In The Beginning

Entry by: writerYNKGHTYLDE

15th May 2015
CAR key cold in his fingers. He sat back and sighed. Breath steamed up the windscreen.
Then he took a moment to recall how he got here.
It was at the airport. That's where the domino effect started. In many ways that was his beginning.
Although he soon came to confuse what was the beginning and what was the end.
Or indeed if either even existed.
But at that moment at the airport he froze. He hated flying. Anxiety was all-consuming. His pulse raced, his palms clammy with sweat.
What was he even doing here? He knew if he even stepped on that plane the world, his world, changed.
But he couldn't help himself. He was drawn to it as if the very engines themselves were sucking him in through their draught.
He climbed the stairs, no pause now, no looking back, crouched into the entrance of the small propeller plane, and as soon as he entered the cabin he knew life as he knew it was over. That was ten years ago.
In the beginning it was a glance. Nothing more. A look into the middle distance over his computer.
Only one day, he noticed a pair of eyes looking back.
He looked away.
Minutes later when he looked back, the eyes were still fixed on him. Only this time there was a smile coming from them. Dark brown eyes sparkling beneath jet black hair.
He smiled back. That was eight years ago.
He'd spent most of the years since in darkness. The guilt. The lies. The deceit. Eating away into his mind.
The simple things he loved, he couldn't face, couldn't be honest with anymore, even nature itself.
He folded his arms permanently around his own contorted body, There was no way for the world to get in.
His mind, his heart, was closed. He would no longer live his life, with emotions shut down, he would, instead, wait for death.
Time ticked on. Until a moment ten years after stepping onto that plane, he dared to think there might be another way.
Maybe, just maybe, there was a hint of salvation. It had crept up on him.
It started slowly. He hadn't even really noticed it in the beginning.
It was the trickle of water at the top of the fellside, an insignificant spring bubbling up among the coarse grass.
They'd gone together to chart the source of the river. It was a work thing. Professional.
And so it stayed at first. Matter of fact. No contact. Just walking and talking, separate, cautious, nervous.
It was weeks before he started to see the signs, started to notice nature for the first time in years.
Daffodils, swallows, bluebells, the beautiful order of things.
More weeks later, he became aware of the sound of the water, as further down the valley, the spring turned into a river.
And by the time mid-summer came, lying back in the grass, looking up into the endless blue sky, with only skylarks singing for company, they laughed.
That's when he felt it first. The feeling he thought he would never experience again.
It came from the purity of the sound. Laughter. Like he hadn't heard, hadn't felt for years.
By the time the water reached its gateway town of sparkling silver buildings and prepared to flow out into the freedom of the broad, wide estuary, they had long since left its course.
They were meeting instead in the city. Tube doors closed, tube doors opened, they hardly noticed.
Cafes, restaurants, parks, by the Thames, their laughter was everywhere.
He was back on his own now.
Back at home.
The summer faded.
The swallows had gone.
The trees were losing their leaves.
This time he had to decide.
He couldn't face being plunged back into darkness.
He couldn't face being dragged back into a cold, heartless winter, without her laughter to light the way.
She'd shown him a different path. She'd painted beautiful vibrant colours into his life, into his world. He wanted them to go on for ever like some never-fading rainbow.
Compared to that, everything else was grey, flat and meaningless. Even the landscape he loved for so long, sought solace in so often, now just appeared barren and lonely, and bleak.
He couldn't stay here. He couldn't let the opportunity go. Not this time.
If life's about learning lessons of the past and using them to chart a brighter future, this was his one and only moment.
There would be no other chance. No other opportunity. He knew that.
The pain would be intense.
The tears and anger when they found out would try to claw him back. Try to tie him down.
This time his mind was made up.
No place for guilt. No point being consumed for the next ten years. No love in just waiting to die.
In the beginning it was the end. And the end was the beginning.
He looked up one last time at the window. All was darkness.
He turned the car key in the ignition, the diesel engined rattled into life, he turned the switch, and at that moment, all ahead was consumed by the most brilliant, blinding, whitest of dazzling lights.