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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: Soul Companion
By Zuanne Joubert


She’s been in this Valley of Misery for so long. It was time for her to end the relationship because he won’t. He can’t.

His soul companion is the one he prefers to be with when everything else gets to be too much, the one he chooses above all else, the one he never disappoints. They’ve been having a steady affair for years, spending time together weekend after weekend. The need for each other insatiable.

They always left the house, got into the car together. She watched them through the kitchen window, while washing the many dirty glasses in the sink. They never bothered to tell her where they are going. They return in a happy mood, sometimes noisy, or if it is very late, they’ll try sneak in foolishly.

They belonged together, he was no one on his own. He felt stronger when they were together. They shared so many friends. Just the two of them alone was never good enough. It seems, the more, the merrier. People she has never seen, faces she will probably never meet. When his companion had to go, he’d feel lonely immediately. Scrolling down the strange numbers on his phone, he’d chat for hours. He doesn’t ever mention any of these friends, but she knows about the calls, the late night messages……

No one he knows or understand his need, no one could feel the way he does, understand his emotions, his desire, burning inside him. It consumes him. His wife understands even less than anybody else. She makes him feel lonely, he resents her rejection.

She watched them together too many times. His hand caressing the slick neck of his so called friend, always beside him, within reach of his hand. Re-assuring, tentative. His wife accepted it because they were together before she met him. She often stepped aside, let them be, while she slept in another room. She’d wait patiently for him to fetch her, and he always did. When he finally reached for her after a couple of days, she never refused him. Forgiving him was easy. It had become a bad old habit, and old habits die hard.

She wasn’t always this complacent. For many years she begged and pleaded, screamed and shouted, threw and broke things, threatened and demanded, nagged and cried for him to stop, nothing made a difference.

Guilt and shame tore him apart. He knew he had to end it. It was driving him to hell. He tried hard to let go so many times, but his feelings overpower him in the black of the night, when they badly needed to be together. His love for his soul companion was stronger than he would ever admit to anyone – not even to himself.

When he reached for the bottle one more time, she closed the door behind her. She couldn’t stand the affair anymore. Her heart had been broken too many times. Behind her she left a man, with a beloved bottle by his side. He saw her walk away, like so many times before. Satan grinned and the demons cheered, when he carelessly shrugged his shoulders and grabbed his companion by the neck: “Atleast we see eye to eye!” One swig and swallow of devil juice, and he knows he will be OK - atleast for today and tomorrow is hours away. Kay Sera, Sera!.

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This article has been read 619 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/18/06
There is much to be commended here, not the least of which is the gradual revelation of the true nature of his "relationship." Cleverly done. A few more edits to catch minor grammar and spelling errors would help a great deal. One that particularly stood out was the very end--should be "que sera sera."

This is excellent writing.
Joanne Sher 08/19/06
Excellent writing!! This completely captivated me. I agree with all of Jan's comments as well. Wonderfully done!
Corinne Smelker 08/22/06
It takes a bit to trick me so I figured out the 'person' from about line 4 on, but it was well written.

Your imagery was good, and there were some good lines in the piece.
Valerie Routhieaux08/22/06
Interesting. You had me guessing to the end. Good job