A Time For Love 2 of 3


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  1. #1
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    Exclamation A Time For Love 2 of 3

    An Immortal can't seem to win his gal.
    Synopsis: At the age of 80, Johnny Adams will die, only to rise again in his own 10 year old body. Each time, he strives to win a lost love, left long before on a tiny Pacific island. Each time, he strives, yearns, for her eternal affection, coming close but no cigar. He's now on his fourth cycle. Arriving on the island, this time much earlier at the age of 18, he's ready to try once again. Finding an old friend who, naturally, doesn't know him in this life, he asks to rent a house in the village....
    ------------------------

    Kenji rents me the house I want. I'm surprised it's even there at this early date. The two-room building, made from split tree-trunks and sporting a thatched roof, looked new when I owned it, a lifetime ago and sixteen years from now. I want that particular building because it stands between Amiko's parents' home and the school, where I can watch her on her way back and forth to study.

    I never have been close to her parents, having lived on the army base the first two times around. On the third swing, I came with enough money to not only buy the house but make even more of an ass of myself with drunken parties.

    That time, between parties and coming to expect another swing back to yet another childhood, I'd made a point to study ongoing history and memorizing statistics, which makes me a millionaire this time around. Yes. I fondly recall this particular house....

    ***

    "Johnnnnny." She looks around a small rented hut, seeing a dirt floor enclosed by raw wooden walls, sunlight flowing in easily through cracks between the planks. "Why don' we live in town? Why here? I don wan live always here. Please, Johnny." It was my first romance with her.

    "Baby. I'm only a corporal," I explain once again, "and I'll lose that if my CO finds out. It's against army rules for we enlisted men to 'shack up'. Sergeants can get away with it."

    She shakes that lovely head, crinkling thick eyebrows and turning misty eyes toward mine. "You don really love me." Then she turns away to look out a glassless window, the only one in the room.

    I put my arms around Amiko from behind, smelling sweat, harsh lye soap used on her shirt ... and delicious nubile girl flesh. "Darling. Course I do, more than you'll ever, ever, know." Her neck smells of tropical flowers and sweaty nights, a heavenly combination....

    ***

    "Ohhh." Back to reality, I shake my head at the memory, unbidden tears misting my eyes.

    Later, we'd fixed up that hut into a love-nest with a combination of Japanese, native, and army PX purchases. To me, it was a slice of paradise. To Amiko, a prison. She'd yearned to live in a modern concrete building downtown, close to stores that featured "real" products, rather than the small selection at Grandma Yoshiko's store. While I lived for her love, she preferred status and the luxury a corporal, later buck sergeant, couldn't give her.

    Well, it was at least partially my fault. I worked hard at the base and made sergeant. Looking back, and God knows I've had plenty of time for that, I've realized the lack of attention.

    Much of it was necessary, since before making sergeant, which gave me more control of my life, I depended on three hour and overnight passes to even see her, my Amiko. Daytime passes were simple, freely available between working hours and midnight, but overnight ones relatively rare. Most days I'd get to the village for only a couple hours before having to return for bed check. I can understand her being lonely at night with me gone.

    Lonely except, that is, for Air Force Master Sergeant Davis ... the bastard. I pray he isn't stationed here yet. I even introduced them at one of my frequent drunken parties. He had the money, I didn't, and eventually won the girl. The son-a-bitch.

    Well, that was one time out of three, the first.

    Eventually, I finished my tour on the island, going back to the States to a life without Amiko. Three failed marriages later, I still loved her, couldn't forget those seemingly endless tropical nights literally under the stars. We'd lie behind the house on a tatami mat cushioned by crushed elephant grass, mountain breezes drying hot sweating bodies, sweaty from making love.

    Then came the time, a few days past my 80th birthday, when while taking a nap I felt a monster sitting on my chest. Struggling did no good. The heart attack took me out of that existence.

    You can't imagine my surprise to wake the next morning in a strange bed, in a strange room of an equally strange house. Also in a strange young body, that of myself at the age of ten. Long dormant memories came to the fore, me recognizing bits of furniture though not the young lady working in the kitchen ... my mother.

    That was the first time. It's happened thrice more, making this my fourth -- fourth lifetime.

    What is stranger, much stranger, is that each time I've retained memories along with a special photo of myself and Amiko. Somehow, that photograph survived each death, eventually to be found after each awakening. An act of God? I have no idea, but it has.

    Between those oddities, my love for lovely Amiko has not faded, rather gained momentum over the ages. Endless nights have been spent sobbing over her memory, endless days of regret. Now, I hope beyond expectation that this will be the last. That she'll finally be mine, all ... "Sob!" ... mine.

    ***

    I sit at a window of the rented house, smelling the thatch on the roof and other odors of a rural jungle countryside. Small critters buzz around my head and scurry through the grass while waiting for my love to pass by. So far, there have only been three old men and a huge water buffalo led by a small child barely coming up to its knees. I've been waiting for only a couple of hours or seventy years.

    Kenji insisted I have a few drinks of homemade sake before leaving me to my own devices, meaning an unaccustomed buzz in my head from his product. Knowing I'm an alcoholic, I rarely drink in this present life, so the alcohol hits me particularly hard.

    As I've said, I once owned this house. It's made from roughly-split young tree-trunks, with a straw roof two-feet thick. When it starts to leak -- and it will in another seventeen years -- you simply add another layer. Of course old Lisumo the roofer will have been dead two years by then. Rats tunnel in the thatch, knocking shards down onto bed and furniture at night. Occasionally a rat will fall onto the bed or floor. I've learned to live with them. Yes. I well know this house, a paradise lost. Time is really subjective when you live the same period over and over again, ad infinitum.

    Hearing the gong of a school bell, a faint but distinctive sound in the distance, I jerk erect in a bamboo chair. She will be walking by on the dusty one-lane dirt road in a few minutes. My legs go into an uncontrollable spasm as sweating hands clasp the windowsill tightly, unconscious of splinters from fragrant un-planed softwood. I fight to control my emotions.

    Not having seen my love for such a long time and her being so much younger, I briefly wonder if I'll even recognize her. I have the old photograph propped up on the windowsill. Is this the reason I find it every time I cycle back to the past? For this specific moment? God's way of helping me on this crucial day? A sign of eventual success? It's a village shot taken in front of the little store, we two, a half-dozen children and Grandma Yoshiko -- all smiling at the camera.

    After an interminable wait, I see school children filtering down the road toward me. There are some in groups and others walking by themselves. As they come closer, I search each face for recognizable features.

    There! One of the girls, walking alone on the edge of the dusty road, inky-black hair shining in occasional darting rays of sunlight filtered through wide green leaves. As she approaches, I peer intensely, trying to see through a veil of tears.

    Could it be my love? Wiping liquid from nervous tiring eyes ... I can't be certain.

    When she's almost abreast of my open window, I recognize familiar features, the shape of her head, tilt of her ears. I can't miss the lovely nose that I so long to touch. It lies beneath beautiful, dark, slanted eyes and lips that have smiled at me both in the past and in endless dreams -- those lips I long to taste again.

    This time around, since I chose to try early, she's only thirteen. My own body is eighteen with mind and memories those of a very old man, an ancient and frustrated old man.

    The feeling is never all that bad at first, but at the onset of puberty those feelings become steadily stronger, and stronger yet as the years and decades roll by, influenced by both memory and anticipation.

    My curse is that I have yet to win her love. Although I know her every nuance and thought through constant study and repetition, have even married her once, I cannot seem to earn that love. That one time, I believe she only married me for my money.

    That was on my third cycle. During the second, in anticipation of a possible third, I'd remembered enough sports statistics and stock changes to become wealthy at the age of forty. After buying a small estate across the island, I'd gone looking for Amiko. Waiting wasn't easy, but after all that time I was used to it.

    Inquiring, I found she'd left the village, was living somewhere in town. Eventually I found lovely Amiko selling herself as a bargirl....

    ***

    From the entrance, the "Sunset" bar appeared typical for the island. A Formica-covered bar spread across one side of a 15' x 15' room. Behind it, in dim lighting, a girl dressed in a see-through blouse busily wiped beer glasses with a white rag.

    The opposite wall held several small booths, with four round tables in the center of the room. There was barely space for a colorful jukebox playing Johnny Cash and two restroom doors along a third wall.

    Although in her forties and a little chubby, I recognized Amiko sitting with a soldier. Middle-aged heart beating fast, I had to sit down, so I took one of six stools at the bar itself.

    When the bartender put down her rag and came over I ordered a beer, then couldn't help swinging back to look at Amiko. When her eyes met mine, I damn near fainted -- though she showed no reaction. Why should she? At that point, she had yet to meet me. My smile did bring one in return, one I'd waited a long, long time to see again. Though older, it was my Amiko, could be no other.

    Later, after what seemed an eternity, the soldier left to go back to the barracks and his bed check. Amiko came over to hug me from behind. "You buy drinks today, soldier? I need man, gen'us man."

    She wasn't the sweet young thing I'm looking at right now, but was still my love. Still my love.

    I bought her glasses of cold tea touted as whiskey and drank beer for only an hour before it was she who suggested we leave for a "short time".

    "Come, Johnny," she stated, not asked, "we go my place. Drink my whiskey. Bar close soon, Maybe make love? You have money?"

    Instead, I took her to my newly-purchased home, much better than her small room. Her finding I was wealthy, we were soon married. I thought I had her, that time, but found I was wrong. Both of us being alcoholics, we fought constantly and she soon left with an army colonel. Again, as with the master-sergeant, I had introduced them at a party.

    I did, through a local attorney, make certain she had all the money she needed for the rest of her life. It was the least, all, I could do. I realized I hadn't earned her love, only rented her body....

    ***

    This time around, I'm starting when she's younger and, hopefully, more impressionable. This time, having money and again being a civilian, I intend to back her father in his dream business -- one she's often mentioned. He works on a fishing boat and has always dreamed of owning his own vessel. Hell, I can buy him dozens.

    End of Section Two of Three.
    First: http://www.writingforums.com/threads...or-Love-1-of-3
    Charlie

  2. #2
    You can't imagine my surprise to wake the next morning in a strange bed, in a strange room of an equally strange house. Also in a strange young body, that of myself at the age of ten. Long dormant memories came to the fore, me recognizing bits of furniture though not the young lady working in the kitchen ... my mother.

    That was the first time. It's happened thrice more, making this my fourth -- fourth lifetime
    This 'reveal'' of how it all works... I'd re-word it. This is the part where your reader is given the chance to insert himself (or be drawn into) the scenario. I think a more step by step I didn't recognize - then I started to- wow, Mom looks not like I...so young...OMG, this is me at about (I can determine that by learning the date- I'm time-traveling? Oh, the possibilities. Of course done better.

    Thrice- what is this, Shakespeare? Who says thrice? Yeah, I know what it means... everyone knows what it means.

  3. #3
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying, Kevin.

    I dunno, though. That first time going back was Let's see, now....
    First time, he died at eighty.
    He went back seventy years to the age of ten.
    Pile on another seventy years on that second cycle. Then back again.
    Another seventy years on the third. "Blooey" back to childhood.
    Now another eighteen years.
    70 + 70 + 18 = 158 years. After 158 years, it would be a long-gone memory. No longer an "Oh, my God" event to him. Now, if that scene had been in present tense, you'd be correct.

    Thanks again, Kevin. Yep, guy, even a third thanks for commenting. Doesn't that make thrice? He-he-gigglesnort-he.

    Charlie

  4. #4
    The story is working for me, I want to read Part 3.
    My website (Hidden Content ) has good essays on starting a book and using metaphoricals.

  5. #5
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    I'll post it tomorrow, Emma.

    Charlie

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