The Lover*

The Lover

“Come away with me,” she whispers.

For a brief moment you believe she is sincere.  You must believe it.  Not because your reason tells you that it is true, but because you so want to believe it.  You yearn for her to be true.  She is what you dream of in the lonesome hours of each dark night as you lie in the heavy air of your bedroom, unsure if you are awake or asleep, afraid to exhale lest you miss the faintness of her whispered breath above the hum of the silence.

She is what you think of during the toils of the day.  You look for any sign of her coming–test the air for a scent of her strange perfume.  You are like a teenage girl, sitting by the phone on Friday night.  Ring!  Ring!  Oh, please ring.

She has become your fixation.  She is a drug and you are now her hopeless addict.  You have passed the point of want and entered the dark realm of need.  She is obsession.

You know she is a liar, a flirt, a tease.  She has no qualms about playing with your heart. She has broken it before, and doubtless countless other hearts along the way.  But you don’t care.  Like the addict, you tell yourself that this time will be different.  Just one more chance.  This time, she will be true to you.

She is, after all, so beautiful.  Eyes so blue that you can see straight through into eternity, and yet at night they seem so dark but still filled with the twinkle of a billion stars.  Her breath is soft on your cheek.  Her touch cool and caressing.  Her dress is hued in a thousand colors, so beautiful that she can make your heart feel that it will explode within your chest.  She refreshes you, invigorates you, somehow makes you feel like a young man again.  Perhaps this is the real reason you want her so badly.  It is not a desire for her as much as an unrequited need in you.

It matters not that she’s disappointed you so many times before.  It matters not that she is a straight-faced liar.  It matters not that you’ve been used.  You’ve played the fool on countless occasions, and like the dog who has been beaten again and again, you cower at her feet and hope that this time she won’t hurt you.  This time will be different.

She will appear at your side for brief moments and then disappear, sometimes for days or weeks at a time, leaving you sad and heartsick again.

She will always be unfaithful, and you know that you will never be able to change her. But that doesn’t diminish your desire or make you relinquish the false hope that you desperately cling to.

She is Fall in Alabama, and I long for her touch.


*Originally published here in 2010 and later by “The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.”

14 thoughts on “The Lover*

  1. Only you Ray, can make a simple subject into an artful description, and do it in more than one paragraph. Eloquently stated that Mother Nature lives to her fancy, and heeds no one.

    We’ve been having a bit of a fuss with her as well in these parts. Snow two days ago and now into the upper 60’s this week. Our woodland birds are in a tizzy, the trees are giving up way too early their colorful hairdo’s and the caterpillars are on the march in the wrong direction. Fickle Fall.

    1. Thank you Leisa. Sometimes these little essays come easy, but most of the time I’m never really satisfied with the final result. I read too many good writers.

      Alabama weather is fickle. It won’t get out of the mid 70s today, but 80s will be back in a day or two.

  2. This is a hoot, Ray. Great. While reading through it, I knew there was some trick, one might say, down at the bottom, and I thought about just heading down there to see what it was, without finishing the whole thing, and perhaps I would have had it been longer, but I knew it was relatively brief, so I hung in there enjoying the whole shebang. Excellent.

  3. One of my favorite of your writings. It brings back so many memories of being a teenager, hurrying fall to wear some new sweater. Love it.

  4. Another great read Sir Ray, read the whole thing just to get to the ending, wondering where it would lead.

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