Fields of Barley, Vol. 10
(If you want to read this from the beginning, click the Stories, Short & Otherwise Link above)
“I never really understood before,” Mark sighed. “I wish I could have seen it then.” Pausing, he turned to Anna-Lisa and said, “I wish I could have understood this with Heidi.”
Somehow Mark knew he would say her name. He knew his mind would wander back to her. She was, after all, his first love, and her name was forever branded into his heart as if a flaming sword had actually spelled the letters. As he sat in bewildered amazement, his emotions were not just close to the surface, but they completely engulfed him. It was as if his entire existence consisted only of emotions, and the emotions surrounded him to the point that there was nothing else. They consumed him, they surrounded him, and they replaced him.
“Heidi…. I haven’t thought about Heidi for a long time.” There was a time when Mark’s every thought was of her, and it was his greatest fear that the two inseparable beings would one day be separated.
“Mark, there is always a purpose and a reason for all things. You did not understand at the time, but what you felt—what you experienced—was life. Feelings such as this prove life’s existence. Without emotions, no life exists. Your memories stand as a testament to who you are. A person cannot exist without experiencing fear and love and hate and pain and joy. I believe you’re beginning to understand, aren’t you?”
Her words reached him, offering comfort to his troubled mind. But that mind was sitting in a classroom in West Jefferson High School, located in the middle of Idaho, and he was about to break up with his high school sweetheart, his first love and the woman with whom he thought he would spend the rest of his life. They were arguing about some stupid little thing she had done or he had not done, one of many arguments they had over the past several months. Years together could not mend the deep fissures that now existed between the two. Mark watched as he again felt the intense pain it took years to overcome.
“Mark, I think we should stop going out,” Heidi said with desperation in her voice. “All we do when we’re together is fight and I’m tired of fighting with you. I’m just so tired.”
Mark knew if was over, but he fought to save what had been missing for some time.
“So it’s over now. Is that right?”
“Yes, I think it would be best for both of us.”
To be continued...
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