The book was old but beautifully bound in brown leather. The sides had begun to wear off and the pages had turned yellow. The book was opened to the first entry - 1972
The first time I saw Jon was the first time we made eye contact. He was walking out of the basketball court just as my class was getting in. The year we took the Olympics gold medal in basketball and the year it was cool to be playing the game. He was a sophomore and I had a year to get there. We passed by each other and that was the moment I believed in love at first sight. Something tugged at my heart , a wind of recognition from some distant unknown past brushed past me - sending shivers through the whole length of my body - even as the mercury had risen to its possible peak in the school corridors that day. It was the briefest eye contact ever and yet the biggest in terms of impact. I could do nothing but look away to escape the magnetism of his deep blue eyes.
The next day he passed by my language class,tossing the basket ball in his hands , his eye scanning the room while his ears was given to his friend who was continuously talking. I turned my head before I could make that eye contact again.
Jon was one of the most popular boys of sophomore that year and he could very well have any girl he wanted. It was ridiculous to even imagine that he would have the slightest of interest in me. But the next few days I found myself looking for him in corridors, in the playground and even in the canteen. And I found that I could never look at him without him knowing it as he would be looking at me too. I was too nervous to be excited even. He was by far the most charming boy I had ever met.
And then one day I just wanted to know. I went to school that day with love in my heart and determination in my eyes. I knew I may regret what I was going to say - maybe even for the rest of my life. That was a possibility. But if I didn't say it - I knew I would definitely regret it for the rest of my life. And that was a surety. And so I waited outside the basketball court , literally biting my nails as the clocked ticked on. He came out and there I was right in front of him. If my presence unnerved him for a moment - he recovered soon enough to hide it.
" We need to talk ", I stammered.
He came close , too close for comfort really. The blue eyes that I had come to love was deep enough to drown me.
" Ummm .... Well .... you know ... ". I couldnt believe I was mumbling gibberish. And before I could think clearly , he had placed his index finger on my lips.
" I think I have a serious crush on you. If that is what you want to know. I do. " He said it with so much confidence as though it was the the most natural thing to feel and say. He bent down his mouth so close to mine , I could feel his fast paced warm breath on my skin. He hovered his lips gently over my eager mouth, tantalizingly before settling for a soft kiss on my cheeks close to my ears. A spark was kindled that day.
We were together all through school and for a while after that. My year book has a caption " Is Jon here ? " next to my photo. While we were together it didnt matter to us that we were just kids.In the fourth year of our relationship Jon moved out of town looking for a job. When he came back that summer, stories of his city girl had spread like wildfire. It was just a teenage romance and I realised he had grown outgrown me. It didnt matter at the time that I had truly given my heart to him and could never ever take it back. We went our separate ways after that. It wasnt easy for us back then with letters being the only practical way to communicate. And when you didnt want to write - It was just so easy to lose touch. A few pages were turned ......1992
Life was far different from what I had imagined. Life was with a different person. Marriage to Dave and 3 kids had not removed Jon from my mind. He visited my memories occasionally and we took trips together back to those days when our world was just us. Life was not perfect but I knew it could be worse. And then one day Gods must have decided to have some fun at my expense when they decided to take Jon out of memories and drop him straight back into my life.
One of our favourite teachers had passed on and all ex-students had gathered for her funeral. I did want Jon to be there but did not dare expect the impossible. But it was just one of those days when life's lessons was taught to you. Nothing is actually impossible in our lives - because that day my eyes finally made the eye contact that I had secretly desperately sought for so many years. Age had caught up with Jon as it did with all of us. Well into his late thirties, he had aged beautifully and gracefully. If men could age like that. The strongly marked greys at his temples made him more charming than I had ever imagined. We didnt get to talk much that day - for one it was unusually awkward and second the setting certainly wasnt seem fit for catching up with an ex-flame. Seeing Jon again after so many years had taken the carpet off my floor. The life that I had been slowly and steadily building seemed shaky enough. I felt compelled to put my arms around my life to keep it from crashing as much as I wanted to feel his arms around me.
A few days passed and the hurricane I had been expecting seemed like a false alarm. Cell Phones were becoming a necessity and Dave had got me one to keep us connected. It was an unusually bright summer day when the phone beeped with a call from an unfamiliar number.
My 'hello' was answered with a husky " Hey Amy ". His voice was as seductive as all those years back, if not more. It had all the power to make my knees go wobbly and head giddy like a teenager.
" Jon ? " , I whispered.
" Don't tell me you could forget this voice ", he taunted.
" I couldnt even if I tried Jon , neither the voice nor the owner of the voice ", I replied.
A brief silence ensued with the only sound transcending the distance between us - being the faint sound of our breathing. It let us know that both of us were alive at the other end and had not been knocked out as yet.
Jon had taken my number from a common friend and contemplated for a few days on what would be the right thing to do before he made that call. Once the initial inhibitions were shed we began talking like we had never stopped. We have that kind of relationship with some people - the ease of picking up from where we left off. Jon was married with a son. Life was good and while it could be better - like me he also knew it could have been worse. The 90's were times of transition. The world was becoming smaller with handy mobile phones, internet and emails entering our communicative channels. It was a time for personal transition too. Jon came back into my life with a bang. It was purely platonic at first. We would discuss our work, family, music, movies , politics. We could comfortably talk and discuss on any topic under the sun. I soon realised why it had been so difficult for me to get over Jon - I could never connect with anyone as easily as I did with him. The spark had been rekindled and it was fueling a flame burning so bright.
It was almost two years since Jon came back as a friend and we had not met inspite of the daily phone calls. It didnt seem important at first and then as time passed by it felt dangerous. The spring of 94 saw Dave leave for an official assignment spanning 2 months. Fate also created an opportunity for Jon to visit town for a conference. He decided to extend his stay over the weekend and we finally decided to meet. We agreed to meet at the local diner for lunch. I took my time to dress up - I was doing so after a long time. I looked around the diner as I entered and there he was smiling his killer smile with a twinkle in his eye. He still had that effect on me irrespective of all that had happened to us in the years in between the time we fell in love and now. He hugged me as soon as I came near and quickly whispered , " Thats an intoxicating scent you have on."
A blushing 'thank you ' was all I could manage to say.
We took our time with the lunch and surprisingly it was quite a silent affair. The hug and the proximity to Jon had left me unnerved. Everything else was forgotten - it was once again just me and him even if it was for a little while. We parted too without much words and without any further intimacy other than holding hands across the table. I came back home feeling highly restless and confused. The day passed with the feeling continuing. The children were in bed by 9 pm and I kept wishing the phone would beep with the familiar number flashing on the screen. By 9.30 I had settled in front of the television changing channels aimlessly while my mind went on a rewinding trip on its own. Thoughts about what we could have done and didnt do - thoughts about what could have happened and didnt happen - thoughts about what we ought to and should do. The door bell rang shaking me out of my reverie. Jon stood outside with a lop sided grin.
"I had to check if you were really as tiny as I felt you were - earlier during the day " , he grinned. He came closer.
" I haven't changed much " , I replied taking a step backward.
" No you haven't .... its just that I don't remember you being so small. " he whispered hoarsely very close to my ears. He pulled away looking at me " Or maybe I have just gotten bigger ", he quipped with a wink.
I quickly pushed him away , locked the door and turned to walk into the living room. The brief intensity of the moment had thankfully been wiped off by his witty self analysis. He had gotten bigger in terms of height and weight. We settled on the couch , the television playing an old classic. That was one of the other things we shared ... old movies and old songs. Feeling him so close to me brought out mixed emotions - I was as comforted as I was terrified. He must have sensed that and took my hands in his. " Your hands are small too ... " he whispered taking them to his lips. A shiver went through my spine. It was one of those times when you instinctively knew and your guts confirmed that the moments that followed would be life changing. One of those moments which could be presenting you a second chance at life or possibly tempting you to cross the threshold into a mistake that would prove costly. My whole body ached as if there was this empty hollow inside it. I was more conscious of Jon next to me than I have ever been of anything or anyone else my entire life. He moved forward and flexed his mouth. with one hand he untied my hair, let it lose and began caressing it. Those blue eyes boring into mine weren't helping in anyway. With his other hand he touched my cheek and held my face exactly where he wanted it before bringing his mouth onto mine. I closed my eyes. That was how it was with Jon. Any proximity with him always made me close my eyes and open my mouth. The kiss was slow and cautious. He was taking his time to explore the area he had wanted to for so long. Within minutes we were breathing faster and I knew if he hadnt held me as close as he did ... I would have fainted with dizzyness. He held me so close that I was so suremy body had melted and become one with him. My body wasnt mine to feel at all. All I could feel was his muscular torso , his really cropped hair and the taut neck muscles behind his neck. We drew apart after a few minutes of what seemed an lifetime.
He carried me to the bedroom upstairs with so much ease that I felt like a feather floating in heaven. Jon put me on the bed and began undressing me slowly ,taking his time and enjoying the whole process. " I have waited for so long Amy " he said. " And as much as I want this , we will go ahead only if you wont wake up with regrets in the morning. I for one would treasure tonight for as long as I live" , he added. I looked at him with tears in my eyes " I do not know what will happen tomorrow Jon. All I know is NOW, with just you and me in it ... All I know is I love you , have always loved you and will always love you like no other." I replied guiding his hands to my body. We made love for the first time after that. It was awkward and more of a process of discovering. We slept in each others arms soon after. A little after the clock timed midnight, I woke up to see him look at me. " Didnt you sleep ? " , I whispered , running my fingers through his hair. " I did for a while, but I didnt want to waste time - I preferred watching you sleep, and knowing that you could be so comfortable with me. I love you Amy Sanders more than I have told , more than you would know. " We made love two more times that night. The last time was with a heavy heart. I knew he would have to leave soon.
Jon left home before the sun rose and with it my children. That was the last I saw of him. That day we spoke and came to a decision - We had our stolen moment , our passions rekindled - But this life was not ours to share - we had to give it to our respective families and our children. What was the happiest and one of the most beautiful day of my life ended up being the most heart wrenching day with one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make. Turning a few more pages .........2012
It has been two years since Dave passed away after a brave and strong fight against cancer of the throat. The years since we discovered his stage 3 tumour had been tough on the entire family, but the family put up a strong fight. The Autumn of 2012 brought with it an evening where Jon came back into my life. Jon was divorced and his son was living with him. He had heard about Dave and came to see how I was holding up. Seeing him at the door, with the bright orange of the setting sun highlighting his frame, just brought back so much memories , so much pain and he immediately took me in his arms. We sat at the kitchen table and talked about our lives since the day we last saw each other.
" We've been through so much Amy. " he said at the end. " I know this isnt the right time to say this. But I have been thinking about this moment for ages. He got down on his knees and pulled out a red ring box from his pocket. I hadnt expected this at all. He opened the box and took out the ring studded with the most beautiful diamond, " Will you marry me Amy. My life will be blessed if you agree to spend the rest of your days brightening the rest of mine. I want to spend the rest of every living day loving and cherishing you -Will you let me do that ?
" Yes Jon ", I replied , the tears in my eyes making it impossible for me to clearly see him slip the ring onto my fingers.
Jon then moved one arm around my waist and pulled me closer to him and kissed me with hunger and passion unleashed. I raised my arms and wrapped them around his neck. One hand moved slowly to run their fingers through his hair while the other moved to his face and caressed his cheek, feeling the light stubble layering his jaw, even as I gave myself in to his demanding mouth. I felt the rapid beat of his heart and he felt the rekindling of the flame. This time for keeps I knew .2014
Jon closed the book hearing Amy call out to him. The cover of the book had been printed with " Life with Jon ". She loved keeping a memoir of everything that was special to her, every day, every moment and he loved reading how beautifully she wrote it. She came to the room with two cup of hot coffee just as he liked it during winter evenings and smiled seeing him with the diary. " You never tire of reading this do you ? " she asked. " Not Really... I would be reading them as long as you keep writing them . And I wouldnt tire just as you never tire of kindling and keeping the flame of passion alive in me no matter how old we are " he replied before kissing her.( This entry has been my fictional take on the prompt kindling for week 19 of LjIdol . If the entry does manage to kindle some emotion, some longing long forgotten, some life enhancing passion kept aside, please do vote for me. Concrits as always are welcome or I believe they help kindle the writer in us. )