know . . . let’s pick something at random . . . could it be . . . you?”
“I think you have some sort of mental problem,” she said as they sat on a bench by the dock.
“Oh, I’m crazy all right,” Jim said, nodding. “I’m crazy about you.”
She smiled and looked at the events taking place in front of them. They watched in awe as the colors of the sky changed right before them. Jim has never seen anything that was filled with so much magnificence. The fire was reflecting off the water which was - at first - blinding then grew dimmer. They watched as the fiery sun got put out by the water, and night took over the day. They sealed this transaction with a kiss.
“Are we ready to take her out, captain,” Jim said pointing at the boat.
“Let’s set sail,” she said strongly.
“What course captain?”
She looked deep into his eyes. “Second star to the right and straight onto morning.”
“Aye aye captain,” Jim said as he helped her aboard. She went to pick up an ore when he stopped her. “I respectably request that you just sit down and enjoy the ride.”
She nodded and sat down. “Take us out Ensign,” she said pointing into the darkness.
“Ensign?” Jim said, offended, as he started to row. “I don’t think I should be an ensign. I deserve a higher rank than that.”
“And what rank do you think you deserve?”
“Admiral,” Jim said fondly.
“I think I’ll keep you as an ensign.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“Don’t mention it,” she said as she started to rub her arms. “It’s getting cold out here.”
“Are you crazy?” Jim asked. “It’s beautiful out here.”
Jim took off his jacket and handed it to her. She thanked him. He took them to about the same spot where they were earlier. He laid back and looked into the sky. “This is great,” Jim said, slightly out of breath.
Stacy laid down and looked into the sky. Thousands of stars filled the area. They lit up the sky just as brightly as the moon, which was a bit shy tonight. “Look at all of them,” she said impressed. “Their beauty is beyond belief.”
“Yeah,” Jim said, also impressed, “but the gods must be angry.”
Stacy looked at him, confused. “Why?”
“They created the heavenly bodies with great beauty,” Jim said, still looking into the sky, “but they couldn’t create anything that can compare to your beauty.”
A star flew across the sky. “Quick make a wish,” Stacy said pointing at the sky.
They both closed their eyes and made a silent wish. A wish that was the same but in different words. “What did you wish for?” Jim asked.
She smiled as she turned around. “I can’t tell you that, silly,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “If I did, it won’t come true.”
“I’ll tell you mine.”
“I wished you would stay with me forever,” he said fervently.
She leaned back on his chest. “I love you,” she said in a tender tone.
“I love you too,” Jim said in the same tone. “That’s why I have to tell Amanda.”
Stacy sat up in a flash. “You can’t. You don’t understand.”
Jim also sat up. “All I know or understand is that I love you and I want to be by your side always.”
“But it’s not possible.”
“Why?” Jim asked, forcing her to look at him “tell me, because you’re right; I don’t understand. I love you and you love me, that’s all that counts.”
“But there are other factors.”
“Stacy, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Tell me why it’s not possible?”
“Cause I’m dying!” She shot out. Jim moved back as if he was struck. “I have cancer, and I don’t have many more days left. Feel better?”
Jim’s heart sank. All his happiness was flushed down the drain. He never felt so much pain all at once. He finally found what he wanted, and she was going to die and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. He felt so helpless. “I don’t know what to say,” Jim said weakly as he fought back his tears.
“Just hold me,” she said, somberly. “Just hold me and tell me that you love me.”
Jim grabbed her and held her tight. He never wanted to let her go. He wished he could freeze time on this very moment. “I love you, Stacy.”
“I know,” she said as tears flowed down her face. She pulled away and turned her back to him. “Please take me back.”
“Stacy . . .”
“Just take me back,” she said between sobs, not looking at him. “I just want to go back to my room.”
Jim nodded and made a course back to the dock.
18 The Night Belongs to Lovers
Neither one of them said a word during the trip back. There was nothing they could have said. The silence hurt more than words, but neither of them knew what to say. The last conversation destroyed Jim’s world just when it was beginning to build itself up again.
How could this be happening? Why was this happening? Why was life so cruel? All these questions have no answers. It’s just the way things are, no matter how hard it was to accept. We have no choice but to take the hit and move on.
They stopped in front of her door and just looked at each other. Words were escaping them both. “Well,” Stacy finally said, “I’ve got to go. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” Jim said as he started to turn around. He knew that it couldn’t work with him and Stacy. Continuing the relationship is guaranteed to end in heart ache. A line from a song filled his mind, I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance. He knew it was over, but did he have to accept it.
With one motion he stopped her door from closing. She looked at him, stunned. “No,” Jim said, strongly, “I will not just leave you. No matter what, I love you and I’m staying by your side. I’m tired of not taking chances for the sake of being safe. It’s me and you, and you’re going to have to deal with it. I’m not going anywhere.”
She started to kiss him passionately. Jim could feel the heat of their love starting to boil. He gently pushed her inside and let the door close behind them. They made their way to the bed and the fire grew intense. The animal passion consumed them as they hit the bed.
He started kissing her down her neck as she ran her fingers through his hair, breathing deeply. She reached down and pulled his shirt off in a quick burning motion. Jim sat up and took off his shirt. He grabbed her by her sides. He lifted her shirt, as he slowly rubbed his fingers gently against her skin. Goose pimples covered her skin.
When her shirt was completely off, she pulled him closer, licking his nipples. Jim pulled her up and started to kiss her, roughly while massaging her right breast. The heat was about to burn the room in passion.
They became one and built a wall that blocked everyone on the outside. Nothing was able to touch them, nothing was able to hurt them, nothing mattered but each other and their love. In a world so cold, they made their own fire to keep warm. For most of the night they made that world strong, with their hearts beating as one.
Jim lay next to her, holding her warm, silky body next to him. They didn’t sleep. They just laid there in each other’s arms. All that was needed was each other. Skin on skin, body on body and heart on heart. Everything they ever needed was right there.
It was five a.m. when Stacy broke the silence. “I think you should go back to your room.”
Jim wanted to protest but he knew she was right. He was going to tell Amanda everything and it would have been easier to explain if he was found in his own room instead of Stacy’s room. He got up and got dressed.
With a sheet covering her, she walked Jim to the door. “In the morning,” Jim said before he opened the door, “we’re going to talk this out.” She went to say something, but he put his hand up. “We’ll work this out. I’m not going to leave just like I said.”
“Okay,” she said and smiled. They kissed goodnight.
19 The Morning After
There was a knock on the door. Jim felt disorientated. He sat up, groggy. “Who is it?” Jim called out as he stretched. He noticed that there was a letter on the floor.
“It’s me, Tony,” his voice shouted. “Are you ready yet, we’re going to miss our bus?”
It was then that Jim realized what time it was. He jumped up and opened the door. He almost knocked Tony down as he ran past him. He ran straight for Stacy’s room only to see some cleaning women in her room.
“SHIT!” He swore as he ran back for the stairs. He reached the bus station in time to see a bus pull out. Stacy was by a window. She raised her hand to the glass. Jim raised his hand as if all the space and glass weren’t in the way. He watched the bus pull away.
Tony ran up behind him. “What’s going on?” Tony asked confused. He then saw Stacy in the window. “Oh,” he said plainly. He turned toward his friend. “Are you okay man?”
“No,” Jim said, hurtful. He walked back to the hotel. When he reached his room, he picked up the letter and opened it. He wasn’t able to see the words, but he could hear Stacy’s voice in his head.
I didn’t want to wake you, so I left you this letter. The weekend we spent together was the best weekend of my life. I will cherish it always. I love you very much and I can’t let you go through the terrible pain of just sitting around waiting for me to die. I can’t put you through that. I thank you for the great time we had, and I’ll always keep it close to my heart. Please don’t try to find me, it’ll just make things worse. I would rest better knowing that you were going on with your life. Make that my last request. Please forget me.
(Though I wish it wasn’t)
PS: Take golf lessons, you stink!
Jim folded the letter and let out a little laugh. He took a deep breath and started to pack. He met everyone by the bus station. Amanda came up to him. “I’m sorry we didn’t spend much time together.”
“We’ve got to talk,” Jim said plainly, not looking at her.
“I can’t right now,” she said remorsefully. “I’ve got to get back to Linda. I’m sorry.” She started back toward Linda.
“No,” Jim said harshly. Amanda turned and looked at him. He returned her stare. “You’re not sorry.”
“Of course, I . . .”
Jim laughed. “After we talk,” Jim said bluntly, “then you’ll be sorry.”
Amanda just looked at him. She turned back to Linda in a huff.
“It’s about time,” Tony said from behind him. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Nah,” Jim said looking into the ground. “I just need to be left alone right now.”
Tony nodded and walked away. Jim suddenly heard music. He couldn’t tell where it was coming from, but it was loud. Nobody else seemed to hear it. Everything started to fade.
Jim woke to the sound of music. At first, he had no idea where he was, but soon realized he was in his own bed. He wiped the tears from his eyes and realized it was all a dream. The whole weekend was just a dream.
He jumped out of his bed and frantically searched for his phone book. He had to find Stacy. There was still time. They could still make it. He had to find her.
“There’s no need for that,” a voice came from behind him. He turned around and almost fell over when he saw Stacy sitting by his desk. “You see, Jim,” tears flowed from her eyes, “it was more than just a dream. I’m already dead and I wanted to be with you one last time. I guess this was the only way.”
“Oh god,” Jim said as fresh tears started to roll down his face.
“I’ve got to go,” she said, hurtful, “just remember how much I loved you and what you learned. You’re strong Jim, don’t ever forget it. Goodbye.”
In the blink of an eye, she disappeared. He walked over and touched his chair. “I’ll always love you,” Jim said.
In the morning light, Jim was able to see a falling star.