They were standing on top of the mountain, overlooking the valley and the ocean. It was hard to believe that they were here after all they’ve been through. Their struggles of the past ten months were something her parents said she and Troy would never be able to overcome and yet she believed in Troy and she believed in her marriage. They loved each other passionately (her friends said too passionately).
But wait! Maybe it wasn’t hard to believe, after all! Love conquers all, Alyssa knew that in her heart-of-hearts. In fact, that was the mantra that has kept her going through the difficult times. They had not even been married a year yet. Marriage takes getting used to, it takes commitment and it takes compromise. She just hadn’t been agreeable enough, she knew this. After all, Troy had told her this on numerous occasions. She had everything she needed to live and breathe, she had Troy. He was her best friend, her confidante and he knew how to take care of her and keep her safe.
And today, by letting go of her stubbornness, today she was going to prove to Troy once and for all that he had nothing to worry about. She trusted him explicitly. He was the only one for her. Unlike other women, she didn’t need babies to make her life complete; she didn’t need friends to tell her secrets to; and as for her parents, they’d both married and divorced a handful of times, so really, who were they to be doling out marital advice?
And if it turned out that today was not the day when he would come to believe her declarations of trust, faith, loyalty and completeness, then maybe tomorrow would be. Love conquers all, it is just a matter of being patient and allowing time to work its little miracles.
As Troy triple checked all of the straps and buckles, Alyssa checked her watch, 7:36 a.m. on a beautiful August morning. She smiled to herself as she looked at the watch Troy had given her only two weeks before when he declared “My love for you is timeless like the constant tick of a watch counting off the seconds as our life continues ever-forward, one day into the next, for the rest of our lives.” She had memorized his words because they had filled her heart with happiness.
And as she stood here now at the top of the mountainous cliff, strapped to her husband in the tandem skydiving belts everything came into focus. This was it. This was the proof that all of those times when Troy had yelled at her, “I’ll kill you!” he hadn’t really meant it. He was, after all, always looking out for her, making sure everything was always best for her, that the meat was cooked right; the wine had the right amount of depth and character; he took care of their finances; he made her aware of the women who called themselves friends but then gossiped about their marriage behind her back; Troy helped her to acknowledge and accept the bitterness her parents held in their hearts because they were incapable of finding the kind of love that they had found. And he did love her.
Alyssa knew without a doubt that Troy loved her as much as he loved anything else in his life, more, in fact. He was always so apologetic after the beatings, begging for her forgiveness. If he hadn’t truly loved her he wouldn’t have pleaded to her so desperately not to leave him. He would always spoil her with gifts and an evening of romance after they’d have a fight. Troy would inevitably invite her to relax and freshen up while he prepared a special meal for them always one of her favorites. She would retire to their bedroom, touch up her hair, her makeup and with her heart beating rapidly, she would enter the walk-in closet, look in boxes and drawers, searching for the beautiful new gown he had purchased for her.
And once dinner was served he would stroll casually into their upstairs bedroom, take her hand, spin her around as he announces, “Alyssa, you look so lovely this evening!” and ever so gently kiss her cheek with his warm, full lips. Then she would slide her hand out from his and he would turn away smiling, enter the walk-in closet and return in his snappiest suit, a pair of finely polished shoes and grinning from ear to ear. He would then kiss her lightly on the lips and whisper “I love you.” as he places his arm around her waist and leads her down to the romantic ambiance he had transformed their house into; the lights dimmed low, candles lit throughout, fresh roses from the garden on every table, a medley of classical music pouring from the speakers as they sat at the table in their finest attire, slowly eating their meal as he spoke of his love for her and how it was in the beginning.
She would float on his words and relish in the food knowing that when she was ready, they would leave the dishes for morning, get up from the table and, with their bodies moving in rhythm dance all throughout the downstairs rooms of their house until the music, ever so slightly began… Bolero, his favorite, wherever they were when the music would begin, he would then begin to Tango. She loved the Tango.
Or at least she did when they were first dating. As Troy lead her, spun her and dipped her she would remember all of the heat and sexual tension between them when they would dance the Tango, before they had married (he had wanted to wait until marriage before becoming intimate) and then as her renewed lust for him found its way to the present, the Crescendo of the music would invariably hit its peak (as though it were perfectly tuned to her) and Troy would rip away her gown in pure lust and fury, leaving the remnant scraps about the floor. Rapt in the moment, whether it was lust or fear or both, she would cling to him as he quickly thrust himself into her, there, wherever they happened to be, making love in time to the music. She had learned to control her breathing so that she would not climax too soon. It must be during the second spin of the song, when the apex burst from the speakers that she scream out her pleasure. She had learned over the last few months that coming too soon made Troy extremely angry. This was the only trigger that Alyssa recognized about his moods and so she had learned to be the perfect lover, coming loudly just as the music did, so that Troy could come too.
But of course, the next morning, when the romance, excitement and lust had subsided she would get up, do her hair, her makeup, get dressed and head downstairs to the beautiful gown he purchased for her only to destroy it before anyone else had the opportunity to see her in it, and a very messy kitchen full of dirty pots and pans and the dishes they’d eaten from the night before.
And then she snapped out of her own head as she heard Troy’s voice, “Okay, babe, on the count of three. One… Two… Three! And they jumped. For the first few seconds it was terrifying and then she saw all of the beauty there beneath her and wondered if the birds could appreciate the view as she did just then. And before she could speculate on the answer, she heard Troy laughing as she felt the rush of the earth falling further beneath her feet, her stomach rolling as they were launched higher into the air from Troy releasing the lever, springing the parachute from its compartment. It was then that Alyssa whispered to herself, “See mom, I told you so!” And then, suddenly, she heard a click and a snap and found herself freefalling at immense speed toward the earth. He’d unbuckled her. He’d let her go. Everything she’d believed was wrong. He did not love her. And love doesn’t conquer all.
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The above short story was inspired by Author S B Mazing’s blog event Finish It, which began as a Blogging201 assignment meant to further expand our blogging experiences as well as our strength of community. Join her event to experiment with a story prompt and give your fingers a shot at short storytelling… every Wednesday she’ll provide a new prompt!
I am having a lot of fun participating in her storytelling prompts. It is challenging and I am growing as a writer so quickly, as a result. If you enjoy writing challenges and blogging events you might consider challenging yourself further with poetry writing. I host a poetry party once a month. For more information visit my page: Memee’s Poetry Parties