A long time ago in the time of the Seth, there was a couple who had a love that brought shame in the time that they were living. Two different cultures, two different ideas, two different people, two different personalities yet a love that bonded. A bond like the lime that held the castle stones together. A bond that would last a very long time.
For quite some time they held their secret. They held their love. As is with all things that pass, the longing, the aching and the wanting became too much and she gave up hope of ever finding true love. She gave up on ever holding him close and she gave up on their love.
Time went by. Like the breeze in the spring, like the Arctic frosts that bring rain, sleet and snow. Aeons passed.
Each had gone their separate ways. Living their lives as if the other did not exist. They forged out their lives, yet both thought of each other and their love, their hopes and their dreams that had been damned from the start. She was a realist. She married another and went about her duties as she had been taught to do for all those years.
He drifted from place to place, searching for the love she had shown him. He continued with his life but always there was that nagging in his head. That constant ache for her, a constant yearning. Many times in the night, he screamed out her name. He loved her, he always would. Nothing could take that away. He kept searching. His life was empty without her.
She had called him a dreamer, a man of fantasy and although she followed his beliefs for a while, her upbringing continued to haunt her and she let go. Her head ached from time to time when she thought of him. She could have sworn she felt his anguish, his pain and his sorrow. She felt him searching for her trying, struggling to reach out and take her. She resisted. Believing in what she could see and what she could touch. Dreams, she thought, were only that; dreams and nothing more!
The years passed and she was now alone. She had felt this way all those years ago when she knew a man who was a dreamer. Her life was now that of an owner of a tavern. She often laughed at it. He would have enjoyed it. The company, the laughter, the making of new friends and of course, the drinking. These thoughts made her smile yet they also brought tears of what may, or could, have been. She shrugged as she remembered.
Yet she cursed him for the torment he had made her go through. Although not past her prime, she feels old and useless. Without a purpose in life. She only now ached for what he brought her in those days, long gone. Sleep came easy, restful sleep had not, it never comes.
The rain falls, the wind howls and the shutters on the
She thanks him and invites him in.
He craves for ale. She obliges. He swills it down. She brings another.
He opens his wallet to pay, she stops him. She craves the company of someone well travelled to tell her of what is happening. He looks old and worn from searching the earth. Although well dressed he looks like a man who has been beaten up by a lifetimes experiences. His face is well worn by the wind and the sun. Yet his smile shines through. His words echo through her as if they are trying to tell her something. She fumbles with food, she has prepared. He asks about lodgings. There are none here she tells him.
"Maybe further in the village," He half laughs. He then shrugs. "Such is life. It is best I go." He bellows thanking her for her hospitality.
He offers money. She refuses.
"The company has been enough," She cheerfully tells him.
"You know," He stops as he gathers his thoughts, "I knew a woman once who made me feel like I was the only thing in the world that mattered, a long time ago."
She sees tears in his eyes as he wrestles with his coat and prepares to leave.
The thunder cracks. Lightening bolts and rain come howling down. The shutters bang constantly.
"Another Ale, till the weather clears?" She asks without thinking. He gazes out the window.
"Aye, I think it best.”
Removing his coat, hanging it up, he sits and beckons her over. They talk about things in general and things that have been happening in the world. Both tend to stay clear of the past as if it were a taboo subject. She finds comfort in his company. She makes her self some tea and prepares some more food.
He helps himself to some more ale. "You have a lot of books," he tells her.
"Yes I love to read," She replies.
There is silence as he sips his ale and looks over the books. Without warning, he tells her, "I use to write myself."
"So did I. I stopped along time ago."
"Why?" He inquires.
"Oh, it is a long story," She smiles. He looks at her as she prepares food.
There is familiarity here he thinks to himself.
"Nah," he murmurs.
"Did you say something?" she asks.
"Just remembering. I am just remembering".
He looks out the window as the rain and wind weave themselves around the forest trees. The sound of rain pelting on the roof and the crackling of the fire make excellent bed fellows. His eyes search the walls of the tavern, seeking out something, anything that will make his mind think pleasant thoughts. He no longer wants the thoughts that haunt him day and night.
The thoughts of her and how she left.
He remembers her writings stopped soon after, he too stopped. He had become disillusioned with the life he led. He had sold up everything and started to drift from place to place. Always searching and seeking. For what? He never really knew.
She places some more food on the table. He looks at her and smiles.
"Any more and I will be to full to travel."
"I rarely get company that I can talk to," she mutters.
"Good conversations are hard to come by these days. Everyone is keeping to themselves," He seems angry about it. He rubs his chin.
"If this weather keeps up, I'll have to find lodgings somewhere soon."
"You could stay here," She is somewhat shocked at what she has just said.
"I mean I do have a spare bed," She blurts out trying to cover her embarrassment.
He leans back in the chair and looks at her. He nods agreement.
"That would be nice."
She knows he had intended to say more. He had been careful in his words.
A complete stranger and here she is offering him a bed.
"What has the world come to," she speaks out aloud answering her own thoughts.
"Yes, indeed," He laughs. She blushes. Getting up she puts more wood on the fire and starts to lock up for the night. He is getting himself another Ale and has already cleared the dishes. Placing the left over food on just one plate.
"I'll finish this Ale and I'll get me some sleep. Best I do not over stay my welcome."
During the night she tosses and turns. Waking up in a panic she rushes to his room. He is asleep on his back. As she slowly and quietly backs away he stirs and turns over away from her. She yelps and quickly places her hand over her mouth to snuff out the noise. Leaving the room she rushes away, finally slumping in her chair at the table in the kitchen.
"No, No, it can't be." talking to herself.
The tattoo on his shoulder. It was her name.
She rests her head on her arms shaking her head, "It can't be."
The morning finds her where she had rested her head, in the kitchen on the table. She stretches and remembers the previous night’s events. Her heart pounds as she thinks of the possibilities. After all these years, could it be him?
Quickly moving to his room, she opens the door. Nothing. He is gone. There is no sign he had even been there.
She looks around frantically searching for clues as to what had gone on. Everything in the tavern is as it should be. The plate of food, left over from last night was not there. The Ales were in place. Nothing had moved nor changed.
She slumps in her chair, "Why this torment, why? Why? Why?" her eyes welled with tears as she cries. The rain falls, the wind howls and the shutters on the
The stranger says nothing. Cloaked in a long coat that looks especially designed to keep out natures elements. She thanks him and invites him in.
He craves for ale. She obliges. He swills it down. She brings another.
He opens his wallet to pay, she stops him.
"Your name is Sev?" she inquires.
"Why? Yes it is," He looks surprised, "You have heard of me?"
"I know a lot about you," Her face beams.
“How is it that you know of me?” He asks. There is silence as she gathers her thoughts.
“I can see from your appearance. You are well travelled,” She is thankful she said something that would not give away who she was. She needs to be sure it is him. He looks different. He looks tired, almost drained of life’s essence. He looks around the place, “Not many customers tonight?”
“They are few and far between. I like it that way. I have more time to myself.”
The crack of lightening outside the tavern startles her. He doesn’t flinch. His mind seems to be else where. She thinks about the times she knew him. Before she moved on in her life and left him alone.
The rain outside becomes heavier. The remaining customers quickly leave. Wanting to get home before the weather got worse.
“Worse,” He thought, “How could it get any worse?” He watches as she sees each customer out. Taking payment and politely bidding them farewell. He is the only one left.
He watches as she starts to close the place up. “I should be on my way then,” He tells her as he starts to collect his belonging.
“You can stay here tonight. I have a spare room,” Thinking she has spoken out to quickly she adds “The nearest lodgings is in the village. In this weather and with night falling, you would be cold and wet and probably lost.”
He just nods his head in agreement.
“I’ll put these in your room,” She takes his coat and knapsack. Her smile is a blessing. It reminds him of something. Someone perhaps? He shakes his head. It has been too long without female company.
She returns with some food and more ale. He has a stone of some kind that he is twirling in his hands. She watches as he stares at it blankly. Placing the food on the table her minds drifts back to the time before her marriage. She had felt her life slipping away when he came by. A stranger, a man completely different from any man she had known before. He stole her heart, her body, her soul. They were good times. They had never met. He had sent her pictures, she sent him nought but a single photo. She had felt his love, his presence. He had cared about her, cared for her and he loved her for the person she was. Tears welled in her eyes as she watches him now. A lonely heart-broken man. She wants to tell him who she is but a doubt nags away at her. She needs to know his story. She needs to know if the magic they had was still alive. Was it possible to rekindle the flame they once had?
“DAMN YOU!” She shouts aloud.
“I’m sorry.” The confused look on his face tells it all. She realises she had spoken out at him but he had not heard her thoughts. He could not, would not understand.
“Sorry I was thinking about something I should have done but I had forgotten. Please excuse me.” She rushes off into her room to compose herself.
Looking in the mirror she tidies herself up, trying to make herself presentable. Slumping on her bed she sighs. Taking a deep breath she goes back and sits with him.
“Everything Ok?” he asks her in a genuine tone. She nods.
He startles her, “I knew a woman once. Or at least I thought I did.” His facial expressions and quiver in his voice giving away his emotional state of mind. He looks at her.
“Never met her. Had a picture once, but I lost it and I did ask her to send more but she didn’t. Never knew why. Never asked. Her name was Kanya. She was a spirit of freedom. A loving, caring soul.”
Her heart pounds as he mentions her name. Her mind begins racing through all the things they had shared. All those years ago. Her mind questions and searches for answers. She wants to hold him and tell him that Kanya, his lost love right here in front of him. However, she holds back. Her upbringing has taught her control. She fights hard to keep her emotions in check. Her hands tremble. He gets up and places a couple of logs on the open fire.
“Feeling the cold I see,” He smiled at her.
“Yes a bit cold. She lies, “Tell me more about Kanya.”
He speaks about her as if she were still in his life. His whole outlook brings to life a woman who he has cherished since their first contact. There are the descriptions of the love they shared. A love that is not only physical but a spiritual love, a complete love.
He speaks softly and slowly as he tells of Kanya’s marriage. There is no anger but there is a deep sadness in his words. “She didn’t want to wait.” He stops himself. “She could not wait.” His shoulders droop and he reaches for his drink. Taking down a large mouthful. He knows why. She also knows why. He then carries on telling her of his travels. How he packed up. Sold everything and started to roam around moving from here to there. Just a drifter.
“There have been no other women in you life since?” Kanya feels stupid asking the question but it just comes out.
“You mean like Kanya?”
“No. Oh there have been women but not for long. This last year I stayed well away from them. I had nearly forgotten what they looked like,” He says.
‘Would you know her again? I mean if you met her,” Kanya is anxious to know how he feels about her.
“Like I said. I had one picture and that was all. It has been a long time. We all change. Me, her, everyone changes. She probably wouldn’t even know me.” He laughs. Getting up he helps himself to another drink, “Just so long as she is happy. That is all that matters.”
“Don’t you ever wonder if she thinks of you?” Her tone is stern.
He stops and stands there in the middle of the room and then heads towards the window. Gazing out at the landscape. Watching the trees bend in the wind, watching the beads of rain run down the window.
“I think she does. Sometimes I feel it. Like now.”
“What do you feel, Sev? What is it that you sense?” Her voice has softened.
He turns his head and looks at her. “I sense her love. I feel her trying to reach out,” He turns back to the window. He hides his tears.
“It will be a cold night tonight,” He remarks, “A cold lonely night.”
“Maybe not,” She says getting up and heading off to her room.
With her gone, he wipes the tears from his eyes and sits back down.
She returns with a book and places it in front of him. Seating herself across him she says, “You gave me that book a long time ago. I have treasured it ever since.”
His hands shaking he opens the book and starts reading. There before him he reads of her undying love and commitment to him and him alone. He reads of the pressures put upon her to move on in life. How she resisted for so long. Finally giving in and marrying someone she never truly loved.
Grief is documented well in her words. They cry out with gay abandon, screaming through his head. He had been on his way to her when she married. She had not known that and cursed herself many times for not waiting. Not waiting that little bit longer.
“I HATE YOU SEV!” Had been scribbled on one page.
He continues to read her private thoughts. Misty eyes and runny nose confront him. She passes him some tissues. He looks at her as if searching for the woman he once knew. Seeking out some familiar feature that will make him believe he has found her at last.
He reaches out and slowly glides his hand against her face. His thumb caressing her cheek. His eyes piercing her own, looking deep into her soul.
It is only then that she feels it. Closing her eyes as if mesmerised by the deep gaze he gave her. The kiss, his lips on hers. That first kiss. It lingers. As he pulls away she hears him call out her name.
“KANYA, my spirit, my freedom.”
That night sleep comes once again like the rain when it is needed by farmers. In dribs and drabs, too much, too little or not a drop!
She tosses and turns. Waiting the new day. Finally her eyes close and sleep takes over. The emotions are real and have finally decided to rest.
The sun shines brightly through her window. She had forgotten to close her curtains properly. She feels refreshed and heads off to shower and get ready for the new day and a new chapter in her life.
There is a song in her voice as she showers and dresses. A spring in her step as she heads to his room. Slowly opening the door so as not to wake him she gazes in.
“NO!” She cries out “It can’t be,” She thinks.
The room is as it was the night before. There is no sign that he had been in the room. She moves off slowly to the kitchen. Her mind oblivious to anything around her. Complete numbness overtakes her. She slumps in the chair.
“Cup of tea, Kanya? KANYA? Do you want a cup of tea?”
She looks up and is shocked to see him standing there. Emotions flow through her body as tears pour from her eyes. She falls to her knees in front of him. Holding on to his pants and sobbing.
He kneels with her pulling her up with him. They embrace and hold each other tightly. She hears him say, “Never again, Kanya. Never again will I let you go.”
Whitesnakes do it better ...when there is a story to tell