Chapter 22 – Sacrifice kills the Future

“I can’t do it, he needs me.”
John nuzzled her bowed head, breathed in the scent of her hair.
“What about your needs?”
“They’re not important.” He sucked in a deep breath of disapproval.
“No one should ever say that. I’ll accept a parent sacrificing their lives for their offspring, a lover for their love’s life but you don’t love him, you owe him nothing, certainly not your life’s fulfilment.
“I owe him respect.”
“Then give him respect but, take the love you need.”
He tasted her tears on her open lips as they kissed. “Please don’t sacrifice your happiness.”

A tale of love and conscience written in 100 word chapters. If you wish to read prior episodes please open the category, “The Whole of the Moon”

Chapter 21 – Deceit’s A Warm Blanket

what-have-i-done-2 Alison hesitated on the doorstep, quaking at the rigour of her own rules.
“Darling, how were your friends?” Stuart beamed.
She winced. That lie again.
“I’ve something to tell you,” they exclaimed together.
A “You go first” standoff followed, before Stuart led her to the sofa.
“I’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease. It will deteriorate. It’s likely I’ll need a transplant.”
Her eyes moistened. He held her tight, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright. What do you have to tell me?” He asked lovingly.
“Nothing,” she cried, “I was thinking of joining the WI, that’s all.” Deceit returned like welcome succour.

A tale of love and conscience written in 100 word chapters. If you wish to read prior episodes open the category, “The Whole of the Moon”

Chapter 20 – Breaking Up is Hard to Do

leaving-home-2 John inserted his key almost apologetically. Amy greeted him, hair towel-turbaned. “There you are.”
He expected more. “I had to go away.”
Her laugh held no humour, “To get your head straight?”
She turned the hair dryer on full. After a brief blow through, she flung it down.
“I’m moving out.” He knew anything he said would be weak.
“It’s not working. Is that what you want to hear?” She railed.
“I love you…” the words seemed to come from outside him.
“And it’s not me, it’s you.”
The rest was weighted silence as he helped her load her car.

Chapter 19 – The Weight of Conscience

kissing-2 “I feel devious, dirty almost.”
“Not dirty, don’t say that, it’s pure,” he countered, “That’s why there’s nothing else we can do.”
As though confessing to a priest, wracked with shame she said, “I’ve already lied to him. It’s driving me mad. I’m struggling to keep my head.”
“Having lost your heart.” He quipped
“Not funny…”
“I’m not making light, just releasing the valve a bit.” He reached a hand to her face; she caught his wrist and held it.
“We must be sensitive; we tell Amy and Stuart, immediately.”
“That’s a high hurdle.”
“I couldn’t live with myself otherwise.”

Chapter 18 – Love Hurts, Love Destroys

diner-3 At the diner, they sat on the same side of the table.
“I dreamt you kissed me. I wondered if I kissed you in your dream. Is that two dreams or one shared?” He asked.
She leant into him, her mouth slightly open, “There’s no going back,” he warned.
She patted her eyes with a tissue. “What about free will? We’re not forced to become lovers.”
“We’re already lovers. Only the physical is unconsummated.”
She smiled, “The physical’s unimportant?”
“It’s inescapable.”
She took his hand, “We’re fated to be together, I know. Just wish it wasn’t so destructive. Poor Stuart…”

Chapter 17 – Time Has Proven That We’re Right

wanderer John lived a hermit’s life for two days, wandering in thought and body. There was time and distance between them, but love doesn’t recognise such obstacles.
Alison lived in his mind but if he didn’t hear from her, he’d stay away. He would sacrifice. He wouldn’t let her suffer under a burden.
Alison roiled in her bed at night, in the day no physical activity dispelled her dreams of John.
She could fight no longer; she surrendered. She saw now that she needed him.
She hated the pain and anguish it would bring but, she called him back to her.

Chapter 16 – No Matter Where I Go

driving John drove, his thoughts out-spinning the wheels. He didn’t like what he was doing, the cruel pressure exerted on the girl he loved.
He thought of Amy, his partner, how did she deserve this? He thought of Stuart, a stranger to him but a life he seemed predestined to shatter.
He feared Alison’s decision; either way held awful consequences.
He found himself in the Peak District, checked into a bed and breakfast and for two days roamed the rolling countryside, trying to understand what he was wreaking.
On the evening of the second day a text pinged, Where are you?