Creative Musings (short story)

Lavender  by Janice Wood as Sydney Grey

I remember inhaling the lavender. Next, there is this overwhelming sense of exhilaration, comfort, even joy as I become aware that he is climbing onto the bed beside me and enveloping me into his arms, not physically more like corporeally. That funny feeling you get when you just simply turn around, and you see someone looking at you, then they look away quickly because you catch them looking. Where does that feeling come from? Suddenly, I feel myself being elevated somehow; it is as if cloud settles under me and lifts me into the air. The funny thing is I have no fear of falling down through it, even though I look down and see the ground below me. I still smell lavender and I think all this because I smell such a wonderful scent.

 

I think I feel like I could if I were in Heaven, wonderful all the time, certainly not on guard. There is no discomfort anywhere at all; I am not even nervous. This seems like something where our souls touch and our bodies touch, not the shells, still we just hold on to each other, nothing moving. It’s as if there could not be any feeling more satisfying as realizing that you actually receive something so long anticipated, and not know how you got there and I could not remember how I happen to be here, and yet here he is too…

 

Who is he? I feel him more than actually see him. I mean I can see him, but it is like my memory is so short that I can not quite remember him, nor quite remember exactly how he looks.

 

 

 

 

I’ve been waiting awhile I am afraid he is not going to appear. It’s been over an hour and I am starting to get nervous. I try to calm down and so I breathe deeply. The smell of lavender is heavy, heavy in here, so heavy that I-I like the smell of it. It calms me to the point where I start to doze a little bit. It’s been over an hour, and I have been waiting patiently. I feel like I am starting to go into a deep slumber when I hear a question; it’s a masculine voice.

 

“Why do you want to know about me?”

 

I’m startled, and my eyes fly open widely. I am not sure at all how I happen to be here wherever here is. I actually jump to catch myself because I am practically falling out of the chair I had started to lean forward while dozing. I feel a little foolish because I am caught losing my composure, after all I thought I was at home in my bed. Imagine what it feels like when someone catches you smiling when you are not suppose to show that you are having pleasant thoughts, or enjoying yourself.

 

Before I can gather an answer, he says further, “I’ve heard about you. You’re rather well thought of on that campus where you work. Others say people listen to you because of the work you do. So, I have to ask. What is it; why would you want to know about my life?” Of course, I am stunned. I never wondered about who would think anything about me especially someone I didn’t know, or at least had not met.

 

The man at the table says with a reassuring smile, “Answer him.”

 

 

I can only muster up an answer weakly, “I want to know because suddenly you interest me. I feel I need to know more. Please just tell me about your life. Start anywhere you like.” It is like I must have met someone who I happen to like and want to get to know. I mean from did he come? I can’t tell this stranger that somehow he has captured my thoughts and my imagination. Can I?

 

 

There I am looking and squinting as I look at him waiting for some sign that he heard me, his mouth does not move, so I sit there, patiently, waiting, anticipating wondering if my answer was good enough for him to consider continuing… then he says, “I was raised in a convent down in South America at a monastery in an old, old fourteenth century castle. Raised by monks who weren’t very nice,” and then he stops. So I wait…, and I wait…

 

 

He speaks to me again and this time I am sluggish because I can hardly move, but I am still seated in the chair. It’s like I am jolted out of a reality not mine and of what I don’t know…

 

Next thing I know, I begin to feel like I am transported into another time. I don’t know why I sense this because it doesn’t make much sense to me, but as I keep thinking thoughts like I met this guy before, but where, when? Other odd thoughts pop up out of nowhere like today, the more rules you can break, the more you’re accepted, or you might even feel better; answer the phone in church, speak loudly in the library, push someone aside so you can board the metro, yeah things like that. I rationalize these thoughts to mean society has changed from when I was growing. That’s why my history has a great deal of bearing on this story of what I have encountered within the past few days.

 

 

He says, “I was put into an arranged marriage by my parents. I know this because the monks say they are my parents, but I don’t know which one I resemble because I don’t know what they really look like; I mean I have a picture. So, the marriage was short. Anyway, she died in childbirth ten months later, the wife – my wife. I didn’t know her. She seemed friendly and kind, and funny, and sometimes even happy. I guess you could say that we got along with each other.”

 

He stops and I have to ask, “Is there more?”

 

“There’s always more”, he says.

 

Then he erupts saying agitatedly, “Wait, this is not the way to get things done. What do you want? Do you want to get to know me, or not?”

 

I am taken aback by this abrupt change in manner, this confrontation. I don’t understand what triggered this; I am unable to say anything in response. I must look rather silly because I am sitting there with my eyes wide and I know my mouth is turned down almost exhibiting unexpected shock. I am fighting between anger and confusion because I do not know how to react, and I wonder why now?

 

Still fighting the confusion turning to anger, I say, “Look, I don’t know if this is a good idea. I’m gonna …,”

 

But before I can finish he says, “Wait this is not why I am here. Tell me about what you remember about your life before”.

 

I ask, “My life before?… before what?  My what”? All of a sudden I am once again caught in something amazing and off guard. I wonder is this for real? What am I doing here? I feel like this makes no sense. I just decided that I am going to back out slowly back to the regular. Regular, what? Then I wonder…

 

I am ready to move and get up from the table when the old man at the table says, ” Are you sure you want to leave?’

 

He startles me. I had forgotten that he was there, but his question makes me turn around and pause. I am no longer sure of anything, much less where I want to go anywhere, but I know I am equally unsure that I want to stay there. I begin to really wonder what is holding me here.

 

He continues, “Before you go, isn’t this what you have been sensing for a while? Haven’t you been asking yourself some questions? Even your dreams have revolved around this, right?” If you can resolve those questions why leave now?

 

I stop because I realize that my hesitation means I want to stay. I want to find out more. I tell myself to accept that I am where I want to be, yes this is it! Suddenly I feel uncomfortable. Contrarily, I am feeling that this is right, but then rational thought starts, and I become worried that the answers may be something I can not handle. Maybe I am better off not knowing. Removing the veils may be too much!

 

I begin to think I am pretty comfortable in this life I have right now. At least I know what to expect pretty much. I am use to some disappointments. I am comfortable with the people in my life. I mean they don’t present any shocks to the system. I am comfortable with my work; all of the newness has disappeared years ago. Now, everything is routine. If I decide I want excitement, newness, fun, then I compensate with vacations, or hobbies. I ask the same questions everyone on earth asks. Do I want to find a soul-mate? Do I want to turn my life inside out? Will I be happy, or is this asking for too much? What will I loose in order to gain something new from this? Do I want to change? Is it worth it? What am I talking about? Where is this coming from, all because I perceive an entity of interest?

 

I laugh out the word, “An Entity”? What is this, I wonder. I begin to feel like there are people buzzing around me. Literally humming about me with their own lives going about whatever task at hand they need to take care of and I must be sitting still somewhere, meditating, or lost in deep thought while they moved quickly through a haze around me. I can’t get out of this, maybe I am choosing to stay in thought.

 

The smell of lavender is back. I can breathe again; I begin to calm down. I can think coolly again. To the left almost out of view I see movement, I turn and I see the old man again. He is sitting at the table. He looks like he is waiting, but for what, who? Is he meeting someone?

 

He smiles at me when he sees that I am looking at him and so in a way, interrupting his thought. His long gray hair shimmers where no light rests on it. The table looks like it has gotten rounder, no more round, bigger, no higher, no, is it moving? That is not possible how did he get to be so close to me? When did he move! Wait, I shut my eyes tightly and I tilt my head as if this movement is going to reveal some release of pressure on my optic nerve. At the same time I am thinking, okay, I must be dreaming. I look again; he is still there, only back – all the way back like before when I first arrived. The hair, the table, his eyes changed back like they were at first with him off in the distance at the end of the room. Something is different!

 

The old man at the table seems to be drifting further and further away and it’s almost as if he is changing color into a vibrant gray, disappearing into the dark walls. The walls, though, are, wait where are the walls? How large is this place? Now, it seems endless just like a theatre backstage. Most theatres have a backstage that are painted black to appear as if there is no definitive boundary. It is designed in all black so as to set the illusion of no dimension, of endlessness. Who is this old man at the table drifting further, further back?

 

I notice his eyes. His eyes have an iridescence attractiveness to them that is inviting and warm; the lure is very strong though I suspect it is not something he controls or is even aware of. I feel as if I can look into his eyes and I see another world through them. When he speaks his voice is like hear hearing my own inner voice. It is so familiar like I am listening to myself think. I find I always have to look at him just to be sure his mouth is moving.  I really have to wonder is he talking to me, or am I having these thoughts:

 

“This seems to be the kind of love where it’s a love between souls not a love between bodies, but the souls seem to know one another and to communicate in a realm where only they exist.”

 

I begin to wonder who is he talking about, surely, not about me and this person who seems like more a of dream than a real person.

 

He continues to speak in my thoughts, “It is as if they vibrate to a different rhythm. All they have to do is look at each other and they are communicating.” Whoever says, [The eyes are the key to the soul], well, that just might be true. Their souls know each other from another time. These souls crossed all sorts of barriers to find each other in this lifetime”.

 

I keep looking to see if he is really speaking, or am I imagining this. Do I really understand what he is thinking. I feel like I agree with him completely, but …

 

He continues, “She felt him coming to her. He found her. They hadn’t found each other so much in the physical world as in that other realm first. Do they look the same in the other life, or do they look differently? Or does it even matter because they recognized one another, they found one another”.

 

They, she, I am trying to gather my thoughts because I agree with everything he is saying, thinking, but is this me he is referring to, and who is this other stranger? All of a sudden, I find myself wondering if this is really me experiencing this, or am I really like a go-between for this female entity. Where are all of these thoughts coming from and why do I suddenly feel so aloof? Did I have another life? Is this a former lover? Did my soul return here with a purpose? Am I here for the first and only time, suddenly to find myself hosting another? I begin to realize that, yes; maybe I can have the answers I seek.

 

Then, he turns to me again and says, “We have met before. We are from another life. I recognized you some time ago, and I have wanted to tell you this truth, but I have been trying to wait for you to remember”.  I just look at him because I don’t know what to say.

 

He says, “We are a couple who promised that we would not let the other go. We promised to always find each other and be together. I want you to try to remember me, remember the feeling, remember …”

 

I begin to ask questions. I say, “You want me to remember. My thoughts are all jumbled. Here I think I am meeting my soul-mate instead I am meeting an angel? I feel I am being cradled by an angel in the lap of heaven.  I hear that had made a contract before I was born? You, or he wants to know why I was not fulfilling it. Is that why you became impatient with me in so short a time?”

 

He knew I couldn’t remember it; so he came to remind me, so that I could turn my life around and do what I was suppose to do in the beginning.

 

It was like a wake-up call.

 

I saw him later on that day as he went away, so I could begin anew.

 

I remember a sudden shaking back and forth. With this revelation, I was becoming aware of something else. I am becoming aware of something…, I could hear my cat; not only that, but he is jumping on me; running across me back and forth, back and forth.

 

I begin to wake-up and I want my cat to stop jumping on me. Any other time, I would not mind, in fact, it would be welcomed, but today, today I can only come out of this very slowly. Slowly I speak to my little intruder, “That was an interesting dream, very interesting. I wish I could remember it better”.

 

My cat responds to my words with a shrill, “Me-ow”. Today that sound hurts me. He has so many sounds because he has a vocabulary which he uses on me regularly. I can only imagine that he knows exactly what he is doing and knows how he sounds! Today, I imagine he sounds like he would if I had had a hangover. I try with all my might to fight off the reaction of being angry with my cat and so I talk to him slowly.

 

Normally, he is my alarm clock. He always awakens me at six a.m. every morning whether I have the day off or not.

 

So I say, “Okay, okay, cat,” I am not too happy on this day for being disturbed out of this dream.

 

Still trying to gather my senses and remember what I have ahead of me, I say, “I have to get up now and go to work. I feel so tired!! Good morning, Harvey! You are such a beautiful cat. I will fix your breakfast in a moment.”

 

Then I very slowly get out of bed.

 

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

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