Fond memories are swept away in a current of rage that only nature could unleash.
| An unfamiliar calmness seemed to swathe the office of Lytton Realty during what was by and large a very busy time of the year. Eleanor Lytton , owner of Lytton Realty was sitting at her desk appearing to be oblivious to the unusual silence checked her voice-mails and emails--nothing new nor requiring her immediate attention . Springtime was delivering a steady rain that afterrnon, rhythmically tapping against the large window next to her desk--entrancing her while she was rolling a pencil back and forth underneath her index finger.|
The rain, sheeting down the windowsill, now gave flow to a waterfall of wonderful childhood memories. She was back home on Sorrow Creek; up to her knees in its flowing waters while lifting up rocks looking for crawdads and salamanders; trying to catch guppies and yelling at her brothers for splashing her; picking blackberries until her fingers turned purple and watching for sunset to hurry back home. To hurry back home… an unfamiliar feeling, long ago forgotten and trapped beneath a mountain of pain too great for even the constant flowing waters of time to wash away.
The thunder began rolling and dread came pouring into Eleanor’s memories now--the pencil beneath her finger went flying from her desk striking the wall across the room. Trembling for a brief moment she thought, “I never liked the rain anyway--bad for business.” She turned her chair away from the window, a brief flash of light gave way to the horrid crack of a thunderbolt. Eleanor went falling to the floor and screamed, “You killed him!”
Her office door flewre open. “Are you okay, Nell?” Anthony yelled as his eyes began searching the room over for her.
She rose from behind her desk while trying to act composed she said, “I’m fine. It just startled me… that’s all.”
“Startled you? Who was killed?”
Turning away from him she began gazing out the window. No reply.
Rushing to her side, Anthony, with his masculine and yet gentle hands, slowly and smoothly began to caress her arms..
Stepping away from him, she instinctively began composing herself again.
Gently grabbing her arm, turning her towards him he asked. “When are you going to let me in, Ellie?”
Eleanor looked deep into his chestnut, deep- brown eyes. The compassion within them was an abyss, pouring into her soul and for a fleeting moment a feeling of release overcame her. A tear slowly came flowing down her cheek
Whispering she said " I... I can’t do this, Anthony. Not now.”
Sympathetically he asked, “When then? You can’t keep me out forever. How long must we go through this…what happened to you? Did somebody hurt you?
Pulling away from him she responded, “Forget about it Anthony. Why must you make such an issue out of everything? The thunder startled me…that’s it.”
She returned to her desk and began to needlessly search through the paperwork that littered the top of it. Anthony stood there silent for a moment, he knew better than to push the issue. At least for now...
This was not the first time Anthony witnessed Eleanor crying out for help. He spent many nights in thier bed comforting her through the nightmares that plagued her sleep. He was able to ascertain three possible aspects of her mysterious past through the words she uttered while she wrestled with her dream demons. Her recurrent nightmares always included; a person she called out for by the name of Michael, desperate pleas to be let go and finally a dreadful wail that someone was killed.
There was also the issue of the locked closet in the spare bedroom of thier studio apartment. He was never allowed to look upon its contents even though they have lived together for the past six years. At first, it did not bother him. He assumed it was her little space she called her own. He soon understood it was much more.
Sometimes, after having one of her nightmares she retreated to the room. He heard her looking through the closets' contents, and her quiet whimpers came faintly through the vent work. He tried to ask her if she was all right. She would always reply, “I will be fine. I’m just having some trouble sleeping. Go back to bed. I will be in soon.”
Until now, Anthony respected her wishes. Now, a gnawing desire drove him to finally reveal the reasons for the nightmares and secret contents of the closet. He was determined to find out the truth. Prepared to unearth the skeletons of her past if only for one reason, her happiness.
Willing to risk everything, including her love, Anthony soon planned a special night alone with Nell. Too many years passed in thier relationship without any reference to her past. No mention of her mother or father; no indcation of siblings and no tales of childhood adventures and lost loves. Nothing...nothing to help him to understand how Nell , the most beautiful women to grace his eyes, became who she is today.
Anthony Evans was Eleanor’s long-time lover and best friend. They met at a historical preservation fundraiser eight years ago. It was not love at first sight for her. It would be a year before she finally conceded to having lunch with him--after repeated attempts of asking her out. He liked the chase--it was entirely new to him--never was he refused before and he was not going to lose on his perfect average.
Anthony was not just a stereotypical “tall, dark and hansome” man. He exuded pheromones that attracted both sexes. He was quite heterosexual--a loss to the gay community--a phrase one of Eleanors' gay friends would spout out to her in frustration, "He is as fine as they come dear! Let me know if you ever let this one go." Most women became giddy in his presence and enamored by his charismatic personality. His soft-spoken voice was hypnotic. His dark, brown eyes and solid physique rendered a longing for him deep within the hearts and loins of the women he met.
However; Anthony knew from the moment their eyes met--Eleanor was the one. She was different. He felt she was some form of Lilith and was seducing him. This brought out his most carnal desires...she was spell-binding. The women he once seduced were not as tall, were well built and in most cases had long dark hair. Intelligence was not a requirement. Plus the easier it was to get them through the" bedroom door” the better.
Maybe it was because she played hard-to-get. Deep down he knew it was more--she just was not interested at the time and this was a sort of revelation to him. She was worth conquering and that made her even more desirable.
He was a successful real estate developer and preservationist. The two careers, contrary to one another, seemed to work well for him. His spin on real estate development was not to tear down existing, historical buildings. Not to give way to stick-built condos and office space, but to embrace the restoration of these structures. Coincidentally revitalizing the character of these withering neighborhoods and thus raising their market value.
Eleanor, being expeditious and enterprising, quickly went from being a receptionist to an agent for a national real estate chain. Eventually she opened her on business in a thriving suburb of Pittsburgh called Clovermont. She came along way from the small town life of Olsen Mills, West Virginia. There her parents' hopes for her future were to get a part time job at the local post office. Maybe, go to beauty school in the next town over. With luck, open a tiny shop. Eleanor, at one time could never imagine leaving Olsen Mills. But much like the flowing waters of Sorrow Creek that passed through the small hamlet of Olsen Mills her path held no boundaries.
A self-proclaimed tomboy, Nell blossomed into a beautiful and intelligent young woman. She always kept a stylish short haircut and her naturally wavy blonde hair embraced her face like a picture frame. Her deep green eyes matched the rhododendron leaves that clung to the side of her Grandmother’s front porch and her tall athletic shape caught the eye of most men. She was a natural beauty. If Nell had a flaw to her personality, it would be pride. Pride is what kept her away from Olsen Mills and Sorrow Creek. Pride is why she never called home and pride is why she refused to talk about her past. A past full of bittersweet memories, pain and regret.