Love at first sight

Client, in his forties and going through divorce wanted to see his connection with a woman whom he fell in love with at first sight.

I am outdoors. I’m barefooted. I see trees and forest. I have white skin and blonde hair. I’m skinny. I’m a young boy, 16 or 17 years old. I’m looking at the stream. There are leaves floating in the stream. I’m looking for food. I see a girl. She’s blonde, a bit plump. She’s sitting on a boat. The boat is floating across the stream. She’s holding an umbrella.

There’s another boy, who’s standing and rowing the boat. He’s tall and skinny. He’s wearing a cap.
They were talking. I stand behind a tree and watch them. They are moving away. I pick up some apples on the ground. I am in a countryside in England or Europe. The sun is shining brightly. It is summer. It is in the early 20th century.

I am in a factory. I’m working as a blacksmith. I’m in my early twenties, working in a foundry. I’m taking out the metals and hitting it with a hammer. I’m alone in a barn, heating the hot iron, making some tools. I see some horses. I’m working there, hitting on a piece of sheet metal. I can hear sounds. I’m hot and sweaty..

I’m now in a pub. It is a typical British pub. It is 6 pm. The bartended and some people are sitting on the bar. I see a pretty, English girl. I recognize her as my current life girlfriend. She works there. She starts talking to the two men. I just walk in and look at her. I walk straight to the bar.

I order my drinks. The girl saw me walk in. She came over. She asked me some questions about my work. She said, “It must be difficult, working with metals and hot fire”

“I’m doing fine”. I told her. She asked me why I didn’t go there often anymore.

“I’ve been busy”, I said. But the truth is that I didn’t want to go there so often to see her taking with male customers or seeing her working there. So, I avoid it if I can. I think I loved her and that she has feelings towards me. However, it’s difficult, because we are in working class society. It is very difficult to provide security to the family with my job as a blacksmith.

An elderly gentleman, a banker, walks in. She left me to attend to him. She walked away. I ordered another drink. I was disappointed that I couldn’t be a successful rich man to take care of her.
It’s time for me to go home. I don’t want to stay in the pub.

Another lifetime
I’m in a small apartment, full of books. I’m living alone. I’m 32 years old. Well dressed. I’m still in England. I have racks of books. I look like a writer or a professor. I smoke a pipe, wear glasses and have a moustache. My hair is combed back, sleek. I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt and vest. I’m smoking a pipe. I’m reading a book. It looks like an attic.

An old lady comes up, holding a duster. She starts calling me, “Time for supper”. She looks like a housekeeper.

“I’ll be right down,” I told her.  

I see my handwriting on the book. My name is Jack. My handwriting is in cursive, but I can’t read the words.

It’s evening, around 8 – 9 o’clock.I’m on one of the streets in London. It is made of cobblestone. There are some guys wearing hats.

There is a stagecoach with horses on the street. The street is quite brightly lit. I’m not busy, there are people walking around. After dinner, I go to see a show. I’m wearing a top hat, with glasses and moustache. I look like a distinguished gentleman. I stop in front of a pub. I can hear some ladies singing inside. There are happy loud noises, dancing and singing. I look at the place. It is very bright, with lots of people inside. There is a performance by a male comedian. There’s a curly haired woman, singing at the piano. I walk to the balcony. I order whisky. I was served food and drinks.

The performance stops. Another girl comes up to the stage. She started singing. She has dark hair, brown eyes.  When she sang, everybody just kept quiet and looked at her. Everybody was quiet and was watching her. Her voice was melodious and she glanced at me. I smiled back at her. I turned around, drinking quietly.

A drunk guy came up and asked what is a strange gentleman like me doing in a place like this. He started pulling at me. His friend took him to the toilet. The girl also finished her singing. 

She came to me and offered to buy me a drink. “Sure” I said. We had casual talk. She has been working there for a few years. She comes from another place. I told her that I teach about journalism, and writing. I told her that it’s my first time there. I’m in my early thirties. She’s friendly. Somebody came and told her that it’s her performance up next. I’m sitting there watching. It’s noisy in the pub.

Another lifetime
I see daylight. It’s autumn. But it’s windy. I’m sitting on the hills overlooking a lake. Across the kale, there’s an old, big building, like a castle. I’m wearing my sweater. I’m a young Englishman. I’m in my late twenties. It’s the early 1950’s. It’s quiet. Across the lake, I saw another girl and boy waving at me.

I’m at a hill. It’s nice weather and windy. I’m having a picnic. I’m sitting under a tree. There is a girl standing there. She’s wearing a white dress with polka dot designs. She’s wearing a hat. I can see the back and side of her. She looks like my current life girlfriend. She’s holding a glass of red wine. She’s standing. We were talking about going away. I’m going somewhere to further my studies / ambition. She’s telling me that she’s going back to the city. She’s staying with her mother. She helps her mother out in the shop. We were talking relaxed, but she feels a bit sad that we are going to go separate ways. I wasn’t paying attention to her feelings. I was a bit ambitious.

There is someone waving at us, asking us to join them down there, but we declined. We packed our stuff. We’re going towards a car parked behind a tree.

I’m driving down the hill. The sun is shining brightly. It’s windy.

It’s an old car. The top of the car is down. She has a scarf on her hair and the wind is blowing.

She keeps on talking. She’s tearful. I ask her, “What’s wrong?” She said something about her eyes.

The back of this cliff faces the sea. I drive down towards the holiday resort castle.

It’s night time. We’re now at the cliff. It’s colder. The wind is blowing strongly. It’s quite bright. The moon is full. There are waves in the sea. I was standing there with my jacket pulled very tightly because of the cold. She’s standing behind me, wearing a shawl and pants.

It is after dinner. She’s said, “We won’t know whether we will see each other again”. She asked whether I would write to her.

”Yes, every day”, I replied.

She said, “I hope you won’t forget me”.

I said, “No”. We hugged. She cried a little. I didn’t cry.

Next scene:
I’m in a mansion. A man and woman is standing on a balcony. It is a rich man’s mansion. The lady is short, a bit plump and blonde. She looks like my ex university colleague. The guy is a tall, elderly, British gentleman. The lady turned and smiled at me. She said, “Welcome, you’re back”.

I’m much older now. It seems to be like in the 1960’s. I’m carrying my coat. She told me to put down my coat and go for a drink. It is a private dinner party. She said, “Most of the guests have arrived and are in the dining hall”. I am escorted to the dining hall. There are a few people at the table. I am escorted to an empty seat. I am sitting next to a couple. At the far end, seats a woman. I recognize her as my ex-wife. I don’t really know all the people there. I start introducing myself. “I work in a book company inLondon. We publish books and sell books”, I said. The other people introduced themselves. One is an artist, a banker. The woman who’s my current life ex-wife, is a school teacher. All of them know each other. She kept staring at me and smiling. I’m not a jovial person. I’m very serious. I don’t crack jokes. I just watch what they are saying. I don’t say much.

I’m standing at the balcony, looking at the view, facing the open sea. I can see some lights. There’s a port at the end.

I’m drinking coffee. The woman, whom I recognized as my ex-wife came and asked me whether I’m enjoying the view. I said, “It’s very nice”.

She said, “You don’t talk much”.

I said, “In our line, we do a lot of reading.”

She said, “In my line, we do a lot of talking”. She teaches primary school. She’s here with her brother on a holiday. It is at the end of the year, somewhere in November or December. It is not Christmas yet. There is no snow, but it’s cold outside.

I told her that I I was here to see my friend and pass some time here. It’s a private mansion and belongs to one of the rich people.

She said that she teaches in a school outside of London. She goes to London every weekend. Her sister is married with kids. She says that when she’s in London, she will call me up.

I said, “Sure, of course”. I give her my business card. I didn’t give her my house address. She went back to the group in the dining hall. They were talking loudly and laughing. They the group came over. My “ex-wife” is following her friend in the car. They are going back. I’m staying in the mansion. I told my friend that I was so tired and wanted to retire to bed.

I’m older now but still single. I’m 41 years old. I have a successful career in a publishing house. I’m staying alone. I think, somewhere 20 years ago, after I left my girlfriend to pursue my ambitions, we somehow lost touch and I couldn’t find her.

End of lifetime:
I’m in a hospital ward in London. My head is nearly bald. I have white hair. I don’t know what  sickness I have. It’s a private room. A nurse and doctor just finished checking on me. The nurse said, “It’s very cold. Try to keep yourself warm.” I had pneumonia. My chest and cough gets worse.

A few minutes later, the nurse came in. She said, “Somebody wants to see you”.

It’s an elderly lady. I was surprised. She was my earlier girlfriend. I asked her how she found me. She said that she read in the newspaper column that a published in a leading publishing house was taken ill.

“Where did you go all these years?” I asked her.

She said that after my letter stopped, she just stopped giving up hope and she planned something for herself. She didn’t want to stay in that place in north London. She went to Paris. She got married to a German and was divorced. Her German husband was abusive. She didn’t have any kids. Then she traveled to Italy. She worked in retail. She deals with design and fashion. Her second husband was an elderly Italian guy. They didn’t have any children, but the man has 2 children from his previous marriage. Her second husband passed away as he smoked a lot. Two years ago, she returned to London. She tried to have her own shop, selling accessories.

I told her that I didn’t write when I stopped receiving any reply from her. I thought that she didn’t love me anymore.

She scolded me and said that I was a fool to assume that. She said not to give up. She started crying. I said that I was sorry.

She said, “Don’t blame yourself”.

It’s in the late 60’s or early 70’s. I think I’m going to die. I told her to be strong and to enjoy herself.

 “I’m sorry that I can’t be with you”, I said.

I made a promise to her: “If I see you in the next life, I will marry you. I promise,” I said.

She said, “Yes, I will look for you”.