Saturday, June 24, 2006

Entry #18

"Midnight Sanctuary"
by Chong Yen Long


"I'm sorry. I can't help it," she said it a few times, each time sounding more apologetic. Veronica's call was unexpected, ending a long week of self imposed exile. The girl I had loved for five years now was saying goodbye. Without telling why.

And the following morning, she had taken flight, wishing that I did not go to the airport to say adieu.

Weeks passed, and daily, I buried myself reading our letters of exchange -- with funny poems sprinkled here and there. I believe my wordsmith ways and wiles won the fair maiden's heart, and my sincerity, of course, for I told her often I would sacrifice the world for her happiness. I also wooed her with cowboy songs, strumming the guitar by moonlight. Now I see irony in the ditties, mostly about broken-hearted lovers. "Do not forsake me, oh my darlin'…", remember?

This morning the postman delivered a letter. The writing was distinctly by Vera's hand, more firm definitely, less flowery, and by nightfall I could have quoted every line.

"Hi, Desi, Remember on our tour to Switzerland five springtimes ago? Our car broke down near an abbey and it's nigh midnight. I am training now at the Abbey's nunnery."

Enclosed in the envelope was a solitary photograph, showing an imposing castle with just some flicker of light from what looked like the belfry. It was taken just before we entered to enjoy the hospitality of the sanctuary one spring, accidental night years ago.

24 comments:

Flood said...

It is better to have loved and lost...

Bhaswati said...

Nice interpretation of the image. I like the last sentence. Thanks for sharing :)

For The Trees said...

Wow. She really DID leave him. Sad.

But then, love lost is always the deepest hurt.

Scott said...

By nightfall I could have quoted every line. Loved that. This is a great example of irony. Very well done.

desiderata said...

flood: Being my virginal commenter, can I flood thee with tehtarik, a Malaysian speciality tea!:) Rumour has IT it helps the libido! and loverlorn recovery.

desiderata said...

bhaswati:

enjoyed your piece too; we try to relieve our tension with escapades like this sharing. Thanks for kind words, truly encouraged.

desiderata said...

for the trees: Visited your forest; now thy wife has joined in planting more trees eh? ENJOY and thanks for sharing.

desiderata said...

Scott: Is that truly "you" in that photo?
It reminds me of some Great ... maybe we've met somewhere in dreamescape and exchanged some mindshare?

"THanks" to all guests, we are enjoying ourselves, yes!

INKcogKNEEdough said...

Nicely done and quite unique from all the entries i have read so far including my own.

INKcogKNEEdough

Jer said...

Wonder if it hurt less that she left him for her God. Interesting. Jer

desiderata said...

dear INK:
That's a gorgeous compliment, would even lift a lovelorn lad's spirits several notches. Thanks.

desiderata said...

jer:
I believe it would, but it still hurts like mad. Have you been there to tell us as ITIS?

Scott said...

I answered your question on my blog, but in short, no, my avatar is Wyatt Earp. I would have chosen Doc Holiday, but he was just too eerie looking.

Jim said...

A tale that cuts straight to the heart because we've all, at some point, been there.

Amra Pajalic said...

Great twist with her leaving him and sending him a dear John letter. Confused about the fact that in the first paragraph she's called Veronica and then he receives a letter from Vera.

desiderata said...

scott :
thanks for 'wyatt earp' backgrounding, i had suspected it was one of those on Wanted lists! Hi, Bro, we share a common love of westerns then -- my fave is Shane, starring Alan Ladd, seen that one?
As for Doc, not too bad from the earlier version of what I saw in Gunfight at the OK Corral, he had the hot dames when he's HI (on his spirits!).

ON where I come from, pls Google malaysia mahathir mohamad george soros recalcitrant menace

desiderata said...

jim:

Been there at some point, yes, most of us, esp sentimentalist writers! Jim, maybe we can exchange the details over drinks one day. Drop me a line at my Blogsite should you visit Malaysia.
The way I'm promoting NegaraKu, I must put a claim to Tourism M!:)

desiderata said...

Amra:

thanks for APpreciation.
At home here, "Vera" is short for Veronica; at thy place, is it 'Verone'? Pls share, you never lnow I might have received "wlong" letter!:)

JLB said...

Lovely twists of fate!

klgilbert said...

This was a fascinating read. Would make a good screenplay...with added words, of course. :-)

desiderata said...

jlb and klgilbert:

WELCOME to 'latecomers' eh?

jlb~~Twist is 'rite ...but the victim suffers for IT!

gilber:

"we lost an electron
on the midnight road..."
Now Desi will go around that road looking for Positrons!:) Good poetic treatment, but will
"Humans truly atone?" like on a electric cross, burnt to smithereens?

desiderata said...

gilbert: Oops, went back to your Road to search for the Positrons, you were not a late 'late'comer, just jlb! My misstake!

jason evans said...

Desi, the irony was interesting. Their trip together is what sparked her desire to eventually leave him.

The story structure is very tight. Nicely done within the limit. High marks for entertainment and storytelling.

desiderata said...

Jason: Thanks for a truly enjoyable journey ...will hop on the new train in August. I think you also can lecture on Time Management for Writers!:)