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Authors: Carol Holden

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Splintered Lives (6 page)

BOOK: Splintered Lives
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Taj is expected anytime and I am getting excited at the prospect of having Taj meet Mark and his friends.

 

I hear a motor engine stop outside and I rush to the front door to meet Taj. He is in casual clothes and his handsome face is wreathed in smiles.

 

“Mark, come and meet Taj.” I shout before Taj has the chance to get out of his car. I am so thrilled to have my nephew meet the man I adore.

 

Mark rushes through the little living room from the terrace and stands shyly by me as Taj makes his way through the obstructive tables and chairs.

 

“What’s all this?” He asks as he finds his way to the door.
 
“I thought it was an obstacle race.”

 

Mark is a handsome boy, his thick hair is auburn in colour but the sun he has been travelling under has streaked it to all shades and any girl would pay pounds to have the highlights that shine there.
 
He is tall and he may have stopped growing now at his six feet two inches.

 

He moves forward to shake Taj’s hand and he seems happily surprised at the strength of the handshake he receives in return.

 

“Good to meet you”.
 
Mark smiles.

 

“Good to meet you Mark, at last.” Taj replies in a warm tone of voice.

 

The people are all out now ready for the party and Sahida and myself assemble the plates from various houses and the old people are settled in chairs.

 

The boys are introduced and the villagers smile shyly and all shake them by the hand.
  
The party has begun.

 

The food is delicious although we have made it ourselves. Some of it seems strange to the Nepalese but the plates are soon cleared and everyone seems satisfied.

 

Keith brings out his guitar and he sings some folk songs.
 
Although they are Western songs, Taj and Sahida know them and begin to sing along with the boys and me.
  
The children know some of the words because I have taught them to them ready for this party.
 
The parents listen to the chorus and then they also sing some of the words.
  

 

Mark gets Sahida up to dance and Taj and I do the same.
 
In no time at all the children and their parents join in our merry party and even some of the older, fitter ones join in as well.
 
We have a wonderful time and some other backpackers from the bunkhouse join us and the whole village is alight with music and merrymaking.

 

The children are sleepy and go to bed without the usual protest.
 
The parents sit out in the lovely clear night and we chat with them and I feel closer to them than I have before.

 

Eventually the party breaks up and Sahida goes home on her scooter to Pokhara and Taj and I are left alone. We close the door and fall into each other’s arms.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 7

 

 

 

I feel breathless; I have been waiting for this moment since Taj came to the door five hours before.
 
I look at his dark brown eyes and sink into their depths. His face looks so serious and he touches my face with both hands.
 
He strokes my hair and kisses the corner of my mouth.
 
I want him so desperately; my body feels like it is melting and my eyes cannot leave his face as he gently lowers me onto the bed.
 
He kisses my throat and I lean towards his to kiss his mouth. We kiss hungrily and a burning passion that has been simmering all day comes to the surface and I cannot wait for him to undress me as he has before.
 
I tear off his shirt and I kiss his chest.
 
I feel the passion rise within him and he takes my breasts in his hands one at a time and encircles my nipples with his tongue. His kisses go down my body and I almost faint with ecstasy.
 
I have this longing for him with each of us loving the other with tenderness and ultimate desire.

 

He turns on his side towards me and looks deeply into my eyes.
 
“I truly love you.”
 
He whispers.
 
He gently lays me on my back and enters me gently and then with a passion I have not felt in him before. We ride each other and I feel that spirituality that I always feel when we make love. It’s like being in a holy place where love is in abundance.
 
We lie sated by our lovemaking and we do not sleep for a long time because we do not want to lose this wonderful feeling that has seeped into us.

 

We awake late on the Sunday morning tangled up in the sheet and each other’s arms. The sun is high in the sky and I jump out of bed because I think that Mark will soon be calling with his friends.
 
Taj is sleeping peacefully so I quietly slip out of bed, wash, dress and make a pot of tea.
 
I take my cup out onto the terrace and have the whole world to myself where I contemplate the wonder of my life.

 

“How about a cup for me, my little wife?” asks Taj.

“There’s some in the pot, my darling husband”. I reply.

He joins me on the terrace and we embrace as we sit together and smile at each other like cats that have had the cream.
 
We sit quietly and feel so content with each other that we don’t hear Mark and his friends as they creep around the corner of our terrace.

 

“Caught you”. Says Mark.

“Caught me what?” I ask.

“Having a snog,” says the cheeky Jack.

Taj has to laugh and I leave them to make a coffee for them and a bit of breakfast for us all.

 

We have a lazy day together.
 
Taj had brought a few bottles of wine and we still have a couple left over from the previous night so we sit together, the five of us and chat amiably and drink some wine.
 
Later we all have a walk up to the school where I show Mark and his friends where I work.
  
We walk further up the mountain and Taj and I show them the terraces and the White Mountain tops to a place where they can see the distant valleys and peaks beyond our mountain.
 

 

“There are many treks up here but I hope that you have secured the service of a reputable guide,” says Taj.

 

“We found one last night at the party.” says Mark.
 
“He does it for a living and he is the older brother of the boy who I have seen here with you Sarah.”

 

“Oh I am so glad that you are employing one of the villagers.” Taj and Sarah answer in unison “They have the local knowledge and they also need the work.”

 

The boys are energetic and I am feeling languid so Taj and I return to the cottage where we can spend our last few hours together, and the lads can climb the higher slopes as a practice for their longer trek.

 

We have a last meal together before Taj has to set off for Kathmandu and the rest of our time is spent gently making love.
 
I see him off, waving until the motor is out of sight and then I turn into my cottage and busy myself preparing something to eat for Mark and the boys when they return from their trek.

 

The week soon passes and then I am seeing Mark and his friends off on their long trek.
 
I know I won’t see them again until I get home to England because the treks are designed to cover new ground and they will end in a different village.
 
I will miss Mark because we have always been close and his sense of humour and his cheeky grin have always pulled at my heartstrings.
 
After their trek, arranged transport will take them directly to Kathmandu.

 

I feel sad when I return from waving off the lads and I decide I will write to Ann, my college friend, in Dublin.
 
Her last letter was full of news about our mutual friends at the teacher training college.
 
David had become Head of Department of Maths at a college in Ruthin.
 
John was seeing his children again and his wife was giving him a chance to start again.
 
Ann was back in Dublin teaching Business Studies to mature students such as bankers and accountants.
  

 

The three of them had met up as we had all promised to do but as I was a long way away I missed the first meeting.
 
They had all met in Manchester and had a lovely time going to the theatre and having dinner afterwards.
 
I know Ann has a soft spot for David as he is the quiet one, and I suspect, the most caring.
 
His father is rather lonely and David lives close to him in Ruthin.

 

John is teaching Marketing at the University of Edinburgh and is living near his old home where his wife and children still live.
 
He is also involved with the Open University and this extra work brings in the money that is needed to keep two homes going.
 
The separation had been bitter but now he is hoping that the marriage will eventually mend and that the family will be together again.
 

 

I have told Ann about my meeting with Taj but not how close we have become, as I haven’t written to her for quite a few weeks.
 
It is not a secret but I feel so excited and sure about it all that I don’t want to mention it yet as I feel that I am in a dream and that I shall wake up.

 

I tell her about the festivals and the party for Mark and his friends and that I am feeling a bit lonely now Mark is on his way and Taj is busy at the hospital.
 
I invite her to come in her holidays if she can and I say that I shall be able to book her in at the Fishtail Hotel.
 
It’s just a pipe dream but I am missing my friends and family at the moment.

 

She told me that she has met someone in Dublin but is not very sure how it will work out.
 
I hope that she finds someone to live the rest of her life with and that she will have a happy one.
 

 

I write to my sister to tell her what a lovely lad Mark has turned into and how he and his friends brightened up our quiet lives.
 
How I am now missing his laughter and his music.
 
The villagers still smile and wave when I am about and thank me for the party.

Life is back to normal and Taj is hoping to come over this weekend.
 
He plans to get the airplane from Kathmandu and be here earlier than if he travelled by road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 8

 

 

 

Taj has decided to come by plane and I am waiting in the tiny airport lounge.
 
It is so small that the man behind the desk is close to the form where I am sitting.
 
He looks at me curiously.

I smile at him and tell him that I am waiting for a friend, who will be on the plane from Kathmandu.
 
He nods and smiles back.
 

The evening sky is clear, a swatch of horizontal white cloud shows across a bright sky.

 
We hear the little plane approach and we stand to watch it descend, it splutters and we hear the engine miss a beat, as we stand there petrified, unable to move. The plane turns and hits a line of trees on the left of the runway.
 
Flames shoot in the air and a horrible sound of crunching metal is heard all around.
 
More flames reach in to the sky and a belch of black smoke obliterates the sun.
 
There is a stench of burning flesh as the fire consumes the people on the plane.

My life is empty; I feel a bleak grey cloud hovering over my head.
 
The joy I had only yesterday has gone forever.
 
The unbearable sadness of my loss is as if I am carrying a heavy burden in my heart.
 
I have lost the lovely man who had made my life whole.
 
The harsh reality of his death has left me overwhelmed with grief. I have had only a few months of loving Taj but I know that it was a love that would have lasted our lifetimes. The beauty of his countenance, the living light in his eyes, the tenderness of his soul haunts me with an unbearable sadness and great loss.
 
I miss his presence, his gentle humour and the light of love that shone in his eyes.
 
But knowing that our love was real must sustain me and keep me sane,

BOOK: Splintered Lives
5.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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