Blinding lights, screeching of tyres, spine chilling sounds of metal crushing against metal. “Jenny. Jenny!”
Matthew St’James sat up with a jolt; his body drenched in sweat, his heart pounding with-in his chest. He slid over to the edge of the bed, swung his legs out, sat up and wiped the perspiration from his face. He glanced behind him at the state of his bed; the light summer blanket was on the floor, sheets askew and soaked with sweat.
Matthew knew it would be impossible to fall back into any kind of sleep for he had lived through this same nightmare time and time again. He slid his fingers deep into his thick curly hair until the palms of his hands rested against his brow and whispered in anguish “Why..Why..Why? Can’t I forget?”
Sitting on the side of the bed, he unbuttoned his navy blue silk pajama top that was clinging to his body, and as he slowly slipped out of it a ripple of pleasure ran through him as the chilled night air caressed the warmth of his perspiring body, then standing up he allowed his pajama shorts to slip from his body and drop to the floor.
His fingers slipped through the soft curly hair on his chest and he sighed as his eyes caught sight of his naked body reflected in the mirrored door of his walk-in clothes closet. He was secretly proud of his body. Twice weekly he worked out of the university gym as well in his own gym at his beach house.
Slipping his hands over his biceps his body quivered as his gaze took in the full frontal of his naked body. “ Not bad, not bad at all for a 40 year old” he said aloud, then picking up his summer robe from the red velvet bed side chair he slipped his arms into it, and gathering up his slippers, headed towards the kitchen.
In the hall, Matthew reached out and in one motion turned the hall light on and the dimmer switch down giving the surrounding area a soft glow. He walked through the arched hallway with its cedar carved beams and soft cream carpet and spread his toes apart and let them slip deeper into one of the sheepskin rugs that lay at each end of the hall, Matthew sighed. “Haaa!… If one could walk on clouds I’m sure this is how it would feel.”
Goose pimples ran up his spine as his thoughts flowed back to an affair a few years previously. They had made love here in the hall on one of the sheepskin rugs and his goose pimples seemed to double in numbers and size as his mind relived the excitement of their lovemaking. He ran his fingers through his hair and closed his eyes as a strange excitement ran through his body and with passion in his voice and as if speaking to the lady in question, he murmured. “God what a night I’m sure we must have been responsible for one or two earthquakes around the world that night.” His toes pressed deeper into the rug as the memory of both bodies shaking with excitement and passion lingered in his mind and began to send tormented thoughts of sexual fantasies though his body as his memories lingered on that incredible night.
The lady in question was his date at an end of the year dinner dance and they both indulged in a little too much wine and ended up a little tipsy. He remembered how he had invited her to share some sobering coffee before taking her home and as they walked up the dimly lit hall she had tripped and ended up lying on one of the scatter rugs and through giggles and laughter on both sides he had turned, leaned against the wall and slid down until he was lying next to her. He tried to think back as to how their lovemaking came about. He remembered leaning over her body to see if she was alright and as his hand moved around her waist in an attempt to help her up, his other hand missed it’s mark on her shoulder and settled firmly on her breast. Yes, that was the point of no return for both of them… their eyes met and she placed her hand over his and squeezed it gently so that both their hands were cupping her breast and as his fingers caressed her body she in return pushed the lower half of her body hard against his.
Their love making was intense and passionate, but it wasn’t love making in the sense of caring about each other, more so a sexual build up that both took immense pleasure in the final act of climaxing. That was the night he came to realize that love making on a floor, held no competition for the comfort of a bed.
He smiled as he spread his toes as wide as he could and slipped them through the scatter rug and his thoughts made a re-run of that night.
There was a release of anxiety for both of them when the lady in question accepted a position at the University of Victoria, for they both found it awkward to function properly after she became engaged to another lecturer. She was a well-bred and beautiful woman and he knew after that night of passion she was falling in love with him but why why the hell wouldn’t his heart respond? God he did feel something for her.
His thoughts began to question his role in life. “ A man with position, influence, money and … and.. what? My heart won’t let me fall in love too deeply and my mind won’t let go of the past.” Then kicking the scatter rug with his bare foot. “And as a man of position I suppose it wouldn’t be in character to walk around in bare feet,” and with those thoughts in mind he let his slippers drop from his hand and slid his feet into them.
As Matthew neared the kitchen the aroma of coffee filled the air for he knew from the frequency of his nightmares to keep the coffee percolator on throughout the night. He closed his eyes and took in the aroma of the coffee. “ Ah’ that smells inviting,” he said aloud as he filled his cup and headed into the study.
Sitting down at his writing desk he opened the top drawer and pulled out a large brown envelope and tipping the contents out on the desk before him and using the tip of one finger he systematically isolate the items. A silver bracelet a cheap Coles Department Store ring, a small paper bag holding a lock of red hair and lastly an old stained diary.
Matthew opened the diary and flicked to the last entry and read it repeatedly.
“ If by chance death took me far from your arms, I would find some way back to you.”
Matthew closed the diary and holding it close to his heart he picking up his coffee and headed for the lounge.
Placing his cup on the small highly polished teak table, which had beautiful Carved flamingo forming legs, he settled himself full length on the fawn coloured soft leather lounge and covered his legs with the tartan travel rug that was neatly folded on a footstool at the side of the lounge.
“ Well here I am again,” speaking as if in conversation with the room itself, and laying the diary on his chest, placed his hands behind his head and stared up at the ceiling as his thoughts began slipping back in time and he could see clearly in his mind the smiling face of a beautiful young lady and the very thought of her brought a smile to his lips.
She was nineteen, her hair copper red and her eyes like emeralds. “Oh’ Jenny… after all these years I still love you as much as I did then.”
Matthew let his mind wander through the halls of memory and slowly sleep began to overtake him and in his dream state he held his teenage Jenny, kissed her brow, her eyelids and then the sweet taste of her lips. Matthew’s heart was beating in tune with the universe and the stars in the sky seemed to join together then explode like a new years fireworks display and then as Jenny’s kisses became like sweet nectar from the gods Matthew held his breath in the hope that his cup runneth over with this heavenly experience. Matthew was brought back to reality as Jenny moved slightly away from him and he once more gazed into those beautiful emerald eyes. Not a word was spoken for the air was filled with love and love alone was poetry in motion.
Jenny touched Matthew cheek and softly brushed her fingers down and over his lips then like a leaf caught in the autumn breeze she began to float upwards and out of his arms.
Matthew tried desperately to run after her but his legs would only moved in long, slow-motion, strides and his mind screamed as his body muscles ached with each stride he tried to take.
“Jenny…Jenny.. Wait for me.” The words came from his mind not his vocal cords and as Jenny floated further away he dropped to his knees in utter despair and frustration. Almost at once a hand slipped into his and his Jenny’s voice whispered. “ It won’t be long Mat, and I shall be back in your arms once more.”
Matthew was brought back to wakefulness with a strong feeling of someone standing over him and he sat up with a jolt, his brow once more beaded in sweat and as the diary dropped to the floor his cup sailed through the air and shattered against the wall spilt coffee mingled with the deep blue raised roses on the sky blue wallpaper. Matthew sat in a state of shock for a few moments then leaning his body forward, elbows resting on his knees, arms hanging loosely in-between his legs, his head hung like a rag doll and his
eyes staring at the diary on the floor. “ You… you are the reason I live in two different worlds,” and picking the diary up from the floor he flicked it open once more at the last entry.
“Why the hell do I expect you to come back to me when I don’t even believe in reincarnation.” Matthew clutched the diary closer to his heart. “ If only I could get you out of my system, if only I could forget you, if only, if only, Oh’ God if only I could go back to yesteryear.”
Placing the diary back on the table he walked over to the shattered cup and began picking up the broken pieces, his hands brushed over the wallpaper and fingers caressed the miniature raised roses and as he closed his eyes a tremendous wave of love swept over him.
“Oh’ Lord how I remember, we promised when our hearts were one we would make love every day in a rose garden.” Matthew’s thoughts darted him from one room to another in the beach house and a smile came to his lips as he realised nearly every room had different soft rose patterned wallpaper.”
He looked over to where he had been lying, his eyes mentally measuring the distance between the lounge and the wall. “ It’s impossible,” he said aloud and shook his head to try and clear his thoughts, “The only way I could have smashed the cup against the wall was to do so in a standing position,” and his mind relived how he had awoken and he was sure he hadn’t touch the cup.
Walking back to his seat he wiped his hand over the small table… not a spot of coffee and bending down he ran his hand over the carpet… He frowned as his mind began to lose the understanding of reality. “How the hell can you spill coffee and still end up with a dry carpet?” his mind began to take control of his nerves and the thought of ghosts and extra terrestrial beings sent shivers up and down his spine.
“ Snap out of it…!” The command to his mind was enough to give him back control of his faculties and picking up the remains of the shattered cup he moving back towards the kitchen and carefully wrapped them in paper placed them in the dust receptacle then poured another cup of coffee and headed to the door that led out into the veranda of his beach house.
Matthew stood for a while in the semi darkness listening to the sound of the ocean then walking around the veranda settled down on the swinging love seat and as he sipped his coffee his eyes became accustomed to the darkness around him and he began to see outlines of mountains on one side and lights of ships in the distance out in front of him.
His house was situated on the rise of a hill that overlooked the boulevard and beach and at the side of the beach house he could sit and take in magnificent views of the town lights along the coast line, and behind him sat a majestic mountain range and moving to the other side one could spend hours watching the ocean. The moon was almost finished it’s last quarter and he could see the lights of a small township up the coastline. One of these towns was Redland Bay the town he was born and bred.
Matthew’s eyes moved beyond Redland Bay, his gaze following the lights of the main road that wound up the mountain side and set high up through the hillside he could see coloured lights twinkling in the distance and his mind began to relive his last night with Jenny.