Morley Gardner seems to be running out of luck.
|Morley Gardner stood watching the sunset along the horizon and in the distance; he saw the ocean stretch aimlessly, its only barrier was the red and orange sky. He threw rose petals into the lifeless water in the honor of his daughter, Lillian. He had given up any hope that she was alive and his sorrow swallowed him in bitterness. His life was changed, and there was nothing he could do to bring the one’s he loved back to him. The only way he could was if he went to them and that meant costing his own life, but he was stronger than the rest of them and he wouldn’t be defeated by death until the time was right.
With the last rose petal, he kissed it and threw it into the water watching the petals drift with the flow of the water’s current. He cringed at the sight of the red petals shriveling to nothing like blood dissolving and spreading in the water. There was too much sorrow and anger in the world and he felt engulfed by the power of his own emotions. His hope was melting away to anguish, but he knew this was a moment of true faith – faith in life and the love of people....
Morley sighed and wiped away the perspiration gathering at his brow. He had outlived his daughter, and that was nothing he was proud of, it was supposed to be the other way around. His whole life was focused on the happiness of his daughter, and when she had been born, he had vowed that he would always make her happy. He thought she was happy, she had just gotten married and was expected to have twins, but she had committed suicide as a last attempt for hope. He was wrong in thinking she had ever been as happy as he had expected.
Her body had never been found and he thought it would be best to keep it hidden. She had left her husband, Riley Sheikh the suicide note and said that the children would be safe. He felt tears sting his warm cheeks, and he knew that he must continue his life without his daughter that was what she would want; it would make her happy. The last petal had drifted away and darkness swallowed him only the light of the moon provided him comfort.
Morley knew it was time to leave, but something told he should stay and watch the shadows dance across the landscape. He felt something tug at the sleeve of his arm and an apparition of his wife appeared before him beckoning him to follow her. Transfixed at the sight he saw, he followed her slender form towards a group of bushes bunched together. She pointed towards a group of trees where a cliff dropped ten feet above the ocean’s water. He gasped and watched a silhouette of a young woman lean over the edge of the cliff. When he looked at the apparition of his wife, Eleanor she was gone. Had it been an illusion of sorrow?
He missed his wife, but Morley knew that she was in a better place away from a grieving world desperate for hope. He knew dwelling about his past would not help matters much, but remembering helped him live and help others live. It gave him strength to remember the better times of life and helped him to seek what lay ahead for him. It was his goal to make life a better place to live in for others, and he would make sure to follow his commitment.
Morley shook his head and stared ahead. The woman was leaning over dangerously, as if she were debating whether not the view was worth paying attention to. He watched and with a nauseating recognition, he knew she was not interested in the view but she was about to jump and take her life as a last attempt for hope. The scene had been played before, but last time he hadn’t been present and he hadn’t known until it was to late. This time Morley had the power to stop the insanity that seemed to engulf this stranger’s life. He would prevent this death from happening.
He ran to the woman and quietly approached her. If he frightened her, she would tumble over the cliff into darkness. He waited for her to retreat until he tapped her on the shoulder. The woman whirled around to face him and Morley knew her life was filled with resentment. Her eyes were filled with tears but the intensity of color was amazing: emerald, as if they had been cut from stone.
“Who are you and what do you want?” asked the woman crossing her arms and pouting her lips.
“My name is Morley Gardner and I’m only a lawyer. I saw that you were leaning over the cliff, which is quite a drop off if I should be able to say so. I’m afraid of heights myself and I was appalled that you would be brave enough to even approach this frightening cliff,” whispered Morley nervously. “I have heard that a young woman such as yourself has lost her life on this very cliff. It could only be a legend but I think she haunts this place and I wouldn’t want to be near it if I had the choice.”
“You have a choice, but you see I don’t,” said the woman. “Why is there any point in living? I have lost my Grandmother and both my mother and father are getting a divorce. What’s the point in living?”
“There’s every point in living and I have thought the same thoughts myself. I’ve lost my own daughter when she committed suicide a year ago. I’ve never given up hope that she maybe still alive because she was pregnant with the possibility of twins. I’m sure she wouldn’t have killed more than one life. Maybe just maybe she’s out there biding her time – waiting for her daddy to find her,” said Morley wringing his hands together.
The woman sadly looked at him with sympathy and shook her head. She sighed and stepped away from the cliff. It was all she could do to help the man, it seemed important to him. Bowing her head, tears flowed down her cheeks like dew dripping across marble.
To be continued. This chapter is unfinished.