~~ Romance by any means necessary ~~
She thought she was long past the age of wanting romance, of needing romance so she was surprised by her longings. She was a proud and independent woman. She wasn't lonely. Or was she?
He came to her each night in her dreams. Tall. Handsome. Bold.
She couldn't pinpoint the time he started to visit her. He just did. Like clockwork he appeared every night unbidden or sometimes when sleep escaped her and the night seemed endless, bidden. She told her best friend everything, but how could she tell her this? What would she say? What could she say? Too old for this madness. Too old.
Maggie's days became preludes to her dreams. If she had a bad day she knew that he would be there to comfort her. Late, late when the house was quiet and only the ticking of the old-fashioned clock on the mantle could be heard. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
Wake up, wake up. Do you see him? Can you see him? His presence grew in direct proportion to Maggie's discomfort as she struggled to find an answer to the reason for this apparition, this dream standing tall. Handsome. Bold.
Already bold. He grew bolder yet. She could now feel him approach the foot of her bed. She looked forward to his visits and was able to communicate with him without saying a word. Was she mad? Was she insane? She had heard the old folks talk about 'crazy Aunt Kate' who dressed only in lavender, wore an odd fading shawl fastened with a large peacock pin and talked to imaginary friends.
Maggie's memory of Aunt Kate was hazy. She did remember a tall quiet woman who smelled of honeysuckle and mint. She remembered that her Aunt told the best stories. They would sit for hours, Kate talking, little Maggie listening. Maggie's favorite story was of a handsome bloke who would appear on Aunt Kate's dark unhappy days. She said he would make her smile and forget her troubles, for a while anyway.
Who people are and who they become is often dictated by how they are seen through someone else's eyes. As far back as Maggie could remember Aunt Kate was always 'Crazy Aunt Kate.' For the longest time she thought that her aunt's name was Crazy Kate Ryans as she was Maggie Ryans.
Once when everyone was out of the house except Aunt Kate and Maggie they had a tea party. Kate set the table for three. A place for her, a place for Maggie and a place for Him. Maggie could see the years roll away from Aunt Kate's face as she held a conversation with her imaginary friend. Her voice changed to a higher girlish pitch, her laughter became a wonderful tinkling sound. Her eyes became so bright they sparkled. This was a different Kate. She was beautiful and animated. She blushed as she said "Oh Seth, you tease me." Yes, that was his name, Seth. Funny how it just came to Maggie after all of these years.
Late, late when the house was quiet and only the ticking of the old-fashioned clock on the mantle could be heard. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. He came to her each night in her dreams. Tall. Handsome. Bold.
Hello Maggie. Hello Seth.
She was a proud and independent woman. She wasn't lonely. Or was she?
Vannie Ryanes © March 3, 2000