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Gliding to a stop at the traffic light, I banged a right and headed towards Newington. Nestled in between the Farmington Valley and Cedar Mountain, Newington offered a unique slice of country living smack dab in the middle of suburbia. The downtown area was some five miles from the highway, and if the overall drive through Wethersfield was an appetizer for the body, then the drive through small mountain range of Newington was the full course meal for the soul.
The meandering road took me deep through the heart of the mountain, and as the pine scented breeze gently caressed my face, I felt the heaviness that was my broken heart start to peel away. Leaning forward, the breeze caught the underneath of my hair and splayed it out like a peacock’s gorgeous tail feathers.
A tear rolled down my cheek as all of the heavy problems that were causing me a world of hurt started to melt away. Coming back to Newington might have been the right choice after all, as I could feel my broken heart healing itself and my self preservation instincts taking hold.
Arriving in downtown Newington not only confirmed it was the right choice, but it was exactly what I needed. Back on familiar turf, I felt completely relaxed and more confident about what the future was going to hold for me. I was so in the zone that when a couple of cars jammed their horns at me, I simply waved back at them before casually making my right turn onto Main Street.
I was about a half mile down the road before it dawned on me that I forgot the name of the street where Todd and Wynona used to live on. “Shit. I’m always sucky at remembering street names. But I do remember the familiar landmarks, so an ugly looking electric green house should be popping up on the right hand side of the road.”
Sure enough, that punked out house came up fast on the right, and I had to brake hard and fishtail to avoid missing the street. Accelerating, I made a hard left and a quick right before coming up to the four way intersection. Blowing through the stop sign, I flew down the street and cruised to a stop in front of an ugly looking two story colonial.
I parked the car and got out. Taking a deep breath, I waited a few seconds before opening my eyes and there standing in front of me, was the mountain that inspired Todd to take a chance on starting his life over with someone new, in all of its natural glory.
As I started on my walk, I could feel my spirit being reborn. No longer was it constrained by the worries of the day, as those were being pummeled out of existence by the sights and smells of the mountain. About a few hundred yards in, the joyous melodies of the birds lifted me even further and installed a happy bounce to my step.
I never really understood, until now, why Todd found this mountain oasis to be his little slice of heaven on earth. But a few minutes into my walk and I knew why he found this to be heaven on earth. There was something here that really brought you back to when you were a child, when the biggest worry you had was whether or not you could get your homework done before your favorite t.v. show came on.
As I approached a blocked off section of the road, I started to get a funny vibe. I couldn’t really describe it other than something was telling me not go over that barrier. While I was debating that point, a blue jay suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I watched it do a few tight circles directly above me, before it dive bombed and came to a rest on my shoulder. It began singing such a haunting melody that I soon felt myself growing incredibly sleepy. Week in the knees, I sat on the ground, leaned against the barrier and simply let the melody take me away.
I was still flying high on that hypnotic melody when I thought I heard a familiar voice call my name.
Not only did I hear my full name called but this time, I actually recognized the voice, and with it, a small ember of happiness was reignited.
'Yes my love.’
“Jackie, there’s so much I want to say to you I don’t know where to begin. I…” I couldn’t complete my thought as I felt his lips press against mine with an intensity that took my breath away. When he broke off, it not only left me begging for more, but it left me paralyzed, because I found myself unable to move. Not in this dream, not in the story and not back there in my room. Frightened, I tried to say something, but I found that I couldn’t get my mouth to move. I also found that I couldn’t blink, so I was forced to stare at my true love’s face, so tantalizingly out of reach that I started to cry.
Jackie took a seat in front of me and I could see that tears were pouring down his face and when each one hit the ground, a beautiful yellow rose would spring forth from the spot of impact. I watched him reach out to touch my cheek, and at the precise instant that his fingers connected with my skin, I suddenly felt all alone.
That aloneness was magnified a few seconds later when he started to speak, as his silky tenor voice filled my head with a sadness that could only be described as inconsolable.
“You can’t stay here.”
“Don’t you see we were made for each other? We need…” I couldn’t finish my thought because Jackie put a finger to my lips to quiet me.
“Listen to me. As much as this really hurts me to say this, you have to continue on your journey to a better life. And in order for you to continue, you have to cross this barrier.”
“Shhhh…listen, not only does a whole new world await you, but a brand new world awaits those who are closest to you.”
“But I need you. I’m…I’m afraid to face what’s coming all by myself,” I cried.
Jackie wiped the tears away and said, “I know you are. But really, you won’t be alone. I’ll still be there when this stage of the journey ends and more importantly though, I’ll be there in your memories and in your heart. I’ll be with you every step on the way when you start the second stage of the journey that the higher ups have planned for you.”
He cupped my face for a few seconds, before pulling me closer in a warm embrace. We stayed like that for a full minute, our tears mixing together while we whispered words of encouragement to each other. Before we disengaged, I gave him the one thing that no matter what would always be his to have: I gave him my heart.
“I’ll always cherish the time we spent together. I know that we’ll meet again in the future, and when we do, we’ll continue this relationship from where we left off at. I love you and nothing that will happen in the next few minutes will ever change that. Take care of yourself and I will see you on the flip side of this continuum we call life.”
Jackie didn’t say a word, but simply gave me a sad smile before quietly fading away. When he left, even though my spirit felt a little emptier, my soul was bathed in a gentle coat of serenity. I watched the blue jay take a small bow, stretch its wings, give one last chirp, then disappear into the lush mountainside.
Standing up, I brushed the dust off and with some trepidation, I jumped over the barrier to continue my walk and clear my head.
The road (if you could call it a road) was overgrown with brushes, brambles, small trees, and dead logs, so it made walking a difficult proposition at best. Still, trudging through this mini version of the mountain was an exhilarating experience. It felt like I was stepping backwards into time, as the flora created a soundproof tunnel that helped the fauna become the ultimate soundtrack c.d. for my walk.
Off to my right at various spots, I could see a multitude of backyards, and within those backyards, various parties were going on. I could hear people laughing and playing, water splashing, smell the aroma of barbecued beef, and the sounds of music wafting up the mountainside.
Once again, I could feel my spirits starting to soar as the mountain worked its magic. I was seeing everything with a clarity that knew no bounds, and it was only a matter of time that I would reach a resolution to the problem that was Todd. A few minutes later, I came across the other concrete barrier.
Looking around and not seeing anyone, I decided to run my hand across the top of it. Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, a voice piped up and told me run down the slope. Shoving that voice aside, I touched the concrete and a feeling of inner calm came over me, and I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. I wiped a tear away from my eye and---
(c) 2011 by GBMJr. All rights reserved