(Excerpt from Chapter)
...........Wearily, Tara lay down to rest; her thoughts going over what he said. She did trust in people too much and she did need to toughen up. For every time her heart laid open for someone to have, they left. Time and time again, she found herself abandoned. A pattern established since birth, ever since her mother did the same at that Catholic facility. “Perhaps a pair of steel handcuffs adequately placed could keep them from running away,” she mused out loud and then noticed a wooden crucifix on the wall. Ross had bought it off someone peddling them on the streets and he thought it decorative enough to place on his wall. For the moment, she needed comfort, so Tara slid off the bed and kneeled down to pray:
“God, if you are up there, please help me. I can’t do this alone. This will put a strain on my friendship with Ross. He loves me, but he’ll only get mad if I don’t give in to be his wife. Then what will I do? I’m all alone in this world. I’ll leave it in your hands. Just send a solution for all of my problems. I do need one. Amen.”
Tara scooted back onto the bed and snuggled under all the soft covers. After awhile, she fell asleep and began to dream. In her subconscious, somewhere far away, she stood upon a valley road laden deep with fresh snow, with scattered heavy trees lining up on different sides. Up ahead, there stood a large house in the distance that she felt determined to reach, but this would not be an easy task. The snow drifts were thick and uneven. Bitterly, the cold winds nipped at her ears and at her legs, even if she wore rabbit fir-lined boots that hugged her calves. The blue anorak didn’t feel sufficient to keep in her body temperature and she felt unusually heavy in it. After several minutes, she stopped in her track. She gazed at the brick house that sat beautiful and wide, centered upon an expansive piece of land. Black smoke poured out of the chimney, making coal-colored swirls float up towards the stratosphere. The place, looking like something off a Christmas card, had windows decorated with full fur wreaths and red ribbon bows. Inside, she knew it to be warm; filled with caring, loving people.
Just then, a young man stepped out of the house, dressed in full naval dress attire. His thick head of blond hair seemed illuminated by the mid-day sun. Even the brass metals on his dark jacket reflected in the sunlight like diamonds. Tara called out against the brisk breeze. The man turned, scanning the field nearby, but he couldn’t make out where the sound came from and Tara was obscured by a snow drift. From the house, she saw someone rush out to join him and together they went quickly to a compact car. They stuffed luggage into the trunk and quickly jumped into the front seats to be on their way.
In a panic to reach him in time, Tara struggled again to get through the thick snow, but her efforts felt agonizing. Every muscle in her legs stabbed like sharp needles. Flawed from the start, her effort was not sufficient. The car pulled out of the driveway, lurched forward onto the gravel road, and then went around a sharp bend at a hurried pace. Fazed with defeat, steam rose around her face as she came to a halt and watched it disappear. Her lungs ached deep as she tried to catch her breath. She swallowed down a lump that rose sharply in her throat. What a disaster! She felt a staunch realization. That blond man was significant to her life. Someone important. And much too late, she realized the love she felt for him in her heart. Now, he was gone and she collapsed to her knees in the cold wet snow and threw her arms up to the sky to argue her case with God. “No!” she screamed, as it was all that she could do, as the sun blinded her eyes while gazing helplessly upward and beyond.
Tara’s eyes flickered awake at this point, her heart pounding hard in her bosom. Jolted at the swirling emotions worming its way out from her soul, she sat up in bed and noted there were tears flowing down her face. How vivid the dream? She took a moment to realize her surroundings again and regroup her careening thoughts. No, she was not kneeling in snow. Indeed, her arms were cold, but it wasn’t from the trek towards that house. She was in her bedroom in that cold brownstone apartment. The furnace that stood near a window had stopped working again. The clock on the dresser flashed seven o’clock in bold red numbers. Ross, now at work, wouldn’t be home until after midnight.
Rain pounded upon the building, so Tara listened to it for a minute or two while cuddled up in a thick blanket. She got out of bed, dragging the blanket, and went to the window. For a long while, she watched the heavy rain drops fall and splatter upon the glass. Her mind kept thinking over the dream. After several minutes, she struggled to recall what the blond man looked like, but simply remembered that his face seemed fair and handsome. Perhaps his eyes were blue or green. Other details of the dream were beginning to diminish too.
Wherever that lovely house sat was not in Brooklyn, New York. Somewhere, far beyond the familiar drab brownstone buildings and distant skyscrapers, a man existed to shake up her heart in a big way. Was he the answer to her problems? She hoped this to be true, but how would she find him? By dawn, all would be forgotten. Only God knew where such a man could exist.
Tara looked up at the sky, but only could see pitch black and the occasional streaks of lightening.
“I’m such a wayward romantic fool,” she sighed. This seemed to be the only truth to her, other than her future: dark and obscured.
Copy write © 2007 by Christine Hill