Larry Stephens – “Elle”

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“Elle”

by: Larry Stephens

It’s done. Over.

I really thought everything was fine. Good, in fact. Elle still smiled this morning as she graced me with that same smile every morning for the past fifteen years of…

Marital bliss?

But how could the marriage be blissful if the woman I loved more and more each and every waking minute just up and … left?

I’m so frigging confused!

And more than a little pissed off too.

But pissed off at whom? Her? Or me?

Damnit!

There she sat slurping boiling hot coffee in their little kitchen nook, looking out the bay window at the pre-dawn stillness that hovered over a small lake that crouched behind their cottage, and as I came down the steps and rounded the corner into the kitchen I was struck by her sheer beauty. All I could do was stare at her, maybe a little stunned that this outrageously beautiful creature was with me.

Me.

She was way out of my league and I knew it and maybe she just figured that out or something. Even her slurps were cute.

How screwed up is that? How screwed up am I? Co-dependent ass-hat; I am redefining personal suckitude.

The whole scene replayed in my mind for the eight-hundred seventy-seven thousandth time…

“Mitch, call off work today.”

“Why?”

“Because we have to talk.”

“About what?”

“Us.”

“Us?”

“Right.”

“What about us? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, Mitch. I’m just … done.”

“Done?”

“I’m leaving you, Mitch.”

“What the f—?”

“Don’t get pissy about this, Mitch. I’ve taken care of everything. You can have the house and the car, and I’m taking Barney.”

Poof. Just like that. No reason for the end given. Nothing. Just the cottage the two of them picked out, falling in love with it instantly, then christening every room of the small two-bedroom with torrid passion.

That and a pretty sweet convertible they both loved. But the cherry on the top was taking Barney, a loveable, goofy golden retriever that likes me more than her, or so I thought. Maybe she was jealous of my relationship with the dog? OMG, how stupid is that?

I did call off work and I didn’t tell them when I’d be back. It seemed like someone else was inside my head making that call, and I honestly can’t remember much else I said, and I may have drooled down the front of my tee shirt too. I don’t even know if I hung the damned phone up.

I don’t care anymore. The two loves in my life are going, going, gone folks, and lemme tell ya, that was a real dinger there. It cleared the bases. Cannonball coming!

I left the house. Walking. Dazed. Stunned. No clue on where to go or what to do, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

What did I do wrong?

Did I take her for granted or something?

Maybe she’s pissed off about not having any kids.

But she SAID she didn’t want kids!

Oh God, I can’t take this anymore!

Walking. Seeing but not looking. Hearing but not listening. It may have rained a bit; it could have snowed for all I cared. I know I’m in the woods somewhere, but hell if I know where.

I feel … rage?

Maybe I’ll just stay out here, wandering around until I drop from starvation and then get munched on by coyotes and crows.

If Elle were here with me right now, I’d…

What?

Badger her to see if she’s really happy with her life? Smack her around a little bit?

Oh God, I’d never do that.

The woman just gutted me, navel to spine, and it’s a wound that may never heal.

Then…

A smell; faint, tickling my nose, gentle; smelling like…

Elle?

I followed that scent, suddenly aware of my surroundings; feet with a life all their own, leading me to a clearing that overlooked an abrupt cliff. A subtle fragrance danced and twirled within an oasis of fresh air and smelled of…

Elle…

Lavender.

There is no Elle, just the scent, and I found myself stepping into the clearing and moving toward the cliff, and perched right on the very edge of the cliff stood…

A window?

Like a window frame had been yanked out of some old gothic church or something and plopped right here and now on the edge of a chasm that overlooked a thick forest, hundreds of feet below.

Part of me wants to take a swan dive off that cliff; another part of me wants to just sit my butt down amid these ground-hugging flowers and go to sleep. Forever. And yet…

What is it about that weirdo window that makes me want to look through the panes that should be housing glass but is now housing nada nada empanada?

Elle … I love you and I totally hate you.

I stood in front of the weirdo window and looked through, expecting to see the same vista as before.

The first thing that struck me was the sheer lushness of the scene through the window; verdant green speckled with thriving flowers of indeterminate name; tall grasses wafting gently in a swaying breeze beneath cobalt skies.

Idyllic, and completely different from everything else around the window!

I rubbed my eyes, not believing what I saw; shut them nice and tight for a couple of seconds, then opened and looked through the window again, and the scene shifted.

A woman strolled along the plush moss and thick grass, completely naked and absolutely radiant. Carefree, hair gently tousled by the breezes, the scene through the window seemed to pan along with her as she strolled, seemingly without a purpose, and I immediately thought of … Elle!

I continued to watch, feeling like a peeping tom; some nasty kind of voyeur, but the woman ambled along, not seeing me at all. I distantly felt the ground beneath my butt and understood that yes, I did indeed have myself a little sit-down so I could watch the show.

The woman was indescribable in her beauty and she didn’t so much turn me on as she flat out took my breath away. Her motions and movements were beyond sexy, seemingly languid but smooth; flowing.

My jaw may have bounced off my shirt.

And then, entering the frame (window frame?) came a dude.

Not just a dude. The guy was stunningly beautiful in his own right, and it seemed perfectly natural that the two be together. He too was completely nude and oblivious to that factoid.

Hope it never gets cold wherever this place is.

The two walked together through the verdant land, touching each other softly, tenderly; smiles and chuckles drifting through the window to nibble at my ears. Tears may have been trickling down my cheeks as I watched them, remembering similar times with Elle.

They were fascinating to watch; they seemed like they were aliens, and yet, the very epitome of physical human perfection.

As they walked they entered a clearing that was dominated by a tree; the first tree I’d seen in my new career as a voyeur, but that tree…

It was old. Massive, with limbs stretching every which way, and pregnant with ripe fruits that seemed to weigh those limbs down, making the fruit easy picking. Low-hanging fruit.

Something about this seems … familiar. Like…

Biblical?

The woman looked toward her feet for a long while as the man ambled off to lie at the base of the tree, resting his back against its course bark.

She looked up and I saw confusion in her eyes.

She glanced at the tree, then at a specific branch, and then her gaze locked onto a particularly ripe and heavy piece of fruit, and then I knew and understood what this was, and as the woman reached for the fruit I found myself standing and shouting “NO! Don’t grab that fruit, Eve!”

But of course she did snag the fruit and she took a bite and her eyes lit up at what I can only guess was amazement at the wondrous flavor. And then she offered it to the dude, who I assume was Adam, and he chowed down on the thing.

The most expensive piece of fruit in the entire history of mankind.

Why did I see this? To see that there is no such thing as a good woman?

My bum met earth again and the subtle floral scent wasn’t so subtle or sweet. It hung around my nose like a cloud of pesky gnats.

I’m so confused. Maybe if I just close my eyes a bit, Elle’s leaving won’t hurt as much. But then I remembered the scene through the window and it took my fragile state of mind and crunched it in a sudden wash of depression.

I was back on my feet without realizing that I was back on my feet and then I was step step stepping toward the window, toward the Garden of Eden and then I was stepping through the window…

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Please visit Larry Stephens at https://www.facebook.com/Enzo.stephens.5011

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