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A Taste of Love
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A Taste of Love

©Keith David 2010 ©Virginia Alison 2010

A short story of true soul mates, reunited through time.

Rosa

Struggling into my corset, I curse the fashion that is upon us, oh, to be free of these restrictions hampering my every move. One more breath and Mary fastens it. She helps me into my bloomers and vest, then the lace petticoat, rose-petal perfume and finally my dress.

 

“Oh Mary, why am I not able to just wear trousers and a shirt like the men?”

 

Mary tuts and retorts, “Lady Rosa, this is the fashion; President Lincoln’s wife was seen wearing this very apparel just last week. Besides, your father would not approve of you gallivanting about dressed like a man, whatever next!”

 

Sighing, I allow her to adjust my ridiculous hat and usher me out of the door. The stable lad stands patiently whilst I mount my horse. The stallion rears as I turn his head and kick him into a gallop. I need to feel the wind in my face; so desperate am I to be free of these constraints that hamper my ever move.

 

My dreams of late have troubled me with visions of a world, free of inhibitions. A world of wondrous things, boxes with moving pictures, women with little or no clothes on. I must say, I do blush at that thought. Sights and sounds, the like of which I find impossible, yet, they reappear with regularity, and so does he. Tall and handsome, he wears long trousers in a blue material. His hat is like a Fedora, yet he wears it in a casual manner. Naked from the waist up, and I must say I fan myself from the thought of such forward behaviour. His tanned skin, glistens in the sun as he sits astride his horse gazing out over the ocean.

 

The cliff top, on which he stands, lies not three miles from my house. It is there I go, day after day with hopes of glimpsing this man of my dreams, the man I love, to whom I would give my heart and soul, for just one kiss.

 

The sun, low in the sky, glimmers on the sea. The gulls circle in the warm thermals above Boston Harbour. I have spent many hours here on Pine Hill, watching the boats as they arrive with their precious cargos. Here, I am close to him; I know he is just behind me, just out of view. Turning my head sharply, bringing stars to my eyes is to no avail, I see no more than a whisper as he floats from sight.

 

Today, after many months of waiting, I am saddened. Tomorrow I must leave for New York. I feel I must tell him my feelings, somehow, and with that in mind, I bring with me, my note sealed within a bottle.

 

“My sweet love. A mere kiss, and I am forever yours, Rosa,” and with a wish, and a kiss I throw it into the sea. With a heavy heart, I leave, never to return.

David

Completing the last few chores, I put the cows back into the barn and get a drink of water to cool my dry throat as I watch the cars speed past on the distant road. Con-trails crisscross the cloudless blue sky and I wonder where all those people are going in such a hurry. The sun will be setting soon and I feel the need to visit her again today, to fill the empty space inside me. Removing the horse’s saddle and stripping to nothing but jeans, I ride alone the few miles to the coast bareback.

What exactly has drawn me here day after day I cannot explain? Astride my horse, we pick our way carefully across the familiar rocks and onto sandy beach. The sweltering heat of summer causes sweat to drip slowly down my bare chest and back as long brown hair waves in the wind from under my cowboy hat. A brief run through the waves to cool the steed brings me to my favourite spot just beneath Pine Hill.

As I have done nearly every day that I can remember, I sit staring across the waves as the vision returns to me. Short blond hair frames the most beautiful face I have ever dreamt could exist. Dressed in fancy clothes from time past, she rides sidesaddle through the waves to me. Her image so vivid it brings the smell of rose every time I see it. Reaching for her hand through the vapors of the waves, she fades, never to be touched.

Today something feels different. Beyond the vision, I feel her with me like never before, watching me and I repeatedly turn around attempting to catch a glimpse, but find myself alone. Why is she haunting me? Who is she? Why do I seem to need her so badly?

Dismounting, bare feet sink into the wet sand. I lead my horse slowly along the shoreline until we come upon the neck of an old bottle sticking a mere inch above then sand. Carefully uncovering the glass, I see a note tucked inside. Very old and written in beautiful words of many years ago,

“My sweet love, a mere kiss, and I am forever yours, Rosa”

As I hold it and read the words, the fragrance of roses overwhelms my senses and I feel arms wrapped around my shoulders. My lips become wet and I run my tongue over them expecting the taste of salt from the sea, but they are sweet like honey. A shiver passes through me, shaking my spirit as if a ghost had touched me, the horse rears, lets out a loud whiny.

Staring at the note, my eyes read the words repeatedly until my heart hears them and my mind sees them. Each time I read it, my lips tingle and I have the taste of honey and smell of roses encompass my senses.

The note is from her. Rosa is her name and she has called me here to touch me, but she is only here in my soul. From another time, our spirits have come together and as I press the note to my chest, I feel her with me and I know in time, we will be together. Someday, somewhere, for she is my souls mate.