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Oca 12

Somewhere There’s a Someone

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As the mountain train climbed slowly approaching the rockier beginnings of the mountain, Helen was enraptured by looking out at the green pastures shining in the sunlight. She had the usual stirrings of anxiety and expectation. Almost the same curiosity and hope she might have felt as a theatre curtain rose, but with added uncertainties.She had made many journeys to unknown places, but she knew this place so well, loved its languid stillness, the majesty of the peaks, some of which rose like pointed phalluses. These images heightened the vague cravings inside her that she never could quite identify. Someday her travels might resolve that.Had she been challenged about what she was seeking, she might have compromised by saying ‘peace and tranquillity’. More honestly, to her close friend, Janice, her response was, “The perfect man.”Janice had scolded her, “They don’t exist. God, you must know by now. Men will always disappoint you.”Helen had to admit that, at thirty-six years old, her six encounters had been somewhat unfulfilling.Painfully deflowered by the irksome Pete Bradley, followed, when she was eighteen, by Charlie Flynn, who was all wham-bam, with very little thanks. Three years later Jeffrey Tunney had come into her life, ten years her senior, and already a successful property developer when they married.Eleven years of relatively comfortable marriage followed. Jeffrey was always gentle and considerate in bed if never lifting her to any of the heights that books and hearsay suggested were her right.Over the years, the business became his total obsession, and she received less and less attention. A sudden heart attack took him from her and left her saddened, but with a comfortable inheritance to sustain her for the rest of her life.The three men since that time were best forgotten. Conrad Bascombe, she quickly labelled Conrad Fastcum’. Sometimes it happened before he’d even entered her, splashing his cream into her thick tawny bush, or sending it shooting in long white strands across her belly.Next came Jason, who turned out to be bisexual, with little real interest in physical contact. Finally, just over a year ago, there had been Archie, who was only interested in her giving him oral gratification, which was a privilege she would have preferred to bestow from feelings she had, not as a sign of male superiority.”You certainly know how to pick them,” Janice had affirmed. “Stop seeking that someone special.” Although admitting the partial truth in what her friend said, Helen held on to the belief that somewhere there was that ‘someone’. Someone who would elevate her, make her feel exalted and fulfilled. Every time a door opened, bursa escort every party she attended, every time she entered a cafe or theatre, that could have been the moment they met.She had vowed there would be no more of the desperate clutching at straws she had indulged in since Jeffrey’s passing. Even if that meant a sense of despondency at the end of each venture.Coming out of the station into the Spring sunlight that was melting the snow from the mountains, Helen took a taxi to the small hotel where she had stayed before. A two-storey, glass-fronted building, with friendly staff, excellent food, and a foyer and upper landing that gave a panoramic view of green hills sweeping up to towering snow-capped peaks.After unpacking and changing into blouse and slacks with a jersey over her shoulder, she set out for an afternoon walk.Taking the lower trails, she relished the caressing of the clear air, the aroma of pine, the sheer freedom and silence, after the raucous life of cities.After half an hour, she returned to her room, showered, and changed into a simple dress, which she knew, accentuated her figure. Refreshed, and taking her book with her, she went to sit in the foyer to await the evening meal.Sitting in that cosy atmosphere, she didn’t bother with the book. There were enough people passing to hold her interest. Families, a couple hand in hand, two youthful men who might have been straight out of university, nothing to excite her.After about twenty minutes she noticed the tall figure standing with his back to her, apparently absorbed in the classic view. Even as she watched he turned and their eyes locked for the briefest of moments, yet time enough for her to absorb the intensity of flinty eyes, bold and authoritative.As heat suffused her skin, and he moved away, he gave her an easy, innocent smile, that aroused feelings she could not clarify. Made uneasy, she looked away.After a moment she looked across the foyer. He was standing at the foot of the staircase, where a small piano stood. He was in close conversation with a smart young woman, in a peach blouse, and beige skirt. Helen felt an unexpected aggravation.Her meal over, she passed through the bar lounge of the hotel and was surprised to see the young woman being given the avid attention of the two young university types. Why should that give her a sense of relieved satisfaction?The next morning, she was coming back down the trail from a pleasant walk when the tall man appeared, walking up alone, heading in the direction of the peak behind the hotel. He walked briskly, giving her a gentle smile and a firm, “Good morning”, as he passed.He had taken off his bursa escort bayan shirt to catch more of the sun on an already golden torso that had the magnificence of a toned athlete. There was a youthful lightness in his face, but his hair was greying at the temples.It was his eyes again that bored into her, a penetration that churned something inside her. She might have been annoyed by the boldness of his glance, but the easiness of his smile dissolved any antipathy she may have felt. How old would he be? Early forties, she guessed. Could this be her time? Fearing the risk of disappointment, she forcefully pushed him out of her mind.After a light lunch, she decided to lie down for a short rest and was surprised when she woke up over an hour later. Believing that she would be doing no more walking, she showered and donned a light flowered dress.Coming out of her room, feeling rather lethargic, she heard the piano being played in the foyer. That was unusual. She had never heard it played but recognised the theme from ‘The Godfather’ but given a slight Latin beat.The music lifted her mood and she felt an urge to dance. Stopping on the upper landing, and admiring the stunning view, she found herself being wound up like a music box lady. No one was watching, so she swayed and whirled, not stopping even when the playing stopped suddenly.”Ah, there are real people in this hotel.” The deep voice startled her and was followed by a warm laugh.She whirled around, her face blazing warm, to see the tall stranger two steps down, leaning lightly against the bannister. “Don’t let me stop your performance,” he went on. He was dressed informally in blue shirt and trousers, and his eyes drilling into her, increased her discomfort. Being eyed by a hungry tiger must be like that.”The piano has stopped,” she said flatly.”I was fascinated seeing your feet twirling from down there. So, I left it to see who could be so rhythmic.””It was you playing?”He shrugged modestly and said, “This place is dead. Would you care to walk?”Still uncertain about the suddenness of this chance, she gestured at her dress, “I’m not —“”You look fine. We’ll stick to the lower paths. And the sun is shining a welcome to you.” The flint eyes regarded her quizzically as he added with a gentle smile, “I’m harmless.”Helen wasn’t sure, given the pounding rising inside her, that she wanted him to be harmless. The trembling excitement she was feeling deep inside told her that she could be on the verge of what she had been craving.She followed him down the stairs and felt herself kissed by the rays of the sun yet soothed by a gentle mountain breeze.”You always turn back early escort bursa from your walks,” he observed casually. “Perhaps you should be more audacious and take time to adore your surroundings.””I do adore nature, and travel,” she replied without rancour.”Is it your work?””Nothing fixed. I write occasional articles for a magazine.””Another writer. How boring.” And he laughed. His eyes remained on her the whole time they talked. A core burned inside her like the heart of a volcano”You write—–fiction?””No, mostly natural stuff—oceans, rivers, grasslands. But right now, I’m doing a book on the mountains. I’ve just come from the Rockies—now the Alps.””Mountains fascinate you?””Mountains are forever. Grasslands can be built on or cultivated—changed anyway. Forests can be, and, sadly, are cut down. Rivers can be dammed or diverted. Only the sea rivals the longevity of the mountains.””Mountains can be climbed.”His grey-tinted head shook, “Headlines tell you that so-and-so conquered Everest. There was no conquest. The mountain permitted him access. The mountain removed obstructions. Good climbers watch for its signs—the dropping of the mists, the lowering of the winds.”His eyes regarded her more deeply, “Like the way a man will watch a woman for such signs—the dropping of a robe, the heaviness of a sigh—“”I’ve always thought of mountains as masculine,” Helen said, and surprising herself at her bravado, she indicated two of the narrower phallic peaks, capped suggestively with snow.”White-haired old men,” he said, but she could see the twinkle in his eyes, that told her he knew very well the allusion she was making.They had stopped walking and faced each other. Helen was sure that this man, with his probing eyes, could read the very troubling thoughts that were invading her. She stood rooted to the spot, a playful breeze flicked through her hair and lifted her skirt as though she wore fifty petticoats underneath.What was she expecting from this encounter? What did she want? The turmoil inside her was her strongest hint. She felt his strength could keep her rooted there for eternity.Yet they walked on for an hour and a half, during which she discovered that the young lady in the peach blouse was his secretary. “Bit of a fun girl, but efficient.”Eventually, they flopped down, side by side on a grassy knoll. His closeness did not bother her in the way she might have expected. Their eyes locked, and he smiled again, “You know what you are?” he asked.Why was her breath quickening? “What am I?”He moved imperceptibly closer, “You’re the woman who is never there. The most haunting women are those who can’t be found in a crowded café, who are lost in a party crowd. Never there–needing to be hunted out.””Have you been hunting?” Did he see her as haunting? How could his thoughts be so close to her own?”No. I don’t hunt. I wait, knowing, hoping she will appear.”

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