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Dying to be with Sylvie (Part 4)

 Click here to read the previous part. 
Before he knew it, the children were leaving home, then returning, then leaving again, several times over. He remembered the emotional traumas of their relationships, the highs as they progressed, the lows as they failed. Learning by experience is the most powerful and most difficult of all modes of learning. His children seemed to choose that as their primary learning mode. It seemed only like yesterday that his children married and then most had children themselves. He reduced his workload, well, tried to, hoping to live a peaceful life with his beloved Sylvie, once she stopped working. That had been only a few years ago. When she stopped working she became ill. He nursed her through her illness, knowing that it was terminal, and was at her side as she passed on. At the funeral all the usual platitudes were said, it’s for the best, at least she didn’t suffer, etc, etc. It didn’t alter the fact that she was gone. He would walk through their house, look at everything she had done, paintings, craft work, the bed where she had slept, the pillow on which she had lain her head. He lost all energy, all drive, all will to live. He stopped looking after himself, would go for days without getting out of bed, without eating. He ended up in hospital, dehydrated and mostly starved. His children had their own lives and didn’t need the extra burden that he would be. He didn’t want to be in this life anymore. Many years ago he had read a book which said that everyone is able to choose how long they will live. In his arrogant brashness of healthy middle age, whatever that is these days, he had chosen 120 as being a good age to live to – but without his darling Sylvie that was torture – cruel and unusual punishment. “Here’s a cup of tea, love,” said a voice at his shoulder. “Oh, I see you’ve had a visitor. Lucky you to have some cookies to go with your tea. Would you like me to open them for you?” He opened his eyes and looked up into the woman’s kindly face. Her name badge said “Luci” although he always thought it used to end in ‘y’. “Thank you for the tea. I’m sure I can open the cookies but right now I’m just not hungry, thank you.” “Ok, love, let me know if I can help,” she replied as she turned away. Why not go to her now? He knew she was there, knew she was waiting for him. He had sensed her presence many times, knew she’d been there to try to help him, try to comfort him, but he needed more, needed to be able to hold her, touch her, make love with her once again, just one more time, there should always be just one more time. He closed his eyes again and pictured her in his memory, as clear today as it had been all those years ago, in those halcyon days when they were young, virile, sexy and together. In those later halcyon days after the children had left when they had time for each other, time to share each other’s joys, achievements, challenges, pain and love. He pictured her, feeling her presence, smelling the perfumed oils she always wore. The smell was very strong today, her presence felt very near, she seemed so close, so very close, almost as though he could touch her. He moved towards her. Saw her getting closer, then he was in her arms and she in his, kissing her lips as she kissed back. He held her away from him, looking at her, seeing her as she was when they had first married, when he had so proudly walked down the aisle with her on his arm all those years ago. She was beautiful wearing her wedding dress, the one she had sewn, the one his youngest daughter had worn when she was married. He looked down at himself. The old slippers and tattered clothes were gone and he was dressed in formal jacket and trousers. “Look at you. You haven’t drunk your tea. Are you alright,” asked Debra with some concern in her voice. There was no response from the body in the chair. “Are you Ok?” she asked, shaking his shoulder, becoming increasingly desperate for a response. Still no response. Panicking, Debra ran to press the crash team button. They arrived in seconds but found no response. The being who had lived in the body had departed. He hugged her to him, communicating soundlessly. “I’ve missed you so much, darling. Thank you for waiting.” “I’ve missed you too, sweetheart. I’m so sorry for causing all the pain that you’ve experienced these past few years. I tried to tell you I was there, that I was waiting for you, but I don’t think you really believed and trusted the thoughts I placed there. “You’re right, I didn’t. Thank you so much for waiting,” he repeated. He picked up her sylph-like body in his arms and carried her towards a beautiful white palace, somehow being guided to enter a room decked out as a bridal chamber with a Roman bath in the corner, gently steaming from the warm water it contained. He slowly and carefully stripped her of her wedding gown as she removed his suit. Hand in hand they stepped into the bath, luxuriating in the warmth of the tepid water. They kissed and cuddled in the bath, exploring each other’s youthful bodies as they had so long ago when they were young lovers. After they had soaked for long enough, he again picked her up and carried her to the bed, laying her on the clean white towel so she could dry. He dried her, then himself on another towel, then lay beside her, kissing and caressing her beautiful body. “This place is like paradise,” he communicated to her lovingly. “I could stay here with you forever.” “This is paradise and we have forever together, my love. Please make sweet gentle love to me forever.” They kissed again, sweetly and gently. “Hmmm, maybe forever isn’t long enough,” she murmured, “Could we make that forever and a day please?”


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